WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Arlen Specter's recent switch from Republican to Democrat appears to have caused him some confusion over party loyalty.
The Pennsylvania senator said he "misspoke" in an interview with the New York Times Tuesday when he voiced his support for GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, who is locked in a recount battle with Democratic challenger Al Franken in Minnesota.
"In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates," Specter told CQ Politics. "I'm ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I've made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke."
Questioned about who he's supporting in elections Specter responded, "I'm looking for Democratic members. Nothing personal."
Specter's comments came after an interview with the Times in which the Pennsylvania senator declared he is rooting for a Coleman win in the hotly-contested Senate race. "There is still time for the Minnesota court to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner," he told the magazine.
(CNN) - Dave Bing was the first pro basketball star I ever saw in play person. Back in the mid 70's, he wasn't flashy but he was one of the best sharp-shooting guards ever to play the game. He had a calming presence about him on the court, never in a panic, helping a downtrodden Detroit Piston basketball franchise raise to prominence. Fast forward to 2009, and patience is just at the top of his long list of traits he will need for his next job: save a downtrodden city in its darkest hour.
He is either crazy or courageous to want to be the mayor of Detroit.
Bing will soon become the mayor of the country's 11th largest city, and mayor of a city that arguably leads the nation in problems, including a Depression-like economy, double-digit rising unemployment, a shrinking tax base that is worsened with job cuts at Big 3 automakers, a city school system that is under state financial management, and a city that faces a $280 million deficit in this year's budget, trending to a greater deficit and possibly setting up a scenario where the state could intervene if the city doesn't make real progress on its budget in 6 months. No pressure there for the new guy.
(CNN) - Maine lawmakers Wednesday voted to make same-sex marriage legal in the state, the state Office of Legislative Information said. The bill now goes to Gov. John Baldacci for his signature or veto.
Baldacci, a Democrat, has not said whether he will sign it.
"He's going to make a decision when it hits his desk," spokesman Dan Cashman told CNN immediately after the vote. He said the governor is likely to make a statement later in the day.
Three states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa - currently allow same-sex marriages. Vermont has passed a law making gay and lesbian marriages legal. That bill takes effect in September. New Hampshire lawmakers are close to passing a similar bill.
A slim majority of Americans are against legal recognition for same-sexmarriage, CNN polling found last month. Fifty-four percent of adults questioned in an April 23-26 nationwide CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, while 44 percent said they should be considered legal.
The survey's sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's ambitious strategy for Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, dubbed "Afpak" by administration officials, will face its first test Wednesday when he meets with the leaders of both countries - neither of which is seen as able to maintain stability and fight strengthening Islamic insurgencies.
The president will meet separately with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari before holding a joint session with the two leaders. The leaders also will hold talks at the State Department, FBI, CIA and on Capitol Hill.
Obama will try to build an enduring regional alliance with both countries, enlisting them as full partners rather than treating them as battlefields for U.S. soldiers to fight extremists. But both leaders are seen as weak and are deeply unpopular back home.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Teen mom Bristol Palin had a simple message for teens on Wednesday, the 8th Annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
The daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – the 2008 vice presidential nominee – said in an interview on NBC's Today Show that she wanted other teens to "learn from my example."
"If you're going to have sex, I think you should have safe sex," the unwed, teenage mother said as she held her infant son, Tripp. "And, regardless of what I did or anything like that, I think that abstinence is the only 100 percent foolproof way of preventing teen pregnancy."
Her father, Todd, acknowledged that his daughter was negotiating difficult territory as she holds herself out as an increasingly public advocate for the cause of preventing teen pregnancy.
"It's kind of a fine line that we're definitely walking on," he said when asked whether the governor's daughter could both advocate for teens to abstain and encourage practicing safe sex.
The young mother did have one topic she was not willing to discuss in detail – her increasingly strained relationship with Levi Johnston, Tripp's father.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is either about to score a major public relations coup for the Obama White House or wind up with some egg on his face.
On Thursday Salazar will be a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which is like playing with fire for politicians. Some emerge unscathed, while others get skewered by the host's sharp wit.
Another top Obama official, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, appeared on the show earlier this year and generally won high marks after getting a chance to promote the president's economic plans.
Interior officials are expecting Salazar to at least get ribbed about his trademark Stetson and bolo tie, which he showed off when Obama introduced him as Interior Secretary-designate during the presidential transition.
Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told CNN that Salazar is looking forward to talking about "his work implementing President Obama's vision for building a clean energy economy and his efforts to protect America's treasured landscapes. Time permitting, of course, the Secretary will be glad to offer Stewart some fashion tips, including how best to sport a cowboy hat and bolo tie."
It's probably a safe bet that Stewart will also tweak the secretary about the scandal in the previous administration, which featured Interior officials improperly getting sex and drugs from oil company executives they regulated.
Correction: White House Budget Director Peter Orszag did not say the deficit is a “[bleep]ing big mess" in an interview on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," as was reported earlier in this post. Cross-talk between Orszag and Stewart gave the appearance that the budget director had made the comment. Further review of the tape showed he had not. CNN regrets the error.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Analysis: Obama faces test on Afghanistan, Pakistan
President Obama's ambitious strategy for Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, dubbed "Afpak" by administration officials, will face its first test Wednesday when he meets with the leaders of both countries - neither of which is seen as able to maintain stability and fight strengthening Islamic insurgencies.
CNN: Obama official to appear on 'The Daily Show'
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is either about to score a major public relations coup for the Obama White House or wind up with some egg on his face.
CNN: Deep-pocketed donors want campaign finance reform
After giving more than $16 million in political contributions, a group of Democratic donors is saying enough is enough – it's time for Congress to scrap the current campaign funding system and encourage a new hybrid model of small dollar donations and public financing.
CNN: Elizabeth Edwards breaks silence on affair
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of two-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, does not know whether he fathered a child during his affair with a campaign staffer, she says in an interview that is to air this week.
CNN: Borger: Partisan juices flowing over Supreme Court opening
In a Washington that pays homage to bipartisanship but never quite gets there, the prospect of a new Supreme Court battle only gets the partisan juices flowing.
CNN: DNA test could shed light on Lincoln's last days, doctor says
Was President Abraham Lincoln dying of a rare genetic disease when an assassin killed him in 1865?
Washington Post: Bush Officials Try to Alter Ethics Report
Former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften an ethics report criticizing lawyers who blessed harsh detainee interrogation tactics, according to two sources familiar with the efforts.