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Romney aide tells reporters: ‘Kiss my ass’

Presumed GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s seemingly unending string of gaffes and political missteps are leaving aides frazzled, GOP loyalists confounded and reporters gleeful as the candidate stumbles from one verbal disaster to another. Emotions boiled over in Poland Tuesday when Romney’s traveling press secretary Rick Gorka lost his cool with reporters who shouted questions at the candidate as he walked away from Pillsudski Square. “Kiss my ass,” Rick Gorka told the press corps. “This is a holy site for the Polish people.  Show some respect.”  When the questions persisted, Gorka shouted back: “Shove it!” Gorka later apologized to some
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The check is not in the mail: Default looms for Postal Service

Mail industry companies are concerned about a looming default by the Postal Service on a $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits, saying it adds to uncertainty about agency and helps speed the movement away from traditional mail. The Postal Service has said for months that it could not afford to make the massive payment, which was originally due in 2011 but was delayed by Congress until August 1. Congress has so far made no significant push to delay the health pre-payment again. Missing the payment, the first default in the agency’s history, would not cause interruptions in service
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Political candidates preach financial responsibility while stiffing creditors

GOP Presidential wannabes like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich may preach financial responsibility on the campaign trail but they are deadbeats when it comes to paying their campaign bills. Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House, owes $4.85 million in unpaid campaign debts.  Santorum, a former Senator, has stilled creditors for $1.69 million to date, according to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Huntsman wrote a check for $1.5 million from his personal funds to cover some of his campaign debts after angry vendors hired lawyers and threatened to sue.  He stills owes more
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U.S. wastes $200 million on uneeded, unwanted Iraqi cop training

Baghdad said it didn’t need or want U.S. help in training a new police department but that didn’t stop the federal government from blowing through $200 million attempting to train cops who wanted nothing do with with America. The U.S. State Department saw the Iraq Police Development Program as a centerpiece of American efforts to rebuild Iraq.  The department planned a five year, multibillion dollar program that would train Iraqi security forces to replace departing American troops. But State forgot to ask the Iraqi government if it wanted U.S. help. A State Department source tells Capitol Hill Blue the Iraqis
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Democrats bring in the big dog for their convention

Former President Bill Clinton will have a marquee role in this summer’s Democratic National Convention, where he will make a forceful case for President Barack Obama’s re-election and his economic vision for the country, several Obama campaign and Democratic party officials said Sunday. The move gives the Obama campaign an opportunity to take advantage of the former president’s immense popularity and remind voters that a Democrat was in the White House the last time the American economy was thriving. Obama personally asked Clinton to speak at the convention and place Obama’s name in nomination, and Clinton enthusiastically accepted, officials said.
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Police officer, fire fighter pensions face public scrutiny, questions

Pharmacist Michael Nastro is full of admiration for how police responded to a deadly robbery in his suburban New York neighborhood in 2011. A gunman walked into a pharmacy near his own on Long Island, killed four people and fled with a stash of painkillers. Police in the area, which is part of wealthy Suffolk County, best known for the exclusive Hamptons beach towns, boosted patrols and gave advice on what to do if the robber hit again. They caught him three days after the shooting. But Nastro, 50, admits he’s torn about police officers’ pay and retirement benefits. “I’d
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Obama, GOP continue petty, partisan, political sniping

New day, old bickering between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans. Obama used his Saturday radio and Internet address to finger GOP lawmakers for a stalemate that could increase taxes on Americans next year. A leading Republican senator cast the president and his Democratic Party as obstructionists who want to place the tax burden on businesses during an economic slowdown. Obama pressed the Republican-controlled House to extend Bush-era tax cuts for households making $250,000 or less while letting lower rates on wealthier taxpayers expire and go up. The Democratic-controlled Senate narrowly passed such a measure this past week; the House
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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. transferred to Mayo Clinic

The announcement that Jesse Jackson Jr. had been transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota pinned down his whereabouts for the first time in weeks and gave clear confirmation that the Illinois congressman is suffering from depression. It also was the first mention that he’s now being treated for a “gastrointestinal issue,” which some experts said Saturday was a sign his condition is becoming more complicated. The Chicago Democrat and son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has been on a secretive leave of absence for nearly seven weeks, during which his office has released only occasional snippets of information,
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Lots of doom and gloom in economic outlook

A U.S. economy that plodded along in the first three months of the year likely grew even less in the April-June quarter. And most economists no longer think growth will strengthen much in the second half of 2012. Weaker hiring, nervous consumers, sluggish manufacturing and the overhang of Europe’s debt crisis might be pointing toward everyone’s big fear: another recession. Against that background, the government on Friday will issue its first of three estimates of how much the U.S. economy expanded last quarter. The consensus forecast is that growth slowed to an annual rate of 1.5 percent, according to a
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White House: New gun laws? We don’t need no stinkin’ new gun laws

President Barack Obama will not push for stricter gun laws this election year, the White House said Thursday, one day after his impassioned remarks about the need to keep assault weapons off the streets suggested he may plunge into that political fight and challenge Congress to act. Instead, Obama’s stand on the government’s role ended up right where it was after the mass shooting in Colorado last week: Enforce existing law better. That is same view held by his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, as both reach for broader and more politically appealing ways to keep guns away from killers. Obama
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