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President Barack Obama's ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor, may be the subject of a new ad campaign by a conservative political action committee intent on ousting him in this November's election.

A conservative super PAC is considering an advertising plan to "do what John McCain would not let us do" during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Obama's ties to Jeremiah Wright and his inflammatory rhetoric nearly derailed his bid for the presidency during the Democratic primary, but Obama cut ties with his one-time spiritual adviser, hung on against Hillary Clinton, then defeated McCain.

Defeat Barack Obama

McCain, honorably, demanded the Wright-Obama angle not be used in any campaign ads during the election. This time around? All bets are off.

With campaign finance reform all but eliminated by the Supreme Court, super PACs can spend whatever they want to run whatever they want.

To that end, Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts commissioned a $10 million plan, known as "The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good," to help ensure the President's defeat.

According to a copy of the plan obtained by the New York Times, the group is looking to expose ties between President Obama - who is referred to as a "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln" - and Rev. Wright's "black liberation theology."

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President Barack Obama fielded questions about the economy, gay marriage, Fifty Shades of Grey - all the key issues - with the women of The View this week.

He corrected Elisabeth Hasselbeck when she described the President’s and Mitt Romney’s position on gay marriage as essentially the same. Not so, he says.

Obama discussed the JP Morgan banking crisis and much more in what was a pleasant, but ultimately forgettable and unnecessary visit to the daytime gab-fest.

There were some substantive policy discussions during his brief visit, but the highlight, at least from THG's perspective, was Obama dishing on celebrity gossip.

Watch him answer a pop quiz from Joy Behar below:

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Battleship director Peter Berg was doing an interview for his new movie last week when he somehow started grilling an Israeli reporter about foreign policy matters ... as well as the journalist's own military service (or lack thereof).

After outlining a bellicose view of the political situation in the Middle East, Berg asked the 25-year-old reporter if he ever served in the Israeli military.

When the reporter replied "No," Berg responded, "What?! How did you get out of that? Are you a draft dodger? You better join the army motherf**ker!!!"

Yeah. It was awkward, and we don't really get it either.

At least Berg added that Rihanna is a great actress.

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Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is pointedly criticizing President Barack Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage, calling it offensive to his religion.

In an interview, the religious Pacquiao said that Obama's view was nothing more than a direct attack on the morals of society and the will of God.

"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other," Manny Pacquiao said.

  • Manny Pacquiao Photo
  • Obama Speech

"It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of old," he added, citing the Bible.

He described same-sex marriage as an "abomination" and went on to say that America should be the model of morality for other countries to emulate.

Recently voted Forbes' fourth most influential athlete, the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion is regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, and already has a burgeoning career out of the ring.

He is a member of the Philippines legislature, hosts a weekly TV game show and has his own vegetable business. Manny Pacquiao also hopes to become a leading Christian evangelist after having a religious "awakening."

Last week, Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly back gay marriage.

Many politicians, pundits and stars have weighed in - Jay-Z praised Obama Monday, while Bristol Palin ripped him last week - but members of the sporting community have been largely silent until Pacquiao's condemnation.

Your take: Same-sex marriage ...

 

[Photos: WENN.com]

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John Edwards' daughter, Cate Edwards, is expected to testify Tuesday in the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate's ongoing corruption trial.

Cate Edwards would be the first family member to do so.

The indicted politician's daughter, 30, broke down in tears and had to leave the courtroom earlier this month amid revelations of Edwards' misdeeds.

Her mother, Elizabeth, passed away in December 2010.

Cate Edwards Photo

The defense began laying out its case Monday, shifting the focus from Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter to the specifics of campaign finance law.

Judge Catherine Eagles threw out most of the proposed testimony from former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas after prosecutors objected, arguing his opinions and past FEC rulings are irrelevant to the case.

Eagles sent the jury home as Thomas previewed his testimony, saying the use of nearly $1 million to cover up Edwards' affair with Hunter wasn't illegal.

Thomas said in his opinion, "This is a clear-cut case that the payments were not campaign contributions," and thus, did not have to be reported as such.

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Jay-Z says he strongly agrees with President Obama's support of same-sex marriage, equating opposition to gay equality with discrimination.

In a recent interview with CNN, the rapper said he believed supporting gay marriage, as Obama did last week, was "the right thing to do."

“I’ve always thought it as something that was still holding the country back,” Jay-Z said, referencing the fact that it's not recognized nationwide.

“What people do in their own homes is their business and you love whoever you love. That’s their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks."

"It’s discrimination plain and simple.”

In Philadelphia to announce a two-day music festival in early September, Jay-Z sat down with CNN's Poppy Harlow to chat about broader issues.

Asked if he felt Obama, dubbed the first gay president by Newsweek, could be hurt politically by this, the music mogul and new father shrugged.

"It's really not about votes," he said. "It's about people."

Jay also said he sees America's moribund economy as an opportunity: "You know, for a long time, you know, we had it pretty good in America," he said.

"We were floating on this high. Well, we were hiding some of the troubles that we were going through. So, I just see this as a test of our character."

"I think we'll get there and we test the resolve of Americans. Just to remind us that we have that fight. We haven't had such a fight since the Great Depression."

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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul announced Monday that his campaign will no longer spend money on future nominating contests due to lack of funds.

Ron Paul is the final challenger to Mitt Romney still running at all.

The Texas Congressman wrote the following letter to supporters:

Ron Paul Photo

"Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future."

"Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would require tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have."

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In the mid-90s, author Toni Morrison famously referred to Bill Clinton as "the first black President" based on his empathy, efforts to foster broad socioeconomic equality and commitment to issues important to African-American community at large.

Newsweek plays off this quote in its new cover story on President Barack Obama.

Following Obama's public support of same-sex marriage, he has been dubbed The First Gay President ... in a manner of speaking of course:

Barack Obama Newsweek Cover

While Obama's statement was groundbreaking and bold, will his "coming out" on behalf of gay marriage even make a different in November’s election?

"If you were going to cast your vote based on a candidate's position regarding same-sex marriage, you were already going to vote for Obama [or] Romney based on that," Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank said on ABC's This Week.

"I literally don't think anybody's vote was changed one way or the other."

In any case, Obama’s end to “evolving” on gay marriage will continue to generate critical comment, and not all of it positive, even from the left.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney apologized for alleged pranks he pulled in high school, but denied they constituted bullying of gay students.

A Washington Post piece insinuated that pranks the likely GOP nominee pulled during his years at a Michigan all-boys high school targeted his gay peers.

Romney admitted during a radio interview that he did some “dumb things” but that “homosexuality was the furthest thing from his mind” in school.

He laughed off most the 45 year-old anecdotes during the radio interview.

Mitt Romney Photo

“I’m not going to be too concerned," he said. "I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that, well, you just say to yourself ... in high school I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that, or offended, obviously I apologize."

"But, overall, high school years were a long time ago,” said Romney.

Asked if he remembered cutting the hair of one of his classmates at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who was “presumed” to be gay because the candidate did not like his long hairstyle, Romney responded, “You know, I don’t.”

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Bristol Palin is, predictably, receiving a swift and solid Twitter smackdown after speaking out against President Barack Obama's support of gay marriage.

Palin said, in short, that heterosexuals make better parents, Obama is a pushover who lets kids script his policy statements, and Glee might make you gay.

Shortly after writing her blog post ripping Obama, Bristol's hearing about it.

A few comments directed at the unwed 21-year-old mother, who says "in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home," are as follows:

Bristol Palin Book Signing

JWoww: "Bristol should keep her uneducated ignorant mouth shut... If Ur living in the past u wouldn't have a kid w/out marriage #hypocrite. It's 2012!"

"My best friend will get married one day and not just have civil union with his man. Stop hating people," added the outspoken Jersey Shore star.

Sherri Shepherd: "Sara Palin educated Bristol... and not blaming Bristol, but I'm blaming Bristol being young & not excercising good judgment."

Samantha Ronson: "'We know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home.' really bristol palin? how's your kid doing?"

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