October 9th, 2009
05:31 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: October 09, 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 wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
President Barack Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
on Friday.

CNN: Clinton trip comes amid debate on Afghanistan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embarks Friday on a six-day trip to Europe and Russia that comes at a crucial time in the Obama administration's decision-making on a strategy for Afghanistan.

CNN: Obama team tries to hash out new plan for Afghanistan
As tensions mount over the best way forward in Afghanistan, top aides say President Obama is adamant about coming up with a new plan before deciding on troop levels.

Wall Street Journal: Top Troop Request Exceeds 60,000
The request for troops sent to President Barack Obama by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan includes three different options, with the largest alternative including a request for more than 60,000 troops, according to a U.S. official familiar with the document.

Washington Post: Emerging Goal for Afghanistan: Weaken, Not Vanquish, Taliban
As it reviews its Afghanistan policy for the second time this year, the Obama administration has concluded that the Taliban cannot be eliminated as a political or military movement, regardless of how many combat forces are sent into battle.

USA TODAY: Congress curbs pet projects - a little
Spending on lawmakers' pet projects is heading down this year, but Congress is still on track to far exceed what President Obama set as an acceptable spending level during the 2008 campaign, a USA TODAY analysis has found.

Washington Post: White House Faces Pressure on Jobs
Eight months after enacting a massive economic stimulus package, the Obama administration is facing rising pressure from some congressional Democrats to move more aggressively to jump-start the moribund job market and try to spur a housing recovery.

CNN: Key health care vote set for next Tuesday
The Senate Finance Committee will vote on its long-awaited health care bill next Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor Thursday.

CNN: House Ethics Committee expands Rangle investigation
The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand its investigation of Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the most powerful members of Congress.

CNN: Analysts: Rangel's woes could be liability for Dems in 2010
As one of the most influential Democrats in the House of Representatives, Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York, has seen the highs and lows that come with the job.

Washington Post: Wall Street Has Geithner's Ear
As the federal government propped up the housing market and braced for the collapse of General Motors, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner capped a busy week this spring with phone conversations with three men.

New York Times: House Passes Expanded Hate Crimes Bill
The House voted Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to cover those committed because of a victim’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

CNN: Obama approval rating around 50percent in latest polls
President Barack Obama's approval rating is hovering at or just above the 50 percent mark, according to the three most recent national surveys.

New York Times: U.S. Mortgage Backer May Need Bailout, Experts Say
A year after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teetered, industry executives and Washington policy makers are worrying that another government mortgage giant could be the next housing domino.

CNN: 'You lie' makes Wilson conservative celebrity
In the days after Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at President Obama during his address to Congress last month the South Carolina congressman reached out to several of his longtime confidantes.

CNN: Liberals see health care hero in freshman Florida lawmaker
Could a little-known freshman Democrat from a conservative-leaning Florida district be just what the doctor ordered for liberals wary of what they view as a timid president too ready to compromise on overhauling health care?

Los Angeles Times: All eyes are on Olympia Snowe in healthcare debate
The lone congressional Republican working to support Obama's overhaul, the Maine senator is being hit from all sides. But in her rough-hewn state, independence is expected.

New York Times: Pullout From Iraq Poses Daunting Challenges
There is no more visible sign that America is putting the Iraq war behind it than the colossal operation to get its stuff out: 20,000 soldiers, nearly a sixth of the force here, assigned to a logistical effort aimed at dismantling some 300 bases and shipping out 1.5 million pieces of equipment, from tanks to coffee makers.

Miami Herald: Crist continues to rake in millions for Senate campaign
Gov. Charlie Crist's fundraising for his U.S. Senate campaign has slowed to a breakneck pace. After a record-setting debut of $4.3 million, Crist collected $2.4 million in the past three months, his campaign announced Thursday. That's more than any other non-incumbent Senate candidate across the country raised during that time, according to the national Republican Party.

CNN: Poll: McDonnell widens lead in Virginia
With less than four weeks until election day, a new poll indicates that the Republicans are widening their lead over the Democrats in the Virginia gubernatorial race.

CNN: Biden will continue Deeds campaign
Vice President Joe Biden vows to continue campaigning for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.

New York Times: Judiciary Panel Approves Patriot Act Sections
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved legislation to reauthorize three sections of the so-called Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year, after largely rejecting a series of proposed changes to surveillance laws sought by civil liberties and privacy advocates.

CNN: Dalai Lama: 'No disappointment' over lack of WH visit this week
The Dalai Lama said Thursday that an opportunity for President Obama to raise the Tibet issue with Chinese leader Hu Jintao — and the spiritual leader's strategic desire to avoid alienating the Chinese president ahead of Obama's visit to that nation — were more important than the chance to press his own political agenda in person during his latest visit to Washington.

CNN: Poll: Brown holds early lead over Newsom
Eight months before California's primary, a new poll suggests that Jerry Brown, the state's sitting attorney general and former governor, holds a 20-point lead over San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom in the battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

McClatchy: More Sanford trouble: Dashcam catches his car speeding
On Tuesday afternoon, a South Carolina trooper pulled over a black Ford Crown Victoria that he'd clocked doing 85. In the back seat, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

CNN: Cheney daughter to open political consulting firm
Mary Cheney, the younger daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, is starting her own political consulting firm, a Cheney spokesperson confirms to CNN.

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

CNN: NASA set to crash on the moon - twice
Two U.S. spacecraft are set to crash on the moon Friday. On purpose. And we're all invited to watch.

USA TODAY: States not meeting energy goals
Across the USA, states are falling short of their goals to increase the use of renewable energy as Congress weighs a national renewable-energy standard.

CNN: Gun-toting soccer mom, husband shot dead
Soccer mom Melanie Hain, who made national headlines last year by having a loaded, holstered handgun at her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game, has been found shot dead in her home along with her husband, police said Thursday.

CNN: Police suspect 'Barefoot Burglar' is stealing, crashing planes
Who is stealing - and crashing - airplanes in Washington state?

New York Times: New Orleans Police Force Faces Swarm of Inquiries
In its September newsletter, underneath a notice about using antibacterial wipes during flu season, the local Fraternal Order of Police reminded New Orleans officers they had a right to be represented by a lawyer when questioned by the F.B.I., whether as a witness or as a potential target.

CNN: Dog handler appeals conviction in Abu Ghraib case
He's already served the time, but lawyers Thursday argued to clear his name as onetime U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Smith appeals a conviction for the torture of detainees once held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

CNN: Tough sheriff's immigration duties face limits after complaints
Federal authorities are moving to rein in the man dubbed "America's Toughest Sheriff" after complaints that immigration raids by his deputies amounted to unconstitutional roundups of Latinos.

CNN: Brooke Astor's son, his lawyer guilty of bilking estate
A jury in Manhattan found the son of Brooke Astor and one of his lawyers guilty Thursday of scheming to bilk millions of dollars from the late philanthropist's estate.

CNN: Researchers to animal-rights activists: We're not afraid
Three research scientists have taken a rare public stand against animal-rights activists, describing them as terrorists for their threats and acts of violence in commentaries published in the latest issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

CNN: NASA flights will study Antarctic ice changes
NASA plans to launch next week the first of 17 planned flights to study changes in Antarctic ice and collect data that may help scientists better predict the consequences of those changes, officials said Thursday.

CNN: Study: Flight delays to get worse as economy improves
Percy von Lipinski figures he flies about 100,000 miles a year. He knows he's going to see a healthy share of flight delays regardless of where he goes.

CNN: Nurse accused of reusing equipment; patients warned
A Fort Lauderdale nurse has resigned and more 1,800 patients have been notified that they may have been exposed to diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, after the nurse allegedly admitted to the hospital that she used disposable IV equipment on multiple patients, a violation of safety standards.

CNN: Officer resigns after alleged beating of student caught on tape
A Dolton, Illinois, police officer assigned to a school was placed on administrative leave and later resigned after a surveillance video surfaced of him allegedly assaulting a special-needs student, officials said.

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

CNN: French minister says he won't resign over sex with 'boys'
French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said Thursday he will not resign over accounts in a book he wrote in 2005 about paying to have sex with "boys" in Thailand.

CNN: Honduras presidential talks make little headway
A delegation from the Organization of American States concluded a trip to Honduras on Thursday with little progress made toward a resolution between the country's de facto government and its ousted president.

CNN: Landslides kill 122 in Philippines
Landslides unleashed by tropical depression Parma across the Philippine province of Benguet have killed at least 122 people and left 31 missing, officials said Friday.

CNN: Blackface 'Jackson Jive' skit shocks Connick
Movie star and singer Harry Connick Jr. made waves around the world by condemning, on air, an Australian television skit featuring a group of performers who wore blackface to impersonate the late pop star Michael Jackson and his brothers.

CNN: Mine accident kills 26 in China
Twenty-six people were killed in a mine accident in central China's Hunan Province, state-run China Daily reported.

CNN: NATO mandate in Afghanistan extended
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution extending the mandate of NATO-led military forces in Afghanistan for a year, hours after a deadly bombing near the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

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

CNNMoney: The Fed's $2.2 trillion fire hose
The Federal Reserve threw a lot of money at the crisis to get the gears of the economy turning again - but it may soon be time to collect on the bill.

CNNMoney: Health reform cost? Nobody really knows
There's nothing like getting a good grade. That's how the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary analysis of the Senate Finance health reform bill is being portrayed.

CNNMoney: 400,000 jobless out of luck
As thousands of jobless Americans lose their weekly unemployment checks every day, Congress is still debating who should qualify for a benefits extension.

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

CNN: Dalai Lama exclusive
Wolf Blizter sits down to talk with his Holiness, the Dalai Lama about his 10th visit to Washington.

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