CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called again Friday for a special election to replace Sen. Roland Burris, whose appointment to fill President Obama's former Senate seat has subjected the state to what Quinn called a "cloud of scandal."
"The only way to clear up the cloud is to have an election, a special election," Quinn told Chicago radio station WGN-AM. "I really feel that Roland Burris should step aside and resign and he would serve his state and himself very well."
He said there is "no good way" for Illinois to continue having Burris serve as senator.
Quinn issued a similar call a week ago and said resigning would be a "heroic act."
Quinn's strong words Friday came three days after fellow Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior U.S. senator from Illinois, said Burris should consider resigning over the controversy regarding his appointment by now-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"I told him under the circumstances I would consider resigning if I was in his shoes," Durbin said. Burris later told reporters he will not step down.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing a review of the CIA's controversial interrogation programs under the Bush White House, a Senate Democratic aide told CNN.
The committee would look at how the agency carried out interrogation tactics and whether they provided useful information, the aide said. The review could be announced as early as Friday.
"The intention is not to find evil-doers or lawbreakers," according to the aide, but "the information will go where it goes." It was not immediately clear whether committee Republicans were on board.
Last month, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that calls for a review of the Bush administration's controversial interrogation program to see whether any of the harsh techniques used should be retained.
The "enhanced interrogation techniques" included waterboarding, a method that simulates drowning and is considered torture by the new administration and is widely considered that around the world.
Any Senate review is likely to look into the CIA's detention program and secret prisons, the aide said. At this point, no public hearings are planned. The review process is expected to take up to a year, according to the aide.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The U.S. government waded deeper into the bailout of one of the nation's largest banks Friday when it announced a deal that will give it control over as much as 36% of Citigroup's common stock.
Citigroup shares tumbled 46% in premarket trading.
The deal will convert preferred shares that Treasury already holds in Citigroup for common shares, a shift that is designed to improve the embattled bank's capital base, which in turn will hopefully allow it to increase its lending.
The U.S. government has already given Citigroup $45 billion, for which it received preferred shares and warrants in the company.
The new deal Friday did not give the bank any additional taxpayer dollars. But the government is taking on a greater risk by assuming more volatile common shares. The market price is well below the $3.25 per-share conversion price the government is paying.
Taxpayers will also lose roughly $2 billion in dividends, because the preferred shares they are giving up paid 8% dividends. Citi suspended its common share dividend as part of the agreement.
(CNN) - Two senior administration officials say President Barack Obama will declare in his speech Friday at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina: "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's plan to send 17,000 more U.S. troops to the war in Afghanistan.
And the survey, conducted by CNN and the Opinion Research Corp., suggests that half of all Americans think the United States is winning the war in Iraq, the highest percentage since that question was first asked in a CNN poll in 2004.
The survey's Thursday release comes one day before Obama is expected to travel to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to announce he'll withdraw most combat troops from Iraq within 19 months.
Sixty-three percent of those questioned in the poll say they support Obama's plan to beef up U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with 36 percent opposing the move.
But only 47 percent favor the war in Afghanistan, with 51 percent opposed to the fighting that first began soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Capping off a day of conservative soul-searching, strategizing and navel-gazing at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele announced Thursday that the Grand Old Party is “alive and well.”
Steele, addressing CPAC’s Presidential Banquet, told the audience that “the conservative movement must become a revolution,” and the goal “must be nothing less than the transformation of America.”
“Tonight, we tell America that Republican values, conservative values, are right for America,” he said, admitting that the party has made some mistakes. “Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”
To much applause, Steele attacked the Obama administration’s recently-passed stimulus package, calling it “nothing short of frightening.” He said conservatives must use the political moment to re-assert their belief in a set of basic principles: limited government, freedom, opportunity and the ability of the free market to “create, innovate and prosper.”
(CNN) - More than a dozen pieces of jewelry were stolen from former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Deer Valley, Utah home last week, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Park City police told the paper that the thief was likely someone who had access to the house. There was no sign of forced entry.
The $5 million home is currently up for sale, along with another Romney residence in Massachusetts.
The former Massachusetts governor will address activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington Friday, as he aims for his third win in the annual gathering’s presidential preference straw poll.
CNN: Obama to pull combat troops from Iraq in 2010
President Barack Obama told Congressional leaders Thursday he’s planning to pull all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010, which falls short of his campaign promise of bringing all combat forces home within 16 months, according to three Congressional officials familiar with the meeting.
NYT: U.S. Is Said to Agree to Raise Stake in Citigroup
The Treasury Department reached a deal late Thursday to take a stake of 30 to 40 percent in Citigroup as part of a third bailout of the embattled bank, according to several people close to the deal.
CNN: Dem blasts Obama's budget
Mississippi Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor blasted the budget outline President Obama submitted to Capitol Hill today, saying “I don’t like it…change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did.”
Politico: Class warfare returns to Washington
President Barack Obama has spent months recasting Democratic goals on climate change and health care reform from liberal-leaning moral imperatives to hard-core economic necessities.
CNN: Steele to CPAC: The Republican party is just fine
Capping off a day of conservative soul-searching, strategizing and navel-gazing at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele announced Thursday that the Grand Old Party is “alive and well.”
Washington Times: Obama's intelligence pick linked to Saudi Arabia
The Obama administration on Thursday named as chairman of the National Intelligence Council a veteran former diplomat who heads a think tank that has received major financing from Saudi Arabia.