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New Gingrich's struggling presidential campaign has suffered another setback as members of his fundraising team called it quits on Tuesday, according to the AP.

The AP reported that campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman stepped down from the campaign.

Via the AP:

People familiar with Gingrich's campaign spending say his fundraising has been weak since he launched his bid and that he has racked up large travel bills. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk openly about campaign inner workings.


Those defections are the latest blow to Gingrich's campaign, which already suffered a mass defection just weeks earlier when 16 top aides simultaneously jumped ship.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pleaded with GOP colleagues Tuesday not to tie President Obama's hands when it comes to U.S. military action in Libya, reminding them it could come back to haunt future Republican presidents.

"We are all entitled to our opinions about Libya policy, but here are the facts: [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi is going to fall. It is just a matter of time. So I would ask my colleagues: Is this the time for Congress to turn against this policy?" he said in a lengthy statement on the Senate floor. "Is this the time to ride to the rescue of a failing tyrant when the writing is on the wall that he will collapse?"

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Add Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to the list of Republican lawmakers unsatisfied with the party's reluctance to back Social Security cuts.

The longtime Senator, who will retire at the end of her term in 2012, called on both parties to include the program in debt ceiling talks on Tuesday in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. She's releasing her own legislation to spur talks, a bill that would raise the retirement age gradually to 69 and reduce benefits by trillions over the next several decades by pegging the annual cost-of-living- adjustment (COLA) to one percent below inflation every year.

"We could have waited and let things settle after the debt increase vote," she said. "I'm introducing my legislation because I don't think we can wait and I do think it should be part of the overall debate on raising the debt limit."

Hutchison told the audience that the move was necessary, because without changes to the system, recipients would receive a 23% cut to their core benefits in 2036. But an audience member noted to Hutchison that a 1% cut in benefit increases over a similar period of time could produce comparable decreases. Hutchison responded that a key part of her plan was gradually introducing seniors to lower benefits.

"You're right that as you accumulate the cuts it's like anything else over time, it does get to be more," she said. "But if you take it one year at a time, it's a very small lowering of the increase. I don't think at any point would you go into core benefits."

House Republicans avoided Social Security in their budget, which most of the caucus voted for in the Senate as well, and Hutchison isn't the only member of her party annoyed at its exclusion. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced a bill that would means-test benefits while also raising the retirement age. A group of House members led by Pete Sessions (R-TX) recently introduced legislation that would create an optional privatized Social Security program.

Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is expected to announce her retirement on Monday, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

The 73-year old lawmaker has held the seat since 1993, taking over after fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer won her election to the Senate. She was known for her progressive politics and was a very active opponent of the Iraq War, at one point securing an invitation for protestor Cindy Sheehan to attend President Bush's State of the Union. The California activist was arrested at the event.

Woolsey has previously discussed a possible retirement and said she wanted to make her intentions clear early in the term in order to give her potential successors a chance to campaign in the district. Two Democrats are already poised to jump into the race should she retire: Assembly member Jared Huffman and local activist Norman Solomon.

Jersey City, NJ - Former Ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman formally declared his candidacy for president Tuesday morning at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, a backdrop invoking patriotism and hope -- and some Reaganesque history for the audience.

Huntsman, whose Utah and international diplomacy background gave him no particular roots in New Jersey or the New York area, spoke to a fairly small crowd of between 100 and 150 people. But he did have backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, towering just across the river -- the same view as that used by Ronald Reagan for a major speech in the 1980 general election, when he formally kicked off the Fall campaign season on Labor Day.

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One of the most influential investors in the world of finance has a message for lawmakers -- particularly conservative lawmakers -- on Capitol Hill: rejoin the real world.

In a prospectus for clients, Bill Gross, a co-founder of investment management giant PIMCO, says members' of Congress incessant focus on deficit -- and in particular, the manner in which they obsess about deficits -- is foolhardy, and a recipe for disaster. What the country needs, Gross said, is real stimulus now, and a measured return toward fiscal balance in the years ahead.

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A woman in a hijab expounded on the benefits of Sharia in the basement of a Capitol office building on Monday, and somehow society has yet to collapse.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held a hearing on the threat that state-level anti-Sharia bill present to American democracy in a room in the basement of the House Rayburn building at noon.

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It's the conservative conspiracy theory that wouldn't go away. For months Republicans and conservative foes of the new health care law have raised warning flags about its "waiver" process. The legislation gives the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to issue waivers to providers with the goal of implementing the full law in 2014 as smoothly as possible. In particular, providers of group health insurance -- including businesses and labor unions -- have been exempted from new rules requiring health care plans to cover $750,000 in costs per year.

This, suspicious Republicans believed, was a recipe for cronyism. Without data detailing who got the waivers and who did not, they alleged that the waivers were part of scheme to reward administration allies and punish administration enemies with no oversight.

But that all changed when Congress tasked the Government Accountability Office with auditing the waiver program as part of spending legislation President Obama signed in the spring to avoid a government shutdown. That report was released earlier this month and the results were...quite unexceptional.

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Sure, Fox News is totally biased -- but only so they can even out all that liberal bias in the rest of the media.

That's what Jon Stewart took away from his interview with Fox's Chris Wallace over the weekend. And when Stewart returned to his show on Monday night, he broke it down for his viewers.

"We don't tell both sides of the story," Stewart said of Fox. "We tell one side -- the other side, the one we perceive is never told."

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LiveWire

Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…