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   WASHINGTON -- House Republican leaders begged President Bush to remain firm on his threat to veto the mortgage relief, or bailout bill, but he relented on the advice of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.    House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters on Thursday "I kept trying to say all of last week to the president . . . and others, &…

With the lead anchors of ABC, CBS and NBC following Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, are Americans seeing a media bias in favor of the Illinois senator?A new Rasmussen Reports survey showed Monday that 60 percent of those surveyed said the media treats Obama better than Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Repu…

          WASHINGTON - With election approaching and wedge issues becoming more prominent, the Bush administration is proposing new regulations on which agencies must provide reproductive services on request.          Pro-choice agencies and officials such as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., see the rules as …

      WASHINGTON -- Jack Davis has some new political "consultants" -- and they just so happen to be the wives of the two men who will decide who gets the Independence Party's nomination for Congress in the 26th District.    Davis calls them "consultants," and both he and Erie County Independence Chairman Anthony L. Orsini…

The Democrats' takeover of the House in 2006 transformed Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-Manhattan, into one of the three most powerful members of the body. It made the 38-year incumbent the new chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.Before that he gained prominence mainly as a gravelly-voiced Sunday talk show guest and as the powerless ranking Democrat on ways and me…

   Monday was a typical Washington day, with the media providing us with a kerfuffle du jour to distract us from all of that repetitive stuff about gasoline prices, people losing their homes and soldiers dying in far-off wars.    And this time the kerfuffle was all about ... a cartoon!    In case you spent Monday in a submarine exploring the…

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is defending himself against Bush administration charges that letters he sent to bank regulators spurred a depositors' run on the IndyMac bank, its collapse and seizure by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.The Pasadena, Calif., bank, which specialized in the riskiest types of mortgages, was seized by the FDIC on Friday. It is the la…

WASHINGTON - At a town hall meeting in Denver, Colo., on Monday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said "Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed."Asked about the comment the next day (Tuesday), the Republican…

         WASHINGTON - The National Abortion Rights Action League on Tuesday chastised Carly Fiorina, a key aide to Republican presidential candidate John McCain for implying that McCain favored women's coverage for prescription birth control.              Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, on …

Prescription drugs could be imported from Canada to save seniors money if Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, were elected president, a senior aide told reporters on Monday. President Bush has opposed reimportation of drugs from Canada, where government health programs purchase them for less cash than can individuals covered under Medicare or private prescription plans in the U.S…

   WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has announced that it will again deny federal funds to the United Nations Family Planning Agency on grounds that the UN cooperates with countries that force its citizens to undergo involuntary abortions or sterilization.    The move comes, conincidentally or not, with efforts by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, the…

         WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told political journalists on Wednesday that Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, was one of the political powers in the House that wants to restore the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" to broadcast news and discussion.      Slaughter, the chair of the powerful Ho…

  WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton went back to work in the Senate Tuesday after missing 97 of the Senate's 155 votes this year in her quest for the presidency.    Meawhile, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, missed 95 votes -- and the Republican choice for president, Sen. John McCain, missed 121.    Now …

If Western New Yorkers were hoping for some top tier representation in Albany after hearing that Joe Bruno was stepping down as Senate Majority Leader, they found out this morning they were out of luck.  Sen. Dean Skalos Skelos of Nassau County, the deputy majority leader, was quickly chosen to move into the top spot. Skalos Skelos becomes much more than the next-i…