WASHINGTON (CNN) – After being thrust into the national spotlight during the presidential campaign, Alaska teenager Levi Johnston and his family are once again back in the headlines. His mother, Sherry Johnston, was arrested Thursday on drug charges by Alaska state police, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
Levi is the boyfriend of Bristol Palin, eldest daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was the 2008 vice presidential nominee. When Gov. Palin revealed that the two teenagers were having a baby out of wedlock it became a major news story shortly after she was chosen by Sen. John McCain to be his running mate.
CNN has confirmed that Sherry Johnston was arrested on six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance at her home in Wasilla, Alaska.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush cleared the way Friday for Hillary Clinton to become secretary of state, signing a law that removes a potential constitutional barrier for the New York senator’s nomination by reducing her prospective pay as the nation’s top diplomat.
Congress voted in 2007 to raise the secretary of state’s salary by $4700. That move meant Clinton’s nomination was in conflict with Article I, section 6 of the Constitution, which prohibits members of Congress from raising the salary for a government job, then leaving the Capitol to fill the position themselves.
If she is confirmed, Clinton’s new salary will be $186,600 – less than the $191,300 now earned by current secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, but more than her current Senate salary of $169,300.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Bush has grudgingly allowed General Motors and Chrysler to drive away with the last few billion bucks in Treasury's TARP till, which boasted $350 billion a mere 77 days ago.
How did it all slip away so fast?
(CNN) - Senior Democratic staffers from House and Senate leadership offices and key committees met Friday's with senior aides on the Obama transition team to discuss the broad outlines of an economic stimulus package, according to one senior Democratic congressional source.
This House aide said leaders and staff have had frequent discussions with the Obama team about the stimulus over the last couple of weeks, but the latest was far bigger. “We presented them with our ideas and they talked to us about their ideas.” The discussions will continue next week, with some paper exchanged between the Hill and the transition office.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday that he is not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing and said he will not resign.
"I have done nothing wrong," he said at a news conference.
"I am dying to answer these charges. I am dying to show you how innocent I am," he said. "I intend to answer every allegation that comes my way. However, I intend to answer them in the appropriate forum."
He added, "I have on my side the most powerful ally there is, and it is the truth."
He took no questions from reporters.
(CNN) - Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is making his first public statement since his arrest on corruption charges.
Watch it happen now on cnn.com/live
Update: this event has concluded.
A woman takes shelter from the snow under the Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millennium Park(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN)– On a sloppy, snowy, ice-covered day here, Barack Obama is making imminent plans to head for Hawaii, and thus end the long presidential transition period he has spent in Chicago.
What Obama leaves behind as he, with any luck, beats the weather out of here over the weekend is a town that on some level is still a little woozy over how his accomplishment– becoming the first Chicagoan in the nation's history to be elected president of the United States– has upended the city's natural political order.
On a recent evening, in a steakhouse near downtown, sitting deep in conversation at a table next to the wall were two men who kept drawing openly curious glances from the other customers during their entire meal. If this were Los Angeles, maybe Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in a restaurant would have the magnetism to attract such star-struck stares; if this were New York, perhaps Derek Jeter and Matt Lauer would be the objects of such attention.
In Chicago, though, the men on the receiving ends of the stares were two brothers who probably wouldn't be recognized in most other towns: Bill Daley, attorney, business executive, former secretary of commerce, and his brother John, member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. It was a table for four, and the pair of empty seats invited silent speculation from the other diners: Would a third Daley brother, the mayor, Richard M., be joining his family tonight? And the final empty chair, as it inevitably does at a Daley table, reminded anyone with a long enough memory of the man who wasn't there, but seemingly somehow always is: the late Richard J. Daley, father of the boys, mayor of mayors.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama nominated U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis for secretary of labor on Friday, a move praised by labor unions. She is a four-term congresswoman from Los Angeles.
He also nominated Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois as transportation secretary, and venture capitalist Karen Mills to head the Small Business Administration.
(CNN) - The House Ethics committee said Friday they are closing their investigation of Rep. Vito Fossella over his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, and taking no action.
Fossella was convicted in an Alexandria, Virginia court in October and sentenced to serve five days in jail on December 8.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal court jury in Washington Friday convicted David Safavian, a former associate of disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, on four of five criminal counts.
The verdict marks the second time a jury has found Safavian guilty of one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements to federal investigators.
Safavian, 42, is a former chief of staff at the General Services Administration charged with trying to cover up his role in a lavish Abramoff-sponsored golf trip to Scotland and Abramoff's dealings with the GSA.