TPM News

If you've ever uploaded a video of your kid in a dance routine set to a tune, or created any other kind of online video with music in it, the chances are that it might have been zapped by "the authorities" at YouTube due to a an infringement claim fired off by a copyright owner.

Such a claim could come from any number of sources of copyright owners, but on Wednesday, YouTube settled with one group of them: 46,000 independent music publishers represented by the Harry Fox Agency.

That means that the chances of your uploaded video getting zapped just went down.

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On the same day a report suggested that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is exploring a presidential bid, the ratings agency Fitch downgraded the state's credit rating from AA to AA-.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the state's budget needs more funding to meet growing needs of pension and worker-benefit liabilities:

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Corrected: August 17, 2011, 9:03PM

The United States filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Louisiana ship building company they say lied to them to gain a major contract with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The company, Bollinger Shipyards Inc., won a contract to extend the hulls of eight Coast Guard ships after making "misrepresentations about the hull strength of the converted vessels," according to the DOJ statement. The first converted ship suffered hull failure immediately after the conversion, and efforts to repair the fleet failed. All eight were rendered unseaworthy, and now the government wants Bollinger to pay for the lost ships.

"Companies which make false statements to win Coast Guard contracts do a disservice to the men and women securing our borders," Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, said in a statement. "We will take action against those who undermine the integrity of the public contracting process by providing substandard equipment to our armed services personnel."

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday offered a deal to the state's public employee unions: Let's compromise on my law stripping away your collective bargaining rights -- and withdraw the referendum where you could get it repealed.

The Columbus Dispatch reports on Kasich's press conference, at which he was also joined by top Republican legislative leaders:

Kasich said avoiding a fight is in "best interest of everyone, including public employee unions." He asked the unions to "set aside political agendas and past offenses."

The governor said the offer stems from him being a "believer in talking," and not out of "a fear we are going to lose." Kasich asked for a delegation of 10 public employee union leaders to talk with state officials.


The law has not actually taken effect, but was put on hold by the petition process that triggered the referendum for this November. A recent Quinnipiac poll from this past July showed that repealing the bill had a lead of either slightly under or over 20 points, depending on the wording of the question.

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It's getting hard to keep track of all the unlimited money groups forming to support various presidential candidates. Rick Perry already has multiple competing ones. Now Michele Bachmann is getting a second one.

The group, Citizens for a Working America, will be chaired by Ken Blackwell, who held office as Ohio's Secretary of State and ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor. Bachmann adviser Ed Brookover will also be on board, according to The Fix, who first broke the news.

CWA joins another recently formed pro-Bachmann group, Keep Conservatives United, that's already announced plans to take on Perry directly.

Bachmann is one of three candidates with Super PAC support. In addition to Perry's trio, Romney supporters have already raised over $12 million through Restore Our Future.

With another high profile candidate in the GOP presidential primary field and the Ames Straw Poll in the books, attention is turning back to the votes that will really matter: key among them, New Hampshire. A new poll out on Wednesday shows that despite the recent shakeup in the race with the addition of Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, Granite State GOP voters are still behind former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at the moment.

Romney is the first choice of 36 percent of GOP voters in the new survey sponsored by the New Hampshire Journal. Romney's score is twice that of the next closest candidate, Perry, who polls at 18 percent. Following Romney and Perry is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) with 14 percent, then Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with 10. Businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. both register 3 percent, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 2 percent and former PA Senator Rick Santorum rounding out the field with 1.

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It's a critical month in the Republican primaries, as Rick Perry reshuffles the race, the Ames Straw Poll results set in, and candidates prepare for a brutal stretch of debates in September. So where will Newt Gingrich soon spend a three-day stretch campaigning?

That would be sunny Hawaii, where he's scheduled for a meeting with the Maui GOP on Saturday followed by a visit to an elementary school in Makawao on Sunday to teach about the founding fathers.

Politico wryly notes that while the trip is ostensibly for fundraising, it just happens to coincide with Newt and Callista Gingrich's wedding anniversary.

Newt isn't shipping out from Iowa or New Hampshire, either -- Politico notes that Gingrich will be in California on Friday to screen one of Newt Inc.'s movies.

On the campaign trail, governor Rick Perry will claim credit for the so-called Texas miracle. His state weathered the housing and jobs crises better than many others, and he'll happily tell voters it was the result of his small government conservative approach to running things.

But his state's relative success has a lot to do with things out of his control -- population growth resulting from an influx of immigrants from Mexico and of workers and retirees from other U.S. states, and high oil company profits, to name just a couple. Oh, and also federal stimulus.

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