TPM News

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' (R) "truce" on social issues is now facing its first real test.

Indiana is set to become the first state to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, unless Daniels vetoes the bill sent to him Thursday by the Indiana State Legislature.

The bill would bar the state from entering a contract with any entity that performs abortions (excluding hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers). Planned Parenthood, which operates 28 centers in the state, would lose all public dollars.

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Wacked out conspiracy theorists might be an annoyance, but their outlandish ideas make for hilarious Internet parodies. Here are some of the best.

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It can't be easy defending your party's plan to cut and privatize Medicare in retiree-heavy Boca Raton, Florida, but Rep. Allen West gave it his best shot on Wednesday. Questioned by constituents about the budget at a town hall, the freshman Republican warned that everyone is doomed with Medicare as is.

"I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye," West said, according to local station WPTV.

The town hall drew a number of protesters, some of whom were led out of the event by security after heckling the Congressman. West's Democratic-leaning district is considered among the most vulnerable in 2012.

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Union supporters had a rude awakening on Wednesday with news of the Massachusetts state House vote to slash collective bargaining rights for municipal workers. Democratic-controlled, and among the bluest of the blue, Massachusetts is not the place where most expected to see the next battle in the nationwide organized labor fight with state legislatures crop up.

The state House bill, which passed with overwhelming support in the Democratic-controlled state legislature, would "strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care," as the Boston Globe reported Wednesday. The goal, according to proponents, is of course to "save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns."

What happens next is unclear. But the president of the state AFL-CIO and Gov. Deval Patrick (D) agree -- Massachusetts is not likely to be the next Wisconsin.

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A new report by economists at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at House Republicans' plan for privatizing Medicare from a new angle, and finds that it could increase health care costs for beneficiaries by a staggering $34 trillion over 75 years.

You won't find these expenditures on the government ledger. They represent the amount of money Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay out of pocket if they wanted to buy insurance policies that provide Medicare-equivalent benefits.

The reasoning is fairly straightforward, according to CEPR's Dean Baker and David Rosnick.

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In what could only be described as a bizzarro victory lap, Birther Queen Orly Taitz (who gave this site the proud, somewhat badass moniker "Insane Obama Thugs") spent her 14th minute on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. On the heels of President Obama's release of his long form birth certificate, Taitz had her work cut out for her if she wanted to sound more delusional than self-congratulatory lunatic Donald Trump.

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Jon Stewart is praying that Donald Trump will run for President, if only so there will be more ludicrous moments like Wednesday's press conference in which Trump repeatedly praised himself for something someone else had done.

Following the release of President Obama's birth certificate, Trump said that he was "honored" and "proud" to have accomplished something no one else had been able to achieve. While that may sound a bit pompous, Stewart said it was actually toned down for Trump.

"That is the hardest I've ever seen Trump be on himself," Stewart said.

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Obama To Shake Up Security Team Reuters reports: " President Barack Obama will on Thursday name CIA Director Leon Panetta to become defense secretary and nominate General David Petraeus, who is running the war in Afghanistan, to take over the spy agency. The shakeup ahead of the 2012 presidential election could have broad implications for the Obama administration, which is seeking deeper Pentagon spending cuts and aims to start drawing down U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his daily briefing at 10:15 a.m. ET, hold a meeting on Libya at 10:50 a.m. ET, and meet at 11:30 a.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At 2:05 p.m. ET, he will meet with a group of influential Hispanics from across the country, to discuss fixing the country's immigration system. He will make a personnel announcement at 3:10 p.m. ET. He will meet at 3:45 p.m. ET with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, and they will deliver statements to the press at 4:20 p.m. ET.

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It's been a full day since the White House released President Obama's long form birth certificate, and prominent Republicans are coalescing around a few recurring notes in their reaction.

Responses for the most part fall into two broad, sometimes overlapping, themes in which Republicans either accuse President Obama of taking too long to put the birther nonsense to bed or suggest he's exploiting the issue by even addressing it.

While speculation around Obama's legitimacy occurs almost exclusively in conservative circles -- reaching a high point in recent weeks amid Donald Trump's birther campaign -- a number of mostly mainstream Republicans characterized Obama's statement as a smokescreen that distracts from various other topics.The most oft-quoted example came from Sarah Palin who tweeted: "Now, don't let the WH distract you w/the birth crt from what Bernanke says today. Stay focused, eh?" referring to a rare press conference from the Federal Reserve chairman.

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