WASHINGTON (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the United States was working with allies to ensure deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's safety and to get him restored as president.
Clinton told reporters the political conflict in Honduras "has evolved into a coup" and the U.S. was "considering the implications" of the move for U.S. aid.
"We think that the arrest and expulsion of a president is certainly cause for concern that has to be addressed and it's not just with respect to whether our aid continues, but whether democracy in Honduras continues," Clinton said. "It's important that we stand for the rule of law."
The military deposed Zelaya early Sunday and flew him to Costa Rica. Roberto Micheletti, president of the Congress, was named provisional president.
House Minority Leader John Boehner calls the climate change bill a "pile of manure." Only he used the other word for it.
The Democrats released a 300-page amendment to this 1,200-plus page bill at three a.m. on Friday — just hours before the chamber would vote — and before the July 4 recess. Much like the economic stimulus bill, it seems nearly impossible that members even had the chance to read it. The bill passed by a narrow margin — with virtually no Republican support.
The measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17-percent by 2020 and 83-percent by 2050 through the so-called "cap and trade" program where companies would buy and sell emissions credits. It would also force utilities to make more power from renewable sources.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating among Americans remains steady.
Sixty-one percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say they approve of how Obama's handling his duties as president. Thirty-seven percent disapprove.
The 61 percent approval rating is down one point from May and down six points from February.
"Since March, Obama's approval rating has gone down one percentage point each month in CNN polls," notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In March it was 64 percent; in April it was 63 percent. Last month his approval rating stood at 62 percent and now it is at 61 percent."
The poll suggests when it comes to opinions of Obama, gender and generation gaps continue.
Sixty-seven percent of women questioned in the survey approve of how Obama's handling his job as president. That number drops to 54 percent among men. Two-thirds of people under 50 years old questioned in the poll approve of the president's handling of his duties. That number drops to 54 percent among people over 50 years of age.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democrats control Congress, but Republicans owned the softball diamond Friday night.
The Republican National Committee came from behind to score three runs in the final inning to beat the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC's other summer sport: softball. The final score: 5-4.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele even jokingly described the victory as the "start of something really big," in a video posted on YouTube.
"Keep it going," Steele said in the video. "Next, we take them out in November in New Jersey and Virginia. We're just beginning to warm up, folks."
For the DNC, there was a price to pay for losing. DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan had to acknowledge the defeat in all of the e-mails he sent out on Monday. Sevugan also included the "score" of the Democrat's November electoral college victory – clearly not part of the bet. And the DNC was forced to let RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho write a summary of the game that was emailed to reporters.
"In what can only be described as a sign of things to come for Republicans, the RNC's softball team soundly defeated the DNC for the 4th year in a row on Friday night in a dramatic game that is certain to go down in the intramural softball history books," Gitcho wrote in the e-mail blast.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said Monday he would be open to a scenario in which he would assume the governorship but not run for the state's top office in 2010 if Governor Mark Sanford decides to resign in the coming weeks.
Bauer said that arrangement would help tamp down some of the political jockeying among other Republicans who are likely to run for governor next year as they decide how to respond to revelations about Sanford's extramarital affair. Other candidates include state Attorney General Henry McMaster, Rep. Gresham Barrett and state Rep. Nikki Haley.
"We are at an impasse now because it's all about 2010 and the next governor's race, and I don't see anyone being an adult," Bauer told CNN in an exclusive interview.
Bauer is one of several Republicans plotting a run for governor, but his rivals worry that a Sanford resignation – which would elevate Bauer to the governorship – might give Bauer an advantage in next year's governor's race because he would be running as an incumbent. Sanford is term limited and is not allowed to run for re-election in 2010.
He said he had discussed the idea of not running in 2010 with GOP leaders in the Senate, many of whom are staunch opponents of Sanford.
"What it would do is it would get the politics out of it," Bauer said. "The people that are so concerned for their own political future about running for governor, would no longer be worried if I came in and became governor, because I would just say. 'You know what? This is bigger than politics. I will go and lead in for the next 18 months and not run for re-election.'"
"We can remain the world's leading importer of oil, or we can become the world's leading exporter of clean energy," Obama said at a brief White House appearance with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
His announcement came after Friday's approval by the House of a sweeping climate change bill that Obama hailed as landmark legislation to strengthen the economy and battle global warming.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will reargue an important campaign finance reform case dealing with a scathing documentary about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The justices put off an expected ruling in the case, and will rehear the issues on September 9. It is unusual for the high court to return early from its summer recess to hear an appeal. The court normally begins its fall term in early October.
The justices apparently could not reach a conclusion on whether the film was subject to federal oversight regarding when and where it could be shown in an election year.
At issue was whether the 90-minute "Hillary: The Movie" - as well as television ads to promote the film - should have been subject to strict campaign finance laws on political advocacy, or was instead a constitutionally protected form of commercial speech.
It is unclear whether high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed in time to hear the case. If not, just eight justices will hear the appeal.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Tuesday marks the long-anticipated deadline for American troops to pull out of Iraqi towns and cities, but on Monday, there will be no long lines of tanks rolling out of Baghdad or thousands of troops marching out of other cities.
The U.S. military has been gradually pulling its combat troops out of Iraq's population centers for months to meet the deadline agreed to by Washington and Baghdad.
Since January, Americans have handed over or shut down more than 150 bases across the country, leaving U.S. troops in a little more than 300 locations in Iraq that gradually will be handed over to Iraqi control.
Iraqis expressed mixed feelings in the run-up to what the government has been describing as National Sovereignty Day.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Meghan McCain wrote Monday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's revelation that he had an extramarital affair "isn't relevant to his role as a public official" and called on her fellow Republicans to forgive him.
McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said that she is "mad" about the "hypocrisy of it all," and doesn't condone Sanford's actions, but added that the public needs to "stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority."
"Above all, the Sanford scandal just makes me sad for my party," she wrote on the Daily Beast Web site. "The GOP is struggling right now to find anyone who looks to be our next leader. Those who have been anointed so far have ended up falling completely short. Going forward, I suggest that the party concentrate less on what goes on in the bedroom and more on what is going on in policy."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Retiring Justice David Souter said goodbye to his U.S. Supreme Court colleagues Monday, telling them in a brief statement he read from the bench that they had "touched me more than I can say."
The 69-year-old justice said he is looking forward to his retirement in New Hampshire, but would retain fond memories of "the finest moments in my life."
The court is now in recess until early September and awaiting the possible confirmation of appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Souter.
Nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, Souter announced May 1 that he would step down from the high court after 19 years.
Near the end of the court's public session, Chief Justice John Roberts read a letter from his benchmates to Souter, noting a "profound sense of loss" over his retirement.
"We deeply value the times we have shared in judicial service," said Roberts, who then briefly quoted poet Robert Frost. "We understand your desire to trade white marble for White Mountains [of New Hampshire], and return to your land 'of easy wind and downy flake.' "
Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor also signed the letter.
After Roberts spoke, Souter announced, "I too have a statement to read from the bench," in a deadpan voice that brought laughter to the courtroom.
The friendship of his colleagues "has held together despite the pull of the most passionate dissent," he said.
"You quoted the poet, and I will, too, in words that set out the ideal of the life engaged, " ... where love and need are one. ... ," Souter said.
"We have agreed or contend with each other over those things that matter to decent people in a civil society. For nineteen terms, I have lived that life with you, all of us sharing our own best years with one another, working side by side as fellow servants and friends."
His personal remarks brought wide smiles from the other justices, but no tears. The low-key, private Souter had wished for no elaborate ceremony or celebration, preferring the short, eloquent power of words to convey his appreciation.
Souter is expected to depart this week for his home in rural Weare, New Hampshire. He has no specific plans in retirement, but has indicated he may occasionally sit as a senior judge on federal appeals court cases, which the law allows for retired justices.