TPM News

In 2005, the then-chairman of the House Energy Committee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), a climate change skeptic, commissioned a report that would challenge the data in two major climate change papers, including the popular "hockey stick" theory. In 2006, the Barton-commissioned report was released and heralded by climate change skeptics the country over, laying the groundwork for last year's "Climate-Gate" controversies.

Last week, experts who reviewed the report for USA Today determined that the report was largely plagiarized.

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Hillary Clinton On Pat-Downs: 'Not If I Could Avoid It' Appearing on Face The Nation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked whether she would want to submit to the current airport security pat-downs. "Not if I could avoid it. No, I mean, who would?" said Clinton. She also added: "Clearly, as Secretary Napolitano has said, we're doing this because the terrorists keep getting more creative about what they do to hide explosives. You know, crazy things like underwear."

Hillary Clinton: Senate Should Ratify START Also during her appearance on Face The Nation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Senate to ratify the START arms control treaty with Russia. "Now at the end of the day, the Senators have to decide. But I would hope that this treaty would be treated as others -- whether it was a Democratic or Republican president -- saw their treaties in arms control with the Russians treated," said Clinton. She also added: "This is beyond politics."

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The Family Research Council, one of the most prominent voices in conservative social politics and host of the annual Values Voter Summit, has responded to being called a "hate group" with a scathing statement of its own.

As we reported earlier this week, Southern Poverty Law Center added the Family Research Council to its list of hate groups due to anti-gay speech from its leaders.

In a statement, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins calls that designation a "slanderous attack and attempted character assassination."

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The son of an elderly South Carolina man who told a Veterans Affairs nurse that he wanted to kill the President says the VA failed his father.

Michael Stephen Bowden, 78, was arrested last week after a VA nurse asked him if he has suicidal thoughts and he responded, "Yes, I would like to shoot the President, then myself." He repeated the threat to law enforcement when they showed up at his house.

His son, Kerry Bowden, tells TPM that his father was crying out for help, and that he was never a real threat.

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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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