WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the debate over health care reform intensifies on Capitol Hill, CNN's "State of the Union with John King" takes on the subject from both inside and outside the beltway Sunday.
President Obama's top official on health care policy, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, joins the show to discuss how the administration will move forward with its promise to reform health care.
Then, three senators who will play a critical role in passing health care legislation, Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, debate what the future of American health care will be.
And finally, in a report from Orlando, Florida, John King speaks directly with doctors, patients and ordinary Americans about the current state of our country's health care.
Tune in at 9 a.m. ET to watch this special "State of the Union with John King."
(CNN) - Each year on Memorial Day, tens of thousands of Americans visit Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving the United States.
For people who are unable to make the trip, a new online memorial provides a unique way to honor those service members who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new Google Earth layer, called Map the Fallen, enables the user to pinpoint where, when, and how each service member died since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. A line connects the service member's approximate location of death to his or her hometown.
The interactive tool - available at mapthefallen.org - also offers a detailed profile of each person.
Sean Askay, a Google engineer with no military affiliation who developed the layer in his free time, explains the project on his blog.
"I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories - you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died," he writes.
The layer works on a timeline system, so it shows each U.S. and coalition troop death chronologically, dating back to the first one in Afghanistan on October 10, 2001. The user can search for a fallen service member by name, age, gender, hometown, or location of death.
Editor's note: How would you rate the new Congress in President Obama's first 100 days? You'll get a chance to make your opinion known on at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday on the CNN National Report Card.
(CNN) - It's early April, and President Obama is on his way to France with the nation's top diplomat at his side. As he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton converse in a private room aboard Air Force One, a photographer peers through the half-open door and snaps a candid picture of the formerly bitter campaign rivals.
Photographing two of the most powerful people in the country up-close and personal may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to most Americans. But for photographer Pete Souza, it's a common occurrence.
"I try to photograph everything. Every meeting that the president does," Souza told CNN's John King on "State of the Union."
Watch: Portrait of a president
On leave of absence from his normal post as an assistant professor of photojournalism at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication, Souza is the chief official White House photographer for President Obama, meaning he has an all-access pass to the president's most intimate and private moments.
"I look at my job as a visual historian," Souza said on Sunday. "The most important thing is to create a good visual archive for history, so 50 or a hundred years from now, people can go back and look at all these pictures."
While he relishes his unobstructed seat to a historic administration, he knows his limits.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell defended his recent off-microphone remark about Homeland Security Secretary-designate Janet Napolitano, calling the comment “100 percent true.”
While having a private conversation at the National Governor’s Association meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, an open microphone picked up Rendell labeling Gov. Napolitano, D-Arizona, as “perfect” for the cabinet position because she has no family, and the position requires a person with “no life.”
On Tuesday CNN’s Campbell Brown railed against the governor, commenting that it was a sexist statement that would have never been uttered had Napolitano been a man.
But the outspoken Pennsylvania Democrat shrugged off the criticism in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday.
“What I said about Janet is true. I think she's the gold standard for governors. She works hard, she's dedicated, she's focused,” he said on Late Edition.
“Campbell Brown, who I love, as a person and respect as a newsperson, couldn't have been more wrong. She said that it was somehow sexist or a comment on single women. Let me tell you—If Janet Napolitano was Jim Napolitano and had no family, I would have said the exact same thing,” Rendell confidently stated.
Though Rendell claimed that he sent the Arizona governor a hand-written note apologizing for any discomfort he caused her, he strongly defended his controversial comment.
“Wolf, we've gotten really far off field in the way we cover news if that statement which is absolutely 100 percent true is construed as something. I would have said it about man or woman in similar position. It was meant to comment on how tough the job is and how great a choice Janet is,” Rendell told Blitzer.
(CNN) - As speculation continues to swirl about a possible Pennsylvania senate bid by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter said on Sunday that he’s not worried about it.
“I’m going to have an opponent, in fact I’m going to have two opponents - one in the primary, where I always have a tough race, and again in the general,” Specter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on "Late Edition." “I never look over my shoulder, I never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me. I run with blinders. I’ll be prepared no matter who my opponents are.”
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported on Saturday that Matthews met with Pennsylvania Democratic Party leaders to discuss a possible senate run in 2010 against the incumbent Specter. The senior Republican is currently serving his 5th term, having first been elected in 1980.
Matthews, in a statement on the political Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, said reports of him staffing up for a run are "absolutely not true."
Specter said he’s only concerned with his own bid for re-election in 2010.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Forbes magazine President and CEO Steve Forbes called Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson “the worst treasury secretary we’ve had in modern times”, citing, among other things, the government’s handling of the housing crisis.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Forbes repeatedly called on the treasury secretary to be more straightforward about the money used to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“Have Henry Paulson do at least one thing right, and that is, have the government explicitly guarantee the debt of Fannie and Freddie,” the financial mogul and former Republican presidential candidate said.
When asked if he has confidence in Paulson, Forbes responded “No, sadly, Wolf. He's about the worst treasury secretary we've had in modern times.”
The Treasury Department had no comment on Forbes’ remark, but in a speech on Thursday, Paulson said that the administration’s proactive response to the troubled economy “prevented a far worse financial crisis.”
Bill Clinton’s former labor secretary Robert Reich was slightly less blunt than Forbes, but equally uncertain on Paulson’s ability to turn around the economy.
“I think that the great bailout that he engineered was really sold to Congress on false pretenses,” Reich said on Late Edition. “Paulson has not been very transparent. He's been very opaque. And it has riled markets.”
(CNN) - With only two days until Election Day, campaign insiders offered up their predictions for how the general election and congressional races will unfold. Speaking on Sunday to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the best political team made the following forecasts:
James Carville, Democratic Strategist: Barack Obama takes the election by winning 365 electoral votes; the Democrats pick up 9 Senate seats and 27 House seats.
Leslie Sanchez, Republican Strategist: If John McCain is within four points of Obama in the final polls, there’s a chance for a McCain win. The Democrats won’t pick up 9 Senate seats because Sen. Norm Coleman will beat Al Franken in the Minnesota Senate race.
Paul Begala, Democratic Strategist: Obama wins with a minimum of 325 electoral votes. The Democrats pick up 7 or 8 Senate seats, which gives them the freedom to kick Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus.
Alex Castellanos, Republican Strategist: Obama wins with 318 electoral votes, which he gains by carrying Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. McCain wins Ohio and North Carolina. The Democrats wind up with 59 Senate seats, but Sen. Mary Landrieu, D- Louisiana, loses her re-election bid.
More predictions after the jump
(CNN) - John McCain's economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin laughed off his now infamous BlackBerry comment on Sunday, and jokingly laid out his new campaign strategy.
"Many lessons here-number one, no sense of humor on the campaign trail. I swear off telling any jokes," Holtz-Eakin told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. He went on to add that he wouldn't talk about the history of technology anymore either.
Holtz-Eakin came under fire earlier this week for implying that McCain invented the BlackBerry. When asked during a press briefing on Tuesday what McCain did as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Holtz-Eakin held up his Blackberry and said: "He did this".
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senator Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle became the latest prominent Democrats to slam John McCain's choice of a vice presidential running mate, both saying that the Arizona senator "buckled" to the extreme right.
Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Dodd called the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "the choice of Dobson, Robertson, and Limbaugh"-referring to Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson, televangelist Pat Robertson, and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
"This is a real sop to the extreme conservative elements of the Republican Party. John McCain's knees buckled because he was fearful of what the extreme right was going to say about this ticket, that's what this comes down to," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on "Late Edition".
Shortly afterwards on the same program, Daschle voiced similar sentiments.
"The choice is somewhat mystifying to me, Wolf. It's inexplicable. the only explanation to me is that he buckled, he knuckled under, to the extreme right-wing pressures that he was feeling these last several weeks."
Daschle called Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the "perfect choice" for a woman vice presidential candidate, and Dodd ran off a list of Republican women whom he feels are more capable.
"I think of Elizabeth Dole, I think of Jodi Rell, the governor of Connecticut, I think of Kay Bailey Hutchison, I think of Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe. I can recite off the top of my head a number of Republican candidates, women, who are far more qualified, with all due respect to Sarah Palin," Dodd said.
On ABC's "This Week", Senator John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, said that McCain wanted to choose former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge or independent Senator Joe Lieberman, but that "Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing vetoed it."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, reflected on a moment that few people in this world get to experience - receiving a personal call from Barack Obama informing him that he will not be his vice presidential running mate.
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Bayh acknowledged that he was grateful to be one of the two or three finalists for the job.
“Obviously, Wolf, it’s a life-changing moment,” Bayh said on CNN’s "Late Edition."
“He had a lot of nice things to say about me, which I was very flattered by. I told him I was honored to be considered… and that I thought Joe Biden was an excellent man and he could count on me in anyway that I could.”
When asked if Obama gave any reasons for his decision, Bayh said he did not provide specifics.
“He just said that they were going to be going in a different direction but he said that that was a reflection on other things than me. He said a number of things that I would sound immodest if I recounted to you, so I’m not going to do that.”
Along with Biden and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Bayh was widely speculated to be one of the finalists to be Obama’s running mate. His experience as a two-term senator and governor from a state that Obama is working hard to put in the blue column made him a very appealing candidate.
Bayh received the call on Friday and said that he called Biden early Saturday morning to congratulate him.