by Hilton Hater at . Comments

During a press conference in Cartagena yesterday, standing alongside Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Barack Obama addressed the Secret Service scandal surrounding up to a dozen agents and five members of the U.S. military.

They are accused of soliciting prostitutes in that nation and have been relieved of their posts.

After praising the role of Secret Service employees in general - telling reporters these men and women perform "extraordinary service" on a daily basis - he decreed the reported actions of the men cited in this weekend's report:

"I expect that investigation to be thorough, and I expect it to be rigorous. If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I'll be angry... We are representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards."

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by Hilton Hater at . Comments

A dozen Secret Service agents have been removed from their posts in Colombia, U.S. officials confirm, following incidents of "misconduct" that sources say relate to at least one refusing to pay a prostitute for her services.

The agents were stationed in that country ahead of President Obama's arrival for the Summit of the Americas, which started today.

Obama and Agents

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan has not yet disclosed the nature of the allegations that resulted in replacing these agents with new ones, though insiders tell The Washington Post that at least one agent solicited a prostitute - the act is legal in certain Colombian areas - who then went to the police when she was not paid.

None of those relieved of duty was a member of the President's security detail.

Ronald Kessler, the author of "In the President's Service" and a former reporter for The Washington Post, told CBS News this represents "the biggest scandal in Secret Service history" and marks a "tremendous embarrassment to the U.S."

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Forget a suit. Newark Mayor Cory Booker should wear tights and a cape to work.

The politician is in the news today because he rescued a neighbor from her burning house last night, entering the residence against the advice of his security team, carrying the young woman through flames and suffering second-degree burns in the process.

"I actually wasn't thinking," Booker said on CBS This Morning, detailing how he jumped through the kitchen window and: "When I got there and couldn't find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that's when I had very clear thoughts that I'm not going to get out of this place alive and got... very religious.

"It is a very, very scary thing. And I'd like to say that I, at that point I was feeling so courageous, but honestly, it was terrifying, and to look back, you can see nothing but flames. Look in front of you see nothing but blackness."

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by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Following comments by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen - who criticized Ann Romney for "never [working] a day in her life" and, therefore, lacking the knowledge to speak on economic issues - the wife of Mitt Romney finds herself supported by an unlikely ally:

Barack Obama.

  • Barack Obama at Florida Atlantic University
  • Ann Romney and Mitt Romney

Speaking to Columbus, Ohio television station WCMH yesterday, the President defended the work of stay-at-home moms everywhere, while also emphasizing that family members ought to be off limits in an election.

“First of all there is no tougher job than being a mom," Obama said. "I think this was an ill-advised statement by somebody on television. It's not something that I subscribe to, and moreover my general rule is you don't talk about the spouses of elected officials because they've got a really tough job. They're out there supporting their husband or wife who have chosen to serve in public eye.

"Sometimes that spouse isn't volunteering for that job, but they're doing the best they can supporting somebody they love and they care about. And I think they're off limits, so on both counts it was the wrong thing to say and I haven't met Ms. Romney but she seems like a wonderful woman and I know that she's devoted her life to her family.”

Ann Romney also shot back at Rosen this week, telling Fox News women should respect the career choices made by other women and that mothers are perfectly capable of speaking out on the "legacy of debt" she believes Obama is leaving the next generation.

[Photos: WENN.com]

by Free Britney at . Comments

The scandal that derailed John Edwards' career, shattered his image as a devoted family man and led to his indictment is now set to play out in federal court.

The former Democratic presidential candidate is fighting allegations that he violated federal campaign finance laws during his 2008 bid for the White House.

Prosecutors contend he secretly obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from two wealthy supporters to hide his affair and love child with Rielle Hunter.

Hunter, was a campaign videographer who gave birth to their daughter, Frances Quinn, at a time when Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, was battling breast cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards passed away in late 2010.

The alleged donors were Fred Baron, a wealthy Texas lawyer who is no longer alive, and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a wealthy 101-year-old benefactor.

They supposedly provided more than $900,000 in living expenses for Rielle Hunter, who is not expected to testify at the trial of the ex-U.S. Senator.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

North Korea's much-heralded missile launch was a failure yesterday, but the White House still condemned what it felt was a provocative act by the rogue state.

North Korea said it wanted to launch a rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, but it is widely viewed as a military operation and a dangerous one at that.

The country hasn't been shy about posturing toward the U.S., and many saw the launch - before its failure anyway - as a veiled threat against Washington.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said North Korea's rocket launch was a provocative act that left the nation isolated and in violation of international law:

"Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, the action threatens security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments."

"While this action is not surprising given North Korea's pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity is of concern to the international community."

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by Free Britney at . Comments

It doesn't appear that President Obama's opinion of Kanye West has changed.

After Obama let it slip before an interview (below) with ABC's Nightline two years ago that he thought the rapper was a "jackass" for interrupting Taylor Swift's speech at the MTV VMAs, he offered up a further assessment of him this week.

The verdict? Unchanged.

Asked if he prefers Kanye or Jay-Z," the President replied with a smile, "Jay-Z. Although I do like Kanye. He's a Chicago guy. Smart. He's very talented."

After being reminded of the slam heard around the world, Obama stuck to his guns regarding the outspoken performer and boyfriend of Kim Kardashian.

"He is a jackass," he added. "But he's talented."

His girlfriend, on the other hand ...

by Free Britney at . Comments

Ann Romney, the wife of likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and mother of five sons, is fighting a criticism that she “never worked a day in her life.”

“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys,” she wrote on Twitter, prompted by a Democratic strategist’s challenge of her knowledge about the economy.

“Believe me,” Ann Romney wrote. “It was hard work.”

Hillary Rosen, a Democratic strategist, started the exchange during an interview on CNN yesterday in which she said of GOP front-running candidate Romney:

“Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never dealt with the economic issues that a majority of women in U.S. are facing.”

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign swiftly distanced itself from Rosen, but the incident underscores issues critical to both sides in the campaign.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has apologized and tried to explain his seemingly pro-Fidel Castro comments, but the team still suspended him for five games.

Even after the suspension was announced and a contrite Guillen held a nearly hour-long news conference to apologize, tensions have not simmered down.

For the city with the highest Cuban-American population, Guillen's comments, who was quoted in Time saying he loves and respects the dictator, it was too much.

A large group of protesters gathered outside calling for the Venezuelan manager's ouster. Some local politicians have weighed in, looking for Guillen to be fired.

Ozzie G

But the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is also reporting that the Marlins players are supportive of their first-year manager, who won a World Series with Chicago.

"I think everybody in that clubhouse looks up to Ozzie and what he's done," said catcher Jon Buck, the Marlins players' representative. "It's all been positive."

"You guys can feel the atmosphere he's changed in the clubhouse."

"I feel like he doesn't need to apologize to me, but I'm not Cuban, I don't know how it feels to have that looming over you. I'm coming from a baseball aspect."

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Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum suspended his White House bid on Tuesday, all but ceding the Republican presidential nomination to rival Mitt Romney.

"We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today," he said.

Santorum did not endorse Romney in making his announcement, though he did vow to fight to defeat President Obama and help Republicans win in the fall.

In a statement, Mitt Romney called Santorum "an able and worthy competitor" and congratulated his often-bitter rival for the formidable campaign he ran.

"He has proven to be an important voice in our party and the nation," said Romney.

"We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity."

Santorum's campaign insisted earlier in the day that he was not leaving the GOP race despite a decision to cancel his Tuesday morning campaign events.

His three-year-old daughter Bella, who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, had been hospitalized again after falling ill over the weekend.

Santorum said that Bella recovered after a "difficult weekend," but that the situation "did cause us to think in the role that we have as parents in her life."

That, along with his dimming chances of overtaking Romney in the GOP delegate race, likely caused the unapologetic social conservative to pack it in.

Nevertheless, he leaves having won more than 10 states in the Republican nominating contest, pushing Romney longer than anyone possibly predicted.

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich remain in the GOP race, but well behind Romney, who appears poised to finally finish this political war of attrition.

In a hypothetical matchup of the President and his likely GOP opponent, for whom would you vote if the election were today?

 

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