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Bruce Springsteen is making his opinions known about the political battles in his home state of New Jersey -- with a letter to the Asbury Park Press, praising a recent article of theirs about the negative impact of Gov. Chris Christie's (R-NJ) proposed cuts on the poor.

Interesting to note, Christie is himself a big Springsteen fan, and has a collection of many years worth of ticket stubs from concerts. Of course, Springsteen is known for being on the political left, and campaigned for John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008. Though perhaps the Boss cut Christie some slack -- the letter is very harsh on the policies, but never mentions Christie by name.

"The article is one of the few that highlights the contradictions between a policy of large tax cuts, on the one hand, and cuts in services to those in the most dire conditions, on the other," Springsteen wrote. He then praised the paper for highlighting anti-poverty activists, "all of whom have something important to add to the discussion: real information and actual facts about what is happening below the poverty line."

He also added: "Finally, your article shows that the cuts are eating away at the lower edges of the middle class, not just those already classified as in poverty, and are likely to continue to get worse over the next few years. I'm always glad to see my hometown newspaper covering these issues."

In the span of just a few weeks, real estate mogul turned reality television star turned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went from dipping his toe in the birther pool to diving right into the deep end and claiming that he's "starting to wonder" whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

So we figured it'd be good to ask the Tea Partiers in attendance for the "Continuing Revolution" rally on Capitol Hill on Thursday if speaking out on the issue boosted Trump's presidential campaign.

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Late Update: The bill will be brought to the floor for a vote Friday, according to GOP leadership. "The House GOP agrees, which is why a bill will be brought to the floor tomorrow to do just that," says Brad Dayspring spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Original Story:

Democrats in both the House and Senate are pressing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to take up legislation that would suspend congressional pay in the event of a government shutdown.

"Given the fact that a shutdown will cause real harm to millions of Americans, Congress must accept the same consequences if it fails to keep the government functioning," reads a letter from Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY), cosigned by over two dozen Dems, to Boehner. "The House must be given an opportunity to vote on clean bill that leaves no doubt that Members of Congress cannot receive a paycheck while the rest of the nation suffers from inaction on government funding for this year."

Just yesterday, over a dozen Dem senators sent a similar letter to Boehner. Weeks ago, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to precisely this effect. And now, both House and Senate Dems are asking for a vote on that bill in the House.

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Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) will sign SB 5 -- the contentious anti-union bill restricting collective bargaining rights for unionized public workers -- into law Thursday night, according to his spokesperson.

SB 5, which makes it illegal for state workers to strike and gives local governments new powers over contract negotiations with union workers, was passed out of the state legislature Wednesday.

According to spokesperson Connie Wehrkamp, Kasich will sign the bill at 7 p.m. at the ceremonial office in the statehouse. Wehrkamp said the Governor wanted to sign the bill into law "as soon as he possibly could."

Far from ceding the fight, union supporters and Democrats are now gearing for their next plan of attack: putting the legislation to the voters of Ohio as a ballot initiative.

Thanks to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), one of the most widely debunked, and far-out conspiracy theories about the health care law found its way into the Congressional Record late Wednesday -- with a twist.

This comes via Political Correction -- a project of Media Matters.

From Gohmert's floor speech Wednesday night:

It's a bad bill. And then when you find out that the prior Congress not only passed that 2,800 page bill with all kinds of things in it, including a new president's commissioned officer corps and non-commissioned officer corps. Do we really need that? I wondered when I read that in the bill. But then when you find out we're being sent to Libya to use our treasure and American lives there, maybe there's intention to so deplete the military that we're going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned corps that the president can call up on a moment's notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill.

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1||March 30, 2011: Members of the media, politicians, and D.C players gathered for the annual Congressional Correspondents' Dinner on Wednesday night.



Craig Melvin, weekend anchor for NBC-4 News in Washington, with NBC News' Luke Russert. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

2||Bob Schieffer of CBS News ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

3||MSNBC news anchor Tom Roberts, and Dr. Barry Clark MD of American University ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

4||Jonathan Karl, ABC News' senior congressional correspondent, with his wife. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

5||Craig Melvin and Lindsay Czarniak of NBC-4 News in Washington, with Luke Russert of NBC News, and Camille Edwards also of NBC-4. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

6|| Bob Jensen, Shawn Turner, Caitlin Hayden, Ben Chang (left to right), all from the White House press office for foreign affairs. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

7||Sophia Qureshi and Ahmed Shihab Eldin of Al Jazeera. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

8||John Schriffen, a reporter NBC-4 News, and Britt McHenry, sports reporter for WJLA-7. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

9||CNN contributor Donna Brazile, with CNN host Piers Morgan. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

10||Al Jazeera English Language Channel Deputy News Editor Karim Haddad (far right), with, from left, Melissa Giaimo, Lister Lim and Eritria Pitts, also of Al Jazeera. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

11||Kelly Daschle, Iliana Mier, Sara Gillesby, Lila Ibrahim, Nicole Grether, Cindy Sharp, all from the AP. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

12||Chris Kofinis, Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-WV) chief of staff, with Manchin staffer Emily Bittner, and Politico's David Cantonese. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

13||Daniel Kramer from One Lounge, a D.C. bar, and Budweiser's Bill Hranchak. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

14||Jack Bury, with Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

15||CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux, with CNN producer Matt Hoye. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

16||NBC correspondent Pete Williams ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

17||Former MSNBC anchor David Shuster and Julia Krieger. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

18||Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Talk Radio News Service Bureau Chief Ellen Ratner. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

19||Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

20||Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

21||Amira Abdelrahman, and Major General Mohamed Elkeshky, the Egyptian Defense Attaché to the United States and to Canada. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

22||Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) and his wife, Debbie. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

23||Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

24||Yuka Takagane of NHK. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

25||Justine Reddman, Tom Foreman and Katie Ross, all of CNN. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

26||Fox News' Angela McGlowan. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

27||Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) (center) with former MSNBC anchor David Shuster and Julia Krieger. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

28||CSPAN's Mark Farkas and Leigh Ann Caldwell, and Ted Kresse of DCI Group. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

29||Betsy Fischer, executive producer of Meet the Press, and Politico's Jonathan Martin. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

30||CNN's Roland Martin ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

31||Laura Evans of Fox 5 News, and Mike Manatos, vice president of Manatos & Manatos. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

32||MSNBC's Chester Reise and Derbin Cabell, Jr. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

33||Michelle Dunham and Gwen Tolbart, both of Fox5. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

34||NBC's Rob Lewis and Julie Jarvis of NBC, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, Dr. Barry Clark of American University, Courney A. Bishop, Patty McFarlane of NBC News, and radio documentarian Sandy Gibson. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

35||Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

36||European Union's Head of Press Sylvia Kofler, Senior Press and Media Officer Kasper Zeuthen. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

37||AP's Cindy Sharp and Kelly Daschle ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

38||||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

39||Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. ||Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, got a browbeating from Congress today over the White House's decision to ignore Congress and forge ahead with air strikes aimed at ousting Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi and supporting rebel forces.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Gates defended the administration's decision to intervene and retooled earlier comments that the U.S. didn't have a vital interest in the North African country after a rash of criticism.

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Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is in hot water this week for saying that he's "struggling" to pay bills on his $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary. In the now-infamous video clip, Duffy told attendees at a Polk County, Wisc., town hall meeting that "I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you."

That may or may not be true, but one thing is certain -- Duffy is one of the poorest members of Congress. OpenSecrets.org, which tracks the money in Congress, ranks Duffy as near the bottom among House members when it comes to his personal net worth.

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