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With all the talk of fiscal austerity and entitlement reform dominating these early months of the 2012 presidential cycle, it can be easy to forget that the Republican party is still the home to America's social conservatives. Though it may be on the backburner of the presidential race for the moment, the culture war is alive and well in many Republican circles.

This weekend it gets its due. Nearly all the men and women running for the Republican presidential nomination and a good portion of the party's top leadership will be on hand for the Faith And Freedom Conference, a social conservative confab organized by former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed.

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House Democrats emerged from a White House meeting with President Obama confident that the GOP Medicare plan has Republicans on the ropes and more determined than ever to ensure that tax increases on the wealthiest Americans are included in any long-term debt-reduction package.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the meeting was "very productive" and a "great exchange of ideas."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has yet to officially launch an increasingly expected presidential campaign -- but she is now set to take part in a Republican candidates' debate in New Hampshire, the surest sign yet that she is getting in.

Bachmann aide Andy Parrish, who is leaving as her Capitol Hill chief of staff to take an unspecified new position with her (it is believed that he will be her campaign manager) told the Associated Press that Bachmann will be on stage at the June 13 debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.

This debate would be Bachmann's first presidential debate -- and also put her on stage alongside her fellow Minnesotan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among the other candidates.

Bachmann has said she will announce her plans this month in Waterloo, Iowa, the town where she was born. It is hard to imagine a politician putting together a big rally in Iowa, only to deliver a speech announcing that they were not running.

1||On Thursday, May 26, accused war criminal and fugitive Ratko Mladic was finally captured by Serbian authorities after being sought for 15 years.

Here, he's shown in a file photo from 1995. ||m17/m17/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

2||Mladic, a former top Serbian military officer, is accused of orchestrating the genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. ||AVALA/SIPA/AVALA/SIPA/Newscom&&

3||Mladic, shown here in 1993 with Bosnian Serb politican Radovan Karadzic. Both men were indicted in 1995 for war crimes. ||/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

4||Mladic was found hiding under an assumed name at a cousin's farmhouse in the village of Lazarevo, in northern Serbia. Here, Mladic is shown in an undated photo with Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008 for his role in the genocide during the Bosnian war. ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

5||Shortly after his capture, Mladic was extradited to the Netherlands, where he will stand trial at The Hague. ||m17/m17/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

6||Mladic rose to the rank of Colonel General during the Bosnian war, which broke out between several factions when the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted to secede from the former Yugoslavia in early 1992. || ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

7||During the war, Mladic and his troops, the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) conducted a nearly 4-year on siege on the city of Sarajevo. ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

8||In 1995, the VRS entered the UN-protected town of Srebrenica, killing over 8,000 Muslims, the largest mass murder Europe had seen since World War. II ||DELAHAYE LUC/SIPA/DELAHAYE LUC/SIPA/Newscom&&

9||The VRS also captured the UN safe haven of Zepa. Here, Mladic is shown sitting in a field outside the city. ||m17/m17/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

10||Mladic and Karadzic in an undated photo. ||SHONE NESIC V./SIPA/SHONE NESIC V./SIPA/Newscom&&

11||Mladic, shown here in 1995. ||SHONE NESIC V./SIPA/SHONE NESIC V./SIPA/Newscom&&

12||Mladic in 1994, one month before being promoted to the rank of Colonel General. ||m17/m17/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

13||Mladic in 1993. ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

14||It's unclear as yet if Mladic will be tried jointly with Karadzic. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague initially wanted to try the two men together, but separated the two cases shortly after Karadzic's went on trial in late 2009. ||ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

Cyber attacks like the recent one against the Department of State and Pentagon officials' Gmail accounts pose the risk of escalating tensions between U.S. and China. Officials are trying to figure out how to address the complex situation without escalating tensions.

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Moody's Investment Service will likely downgrade America's credit rating if Congress can't reach agreement on a debt ceiling increase by mid-July, the firm said in a statement Thursday.

The major credit rating firm warned that political bickering has gotten out of hand and that they were concerned the two parties' may not reach a deal before the country defaulted on its obligations, which the Treasury Department warns will occur in early August, setting off a financial crisis.

"Although Moody's fully expected political wrangling prior to an increase in the statutory debt limit, the degree of entrenchment into conflicting positions has exceeded expectations," the statement read. "The heightened polarization over the debt limit has increased the odds of a short-lived default. If this situation remains unchanged in coming weeks, Moody's will place the rating under review."

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America, Mitt Romney understands why you did what you did in 2008. And he's not here to judge -- just help you clean up the mess.

In his campaign kickoff speech in New Hampshire today, Romney sounded like a passive-aggressive ex-boyfriend ready to take the country back after it briefly ran off with the hot new guy in school.

"A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do," Romney said. "We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn't known for very long, who didn't have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place."

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