September 17th, 2010
04:28 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, September 17, 2010

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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: GOP relying on fear, frustration instead of offering new ideas
With Tea Party protesters gathered outside, President Barack Obama said Thursday he understood the anger and frustration in the country but insisted his policies would move the nation forward. Speaking at a fundraiser for Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Connecticut, Obama said Republicans and special interests were spending millions on negative ads against Democrats instead of offering any new ideas or proposals to spur economic recovery and job creation.

CNN: Pelosi Sends Mixed Messages on Tax Cuts, Clarifies Her Position
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to send mixed messages Thursday about whether she is open to extending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. Numerous times in her weekly press conference she strongly argued against the tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000. … But responding to a question about whether there is any chance the top tax bracket tax cuts will be renewed, she appeared to not rule it out. "The only thing I can tell you is that the tax cuts for the middle class will be extended this Congress."

The Hill: Maxine Waters's aides are expelled from event of Speaker Pelosi's
Three staffers working for embattled Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) were asked by security officers to leave an event in downtown Washington on Thursday after they tried to display large campaign signs just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was about to speak. The aides were holding lawn signs that defended Waters from the ethics charges she is facing in the House.

Politico: John Boehner: No government shutdown under GOP control
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected the idea that Republicans will shut down the government if they come to a legislative impasse with President Barack Obama, even as some conservative activists have predicted and even pushed a shutdown next year. “Our goal is to have a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington DC. Our goal is not to shut down the government,” he said.

Los Angeles Times: No winning in economy blame game
Democrat Lee Fisher knows exactly who's to blame for Ohio's 10.3% unemployment rate: It was George W. Bush who dug the state's economic hole, he tells voters, and one of those shoveling right alongside him was Rob Portman. "He helped create the recession," Fisher says of his Republican rival for the U.S. Senate. But Peggy Swope, for one, isn't so sure. There are plenty of reasons the economy tanked, says the 68-year-old independent, and it's not like Obama has done such a great job turning things around. "He was so fixated doing what he thought he needed to do on healthcare that he let everything else go," said Swope, a Columbus retiree.

Washington Post: The 'tea party' gears up for 2012
The playbook for winning the Republican presidential nomination begins with a set of inviolable rules: Start early, raise millions, build an organization, and trudge across the country seeking the blessing of mayors and money men. But in a world where the most careful plans can be rendered obsolete by a Sarah Palin tweet (see: Primary, Delaware), many in the party have begun to question whether those old, pre-"tea party" rules still apply.

CNN: Ousted in GOP primary, senator seeks advice from colleagues
A day before she declares whether she will mount a write-in candidacy to preserve her Senate seat, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski spent several hours in and around the Senate chamber Thursday talking with her colleagues about the difficult decision she faces. After unexpectedly losing the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, Murkowski is scheduled to be in Alaska Friday to announce whether she run in the general election.

CNN: Dana Bash: Snowe sounds off
Few Republican lawmakers were as stung by Rep. Mike Castle's surprising loss to his conservative GOP opponent as Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. In a hallway just off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, she sounded off about her place as a moderate in the GOP, and voter anger she says she understands. Visibly sad, Snowe called Castle "an outstanding public servant who was committed to the common good of his state and country."

CNN: O'Donnell's post-primary fundraising nears a million
Christine O'Donnell's campaign tells CNN it raised $850,000 in the first 24 hours after her upset victory in the Delaware Republican senatorial primary. Spokeswoman Michelle Lauren says the campaign's website crashed Tuesday night due to the large amount of traffic generated in the wake of her surprise win. The site went back up Thursday morning, she says.

CNN: Delaware Senate candidates set the stage for November
Delaware voters were treated to a markedly different tone Thursday night as they watched their two Senate candidates together for the first time since the primaries. During a candidate's forum, Republican Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons displayed little of the animosity that came to define O'Donnell's bitter primary battle with Rep. Mike Castle. Rather, the night was marked by polite discourse and even agreement as the two candidates sought to lay out their position on many key issues.

CNN: Biden to Delaware Friday to help Coons
Vice President Joe Biden's heading home to Delaware to try and help keep his old Senate seat in Democratic Party hands. The vice president is scheduled to appear with New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, the Democrat's Senate nominee in Delaware, at an event in Wilmington Friday, according to a Thursday evening e-mail from the Coons campaign.

CNN: Clinton talks tea party
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about the Tea Party movement Thursday, drawing a contrast between the rhetoric of campaigns and how candidates eventually govern. …"When they have the burden of holding office and the responsibility that goes with it, I've seen them become very sobered very quickly," Clinton said. "Sometimes the poetry can get kind of hot and a little over the top, but the prose brings you down to earth."

CNN: Jimmy Carter blames Ted Kennedy for health care delay
The late Sen. Ted Kennedy is widely hailed for devoting his political career to the cause of providing health care to all Americans. But in an interview set to air on 60 Minutes Sunday, former President Jimmy Carter says Kennedy is the one to blame for delaying legislation to provide such care. "The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

Los Angeles Times: Wall Street ties are a major player in midterm election
As Democrats seek to focus voter attention on the nation's economic problems that existed before President Obama took over, they have begun wielding a sharp new tool: the Wall Street reform law and Republican opposition to it. Large GOP gains in Congress could allow Republicans to hinder, or in some cases block, the ability of regulators to implement the law's stricter oversight of the financial industry.

CNN: Midterm TV ad spending could top $1 billion
Nearly $285 million was spent by Democrats, Republicans and advocacy groups on political television commercials in the 2010 primaries, and when the dust settles on this midterm election, the final tally could reach $1 billion. Evan Tracey, president of Campaign Media Analysis, notes history shows that three quarters of the money spent on political TV ads occurs in the final 60 days of the campaign.

Miami Herald: Crist lashes out at U.S. Senate race opponent Marco Rubio
Under attack on television and losing traction in the U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist lashed out Thursday at front-runner Marco Rubio for his spending with a Republican party credit card and for trying to stuff "pork" into the state budget. Rubio periodically used his party-issued American Express card to pick up personal expenses, though he says he later covered them.

CNN: Whitman sets all-time spending record
Former eBay chief executive and current California gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, has broken the all-time personal spending record for an American political candidate, dishing out $119 million in her bid for the governors mansion. Whitman who is running against Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, surpassed the previous self-financed campaign record of $109 million dollars set by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his 2009 reelection campaign.

NATIONAL
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CNN: BP completes relief well in Gulf of Mexico
BP has completed work on a relief well that will allow the oil giant to permanently seal the well at the heart of the Gulf oil disaster, the government's commander in charge of overseeing response to the spill said. "Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation ... BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well," said Thad Allen, the appointed national incident commander, in a statement released late Thursday.

CNN: Bitten, shot, spat on: Violence in hospitals common for staff
A gunman critically injured a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and later killed himself and his mother, police say - the latest violent incident in a health care setting. Hospitals are pressure cookers as people are often distressed, mentally disturbed or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol in a highly stressful environment. All of these factors pose possible dangers to health care workers.

CNN Money: Lifelines for the poor are disappearing
With more people than ever living in poverty, the government's unprecedented effort to strengthen the safety net for needy Americans is running out. Washington has spent tens of billions of dollars since the start of 2009 on programs to help feed the poor, house the homeless and support the unemployed. But much of this money has been used up or is about to expire in coming weeks and months.

USA Today: Number of uninsured Americans rises to 50.7 million
A record rise in the number of people without health insurance across the nation is fueling renewed debate over a health care law that could to work better at boosting coverage than controlling costs. More than 50 million people were uninsured last year, almost one in six U.S. residents, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. The percentage with private insurance was the lowest since the government began keeping data in 1987.

Austin-American Statesman: State hammers EPA on science of global warming
Essentially putting global warming science on trial, Texas officials on Thursday expanded their arguments in a lawsuit meant to prevent the federal regulation of greenhouse gases. In motions submitted Thursday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott accused the federal Environmental Protection Agency of relying on faulty science for its proposals to regulate greenhouse gases.

Washington Post: U.S. cybersecurity plans lagging, critics say
More than a year after President Obama made a White House speech proclaiming that the protection of computer networks was a national priority, the federal government is still grappling with key questions about how to secure its computer systems as well as private networks deemed critical to U.S. security.

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

CNN: Clinton pushes extended West Bank construction moratorium
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has proposed a three-month extension of Israel's construction moratorium on the West Bank, a diplomatic source told CNN Thursday. The proposal, which was made this week during Middle East peace talks being held in the region, was accepted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but essentially rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two sides appear to be at a stalemate, the source said.

CNN: Pope addresses sex abuse scandal as he starts visit to Britain
The Roman Catholic Church has not been vigilant enough or fast enough in responding to the problem of sexual abuse by priests, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday. "These revelations were for me a shock and a great sadness. It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible," he told reporters aboard his plane to Scotland. "How a man who has done this and said this can fall into this perversion is difficult to understand."

Christian Science Monitor: Haiti election commission under scrutiny for ties to President René Préval
As Haiti gears up for its first-ever internationally televised presidential debate Saturday, confidence in the government’s ability to hold a credible poll is being undermined by allegations that President René Préval is attempting to sway the election.Details of an Aug. 16 meeting between Mr. Préval and members of Haiti’s election commission (CEP) has observers questioning whether the CEP rejected candidates based on politics instead of the Constitution.

Washington Post: As Cuba gives capitalism a try, experts ponder future
As Cuba embarks on a bold new experiment – firing 500,000 state workers and letting them plunge into freer markets – experts in the region are watching to see whether the communist government and its baby entrepreneurs can salvage the economy without sacrificing the nation's "socialism or death" model.

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

Detroit Free Press: GM CEO Akerson okay with U.S. government role, for now
Unlike his predecessor, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says he knows the government will be a shareholder even after the initial public stock offering. And for a few years, that is OK with him. "I do think we have the goodwill of many American consumers," he told reporters Thursday. Still, he conceded, "I don't think any investor group has infinite patience."

Wall Street Journal: FedEx 1Q More Than Doubles; 2Q View Cautious
FedEx Corp. (FDX) said Thursday that fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled and raised its full-year financial guidance, though international volume fell slightly short of expectations and the company announced a charge to restructure its domestic trucking business. The U.S.-based shipping giant also forecast "a phase of somewhat slower economic growth going forward" than earlier in the calendar year, although Chief Executive Fred Smith stressed that he views the trend as indicative of a normal economic cycle rather than precursor to a double-dip recession.

In Case You Missed It

CNN's Brian Todd looks at reverberations within the GOP after Christine O'Donnell's win in the Delaware primary.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/09/16/pkg.todd.odonnell.and.gop.cnn

N.Y. Gubernatorial Candidate, Carl Paladino discusses his stance on specific issues.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/09/17/ac.paladino.intv.issues.cnn

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