October 14th, 2009
04:45 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: October 14, 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: Senate panel OKs health reform bill; Obama: 'We're not there yet'
The health care reform debate reached a new milestone Tuesday as a key congressional committee passed an $829 billion plan projected to extend coverage to an additional 29 million Americans.

CNN: Pushback grows against insurance industry report
They're angry and fighting back with full force. The White House, Democrats and health care experts are blasting a new insurance industry trade report that finds that health insurance premiums for the typical American family would increase by $4,000 by 2019 under a key Senate overhaul plan.

CNN: Pawlenty rolls out new health care proposals
As Democrats in Washington work to push health care reform through the Senate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty rolled out a series of new health care initiatives on Tuesday that he plans to introduce during next year's legislative session.

CNN: Pelosi pledges again House will pass health care bill with public option
As the Senate Finance Committee passed its health care bill out of committee without a public option Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood on the other side of the Capitol insisting again that the House will pass a bill with a government-run insurance option.

Washington Post: Medical-Device Firms Criticize Tax Proposal
As it turns out, the day the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve its health-care reform bill was the same day that about 1,400 workers and executives in the medical-device industry convened in Washington to talk shop.

Washington Post: The Pastor Who Has Obama's Attention
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is long gone; Rick Warren, just an Inauguration Day memory. The hordes of ministers around town who were hoping they'd somehow wind up with the first family in their pews have (mostly) given up.

CNN: GOP needs power player to end 'warlord status,' expert says
The 1994 elections were approaching, and House Republicans were on a mission to take control of their chamber for the first time in nearly 50 years.

CNN: With a few stumbles out of the gate, RNC launches revamped site
The Republican National Committee debuted its newly redesigned online portal GOP.com Tuesday — but not without a few technical headaches, including some that left the site completely unavailable for parts of the day.

CNN: Graham: GOP 'not going to be the party of angry white guys'
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has always enjoyed a little back-and-forth with belligerent audiences.

CNN: Discord among Dems 'par for the course,' experts say
When President Obama took office, Democrats stood beside him in unity, but just as soon as Congress got to work, divisions in the party emerged.

USA TODAY: Senators try to exclude illegal immigrants from 2010 Census
A controversial amendment that would require the Census Bureau to ask for the first time whether people are in the USA illegally is headed for a Senate vote Wednesday.

New York Times: Biden No Longer a Lone Voice on Afghanistan
A few hours after getting off a plane from America’s war zones, Joseph R. Biden Jr. slipped into a chair, shook off his jet lag and reflected on what he had seen. The situation in Iraq, he said, was much improved. In Pakistan, he said he saw encouraging signs.

POLITICO: Inouye embraces McChrystal strategy
Without committing himself to specific troop increases, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye returned Tuesday from Afghanistan, seeming to fully embrace Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy that would demand more American resources and manpower.

Washington Post: U.S. Sees Saudi Program As an Option for Detainees
Four years after Khalid al-Jehani's release from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the 34-year-old Saudi lives a peaceful life in this sprawling coastal city. He has a car, a job and a well-furnished apartment - courtesy of the Saudi government.

CNNMoney: U.S. wants AIG bonuses curtailed
The Treasury Department, after missing an opportunity to rein in controversial bonuses to AIG employees last year, is now pressing the bailed out insurer to reduce a $198 million bonus pool, according to an overseer's report released Tuesday.

Los Angeles Times: Support in Senate for cellphone driving ban
Amid calls from the Obama administration and traffic safety advocates to ban texting and talking on hand-held cellphones while driving, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) has thrown his support behind the effort - a sign that the Senate could pass such legislation this year.

CNN: MoveOn.org targets Senate Finance Committee on public option
A former health insurance executive calls the Senate Finance Committee's bill a "dream come true" for the insurance industry in a new ad released Tuesday by MoveOn.org.

CNN: NRCC removes tweet comparing Pelosi to Hitler
The National Republican Congressional Committee has removed a tweet Tuesday that linked to a video comparing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Adolf Hilter.

CNN: Reid raises over $2 million in latest reporting period
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might be trailing two Republican challengers in polls surveying the 2010 landscape in Nevada, but he's also one of the better-funded candidates in the country.

McClatchy: Capitol event launches study for national Latino museum
The National Museum of the American Latino moved one step closer to reality Tuesday with a kickoff event at the U.S. Capitol for the museum's commission featuring Hollywood actress Eva Longoria Parker and music producer Emilio Estefan.

CNN: Poll: How low can Schwarzenegger go?
He used to get big numbers at the box office, but when it comes to his current approval rating as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is no blockbuster.

Miami Herald: Congressman Robert Wexler to resign from seat, join Middle East think tank
After serving seven terms as the representative for Florida's 19th district, Robert Wexler will resign his seat and announce his future plans Wednesday.

CNN: Corzine hits Christie again on Bush, abortion, guns in latest spot
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign released a new ad Tuesday that ties Republican opponent Chris Christie to former President George W.Bush, and to conservative culture war stands on social issues and gun control.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Christie decries attack by state teachers union
Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher J. Christie says the state's 200,000-member teachers union is distorting his education policies, but the teachers say he needs to do some homework on his own positions to learn why they're attacking him.

CNN: Kerry to clarify aid bill after Pakistani opposition
Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday he will offer a new explanation and clarification of a $7.5-billion Pakistan aid bill that has prompted a firestorm of anti-American sentiment inside Pakistan.

CNN: Liz Cheney forms group to take on Obama's foreign policy
Months after her father's prolonged campaign against President Obama's national security policies, Liz Cheney is spearheading a new organization aimed at organizing conservative opposition to the new administration's foreign policy approach.

CNN: From Congressman to Survivorman
This past summer, Rep. Jeff Flake went into the wild. After two years of planning, the Arizona Republican spent a week on a remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, eating coconuts and fish he caught with a spear, purifying his own water, sleeping in a hammock on the beach, and writing daily in his journal.

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

CNN: Police: Juveniles laughed after setting 15-year-old on fire
Five juveniles were in custody Tuesday after a 15-year-old was intentionally set on fire at a Deerfield Beach, Florida, apartment complex, police said.

New York Times: Still on the Job, but Making Only Half as Much
The dark blue captain’s hat, with its golden oak-leaf clusters, sits atop a bookcase in Bryan Lawlor’s home, out of reach of the children. The uniform their father wears still displays the four stripes of a commercial airline captain, but the hat stays home. The rules forbid that extra display of authority, now that Mr. Lawlor has been downgraded to first officer.

CNN: Supreme Court to hear case about 'sex slave' Web site
The Supreme Court will delve into the shadowy world of sadomasochism next year as it looks into the case of a sex trafficker, known as the "S&M Svengali," whose criminal conviction had been set aside.

Washington Post: Supreme Court to Review Ex-Enron CEO's Conviction
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will review former Enron chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling's conviction to see if he received a fair trial in the hothouse atmosphere of Houston following the collapse in 2001 of the nation's seventh largest company.

CNN: A Rare Case of Homegrown Medicine
Dr. Mitch Miller drove through town on a recent sunny afternoon — a journey that took all of five minutes — and stopped his pickup near a vacant lot. A new home was being built there, a mile from the hospital where he works.

CNN: Storm threatens California with flooding, mudslides
Heavy rain that began pounding California on Tuesday threatened to unleash dangerous floods and mudslides, especially in areas ravaged by wildfires.

Washington Post: A Historic Success In Military Recruiting
For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals, as hundreds of thousands of young people have enlisted despite the near-certainty that they will go to war.

CNN: D.C. sniper's attorney seeks clemency from Virginia governor
An attorney for convicted Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad, who is scheduled to be executed November 10, will seek clemency from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine on October 22.

Washington Post: Census Workers' Fingerprints Get Closer Look
The head of the Census Bureau said Tuesday that the number of convicted criminals who were hired to check home addresses this summer is probably fewer than the 200 estimated by the Government Accountability Office.

CNN: 'Whole face of the mountain' fell into valley, resident says
The sights and sounds of rocks rolling down mountainsides are common but still captivating phenomena for the residents of the Nile Valley in central Washington state.

CNN: Marge Simpson graces Playboy cover
If those coveted 20-something readers can't identify with Hugh Hefner, maybe they will with "The Simpsons."

CNN: DNA leads to suspect after 19 years, FBI says
A suspect has been arrested in the 1990 abduction and attempted murder of an 8-year-old Texas girl, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Houston, Texas, office said.

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

CNN: Clinton says Russia yet to back Iran sanctions
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed Tuesday that Washington and Moscow are working together to ensure Iran's nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, but Russia has stopped short of committing to Iranian sanctions.

CNN: Pakistani military jets strike Taliban targets
Pakistani military jets bombed Taliban militant hideouts Tuesday in the country's lawless tribal region, a senior military official told CNN.

Wall Street Journal: Palestinian Support Wanes for American-Trained Forces
Commanders of the U.S.-trained Palestinian security forces who have been locking up criminals and battling Hamas militants here for nearly two years have maintained morale in the ranks with a single promise: They will one day be the anchor of security for an independent Palestinian state.

New York Times: In Kabul, Little Hope That a Runoff Will Be Fair
As experts pore over ballots to determine whether the fraud in this country’s presidential election was so big that a runoff vote was required, many Afghans interviewed here on Tuesday shared the same view: Why bother?

CNN: UN to resurrect debate on Israel-Hamas war
The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session Thursday to reopen discussion of Israel's three-week offensive against the Islamic militant group Hamas in Gaza.

CNN: Egyptian woman protest ban on austere veil
There's more to wearing the "niqab" - the austere, all-covering veil favored by ultra-religious Muslim women - than meets the eye.

CNN: Bomber who tried to kill Thatcher: 'Regret,' but not 'sorry'
The IRA bomber who tried to kill Margaret Thatcher in 1984 expressed "regret" Tuesday, but refused to tell the families of most of the victims that he was sorry - even when directly challenged to do so.

CNN: Panama faces probe over alleged torture
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has been asked to investigate whether Panama tortured an Ecuadorian citizen who was being held as an illegal immigrant, an official hemispheric human rights organization said.

CNN: Iraq approves return of small British force
At least 100 British troops are likely to return to Iraq, a few months after the country withdrew its service members from their bases in and around the southern city of Basra.

CNN: 'Mentally ill' Briton faces drugs execution in China
The brother of a convicted British drug smuggler facing imminent execution in China has pleaded for authorities to show compassion amid concerns over the man's mental health at the time of his arrest.

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

CNNMoney: Ford recall hits 4.5 million vehicles
Ford issued the largest single recall in its history Tuesday as drivers of an additional 4.5 million vehicles were alerted about a fire hazard from a faulty switch.

New York Times: Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety
For decades, automakers have been on a quest to make cars quieter: an auto that purrs, and glides almost silently in traffic.

In Case You Missed It
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CNN: Preparing for a disaster
People in Banda Aceh, Indonesia prepare for a tsunami with emergency drills. CNN's Dan Rivers reports.

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