TPM News

Fox News' Republican presidential debate Thursday has expanded to two hours since former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s addition, Media Bistro’s TV Newser reports.

House and Senate GOP leadership are taking fire from all sides for publicly pressuring Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke not to further loosen monetary policy, even if he thinks it will help the economy.

In a Tuesday letter to Bernanke, leaked to the press, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), ostentatiously cautioned Bernanke against providing the economy any further monetary stimulus.

"[W]e submit that the board should resist further extraordinary intervention in the U.S. economy, particularly without a clear articulation of the goals of such a policy, direction for success, ample data proving a case for economic action and quantifiable benefits to the American people," the Republicans write.

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Likely a result of President Obama’s health care law, a Gallup survey finds the number of uninsured young adults has dropped sharply.

The AP reports:

The survey found that the share of young adults ages 18-25 without insurance dropped from 28 percent starting last fall to 24.2 percent by the middle of this year. That defies an overall trend of rising numbers of uninsured working-age Americans.

Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota Senator who was unseated by Al Franken in 2008, is joining Mitt Romney’s campaign as a policy adviser. Since leaving office, Coleman has chaired the American Action Network, a conservative advocacy group that was one of the first to take advantage of post-Citizens United campaign rules to raise unlimited corporate donations.

The DesMoines Register reports that GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) accused fellow candidate Rick Santorum of wanting to go to war against Iran. Responding to a prompt during a radio interview with WHO about Santorum’s accusation that he has ‘an insufficient fear of radical Islam,“ Paul launched right back into the former Senator from Pennsylvania:

"Yeah, that's what he says but I think he maybe has an irrational fear where he's willing to go to war carelessly...My interpretation, he's wanting to go to war against Iran."

Rep. Paul is well known for his absolute opposition to military intervention abroad and frequently calls for the withdrawal of US troops from around the globe. This view has made him a frequent target for Santorum, who clashed with the libertarian during the last CNN/Tea Party debate.

Expect more sparks to fly between these two when they meet again tomorrow night

As the political circus over the failure of the solar panel maker Solyndra plays out on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration is quietly forging ahead with its renewable energy loan guarantee program with ambitious new projects.

Last week the Department of Energy finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee for energy company Abengoa Solar to build a 250-megawatt concentrating solar power plant in the Mojave desert 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

If and when the project is built, it will be the first utility scale development of Abengoa's most advanced Solar Collector Assembly technology, featuring lighter, stronger, and cheaper frames to hold parabolic mirrors (used to concentrate sunlight on tubes containing liquid with a low boiling point). California-based utility PG&E has agreed to a 25-year contract to purchase energy from the Mojave Solar Project (MSP), which at peak production will generate enough electricity to power up to 54,000 homes.

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CHICAGO (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will help raise money for President Barack Obama’s re-election effort at a $35,800-a-ticket fundraiser next month in Chicago, an Obama campaign official said on Wednesday.

Labor Unions are furiously trying to quash a stealthy maneuver aimed at preventing the National Labor Relations Board from pursuing its suit against Boeing for moving a production line from Washington state to South Carolina.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been leading the charge against the NLRB ever since the agency slapped Boeing with a suit earlier this year charging the defense giant with illegally retaliating against union workers in Washington state by moving a factory to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.

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As the so-called ‘super committee’ works in D.C. and labors to solve the nation’s debt crisis, another super committee will be meeting at a Denny’s in Orlando, FL to work on the same set of issues and propose their own solutions.

This group, of course, could only be the Tea Party’s super committee. The gathering, organized by FreedomWorks, will meet this Friday in order to coincide with the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference. A statement released by the group proclaims:

FreedomWorks believes that President Obama's 'super-committee' will inevitably fall prey to special interest groups, shutting American taxpayers out of the discussion on how to reduce spending and balance the budget. The Tea Party Debt Commission was created to give the American people a platform to be heard, and to propose specific cuts to the federal budget."

The group will also announce the formation of a new SuperPAC during the conference, called FreedomWorks for America.

In a statement earlier this morning, presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) announced he had received confirmation that he will be allowed to participate in Thursday night’s Fox News/Google debate:

"We are obviously very pleased to have this opportunity to participate. I am bringing forward a voice to the debate that has gone largely unheard thus far and I am convinced that a lot of voters are ready to listen. I’m promising to submit a balanced budget in 2013 and I am further pledging to veto any spending legislation that exceeds revenue."

The announcement went on to tout Johnson’s popularity in his home state. However, the latest polling shows that the governor isn’t so popular nationally. National polls put him at 1%.