Pumping for change: 'The Oracle of Oil' T. Boone Pickens on low gas prices and keeping them that wayRebecca Jarvis, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players19 hrs ago
In spite of a U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in the Middle East, oil prices have dropped below $3 a gallon across much of the country in recent months. It’s an uncommon confluence of events that billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens said wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago.
“If this had been 10 years ago … you would've had oil up $50 a barrel,” Pickens, who has been dubbed “The Oracle of Oil” for his uncanny knack for predicting oil prices, told “Power Players” in a recent interview conducted at theConcordia Summitin New York City.
It’s quite a shift from just a few years ago in 2008, when gas prices across the country spiked to as much as $4 and $5 a gallon. And the reason for the change, Pickens said, has to do with a growth in U.S. oil production.
Senator Batman: Patrick Leahy on his caped crusader cameos and capturing history with his own cameraJeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Arlette Saenz at Power Players3 days ago
The Fine Print
Over the course of a nearly 40-year career in the Senate, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has toured the world, dined with presidents and brokered legislative deals – all while snapping photographs every step of the way.
Born blind in one eye, Leahy has used his front row seat to history to capture some of the most unique photographs of politicians and world leaders. Leahy gave “The Fine Print” a tour of some of his photos on display at Georgetown University Law Center at an exhibit curated by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
Leahy, who also is president pro tempore of the Senate, a position third in the line of succession to the presidency, captured a rare photograph of then-Sen. Barack Obama as he spoke in a private room to his Democratic colleagues shortly after he was sworn into office.
“I was the only camera in the room,” Leahy told “The Fine Print” as he reflected on the photograph.
During President Ronald Reagan’s second presidential inauguration, Leahy captured what turned out to be one of Reagan’s favorite photographs.
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players5 days ago
President Obama made a famous fumble earlier this year when he compared ISIS to a JV team. But he is hardly the first politician to learn the power and perils that come with using analogies.
Analogies have been used to both sell and plunder ideas through the ages, as former presidential speechwriter John Pollack details in his new book, “Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas.”
“It's easy to throw off a quick analogy and not think it through and people are so busy that one comes to mind, you say it, and then the horse has left the barn, so to speak,” Pollack told “Top Line” during a recent interview.
In his book, Pollack preaches about how to properly use analogies and advises analogy users to beware.
An analogy that fails to set the proper tone can do more harm than good, as was the case with President Obama’s “JV Team ISIS” analogy.
- Jim Avila, Richard Coolidge and Ali Dukakis at Power Players6 days ago
While party lines run deep on immigration reform, perhaps one point not up for debate is that America’s current system is broken – just ask Judge Dana Leigh Marks, who works in immigration courts on the front lines.
“The result of ignoring the immigration courts for so long and not giving us sufficient resources has resulted in massive dysfunction,” Marks, the president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, told “Power Players.”
“We call ourselves 'the legal Cinderellas’ in the Department of Justice, because we feel that we have been ignored resource-wise,” Marks said.
“Last year $18 billion was spent on immigration law enforcement and only 1.7 perfect of that went to the courts,” she later added, noting that a majority of that funding goes to border patrol and the technology used to police fences.
Marks cited non-functioning equipment and understaffed offices as key culprits in the “massive dysfunction” that immigration judges are currently facing. “It’s those kinds of everyday problems that make the system far less efficient, effective and accurate,” she said.
- Martha Raddatz, Richard Coolidge & Jordyn Phelps at Power Players7 days ago
On the Radar
As the United States enters the third month of a bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, the nation’s top military leader said that ISIS has adapted its tactics – finding new ways to blend in to with the population – to evade detection.
“They're becoming more savvy with the use of electronic devices,” said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. “They don't fly flags and move around in large convoys. They don't establish headquarters that are visible or identifiable.”
Though the new techniques make it harder for coalition forces to track and target ISIS fighters, Dempsey told “On the Radar” that the coalition has had success in containing and disrupting ISIS while also building up the Iraqi forces’ offensive abilities.
Moving forward in what he estimates to be a several-year-long campaign, Dempsey explained how the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, inside Iraq and Syria are different.
- Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players11 days ago
For as long as there has been politics, there have been sex scandals.
But what is new, Yahoo political columnist Matt Bai writes in a new book “All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid,” is the media’s tabloid-style obsession with the personal lives of our political leaders — an obsession that he argues has resulted in the corruption of modern political reporting.
Bai traces the beginning of the tabloid-style era of political reporting to 1987, when the campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, whom Bai describes as the “Hillary Clinton of his moment,” fell apart after reports surfaced that he was having an extramarital affair.
“It unravels in the kind of scandal and sensationalism that had never existed in presidential politics before that moment,” Bai told “Politics Confidential” in an interview.
“Because all of these things churning in the culture — from the effects of Watergate to the birth of satellite television to the changing attitudes of feminism toward adultery — all of this coming together to create this detonation in our politics,” Bai said.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players13 days ago
The Fine Print
Carly Fiorina is hitting the campaign trail in all the key presidential battleground states.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO and unsuccessful 2010 Senate candidate makes no secret of the fact that she has not closed the door to a bid for the White House in 2016, but says her recent trips to places like Iowa and New Hampshire are for the express purpose of helping to elect Republicans this fall.
“We're trying to unlock the potential of conservative women to persuade other women to get out and vote,” Fiorina told “The Fine Print” during a recent interview at “The Iron Gate” restaurant in Washington, D.C.
It’s all part of her “Unlocking Potential Project” aimed at building a network of engaged Republican women voters to close the “gender gap” that Fiorina says gives Democrats an “undeniable” advantage among women.
“As a conservative woman, I'm tired of the Democrats’ war on women,” she said. “I'm tired of [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi saying outrageous things like a Republican majority will end civilization as we know it, and the GOP is the Ray Rice of politics. I'm just tired of it.”
- David Kerley, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players14 days ago
It sounds like the stuff of a science fiction movie: Unmanned crafts, lasers and super-powered railguns.
But these are actually the latest in warfare technologies developed by the Navy for use in the real world, and “Power Players” got a sneak peek.
“It is really is becoming real,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder during an interview at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
“I never want to see our Sailors and Marines in a fair fight,” Klunder said. “I always want to have them to have the most effective technologies, the most affordable weapons systems, and with the most innovative technology available.”
Among the most innovative technologies the Navy is rolling out is an “autonomous” boat that can drive itself under the control of a sophisticated computer module hardly larger than a Rubik’s cube. There is absolutely no one at the controls, and the vessel not only drives itself but can operate together with other boats as a “swarm” to protect larger Navy ships.
- Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players18 days ago
It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when all of America seemed to be rooting for Washington. It was exactly 90 years ago: the last time a Washington, D.C., baseball team won a World Series championship.
“It really was, amazingly, an early version of America's team,” said Fred Frommer, author of a “You Gotta Have Heart,” a new book on the history of baseball in the nation’s capital.
“When the [Washington] Senators clinched the seventh game here in Washington, it was such a mad house,” Frommer told “Politics Confidential” in an interview conducted on the field at Washington’s Nationals Park. “The fans rushed the field; they danced on top of dugouts; the police had to come in and rescue the Senators, because they were getting mobbed to death. And then that night, fans were celebrating on Pennsylvania Avenue; there were so many of them on there that cars had to go onto the street tracks. It was just amazing, amazing time.”
- Rick Klein, Shushannah Walshe, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players19 days ago
New Mexico Republican Senate candidate Allen Weh says he didn’t intend to make national headlines with the release of a provocativeWeb video that used a frame of video of American journalist James Foley’s killer – a move his critics called “offensive.”
But now that he is in the spotlight, Weh told “Power Players” he has absolutely no regrets over his controversial entrance onto the national stage.
“I'm not a politically correct guy in a lot of ways, that's one thing,” Weh said. “This town may not be ready for me. I will call a spade a spade.”
Standing by the campaign video, Weh writes off the blowback he’s received as isolated “far left” critics, and points out that the Web video only showed an image of Foley’s killer and not some of the more graphic scenes.
“It didn't include the frame of the beheading, it included the frame of the killer,” said Weh. “The whole message was very simple: failed leadership in Washington. … [It had] nothing to do with that one particular jihadist.”