April 27th, 2009
09:19 PM ET
14 years ago

Fox won't air Obama's prime-time press conference

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.obamapresser.gi.jpg caption="Obama's last prime-time press conference was on March 24."](CNN) - Fox Broadcasting Company announced Monday it will not carry President Barack Obama's prime time press conference marking his first 100 days in office, the first time a broadcast network has refused an Obama administration request for that valuable airtime.

The network will instead carry its regularly scheduled episode "Lie to Me," according to its Web site. The show is among the network's most popular and draws an average of 13 million viewers a week. That compares to the relatively paltry 4.2 million who watched the president's last prime-time press conference on Fox. In all, close to 40 million watched that event on one of the eight networks that carried it.

Obama's press conference also comes at the start of the May "sweeps" period, when viewership is watched closely to set the rate networks can charge for advertising.

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, the network said it will alert viewers just ahead of the 8 pm ET event that the press conference will be broadcast on sister stations Fox News and Fox Business Channel.

CBS, NBC, and ABC have said they will pre-empt their regularly scheduled programs to air the president's news conference.

The Wednesday night event will be Obama's third prime-time press conference as president. His prime-time address to Congress in February was also carried by all four major broadcast networks.

The White House is not commenting on Fox's decision.

Filed under: Extra • President Obama
April 27th, 2009
09:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Republicans blast 'special rules' in budget proposal

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.ryan.gi.jpg caption="Paul Ryan is among the congressional Republicans criticizing the final details of a proposed budget deal "]WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the final details of a proposed budget deal were worked out Monday, Republican lawmakers slammed Democrats for including special rules to speed up legislation for health-care reform.

"You won the election. You've got the votes. This is your right to do this and you are doing it. But let's not kid ourselves that there is some kind of bipartisan collaboration occurring here," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

"Let's not kid ourselves that this isn't a negotiation with a gun in one hand."

Both the House and Senate are expected to vote this week on a fiscal 2010 budget resolution. The legislation includes a procedural rule known as reconciliation, which prevents Republicans from blocking legislation, limits debate and allows Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority.

"You know, I can understand shaking Hugo Chavez's hand, but can't understand embracing his politics - basically shutting down the minority, which is essentially what this reconciliation issue is," Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, referring to President Barack Obama shaking the Venezuelan president's hand at the recent Summit of the Americas.

Ryan acknowledged that Democrats had authority to employ reconciliation, but said the tactic should be used to deal with spending issues - not major public policy proposals.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, who chairs the budget committee, also opposed using reconciliation, but said it wasn't his call to include it in the budget.

"It's in because the president, the speaker and the majority leader in the Senate all want it in," he said. "That's a lot more power than I bring to the table."

Still, Conrad said he didn't believe the Senate would need to use reconciliation, saying, "It's there as an insurance policy."

Under the budget proposal, Congress has until October 15 to develop a health-care bill. If lawmakers are unable to negotiate a bipartisan approach by that date, the Senate will be allowed to move forward with the expedited process.

Filed under: Congress
April 27th, 2009
07:58 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama 'furious' over plane mishap, sources say

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/04/27/low.flying.plane/art.low.airplane.wabc.jpg caption=" Witnesses reported seeing the plane circle over the Upper New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty. "](CNN) - President Obama was "furious" after one of the presidential jets was allowed to fly low over New York City for a White house photo-op, a senior administration official told CNN.

The Monday morning flight, which caused a brief panic in the city and a wave of building evacuations, was done at the behest of the White House Military Office.

iReport.com: Low-flying plane caught on tape

According to two senior administration officials, the office was trying to update its official photograph of Air Force One. The current one, shot many years ago, shows the plane flying over Mount Rushmore.

Louis Caldera, Director of the White House Military Office, issued a statement late Monday apologizing "for any distress that flight caused.”

Caldera statement after the jump


Filed under: President Obama
April 27th, 2009
07:33 PM ET
14 years ago

Harkin convenes 'emergency hearing' on swine flu

(CNN) - Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will convene an "emergency hearing" on swine flu Tuesday.

Harkin is chairman the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

Full statement from Harkin's office:


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, has called an emergency hearing on the so called “swine influenza” (H1N1) TOMORROW, Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 1 PM EDT in room 138 of the Dirksen Building. The program includes: Public Health Response to Swine Flu.

Witnesses for the proceedings include:

Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD, Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Paul Jarris, MD, Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials


Filed under: Swine Flu
April 27th, 2009
04:51 PM ET
14 years ago

U.S. lawmakers arrested in Darfur protest at Sudan embassy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.lewis.protest.cnn.jpg caption="Rep. John Lewis faces a misdemeanor charge of trespassing."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Five members of Congress were among those arrested Monday outside the Embassy of Sudan for crossing a police line during a demonstration against genocide in Darfur.

"You have to find a way to dramatize an issue," Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) told CNN as he was led away in handcuffs.

The other U.S. lawmakers who were arrested during the protest are Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), Donna Edwards (D-Maryland), Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), and Lynn Woolsey (D-California).

Lewis faces a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, after he refused three warnings from police to stay behind a barricade established toprotect the diplomatic compound located along Washington's Embassy Row.

A champion of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Lewis said the U.S. cannot afford to wait for Sudan to settle ethnic conflict and massive killings that the State Department has characterized as genocide.

As he was lined up with seven other people to be loaded into a prisoner transport vehicle, Lewis said "this is another step toward helping to free the children of Darfur and put an end to the genocide, to the violence; crimes against humanity."


Filed under: Uncategorized
April 27th, 2009
04:49 PM ET
12 years ago

White House caught off guard on plane incident

(CNN) - The White House appeared caught off guard Monday after a plane from the presidential fleet caused a brief panic in New York City when it appeared to be flying too low.

"I have seen some news reports, but…I don't know," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. "I have no information on this other than what I saw."

According to the FAA, the plane - one of two used to transport the president - was scheduled to fly low - at about 1,000 feet - over New York City as part of a photo shoot for the Defense Department.

Speaking Monday, Gibbs indicated he was unaware the plan.

"I was working on other things," he said. "You might be surprised to know I don't know every movement of Air Force One or what happens to it."

Louis Caldera, Director of the White House Military Office, issued a statement late Tuesday apologizing "for any distress that flight caused.”

Meanwhile, New York lawmakers expressed outrage over the incident, which led to a wave of building evacuations.


Filed under: Robert Gibbs
April 27th, 2009
04:08 PM ET
14 years ago

Former Bush adviser opens new communications firm

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.gillespie0427.gi.jpg caption="Ed Gillespie, who served as a counselor to former President George W. Bush, is starting a new firm."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President George W. Bush, is launching a new communications firm.

The new firm, Ed Gillespie Strategies, will offer communications services like reputation and crisis management and help preparing for governmental hearings and media interviews, according to the company's Web site.

Gillespie worked in the West Wing as an advisor to former President George W. Bush during the last 18 months of Bush's presidency. Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, also helped Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito prepare for the confirmation process.

In order to take the counselor post with the Bush administration in mid 2007, Gillespie cut all ties with Quinn Gillespie and Associates, a bipartisan communications and public affairs firm in Washington.

Filed under: Uncategorized
April 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

States under federal oversight over voting procedures

WASHINGTON (CNN) - States covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, requiring federal approval before any changes in election procedures can take effect:

States covered in full (8):
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas

State covered, with some exceptions (1):
Virginia (15 cities and counties are no longer required to submit changes
for approval)

States with only limited areas covered (7):
California (4 counties); Florida (5 counties); Michigan (2 townships); New Hampshire (10 townships); New York (3 of New York City's 5 boroughs); North Carolina (40 counties); South Dakota (2 counties)

- Compiled by CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears

Filed under: Supreme Court
April 27th, 2009
03:51 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama more popular than his policies

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.getty.obama.jpg caption="A new national poll suggests that President Barack Obama is personally more popular than his policies."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that President Barack Obama is personally more popular than his policies.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, released Monday, also indicates that 63 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his duties as president. One in three questioned in the poll disapprove.

Democrats overwhelming approve of how Obama is handling his job as president; 61 percent of independents agree. Only 28 percent of Republicans say the president is doing a good job in office.

The survey, released two days before Obama marks 100 days in the White House, indicates that three in four Americans feel Obama has the personal qualities a president should have. But when asked if Obama agrees with the respondent on the issues, that number drops to 57 percent.

"Americans have two different assessments of President Obama. One, personal. The other, policy," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "What does the public find most controversial about President Obama? His policies, much more than his personal qualities."

"Now that Obama is president, the number who agree with his views on the issues has gone down, while the number who say he has the right personal qualities has gone up," adds CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That didn't happen the last time we had a new administration. In George W. Bush's first months in office, the number who thought he had the right personal skills to be president was lower than the number who felt that way during the 2000 presidential campaign."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 2,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points.

Filed under: Poll • President Obama
April 27th, 2009
03:10 PM ET
14 years ago

SEIU draws upon swine flu to attack GOP senators

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/31/art.sebelius.gi.jpg caption="The Senate could vote as early as Tuesday to confirm Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the department's new leader."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Service Employees International Union launched an online movement Monday attacking Republican senators for blocking the confirmation of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services Secretary in the wake of the recent swine flu pandemic.

The SEIU accuses GOP senators of holding up the vote "to curry favor with extremist roots," and invokes Hurricane Katrina to urge visitors of the Web site to sign the petition.

"This disease is spreading as we speak, but right now, a Bush-appointed accountant is running the department," the union says on its website. "We need an HHS Secretary NOW. Sign the petition telling the Senate to vote immediately to confirm Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. If we don't act, the swine flu might just turn into another Hurricane Katrina."

The Senate could vote as early as Tuesday to confirm Sebelius as the department's new leader.

Filed under: Kathleen Sebelius • Swine Flu
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