June 7th, 2010
07:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama: I met with experts on Gulf 'so I'd know whose ass to kick'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama bluntly defended his administration's response to the undersea gusher fouling the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, telling an interviewer he has met with experts to learn "whose ass to kick."

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Filed under: Energy • President Obama
June 7th, 2010
06:29 PM ET
4 years ago

Men charged with threatening Stupak

The envelope that contained a threatening letter addressed to Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak.
The envelope that contained a threatening letter addressed to Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak.

Washington (CNN) – Angry over Rep. Bart Stupak's decisive vote for health care reform, a man threatened to "... paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members ...," in an anonymous letter to the congressman last month, according to the U.S. Attorney in Michigan.

Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Michigan, and his son, David Hesch, 50, of Loveland, Colorado, were charged with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder Stupak, a United States Official, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney.

Both men have been arrested and will appear in federal court in Bay City, Michigan and Denver, Colorado.

The complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan states that Russell Hesch, after initially denying involvement, confessed to writing the letter and then sending it to his son to forward to the congressman to avoid being identified. However, Russell Hesch had previously sent at least 55 emails and letters to the congressman between February 25, 2003 and May 4, 2010. And he was known by Stupak as one of his most vocal and critical constituents, according to the complaint.

The FBI determined the communications held similarities. A search warrant was executed on June 2, 2010, a week after the threatening letter was received by the Michigan Democrat's office.

The letter was signed "Sincerely, The Devil Within Us." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hesch stated in the letter that "[a]ctions and decisions carry consequences. Are you and your family prepared for consequences? Is your wife, Laurie Ann, prepared for those consequences? Is your son Ken and his family prepared for those consequences?"

Read the threatening letter and criminal complaint, after the jump:
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Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care
June 7th, 2010
06:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama to grads: 'Don't make excuses'

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrive in Michigan on Monday.
President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrive in Michigan on Monday.

(CNN) - When President Obama delivers the commencement address at Kalamazoo Central High School Monday night, he'll emphasize to the class of 2010 that he believes success is achieved through personal responsibility.

"Don't make excuses," Obama will say, according to excerpts released Monday afternoon by the White House. "Take responsibility not just for your successes, but for your failures as well."

"The truth is, no matter how hard you work, you won't necessarily ace every class or succeed in every job," Obama will say. "There will be times when you screw up, when you hurt the people you love, when you stray from your most deeply held values."

While Kalamazoo Central High School will graduate 280 students, 5,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony including Michigan's two Democratic senators, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, according to the White House.

Kalamazoo Central beat more than 1,000 schools in the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.

Read Obama's full excerpts as released by the White House, after the jump.
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Filed under: Education • Michigan • President Obama
June 7th, 2010
05:08 PM ET
4 years ago

Sotomayor gets some friendly pronunciation help

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is among the most verbally adept justices; his father was a professor of Romance languages.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is among the most verbally adept justices; his father was a professor of Romance languages.

Washington (CNN) - Having trouble pronouncing an Italian word? If you sit on the Supreme Court, consult an expert.

On Monday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was announcing the court's opinion in Krupski v. Costa Crociere SpA (09-337), a lesser-known appeal dealing with the scope of the right to file an amended lawsuit to correct a mistake in a party's identity.

The newest justice was having trouble pronouncing the name of the cruise ship company at the center of the case.

Costa Cruises is a British and American-owned firm based in Genoa, Italy, where it is registered as Costa Crociere SpA. The appeal involved passenger Wanda Krupksi, who tripped over a cable and fractured her leg in 2007 aboard the Costa Magica.

At issue was whether Krupski should have sued Costa Cruises or Costa Crociere SpA in federal court.

The justice writing the majority ruling typically announces the decision from the bench in a public session, with a brief oral summary that supplements the official written opinion. That's where the fun began.

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June 7th, 2010
04:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Blagojevich takes to Twitter

In the bio on his Twitter profile page, Rod Blagojevich proclaims that he is 'innocent of all charges'.
In the bio on his Twitter profile page, Rod Blagojevich proclaims that he is 'innocent of all charges'.

(CNN) - The embattled former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is using a new medium to declare his innocence as his federal criminal trial gets underway.

The Democrat is now on Twitter, CNN has confirmed.

Blagojevich, who was removed from office by the state legislature in January 2009, is now facing criminal corruption charges.

Authorities have accused Blagojevich and his inner circle of a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election.

He has repeatedly denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich • Twitter
June 7th, 2010
03:13 PM ET
4 years ago

California Dems spar over Facebook privacy settings

(CNN) – Facebook's privacy settings have turned into a political talking point in the California Democratic attorney general primary race. After candidate Kamala Harris released two advertisements leading up to Tuesday's primary that attacked Facebook and her opponent Chris Kelly, Facebook's former chief privacy officer, Kelly's campaign says the issue is simply a "distraction."

"His only experience is designing the Facebook privacy policy condemned across the country," says one of the Harris' television ads on Kelly. "Chris Kelly released your private information," the ad also says. The other advertisement showed crooks and strangers walking into a house and upstairs to where a child is surfing online.

The Kelly campaign is calling Harris' criticism unfair. "She is criticizing Chris for something that has happened long after he left the company," Kelly spokeswoman Robin Swanson told CNN. "This is a distraction. She is attempting to use this as a distraction from the very serious problems she has with the San Francisco crime lab and a judge saying she is responsible for it."

But Harris campaign manager Brian Brokaw told CNN there is a "big difference" between the crime lab scandal, which has led to the hundreds of criminal cases being dismissed under Harris' watch, and the questions about Kelly and the Facebook. "Harris is a career prosecutor of a major city. Problems are inevitable and she has taken leadership and worked with the new police chief and proposed that it never happened again. Rather than ignoring the privacy scandals he is responsible for, has denied any responsibility."

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Filed under: 2010 • California • Facebook
June 7th, 2010
02:46 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Oil spill a major disaster

ALT TEXT

Workers clean up oil residue on Pensacola Beach in Florida. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Nearly three out of four Americans say the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a major environmental disaster, and a majority wants legal action against BP and its partners, according to a new national poll.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday indicates that 73 percent of the public considers the spill a major environmental disaster, with one in four saying it's a serious problem but not an environmental disaster.

Fifty-one percent of people questioned in the poll say that they feel strongly that the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP and the other companies involved in the spill, with another 14 percent saying they feel somewhat strongly that Washington should pursue criminal charges, and 28 percent saying no to such action.

The Justice Department launched both criminal and civil investigations into the disaster in recent days.

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Filed under: Energy
June 7th, 2010
01:45 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain, Giuliani cut robocalls for McMaster in S.C. race

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Former presidential candidates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rudy Giuliani have recorded robocalls for South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Henry McMaster in a last minute get-out-the-vote effort ahead of Tuesday's four-way Republican primary.

McCain's call began hitting households over the weekend, while Giuliani's is planned to go out Monday, according to McMaster's campaign.

McCain, who won the Palmetto State's pivotal presidential primary in 2008, tells voters that he and his wife Cindy "have a special place in our hearts for the wonderful people of South Carolina." McMaster, the state's Attorney General, was one of McCain's top surrogates in the 2008 primary campaign.

Listen to the call:

The Arizona Senator praises McMaster for leading a group of Attorneys General earlier this year in filing a lawsuit against President Obama's health care plan.

"Thanks to Henry's leadership, we have a real shot at blocking socialized medicine in American," McCain says in the automated call. "Henry is a battled tested champion for the conservative cause. He has the fighting heat of a reformer, plus a record of getting things done."

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Filed under: 2010 • Henry McMaster • John McCain • Rudy Giuliani • South Carolina
June 7th, 2010
01:40 PM ET
4 years ago

Clinton in Peru for OAS meeting

Clinton to meet with leaders in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados.
Clinton to meet with leaders in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados.

(CNN) – Peruvian President Alan Garcia met for more than an hour Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Lima for the 40th General Assembly of the Organization of American States, Peru's state-run news agency said.

Garcia met with President Barack Obama in Washington earlier this month and said Monday that Clinton's visit adds momentum to the cooperation and friendship between the two nations, according to the government's Andina news service.

Clinton also will travel this week to Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados before returning to Washington on Thursday, the State Department said.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
June 7th, 2010
01:38 PM ET
4 years ago

Whoomp, there he is? Obama look-alike in '90s music video

An Obama look-alike appears in a 1990s music video.
An Obama look-alike appears in a 1990s music video.

(CNN) – Whoomp, there he is! Or is he?

Conspiracy theorists suspect that a left-handed, dominoes-playing dude who appears in the music video for Tag Team's single "Whoomp (There It Is)" is none other than President Obama.

The Obama look-alike makes a cameo about a minute into the video, sporting shades, flashy rings and a Zack Morris cell phone.

Online message boards have been abuzz with what would be the best kept secret of the Obama presidency.

Their argument: The guy flashing a smile in the 1993 music video looks a lot like the president, who would have been about 31 at the time.

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Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
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