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Friday
Oct012010

Obama at Fundraiser: 'People...Can Make a Difference'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In twin Democratic fundraisers in Washington, President Obama helped the party raise an estimated $1.75 million as he urged the party's faithful to get energized for the congressional elections in which Democrats could lose significant majorities.

“This was never going to be easy,” the president told 50 donors at a candlelit dinner in the home of his former aide, Linda Douglass. “When people come together, they can make a difference. You can see them get a little more pep in their step."

He scoffed at critics who claim his recent rally in Wisconsin didn’t show the same degree of enthusiasm he drew in his campaign.

The president urged the donors who contributed as much as $34,000 each to the Democratic Party not to rest between now and Election Day, Nov. 2.

“You can rest Nov. 3,” he said.

At the night's second event, 3,000 young people crowded into DAR Constitution Hall for what the party called a Gen44 Summit concert, with tickets as low as $44.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

Supreme Court Begins New Term Monday; Cases Scheduled on Death Penalty, First Amendment

Photo Courtesy - Kathleen Dooher(WASHINGTON) -- Justice Elena Kagan will take the bench of the Supreme Court on Monday, joining her eight colleagues for the first day of arguments of the 2010 term.

The term's docket features a variety of issues related to the First Amendment, the death penalty, states' rights and prosecutorial misconduct, but the docket is overshadowed by what looms in the future: potential challenges to health care legislation, same-sex marriage and immigration reform. Those issues are currently working their way through the lower courts and could reach the Supreme Court next year or beyond.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

Liberal Groups Come Together for Washington March

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A coalition of labor unions, civil rights and progressive groups is banding together for a rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend, aiming to put job creation on the top of the congressional agenda.

Organizers of "One Nation Working Together," organized by some 400 groups, say the goal is to tell lawmakers they need to find common ground on the issue of jobs and get people to vote come November.

"We're not a response to the Tea Party. If anything, we're the antidote. We are a different response to the same moment," NAACP president Benjamin Jealous told ABC News. "They have sought to attack diversity. They have attacked the 14th amendment. They made racial profiling the law of the land in Arizona and have ambitions to do it elsewhere. We say, 'Don't push down on diversity, push up on prosperity.'"

The rally, expected to draw thousands of people, is a chance for Democratic groups to reenergize the base. The surge of the Tea Party movement and conservative groups has rallied Republicans in much the same fashion as Democrats in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

President Obama Meets with American Hiker Sarah Shourd

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Late Thursday evening, the White House announced  President Obama met privately with American hiker Sarah Shourd, who was recently released after being imprisoned for more than a year in Iran.  The president also met with the families of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two American men who are still being held overseas.

“We remain hopeful that Iran will demonstrate renewed compassion and do the right thing,” the White House said in a statement, ”by ensuring the safe return of Shane, Josh and all the other missing or detained Americans in Iran."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

President Likely To Name Pete Rouse As Interim Chief Of Staff

Photo Courtesy -- The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Although the White House has not yet confirmed it, it is expected that upon Friday's likely announcement that current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will leave his role, Pete Rouse will be named Emanuel's replacement on an interim basis. 

However, there is speculation that President Obama might choose another candidate to replace Emanuel.  It is still possible that Ron Klain, Vice President Biden's chief of staff, may have a chance at the role.  A White House source said that Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, another possible replacement, will likely stay with the National Security Staff. 

Despite the possibilities for replacement alternatives, however, the White House press secretary did say Thursday, "Pete has been with Senator-elect, Senator, President-elect, and now President Obama." 

Gibbs added, "There is complete loyalty and trust with somebody like Pete.  Pete's strategic sense has played a big part in the direction of virtually every big decision that's made inside of this White House.   So I think the type of trust that the president and others throughout this administration have in Pete is enormous.”

As reported earlier, ABC News has learned Emanuel's announcement will be made in the East Room of the White House, where President Obama will name Emanuel's successor.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Thursday
Sep302010

NYC Mayor Bloomberg & Media Mogul Murdoch Argue For Immigration Reform

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch headlined a Judiciary subcommittee hearing Thursday on the role of immigration in strengthening America’s economy. 

Murdoch, the head of News Corp, which owns Fox News, told a House panel today that illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform.  Bloomberg said immigration is a problem driven largely by supply and demand, and criticized both Republicans and Democrats for failing to act while the parties have rotated control of the Congress and White House.  Murdoch's pro-immigration reform stance was challenged by one Democrat because it runs counter to the opinions most often expression by commentators on Fox News.  Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., went after Murdoch for not utilizing his vast power over his media outlets like Fox News Channel to encourage immigration reform.  “We are home to all views on Fox.  If you wish to come and state these views, we'd love to have you on Fox News,” Murdoch answered. “We don't censor that or take any particular line at all.  We are not anti-immigrant on Fox News.”  Murdoch is himself an immigrant from Australia. He became a U.S. citizen in 1985 to satisfy law that mandates only citizens may own American television stations.

Bloomberg and Murdoch are both members of the Partnership for a New American Economy, which aims to influence public opinion and policymakers toward comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to legal status for undocumented workers.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Thursday
Sep302010

NY GOP Hopeful Paladino Angrily Threatens to 'Take Out' Reporter 

(NEW YORKPhoto Courtesy -- Paladino for the People ) -- New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino  threatened to "take out" a reporter following a heated exchange.  The dustup occurred Wednesday when New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker asked Paladino to prove his accusation that Democratic challenger Andrew Cuomo cheated on his ex-wife while the couple were still married.  "What evidence do you have for something most people would consider a smear?" Dicker asked.  Rather than respond to the question, Paladino accused Dicker of sending a "goon" to photograph his young daughter, who was born to a mistress and kept secret from his wife for a decade. "You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy!" Paladino told Dicker.  Pushed again for proof of the accusation against Cuomo, Paladino told the Post, "At the appropriate time you will hear it."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Thursday
Sep302010

Leadership Challenge? GOP Rep.: 'Premature' to Commit to Boehner

Photo Courtesy - Office of the Republican Leader(WASHINGTON) -- As Democrats ramp up their attacks on House Minority Leader John Boehner – who’s presumed to be in line to become House speaker if Republicans take over the majority – not all rank-and-file Republicans are ready to commit to supporting Boehner as speaker.

On ABC’s “Top Line” Thursday, Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas said it would be “premature” for members of his caucus to line up behind Boehner, particularly when there’s likely to be so many new Republicans coming to Congress.

“There's going to be an election here in just a little over a month’s time. Who knows what is going to happen, but there may be an enormous number of new members on my side, in my conference,” Burgess said. “Let's see what happens. Right now I'll commit for voting for a conservative speaker of the house. I'm going to try to pick the most conservative candidate that's out there, and we'll see what happens.”

Asked if that means he won’t guarantee his vote will be for Boehner next year, Burgess responded:

“There's no vacancy right now. We have an election to get through. Let's see what happens. I think it's premature for people to lock themselves down to one direction or another,” Burgess said.

A serious leadership challenge against Boehner remains unlikely. One potential challenger, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, has ruled out a run against Boehner, and Burgess declined to speculate on possible challengers to Boehner’s leadership.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

Senate Moves to Turn Down Volume on TV Ads

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- This fall, the Senate couldn’t get anything done on tax cuts, energy, immigration, gays in the military, campaign finance reform, or outsourcing jobs, but it did take a step to turn down the volume on noisy television commercials. The Senate on Wednesday passed by unanimous consent a bill that would require the FCC to regulate the volume of TV commercials that can be many times louder than the TV program itself.

“Every American has likely experienced the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said in a statement. “While this may be an effective way for ads to grab attention, it also adds unnecessary stress to the daily lives of many Americans.

The bill, called the CALM Act, will now move on to the House, which passed similar legislation last December. If minor differences between the two measures can be ironed out, a final bill could be sent to President Obama during Congress lame-duck session in November.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep302010

Emanuel to Leave White House, Explore Run for Chicago Mayor

Photo Courtesy - The White House

UPDATE:  Emanuel To Begin Campaigning For Mayor Of Chicago Immediately 

(WASHINGTON) -- As White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel leaves his position Friday, “he will be returning home to Chicago sometime over the weekend,” according to Emanuel’s longtime friend and campaign official Rick Jasculca. “On Monday he will be -- as he has done in all his previous campaigns in Chicago -- eagerly hitting the bricks, directly going out and meeting with citizens and voters.  He will be doing this in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city,” Jasculca said, “starting Monday and beyond.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is expected to announce Friday that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is stepping down to explore a run for mayor of Chicago. ABC News has learned the announcement will be made in the East Room of the White House, where President Obama will also name Emanuel's successor.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio