TPM News

Coy no more. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) says he expects to vote for the Dems' Wall Street reform bill.

"While it isn't perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote," reads a statement from Brown's office. "It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes."

By remaining undecided, Brown and other Republican moderates forced Dems to put off passing the Wall Street reform bill and sending it off to the White House until after the July 4 recess. That's a familiar pattern: Senate Republican leaders have pushed swing vote Republicans to at least delay passage of Democratic initiatives.

Brown now gives Dems 59 votes. They'll still need both Maine senators if they hope to pass the bill before West Virginia governor Joe Manchin appoints a replacement for Robert Byrd. One of them, Susan Collins, has indicated her support, but Dems are still shy one commitment: Olympia Snowe. According to Senate leadership, a vote on the final legislation could come as early as this week. You can read the entire statement below the fold.

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The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has found that Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene had the means to pay the $10,440 filing fee to run for office, and will also not face additional criminal charges for requesting a public defender in his obscenity trial.

SLED was investigating Greene, who won the Democratic nomination June 8 without campaigning, amid questions over how he could qualify for a taxpayer-funded attorney but still manage to pay his rather large filing fee.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that there is something he disagrees with President Obama on: Obama isn't tough enough on the Republicans. The Senate Majority Leader also said he wishes the White House backed him up more during the battle over health care reform.

In an interview on Friday with Jon Ralston, one of the top political reporters in Nevada, Reid was asked for examples of things he disagreed with Obama on. Reid said there are multiple things. When asked for a further explanation by Ralston, Reid's answer came down more to process and style, rather than substance.

"I think that he is on many occasions -- I shouldn't say on many occasions, on a few occasions -- I think he should have been more firm with those on the other side of the aisle," said Reid. "He is a person who doesn't like confrontation. He's a peacemaker. And sometimes I think you have to be a little more forceful. And sometimes I don't think he is enough with the Republicans."

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Time spent on Yahoo sites hit a new U.S. low in June, according to traffic data released by comScore today. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney compiled the data in a report today and produced the chart below.

Time spent on Google sites (38.9 billion minutes) was greater than Yahoo (38.8 billion minutes) for the first time. As a percentage of total internet time for Q2, Yahoo hit an all-time low, says Mahaney.

Yahoo's share of time spent was 9.7%. More worrisome than Google passing Yahoo is that Facebook is coming on strong. Facebook's share of time spent was 8.6% for Q2, which is up from 7.8% in Q1.

Looks like Yahoo's $100 million ad campaign isn't helping. Maybe adding Zynga games will?

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Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has acknowledged making some changes to her overall tone in the campaign -- most notably dialing back her statements about "Second Amendment remedies" and the need to "take out" Reid. At the same time, though, she insists that her message hasn't changed, and that her supporters know it.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Angle discussed her resistance to having advisers who might try to remake her:

Still, Angle acknowledged she has toned down her words after being pummeled for saying things such as wanting to "take out" Harry Reid in the same breath that she mentions that people angry at government have "Second Amendment remedies" available, or the right to bear arms.

"As far as a makeover and refining the message, Harry Reid has pretty much forced that when he sound bites me," Angle said. "I have to be very careful about how I phrase things. I can no longer say words like 'take out.' Those have now gone out of my vocabulary because he has misinterpreted what I meant by those words. I don't say 'take out.' I say 'defeat.' It means the same thing. And my people know defeat means the same thing. I don't have to use our colloquialisms to get my point across.

"They also know that I'm a person who has done what I have said I would do, and I will continue to do what I say I'll do."

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Angle a lead of 46.0%-40.8%.

For years, pundits and politicians on the left have been calling themselves "progressives" to avoid the apparent stigma of the word "liberal." But a USA Today/Gallup poll released today indicates that a majority of Americans still aren't sure what "progressive" really means.

According to the poll, 54% percent of adults are unsure if the word "progressive" describes their political views. Fifty-seven percent of self-identified liberals, 65% of moderates, and 45% of conservatives just don't know if the word aptly characterizes their political outlook.

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Just when you thought Republican infighting in the Sunshine State couldn't get any hotter, gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Bill McCollum went and compared his GOP opponent Rick Scott to a mafia boss. Scott's retort: Oh yeah? Well nobody likes you, Bill.

Establishment Republicans, increasingly worried that Scott's self-financed campaign could upset their plan to run McCollum as their nominee to replace Gov. Charlie Crist (I), called on him to step up his game against the human ATM Scott, who has made it clear he'll spend what it takes from his own sizable fortune to stay competitive in the race.

McCollum obliged them, delivering this ad last week:

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Don't you dare call the tea partiers weather weenies. Tea Party Nation officials are defending the cancellation of their Las Vegas convention this month with evidence that it really is that hot.

As we reported, the Tea Party Nation "unity" convention had been set to go off at the end of this week with Senate hopeful Sharron Angle (R-NV) at the top of the bill. But they announced at the last minute that it would be pushed to the fall -- i.e., closer to the midterm elections that would help the movement's "momentum."

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1||July 12, 2010: New photos are released of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, ahead of his first public appearance since he fell ill in 2006. Castro is scheduled to appear today on Mesa Redonda (Round Table), a daily public affairs talk show.

The pictures show Castro visiting the National Center for Scientific Investigation CNIC in Havana, Cuba on July 7.||Newscom/NoTimexPix&&

2||Castro greets a worker at the Science Center.||Newscom/DPA&&

3||Dr. Carlos Gutierrez walks with Castro.||Newscom/DPA&&

4||Castro and Gutierrez.||Newscom/DPA&&