October 8th, 2009
04:53 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: October 08, 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 has McChrystal's troop request - what now?
President Obama's national security team will begin discussing the number of troops needed in Afghanistan as early as Friday, according to a White House spokesman.

New York Times: Afghan War Debate Now Leans to Focus on Al Qaeda
President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.

Washington Post: Civilian, Military Officials at Odds Over Resources Needed for Afghan Mission
In early March, after weeks of debate across a conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the participants in President Obama's strategic review of the war in Afghanistan figured that the most contentious part of their discussions was behind them. Everyone, save Vice President Biden's national security adviser, agreed that the United States needed to mount a comprehensive counterinsurgency mission to defeat the Taliban.

CNN: Agency predicts health care bill will cost $829 billion
A compromise health care proposal widely seen as having the best chance to win Democratic and Republican support would cost $829 billion over the next 10 years, nonpartisan budget analysts concluded Wednesday.

CNN: Senate Republicans demand 3-day wait before health care vote
Conservative Senate Republicans added another firecracker to the politically explosive health debate Wednesday, introducing a resolution requiring all bills to be made public at least 72 hours before being brought to a vote.

CNN: Borger: Republicans don't really want to work with Obama
In my next life, I'd like to be an opposition party leader. What fun to go to work every day knowing you will always be right, largely because your ideas will remain untested.

CNN: Health care policy a hot-button issue for seniors
For three months, Phyllis Ross watched her husband waste away in his hospital bed and succumb to pancreatic cancer.

New York Times: Dole, Daschle Endorse a Health Care Overhaul
Bob Dole, the one-time Republican leader in the Senate, and Tom Daschle, the one-time Democratic leader, issued a joint statement today in which they said they supported the Democrats’ attempt to overhaul the health-care system.

New York Times: Hospital Lobbyists Say Baucus Has Not Yet Lived Up to Their Deal
Hospital lobbyists said Wednesday that the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Senate Finance Committee’s health legislation indicated that the committee had not yet delivered on a deal they made with panel’s chairman, Max Baucus, and the White House for their support.

Los Angeles Times: Bill Clinton says Bush was wrong to let Lehman fail
Former President Bill Clinton says the Bush administration made a mistake allowing Lehman Bros. to fail - and that the calamity that resulted from Lehman’s collapse heavily tilted the presidential election in Barack Obama’s favor.

CNN: GOP, citing ethics, calls for key House chairman to step down
Congressional Republicans intensified their calls Wednesday for powerful House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York to resign his post heading the committee, at least temporarily.

Washington Times: Obama Labor pick clears Senate hurdle
President Obama's nominee for the top legal job at the Labor Department won a key committee vote Wednesday, but a Republican senator vowed to delay the confirmation on the Senate floor over what he called a "lack of candor" by New York Commissioner of Labor M. Patricia Smith during confirmation hearings.

CNN: Obama hosts a night of stargazing
One hundred and forty lucky middle school aged students are headed to the South Lawn at the White House this evening for a night of star gazing with President Obama – but this time, the proceedings have nothing to do with Hollywood royalty.

Washington Post: Pakistanis Balk at U.S. Aid Package
The Obama administration's strategy for bolstering Pakistan's civilian government was shaken Wednesday when political opposition and military leaders there sharply criticized a new U.S. assistance plan as interfering with the country's sovereignty.

CNN: 'SNL' Obama sketch marks end of honeymoon
"Saturday Night Live" was formed in the crucible of the mid-1970s, when Watergate brought respect for politicians to all-time lows, the counterculture was taking over comedy, and many television viewers were seeking out something fresh and bold.

CNN: Frist dishes on Lott, Schiavo and Kid Rock
Bill Frist and Trent Lott were once close – "close" being a relative term in politics – but that bond was broken in the cold days of December 2002 when Lott was forced step aside and allow Frist to become majority leader. Remember Lott's comments at Sen. Strom Thurmond's birthday party?

POLITICO: Dems beg Deeds for positive message
Influential Virginia Democrats are calling on gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds to spend less time attacking Republican Bob McDonnell's controversial graduate thesis and focus on a stronger, more positive message for the closing weeks of his campaign.

CNN: Obama to help Democrats bring in the bucks
President Barack Obama puts on his fundraiser-in-chief hat again later this month.

CNN: Toomey raises over $1.5 million for the quarter
Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey — whose looming primary challenge helped drive former GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania into the Democratic Party — raised over $1.5 million this past quarter, his campaign announced Wednesday.

Los Angeles Times: Gavin Newsom holds his own election - on his campaign logo
In classical Greek, logos generally means the expression of thought through speech, but in advertising and especially politics, it has come to mean the basic symbol that will define and carry a campaign and build the buzz so important to sales – or election.

Mercury News: Governor: Give me Delta deal first, then I'll sign bills
With a midnight Sunday deadline looming, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is refusing to act on hundreds of bills awaiting his signature — a bid to spur legislative leaders into finally overhauling the environmentally fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Wall Street Journal: GOP Faces Multiple Hurdles as It Aims for a 1994 Replay
A big question hangs over American politics: Could next year be 1994 all over again? That was the year a bitter debate over health care led to a disastrous congressional election for Democrats, in which they lost 54 House and 10 Senate seats and ceded control of both chambers to the Republicans.

CNN: Giuliani backs Whitman
Rudy Giuliani will support former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's California gubernatorial bid, her campaign announced Wednesday.

CNN: Betsy Markey urges credit card companies to halt rate hikes
A Democratic congresswoman is calling on credit card companies to stop hiking interest rates before President Obama's credit card bill goes into effect next year.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Biden visits A.C., campaigns for Corzine
Vice President Biden whipped up a crowd of several hundred union members yesterday to support Democratic Gov. Corzine, who seeks reelection.

CNN: Pawlenty to host Iowa GOP fundraiser
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the keynote speaker at an Iowa Republican Party fundraiser on November 7, kicking off the party's primary season battle for the governor's mansion in that state, and stirring speculation he is planning a presidential run in 2012.

New York Times: In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery
In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475.

CNN: Foley highlights vicious cycle in first TV ad
Promising to get the "economy moving again," Connecticut Republican Senate hopeful Tom Foley released his first television ad Wednesday.

Chicago Tribune: Chicago 2016 team: Was it misled or did it miscount?
Were they misled or did they miscount? That is the question Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee officials are being forced to answer after senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said President Barack Obama traveled to Copenhagen based on the committee's assumption the race was close enough that his presence "would make a huge difference."

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

CNN: Fallen soldiers remembered as devoted fathers, heroes
Stephan Mace of the Army's 61st Cavalry Regiment knew the Taliban would be waiting for him when he returned to eastern Afghanistan in September.

CNN: As first vaccines go out, H1N1 questions answered
For 13-year-old Brandon Marti, the intranasal vaccine felt "good," "cold" and "watery" at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, on Tuesday.

New York Times: Thousands of U.S. Homeowners Cite Drywall for Ills
When Bill Morgan, a retired policeman, moved into his newly built dream home in Williamsburg, Va., three years ago, his hopes were quickly dashed.

CNN: For caretakers, cross is about a promise to a friend
Henry and Wanda Sandoz greet their visitors with a little warning: watch out for the "Mojave Greens," their name for "Crotalus scutulatus," the local rattlesnakes that inhabit the area around Sunrise Rock.

USA TODAY: Housing aid draws crowd in Detroit
This city's desperate struggle to weather the fallout of a recession played out in anger, scuffles and fainting Wednesday when thousands of residents lined up to get a limited number of applications for housing and utility payment assistance.

CNN: Justices weigh constitutionality of war memorial cross
The Supreme Court offered conflicting concerns Wednesday over a cross, erected as a war memorial, that sits on national parkland in the Mojave Desert and whether it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

CNN: Helen Keller statue unveiled at Capitol
A bronze statue of Helen Keller was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers praised her as a trailblazer and an inspiration for those with disabilities.

CNN: Cabinet officials, Chicagoans discuss ways to end teen violence
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan met Wednesday with a group of teens who were schoolmates of a Chicago youth brutally beaten to death last month.

CNN: Viewers still in Letterman's corner
David Letterman may be under attack from some quarters after the revelations that he had sexual affairs with staffers, but he still has the support of a number of notables, as well as TV viewers.

CNN: Deadly home invasion rattles New Hampshire town
A small, rural town in the hills of New Hampshire was jolted by a home invasion over the weekend that left a mother dead and her young daughter severely injured.

New York Times: 7 Preserves Envisioned to Manage Wild Horses
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that he was proposing to create seven new wild-horse preserves, including one in the East and one in the Midwest, to address the problem of a growing population crowding the Western range.

CNN: Economic crisis hits property that may have sheltered Capone
Al Capone's legend of bootlegging, gangland slayings and tax evasion lives on more than 60 years after the Chicago gangster's death. Now comes a footnote that is a sign of the times: foreclosure.

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

CNN: Earthquakes rock South Pacific
Three major earthquakes struck within an hour and 10 minutes Thursday morning near Vanuatu in the South Pacific, prompting a tsunami warning that was quickly lifted.

CNN: Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says
Nearly one in four people worldwide is Muslim - and they are not necessarily where you might think, according to an extensive new study that aims to map the global Muslim population.

Bloomberg: Hamas Finds Gaza Tunnels’ $500 Million Loss Worse Than Madoff
Investment opportunities are rare in the Gaza Strip. So when Nabila Ghabin saw one last year, she pawned her car and jewelry and put $12,000 into a network of tunnels that brought in supplies smuggled from Egypt.

CNN: Authorities: 100 in U.S. and Egypt charged in ID theft ring
Authorities indicted 100 Americans and Egyptians on Wednesday in the smashing of an international identity theft ring billed as one of the largest cybercrime cases ever.

New York Times: Group Resists Korean Stigma for Unwed Mothers
Four years ago, when she found that she was pregnant by her former boyfriend, Choi Hyong-sook considered abortion. But after she saw the little blip of her baby’s heartbeat on ultrasound images, she could not go through with it.

CNN: India flood victims find destruction
A blanket of water hides the devastation underneath it. Miles and miles of villages, small cities, and farmland are spoiled by standing flood water.

CNN: Court overturns Berlusconi's immunity law
Italy's top court has overturned a law that shielded Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from possible prosecution.

CNN: Ex-Brazil legislator on run from crime charges, police say
A former Brazilian state legislator and TV host who allegedly dealt drugs and ordered rivals killed, is missing and considered a criminal fugitive, state police in Brazil said Wednesday.

New York Times: Leader Ousted, Honduras Hires U.S. Lobbyists
First, depose a president. Second, hire a lobbyist.

CNN: Exiled Myanmar activist backs sanctions
An activist exiled from Myanmar called for the government to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and urged the U.S. to continue sanctions against it.

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

CNNMoney: Place your bids: Silverdome goes on the block
The hard-hit city of Pontiac, Mich., is auctioning off the Silverdome, a stadium of more than 80,000 seats that once played host to the Super Bowl.

CNNMoney: Wall St. casualties: Where are they now?
I was laid off by JPMorgan Chase after 8 years of service. Before that I had over 10 years with the federal government. Since I was laid off last October, I've had three different jobs, leaving the first two only after securing upgraded positions.

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

CNN: A $4 million Chinese throne
A Chinese throne from the mid-18th century is expected to fetch between $2.5 million to $4 million. Pauline Chiou reports.

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