Rubio wins new fans, loses mentor

Politics / Political News /

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Marco Rubio crisscrossed the harvested farm fields of northeastern Iowa, drawing enthusiastic crowds, standing ovations and warm reviews of his sunny message that the nation could see a "new American century" forged by new leadership.

So many people showed up to see the Republican presidential candidate at an automotive ...Read more

Kevin McCarthy shocks House, abandons race for speaker

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, dogged by persistent skepticism from hard-core conservatives and facing questions about his qualifications, abruptly withdrew Thursday from the race to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House of Representatives.

McCarthy, R-Calif., who began Thursday as an embattled but clear favorite to ...Read more

Pa. Supreme Court Justice reportedly involved in racist email exchanges

Politics / Political News /

PHILADELPHIA--Experts on legal ethics condemned Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin on Thursday following disclosures that he had sent or received emails that mocked Muslim children as suicide bombers, called Mexicans "beaners," and joked about domestic-assault victims.

"This justice ought to say, 'I'm terribly embarrassed. In ...Read more

Grace Lee Boggs, who fought for civil rights for 7 decades, dies at 100

Politics / Political News /

If it weren't for the rats, Grace Lee Boggs might never have become a radical.

But when she was fresh out of graduate school and working in a Chicago library for $10 a week, she had to run a gantlet of rats to get into her basement apartment. Nearby, her neighbors, mostly African-Americans, faced the same problem and were out in the streets ...Read more

Supreme Court wrestles with legal aftermath of 'Wichita Massacre'

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Death penalty challenges from two Wichita, Kan., brothers convicted of a notorious rape-and-murder spree seemed to sputter Wednesday before skeptical Supreme Court justices.

Even several liberal justices sounded doubtful about some arguments raised by attorneys for Reginald Carr Jr. and his younger brother Jonathan, while ...Read more

Influential conservative GOP House caucus endorses McCarthy rival for speaker

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Heading into Thursday's closed-door nomination for House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., ran into some stiff but anticipated opposition after the influential House Freedom Caucus endorsed one of his conservative rivals.

The estimated 40-member bloc of GOP conservatives put their might behind an outlier candidate, Rep. ...Read more

GOP is accused of stalling on judicial nominees

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Mary Barzee Flores, a former public defender and state court judge in Miami, was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Barack Obama in February on the recommendation of Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

But since then, Rubio, in consultation with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, has ...Read more

Americans' aversion to dollar coins costs the nation billions

Politics / Political News /

The following editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star on Monday, Oct. 5:

Americans waste a lot of money because of their aversion to coins and their fondness for dollar bills.

If you travel almost anywhere else in the world, you won't find the same irrational attachment to low-value paper currency. In Britain, if you pay for something with ...Read more

US to release 6,000 prisoners as part of sentencing-reform campaign

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The federal Bureau of Prisons plans to release 6,000 prisoners at the end of October, implementing a decision last year to slash the number of incarcerated drug offenders by nearly half.

Officials said the nationwide releases over four days starting Oct. 30 will be the largest in U.S. history.

Last year, in line with a concerted ...Read more

Vermont route of derailed Amtrak train exempt from safety mandate

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Amtrak's Vermonter derailed Monday on along a stretch of track that will be exempt from a Dec. 31 congressional deadline to install a system to prevent trains from colliding.

The Vermonter is among half a dozen Amtrak trains that operate over a group of smaller freight carriers that federal regulators will not require to implement...Read more

Cotton blocks nominees after Secret Service Chaffetz probe

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced Monday he would place a hold on three ambassadorial nominations until there are consequences -- and a criminal investigation -- for Secret Service agents who allegedly accessed a congressman's private records.

Cotton took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon to chastise the agency for, in his ...Read more

Obama announces new measures to crack down on illegal fishing

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Monday announced plans to further crack down on illegal fishing, a global problem that can hurt both fishing communities in impoverished nations and the seafood industry in the United States.

As part of a package of initiatives announced in a video message to participants at a major oceans conference in...Read more

The insider Pacific trade deal is a tough sell in an outsider year

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- In a political year distinguished by voter hunger for "outsiders," the new Pacific trade agreement -- the ultimate in insider deals -- is shaping up to be a tough sell.

For presidential candidates in both parties, as well as members of Congress who may be asked to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership sometime next year, the deal ...Read more

U.S. and Russia can't agree on definition of 'terrorist'

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- While they confer about "de-conflicting" their bombing raids in Syria, U.S. and Russian military officials also might want to discuss what the word "terrorist" means.

That would be an easier discussion for the Russians, who began airstrikes Wednesday, than the Americans, who have been bombing Syria for more than a year.

For ...Read more

Senate control up for grabs next year

Politics / Political News /

Ward Baker has a tough act to follow: his own. As the National Republican Senatorial Committee's political director for the 2014 elections, he helped orchestrate a stunning nine-seat Republican gain, seizing Senate control for the first time since 2006.

Baker's reward was a promotion to executive director -- and a 2016 election map so ...Read more

Biden's 2012 gay-marriage 'gaffe' now looks like an asset

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- As Vice President Joe Biden decides whether to run for president, one factor pushing him toward another run is the view that the political climate could be more favorable than ever before in his career of more than 40 years.

The vice president's advisers sees a yearning in the electorate for a candidate of authenticity and blunt ...Read more

Ted Cruz, the other Cuban American running for president

Politics / Political News /

MIAMI--Ted Cruz could have been a Miami cubanito.

His father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, desperate to flee Cuba after his youthful guerrilla activities landed him in jail, applied to the University of Texas, Louisiana State University -- and the University of Miami. He chose Texas only because it was the first school to respond.

"If the ...Read more

Supreme Court faces tough choices, familiar problems in new term

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices will face tough choices and political potshots from both left and right when they reclaim their seats Monday.

Over the next nine months, they could restrict affirmative action, alter congressional districts and weaken public service unions. And though Republican presidential candidates have been lashing the ...Read more

Teachers Union endorses Clinton, but makes her work for support

Politics / Political News /

Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unplanned trip to the headquarters of the nation's largest teachers union Saturday morning to lock down its endorsement and calm union leaders under pressure from members to withhold support.

National Education Association leaders said Clinton came to the board meeting at their request, as the endorsement vote ...Read more

Jeb Bush turns sights on Marco Rubio, who seeks to stay above the fray

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush opened a new front in the nomination fight this week by suggesting Marco Rubio, a former Florida colleague 18 years his junior, doesn't have enough experience to hold the Oval Office.

For now, Rubio isn't taking the bait. He brushed off Bush's barbs Friday during a swing through Iowa, ...Read more