September 30th, 2009
09:34 PM ET
13 years ago

Gingrich group withdraws invite to adult entertainment exec

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gingrich group withdraws invite to adult entertainment exec."]
(CNN) - For the second time this month, Newt Gingrich's 527 has decided that it made a mistake inviting an adult entertainment industry entrepreneur to attend a "private dinner" with the former House Speaker.

Dawn Rizos, owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge, received a letter earlier this month from Gingrich's American Solutions inviting her to dine with Gingrich at a Capitol Hill club next week. She was also told she had been selected to receive an Entrepreneur of the Year Award. "Dawn - Newt is looking forward to finally meeting you face to face" to talk policy, read a handwritten note on the missive.

Lodge spokesman Michael Precker says they were told the group would need $5,000 to confirm her attendance, which they promptly paid.

On Tuesday, Rizos - who Precker said had laid out the funds for her own travel to the event - was informed by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.


Filed under: Extra • Newt Gingrich
September 30th, 2009
09:32 PM ET
11 years ago

Grayson calls Republicans 'knuckle-dragging Neanderthals'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Freshman Congressman Alan Grayson refused to back down Wednesday from controversial remarks he made on the House floor the night before saying the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."

In fact, Grayson - a Democrat who represents a central Florida swing district that includes Orlando - made another floor speech in which he apologized to the dead and their families for not acting sooner on health care reform, and then defended both speeches on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"What I mean is they have got no plan," Grayson told Wolf Blitzer. "It's been 24 hours since I said that. Where is the Republican plan? We're all waiting to see something that will take care of the pre-existing conditions, to take care of the 40 million Americans who have no coverage at all.

"That's what I meant when I said that the Republican plan is don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."


Filed under: Alan Grayson • Health care • Popular Posts • The Situation Room
September 30th, 2009
08:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Podcast: Hillary Clinton is 'president' for a day

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team."]

WASHINGTON(CNN)–In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily: President Obama talked strategy with his national security team Wednesday. CNN's White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reports on who is advising the president.

Meanwhile First Lady Michelle Obama is in Copenhagen to lend her support for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid. CNN's Mary Snowe takes a look at the odds that the first lady's hometown will land the games.

Plus: Revelations last week about a Iranian nuclear facility have prompted calls for action against Iran's regime on the eve of talks with the country. CNN's State Department Correspondent Jill Dougherty is in the Situation Room to analyze the high stakes negotiations.

Finally: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was "president" for a day as she chaired a United Nations Security Council session regarding violence against women. "It is time for all of us to resume our responsibility," the long time women's rights advocate told her male counterparts. CNN's Senior United Nations Correspondent Richard Roth has the story.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.

September 30th, 2009
07:56 PM ET
13 years ago

An expert's view on Afghanistan strategy discussions

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Hadley says he believes advisers will help Obama feel 'comfortable making the decision ... only he can make.'"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A meeting between President Obama and his national security team Wednesday could be a turning point in the war in Afghanistan, says someone who's been in similar meetings.

Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser in the Bush administration, said the meeting would be a "vigorous debate" in which "views will change ... may be some emerging consensus."

"And one of the purposes of the kind of process that they're going through now is to take people with the range of views, express their views to the president and see in an interactive process," Hadley said.

"Again, the fact that the president is interacting directly with his national security principles and hopefully with his diplomats and military officers in the field, allows for a process in some sense that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," he said.

But in the end, the decision rests solely with the commander in chief, who Hadley said sets the tone and direction of the negotiations with his advisers. "What we know and what we're told about this president is that he's very deliberate and that he wants to hear from everyone in the room. ... I think they [Obama's advisers] will speak freely ... and it will put him in a position where he feels comfortable making the decision that, really, only he can make."

But the president faces varying opinions from within his administration, including recent reports that his vice president is urging a counterterrorism strategy that would focus on targeting al Qaeda and Taliban forces.

Full Story

September 30th, 2009
06:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Grayson remains defiant on 'die quickly' remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Under fire for his claim that the GOP health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly," Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans.

"Last night, I gave a speech, and I'm not going to recount everything I said, but after that speech, several Republicans asked me to apologize," the Florida Democrat said in a defiant speech on the House floor Wednesday. "I would like to apologize."

Grayson then pointed to a Harvard study that reported more than 44,000 Americans die yearly because they lack health insurance. "That is ten times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11," he said. "But that was just once. This is every single year. That's right. Every single year. Take a look at this. Read it and weep."

"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he concluded.

House Republicans initially wanted to introduce a resolution condemning Grayson for breaching House decorum with his remarks on Tuesday night, but the resolution's sponsor, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, decided on Wednesday not to introduce the resolution and instead asked for Grayson to apologize to House GOP leadership.


Filed under: Alan Grayson • Popular Posts
September 30th, 2009
05:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin's book shoots to No. 1

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sarah Palin's memoir isn't set to be released for more than seven weeks, but the highly anticipated tell-all has already shot to No. 1 on Barnes and Nobles' Web site."]

(CNN) - Sarah Palin's 432 page memoir isn't set to be released for more than seven weeks, but the highly anticipated tell-all has already shot to No. 1 on Barnes and Nobles' Web site, supplanting new releases from bestselling authors Dan Brown and Mitch Albom.

The forthcoming book has also vaulted up's bestseller list, currently holding the No. 3 spot just behind Glenn Beck's "Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government."

The book - titled "Going Rogue: An American Life" in reference to the anonymous criticism directed at the former Alaska governor by aides to Republican presidential nominee John McCain - is scheduled to be released on November 17.

Palin's publisher, Harper, has ordered a massive first printing of 1.5 million copies, and is not releasing an electronic version until the day after Christmas in an effort to drive up sales of the more expensive hardcover edition, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
September 30th, 2009
05:06 PM ET
13 years ago

Corker: Canada, France have 'parasitic relationship' with US

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Bob Corker suggested that Canada and France have a 'parasitic relationship with the US."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that when it comes to health care, Canada and France have a "parasitic relationship" towards the United States.

During a hearing of the Special Committee on Aging, the Tennessee Republican told Canada's former Public Health Minister, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, that her country is "living off of us" because they set lower prices for health care and "all the innovation, all the technology breakthroughs just about take place in our country and we have to pay for it."

"It is not really our country so much is the problem, it's sort of the parasitic relationship that Canada, and France, and other countries have towards us," Corker said. "...You benefit from us, and we pay for that. And I resent that, and I want to figure out a way to solve that."

Filed under: Bob Corker • Canada • Health care
September 30th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Senate panel rejects GOP bid to strengthen abortion provision

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Members of the Senate Finance Committee shot down Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch's amendment."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican amendments that Democrats said would broaden current restrictions on federal funding for abortion were defeated Wednesday by a Senate committee considering the only compromise health care bill so far.

By identical 13-10 votes, the Senate Finance Committee defeated the amendments by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. In both votes, all but one Democrat on the panel - Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota - voted against the amendments, while all Republicans except for Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine - the lone women among the GOP committee members - supported them.

In a statement issued after the votes, Hatch said he was disappointed but would continue pushing the issue when the bill comes to the full Senate.

"Although these two very important amendments fell short today, you can rest assured that I will continue to fight for these vital issues," Hatch said.

Full story

Filed under: Abortion • Health care • Senate
September 30th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to help DGA rake in half million bucks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama to help DGA rake in half million bucks."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama wears the fundraiser-in-chief hat Thursday, as he headlines an event for the Democratic Governors Association.

The fundraiser at the St. Regis hotel in Washington is expected to rake in around a half a million dollars, according to a source at the DGA.

The event will be Obama's first for the DGA since his inauguration. Because the president refuses contributions from political action committees and registered lobbyists, those donations will not be accepted for the event.

Thirty-nine states will hold contests for governor between now and November 2010. Democrats will be defending 21 of those seats, starting with elections in five weeks in New Jersey and Virginia. While the campaigns in both of those states concentrate on local issues and the candidates themselves, they're also partially viewed as an early referendum on the Obama presidency. Obama has traveled to both states to campaign personally with the candidates, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds, a state senator from Virginia.

The DGA raised a record-breaking $11.6 million in the first half of the year. But their GOP counterpart, the Republican Governors Association, outraised them by around $600,000 during that same time period.

Filed under: President Obama
September 30th, 2009
03:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Republicans decide not to introduce Grayson resolution

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Republican congressman Tom Price decided not to introduce a resolution condemning Democrat Alan Grayson."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Republicans changed course on Wednesday and decided not to move forward with a resolution condemning Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, for saying that the GOP health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."

"It's a very simple plan," Grayson said in a floor speech about health care on Tuesday night. "Don't get sick. That's what the Republicans have in mind. And if you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly."

Tom Price, the Georgia congressman who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, announced Wednesday morning that he would introduce a resolution condemning Grayson for breaching House decorum.

But a few hours later, Price decided to hold his fire and give Grayson a chance to apologize to House Minority Leader John Boehner for his remarks.

"We thought that we would give Congressman Grayson an opportunity to do the right thing and recognize the comments that he made were disrespectful to the House and to the decorum," Price told CNN.

Price said Grayson, who hails from a conservative district in central Florida, "has maligned half, if not more than half, of his own constituents" who are Republican.

Asked if he will introduce the resolution if Grayson refuses to apologize, Price said "we'll certainly consider it."


Filed under: Alan Grayson • Tom Price
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