TPM News

After canceling the usual Senate July 4th recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) warned the country that Republicans are forcing the country to the brink of a default disaster by walking away from the negotiating table in deficit-ceiling talks.

Fresh from celebrating the nation's 235th birthday, Reid reminded citizens of the country's the major accomplishments over the years -- landing on the moon, medical advancements, fighting for democracy and freedom around the world. And he urged Congress not to make history of a different kind in the next few weeks by failing to raise the debt ceiling by a deadline of Aug. 2.

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President Obama will hold his first ever Twitter townhall Wednesday in an attempt to engage a new and growing audience who no longer rely primarily on the mainstream media and traditional outlets for their news.

No stranger to the power of social media, Obama will respond to questions that have been streaming in using the hashtag #AskObama since the White House, through its official Twitter account, @whitehouse, announced the online "Tweet-Up" event last week. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will moderate the discussion, which will begin at 2 p.m.

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The Pawlenty campaign has announced a new senior political adviser in Iowa, with an important connection to the winner of the state caucuses from the last cycle.

Republican strategist Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of Mike Huckabee, is joining the Pawlenty camp's Iowa headquarters, and will lead the campaign's effort for the Iowa Straw Poll this August.

The elder Huckabee, of course, won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses with 34% of the vote in an upset, ahead of the previous frontrunner Mitt Romney who had 25%. After working on that campaign, Sarah Huckabee Sanders went on to become campaign manager for the 2010 Senate campaign of John Boozman in Arkansas, who defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a landslide.

Republicans are citing data from President Obama's Counsel of Economic Advisers to argue that the stimulus has cost the economy nearly 300,000 jobs in the past few months.

The claim originated Sunday at the conservative Weekly Standard and has quickly mushroomed into a talking point: It's been cited already by both Douglas Holtz-Eakin -- an influential Republican economist -- and House Speaker John Boehner. And it supposedly explains why the White House unveiled the report on the Friday before a holiday weekend.

There's just one problem: it's false.

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Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is getting closer to a run for Senate in the very polarized swing state of Wisconsin, where four-term Dem Sen. Herb Kohl is retiring in 2012.

"I think I am likely to run," Baldwin told the Capital Times, in a profile piece. She later added: "It is a major decision, and I have to make it carefully, but I am likely to do it."

Baldwin was first elected to Congress in 1998, representing a strongly Democratic district comprising Madison and the surrounding counties. Except for a close-call race for her second term in 2000, she has been easily re-elected ever since.

A survey in late May from Public Policy Polling (D) found that Baldwin could start out with a plurality of 30% in a wide open Democratic primary -- that is, if former Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost in the 2010 Republican wave, were to decide not to run. If Feingold were to run, he would begin with a prohibitive 70%, with Baldwin at a mere 12%.

Marshall E. Home, a self-styled 'sovereign citizen' in Arizona and former Tucson mayoral candidate, has been arrested on two federal charges of making false claims related to a "business" he ran that purported to save homes from foreclosure.

The complaint alleges that Home also tried to place the U.S. in bankruptcy in March, and falsely claimed he had a claim of $3 billion against the federal government.

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) just broke a land speed record for his pivot from decrying Democratic "Mediscare" attacks on the GOP budget to attacking Democrats for wanting to end "Medicare as we know it."

In an interview with WISN, a local ABC News Affiliate in Wisconsin, Ryan responded to the fact that his budget, endorsed by almost every member of the Republican party, is extremely unpopular.

"Whenever you lead and propose a solution to a complex problem, you're putting yourself out there to be distorted, to be demagogued to be lied about," Ryan said. "What's happening is the other party's chosen to try to scare senior citizens to try and get votes. Here's the deal on our Medicare plan: ObamaCare ends Medicare as we know it."

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