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Obama rips House Republicans’ budget bills over spending limits

- The Washington Times

With House Republicans set to move two key appropriations bills this week, the White House has come out swinging with a public relations offensive picking apart the Republican budget line by line — an indication that President Obama will take a tougher stance on spending this time and could be cracking the door to another government shutdown fight.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, has been joined by other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as libertarians and the billionaire Koch brothers, in calling for reform to the criminal justice system. (Associated Press)

Odd bedfellows: Grassley joins Holder, Kochs, ACLU on sentencing reform

- The Washington Times

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Monday said he supported looking into sentencing reform, joining former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., libertarian-leaning senators such as Rand Paul, the White House and the billionaire Koch brothers, in a political odd-fellow effort to reform the criminal justice system.

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Religious conservatives lobby for "religious freedom" law

Associated Press

Religious conservatives are lobbying North Carolina lawmakers to pass legislation that supporters say protects expressions of faith but that opponents contend would legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Vietnam and the US test their hard-won friendship

- Associated Press

After tanks from communist North Vietnam burst through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon 40 years ago Thursday, Washington imposed a punitive economic embargo that kept Hanoi from receiving assistance even from multilateral institutions such as the World Bank.

GOP ethics bills get airing in Oregon House committee

- Associated Press

Local government officials and lobbyists told an Oregon legislative committee Monday that it would be too expensive and time consuming to comply with a proposal to strengthen the state's public records laws.

The alma maters of current GOP presidential hopefuls do not include Ivy League schools. (Washington Times graphic)

Harvard-less: GOP presidential hopefuls have 'delightful' lack of Ivy League credentials

- The Washington Times

A noteworthy phenomenon as 2016 looms on the horizon. Democrats often portray Republicans as pedigreed frat boys who are hopelessly out of touch with voters. It is a convenient and oft-repeated claim. But it doesn't have much truth to it anymore. Many of the current GOP presidential hopefuls are not quite living up to the Democratic claim. Which could be a distinct advantage.

US court upholds Chicago suburb's assault weapons ban

- Associated Press

A U.S. appeals court Monday upheld a Chicago suburb's assault weapons ban that had become a focus in the statewide debate over gun control, though a dissenting judge sharply criticized the majority opinion.