July 15th, 2008
08:07 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Obama's focus is responsibility in NAACP speech
Sen. Barack Obama paid tribute Monday to the black leadership in the civil rights battles of the '60s and '70s, but reminded members of the NAACP that those leaders "were not much older than many of you when they made their mark on history."

CNN: Ventura: I'm not running for Senate
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has decided not to run for U.S. Senate in that state, he told CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday night. Ventura, an independent and a former professional wrestler, said he was "close" to running but decided against it in part because he didn't want to submit his relatives to the kind of media scrutiny he says they faced when he was governor.

Washington Post: Poll Finds Voters Split on Candidates' Iraq-Pullout Positions
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the country split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain's position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home.

CNNMoney.com: Your Money: McCain vs. Obama
See where the presidential candidates stand on the major economic issues. A detailed guide to the economic issues that matter most to voters in the 2008 presidential election.

Washington Post: Rangel's Pet Cause Bears His Own Name; Firms With Business Before Panel Solicited
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel is soliciting donations from corporations with business interests before his panel, hoping to raise $30 million for a new academic center that will house his papers when he retires.

WSJ: Idaho Is No Longer a Lock for Republicans
Bill Sali is defying the political odds by making Idaho's first-district congressional race competitive. That isn't good for Mr. Sali: He is the incumbent. A 54-year-old Republican from Kuna, 18 miles from Boise, Mr. Sali represents one of the most heavily Republican electorates in the U.S.

Washington Post: It's Funny How Humor Is So Ticklish
Call it the attack of the Jonathan Swiftboaters. A New Yorker cover illustration, showing Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim fist-bumping his gun-toting wife, fell afoul of the humor police yesterday. To some, it was satire. To others, it was aid and comfort to the malice mongers who hide under the rocks of American politics. In the end, it was both.

Politico: Cartoonists mixed on New Yorker cover
The cover of this week’s New Yorker has already attracted plenty of criticism. The cartoon by Barry Blitt, which shows Barack and Michelle Obama standing in the Oval Office, with Barack wearing a turban, Michelle sporting an afro and carrying an AK-47, and a portrait of Osama bin Laden hanging over the mantelpiece, received a sharp slap from Barack Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who called it “tasteless and offensive.” John McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds agreed, echoing Burton’s exact terms.

NY Times: Want Obama in a Punch Line? First, Find a Joke
What’s so funny about Barack Obama? Apparently not very much, at least not yet. On Monday, The New Yorker magazine tried dipping its toe into broad satire involving Senator Obama with a cover image depicting the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Michelle, as fist-bumping, flag-burning, bin Laden-loving terrorists in the Oval Office. The response from both Democrats and Republicans was explosive.

NY Times: Rangel to Relinquish Apartment Used as Office
Representative Charles B. Rangel has decided to move his campaign office out of one of four rent-stabilized apartments he leases in Harlem, his spokesman said on Monday.

Washington Times: Shift on war hits Obama's liberal base
Sen. John McCain on Monday accused his Democratic presidential rival of flip-flopping on the war in Iraq, as a pair of new polls showed the Republican's strategy of painting Sen. Barack Obama as politically expedient is beginning to take hold with voters. As Mr. Obama repositions himself for the general election after exclusively targeting the Democratic base of committed liberals, it leaves some voters on the left feeling he is abandoning them on their top issue – Iraq – and has independents questioning his veracity.

Washington Post: Conservative Think Tank AEI Names a New Leader
For the first time in more than two decades, one of the leading institutions in the conservative movement will have new leadership. The American Enterprise Institute announced yesterday that Arthur C. Brooks, a professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University, will replace Christopher DeMuth as president on Jan. 1.

WSJ: Plenty of Blame to Go Around for Fannie, Freddie
For years, Washington officialdom enabled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the congressionally chartered mortgage companies, to grow until they dominated the U.S. market. Now lawmakers are confronting the result: a crisis of confidence in the two companies that raises questions about whether they can make it through the deep downturn that has struck the real-estate market. And nobody wants to get stuck with the blame.

WSJ Op-Ed: John Bolton: Israel, Iran and the Bomb
Iran's test salvo of ballistic missiles last week together with recent threatening rhetoric by commanders of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards emphasizes how close the Middle East is to a fundamental, in fact an irreversible, turning point.

WSJ: Democrat Millionaire Loses Favor in Colorado Bid
Jared Polis's money came in handy for Colorado Democrats four years ago. The young entrepreneur, who made a fortune selling greeting cards and flowers online, helped fund a Democratic takeover of the state legislature.

New York Sun: Obama Capital Gains Tax Hike Would Hit N.Y. Hard
As Senator Obama's presidential platform starts to take shape, economists and tax officials here in New York and Washington are warning that his fiscal policies could have a devastating effect on what is, in effect, New York's biggest crop — capital gains.

Boston Herald: Sen. John F. Kerry rails at Acela
U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry is taking aim at the Acela bullet train, saying the 8-year-old line meant to zip passengers between Boston and Washington is riddled with speed and safety issues that have thrown its swift mission off track.

AP: DC to vote on new gun laws after court ruling
The District of Columbia Council plans to vote on new gun legislation Tuesday as officials scramble to comply with last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the city's 32-year-old ban. The emergency legislation announced Monday would allow handguns if they are used only for self-defense in the home and carry fewer than 12 rounds of ammunition.

USA Today: Rove defends subpoena defiance; Fox defends Rove
Former White House adviser Karl Rove on Monday defended his defiance of a congressional subpoena, saying he has offered lawmakers other ways to question him about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department.

Washington Post: The Sector Where the Energy Is
You're nobody in Washington these days unless you're part of a coalition that's lobbying on energy prices.

CNNMoney.com: Fed's war against shady home loans
In a nod to consumer advocates, regulators require lenders to evaluate subprime borrowers' ability to pay while banning most prepayment penalties.

CNNMoney.com: Bad week ahead for banks
Analysts expect more writedowns from Citi and Merrill. The IndyMac failure and problems with Fannie and Freddie could further darken the outlook for banks.

CNN: Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling
President Bush lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling on Monday and urged Congress to follow suit. Citing the high prices Americans are paying at the pump, Bush said from the White House Rose Garden that allowing offshore oil drilling is "one of the most important steps we can take" to reduce that burden. However, the move is largely symbolic as there is also a federal law banning offshore drilling.

CTV: Interrogation video to show wounded, tearful Khadr
Interrogation footage of Omar Khadr set to be released Tuesday apparently shows the Canadian terror suspect crying uncontrollably, and at one point lifting his shirt to reveal bullet wounds.

Washington Post: Lawyers Want Detainees To Testify in Terror Trial
Attorneys for Salim Ahmed Hamdan said Monday that they intend to call other detainees to testify at his upcoming military trial here, entangling the landmark proceeding in yet another difficult legal issue.

Washington Post: Sudan Vows to Fight Charges Of Genocide Against Its Leader
The Sudanese government defiantly rejected International Criminal Court charges of genocide against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Monday, vowing to fight them "legally and diplomatically" instead of retaliating against U.N. peacekeepers, aid workers or residents of Darfur, a reaction that is feared in the volatile, western Sudanese region.

Washington Post: More Illegal Immigrants Putting Affairs in Order; Deportation Risk Prompts Preparation
A 30-year-old single mother from Manassas recently visited a notary public to formally arrange custody for her toddler son after she's gone. It's deportation, not death, that has her worried.

NY Times: In ’06 Bomb Plot Trial, a Question of Imminence
When Scotland Yard disrupted what it called a plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives in August 2006, officials in Britain and the United States said the deadliest terrorist attack since Sept. 11 had been averted.

NY Times: Department Is Criticized on Disputes Over Wages
The Government Accountability Office sharply criticizes the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department in two reports to be issued on Tuesday, saying it mishandled many overtime and minimum-wage complaints and delayed investigating hundreds of cases for a year or more.

NY Times: I.R.S. Aims to Give Teeth to a Program Meant to Counter Offshore Tax Avoidance
The Internal Revenue Service plans to tighten the rules for a multibillion-dollar program created to make sure offshore bank customers pay their United States taxes, top tax officials say.

NY Times: Abortion Proposal Sets Condition on Aid
The Bush administration wants to require all recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control.

Washington Post: Unanswered Questions in Tillman Report; Officials' Role in Disclosing Details of Death Remains Unclear
Congressional investigators could not determine when senior Pentagon and White House officials learned the details of the "friendly fire" death of Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger and former NFL player, and what role they may have played in the misleading release of information about the 2004 Afghanistan firefight that killed him, according to a preliminary report released yesterday.

Washington Post: Obama to Become Honorary AKA
Michelle Obama has accepted an honorary membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest African-American sorority in the country, the group's president, Barbara A. McKinzie, has announced.

Washington Post: A Challenge From the Obama Generation
A 21-year incumbent and an icon of the civil rights movement, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), is racing around his Atlanta district like a first-time candidate.

AP: Lawmakers want US-made flags
The American flag has many labels: Stars and stripes. Old Glory. And sometimes, made in China. Congress can't halt the flow of Chinese-made flags, but lawmakers can try to control where they are flown. The House declared Monday that any flag flown on federal property should be made in the U.S.A.


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