July 24th, 2014
09:33 AM ET
3 hours ago

Report: Montana Senator plagiarized grad school paper

updated at 3:25pm ET

(CNN) - A significant portion of a paper Montana Sen. John Walsh had to complete to obtain his Master’s degree was taken directly from two sources and given no attribution, according to the New York Times.

At least one-quarter of the 14-page paper, “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” from the United States Army War College was copied from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report and a 1998 Harvard scholar's essay, the Times reported.

Walsh, an Iraq War veteran and former head of Montana’s National Guard, completed the paper in 2007. He was 46.

Nearly 24 hours after the story broke, his re-election campaign released a full-bore defense, laying out more than a dozen accomplishments and awards from his 33-year military career. The campaign didn’t deny the plagiarism but said it wasn’t deliberate.

"He acknowledges the citations were not all done correctly, but that it was an unintentional mistake," the statement said.

Walsh separately told the Associated Press that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress after his Iraq deployment. His office said he commanded an infantry battalion in 2004-05.

His office said the difficult period was not an excuse for the plagiarized portions of the paper.

The damning report could impact not only Walsh’s election chances this November, but also the Democrats’ odds of maintaining control of the Senate.

Walsh stepped down as Montana's lieutenant governor after he was appointed to the Senate in February to replace longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who was appointed Ambassador to China. Walsh is running in November's midterm election for a full six year term in Senate.

In the conservative state of Montana, Republicans pegged the race as winnable. The GOP must win six seats currently in Democratic hands to win back control of the Upper Chamber.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

Even before the plagiarism allegations broke, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers gave the edge in the race to the GOP candidate, Rep. Steve Daines. The Cook Report listed the race as “lean Republican” and the Rothenberg Report rated the contest as “toss up/tilt Republican.”

In a statement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee defended Walsh.

"John Walsh is a decorated war hero and it’s disgusting that Steve Daines and Washington Republicans are going to try denigrate John’s distinguished service after multiple polls show him gaining. Steve Daines should immediately denounce these latest smears and call for an end to all attacks on John Walsh’s record protecting Montana and serving his country," said DSCC press secretary Justin Barasky.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Montana
Paul Ryan lays out new poverty plan
July 24th, 2014
08:06 AM ET
7 hours ago

Paul Ryan lays out new poverty plan

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan spelled out his plan Thursday to fight poverty, a pilot program that would combine 11 federal programs into one pool of money for participating states.

According to the plan, which the Wisconsin Republican detailed at the American Enterprise Institute, states would voluntarily submit their own anti-poverty proposals in order to get money.

FULL POST


Filed under: Paul Ryan • Uncategorized
Jeb Bush weighs in on immigration influx and urges House Republicans to push comprehensive reform
July 24th, 2014
12:51 AM ET
11 hours ago

Jeb Bush weighs in on immigration influx and urges House Republicans to push comprehensive reform

Washington (CNN) – After several weeks in which the influx of tens of thousands of undocumented children illegally crossing the border into the United States has dominated the headlines, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote an op-ed about the issue, calling for a change in how the children are handled after they are arrested - and also urging his fellow Republicans not to use this as an "excuse" to abandon comprehensive immigration reform.

His Wall Street Journal opinion piece that published Wednesday evening is similar to the statement he released to CNN last week and is just the second time he's spoken on the issue that has caused national debate as unaccompanied children continue to cross the border at an increasing rate.

The potential 2016 presidential candidate wrote in the in the Wall Street Journal, "We now have a humanitarian crisis on our Southern border that demands strong leadership that respects the rule of law."

FULL POST

Obama: Washington could do with less 'Scandal'
July 24th, 2014
12:36 AM ET
11 hours ago

Obama: Washington could do with less 'Scandal'

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(CNN) – Olivia Pope may be the best crisis manager - real or fictional - to ever grace Washington.

But that doesn't mean the situations on "Scandal" are anything close to what President Barack Obama wants to see play out in real life.

Speaking during a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, Obama used a now-familiar phrase - "phony scandals" - to describe what he sees as a petty obsession among the political class.      FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • President Obama
In Colorado, Christie doesn’t shy away from pot comments
July 23rd, 2014
07:52 PM ET
11 hours ago

In Colorado, Christie doesn’t shy away from pot comments

(CNN) – While in Colorado on Wednesday, Chris Christie said he’s “not backing off an inch” from his previous comments against the state’s decision to legalize marijuana.

“What I said is what I believe,” the New Jersey Republican governor said. “I think legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do from a societal perspective, from a governmental perspective.”

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Filed under: Chris Christie • Colorado • Marijuana
Top Democrat predicts – again – his party can win back the House
July 23rd, 2014
07:00 PM ET
11 hours ago

Top Democrat predicts – again – his party can win back the House

Washington (CNN) – Defying virtually all political analysis, the No. 2 House Democrat said his party has "a good shot" at winning enough seats in November to regain control of the House of Representatives.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer made a similar prediction in February, but no veteran political observers believe the House Democrats are in a position to pick up the 17 seats they would need to win back the chamber. In fact most national observers believe Republicans will keep or slightly expand the 234 GOP seat majority they hold now in the House.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2014 • Congress • House • Steny Hoyer
Hillary’s spin on the Reagan vs. Clinton economies off-mark
July 23rd, 2014
06:16 PM ET
11 hours ago

Hillary’s spin on the Reagan vs. Clinton economies off-mark

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton, throughout much of her book tour, has made bold claims comparing the Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton economies.

Last week, Clinton stepped up those claims in an interview with Charlie Rose when she asserted “if I just were to compare Reagan's eight years with Bill's eight years, it's like night and day in terms of the effects, the number of jobs that were created, the number of people lifted out of poverty 100 times more when Bill was president. And did policies have something to do with that? I would argue that they did.”

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Hillary Clinton
July 23rd, 2014
05:37 PM ET
11 hours ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 23, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 23, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

ON CNN… BLOOMBERG SAYS FLIGHT BAN REWARDS HAMAS … Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a combative interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in Israel, said he was there “to show support for Israel's right to defend itself" and to underscore, in his opinion, that U.S. flight restrictions there are a mistake that only helps Hamas.
FULL POST


Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
Dole back on Hill to try and push through U.N. disabilities treaty
July 23rd, 2014
04:19 PM ET
11 hours ago

Dole back on Hill to try and push through U.N. disabilities treaty

(CNN) – Hoping to spur more Republican support, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole returned to the U.S. Capitol to urge ratification of a global disability rights treaty.

The one-time Kansas GOP lawmaker, who had two stints leading the chamber before resigning to run for president in 1996, joined veterans and rights groups at a news conference on Wednesday on the U.N. measure.

FULL POST


Filed under: Bob Dole • Congress
Game on in pivotal Georgia Senate race
July 23rd, 2014
04:08 PM ET
1 day ago

Game on in pivotal Georgia Senate race

(CNN) - The general election race for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat is kicking into high gear now that the GOP has a nominee.

"Michelle Nunn: Perfect for Obama. Wrong for Georgia," says the narrator in TV commercial by the Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative outside group that's been very critical of the new health care law.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2014 • Georgia • Michelle Nunn
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