Washington (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended the public's right to question the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate, but noted that she is not demanding for it to be released.
Appearing on conservative radio host Rusty Humphries program, Palin said that she supports people inquiring about it.
"I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue," Palin said in the interview with Humphries. "I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers."
Humphries, whose radio show airs on about 300 stations across the country, went on to press Palin about whether it is "fair" game to ask such questions.
"I think it's a fair question, just like I think past association and past voting records - all of that is fair game," Palin responded.
She also criticized her own presidential campaign for not asking enough questions about Obama.
"The McCain-Palin campaign didn't do a good enough job in that area," the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate said. "We didn't call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were and perhaps what some of their future plans were and I don't think that was fair to voters to not have done our job as candidates.
The interview aired at 10:30 p.m. ET, and just a few hours later Palin made it clear in a posting on her Facebook page that she, personally, is not asking to see it.
"Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose," Palin said. "I've pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States."
Washington (CNN) - President Obama is leaning towards supporting a Congressional Democratic plan to craft a jobs bill by using untapped bailout funds, according to two senior officials familiar with the deliberations.
The officials stressed that no final decision has been made by the president, but they noted he is likely to flesh out more details on the emerging economic package next Tuesday during a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington. This new package is expected to be much smaller than the original $787 billion stimulus plan because of cost concerns at a time of deep government deficits.
Democrats on Capitol Hill and at the White House are considering a jobs package that would include funding for infrastructure projects, direct lending to small businesses and aid to cash-strapped states.
Using the untapped TARP funds has become an attractive option for Democrats, because it would not increase the budget deficit since those funds are already allocated. Republicans have been attacking the president for already sharply increasing federal spending during his first year in office.
Washington (CNN) - Eight laptop computers were stolen Friday morning from the offices of attorneys representing former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Chicago Police Department confirmed to CNN.
It is unclear if any of the laptops contained information regarding Blagojevich's federal corruption trial.
The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago had no comment on the case. The FBI is not involved in the investigation, according to FBI spokesman Ross Rice.
Chicago Police spokesman Veejay Zala said he was unable to comment in detail about the case, because it is still being investigated.
Washington (CNN) - As senators prepared for a rare weekend session to continue debate on health care, evidence of the Democratic leadership's biggest challenge was on display: two senators whose votes are key to passing a bill said they have yet to see a compromise they can support on the most contentious issue - the public option.
"There are a lot of discussions going on and I'm going to work hard to see if there isn't somewhere to be in terms of a compromise, but I haven't seen it yet," said Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, who made a rare appearance before the cameras to push an amendment on another issue.
"I have been very clear, I don't support a public option that is government run or government funded, that puts the taxpayers at risk in the long run," added Lincoln, who is facing a tough re-election battle next year.
In a separate appearance, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, was less open to compromise, saying he won't be satisfied until the public option is stripped entirely from the health care bill.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is leaning toward supporting a congressional Democratic plan to craft a jobs bill by using untapped bailout funds, according to two senior officials familiar with the deliberations.
The officials stressed that no decision has been made by the president, but they noted he is likely to flesh out more details on the emerging economic package next Tuesday when he delivers a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
The new package is expected to be much smaller than the previous $787 billion stimulus plan because of cost concerns at a time of deep government deficits.
Democrats on Capitol Hill and at the White House are considering a jobs package that would include funding for infrastructure projects, direct lending to small businesses, and aid to cash-strapped states.
"I am officially an MOTB: a mother of the bride," Clinton said Friday in an interview with CNN's John Roberts. "And I am very excited about it"
Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, is engaged to marry Marc Mezvinsky, the son of former congressmen Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania and Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa.
"For me, [it's] particularly an extraordinary moment to see how happy my daughter is and to have a wonderful man that will become my son-in-law. But it's daunting to try and plan a wedding."
Related video: Clinton discusses NATO troops.
Clinton, who has been criss-crossing the globe since becoming Secretary of State, said she recently received an encouraging call from former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
"Madeline Albright called me the other night and said, 'Well, when I was Secretary of State and had not a minute to myself, I had to plan a wedding, so if you need any advice, just call me,'" Clinton told Roberts in an interview in Brussels, where she is trying to rally European support for President Obama's new strategy in Afghanistan. "And I said, "I'll be calling."
Clinton said the size of the wedding has not been determined, but noted it would be private.
Washington (CNN) - In a change of plans, President Barack Obama will attend the end of an upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the White House said Friday.
"Based on his conversations with other leaders and the progress that has already been made to give momentum to negotiations, the president believes that continued U.S. leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18 rather than on December 9," said a statement from Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs.
"There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the president's commitment to doing all that he can to pursue a positive outcome," the statement said.
Obama's initial plan to attend only the beginning of the conference was criticized by some, including the environmental activist group Greenpeace, which said it is more important that he be there at the end of the week.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced bills this week to push the deadline to apply for unemployment benefits to as far back as 2011.
Congress last month passed a record-long extension of federally paid benefits, but the law only helps those who exhaust their lifelines by year's end. So while unemployment benefits now run as long as 99 weeks, depending on the state, not everyone will receive checks for that long a stretch.
If the deadline is not extended beyond Dec. 31, one million jobless Americans will lose their benefits in January. Some three million people will stop receiving checks by March, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Some 9 million people currently depend on jobless benefits. The government reported Friday that 10% of Americans are out of work and more than a third have been unemployed for at least six months.
Bipartisanship in Washington is virtually non-existent these days – except for President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll – conducted after the president's speech this week – shows his plan wins approval from 63 percent of Democrats, a whopping 72 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Independents. Gee, with a consensus like that you could actually run the country.
The president is getting thumbs-up from people more inclined to extend their middle fingers when it comes to things Democratic. Karl Rove says that the president's speech "deserves to be cheered" and insists victory is attainable.
Newt Gingrich is out praising President Obama for showing political courage on Afghanistan... in going against the anti-war left in his own party.
This is not to say that there aren't critics of the president's Afghanistan strategy in both parties, but on the whole, he's getting support – at least for now. If it doesn't go as planned, all bets are off. But at least for a few minutes we have the leadership of the country agreeing on something.
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