(CNN) - When President Obama headed to the golf course last weekend – the 61st time he has done so since becoming president - critics pounced, saying it was inappropriate for the commander-in-chief to indulge himself when several crises abroad demanded his attention.
But at least one Republican is coming to the president's defense: former Vice President Dan Quayle.
(CNN) - Newt Gingrich is the latest Republican to pile on the criticism of President Obama over the college basketball fan-in-chief's participation in March Madness bracketology.
In a tweet Thursday, the likely presidential candidate said Obama is "hiding from his job behind NCAA picks."
(CNN) - As the crisis surrounding nuclear plants devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continues, a new poll released Thursday suggests Americans are increasingly wary of nuclear power and the threat of a nuclear disaster.
According to the USA Today/Gallup poll, 70 percent of respondents said the events in Japan caused greater concern about the threat of a nuclear disaster occurring in the United States. 39 percent of those surveyed said they are "a lot more concerned."
(CNN) - Former Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller may be coming to a stage near you.
The Republican has signed with 21st Century Speakers, an agency to arrange paid speaking engagements, according to their website. The group represents other political figures including former president George H.W. Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
(CNN) – Following in the footsteps of several other Republicans considering a presidential bid, Sarah Palin is set to make a stop in Israel following her Saturday speech in New Delhi, India.
“I'm thankful to be able to travel to Israel on my way back to the U.S.,” Palin said in a statement obtained by CNN. “As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel.”
(CNN) – Donald Trump, the business mogul who continues to claim he is seriously interested in mounting a bid for the White House, says he has doubts about whether President Obama was born in the United States.
In an interview with ABC, Trump said he finds it strange “nobody knew” Obama as a young child in Hawaii.
New York (CNNMoney) – The number of Americans filing either continuing or first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign that the job market continues to slowly improve.
The number of Americans filing for ongoing claims dropped 80,000 to 3,706,000 in the week ended March 5, the most recent week available. That was the lowest number of continuing claims since September 2008, and below economists' forecast for 3,750,000 continuing claims.
(CNN) – The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote Thursday on a bill that would bar federal funding for National Public Radio.
The move to pull funds from the public broadcasting outlet comes after a conservative activist secretly taped an NPR executive criticizing Tea Party supporters and saying NPR would be better off without federal money.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Obama pledges to help Japan rebuild; U.S. issues larger radiation zone
Even as Washington and Tokyo disagreed on the extent of the threat a damaged nuclear power plant poses, President Barack Obama told the Japanese prime minister Thursday that the United States will help Japan rebuild following last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The two leaders had a 30-minute phone call at 10:30 a.m. Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday). During the phone call with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Obama voiced sympathy for Japan's plight. "The president again conveyed his deep condolences at the tragic loss of life and the widespread suffering in northeastern Japan," a White House statement on the call said. "The president emphasized that the U.S. is determined to do everything possible to support Japan in overcoming the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11."
CNN: Pelosi describes Japan tragedy as 'beyond biblical'
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday described the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan as "beyond biblical in terms of its proportion." The "humanitarian loss is so tremendous," Pelosi, D-California, told reporters on Capitol Hill, saying the United States is helping with humanitarian and technical assistance, but it's a "huge order." "We all feel quite inadequate in terms of the size of the tragedy, but completely committed to helping," Pelosi said. While Pelosi said she doesn't believe any radioactive material would "drift ashore" in this country, she noted that California and Hawaii would be in the "first line of receiving" any fallout and said the Federal Emergency Management Agency "needs to take inventory" of emergency supplies and figure out "how it gets directly to people."