July 8th, 2008
06:26 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, July 8, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

NY Times: Skepticism on McCain Plan to Balance Budget by 2013
The package of spending and tax cuts proposed by Senator John McCain is unlikely to achieve his goal of balancing the federal budget by 2013, economists and fiscal experts said Monday.

LA Times: Adding up the cost of Obama's agenda
In more than a year of campaigning, Barack Obama has made a long list of promises for new federal programs costing tens of billions of dollars, many of them aimed at protecting people from the pain of a souring economy.

AP: Kennedy doing well midway through treatments, wife says
Sen. Edward Kennedy, midway through six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments for brain cancer, is doing well aside from some fatigue, his wife says.

NY Times: A Clintonian at Fox
Howard Wolfson, who was a top strategist for the presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is going where some Democrats were unwilling to go during the early days of the election season: the Fox News Channel.

WSJ: Clinton's Convention Role Being Negotiated
Hillary Clinton won a hefty 1,600 convention delegates in six months of primaries. A big question now is whether to let them vote at the Democratic convention. High on the list of matters that Sen. Clinton and likely Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama are negotiating as her campaign closes down is whether and how her name is put into nomination at the August convention in Denver, said party activists in both camps.

NY Times: Internal Politics Heat Up at McCain Campaign
Senator John McCain’s campaigns have long been defined by internal squabbling and power plays, zigzagging lines of command and a penchant by the candidate for consulting with former advisers without alerting current ones, always a recipe for disquiet.

CNN: Navarrette: Commentary: Candidates wise to court Hispanic vote
Whether the code word of the day is "patriotism," "liberation theology" or "working-class voters," some will continue to cast this presidential election in the tired old paradigm of black and white. But, I'd ask Barack Obama and John McCain to look beyond all that and consider: What can brown do for you?

Washington Post: Candidates Diverge on How to Save Social Security
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are both proposing dramatic changes to Social Security, taking on the financially fragile "third rail of American politics" that Congress and recent presidents have been unable to repair.

NY Times: McCain Plan for Budget: Fiscal Hawks vs. Tax Foes
As Senator John McCain kicked off a week of economic-themed campaigning here on Monday, it was apparent that some of the underlying tensions between the two schools that guide his economic thinking — the supply-siders who want to cut taxes and the deficit hawks who want to balance the budget — remain unresolved.

NY Times: Republicans, Again, Call Obama Inconsistent on Iraq
Last week Senator Barack Obama indicated his willingness to “refine” his plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. Republicans immediately pounced, calling it a reversal. In an interview published in the Military Times on Monday — but conducted last week — Mr. Obama said he would take into account the situation on the ground when setting a timetable for withdrawal.

WSJ: McCain Balances Dueling Stances on Immigration
Early in the Republican nominating contest, Sen. John McCain bucked his party's base with a moderate stance on immigration, offering illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. But in recent months, the presidential hopeful has put a greater emphasis on border security. The shift has helped him win over more anti-immigrant activists but muddied his reputation with Latino voters.

New York Sun: Questions Arise on Return of a Key Aide to McCain Campaign
A political strategist who steered Senator McCain's upstart bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, Michael Murphy, may soon take a prominent role on Mr. McCain's campaign for the White House, though even some advocates of Mr. Murphy's return aren't sure how or whether such a move would work.

AP: Obama says he wouldn't attend Olympics opening ceremony
Democrat Barack Obama took issue Monday with President Bush's decision to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, saying he would go to Beijing only if he saw progress between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama.

NY Times: Washington Post Signals Shift With a New Editor
Signaling a generational change at one of the nation’s most influential newspapers, the new publisher of The Washington Post on Monday selected an outsider as the paper’s top editor. Marcus W. Brauchli, a former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, will become the executive editor of The Post on Sept. 8, at a time of great upheaval in the industry.

NY Times: Obama Campaign Reaps Gilded Haul
The self-styled revolutionary of campaign finance alighted in Atlanta last night and reaped a gilded haul. Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for president, lately has taken to arguing that his decision to ditch public financing of his campaign – thereby reversing his own earlier pledge to take such financing – is motivated by revolutionary ardor.

AP: Union Head, a Friend of Corzine, Is Removed
The Communications Workers of America’s national executive board has removed the head of the union’s largest local, a leader of New Jersey state workers and former companion of Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

USA Today: CDC campaign hopes to make USA healthier nation
Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wants to get this message out to Americans: Health care isn't only what takes place in a doctor's office, a clinic or a hospital.

WSJ: Economy Takes Spotlight
The presidential candidates are turning back to a sharp battle over the economy this week, with John McCain emphasizing energy relief and tax cuts and Barack Obama advocating a second stimulus package that has a taxpayer rebate at its core.

WSJ: G-8 Makes Little Progress on Development Assistance for Africa
The Group of Eight leading nations, meeting here to discuss global challenges from inflation to climate change, faced more basic problems Monday: Can they agree on anything significant, and will they follow through on any commitments?

AP: Study: Military gays don't undermine unit cohesion
Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.

NY Times: After the Battle, Fighting the Bottle at Home
Most nights when Anthony Klecker, a former marine, finally slept, he found himself back on the battlefields of Iraq. He would awake in a panic, and struggle futilely to return to sleep.

AP: Pentagon aims for less deadly cluster bombs
Faced with growing international pressure, the Pentagon is changing its policy on cluster bombs and plans to reduce the danger of unexploded munitions in the deadly explosives.

AP: `No progress' on mass Guantanamo prisoner transfer
U.S. and Yemen remain at odds over a proposal to release more than one-third of the detainees from Guantanamo Bay, officials said Monday, even as the Bush administration wrestles with the future of the military prison.

NY Times: James A. Baker, III, and Warren Christopher: Put War Powers Back Where They Belong
THE most agonizing decision we make as a nation is whether to go to war. Our Constitution ambiguously divides war powers between the president (who is the commander in chief) and Congress (which has the power of the purse and the power to declare war). The founders hoped that the executive and legislative branches would work together, but in practice the two branches don’t always consult. And even when they do, they often dispute their respective powers.

Washington Post: Henry Kissinger: Finding Common Ground With Russia
President Bush's meeting with Dmitry Medvedev in Hokkaido yesterday provides an opportunity to review American relations with the new Russian leadership. Conventional wisdom treated Medvedev's inauguration as president of the Russian Federation as a continuation of President Vladimir Putin's two terms of Kremlin dominance and assertive foreign policy. But after recently visiting Moscow, where I met with leading political personalities as well as those in business and intellectual circles, I am convinced that this judgment is premature.

Washington Post: Margaret Spellings: Save D.C.'s Vouchers
Better schools. Higher scores. And satisfied parents. That's the record of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. It is helping us keep our promise to leave no child behind in America. If Congress is thinking of breaking this promise, the nation deserves to know the story.

Washington Post: Court Nominee Accused of Plagiarism Won't Withdraw
A nominee for a federal judgeship who has been accused of plagiarism said yesterday that he will not withdraw his nomination because he fully disclosed the controversy to both White House officials and the FBI during interviews for the job.


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