TPM News

President Obama delivered a clear and determined defense of his decision to authorize U.S. military-led air strikes in Libya, stressing that he could not allow an impending massacre in the country to occur but would not use military might to topple Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi from power.

The speech, delivered Monday night, was cloaked in broad statements about American values and U.S. responsibilities to support democratic movements against brutal and repressive regimes.

Read More →

The White House has released the text of President Obama's address on Libya, as prepared for delivery. Here's the full text:

Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya - what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda around the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I am grateful to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, as are all Americans.

Read More →

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service confirmed Monday that it has temporarily put some deportations of partners in same-sex marriages on hold if they could be affected by the recent Department of Justice decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Chris Bentley, Press Secretary for the USCIS said in a statement: "USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues."

DOMA forbids the government from recognizing and granting the same rights to same-sex couples, so foreign-born partners in same-sex marriages who would otherwise be eligible for green cards frequently get deported.

The DOJ announced last month that part of DOMA is unconstitutional and it would no longer defend it in court.

Read More →

Few would have bet, back in late 2007, that by 2011 Barack Obama would make common cause with key architects and supporters of the Iraq war -- including Hillary Clinton adviser Michael O'Hanlon, and Paul Wolfowitz, a neocon godfather who needs no introduction -- over a regime change mission in another Muslim country.

The odds on that bet would have been somewhere between a lightning strike, and picking a winning bracket in this year's college basketball tournament.

But less than four years later, those counter-intuitive few would be poised for a hefty payoff.

Read More →

This post has been updated with Daniels' statement.

Now that the month-long standoff between Indiana state House Democrats and the Republicans running the Hoosier state government is over, both sides are claiming to have come out on top.

The arguments go like this: Democrats say they raised the curtain on the usually unwatched state legislature by going AWOL, turning public opinion against the majority Republicans and winning some key concessions in the House at least that will temper the way debate moves forward on key issues like education reform and the right of workers to form unions. Republicans say that with the legislative session back on track, they'll finally be able to push through significant changes to the way Indiana operates, leaving their mark on the Hoosier state as voters intended them to do.

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) released a strong statement defending his agenda from Democratic attack. The standoff was seen as putting a crimp in Daniels' presidential plans, costing him time and -- thanks to the deal struck -- a significant part of his education reform plan.

Read More →

With President Obama set to address the nation tonight about the country's military engagement in Libya, a Pew poll released today finds that half of Americans say the U.S. does not have a clear goal there.

In the poll of adult Americans, 50% of respondents said they do not believe that U.S. and allied forces have a clear goal with their mission in Libya, versus 39% who said there is a clear goal.

At the same time, the poll found that 47% of Americans think the decision to enforce a no-fly zone was a good idea, while 36% said it was a bad idea.

The U.S. and allied forces have been launching air and missile attacks on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's military installments since March 19, one day after the U.N. Security Council approved a no-fly resolution over the country. Critics have argued that President Obama has not adequately explained what the U.S hopes to achieve by joining the assault, whether the goal is to protect civilians, or perhaps to oust Qaddafi.

Read More →

Former pizza tycoon turned talk-radio host turned presidential candidate Herman Cain said over the weekend that the Muslim faith "does not belong in our government," and that were he President, he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet or to a federal court.

Cain's comments came at the Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa on Saturday in response to a question from a Think Progress reporter who asked directly if Cain would "be comfortable" appointing a Muslim to a federal position were he President.

Read More →

The administration of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has begun implementing its controversial new law curtailing public employee unions, following a move on Friday declaring it be in effect, and despite a judge's ruling that enjoined said implementation.

"It is now my legal responsibility to begin enactment of the law," Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch, a former Republican state Assembly Speaker, told reporters, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Huebsch said that the state will begin withholding pension and health benefits contributions from government employees' paychecks, while also no longer automatically deducting union dues. The first paychecks to be affected will be April 21.

Read More →

Obama administration appointees in the Department of Homeland Security purposely stonewalled Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by journalists and citizens, according to emails obtained by The Associated Press. This disclosure comes days before Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is to hold an oversight hearing on the agency's handing of FOIAs -- including the claim that information requests were vetted for political reasons.

Read More →

With Republicans pledging to address entitlement spending this year, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) led a rally in the Capitol on Monday to protest any cuts to Social Security.

While Republican budget cuts currently under negotiation would not touch benefits, Reid warned that a proposed $1.7 billion cut to the Social Security Administration would "really hurt Social Security" by reducing the program's ability to quickly process claims.

"They cut the money to allow Social Security to be funded properly so they can administer the programs they need," Reid said.

Attendees chanted "Raise the cap!" in response to a call by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to fund the program by expanding taxes to higher incomes rather than lowering benefits or raising the retirement age.

Read More →