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Every time the Republicans said the $787 economic stimulus plan didn't create jobs, the Obama administration was ready with a counterargument proving them wrong. That's one reason the self-inflicted problems of inaccurate reports at Recovery.gov sting.

The administration says it's a non-story, since the errors were about data entry, and the data entry only happened because they have tried to make the spending as transparent and real-time as possible.

Officials pointed us to today's AP Fact Check on so-called phantom districts, and said they are correcting "rough" data that is less than one percent of the total that's been posted at Recovery.gov.

But this afternoon came the latest, when ABC News obtained a report from the Government Accountability Office showing "more than 50,000 jobs or one out of every 10 jobs the White House says were 'saved or created' by their economic stimulus plan came from projects that reported spending no money."

ABC reported that GAO says there are a "range of significant reporting and processing problems that need to be addressed."

It may not be fair, but the Republicans are having a field day.

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Former First Lady Laura Bush today unveiled the design plans for President Bush's presidential center, to be built at Southern Methodist University near Dallas.

The center, which will include an archive, a museum and a policy institute, is "both presidential and welcoming," according to a press release, and "includes elements that evoke both Texas and Washington."

Visitors will enter the center via "Freedom Hall" and will be able to explore a replica of Bush's Oval Office and a "Texas Rose Garden." The grounds, "a low-maintenance, quintessentially Texas landscape," will serve as a public park, hosting "performances in the outdoor amphitheater and intramural sports on the west lawn."

The building, located on more than 23 acres, will incorporate "sustainable design strategies" like solar panels, 20 percent recycled materials and a storm-water management system that will provide half of the property's irrigation. It will also be partially built with local Texan materials, like Texas limestone and pecan wood paneling.

It was designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern and landscape architect Matthew Urbanski, who both joined Laura Bush in the unveiling.

Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), now a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics, told the Harvard Crimson that being out of politics right now has some benefits.

Coleman, who very narrowly lost re-election to Democrat Al Franken in a race that involved a recount and six months of litigation, was asked by the Crimson about the possibility of running for governor in 2010:

"I'm not going to make that decision for a little bit. I thought it was important to step away from the political process. It's really nice waking up in the morning and reading the paper and realizing that nobody is trying to kill you politically today. I'm a public servant at heart, but I haven't made a final decision on whether being the governor is the best way to do that."


(Via Minnesota Independent)

The campaign of Sen. Mary Landrieu violated campaign-finance rules by making an unexplained donation of over $25,000 to the US Treasury, a good-government group is alleging. The campaign calls the payment routine, but one expert says that's "bullshit."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington plans to file a complaint with the FEC, charging that the $25,300 donation, made in August 2008, ran afoul of the agency's regulations governing the handling of contributions of questionable legality, the group's executive director, Melanie Sloan, told TPMmuckraker.

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Just hours before the University of Florida Gators administered a 51-21 trouncing of LSU last year, Gov. Bobby Jindal was rubbing elbows with well-heeled Florida supporters at a fundraiser-cum-tailgate party held in a private home north of Gainesville.

One of the co-chairs of the October 2008 reception was none other than Scott Rothstein, then a prominent Fort Lauderdale attorney, now accused of a fraud worth $1 billion.

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In yet another Barbara Walters interview excerpt released today, Sarah Palin gave her views on Israeli settlement expansion: "I believe the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is going to grow---more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead..."

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Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) said today that the Obama administration is "bribing" economically suffering towns across the country as it attempts to relieve itself of the political problem of closing Guantanamo Bay.

"They're going into communities that are hard-pressed economically and holding out a pot of gold," he told reporters. Hoekstra was referring to the White House plan to bring terror suspects to prisons across the country. He said that the administration was taking advantage of hard-hit towns across the country by promoting the jobs that would be created by adding Guantanamo Bay detainees to their prison populations.

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Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), one of the most prominent liberals in his state, is now raising money for state Sen. Tarryl Clark, the leading Democratic candidate to challenge one of Minnesota's most prominent conservatives, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Interestingly, Franken shies away from directly attacking Bachmann in a new fundraising letter, but instead praises Clark's record in public service. The closest he gets to a direct attack on Bachmann is this:

P.S. The eyes of the nation - and Michele Bachmann's right-wing allies - will be on this race. You can make sure Tarryl gets off to a strong start by joining Franni and me in supporting her today.


Franken's wife Franni has already been involved in fundraising for Clark's campaign. Clark has an opponent for the nomination, Maureen Reed, a former state university regent and the 2006 Independence Party nominee for Lt. Governor.

I just spoke with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, who insisted that the findings of a new George Washington University study confirm many of her suspicions about the Stupak abortion amendment.

"Certainly if it doesn't confirm my suspicions about the intent, it concerns my suspicions about the effect the Stupak amendment would have," DeGette said. "What the findings show are that women who want to purchase policies with their own money--with their own premiums--will not be able to buy insurance policies.... That's frankly the intention of the anti-choice movement now."

DeGette says she's spoken in private to many of the pro-life Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment, some of whom have acknowledged that they didn't realize what they were voting for.

"I will say that I have spoken privately with several pro-life members about the Stupak amendment, and they acknowledged that the Stupak amendment goes far beyond where they thought it did," she told me.

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