While stepping down as Governor of Alaska - Sarah Palin is blasting many who she sees as critics, including the news media.
In the kind of speech only Palin can give, she said freedom of the press was an important right… and one that soldiers have died to protect… adding, "So, how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up."
Palin also said, "Our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone."
The former governor didn’t elaborate on her criticism of the media… but in the past she's talked about her and her family being unfairly treated by reporters and bloggers. However, she didn't seem to have a problem with the media when she was using her family to try to get elected last fall.
Palin also criticized so-called Hollywood starlets who are active against gun rights, along with the "partisan operatives" who filed ethics complaints against her. She even went after one undefined group who she said, "seem to just be hell-bent on maybe tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism and suggesting American apologetics." Say what?
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet this week with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer who arrested him for disorderly conduct, James Crowley, the White House said Monday.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did not say which day the three men will get together at the White House.
UPDATE: The White House has revealed what beer will be served at the much-anticipated meeting later this week: Bud for the president and Blue Moon for Crowley. The Boston Globe reports Gates likes Red Stripe and Beck's.
–CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.
(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been elected as the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the organization announced Monday.
"His firsthand knowledge of how to win in a so-called purple state will be a major asset to the RGA," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the RGA's chairman, said in the statement.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stepped down from his post as the RGA's chairman in the wake of admitting to an extramarital affair. When Sanford's resigned from his RGA leadership post, Barbour ascended from vice chair to chairman, leaving the group's no. 2 spot open until Pawlenty's election.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing on the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians, according to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat.
The Senate Armed Services committee will hold the hearing in the fall, she said in a written announcement.
A committee spokeswoman confirmed that there will hearings, but that no specific legislation is under consideration.
"Don't ask, don't tell" is the policy that prevents openly gay troops from serving in the U.S. military.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton instituted it in 1993 as a way of loosening restrictions on gay men and lesbians serving in the armed forces - the policy ended the requirement that servicemen and women state their sexual orientation. But its opponents say it does not go far enough.
"'Don't ask, don't tell' is an unfair, outdated measure that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women," Gillibrand said in her statement. "By repealing this policy, we will increase America's strength - both militarily and morally."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that he will not vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.
In an op-ed published in Monday's USA Today, Sessions concedes that Sotomayor "will likely be confirmed." But the Alabama Republican says that "as someone who cares deeply about our great heritage of law, I must withhold my consent."
Sessions says he had decided not to support Sotomayor because of three decisions he finds troubling: a 2006 private property decision, her 2008 New Haven firefighters decision, and a 2009 decision about gun rights.
"These rulings have three things in common," Sessions writes in the newspaper. "Each was contrary to the Constitution. Each was decided in a brief opinion, short on analysis. And each was consistent with liberal political thought."
Sessions is the third Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to announce his opposition to Sotomayor. He joins Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Texas Sen. John Cornyn. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican on the committee, has announced he will vote for Sotomayor. The committee is expected to vote Tuesday on Sotomayor's confirmation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – It looks like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may have one less fan.
On the same day that Palin is set to transfer power to her lieutenant governor, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said her prospects for national office looked grim.
“’I’ve been a supporter of Sarah Palin - at times,” Castellanos said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “She gave the McCain campaign its best two weeks. But, you know, if we’re going to be critical of Democrats when they shirk their responsibilities, we have do the same within our own house. She abandoned her state in the middle of a term.”
On the national political stage, Castellanos, who worked as a political consultant for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid, likened Palin to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The Arkansas Republican’s long shot bid for the White House in the last election cycle gained traction when he pulled out a surprise win in Iowa’s Republican caucus but then Huckabee lost steam when he could not follow through with wins in other key primaries.
“We’re going to have a division in the Right in the Republican Party,” Castellanos told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “We now have two Mike Huckabees – people who have a powerful force in the party but can’t get out of the party in a general election and win.”
Conservative radio talk show host Bill Bennett was noncommittal about Palin’s prospects.
“I have no opinion about this. I really don’t know what’s going to happen with Sarah Palin,” Bennett told King.
Also on State of the Union Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Palin has a bright future within the Republican Party.
“Boy, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Sarah Palin,” McConnell told King, “She excites an awful lot of members of my party. They’re anxious to see what she’s going to do next and so am I.”
“I hope, as a Democrat, Mitch McConnell is right,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala told King. “I hope she’s their nominee because I think she’s the easiest to beat.”
Begala, Bennett, and Castellanos are all CNN Political Contributors.
Updated: 4:24 p.m.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top U.S. and Chinese officials are launching an expanded discussion of the crucial relationship between their two countries Monday, holding the first meeting of a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" in Washington.
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will address the opening session of the two-day meeting.
In an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner said the purpose of the dialogue is to "develop a new framework for U.S.-China relations."
(CNN) - Something old and something new to watch this week: The continuing - some say languishing - health care debate, and the launch of the "Cash for Clunkers" program designed to improve the nation's fuel efficiency, not to mention Detroit's bottom line.
"Busy week," was the understatement of a top House Democratic leadership aide as he looked ahead.
Passing health care reform by the end of this week "remains our intention," said the leadership aide.
Translation: the once firm House deadline is in danger, despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi's outspoken confidence.
"When I take this bill to the floor, it will win," Pelosi told us on "State of the Union."
Just when she will take it to the floor is THE question.
Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats meet Monday in another attempt to resolve differences between liberal and conservative Democrats, and the plan is for the committee to "mark up" legislation Tuesday with an eye on committee passage later in the week.
Moderate Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee predicts Pelosi won't get her wish of House action before the August recess.