By Emily le Coz JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) - A Mississippi man accused of sending poisoned letters to President Barack Obama and two other public officials, and pinning them on an Elvis impersonator, pleaded guilty in U.S. court and agreed to a 25-year jail sentence, the Justice Department announced on Friday. James Everett Dutschke, 41, has been jailed since his arrest last April, when authorities accused him of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and a local Lee County judge, Sadie Holland.
By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who crossed the aisle in 2005 became friends with a newly elected colleague named Barack Obama, says he will leave office in December, two years before his term ends. In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong." Obama said in a statement on Friday: "Those of us who have had the privilege of serving with Tom Coburn will be sad to lose him as a colleague here in Washington." "Tom and I entered the Senate at the same time, becoming friends after our wives struck up a conversation," Obama said. "The people of Oklahoma have been well-served by this 'country doctor from Muskogee.'" In nine years in the Senate, Coburn earned a reputation as a blunt-speaking conservative who waged war against federal waste and denounced what he called a "dysfunctional Washington." Coburn promised to serve only two terms in the Senate when first elected to the chamber in 2004. "That's how I saw it when I first ran for office in 1994, and that's how I still see it today." Coburn has been treated for prostate cancer.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A political maverick nicknamed "Dr. No" for his favorite vote, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn was more than a bomb-thrower during his decade in the U.S. Senate — he also earned a reputation as a statesman willing to reach across the aisle to come up with solutions to the nation's budget woes.
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Immigration reform advocates, who saw their hopes dashed in 2013 for major legislation, are encouraged by stirrings in the Republican-led House of Representatives for taking up the issue. The Senate last June passed a sweeping immigration bill that would give millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship but the legislation has languished in the House. House Speaker John Boehner informed his rank-and-file on January 8 that leading House Republicans were preparing to lay out "principles" for immigration legislation, according to Republicans who attended the closed-door meeting. "It's now becoming clearer that the House Republican leadership...are determined to move forward to floor action." But 2013 began on a similarly upbeat note after President Barack Obama cruised to re-election the previous November with the support of more than 70 percent of Hispanic voters who have been clamoring for immigration reforms.
Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism adviser and member of President Obama’s intelligence review panel, rejected the notion today that the administration’s proposed overhaul of NSA surveillance amounts to a “pre-9/11 mindset.” “There’s nothing in any of these decisions that will make the United...
President Obama will order a transition today to end the so-called metadata program that collects and stores millions of phone records “as it currently exists,” but the revisions will “preserve the capabilities” of the program, a senior administration official told ABC News. “The president believes...
By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's attempt to minimize the influence of "special interests" on his administration received a setback on Friday when a U.S. judge reinstated a lawsuit challenging his ban on lobbyists serving on government advisory boards. The ruling amounts to a partial victory for Washington's 12,000 registered lobbyists, many of whom feel they have been unfairly tarred by Obama's efforts to keep them out of public service. At issue is whether registered lobbyists can serve on the 1,000 or so advisory committees that help the federal government shape policy on everything from nuclear waste to housing. Obama banned lobbyists from serving on such boards in 2010, arguing in a memorandum that "special interests" had "drowned out the voices of ordinary Americans." Six lobbyists filed a lawsuit arguing that the ban unfairly penalizes them for exercising their right to petition the government, but a U.S. District Court judge in Washington ruled in 2012 that Obama was acting within his authority and dismissed the case.