Washington (CNN) - Thousands of Tea Party activists Saturday will mount their latest cross-country protest against big government and health care reform, hoping its kickoff point also will carry a strong symbolic message.
They are converging on Searchlight, Nevada, hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The four-term Democratic incumbent likes to remind people he was born and raised there in meager surroundings.
(CNN) - A bullet that landed in the office of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor was the result of "random gunfire," police in Richmond, Virginia said Friday.
Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, told reporters Thursday that a bullet was shot through a window at his campaign office in Richmond, Virginia. He also said he had received threatening messages.
In a news release Thursday, police said the bullet struck at about 1 a.m. on Tuesday. The preliminary investigation showed that "a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."
McCain and Palin will hit the campaign trail again Friday (Getty Images).
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - Sarah Palin on Friday will again be urging voters to come out in support of Sen. John McCain.
This time, though, Palin is hoping to help McCain keep his current job as he faces a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.
McCain and Palin will appear together at a Friday afternoon rally in Tucson, Arizona, and a Saturday event in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. She will also headline a fundraiser for him.
Rep. Betty McCollum is a Democrat from Minnesota who voted for the health care bill.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, was one of several members of Congress who reported receiving obscene and threatening letters after voting for the health care reform bill passed by Democrats on Sunday.
But her spokeswoman told CNN that inside one letter received Thursday was a condom, removed from its original packaging.
McCollum's spokeswoman Maria Reppas said Thursday that the congresswoman's district office in St. Paul received the condom in an envelope dated March 23, along with an anonymous typed letter reading: "Betty McCollum you've been dry f***** by the liberal party."
The condom had been removed from its original packaging and placed in a plastic bag, according to McCollum's district director. McCollum's office said the U.S. Capitol Police and local law enforcement are investigating the package along with another one received Thursday.
Her office also reported receiving part of a shredded American flag doused in gasoline and a typed letter addressed to McCollum, Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken - all Democrats from Minnesota.
"Each of you receives part of a shredded American flag," the letter read. "It represents Obama and your liberal filth. Open the bag, it's covered in the stench you've brought to our government ... Because of you, we are now a country of dirt, shame, corruption and slime."
Washington (CNN) – House leaders saw an increase in followers on different social media platforms while discussing health care reform this past week.
Republicans may have lost the vote on health care Sunday, but are claiming victory on the social media where @GOPleader, the Twitter account for the office of House Republican Leader John Boehner gained slightly over 2,510 followers since last Thursday.
"Throughout the health care debate, Democrats had a comprehensive plan to ignore the will of the American people – online and off," said Nick Schaper, Boehner's director of new media. "Republicans, on the other hand, are listening to our constituents, and social media tools like Twitter are helping us bring thousands a day into the conversation."
Schaper also pointed to Boehner's YouTube success. The leader's speech from the House floor on Sunday has received over 106,560 views on his YouTube channel. And a viral video which mashes up the popular Wil.i.am "Yes We Can" election video to Boehner yelling "hell no you can't" from the Sunday speech has received over 165,980 views.
While Republicans are looking at how quickly their Twitter followers have increased over the past week, Democrats are focused on each tweet's impact. Stephanie Lundberg, a spokesperson for House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, mentions that their tweets have been read on cable television shows, such as CNN's Rick's List and MSNBC. "It's a way to have a conversation with members of the public," Lundberg said in an interview with CNN. "We have effectively utilized Twitter and Facebook to do rapid response during the health care debate including countering misinformation about the health reform bill."
House Democrats set up a "Health Reform Now" Twitter and Facebook account. While the Twitter account has not seen much notable follower growth, their Facebook account increased by 12,750 fans this week.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: House passes Senate's health care 'fixes' bill
The House of Representatives passed a slightly altered health care "fixes" bill Thursday night, completing legislative action on President Obama's top domestic priority. The so-called "fixes" bill, approved by a 220-207 vote, now goes to Obama to be signed into law. It makes changes in the broader health care reform measure that Obama enacted Tuesday.
CNN: Health care reform anger takes a nasty, violent turn
Shots fired at a congressman's campaign headquarters. Windows smashed at Democratic offices across the country. A coffin placed on a lawmaker's lawn. Hate-filled voice mail messages left on members of Congress' phone lines. Those are just some of the incidents reported since the House passed historic health care reform legislation Sunday - a bill that became the law of the land. The issue has unleashed a deep-seated anger from those worried about a government takeover of health care, and what they deem as the process being "rammed through" Congress.
Politico: Kathleen Sebelius: 'Important changes' coming
One of the most common phrases in the health reform bill is, “the secretary shall.” With the 22 strokes of President Barack Obama’s pen this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became vastly more powerful, with huge responsibility — and leeway — as the bill’s massive changes are implemented.
Sebelius said it is likely that hundreds of people will be added to the HHS payroll of nearly 80,000, but the exact number has not been determined.
CNN: Senators battle again over extending jobless benefits
On the eve of a two-week spring recess, the Senate found itself embroiled again over the issue of a short-term extension of unemployment benefits and other programs. At it issue, as it was just a few weeks ago when Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky blocked quick passage of a similar extension, is whether Congress should find budget offsets for the bill's cost of almost $10 billion a month, or agree to spend the money without designating how to pay for it.
CNNMoney: Unemployed and 'underwater' to get mortgage relief
Under fire to do more to stop the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration will announce Friday new steps to help the unemployed and those who are "underwater" with a bigger mortgage than their home is worth.
CNNMoney: Washington to run student loans
Congress passed a bill Thursday to make Washington the one-stop shop for cheap student loans and to boost need-based scholarships. Starting July 1 nearly all federally backed student loans, like Stafford loans, will come directly from the federal government. The measure prevents private student lenders, including Sallie Mae (SLM, Fortune 500) and Nelnet (NNI), from making loans, although both have federal contracts to service government loans to students.
New York Times: Paterson Seen With Key Role in Response to Aide’s Abuse Case
Gov. David A. Paterson personally helped draft a statement last month that he hoped would be endorsed by a woman involved in a domestic dispute with one of his top aides, proposing language asserting that there had been no violence in the encounter, according to three people with knowledge of the governor’s role.