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At CPAC, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell praised GOP governors around the country, including cutting $65 billion in debt. He praised governors that have low approval ratings right now, including Florida's Rick Scott, Wisconsin's Scott Walker, and Ohio's John Kasich. Last week, McDonnell said on Meet the Press that Republican governors were behind the economic recovery. 

Two powerful car bomb blasts ripped through Aleppo, Syria, on Friday, killing at least 25 people, AFP reports, citing state media. 

State television said "armed terrorist groups" carried out the attacks, the first in Aleppo since the outbreak of an uprising against the regime ofPresident Bashar al-Assadalmost a year ago.

 

The Rasmussen tracking poll of a possible matchup between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shows Obama with a ten point lead in their polling. The Ras national tracking poll is an average of 500 automated interviews a night over three days. "This is the largest lead the president has enjoyed against Romney in regular polling going back more than a year," Rasmussen wrote in its analysis. "It’s also the first time that the president has reached the 50% level of support against Romney."

The current TPM Poll Average of the national matchup shows Obama building a lead since early January.

Nearly two years after a group of Christian anti-government Hutaree militia members were arrested in Michigan for allegedly plotting an attack on police, new details are emerging in the run-up to their trial.

Defense lawyers revealed that the government's confidential informant in the case was arrested after shooting a gun off seven feet from his wife, stabbed himself with a hunting knife while out on probation and had his wife falsely imprisoned over the incident.

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Indiana Republican, Sen. Dick Lugar, who is facing attacks from both Democrats and internal opponents to the right in a Republican primary, has been dealing with a tricky political issue: that he lives mainly in northern Virginia, in the Washington suburbs.

The issue was first reported a week and a half ago by the Daily Caller -- noting that Lugar actually sold his home way back in 1977, but continues to use the same location as his legal voting address.

Lugar campaign spokesman David Willkie has now explained the issue to the local CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. "It's just like the United States military," said Willkie. "If you're military personnel and in defense of this country, in service to this country and you're overseas you keep your last place of residence."

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This article was updated at 1:00 pm ET to include breaking news after publication.

The Obama administration is already facing lawsuits challenging its requirement that insurance plans cover birth control as a violation of religious freedom. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has flatly called the regulation unconstitutional. But although it's unclear how much traction the legal challenges will gain, especially in light of the White House adjusting the mandate Friday, the President and his backers have one unlikely man to thank for helping their cause: Justice Antonin Scalia.

"One thing I think is crystal clear -- there is no First Amendment violation by this law," Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. "The Supreme Court was very clear in a case called Employment Division v. Smith, written by none other than Antonin Scalia, that religious believers and institutions are not entitled to an exemption from generally applicable laws."

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The Conservative Political Action Conference is one of the biggest and most anticipated events on the conservative calendar. Generally, the excitement in the air is palpable as conservatives gather to hear over and over again about how their ideas alone are the path to the nation's salvation.

This year? Not so much.

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