TPM News

After squaring off with House Speaker John Boehner over when President Barack Obama could address Congress on his job plan, the White House announced late Wednesday that they would postpone the speech back a day to Thursday, Sept. 8. But the final result came after an entire day of partisan bickering over who would come out on top. Here's a look at how the day played out, blow by blow:

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Progressive heartthrob Keith Olbermann is tickled pink by Gawker's latest expose, tracking conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly's alleged steps to have local police investigate a detective his wife is allegedly having an affair with.

And that earned O'Reilly Olbermann's "worst person" title on Tuesday. "This is going to be easier if I just read the first paragraph," Olbermann said to introduce his segment. Here it is, from Gawker:

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International space exploration efforts have been having a rough couple of weeks.

Just as NASA and the Russian Space Agency are considering temporarily abandoning the International Space Station in November following the crash of an unmanned Russian Soyuz cargo supply vehicle last week, Thursday brought the news that China too is delaying the launch of the prototype module of its own planned space station in the wake of the crash of a separate Chinese rocket that occurred in mid-August.

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This isn't the sort of headline and lead paragraph you want to read in the local paper if you're a freshman House member in a marginal district: "Hayworth seeking to withhold disaster money unless it is offset by budget cuts: Only days after a record-setting storm destroyed her district, Rep. Nan Hayworth and her House colleagues threatened to withhold disaster money if lawmakers don't cut additional spending from the federal budget."

But that's exactly what the New York freshman woke up to this morning after saying she would only vote to replenish FEMA's disaster relief fund if the money is offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget, according to the paper. Her constituents, and officials in her district, don't want to hear about conditions -- even Republicans.

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Next week -- as everyone in the universe now knows -- Rick Perry will appear in a televised debate at the Reagan Library in California. The debate will be Perry's first as a presidential candidate, and it takes place on what is virtually hallowed ground for Republicans.

But Perry will walk in facing questions about one of Reagan's favorite projects: the Strategic Defense Initiative, nicknamed "Star Wars." On the trail recently, Perry's been trying to deflect his past as a Democrat and supporter of Al Gore's first presidential bid. One method of doing that has been playing down Gore's 1988 position on "Star Wars" or SDI.

But as ABC News' Michael Falcone points out, Perry's SDI talk is somewhat short of the mark.

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The epic drama between Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, and the Tea Party of America over who would appear at an event in Iowa this weekend appears to have reached its conclusion: Palin is in. O'Donnell is out.

But that's about all they agree on. According to CNN, Palin's camp was upset after O'Donnell's staff told the Tea Party group that they had the ex-governor's support in joining the event, even claiming that the two had been exchanging text messages. The group's president, Ken Crow, finally dropped O'Donnell (after briefly re-inviting her) once Palin put her appearance "on hold."

O'Donnell, who is promoting her book "Troublemaker," took to Twitter to defend her behavior and suggested reporters were inventing Palin sources as part of a conspiracy to hurt the Tea Party.

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Traumatic brain injuries caused by blasts from improvised explosive devices is one of the most vexing and poorly-understood medical problems faced by soldiers returning from modern combat. Symptoms can range from coma and catastrophic brain damage to subtle but intractable changes in personality. Even mild TBI, the most common wound sustained by soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, can leave injured veterans, their families, and their doctors struggling to cope. Current treatment options are limited, and the effects, including increased risk for neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, can last a lifetime.

"There is still serious debate within the biomedical community about what exactly TBI is and how to treat it," says Kevin Parker, head of the Disease Biophysics Group at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a major in the U.S. Army who has served two tours in Afghanistan. "Every patient is different."

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Today begins a new school year in Wisconsin - but not, as it turns out, for a perhaps record number of public school teachers.

According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, about double the number of Wisconsin public school teachers have retired this year when compared to the past two years, before Scott Walker's anti-union law -- which stripped away most collective-bargaining rights for public-sector unions, and required greater contributions by public employees for their healthcare and pensions -- was ever proposed or much less passed.

"It wouldn't make sense for me to teach one more year and basically lose $8,000," said Green Bay teacher Ginny Fleck, age 69, who has 30 years of experience.

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The Chairman of Maine's Republican party has doubled down on his crusade against the apparently widespread problem of voter fraud-committing college students, declaring this week that if students want to vote they should be paying taxes.

"I get tired of talking about this because the law is clear," Charles Webster said. "If I want to vote, I need to establish residency. I need to register my car and pay taxes in that community. You can't just become a student and vote wherever you want."

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Faced with growing criticism Tuesday, including from members of his own party, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) appeared to soften, slightly, his general view that federal disaster relief should be offset with equal or greater budget cuts.

He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, that relief funds would not get bogged down in the sort of protracted budget fight that has dominated Congressional politics all year. His spokesman Brad Dayspring, in a statement to several reporters, echoed this. "People and families affected by these disasters will certainly get what they need from their federal government," he said. "The goal should be to find ways to pay for what is needed or to find offsets whenever possible, that is the responsible thing to do. Clearly when disasters and emergencies happen, people expect their government to treat them as national priorities and respond properly. People also expect their government to spend their dollars wisely, and to make efforts to prioritize and save when possible."

That will come as welcome news to victims and FEMA alike, if it turns out that they need Congress to pass emergency legislation in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Mark Merritt, a former senior FEMA official in the Clinton administration said these kinds of budget impasses can be a big drag in a disaster management situation.

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