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Obama’s budget: $3.73 trillion

President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.73 trillion spending blueprint that pledges $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases. Obama’s new budget projects that the deficit for the current year will surge to an all-time high of $1.65 trillion. That reflects a sizable tax-cut agreement reached with Republicans in December. For 2012, the administration sees the imbalance declining to $1.1 trillion, giving the country a record four straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits. Senior administration officials say Obama would achieve two-thirds of his projected savings through spending cuts that include a
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Obama claims federal budget is like family pocket book

President Barack Obama says he is making difficult cuts in the nation’s budget to allow needed spending increases in education, technology and public works projects. In a broad preview of his administration’s blueprint for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, Obama says the combination of cuts and new spending will result in an overall freeze in annual domestic spending for the next five years. “This budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future,” the president said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. The White House plans to release
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McConnell: Obama’s agenda is dead

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Saturday that President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda is “over,” but said GOP lawmakers are willing to work with the White House to do what they “think is right for America.” In a speech Saturday night to a GOP crowd in his hometown, the Kentucky Republican derided Obama for performing “Clintonian back flips” to portray himself as a moderate, but said it’s yet to be seen whether the new tone is “rhetoric or reality.” McConnell, who in the past has touted his ability to bring federal spending to Kentucky, took a hard line on cutting
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Emanuel promises to clean up Chicago

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Saturday that tackling Chicago‘s reputation for sweetheart deals and patronage head-on is first on his to-do list if he’s elected to be the city’s next mayor. Emanuel told The Associated Press in an interview that he would sign an executive order barring his appointees from lobbying the city for two years after leaving his administration. He also talked about improving the city’s hiring practices which for years were marred by illegal political patronage. “I want people’s time in city government to be about public service,” he said. Emanuel, who is vying
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Michelle Obama’s key to success: laugh, laugh, laugh

Here’s Michelle Obama’s advice for couples this Valentine’s Day: Laugh with your partner. She says it’s what she and President Barack Obama do, and it seems to be working. Their marriage, although tested throughout the years by his political ambitions — for the Illinois Senate, the U.S. Senate and later president — is going on 19 years. “I think a lot of laughing,” the first lady said Tuesday at a White House luncheon with reporters who asked about the Obamas’ union. “I think in our house we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity,
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Romney’s warning: Don’t trust a ‘changed’ Obama

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says conservatives shouldn’t buy President Barack Obama’s change in tone. Romney told a large meeting of conservatives Friday that Obama’s White House has tried to project an appearance of change and cooperation with Republicans. But he says Obama’s underlying liberalism remains and he’s still reliant on Chicago insiders and academics. Romney, who also tried for the White House in 2008, is preparing for another run. In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Romney called Obama weak on foreign policy and out of touch with the economy. Romney says the world was rightly confused
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Murbarak’s final hours: Trying to save his ass

Hosni Mubarak was supposed to announce his resignation on Thursday. The Egyptian military expected it. The new head of his ruling party pleaded to him face-to-face to do it. But despite more than two weeks of massive demonstrations by protesters unmoved by lesser concessions, the president still didn’t get it. Mubarak’s top aides and family — including his son Gamal, widely viewed as his intended successor — told him he could still ride out the turmoil. So the televised resignation speech the rest of Egypt had expected became a stubborn — and ultimately humiliating — effort to cling to power.
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Forget the mortgage: America belongs to God

The tea party movement is mixing a strange political brew in famously independent New Hampshire, complicating the first-in-the-nation primary strategy for the growing number of potential Republican presidential hopefuls. Tea party activists have made significant inroads in a state that typically prefers GOP moderates and establishment candidates when choosing White House nominees. The grass-roots movement has claimed leadership posts at the local and county level, and in a stunning development last month, tea party-backed Jack Kimball edged out businesswoman Juliana Bergeron for state party chairman. Would-be White House contenders such as Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, who as
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GOP budget plan: Cut everything in sight

House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of programs across the face of government Friday night in a $61 billion savings package toughened at the last minute at the demand of tea party-backed conservatives. From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs were left untouched — and some were eliminated — in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week. Among the programs targeted for elimination are Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In contrast, spending on defense and veterans’ programs were protected. The measure marks an initial down
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Obama’s budget: Where’s the cuts?

President Barack Obama’s budget submission on Monday will take a surgical approach to a deficit problem that his Republican rivals say warrants a meat ax. As Obama seeks $53 billion for high-speed rail over the next few years, House Republicans are trying to pull back $2.5 billion that’s already been promised. He’s seeking increases for his “Race to the Top” initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools; Republicans on Friday unveiled a five percent cut to schools serving the disadvantaged. Monday’s release of next year’s budget plan will be likely ignored by resurgent Republicans intent on cutting $100 billion from
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