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Now this is one call you really wish you could have listened in on. The White House has released a readout of a conversation between President Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The subject: the Texan wildfires… those very same Texan wildfires that Perry is taking a break from in order to participate in his first Republican Presidential debate tonight.

Here’s the transcript:



Readout of the President's Call to Texas Governor Rick Perry



Today the President called Texas Governor Rick Perry to express his concern for citizens of Texas impacted by the unprecedented fires. During the call the President extended his condolences for the lives that have been lost as a result of these events, and made clear that the federal government, through DHS/FEMA and the U.S. Forest Service, will continue to make federal assistance available to state and local officials as they fight the fires. The President also assured the Governor that requests for additional assistance, including as recovery begins, would be quickly assessed. Following the call, the President directed his national security staff to continue to work closely with FEMA, the Forest Service and the State of Texas to ensure we were making all resources available. Over the last several days, at the request of the Governor, the Administration has granted eight Fire Management Assistance Grants, making federal funds available to reimburse eligible costs associated with efforts to combat the fires. FEMA is actively working with state and local officials to conduct damage assessments and to identify areas where additional federal assistance may be warranted.

In case anyone needed reminding, America is a deeply religious nation, and a new FOX News poll has some data to prove it. Or, prove it again.

The news network's recent national survey included a question asking if respondents "personally believe prayers can literally help someone heal from an injury or illness." 77 percent of respondents said yes, against 20 percent who did not, and a perhaps surprisingly low 3 percent that admitted they were unsure.

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President Obama wants Congress to pass his jobs plan, and Democrats think the new deficit Super Committee is the appropriate venue for those initiatives. If creating jobs costs money in the near term, the Committee could simply offset those cuts with additional long-term deficit savings, beyond the $1.2 trillion floor required by the debt ceiling law.

But Republicans aren't sold. I asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) whether this would be an appropriate course of action for the Joint Committee -- new jobs spending now, more deficit cuts later. He demurred.

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Sensing an advantage after some Republicans claimed disaster relief funding should be offset with cuts to other programs, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a vote on a clean, stand-alone, $6 billion disaster relief bill.

"We need to get this relief funding to the American people as quickly as we can, and we're going to do that -- I'm going to bring a free-standing bill, and we're going to have a chance to vote on it," Reid told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing Wednesday. "Some of my Republican colleagues are trying to -- I was going to say something that was vulgar and I'm not going to do that -- are trying to cater to the Tea Party by holding up relief efforts."

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The Florida ACLU has filed suit against a state law requiring welfare applicants to first pass a drug test before receiving benefits.

The suit claims the Florida law violates the Fourth Amendment by requiring welfare applicants to submit to "suspicionless drug testing." It's filed on behalf of Luis Lebron, a 35 year-old Orlando resident and Navy veteran, who applied for the benefits but refused to take the drug test, according to an ACLU release.

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House Republicans have been successful at forcing significant cuts to the federal budget over the last nine months, but it hasn't translated into the economic expansion they promised. "Cut and grow" they called it, but so far there's been a lot of "cut" and not much "grow."

Here's House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), echoing the vast majority of Republicans, in February: "[W]e must cut government spending to bring down the deficit and the debt because if you look at the current levels of debt, added what's required to fund future deficits, you're going to have a crowding out of private capital. If you do, businesses will not grow, and you will overall retard that economic growth. You will bring on inflation, erode the value of the dollar and create an economic environment where you are going to reduce consumer spending power and ultimately the standard of living in America."

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Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) just declared her candidacy for Wisconsin's open Senate -- and already, two prominent Democrats have declared their candidacies for her House seat representing Madison and the surrounding counties.

Two Democratic state representatives, Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys, announced their campaigns Wednesday morning, and it remains possible that other Democrats could also declare for this deep-blue seat in a district Barack Obama carried by more than two-to-one in 2008.

During the recent debates on Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, both Pocan and Roys maintained high profiles in lobbing rhetorical fire against the proposals.

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LiveWire

Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…