Review Category : Poltics

Hillary Clinton May Push Envelope on Immigration Reform

Scott Olson/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — She is the presumed favorite of Latino voters, and Tuesday in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton is expected to double down on what is seen as a gateway issue for that voting bloc.

A Clinton official has told ABC News she plans to focus on a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

At a campaign event Tuesday, her third since announcing she’s running for president, Clinton will make immigration reform a defining issue, according to a source — and on Cinco de Mayo, no less.

Latino leaders consulting her campaign have told ABC News that Clinton is looking for a way to clearly contrast herself with Republican presidential candidates by embracing the full path to citizenship rather than proposing a second class of Americans who can work in the United States but not enjoy the protection of citizenship.

“She will say that the standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship,” the official said. “She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hard-working people with merely a ‘second-class’ status.”

Clinton will be speaking at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, where 70 percent of students are Hispanic. Last November, President Obama chose a Las Vegas high school to lay out his plans for immigration reform.

Clinton is also expected to promise to extend the DREAMer program to undocumented parents of children born in the United States (as Obama’s proposed DAPA program would do) and is being pushed to expand protections to parents of DREAMers.

While Clinton has tweeted her support for Obama’s expanded DACA And DAPA programs, activists want her to take it further. And while it’s expected she will outline her support for a comprehensive immigration reform plan, the question immigration groups want answered is whether, as president, she would support expanding presidential executive action if reform is held up in Congress.

Last fall, Clinton was largely silent on the issue. When asked by DREAMers in September about the president’s use of executive authority to push immigration reform, she replied, “Elect more Democrats.”

While Clinton is believed to be ahead in the Hispanic vote — she won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 primary — Latino groups will be listening Tuesday for a timetable for implementation of these changes.

Obama has been faulted with moving too slowly during his first term when he had a Democratic majority and failed to pass immigration reform.

Latino groups also say they will listen for consistency in Clinton’s campaign, concerned that what happens in Vegas Tuesday on immigration doesn’t just stay in Vegas but is also promised in Iowa and other primary states.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Hillary Clinton May Push Envelope on Immigration Reform

Scott Olson/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — She is the presumed favorite of Latino voters, and Tuesday in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton is expected to double down on what is seen as a gateway issue for that voting bloc.

A Clinton official has told ABC News she plans to focus on a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

At a campaign event Tuesday, her third since announcing she’s running for president, Clinton will make immigration reform a defining issue, according to a source — and on Cinco de Mayo, no less.

Latino leaders consulting her campaign have told ABC News that Clinton is looking for a way to clearly contrast herself with Republican presidential candidates by embracing the full path to citizenship rather than proposing a second class of Americans who can work in the United States but not enjoy the protection of citizenship.

“She will say that the standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship,” the official said. “She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hard-working people with merely a ‘second-class’ status.”

Clinton will be speaking at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, where 70 percent of students are Hispanic. Last November, President Obama chose a Las Vegas high school to lay out his plans for immigration reform.

Clinton is also expected to promise to extend the DREAMer program to undocumented parents of children born in the United States (as Obama’s proposed DAPA program would do) and is being pushed to expand protections to parents of DREAMers.

While Clinton has tweeted her support for Obama’s expanded DACA And DAPA programs, activists want her to take it further. And while it’s expected she will outline her support for a comprehensive immigration reform plan, the question immigration groups want answered is whether, as president, she would support expanding presidential executive action if reform is held up in Congress.

Last fall, Clinton was largely silent on the issue. When asked by DREAMers in September about the president’s use of executive authority to push immigration reform, she replied, “Elect more Democrats.”

While Clinton is believed to be ahead in the Hispanic vote — she won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 primary — Latino groups will be listening Tuesday for a timetable for implementation of these changes.

Obama has been faulted with moving too slowly during his first term when he had a Democratic majority and failed to pass immigration reform.

Latino groups also say they will listen for consistency in Clinton’s campaign, concerned that what happens in Vegas Tuesday on immigration doesn’t just stay in Vegas but is also promised in Iowa and other primary states.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Obama Launches Next Phase of Program to Empower Young Men of Color

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) — A year after announcing his $200 million “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative to empower young African-American and Hispanic men, President Obama Monday talked about the next phase of the project at Lehman College in the Bronx called My Brothers’ Keeper Alliance.

He explained that it’s a new non-profit organization of private sector organizations and companies that have committed themselves to continue the work of opening doors for young people.

Obama said celebrities, athletes, companies and former government officials are getting on board with the plan that intends to help young men in a variety of ways that includes school work, life skills and becoming responsible citizens.

The president acknowledged, “There’s no shortage of people telling you who and what is to blame for the plight of these communities. But I’m not interested in blame, I’m interested in responsibility and I’m interested in results.”

Speaking of recent incidents involving conflicts between African-Americans and law enforcement authorities, Obama claimed that one of the important ways to improve police community relations is to give young men of color more opportunities.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Obama Jokes He’ll Play Dominoes with David Letterman After Leaving Office

John Paul Filo/CBS(NEW YORK) — President Obama has an idea of how he’ll occupy his time once he leaves office, and it includes some fun and games with David Letterman.

Making his eighth and final appearance on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman Monday night, Obama joked to the retiring host, “I was thinking you and me, we could play some dominoes together. We can go to the local Starbucks, swap stories.”

The president offered some kind words to Letterman, whose final Late Show will air on May 20. He said, “We’ve grown up with you. The country I think has, after a tough day at the office, coming home from work, knowing you’ve been there to give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of laughter, it has meant so much, and you’re part of all of us.”

“You’ve given us a great gift and we love you,” Obama concluded.

In turn, Letterman told Obama he was funny at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner, and asked him if his material was written for him. Obama quipped, “No. I came up with it all myself.”

There were some serious moments during the interview, too. Obama addressed the Baltimore riots and the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. He commented, “Those officers who have been charged, they deserve to be represented and to let the legal system work its way through. We don’t have all the facts yet and that’s going to be presented in a court of law.”

When Letterman asked if racism is still a factor in this country, Obama said there was a “buildup” in American history, with slavery, Jim Crow laws and discrimination. However, he noted that society has made extraordinary strides, adding, “I’m a testament to that.”

Obama mentioned that once his second term ends, he and first lady Michelle Obama, who appeared on Late Show last week, hope to continue to help military families and work on issues such as climate change.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Air Force One All-Access Pass: Secrets of the Iconic Presidential Aircraft

Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Air Force One is one of the most iconic symbols of the American presidency. But as a flying monument tasked with transporting the commander-in-chief, it is also one of the most vulnerable targets.

“Every movie, they go after Air Force One,” co-pilot Lt. Col. Tom O’Boyle joked with ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl during an interview in the rarely-seen cockpit of Air Force One. “Whether it’s a TV show or it’s Iron Man, they’re always trying to blow up Air Force One, which is a little concern to me because this is my day-to-day job, but in the real world he is very well protected.”

The secrets of the recognizable blue-and-white Boeing 747 plane — heavily modified by the military to be strong enough to function as an airborne bunker for the nation’s commander-in-chief while also providing the ultimate comforts fit for the traveling White House — are closely guarded by a specially trained Air Force unit tasked with its operation and protection.

As the plane marks 25 years of flying presidents, ABC News was granted an exclusive nose-to-tail tour of the plane and its super-secure hangar — fortified behind a military checkpoint and two layers of fencing within the boundaries of the already-secure Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington, D.C.

In a briefing to prepare for the plane’s 393rd mission on Monday, a simple flight to New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport and back, every detail and possible interference — down to the precise location of construction and alternative taxiing routes–– is accounted for ahead of time.

“Every day is not only game day, but it’s the Super Bowl,” Air Force One Commander Col. David Banholzer, the 14th presidential pilot in history, told the crew members in the planning meeting. “It doesn’t matter if we’re on a week-and-a-half trip around the world or just up to JFK out and back, you always have to keep your guard up and anything can happen on any given day.”

But despite all the contingency plans, the plane’s head of security CM Sgt. Daniel Jacobs conceded that the greatest threats are those that are unknown and impossible to fully anticipate.

“When we’re parked out on JFK it’s a national monument, it’s sitting out there for many people to see and it’s more vulnerable at that time,” Jacobs said.

The unpredictable nature of protecting the president means that the Air Force team must constantly evolve. With the recent landing of a gyrocopter in the shadow of the Capitol and a drone that crash-landed on the White House grounds earlier this year, Jacobs said his team’s training now includes preparing for drones and other small flying devices that could pose a threat to the president.

“This week we just completed a joint-training exercise with the Secret Service, and we prepare for those exercises and those scenarios,” Jacobs said.

Whether it is a drone or a ground-to-air missile, Air Force One has an impressive array of defensive security measures to make it a flying fortress. Though many details are classified, the plane is equipped with features that allow it to repel airborne missiles and jam enemy radar. The plane also has the ability to stay airborne indefinitely thanks to a feature that makes the plane capable of being refueled mid-flight.

In another respect, Col. Banholzer points out, the flying White House is safer than the one on the ground: It’s a moving target. “The air space around us is always secure, so honestly we have a level of security that isn’t afforded to the White House because we’re mobile,” Banholzer explained.

Though the Air Force has gone to great lengths to make the plane a presidential bunker in the sky, there are some rumored security features that remain the stuff of popular myth.

“There’s no escape pod, really?” Karl asked Banholzer, a reference to the popular Harrison Ford movie Air Force One.

“There is no escape pod,” Banholzer said matter-of-factly. “Our take-offs always equal our landings. Sorry to disappoint.”

Escape pod aside, the flying White House comes with a number of other mind-blowing features:

Make that two

Though its title implies that it is one-of-a-kind, there are actually two identical planes that compose “Air Force One.”

Video teleconferencing

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when then-President George W. Bush was unable to address the nation from Air Force One, the military updated the plane to install video capabilities.

“Immediately after 9/11, we re-modified the airplane and now we have video capability to both do video teleconferences and if we need to, do a broadcast off of the airplane,” Banholzer said.

Video is only the most recent update to the plane’s impressive communication abilities, which also include 87 secure telephone lines and high-speed Internet.

Flying emergency room

The plane has a medical annex that can operate as a fully functional operating room in the event of an emergency. The president’s appointed physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, travels with the president whenever he flies and has a well-stocked pharmacy and medical tools at his disposal. On certain trips, there is even an extra supply of the president’s blood type on hand in a special refrigerator along with vaccinations that might not be easily available at the given destination.

Stars on the carpet

The president and accompanying passengers enjoy 4,000 square feet of internal space aboard the plane across three decks. The spacious presidential quarters — which are distinguishable by star-patterned carpet — includes a living area complete with beds, a private bathroom and shower, a Situation Room, and presidential office. The office is so spacious the president can use a mobile treadmill, kept in the cargo hold but brought up for exercise sessions during long-haul flights.

Taking airplane cuisine to the next level

The president’s plane is equipped with two kitchen galleys capable of serving 100 people with carefully prepared food fit for a president. If the president doesn’t like what’s on the menu, staff keeps a supply of groceries on hand to prepare whatever he’s craving. Much of the food preparation is done by a dedicated team of Air Force chefs that go on undercover shopping trips to nearby local grocery stores to purchase the president’s food and vacuum-seal the ready-made meals prior to putting them in a secure location aboard the plane’s kitchen galleys.

World’s shiniest plane?

Every inch of the president’s mammoth of a plane is waxed by hand by the plane’s maintenance team before each and every mission. It goes without saying that every element of the plane’s engine and operational devices are also hand-checked before take-off.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Lawyer: Hillary Clinton Will Testify Just Once Before House Benghazi Committee

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify again before House Benghazi investigators, but her attorney says she only wants to do it once.

Hillary Clinton’s lawyer responded on Monday to a letter from Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, seeking testimony from the former secretary.

While Gowdy wanted Clinton to testify twice on the matter over the coming six weeks, Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, wrote she will stay to answer as many questions as needed, but will not appear twice when “one will suffice.”

“Respectfully, there is no basis, logic, or precedent for such an unusual request,” Kendall writes in the letter. “The Secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the Committee’s questions on the day she appears.”

Kendall also asked the select committee to set a date for Clinton’s testimony the week of May 18, writing, “to answer questions the Committee may have about her email use at the same hearing – whether that be during the week of May 18th or at a later date.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Gen. Joseph Dunford to Be Nominated as Next Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — U.S. officials confirmed that President Obama will nominate Gen. Joseph Dunford, the commandant of the Marine Corps, to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, who currently commands U.S. Transportation Command, will be nominated to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I can confirm that General Joseph F. Dunford, who is currently serving as Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, will be nominated to serve as the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” said a White House official. “A formal announcement is expected at the White House tomorrow (Tuesday).”

If confirmed by the Senate, Dunford will succeed Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, whose term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs ends on September 30. He plans to retire after serving four years in the post.

Dunford has been Marine commandant since October; prior to that he was the senior U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

He has experienced a fast-track career over the past decade since commanding the first Marine unit to enter Iraq in the 2003 ground invasion.

Dunford skipped a rank when he was promoted to the three-star rank of lieutenant general from the one-star rank of brigadier general.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the president’s principal military advisor and is often described as the nation’s top military official.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Ben Carson on Sex and Mozart: 10 Memorable Moments From His First Day as a Presidential Candidate

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) — As he stepped onto a stage in the Motor City to formally launch his presidential candidacy on Monday, conservative firebrand Ben Carson was greeted by a sea of white and blue T-shirts that read, “Win, Ben, Win.”

“I’m Ben Carson, and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” he declared at the Music Hall Center of the Performing Arts.

Carson’s first day as a presidential candidate took him to three separate events in his hometown: a prayer breakfast, an assembly at a high school named after him and the speech at the music hall.

And the long-shot candidate who is known for his fiery — and sometimes controversial — rhetoric dished out some choice lines, noting, “I’m not politically correct.”

Here’s a look at some of the newly-minted presidential candidate’s most memorable one-liners:

On Abstinence

“Young ladies, it’s a mistake to have a baby while you’re young and out of wedlock. Wait and preserve yourself,” Carson said. “Don’t just give yourself away to some guy. Don’t look at the stuff on television thinking ‘I’m gonna be cool’ because guess what, you’re gonna get a disease and it’s gonna affect you for the rest of your life, so don’t do it. And when you have that baby, young lady, it usually ends your education and that’s the problem. And it usually sends that baby into poverty.”

On Media Misinterpretation

“She even learned how to play pool because she knew I was a pool player. And she actually wins sometimes but most of the times I beat her,” Carson said of her wife. “I should be careful because there’s some media in here, and their headline will be: ‘Carson Admits He Beats His Wife.’”

On His Childhood Music Tastes

“I was a black kid in Motown listening to Mozart. I tried to convince them that the Mo in Motown was Mozart.”

On His Mother

“I promise if my mother was secretary of treasury we would not be in a deficit.”

On Divine Intervention

“I was going to fail chemistry, and I wasn’t going to become a doctor, so I prayed, ‘Lord tell me what you really want me to do’ — or preferably work a miracle.”

On the Unemployment Rate

“You can make the unemployment rate anything you want it to be based on what numbers you include and what numbers you exclude.”

On Brainpower

“Stop being loyal to a party or to a man, and use your brain.”

On College

“You’re not there to have fun but to learn. You can have fun later on.”

His Advice to Reporters

“You have a sacred occupation. Please don’t abuse it.”

On Wealth

“It’s not the fault of the rich. It’s just the only way to make money now is by the stock market.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

State Department Says No Undue Influence From Clinton Foundation Gifts

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A State Department spokesman said on Monday that the department doesn’t see any evidence that Hillary Clinton took actions as secretary of state that were influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation.

“We are not aware of any evidence that actions taken by Secretary Clinton were influenced by donation to the Clinton Foundation or speech on honoraria of former President Clinton,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said during a press briefing Monday.

The statement comes on the eve of the official release of Clinton Cash, a book about Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, which alleges she used her influence as secretary of state to provide favors to foreign governments who made donations to the Clinton Foundation, a non-profit charity group establish by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

However, Rathke also said the Clinton Foundation still has some documents to hand over. He said the State Department is aware of media reports that the foundation “did not meet some of the obligations to publish annually the names of new contributors” and that the department “welcomes” the foundation’s commitment to turn in those documents.

Nevertheless, Rathke said, “we are aware of — of no evidence that — that there was undue influence.”

When Hillary Clinton took office in 2009 she signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Department that outlined ethics agreements pertaining to her relationship with the Clinton Foundation.

It stipulated she would not participate in a way that could influence compensation to Bill Clinton, that the foundation agreed to publish annually the names of new contributors or contributors that were increasing donations, and that President Clinton’s attorney would forward all speaking or consulting arrangements to the State Department for ethical review.

Bill Clinton defended himself and Secretary Clinton in an interview Monday morning on NBC.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” Clinton said. Clinton also defended his speaking fees, which are reported to be worth nearly $10 million annually. “I gotta pay our bills. And I also give a lot of it to the foundation every year.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Ben Carson Announces Bid for White House

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Just hours after former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced on Monday that she is running for president, another political outsider joined the race for the White House.

“I’m Ben Carson and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” Dr. Ben Carson told supporters in his hometown Detroit.

Like Fiorina, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said that he too will seek the Republican presidential nomination.

“I’m not a politician. I don’t want to be a politician because politicians do what is politically expedient. I want to do what’s right,” he said.

Carson added, “I don’t have a lot of experience busting budgets and doing the kind of things that have gotten us into all the trouble that we’re in now but I do have a lot of experience in solving problems, complex surgical problems that have never been done by anybody before.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →