TPM News

Most people recognize The Onion as the Peabody Award-winning satire machine that it is. Some people, however, don't. Which is why we get a story like this every few months. Of course, it's sometimes easy to mistake an Onion article for the real thing since the writers make sure to skew as close to their targets as possible. It also doesn't hurt when real news outlets reprint the satirists' work and decide not to let their readers know it's a joke, as Fox Nation did today.

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During his interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight President Obama reiterated his support for the TSA screenings that have had much of the country (or at least the media) up in arms this last week. Says Obama:
"This is gonna be something that evolves. We are gonna have to work on it," Obama told Barbara Walters, indicating the need for new technologies. "I understand people's frustrations with it, but I also know that if there was an explosion in the air that killed a couple of hundred people...and it turned out that we could have prevented it possibly... that would be something that would be pretty upsetting to most of us -- including me."

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The San Diego Sheriff's Department has suspended its investigation of the alleged home "bomb factory" of George Djura Jakubec because the huge weapons cache was just too dangerous.

Jakubec pleaded not guilty on Monday to "12 felony counts of possessing destructive devices and 14 counts of possessing ingredients to make destructive devices, along with two bank robbery charges," according to KGTV news in San Diego.

The Sheriff's Department says that though "proactive operations on site have been suspended" because of the dangerous conditions, local, state, and federal officials are planning to re-enter the home to remove the chemicals and equipment, which Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez described as the "largest quantity of this type of homemade explosives found in one location in the history of the United States."

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Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was convicted Wednesday of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The money laundering charge carries a 99-year maximum sentence -- in other words, life in prison.

But don't expect DeLay to be sent away for the rest of his days.

"It is absolutely impossible he would get anywhere near life," Philip Hilder, a Texas criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, told the Associated Press. "It would be a period of a few years, if he gets prison."

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski filed a motion on Wednesday to intervene in Joe Miller's lawsuit against the state of Alaska and the Alaska Division of Elections, arguing that she deserves to be a party to the suit "to keep those thousands of voters from being disenfranchised by Mr. Miller."

In the motion, Murkowski's attorney Scott M. Kendall wrote that "there are numerous critical issues facing our nation and Alaskans deserve to have full representation in the United States Senate."

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A manual for incoming freshman Republicans, distributed by GOP leadership is meant to help them hit the ground running -- but also to stay out of trouble.

"It is important to keep in mind that even if you haven't violated any rules, the appearance of impropriety can be just as damaging. So always be certain that everything you do as a member is -- and appears to be -- above board," it reads.

With scores of new members, many untested in politics, coming to Washington, it's inevitable that at least a few will keep leadership awake at night, wondering if and how they might embarrass the party. Everyone's been put on notice, but here are five GOPers who, given their past scrapes, will likely be getting the gimlet eye from the top brass.

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Just like the last big Republican mega-wave of 1994, the election of 2010 has been followed by a series of low-level party switches among remaining conservative Southern Democrats. And in Alabama, where the GOP gained majorities in both houses of the state legislature, the latest round of switching has had an extra special effect.

As the Montgomery Advertiser reports, the switches of four conservative Dem state representatives to the Republican Party this past Monday has given the GOP 66 seats out of 105 in the House. As it turns out, both houses of the Alabama legislature have rules that allow for the minority to force procedural delays similar to the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. And these Dems have gotten the GOP right there to the three-fifths majority necessary to force cloture, along with the cloture-ready majority they also achieved in the Senate.

The incoming Republican Speaker Mike Hubbard said that the party will maintain unity on those key procedural votes, thus using their supermajority to its fullest:

He said they will require Republicans to vote in a bloc to bring up legislation that is on the caucus's agenda, but "we never tell a member how to vote on final passage." He said it is important for the caucus to stand together on issues important to the members."

It's reasonable to assume that tea partiers, Fox News hosts and conservative bloggers look forward to today for the same reason most Americans do: the turkey (or tofurkey, depending on your preference) and the football (or cable TV marathons, depending on your preference.)

But those folks also look forward to Thanksgiving for another reason that it's equally reasonable to imagine most Americans don't: the celebration of capitalism's final victory over communist-leaning Pilgrims.

"Sadly, few Americans know the real story of the early colonists," FreedomWorks' Julie Borowski wrote yesterday. "For evidence of the failures of communism, we do not need to look to disastrous experiments in foreign lands. In fact, the Plymouth Plantation is one of the most apparent examples of the failures of collectivism."

FreedomWorks is, of course, a leading tea party organization headed by Dick Armey. But tea partiers aren't the only ones saying that by breaking bread together on that first Thanksgiving, the early American colonists were really breaking the back of socialism.

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