[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/05/art.biden.gi.jpg caption="Biden said his son's decision not to run for Senate had nothing to do with politics."](CNN) - Joe Biden is adamant his son's decision against a bid for the Delaware Senate seat held by the vice president for nearly four decades had nothing to do with the current political climate.
"He would have been a strong candidate. But honest to God, that's not the reason he didn't run," Biden said on NBC's The Today Show when asked if the Democratic Party's misfortune in a string of recent elections led to his son Beau's decision.
"He didn't run because he has one of the largest pedophile cases I suspect at least in the history of the state of Delaware," Biden also said of his son who currently serves as Delaware's attorney general. "He realizes…his responsibility is to do his job as attorney general. "
The younger Biden announced his decision earlier this week in what was a blow to the Democratic Party which now finds itself without a strong candidate to challenge the likely Republican nominee, Rep. Mike Castle, the former 2-term governor of Delaware.
"I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010," Beau Biden said in an e-mail to supporters Monday. "I will run for re-election as Attorney General."
Biden's seat is currently held by Ted Kaufman, who was named as an interim replacement for Joe Biden when he stepped down from the Senate after his election in November 2008 as vice president. Kaufman has also said he will not run for the seat.
(CNNMoney.com) - The Senate on Thursday raised the cap on how much the government can borrow to a record level.
Getting just enough votes to pass, the Senate voted 60-39 to increase the debt limit to $1.9 trillion. That would push the ceiling to $14.294 trillion from the current $12.394 trillion. Sixty votes were required for passage.
But it's not a done deal. The bill now needs to be sent back to the House for a vote, where passage is still in question, according to Congressional Quarterly.
A $1.9 trillion increase is expected to cover the Treasury's projected borrowing needs through at least early 2011, and in any case well past the November mid-term elections. Debt limit votes are always politically difficult and not ones lawmakers seeking re-election like to take.
The ceiling reflects the level up to which the Treasury Department is allowed to borrow. If the ceiling is ever breached, the country would effectively be in default. That can hurt bonds, the dollar and creditors' portfolios.
(PolitiFact) - Obama says "pay-as-you-go" was a big reason for record surpluses in 1990s
Verdict Half True
(CNN) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a member of the Senate Judiciary committee and its former chairman, issued a statement Thursday defending Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's reaction to President Obama's criticism during the State of the Union Address:
"President Obama last night wildly mischaracterized the Supreme Court's decision. As a former constitutional law professor, he should have known better. So I can understand Justice Alito's frustration. Judges are people too and, frankly, I think he showed quite a bit of judicial restraint."
Washington (CNN) - The political furor over President Barack Obama's high profile rebuke of a recent Supreme Court campaign finance ruling escalated Thursday as Democrats pounded the high court decision.
Democrats rallied around Obama the day after the president committed a rare breach of political etiquette, criticizing the controversial ruling in his State of the Union address as members of the high court sat only a few feet away.
The court's 5-4 decision, issued last week, removed long-established legal barriers preventing corporations from spending unlimited sums of money to influence voters in political campaigns. Democrats fear the decision has given the traditionally pro-business GOP a powerful new advantage.
"With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests - including foreign corporations - to spend without limit in our elections," Obama told a packed House of Representatives chamber Wednesday night.
"I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems."
Justice Samuel Alito, part of the court's conservative majority, could be seen apparently frowning and quietly mouthing the words "not true."
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Kentucky construction magnate Leonard Lawson is on trial this week in Lexington federal court for allegedly bribing the state's Transportation secretary during the past decade to win big highway and road projects. But that didn't stop Lawson family companies from winning $24-million dollars in federal Recovery Act contracts!
Though Leonard Lawson pled not guilty, companies with ties to Lawson should have been suspended from bidding for stimulus work within 45 days of his indictment on bribery, theft and obstruction of justice charges, according to a Department of Transportation rule. But, it took the Transportation Department 10-months to act - after the Lawson firms had won the contracts.
"I really think that's a shame and a disgrace," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. "When people see folks getting away and getting contracts even after they've been indicted, that to me does not help in terms of us to get rid of waste fraud and abuse."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/28/art.obama.sotu2.gi.jpg caption=" In his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, President Obama touted a slew of federal initiatives aimed at stimulating small business hiring and growth."]New York (CNNMoney.com) - In his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, President Obama touted a slew of federal initiatives aimed at stimulating small business hiring and growth. Again.
Small companies employ around half of America's workers and drive most of the country's job growth. Obama talks frequently in his speeches about the vital role small companies play, and his administration has launched several efforts to bolster struggling Main Street businesses. But most of the president's small business proposals remain in limbo, caught in bureaucratic logjams and the Great Black Hole of Congress.
A year ago, Obama set the stage during his first major economic speech to Congress. "I will not spend a single penny for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers or the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage," Obama said in February. "That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks; it's about helping people."
But small business owners across the nation say they feel left out of the stimulus and recovery action.