November 23rd, 2009
05:15 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: November 23, 2009

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: Health care debate headed to Senate floor
Health care reform backers won a key victory Saturday night as the Senate voted to move ahead with a floor debate on a sweeping $848 billion bill.

Los Angeles Times: For a healthcare holdout, it's lonely in the middle
As one of the few senators undecided on healthcare reform, Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln faces a huge headache. Liberals attack her as an obstructionist, even though she cast a key vote keeping the effort alive. Republicans are lining up to run against her - seven, so far, and counting.

Washington Post: Public option at center of debate
Democrats had little time to savor their weekend Senate health-care victory, as two of the lawmakers who voted to move the debate forward Saturday night indicated Sunday that they will not vote to pass the package if it includes a government-run insurance program.

McClatchy: Senate health care bill about to enter a political minefield
The Senate is ready to begin a volatile, high-stakes health care debate that's sure to be punctuated by tense and unpredictable battles over some of the most incendiary issues in American politics today. Debate on the $848 billion bill to overhaul the nation's health care system is expected to start next week, after the Senate returns from its Thanksgiving recess, and many lawmakers already consider it a golden opportunity to win long-sought projects and local aid for their constituents.

USA Today: Health care fight swells lobbying
Companies and groups hiring lobbying firms on health issues nearly doubled this year as special interests rushed to shape the massive revamp of the nation's health care system now in its final stretch before Congress.

CNN: Bishop bars Patrick Kennedy from Communion over abortion
Rhode Island's top Roman Catholic leader has asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy to stop taking Communion over his support for abortion rights, the diocese said Sunday.

Boston Globe: Coakley leads, but electorate unsettled
Attorney General Martha Coakley has a solid lead in the four-way Democratic race for the open US Senate seat, but with just 16 days until the primary election, nearly three-quarters of likely voters have yet to decide who they will support, according to a Globe poll.

Albany Times Union: Paterson says to put people first
As another week passed without a deal to address New York's $3.2 billion deficit, Gov. David Paterson on Sunday told lawmakers they should put the people first, not powerful special interests. Paterson sent a letter to all 212 lawmakers that the warnings to the state are clear if the Legislature doesn't act. He is holding out hope for cooperation in the coming days.

The Ithaca Journal: The Giuliani factor weighs on 2010 elections
With Rudolph Giuliani's decision not to run for governor, the state's political picture looks much different for the 2010 elections. The former New York City mayor was viewed by most Republicans as their top candidate for the seat, even though most were not convinced he was going to run.

Wall Street Journal: For GOP, Health Is Only One Battle on Road to '10 Elections
For Republicans, the Saturday vote on health care in the Senate was the first skirmish in a longer battle aimed at frustrating White House ambitions and ensuring that Democrats bear full responsibility for legislation the GOP sees as increasingly unpopular with Americans.

Hartford Courant: Democrats Still High On Dodd, But Doubt And Fear Over Keeping Seat Creep In
The floundering poll numbers that have roused U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd's longtime critics are starting to rattle at least some of the people who have long been in his corner. With nearly a year to go before the November 2010 election, few party loyalists are panicking. But some are wondering: Just how vulnerable is he?

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

New York Times: N.F.L. to Shift in Its Handling of Concussions
In a shift in the National Football League’s approach to handling concussions, the league will soon require teams to receive advice from independent neurologists while treating players with brain injuries, several people with knowledge of the plan confirmed Sunday.

Houston Chronicle: Security firms see border boom
Security training companies in Texas and elsewhere, bolstered by an alarming increase in kidnappings and violence in Mexico, are finding a new niche in clientele: Americans and Mexicans living, visiting and working across the border.

Los Angeles Times: L.A. City Council is poised to debate how many pot dispensaries to allow
The number of shops selling marijuana has exploded from 186 two years ago. Officials hope to impose some order by capping the number of outlets or by requiring a certain distance between stores.

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

NPR: Iran Begins War Games To Protect Nuclear Sites
Iran on Sunday began large-scale air defense war games aimed at protecting its nuclear facilities from attack, state TV reported, as an air force commander boasted that the country could deter any military strike by Israel.

Daily Telegraph: Romanian election requires run-off to choose next president
Romania faces a run-off vote after no clear winner emerged in a presidential election overshadowed by a political crisis that has threatened to derail emergency international funding for the country's recession-ravaged economy.

Washington Post: Report: Leaked UK documents detail Iraq war chaos
Leaked British government documents call into question ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's public statements on the buildup to the Iraq war and show plans for the U.S.-led 2003 invasion were being made more than a year earlier, a newspaper reported Sunday.l

CNN: China mine blast deaths exceed 100
The death toll from an explosion at a northeastern China coal mine rose to 104 Monday morning, according to state-run media.

Bloomberg: Regrouping Taliban May Widen War as Pakistan Pays Economic Toll
Taliban fleeing a Pakistani offensive are regrouping in the country’s northwest, threatening to spread and prolong a conflict that has strained the nation’s economy and may hamper efforts to attract foreign investment.

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

Financial Times: Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact
Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.

Wall Street Journal: Cellphone Entertainment Takes Off in Rural India
In the furthest reaches of India's rural heartland, the cellphone is bringing something that television, radio and even newspapers couldn't deliver: instant access to music, information, entertainment, news and even worship.

New York Times: Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government
The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true. But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.

Wall Street Journal: Volunteers Log Off As Wikipedia Ages
Wikipedia.org is the fifth-most-popular Web site in the world, with roughly 325 million monthly visitors. But unprecedented numbers of the millions of online volunteers who write, edit and police it are quitting. That could have significant implications for the brand of democratization that Wikipedia helped to unleash over the Internet - the empowerment of the amateur.

In Case You Missed It

Police targeted in N. Ireland
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/11/22/sparks.uk.n.ireland.bomb.cnn

Arkansas health care divide
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2009/11/22/sotu.arkansas.health.care.divide.cnn

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