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Saturday
Oct022010

Obama: GOP 'Pledge' to Scrap Clean Energy Projects 'Doesn't Make Sense'

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama blasted the Republicans’ “Pledge to America” for proposing to scrap incentives for clean energy projects.

“In the pledge they recently released, the Republican leadership is promising to scrap all the incentives for clean energy projects, including those currently underway -- even with all the jobs and potential that they hold,” Obama said. “To go backwards and scrap these plans means handing the competitive edge to China and other nations," he said. "It means that we’ll grow even more dependent on foreign oil.  And, at a time of economic hardship, it means forgoing jobs we desperately need.”

Republicans countered that their "pledge" only calls to cancel unspent stimulus funds, not all incentives for clean energy projects.

“House Republicans’ ‘all of the above’ energy plan would actually put more money into renewable technologies, paid for by the oil industry," said Michael Steel, spokesman to House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, in a statement. "Everyone knows that the president’s trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ didn’t work, by the standards his own administration set.  False attacks won’t distract the American people asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ when it is clear the president has no new answers.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct022010

McConnell Criticizes Dems Inaction on Tax Cuts

Photo Courtesy - Office of Sen. Mitch McConnell(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, used this week’s GOP address to attack what he calls wasteful spending by the democratic leadership.

“Virtually every single piece of major legislation Democrat leaders in Washington have proposed over the past 19 months has made it either harder for businesses to hire new workers, or retain the workers they already have,” he said, “and now they want to make it even worse.”

McConnell criticized the opposition for not yet scheduling a vote to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

“At the stroke of midnight on December the 31st, every American who pays income taxes is set to get a tax hike that Democrats have had two years to prevent.”

Congress voted by a narrow margin to adjourn Thursday, delaying a vote until after November’s midterm elections.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct022010

GOP Leads in Florida Governor Race

Photo Courtesy - Rick Scott for Governor(HAMDEN, Conn.) -- Republican Rick Scott holds a 49-43 percent lead over Democrat Alex Sink in the race to become Florida’s next governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters.  The poll finds that Florida voters' overall low opinion of President Barack Obama appears to be dragging Sink down.

Quinnipiac says its poll, released Friday, is the first "likely" voter general election survey in Florida in this election cycle and "can not be compared with prior surveys of registered voters."

The poll finds that although Scott holds a 6-point lead in the horse race, the candidates have almost identical favorability ratings from Florida likely voters: 39–39 percent for Sink and 41–40 percent for Scott.

Florida "likely" voters disapprove 56–40 percent of the job President Obama is doing.  Democrats approve 83–15 percent, while disapproval is 92–6 percent among Republicans and 56–38 percent among independent voters, according to the poll.

“It’s no surprise that Scott’s campaigning and advertising has been trying to tie State Chief Financial Office Alex Sink to President Barack Obama.  The president’s low ratings, especially among independents who are likely to decide the governor’s race, are a problem for Ms. Sink’s campaign,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from September 23–28.  It surveyed 1,151 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

White House Transition: Rahm Emanuel Out, Pete Rouse In

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama announced Friday that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, will leave Washington to run for mayor of Chicago. The president named senior advisor Pete Rouse as his interim chief of staff.

"This is a bittersweet moment," the president said, as he praised Emanuel, adding that "we could not have accomplished what we accomplished without Rahm's leadership."

Rouse brings to the job over 30 years serving as a chief of staff to various members of Congress, including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Rouse's influence and experience earned him the nickname The 101st Senator.

Rouse brings a low-key temperament, in contrast to Emanuel's hard-charging style, which administration officials say will suit the White House well at this point in time.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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








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