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The last 24 hours saw an erosion of GOP support for Speaker John Boehner's spending deal, which required Democratic votes to pass on Thursday after 59 Republicans defected, thanks in no small part to confusion over just how much it cut.

The topline number heralded in the press after a deal was reached last week was $38.5 billion below current spending levels. But an analysis of CBO numbers by Politico's David Rogers on Wednesday, confirmed by TPM, showed the bill only reduced direct spending by about $350 million. The news rallied conservatives already skeptical of the deal, caused the National Review to reverse its endorsement of the deal, and sent Boehner scrambling to explain the bill's cuts to his base.

"It's fair to say it wasn't just constituents that were confused about all that was being published," Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) told TPM after voting against the bill. "I hope we get better at that and better at really drilling down and making sure people are all comparing apples to apples rather than applies, cherries, bananas, and oranges."

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Donald Trump recently granted an interview with NY Post editor Fred Dicker in which he most notably denied reports that he'd be announcing his presidential plans during the season finale of his reality show Celebrity Apprentice. But perhaps the other noteworthy bon mot to come from the lengthy and candid interview was Trump's assertion that he's always enjoyed a great relationship with "the blacks." Efforts to confirm Trump's statement were fruitless as we could not find one individual who could speak on behalf of "the blacks."

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President Obama comfortably led a slate of potential Republican challengers in a PPP poll released Thursday, even though a slim plurality of voters disapproved of his job performance.

That's likely because while voters weren't too thrilled with Obama, they were even less excited about his potential challengers. Every Republican tested in the poll posted a net negative favorability rating, the most extreme example being Sarah Palin, whom 61% of respondents viewed unfavorably.

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Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Vents Program at Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Oregon State University didn't feel the massive earthquake that struck off Japan on March 11. But they did hear it.

An underwater microphone located near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, 900 miles from the quake epicenter, captured the sound of the disaster on tape, and a portion of the recording has now been put up on YouTube.

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With the help of 81 Democrats,the House passed legislation Thursday to fund the government through September and avoid a government shutdown. Fifty-nine Republicans defected from GOP leadership, leaving Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) woefully short of the necessary majority to pass the bill without Democratic help. The final vote was 260-167.

The fact that Boehner needed nearly 40 Democratic votes to pass the resolution and avoid a government shutdown was a stunning blow to his leadership, especially after he shut House Democrats out of budget negotiations and just a few days ago dismissed the need to secure any Democratic votes.

The GOP defections came after news reports revealed that the legislation will only cut $350 million in immediate spending -- not the $38 billion that had been advertised. Indeed, the defections may have been worse if Republican leaders hadn't enlisted the help of Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of George W. Bush's budget office, to explain the massive discrepancy to skeptical members Thursday morning. Holtz-Eakin ran through his presentation again Thursday afternoon on a conference call with bloggers.

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be headlining a Tea Party rally this weekend, at a venue that has served as the stage for some very high-profile protests of late: The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison.

The state Capitol, of course, was the site of massive protests both outside and inside the building, as tens of thousands of people gathered to show (and shout) their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union agenda. But now, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Palin will be coming to town to rally the other side.

And check out this nugget from the paper's report:

Americans for Prosperity is organizing busses to the event. Last year's gathering featured former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and others.


Americans for Prosperity is, of course, a Koch financed group. The Koch name has popped up quite a bit in the Wisconsin protests -- most notably after Walker's 20-minute phone call in late February with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas for tricking the Democrats into coming back by pretending to negotiate, his ambition to bust the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers -- an event that Walker said had led to the downfall of the Soviet Union -- and that he had considered (but ruled out) planting troublemakers in the crowds of protesters.

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Testifying before the House Oversight Committee, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) defended his administration's combative approach to unions amid aggressive questioning from House Democrats and his fellow witness, Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin (D).

"In Wisconsin, we are doing something truly progressive," Walker said in his opening remarks. "In addition to holding the line on spending and finding efficiencies in state government, we are implementing long term budget reforms focused on protecting middle class jobs and middle class taxpayers."

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and others repeatedly pressed Walker to explain why he targeted collective bargaining rights when unions had already agreed to budget cuts to help close a deficit.

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Only three months removed from Governor Rick Scott's (R) inauguration, a majority of Florida voters now say the state is headed in the wrong direction and that, if they could do it all over again, they wouldn't have elected Scott in the first place, according to a new Suffolk University poll.

In the poll, 54% of voters said the state was headed in the wrong direction, compared to 30% who said it was going the right way. Further, just under half (49%) of all voters said they disapproved of Scott's job performance, versus only 28% who said they approved.

Scott's approval rating is so bad that the poll found him losing a hypothetical do-over election to Democrat Alex Sink by a ten-point margin, 41% to 31%.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) predicted Thursday that the spending cut deal he negotiated with President Obama will pass the House on a bipartisan basis, averting a government shutdown. But he sidestepped questions about how many of his own members will defect because the immediate savings are unexpectedly small.

"It's a bipartisan agreement to cut the spending," Boehner said at his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters. "I believe that it will pass with a bipartisan majority today."

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