Washington (CNN) – Republicans on Monday were quick to pounce on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for comparing the battle over health care to the battle over the legacy of slavery.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee purchased a Web ad on the popular Drudge Report asking readers: "Do you agree with Harry Reid?"
Those who click on the ad are taken to an NRSC Web site called "Health Care Task Force," which asks readers to sign a petition and "stand up to Harry Reid and his insulting remarks."
Reid, who is in danger of losing his re-election bid next year, made the remarks Monday morning on the floor of the Senate.
"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: slow down, stop everything, let's start over," Reid said.
"If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait, things aren't bad enough."
(CNN) - The battle over gay marriage moves to New Jersey Monday.
A bill that would legalize same-sex marriages comes up for debate in the state's Senate Judiciary Committee. If the legislation passes through the panel, it could be voted on by the full state Senate by the end of the week. The state Assembly hasn't considered the bill yet.
The timing is important since Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie, who takes office next month, says he would veto the bill. The man Christie beat in last month's election, out-going Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, says he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk before he leaves office.
Last week, New York's state Senate defeated a bill that would legalize same-sex marriages. The legislation had already passed the state Assembly. New York Gov. David Paterson said he would have immediately signed the bill if it had made it to his office.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa are currently the only states that legally allow same-sex marriages. Earlier this year, lawmakers in Maine approved legalized gay marriages. But voters in Maine last month passed a referendum to overturn the new law. A vote last week by the District of Columbia's city council moved Washington, D.C. one step closer to legalizing same sex marriages.
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Washington (CNN) – A rise in skepticism among Americans over global warming is mostly due to changes among Republicans, according to new national poll.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, indicates that two-thirds of all Americans believe global warming is a proven fact. That's down eight points since June of 2008, with views among Democrats holding steady while Republicans' belief in global warming dropping 11 points.
Full results (pdf)
"The growing skepticism among Republicans, with no matching shift among Democrats, suggests that the changes measured in this poll may be a reaction to having a Democrat in the White House rather than a shift in underlying attitudes toward global warming," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The poll's release come as a United Nations climate summit opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. That global conference began under a cloud of accusations, after international attention the past two weeks over hacked e-mails that suggest some scientists faked data to support the argument of global warming. But Holland notes that polls released last month from other organizations have found similar shifts in views on global warming for several months. He says that indicates the changes in the new CNN survey are not the direct result of the media attention to the leaked e-mails from climate researchers.
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Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama rescheduled his trip to climate-change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, so that he can help push for a possible deal closer to the end of the meeting, his spokesman said Monday.
White House Secretary Robert Gibbs told journalists that recent signals of new commitments by China and India created possible momentum toward an agreement at the U.N.-led climate change talks that started Monday and are scheduled to conclude on December 18.
Obama initially planned to visit the Copenhagen talks on Wednesday, the day before he receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Instead, the president will go to Copenhagen on December 18, at the end of the talks.
"I think everybody agrees that we are in a better position - I mean, we, globally - to get some sort of agreement out of Copenhagen," Gibbs said. "And the president believed, having helped to work both in enunciating our commitments as well as ensuring that the Indians and the Chinese talked about their commitments, that we could move that (Obama's trip) to the end of the conference, when some agreement is likely to need some help from world leaders."
Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin has erased her drop in the polls that followed her resignation as Alaska governor, according to new national survey.
But when it comes to opinions of Palin, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday suggests a partisan divide and a gender gap.
The survey indicates that Americans are split on Palin, with 46 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of her and an equal amount saying they have an unfavorable view of last year's Republican vice presidential nominee.
Palin resigned as Alaska governor in July, with a year and a half left in her first term. She attributed the decision to tremendous pressure, time and the financial burden of a litany of ethics complaints in the past several months, complaints Palin said were without merit and took away from the job she wanted to do for Alaskans.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday he's confident the Federal Reserve will make money on the trillions ithas pumped into the economy since the start of 2008.
"I think we're in very good shape," Bernanke said, answering questions following a speech at the Economic Club of Washington. "I do believe we're going to get back all the money, and indeed we'll be showing for the taxpayers fairly significant extra income."
Bernanke was referring specifically to Fed programs - not the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The U.S. Treasury will likely lose money on TARP, though the Obama administration is expected to announce soon that losses will be $200 billion less than initially expected.
The Fed has actually pumped far more money into the economy than Treasury did through TARP.
Washington (CNN) – The AFL-CIO is urging Congress to pass health care reform with a public option that doesn't tax workers' benefits, in a new television ad out this week.
The commercial features a montage of different workers pleading for health care reform, but emphasizing that they think it's "just wrong" to tax workers' benefits. In the ad, the workers claim if their health care is taxed, companies will cut benefits and they will have to pay more in the end.
The commercial first ran in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, but the union said it is spending an additional $1.5 million to expand its distribution to Virginia, Indiana and Delaware. It will run for two weeks.
Washington (CNN) – It emerged in anger and it threatens to split in anger.
One major group in the Tea Party movement - named after the famous Boston Tea Party - is set to host its first convention in February, with former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as its keynote speaker.
But there are fractures in the movement that threaten its future. And if history's any guide, such movements tend to flame out.
The Tea Party movement erupted on April 15 - tax day - over criticism of President Obama's economic policies and what organizers called big government out of control. The movement, made up of local, state and national groups, continues to protest what it considers fiscally unsound policies.
And the movement is well funded. Action groups like FreedomWorks - chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - helped organize and fund its April 15 rally in Washington.
Other groups, including Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Patriots, are also vying for the helm of the movement, and it's creating what some are calling "competitive chaos."
Washington (CNN) - The Environmental Protection Agency will announce Monday that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare, two senior administration officials told CNN.
The anticipated announcement by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stems from a Supreme Court ruling which ordered the agency to determine the impact of carbon emissions not only on the environment, but on public health.
Immediately after the announcement, Jackson will head to Copenhagen, Denmark, to participate in the Copenhagen Climate Conference ahead of President Barack Obama's appearance on Friday.
Her statement could provide proof to the conference that the agency and the Obama administration are taking global warming seriously. However, White House aides caution the finding does not mean the EPA will immediately begin regulating industries that pollute the air.