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Straw poll broke Pawlenty’s campaign

The Iowa straw poll claimed its first victim Sunday when former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty pulled the plug on his failing campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination. “Obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign,” Pawlenty told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday news talk show. “I with it had been different.” Pawlenty based the future of his campaign on a strong showing in Iowa but he came in a disappointing third behind tea party centerfold Michelle Bachmann and perennial Presidential candidate and loser Ron Paul. “I thought I would have made a
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Deficit-cutting mania: ‘Doomsday’ to defense budget?

For the dozen lawmakers given the task of producing a deficit-cutting plan, the threatened “doomsday” defense cuts hit close to home. The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors — Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Co. and Boeing Co. — build missiles, aircraft, jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers. The potential for $500 billion more in defense cuts could force the Pentagon to cancel or scale back multibillion-dollar weapons programs. That could translate into significant layoffs in a fragile economy, generate millions less in tax revenues for local governments
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Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll, but does it mean anything?

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won a test vote of Iowans on Saturday, a show of popularity and organizational strength for the tea party favorite five months before the state’s caucuses kick off the GOP presidential nominating season. The result is the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it’s hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House. Rather, Saturday’s outcome suggests that Bachmann has a certain level of support and, perhaps even more
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Appeals court strikes down individual mandate in health care law

A federal appeals panel’s ruling striking down the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul moves the question of whether Americans can be required to buy health insurance a step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. A divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Congress overstepped its authority when lawmakers passed the so-called individual mandate, the first such decision by a federal appeals court. It’s a stinging blow to Obama’s signature legislative achievement, as many experts agree the requirement that Americans carry health insurance — or face tax penalties — is the foundation
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Can the deficit-cutting panel actually work?

Having said no to taxes for months, Republicans now are saying maybe, in the face of public disgust over a deadlock in the Congress, a near government default and a worsening global economic crisis. Prompting some hope for a return to fiscal order are the statements and reputations of some of the six Republicans named this week to join with six Democrats on a special committee to end the standoff over the U.S. deficit. In one of his first interviews after being named to the “Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction,” Representative Dave Camp told Reuters, “I don’t want to
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Iowa straw poll provides first test for 2012 wannabes

After months of laying the groundwork, the first test of the Republican presidential candidates‘ viability is finally here. Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll marks the first time Republican voters weigh in on the GOP presidential field with ballots and comes just as Gov. Rick Perry of Texas was to enter the campaign during a visit to another early nominating state. The nonbinding results in Ames, Iowa, were likely to foreshadow the coming months here in the leadoff state. “The Iowa Straw Poll is the first measurable proving ground for our Republican candidates for president,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn
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Obama meets with big biz honchos

President Barack Obama met Friday with top executives at marquee US firms like American Express and Johnson & Johnson, with the country’s economy struggling and global markets prone to wild swings. “The president appreciated the thoughtful exchange of ideas and the private sector’s shared commitment to improving our economy,” the White House press office said in a statement after the hour-long, closed-door discussion. The group included top executives at Xerox, American Express, US Bank, BlackRock, Silver Lake Partners, Wells Fargo, US Steel, and Johnson & Johnson, according to a White House official, who requested anonymity. Obama’s bid for reelection in
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Pawlenty, Bachmann tear into each other in GOP debate

Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly Thursday night during an eight-candidate Republican debate, trying to break out of the GOP presidential pack ahead of an Iowa test vote with huge consequences. Each seeks to become the main challenger to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. Their efforts were newly complicated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who stole some of the spotlight from afar by making it known hours before the debate that he was running for the GOP nomination. Romney, a multimillionaire businessman who casts himself as a jobs creator, made his own stir earlier in the day when,
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As usual, facts get lost in fog of GOP debate

Michele Bachmann cast her opinion as a settled fact when she told the Republican presidential debate Thursday that a key element of President Barack Obama‘s health care law is unconstitutional. And Mitt Romney danced around an attempt to learn why he stayed largely mum on the epic debt limit standoff between Obama and Congress. The first big GOP debate of the primary season brought viewers a flurry of claims and counterclaims, not all built on solid ground. A look at some of those claims and how they compare with the facts: BACHMANN: Spoke of “the unconstitutional individual mandate” several times,
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Rick Perry could be real threat to Romney

The biggest rumblings in the Republican presidential campaign are coming from Austin, Texas — 1,000 miles from the leadoff caucus state where front-runner Mitt Romney and seven opponents squared off ahead of an important test vote this weekend. Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent word that he would join the race, casting a shadow over the debate Thursday night and threatening to upend the race. Back in Iowa, Romney emerged unscathed with his leader-of-the-pack status intact after two feisty hours; his two Minnesota rivals — Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty — sparred repeatedly as each sought advantage ahead
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