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General James Jones will speak tonight at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on America's relationship with Israel. Here are excerpts from his prepared remarks:

Since taking office, President Obama has pursued a two-state solution--a secure, Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a viable and independent Palestinian state. This is in the United States' interest. It is in Israel's interest. It is in the Palestinians' interest. It is in the interest of the Arab countries, and, indeed, the world. Advancing this peace would also help prevent Iran from cynically shifting attention away from its failures to meet its obligations.

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House Republicans' top vote counter predicted today that if the Senate passes a bipartisan financial regulatory reform bill that mirrors a White House plan to impose stricter rules on Wall Street, his members will oppose it broadly.

"If this bill that emerges from the Senate is anything like what the Obama administration is talking about in terms of its idea of quote-unquote Wall Street regulation I don't see overwhelming support in the House on our side of the aisle, no," said Minority Whip Eric Cantor at a press event this evening, in response to a question from TPMDC.

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House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), a potential presidential candidate, has waded into the Republican Senate primary in his home state to endorse former Sen. Dan Coats.

"Dan Coats' integrity and conservative record make him the best candidate for the job. Dan is a proven conservative leader who is trusted by Hoosiers," Pence said in a statement. "I know Dan Coats well and I have long admired his personal faith, his devotion to family and his service to the people of Indiana."

This puts Pence on the opposite side of many conservative activists, such as Red State's Erick Erickson, who are supporting state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, and who consider the Senator-turned-lobbyist Coats to be a Washington insider. But as Pence notes in his endorsement, he's known Coats for a long time.

President Obama said in an interview on CNBC today that the White House had no advance notice of or involvement in the SEC's civil fraud suit against Goldman Sachs.

"The SEC is an entirely independent agency that we have no day-to-day control over. And they never discussed with us anything with respect to the charge that would be brought. So this notion that somehow there would be any attempt to interfere in an independent agency is completely false," he said.

"We found out about it on CNBC," Obama smiled.

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Two of the hosts of a fundraiser for Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich have some interesting items on their resumes: One was a senior executive and top lobbyist for alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, while another is a former Bush administration official who threatened to fire a subordinate if he revealed to Congress the true cost of a major bill.

This afternoon, Washington's tony Capitol Hill Club was the scene of a fundraiser for Kasich, the former Ohio congressman who is the presumptive Republican nominee to take on the incumbent Democratic governor, Ted Strickland, this fall. According to an invitation obtained by TPMmuckraker, the 15-person host committee includes Jim Conzelman and Tom Scully.

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Within 48 hours, the Republican line on financial regulatory reform went from "filibuster" to "we're very close to a deal." Why the shift? Republicans and Democrats will offer up spin all day, chalking up the progress to their own doggedness, but in the end it comes down to a simple reality. Key Republicans, sincere about passing new rules for Wall Street, but intimidated by the notion of blocking financial regulatory reform, let it be known to their leadership that, at some point, they would side with Democrats to break a filibuster. Maybe not on round one, or even round two. But eventually.

"Folks on our side of the aisle want a bill," Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told TPMDC and a few other reporters Monday night. "I know that. I just [had a] discussion with some of our leadership on the floor. You know, we want a bill."

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