July 22nd, 2009
05:23 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: July 22, 2009

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The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: Obama's health care push met with pushback
As President Obama steps up his push for health care reform, there is a growing effort to stop it, and rising doubts about how Obama is handling the issue.

CNN: Senator: Democrats "baffled" by president's health care stance
As the prospects for passing health reform by the time Congress leaves for its August recess look bleaker, Democratic grumbling about President Obama is growing louder.

CNN: Hoyer: House could leave without health care vote
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Tuesday that the House of Representatives could leave for its month-long break in August without voting on health care reform.

CNN: Borger: Congressional Democrats messing up on health care
It's always hard to be optimistic about the passage of any kind of health care reform.

CNN: Commentary: Obama enters 'The Matrix'
As the president moves forward on his ambitious legislative agenda, it might seem as if he is entering "The Matrix," a surreal world that only has the vaguest connection to real life.

CNN: GOP's new youth ambassador: Lady Gaga?
Politics may make for strange bedfellows — but even for this town, this may be the oddest couple to ever make beautiful music together: House Republicans…and pop diva Lady Gaga.

CNN: Senate rejects additional F-22 funding
The Senate voted Tuesday to block expansion of one of the country's most controversial and expensive defense programs, the F-22 fighter jet program.

CNN: Sanford faces tough questions in first appearance since scandal
Appearing before reporters Tuesday to discuss the proposed Pass ID program, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford instead battled questions concerning his admitted extramarital relationship.

CNN: Wounded Warrior Program urges funding for war vet caregivers
Families of wounded war veterans and politicians met on Capitol Hill Tuesday to urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that would provide services to caregivers of injured American soldiers.

CNN: Cheney's Secret Service protection extended
Protection for former Vice President Dick Cheney has been extended, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

CNN: Byrd returns to the Senate
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd ended a two-month absence from the Senate Tuesday when he returned for a vote on the F-22 jet fighter program.

New York Times: Governors’ Races Offer Republicans an Opening
Republicans in search of good news these days have had to rely on bad news for the White House: the latest setback for President Obama’s health care plan; his sagging poll numbers; the failure of the Obama economic stimulus plan so far to reverse the rise in unemployment.

Washington Post: Health Insurance Industry Spins Data in Fight Against Public Plan
The industry that helped scuttle health reform 15 years ago with its "Harry and Louise" ads is back, voicing support for a central element of the Obama administration's plans: making sure everyone is covered.

Washington Post: House Dems Propose Maintaining 'Status Quo' on Abortion Funding
A group of centrist House Democrats proposed Tuesday night a compromise aimed at quelling a growing uproar among conservatives over the potential of federal funding for abortions.

USA Today: Envoy to Iraq has message of tough love
The United States' new ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, had barely sat down for a meeting with local politicians here. Yet the requests were already pouring in.

Wall Street Journal: Government Meeting? Stay Away From Fun City
What do Reno, Orlando and Las Vegas have in common? To some pockets of the federal government, they just seem like too much fun.

LA Times: White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives
Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul.

CS Monitor: If a healthcare bill passes, this group might be why
As Congress presses toward an August recess, two campaigns for healthcare reform are shifting into overdrive on Capitol Hill.

McClatchy: Bank of America, bailout in hand, continues lobbying efforts
As Bank of America faces intensifying congressional oversight during the nation's worst economy since the Great Depression, the company has spent more than $1.5 million lobbying on Capitol Hill.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news: www.CNN.com.

CNN: Source: Safe in slain couple's home contained $100,000
A safe found in the home of a slain Florida couple known for adopting special-needs children contained about $100,000, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN late Tuesday.

CNN: Charge against Harvard professor dropped
A prosecutor is dropping a charge against prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city's police department recommended that the matter not be pursued.

CNN: Taliban's video of captured soldier an effort to change image?
The United States military has been relatively mum on the recent capture of Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl. So has his family in Idaho.

CNN: Videos of POWs a staple of war propaganda
Video showing Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, is just another example of how captors use the medium for psychological warfare.

CNN: Surgeon: Strangers saved life of boy trapped in burning SUV
The off-duty firefighters who rushed into a burning SUV and cut a 4-year-old boy out of the seatbelt saved his life, the boy's doctor said during a press conference Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

CNN: House scrutinizing how auto dealerships selected for closure
A controversy over the way the Obama administration, General Motors and Chrysler decided to shutter more than 3,000 auto dealerships has reached Congress, with a House subcommittee now taking a closer look and a bill under consideration that could reverse the decision.

CNN: N.J. cop injured in shootout dies day before 38th birthday
A Jersey City, New Jersey, police officer shot in the line of duty last week died of his injuries Tuesday, a day before his 38th birthday, a spokeswoman for the city's mayor announced.

CNN: Group of 22 U.S. students quarantined in China
A group of 22 students from the greater District of Columbia and Maryland area have been quarantined in China after several tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus, school officials said Tuesday.

CNN: Social Security number study raises fears
A report earlier this week that a pair of academics had discovered a way to figure out a person's Social Security number based on information people commonly post online has raised new concerns about identity theft.

CNN: 'Trash talk' leads to a stink during Indiana garbage dispute
Talking trash has taken on a whole new meaning in Gary, Indiana - where residents have taken their trash and their talk to the steps of City Council.

Washington Post: Most Mexicans in U.S. Stay Put Despite Recession
Despite the recession, the flow of Mexican immigrants out of the United States and back into Mexico has stayed level, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

INTERNATIONAL
For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com/

CNN: Darkness envelops Asia during total eclipse
Darkness fell across parts of China and India on Wednesday morning as a total solar eclipse passed across the world's most populous countries, bringing throngs of people outside to watch the phenomenon.

CNN: Blast injures 50 at wedding for nephew of Fatah leader
A large explosion late Tuesday at a wedding party for relatives of a Fatah leader injured at least 50 people in Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said.

CNN: U.S. concerned over N. Korea-Myanmar tie
The United States is concerned that military cooperation between North Korea and Myanmar could destabilize the region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday at a meeting of southeast Asian nations in Bangkok, Thailand.

CNN: Zelaya to announce return to Honduras
Ahead of a third and possibly final round of talks between two disputed governments of Honduras on Wednesday, ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya told CNN he was looking at other options to gain his return to power.

CNN: U.S. bombs poppy crop to cut Taliban drug ties
The U.S. military bombed about 300 tons of poppy seeds in a dusty field in southern Afghanistan Tuesday in a dramatic show of force designed to break up the Taliban's connection to heroin.

CNN: Romanian mayor's Nazi uniform provokes outrage
Jewish organizations called for a Romanian official to resign and face a criminal investigation after he wore a Nazi uniform during a fashion show over the weekend.

New York Times: Pakistan Objects to U.S. Expansion in Afghan War
Pakistan is objecting to expanded American combat operations in neighboring Afghanistan, creating new fissures in the alliance with Washington at a critical juncture when thousands of new American forces are arriving in the region.

New York Times: Radical Islamists Slipping Easily Into Kenya
A thin, dusty line is about the only thing separating Kenya, one of the Western world’s closest allies in Africa, from the Shabab, a radical Islamist militia that has taken over much of southern Somalia, beheading detractors, stoning adulterers and threatening to kill any Americans or Europeans who get in their way.

New York Times: Clinton Warns N. Korea and Myanmar May Be Sharing Nuclear Technology
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton intensified her warnings Wednesday about reports of growing military cooperation between North Korea and Myanmar, this time citing the possible transfer of nuclear technology.

New York Times: Mumbai Gunman’s Confession Leaves Judge Knotty Choice
A day after a stunning confession by the lone surviving gunman from last year’s terrorist attacks here, the judge presiding over his trial on Tuesday confronted some tough choices on how the court should proceed.

USA TODAY: German automakers drive toward gas-electric hybrids
After years of championing diesel power, high-end German automakers are rushing into hybrids.

Wall Street Journal: Iraq's Reluctant Leader Emerges as Unlikely Force
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, reluctantly thrust three years ago into a job few expected him to hold onto, arrives in Washington this week as a transformed leader - with widening popularity among Iraqis, grudging respect of some political foes and a more even footing with his U.S. hosts.

Wall Street Journal: Pakistan's Ties to Terror Group Are Unclear
The sole surviving gunman in last year's Mumbai terror attacks may have sealed his fate with a dramatic courtroom confession Monday, but Pakistan's determination and ability to dismantle the group that plotted the assault remains an open question.

BBC: China says Falun Gong ban 'works'
A Chinese official says the country has been successful in efforts to crack down on the spiritual movement Falun Gong, 10 years after it was banned.

BUSINESS
For the latest business news: www.CNNMoney.com.

CNNMoney: What health reform means for you
Lawmakers are still far from consensus on how to fix the health care system. So it's too soon to know exactly what reform would mean for individual Americans.

CNNMoney: Bernanke: Economy better, but ...
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday that the economy has started to show signs of stabilization, although he cautioned that improvement is uncertain and likely to be gradual going forward.

CNNMoney: Dow ends at 6-month high
Stocks finished higher Tuesday - with the Dow industrials ending at a 6-month high - after a volatile session in which investors weighed better-than-expected corporate earnings with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's warning that the economic recovery would be slow.

New York Times: Fed Aims to Hold Down Interest Rates
The economy is finally improving, but enough potholes lie ahead that the Federal Reserve needs to keep interest rates close to zero, at least until unemployment begins to come down, the Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, told Congress on Tuesday.

In Case You Missed It
To watch the latest interviews and reporting: http://www.cnn.com/video.

CNN: India celebrates solar eclipse
CNN's Mallika Kapur reports on India's reaction to the solar eclipse.

CNN: Embedded in Helmand
A CNN exclusive as Ivan Watson travels with the US Marines as they battle the Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

CNN: Black in America 2: Preview
He grew up guided by high achievers who taught him how to succeed. Now, he passes the lessons on to tomorrow's leaders.

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