Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed his call for Senate Republicans to stop blocking a jobs bill intended to help small businesses.
Just before leaving for vacation, Obama told reporters at the White House that political gamesmanship instead of legitimate policy differences is stalling the bill.
He noted that the legislative process includes "times when good people differ in good faith."
(CNN) - CNN and the St. Petersburg Times are partnering with the University of South Florida to present a live, nationally televised debate 10 days before voters choose a new U.S. senator to represent Florida.
The Oct. 24 debate will be held on USF's Tampa campus with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley serving as moderator. It will air at 9 a.m. ET on "State of the Union with Candy Crowley."
The Times and CNN bring first-class experience and unprecedented expertise in producing political debates. The Times has coordinated debates for national, state and local offices for 16 years, and USF and the newspaper partnered with the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1996 to present the vice presidential debate between Al Gore and Jack Kemp from St. Petersburg.
(CNN) - Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that if the developer of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero was genuinely concerned with healing religious wounds, "he [would] not go forward with this project."
"This project is not healing," Giuliani, the mayor of New York during the 9/11 attacks, told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show. "This project is divisive, this project is creating tremendous pain to people who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice."
Giuliani said the developer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, appears to "recognize that there are two ways to interpret the Koran: the better way, which is the peaceful way; or the warrior way, which is the way in which you get into trouble with jihad."
"The reality is that, right now, if you are a healer you do not go forward with this project. If you're a warrior, you do," Giuliani added.
The imam has so far declined to talk with New York Gov. David Paterson about finding a less controversial location to build the facility.
(CNN) – A window in Sen. Al Franken's Minneapolis residence was damaged by what could have been a pellet or BB fired from a gun, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.
Sgt. Bill Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department told CNN that members of the Franken family recently reported finding a hole in a window of their Minneapolis condominium that appeared to be made by either a BB gun or small rock.
The hole damaged a double-paned window, but did not penetrate the second pane, Palmer also said.
(CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Wednesday unveiled a slew of endorsements of prominent conservative candidates running in national and statewide races in three states.
In Colorado, Romney is backing Senate candidate Ken Buck and five other candidates running for state office. Notably, the former presidential candidate did not endorse Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, who has been dogged by campaign finance violations.
In Washington, Romney threw his support behind Dino Rossi, who emerged from the state's unique non-partisan primary last week with 34 percent of the total vote.
(CNN) – Embattled radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who earlier this week announced she was ending her radio show, is finding an ally in Sarah Palin.
A day after Schlessinger told CNN's Larry King she was ending her show amid controversy over her repeated use of the N-word during an on-air conversation, Palin tweeted, "don't retreat...reload!"
"Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair")" Palin wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.
"Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!," Palin added in a second tweet.
A jobs fair in Washington, DC. On Thursday, the federal government announced that the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose to 500,000. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
New York (CNNMoney.com) – In a troubling sign for the economy, the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose to 500,000 last week, according to a government report released Thursday.
It was the third weekly increase in a row. There were 12,000 more claims filed last week over a revised 488,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.
A consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected 475,000 new claims for the week that ended Aug. 14.
Initial claims had been mired in the mid- to upper-400,000s since November.
(CNN) – A new poll in Florida suggests Gov. Charlie Crist is maintaining his lead over Republican Marco Rubio and either Democratic candidate in the battle for that state’s Senate seat less than three months before Election Day.
The Quinnipiac University survey shows Crist, who is running as an independent, leading Rubio by a 39-32 percent margin. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is currently in a primary contest with businessman Jeff Greene for the Democratic nomination, registers 16 percent in the poll.
If Greene should prevail in the Democratic primary, he wins 15 percent of support in a general election matchup with Crist at 40 percent and Rubio at 32 percent, the poll shows.
Listen as CNN's Dick Uliano and Senior Political Editor Mark Preston discuss why Republicans are spending a fortune on a Florida Senate race.
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Washington (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee raised $11.5 million in July and heads into the fall with nearly $11 million in the bank, a Democratic official told reporters Thursday morning.
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine will announce the fundraising totals at the committee's summer meeting that begins Thursday in St. Louis. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the figures have yet to be formally released, said the committee also carries $3.5 million in debt headed into the general election. Last month, the DNC also transferred $3.5 million to state parties, the official said.
The Republican National Committee has not yet released its July fundraising totals.
(CNN) – President Obama and his family head to Martha's Vineyard on Friday for a weeklong vacation, but don't expect it to be without controversy.
It will be the president's second time on the island off the coast of Massachusetts. In 2009, Obama spent time golfing and hanging out with family and friends.
Vacations are often considered political low-hanging fruit: Zing a president or first lady anytime they go away for some rest and relaxation.