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Qaddafi just called into Libyan TV to give a relatively short statement.

He is NOT backing down and insists the protesters are all teenagers who are taking drugs handed out by Al Qaeda. He says the protesters are small in number.

Qaddafi again threatened to cut off oil supplies: "When the oil flow has been stopped, how are the people going to sustain a living. Will Bin Laden provide for them?"

However, Qaddafi tried to talk down his own authority. He called himself a symbolic leader like the Queen of England, who is there only to provide "parental advice."
He offered small concessions: "You can put anyone who is suspected of corruption on trial. It is your call." Also: "Maybe there can be a revision of  salaries or other income." "We are urging people to form committees." He even talked about giving people interest-free loans.

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MADISON, WI -- The debate is moving forward in Wisconsin on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal and its controversial provisions weakening the power of public employee unions -- or at least, it's moving forward in the state Assembly. The state Senate remains effectively shut down.

As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Assembly have reached a deal to limit debate on the many amendments that Democrats had been offering to the bill -- which have been voted down on party-line margins -- narrowing the list down to just 38 more, with ten minutes of debate for each.

At that rate, the Assembly could come to a vote later on Thursday.

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At a time when some Republicans are calling to defund public broadcasting, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has added a link on its homepage to an appearance Fred Rogers made before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications on May 1, 1969, when President Nixon was proposing to cut federal funding for public broadcasting from $20 million to $10 million. In the video, Rogers offers a defense for his show over the other kinds of programs made for children at the time.

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Last year, Utah voters ousted incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett (R) -- and now, a majority of them say it's time for the state's other Senator, Orrin Hatch (R), to go as well.

In a new Utah Policy poll, 54% of Utah voters said it was time to send someone else to Washington in Hatch's place, while only 31% said Hatch should be reelected to the seat he has held for 34 years. The poll also had dire news for Hatch's chances of surviving a primary challenge. In a hypothetical match-up with two-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Hatch only managed a tie at 42% apiece.

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If Mike Huckabee enters the GOP presidential primary, his opponents will batter him over the case of Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons was a prisoner in Arkansas to whom Huckabee granted clemency, who went on to murder four people in Washington state.

Huckabee isn't the first national political figure to face this line of attack. It often plagues former governors who run for president. And when it's true,their response options are often limited. That said, at a round-table discussion with reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, Huckabee rose to the moment and said he made the right decision.

"There was a kid who was 16 years old, he committed a burglary, he was aggravated, but not armed. And for that he got 108 years," Huckabee said. "One-hundred-and-eight years."

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At an elegantly catered tea-time roundtable fête with reporters Wednesday afternoon, likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said public sector unions ought to be entirely eliminated, or hamstrung to limit worker benefits and influence over elected officials. During the same session, though, he admitted that a life of public service, and running for public office, has left him without a sizable nest egg. In fact, he acknowledged that he wants to delay a final decision about the presidential campaign so he can put away more of the big-time private sector money he's currently making.

But just before offering a candid assessment of his own finances, Huckabee endorsed two policy measures -- Social Security benefit cuts, and the privatization of Medicare -- that would erode the safety net for public workers and others of modest means.

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One year out from the first primary in the 2012 season, a Gallup poll shows Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin in a virtual dead heat to claim the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

Huckabee held a marginal lead in the poll, topping the field at 18%, with Palin and Romney close on his heels at 16% each. Given the poll's 3% margin of error, the candidates are statistically tied at the front of the GOP pack.

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Potential Republican presidential candidate and noted "traditional values" defender Rick Santorum is, unsurprisingly, upset with the Obama administration's decision to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act.

In a statement released tonight, Santorum said President Obama's decision on DOMA is "is yet another example of our president's effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth."

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A federal judge said Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder violated Justice Department policy by making statements defending the FBI's actions in the sting case against the so-called Christmas Tree bomber.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King wrote in a filing late Wednesday that he was concerned about statements Holder made "regarding defendant's state of mind and specific activities," which he concluded "constitute a breach" of a Justice Department policy on the release of information relating to criminal and civil proceedings.

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