TPM News

The news was surely overshadowed by Steve Jobs' death Wednesday, but another important figure in American history has died: Birmingham civil rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth, who Mark Luther King Jr. once called “The most courageous civil rights fighter in the South.” He was 89.

Read more, from Reuters.

In his first televised interview since the Washington Post broke the story about his unfortunately named family hunting camp over the weekend, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) sought to downplay the scandal.

“I think there were very much some strong inconsistencies and just misinformation in that story,” Perry told Fox News.

The GOP candidate stood by the story his camp put out this weekend that though the rock did indeed exist, his family painted over the offensive word in 1984, shorlty after they purchased the land.

President Obama ramped up the pressure on senators to vote for his jobs bill when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote next week, aggressively arguing in his first press conference in two months that Congress needs to pass the bill or produce an alternative.

"As we look to next week, every senator out there that is looking to vote against this jobs bill, needs to explain why they would vote against something ... at such a crucial time for our economy," he said during a briefing with reporters Thursday.

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Rachel Weiner flags Rick Perry’s response to the Washington Post’s reporting on “Niggerhead”"



“I think there were very much some strong inconsistencies and just misinformation in that story,” Perry told Fox News Channel reporter Juliet Huddy in an interview this morning. “I know for a fact that in 1984, that rock was painted over. It was painted over very soon, my family did that.”



Here’s the video:





A Democratic outside group, Majority PAC, is looking to make some political hay out of Bloomberg's epic investigative piece on the Koch brothers' questionable business practices. Citing the report's claim that Koch Industries sold petrochemical equipment to Iran through its foreign subsidiaries, the Super PAC is demanding that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) return all donations connected to the company and its owners.

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The Pew Research Center released new data Thursday that showed President Barack Obama locked with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in a national matchup and with a four point lead on Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In both cases, independent voters are leaning toward the Republican candidates, with Romney taking more of a share than Perry does against Obama.

Obama and Romney are tied at 48 percent a piece in a trial heat, and Obama leads Perry 50 to 46. Independent voters split to Romney by 13 points in a matchup with the President, 54 – 41. Perry also wins with indies, but by a smaller margin of 48 – 45.

Pew pointed out that support or opposition against Obama is driving voters at the moment. “Against both GOP candidates, most of Obama’s supporters view their vote as a vote for the president, while most of those who plan to vote for Romney or Perry see their vote as a vote against Obama,” Pew wrote.

Read the report here.

Updated October 6, 11:45 a.m. ET

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was interviewed on a local talk radio show Thursday morning. And he had an interesting response to a recent line from Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren.

At a Democratic primary debate this week, Warren was asked how she paid for college -- in contrast to Brown having posed nude for Cosmopolitan. "I kept my clothes on," Warren replied. "I borrowed money."

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Jon Stewart on Wednesday turned his attention to the ever-growing Occupy Wall Street protests, which he said have now caused the media to "move its coverage dial from blackout to circus."

Some are drawing parallels between the anti-Wall Street protests and the Tea Party -- a comparison the conservative organization loathes.

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Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) introduced a resolution on Thursday calling on Texas governor Rick Perry to apologize for not immediately “doing” away with a rock bearing the inappropriate name of his family’s hunting camp.

The resolution will be considered by the House of Representatives next week.

Many Democrats would like to see the deficit Super Committee's forthcoming fiscal plan scored for its expected impact on economic growth. The idea is that if the Congressional Budget Office says the plan is a job killer, it won't pass, and members will figure out how to make it economically neutral or better.

The Super Committee's been cool to the idea so far, but one of its members, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has helpfully underscored why economic growth (or lack thereof) is such a key issue, even if all you care about are budget deficits.

"I asked CBO to estimate the size of the deficit if the economy were at full employment, and CBO's response confirms that our weak economy is the major contributing factor, accounting for over one third of the projected deficit for fiscal year 2012," Van Hollen said in a statement last night. "It's clear that the fastest and most effective ways to reduce the short term deficit is to put Americans back to work."

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