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TheDC Morning: Ross rousted

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1.) Silly Republicans actually try to solve a problem — Remember when Obama said not to call his bluff? TheDC’s Amanda Carey reports: “The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, Tuesday night. The measure passed on a fairly party-line vote, 234-190. Five Democrats voted for the measure, while nine Republicans voted against it. One of them was presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who voted no because the bill did not repeal Obamacare. The CCB Act, which ties a vote to raise the debt limit to spending cuts and caps, as well as a balanced budget amendment, was expected to pass the House. It is likely to face an uphill battle in the Senate, and President Barack Obama has already promised to veto it, should it cross his desk.” As we now know thanks to Jay Carney, “Leadership is not proposing a plan for the sake of having it voted up or down, and likely voted down.” Leadership is about waiting to see what the Republicans do, saying it stinks whatever it is, and failing to provide any better ideas. Oh, and it’s about finding different ways to tell people to shut up.

2.) Ross rousted — Michelle Bachmann has a brand new headache today, as TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports: “An ABC News investigative reporter was accosted by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s bodyguards after the newsman tried to ask the congresswoman about suffering from migraines, according to a news report. The questions were provoked by The Daily Caller’s report on the Republican presidential candidate’s medical history, published Tuesday. The reporter, Brian Ross, was attempting to speak with Bachmann after a rally in Aiken, S.C., when he was roughed up, Time Magazine’s Michael Crowley reported… ‘Ross dashed after Bachmann, repeatedly asking whether she had ever missed a House vote due to a migraine,’ Crowley wrote. ‘She ignored him. Ross pursued her into a parking area behind the stage. Her aides grew alarmed. When Ross made a beeline for the white SUV waiting to carry Bachmann away, two Bachmann men pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times with what looked to me like unusual force…’ Bachmann Tuesday released a statement about her migraines, saying, ‘Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.'” Good news, everybody: Ross is going to be okay. Meanwhile, still no word on Obama’s medical records, three years later. But that’s different because it just is.

3.) The State Department does it again — If you’re going to defraud the American taxpayer, go big. Go stupid. And deny everything. TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports: “A special investigation by The Daily Caller has discovered that a State Department contract specialist participated in awarding more than $52 million in taxpayer-funded contracts to a company owned and operated by her husband and daughter. Kathleen McGrade helped their company, Sterling Royale Group, win 43 federally funded contracts over the last few years. McGrade acted as the Contracting Officer (CO) for awards to Sterling Royale Group. McGrade’s husband, Brian Collinsworth, serves as the company’s Vice President. McGrade’s daughter, J.L. (Jennifer) Herring, is its president and CEO. When TheDC first reached Collinsworth for comment, he denied being married to McGrade. ‘She is the CO on our contracts, but we are not married in any way, shape or form. That’s kind of funny, but, okay,’ Collinsworth said, adding that he and McGrade have no relationship ‘other than a professional one of a CO to a company.’ Collinsworth also denied that Herring is McGrade’s daughter, and his stepdaughter. But wedding photographs and other personal pictures Collinsworth posted on MySpace.com suggest otherwise. TheDC has seen Collinsworth’s MySpace profile, last updated in early 2007, which declares that he is ‘happily married to my beautiful wife of one year, Kathy.’ ‘I have four children from a previous marriage and one brand new step-daughter (see photos)…’ When TheDC approached him with this new evidence, Collinsworth cut off communications and has not returned further requests for comment… It’s unclear whether McGrade told her ethics supervisors at the State Department that she was directing tens of millions of dollars in contracts to a company owned and operated by her husband and daughter. State Department officials won’t comment on the specifics of the arrangement, confirming only that they are investigating the matter.” Do you suppose the State Department’s internal investigation will find that nobody there did anything wrong? Oooh, the suspense!

4.) West goes wild on Wasserman Schultz — Nobody really likes Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but one guy doesn’t like her more than everybody else who doesn’t like her. ABC News reports: “Rep. Allen West unleashed an (sic) scathing email to House leadership to raise his objections to ‘unprofessional and inappropriate sophomoric behavior’ from fellow Sunshine State lawmaker Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after the Florida Democrat waged what West has deemed as a personal character attack on the House floor today. ‘You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!’ West, R-Fla., wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon. ‘You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!'” Which is an overreaction. All she said was the boilerplate Democratic rhetoric about Republicans killing Grandma for Big Oil. It was nothing personal.

5.) Betty White, heartbreaker — At some point, every red-blooded male wonders what it would be like to go out with Betty White. One brave Marine got closer than most of us ever will, but it wasn’t meant to be. TheDC’s Katie McHugh reports: “The third time may not be a charm for Marine Sgt. Ray Lewis. Last week the deployed Marine asked Emmy Award-winning actress Betty White, 89, to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November, but she has politely declined. Lewis invited her in the same tried-and-true fashion as Cpl. Kelsey de Santis asked Justin Timberlake and Sgt. Scott Moore asked Mila Kunis — with a YouTube video. ‘She’s funny, she’s sweet, she’s mature. She’s the all-around perfect woman,’ Sgt. Lewis said, while dressed in formalwear and holding a rose. ‘I really think we’d have a good time. … I think I can make her laugh. I think she can make me laugh. I think we can laugh together. So, call me!’ Unfortunately, White’s tight filming schedule prevented her from saying yes, even if she wanted to go. ‘I am deeply flattered and truly appreciate the invitation, as everyone knows I love a man in uniform,’ White said in a statement, according to Access Hollywood, ‘but unfortunately I cannot accept, as I will be taping an episode of Hot In Cleveland.'” Same old story: You work up the courage to tell the woman of your dreams how you feel about her, and she tells you she has to tape an episode of Hot In Cleveland.

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed — “Let me tweet thee again…Murdoch: as if Nixon owned a newspaper.”

VIDEO: Your loss, Betty White

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