Obama warns Republicans he plans to use veto pen

Written by The AP Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:19

President Barack Obama is warning Republicans in Congress that he won’t hesitate to use his veto power to turn back legislation that would undo changes he has made on health care and the environment.

Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances. But with Republicans set to take full control of Congress next year, Obama is losing his last bulwark against a barrage of bills he doesn’t like: the Senate.

Bernie Sanders: I’ll decide on presidential run by March

Written by DAVE GRAM,
Associated Press
Monday, 29 December 2014 10:03

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’ll decide by March whether to launch a 2016 presidential campaign and, if so, whether he’ll seek the Democratic nomination.

Either way, Sanders says he wouldn’t run just to nudge the debate to the left.

McConnell declares: Keystone tops Senate agenda in January

Written by The AP Wednesday, 17 December 2014 10:27

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell declared this week that approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January, potentially setting up an early veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.

Congressional Republicans have been pushing for approval of the pipeline for years. Obama has resisted because of environmental concerns.

Activists bait N.J. Gov. Chris Christie with doughnuts over his refusal to halt cruel bear hunt

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 07 December 2014 17:25

BEAR HUNT: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has been assailed in recent weeks for failing to halt brutality against pigs and bears.

Perhaps hoping to bait Gov. Chris Christie, animal rights advocates with doughnuts in tow rallied in Trenton on Dec. 4 to bash the governor for allowing the state’s fifth consecutive annual black bear hunt, which is scheduled to run from Dec. 8 to 13.

A look at the big donors in the 2014 election

Written by The AP Wednesday, 31 December 2014 07:24

Big-dollar donors helped inject hundreds of millions into the 2014 midterm federal elections. A look at some of the biggest donors of the election cycle:


Factors shaping the 2016 presidential race

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 29 December 2014 09:38

Key factors as the 2016 presidential race begins to take shape:

DEMOCRATS' ELECTORAL COLLEGE BASELINE: Democrats have won the same group of states worth 242 electoral votes for every election since 1992. A Democratic nominee who holds those states and adds Florida (29 electoral votes) wins, no matter what the rest of the map looks like. But it's worth noting that Democrats haven't won three consecutive elections since Harry Truman claimed the party's fifth straight in 1948.

Bachmann ready to leave Congress, but not politics

Written by HENRY C. JACKSON,
Associated Press writer
Monday, 08 December 2014 17:22

An audacious right-wing Republican, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann stood out from the moment she was first elected to Congress in 2006. Democrats were ascendant and Bachmann was a stridently Republican new arrival with a homespun Minnesota twang.

Four terms later, Bachmann is leaving just as Republicans take control of Congress for the first time since she was first elected. After a turbulent career dotted by fights with the left and her own party, and a fast-rising and fast-fading presidential campaign, Bachmann said she is ready to leave, her work in Congress complete.

Republicans starting to strut their stuff for 2016

Written by The AP Monday, 01 December 2014 14:22

A half-dozen potential Republican presidential contenders spent the last of November peacocking across the sprawling grounds of Florida luxury resort, schmoozing with donors and sizing up the competition in the party’s most fractured field in decades.

The summit felt like a test run for what is increasingly shaping up to be a brutal showdown for the Republican presidential nomination among more than a dozen potential contenders, including a cluster of governors.

Yes-We-Can president faces twilight of maybes

Written by JULIE PACE
and NANCY BENA for The AP
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 15:01

It was supposed to be a joke. “Are you still president?” comedian Stephen Colbert asked Barack Obama earlier in December.

But the question seemed to speak to growing weariness with the president and skepticism that anything will change in Washington during his final two years in office. Democrats already are checking out Obama’s potential successors. Emboldened Republicans are trying to push aside his agenda in favor of their own.

Bah … Congress finishes up, members still grumbling

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 22 December 2014 09:37

The 113th Congress began its turbulent life two years ago battling over whether to help Superstorm Sandy victims. They did, eventually.

By the time Congress limped out of town last week, one of its last acts was to honor the 100th anniversary of the extinction of passenger pigeons.

Landrieu can't close gap, loses Senate seat in Louisiana

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 08 December 2014 07:50

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's 12-point loss in a weekend runoff ended up closer than several polls suggested it could be. But an Associated Press analysis of the returns show that a slide in turnout simply wasn't enough for Landrieu to recover the ground she'd lost since her last victory six years ago.

The vote on Dec. 6 resulted in a comfortable win for Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican who will give the GOP a 54-seat majority when the Senate convenes in January.

Lame-duck drama
Showdowns over immigration, Keystone XL pipeline

Written by By Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:53

President Barack Obama looks over notes at the White House. — PHOTO: Pete Souza

President Barack Obama came back after a massive Election Day defeat to take big leaps on climate change and decisive executive action to protect millions of immigrants from deportation.