(CNN) – Bristol Palin’s former fiance publicly apologized to her family Tuesday in a statement to PEOPLE magazine, saying that some of his comments about the Palin family made in the wake of the 2008 presidential campaign are not totally true.
Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol’s son, Tripp, was thrust into the spotlight when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen to be the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate.
But his relationship with the Palin family became strained after his engagement to Bristol ended, and he embarked on a series of high-profile media interviews in which he criticized the Palin family.
Now, Johnston appears to be trying to mend the relationship.
"Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true," Johnston told CNN’s sister publication PEOPLE Magazine. "I have already privately apologized to Todd and Sarah. Since my statements were public, I owe it to the Palins to publicly apologize."
President Barack Obama has sidestepped Congress by using a recess appointment to make Dr. Donald Berwick the new head of the federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid, the White House announced Wednesday.
(CNN) – A new survey indicates that it's all tied up in the battle between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman for California's top job.
According to a Field Poll released Wednesday, 44 percent of California voters say they'll back Brown, the Democratic nominee, in the state's contest for governor, with 43 percent saying they support Whitman, the Republican nominee, and 13 percent undecided. Brown's one point advantage is well within the survey's sampling error.
Brown led Whitman late last month by six points in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, the first non-partisan poll conducted since the June 8 primary.
(CNN) – Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, is hitting back at Republican Mitt Romney's recent comments urging senators to vote against ratifying an arms reduction treaty with Russia, saying the former presidential candidate is merely seeking to score political points.
"Even in these polarized times, anyone seeking the presidency should know that the security of the United States is too important to be treated as fodder for political posturing," Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, writes in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday. "Sadly, former governor Mitt Romney failed that test in arguing that ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia would be a mistake."
"I have nothing against Massachusetts politicians running for president," Kerry adds. "But the world's most important elected office carries responsibilities, including the duty to check your facts even if you're in a footrace to the right against Sarah Palin. More than that, you need to understand that when it comes to nuclear danger, the nation's security is more important than scoring cheap political points."
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will sidestep Congress by using a recess appointment to make Dr. Donald Berwick the new head of the federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid, the White House announced Tuesday.
In a blog post on the White House website, communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote that Obama will make the appointment on Wednesday.
According to the blog post, Republicans in Congress had indicated they would stall Berwick's nomination last April as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
A recess appointment allows the president to install Berwick while the Senate is on vacation, to serve for the rest of the congressional term, which expires at the end of the year.
(CNN) – Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill Tuesday that would have given same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, saying the issue needs to be put to a referendum.
"I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced that this issue is of such significant societal importance that it deserves to be decided directly by all the people of Hawaii," said Lingle, a Republican whose term ends this year.
"The subject of this legislation has touched the hearts and minds of our citizens as no other social issue of our day. It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials."
Gay rights group decried Lingle's decision.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Odds are good that the middle-class will get to keep their tax cuts. The question now is for how long.
The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire in six months. President Obama had promised to make them permanent for the majority of Americans. But the reality of the federal budget's impending shortfalls is making that a hard promise to keep.
Indeed, some influential players in Washington have signaled that it's no longer a given that the tax cuts will be made permanent, at least not right away.
The most prominent Democrat to suggest as much is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. In a speech last month, Hoyer said point-blank that lawmakers can't ignore the budget consequences of extending the cuts.
Washington (CNN) – A series of steps aimed at bolstering U.S. exports has so far brought a 17 percent increase in the first four months of 2010 over the same period last year, President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday.
Obama's National Export Initiative, introduced during his State of the Union address in February, seeks to double exports over the next five years.
A White House statement said Obama, in a statement scheduled for later Wednesday, will show that the program is on schedule so far.
The program has made progress on its five main objectives, Obama will say, including the coordination of trade missions in 24 countries; increased loans to help American exporters; breaking down trade barriers; enforcing trade rules, and promoting international economic cooperation.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Obama to use recess appointment to appoint new Medicare-Medicaid chief
President Barack Obama will sidestep Congress by using a recess appointment to make Dr. Donald Berwick the new head of the federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid, the White House announced Tuesday. In a blog post on the White House website, communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote that Obama will make the appointment on Wednesday. According to the blog post, Republicans in Congress had indicated they would stall Berwick's nomination last April as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).