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First GOP Governor Calls On Boehner To Extend Unemployment Benefits

(TPM) Nevada's Brian Sandoval became the first Republican governor to publicly call on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to revive unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans.

In a letter dated April 11, Sandoval and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) endorsed the Senate-passed bill to extend long-term jobless benefits through the end of May, with retroactive compensation for those who lost it when the program expired on Dec. 28.


Governor Bans Minimum Wage Increases And Paid Sick Leave Laws (Oklahoma)

(Think Progress) At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

Omaha Steve

CBO Estimates U.S. Deficit Will Shrink More Than Expected in 2014--Update

(WSJ) The U.S. government's gap between spending and revenue will be narrower both this year and later in the decade compared with prior estimates, driven in part by reductions in near-term military spending and falling longer-run costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget policy, on Monday said the adjustments will lower its forecast for the 2014 deficit to $492 billion, or $23 billion less than it estimated two months ago. That's equivalent to 2.8% of gross domestic product, marking the smallest deficit since 2007. Since 1980, the deficit has averaged roughly 3.2% of GDP.


CBO Lowers Obamacare's Price Tag By $104 Billion Over 10 Years

(TPM) In its latest projections for Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has lowered the law's costs over the next 10 years by more than $100 billion.

Most of the change can be linked to lower spending on tax subsidies for coverage purchased on HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts, which can in turn be linked to lower-than-expected premiums.


Scott Brown's Campaign Mocks His Opponent As A 'Senator From Massachusetts'

(TPM) Eager to shed his identity as a former senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign is now apparently deriding his opponent as the "third senator from Massachusetts." As he kicked off his Senate campaign in New Hampshire last week, Brown received assistance from the state's former Republican governor, John H. Sununu.

“Shaheen votes with Elizabeth Warren. She votes with (Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed) Markey. She is the third senator from Massachusetts,” Sunnunu said at Brown's Portsmouth, N.H. rally, according to Yahoo's Chris Moody. “Scott’s happiest days as a young man were in New Hampshire. … So it’s going to be great to have a senator that was born virtually in the state of New Hampshire. Jean Shaheen, by the way, was born in Missouri!”


NRA gunning for making elephants extinct

(Reader Supported News) When the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban.

While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant poaching, it warned that something far more important was at stake: “This is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to ban firearms,” the organization asserted in an alert.


"GOP House Armed Services Chair exonerates Obama, Hillary over Benghazi"

(America Blog) GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, the Republican chair of the House Armed Services Committee, says he’s satisfied with how the US military – and ergo the Obama administration – responded to the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya.

The news also exonerates expected Democratic presidential nominee, and then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. More on that in a moment.


The seeds are being planted now to "Expand Medicaid in Texas"

(Dallas News) You know the world is topsy-turvy when the Dallas Citizens Council comes out on the liberal side of a debate. For that matter, you know these are strange days when the Citizens Council comes out publicly for anything at all. Though not the semi-secret cabal it once was, the high-powered organization still prefers to work behind the scenes. But there, for everyone to see, was the recent guest column in this newspaper written by Citizens Council president Alice Murray. And of all things, it called for the expansion of Medicaid in Texas.


Obama: The 'Real Voter Fraud' Comes From 'People Who Try To Deny Our Rights'

(AP) President Barack Obama delivered a fiery speech against Republicans on Friday, charging that the GOP is threatening voting rights in America.

Appearing at Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference, Obama cited a 2006 DOJ analysis showing that out of 197,000,000 votes cast for federal elections between 2002 and 2005, only 40 voters were indicted for fraud.

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