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Suddenly, a rally behind tax cuts

Defying expectations, a bipartisan majority of President Barack Obama‘s deficit commission has rallied behind the panel’s controversial deficit-slashing proposals. A key Obama ally, liberal Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, endorsed the plan Thursday night, joining two of the Senate’s most conservative Republicans. The plan now has public commitments of support from a majority of the 18-member commission, but it still will fall short of the 14 votes needed to officially adopt it when the deficit-cutting panel votes on Friday. Among its many contentious provisions, the plan would raise the Social Security retirement age and scale back popular tax deductions
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Top military leaders still opposed to open gay service

The top uniformed officers of the Army and the Marines say letting gays serve openly in the military at a time of war would be divisive and difficult, sharply challenging a new Pentagon study that calculates the risk as low. Their assessment, expected Friday at a Senate hearing, was likely to become political ammunition for Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans fighting to keep Congress from repealing the 1993 law that prohibits gays from acknowledging their sexual orientation. Democrats have promised a vote this month to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, although its chances of passing this
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