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A long-awaited internal Justice Department report will essentially clear the lawyers who crafted the legal justification for the Bush Administration's torture policies, reversing the tougher findings of a draft version of the report, according to Newsweek.

The draft version of the Office of Professional Responsibility report recommended that John Yoo and Jay Bybee -- who served in the Office of Legal Counsel and are now a law professor at Berkeley and a federal appeals court judge in Nevada, respectively -- be referred to state bar associations for potential discipline for their role in writing memos that concluded torture was justified.

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The State of the Union was supposed to be the event the American people talked about this weekend at the dinner table, but when President Obama's question-and-answer session with House Republicans caught fire on the Internet, the White House went with it.

Aides weren't prepared for the mid-afternoon talk to generate so much buzz - and weren't even sure the full session would be televised - but even Obama critics of late praised him for answering every question. Democrats especially liked seeing Obama, in some cases, calling Republicans on the carpet for misleading voters about his policies.

Obama also surprised Republicans by revealing that he'd read their bills.

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Obama Unveils $3.83 Trillion Budget, With Massive Deficit President Obama is officially unveiling today a $3.83 trillion federal budget, which would combine spending to deal with unemployment with a freeze on various government programs, and higher taxes on the wealthy by letting the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire on families making more than $250,000 per year. The projected deficit would be a $1.56 trillion, due to both high government spending and a decline in revenues because of the bad economy.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. He will deliver remarks on the budget at 10;45 a.m. ET. He will meet with senior advisers at 11:45 a.m. ET. He will participate in a YouTube interview at 1:45 p.m. ET, answering questions that were submitted by YouTube users during and after the State of the Union address, and voted on by YouTube users. At 4:30 p.m. ET, Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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Boehner: 'There Aren't That Many Places Where We Can Come Together' Appearing on Meet The Press, House Minority Leader John Boehner downplayed the possibility of bipartisanship. "Listen, there aren't that many places where we can come together. The President-- is-- he was the most liberal member of the United States Senate. You don't get there by accident," said Boehner. "And if you look at the policies that we've seen over the course of this year from the Administration and -- his Democratic colleagues in Congress-- there are all these leftist proposals. And the people of Massachusetts, the people of Virginia, the people of New Jersey are sending a pretty loud signal, just like the other 47 states to -- to Washington, saying, 'Stop. This is -- this is way more than we ever want -- wanted Washington to do.'"

Gibbs: Health Care Reform 'Still Inside The Five-Yard Line' Appearing on State of the Union, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Democrats are "still inside the five-yard line" on health care reform. "We're one vote in the House of Representatives from making health care reform a reality," said Gibbs, though he was noncommittal on whether it was definite strategy to have the House of Representatives pass the Senate bill: "I don't think we know yet the answer on the process of this."

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Tea Party Nation organizers today issued a long defense of their unraveling convention, lambasting former members they say are trying to harm the movement and outlining for the first time in great detail their event's sponsorships and problems.

We've been following the travails of the upcoming Tea Party Nation convention for weeks, with key speakers withdrawing and the Tea Party Express group backing out as well thanks to feuds over the cost and expected profits of the convention.

Sherry Phillips wrote a long email to members of the Tea Party Nation mailing list titled "Setting The Record Straight."

Phillips said organizers were encouraged to speak out against the "intense media scrutiny and attacks by former members" but she stayed silent so as not to further divisions "that are already hurting this movement."

"We will stay silent no longer," she wrote.

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Obama Slams GOP Reversals On Fiscal Commission In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama called for taking action to reduce the budget deficit. He also blasted Republican Senators who stopped the formation of a Fiscal Commission, after having previously co-sponsored it:



"This past week, 53 Democrats and Republicans voted for this commission in the Senate. But it failed when seven Republicans who had co-sponsored this idea in the first place suddenly decided to vote against it," said Obama. "Now, it's one thing to have an honest difference of opinion about something. I will always respect those who take a principled stand for what they believe, even if I disagree with them. But what I won't accept is changing positions because it's good politics. What I won't accept is opposition for opposition's sake. We cannot have a serious discussion and take meaningful action to create jobs and control our deficits if politicians just do what's necessary to win the next election instead of what's best for the next generation."

Collins: Obama Administration Can't See A Terrorist 'Even When He Stands Right In Front Of Them' In this weekend's Republican address, a very alarmed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) lambasted the Obama administration's handling of the Abdulmutallab case:



"The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the War on Terrorism," said Collins. "And, because of that blindness, this administration cannot see a foreign terrorist even when he stands right in front of them, fresh from an attempt to blow a plane out of the sky on Christmas Day. There's no other way to explain the irresponsible, indeed dangerous, decision on Abdulmutallab's interrogation. There's no other way to explain the inconceivable treatment of him as if he were a common criminal."

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The Republican National Committee has just passed a compromise measure on a key set of resolutions that were being offered at today's winter meeting. It would require Republican candidates to pass ideological muster in order to receive party funding.

RNC committee member James Bopp, Jr., had previously offered two resolutions. The more controversial one -- commonly dubbed the "purity resolution" in the media, and opposed by RNC Chairman Michael Steele -- would have forbidden RNC funding for candidates who don't show they match up with conservative positions on eight out of ten key issues. A second resolution, which Bopp called the "accountability" resolution, would have specifically empowered the RNC chairman to consider ideology in apportioning funds to candidates.

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Sen. John Ensign paid nearly $18,000 in the last quarter of 2009 to the law firm where he has retained counsel, Politico reports, based on filings released this afternoon. That compares to just $850 for the previous quarter.

The payments, which came from Ensign's campaign account, constitute further evidence that the federal probe said to be underway into the Nevada senator's sex-and-lobbying scandal may have heated up lately.

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