TPM News

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, one of the many not-yet-running-officially Republicans running for President, is doing what most Republicans in his position are doing these days: bashing the Democratic health care reforms, and suggesting that the law that codified them is one of the worst pieces of legislation in American history.

Daniels, whose GOP cred comes mostly from his budget-cutting ways in Indiana and his time as President Bush's budget director, took a stab at leveraging his policy wonkiness to offer up his own solutions to what his party sees as the Obamacare mess. His plan? Drop those pesky mandates and send the states more federal money.

Of course the best fix, Daniels says, would be for someone to just put an end to this whole health care reform thing.

From an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal:

"Many of us governors are hoping for either a judicial or legislative rescue from this impending disaster, and recent court decisions suggest there's a chance of that," he wrote. "But we can't count on a miracle -- that's only permitted in Washington policy making."

Read More →

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) recently proposed a stop-gap measure to prioritize paying off interest on U.S. debt in the event that the country reaches its debt ceiling. Democrats have attacked this plan as a "pay China first" proposal, which will disadvantage American retirees and veterans who are also owed money by the Treasury.

But who would really get the money? Well, yes, China. But so too would many other countries, institutions, and individuals in the United States. The Christian Science Monitor has a handy breakdown here.

About 53 percent of U.S. debt held by the public was held domestically. Says CSM, "Within this slice, the largest category is individuals - Treasury notes are good solid additions to any portfolio. US individuals hold 12 percent of the country's debt. Next under the domestic category comes the Federal Reserve, which holds 9 percent of US debt, then pension and retirement funds, mutual funds, and state and local governments."

Read More →

Just before the midterm elections, a poll of California voters found that more people disapproved of President Obama's job performance than approved of it. Yet a new PPP poll shows that Obama's approval rating has rebounded, and he now holds commanding leads in all the potention 2012 matchups against the current frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee was the most competitive challenger in the poll, trailing Obama 54% to 39%. Mitt Romney fared second best of the GOP contenders, lagging the President 56% to 36%. Both results are slightly tighter than the 24 point margin by which Obama won the state in the 2008 election.

The poll also showed Obama beating Newt Gingrich 58% to 34%, and blowing out Sarah Palin 62% to 31%.

Read More →

by Marian Wang, ProPublica

The Muslim Brotherhood, a key opposition group in Egypt's anti-Mubarak protests, has long argued that the Egyptian government exaggerates the Muslim Brotherhood's positions and its likelihood of attaining power in democratic elections. As it turns out, American diplomats agree. "The Egyptians have a long history of threatening us with the MB bogeyman," wrote Ambassador Francis Ricciardone to FBI Director Robert Mueller in 2005, in a newly released U.S. embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks. Another cable from 2006 stated:

We do not accept the proposition that Egypt's only choices are a slow-to-reform authoritarian regime or an Islamist extremist one; nor do we see greater democracy in Egypt as leading necessarily to a government under the MB.

Read More →

by Marian Wang, ProPublica

The American-made tear gas used to disperse pro-democracy protesters in Egypt earlier this week was sold to the country after government review, a State Department spokeswoman told us.

The tear gas canisters used by Egyptian police against the protesters bore the label "Made in U.S.A.," stirring controversy and bolstering the impression among Egyptians that the United States has propped up a dictatorship at the expense of its citizens.

Read More →

Neoconservative columnist Bill Kristol called out conservatives, and in particular, Glenn Beck, for fear-mongering about the unrest in Egypt, saying that "when Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left," he's "marginalizing himself."

Read More →

Sarah Palin was interviewed by a conservative media outlet, David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network, over the weekend, and talked about President Obama's handling of the political crisis in Egypt. And while it's clear that she herself doesn't have all the answers, she's also quite miffed at Obama, saying that he doesn't have the answers -- and he's not telling us the answers he knows, either.

"Mubarak, he's gone, one way or the other. He is not going to be the leader of Egypt. That's a given," Palin said. "So now the information needs to be gathered and understood as to who it will be that fills now the void in the government. Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that or by that. Any radical Islamists, no that is not who we should be supporting and standing by. So we need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support."

But she also criticized Obama: "It's a difficult situation. This is that 3 a.m. White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House, it seems that that call went right to the answering machine. And nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak."

So Palin says that Obama isn't handling the situation thoroughly -- but that he also knows more about it than we in the public are being told?

Read More →

When he's sentenced on Friday, the federal government wants former lobbyist Michael Scanlon to go to jail for at least two years.

Justice Department lawyers wrote in a 25-page filing on Friday that "respectfully requests that this court impose a sentence of 24 months in prison to be followed by a three year term of supervised release."

Read More →

A Connecticut man wasn't sure just how illegal growing a pot plant in his home is, so he did what any rational person would do: he called the authorities for more information.

"I was just growing some marijuana, and I was just wondering the... how much, you know, trouble you can get into for one plant," Robert Michelson said in a 911 call.

Read More →

LiveWire