(CNN) – With roughly four months until the midterm elections, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pointing out a harsh reality of the modern American presidency.
“The problem that [President Obama] has - every president has - is because of mid-term elections. A president basically has a two-year cycle,” Bloomberg said in an interview that aired Thursday on CNN’s John King, USA.
Bloomberg continued, “I know he has a four-year cycle on his re-election but, in terms of pleasing the public, it's two years and so you have to do things even quicker if you're the president - earlier in your term than if you're a governor with a four-year term or a mayor with a four-year term.”
The mayor made his observations on the same day that the president gave a major address about the need for passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, a move viewed by many political observers as an effort to both please Latino voters and put Republicans in a difficult position as the midterms approach.
Bloomberg also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that Obama has had a lot of issues on his presidential plate since he took office 18 months ago.
Washington (CNN) –- Two conservative candidates, a former presidential candidate and photos of bare-chested gay men have now been lumped together in Florida’s Republican primary for governor.
State Attorney General Bill McCollum is locked in an increasingly bitter battle for the GOP nomination against health care executive Rick Scott. McCollum, backed by many in the Republican establishment, has previously run for several statewide offices, including a failed 2004 Senate bid. Scott bills himself as a “conservative outsider.”
Campaigns for both are trading barbs on issues of concern to the Republican primary audience: government bailouts, the economy and illegal immigration.
But the issues of gay rights – and gay dating – have figured their way into the race.
(CNN) - Add one more name to the list of people with LeBron fever – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Come on, LeBron!", Bloomberg cheered in an interview that aired Thursday on CNN's John King, USA.
CNN Chief National Correspondent (and major hoops fan) John King asked Bloomberg what the Big Apple mayor could do to win over the superstar.
"Well, I don't know that I can do a lot. He's not called me and asked me. I can't tell him how to fix his jump shot," Bloomberg said. "What I can tell him is New York's a great place to - to live and to work."
Bloomberg also mentioned that in addition to the New York Knicks, his city's longtime basketball team, the New Jersey Nets are becoming the Brooklyn Nets– giving New York two chances to land Lebron James.
"The great thing about New York is LeBron will be able to walk the streets and not be bothered by people. But he'll also have the power of being a star when he wants to do it. You can have both things in New York."
The basketball star will have plenty of opportunities to consider Bloomberg's arguments. The Knicks and the Nets are among the teams making a serious play to get James.
(CNN) - The U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency have issued a directive to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials and waste recovered in cleanup operations from the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Among other requirements, the directive requires the oil giant to give the EPA and state agencies access to any waste storage site and to provide specific plans, waste reports and tracking systems for liquid and solid waste.
"While the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are overseeing BP's waste management activities and conducting inspections, this action today is meant to compliment their activities by providing further oversight and imposing more specific requirements," the Coast Guard said on Thursday. "Under the directive, EPA, in addition to sampling already being done by BP, will begin sampling the waste to help verify that the waste is being properly managed."
Waste sampling to date has been done in compliance with EPA and state regulatory requirements, the Coast Guard said.
Washington (CNN) - On the day of President Obama's immigration reform speech, several advocacy groups launched a campaign urging Major League Baseball move next summer's All-Star Game from Phoenix.
The 2011 All-Star Game is currently scheduled to take place in Arizona, a state that signed its controversial immigration bill into law this past April. Arizona's immigration law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason suspect they're in the United States illegally. The law also targets businesses that hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.
The campaign, directed at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, was launched as a joint effort by some civil rights groups such as the National Council of La Raza, Asian American Justice Center, Center for Community Change, League of United Latin American Citizens, and the National Puerto Rican Coalition.
Sen. Robert Byrd's casket in the Senate chamber. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - When a military honor guard carried Sen. Robert Byrd's coffin into his beloved Senate chamber there were no television cameras allowed in to record the solemn proceeding. A single still photographer was permitted to take photographs of the casket of the man who was once the nation's longest serving member of Congress lying in repose.
A small contingent of print and television reporters were able to observe from the gallery above the Senate floor.
For much of the day, lawmakers past and present filed into the chamber for a private prayer and quiet good-bye to their popular colleague who embodied the traditions of the great institution. The West Virginia Senator had served for 51 years. Byrd's immediate family sat near the honor guard-flanked casket and greeted one-by-one the many members of Byrd's Senate family.
Vice President Joe Biden, who served with Byrd for about 35 years, was there.
President Obama's hair color may just be a barometer for his battles with Congress and all the other disasters that have landed in his lap. (PHOTO CREDIT: Erika Dimmler/CNN)
Washington (CNN) –Mr. Obama's hair, like the mane of those before him, is quickly fading to gray.
He sees it every morning in the mirror, and talks about it on the road.
Warming up the audience this week in Racine, Wisconsin, the President mused about his last visit there during his campaign.
"That's like, is that three years ago?" he asked. "I did not have as much gray hair back then."
(CNN) - President Barack Obama is calling new U.S. sanctions he will sign into law Thursday a further sign that "the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
In the advanced text of his comments for the bill signing, Obama notes that the U.N. Security Council has passed the strongest sanctions to date against Iran, and that Australia, the European Union and Canada also have taken or are considering stronger steps to further isolate Iran's nuclear program and supporting entities.
Washington (CNN) - Former military members on Thursday slammed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan over her handling of military recruiters on the Harvard campus when she was dean of the university's law school.
On the final day of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Kagan, a total of 24 witnesses were scheduled to testify for and against President Barack Obama's pick to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
The 50-year old Kagan has come under criticism from Republican senators, who complained that she actively tried to block military recruiters from Harvard Law School when she was dean because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay and lesbian service members.
"Dean Kagan's clearly unlawful actions estranged the campus," said former U.S. Army Capt. Flagg Youngblood. He called Kagan's actions "double dealing" and a "condescension to the American rule of law that harmed the interests of the military." Youngblood attended Yale University as an ROTC member, and is now director of military outreach for the conservative Young America's Foundation.
Capt. Pete Hegseth of the Army National Guard said Kagan "encouraged students to oppose and protest the presence of military recruiters on campus."
Kagan and the White House have strongly defended her actions, saying that while she opposed the military's policy, Kagan never kept recruiters off the university.
Kagan also supported other schools challenging a federal law - known as the Solomon Amendment - requiring that recruiters be given equal access or face the loss of federal funding. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law on March 6, 2006.
(CNN) – In what looks like another move towards a possible run for the White House, Mitt Romney is donating $20,000 to the Republican Party of New Hampshire.
According to the state party and a Romney spokesman, $15,000 of the contribution comes from Romney's New Hampshire political action committee, with the remaining $5,000 from his federal PAC. The former Massachusetts governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate also donated $10,000 to the state party last year, bringing to $30,000 the amount of money he's donated to the Republican Party of New Hampshire this cycle.
"Governor Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he is committed to helping fiscally conservative Republicans take back New Hampshire in 2010. He has been a strong supporter of the New Hampshire Republican Party and he played an important role in many of our local and special election victories this cycle," said N.H. GOP Chairman John H Sununu, in a statement Thursday. "I am extremely grateful for Governor Romney's generous contributions, and look forward to welcoming him back to the Granite State in the future."
A state party spokesman says Romney will be back in New Hampshire on August 5, for a fundraiser to benefit the House Republican Victory PAC, which supports GOP candidates.
Romney is the only possible 2012 Republican presidential hopeful so far to donate money to the state party. New Hampshire holds the first primary in the nation, playing an influential role in the race for the White House. Romney came in second in the 2008 Republican primary, losing to eventual GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.