- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge, Ali Dukakis and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players1 day ago
The Fine Print
Are die-hard Democrats and far-right Republicans inadvertently bankrolling the other party’s campaigns? As it turns out, partisan-charged transactions are taking place every day, and in an unlikely place: The grocery store checkout line.
With 2014 midterm elections now in full swing, how can you avoid filling the opponent's pockets with your bread and butter money? There's now an app for that: BuyPartisan.
“For the first time, we made it easy for people to be able to take a product that they see on their everyday grocery store shelves and be able to take their smart phone and … scan the barcode and instantly be able to figure out whether the political party behind the product that they’re buying matches their own values,” Matthew Colbert, CEO of Spend Consciously, Inc., told “The Fine Print.”
Colbert says the new smartphone application is designed to empower consumers by providing transparent information about the products on their grocer’s shelves. By scanning everyday items ranging from toilet paper to cereals through the smartphone app, BuyPartisan provides shoppers with a comprehensive breakdown of the company’s political profile in a matter of seconds.
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players4 days ago
Republicans are likely to win control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections, according to projections by the statistical prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight.
“We’re currently projecting that Republicans have a better chance than Democrats to control the Senate, but it's still up for grabs,” FiveThirtyEight political analyst Harry Enten said. “The current number that we're going for is a 62.2 percent chance that Republicans will take control of the United States Senate in November.”
Enten sat down with “Top Line” to discuss FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast, which has been updated since this interview’s taping Wednesday, and explained why it tells a story of GOP victory.
“We’re calculating the percentage chance that Republicans will win each seat, and then we're adding up those probabilities, and then we come up with an overall top line,” he said. “We believe that Republicans do have a better chance of controlling the Senate than Democrats.”
From typewriters to Twitter: White House correspondent Ann Compton on making history and covering itJonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players6 days ago
When 27-year-old Ann Compton arrived at the White House as an ABC News television correspondent in 1973, she broke a glass ceiling for women and launched a career that became, by many measures, legendary.
Over 41 years, Compton reported on seven administrations and covered 10 presidential campaigns, visiting all 50 states and six continents with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. She was the first woman ever to cover the presidency full-time for a major American network.
“To come in as the first woman wasn't that intimidating," Compton told “Politics Confidential” during an interview on the balcony outside the vice president’s ceremonial office overlooking the West Wing. “To come in as somebody who was 26 years old, 27, alongside of colleagues who had been in the motorcade when John Kennedy was shot, or in Panmunjom when the armistice was signed in Korea, I was out of my league.”
She quickly proved her mettle, earning widespread admiration and an Emmy for her reporting on Sept. 11, 2001, when Compton was the only broadcaster aboard Air Force One with President George W. Bush.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players7 days ago
The Fine Print
With foreign policy suddenly on the front burner of domestic politics, Sen. Ted Cruz said it “increases my interest” in changing the direction of the country and running for the White House.
“Foreign policy has risen to the forefront, because it is clear that what we are doing isn’t working,” Cruz told “The Fine Print” during an interview in New Hampshire. “And I do think the American people in November 2014 and also November 2016 are going to be looking for leaders who want to work to restore America’s leadership in the world.”
Cruz stopped short of saying he will definitely seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, but is elevating his criticism of President Obama and his strategy for the threat posed by Islamic extremists.
“So far, the president has not demonstrated that he’s taking ISIS seriously,” Cruz said.
Fracking vs. forests: How Sally Jewell squares protecting wilderness with supporting energy industryDavid Kerley, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players8 days ago
If Interior Secretary Sally Jewell had it her way, she’d make her office in the great outdoors.
“This is my favorite office; it's my favorite playground -- one with no walls,” Jewell told “Power Players” during a hike through Maine’s Acadia National Park.
On the 50 th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which established the protection of 9 million acres worth of wilderness on federal lands, Jewell discussed the balancing act she plays in trying to simultaneously conserve the nation’s precious wilderness, while also tapping into the potential for oil and gas development ventures.
“This job is full of absolutes on both sides -- those that are more involved in just ‘drill, baby, drill, and let's not worry about it,’ and those who believe that we've got to change things overnight,” Jewell said. “And the truth is: we can't have either.”
When it comes to climate change, Jewell said it’s time for non-believers to wake up to the scientific facts.
“I tell them climate change is real,” Jewell said when asked what she says to those who question that climate change is occurring. “The science is very clear, and they need to get on board and move forward.”
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players11 days ago
If you look to the halls of Congress, you might say that Washington, D.C. doesn’t need another dinosaur.
But the nation’s capital recently welcomed another power-wielding dinosaur to its ranks in the form of a 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. “Top Line” had the opportunity to go face to face with the dinosaur, dubbed “The Nation’s T. rex,” during a recent visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
“What we're working on is the Smithsonian's first nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton,” Matthew Carrano, curator of Dinosauria at the museum, said during a tour of the Smithsonian’s “Rex Room,” where museum staff are hard at work inspecting the inventory of bones.
Though there are other T. rex specimens already on display elsewhere in the country, this is the first ever nearly complete specimen obtained by the Smithsonian Institution.
“It’s taken us a little while, and we have less-complete specimens of T. rex in the collection, but nothing really worth showing off,” Carrano said. “There are really only a handful of specimens. Today, we know of maybe 20-25 specimens, but it's taken us about a hundred years to get that many.”
- David Kerley, Matt Hosford and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players12 days ago
When you board a commercial flight, there’s a chance the person seated next you is an undercover air marshal.
The undercover federal agents, who work in teams and number in the thousands, pose as ordinary passengers but are trained to respond to the worst-case scenarios on an aircraft, as “Power Players” saw first-hand during a visit to Federal Air Marshal’s training center on the East Coast.
One of the most emphasized aspects of their training is how to respond to a terrorist assault on board a plane. In one role-playing scenario we witnessed, a terrorist pulled a knife on a flight attendant while a second terrorist began attacking passengers. The two designated air marshals in-training sprang into action, opened fire on the terrorists and neutralized the threat.
- Jim Avila, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players14 days ago
Illegal immigration may be a hot-button political issue in Washington, D.C., but for U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Rodriguez, who works on the front lines of the battle to curb illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border, it is much more than a philosophical debate: It is a daily reality.
In this episode of “Power Players,” Rodriguez takes us along for a patrol on the Rio Grande, along one of the most heavily used routes by which migrants cross illegally into the United States.
“This is a spot that is well known for rocking incidents, especially once it starts getting dark,” Rodriguez warns as the boat speeds through a narrow area of the river. “They throw rocks in front of the boat going 30 mph in one direction.”
While some of the rocks are thrown by mischievous kids, Rodriguez blames some of the incidents on illegal smugglers.
“We are interrupting their business, so they want to take some kind of revenge on us,” he said.
- Rick Klein, Shushannah Walshe, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players19 days ago
The Iowa caucuses are one of the greatest spectator sports in American politics.
As the first state in the nation to vote in the presidential nominating process, the Midwestern state is where rubber meets the road for candidates looking to make their White House dreams a reality. They converge on the state to make their sale directly to voters in the months before the caucuses.
Already this year, several possible 2016 hopefuls have made trips to Iowa, fueling speculation that they might run for president. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, have each made several visits to the state this year, and Hillary Clinton is scheduled to make a trip there next month -- her first since losing the caucuses in 2008.
Filmmaker AJ Schnack has distilled the political spectacle that is the Iowa Caucuses into a documentary, “Caucus,” which chronicles the 2012 caucuses, and sat down with “Power Players” to discuss the film.
- ABC News at Power Players21 days ago
Next time you step aboard an international flight, you may want to think twice about who’s flying your plane.
“The computers are flying it,” former Marine Corps pilot and ABC News consultant Steve Ganyard told “Power Players” from the cockpit of Boeing’s new 787-9 model on display to the public for the first time ever at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.
“The pilots are voting members,” Ganyard said. “This stick will move back and forth, the throttle will move back and forth, but all you’re doing is putting inputs into the computer. The computers says, ‘I know what you want to do, I'll do that for you.’”
The newest in aviation technology -- both commercial and military -- on display at the premier international airshow in England demonstrates that human pilots are increasingly taking a backseat to computers in the cockpit.
But before you navigate away from this webpage to cancel your next flight, Ganyard assures that the new computer technology only serves to make flying safer than before. “It's much, much safer,” he said.
The challenge now, Ganyard noted, is making sure the human pilots keep pace with their computer flying mates.