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You aren’t what you eat: GOP challenges healthy eating rules

House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier lunches, saying the Agriculture Department should rewrite rules it issued in January meant to make school meals healthier. They say the new rules are too costly. The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee late Tuesday, also questions a government proposal to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children and urges the Food and Drug Administration to limit rules requiring calorie counts be posted on menus. The overall spending bill would cut billions from USDA and FDA budgets, including for domestic feeding programs and international food aid. The
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SEAL museum popular after bin Laden killing

The biggest attraction at the Navy SEALs’ national museum isn’t memorialized in any artifact or mentioned in any display. But that doesn’t keep visitors from asking. The May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden at the hands of SEALs has brought a spike in visitors to the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, seeking a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the mission was pulled off. Attendance has roughly tripled since the raid, visitors are pummeling docents with questions and people wanting to express their gratitude have flooded the museum with letters of thanks. “They’re hoping to get ground truth here,” said Michael Howard,
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Supremes rule out damage claims against Ashcroft

The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out damage claims against former Attorney General John Ashcroft over an American Muslim’s arrest, but four justices said the case raises serious questions about post-9/11 detentions under a federal law intended to make sure witnesses testify. The justices were unanimous, 8-0, in holding that Ashcroft cannot be personally sued over his role in the arrest of Abdullah al-Kidd in 2003. The court sets a high bar for suing high-ranking officials, and all the justices agreed al-Kidd did not meet it, even though he was never charged with a crime or called to testify in
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GOP Presidential wannabes rush to the right

Republican Presidential contenders face a dilemma. If they want to win the nomination, they need to drift to the right to appeal to the extreme conservative base that dominates their party. But if they want to win the general election, they need to be more centrist. So each of the top candidates in the current crop of GOP wannabes now espouse positions that are more right-wing than their positions just a few years ago. That might give one of them the nomination but it won’t play well with the independent voters who hold the key to winning a national race.
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Where’s Sarah? Palin is a no show at Gettyburg

So what’s going on with Sarah Palin? First she tried to steal the thunder of hundreds of thousands of bikers at the annual Rolling Thunder in Washington — an obvious stunt that failed when event organizers refused to let her steal the show. Then she leaves her faithful waiting in vain when she didn’t show up in the Civil War Battlefield in Gettysburg. And she’s still playing coy about her future campaign plans. “I honestly don’t know,” she said when asked if she plans to run for President. And even her most ardent supporters don’t know where Palin will turn
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Bikers to Palin: ‘Go home bitch”

Sarah Palin tried to bring her carnival sideshow to the annual Rolling Thunder Ride to the Wall Sunday but the bikers quickly put her in her place — “riding bitch” on the back of another woman’s Harley-Davidson. Palin tried to turn an uninvited visit to the gathering of biker veterans and supporters into a photo op to kick off another of her bus tours but event organizers told her that she was welcome to ride on a bike in the event but did not let her speak or become part of the official program. Many of the hundreds of thousands
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The sounds of thunder

He snapped awake at 0500, a full 30 minutes before the alarm was set to go off. For more than 30 years, he had been waking up at 5 a.m. It didn't matter which time zone he was in or even if it was daylight savings time. When the big hand was on the 12 and the little one on the five, he was awake.
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GOP Presidential race starts to heat up

The still unsettled race for the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012 is getting more interesting. After months of resisting calls to join the contest, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he would consider it. That could reshape the GOP field, adding a sitting governor who has never lost an election. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also sent a jolt through the party with the announcement of a campaign-style bus tour along the East Coast, the latest possible contender to stand up since Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced last weekend that he would not run. And former
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Obama signs four-year extension of Patriot Act

Congress on Thursday passed a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused. Following the 250-153 evening vote in the House, the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities headed for the president’s signature with only hours to go before the provisions expire at midnight. With Obama currently in France, the White House said the president would use an autopen machine that holds
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Judge voids Wisconsin union-busting law

A Wisconsin judge on Thursday voided a controversial Republican-backed law restricting the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions in the state. Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi, who was appointed by a Republican governor, said Republican state lawmakers who passed the law in March had violated the state’s open meetings law in rushing the legislation through amid massive public protests at the state Capitol. But the ruling will not end the bitter battle over the measure, which also sent 14 state Senators into hiding in neighboring Illinois to prevent a caucus and later sparked the largest wave of legislator recall
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