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A CBO analysis of the spending cut compromise Democrats and Republicans reached last week that may have avoided a government shutdown has turned into a public relations nightmare for House Speaker John Boehner.

As advertised, when the House and Senate pass the spending bill this afternoon, domestic discretionary appropriations will fall $38 billion from levels set at the beginning of the year. But because some of the cuts will be realized over years, and because some of the savings are culled from left-over money in existing accounts, the bill will only reduce direct spending by about $350 million.

Politico's David Rogers was the first to crunch the numbers, which we've since confirmed. When viewed from this perspective, Boehner appears to have gotten a raw deal, and the White House looks pretty savvy. Conservatives activists and House members were caught off guard, and angry, and now Boehner's making the rounds to calm everyone's nerves and convince members once again that he got the best possible deal.

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The Arizona state Senate passed Wednesday the revised version of a bill that would require candidates to prove their citizenship before they can appear on state ballots.

The bill will now head to the state House for a final vote.

Though President Obama is not named in the bill or specifically by the bill's sponsors, most read it as a directed attack from those who question whether Obama was born in the United States. Last week, lead House sponsor Rep. Carl Seel (R) met with Donald Trump, who's lately become the national spokesperson for skepticism about Obama's legitimacy. Seel told local press Trump gave his bill "the thumbs up."

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Stephen Colbert cannot believe that Tim Pawlenty did it with Piers Morgan.

On Wednesday night, Colbert was shocked to announce that Pawlenty had let it slip to the CNN host that he was definitively running for President. And though Pawlenty's team later tried to walk back that statement by saying an official campaign announcement was still forthcoming, Colbert said it was already too late.

"Declaring your candidacy for president is supposed to be special," Colbert said. "You only get to do it once, so you want to wait for that perfect journalist to share it with, not just give it up to the first guy who asks."

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Fireworks Expected As Gov. Walker Heads To Hill To Talk Unions The Hill reports: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) could be in for a rowdy welcome from unions and liberal groups when he comes to Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify about his work on reducing the state's budget deficit. A coalition of liberal groups including People for the American Way, Common Cause and Public Campaign is scheduled to give a press conference outside the hearing room before Walker testifies, and union members are traveling in from Wisconsin to attend."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. Obama will meet at 10 a.m. ET with senior advisers, and Obama and Biden will meet at 10:45 a.m. ET with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Obama will hold a bilateral meeting at 2 p.m. ET with Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar, and the two will deliver statements to the press at 2:50 p.m. ET. Obama will depart from the White House at 4:05 p.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 4:20 p.m. ET, arriving at 6:10 p.m. ET in Chicago, Illinois. He will deliver remarks at a DNC event at 7:25 p.m. ET, deliver remarks at another DNC event at 8:35 p.m. ET, and deliver remarks at another DNC event at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) thinks President Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved Joseph Stalin so much that he sent advisers to Russia to see "what Stalin was doing there so that FDR could replicate it here in the United States."

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum officially announced Wednesday night that he's forming an exploratory committee for a run in the Republican presidential primary in 2012, or as he called it in the official press release, "a Presidential Testing the Waters Effort."

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House Republicans recoiled Wednesday evening from President Obama's speech on America's budget woes. After spending most of the week pre-empting the address, and rejecting its expected calls for tax increases on wealthy Americans, Republicans endured a broad and severe critique of their vision for the country.

Their responses thus edged beyond substance into the realm of personal grievance. Indeed, they implied that the speech may have poisoned the well so much that working together where common ground exists might now be impossible.

"I missed lunch for this?" complained Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chair of the House GOP conference, at a Capitol press conference shortly after the address.

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The Republicans running (or almost running) for president are less than enthused by the deficit reduction solutions offered up by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

After President Obama's much anticipated Wednesday speech on spending, the cadre of pols vying for the Republican presidential nomination littered inboxes with their statements on the address.

They were not impressed.

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In an attempt to give Americans more control over how their personal information is collected and used on the Internet, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ), introduced a bill to protect consumers' online privacy on Tuesday.

The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 would create a framework for how companies can collect, store and distribute personal information, and would require companies to employ security measures to protect that information. Companies would also need to tell individuals how and why they are collecting information, make it easier to opt-out, and in some cases, make the default for sharing sensitive data opt-in.

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