Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)

Friday, July 18, 2008 -


Figures in both campaigns
have deep ties to mortgage giants

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's stock prices plunged and rumors of their insolvency swirled, the presidential campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama released terse statements about the mortgage giants, then went nearly silent.

Their responses made sense in political and economic terms. The risks of intervening in the firms' rescue are high, the rewards are scant, and the tentacles of the government-sponsored enterprises reach into both campaigns.





Jackson used 'n' word in FOX tape

On an unaired portion of the tape, Jackson uses a vile racial epithet.

It turns out that what he actually said was: “See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith-based – I wanna cut his nuts out. … Barack – he’s talking down to black people -- telling n------s how to behave.”

The longer exchange was first reported by

Fox sources say there are no immediate plans to air the additional portions of the tape.

Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who broke the "nuts" story, says the racial epithet was leaked by a "weasel."


Pelosi stands firm against offshore drilling

Her voice carries considerable weight since, as speaker, Pelosi is in a position to prevent a vote on expanded drilling from reaching the floor.

And she and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, appear intent on holding the line against calls to approve drilling in areas now off limits. They mount the counterargument that the oil and gas industry is not aggressively exploring large expanses it has already leased on land and offshore. They also have urged Bush to pour some fuel from national reserves into the commercial supply chain in an effort to lower prices.


Hillary switches sides - of her hair

The longtime lefty is making a dramatic change - not in her policies -  but in her hair style.

Clinton revealed her new 'do, with  the a part on the right, Tuesday when she gave a speech on Capitol Hill praising her Senate colleagues for overriding President Bush's veto of a Medicare measure.






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

NAACP gives McCain a respectful reception

John McCain ventured into solid Barack Obama territory Wednesday when he addressed the 99th annual convention of the country's venerable civil rights organization, the NAACP.

He did not draw the crowd that greeted his Democratic opponent here Monday, where, as one organization official put it, "even the overflow room had an overflow room," but McCain received a respectful reception for his speech on education reform.

McCain's education plan includes a policy departure

The promise to "fully fund" No Child Left Behind was a departure; previously Mr. McCain has said he would freeze nondefense discretionary spending, including spending on education...

McCain: Hagel could have place in administration

John McCain had kind words for fellow Republican Chuck Hagel on Wednesday, but wouldn't speculate on whether the Nebraska senator might be Democrat Barack Obama's choice for a running mate.

McCain did say Hagel could have a place in his own administration, and that he'll continue to talk to him and value his opinions.

Special GOP-GOP account raised $62.3 million in Quarter

Dozens of supporters answered Sen. John McCain's call to write big checks to a special account set up to benefit his presidential campaign and Republican Party committees, a federal disclosure report shows...

Few House GOP donate to McCain

...while nearly half the Senate GOP conference has given to McCain, less than 20 percent of House Republicans have pitched in.

Several of the highest-ranking Republicans in the House have yet to give to McCain. Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) have not given anything, according to the most recent fundraising reports.




Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Poll: Obama has less Jewish support than previous Democratic candidates

The survey, commissioned by the Washington-based advocacy organization J Street, found that only 58 percent of American Jews said they would definitely vote for Obama. Another 4% said they were leaning toward the presumptive Democratic nominee.

In contrast, Al Gore and Bill Clinton both drew approximately 80% of the Jewish vote in their respective runs for the presidency, while John Kerry garnered about 76% in 2004.

Obama to kick off 5-nation tour

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will try to boost his résumé next week with a five-country European and Middle East tour that threatens to turn into Obamapalooza.

In contrast to the low-key coverage of Republican John McCain's European and Middle East trip in March, Obama will be accompanied by a campaign plane of reporters and trailed by three network broadcast anchors. McCain got some headlines, but did not have a traveling press corps.

see also:

Michelle to stay home

3 anchors to follow Obama's trek abroad

Obama faces his overseas audition

Media stars will accompany Obama overseas

The extraordinary coverage of Obama's trip reflects how the candidate remains an object of fascination in the news media, a built-in feature of being the first African-American presidential nominee for a major political party and a relative newcomer to the national stage.

But the coverage also feeds into concerns in McCain's campaign, and among Republicans in general, that the media is imbalanced in their coverage of the candidates, just as aides to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton felt during the primary season.

Obama camp raised $52 million in June

Barack Obama's presidential campaign says it raised $52 million last month.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended the month of June with a combined total of nearly $72 million in the bank.

In Iraq, mixed feelings about Obama and his troops proposal

... his support for troop withdrawal cuts both ways, reflecting a deep internal quandary in Iraq: for many middle-class Iraqis, affection for Mr. Obama is tempered by worry that his proposal could lead to chaos in a nation already devastated by war. Many Iraqis also acknowledge that security gains in recent months were achieved partly by the buildup of American troops, which Mr. Obama opposed and his presumptive Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, supported.

Obama unveils plan to protect U.S. from 21st century threats

... some experts say his ideas are expensive, unrealistic or already underway...

Obama unveiled what he described as a comprehensive national security strategy in a speech at Purdue University here, while leading a panel of academic experts and present and former politicians whose views of global threats largely tracked his own.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee also released a nine-page document on "Confronting 21st Century Threats," in which his campaign said the White House, Congress and some U.S. allies had succumbed to a mind-set of "conventional thinking [that] has failed to adapt to a world of new threats."

Obama adds 20 offices in Virginia

The offices, partially funded by the Democratic National Committee, are the latest signal that Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, considers Virginia to be a crucial component of his strategy for securing the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Virginia has 13 electoral votes.




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