TPM News

On Friday, I posted a clip of Newt Gingrich's testimony before the House Energy & Commerce committee, in which the former House Speaker stood by misleading GOP charges that cap-and-trade legislation will cost the average family thousands of dollars a year.

We've been over much of this before--the most famous Republican talking point has its roots in an MIT study, which estimates that the government will initially collect $366 billion in revenue from a cap-and-trade bill every year. Republicans assumed that industry would pass this cost on to consumers, divided that number by an estimate of the number of households in America and--voila--concluded that, on average, each household would be responsible for $3,128 worth of increased energy costs.

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's online petition asking Norm Coleman to finally concede defeat in the Minnesota Senate race has now reached 100,000 signatures, DSCC communications director Eric Schultz has just told me.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Schultz.

"People across the country want Norm to give up," he explained, "because they want that 59th Democratic Senator to get the Obama agenda passed."

It's worth pointing out that this is probably the same underlying reason that a lot of Republicans want for Norm to not give up.

The Democratic National Committee has unveiled this new TV ad, celebrating President Obama's first 100 days:

"The First 100 Days," the on-screen text says. "Laying A Foundation For Change." The ad is set to air Tuesday and Wednesday, on national cable and in the D.C. media market.

AIG CEO Ed Liddy has already testified once before Congress about his firm's starring role in the financial crisis. But it looks like he'll soon be doing so again.

Last week, Rep. Ed Towns -- who chairs the House Oversight Committee, which is probing the causes of the crisis -- sent a letter to Liddy inviting him to appear May 6th. Among the topics that Towns intends to cover, according to the letter: "What caused the downfall of AIG?" and "what has AIG done with its Federal financial assistance?"

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The fact that President Obama's agenda routinely gets fewer Republican votes than you can count on one hand has become something of a running joke in Washington, and goes a long way toward explaining the acrimony between the two parties today. The administration may have been unaware that "bipartisanship" wouldn't work in practice, but they learned that lesson quickly.

But there's a more complicated, intraparty relationship--the one between party leaders and conservative Democrats--that's at least as crucial, and that's giving the administration a harder time. As we've documented, here, the White House and party leaders on the Hill have gone out of their way to squelch grassroots efforts to target Blue Dog Democrats in the House and conservative Democrats in the Senate, and, for the most part, those groups have complied. But how does the administration really feel about them?

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The Iraqi government condemned a U.S. military raid targeting an elite Shi'ite militia, allegedly armed by Iran, which killed two civilians Sunday. After hundreds protested in Southern Iraq after the attack, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that the raid violated the U.S.-Iraqi security pact instituted this year, which stipulates that American soldiers cannot conduct military operations without coordination with the Iraqi government. Al-Maliki asked the U.S. military to release the detainees from the attack to the appropriate domestic courts. According to the pact, U.S. soldiers are immune from prosecution even if the raid is deemed illegal. (Reuters)

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NYT: Exceptions To Iraq Deadlines Are Proposed The New York Times reports that the American and Iraqi governments will begin negotiating possible exceptions to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from cities, focusing on Mosul in the North and some parts of Baghdad. Iraqi officials have agreed to classify U.S. bases in the Baghdad area as technically outside the city limits, thus holding to the letter of the agreements.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama is speaking at 9 a.m. ET, to the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting. At 2 p.m. ET, he will welcome the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team. And at 5 p.m. ET, he will attend a reception with foreign economic, finance and environmental ministers.

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Gibbs States White House Reticence On Truth Commission Appearing on Meet The Press, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated the White House's reluctance for a truth commission on the torture issue, deferring instead to the ongoing work of the Senate Intelligence Committee: "Well, I think the president had great fears that the debate that you've seen happen in this town on each side of this issue, at the extremes, has -- that's taken place would be what would envelop any commission that looked backward. That's why his focus, David, the whole time is how we look forward in this country."

Poll: Close Public Divide On Torture A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds a majority of Americans supporting President Obama's decision to release the torture memos: 53% in favor, to 44% again. A slim 51%-47% majority supports investigation of whether laws were broken in the treatment of terrorism suspects. At the same time, it's a close divide on whether the U.S. should consider using torture in some cases: 49% against it, versus 48% who say there are cases where it should be considered.

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Obama: Fiscal Discipline Needed In this weekend's Presidential YouTube address, President Obama discussed his goal of making government more efficient and controlling spending, such as the re-introduction of PAYGO principles:

"We cannot sustain deficits that mortgage our children's future, nor tolerate wasteful inefficiency," said Obama. "Government has a responsibility to spend the peoples' money wisely, and to serve the people effectively."

GOP Address: Dems Have Put Us Behind France In this weekend's RNC YouTube message, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) warned that the Democrats have put behind the French on issues like fiscal discipline and energy -- so much so that the United States would be ineligible to join the European Union:

"Now of course we don't want to be in the European Union," said Alexander. "We're the United States of America. But French deficits are lower than ours, and their president has been running around sounding like a Republican -- lecturing our president about spending so much."

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It's not every day that Democrats in the Midwest will comment on a political event in the Northeast. But the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is now chiming in on the NY-20 special election, after Republican candidate Jim Tedisco conceded defeat in the narrow race, and contrasting this with Norm Coleman's decision to bottle up Al Franken's Senate victory in litigation.

"I congratulate Jim Tedisco for doing the right thing and conceding this race. Now the people of New York's 20th congressional district will once again be fully represented in Congress," DFL Party chairman Brian Melendez says in a press release.

"Unfortunately, Minnesotans are not as fortunate. Nearly six months after Election Day -- and the meticulous and fair process that followed -- we remain without full representation in the U.S. Senate."

Full press release after the jump -- plus a similar release from the Democratic National Committee.

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