TPM News

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak's decision to remain in office while allocating unspecified powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman "deeply unfortunate and troubling."

"The voices of the Egyptian people are growing louder and more unified, and they are not demanding partial transfers of power or minor adjustments to the current government," McCain said in a release issued less than two hours after Mubarak gave a rambling speech in which he said he would remain as President until elections are held in September. "They are calling for President Mubarak to step down as the beginning of a meaningful and enduring transition to democracy in Egypt."

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by Marian Wang ProPublica, Feb. 10, 2011, 10:25 a.m.

Republicans unveiled a budget plan on Wednesday that proposed a $1.6 billion cut [1] to the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency whose authority they have sought to curtail, while business trade groups [2] have complained about the burden placed on them by agency regulations. Politico also reported that the GOP's proposal would hit the Energy Department hard [3], with a proposal to cut energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in half.

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White House officials are calling the president's State of the Union plan for widespread wireless broadband coverage "win-win-win" for its potential to reduce the deficit, create a comprehensive public safety network and connect the country via broadband.

The president traveled to freezing Marquette, Michigan Thursday to unveil details of the Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative before an invited crowd on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

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Dick Cheney just popped up here at CPAC to introduce his old pal and Bush administration colleague Donald Rumsfeld. Fans of Ron Paul turned what should have been a friendly moment before an audience of fellow conservatives into a screaming match and protest action that resembled what a Cheney-Rumsfeld hug at the Netroots Nation convention might look like.

Rumsfeld is being given CPAC's "Defender Of The Constitution" award, a concept that apparently rankled Paul supporters in the crowd. Many of them got up and walked out en masse at the mention of Rumsfeld, though some stayed behind in the conference hall to heckle the architects of the invasion of Iraq.



One shout of "where's Bin Laden?" rang out as Cheney spoke of Rumsfeld.

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A federal jury in Washington has convicted a former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) on corruption charges related to his acceptance of an all-expenses paid trip to Game One of the 2003 World Series, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The jury took just two days to convict 41-year-old Fraser Verrusio on one count of conspiring to accept an illegal gratuity, one count of accepting an illegal gratuity and one count of making a false statement in failing to report his receipt of gifts from a lobbyist and the lobbyist's client on his 2003 financial disclosure statement, according to a press release.

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One theme of Rick Santorum's CPAC speech was that President Obama has his priorities all wrong, because he "doesn't believe America is exceptional," does see America as a "force for disruption, and even evil," and won't "say that jihadism is evil."

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Top Senate Democrats took a break from their annual retreat Thursday afternoon to criticize Republicans for going spending-cut crazy.

"The House Republican proposal is not responsible," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a conference call with reporters.

Last week, Reid called the House Republicans' plan to slash $34 billion from current spending levels over the next six months "unworkable." Just today, under pressure from their right flank, GOP leaders increased that number to about $58 billion.

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On the 17th day of protests that have gripped his country and commanded the attention of the world, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak made a televised speech in which he repeated his pledge not to seek re-election, announced proposed amendments to the constitution, but did not -- as many had expected -- leave office.

"Day after day we will continue the transfer of power from now until September," he said.

Mubarak did say that he had delegated some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

In an interview with CNN after Mubarak's speech, the Egyptian ambassador to the U.S., Sameh Shoukry, said that Mubarak had transferred all presidential powers to the Vice President, saying the "de jure head of state" of Egypt is Mubarak, while the "de facto head" is now Suleiman.

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There won't be an orange baseball bat knocking around Capitol Hill any time soon -- or at least, Carl Paladino won't be wielding it.

Paladino will not be running for Congress in the special election for New York's 26th District, his home district. Republican Congressman Chris Lee resigned yesterday after a report in Gawker that the married politician had been seeking dates on Craigslist while falsely representing himself as a divorced lobbyist, and sending photos of himself sans shirt, in order to demonstrate that he was a "fun fit classy guy."

Paladino made headlines in 2010, as the Republican nominee for governor. Democrat Andrew Cuomo won the race statewide by a landslide margin of 61%-34% -- but not in this district. In fact, Paladino won double-digit victories in all but two of the counties that include this district.

Paladino told the New York Times: "I'm not a compromising type of a person."

He also didn't seem to even like the fact that people were asking him to run: "Would a real friend urge me to run?"

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