Compiled by Lindsey Pope, Mark Preston and Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
Making News Today…
* The Florida Democratic Party dismissed a threat of losing all 210 of its delegates to the 2008 presidential nominating convention when it announced Sunday the state party will move forward with a Jan. 29 primary. The standoff between the Democratic National Committee, which prohibits all but four states from holding nominating contests before Feb. 5, and the state party is at the very least, embarrassing. But it could also have severe long term consequences if Sunshine State Democrats feel snubbed by their own party. Most of the Democratic presidential candidates have already pledged not to campaign in any state that violates the DNC’s nominating calendar. Expect these candidates, who rely on the state as a major source of campaign cash, to be pressured by influential Floridians urging them to ignore the pledge. Meanwhile, GOP candidates will continue to criss-cross the state in search of votes and cash. Even though the Republican National Committee also prohibits states from holding caucuses and primaries before Feb. 5, the Republican Party of Florida will only lose half of its delegates to the GOP’s nominating convention. Full Story
* Got a spare $77,083? MoveOn.org is wiring this amount to The New York Times today after the Times public editor on Sunday said his newspaper erred when it only charged the liberal advocacy organization $65,000 to run an ad critical of Gen. David Petraeus. MoveOn is now calling on former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to pay the same rate for his follow-up ad condemning them. Full Story
* President Bush heads to the Big Apple today for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. Bush has a busy afternoon meeting with: the President and Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is now the representative of the Quartet seeking peace in the Middle East, and the President of Brazil before closing the night with a dinner on climate change. But before he leaves the White House, Bush makes a statement about the budget.
* Former Sen. John Edwards plans to announce a comprehensive strategy to combat HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and around the world at a health care forum today sponsored by Families USA and the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C. Last week, the Democratic presidential hopeful said if the current administration doesn’t pass a universal health care plan, if he is elected president, he will submit legislation to end coverage for the president, members of Congress and all senior political appointees.
* And for you early risers, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is a guest on CNN Contributor Bill Bennett’s “Morning In America” radio program at 7:30 a.m. ET. Check here for a station in your area: Full Story
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
THE PENTAGON'S CLASSIFIED "BAIT" PROGRAM: A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents. Washington Post: U.S. Aims to Lure Insurgents with “Bait”
QUALITY, FREQUENCY OF AL QAEDA TAPES ON THE RISE: Seemingly untroubled by the worldwide search for Osama bin Laden and his allies, al Qaeda maintains a state-of-the-art multimedia production facility that is pumping out increasingly sophisticated audiotapes and videotapes at a rate of two or three a week. Washington Times: Al Qaeda Tapes Grow in Number, Expertise
MUKASEY ORDERED INDEFINITE DETENTION OF ARAB MEN AFTER 9/11: The 21-year-old Jordanian immigrant was in shackles when he was brought into the courtroom of Judge Michael B. Mukasey in Federal District Court in Manhattan…Before the hearing, Mr. Awadallah told his lawyer that he had been beaten in the federal detention center in Manhattan… but when his lawyer told this to Judge Mukasey, the judge seemed little concerned. New York Times: Post-9/11 Cases Fuel Criticism for Nominee
HAGEL ON GITMO: "THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS WON TWO ELECTIONS ON THE ISSUE OF FEAR AND TERRORISM…[IT'S] GOING TO TRY AGAIN": A lightning rod for international criticism, the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, not long ago appeared headed for closure. LA Times: Closing Guantanamo Lockup Looks increasingly Unlikely
DHS UNAWARE OF THREE MONTHS OF "CYBER INTRUSION": The FBI is investigating a major information technology firm with a $1.7 billion Department of Homeland Security contract after it allegedly failed to detect cyber break-ins traced to a Chinese-language Web site and then tried to cover up its deficiencies, according to congressional investigators. Washington Post: Contractor Blamed in DHS Breaches
AHMADINEJAD VISIT MAY COST COLUMBIA: As the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prepares to address Columbia University today amid a storm of student protest, state and city lawmakers say they are considering withholding public funds from the school to protest its decision to invite the leader to campus. NY Sun: Legislatures May Act on Columbia
BUSH/ DEMS AT ODDS OVER BUDGET: With the new fiscal year just a week away, President Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress are far from agreement on the proper level of spending for myriad federal programs, and the two sides have not even begun negotiations to resolve their differences. New York Times: Familiar Disagreements as Fiscal Deadlines Nears
"WHEN YOU RELY ON A FREE-MARKET HEALTH SYSTEM, AND YOU WANT EVERYONE TO PARTICIPATE, THE KEY ISSUE IS AFFORDABILITY": With his own party sidelined, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is working with Democrats to produce a bill that would extend health insurance to everyone in the nation's largest state if voters approve new taxes to pay for it. Washington Post: California Closes In on Universal Health-Care Plan
ANTIWAR SHIRT STIRS FREEDOM OF SPEECH DEBATE: It took Dan Frazier a long time to figure out how to make a living… after years of drifting from job to job, Frazier turned to the Internet. The venture started out as a way to pay the rent, but it landed Frazier in the middle of a fight over what is free speech versus what is exploitation of the dead. LA Times: The Sting is in the Small Type
LEVIN FACES SENATE CHALLENGE: Next year's U.S. Senate race is looking like it could be a rematch between longtime Democratic incumbent Carl Levin and Republican Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski. USA Today: Michigan Senate race May be a Rematch
ON-LINE DEBATE GETS 1.1 M HITS: An experimental online "mashup" - a build-your-own Democratic presidential debate - attracted more than 1 million viewers in the past 10 days, many of them young people drawn to the interactivity of the Internet. AP via NY Times: Internet Debate Attracts Over 1M Viewers
BUSH ON '08: "I TRULY THINK THE REPUBLICANS WILL HOLD THE WHITE HOUSE": President Bush, for the first time, is predicting that Hillary Rodham Clinton will defeat Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries. DC Examiner: President Predicts GOP Will Keep Control of White House After "Tough Race" in 2008
CHENEY THE FLAVOR OF THE MONTH?: Dick Cheney doesn’t put much stock in the conventional wisdom that he is the most powerful vice president in American history. In fact, he jokes that he is more like “the flavor of the month.” DC Examiner's Yeas and Nays: Dick Cheney: Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone
GOP RACE STILL UP FOR GRABS IN IOWA: Some Iowa Republicans are still looking for their dream candidate. Des Moines Register: GOP Caucusgoers Split on Their Ideal candidate
CELLPHONES DON'T AFFECT POLLS: As more people give up their land lines in favor of cell phone service only, could there be an untapped population out there that the political pollsters aren't reaching? New Hampshire Union-Leader: Pollsters Don't Fear Missing Cell Users
BOEHNER PUTS THE HEAT ON NRCC: Frustration among House Republicans over sluggish fundraising, staff strife and other internal operations at the National Republican Congressional Committee came to a head this month — with Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) demanding that changes be made. Roll Call: Cole Pressured on NRCC Staff
DODD SEEKS REDEMPTION FOR HIS DAD: On June 23, 1967, Senator Thomas J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, was censured by the United States Senate for diverting $116,000 in campaign funds for his personal use. The vote was 92 to 5. New York Times: Dodd’s Campaign to Restore His Dads Reputation
FIREFIGHTERS TAKE OUT THE BOOT FOR DODD: The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is broadening its political skills, adding fundraising to the list of gifts the union gives to the candidate it supports. The Hill: Firefighters making Money Push for Dodd
HILLARY'S MEDIA BLITZ: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on all five talk shows yesterday morning and demonstrated a particularly senatorial skill: the art of the filibuster. Washington Post: Hitting All the Sunday Talk Shows, Clinton Says A Lot, But Reveals Little
HRC TARGETS "NICHES OF SOCIETY": Hillary Clinton glided through no less than five talk-show interviews yesterday with crisp performances that maintained her apparently stately – and centrist – course for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The Times of London: Hillary Clinton Camp Urged to Think Small to attract "Hundreds of Americans"
BARACK'S LOBBYIST TIES: When Barack Obama and fellow state lawmakers in Illinois tried to expand healthcare coverage in 2003 with the "Health Care Justice Act," they drew fierce opposition from the insurance industry, which saw it as a back-handed attempt to impose a government-run system. Boston Globe: Obama's Lobbyist Relationships Questioned
“WHAT YOU ARE SEEING FIRSTHAND IS A DIFFERENT JOHN MCCAIN THAN YOU SAW A FEW MONTHS AGO — HE’S FOCUSED AND ENERGIZED": Having fallen from frontrunner status in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) has done more than simply reshuffle his campaign — he’s seemingly decided to put a new premium on being a U.S. Senator. Roll Call: McCain Again a Regular Senate Presence
ROMNEY TRIES TO FIND HIS PLACE IN THE MIDDLE: Mitt Romney: Opportunistic flip-flopper? Or the rare Republican who "gets it" at a time when his party is losing favor with the general public? Wall Street Journal: Romney Tries to Show Voters He "gets It"
AS PROSECUTOR, MAYOR, RUDY DOWNPLAYED TERROR THREAT: As Rudolph W. Giuliani campaigns for president, he rarely misses a chance to warn about the threat from terrorists. "They hate you," he told a woman at an Atlanta college. They "want to kill us," he told guests at a Virginia luncheon. Washington Post: Giuliani's Rhetoric on terror Contrasts With His Record
GINGRICH: "AS PEOPLE HAVE GROWN MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE CLINTON MACHINE AND THE PROSPECT OF A SECOND CLINTON PRESIDENCY, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN APPROACHING ME ABOUT RUNNING": Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will begin next week to seek financial commitments from donors for a presidential-nomination bid, the Georgia Republican told The Washington Times yesterday. Washington Times: Gingrich Seeks Donors for GOP Bid
"CLIFF CLAVIN" TO HOST TOWN HALL EVENTS: During the 2008 presidential campaign, you can expect plenty of celebrities — the Streisands, Clooneys and Pat Boones of the world — to lend their voices to a candidate or political cause. But try this one on for size: Cliff Clavin. DC Examiner's Yeas and Nays: Cliff Clavin Joins Campaign ===========================================================
On the Political Radar:
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards participates in a health care forum sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals in Washington, DC.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivers remarks at the National Troopers Coalition 2007 Fall Convention in South Portland, Maine.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hosts an "Ask Mitt Anything" Town Hall at David's Restaurant Banquet Center in Santa Clara, California.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, fundraises in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
* After holding an event at Santa Barbara City College in California, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich is a guest on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
* Former President Bill Clinton chairs the "Little Rock Nine 50th Anniversary Celebration and Scholarship Awards Gala" to commemorate the Central High School's integration in Little Rock, Arkansas.
* New York Sen. Hillary announces an endorsement this afternoon in Washington, D.C.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
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