TPM News

Hillary Clinton Says The U.S. Will Stand By Pakistan Reuters reports: "The United States said on Thursday it would stand by its ally Pakistan despite the strains in the relationship exposed by the discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. troops close to the Pakistani capital. 'It is not always an easy relationship, you know that,' Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a visit to Rome. 'But, on the other hand, it is a productive one for both our countries and we are going to continue to cooperate between our governments, our militaries, our law-enforcement agencies, but most importantly between the American and Pakistani people.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will depart form the White House at 9:30 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 9:45 a.m. ET, arriving at 10:35 a.m. ET in New York City. At 1:25 p.m. ET, he will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial, and meet at 1:45 p.m. ET with 9/11 family members. He will depart from New York at 3:10 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 4 p.m. ET, and arriving back at the White House at 4:15 p.m. ET. Then at 6 p.m. ET, the President and the First Lady will host a Cinco de Mayo reception.

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Whoops!

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is in full walkback mode after admitting the obvious: that Republicans will never, under these political circumstances, prevail in their quest to privatize and slash Medicare -- and thus well over 200 Members of his caucus just walked the political plank for nothing.

Based on an interview with Cantor, the Washington Post reports, "Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies. ... Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama 'excoriated us' for a proposal to privatize Medicare."

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Once President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces on Sunday, it didn't take long for fake photographs of the terrorist leader's corpse to start circulating. Websites and newspapers fell for them. And so did, apparently, U.S. senators.

Three senators who claimed to have seen a photograph of bin Laden's post-mortem are now backtracking, or flat out admitting they were duped.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court has announced that it will take up litigation surrounding a key procedural challenge to Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union law, with a date set for this June 6 -- but, as it turns out, the nature of the arguments in question could only spur further action by the state Republican leaders.

As WisPolitics reports, the court is set to hold arguments not on the procedural challenge itself, but on whether they should take jurisdiction in the case itself. This followed a request in late March a by a lower appeals court, for the state Supreme Court to take up the case.

Meanwhile, state Republican leaders said on Wednesday that if the courts do not take action by early June, they could re-pass the law as part of the state budget. And as it should be noted, this was always a legal option given the particular nature of this fight.

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The top two Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature say they'll make an end run around the judicial branch in early June if the courts haven't ruled on the legality of the anti-union law that put the state in the headlines earlier this year.

From the La Crosse Tribune:

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald both told The Associated Press that it would make the most sense for the committee to add the language into the budget before it comes up for debate before the full Legislature.

However, both Fitzgeralds are hoping the courts rule that the bill passed in March is legal and can take effect so further legislative action isn't necessary. The state Supreme Court has been asked to take the case, but it has not said if it will. Two lawsuits are pending in circuit court.

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The House of Representatives just passed H.R. 3, the controversial abortion-funding law that pro-choice critics and the White House has said will make it harder for woman to pay for abortion coverage with their own money.

The passage was expected, considering 227 members signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation. The final vote was 251-175. Sixteen Democrats and 235 Republicans voted aye. The full rollcall vote is here.

It's not likely the bill will move along much further past the House. Democrats control the Senate and the Obama administration has promised to veto the bill if it ever land on the president's desk.

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After two days of administration officials offering up conflicting details and accounts of the intense U.S. assault-team raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and his subsequent killing, the White House has completely shut down press attempts to get a full accounting of what transpired.

White House spokesman Jay Carney Wednesday referred all questions about operational aspects of the mission to the Defense Department, even refusing to say who, if anyone, was shooting back at the Navy Seals during the "firefight" that Carney and other administration officials earlier in the week has said took place during the 40-minute raid Sunday night.

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The Republican plan to privatize Medicare may need life support.

In a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, a robust majority of registered voters disapproved of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposal to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program that provides health care assistance to the elderly. And further, a strong majority said they supported an alternate path toward deficit reduction: raising taxes on top income earners, a proposal the GOP leadership has said is a non-starter.

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