TPM News

Fresh off conservative criticism of President Obama's Midwest bus tour, the Tea Party Express is kicking its own tires. Leading up to the CNN/Tea Party Express Republican presidential debate Sept. 10, the tea party group on Saturday launched a bus tour in Napa, California.

"We want Washington to live within its means, just like we do," Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer told Reuters. "We're in an economic downfall. Meanwhile, politicians are busy attending cocktail parties instead of focusing on the issues."

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The size of the gigantic family compound set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of Mitt Romney's $12 million teardown in California has been exaggerated in the press, according to Romney.

Sort of, at least. Romney told the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Joe McQuaid, that while the square footage of the new estate will -- as reported -- nearly quadruple in size once construction is complete, the number is misleading because it includes the garage and basement. According to McQuaid, Romney merely shrugged when pressed why he didn't try and correct the record more aggressively.

Depending on what he does with the place, Romney's "living space" versus "nonliving space" distinction may be somewhat blurry. If MTV Cribs has taught us anything, it's that basements in homes with eight-digit property values are more than just a dank storage pit.

h/t Politico

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Sometimes campaign spin works to distance a candidate from his controversial past statements. And sometimes the candidate comes back and makes a hash of all the work his staff has done for him.

We could be witnessing the latter scenario when it comes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and one of the nation's most popular government programs. Last week, Perry's campaign spokesperson took to the Wall Street Journal to help back Perry off the less election-friendly sections of his book, Fed Up!. That includes Perry's suggestion that Social Security is an unconstitutional scheme which should be privatized post-haste.

Over the weekend, Perry walked all that back and fired off some more fiery rhetoric about the perils of the entitlement program that most Americans do not want to see changed.

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As expected, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will try to see to it that federal disaster aid to regions damaged by Hurricane Irene be offset by concomitant cuts to other federal programs.

"Yes there's a federal role, yes we're going to find the money -- we're just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to continue to do so," Cantor told Fox News on Monday.

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Rick Santorum really does not like the political activism that gay people have launched against him, ever since his 2003 remarks comparing the legalization of gay sex and gay marriage to pedophilia, bestiality and incest.

"So the gay community said, 'He's comparing gay sex to incest and polygamy, how dare he do this,' and they have gone out on a, I would argue, jihad against Rick Santorum since then," Santorum said at a campaign event in Spartanburg, S.C., on Friday, The Hill reports.

There is a certain irony here, in that radical Islamists -- like Santorum himself -- would want to see homosexuality outlawed. And it is Santorum's prior remarks on that subject that have led to the situation that he is complaining about.

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While much of the eastern seaboard dries out from Hurricane Irene, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has found herself in hot water over the claim she made in Florida over the weekend that the storm and last week's historic earthquake were sent by God to wake up politicians in Washington to the views of the tea party.

Bachmann's campaign says the whole thing was a joke, and that's certainly how CNN played it this morning.

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By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

The City of Chicago has put so much time and money into supporting electric cars that Nissan has decided to reward Illinois by moving forward the planned Chicago launch of its Leaf electric hatchback to this Fall.

In February this year, Gov. Quinn of Illinois signed a bill investing $1 million in electric car infrastructure throughout the Chicagoland area, installing a network of 280 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city and surrounding areas.

The charging network -- installed in collaboration with commercial electric charging infrastructure 350Green -- includes plans for 73 rapid charging stations and 207 Level 2 fast charging stations.

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President Barack Obama Monday announced his selection of Princeton economist Alan Krueger as his choice to succeed Austan Goolsbee as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Krueger served as the top economist at the Treasury Department during the first two years of Obama's presidency and previously as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Labor Department during the Clinton administration.

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As TPM reported recently, emails sent and received by Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) transition team were accidentally deleted, apparently in violation of state standards. But it wasn't clear when they were deleted, or how.

Now the Miami Herald reports some new details: Scott's transition team knew the emails were missing as early as March. Rackspace, a private company handling the emails, notified the transition team that no records existed from almost all the accounts that had been closed, including Scott's, the Herald reports. Scott has said he only learned within the past couple weeks that the emails couldn't be recovered.

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