(CNN) – The top U.S. military commander in Iraq says the Middle Eastern country is on its way to being ready for next year's planned withdrawal of remaining U.S. troops, but Gen. Ray Odierno is also sounding a cautionary note about the intentions of one of its key neighbors.
In an interview set to air Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Odierno gives his assessment of the readiness of Iraqi security forces and of the Iraqi people overall.
"My assessment today is … they will be [ready for next year's withdrawal]," Odierno says in the interview. "I think that they continue to grow. We continue to see development in planning, in their ability to conduct operations. We continue to see political development, economic development and all of these combined together will start to create an atmosphere that creates better security.
"And the Iraqi people are resilient. They want this. They want to have a democratic country. They want to be on their own. They want to move forward and be a contributor to stability in the Middle East."
In the same sit-down, Odierno says that neighboring Iran may not want Iraq to move in that direction.
Washington (CNN) – Without the typical press release, written statement, or comment from one of its officials, the Republican National Committee quietly filed its July fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission Friday night.
Related: RNC sets ambitious fundraising goal
The national party committee began the month of July with $10.8 million in cash on hand, according to the report. The RNC also reported that it received $5.5 million in contributions and spent $11.1 million last month. The RNC ended July with $5.2 million in cash on hand and $2.2 million in debt.
Related: RNC tries to stop damaging links about committee's finances
Earlier this week CNN reported that the Democratic National Committee raised $11.5 million in July and heads into the fall with nearly $11 million in the bank. The DNC also carries $3.5 million in debt headed into the general election.
Update: 3:00 p.m.: RNC Spokesman Doug Heye gave the following statement to CNN via e-mail:
“With control of the White House and both Houses of Congress we have always had the expectation that Democrats would outspend Republicans this election cycle," Heye said. "But when a majority of the Americans think our country is on the wrong track and are overwhelmingly rejecting the Democrats liberal binge spending agenda – Democrats are going to need to do more than hold glitzy fundraisers across the country to save Nancy Pelosi's job. We are confident that Republicans have the ideas Americans are looking for and the resources necessary to win in November.”
Update: 5:06 p.m.: Contacted by CNN, a spokesman for the DNC declined to comment.
–CNN's Ed Hornick contributed to this report.
“If we keep spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much – if we keep doing the same things, we’re going to get the same dismal results," Djou says. "It’s time to change direction. It’s time to listen [to the American public]."
(Read Djou's full remarks after the jump)
"[W]e cannot allow the corporate takeover of our democracy," Obama says in the address. "So we’re going to continue to fight for reform and transparency. And I urge all of you to take up the same fight. Let’s challenge every elected official who benefits from these ads to defend this practice or join us in stopping it."
(Read Obama's full remarks after the jump)
Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Just days after wrapping up a three-day swing through Iowa, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is in the state that holds the nation's first presidential primary.
The possible GOP presidential candidate will attend a fundraising event Saturday for a New Hampshire Republican state senate candidate and will serve as the keynote speaker at the Manchester Republicans Candidate Fair, according to a spokeswoman for Santorum's political action committee. This is the conservative former senator's second trip to the Granite State this year.
During his three days in Iowa, which was Santorum's third trip to the state this cycle, the Pennsylvania Republican campaigned for state GOP candidates, held receptions to meet with Iowa voters, and stopped by the Iowa State Fair, a must do event for any White House hopeful. The Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential primary season.
Related: Graham entitled to his own opinion, White House says
Related on the Belief blog: Only a third of Americans say Obama is Christian
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
Connecticut 5th: Rep. Chris Murphy (D) is seeking a third term
Primary: August 10, 2010
Location: Northwestern Connecticut
Days until Election Day: 73
(CNN) - When Democrat Chris Murphy left the state Senate to pursue a job on Capitol Hill, Republican Sam Caligiuri took over Murphy’s old job. Four years later, Caligiuri is hoping to follow in Murphy’s footsteps again, but this time, he’s not waiting for Murphy to step aside.