TPM News

Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas announced today that she is retiring after covering 10 presidents, following a political firestorm over her comments about Jews, Palestinians and Israel.

Thomas' role as the dean of the press corps has long been held in high regard even as her presence at the White House waned as she approached the age of 90 and was sometimes caught speaking about politically charged topics. Her focus of the last few years has been the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and when questioning President Obama and administration officials, she has asked why those countries have been "occupied." She was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush, and the presidential tradition of calling upon Thomas at White House press conferences also has become less frequent.


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In Netflix's awesome presentation on the future of its business, it forecasts DVD shipments peaking in the next three years. After that, it's another 20 years before DVDs die.

Lucky for Netflix, it has a kick-butt streaming service which is boosting its subscriber base. As the DVDs go away, the growth in streaming is going to sustain Netflix. (At least, that's the plan.)

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In the latest blow to the prospects of climate and energy legislation, the third ranking Democrat in the Senate suggested today that Dems will start small, instead of bringing a comprehensive bill to the floor.

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed that Majority Leader Harry Reid will move an energy-only bill next month, based on a template authored by Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, and predicted that Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will have a chance to offer their much farther-reaching climate change legislation as an amendment to the base package.

"Kerry has a proposal that has pretty broad support," Schumer said. "He's going, in my opinion, going to get a chance to offer it in the form of an amendment."

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If stereotypes held true, you would think that the Republicans would be the ones telling folks to turn that blasted music down. But this year -- and indeed in many past election cycles -- it's the GOP that has been attracting cease-and-desist letters for pilfering music against the artists' wishes. So let's take a look at some of the more notable GOP music fails from this cycle, and cycles past.

Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R-CA) got burned for using for using altered-lyric version of Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" for his campaign's Web ads. David Byrne is suing Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL) for using "Road To Nowhere" in a Web ad during his previous Republican Senate primary fight, and of course, as we reported yesterday, Rush cut to the chase and told Senate nominee Rand Paul (R-KY) to stop playing "Tom Sawyer" and "The Spirit of Radio."

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The two New Jersey men arrested at JFK airport in New York yesterday, who were allegedly bound for Somalia to attempt to join a terrorist group, had allegedly talked about killing Americans, but were not connected to any terrorist groups.

Authorities allege that Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24 -- who were charged Sunday with conspiring to kill, maim and kidnap persons outside the U.S. -- planned to travel to Somalia and join the group al-Shabaab. An undercover FBI agent recorded conversations with the two men, who first came on the bureau's radar after a tip in 2006.

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Hillary Clinton Expects Iran 'To Pull Some Stunt In The Next Couple Of Days' Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters Sunday that she expects continuing trouble from Iran. "I fully expect Iran to pull some stunt in the next couple of days because they know that sanctions are on the way," said Clinton, also adding: "I think we will see something coming up in the next 24 to 48 hours where Iran says, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute, look at what we're going to do now."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET. He will met at 11 a.m. with Cabinet embers, to discuss the administration's response to the BP oil spill. He will meet at 1:15 p.m. ET with senior advisers. He will depart from the White House at 2:10 p.m. ET, and from Andrews Air Force Base at 2:40 p.m. ET, arriving at 4:15 p.m. ET in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At 7 p.m. ET, he will deliver the commencement speech at Kalamazoo Central High School. He will depart from Grand Rapids at 9:45 p.m. ET, arriving back at Andrews Air Force Base at 11:15 p.m. ET, and at the White House at 11:45 p.m. ET.

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Multiple accusations of extra-marital affairs be damned -- South Carolina Republicans still think Nikki Haley is their best choice to keep the governor's mansion in the Palmetto State. That's the conclusion from a new PPP (D) poll released over the weekend showing Haley with a commanding 20 point lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

The poll shows Haley drawing 43% of the vote in the four-way field. The next most popular Republican, Rep. Gresham Barrett, drew 23% of the vote. The poll, taken Saturday and Sunday among 998 likely primary voters, comes amidst multiple accusations of infidelity from men who claimed to have extra-marital affairs with Haley.

The poll suggests South Carolina Republicans are unmoved by the allegations, and have decided to take Haley at he word that nothing happened with either of the men who have claimed inappropriate relationships with her.

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Adm. Allen On Oil Spill: 'This Is A Siege Across The Entire Gulf' Appearing on Face The Nation, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said that the fight against the BP oil spill will last into the fall. "This will only end when we intercept the well bore, pump mud down it and put a cement plug in. It's bottom kill rather than top kill. The spill will not be contained until that happens," said Allen. "Even after that there will be oil out there for months to come. This will be well into the fall. This is a siege across the entire Gulf."

Kerry: Israel Not A Burden, But Gaza A 'Humanitarian Challenge' Appearing on This Week, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) disagreed with a recent statement by the head of Israeli intelligence, who said that the country had turned into a burden and not an asset for the United States. "No, I don't believe that. But there are obviously tensions with respect to certain policies. We've seen that," said Kerry. "But let's begin at the very beginning of a big picture here. Israel has every right in the world to make certain that weapons are not being smuggled in after the thousands of rockets that have been fired on it from Gaza. And Israel has every right in the world, as recognized by the international community -- because it is not just Israel conducting this blockade; it is Israel and Egypt. So you begin that Israel has this right to protect itself. Now, that said, Gaza is a -- is a humanitarian challenge, and Israel understands that, I think. And this has underscored it."

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