TPM News

Jon Stewart bought into the false story last night when he joked that the real reason Sen. Joe Lieberman is pushing a plan to give the President an "internet kill switch."

"Either Joe Lieberman is exceptionally worried about cyberterrorism," said Stewart, "or somebody has a sex tape he doesn't want the world to see!"

It was a pretty good joke, though.

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The Daily Show's John Oliver defended BP CEO Tony Hayward last night for participating in a yacht race over the weekend. "Don't focus on what he did," Oliver told Jon Stewart. "Focus on what he didn't do."

Apparently, Hayward was sensitive enough to "not to have his 6th annual Hayward family dolphin hunt." He also, according to Oliver, postponed the "manatee round-up."

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Contrary to popular belief, Democrats can take care of the nation's debt problems, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told a room of wonks in D.C. this morning. Staring down the barrel of an increasingly dissolutioned electorate fired up about government spending, the national debt and the deficit, Hoyer said that everything -- including defense spending and raising the retirement age -- is on the table when it comes taking on the nation's fiscal health.

The speech included a dire warning about the future unless something is done about how the nation operates -- and some of the rhetoric sounded like it might easily have come from some of the Democratic party's harshest critics on the right, who have warned of a Greece-style meltdown if something isn't done about spending soon.

"More than ever, Americans understand the danger of debt: a stagnant economy, a hobbled government, and a weak national defense," Hoyer said in prepared remarks distributed to reporters at the event. "More than ever, it's possible to imagine a government with nothing left to spend on educating our children, on securing our borders, on conducting groundbreaking research. More than ever, it's possible to imagine a government of, by, and for interest payments and entitlements."

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In a last-ditch effort to block Wall Street lobbyists from securing another major loophole in financial reform legislation, one of the authors of the so-called Volcker rule is publicly and privately pressuring top negotiators to buck the banks and keep the proposed new rules as strict as possible. He's also casting doubt on those who say the bill won't pass if they don't do as the bankers say.

"There's people [on the conference committee] who favor it," Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told TPMDC yesterday evening in a brief interview. "I hope they're not going to accept it."

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The new survey of the Texas gubernatorial race by Public Policy Polling (D) finds Republican Gov. Rick Perry in a tied race with his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White.

The poll has Perry and White at 43% each. The survey of registered voters has a ±4.4% margin of error. A key indicator of Perry's vulnerability is that his approval rating is only 36%, with 49% disapproval, while White has a favorable rating of 37%-25%. In the horserace cross-tabs, Perry leads among Republicans by 74%-15%, White leads among Democrats by 76%-10%, and White leads with independents by 42%-36%.

The TPM Poll Average has Perry ahead of White by 46.1%-40.8%.

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Today: Key Primaries Voters are headed to the polls in primaries today in North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah. The polls will close in South Carolina at 7 p.m. ET, in North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. ET, in Mississippi at 8 p.m. ET, and in Utah at 10 p.m. ET.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will received the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. Obama will attend an 11:15 a.m. ET meeting with health insurers and state insurance commissioners, and deliver remarks at 11:45 p.m. ET on the ongoing effort to implement the new health care reform law. Obama and Biden will have lunch at 12:20 p.m. ET. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 1:35 p.m. ET. He will meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at 3:15 p.m. ET. Obama will hold a Cabinet Meeting at 4 p.m. Et. Obama and Biden will attend a 6 p.m. ET LGBT Pride Month event, where Obama will deliver remarks.

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One interesting thing about the Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal that has Washington in a tizzy today is that virtually all of the jabs at President Obama and other Administration officials came not from McChrystal himself, but from unnamed aides to the general.

Now, these are presumably experienced people who know how the media works, and it is clear that, at a minimum, McChrystal encouraged an environment in which such comments insulting to the chain of command were tolerated.

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