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Independence Day

  The following sticker appears on the back of two of my motorcycle helmets: I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. I’m an American. There is a difference. That sticker sums up my philosophy and my feelings about my country. My beliefs and my soul belong to no political party, no ideology, no philosophical organization and no other group with an agenda that supplants love of country or belief in the principles that guided our founding father on that July 4th in 1776 when they put their lives, the property and their freedom on the line to sign the
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Beck exits stage right

Glenn Beck, another cable-TV demagogue in a field crowded by zealots from both the right and the left, signed off his Fox News show this week in a typical show of propaganda-driven bile that appeals to the hate and fear of the ignorant.   Beck’s bitter final telecast summed up his rise and fall in the slag-heap of partisan hyperbole that passes for news nowadays, a sign-off ending two years of self-aggrandizement and shameless self-promotion that highlighted the danger of putting a madman on the air. Surrounded by bulletproof glass and accompanied by a bodyguard, Beck claimed his departure from
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Senate cancels holiday recess

The Senate, adding another act to the growing Kabuki Theater of government by showdown, canceled its July 4th break but the action — like everything else in what has become a war of words, positioning and posturing — will not break the deadlock over extending the debt limit. Democratic and Republicans have no plans to meet so the likelihood of making any progress is slim. The agenda before the Senate is Libya, not budget, and while House leaders say they are willing to stay in town and help their Senate colleagues most members of the lower body are already home
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Obama splits town

After scolding Congressional Republicans for failing to work hard at resolving the debt crisis — and urging Congress to stay in town over the July 4th holiday and act — President Barack Obama packed his bags and headed to Camp David for a vacation. In an astounding show of political hypocrisy the scolder-in-chief practiced the old Washington art of “don’t do as I do, do as I say.” Obama flees Washington after issuing a long list of one-liners aimed at the GOP. He claimed his daughters accomplish more with their homework than Congress does in dealing with the debt crisis,
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President Thaddeus?

Michigan Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter plans to join the growing list of GOP Presidential wannabes. McCotter will announce his bid for the White House Saturday and has just wrapped up a four-day tour through Iowa. “Republicans may be prepared at some point to settle, if that’s how they view it, but they’re still viewing it it as, ‘Why should we have to? What else is out there?’ It doesn’t mean its me,” McCotter said as he concluded his tour.  “The reason I was here was to find out are they even asking that question, ‘What else is out there?’ And
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Obama faces risks on war plan

President Barack Obama’s plan for pulling U.S. troops from Afghanistan will intensify risks in the thick of next year’s fighting season, but Obama was right to factor in waning support at home for the war, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Reuters. Gates, who steps down on Thursday after four and a half years as the U.S. defense chief, said Obama’s advisers had put forward different options for gradually shrinking the 100,000-strong U.S. force in Afghanistan, where after almost a decade of war the Taliban remains a deadly, resilient enemy. While the Pentagon’s top brass argued for keeping the extra
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Obama wins one on Libya

In a victory for President Barack Obama, a Senate panel voted Tuesday to approve U.S. participation in the military campaign against Libya and Moammar Gadhafi‘s forces. The 14-5 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee stood in sharp contrast to the House’s overwhelmingly rejection of a similar step last week, muddling the message about congressional support for the commander in chief’s actions and the NATO-led operation. “When Moammar Gadhafi is bunkered down in Tripoli, when yesterday the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of crimes against humanity, at a moment where our armed forces are
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Palin still coy on 2012

Sarah Palin (Reuters) Republican Sarah Palin said on Tuesday she is still considering a potential 2012 presidential run, though her daughter said she has already made up her mind and is keeping the decision secret for now. Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, attended the premiere of a flattering documentary about her, “The Undefeated,” at the opera house in this small Iowa town. Palin has carefully left the door open to a campaign. Her appearance in Iowa was likely to encourage those who think the former Alaska governor still might jump into a wide-open race. After watching the
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Can Obama cut debt deal?

President Barack Obama is confident Democrats and Republicans can cut a “significant deal” to trim the U.S. deficit and increase its borrowing limit to avoid a damaging default, the White House said on Monday. Despite the White House’s optimism, both Republicans and Democrats showed little willingness to compromise after deficit reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden collapsed suddenly on Thursday. With polls showing Americans deeply worried about the sputtering economy, both sides are talking tough in an ideological battle over how best to cut a U.S. deficit that is projected to be $1.4 trillion this year. Republicans say
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More flubs from Bachmann

Michele Bachmann’s claim that she has “never gotten a penny” from a family farm that’s been subsidized by the government is at odds with her financial disclosure statements. They show tens of thousands in personal income from the operation. And, on a less substantive note, she flubbed her hometown history when declaring “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa,” and “that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too,” in running for president. The actor was born nearly 150 miles away. It was the serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr. who lived, for a time, in Waterloo. Those were among the
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