National Politics

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2104 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. He may be president now, but Barack Obama says he's a black man who has been mistaken for the valet. Obama tells People magazine that every black professional male his age has had someone hand over their keys while waiting outside a restaurant. That happened to him, he said. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” Obama told People magazine in an interview out Wednesday. That happened to him, he said.

Bush looms over 2016 GOP field

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014, file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gives the keynote address at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington. On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, Bush took his most definitive step yet toward running for president, announcing plans to "actively explore" a campaign and form a new political operation allowing him to raise money for like-minded Republicans. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“This is news,” said Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa, where the first votes will be cast in January 2016 caucuses. “I didn’t expect to see this happen this quickly.”

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2014 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Unhappy Republicans say Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas left a gift certificate good for confirmation of 12 judicial appointments for President Barack Obama and Democrats this holiday season. Only a month or so ago, voters delivered them a lump of coal in mid-term elections.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

“My concern about the strategy he employed is that it has a result he didn’t intend,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of Cruz’ maneuverings on Friday night, when he sought to force a vote on Obama’s immigration policy. Among the consequences, she said, would be confirmation of a number of appointees who are controversial, including some to “lifetime judicial” posts.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner will replace Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in January. On Monday, Senate Republicans finalized their caucus’ committee assignments for the next session. Gardner will sit on four committees. They are Energy, Foreign Relations, Commerce and Small Business.

Central Intelligence Director (CIA) Director John Brennan gestures during a news conference at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Brennan is pushing back hard against the wave of criticism following a Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing harsh interrogation tactics employed by intelligence community people against terrorism war-era detainees. Brennan and several past CIA leaders fear the historical record may define them as torturers instead of patriots. The CIA is now in the uncomfortable position of defending itself publicly, given its basic mission to protect the country secretly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Brennan acknowledged CIA officers did “abhorrent” things and were unprepared to run a detention program after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Yet he was hardly praiseworthy of Feinstein and fellow Democrats, calling it “lamentable” they interviewed no CIA personnel to ask, “What were you thinking?” He called the investigation “flawed.”

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2014 file photo, the Capitol is seen at dusk in Washington. Americans may not agree on much lately, but one opinion is nearly universal: There’s almost no chance that President Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds just 13 percent of Americans are confident the leaders on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue can work together, while 86 percent have no such faith. That’s far more than the 58 percent who felt that way just after the 2010 midterm elections in which the tea party movement rose to prominence. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“They’re not doing their jobs, and we as the electorate are stupid in sending the same people back and expecting things to change,” said Cole, a retiree who lives in Ocala, Florida.

FILE - In this June 9, 2011 file photo, then-CIA Director nominee Leon Panetta  testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. After U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin laden in Pakistan in May 2011, top CIA officials secretly told lawmakers that information gleaned from brutal interrogations played a key role in what was one of the spy agency’s greatest successes. Panetta repeated that assertion in public, and it found its way into a critically acclaimed movie about the operation, Zero Dark Thirty, which depicts a detainee offering up the identity of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmad al- Kuwaiti, after being tortured at a CIA “black site.” As it turned out, Bin Laden was living in al Kuwaiti’s walled family compound, so tracking the courier was the key to finding the al-Qaida leader.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON |  Abu Zubaydah was the CIA’s guinea pig. He was the first high-profile al Qaida terror suspect captured after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the first to vanish into the spy agency’s secret prisons, the first subjected to grinding white noise and sleep deprivation tactics and the first to gasp under the simulated drowning of […]

FILE - In this May 3, 2011 file photo, local residents gather outside a house, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin laden in Pakistan in May 2011, top CIA officials secretly told lawmakers that information gleaned from brutal interrogations played a key role in what was one of the spy agency’s greatest successes. CIA director Leon Panetta repeated that assertion in public, and it found its way into a critically acclaimed movie about the operation, Zero Dark Thirty, which depicts a detainee offering up the identity of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmad al- Kuwaiti, after being tortured at a CIA “black site.” As it turned out, Bin Laden was living in al Kuwaiti’s walled family compound, so tracking the courier was the key to finding the al-Qaida leader.    (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash,File)

“The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy … must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” Emmerson said. “The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.”

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