September 2nd, 2009
02:58 PM ET
5 years ago

How long before public demands change in Afghanistan?

U.S. soldiers patrol an area of Afghanistan in July. The U.S. now has about 62,000 troops in the country
U.S. soldiers patrol an area of Afghanistan in July. The U.S. now has about 62,000 troops in the country

WASHINGTON (CNN) - While support for the war in Afghanistan has been falling, most experts think Americans will give President Obama the benefit of the doubt - at least for another year.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday showed that opposition to the war increased 11 percentage points since April to 57 percent.

Last month was the deadliest for U.S. troops since the war started as retaliation for the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. And the military strategy is still a work in progress, with top commanders using words like "dire" to sum up the current status of the war.

But national security experts think it will still be a while before a clamor arises for a pullout.

Michael O'Hanlon, national security expert at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank, said he believes Americans will make a serious assessment at the end of 2010 as to whether a pullout is necessary.

"If we can't show progress by that point, then I think people's patience will start to run out," he said. "It's already running out, but I think people will swallow their doubts and give this strategy time if they are convincingly told why more time is needed and why it would make a difference."

Polls, another expert said, are not an accurate gauge for how long Americans - including politicians - will still support involvement in Afghanistan.

Full Story

Follow Ed Hornick on Twitter @HornickCNN


Filed under: Afghanistan
September 2nd, 2009
02:48 PM ET
5 years ago

Schilling: 'I don't know' about Senate run

Curt Schilling stumped for John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Curt Schilling stumped for John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling is downplaying speculation that he may run for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat - but he's not ruling it out either.

"I've got a lot on my plate, so as of today, probably not," Schilling told NECN radio Wednesday, when asked if he's mulling a run. "I don't know, going forward. That's a pretty big deal from a commitment standpoint."

The six-time All-Star pitcher, a Republican who campaigned for John McCain in last year's presidential race, said he had been contacted about running, but he would not say by whom. He also declined to offer a timeline on when he might decide, saying only, "I'd have to make a decision pretty quickly."

Even if Schilling decides against pursuing the Kennedy seat, he still sounded an awful lot like a political candidate in the radio interview.

"My hope is that we're past that, that we're past the whole R and D thing," he said when asked how a Republican could win a statewide race in blue Massachusetts.

FULL POST


Filed under: Curt Schilling • Ted Kennedy
September 2nd, 2009
02:26 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Keep working on health care reform

The CNN poll suggests that Americans are split over what they've heard about President Barack Obama's proposals to reform health care, with 48 percent in favor of his plans and 51 percent opposed.
The CNN poll suggests that Americans are split over what they've heard about President Barack Obama's proposals to reform health care, with 48 percent in favor of his plans and 51 percent opposed.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A slight majority of Americans want Congress to continue working on health care reform when lawmakers return from summer recess next week, according to a new national poll. But nearly half of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say Congress should start from scratch, or stop working at all on any bills that would change the country's health care system.

The poll indicates that one in four Americans want Congress to pass into law with relatively few changes the health care bills already approved by committees. Another 28 percent say the bills should be become law - but only after major alterations to the legislation. One in four say lawmakers should start from scratch, and one in five feel Congress should stop all work towards health care reform.

As the health care issue moves from town halls to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, "most Americans want to see some action on the bills that have already been prepared by congressional committees. But that doesn't translate into support for everything in those bills, or everything that Barack Obama has pushed for to date."

What do Americans want Congress to do on health care? CNN Radio reports:

The poll suggests that Americans are split over what they've heard about President Barack Obama's proposals to reform health care, with 48 percent in favor of his plans and 51 percent opposed.

Click here for the full results (pdf)

FULL POST


Filed under: Health care
September 2nd, 2009
02:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Florida GOP chair: Obama trying to 'indoctrinate' children

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida on Tuesday issued a statement to "condemn President Obama's use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda."

Jim Greer also accused President Obama of "using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda."

The state party chair issued the statement in response to a White House announcement that Obama would appear in a nationally broadcast address to primary school students around the country. The White House has said the president would be urging students to “(take) responsibility for their success in school.”

"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," Greer said.

The Department of Education has released documents that list suggested questions for students to consider during the speech, and activities that teachers can use to guide discussion afterward. Activities listed include creating posters outlining their personal and academic goals, and “(writing) letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”


Filed under: President Obama
September 2nd, 2009
11:51 AM ET
3 years ago

Traficant released from prison

ROCHESTER, Minnesota (CNN) – Former Rep. James Traficant was released from federal prison Wednesday.

CNN affiliates KTTC and KAAL report that Traficant - sporting knee socks, shorts and a t-shirt, with his hair pulled back in a ponytail - left the Federal Medical Center prison facility in Rochester, Minnesota Wednesday morning in a cab.

Despite earlier reports that the nine-term Democratic congressman was headed for the local Greyhound station, the morning bus headed for his hometown area of Youngstown, Ohio left without him on board, and his name did not appear on the manifest.

Traficant served just over seven years in federal prison for charges that included obstruction of justice, tax evasion and bribery.

–CNN All Platform Journalist Chris Welch contributed to this story

(updated 12:30 pm with new information)


Filed under: James Traficant • Popular Posts
September 2nd, 2009
11:50 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama considering major health care speech

President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on a health-care reform bill.
President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on a health-care reform bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill, a senior White House aide said Wednesday.

Senior advisor David Axelrod told CNN, the president is looking at the possibility of a speech as "one of his options" in pushing forward his health care agenda after he returns from vacation at Camp David next week.

Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.

"We're entering a new season," Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."

FULL POST


Filed under: David Axelrod • Health care
September 2nd, 2009
09:49 AM ET
5 years ago

Sanford: Now I know what Palin felt like

Sanford says he now understands what Palin went through.
Sanford says he now understands what Palin went through.

(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says that the state Ethics Commission probe into his travel expenses reminds him of the flood of ethics complaints filed against Sarah Palin before she resigned the Alaska governorship.

"I think I now know what Sarah may have been feeling," Sanford told The Washington Times in an interview published Wednesday.

Sanford called the complaints filed against Palin baseless, and indeed, most of the allegations against the onetime vice presidential candidate were dismissed by the Alaska Personnel Board.

But the Ethics Commission investigation into Sanford, which officially began last week, differs in substance and circumstance from the slew of ethics allegations that badgered Palin for much of the first half of 2009.

In Alaska, any individual citizen can file an ethics complaint against the governor – a scenario that allowed political critics in the state to deluge the governor's office with accusations. But in South Carolina, the state Ethics Commission probe was called for by multiple high-ranking elected officials in Sanford's own party, and the governor has agreed to make the proceedings of the probe open to the public.

When Palin resigned in July, she cited the burden of the legal fees as one reason for stepping down. Sanford has refused to resign – even with the possibility of impeachment on the horizon – and has gone on the offensive against the media and his critics over the last week.

FULL POST


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Sarah Palin
September 2nd, 2009
08:44 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Concerns over H1N1 virus on the rise

The number of Americans who are worried about the H1N1 flu has more than doubled since May, according to a new national poll.
The number of Americans who are worried about the H1N1 flu has more than doubled since May, according to a new national poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The number of Americans who are worried about the H1N1 flu has more than doubled since May, according to a new national poll. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning also indicates that most Americans have confidence in the government's ability to prevent a nationwide epidemic.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned say they are worried that they or someone in their immediate family will get the H1N1 flu, with 17 percent suggesting they were concerned but not anymore and 44 percent saying they've never been worried. That 39 percent who say they are worried is more than double the 17 percent who felt the same way in May.

"Back in May, concerns about the flu were ebbing because flu season in the U.S. was nearing its end," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the flu didn't go away - it just moved to other places around the world. Now a new flu season is starting, and worries about H1N1 are back."

According to the poll, 59 percent are confident that the federal government can prevent a nationwide epidemic, with four in 10 not optimistic.

"That doesn't mean that the public thinks that the fight against the H1N1 flu will be easy - two-thirds of all adult Americans say they want to get a H1N1 flu shot if one is available, but only half think there will be enough vaccine to go around," adds Holland.

FULL POST


Filed under: Swine Flu
September 2nd, 2009
08:41 AM ET
5 years ago

WH senior aide: Obama considering major speech on health care

President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill.
President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill, a senior White House aide said Wednesday.

Senior advisor David Axelrod told CNN, the president is looking at the possibility of a speech as "one of his options" in pushing forward his health care agenda after he returns from vacation at Camp David next week.

Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care
Reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.

"We're entering a new season," Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."

FULL POST


Filed under: President Obama
September 2nd, 2009
04:55 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP senator warns of 'minor revolution' over health care

Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.
Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top Republican senator warned Tuesday that if Democrats try to overhaul health care without Republican support, "it will wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."

"The intensity on this issue across the country is like nothing I"ve seen in a long, long time," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it's clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are "scared to death" about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.

Alexander warned there would be "a minor revolution in this country" if Democrats try to "ram" a health care overhaul using a legislative tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill to pass with 50 votes instead of 60.

Alexander also complained the White House has cut Republicans out of talks.
FULL POST


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Lamar Alexander
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