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Democrats push spending, tax cuts

In a sharp role reversal, Democratic leaders in Congress Wednesday called for both spending and tax cuts as a way to jump start the sagging economy but their conversion to spending less comes when a new report claims the nation faces more of a debt crisis unless taxes are raised. The Congressional Budget Office report warns America faces a “European-style” debt crisis unless taxes are raised along with sharp spending cuts and adds more pressure on Congressional negotiators who are trying to work out a deal to raise the debt limit before the government runs out of money. Which creates
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Obama plans withdrawal of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next year

President Barack Obama, facing growing public and political opposition to an Afghan war that has become his Vietnam, announced Wednesday night that he will withdraw 33,000 U.S. troops from the war-torn country by September 2012 — with 10,000 scheduled to come home by the end of this year.   While the number appears significant, it will still leave 68,000 Americans on combat duty in Afghanistan. In a short, but highly-anticipated speech to the nation, Obama went against the advice of military leaders who want a more gradual withdrawal of troops but the President faces dwindling support in polls that show
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Palin, facing jury duty, puts bus tour on hold

Sarah Palin has suspended her highly-touted bus tour but claims it will resume “when the time comes.” Disputing online reports that the bus trip to historic American sites was canceled because of disappointing crowds and bad press, Palin claims the “One Nation” tour is simply on hold because of a tight schedule and a call for jury duty. Palin, the failed 2008 vice presidential candidate who resigned as Alaska governor before her term was up to cash in on her new-found popularity, continues to play it coy on her plans for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.
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Are Republicans at war with women?

An early skirmish for women’s votes in 2012 has broken out in the House — among women. A prominent Democrat fired the first shot by claiming that majority Republicans are waging a “war on women.” And now, Republican women are returning fire by raising their profiles, making clear what they stand for and, implicitly, who they are not: Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Neither of the GOP’s most visible women rated a mention by a series of House Republican women who on Tuesday defended their party against Democrats. Bachmann, a three-term congresswoman, presidential candidate and chairwoman of the Tea Party
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Bachmann announces presidential run Monday

Conservative Republican Michele Bachmann will officially launch her presidential bid in Iowa on Monday, a source close to her campaign said on Tuesday. The representative from Minnesota, who announced her intention to run at a Republican debate in New Hampshire last week, will hold a kick-off event Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, where she was born, the source told Reuters. Bachmann, 55, is founder and head of the House Tea Party Caucus. She was one of the first elected officials to court the movement that helped fuel Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections with calls for spending cuts and reduced
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Home sales hit six-month low

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes hit a six-month low in May and supply rose, pointing to a housing market still struggling to regain its footing. The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday that sales slipped 3.8 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.81 million units, the lowest since November. It was the second straight month of declines. The drop was smaller than economists had expected, but the April sales figure was revised lower, leaving a report that was largely in line with expectations in financial markets. While the fall in sales last month was partly
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Oops! Obamacare provides Medicaid for the middle class

President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed. The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department. After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday it would look for a fix. Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as
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Make or break week on debt limit

U.S. lawmakers working to rein in the country’s rising debt said on Monday they will have to make substantial progress this week to ensure the country retains its top-notch credit rating. Democrats and Republicans said they face a crucial series of talks as they try to find the trillions of dollars in budget savings that will allow Congress to cover the country’s borrowing needs through the November 2012 election. “I’d say if we haven’t made enough progress by the end of this week we’re really going to have to reassess the situation,” Republican Senator Jon Kyl told reporters. Other Republicans
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Who the hell is Jon Huntsman?

Jon Huntsman Jr. is a high school dropout, a Harley-riding ex-governor and a diplomat whose last boss was President Barack Obama. Now this Republican wants Obama’s job. The unusual political resume and sometimes centrist views makes Huntsman both a long shot to emerge with the GOP presidential nomination and a candidate to be feared by the Democrat in the White House should he break out of the pack. At the Tacos Don Rafa food cart in downtown Salt Lake City, though, Huntsman is known simply as a regular, often dressed in a denim jacket. “His palate can withstand more hot
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Tritium leaks found at U.S. nuke plants

Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows. The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation. Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP’s yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding
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