Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who last night declared victory in the Alaska Senate race as a write-in candidate, declared that "Alaskans have spoken" on an appearance on CBS' "Early Show" this morning. She added that her Republican opponent, Joe Miller, lacked the votes to pose a significant threat in a potential recount or court challenges.
"We did the unprecedented. We made history. Over 100,000 Alaskans affirmatively said, 'It's important to me and to this election to fill in the oval and spell out my name correctly,'" Murkowski said. "Alaskans have spoken - and they've written it out, as well. It's pretty historic."
The Associated Press declared Murkowski winner of the contentious three-way Alaska Senate race on Wednesday, with her leading Miller by about 10,000 votes in state counts, pending challenges. Alaskans cast an undisputed 92,715 votes for Murkowski in the election, while Joe Miller had about 9,400. Another 8,100 votes were counted in her favor by state elections officials, but are being disputed by Miller's campaign. The last outstanding absentee ballots were counted on Wednesday night.Continue »
Sarah Palin may have been on the receiving end of quite a bit of mockery when she inadvertently coined the term "refudiate" last July, but now the former Alaska governor is getting her due - kind of. The New Oxford American Dictionary has named "refudiate" 2010's Word of the Year.
Palin introduced the term into the American lexicon last July when she used it in a Tweet about the proposed Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site in New York City. "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate," she posted on her Twitter account.
The message was removed from her Twitter page shortly after its posting, but Palin (who had also, it was soon discovered, used the word during a previous appearance on Fox News) defended her usage of "refudiate" in another Tweet: "'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
A group of more than 100 major liberal donors will meet at Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel this week to discuss the future of Democratic fundraising efforts and to take on the potentially divisive topic of how to offset or exceed GOP fundraising in 2012.
The meeting comes in the form of a conference for donors to Democracy Alliance, an organization that was created in 2005 to help build a progressive infrastructure. It is expected to include discussions among wealthy liberals about what went wrong in November's midterm elections and how to proceed in the future. (Among the members of Democracy Alliance are progressive billionaires George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, both of whom have contributed millions of dollars to promote liberal causes.)
The meeting comes at a time when many Democrats are divided about how to approach fundraising in the future. The Obama administration repeatedly slammed Republicans for accepting money from outside donors in the months leading up to November's midterm elections. Apparently anticipating massive GOP donations from such groups in 2012, however, White House adviser David Axelrod recently signaled a possible change of heart.Continue »
In a Monday editorial for USA Today, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano urged Americans to be patient in the face of heightened new airplane security measures that some have decried as invasive, time-consuming, and likely to cause travel delays in the upcoming Holiday season.
Citing last year's thwarted terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight, Napolitano defended the newly-implemented use of advanced body scanners and thorough pat-downs as preventative travel security measures, despite some calls of protest.
"Al-Qaeda and those inspired by its ideology are determined to strike our global aviation system and are constantly adapting their tactics for doing so," Napolitano wrote. "Our best defense against such threats remains a risk-based, layered security approach that utilizes a range of measures, both seen and unseen, including law enforcement, advanced technology, intelligence, watch-list checks and international collaboration."
As CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg points out, the new measures - which include pat-downs and/or a walk-through scanning machine that scans travelers' bodies to create what some have called a "naked" image" - have been criticized for being overly intrusive toward passengers.Continue »
In a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) urged for further studies before repealing the military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," arguing that "we need a thorough and complete study of the effects - not how to implement a repeal, but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness."
The Pentagon is set to produce such a study on December 1 of this year - and the Washington Post reports that two sources familiar with it said "the survey found a majority of respondents ... said the effect of lifting the gay ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent."
McCain said he thinks the report should be subject to further scrutiny, however, and that the Senate should not lift the ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the military during Congress's lame duck session, which kicked off this week.
"Once we get this study, we need to have hearings. And we need to examine it. And we need to look at whether it's the kind of study that we wanted," he said.Continue »
Updated: Nov. 15, 9:32am ET
In the premiere episode of TLC's "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the former vice presidential nominee and her family embark upon a series of wholesome, firmly non-political activities: There's bear-watching, mountaineering and even some mother-daughter cupcake-baking. Palin's political stature gets only vague recognition over the course of the episode, and President Obama is never referenced. Still, the tacit political implications of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" are hard to avoid.
The show, an eight-part series that TLC describes as a "family adventure story," is purported to show viewers the wonders of America's "final frontier." But some see "Sarah Palin's Alaska" as an eight-part campaign ad for a potential future presidential candidate.
Sarah Palin's Alaska: Palin Slams Joe McGinniss in TLC Show Premiere
"Sarah Palin's Alaska" Sets TLC Debut Record
Indeed, Palin, who some reports say is earning as much as $1 million per episode (though that seems unlikely and she told USA Today it's less than that overall), is one of its executive producers - which inevitably means she has a certain degree of control over how she is portrayed in it.
"Ultimately the network has creative control and approval over the show, but really across the production company and the Palin family it was quite a collaborative effort, which is consistent with the way we produce most of our shows," TLC President Eileen O'Neill said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
In the pilot of her new reality show on TLC, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the former Alaska governor wasted no time criticizing journalist Joe McGinniss, who over the summer moved into the house next door to Palin while researching a book on her, for what she described as an "intrusion" and an "invasion of [the family's] privacy."
"Where I like to do a lot of my writing and researching - especially on a beautiful day - is outside, on our slab, where I get to take in the beauty of the lake," Palin said during the first minutes of the show, referring to a patio-like slab of cement in the family's backyard, which faces Alaska's Lake Lucille.
"Our behavior certainly has changed this summer because of this new neighbor," she continued.
"Our summer fun has kind of been taken away from us because of a new neighbor next door who's writing a hit piece on my wife," added Todd Palin, Sarah Palin's husband, who built a 14-foot fence between the two houses shortly after McGinniss moved in.Continue »
In a new video condemning anti-gay bullying, Cindy McCain, wife of former presidential candidate John McCain, spoke out against the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy - despite the fact that her husband is currently leading the charge to filibuster its repeal in the Senate.
(Watch at left.)
"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future," McCain says in the ad, made by gay rights group "NO H8," in which she is featured alongside celebrities like Denise Richards, Dave Navarro and Gene Simmons.
"They can't serve our country openly," McCain says, adding, "our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn't [bullies]?"
Former President George W. Bush has found an unexpected fan in former President Bill Clinton - not for his politics, but for his literary prowess.
In a statement released on Friday, the former President praised Mr. Bush for his recent memoir, "Decision Points," which hit stores on Tuesday.
Calling the book "well-written and interesting," Clinton recommended the read to "people of all political stripes" and said it would provide a window into why he was fond of the former Republican leader despite the political differences between the two.
"George W. Bush also gives readers a good sense of what it's like to be president, to take the responsibilities of the office seriously, do what you think is right, and let history be the judge," the statement said, according to the Associated Press. "The book may not change the minds of those who disagree with decisions President Bush made, but it will help you to understand better the forces that moulded him, and the convictions that drove him to make those decisions."Continue »
"I'm going to meet with both the Republican and Democratic leaders late next week and we're going to sit down and discuss how we move forward," Mr. Obama said. "My number-one priority is making sure that we make the middle-class tax cuts permanent, that we give certainty to the 98 percent of Americans who are affected by those tax breaks. I don't want to see their income taxes spike up -- not only because they need relief after having gone through a horrendous recession, but also because it would be bad for the economy."
Mr. Obama refuted the idea, however, that comments made by David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, could be interpreted to mean that his compromise position was to temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office fired back against critics of its decision to authorize the construction of new settlements in a contested area of Eastern Jerusalem, arguing in a statement that "Jerusalem is not a settlement: Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel."
"Israel sees no connection at all between the peace process and building plans in Jerusalem," the statement read, according to the New York Times.
The statement comes in response to remarks made earlier today by President Obama, who, during a press conference in Indonesia, criticized Friday's announcement that Israel would be building more than 1,000 new housing units in the region.
"This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," Mr. Obama said while standing alongside Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. "I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine."Continue »
In the poll, which surveyed 3,583 random adults from Nov. 5-7, 47 percent of respondents gave Mr. Obama a positive approval rating - up four points from a Gallup poll taken before the post-midterm period.
In a Nov. 3 Gallup survey taken "in the three days prior to and including Tuesday's midterm elections," Mr. Obama polled at 43 percent favorability; he was at 44 percent favorability in a Gallup poll released Nov. 1.
A CBS News/New York Times poll from October 27 put Mr. Obama's approval rating at 45 percent.
Gallup notes a number of possible reasons for the recent uptick, including Mr. Obama's post-election speech in which he "struck a mostly conciliatory tone"; a highly-publicized trip to India; a better-than-anticipated jobs report; and a market surge late last week.Continue »
"I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks," Issa said.
Issa's election to chair the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform would herald a significant increase in the committee's activity, and not just from the past two years. California Rep. Henry Waxman, the committee's Democratic chair during the final two years of the Bush administration, held 203 hearings over the course of two years. With a goal of about 280 hearings each year, Issa hopes to more than double that.
Politico reports that Issa is looking to create new subcommittees, and has plans to investigate controversial Obama-era initiatives like the federal stimulus package and possibly health care reform, as well as the $700 billion bank bailout passed under President Bush.
"Do Wall Street Journal Reporters Read the Wall Street Journal?" Palin wondered, in the headline of her Facebook post.
"Ever since 2008, people seem inordinately interested in my reading habits. Among various newspapers, magazines, and local Alaskan papers, I read the Wall Street Journal," Palin writes. "So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today's Wall Street Journal criticizing the fact that I mentioned inflation in my comments about QE2 in a speech this morning before a trade-association."
The article questions the veracity of Palin's remarks that "everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so," and argues that, while recent moves by the Fed have drawn a fair amount of political criticism, the former Alaska governor "tries to draw the concerns about quantitative easing to inflation today and falls short."Continue »
Despite top Democrats' professed desire to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy during the lame-duck Congressional session, insiders are skeptical about the chances of repeal before the end of the year. The reason, they say, is both a lack of time and a lack of Republican cooperation.
President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen are urging repeal of the policy, which bans gays from serving openly in the military. Yet Senate staffers say Democrats may not have enough support to get a Defense Authorization bill that includes repeal through Congress - particularly in light of the heavy losses Democrats sustained in the midterm elections.
"It's anybody's guess at this point," one source told CBS News Capitol Hill producer John Nolen.
Some believe the only way to get the Department of Defense Authorization bill through Congress by the end of the year is to take out 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' - along with anything else that might get held up due to partisan bickering.