September 28th, 2010
08:25 AM ET
8 years ago

POLTICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.

For the latest political news:

CNN: Sources: Emanuel all but certain to run for Chicago mayor
Three Democratic sources close to Rahm Emanuel tell CNN that the White House chief of staff informed senior colleagues he is all but certain to run for mayor of Chicago, and will leave the White House to take the final exploratory steps. Close associates are already building a campaign team according to sources. An announcement by Emanuel is expected to be scheduled for Friday, sources said.

CNN: Source: Rouse favorite for acting White House chief of staff
A source close to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says that Deputy Chief of Staff Pete Rouse is the favorite to take over as chief of staff on a temporary basis in order to give President Obama more time to find a long-term replacement for Emanuel. But other people close to the situation said it is too early to determine who will replace Emanuel short-term or long-term because the process is so fluid at this point.

CNN: Obama and Biden head back to school
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other top Democrats are heading back to school Tuesday, in hopes of convincing first time voters from the 2008 election to vote again in 2010. The president is scheduled to headline a Democratic party rally at the University of Wisconsin in Madison while the vice president is the main attraction at a similar event at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

CNN: Protesters arrested outside the White House
More than 100 people protesting mountain-top removal coal mining were arrested Monday outside the White House for failing to obey an order to disperse, the U.S. Park Service said. All 114 people arrested at the protest against mountain-top mining were later released pending a court date, according to the park service.

Wall Street Journal: Local Taxes Sway Congress Races
A recent rise in state and local taxes is roiling voters in an already tumultuous year, complicating the debate over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts and upending some campaigns. As Washington is consumed with the debate over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts beyond the end of the year, voters in many parts of the country are focused on state tax increases already hitting them.

Washington Post: New 'Super Pacs' bringing millions into campaigns
A new political weapon known as the "super PAC" has emerged in recent weeks, allowing independent groups to both raise and spend money at a pace that threatens to eclipse the efforts of political parties. The committees spent $4 million in the last week alone and are registering at the rate of nearly one per day. They are quickly becoming the new model for election spending by interest groups, according to activists, campaign-finance lawyers and disclosure records.

CNN: Union steps up to turn out Dems
Democrats, poised to be dealt heavy losses in November's midterm elections, are getting some help from a union ally. The AFL-CIO is trying to turn out some of its 11.5 million members–the majority of whom are Democrats–by hitting 3.5 million them this week with flyers attacking Republican candidates running in House, Senate and gubernatorial races.

CNN: Steele defends bus travel to 'marginal districts'
Days after Republicans blasted Michael Steele's "Fire Pelosi!" bus tour as "a colossal waste of time" and "the Michael Steele re-election tour," the Republican National Committee chairman argued that the road trip is playing a crucial role in energizing grassroots activists – even if the bus is spending plenty of time in congressional districts not in play this fall.

CQ Politics: Final Stretch Not as Important as You Think
You’d never know it from the avalanche of TV ads, direct-mail pieces and phone calls that voters will receive in October, but most campaigns have only another week or two to change the likely outcome of their contests. Sure, the midterm elections are still five weeks away, but the combination of early voting in many states and the difficulty of cutting through the coming clutter means that the best opportunity for campaigns to change voter attitudes is quickly coming to an end.

For the latest national news:

CNN: Stevens to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. Stevens, a decorated World War II pilot, will be buried with honors, family spokesman Elliott Bundy told CNN last month. The ceremony will be open to the Stevens' family and friends. Stevens, 86, and four others died August 9 when the plane in which they were flying crashed into the side of a mountain in remote southwestern Alaska.

CNN: Public perception of BP affected spill response, Allen says
The public's perception of how the BP oil disaster was handled in the Gulf of Mexico eventually affected the response itself, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said during testimony Monday before the presidential oil spill commission. The appearance that BP was playing an inordinate role in the response "created a lot of concern," Allen said, even though contingency plans required the responsible party to take the range of steps BP took in the aftermath of the April 20 explosion aboard the drill rig Deepwater Horizon that ruptured the well.

CNN: Justice Department finds significant cheating on FBI test
During an open book exam on agent guidelines covering domestic investigations, "a significant number of FBI employees engaged in some form of cheating or improper conduct," a Justice Department report has found. The Office of Inspector General found agents and analysts broke rules by consulting with others about the exam, using and sharing answer sheets and in some instances even using a computer system flaw to reveal the correct answers to questions.

For the latest international news:

CNN: U.S. soldier suspected in fatal shooting of 2 fellow soldiers
A U.S. soldier is in custody in connection with the shooting deaths of two service members and the injury of another in Iraq, the U.S. military said Tuesday. Spc. Neftaly Platero is in pre-trial confinement, the United States Forces- Iraq said. The incident, which took place Thursday, remains under investigation.

New York Times: Petraeus Says Taliban Have Reached Out to Karzai
The top American commander in Afghanistan said Monday that high-level Taliban leaders had reached out to senior Afghan government officials in the context of starting reconciliation discussions that could pave the way to end the fighting in Afghanistan. For months, efforts at reconciliation have been stalled at every level, and this is the first explicit public suggestion that there is extensive behind-the-scenes contact between insurgents and the Afghan government.

CNN: U.S. official: CIA steps up missile strikes in Pakistan
The CIA has stepped up missile strikes in Pakistan, and the uptick in drone attacks is based on precise intelligence, a U.S. official said. "Our operational tempo has been up for a while now," the official, who did not want to be named, told CNN Monday. "We have good information driving it, and given the stakes involved, we hope to keep the pressure on as long as we can."

CNN: Construction restarts at West Bank settlement sites
New construction began at settlement sites in the West Bank Monday, just hours after the expiration of a 10-month Israeli government moratorium on building. CNN witnessed new settlement construction in two locations in the West Bank. …The new building casts a shadow over the continuation of face-to-face peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians that began this month.

USA Today: Napolitano pitches plan for air security to 190 nations
The U.S. Homeland Security chief will urge 190 nations today to improve aviation security with body scanners and other innovations to stop terrorists from carrying plastic and powdered explosives onto airplanes. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the push aims to counter terrorists who might use international flights for attacks by smuggling explosives through overseas metal detectors. Such devices can't stop suicide bombers from hiding unconventional weapons under their clothes.

CNN: Chavez's party wins most seats in Venezuelan assembly elections
President Hugo Chavez's ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela won the most seats in Sunday's parliamentary elections but lost the supermajority that has allowed for quick passage of many of Chavez's programs and controversial measures. The ruling party won 98 seats in the National Assembly, while an opposition coalition won 65, Chavez said Monday night. A leftist party not aligned with the government or the opposition picked up two seats.

BBC: Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov sacked by President Medvedev
Mr Luzhkov, 74, was being removed because he had lost "the trust of the president of the Russian Federation", a presidential decree said. In recent weeks Mr Luzhkov – who has been in office since 1992 – had faced harsh criticism from the Kremlin. The move follows weeks of speculation that Mr Luzhkov would be be forced out after disagreements with the president.

For the latest business news:

CNN Money: Surprise! Blue collar jobs are coming back
As the labor market continues to struggle, one surprising bright spot stands out amid the list of battered industries - factory jobs. Manufacturing employment began its decline long before the recession, losing jobs every year since 1998. But since the start of this year, there's been a 1.6% gain in manufacturing jobs - about twice the pace of growth in other private sector jobs.

New York Times: Still Few Women in Management, Report Says
Women made little progress in climbing into management positions in this country even in the boom years before the financial crisis, according to a report to be released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office. As of 2007, the latest year for which comprehensive data on managers was available, women accounted for about 40 percent of managers in the United States work force. In 2000, women held 39 percent of management positions. Outside of management, women held 49 percent of the jobs in both years.

In Case You Missed It

Reports have surfaced that Rahm Emmanuel will leave President Obama's staff to make a run for Chicago mayor.

Vice President Biden calls the last administration a "Ponzi scheme" for "not creating anything real."

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