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Monday, Jan 26th

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AP Sources: Senate Group Omitting Public Option

After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

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TVNL Comment:  Insurance companies and Big Pharma get their way. What a shock.

On eve of debate, House Democrats say CIA lied

"These notifications have led me to conclude that this committee has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one case) was affirmatively lied to," Reyes wrote in a letter Tuesday to Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the committee's senior Republican. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Reyes said in the letter that he is considering opening a full investigation.

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Franken Named Winner of Minnesota Senate Race; Coleman Concedes

Democrat Al Franken won Minnesota’s disputed U.S. Senate seat as a loss at the state Supreme Court prompted Republican Norm Coleman to concede.

“I congratulate Al Franken” on his victory, Coleman said at a news conference outside his home in St. Paul.

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Congress Ignores WH Veto Challenge Over Fighter Jets

Congress is moving forward with plans to fund the construction of additional Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets, even though the Obama administration has said the president would veto such a move.

A Senate panel on Thursday approved $1.75 billion to build seven more F-22s and the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Defense Department funding bill that would allocate more funds for the planes, the New York Times reported. Both chambers are also asking for a report from the administration on possibly exporting the planes to Japan and other allies.

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Members of U.S. House Financial Services Committee snapped up or dumped bank stocks as bottom fell out of market

As financial markets tumbled and the government worked to stave off panic by pumping billions of dollars into banks last fall, several members of Congress who oversee the banking industry were grabbing up or dumping bank stocks.

Financial disclosure records show that some of these Financial Services Committee members, including Ohio Rep. Charlie Wilson, made bank stock trades on the same day the banks were getting a government bailout from a program Congress approved. The transactions may not have been illegal or against congressional rules, but securities attorneys and congressional watchdog groups say they raise flags about the appearance of conflicts of interest.

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Lawmakers press Obama on 'don't ask, don't tell'

Seventy-seven House members are urging President Obama to suspend the investigation and discharge of military personnel because of their sexual orientation.

“We urge you to exercise the maximum discretion legally possible in administering don't ask, don't tell until Congress repeals the law,” the lawmakers wrote to Obama on Monday.

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Sen. Ensign resigns GOP leadership post

Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who admitted on Tuesday carrying on an extramarital affair with a woman who was on his campaign staff, has stepped down from his leadership post, the Associated Press reports.

Ensign was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking spot in the leadership.

TVNL Comment: Another member of the Christian family values party

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