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European astronomers on Monday announced the discovery of 50 new exoplanets (planets outside the solar system), including 16 so-called "super Earths," planets with a mass higher than Earth's but lower than that of our solar system's gas giants. Five of these are rocky, as opposed to gassy.

One of these planets, 36 light years away, holds the possibility of being watery, thought to be a necessary precondition for life.

"If we are really, really lucky, this planet could be a habitat" for life, said Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, according to The Washington Post.

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This post was updated at 4:26 p.m.

How much of President Obama's jobs bill is DOA in the House? According to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), probably about half of it.

"Anything that is akin to the stimulus bill I think is not going to be acceptable to the American people," Cantor told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing Monday. "I don't believe that our members are going to be interested in pursuing that. I certainly am not."

Cantor's talking about federal spending here. He has come out in favor of an alternative plan to expedite high-impact infrastructure building, by ending requirements the federal government places on surface transportation funds, and allowing states to reprioritize the money. But this plan would involve no new federal spending, and there remain significant differences between GOP leadership and the White House over how to fund new projects.

Separately, the stimulus bill wasn't nearly all spending. About a third of its cost came from the very sort of tax cuts and credits that Obama's new jobs bill contains, and Republicans are more likely to support. Another big chunk of the $787 billion price tag came from an un-stimulative patch that Congress passes every year to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from ensnaring middle class taxpayers.

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Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern (R) argues that homosexuality is "more dangerous" than terrorism because "It's something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don't have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that's what I mean."

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Here's a rare admission from a top Republican, given how things have unfolded on Capitol Hill all year. It comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), in response to a question about whether Republicans will push for deeper spending cuts later this month when Congress has to extend funding for federal programs.

"I think the risk of bringing back brinkmanship or another potential shutdown is not something right now that we need, is not something that would be helpful to create jobs and regain confidence, which is why I've taken the position that I have," Cantor said.

Here's a brief primer on his position. It's worth noting that the country's economic situation was similarly poor in April and July when Republicans forced long fights over, respectively, a six month government funding bill and raising the debt limit.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson really wants you to know about his views on the issues. Actually, he just really wants you to know he’s still running for the GOP nomination. The candidate, excluded from tonight’s Tea Party debate, has announced that he will tweet his reactions to the proceedings from his account @GovGaryJohnson. That is all.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Intelligence that militants were plotting an imminent attack on the United States remained uncorroborated on Monday after the tenth anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington passed without incident.

Rick Perry has a serious Florida problem, Mike Huckabee says.

"[Rick] Perry hurt himself a lot with his Social Security talk," Huckabee told Laura Ingraham Monday. "What he said may be technically true, but you go to South Florida, or even any part of Florida...and essentially say that Social Security is a criminal enterprise, that's problematic. And it did not help him with the Florida vote."

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As the fight over Social Security intensifies between Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, Democrats are trying their best to remind voters that Romney isn't exactly the guy to vote for if you want Social Security left the way it is today.

Here's a new web video from the Florida Democratic party that succinctly makes the party argument:

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Revolution, a Super PAC supporting GOP candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), released an ad lashing out at the two frontrunners in the race, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA). Entitled ‘Plastic Men,’ the ad features cartoons of the two men. Cartoon-Romney receives the report of cartoon-Obama and cartoon-Pelosi (who wears a trademark red shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle) while signing the Massachusetts health care law into effect. Cartoon-Perry gleefully prepares to force ‘young girls to be injected with an STD vaccine’ while wearing a shirt proclaiming him a ‘Big Pharma Tool’

The ad goes on to praise Paul as ‘The Prophet.’