TPM News

On a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) laid out some key priorities of his newly-launched campaign for the Senate seat held by retiring independent Sen. Joe Lieberman -- with filibuster reform being one of his top concerns.

Murphy said that during his travels throughout his House district, "I've heard a real frustration with the U.S. Senate, and how it too often stands as an unjustifiable barrier to positive change." He said that his campaign would discuss issues such as the economy, but also reforming the Senate so it is no longer, in Murphy's words, "an old boys' club" that stops progress on key issues.

"Part of the reason that reform can't occur in the Senate is because of the way they do business," Murphy laster said, during the Q&A. "The filibuster is in dire need of reform. Whether or not it needs to go away, we need to reform the way the filibuster is used, so it is not used in the order of everyday policy, but is only used in exceptional circumstances."

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Notorious anti-abortion noisemaker Randall Terry is running for president. Here's why: Terry thinks he can use his campaign as a vehicle to put graphic images of aborted fetuses on national television, preferably during the Super Bowl. The strategy worked for him last year, when the Terry-managed Missy Reilly Smith campaign -- she was a candidate for DC delegate to the House -- was able to broadcast ads so graphic YouTube pulled them.

So, that's the plan: raise enough money with his campaign to get a graphic anti-abortion ad on during the Super Bowl in 2012 by using his presidential candidacy as a hook to prevent TV stations from refusing to air them in the middle of the primary calendar. (More on the scheme here.)

But at a press conference held outside the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington today, Terry outlined loftier goals for his run for president, including freeing the tea party movement from leaders he says are intent on shying away from social issues and the humiliation of President Obama in Iowa, the state where his unlikely journey to the White House began in earnest back in 2008.

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One year after the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate influence of elections, a deep divide still remains over whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for the county. And both sides think the Founding Fathers would be on their side.

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In some big news, President Obama is running for re-election. Well, we knew that already -- but his campaign is gearing up with some important staff reshuffles.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, Obama has made the much-anticipated decision that Chicago will host his campaign headquarters. This is a departure from recent history, compared to presidents in the past few decades who based their re-election campaigns in the D.C. metropolitan area. It is believed that an anti-Washington climate may have contributed to the decision.

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Rick Santorum doubled down today on his comments about President Obama, race, and abortion, again comparing the constitutional rights of the "unborn" to the constitutional rights of black people: "I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."

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1||January 19, 2011: Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives at the White House for an official state visit. Here, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hu Jintao, and President Obama attend the State Dinner at the White House. ||Newscom/Win McNamee/Pool/CNP-PHOTOlink&&

2||Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama prepare to welcome Hu Jintao at the South Portico of the White House. ||Official White House Photo by David Lienemann&&

3||The Chinese President greets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as Vice President Joe Biden, the Obamas, and the rest of the U.S. delegation look on.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

4||Obama gives a toast during the State Dinner.||Newscom/UPI&&

5||Army Colonel David Anders escorts the U.S. and Chinese Presidents.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

6||The presidents wave to children attending the ceremony. ||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

7||Musician Herbie Hancock performs during the State Dinner.||Newscom/UPI&&

8||The President and First Lady greet arrivals to the State Dinner.||Newscom/Zuma&&

9|| ||Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton&&

10|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

11|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

12|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

13||President Obama and Vice President Biden talk with senior administration officials in the Oval Office before an expanded bilateral meeting with President Hu Jintao. Pictured from left are: Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Biden, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Senior Director for Asian Affairs Jeffrey Bader, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama, and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

14||President Obama and President Hu Jintao hold an expanded bilateral meeting in the Cabinet Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

15||The two Presidents attend a meeting with business leaders in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton&&

16|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

17||President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao of China wait in the Green Room of the White House before their press conference in the East Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

18||The press conference.||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

19||Hu Jintao departs the White House following the press conference. ||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

20||Hu Jintao and President Obama watch the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps pass on the South Lawn of the White House during the arrival ceremony.||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

21||President Obama and President Hu Jintao stand together during the playing of the national anthem on the South Lawn.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

22|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

23|| ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

24||Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his wife at the State Dinner.||Newscom/UPI&&

25||James Brolin and Barbra Streisand.||Newscom/UPI&&

26||Alice Albright and Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.||Newscom/UPI&&

27||Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and his wife.||Newscom/UPI&&

28||Anna Wintour, of Vogue Magazine, and Shelby Bryan.||Newscom/UPI&&