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Last year was particularly rough for House Democrats as the messy public ethics spectacles involving prominent Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel (NY) and Maxine Waters (CA) played out for all the world to see right in the waning months before a difficult and ultimately devastating election for Democrats.

Now that Republicans are in charge of the House, watchdogs are scrutinizing their every move, waiting for signs that they're weakening the ethics standards or continuing Congress's long history of slow-walking ethics cases and its seeming inability to impose tough sanctions on those who break the rules.

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According to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), America's poverty problem would be greatly reduced if single parents would simply tie the knot.

The potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate made the statements in the course of his appearance on Fox & Friend as part of the promotional tour for his new book, A Simple Government -- Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (And a Trillion We Don't).

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica

Earlier this week, we flagged an interesting piece in the New York Times about the U.S. government invoking the state secrets privilege to block evidence in lawsuits against a contractor who had duped the U.S. government into spending millions on what many now consider to be fake counterterrorism technology.

According to another recent report, the U.S. invoked state secrets to block a personal injury lawsuit by a CIA employee who alleged that environmental contamination in his home made his family sick. That got us wondering about what else the U.S. has invoked state secrets for--particularly under the Obama administration, which had pledged to end abuses of the privilege.

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If Rick Santorum wants to get back into national politics, he'd better run for president, as a new survey conducted by Municipoll finds that a majority of Pennsylvania voters don't like the idea of sending the former Republican Senator back to Congress.

In the poll of likely voters, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) trounced Santorum in a hypothetical 2012 Senate race, 50% to 38%. Casey captured Santorum's Senate seat in 2006 in a election year that saw Democrats reclaim control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Casey's lead over Santorum is slightly larger than the 48% to 41% lead PPP showed him boasting in a January poll.

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When you fight with WikiLeaks, they fight back -- by repeatedly stinging your genitals.

At least that's how Stephen Colbert described it last night when discussing the ongoing battle between the WikiLeaks-affiliated hacker group Anonymous and a counter-hacking agency.

Fearing that WikiLeaks may possess incriminating documents revealing corporate malfeasance, Bank of America sought the services Aaron Barr, CEO of the security firm HB Gary, to take WikiLeaks down. Yet when Barr announced that he would go after Anonymous first, the hacker community struck back, stealing all his emails and wiping his files.

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Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown (OH), Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Harry Reid (NV) were among "the most liberal" Senators last year, according to new rankings by National Journal. Republican Sens. John McCain (AZ), Jim DeMint (SC) and John Thune (SD) were among the most conservative.

National Journal is out with its annual congressional voting record rankings, which track the voting patterns of the 535 members of the House and Senate. The takeaway? Congress in 2010 was the most polarized it has been in close to 30 years. Parties in Congress are increasingly working in "virtual lockstep," which the magazine's political guru, Ron Brownstein described as the "decline of individualism in Congress" and the rise of a "a more top-down, parliamentary-style institution."

But there are still members on both sides who represent the outer edge of the party's ideological leanings. Here are National Journal's top conservative and liberal leaders in each chamber.

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Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's 42-year grip on power is slipping and, believing that he will soon be ousted or killed, Jon Stewart rushed last night to name everyone Qaddafi looks like while he still time left to do so.

"We have like a hundred of these, and I gotta try to get them out," Stewart said. "We don't know how long this guy's gonna last."

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