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Republicans Press Boehner Not To Get Squeamish On Spending Cuts

“Rank and file Republicans aren’t happy with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). They think the GOP should take a hatchet to the federal budget now, to make good on their pledge to slash spending by $100 billion “this year.” And their displeasure is spilling out into the open.

“Despite the added challenge of being four months into the current fiscal year, we still must keep our $100 billion pledge to the American people,” reads a draft of a letter to Boehner, obtained by TPM, being circulated by the Republican Study Committee.”

Investigation Into Frosh GOP Rep Rivera Expands

“Florida Republican Rep. David M. Rivera is facing an expanding investigation into alleged financial improprieties just a few weeks into his first term in office.

Rivera, the Miami Herald reported this week, set aside tens of thousands of dollars from his dormant state Senate campaign account to send “thank you” letters to supporters. Turns out the company he paid $50K to produce those notes was run by the daughter of Rivera’s longtime aide.”

One Year Post Citizens United, Deep Divide Remains

“One year after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate influence of elections, a deep divide still remains over whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for the county. And both sides think the Founding Fathers would be on their side.”

Safety Group Accidentally Touches Off Accusations That Michelle Obama Is Killing Pedestrians

“First, the Daily Caller’s headline read: “First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign could be causing more pedestrian deaths.” Then, later, they hedged a little:

“Highway safety spokesperson blames pedestrian deaths on first lady’s obesity campaign.” “

Florida Bill Would Make It A Felony For Doctors To Ask Patients About Gun Ownership

“Florida State Rep. Jason Brodeur (R) recently introduced a bill which criminalizes any “verbal or written inquiry by a public or private physician, nurse, or other medical staff person regarding the ownership of a firearm by a patient or the family of a patient or the presence of a firearm in a private home or other domicile of a patient or the family of a patient,” and the penalty for violating this proposed law is steep.”

Republican Study Committee Budget Plan Doesn’t Include Single Cut To Defense, Despite Tea Party Demands

“As ThinkProgress and The Progress Report have documented, there is a growing coalition of both Tea Party-backed conservatives and stalwart progressives who are coming together to demand cuts to the bloated defense budget. This coalition was given further momentum in late November, when 23 top conservative leaders wrote an open letter demanding that defense cuts be part of any comprehensive deficit reduction effort.

This morning, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) — “a group of over 165 House Republicans organized” around drafting and promoting conservative legislation — introduced its Spending Reduction Act. RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), joined by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — who plans to introduce a Senate companion to the bill — explained their legislation in today’s Washington Examiner. They advocate for cutting “non-defense discretionary spending to 2006 levels” and freezing spending at that level until 2012.

One thing they do not include are any cuts to military spending.”

Read More: Boehner On What Spending Cuts The House GOP Plans To Enact: ‘You’re Asking Me?’

Christie Attacked By Right-Wing Bloggers For Appointing Muslim Judge: ‘He’s In Bed With The Enemy’

“Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) announced seven judgeship appointments to the New Jersey Superior Court, including the appointment of Sohail Mohammed to serve on the court in Passaic County. Mohammed is an immigration lawyer in Clifton, NJ who notably defended many Muslims caught up in post-Sept. 11 dragnets, in which the Department of Justice quickly and secretly arrested hundreds of Muslims in the wake of the attacks. Often, the false pretense of an immigration violation was used to hold these men for many months, even though a vast majority of them had no connection to terrorism whatsoever.

Several prominent anti-Muslim voices on the right have reacted with characteristic vitriol to the elevation of a Muslim in the U.S. justice system, calling Mohammed “the enemy” and accusing Christie of turning New Jersey into a “Sharia State.” “

Verizon Challenges FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

“The new rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services that travel over their networks. In its court filing, Verizon argues that the FCC overstepped its authority in adopting the regulations.”

First Lady Lauds Walmart’s Push For Healthful Food

“The nation’s biggest grocery retailer is promising to work with suppliers to reduce the salt and sugar in packaged foods, cut the costs of healthful fruits and vegetables, and develop a logo that consumers can use to choose healthier items.”

With health care ‘repealed,’ GOP turns to climate change

“Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care law, Republicans say they're likely to move soon to another target — a rewrite of the Clean Air Act so that it can't be used to fight climate change.”

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy was costly, GAO concludes

“The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military cost the Pentagon more than $193 million over six years, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday.”

Tunisia Takes Step Toward Allowing Exiles to Return

“Struggling to placate protesters, Tunisia’s interim government announced steps toward an amnesty for political exiles, including Islamists.”

Read More: Flashback: Bush Administration Officials Praised Tunisia Under Dictator As A ‘Democracy’ Making ‘Progress’

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