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Critics nail Obama for breaking promises

Advocates for seniors say President Barack Obama is breaking his promise to protect Social Security, while conservatives say he is breaking his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. Obama’s budget proposal includes a mix of tax increases and benefit cuts in an effort to reduce government borrowing and spark the still-fragile economy. Obama says it is the kind of balanced approach that is necessary to tame runaway budget deficits. But advocates from across the political spectrum are reminding the president of his past campaign promises. “Clearly it will be up to members of Congress to set fiscal
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McConnell calls exposure of his dirty campaign plans ‘Nixonian’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky politician known for his own dirty tricks, is accusing liberal news site Mother Jones of using “Nixonian” moves in exposing his plans to get nasty with anyone who dares run against him in 2014. The web site has published an audio tape that reveals McConnell’s campaign operatives discussing using what they called “odd” religious beliefs and a purported history of depression of potential opponent Ashley Judd if she ran against him. Judd, citing “family obligations” said last month she would not run and those close to her told Capitol Hill Blue that she
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Homophobic Santorum calls endorsement of gay marriage ‘suicidal’

One of the Republican Party’s leading homophobes, former Senator and failed Presidential candidate¬† Rick Santorum, is carrying his stirdent anti-gay message even further, urging fellow Republicans to avoid what he calls a “suicidal” endorsement of marrige equality. Even though polls show widespread public support for gay marriage, Santorum claims the trend if “only a fad” and could destroy the Republican Party is too many from the party of the elephant jump on board. “The Republican Party is not going to change on this issue,” Santorum told the Des Moines Register in an interview.¬† “In my opinion, it would be suicidal
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Ohmigod! Obama sends actual budget to Congress

President Barack Obama on Wednesday is sending Congress his 2014 budget, an effort to achieve an elusive “grand bargain” to tame runaway deficits that have soared above $1 trillion for each of the past four years. Obama’s spending blueprint for the 2014 budget year would accomplish the deficit cuts through a combination of further tax increases, further reductions in the growth of spending and reductions in the growth of the government’s biggest benefit programs, Social Security and Medicare. But instead of moving Congress nearer a grand bargain, the Obama’s proposals so far have managed to anger Republicans and Democrats alike.
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Senate near deal on background checks

A bipartisan deal seems imminent on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, an agreement that could build support for President Barack Obama’s drive to curb firearms violence. Meanwhile, the Senate is ready for an opening vote on restricting guns as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set a roll call for Thursday on starting consideration of the firearms legislation. Odds are growing that Democrats will win enough Republican support to thwart an effort by conservatives and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to block consideration from even starting. “I hope Republicans will stop trying to shut down debate and start
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Deal on farm workers could clear way for immigration bill

A tentative deal has been reached to resolve a dispute between agriculture workers and growers that was standing in the way of a sweeping immigration overhaul bill, a key senator said Tuesday. The agreement could smooth the way for release of the landmark legislation within a week or so. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who’s taken the lead on negotiating a resolution to the agriculture issue, didn’t provide details, and said growers had yet to sign off on the agreement. The farm workers union has been at odds with the agriculture industry over worker wages and how many visas should be
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Arkansas takes aim at abortion providers

The Republican-led Arkansas Senate, in the latest statehouse swipe at abortion providers around the country, approved a bill on Tuesday that sponsors said was aimed at cutting off the last vestiges of state funding to groups such as Planned Parenthood. While it does not explicitly name Planned Parenthood or any other organization, the bill would bar all Arkansas state funds from going to any entity that provides abortions, refers patients to abortion providers or contracts with any group that does so. The measure cleared the state Senate on a mostly party-line 19-11 vote, and now moves to the Republican-controlled House,
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Federal judge rules Obama administration broke law by ignoring fracking

A federal judge has ruled the Obama administration broke the law when it issued oil leases in central California without fully weighing the environmental impact of “fracking,” a setback for companies seeking to exploit the region’s enormous energy resources. The decision, made public on Monday, effectively bars for the time being any drilling on two tracts of land comprising 2,500 acres leased for oil and gas development in 2011 by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management in Monterey County. The tracts lie atop a massive bed of sedimentary rock known as the Monterey Shale Formation, estimated by the Energy
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Obama promises gun control determination to Newtown families

With time running out on the chance to pass gun control legislation, President Barack Obama on Monday warned Congress not to use delaying tactics against tighter regulations and told families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims that he’s “determined as ever” to honor their children with tougher laws. Obama’s gun control proposals have run into resistance on Capitol Hill, leaving their fate in doubt. Efforts by Senate Democrats to reach compromise with Republicans over expanding required federal background checks have yet to yield an agreement, and conservatives were promising to try blocking the Senate from even beginning debate
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Maggie Thatcher remembered for her strong bond with Reagan

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, two self-assured and firm-speaking conservatives, joined forces in the early 1980s and drastically changed the economic and political landscapes in both of their countries. Their calls for more-austere government and lower taxes still resonate with conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic. And their side-by-side standing up to Soviet communism is credited by those of all political stripes as hastening the end of the Cold War. Thatcher died Monday in London of a stroke at 87. The British prime minister and the American president had the kind of personal bond that is extremely rare at
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