TPM News

Polls have shown for weeks that voters are upset with Washington, and not just in a normal partisan bickering way. Congressional approval ratings are at historic lows after the almost-default and President Obama, who had maintained an approval rating around 50 percent throughout his presidency despite some major legislative battles, has seen his rating hit a low of 38 percent just a few days ago.

But a new Pew poll out on Wednesday provided a more in-depth look at Americans' frustrations: namely, very high unfavorability ratings for the Republican Party, and lower ratings on President Obama's ability to lead.

The poll shows problems for the GOP in two ways. First, the GOP has seen a more severe fall in its rating after the debt fight, as its approval now sits at 34 percent against 59 percent disapproval, a large shift from the closer split that Republicans had the first month they controlled the House: 43 - 48 in February. The Democratic Party had a slim positive rating in February of 47 - 46, but has also slipped in all the Washington brinkmanship, to 43 - 50.

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Much ink, digital and otherwise, has been spilled in the past week over former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's emergence as the militant moderate in the Republican presidential contest. As focus has shifted away from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and toward Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Huntsman has emerged as the Democrats' favorite Republican -- taking stands in favor of evolution and expressing his belief in climate change.

Before that, he was known as the guy who supported civil unions, an equally foreign position to much of the 2012 field. Huntsman's viewed as such a moderate that the first ads run on his behalf of the cycle are being paid for by a Democrat.

But in reality, Huntsman's only a moderate when compared to the rest of the modern GOP.

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He's battled Bruce Lee and kicked his way through the Southwest as Walker, Texas Ranger, but now Chuck Norris has a new role as a guest columnist for Politico.

"Columnist" might be laying it on a little thick, in fact, since "wacky conspiracy theorist" matches the tone of his latest piece more closely.

Wednesday, Politico ran a column by Norris attacking the UN's as-yet-unfinished Arms Trade Treaty. The piece alleged that the Obama administration is trying to sneak in gun control schemes "under the radar." A key component of that, Norris wrote, could well be the UN Arms Trade Treaty.

"The vast majority of UN diplomats," Norris claimed, "believe that an arms trade treaty must reach into your gun safe and mine. There is little question this treaty would require additional restrictions on our Second Amendment rights."

There's one problem with that statement: it's about as accurate as a joke from the meme-friendly website, Chuck Norris Facts.

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Pandora Media, better known to the consumer as Pandora Internet Radio, posted its second quarter earnings on Thursday and its first since going public on the New York Stock Exchange on June 15.

And in a surprise, the popular (but, to date, profitless) company finally had some really good news for investors: Revenues were way higher than expected, up 117 percent to nearly $67 million, blowing away analysts average forecast of $61 million.

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Tex. Gov. Rick Perry's move from non-candidate to frontrunner in the GOP nomination process has been a big story, but a story driven largely by national polling. While Perry's starting to become the first choice of the national Republican electorate, the nomination process will go through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where other candidates had a head start. But according to two new polls, that advantage has been lost.

A pro-Perry PAC just released a poll of GOP caucus-goers showing him in the lead with 23 percent, followed closely by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at 20 percent and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at 16. The rest of the field is rounded out by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 9 percent, businessman Herman Cain at 8, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) at 7, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 3 and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 2. The PAC also touts 30 percent support amongst self-described "very conservative" caucus-goers, which they say makes up 55 percent of that group.

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The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday asked AT&T to provide more substantive evidence to back up company managers' claim that only a merger with T-Mobile would enable it to blanket the country with its next generation wireless network.

Renata Hesse, a FCC legal staffer involved in overseeing the transaction, insisted in a letter to AT&T's lawyer that AT&T provide actual evidence to back up the claim that covering the country with its next-generation wireless LTE technology wouldn't make sense financially unless they are allowed to acquire T-Mobile and its extended customer base.

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The Associated Press checked in with 325 charities founded in the wake of 9/11, many of which are still active. Most of them were doing nice things! But a bunch were doing ethically dubious, borderline fraudulent things, frittering away millions of benevolently bestowed dollars.

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Updated 11:31 a.m. ET, Aug. 26

A tech giant has stepped down from the helm of the underdog company he founded that ended up in greatness, and his name wasn't Steve Jobs.

Coming as it does in the wake of Jobs' announcement, though, Rob Malda's sudden resignation from his role as editor-in-chief of Slashdot isn't likely to receive anything close to the press coverage it warrants and deserves.

Slashdot, for the unacquainted, is an award-winning online tech news website that allows users to post links and short summaries to stories that originated on other websites. There is usually a robust commenting thread that follows the best posts.

If that sounds like a number of other websites these days - Reddit, Digg, Metafilter, Facebook, etc. - that's because Slashdot preceded and influenced them all. And much like those popular websites, Slashdot spawned it's own jargon and collection of memes that penetrated the popular culture, including the "In Soviet Russia..." jokes and the disgusting "Goatse" shock website.

The 35-year-old programmer explained his decision to it's millions of readers in a final post under the infamous handle CmdrTaco, writing that he had "done my best to keep Slashdot firmly grounded in its origins, but now it's time for someone else to come aboard and find the *future*."

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Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has told his staff to lay off the anonymous negative campaigning a day after adviser Eric Fehrnstrom admitted to being behind a Twitter feed that attacked one of Brown's potential reelection rivals.

"While it's clear Eric was seeking to inject a little levity into politics on his own time, I wasn't aware of what he was doing," Brown told the Boston Globe in a statement. Brown said to the paper he's "made clear to everyone on or associated with my team that this type of thing is not to happen again."

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