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Obama Extends Benefits To Domestic Partners Of Federal Employees President Obama announced late Wednesday that his administration was extending a number of benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees, after a review process that began last year: "That process has now concluded, and I am proud to announce that earlier today, I signed a Memorandum that requires Executive agencies to take immediate action to extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees a number of meaningful benefits, from family assistance services to hardship transfers to relocation expenses. It also requires agencies that extend any new benefits to employees' opposite-sex spouses to make those benefits available on equal terms to employees' same-sex domestic partners to the extent permitted by law."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his daily briefing at 11:05 a.m. ET. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 p.m. ET. He will meet at 1:30 p.m. ET with Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ). Obama and Biden will meet at 3 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He will meet with senior advisers at 3:30 p.m. ET. He will participate at 5:25 p.m. ET in the U.S. India Strategic Dialogue reception.

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So much for "What happens in Salt Lake City stays in Salt Lake City" ...

A second South Carolina GOP political consultant is claiming he had an affair with gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley -- a one-night stand in her hotel room at a June 2008 school choice conference in Salt Lake.

Here's the twist: the consultant, Larry Marchant, worked until his resignation yesterday for Andre Bauer, the current lieutenant governor and one of Haley's opponents in the Republican gubernatorial primary, which is just five days away.

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Big Oil's not quite so big anymore.

BP, Anadarko Petroleum, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron -- all big-time industry players who had a role in the Gulf Coast oil spill -- have each seen the value of their stocks drop significantly since the Deepwater Horizon explosion. BP's market capitalization, for instance, is roughly $73 billion less today than it was before the blowout in the Gulf.

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Carly Fiorina has money to burn. Former Rep. Tom Campbell has poll numbers. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has neither, but he's got heart. So goes the closing arguments of the hard-fought California Republican Senate primary. Will public polls showing it's now Fiorina's race to lose, the two men who once seemed destined to keep Fiorina out of Washington are now scrambling to make in impact in the final days before the June 8 primary.

Campbell, who was once the frontrunner, has taken a spectacular fall from grace. Penniless, the man who won his party's Senate nomination ten years ago now can't afford TV ads in the primary's final days. DeVore, a Jim DeMint-backed conservative who started the race with visions of becoming the Marco Rubio to Fiorina's Charlie Crist, told me today about "keeping the fire going" among his remaining volunteers.

For her part, Fiorina has already left the primary behind. Up by double digits in the latest polls, she's turned her attention -- and considerable fortune -- to attacking Sen. Barbara Boxer. Her Republican opponents say that's the problem.

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The arrest of Jim Greer today marks the culmination of a year long scandal at the Florida Republican party that began with revelations of personal spending sprees on party credit cards and has now escalated to criminal charges of fraud and grand theft.

Greer, who spent three years as chair of the Florida GOP after being handpicked for the slot by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007, allegedly skimmed 10% of GOP fundraising revenue for his own shell company, which had been secretly awarded a party contract by Greer. He was ousted from the party in January amid charges of financial mismanagement.

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The four candidates vying FOR the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina have been airing a variety of interesting TV ads recently, hitting familiar themes -- bread and butter GOP issues like health care illegal immigration and the Tea Party movement, plus the quintessentially Southern theme of "states rights." And, of course, there's Sarah Palin.

Four candidates are vying the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina, to succeed the term-limited (and scandal-plagued) GOP Gov. Mark Sanford. And all four of them have some great ads.

The candidates will meet on the ballot for the first time this Tuesday, June 8. A candidate will need to win more than 50% of the vote in order to be nominated outright. And with the polls showing all of them attracting significant support, the most likely outcome is that the the top two will meet again in a runoff on June 22. The TPM Poll average gives state Rep. Nikki Haley 28.7%, state Attorney General Henry McMaster 17.2%, Lt. Gov. André Bauer 16.7%, and Rep. Gresham Barrett 15.0%.

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