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.