The difficulty Senate Republicans faced voting this week for a bill full of spending cuts is best illustrated on the home page for the Alaska Head Start program’s web site, reports the New York Times. On the bottom of the page is a picture of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, receiving an award for her long support for Head Start, the preschool program for poor children. At the top of the page is a note imploring Alaskans to call Ms. Murkowski’s office and beg her not to vote for a Republican bill that would cut the program’s budget by $2 billion, or nearly a quarter of President Obama’s 2011 budget request of $8.2 billion. The current level is $7.2 billion. On Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Murkowski did so anyway…

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staff and wire services reports