TPM News

The two men the feds just charged with terrorism and firearms related charges for plotting to attack a military installation in Seattle allegedly worried they were "gonna look like fools" if they ran out of ammunition and used the password "OBL" (for Osama bin Laden) for picking up bus tickets.

FBI officials were monitoring 33-year-old Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif (aka Joseph Anthony Davis) of Seattle and 32-year-old Walli Mujahidh (aka Frederick Domingue) of Los Angeles when they took possession of machine guns they purchased and were planning to use to attack the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) located on East Marginal Way, Seattle.

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North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) has vetoed a Voter-ID bill passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. The proposed law was part of a wave of similar bills that have been pushed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the 2010 elections. Like those, it would have required voters to show certain approved forms of photo identification at their polling places, or else cast provisional ballots and then have to prove their eligibility later.

"This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters," Perdue wrote in her veto announcement.

She also added an allusion to North Carolina's past as a segregated, Jim Crow state before the Civil Rights movement: "There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it."

Perdue's veto is likely to succeed, rather than be overridden. The CBS affiliate in Raleigh points out that while the bill had passed the state Senate by a veto-proof margin, it had in fact only passed the state House by a margin of 62-51, short of the 72 votes that would be needed to override the veto in that chamber.

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One line more than any other in President Obama's primetime speech about gradually withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is coming back to haunt him.

"America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home," Obama said towards the end of the speech.

The dramatic line was music to the ears of many of his fellow Democrats and voters who supported him. The words tapped into the populist, isolationist tendencies of many voters across the country who have an acute case of combat fatigue after nearly a decade of wars initiated by another president who promised the very same return to domestic concerns before the 9/11 attacks.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has firmly rejected former Rep. Rick Renzi's (R-AZ) claim that Constitutional protections granted to members of Congress prevented him from having to defend himself from charges that he used his position to enrich himself in a land deal.

The court's decision on Thursday strikes a debilitating blow to federal lawmakers' broad claims of immunity from prosecution on anything dealing with legislative activity. If Renzi appeals, it also could set up a Supreme Court showdown over exactly what level of protection from investigation and prosecution the Constitution provides members of Congress.

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Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) attributed Republicans' exit from deficit talks on their refusal to budge on tax cuts and said their intransigence on the issue threatened to derail a deal.

Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, said at a press conference that they were told of Cantor's exit only after they left a morning meeting at the White House on the debt ceiling vote.

"We left the meeting to find that Leader Cantor had walked out of the meetings....because Democrats want to raise taxes," Pelosi said. "Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies from big oil, we want to remove tax breaks from corporations that send jobs overseas. That list goes on."

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