TPM News

The Republican-controlled House is considering new limitations on federal funding for abortion that could be a crown jewel of the GOP leadership's attempt to show its constituents there's a new, socially conservative sheriff in town -- if anyone was willing to discuss it, that is.

It seems one of the only people willing to talk at all about the controversial abortion bill is one of its Democratic co-sponsors, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). And he's not willing to embrace the language in the bill that appears to redefine rape in a way that would prevent some impregnated victims from having their abortions covered by insurance.

But it's radio silence from the pro-life community, which is usually more than willing to sound off on abortion and what needs to be done to stop it.

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Cincinnati landlord Henry E. Bailey currently owns 22 apartments in three separate buildings in Ohio. And since at least 2008, the federal government says he's been sneaking into the apartments of his female residents without their permission, groping them without their consent, offering reduced rent and maintenance repairs in exchange for sexual favors and refusing to make repairs for or offer rent discounts to those who refused.

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House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa has surveyed scores of industry and conservative players to figure out how to target investigations of President Obama's regulatory regime. But only a fraction of the responses he's received have been made public, and he won't share the rest with ranking member Elijah Cummings.

So Cummings is going straight to the sources.

In letters sent Monday to the same powerbrokers Issa solicited, Cummings asks for copies of their responses.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch may have gotten a pass from the Tea Party Express on a 2012 challenge from the right, but the anti-tax group Club For Growth says it still hasn't made any decisions about him.

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First came the rumors that President Obama's Ambassador to China, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), was planning to resign (and maybe run for president.) Then came White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' confirmation that Huntsman was on the way out (to maybe run for president.) Now comes news that Huntsman has officially tendered his resignation and plans to return to the US by May, which gives him plenty of time to...well, you know.

Politico's Mike Allen reports Huntsman has tendered his resignation from the embassy in China effective this spring, giving him a little over half a year to scale up a presidential campaign -- should he so choose -- by the time of the first nominating contests early next year.

In his letter, Huntsman reportedly "thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing." Obama has praised Huntsman's tenure as ambassador, though Allen reports behind the scenes White House officials "are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal."

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Legal experts who support President Obama's health care law spoke to reporters Monday afternoon to criticize a far-reaching opinion by Florida federal district court judge Roger Vinson that the individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional -- and that the entire law must therefore be voided.

"This is a decision that has such radical implications that I'm confident it will be overturned," said former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger.

In addition to declaring the mandate unconstitutional, Vinson declined to "sever" it from the rest of the law, and instead held that the entire law out should be thrown out. That goes far beyond standard practice, under which courts tend to defer to Congress and sever only the provisions of law that they find unconstitutional -- even if Congress didn't include a "severability clause" in the legislation.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday announced the results of an undercover investigation into a gun show in Arizona -- and that those results show just how simple it is to buy a gun there with minimal oversight.

According to the the Gun Show Undercover: Arizona report, undercover investigators successfully bought guns after telling unlicensed dealers, "I probably couldn't pass a background check." The investigation took place January 23 at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix.

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While none of the telecom giants appeared to be thrilled with the net neutrality regulations passed last month, only Verizon and Metro PCS have taken a swing, challenging the FCC. But are the other cellular giants -- AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile -- just letting Verizon take the lead, or are the backing net neutrality?

Both, and neither, according to various sources: they would apparently rather spend their money fighting issues they see as more key to their success, and may see their acceptance of the popular initiative as a competitive advantage.

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While none of the telecom giants appeared to be thrilled with the net neutrality regulations passed last month, only Verizon and Metro PCS have taken a swing, challenging the FCC. But are the other cellular giants -- AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile -- just letting Verizon take the lead, or are the backing net neutrality?

Both, and neither, according to various sources: they would apparently rather spend their money fighting issues they see as more key to their success, and may see their acceptance of the popular initiative as a competitive advantage.

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Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) told a reporter for a newspaper in his home state that political realities kept House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) from shutting down the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which he said would begin an investigation "out of the National Enquirer."

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