Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
* Rep. Bob Filner, D-California, faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges related to an incident that occurred Sunday night at Dulles Airport, where he allegedly pushed a United Airlines baggage claim worker.
Full story on The Ticker
"Add Rep. Bob Filner to the list of lawmakers who have run afoul of the law in very public settings." (The Politico)
Filner's office issued the following two-sentence statement Monday night: "Congressman Bob Filner is on his way to Iraq, visiting our troops, and will have a full statement when he returns. Suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect — and the charges are ridiculous." (Roll Call)
* "Michigan appears poised to crash the party of early states seeking to influence the 2008 presidential nominating process, leapfrogging the other interlopers, Florida and South Carolina, and further scrambling the electoral calendar." (Boston Globe)
The move "is the latest to push the campaign season ever closer to New Year's Day and the holiday season, and renews the possibility that Iowans could be gathering to vote in December." (Washington Post)
* Addressing the VFW national convention yesterday in Kansas City, MO, Hillary Clinton "made her way to the issue of the Iraq war so late in her speech that some wondered whether she would ever get there." John McCain "did not reach the current conflict until two-thirds of the way into his 22-minute speech." (Kansas City Star)
Fred Thompson and Barack Obama (D-IL) address the VFW convention today.
Right before he speaks at 12 pm ET, Obama will announce that Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy is backing his presidential bid, a well placed source tells CNN.
Murphy, an Iraq war veteran, was elected to Congress in November 2006 and his victory was one of many that helped propel House Democrats into the majority.
The Murphy endorsement will be unveiled during an 11 am ET conference call.
* The Mitt Romney campaign launches a new radio ad today in IA and NH, "Exceptional," which "focuses on the issue of sanctuary city policies and the enforcement of existing immigration laws." (Release)
* Meanwhile, 2nd place Ames finisher Mike Huckabee is "finally break[ing] out fightin' words," says a Politico headline. Who is on the receiving end of some "barbed language" from the "normally sunny" former AR gov? Find out in Hot Topics below!
* President Bush continues his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the North American Leaders' Summit in Montebello, Quebec.
The three leaders hold a joint press availability at 12 pm ET.
Tonight, Bush heads to a Norm Coleman for U.S. Senate fundraiser at a private residence in Eden Prairie, MN.
Also on the Political Radar:
* Special election runoff in CA's 37th congressional district. The seat was left vacant by the death of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D) in April.
* After his VFW appearance, Obama heads to New Hampshire to attend a minor league Nashua Pride game and pre-game picnic at 5:30 pm ET.
* Mitt Romney travels to Nevada for a 4 pm ET volunteer meeting in Las Vegas and a 7:30 pm ET meeting of the Meeting of the Reno/Lake Tahoe Olympic Committee in Reno. A media availability will follow each event.
* CNN's Christiane Amanpour appears on "The Late Show with David Letterman."
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
LEVIN WANTS MALIKI VOTED OUT OF OFFICE: Declaring the government of Iraq "non-functional," the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq's parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days. "I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government," Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said after a three-day trip to Iraq and Jordan. Washington Post: Senator Calls for Maliki's Ouster
SENATORS SEE "SOME CREDIBLE AND POSITIVE RESULTS" AFTER SURGE: Top Senate Democrats have started to acknowledge progress in Iraq, with the chairman of the Armed Services Committee yesterday saying the U.S. troop surge is producing "measurable results." Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan highlighted improved security in Baghdad and al Qaeda losses in Anbar province as examples of success — a shift for Democrats who have mainly discounted or ignored advances on the battlefield for weeks. "The military aspects of President Bush's new strategy in Iraq... appear to have produced some credible and positive results," Mr. Levin said in a joint statement with Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, after a two-day visit last week to Iraq. Washington Times: Democrats see 'results' in Iraq war
PETRAEUS LIKELY TO TESTIFY ON SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11: The White House said Monday that Gen. David Petraeus likely will testify before Congress on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A spokesman for President Bush, Gordon Johndroe, reiterated that Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, would testify in open hearings. They will answer lawmakers' questions about the situation in Iraq, the success of the troop surge and the next steps to be taken. The highly anticipated report from Petraeus and Crocker is seen as a potential turning point in America's involvement in Iraq. The Hill: Petraeus likely to testify on 9/11 anniversary
HURRICANE DEAN THROWS DOUBT INTO THREE-WAY TALKS: President Bush met in a wooded resort east of here on Monday with his counterparts to the north and the south — Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico — to discuss the drafting of emergency border provisions, the stalled international trade talks, and immigration. But Hurricane Dean's expected landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico threw into doubt three-way talks that were scheduled for Tuesday. Mr. Calderón said Monday that he would return home early Tuesday to be on hand to deal with any fallout from the storm, and organizers of the meeting were scrambling to accommodate him. New York Times: Bush's Talks With Neighbors Are Overshadowed by Storm
VEEP'S OFFICE HAS WIRETAP DOCS, BUT WON'T TURN THEM OVER: Vice President Cheney's office acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has dozens of documents related to the administration's warrantless surveillance program, but it signaled that it will resist efforts by congressional Democrats to obtain them. The disclosure by Cheney's counsel, Shannen W. Coffin, came on the day that the Senate Judiciary Committee had set as a deadline for the Bush administration to turn over documents related to the wiretapping program, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor communications between the United States and overseas without warrants. Washington Post: Cheney's Office Says It Has Wiretap Documents
$6.7 BILLION TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING: Reflecting a shift in priorities under the Democratic majority, Congress is moving to spend as much as $6.7 billion next fiscal year to combat global warming, an increase of nearly one-third from the current year. House appropriations bills call for about $2 billion in new spending on initiatives aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil dependency, significantly expanding the budgets for numerous federal research initiatives and launching some new ones. While legislation to raise vehicle miles-per-gallon standards and cap emissions from power plants has been slower moving - because of resistance from some lawmakers - Democrats have turned to the budget to advance their environmental priorities by increasing spending on a variety of lower-profile programs. Los Angeles Times: Priority changes on green policies
ADMIN ADOPTS TOUGHER CHIP STANDARDS: The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families. Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a monthlong Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were intended to return the Children's Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage. New York Times: New Rules May Limit Health Care Program Aiding Children
DEMS NEARLY DOUBLE GOP IN FRESHMEN FUNDRAISING: Democrats who captured control of the House last year after a 12-year hiatus are dominating the first clash of the 2008 elections: the money race. The most vulnerable House Democrats — freshmen who won in districts that went for President Bush in 2004 — raised an average of $600,000 in the first six months of this year, according to campaign-finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That's nearly double what Republican freshmen raised. If the trend continues, it will make it difficult for the GOP to reduce Democrats' 231-202 House majority. USA Today: Dem freshmen get fundraising burst
CONGRESSMAN FACES CHARGES AFTER BAGGAGE CLAIM INCIDENT: Rep. Bob Filner, D-California, faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges related to an incident that occurred Sunday night at Dulles Airport, where he allegedly pushed a United Airlines baggage claim worker. "The individual allegedly attempted to enter an area authorized for airline employees only, pushed aside the employee's outstretched arm and refused to leave the area when asked by an airline employee," said Courtney Prebich, assistant media relations manager for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), in a written statement. The Ticker: Congressman faces assault and battery charges
'08 RACE DOMINATES U.S. NEWS COVERAGE: An analysis of more than 35,000 stories from print, broadcast and online sources finds political bickering and analysis over the 2008 election topping the news, a year before the vote. According to a report released yesterday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the presidential election has emerged as the leading news story for the second quarter this year. The fare is heavily Democratic, with 51 percent of the coverage centered on Democrats in the first half of the year, compared with 33 percent devoted to Republicans. The rest was divided among third- or mixed-party coverage. Washington Times: '08 race prevails in news coverage
WILL MICHIGAN'S MOVE MEAN A CHRISTMAS CAUCUS? Michigan appears poised to crash the party of early states seeking to influence the 2008 presidential nominating process, leapfrogging the other interlopers, Florida and South Carolina, and further scrambling the electoral calendar. If leaders of Michigan's political parties reach agreement, as early as tomorrow, on joint Jan. 15 primaries, New Hampshire and Iowa, the traditional leadoff states, would be forced to set earlier contests to preserve their coveted status. New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary would be moved to Jan. 8 at the latest because state law says that Secretary of State William M. Gardner must set the contest at least seven days ahead of the next primary. Boston Globe: Michigan set to send slate of primaries into revision
LIBERAL BLOGGER FILES FEC COMPLAINT AGAINST THOMPSON: Fred Thompson, as you may have heard, is currently **not** a candidate for president. The former Tennessee senator is technically just "testing the waters" and, as he's wont to say, the waters are pretty warm. However, his coyness could end up costing him — possibly in the neighborhood of seven figures. A liberal blogger by the comic book-ready name of Lane Hudson has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission pointing out the obvious: While Mr. Thompson claims to be evaluating the prospect of running for president, in reality he's already running. This wouldn't matter terribly, except that it's against the law. New York Sun: Thompson's Hot Water
HUCKABEE TRADES IN "NORMALLY SUNNY" DEMEANOR TO KNOCK ROMNEY: [I]f the former Arkansas governor wants to find greater success and become a first-tier player in the Republican primary race, he faces having to turn his wise-cracking image on its head and start trying to turn attack dog. And that transformation has already begun. Without naming names, Huckabee is using his second-place finish at the Iowa GOP's straw poll Aug. 11 to take aim at Mitt Romney, the winner at Ames. In media appearances and on the stump, the normally sunny Huckabee is using barbed language to portray Romney as a politically expedient and wealthy spendthrift who can't relate to the day-to-day problems of average Americans. The Politico: Huckabee finally breaks out fightin' words
HUCKABEE'S "LAST, BEST SHOT?" Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, wrapped up a four-day visit to New Hampshire yesterday, in the midst of what might be his last, best shot to become a real contender for the Republican presidential nomination. For the past year Huckabee has been charming audiences in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina with his jokes, down-home personality, and résumé. Unfortunately for him, all he got for his efforts were poor fund-raising and poll results placing him firmly in the bottom tier of candidates. His fortunes changed on Aug. 11 when he beat expectations and finished second in the Iowa straw poll. But now the question is whether he can build on that showing to become the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, and Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor. Boston Globe: Huckabee ends N.H. visit hoping to boost chances
CLINTON, McCAIN DON'T EXACTLY JUMP RIGHT INTO THE IRAQ TALK IN VFW SPEECHES: Given a choice Monday between focusing on veterans' health care or what to do next in the Iraq war, Sen. Hillary Clinton chose the former. In other words, the current Democratic front-runner in the polls played it safe as the first of four major presidential hopefuls to address the 108th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City. Like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who followed her, the senator from New York made her way to the issue of the Iraq war so late in her speech that some wondered whether she would ever get there. McCain offered a soliloquy on the subject of war in general and did not reach the current conflict until two-thirds of the way into his 22-minute speech. Kansas City Star: Sens. Hillary Clinton, John McCain address VFW convention in KC
HILLARY SCORES AR GOV'S BACKING: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told a crowd of supporters in Little Rock on Monday that she still feels a strong connection to the state where she spent 12 years as first lady, and she vowed to win its support in her presidential campaign. "I intend to campaign throughout Arkansas," Clinton said... The New York senator made her remarks to about 150 people who sat on folding chairs and stood in the grass in the plaza across Woodlane Street from the state Capitol in Little Rock. She shared the stage with Gov. Mike Beebe, who announced that he was endorsing her in the Democratic primary. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Pursuing Arkansas for '08, Clinton says
THE CLINTON CAMP'S PLAN TO WIN CA: They call themselves "HillStars," and they are part of a dedicated campaign army – the "HillCorps." And with just more than five months until California's Feb. 5 presidential primary, the effort by the campaign of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to organize trained volunteers – 1,000 strong across the state – suggests it is no coincidence that she has amassed a 30-point lead in California over her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. The Democratic front-runner's California grassroots organizing effort has been dubbed by Clinton campaign strategists as the "1,000-20-200" plan. And it will use "the power of the Internet with traditional field methods to create millions of voter contacts leading up to the Feb. 5 primary," according to a 27-page "HillStar" campaign manual obtained by The Chronicle. San Francisco Chronicle: Clinton volunteer army ramps up in California
IMPEACHMENT WOULD BE "MISTAKE", SAYS DODD: Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, said Monday it would be a mistake to launch impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Dodd said Democrats could lose control of Congress in the 2008 elections if they pursued that course, because many Americans would object to Congress spending 14 months on impeachment proceedings rather than focusing on other problems facing the nation. "Impeachment proceedings suck all of the oxygen out of the room," he told members of STAR PAC, a group dedicated to political action against war, at a Des Moines appearance that marked the end of an eight-day campaign swing through Iowa. Des Moines Register: Dodd: Impeachment a bad idea
MICHELLE OBAMA, "STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART": Barack Obama often says that his wife, Michelle, is smarter than he is, stronger than he is, and gives better speeches than he does. On a trip to Iowa last week, Michelle was a firebrand, expressing a determined passion for her husband's campaign, talking straight from the heart with eloquence and intelligence. She told an audience in Council Bluffs that Obama was cautioned not to enter the race for president because there was so much fear: "fear that he might lose; fear that he might get hurt; fear that this might get ugly; fear that this might hurt our family." But the family decided to say "yes" to the Democratic race partially to confront those fears, said Michelle. "I am tired of being afraid... I don't want my girls to live in a country that is based on fear." Chicago Sun-Times: Michelle gets stronger all the time
"OBAMA GIRL" NOT A HIT IN OBAMA HOUSEHOLD: "Obama Girl" isn't scoring in Barack's house. The video of a sultry model in barely-there clothes singing about her "crush" on the Illinois senator is wildly popular with YouTube viewers, but it isn't getting raves with Barack Obama's family. "Sasha asked Mommy about it," Obama told The Associated Press yesterday, referring to his 6-year-old daughter. "She said, 'Daddy already has a wife' or something like that." Obama, who didn't flash his trademark smile when the AP asked about the video during the interview in New Hampshire, tsk-tsked the notion that people need to be more careful about unintended consequences during the rough-and-tumble of a campaign. New York Post: 'GIRL' TROUBLE