Post Politics: Master Archives
TOKYO -- President Obama met Thursday with three relatives of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea, a White House official confirmed, a move that underscored growing international concern over how to handle that regime’s human rights abuses.
The President “was moved by their tragic experiences and reaffirmed our commitment to work with Japan to address North Korea's deplorable treatment of its own people and resolve the issue of abductees,” according to the official, who asked not to be identified in order to discuss a private meeting.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) on Wednesday said he isn't running for president in 2016, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt that he's not angling for the job.
"I am not running for president," Thune said.
The South Dakota senator's presidential stock was perhaps at its highest before the 2012 election, when he passed on running. He also told a group of grade-schoolers last year that it wasn't in his plans for 2016, either.
Thune has been climbing the leadership ladder in the Senate, serving as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference since early 2012.
"I know a lot of my colleagues are [running for president]," Thune told Hewitt. "And I think that you have to be -- you probably have to, if you're gonna get serious about it, get going pretty early."
Update 5:43 p.m.: AFP has changed the image used in the ad. The new version is above.
Update 7:07 p.m.: And here's the statement from AFP spokesman Levi Russell: "The image used was an unfortunate oversight which was immediately corrected as soon as it was pointed out."
Attorney General Eric Holder praised Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday for her "courageous" dissent against the court's decision upholding Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions.
Speaking at a diversity event at the Justice Department, Holder said the progress of African Americans like him should not be taken as a sign that discrimination no longer exists.
"As Justice Sonia Sotomayor said just yesterday in her courageous and very personal dissent in the Michigan college admissions case, 'We ought not wish away rather than confront the racial inequality that exists in our society,' " Holder said.
Holder didn't take a position on the decision, which had the support of six justices, including Stephen Breyer from the more liberal side of the court.
The White House has also declined to weigh in directly, but press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama supports the use of affirmative action in some cases.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has released a TV ad hitting his primary opponent, college professor David Brat, a sign the high-ranking Republican is not taking his challenger lightly.
The ad casts Brat as "liberal" and seeks to tie him to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The narrator says Brat worked on Kaine's "Council of Economic Advisors" when Kaine was governor. An anti-Brat Web site from the Cantor campaign cites a 2007 state Senate resolution designed to confirm Brat and others to Kaine's "Board of Economists."
Cantor is not viewed as vulnerable to Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College.
Brat's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He told WWBT TV in Richmond, which first spotted the ad, that Cantor "is out of control on this one" and rejected the claim he served on the "Council of Economic Advisors."
Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) remains in an Arkansas hospital where he is recovering from emergency heart surgery.
Multiple local news reports, citing unnamed sources, said the 63-year old senator was diagnosed Tuesday with an aortic aneurysm, or a bulge or "ballooning" in the walls of an artery. He underwent emergency heart surgery Tuesday morning.
A poll conducted for a group supporting former Oklahoma House speaker T.W. Shannon's bid for U.S. Senate shows him surging ahead of Rep. James Lankford (Okla.) in the Republican primary, whom he once trailed by a wide margin.
Shannon leads Lankford 42 percent to 32 percent among Republicans likeliest to vote, according to the Public Opinion Strategies survey. A third candidate, Randy Brogdon, lags behind. Pollster Glen Bolger notes in a memo that Shannon was down nine in March and 35 in February. The poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday for Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, a nonprofit supporting Shannon.
Here's another interesting comment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during his sitdown with former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod on Tuesday: Paul said that the Republican Party might be over-selling incidences of voter fraud.
The GOP has cited actual fraud and the potential for fraud while pushing new voting laws, including requiring voters to present identification at the polls. Such laws have passed in numerous GOP-controlled states in recent years, but Democrats say the efforts are aimed at reducing the vote of groups less likely to carry IDs -- most notably minorities -- who favor Democrats.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in a new interview that people who cite recent hurricanes as proof of climate change are ignorant.
Paul was speaking Tuesday with former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He said evidence of man-made climate change being a problem remains inconclusive and that many activists are "alarmist."
CREDO SuperPAC hopes to spend $2.5 million this year to help Democrats keep the Senate. However, the progressive super PAC's campaign, which will place grassroots volunteers in five states, won't include "supporting some of the worst Democrats in the tightest races," according to a news release it sent out. For Credo, that means not helping Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who are both in close races.