TPM News

Ron Paul's campaign has launched a new ad this week on cable TV, that's being broadcast in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Called "Big Dog," the ad accuses the other candidates of being all bark and no bite when it comes to cutting government spending.

Aptly called "testosterone-laden" by the Des Moines Register, the ad pushes the idea that only Ron Paul will "drain the swamp" and reign in government spending. The ad promises that while his opponents whine "like little shih tzus," Paul will cut federal spending by $1 trillion in the first year as well as eliminate five federal agencies. The ad depicts the Departments of Education, the Interior, Energy, Hud, and Commerce going up in smoke. A spokesman for Paul's campaign declined to give the size of the ad buy, but noted that "it is quite large."

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Newt Gingrich is doubling down on what began as a bizarre plank of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination: putting poor children to work. On Monday, Gingrich followed in his fellow candidates' footsteps by meeting with Donald Trump, and in a press conference afterward, announced a new program to make poor inner-city children in New York apprentices.

Trump gave some vague facts about the program, with little indication of what it would actually entail: "[Newt] did mention if I could do something for some of the kids in very, very poor schools throughout the city, I thought it was a great idea. We call it an apprenticeship and we all know about the apprentice. We're going to be picking ten young wonderful children and we're going to make them apprentices. We're going to have fun with it. It will be something that will prove results. I thought it was a great idea. It was Newt's idea."

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday released the following statement after President Obama urged Congressional Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut:

“Republicans have another chance to decide whose side they’re on – all Americans or the one percent. The choice is clear: will Republicans join us to protect the economic security of the middle class, or will they continue to protect the interests of people making more than a million dollars a year?

“We must not leave Washington, D.C., for the holidays without extending the payroll tax cut for our working families or unemployment benefits for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

“Americans can’t wait any longer. We must act now to spur our economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen our middle class.”

When it comes to the Newt Gingrich v Nancy Pelosi war of words that erupted today, Pelosi’s office told Brian Beutler that Pelosi wasn’t talking about dinging Gingrich with some secret cache of documents, but rather the ethics report from the 1990s that’s already available online.

“Leader Pelosi was clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware,” Pelosi’s spokesperson said.

As far as national Democrats have been concerned lately, there's only one candidate in the Republican race worth their time: Mitt Romney. They've gone after him with ads, videos, and press appearances at every opportunity while ignoring virtually the entire rest of the Republican field. Until today that is.

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At a press conference in Chicago, Sharon Bialek, one of Herman Cain’s accusers, said she feels “vindication” now that Cain’s campaign has been suspended.

“At least I feel I have impacted his run for the presidency,” Bialek said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is beginning to roll out his new policy to require protestors to pay big money if they want a permit to demonstrate against him in the state Capitol -- and the state's civil libertarians are in turn beginning to push back.

Friday evening, the state ACLU put out a scathing press release on the new policy, from executive director Chris Ahmuty:

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Democratic sources confirm that Harry Reid will try to win GOP support for a new payroll tax holiday by shrinking the size of the overall cut, and offering Republicans a few concessions that they've been pushing for both publicly and behind the scenes.

But their proposal will be partially paid for by a small, temporary income surtax on millionaires, and that will be a tough sell with Republicans, according to a top Republican aide, as the GOP overwhelmingly opposes raising taxes on high-income earners.

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