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GOP scrambles for distrance from birthers

Republican Party leaders want nothing to do with the often-discredited “birther” movement and are scrambling to distance themselves from the fringe elements that continue to question the birthright of President Barack Obama. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stood up to the birthers in her own state this week by vetoing a bill that would have demanded proof of citizenship for any Presidential candidate on the ballot in that state. She called the bill a “bridge too far.” Karl Rove, the senior political adviser often called “Bush’s brain,” went even further on Fox News, calling dilettante billionaire Donald Trump a “joke candidate”
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Republicans willing to destroy U.S. credit over debt limit

House Republicans appear more than willing to destroy the “full faith and credit” rating of the United States to force their demands for massive spending cuts and budget reforms on Democrats and President Barack Obama.   House Majority Leader made that clear Wednesday when he laid down the gauntlet to Democrats:  No debt limit increase without “major spending cuts or budget process reforms.” The Virginia Republican makes is clear that he is willing to put America’s credit standing on the line to get what he and his right-wing followers in the House want: Total capitulation by Democrats on spending and
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Rep. Paul Ryan booed at town hall meeting

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, architect of the GOP budget that preserves tax breaks for the wealthy and phases out Medicare, took his message to a series of town hall meetings in his Congressional district this week. He didn’t play well. Ryan was booed at a town hall meeting in Milton when a constituent questioned him on his budget proposals and Ryan tried to claim that the GOP is taxing the rich. Those at the meeting didn’t buy the claim. “We do tax the top,” Ryan claimed. That remark brought boos. Polls show Ryan’s extreme budget proposals aren’t playing well
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BP lays a lot of cash on House Republicans

Oil mega-giant British Petroleum knows that if it wants to keep polluting the Gulf of Mexico it will need support from the Republicans in Congress. So that’s where the oil company is spending its money. Federal Election Commission reports show BP is maxing out contributions to top GOP leaders of the House. House Speaker John Boehner got a check for $5,000. That’s the most BP can give…for now. BP also sent a check for five grand to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton. Upton’s office says he sent the check back. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the
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Gingrich struggles to raise campaign cash

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, once the bombastic face of the Republican Party, is no longer the golden boy of the GOP. Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show Gingrich’s political action committee raised a paltry $34,000 for March and only $53,000 for the year — an indicator that the Georgia Republican will have problems getting the cash he needs to mount a serious Presidential campaign for 2012. Sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that Gingrich’s PAC curtailed its fund-raising activities in mid-March, another indicator that he may be reconsidering a Presidential run. Gingrich, the acknowledged leader of
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Yahoo beats the Street with higher earnings report

Yahoo Inc said an important partnership with Microsoft Corp is taking longer than expected to pay off, but the company posted quarterly earnings that topped Wall Street targets, sending shares up in after-hours trading. The mixed progress report comes as expectations for the Web portal remain low two years into Chief Executive Carol Bartz’ effort to revive growth at the company. “Clearly there is some improvement in the business here, both from a topline perspective and a margin perspective,” said Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Weinstein. “The growth in their display business, when you peel everything back, continues to look
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Former mortgage exec convicted for fraud

The former head of a large private mortgage lender was convicted Tuesday in a $2.9-billion fraud scheme that contributed to the failure of his company and of one of the top 25 US banks in 2009, officials said. Lee Bentley Farkas, the former chairman of a private mortgage lending company, Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), was convicted in a Virginia federal court of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and securities fraud and related charges, the Justice Department said. According to prosecutors, Farkas and his co-conspirators engaged in a scheme that misappropriated more than $1.4 billion from Colonial Bank and $1.5
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Mary Robbins dies just 12 days after husband

Actor-director Tim Robbins’ mother, musician Mary Robbins, has died. She was 78. Robbins’ father, Gil Robbins, died earlier this month. Robbins says his mother died Sunday of a heart arrhythmia, just 12 days after her husband of nearly 59 years passed away. She died at the couple’s home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico. Mary Robbins studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles, and performed professionally in the 1950s. She successfully battled colon cancer through nutrition and alternative medicine, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in holistic nutrition. She volunteered her services at a clinic near the couple’s Mexico home. Robbins
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Apple set to launch new iPhone in September

Apple’s next-generation iPhone will have a faster processor and will begin shipping in September, three people with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain said. The production of the new iPhone will start in July/August and the smartphone will look largely similar to the iPhone 4, one of the people said on Wednesday. The iPhone — introduced in 2007 with the touchscreen, on-demand application template now adopted by its rivals — remains the gold standard in the booming smartphone market. Reports on the timeline of the new iPhone launch vary, though it is largely expected that Apple will likely refresh
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Uh oh: Palin supports The Donald

Sarah Palin is saying nice things about Donald Trump. Should The Donald be worried? Palin jumped into Trump-mania with her usual foot-in-mouth style, slamming the press for what she called “unfair” coverage and claiming — with a straight face — that Trump has what it takes to be President. The former Alaska governor, who quit before completing her term, praised the New York real estate developer and reality TV show promoter for raising the birther issue but said that contentious position is not Trump’s only issue. Trump, she claimed, has good positions on other, more substantial issues but said the
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