Washington (CNN) – Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Monday that other countries have outpaced the United States in education advancements because Americans have "lost our way" and not remained focused on improving education.
"When we led the world a generation ago we flat-lined. It's not that we've dropped, we're just stagnated," Duncan said in an interview on CNN's "John King USA."
"I think we became complacent and, frankly, I think we lost our way a little bit as a country. Other folks invested more, took this more seriously, and frankly I think we're paying a price of this in terms of the tough economic climate today."
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some far-reaching proposals Monday for restructuring the massive budget at his agency, including getting rid of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (Usjfcom).
The cuts could mean a loss of up to 3,000 jobs.
The current Defense Department budget totals more than $530 billion a year, and defense officials believe they need increases of 2 to 3 percent a year to sustain the force structure and meet modernization needs.
However, the recession caused the department to propose a 1 percent budget increase for next year, and the cuts announced Monday were intended to help hold down overall costs.
(CNN) - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is responding to a YouTube video that shows her and her eldest daughter, Bristol, engaged in a spirited debate with a woman standing in front of a banner that reads: "Worst Governor Ever."
On her Facebook page, Palin reacts under a post titled "There You Go Again, LSM." She says the media (LSM is her abbreviation for the "lame stream media") is spinning the video of the encounter into something it is not. Palin lashes out at claims she rolled her eyes at the woman when she identified herself as a teacher.
"Yes, it's come to this: the media is now trying to turn my eyebrow movements into story lines. (Maybe that's why Botox is all the rage – if you can't move your eyebrows, your 'eye rolling' can't be misinterpreted!)" Palin writes.
Washington (CNN) - South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson was hospitalized Sunday in Sioux Falls after what appears to have been a negative reaction to medication, his office announced Monday.
"The Senator is stable and doing well," Johnson's office said in a statement that noted his hospitalization was result of "a possible reaction to an antibiotic with a fever."
The 63-year-old Democrat, who was first elected in 1996, suffered a brain hemorrhage in December 2006 and did not return to the Senate until September of 2007. Dr. Scott Beckstrand, who is treating Johnson, said this hospitalization is not connected to the 2006 brain hemorrhage.
Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from a Virginia hospital Monday following surgery last month to implant a small pump in his heart, according to a statement from his office.
The surgery at the Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute was announced on July 14.
Cheney has a history of heart problems, including five heart attacks, and the procedure he underwent is used in severe cases that require a mechanical pump to keep the circulation going, said Dr. Tim Gardner, former president of the American Heart Association. Gardner was not involved in Cheney's treatment.
Washington (CNN) - The president's Senior Advisor David Axelrod says he's "totally fine" with candidates in more conservative regions choosing not to campaign with President Obama this fall.
Axelrod told Wolf Blitzer in an interview for CNN's The Situation Room the President understands if candidates skip a chance to appear with him in their state.
His comments come after Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White and Georgia gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes campaigned elsewhere in the last week, instead of standing by President Obama's side.
"In fairness, we didn't carry Texas or Georgia, so the politics, for us, has always been a little challenge in those states", Axelrod said, "These candidates (are) running now. They're on the ballot. They're going to make the judgments they think are best for their campaigns. And I'm totally fine with that. The president understands that."
(CNN) - President Barack Obama warned Republicans on Monday that he is back in campaign mode.
In a fundraising speech in Austin, Texas, Obama complained that while his administration has been governing the country since January 2009, Republicans have been trying to obstruct progress.
"There has been a fundamental lack of seriousness on the other side," Obama said. "We've spent the last 20 months governing; they have spent the last 20 months politicking."
In reference to the upcoming November congressional elections, Obama said: "Well, we can politick for three months. They forgot I'm pretty good at politicking."