Laguna Beach, California (CNN) - On any given weekend, lobbyists in Washington head for the airport to jet off to luxurious locations across the country.
Destinations include Napa Valley in California for wine tasting, Wyoming for fly fishing and any number of spas, golf courses, even exclusive hunting trips.
They are invited to these weekend retreats by members of Congress and their political action committees.
The cost of accepting the invite is a political donation of anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. And that doesn't include the cost of travel and lodging at some of the most posh resorts in the United States.
Why go? Lobbyists tell CNN there is no better access to a member of Congress and his or her top staff than spending a relaxing weekend with them, away from Capitol Hill.
It used to be that lobbyists would take politicians on trips, but when rules were changed and that was outlawed, politicians and their fund-raisers came up with this variation - organize the trips and invite the lobbyists along to pay for them.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday night that it "may be appropriate" for him to appoint a czar to lead his administration's response to Ebola.
"It may make sense for us to have one person ... so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we're crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's going forward," Obama said.
His comments to reporters in the Oval Office came after a meeting with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and others. Obama pointed to those two as the leaders of the U.S. response to Ebola so far.
He said they've done an "outstanding job" so far, but that with flu season coming and Homeland Security officials also involved in combatting ISIS, "they also are responsible for a whole bunch of other stuff."
Obama also said he has no "philosophical objection" to a ban on travel between West Africa and the United States - but said that doing so could make it tougher to determine whether passengers entering the United States would have recently visited the region that is at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta criticizes Pres. Barack Obama's leadership style and decisions on Iraq and Syria in his candid memoir, "Worthy Fights."
Panetta's comments are a stinging rebuke of Obama at a crucial point in his administration as the President battles multiple national security threats, including ISIS, a resurgent Russia and the spread of Ebola.
In a fiery debate, Former House Speaker, Republican Newt Gingrich and Former Deputy White House Press Secretary for President Obama, Bill Burton discuss Panetta's controversial comments.
Will Panetta's comments hurt Obama's foreign policy?
In a video released by ISIS Friday, British aid work Alan Henning appears to have been beheaded at the hands of the terrorists. In the same video, American aid Peter Kassig appears nearby, kneeling, with an ISIS militant standing by his side.
If ISIS continues with its now familiar, brutal pattern, that American is likely to be the next victim. Republican Congressman Chris Smith, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joins Jim Sciutto.View my Flipboard Magazine.
(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan doubts President Barack Obama will be able to maintain his promise that there will be no American boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS.
"I'm supportive of what the President has done going into Syria and Iraq, but you have to see this thing through," the Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Obama suggested in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that his policy of sending no U.S. combat troops will stay in place. The situation in the region is more a political problem than a military one, he said.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll, the overwhelming majority of Americans (73%) support the current airstrike campaign but less than four in 10 favor sending combat troops into Iraq and Syria.
If Obama's administration ultimately comes to Congress with a plan to send combat troops to Iraq and Syria, Ryan said he would support it.
"I think the President should come to Congress with an authorization of force resolution and I would support it," he said. "And I would help the President pass that because I think it's necessary to see this threat through."
"We need to destroy ISIS, and we need to do what it takes to destroy ISIS," he continued.