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Rand Paul endorses plan for illegal immigrants to attain citizenship

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants, a significant move for a favorite of tea party Republicans who are sometimes hostile to such an approach. In a speech to be delivered Tuesday morning to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the potential 2016 presidential candidate declares, “If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.” A copy of the speech was obtained in advance by The Associated Press. Paul’s path to citizenship would come with conditions that could make it
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Fed not expected to relax interest rates during economic surge

The U.S. economy is strengthening on the fuel of more job growth, rising home prices and solid retail sales. Just don’t expect the Federal Reserve to let up in its drive to keep stimulating the economy with record-low interest rates. Not yet, anyway. That’s the view of economists as Fed policymakers hold a two-day meeting that starts Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Fed will issue a policy statement and update its economic forecasts, and Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference. All of which will likely reinforce Bernanke’s stated view that the job market, in particular, has a long way
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Failed governor and candidate Sarah Palin calls Obama a failure

Failed Alaska Governor and equally-failed 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took the stage of the annual gathering of right-wing failures — the Conservative Police Action Conference — over the weekend to call President Barack Obama a lair and delivered a tired speech of one-liners to a group that hoops and hollers a lot but makes little difference to the party. “Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever,” sneered Palin, who ran into trouble with her own coverups while serving as Alaska governor. “Barack Obama, you lie.” Palin resigned from office before her first and only term as
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Rand Paul wins the latest meaningless CPAC straw poll for President

Right-wingers at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference found a new lost cause to support Saturday, backing Kentucky Senantor Rand Paul in a straw poll for President. Paul rises to the mantle of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a frequent winner of the CPAC straw poll, who ran for President three times but ever came close to winning. Rand Raul’s win was hardly a landslide.  He captured just 25 percent of the vote in a crowded field that saw Florida Sen. Marco Rubio come in a close second, followed by another failed Presidential candidate — Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum
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John Boehner: His homophobia will not change

Ohio Senator Rob Portman may have switched his position on gay marriage but his change of heart means nothing to lifelong homophobic John Boehner, the Speaker of the House. Boehner, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” says he is, and always will be, opposed to gay marriage. Said Boehner: Bob is a great friend and a long-time ally.  I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe.  It’s what my church teaches me.  And I can’t imagine that position would ever change. Portman, who was opposed to
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Supremes will decide on requiring proof of citizenship to vote

The Supreme Court will struggle this week with the validity of an Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections. The high court will hear arguments Monday over the legality of Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law that doesn’t require such documentation. This case focuses on voter registration in Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues
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Paranoia, panic among gun owners leads to shortages in firearms, ammo

Panicky gun owners, paranoid that the government is going to take away their firearms and ammo, are going on spending sprees for both guns and bullets, creating shortages and driving up prices. “It’s nuts,” Jonathan Simmons, a gun owner from Roanoke, Virginia, told Capitol Hill Blue.  “I can’t find any .22 long rifle.  The last time I checked, no proposed new gun laws outlawed 22 cartridges and while there are proposals to limit the size of magazines, I haven’t seen any plans to restrict ammo sales.” Gun shops ranging from independent operators to national chains like Gander Mountain have placed
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FBI’s privacy-invading ‘National Security Letters’ gag orders ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge in California Thursday ruled that the FBI usages of secretcy in so-called “National Security Letters” is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment of the United States. The decision comes as good news to the publisher of Capitol Hill Blue because the agency attempted to use such a letter to obtain records of the news site through its web host in 2006. That attempt by the agency failed because it failed to realize that the publisher, Doug Thompson, owned the data facility that hosted Capitol Hill Blue and was aware of the letter when it was served. Under
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Obama’s ‘charm offensive’ on budget is turning sour

Over dinner at a swank hotel a few blocks from the White House, Republican senators wanted to know if President Barack Obama would support a gradual increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare, set at 65 since the program’s inception more than four decades ago. The president hedged, according to several at the event, recalling the discussion on a cost-saving change to Medicare that most if not all leading Democrats in Congress adamantly oppose. One later recalled that Obama “drew no bright line” in opposition, but the lawmaker came away believing that the president “would be very resistant” even
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Grand jury investigating Sen. Robert Menendez

Sen. Robert Menendez is being investigated by a Miami federal grand jury for his role in advocating for the business interests of a wealthy donor and friend, The Washington Post reported Thursday. A story on the newspaper’s website said that as part of the probe federal agents have questioned witnesses about the interactions between Menendez, D-N.J., and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. The newspaper said the grand jury also issued subpoenas for Melgen’s business and financial records. The newspaper cited unidentified people it said were familiar with the probe. Federal agents have not contacted Menendez, one person told the newspaper. The
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