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Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), one of the Republican lawmakers who has attacked the Obama administration for reading the Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights, said on Fox News this morning that John Brennan, the top White House counterterrorism official, should be fired.

President Obama's "leadership is trying to form a bipartisan relationship with Congress, at least his professionals are. This guy is poisoning the well and I think the president probably should fire this guy 'cause he's off base and inconsistent with how national security issues should be dealt with," Hoekstra said. He also called Brennan a "mini-czar."

Hoekstra and other Republicans have attacked the White House for its handling of the suspected bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, saying he should have been handled by the military instead of the Department of Justice. But Brennan fought back on TV this Sunday, saying Hoekstra and others knew Abdulmutallab was in FBI custody and therefore heard his Miranda rights -- but chose not to raise it as an issue until weeks later. This, he said, was proof that the GOP was using the attempted attack as a "political football."

Hoekstra has denied that he knew about Abdulmutallab's Mirandizing.

The Fox News host also accused Brennan of making "false accusations, apparently."


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It's not always easy being a Democratic politician from Missouri. The Republican-controlled state government there pulls no punches attacking Democrats in Washington--and by extension Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)--for reckless spending, even as Missouri itself, bruised by recession, benefits from that spending. Well, now she's hitting back.

McCaskill has written a sharply-worded letter to two particularly critical Missouri state legislators. The letter, dated February 9, takes the lawmakers to task for blasting the stimulus while using the funds to help bridge the state's budget gap. She writes, "I have noticed that you and many of your colleagues have been highly critical of some of the emergency spending that has gone on since the financial meltdown in September 2008."

[A]s I consider your suggestions, especially regarding the stimulus program, I need additional information.

You are about to use almost a billion dollars in stimulus dollars in your current budgeting process. Please advise me as soon as possible what cuts you would recommend to your committees and the rest of the legislature to make up for these funds if we decided to rescind the unspent stimulus funds.

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Last night, Rachel Maddow called out individual Republicans for voting against the stimulus, then taking credit for projects it paid for back home. She also had some words for the Democrats, telling them that trying to work with Republicans "is like trying to teach your dog to drive. Wastes a lot of time, it won't work, and ultimately the dog comes out of the exercise less embarrassed for failing than you do for trying."

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First Lady Michelle Obama went on Larry King Live last night to talk about her just-launched effort to end childhood obesity -- and mostly dodged questions about touchier issues.

Asked about Sarah Palin, the first lady said she didn't "have a read" on the former Alaska governor. "I mean, I try not to make or set opinions about people that I haven't had any substantive interaction with."

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Today is a big day for the Marco Rubio Senate campaign in Florida, with the candidate holding a much-promoted "moneybomb" online fundraising event.

The date, February 10, was picked to coincide with the one-day anniversary of a pro-stimulus event that President Obama held in Florida alongside moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio's rival in the primary. Rubio has built much of his campaign as a reaction from the conservative base against Crist -- who had started out as a seemingly prohibitive favorite for the nomination -- over Crist's early friendliness with the Obama administration. Rubio is also holding a rally today at the very same venue, the Harborside Event Center, to mark the anniversary of "The Hug."

The starting goal for the moneybomb is $100,000. This really does seem like an intentionally low number, in order to play the expectations game, in a time when moneybombs for other politicians such as Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) or Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) an take in many times that much. Already, Rubio is at $76,000, and the day has just begun.

Late Update: The goal for Rubio's campaign is $787,000, or $1,000 for every $1 billion of the stimulus. The $100,000 is from a separate, parallel moneybomb being organized by Sen. Jim DeMint's PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)--House Republicans' top budget guy, and the author of a long-term budget roadmap that would slash Medicare and Social Security--says that attacks against his plan were orchestrated by the highest levels of the Democratic party, all the way up to the President.

The attack, Ryan told former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, "came out of the Democratic National Committee, and that is the White House."

Ryan believes he's a target purely for reasons of misdirection.

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Reid Puts Off Senate Business -- But Dems Still On Hand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has delayed efforts to pass a jobs bill this week, due to the snowstorm shutting down Washington. However, Reid still expects to have Democratic Senators on hand to work on the bill -- because they can't go home. "You certainly aren't probably going to be able to leave if you wanted to with the storms being such as they are," said Reid.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet at 11:45 a.m. ET with a group of African-American leaders, to discuss the economy and jobs. The expected attendees include: Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chairwoman, National Council of Negro Women; Benjamin T. Jealous, President, NAACP; former New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League; and Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder, National Action Network.

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