TPM News

The chairman of the Republican National Committee and Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) told TPM on a conference call today that Rick Perry's fresh birther talk from the weekend is a "distraction."

Heck suggested the reemergence of conspiracy theories about President Obama's origins could cause trouble for the GOP as it works to fight the White House on the jobs front this fall.

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President Obama is heading straight into the heart of the housing crisis -- Nevada -- to unveil a series of executive branch steps to give the economy a shot in the arm, beginning with new rules making it easier for underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

The White House is calling the new roll-out the "We-Can't-Wait" program, a not-so-subtle jab at Republicans in Congress, who have spent the last two weeks blocking Obama's job bill. Las Vegas' economy was one of the hardest hit by the housing crisis.

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John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress is stepping down, Politico reports. He will remain the organization’s chairman as well as volunteer for Secretary for State Hillary Clinton.

A new super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain wanted to call itself "Americans for Herman Cain." One problem: that name would be illegal. Their solution: call themselves the "9-9-9 Fund" instead.

In an Oct. 18 letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), treasurer Scott Mackenzie wrote that the 9-9-9 Fund "intends to make independent expenditures, and consistent with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision in SpeechNow v. FEC, it therefore intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts. This committee will not use those, funds to make contributions, whether direct, in-kind, or via coordinated communications, to federal candidates or committees."

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If you're on the campaign trail for any length of time -- or even if you follow it relatively closely from afar -- you start to hear the same speeches over and over. And over. And over.

Needless to say, it can get a little boring. Sometimes you'd rather just stop blogging and turn on some football. The same is apparently true of presidential candidates.

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President Obama is in Las Vegas to unveil his new foreclosure and economic plan. The president’s new jobs mantra is “we can’t wait.” Watch his speech in Vegas live:



Occupy Wall Street has seen various levels of support in polling over the last week or so, but both the Pew Research Center and CNN released data on Monday showing that public opinion on the movement is evening out. Pew findings show that 39 percent of Americans are supportive of OWS versus 35 percent who oppose it. Earlier in the day, CNN showed that 32 percent of Americans polled had a favorable view of the movement versus 29 percent who see it negatively.

From Pew: “Independents have mixed opinions of the Occupy Wall Street movement: 43% support the movement and 35% are opposed. By contrast, the balance of opinion among independents toward the Tea Party is much more negative: Just 30% support the Tea Party movement while 49% are opposed.

Those following news about the Occupy Wall Street protests closely also tend to be more supportive than those following less closely. Six-in-ten (60%) among those who followed news about the protests very closely last week say they support the movement; 31% say they oppose it. Support drops to 33% among those who say they have not followed this news too closely – and just 12% among those who say they have followed this news not at all closely."

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) wants Libya to pay the U.S. back.

In a letter to President Obama released Saturday, Welch wrote, "We believe it is essential that Libya reimburse the American taxpayer for the cost of our participation in the NATO mission."

Welch told TPM that repaying the U.S. would be a great way for Libya to build self-confdience and really "own their success," adding that the oil-rich country has the financial resources to do so.

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