• Politics Confidential

    When a group of 6th graders from Iowa started planning their class trip to Washington, one of the most anticipated highlights was a tour of the White House. That is, until the White House cancelled all tours following the across-the-board budget cuts known as "the sequester."

    After hearing the news that their long-planned White House tour had been cancelled, the disappointed students from St. Paul's Lutheran School sought to make their voices heard, shouting “The White House is our house! Please let us visit!” in a web video. The students' message spread, growing into online lobbying campaign to restore the tours.

    "It's really amazing," one student told Politics Confidential. "We could have never have thought it would get this far."

    The students, who arrived in Washington Friday, were enjoying a tour of the Capitol building when Politics Confidential met up with them. "Wow!" the students said in unison when asked about their first impressions of the Capitol.

    Read More »from Iowa students bring their message to Washington: “The White House is our house! Please let us visit!”
  • On the Radar

     Ten years after the start of the Iraq War, former US Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli is still raw with emotion talking about the soldiers he lost during the war and says he'll "never forget" the day his troops came under fire on April 4, 2004, and he found himself powerless to help them.

    "When that fight took place, I basically had to sit in my tactical operation center, listen to the radio, listen to my soldiers, some dying, and many being wounded, and I really couldn't do anything," recalls Chiarelli, who was not able to command his troops during the battle due to a rule that prohibited him from doing so until the completion of a command transition that was underway.

    The retired general says he's "got to believe" the Iraq War was worth the sacrifice the United States made, but also says he saw things "no one should ever see."

    "We saw murders every single night. We didn't really see them at night, we saw them in the mornings when we went on patrol. We would

    Read More »from Fmr. general 10 years after the start of the Iraq War: “I’ve got to believe it’s worth it”
  • BOTTOM LINE

    Earlier this week I sat down with President Obama for an interview where he expressed pessimism about the outlook for grand bargain on the budget. Lots of you had questions about my interview and what it says about the possibility of Democrats and Republicans coming together to solve our budget problems.

    Karen Isenberg asked: Where is the president’s budget? First time in 92 years that the president has not issued a budget before congress.

    Lora Blankenship wrote in on Facebook: I'm 55 years old and concerned about the possibility of the Medicare age being raised. I'd like to know what the President's position is on this issue. I've read that he isn't going to "give" on Social Security or Medicare, then other sources report that he's open for compromise. People at my income level can't afford too much compromise!

    Carolyn Cabana Stevens wondered: How about withholding paychecks for all of congress and the white house until they agree on a budget. Then we will see how fast

    Read More »from What’s the realistic outlook for a grand bargain budget deal?

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