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Sen. Blanche Lincoln's office (D-AR) is denying reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is allegedly urging her to retire this year, in the face of poll numbers showing her in a tough race.

"No truth to it," Lincoln spokeswoman Kate Laning Niebaum told The Hill. The DSCC also strongly denied the report, in an interview with TPMDC. "Sen. Blanche Lincoln is running an aggressive campaign in Arkansas, and we have no doubt that she will win," said DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy.

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When Republican Scott Brown won the special election for Ted Kennedy's old senate seat last week, the GOP rejoiced and Democrats fretted about the legislative implications of losing their filibuster-proof, 60-seat supermajority. With their advantage whittled to 59-41 -- still a huge advantage, at least in the context of history -- Democrats wondered whether they could pass their signature health care reform package. Some media outlets even declared that Democrats had lost their majority (they hadn't).

Sure, in recent years, threats of filibuster have become more and more common -- and getting 60 votes for key pieces of legislation has seemed to become evermore necessary. But at the same time, we rarely actually see senators filibustering, at least not like Jimmy Stewart's character did in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Why?

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today he knows of no new deadlines for health care reform, an issue Congressional leaders are wrangling with following the Democrats' loss in Massachusetts last week.

Reporters asked about the status of health care reform and if there is a "new deadline" for getting health care done since Democrats failed to meet previous deadlines set in 2009.

"Not that I know of," Gibbs said.

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When the Pentagon's internal think tank decided in 2004 it needed a better understanding of Al Qaeda, it turned to an unlikely source: the terrorism analyst Laurie Mylroie, who was known as the chief purveyor of the discredited idea that Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11 and many other attacks carried out by Al Qaeda.

Mylroie was paid roughly $75,000 to produce a 300-page study, "The History of Al Qaida," for the Defense Department think tank, known as the Office of Net Assessment, a DOD spokesman tells us. The study, which is dated September 2005, was posted on an intelligence blog last month.

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Last week's Supreme Court ruling striking down the ban on direct corporate spending in elections could allow overseas corporations -- even those controlled by foreign governments -- to pour money into U.S. elections, supporters of campaign-finance regulation warn.

"Clearly there's a huge opening now," Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause told TPMmuckraker.

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