Washington (CNN) - Gen. James Amos, who is poised to become the new Marine Corps commandant, opposes repealing the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from the military.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, which held a hearing Tuesday on the nomination of Amos to become commandant, released 37 pages of policy questions the general answered in advance.
"In my personal view the current law and associated policy have supported the unique requirements of the Marine Corps and thus I do not recommend its
repeal," Amos wrote.
(CNN) - Add Tim Pawlenty to the list of big name Republicans headed to New Hampshire to help out John Stephen, the state's GOP gubernatorial nominee.
A Republican source tells CNN that the Minnesota governor will team up with Stephen at a campaign event on September 30. Pawlenty's visit will follow similar trips to the Granite state by Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour. Romney will help Stephen raise money on Saturday, after the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 GOP White House hopeful gives the keynote address at the state party convention. On Monday, Barbour, the Mississippi governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association, also teams up with Stephen.
What do all three men have in common? All three are considering bids for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
A couple of sources gave me a heads up that moderate Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins is considered such a crucial vote on the Defense bill, Vice President Joe Biden called her this morning to lobby her. Collins supports repealing the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy. She was the only Republican to vote with Democrats in committee to approve the language in the bill that allows the repeal, after a Pentagon review is complete and military leaders sign off. But she is signaling that Tuesday's procedural vote, she is sticking with her party.
CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett caught up with Collins outside the Senate chamber just now and asked her about the call, and she was really surprised we knew about it.
Here's how the conversation went:
Washington (CNN) - A leading national Tea Party organization says it's going to pump $1 million to local Tea Party groups to spend on the midterm elections, thanks to an anonymous donation.
The Tea Party Patriots announced Tuesday that money will be distributed no later that October 4. Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler said the funds won't be spent on his organization, but rather are "intended to go out to the groups on the ground, in the field."
"The goal of this donation is to do what we've always done as Tea Party Patriots, is to help groups on the ground be more effective at what they're already doing, not to tell them what to do, not to tell them how to spend the money," Meckler said.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The national unemployment rate may have only ticked up slightly in August, but on a state-by-state basis, the jobs picture continues to look a lot more grim in places like Nevada, Michigan and California.
A total of 27 states reported higher unemployment rates in August, nearly double the 14 that saw increases in July, the Labor Department said in its monthly report on state unemployment Tuesday.
While the rate remained at 9.6% for the country as a whole, Nevada, Michigan and California have consistently racked up rates above 12%.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that Sarah Palin is "somebody to be reckoned with" and cautioned Democrats that "it's always a mistake to underestimate your opponent."
"We may be entering a sort of period in politics that's sort of fact free, where the experience in government is a negative," Clinton told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
The former president wouldn't say whether Palin is qualified to hold the highest office.
He also had some advice for President Obama ahead of what's likely to be a Republican resurgence in November's midterm elections.
Washington (CNN) - The rematch in Maryland's getting more interesting.
Republican Governor's Association released its first ad in Maryland's gubernatorial campaign on Tuesday, supporting GOP nominee and former Gov. Robert Ehrlich and attacking the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Martin O'Malley.
"With Martin O'Malley as Governor, Maryland has moved backward, not forward. Unemployment has doubled. More than three thousand Maryland businesses have closed or moved to other states. O'Malley passed the largest tax increase in history. A twenty percent sales tax hike. Job-killing taxes on business," says the narrator in the ad. "And now O'Malley says he's open to raising taxes again. Martin O'Malley: Higher Taxes, Fewer Jobs – moving Maryland backwards."
Maryland Democrats are firing back.
Christine O'Donnell’s surprise win in Delaware is sending shock waves through the GOP. O’Donnell is just one of several Tea Party success stories, which some say is threatening the existence of the moderate Republican.
Republican Congressman Bob Inglis, who lost his primary in June to a Tea Party candidate, is now speaking out against the Republican Party. Inglis spoke to CNN's John Roberts on "American Morning" about where things may have gone wrong for himself and the rest of the GOP.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Even if the economy avoids falling into a double-dip recession, the next year will probably feel like one anyway, a CNNMoney.com survey of economists showed.
Unemployment is expected to remain high, according to the survey of 31 top economists. Their average forecast is for the rate to be at 9.5% - only slightly lower than current levels.
And next year isn't looking much better. Unemployment is only expected to fall to about 9% by the end of 2011, the survey showed.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is well known for unscripted statements that tend to make his aides cringe.
Reid made one of those comments Monday morning at a New York fundraiser hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Nevada Democrat referred to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand "the hottest member," which apparently made Gillibrand blush, according to two Democratic sources familiar with the incident.