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Ever wanted to know who to thank for House Speaker John Boehner's congressional career? The late Ohio Republican Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens was your man.

It was 1990. Lukens was in his second term in Congress. The year before, the 58-year-old congressman had been caught on a television network's hidden camera in a McDonald's restaurant speaking with the mother of a 16-year-old girl he was allegedly sleeping with.

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Like some kind of strange VH-1-C-SPAN hybrid, the bottom rung of the 2012 presidential race is turning into an episode of I Love Esoteric Political Rivalries Of The Early-2000s. Rick Santorum, down on money and lagging in the polls, is turning to an old foe, columnist Dan Savage, to help fill his coffers and grab some headlines.

Savage, who back in 2003 perfected the Google bomb that's still plaguing Santorum, is happy to oblige him.

"We just can't quit each other," Savage told TPM in an email.

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If Ronald Reagan was the Teflon President, Barack Obama may be the Kevlar President -- bad news can bruise him, but none can pierce his armor to cause any severe damage to his approval ratings.

That's according to Gallup Editor In Chief Frank Newport, who spoke to reporters Tuesday at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Newport says he's crunched the numbers as far back as they go in Gallup's polling archive and found that no one's done as well as Obama when the public is as unhappy with the economy.

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Democrats are being maddeningly tight-lipped about a leadership meeting with President Obama at the White House Wednesday afternoon. But a couple of key tells, and conversations with sources, suggest they believe -- or want reporters to believe -- that a "Grand Bargain" on deficit reduction and raising the debt limit, crafted by the White House and congressional negotiators, is still possible in the next couple weeks.

First, in remarks that have largely been walked back, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would consider a temporary extension of his borrowing authority. The caveat: this is only true if a deal's been cut, the votes are there, but the legislative process (bill writing, budget scoring, voting) would drag us past August 2.

Second, a House Dem aide offered the following readout of the White House meeting. "House Democrats continue to support the President's "grand bargain" proposal that will not balance the budget on the backs of seniors through cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries."

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Following Rep. Allen West's (R-FL) Tuesday email to DNC chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in which he attacked her as "vile, despicable, and unprofessional," and "not a Lady," West claimed he apologized. However, now both Wasserman Schultz and West's own spokesperson are saying he didn't.

Roll Call reported the apology earlier in the day, however, DNC aide Brad Woodhouse responded by calling the claim "a complete falsehood." Wasserman Schultz also told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she in fact did not receive an apology.

Then, to complicate this escalating 'he said/ she said' fiasco, Angela Sachitano, a spokesperson for West also came out claiming the apology is "absolutely false." She said that actually, West is waiting for an apology from Wasserman Schultz. Indeed, the signs are that West is actually using the incident for fundraising purposes.

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The ex co-owner of a car dealership formerly owned by Rep. Vern Buchanan accused the Florida Republican in federal court of a scheme to break election laws and making threats against his co-conspirators in an attempt to cover it up.

Sam Kazran said he has a voicemail from Buchanan in which the congressman warned of "consequences should [Kazran] chose to disclose his knowledge" and tried to get him to sign an affidavit that cleared Buchanan of any wrongdoing.

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In 2005, Catherine Cook and her brother David had an idea for a startup. The high schoolers flipped through a yearbook and wanted to make a digital version.
The 15-and-16-year-olds got to work and created MyYearbook. In the 6-year span, the duo raised $17 million in financing, grew the site to 70 million users, and generated 1.2 billion monthly pageviews.

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Watchdogs are busy extolling the Ethics Committee decision earlier Wednesday to hire an outside counsel to investigate the case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), as well as allegations that its own staff and members engaged in a pattern of prosecutorial abuse.

But a review of the special prosecutor's contract, obtained by TPM, raises new conflict-of-interest questions for the beleaguered ethics panel.

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