December 29th, 2009
10:59 AM ET
3 months ago

The return of terror politics

Rep. Peter Hoekstra posted a message on Twitter accusing the administration of 'stonewalling.'
Rep. Peter Hoekstra posted a message on Twitter accusing the administration of 'stonewalling.'

Washington (CNN) – When President Obama spoke out on the terrorism scare in Detroit, Michigan, he entered a debate that had already begun over his administration's new approach to combating terrorism.

"As a nation we will do everything in our power to protect our country," Obama said while vacationing in Hawaii. "We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland."

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is being held for allegedly trying to blow up a flight carrying 300 passengers on Christmas Day. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Monday for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Yemeni soil.

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially gave something of a thumbs up to the government's handling of the Detroit terror scare.

"One thing I want to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action," Napolitano said on CNN's State of the Union.

Within minutes, Republicans went on the attack.

"Earlier today Secretary Napolitano said the system worked. in fact the system did not work," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Full story


Filed under: Peter Hoekstra • Peter King • President Obama
December 29th, 2009
09:43 AM ET
3 months ago

Ridge: Terror suspect doesn't deserve 'full range' of rights

(CNN) - The man who allegedly lit an explosive on board a U.S.-bound international flight deserves none of the constitutional protections afforded American citizens, a former top Bush administration official said Monday.

Tom Ridge, who served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005, made the comments on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"I take a look at this individual who has been charged criminally, does that mean he gets his Miranda warnings? The only information we get is if he volunteers it?" Ridge said. "He's not a citizen of this country. He's a terrorist, and I don't think he deserves the full range of protections of our criminal justice system embodied in the Constitution of the United States."

Ridge also said he was "not surprised" about reports that two former detainees in the detention center at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had joined up with the group that claimed responsibility for Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab's failed terrorist attack.

Full story


Filed under: Tom Ridge
December 29th, 2009
07:44 AM ET
3 months ago

Public option may be dropped from final health care bill

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina has said he could vote for a bill without the government insurance plan.
Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina has said he could vote for a bill without the government insurance plan.

Washington (CNN) - House Democrats are signaling that a final health care bill will drop the government-run public health insurance option favored by liberals but rejected by conservatives from both parties.

A House-Senate conference committee will begin negotiations next month on merging health care bills passed by the Democratic majorities in each chamber.

However, voting in both chambers was extremely close, raising concerns that a compromise might fail to win the necessary final approval.

One of the main differences between the two measures is the public option. The House bill contains the public option as a competitor to private insurers in a national heath insurance exchange open to people now unable to get coverage, but the Senate version lacks a public option.

Full story


Filed under: Health care
December 29th, 2009
05:21 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama friend's child hurt on Hawaiian vacation

An ambulance leaves the neighborhood where President Obama and his family are vacationing in Hawaii.
An ambulance leaves the neighborhood where President Obama and his family are vacationing in Hawaii.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) - The child of one of President Barack Obama's golf partners suffered a cut chin during the president's Hawaiian vacation Monday, prompting a stir when Obama quickly left the course so his partner could attend to the child.

The president and his entourage quickly left the Luana Hills golf course outside Honolulu and an ambulance was called to the vacation home the first family has rented on the north side of Oahu. A White House aide told CNN that the child who was hurt was treated on the scene, but could go to a hospital later as a precaution.

Neither Obama's golf partner nor the child were identified. Aides said no member of the first family was hurt in the incident, details of which were not immediately available.

The president later returned to the course.

– CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
December 29th, 2009
05:19 AM ET
3 months ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: December 29, 2009

ALT TEXT

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: U.S. will 'do more than strengthen our defenses'
President Obama warned Monday that the United States would respond aggressively to terrorism such as last week's botched attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner.

Washington Post: Republican senator DeMint holds up nomination for TSA chief
An alleged attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration - if there were one.

Los Angeles Times: A White House intervention for bickering leaders of U.S. intelligence
The White House this month issued a classified order to resolve mounting frictions between the nation's intelligence director and the CIA over issues including how the agency conducts covert operations, U.S. officials said. The intervention reflects simmering tension between the two most powerful players in the U.S. intelligence community: Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.

Politico: GOP seizes on terror issue
Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Democrats on intelligence and screening failures leading up to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 — a significant departure from the calibrated, less partisan responses that have followed other recent terrorist activity.

CNN: Public option may be dropped from final health care bill
House Democrats are signaling that a final health care bill will drop the government-run public health insurance option favored by liberals but rejected by conservatives from both parties.

New York Times: At State Level, Health Lobby Fights Change
Like about a dozen other states, Florida is debating a proposed amendment to its state constitution that would try to block, at least symbolically, much of the proposed federal health care overhaul on the grounds that it tramples individual liberty.

USA Today: Cardiologists sue Sebelius over Medicare fee cuts
Heart specialists on Monday filed suit against Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in an effort to stave off steep Medicare fee cuts for routine office-based procedures such as nuclear stress tests and echocardiograms.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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