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Gates: Obama’s actions in Libya legal

For legal reasons, President Barack Obama rejects the word “hostilities” to describe U.S. involvement in Libya’s civil war. Along the same lines, Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls American actions there “a limited kinetic operation.” Definitions are part of the debate over whether Obama is violating the War Powers Resolution by failing to obtain congressional approval for U.S. participation in the NATO-led air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi‘s government. The international coalition assisting Libyan rebels in their efforts to oust Gadhafi from power is in its fourth month. Before dawn on Sunday, NATO airstrikes began pounding targets in Tripoli as part of
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McCain rips into Republicans

Republican Senator John McCain, his party’s 2008 presidential nominee, ripped into the current crop of Republican White House contenders, accusing them of breaking party tradition by preaching “isolationism.” McCain said if former President Ronald Reagan were still alive he would have been disappointed in last week’s Republican presidential debate in which candidates voiced impatience with U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya. “He would be saying: That’s not the Republican Party of the 20th century, and now the 21st century. That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for
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Obama impersonator goes too far, booted from GOP confab

A Barack Obama impersonator was ushered off the stage after he mocked the Republican presidential hopefuls and joked about the real president’s biracial roots to a room full of conservative activists Saturday. The Republican Leadership Conference turned the podium over to impersonator Reggie Brown, who drew raucous applause from the GOP’s supporters when he projected lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat who just resigned after the furor over his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women. Brown later played up the mass exodus of advisers to candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign and
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Obama will do his own Tweeting

President Barack Obama is taking a more active role on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. Obama’s campaign said in a posting on its website Friday that Obama will tweet regularly from the popular social media service and his personal tweets will be signed “-BO.” The campaign said it will now manage both Obama’s Twitter account and Facebook page. Obama tweeted personally early Friday evening, welcoming followers to “a new (at)BarackObama. From now on, (hash)Obama2012 staff will manage this account; tweets from the President will be signed “-BO.” The campaign said on its website that the changes “will give us
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Obama, Boehner find triumph on the golf course

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner put partisanship aside, at least on the golf course, and teamed up to triumph on the final hole Saturday in their long-awaited links outing. The match pitted the political rivals against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich. The match was won on the 18th hole, with the winning partners each pocketing a $2 prize. The question now is whether a partnership forged on the tees, fairways and greens of a military base course can yield success in the policy arena. Obama and Boehner find themselves on opposite sides
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Ron Paul wins GOP straw poll in New Orleans

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has won the presidential straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference. The perennial libertarian candidate won 612 votes from the gathering that brings presidential candidates, party elders, grassroots activists and donors. Coming in second place was former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who served three Republican administrations and then worked as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China. Huntsman got 382 votes, but did not address the conference. Aides said he was ill. His wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman, came to meet privately with activists. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a tea party darling, collected 191 votes. Former
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Bachmann shines while Pawlenty dims

They are both from Minnesota but Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s combative style seems to be scoring better than the Midwestern nice guy approach of former governor Tim Pawlenty in the Republican presidential race. Bachmann, a third-term Congresswoman from a St. Paul suburb, announced her presidential intentions during a New Hampshire debate. She then proceeded to bash President Barack Obama’s health care reforms and raise doubts about U.S. support of Libyan rebels. Pawlenty, meanwhile, stumbled. He made “Minnesota Nice” and demurred from criticizing Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney directly, admitting later that he should have been more forceful. A national poll of Republican
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Are Obama and Boehner up to par on issues?

Six months in the making, a much anticipated golf game between two of the world’s most powerful people will unfold on a military base whose location was a closely guarded secret as tee time approached Saturday. The big question was not who would win or lose. Instead it was whether 18 holes of golf could possibly give President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner enough time to hash out their substantial policy differences on everything from the debt to U.S. military involvement in Libya. Probably not. But aides to both men say the time Obama and Boehner will spend
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Giffords returns to her hometown

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lost little time after her release from the hospital in returning to her hometown, visiting Tucson for Father’s Day for the first time since shortly after she was gravely wounded in a shooting rampage in January. “We’ve been dreaming of this trip for some time,” Giffords’ astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, said in a news release Friday. “Gabby misses Tucson very much and her doctors have said that returning to her hometown could play an important role in her recovery.” Kelly said the trip “is sure to be very emotional” and hopes the news media respects their privacy.
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‘Bye bye pervert’ salutes Weiner’s resignation

Nearly three weeks after Rep. Anthony Weiner accidentally tweeted a photo of his bulging crotch, his final act as congressman was to attempt to resign with dignity. Instead, heckling and catcalls disrupted his news conference, creating a noisy, circus-like atmosphere that overshadowed the main event. It was an ungracious end, a fitting metaphor for the troubled congressman’s career. Weiner had gone from the halls of Congress to the front pages of the New York tabloids, providing ceaseless fodder as cringe-worthy evidence of his sexually charged online dalliances leaked out and top Democrats pushed for his resignation. On Thursday afternoon, the
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