(CNN) - Sen. Roger Wicker, whose Washington office was sent letters laced with the poison ricin, said Thursday he's met the man who stands charged with sending the envelopes.
"He's an entertainer. He's an Elvis impersonator, and he entertained at a party that my wife and I helped give for a young couple that was getting married. He was quite entertaining," said Wicker, R-Mississippi, of Paul Kevin Curtis, who was charged Thursday with making threats against the president and sending threatening letters, according to the Justice Department.
Washington (CNN) - Congress will consider cracking down on a new drug that is similar to cocaine but is marketed as a household product and sold legally at convenience stores across the country.
Democratic New York Sen. Charles Schumer plans to introduce a bill to put these drugs - which are sold in small paper packets innocuously labeled "bath salts" - onto a list of controlled substances that would allow for government oversight.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Staff Sgt. Cody Reeves has survived harrowing conditions and stared down enemies on the battlefield during two tours in the military hotspots of Iraq.
Now he is stationed near Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, trained to carry the remains of fellow soldiers who perished in that same conflict.
Before,"it was all about catching the bad guy," Reeves said. "When you come here, it's all about honoring your brothers who are fallen for catching the bad guys, for their service."
Reeves serves in the Army's Old Guard, a tight-knit group of soldiers of similar height and size who physically bear the weight of the Army's fallen veterans. The Old Guard conducts a 15-minute ceremony called a dignified transfer.
A recent decision by Defense Secretary Robert Gates gives families the choice to allow media to film the solemn event. It's the first time in 20 years the ceremony has been open to the press.
Every detail of the transfer is precise. When an American soldier dies overseas, the Old Guard is called into action. They travel from their base to Dover, where they meet the aircraft carrying the soldier's body. The six men receive the flag-draped casket, which can weigh 500 pounds, and carry the soldier's body to a waiting vehicle.
(CNN) – Paul Volcker, former chairman of Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, knows a thing or two about turning out a tasty Thanksgiving turkey.
Volcker shared his tips with CNN on Thursday and said his secrets include port wine and strips of bacon.
Obama mentioned Volcker’s turkey prowess at a news conference Wednesday when the President-elect told reporters that Volcker and fellow Obama economic aide Austan Goolsbee both have “special turkey cooking recipes if anyone needs some advice on how to make the ideal turkey.”
Volcker and Goolsbee were named Wednesday to head up a new economic recovery board Obama is creating as part of his incoming administration’s effort to turn around the economy which has been in crisis since mid-September when the nation’s credit markets and financial system seized up.
(CNN) – Sen. Joe Biden faces a paradox: He offers the most unfiltered contact with the media of any of the big four. But he's the least likely to be covered.
Over the three weeks since Sen. Barack Obama tapped Biden to be his running mate, Biden has seen coverage of his campaign slip from feverish to low-key.
The night before Obama announced his vice presidential choice August 23, the press staked out Biden's Delaware home and gave minute-by-minute updates of his every movement.
But then Sen. John McCain picked telegenic and nationally unknown Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the press corps traveling with Biden's campaign dwindled to a skeleton crew.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has been tapped to help Joe Biden as he prepares to take on GOP rival Sarah Palin in the upcoming vice presidential debate.
Granholm will spend four days helping Biden sharpen his skills before he faces off with Palin October 2.
At a fundraiser Tuesday night, Biden told supporters debating Palin would be tricky.
“Folks look, I know what she’s going to try to do. She’s going to try to make it as personal as she can. She’s going to take a lot of straight lefts and jabs at me, she’s going to try to get me to respond, she’s going to try to get me to respond in a personal way," Biden said. "That’s not my style. I’m not going to do it.”
Instead, Biden said he would "try very hard" to keep the focus on health care, the struggling economy and foreign policy.
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (CNN) – Joe Biden said Monday that vice presidential opponent Sarah Palin seems to have "some very extreme views."
Speaking to a union crowd in Wisconsin, Biden also said he hasn't heard enough specifics from the Alaska governor, and that he's hoping to learn more about her positions before the two debate October 2.
"Hopefully by the time the debate takes place, we’ll have a better sense of her other than some of what she says and what appear to be some very extreme views," Biden said.
"I’m assuming that she shares John McCain’s views on most of the issues. And she even says, if the press is correct - and I’m not ready, prepared to make a judgment [on this] - her views on everything from global warming to other things, if they are as presented, they’re pretty far out there."
KALISPELL, Montana (CNN) – Joe Biden joked Sunday that GOP nominee Sarah Palin should be held to the same standard as other candidates for the White House—except in one area where she’s clearly got the edge. “It's not whether Sarah Palin can aim an assault rifle and hit dead target - which she probably can, and I hope it's not me,” he joked at a campaign event in Montana.
Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention was peppered with references to her rural Alaskan upbringing, including time spent fishing and snowmobiling.
But Biden said she needed to talk more about issues. At a media availability, Biden cited Palin’s noticeable absence from the Sunday morning talk shows earlier that day. Biden, Barack Obama and John McCain all gave sit-down interviews.
Biden said Palin should do the same.
“Somewhere along the line…she will start to stand before the nation and the public and you know, determine whether or not her views, her breadth of knowledge, her record, is one that people say ‘yeah I want that person as vice president, a heartbeat away from being president,’” Biden said.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) – So far, Sen. Joe Biden has declined to question opponent Sarah Palin's record, but a gag by the press corps traveling in Biden's plane gave the senator's staff an opportunity to take aim at Palin for ducking the media and being "more of the same."
A group of reporters covering the vice presidential nominee brought a cardboard cut-out of Sen. John McCain aboard Biden's plane–an irreverent reference to the Democrat's tendency to cite John McCain as "my friend" and tell voters a variation of this story he told in West Palm Beach, Fla. last week: "If John McCain picked up the phone today and said, Joe, I need you to get in a plane and fly out to Missoula, I can't tell you why, I'd get in a plane and I'd go. And I believe he'd do it for me."
Before Biden's campaign plane taxied to the runway, headed for Montana, Biden spokesman David Wade responded to the joke with a jab at Palin. "You realize you could've made history," Wade said. "If you'd found a cardboard cut-out of Governor Palin, that's the closest she would've been to taking tough questions from the national media since she was selected...Yet another way that McCain-Palin is more of the same."
The McCain camp has fired back. “This is probably a great day for Joe Biden,” Ben Porritt, a spokesman for McCain-Palin 2008, told CNN. “He’s never been shy about wanting to campaign on the same ticket as John McCain.”
Palin was the only of the four nominees not to make an appearance on a news talk show Sunday. The Alaska governor has been making a western swing with John McCain this week, and drawing crowds in the tens of thousands.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) - Joe Biden may be a vice presidential nominee during the week, but on Saturdays he's still trying to keep his old schedule.
After a week of criss-crossing the country, Biden returned home to Wilmington Friday evening in time to teach his law school class the next morning. Since 1991, the senator has taught "Current Topics in Constitutional Law" to a small seminar of students at Widener School of Law in Wilmington.
This is the only class the Democratic running mate has been able to helm so far this year. The first class was scheduled for the day after Barack Obama tapped Biden for his vp pick.
A spokesman for the university says he expects this to be Biden's last time teaching this semester.
The popular course is capped at 18 students, and there is a waiting list to register.