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Ann Romney on 2016: ‘We’re Not Doing That Again’

Ann Romney on 2016: ‘We’re Not Doing That Again’

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- There has been some renewed speculation recently that Mitt Romney might make a third go of it and run for president again in 2016. He has even left the door open, although just a tiny bit. But his wife of 45 years keeps slamming it shut.“No,” Ann Romney told ABC News, saying she has “moved on.”“We’re not doing that again,” she said. “It’s a no,” adding that when friends, family and former aides urge them to give it one more go, she says it’s “kind of cute.”Romney said her “least political son,” Ben, called her recently and even he wasn’t sure.“He [says], ‘Mom are you guys thinking about running again. I’m starting to read things,” she said, laughing. “I [said], ‘Ben, no. You have to ask me that question; no because even our own children are reading all of this and they’re thinking, ‘Are you thinking about it? And it’s just, it is a lot of talk.”The former Massachusetts governor, 67, has been vague on the topic, telling the New York Times in September, “We’ll see what happens.”Ann Romney, 65, may have been through two bruising presidential campaigns, but her toughest battle has been the one she has fought with multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998. She has been in remission for more than a decade, but has acknowledged some tough days on the campaign trail.This week, she launched the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.She joined ABC News, along with her physician and co-director of the center, Dr. Howard Weiner, to discuss the breakthroughs, treatments and even cures possible for not only MS, but ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and brain tumors.Romney says they can “unlock a lot more mysteries in the brain” through their work and be able to “collaborate across the country and across the world.”Dr. Weiner didn’t hesitate when asked whether it’s possible to cure these diseases with research, saying, definitively, “one day we’ll get to a cure,” adding he is confident their research will also develop vaccines for such diseases.“First we have to get our treatments, understand the disease better, get treatments that slow the disease or stop the progression, and then one day we go for a cure,” Weiner said, adding they aren’t sure about a timeline for cures, but said he expects treatment for Alzheimer’s, ALS, and certain kinds of brain tumors.And once they get those treatments, he said, “we’re on our way.”At the launch of the center this week, the Romneys were joined by family friends, and also at least one possible 2016 candidate, Chris Christie. Ann Romney called the New Jersey governor a friend and said there would be plenty of choices when it comes time for presidential picking. But she did name some female Republicans she has her eye on, including New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez.Mitt Romney wrote an open love letter to his wife earlier this week marking the opening of the center. In the letter, he praised his wife saying, “From one of the wounded, you have become one of the warriors.”Ann Romney said her response was to “burst into tears” because it “really touched my heart.”“I mean he was with me when I was the wounded,” Romney recalled. “Now I’m in a different place and I now can be the warrior for those that are suffering and going through what I went through because I know what it feels like when you are so depressed and you feel hopeless is to know that it’s OK. I want to be able to be that voice of hope for people.”

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Economic Inequality Worries Fed Chair Janet Yellen

Economic Inequality Worries Fed Chair Janet Yellen

The US Federal Reserve(WASHINGTON) -- Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, said in a speech at the Conference on Economic Opportunity and Inequality on Friday that she was worried about the increasing income and wealth inequality in the United States."The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me," Yellen said. "The past several decades have seen the most sustained rise in inequality since the 19th century after more than 40 years of narrowing inequality following the Great Depression." "It is no secret," she noted, "that the past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority."

In her speech, she highlighted the "four building blocks of opportunity," that she believes can aid in providing mobility and reverse the trends of inequality. Those building blocks include increased resources available for children, affordable higher education and opportunities to build wealth through business ownership. She also noted the impact of inheritances on economic opportunity.Yellen also cited research that indicates that economic mobility has remained unchanged for "several decades" in the U.S., and that the U.S. ranks lower in mobility "than in most other advanced countries."

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Obama Admits His Credit Card Got Rejected

Obama Admits His Credit Card Got Rejected

Pete Souza The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Speaking at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C. on Friday, President Obama admitted that his credit card was recently rejected.“I went to a restaurant up in New York during the U.N. General Assembly and my credit card was rejected. It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” he explained, as he signed an executive order to tighten security on debit and credit cards that transmit federal benefits. "Fortunately, Michelle had hers."“I was trying to explain to the waitress, ‘No, I really think that I’ve been paying my bills,’” he joked.“See, even I’m affected by this,” the president added.

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Four Things Some DC Lawmakers Want Obama to Do About Ebola

Four Things Some DC Lawmakers Want Obama to Do About Ebola

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- There is a growing political drumbeat for the Obama administration to take bold new steps on Ebola, as two Dallas health care workers are being treated for Ebola this week.Facing pressure from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, President Obama on Friday appointed Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to lead the administration’s Ebola response.But there are other proposals that lawmakers are pushing the president to consider, including travel bans and firing the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Here’s a look at some of the latest steps some lawmakers in Congress want Obama to take:1. MANDATORY QUARANTINEIn a letter sent to Obama Thursday, Rep. Tim Murphy, the Pennsylvania Republican who chaired Thursday’s Ebola hearing in the House, called on the administration to implement a mandatory 21-day quarantine order for any American who has treated an Ebola patient or anyone who has traveled to and returned from an Ebola-stricken country. This would include “a prohibition of domestic public travel regardless of assumptions that the treating professionals wore or removed all personal protective equipment properly.”2. TRAVEL BAN & VISA RESTRICTIONSThe most popular idea being floated around by Republican lawmakers is restricting entry for passengers coming from West African countries dealing with Ebola. According to a rough and unofficial whip count, at least 55 members of the House (six Democrats, 49 GOP) and at least 11 senators (one Democrat, 10 Republicans) want some kind of travel restrictions. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is the highest ranking Republican asking Obama to consider a travel ban. In a phone call Thursday night, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pressed Obama to implement a travel ban, exempting medical workers.Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., says he will introduce legislation next month that would “restrict all commercial flights from traveling to and from Ebola affected countries until the virus is declared to be contained and no longer a threat.”But many lawmakers, primarily Democrats, have come out in opposition to a travel ban. The White House says a ban is off the table.Several lawmakers, all Republicans, are suggesting the State Department halt the issuance of visas for non-nationals coming from Ebola-stricken countries. But some have said there should be exceptions. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who supports implementing visa restrictions, said health workers coming to the United States to seek medical training should still be eligible for visas.3. FIRE FRIEDENThere is pressure from a small group of lawmakers for CDC Director Thomas Frieden to resign amid criticism of the administration’s handling of Ebola in this country. Such lawmakers include Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Pete Sessions, R-Texas.4. EMERGENCY SESSION OF CONGRESSCongress is out of session until after the November midterm election, but Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, thinks congressional leaders should call Congress back to Washington for an emergency session to examine a temporary Ebola travel ban.

“The top priority should be to protect health and safety of American citizens,” Cruz said on Fox News Thursday night. “We need to do more, we’re not doing enough. If the president won’t act, then Congress should reconvene and Congress should act to protect the American people.”

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Ebola Is Officially the October Surprise of the 2014 Election

Ebola Is Officially the October Surprise of the 2014 Election

(WASHINGTON) -- In the 2012 campaign, the October surprise was Hurricane Sandy. This year, it’s Ebola.With less than three weeks before the midterm election, Ebola has emerged front and center in stump speeches, on the debate stage and even some campaign ads as it’s turning into one of this election’s most unexpected, yet hottest campaign issues.An ABC News/Washington Post poll released this week found that 65 percent of Americans are concerned about an Ebola epidemic, and four in 10 Americans are worried they or an immediate family member might catch the disease. Figures like these could give campaigns an indication that the Ebola issue might resonate with voters this November.Republican Senate candidates have seen an opening to criticize the administration for what they perceive is a poor response to Ebola. GOP Candidates in some of this year’s most important Senate races are calling on President Obama to place restrictions on travelers coming from the West African countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak, a step 67 percent of Americans support.Some Republican candidates, like Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Scott Brown in New Hampshire, have tied Ebola to border issues, arguing that a porous border allows for people with Ebola to come into the country.For the most part, Democrats have refrained from calling for travel restrictions, instead focusing their attention on blaming Republicans for budget cuts to programs that could deal with Ebola. Earlier this week, The Agenda Project, a pro-Democrat non-profit group, released an ad titled “Republican Cuts Kill,” blaming GOP lawmakers for funding cuts for programs and agencies that would help in the Ebola response.Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., was the first candidate to make Ebola a political issue in a campaign ad, running a TV spot in August tying one of his opponent’s votes to pandemic outbreaks like Ebola.The Ebola cases in the U.S. have prompted changes in lawmakers' schedules. President Obama cancelled two days of out-of-town events to hold meetings at the White House on Ebola, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is mulling a run for the White House in 2016, even shortened an economic development trip to Europe in order to return to Texas. Two Senate candidates -- Reps. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., -- took a break from campaign activities on Thursday to attend a House hearing on Ebola, where they had an opportunity to grill CDC Director Thomas Frieden on the administration’s Ebola response.Ebola is also becoming an issue in debates. With news of a second Ebola diagnoses in Texas dominating headlines Wednesday, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and his Republican challenger Gardner, were asked about Ebola for the first time in a debate setting on Wednesday night."We ought to listen to the doctors and the health-care professionals…If they believe we ought to close our borders, we ought to restrict flights to and from West Africa. Let's listen to them,” Udall said, according to the Denver Post. “But senators and congressmen shouldn't be making those decisions. We should be supporting the resources that are necessary to meet the Ebola challenge.""If the president's not willing to put into a place a travel ban, then we should have 100 percent screening of the people who are coming from those affected areas," Gardner said, according to the Denver Post.Candidates are also facing questions about Ebola from reporters, as seen in this MSNBC interview with Pryor, where he struggled to answer whether the Obama administration had properly handled the response to Ebola.But is Ebola a legitimate campaign issue or are campaigns engaging in fear mongering? Steven Greene, a professor of political science at NC State University, says it’s a little bit of both.“I think there are very important issues of public policies related to Ebola that we should have a mature discussion about, but the truth is we don’t have mature discussion about anything in the campaign season so whatever political discussion about this is most likely going to be fear mongering,” Greene said.

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President Obama Names Ron Klain ‘Ebola Czar’

President Obama Names Ron Klain ‘Ebola Czar’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Amid mounting pressure to name someone to spearhead the administration's response to the Ebola crisis, President Obama announced on Friday that he plans to appoint Ron Klain, Vice President Joe Biden's former chief-of staff, as his Ebola czar, ABC News has confirmed.Klain, who also served as chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore, now works as general counsel at Revolution LLC.The White House had previously already assigned Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, a lawyer with a background in federal law enforcement, criminal prosecution and crisis response, to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies responsible for addressing an outbreak on American soil.But by Thursday evening, Obama signaled his openness to naming a czar."The truth is, is that up until this point the individuals here have been running point and doing an outstanding job in dealing with what is a very complicated and fluid situation," Obama said.However, "It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s going forward," he added.Klain will report directly to Monaco and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, according to a White House official.Here are five things you should know about Klain:1. General Counsel: As general counsel for the Gore Recount Committee, Klain was at the forefront of the 2000 “hanging chad” controversy, aiding in the Gore campaign’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to clinch Florida’s 25 electoral votes.2. Chief of Staff: As Biden’s chief of staff, he helped oversee implementation of the Recovery Act, the stimulus package enacted in 2009.3. Debate Prep Advisor: Klain also served as a top debate prep adviser for Presidents Obama and Clinton as well as Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and John Kerry.4. Private Sector: He left the White House in 2011 to become president of Case Holdings and general counsel at Revolution LLC, a technology-oriented venture capital firm founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case.5. Education: He’s a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron White.

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POLL: Most Back SCOTUS on Gay Marriage — Including in the Affected States

POLL: Most Back SCOTUS on Gay Marriage — Including in the Affected States

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Most Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support the recent U.S. Supreme Court action allowing gay marriages to go forward in several states -- including a bare majority in the 11 states in which such marriages have begun in the past week and a half.Overall, 56 percent of Americans support the court’s action, while 38 percent oppose it -- exactly matching opinions on whether or not gay marriage should be legal, asked in an ABC/Post poll in June. These results reflect the public’s dramatic shift in support of gay marriage the past decade.By declining to hear several appeals, the high court cleared the way for gay marriage in five states -- Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Three others in the same jurisdictions followed suit (Colorado, North Carolina and West Virginia), and gay marriage bans in three additional states, Idaho, Nevada and Alaska, were rejected by other courts in the past week.In the 19 states (and Washington, D.C.) that had previously legalized gay marriage, the court’s decision is especially popular: Sixty-six percent support the decision, with 30 percent opposed. Support is sharply lower, but still 51 percent, in the 11 states that have allowed gay marriage since the Supreme Court’s action, vs. 42 percent opposed. (The rest are undecided.)Americans divide similarly, by 48-44 percent, support-oppose, on the court’s action in the 20 remaining states in which gay marriage remains illegal.More than half of Americans have supported legalizing gay marriage steadily in ABC/Post polls since March 2011, a sea change from earlier attitudes. Support was as low as 32 percent (in a poll among registered voters) a decade ago.At the same time, the issue remains divisive. This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that seven in 10 strong conservatives, nearly two-thirds of Republicans and 72 percent of evangelical white Protestants oppose the court action.Sentiment on both sides, moreover, is intense -- seven in 10 Americans have strong feelings on the subject, including 38 percent who “strongly” support the court action and 32 percent who strongly oppose it. Only 18 and 6 percent “somewhat” support or oppose the action, respectively.GROUPS – Support includes more than seven in 10 college graduates and adults under 40, and more than six in 10 Catholics and non-evangelical Protestants alike, falling sharply among their counterparts.Eight in 10 liberals are in favor, as are six in 10 moderates, vs. just a third of conservatives. And support ranges from 72 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents to 25 percent of Republicans. Indeed, in a separate question, 49 percent of independents say their opinion of gay marriage is closer to the Democratic Party’s; just 23 percent say they’re closer to the GOP on the issue. Largely as a result, Americans overall are 17 points more likely to side with the Democratic Party over the GOP on the issue of gay marriage, 48 vs. 31 percent.Partisan differences explain some of the variability in state groupings. In the 19 states where gay marriage was previously legal, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 15 points, 35 to 20 percent. In the 11 states where such marriages began this week, fewer are Democrats -- 26 percent -- vs. 29 percent Republicans. It’s a 29-25 percent split in the 20 remaining states where gay marriage remains illegal.METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 9-12, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,006 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including design effect.The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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Angry About Ebola Response, Lawmakers Grill CDC Chief

Angry About Ebola Response, Lawmakers Grill CDC Chief

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal health officials faced sharp questioning by the GOP-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday over the government's handling of the growing Ebola crisis in the U.S.Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, who chairs the committee, called the response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "unacceptable," contending that "people are scared."The CDC has come under heavy criticism for not ensuring that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was up to speed in treating Ebola patients after a Liberian man was first turned away and then came back with full-blown symptoms of the disease.Now, the hospital is monitoring dozens of health care workers who were in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan after two nurses contracted the virus from the patient who later died. One of those nurses, Amber Vinson, flew on a plane last Monday after apparently getting the okay from the CDC.Asked about this, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told the House panel that he was unaware that Vinson was given approval to fly from Cleveland to Dallas, which has since resulted in a wild scramble to retrace Vinson's steps.  Several schools in Ohio and Texas were closed Thursday because of fears people who had flown with Vinson might have been exposed to Ebola.Frieden said it was his "understanding that she reported no symptoms to us" although it has since been revealed Vinson was flying with an elevated temperature of 99.5. It was later reported that Vinson wasn't feeling well before her trip to Cleveland one week ago, prompting the CDC to track down passengers on that flight as a precaution.The CDC chief didn't get riled even as questioning about the government's response became more heated.He told the panel, "There are no shortcuts in the control of Ebola and it is not easy to control it. To protect the United States we need to stop it at its source," which is West Africa where the disease has spread rapidly since March, killing thousands.Some lawmakers repeated their calls for a travel ban to countries most affected by the virus, but Frieden insisted that would be the wrong strategy because travelers would use other means to enter the U.S., making them completely untrackable.In separate testimony, Dr. Daniel Varga, head of the medical group that oversees Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, said that the hospital was at fault for failing to initially diagnose Duncan with Ebola, telling lawmakers, "Despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes."

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White House Fence Jumper Indicted on Three Additional Charges

White House Fence Jumper Indicted on Three Additional Charges

Vacclav/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez was charged with three additional offenses by a federal grand jury Thursday.The grand jury charged Gonzalez with two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees and unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device. The latter charge involves gun magazines recovered from Gonzalez's car that included more than 10 rounds each.Gonzalez is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 21, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Gonzalez jumped a fence on the north side of the White House on the evening of Sept. 19. He eventually ran through the north doors of the White House and into the building before being apprehended by Secret Service agents. He was initially charged on Sept. 30 with unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or place of business and unlawful possession of ammunition.

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Kerry Reflects, Talks ISIS at Eid al-Adha Reception

Kerry Reflects, Talks ISIS at Eid al-Adha Reception

Credit: US Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State John Kerry commemorated Eid al-Adha, marking the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in which nearly two million Muslims take part every year, at a State Department reception on Thursday."We're celebrating the meaning and importance of sacrifice and devotion in our lives," Kerry said. "Eid al-Adha is a special time for charity and compassion, and for prayer and reflection." He took part in that reflection too, saying that "if I went back to college today I would at least minor, if not major in comparative religion."Kerry also took the opportunity to call on other world leaders involved in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, urging them to exhibit "mutual respect, without anybody asserting that they have a better way or a better answer."

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President Obama Says He’s Open to Appointing an Ebola Czar

President Obama Says He’s Open to Appointing an Ebola Czar

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) --  President Obama said he is open to appointing what would essentially be an Ebola czar to deal with the ongoing situation with the deadly disease in the U.S."It may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person" to be the point person, the president told reporters at the White House after meeting with his Ebola response team for nearly two hours, as new information continued to develop about how health care workers at a Dallas hospital may not have been given proper training and equipment to deal with an Ebola patient there.However, a travel ban is not the way to go, the president said. He doesn't have a philosophical objection, but he said that a travel ban is less effective than screening. Implementing a travel ban may actually backfire by prompting travelers to hide their travel history, Obama said.The president also said he spoke with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on Thursday about the Ebola situation."When we have tight protocols with respect to the treatment of patients, our health care workers remain safe," Obama said."I understand that people are worried. This is a disease that is new to our shores," Obama said. But he noted that the disease's spread has been limited right now, and that Ebola is a "very difficult disease to catch.""We are taking this very seriously at the highest levels, including me," Obama said.

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Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Biden Discharged from Navy After Positive Cocaine Test

Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Biden Discharged from Navy After Positive Cocaine Test

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy in February after testing positive for cocaine, a person familiar with the case confirmed to ABC News.The person said Biden had failed a urinalysis test and was discharged from the Navy.“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” Hunter Biden said in a statement distributed through his lawyer. “I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward.”The person familiar with the case said he “was treated no different than any other sailor.”Biden, 44, had needed an age waiver to join the Reserves because of his age as well as a second waiver because of a drug-related incident while a young man.Separately, a Navy spokesman confirmed that Biden had been discharged from the Navy, but because of Privacy Act restrictions could not detail why he had been discharged.“Ensign Hunter Biden was selected for commission through the Direct Commission Officer Program in 2012," Cmd. Ryan Perry said. "In May, 2013 he was assigned to the Navy Public Supports Element East in Norfolk, Virginia. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February, 2014. Like other junior officers, the details of Ensign Biden’s discharge are not releasable under the Privacy Act.”News of Hunter Biden’s discharge was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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TSA Administrator to Retire from Public Service

TSA Administrator to Retire from Public Service

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- John Pistole, the longest-serving administrator for the Transportation Security Administration, announced on Thursday that he is retiring from public service at the end of the year.Pistole spent 26 years at the FBI before working at the TSA for the last four and a half years. According to a TSA press release, Pistole is expected to be named to a position in the academic field early next year.Pistole called it "an honor and a privilege to have served as TSA Administrator." In a statement, he said, "No words can convey my deep gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the thousands of men and women committed to protecting the American public." Pistole, who joined the FBI in 1983, was nominated for the administrator position in 2010 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson thanked Pistole for his service and highlighted his leadership in launching the TSA's pre-check program that is now used by more than five million passengers each week at 120 U.S. airports."John Pistole has been integral in leading TSA's transformation to a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our transportation systems," Johnson said. "Because of his efforts...our country's transportation systems are more safe and secure."

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James Cole, Deputy Attorney General, to Resign

James Cole, Deputy Attorney General, to Resign

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Deputy Attorney General James Cole is planning to resign from his post, leaving the administration after four years of operating as the Justice Department's COO.Cole is the second-longest-serving deputy attorney general, and the longest serving in over 50 years. A Justice Department official tells ABC News that Cole informed the White House of his decision on Sept. 18 and that he will leave the administration as soon as the end of the year. He had also informed Attorney General Eric Holder prior to informing the White House.The official said that Cole does not have plans for immediately after leaving the department, but that he would like to be involved in issues including sentencing reform and helping prisoners re-enter society.Cole joined the Justice Department in 1979, left to enter private practice in 1992, and returned as deputy attorney general in 2010.Last month, Holder announced his impending resignation from the position of attorney general.

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Why Madeleine Albright Is on a Wheaties Box

Why Madeleine Albright Is on a Wheaties Box

State Dept(WASHINGTON) -- What do Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Madeleine Albright have in common? They’ve all been featured on the front of a Wheaties box.The former secretary of state tweeted a picture Thursday morning of her photo on the cereal box.

 

Just finished my "breakfast of champions." Thank you @GeneralMills! #wheaties pic.twitter.com/f4K3sL6iXO

— Madeleine Albright (@madeleine) October 16, 2014

 

General Mills told ABC News that Albright’s photo was placed on a commemorative Wheaties box.Though the “breakfast of champions” boxes are usually reserved for celebrated athletes, the Wheaties website points out that a champion doesn’t always have to be a gold medalist.“With the rise of the Internet and millennial culture, the very definition of the word ‘champion’ is changing,” the company website says. “A champion is no longer solely the megastar athlete; it is also any person who looks inside and challenges their personal best.”In other words, Albright is a champion as far as Wheaties is concerned.

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Meet Obama’s Ebola Coordinator Lisa Monaco

Meet Obama’s Ebola Coordinator Lisa Monaco

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The woman coordinating the Obama administration’s response to the nation’s first Ebola scare in history has no background in public health or managing an outbreak.Lisa Monaco, the president’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, is a lawyer with a background in federal law enforcement, criminal prosecution and crisis response.She was formerly assistant attorney general for national security and spent years working inside the FBI. For several years she served as counsel and chief of staff to then-FBI director Robert Mueller.The White House says she is a “highly competent individual” with experience coordinating federal agency responses to national security threats, which include Ebola.Amid calls for appointment of an “Ebola czar,” the administration is standing by Monaco’s leadership. Officials say what is needed is not a virus expert at the helm but someone capable of integrating multiple -- often unwieldy -- federal agencies, and that Monaco is best suited for the job.

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Harvard Teams Up with DC Think Tanks to Educate New Lawmakers

Harvard Teams Up with DC Think Tanks to Educate New Lawmakers

iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Three Washington, D.C. think tanks will join the Congressional Institute in December when it hosts Harvard's Institute of Politics' preparatory program for freshman Congressmen.The "Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress" is held by the IOP every two years. This year, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will join the conference.According to an IOP blog, this year's program will include topics on "'The Domestic Economy: The Middle-Class Crunch,' 'America’s Role in the World,' 'Balancing Family and Work Life on Capitol Hill' as well as sessions on working with the White House, the federal budget, the global economy, terrorism and extremism, communications and navigating the legislative process."

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Mayday PAC Launches Ad Promoting Rick Weiland in SD Senate Race

Mayday PAC Launches Ad Promoting Rick Weiland in SD Senate Race

Rick Weiland For Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Mayday PAC launched a new ad Thursday in the South Dakota Senate race, promoting democratic candidate Rick Weiland. The PAC also announced they are increasing their ad buy to higher than the previously announced $1 million, to $1.25 million.

This $250,000 increase makes Mayday the largest independent spender thus far in the race, exceeding the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The premise of the new ad is a point Weiland has belabored throughout the race: Take our country back from big money and special interests. This message of economic populism has traveled with Weiland across the state accompanied by a pledge of reversing Citizens United as a first priority if elected in November.

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Rep. Gardner Still Leading Colorado Senate Race, But by Less

Rep. Gardner Still Leading Colorado Senate Race, But by Less

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is leading Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall by six points -- 47 to 41 percent -- among likely voters in Colorado, according to a new Qunnipiac poll out Thursday morning.

Another 8 percent are for Independent candidate Steve Shogan, while 4 percent are still undecided. If you take Shogan out of the Colorado Senate Race, Gardner leads by five. Gardner's lead has decreased slightly since last month's poll, when he led by eight points.Udall has made women's health care issues a focus of his campaign and Udall does lead with female voters backing the incumbent by nine points, 49 to 40 percent. Gardner leads with independent voters, but just by a slight margin 42 percent to 39 percent. With only 19 days before Election Day, 87 percent of Colorado voters say their mind is made up, while 12 percent could change their mind.

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Secretary John Kerry Forced to Fly Commercial Again

Secretary John Kerry Forced to Fly Commercial Again

State Dept Photo(WASHINGTON) -- At least he’s racking up the frequent flier miles.For the second time in three months, Secretary of State John Kerry has been stranded on a foreign tarmac by his Air Force jet and has had to catch a commercial flight back to Washington.Thursday, Kerry was trying to get home from Vienna, Austria, after a day of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But his plane had “mechanical problems,” according to a spokesperson, so he had to ride home with the masses.It’s not the first time Kerry’s had to wait at an airport like the rest of the traveling public. Back in August, a 757 taking his staff, press delegation and him back to the United States was having electrical problems, so he had to stop in Hawaii to get on an United Airlines flight.

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