(CNN) – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has reached a new milestone: 2 million fans on Facebook.
SarahPAC, Palin's political action committee made the announcement in the form of a fundraising email sent to supporters on Thursday.
"On behalf of Sarah and SarahPAC, I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, especially on Facebook, where Sarah has just passed 2,000,000 fans," the email from SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford says.
"Over the last year and a half, we have received an outpouring of encouragement and support from people across this great nation. During that time, Sarah has used her Facebook account as an outlet to express her hopes and concerns about the direction of the country."
Palin has used the social media site, which has more than 500 million users, to issue a slew of endorsements in advance of the 2010 midterm elections.
Washington (CNN) – Senior White House adviser David Axelrod told Democratic senators behind closed doors on Thursday that if they want to win re-election they need to go on offense and stress to voters that it's Republicans who are to blame for the economic mess the country is in today.
"We're not interested in re-litigating the past but we don't want to relive it either," Axelrod said after the closed-door strategy session with Senate Democrats in the Capitol. "People need to know that when they cast that Republican vote they're casting that vote for those same discredited policies that punished the middle class and created this crisis in the first place."
A senior administration official added to CNN that President Obama will be "ramping up" his personal campaign schedule in a major way in September in order to make that very case, that his administration is moving the country forward after passage of key parts of his agenda - including the stimulus package, health care reform, and Wall Street reform.
Washington (CNN) - Call it the "Dreams of My Native American Father."
Much has been said about the multi-ethnic heritage of the president but he tried to add even more to that diverse background today. At an otherwise somber signing ceremony of the Tribal Law and Order Act, a law aimed at giving Indian tribes more authority to combat crime on reservations, President Obama lightened the mood by addressing his own tribal links.
"As we celebrate today, I'm reminded of a visit I made a couple of years ago to the Crow Nation out in Montana. While I was there I was adopted into the nation by a wonderful couple, Hartford and Mary Black Eagle. So I'm Barack 'Black Eagle'." Obama said.
Amid laughs and applause, the president ended the ceremony by saying, "I can't help but think that only in America could a guy like me, named Barack Obama, adoptive son of the Crow Nation, go on to become president."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday signed the Tribal Law and Order Act, which provides greater law enforcement powers for tribal authorities on Indian reservations.
At an emotional White House ceremony, Obama comforted a rape victim who broke down while trying to introduce him, by coming out early and offering her reassurance as she struggled to tell her story.
Lisa Marie Iyotte of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe wept openly in describing the assault in 1994 by an attacker who was later convicted of another rape, but never prosecuted for the crime against Iyotte.
Obama said the law he was signing would help prevent something like that from happening.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced his endorsement of Washington Senate candidate Dino Rossi on Thursday.
The move is the latest in a series of endorsements made by the South Carolina senator, many of which have pitted him against either the GOP establishment or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Dino Rossi is a principled conservative who will help us take our country back. He will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country," DeMint said in a statement. "Dino understands the stimulus bill was a failure, he will fight to repeal the health care takeover, and he will help us pass a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
Rossi and two other Republicans, Clint Didier and Paul Akers are in the battle to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
Washington (CNN) - The vast majority of Americans say they favor allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they have a job and pay their taxes, according to a new national poll. But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that a majority of the public says such a plan takes a back seat to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.
Eighty-one percent of people questioned in the poll say they support creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. for a number of years to stay here and apply to legally remain in this country permanently if they had a job and paid back taxes, with 19 percent opposed to such a plan.
According to the poll 78 percent of white respondents favor the program, 16 points lower than the 94 percent of Hispanics questioned who back a plan that would provide a pathway to legal status for some illegal immigrants.
Washington (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty posted a video Thursday on his website that offers a biographical snapshot and emphasizes his conservative credentials a full year before the first test of the GOP presidential primary.
At no point in the 3 minute and 34 second video does Pawlenty mention his interest in running for the White House, but based upon his political travel and organizing activities the retiring governor is taking the necessary steps to launch a campaign for the GOP nomination.
While Pawlenty is a two-term governor, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and was on the short list to be Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential race, public polling shows he trails other well known Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich in hypothetical 2012 match-ups.
(CNN) – Rep. Charles Rangel said Thursday he does not plan to attend an ethics committee hearing on his alleged violations of House rules.
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday accused veteran Rep. Charles Rangel of 13 violations of House rules involving alleged financial wrongdoing and harming the credibility of Congress.
"Credibility is what's at stake here; the very credibility of the House itself before the American people," said Rep. Mike McCaul, the ranking Republican on a subcommittee that will hold a trial-like hearing on the charges against Rangel.
McCaul spoke at the subcommittee's first meeting, which heard the charges against Rangel, a 20-term Democrat from New York running for re-election this year. Rangel was not required to attend and did not show up.
According to committee documents, Rangel earlier filed a motion to dismiss the allegations against him that was denied.
(CNN) – Former Rep. Tom Tancredo officially jumps into Colorado's gubernatorial race Thursday. The long time conservative Republican is scheduled to formally announce his bid for governor as the nominee of the American Constitution Party. An event is planned for later Thursday in Lakewood, Colorado.
Tancredo says he is launching a third party candidacy because he doesn't believe that either of the two current GOP gubernatorial candidates can beat Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the likely Democrat nominee. Tancredo called on Scott McInnis and Dan Moes, who have both been beset by scandals, to withdraw from the general election race after the August 10 primary, if polls suggest that Hickenlooper is far ahead. Both candidates say they are staying in the race.