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President and First Lady Welcome Trick-or-Treaters to White House


White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted trick-or-treaters from 39 schools in Washington, Virginia and Maryland on Friday night, handing out candy, healthy snacks and other goodies.The president, who was not in costume, saluted one boy dressed as a Navy sailor, while Halloween-themed music played in the background, including Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "The Monster Mash" and the theme song from The Addams Family, among others. The trick-or-treaters walked

The Seven Most Controversial Ads of Election 2014


Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- Attack ads are among the oldest tools in the political playbook -- and 2014 has seen its share.Here are seven of the most controversial ads of 2014:1. “Justice”Candidate: Wendy Davis, DemocratRace: Texas gubernatorial raceIn “Justice,” Democrat Wendy Davis uses a photo of an empty wheelchair to make a political point. Her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Despite a backlash, Davis d

DHS Report Finds Medicare Paid for HIV Drugs for Dead Patients


Andregric/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Department of Health and Human Services released a report on Friday that showed Medicare paid for HIV medication for more than 100 patients who were already dead.The study was undertaken, the Office of the Inspector General said, because of "ongoing concerns about Medicare paying for drugs and services after a beneficiary has died." Using their enrollment database, the Social Security Administration's Death Master File and alternate death records

Obama Commits 'Sin,' Orders 'Death by Chocolate' From the Devil


BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  When President Obama walked into Gregg’s Restaurant and Pub in Providence, R.I., for a surprise lunch on Friday with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo, the devil was waiting.And so were a few Flintstones and a pirate.After meeting the restaurant’s owner, the aptly named Bob Bacon, the president headed straight to the sweets -- it is Halloween after all -- and ordered a sinister “Death by Chocolate” ca

Career Diplomats Worried About Influx of Political Appointees


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is giving an unprecedented number of political appointees top diplomatic positions, a move that has long frustrated career Foreign Service officials but has become a renewed point of contention this week with the departure of Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, the only career foreign service officer in the top echelons of Foggy Bottom leadership.Burns, who served more than three decades as a diplomat, announced earlier this week that h

Early Voting: More than 12M Votes Cast Ahead of Election Day


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As of Thursday, early voting had begun in every one of the 33 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that offer it.More than 12 million voters have so far cast their votes for the 2014 midterm elections, which is almost double the tally from last week. Why the big jump?A lot of it has to do with more states getting into their in-person early voting periods, which is the preferred early-voting method for the majority of Democrats.That also means some earlier Republican ga

If You Thought the Legal Challenges to the Affordable Care Act Were Over, You'd


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — You thought the battles over Obamacare were over after the nail-biting 2012 decision by the Supreme Court upholding a core provision of the law, right? Wrong.In fact, the justices are meeting behind closed doors Friday to discuss a different challenge to the law that could, ultimately, be fatal to the future of the Affordable Care Act.This challenge targets tax subsidies granted to those who seek to obtain insurance from the American Health Benefit Exchanges

Rand Paul Has More Harsh Words for His Own Party


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Senator Rand Paul said Thursday, "The Republican Party brand sucks."The comment is extreme even for the Kentucky Republican who has complained publicly that his party has done a poor job trying to be more inclusive of those who traditionally vote for Democrats.During his visit to suburban Detroit, Paul, who is likely running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, compared his party to an admission once made by Domino’s Pizza that said rough

Michael Jordan Says What He Really Thinks About Obama's Golf Game


David Cannon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — President Obama has often been slammed by the GOP for spending more time on the golf course than he does trying to solve the nation's problems.However, a new critic has joined the mix but only to add his two cents about the president's golf game.Former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, now owner of the woeful Charlotte Hornets, was recently asked what would be his ideal foursome on the links.Jordan responded, "I’ve never played with Obama, but I woul

Politicians Remember Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Say City Better Because of


Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- After former Boston Mayor Tom Menino passed away on Thursday, politicians locally and nationally remembered him fondly.Describing Menino's, "sheer determination and unmatched work ethic," current Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that Menino, "took a city that is not as big in size as we are in stature and put us on the world stage as a national leader in health care, education, innovation and the nitty gritty of executing basic city

Politicians Remember Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino Say City Better Because of H


Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- After former Boston Mayor Tom Menino passed away on Thursday, politicians locally and nationally remembered him fondly.Describing Menino's, "sheer determination and unmatched work ethic," current Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that Menino, "took a city that is not as big in size as we are in stature and put us on the world stage as a national leader in health care, education, innovation and the nitty gritty of executing basic city

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey Explain Support for 21-Day Quarantine for Troops


US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Safety concerns prompted the decision to put in place a 21-day quarantine for American troops serving in the Ebola mission in West Africa, top Pentagon officials said Thursday.Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that he and the other Joint Chiefs of Staff believe a quarantine makes sense for the 4,000 troops that will be assigned to Liberia for a six-month period.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed off on Wednesday on the recommend

Poll: Rep. Gardner's Lead Widens in Colorado Senate Race


Inset photos: (t) US Congress / (b) US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- A new Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday morning is bad news for Colorado Sen. Mark Udall in one of the most closely watched races this cycle.The poll shows Udall's Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, leading the Democrat by seven points -- 46 to 39 percent -- in Colorado's Senate race. Seven percent are for Independent candidate Steve Shogan, while another 7 percent are still undecided. This gap between Udall and Gardner is

Iowa Senate Hopeful's RV Hits Deer on Campaign Trail


Inset photo: Joni Ernst for US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Joni Ernst’s campaign may have skyrocketed into infamy thanks to few hogs, but late Wednesday night a deer brought the Republican state senator from Iowa to a halt. “Reports are true. RV did hit a deer. No one injured. Campaign will continue on,” Ernst’s campaign account tweeted shortly after the collision.Ernst followed up with a tweet herself, assuring the public that everyone on the bus was safe.Thank goodness we are

Charlie Crist Inches Ahead in Florida Governor's Race


Inset photos: Office of the Florida Governor(WASHINGTON) -- Florida’s gubernatorial race is still extremely tight, but former Republican governor now Democratic candidate Charlie Crist has inched ahead slightly, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday morning. Crist leads incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott 43 percent to 40 percent. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie has 8 percent, while 9 percent of voters are still undecided. Last week, the two were deadlocked at 42

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