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Michele Bachmann courted evangelical Christian voters in Iowa over the weekend, urging a church congregation to pray for God to heal the country from its sins. It seems, then, she's presenting herself as the sort of religious-based candidate who could be a good fit for a state where former governor and minister Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses in 2008.

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It's taken as an article of faith in D.C. that government has gotten too big, spending is out of control, and Washington has to tighten its belt, just like everybody else. Even President Obama takes this view.

This has meant no small consequences for the federal budget. In the spring, Republicans launched an effort to slash tens of billions of dollars from non-defense discretionary programs -- money the government approves every year to pay for social services and other programs -- from the federal budget. That campaign almost ended in a government shutdown.

That same sliver of the budget is again under attack in the fight over whether to raise the national debt limit. Republicans want to reduce overall domestic spending and cap it for years going forward, so it can't exceed a set level. That means as time goes on, the population grows, and the cost of goods and services increases, the government will be spending less and less on the people who rely on these programs over time.

But a close look at the numbers reveals a few important, and frequently overlooked facts. Domestic discretionary spending is a small sliver of the budget. Our deficit and debts can be traced to the fact that spending on entitlement programs and defense has shot up, and tax revenues have plummeted to their lowest level in decades. But spending on domestic discretionary programs has grown much more slowly. And, if you correct for inflation, and for growing population, it turns out we're spending exactly the same amount on these programs as we were a full decade ago.

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Fox News is reeling from an apparent hack of their Twitter account, after messages were posted in the very early a.m. hours purporting to break the (false) news that President Obama had been assassinated.

According to the tweets, Obama had just been shot by an unknown assailant while campaigning at a restaurant in Iowa, and died from the wounds. However, Obama was not in Iowa at all this past weekend, as evidenced by both the White House's public schedule and an absence of any available news reports showing him in the state -- and it would also be odd for him to have been campaigning at an Iowa restaurant after midnight.

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This 4th of July Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who just took over at the Pentagon on Friday, has a lot more on his mind than patriotism and fireworks.

Panetta is already being forced to walk a fine line between those in his party looking for even bigger defense cuts than his predecessor Roberts Gates recommended and critics who worry that too much streamlining will produce a hollow force.

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It's Rick Perry v The World. On Thursday the Texas Governor (and possible Republican presidential player) will face a stark choice: allow the execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal Garcia, or listen to high-ranking international figures and grant a last-minute delay.

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Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain is a grassroots sensation on the 2012 presidential campaign trail. Now we know what that looks like as a dollar figure: Cain brought in $2.46 million in campaign contributions, a number the campaign tells TPM it expects to see rise to closer to $2.48 when all the final reporting is done.

"It's not Mitt Romney money, it's not [President] Obama money, but we're excited," spokesperson Ellen Carmichael told TPM late Friday night.

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Remember the BP "top hat"? It was one in a series of desperate attempts by the company to capture the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion last year. The top hat, mocked though it was, managed to capture and remove 679,000 barrels of oil from the crippled well, pumping it to nearby tankers.

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