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Democrats step up the heat in GOP primary

Maybe President Barack Obama and his friends got tired of waiting for the 2012 campaign to start. The early action was supposed to be in the competitive Republican primary. But the White House and its allies are meddling from the sidelines with a good cop, bad cop routine, hoping to exploit the GOP’s late start. A pro-Obama group called Priorities USA is airing a TV ad in South Carolina that jabs Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, two of the best-known Republican contenders. The ad coincided with Romney’s visit to the state Saturday, his first since forming a presidential exploratory committee.
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Tea Party-backed GOP freshmen pack defense bill with pork

Remember all those grand promises by the tea party-backed Republicans who promised to put an end to wasteful spending and pork-barrel earmarks? Just more hypocritical political posturing. While talking the big plan to be fiscally responsible the Republican freshmen have packed a huge $553 billion spending bill with millions of pet defense projects for their home districts. Yep. Pork barrel is still alive in the halls of Congress and the pigs at the trough are the ones voters sent to Washington to end the wasteful practice. Of course, Republicans claim the money for the projects aren’t pork. Of course not.
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New book portrays Palin as cold, calculating opportunist

A blunt, brutal tell-all book by a member of Sarah Palin’s inner circle confirms what many have long suspected about the former Alaska Governor and GOP pop-culture icon. She’s in it for the money. Frank Bailey says Palin — who quit her job as Alaska governor before her term ended — actually wanted to leave the job earlier so she could cash in on her rapid ascension to fame as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 Presidential election. Bailey’s book, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years,” hits bookstore shelves on Tuesday and portrays her
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GOP challenge: Dealing with town hall anger

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris answers Medicare questions before his Maryland constituents even ask them. Clear across the country, fellow freshman GOP Rep. Paul Gosar does the asking, in very generic terms. “Did your own personal health care (concerns) get heard?” Gosar asked about 40 people gathered to hear him speak in Tusayan, Ariz. “No,” came the answer. Democrats are spending big money to generate public outrage at the Republican plan to replace fee-for-service Medicare with government vouchers, but Harris’ and Gosar’s on-camera town halls were holler-free. For these two lawmakers, mission accomplished. The town hall techniques Republicans have honed are
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Another Republican says ‘nada’ to Presidential run

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said early Sunday that he won’t run for president because of family considerations, narrowing the field in the race for the GOP nomination. “In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” the Republican said, disclosing his decision in an e-mail to supporters. “The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.” The e-mail, sent by the governor through Eric Holcomb, the Indiana Republican Party chairman and one of Daniels’ closest advisers, was confirmed by other others
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Netanyahu, Obama clash over borders

In a blunt display of differences, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea of using his country’s 1967 boundaries as the basis for a neighboring Palestinian state on Friday, declaring his objections face-to-face to President Barack Obama who had raised the idea just 24 hours earlier in an effort to revive stalled Mideast peace talks. Though the two leaders, meeting in the Oval Office, found cordial and predictable agreement on the other central element that Obama outlined in his Mideast address Thursday — ironclad Israeli security alongside a Palestinian nation — progress on the bedrock issue of borders seemed
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Herman Cain: Another longshot launches Presidential bid

If there is an early crowd favorite in the Republican race for president, it may be Herman Cain. The businessman, author, talk radio show host and tea party darling knows how to wow a conservative gathering. Now the 65-year-old Cain will try to see if he can use that grass-roots enthusiasm to turn a long-shot presidential campaign into a realistic bid. He plans to announce his candidacy at a rally in Atlanta on Saturday, an announcement that’s hardly a secret. Cain has been crisscrossing the country for months now, his intentions abundantly clear. So are his views, espoused for years
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Pawlenty running for President

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a laid-back Midwestern Republican who governed a Democratic-leaning state, is running for president and will declare his candidacy on Monday in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, an adviser told The Associated Press. The adviser, who disclosed the plans on the condition of anonymity in advance of next week’s announcement, said Pawlenty will formally enter the race during a town hall-style event in Des Moines, Iowa. He’s choosing to make his long-expected bid official in a critical state in his path to the GOP nomination. Advisers acknowledge that Pawlenty, 50, must win or turn in
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Republicans: Obama screwed Israel

Republicans looking to unseat President Barack Obama charged that he undermined the sensitive and delicate negotiations for Middle East peace with his outline for resumed talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Obama, whom he served as U.S. ambassador to China until last month, undercut an opportunity for Israelis and Palestinians to build trust. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Obama “threw Israel under the bus” and handed the Palestinians a victory even before negotiations between the parties could resume. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called it “the most dangerous speech ever made by an American
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Not raising debt limit hurts America

Not raising the U.S. debt ceiling would be bad for the economy and would force the government to default on either its bonds or domestic programs, the top White House economist said on Thursday. “It would not be good for the economy,” said Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. If the ceiling isn’t raised before early August, the government would have to default on its bonds, social security, Medicare or military pay, though he added it was impossible to say which one the United States would choose. “Which of those do you default on, what
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