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First Lady Michelle Obama introduces the White House music series on Monday afternoon, which featured artists of all ages, in the East Room of the White House.

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Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis leads a group of students.

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Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha watch as Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D'Rivera perform.

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Jazz student Elijah Easton performs.

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Saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera

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The First Lady hugs Charles Fishman, president and executive producer of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival.

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Wynton Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, talk during a jazz workshop for students.

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As The Hill reported late last night, House Republicans plan to vote as a bloc against the Iraq-Afghanistan war funding bill, due to included funding for the International Monetary Fund. Obviously, this is a big change for the party that routinely attacked then-Sen. Obama in last year's campaign for allegedly voting to de-fund the troops when he voted against a funding bill that didn't include a timetable for withdrawal.

In fact, check out this Town Hall column by House Republican Leader John Boehner, from April 2008:

But there is a clear distinction between saying you support the troops and backing up those claims with genuine action. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) once said "we shouldn't play chicken with our troops" when it comes to funding our troops in harm's way, and his colleague Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) urged General Petraeus at the start of the surge to request "every possible piece of equipment and resource necessary" to keep our troops safe. These words turned into little more than empty rhetoric when both proceeded to vote against funding our troops last year.

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The Republican Governor's Association has a new ad in this year's New Jersey gubernatorial race, where Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine currently trails Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie in all the polls. The ad has a piece of rhetoric we haven't usually heard from the GOP -- attacking Corzine for being from Wall Street:



"Wall Street banker Jon Corzine told us he'd bring jobs to New Jersey," the announcer says. "Hello! Unemployment's up 73%, and our business climate ranks among the worst in the nation."

Corzine was chairman of Goldman Sachs from 1994 through 1998, and then went into politics after he was forced out of the company's leadership. Obviously, Wall Street's reputation these days is nowhere near what it was back then.

This continues an interesting pattern we saw earlier this year in the NY-20 special election -- with the Republicans taking the unconventional, populist approach of attacking the Democrat as an out-of-touch fat cat.

The recent murders of a Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions and of a guard at the National Holocaust Museum have stoked fears of a rise in right-wing extremist violence -- just as that much-maligned DHS report predicted. And now it looks like we've got another one to add to the list...

According to local law enforcement, three people posing as police officers forced their way into the home of Raul Flores in Arivaca, Arizona, about 10 miles from the Mexican border, on May 30. They shot and killed Flores and his nine-year-old daughter, and wounded Flores' wife. The three, Shawna Forde, Jason Bush, and Albert Gaxiola, were arrested and charged last Thursday and Friday.

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The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that a group of Bobby Jindal supporters in Louisiana have set up their own PAC, called the Jindal For President Draft Council Inc., to urge the Louisiana Governor to run for President and to build up support for him across the country.

Rama Mohanty, one of the lead organizers, said that Jindal's people are not involved with the draft PAC, but they are aware of it. "They are supportive of what we are doing," said Mohanty.

Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin indicated differently, though. "The governor has said that he has the job he wants, and he hopes to be re-elected (in 2011) to continue to move Louisiana forward," Plotkin told the Times-Picayune. He added: "It's flattering, but the governor does not support this effort. This is a distraction from the critical issues that we face, and the governor will not be involved in any capacity."

(Via Newsmax.)

A fun pattern has emerged among the Republican efforts to reach out to voters through the new social-networking online media: They're failing massively, with episodes that just make them look stupid and ham-fisted, and even sometimes force them to apologize for offending people.

Michael Steele has made a big deal of reaching out to online media in the same way that Democrats have done very effectively -- cultivating what is known on his side as the "rightroots." And of course, honorable mention goes out to former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), who spoke of the GOP's need to compete in the "ethernet." So how's it working out for them?

In just the last few days, we had two ignominious events from just one state. A prominent South Carolina GOP activist, Rusty DePass, said on his Facebook page that Michelle Obama was a gorilla (and not in the sense of the evolutionary fact that we are all apes -- DePass actually seems to be offended by this). He kind of apologized -- but said Michelle started it.

And another South Carolina Republican operative, Mike Green, apologized for a racist Tweet against President Obama himself:

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Add another (perhaps more minor) entry to the list of ways in which the Obama administration is mimicking its predecessor on issues of transparency.

MSNBC.com reports that the Secret Service has denied the news outlet's request for the names of visitors to the White House since President Obama was sworn in. It also denied a narrower request by the good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington for records of visits by coal executives.

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Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who has been the only Senator from Minnesota for the last five and a half months, is now predicting that the heavily-litigated Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman will be over by July 4 -- or she'll be mad.

"I have predicted the 4th of July, when the corn is knee high on the 4th of July," Klobuchar told Minnesota Public Radio. "I've already predicted that it would be done when the ice melted on Lake Minnetonka. That was incorrect. And I've now predicted the 4th of July. And if that is incorrect I will make no more predictions. I'll just be mad."

WaPo: Documents Suggest CIA Mistakes In Torture Of Detainees, False Confessions The Washington Post reports that new documents show that key Guantanamo detainees told the Combatant Status Review Tribunal that they either lied to the CIA in order to stop being tortured, or were later informed of mistakes in their capture. "They told me, 'Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,'" said Abu Zubaida. And Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described his interrogation: "Where is he? I don't know," Mohammed said. "Then he torture me. Then I said yes, he is in this area."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet one-on-one with President Lee Myung-bak, of the Republic of Korea, at 10:30 a.m. ET. They will have an expanded meeting at 10:45 a.m. ET, and then a joint press availability at 11:35 a.m. ET, and a working lunch at 12 p.m. ET. At 4:30 p.m. ET, Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with Sec. of Defense Robert Gates.

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Defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi (center) appeared in public on Monday, June 15 for the first time since Friday's election. Mousavi and thousands of his supporters defied a ban to stage a mass rally in Tehran in protest of the results, which they claim to be fraudulent.

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Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard outside his office in Tehran on June 15.

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Mousavi addresses his crowd of supporters at Azadi Square. According to the BBC, he said "the vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person." His wife told the AFP "we will stand until the end."

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Supporters of Mousavi crowd Azadi Square in Tehran on Monday.

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Mehdi Karroubi, another one of the presidential candidates, attends the Tehran rally on June 15.

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Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mousavi.

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Monday afternoon, the AP started reporting that "gunfire from a pro-government militia killed one man and wounded several others."

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A riot policeman is injured in clashes with protesters.

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Mousavi supporters run from the police.

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