Review Category : Poltics

‘Kissing Congressman’ – and His Wife – Ask Louisiana Voters to Forgive

mcallister.house.gov(WASHINGTON) — “Kissing congressman” Rep. Vance McAllister is back, and this time, he’s with his wife.

McAllister, the Louisiana Republican who was caught on surveillance video passionately kissing a married woman on his staff, released a new TV commercial Monday. His wife, Kelly McAllister, is looking into his eyes, praising his character as she says: “I’m blessed to have a husband who owns up to his mistakes.”

The McAllisters’ marriage was thrust into the spotlight in April after the compromising video of the congressman surfaced. Republican leaders in Louisiana and Washington urged him to resign, but he issued a public apology, asked for forgiveness and said he would let the voters of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District decide.

“Life is filled with ups and downs,” McAllister says in the ad.

“But a man’s character is based on how many times he gets back up and stands again,” says Kelly McAllister.

As images of their children pass by on the screen, she reaches over to clasp his hand and shows her diamond ring, while he says he is “blessed with a great family and a wonderful Christian wife.”

Then, she replies: “I’m blessed to have a husband who owns up to his mistakes, never gives up, always fighting for the good people of Louisiana.”

In June, Kelly McAllister said she fully supported her husband’s decision to run. But the ad released Monday, called “Blessed,” marks the first time the couple has made the indiscretion a central part of the campaign.

McAllister, who won his congressional seat a year ago in a special election, now faces several challengers, including Zach Dasher, a nephew of Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson. If none of the candidates win at least 50% of the vote on Nov. 4, the top two rivals face off in a runoff election in December.

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Holder Announces Grants to Prevent Deadly Domestic Violence

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In the midst of high-profile domestic violence scandals, including that of ex-Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced grants totalling $2.6 million to go towards preventing deadly domestic violence.

The pilot program will be implemented at four sites in the U.S. to help identify people so violent they could kill their partner. The goal of the program is to anticipate lethal behavior and stop it.

In a video message, Holder said, “This Administration, this Department of Justice – and I personally – will not waver in that effort: to shine a light on violence and abuse.”

Three women die every day in the U.S. at the hands of their partner or ex-partner, a statistic Holder calls shocking.

“We’ve come a long way since the time when these incidents of abuse were considered private household matters but we have a ways to go still,” Holder said.

The pilot program will begin in Pitt County, N.C.; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Contra Costa County, Calif.; and Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Elizabeth Warren Rouses Emily’s List, But They Talk About Hillary

warren.senate.gov(NEW YORK) — Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren lit up a crowd of Democratic activists and donors Monday, speaking at a fundraiser for a powerful group that backs women candidates, just across town at the same time Hillary Clinton kicked off the Clinton Foundation’s annual Clinton Global Initiative conference.

Warren received two standing ovations from the group of women at Emily’s List, but it was clear Clinton was on their mind.

“This is an exciting time and we at Emily’s List, we know and we believe we will have a woman running for president in 2016,” Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock said to cheers from the crowd right before Warren took the stage. “We sure hope that Secretary Clinton takes the time she needs, but we also sure hope she takes this on because we are ready. We are ready.”

The former secretary of state has said she will make up her mind by the end of this year. Warren has said repeatedly, “I am not running for president,” choosing not to expand on whether she could run in the future. Warren is very popular with the progressive left of the Democratic Party, many of whom remain unsure about Clinton. The group “Ready for Warren” launched to encourage her to run, mimicking the “Ready for Hillary” campaign that has brought in millions and is well organized across the country. Warren disavowed the Ready for Warren group, but it hasn’t stopped her supporters from hoping she changes her mind.

After Warren spoke, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow also mentioned Clinton, saying she “really hope(s) I can call her something else…I think Madam President sounds awfully good.”

Warren headlined the fundraiser Monday at the Mandarin Oriental, where she spoke about the fast-approaching midterm elections and the importance of recruiting female Democratic candidates.

“It truly matters and it matters not just because women win. It matters because it means we have a seat at the table,” Warren said to the over 300 attendees. “And everybody in this room knows the basic rule, if you don’t have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.”

Over the next three days, Clinton, alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea, will engage in moderated discussions and panels with key global leaders, including announcing a large commitment regarding secondary education for girls around the world.

At a CGI event Sunday night, the former president called Warren an “important part” of the Democratic Party’s future because of her signature message of giving Americans “an equal shot at prosperity.”

Monday, Warren roused the crowd, speaking about reproductive rights and income equity, saying to applause, “Women have an opportunity to change, to change the government, to change the direction this country goes…we have a chance, but we have to fight for it and me, I’m out there fighting for it.”

She mentioned the several Senate female incumbents and challengers who are in tough November fights, including Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, and Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

“We are here and we are going to change this country, our voices will be heard,” she said. “There is so much at stake in this election…women across this country our going to make a difference.”

In a lighter moment, Warren noted the “terrible parts about running for office,” including negative ads.

“Where do they get those pictures of you? I don’t look that bad when I first wake up in the morning,” Warren said. “And the creepy music. There was one ad that seemed to suggest I was going to eat voters’ brains.”

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Donald Trump Twitter Gaffe Sends Sen. Mitch McConnell to House

Robin Marchant/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump has never been shy when it comes to backing Republican politicians.

The businessman took to his Twitter account on Monday to call Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes a “rookie,” while he voiced his support for Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell. But in his enthusiasm, he moved McConnell to the other chamber of Congress.

Why would the people of Kentucky want a rookie Senator– they have Sen. Mitch @McConnellPress who may be next Speaker & bring $’s to KY?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2014

Sen. McConnell is currently the Senate Minority Leader, and if re-elected to what some are predicting will be a Republican-majority Senate after the midterm elections, he could become the Senate Majority Leader, not Speaker of the House.

The gaffe quickly became fodder for ridicule from pundits as well as McConnell’s challenger.

Trumpian knowledge of politics on display for all to see https://t.co/rFNYoP5s2g

— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) September 22, 2014

Thank you @realdonaldtrump for firing @Team_Mitch and running him for “Speaker.” Kentucky needs a new Senator. #kysen

— Alison L. Grimes (@AlisonForKY) September 22, 2014

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First Lady to Campaign with Mary Burke in Milwaukee

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — First lady Michelle Obama will appear in Milwaukee next Monday with Mary Burke, the Democratic candidate for governor, the Burke campaign tells ABC News.

The exact time and location of the “grassroots campaign event” are to be determined, said Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki.

Burke is running neck-and-neck with Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the race, but has recently dealt with plagiarism charges.

Buzzfeed first reported that a number of passages in Burke’s job plan were lifted from other campaigns, and followed up this weekend with new examples in different plans.

The Burke campaign has blamed the cut-and-paste on a consultant they have since fired.

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DHS Chief: Don’t ‘Rush to Judgment’ on White House Fence Jump

Andrew Burt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The head of the Department of Homeland Security is urging the public to “not rush to judgment” on the White House intrusion that took place Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he encourages “all of us to…not second-guess the judgment of security officers who had only seconds to act,” insisting in a statement issued on Monday that the public should wait “until all the facts are in.”

Johnson noted that the head of the Secret Service, a DHS component, has ordered a review of the events that unfolded Friday, and said he will “carefully evaluate the findings and recommendations of the review” when it’s completed.

Meanwhile, there are already signs of increased security around the White House, including additional barriers outside of the White House gates.

Texan Omar Gonzalez, 42, was allegedly carrying a folding knife in his pocket when he jumped the 9-foot fence, ran about 100 yards across the north lawn of the White House and then made it inside one of the most secure buildings in the world.

Gonzalez has been homeless in the nation’s capital for the past three months after 13 years in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Iraq.

After the breach, Johnson expressed continued confidence in the Secret Service.

“It is important to remember that the U.S. Secret Service remains one of the best, if not the best, protection services in the world,” he said.

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Obama to Hold Head of State Summit on ISIS

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) — President Obama will convene a rare head of state summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Wednesday to address international financing of terror groups like ISIS.

The summit has been in the works, and comes on the heels of Russia vowing to veto any U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

During an appearance Sunday on ABC’s This Week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, dismissed Russia’s threat.

“Russia has vetoed in the past, but on very different issues,” Power said. “I think Russia has made clear for a long time its opposition to ISIL.”

ISIL, like ISIS, is an acronym for the radical Islamic group that is operating in Iraq and Syria.

Power noted that the international community doesn’t need Russia’s approval to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

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White House Intruder Had Knife, Claims to Be Iraq Vet

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The man who jumped over a White House fence and made it all the way inside the executive mansion before being caught was carrying a three-and-a-half inch knife and told officials he was a veteran of three tours in Iraq, according to the complaint released Saturday.

In the wake of the incident Friday night, the Secret Service announced it is stepping up its security procedures at the White House complex.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered an immediate increase in “officer patrols and surveillance capabilities along the Pennsylvania Avenue fence line” of the White House complex, the Secret Service said Saturday.

The steps went into effect Friday night after Omar Gonzalez, 42, scaled the White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn, and entered the White House.

The Secret Service dealt with a second security incident in as many days on Saturday after a man was arrested at the White House after trying to enter a barricaded entrance to the White House complex with his car.

Gonzalez was arrested just after going through the North Portico doors of the White House. He appeared at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Saturday and was charged with unlawful entry while in possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Gonzalez was carrying a Spyderco VG-10 black serrated folding knife in his front pants pocket when he was arrested, according to a police affidavit.

On Friday, Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan had initially said Gonzalez was unarmed at the time of his arrest.

The affidavit says after he was apprehended, the Copperas Cove, Texas man told a Secret Service agent “he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and need to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to people.”

He told officials he served 18 years in the military and did three tours in Iraq, according to the affidavit. He also claimed to have lived in Washington, D.C., for three months but has no known address.

Gonzalez’s drug test was negative and he has no verified criminal history and no convictions.

The suspect was ordered held without bond until he goes to federal court on Monday. The legal basis the judge used to detain him was that the government formally asked for a detention hearing, which gives her three days to hold him pending the hearing.

President Obama and his daughters had departed the South Lawn of the White House aboard Marine One just minutes before Gonzalez entered the residence of the White House.

Following Friday’s incident, the White House said Obama has “full confidence” in the Secret Service.

“The President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House,” the White House said Saturday. “The Secret Service is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the event on Friday evening and we are certain it will be done with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect from the United States Secret Service.”

The agency said the arrest inside the White House was “not acceptable,” and Pierson has ordered a review of the incident, which began Friday night with a physical assessment of the site and interviews with those involved.

In Sunday’s incident, Kevin Carr, 19, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry after he drove his car up to a barricaded entryway to the White House complex and refused to follow orders from Secret Service officers, Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman, told ABC News.

Carr, from Shamong, N.J., did not hit the barriers with his vehicle.

Police temporarily closed the plaza in front of the White House and other streets in the area because of the incident. Police officers ordered pedestrians to get off Pennsylvania Avenue and onto the sidewalk in Lafayette Park just in front of the building.

Bomb technicians, fully suited, searched a white four-door sedan with New Jersey plates near the security area where Carr attempted to enter the White House complex with his car. At one point, a bomb squad robot was seen moving away from the car.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been working with the Secret Service in investigating Friday evening’s breach, a committee aide told ABC News. The findings of the Secret Service’s review will be submitted to the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

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GOP Weekly Address: Democrats Have Chosen ‘Divisive Politics Rather Than Facts and Common Sense’

US Congress(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado calls out President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate for blocking numerous jobs and energy bills that have already been passed by the Republican-held House.

Gardner notes that those hurt most by the gridlock are “not the big corporations…not the rich. It’s people looking for work — people in need of a good paying job.”

The Congressman specifically mentioned the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the delay in construction that has last six years. “Thousands of Americans are missing out on the good paying jobs the pipeline would create,” Gardner said.

Gardner continues, calling for “more Colorado in Washington and less Washington in Colorado.”

“We have the power to change the course of our nation,” Gardner said. “We are liberty and opportunity. Optimism and resilience. We are together — an America on the rise.”

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

“Hello – I’m Cory Gardner – Representative for Colorado’s 4th Congressional district.

“Growing up in a small town on Colorado’s eastern plains, I learned that communities work best when people of different backgrounds, who may sometimes disagree, pull together and look out for each other. That’s what my parents and grandparents were about, and that’s what I strive to do for Coloradans. I believe Americans are at their best when they are giving each other a hand and looking out for those who need help, regardless of race, color, gender or creed.

“I know many of you would agree with me that Congress and the President could learn a thing or two from places like my home town and the extraordinary people across this nation, who work together each and every day to build a better life for themselves, their families and their neighbors.

“We face enormous challenges today, challenges that if left unresolved will undermine our ability to hand our children and grandchildren the nation that we know we are and the better life that we want them all to have.

“Our families, friends, and neighbors are working harder every day only to see opportunity slip further from their reach – higher gas prices, food prices, college tuition – conditions made worse by the failed policies of the President and the Senate Majority. President Obama continues to rely on policies of overreaching economic regulation based on European models of status quo instead of American ideals of growth and exceptionalism.

“And to be clear, it isn’t that I think President Obama or the Democrats in the Senate are trying to hurt the economy, but their policies have certainly done damage. And those wrong policies are taking a terrible toll and hurting a lot of people who voted against the President and a lot of people who voted for him, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet. We care about the victims of these misguided policies because they are our families, our friends, our neighbors, those who agree with us politically and those who disagree with us. They are Americans.

“President Obama and his allies in Congress have forgotten that they were elected to represent all Americans. They have lost their way and lined up with special interest actions that have blocked jobs, hurt the poor, sold out the most vulnerable amongst us, and have left too many behind.

“For too long, this Administration and Democrats in the Senate have obstructed policies that will get Americans back to work. They would have us believe that high unemployment and declining salaries are the new normal. That we should just get used to the disappointment of low expectations. That is not good enough for my community, and I know it is not good enough for yours.

“Just yesterday, the Keystone Pipeline delay turned six years old. Thanks to the President’s inaction, we are no closer to building the pipeline today than we were six years ago.

“As a result, thousands of Americans are missing out on the good paying jobs the pipeline would create.

“Americans know that purely political failures like this are one of the main reasons Washington is broken. Republicans agree and that’s why we’ve repeatedly called for President Obama and the Senate to take action. Pass our jobs bills and get America working again.

“And who is hurt most by the obstruction? It’s not the big corporations. It’s not the rich. It’s people looking for work – people in need of a good paying job.

“It’s disappointing that the President and his allies have chosen divisive politics rather than facts and common sense.

“We have a duty to put politics aside and Americans first. Congress, the House and Senate, and the President, have a patriotic duty to fight for all Americans.

“In my home state of Colorado, the responsible development of all types of energy resources has helped fuel a national energy revolution.

“And it isn’t just traditional energy either — new wind farms on the Eastern Plains and hydropower on the Western Slope provides a model of success for the nation.

“If the President would stop blocking responsible energy development on public lands, this nation could benefit even more. Putting an end to the regulatory overreach would help areas of Colorado and our country that continue to struggle.

“This new energy economy means more jobs, more money for parents to send their kids to college, and more Coloradans feeling certain that the next generation will be left with greater opportunities than their own. A better starting point that we can pass on to our children than the one we inherited from our parents.

“President Obama could learn a thing or two from Colorado when it comes to energy development.

“In fact, constituents regularly tell me we need more Colorado in Washington and less Washington in Colorado.

“And I agree.

“Colorado supports building the Keystone Pipeline because we know its benefits don’t end with its ability to create new jobs.

“The pipeline would be a major step forward in making us North American energy secure.

“At a time when the Middle East is becoming increasingly unstable, a prudent President would embrace a true all-of-the-above energy strategy.

“We’ve tried this approach in the House of Representatives, passing my legislation to expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas exports. This bipartisan bill would lift 45,000 people off of the unemployment rolls.

“Many of our allies are tethered by aggressive regional powers like Russia, which dominates the Eastern European energy market. Energy development here at home and boosting our allies abroad would make America safer – all while creating thousands of sorely needed jobs at home.

“Energy independence improves the stability of our families, the safety of our families, and provides economic security from the threat of terrorism by organizations that pose imminent threats to our nation like ISIL and others.

“The President and congressional Democrats don’t understand that this isn’t about oil companies or billionaire donors – this is about the American people who are hurt by their decision to block jobs at the behest of their special interests.

“This is about putting Americans back to work and making our nation more secure.

This is about taking away that fear about your children’s future, knowing that they won’t have less opportunity to build a fulfilling life, but more. This is about sending a message to the world that the United States still believes in what made this country great–an unyielding belief that a brighter horizon is always within reach. And this is about taking care of our neighbors, no matter which side of town they live in and which political party they belong to.

“We don’t have to live in an economy whose rationale seems to be one of managed decline instead of inspiration and innovation.

“We have the power to change the course of our nation by getting government out of the way and letting America work. We are the United States. We are liberty and opportunity. Optimism and resilience. We are together – an America on the rise.

“I’m Congressman Cory Gardner from Colorado – let’s get to work.”

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Plan to Train Syrian Rebels Becomes Official as Obama Signs CR

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — After passing first in the House and then in the Senate, President Obama’s plan to train and arm Syrian moderates in the fight against ISIS was made official Friday with the stroke of his pen.

The president signed the Continuing Resolution that funds the government through Dec. 11 and includes the authorization for Title X.

Obama, sans a suit jacket, sat behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office as he signed the stop gap funding measure. Before signing the bill, he smiled at cameras and said, “Here’s all that stands between you and the weekend.”

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