TPM News

Here's why you should be worried about the spiraling demise of the Euro.

Travis J. Berge, Early Elias, and Oscar Jorda, Economists at the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, have analyzed the domestic and international factors that threaten the American economy. What they found suggests that the risk of another recession in the next several months is alarmingly high -- and largely out of our control. Downside risks within the U.S. are pretty low, but taken together with external factors, particularly the escalating crisis in Europe, the likelihood of another U.S. recession jumps above 50 percent.

Here's the graph:

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Newt Gingrich made some pretty bold claims at last week's Republican debate when asked about a $300,000 consulting gig he took with Freddie Mac in 2006. First off, he said, he was merely there as an "historian." Second, he warned them that the subprime mortgage market was about to set off a financial collapse. Neither of those are true, according to former Freddie Mac officials.

"My advice as an historian when they walked in and said we are now making loans to people that have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything but that's what the government wants us to do," Gingrich said in the CNBC debate. "I said at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible. It turned out unfortunately I was right and the people who were doing exactly what Congresswoman Bachmann talked about were wrong."

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The Hill reports that a new Massachusetts labor-backed super-PAC, called Rethink, has spent $150,000 for an online ad buy against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

The ad buy will link from Massachusetts news pages, to an anti-Brown Web site and two Web videos:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) thinks it's time America's millionaires pay their fair share.

And in a new report -- titled "Subsidizing the Rich and Famous" -- Coburn makes an argument for closing loopholes for millionaires. "From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous," Coburn writes in the report. "This welfare for the well-off -- costing billions of dollars a year -- is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations."

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Herman Cain was just kidding. Again.

A Cain spokesperson tells Chris Cillizza that the Republican was only joking when he said he asked Henry Kissinger, who last served government during Gerald Ford’s administration, to serve as his Secretary of State should Cain become president.

“Cain spokesman says Cain did not actually ask Kissinger to be his Secretary of State,” Cillizza tweeted. More from the spokesperson: “Cain was joking about Kissinger as Secretary of State.”

A judge has just ruled against New York’s Occupy Wall Street protesters, denying a bid to allow demonstrators to return to Zuccotti Park uninhibited, the NY Times and others report.

Former Alabama state representative Terry Spicer (D) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to accepting cash, campaign services and a ski vacation from Alabama lobbyist caught up in a massive bribery case involving casino interests in the state.

Between 2006 and 2010, Spicer admitted he accepted campaign contributions and gifts like concert tickets from Alabama businessman Ronnie Gilley and Jarrod Massey in exchange for his assistance. Massey and Gilley have pleaded guilty to either offering or paying bribes to Spicer and other state legislators. Massey previously testified that it would be "fair" to say Spicer was on retainer for him.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Washington bureau chief, Craig Gilbert, tells Politico what it was like to be in the room with Herman Cain when he stumbled over a question on President Obama’s actions on Libya. Here’s the key phrase:

I thought we had a moment that could be pretty incendiary. We came out of there, we discussed it, and all kind of looked at each other and shook our heads about the way he handled that one question. You never know how something like that is going to be perceived by people, [but] we were prepared for it to generate a lot of attention…

It's hard to reconcile Steny Hoyer's optimism about the Super Committee with his own assessment of the GOP's allergy to tax increases.

The top Democratic vote counter in the House says he thinks that far-reaching legislation to reduce deficits over 10 years can both pass the lower chamber and meet the terms of President Obama's veto threat -- that every dollar of cuts to Medicare benefits must be matched by a dollar in new revenue taken from wealthier Americans. But it's hard to square that with the facts on the ground.

At his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters I asked Hoyer if deficit Super Committee legislation that meets President Obama's standard could pass the House.

"Yes I do," Hoyer said. "I think that if we work together in a bipartisan way, as frankly we have on all the fiscal issues that before the Congress in the House of Representatives: The first CR, the second CR, the debt limit.... I think it can, with bipartisan votes."

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