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Wednesday
Sep222010

House Republicans Use Social Media to Draft Agenda

(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans, eager to move beyond the divisive intra-party fights that marked the primary campaign, will unite around a new governing agenda Thursday in an attempt to harness the energy of the Tea Party movement and voters' discontentment ahead of the midterm elections.

While the legislative priorities in the plan are not expected to be new, what is notable, according to sources, is the process by which they were formed.  They are based largely on input from more than 100,000 registered users of the interactive online forum Republicans have branded as "America Speaking Out."

The high-tech strategy, which includes iPhone and Android apps, allows users to post ideas which can be "liked" or "disliked" by other users, who can also add comments in a format similar to Facebook. California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has spearheaded the effort, unveiled the initiative in May.

Nick Schaper, the House GOP director of new media, said the project cultivated 16,000 "policy ideas" that garnered more than 800,000 "votes," both for and against. The most popular topics were taxes, Congress, jobs, freedom and the Constitution.

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Wednesday
Sep222010

President To Hold Events To Mark Health Care Bill Implementation

(WASHINGTON) -- Thursday marks the six-month anniversary of the health care bill’s passage that was signed into law, so President Obama will host two events Wednesday to mark the occasion.  A senior administration official informed reporters on a conference call Thursday, “It’s a critical milestone in implementation.  As of September 23rd we will have ended the worst insurance industry abuses and put in place critical new consumer protections.” The president will meet Wednesday morning with insurance commissioners from across the country at the White House to “have a dialogue about where we are with implementation six months into it,” as well as discuss what is being done to keep premiums in check.  Afterwards, the president will have a “backyard event” in Falls Church, Virginia at the home of someone who is already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act to highlight the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which goes into effect Thursday.  A number of different people from all 50 states across the country who will also immediately benefit from the health care act will be brought in for the event as well.


Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.  Image Courtesy:   The White House.

Tuesday
Sep212010

GOP Poised to Oust Murkowski from Energy Panel Post

(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Republicans will vote Wednesday on whether to remove Lisa Murkowski as the top GOP senator on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The vote comes in the wake of Murkowski's decision to run as a write-in candidate in Alaska after losing her primary fight to tea party-backed Joe Miller. Mitch McConnell, the Senate's top Republican, said Tuesday, “There’s…an issue as to whether or not it’s appropriate for her, under the circumstances, to continue as ranking member on the Energy Committee.”  Murkowski has already given up her leadership position as vice-chair of the Senate Republican Conference. McConnell said the conference will also vote on a replacement for that post. Murkowski was not present at Tuesday's Senate vote on an annual defense bill that included a repeal of the military’s controversial don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio. Image Courtesy: ABC News.

Tuesday
Sep212010

Michelle Obama To Hit the Campaign Trail

(WASHINGTON) -- Nicknamed “the closer” by her husband in the 2008 presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama will try to live up to her nickname as she hits the campaign trail starting October 13th in the lead-up to the midterm elections.  The First Lady will campaign, and raise money at fundraisers, for Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Alexi Giannoulias, Representative Debbie Halvorson, Dan Seals, and Bill Foster in Illinois, Senator Michael Bennet in Colorado, Senator Patty Murray in Washington, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Barbara Boxer in California. Additionally, she will speak at two fundraising dinners for the Women’s Leadership Forum within the Democratic National Committee in New York and California.  Expect Mrs. Obama to echo themes she spoke about in the 2008 presidential election, and to highlight the change that the country has seen under her husband’s administration and Democratic control.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.  Image Courtesy: The White House

Tuesday
Sep212010

Bill Clinton on Palin: Don't Underestimate Her Influence

Former president Bill Clinton offered words of warning for Democrats who think Sarah Palin could be the best thing to happen to President Obama in a 2012 presidential bid. Clinton told ABC's George Stephanopolous, "It's always a mistake to underestimate your opponent. In the Republican primaries she's very popular with the conservative base. She gets more people to come out." He went on to say, “And she hasn't won all of her endorsements, but she's won most of them. And you know, she's a compelling, attractive figure.” As for whether she's qualified to serve in the White House, Clinton told ABC News, "American people can elect whomever they want. But [she] served, you know, not a full…term as governor, and she went out and did this." The former governor has yet to announce plans for a presidential campaign.

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Tuesday
Sep212010

Education Secretary Supports Passage of DREAM Act

(WASHINGTON) -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered his full support Tuesday for passage of the DREAM Act.  The pending legislation would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military.  The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to attach the measure to a defense authorization bill.

Under the DREAM Act, illegal immigrants would qualify for citizenship if they are younger than 36 years old, arrived in the U.S. as a child, and either received a college degree or completed at least two years of military service. The National Immigration Law Center has estimated that roughly 725,000 people would be eligible to take advantage of this provision.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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Tuesday
Sep212010

DADT Shifts From Lady Gaga to Capitol Hill

(WASHINGTON) -- All eyes may have been on pop star Lady Gaga on Monday when she appeared at rally in Maine to push for the repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy, but Tuesday the attention will shift to Capitol Hill.  Democrats are trying to come up with the votes to start debate on a defense bill that includes the policy's repeal.  Eliminating the controversial policy would give a much-needed boost to Democrats, who are looking for sweeteners to rally the base before Election Day, but they may have a rough time with Senator John McCain threatening to filibuster the bill.

Copyright 2010 ABC news Radio.  Image Courtesy: ABC News

Monday
Sep202010

TUESDAY 10:46AM GOP To Announce New Agenda

ABC News(Washington, DC) -- Republican House Leadership plans to announce its new agenda Thursday in Sterling Spring, VA.  The new agenda is expected to include a pitch to maintain tax rates at their current levels while cutting back federal spending to 2008 levels.  The agenda is not yet finalized and sources have not yet confirmed the title of the latest GOP agenda, which will likely be utilized over the next six weeks as a blueprint for GOP candidates stumping on the campaign trail.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep202010

Headline of Story Test - 1:52pm ET

Cortesy Getty ImagesTea Party’s Edge Over The GOP. @nightline: “The starfish is just out there”: Jonathan Rauch on the difference between the Tea Party and the other two.

Monday
Sep202010

Morning Speed Test 9:56am

Testing speed







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