TPM News

President Barack Obama is trying to tamp down all talk of a government shutdown, predicting that Democrats and Republicans will be able to reach agreement after what is expected to be a pitched, protracted battle over spending.

Obama also said he was encouraged by Republican critics who have accused him of failing to demonstrate strong leadership because his budget, released Monday, did not include cuts to entitlement spending.

Read More →

What message should we take away from the Fort Hood massacre, where 13 people were allegedly murdered by radicalized Muslim army psychiatrist Nadal Hasan? According to Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the takeaway is that the U.S. should to stop beating around the bush and call America's enemies what they supposedly are: "Islamic extremists."

Lieberman convened the hearing ostensibly to discuss the recently-released report that criticized the federal government for failing to prevent the massacre by not taking appropriate action to remove Hasan from the military. But it quickly turned into a denunciation of the language the Administration supposedly uses to discuss violent acts.

Read More →

Killing a doctor who performs abortions in South Dakota may soon be, in some circumstances, legally justifiable -- that is, if a bill passed out of committee in the state House of Representatives on Monday, which makes it a "justifiable homicide" for someone to kill someone attempting to harm an unborn child, becomes law.

State Rep. Phil Jensen (R), who introduced the bill, denied that the it would open the door to killing abortion doctors, since abortion is legal. "This code only deals with illegal acts, which doesn't include abortion," he told TPM.

Read More →

Here's how the federal spending fight is shaping up -- just barely over two weeks from March 4, when the government officially runs out of money.

Democrats are warning House Republicans not to force a government shutdown while Republicans are adding more and more cuts to spending legislation -- which is being debated on the floor this week. If the March 4 deadline passes before Congress reaches an agreement, House Republicans say they'll agree to a stop-gap measure (perhaps at reduced spending levels) to allow more time to negotiate six-month spending plan.

But whether Democrats and Republicans can reach a global spending agreement, and whether that agreement will be forged on Democratic or Republican terms, depend to a great extent on negotiating tactics. Will Republicans be willing to budge from their spending levels, and particular allocations? Will Barack Obama threaten a veto?

At a roundtable with reporters Tuesday morning, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) explained the stakes.

Read More →

In Gretchen Carlson's mind, the Constitution maybe just a little too outdated to enable the government to deal with terrorists.

On Fox & Friends this morning, the co-host made that statement during a discussion centering on last night's House passage of the extension of the Patriot Act's provisions. And after Fox judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explained how the controversial provisions work, Carlson chimed in with a perspective that would make a civil liberties advocate cringe.

Read More →

The theory that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen (and thus ineligible to be President) has hardly been squelched. According to a new PPP poll, it's actually a predominant belief within the Republican party.

In the poll, 51% of all likely Republican primary voters erroneously believed that President Obama was born outside of the U.S. Only 28% of those Republican voters said they thought Obama was born in America, while 21% said they were unsure.

Read More →

A new poll out of Utah finds Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch leading his possible challenger for the GOP nomination in 2012, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, but nevertheless measuring under the crucial 50% mark for his own support.

The new numbers from Dan Jones: Hatch 44%, Chaffetz 34%. The poll of Utah residents has a ±4.4% margin of error.

Chaffetz, who was elected to the House in 2008, has responded to the poll, Deseret News reports. "Not bad for a rookie. I'm excited. What an honor," said Chaffetz. "I was nine years old when he (Hatch) took office."

Read More → is launching a new a television ad campaign today that fires off a hard-hitting take on the current abortion fight in Congress. As bills to limit federal funding for abortion -- bills that pro-choice advocates say will limit access for women who want to pay for abortion coverage through private insurers -- work their way through the Republican-controlled House, the progressive group is turning to Hollywood to help paint the legislation as a return to the ugly old days of back alley abortions.

The new MoveOn spot, which will begin running on cable nationwide and specifically on Oxygen network for a week, stars actress Lisa Edelstein, best known for her role on the Fox primetime hit House.

The ad pulls no punches, offering a shot of a coat hanger hanging in a closet at the end.

"Why is the G.O.P. trying to send women back," Edelstein asks, "to the back alley?"

Read More →

Former governor Jeb Bush (R) may have no intention of running for president, but if he decides to hop in the Senate race in Florida, he looks poised to knock off incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D), according to a new Mason-Dixon poll.

In the poll, the former Florida governor led Nelson by an eight-points margin, 49% to 41%. That lead is up slightly from the five-point gap shown in a survey of the race conducted in late December.

Read More →

In an interview with Greta Van Susteren's on Monday, Donald Trump indicated that he would spend a lot of his own money if he were to run for president. As he explained, it would be a demonstration that he would have a stake in the enterprise -- but he would also want other Americans to contribute to the campaign, too.

"If you ran for president, would you self-fund?" Van Susteren asked. "Would you pay for your own campaign?

"I don't think so," Trump initially said -- but then continued. "I would certainly put up a lot of my own money.

"But I think that -- you know, it's very interesting. I made a deal with General Electric to do a building, Trump International Hotel and Tower. They wanted me to invest in that building. They were the financial source, I was the builder. But they wanted me, in order to be a partner, to invest in the building. On Park Avenue, I did a job with a company. They wanted me to have some little money in the game.

Read More →