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Facing a booing crowd in Europe, a PayPal executive tried to explain why his company blocked donations to Wikileaks. He cited a letter from the State Department calling the secrets-sharing site illegal. Sadly for him, no such letter exists.

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Yesterday, it seemed like a vote on repealing the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers was just a procedural wrangle or two away from happening. Today, that may still be the case, but it looks like Democrats are running out of time to get repeal done in the structure laid down by Republicans.

Earlier today on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will "likely sometime today" attempt to move a cloture vote of the defense spending bill that includes DADT repeal -- though those close to final negotiations on the bill are telling reporters that such a move will doom any chance for a vote on DADT (for the time being).

Here's why. Republican Susan Collins (ME) said last night that she would only vote for cloture if Republicans are allow amendments and four days to debate them-- and only then if that debate comes after a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts. Greg Sargent reported that Reid had not responded to Collin's offer as of this morning.

And, in the tight lame duck calendar, that timing may be actually be impossible. "A source close to Reid" told CNN's Dana Bash "there is doubt they can ever give Collins the terms she wants to secure her vote," meaning that the vote will go ahead without her.

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House Democrats voted in a private meeting this morning to reject the tax cut plan President Obama negotiated with the GOP.

By voice vote, Democrats agreed to a non-binding resolution, introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), not to bring up the Obama plan in its current form.

A House Democratic aide characterized the rebuke as a "vote of no-confidence" in the package -- a ratification of the anger Dems expressed to Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting yesterday evening about the details of the plan and the fact that House Democrats were closed out of the negotiations.

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Stephen Colbert last night gave a "tip of his hat" to incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for threatening to defund the Smithsonian National Portrait Museum over a video installation titled "Fire in My Belly."

The Smithsonian eventually removed the piece, which briefly shows ants crawling over a crucifix, and the decision drew criticism from some art critics. But Colbert thinks the critics "just don't get" Cantor's work.

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In a possible further blow to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's hopes for re-election, the RNC has revealed to the Federal Election Commission in amended filings that its debts are $4 million higher than had previously been reported.

ABC News reports:

In a letter to the FEC Wednesday, RNC official Boyd Rutherford said the unreported money woes "were discovered during a self-initiated internal review process, which was undertaken in connection with the arrival of a new Chief of Staff and Finance Director."

The additional debt numbers only add to earlier reports that the RNC was not fully disclosing its unmet financial obligations. In July, ABC News and others reported that the RNC had failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the FEC in what some alleged was an attempt to make the party appear to be in better shape than it was.

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A Kansas-based church known for its high-profile protests of service members' funerals is planning to show up at the memorial service for the late Elizabeth Edwards, the group said Thursday.

The Westboro Baptist Church's website said the group will hold a protest on Saturday from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at a memorial for the Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards, a lawyer and health care advocate, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

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Chris Healy, the chair of the Connecticut GOP and one of the many Republicans in the mix for the Republican National Committee chair race in January, says he won't be seeking Michael Steele's job at the RNC after all.

In an email sent today, Healy put an end to rumors that he may run for RNC chair -- and endorsed former RNC political director Gentry Collins for the job.

"Gentry possesses the leadership skills, temperament and energy we need to take our Party forward - to preserve the gains made in 2010, to protect our interests through redistricting and to make President Obama a one-term President," Healy wrote.

Healy has been one of the most vocal critics of Steele over the past few months, publicly attacking the embattled chair while most other candidates kept their criticisms on the more subtle side.

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One of the Democrats' main concerns with the tax cut compromise is about what's not in the plan: a measure that would increase the amount of debt the United States can legally take on. It gives the Republican an opening to repeat this hostage situation next year when they control the House: agree to raise the debt ceiling, but only if Democrats agree to slash spending programs by billions. Spending cuts or default. You pick!

President Obama flubbed a question earlier this week about whether he'd given the GOP the leverage they need to repeat this scenario early next year when the country hits its debt ceiling. But maybe Dems are more prepared for that fight than critics give them credit for.

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The Pew Research Center released a big study focused entirely on Twitter. According to its findings, 8% of American adults that are online are now using Twitter. Below is a breakdown from Pew about how those people are actually using Twitter.





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Conservatives aren't exactly unified behind the new tax plan. But they're not exactly gunning for it either.

From Dave Weigel:

I asked David Keating, the executive director of the Club for Growth, if this meant that Republicans who ended up supporting the deal could expect the Club to support primary challengers.

"No, I don't see that happening," said Keating. "We want to push them hard and get the best deal possible. But this is choice between having legislators do nothing, which would result in a tax increase, and voting for some temporary tax cuts that aren't everything we'd like. We're not discussing whether to increase the death tax from 0 to 35 percent. We're discussing whether to let it go to 45 percent. So this is not something I see someone getting a challenge on."


So they're not bringing out the big guns. And, of course, plenty of their allies think it's a pretty decent deal.

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