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RNC Chairman Reince Priebus seeks to make the bankruptcy and investigation of solar energy firm Solyndra into a liability for President Obama. ‘Solyndra is now the prime example of stimulus failure,’ Priebus siad in a statement. The firm was given $500 million in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy and touted by the president as a provider of green jobs. Two weeks ago, however, the company announced its bankruptcy and laid of 1,100 workers. In the aftermath, the FBI executed a search warrant as part of an investigation into whether the firm misled the federal government while securing its loans.

What Priebus failed to mention in his statement is that while the Solyndra loan was funded in part by funds from the 2009 stimulus program, it was issued and managed by a federal loan guarantee program created in 2005 under the Bush administration. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing this week to investigate the loans. Solyndra President Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Bill Stover are expected to testify.

The AP reports that North Carolina will debate a constitutional ban against gay marriage on Monday. It is currently the only southeastern state without such a ban already in its constitution and its GOP-controlled legislature seeks to correct that. The proposed amendment would also give voters in 2012 the option of making North Carolina’s state law defining marriage mirror the proposed constitutional amendment.

The amendment could serve as a major draw for conservative voters; bringing them to the polls large numbers in the 2012 election in a state Obama won by the most miniscule of margins in 2008. It could also serve as a wedge issue for the GOP against the incumbent Democratic governor, Beverly Perdue.

PARIS (Reuters) – One person was killed in an explosion at the nuclear site of Marcoule in southern France, France’s ASN nuclear watchdog said on Monday, but there was no leak of radioactive material.

RAS LANUF, Libya (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi loyalists attacked an oil refinery on Monday, killing 15 guards, in an apparent attempt to disrupt a drive by Libya’s new rulers to seize the ousted leader’s last bastions and revive the oil-based economy.

(Reuters) – Britain’s banks face some of the world’s toughest regulations under reforms outlined on Monday, which require them to insulate their retail lending activities and store up billions in extra capital at a cost of up to 7 billion pounds ($11 billion).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Monday at least 2,600 people had been killed in Syria since the uprising against the Assad regime began in March.

The BBC reports that more than 100 people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The cause of the blast is currently unknown.

The steady move toward panic for Democrats in Tuesday's NY-09 special election coming from some poor poll numbers leading to a $500,000 TV buy by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seems to be well placed: a new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of the district shows they have every reason to be concerned.

Retired cable television executive and Republican candidate Bob Turner is at 47 percent in the PPP poll, against 41 percent for Democratic New York State Assemblyman David Weprin with the election only two days away. Socialist Workers Party candidate Christopher Hoeppner gets 4 percent of the vote. The New York City District of former Rep. Anthony Weiner has been solidly Democratic for decades, and should Turner win he would be the first Republican since 1923 to occupy the seat. The race has seen Weprin falter as Turner has sought to capitalize on extreme voter dissatisfaction with Washington.

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The United States is still conducting a delicate balancing act between security and freedom a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, security companies have benefitted in the growth in security spending, although that spending is likely to cut back in the 2012 budget.

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