October 14th, 2010
04:28 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, Ocotber 14, 2010

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: O'Donnell, Coons stage feisty debate in Delaware
A feisty Christine O'Donnell attacked her Democratic opponent but also stumbled in Wednesday's debate with Chris Coons in their election battle for Delaware's U.S. Senate seat held for nearly four decades by Vice President Joe Biden. O'Donnell, the Tea Party backed candidate who upset the mainstream Republican favorite in the primary, appeared nervous at the start but quickly went on the attack, accusing Coons of raising taxes and offering a "rubber stamp" to Obama administration policies if elected.

CNN: Christine O'Donnell: How'd she do?
Before Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate, the bulk of what people knew about Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell came from clips from a talk show from the 1990s. In the month since O'Donnell rocked the political world with her upset win over Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary, she's dominated headlines despite avoiding the national media\

Anchorage Daily News: Ex-mayor says Miller disciplined over ethics
Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller used borough computers in Fairbanks for partisan political purposes in 2008 when he organized the failed effort to oust state GOP chairman Randy Ruedrich from his post, the borough mayor who supervised Miller said Wednesday. Jim Whitaker, the mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough when Miller was the borough's part-time attorney, said Miller was disciplined in writing for violating the borough's ethics policy.

CNN: Democrat becomes first to attack opponent on health care repeal
One of the most fascinating dynamics of this election year has been the way Democrats have stayed far away from reminding voters they voted for health care reform. New York Democrat Scott Murphy is now bucking that trend. He launched a television ad Wednesday aggressively attacking his GOP opponent Chris Gibson for wanting to repeal the health care law.

New York Times: For Reid, No Shaking Tea Party Challenger
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada first thought he could scrape his way to re-election by invoking his power as majority leader and reminding voters what that means for his home state. When that didn’t seem to work, he thought he could pull out this election with a scorched-earth campaign aimed at his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, a Tea Party candidate with a rich history of unorthodox statements and politically unpopular positions. …But as two new polls this week showed the candidates effectively tied yet again, it appears increasingly likely that Mr. Reid’s fortunes may ultimately turn on the weapon he has long boasted of: a sophisticated voter turnout operation that he has methodically built since President Obama ran in Nevada two years ago.

Boston Globe: Stance on Fannie and Freddie dogs Frank
When US Representative Barney Frank spoke in a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill seven years ago, he did not imagine that his words would eventually haunt a reelection bid. The issue that day in 2003 was whether mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fiscally strong. Frank declared with his trademark confidence that they were, accusing critics and regulators of exaggerating threats to Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial integrity. And, the Massachusetts Democrat maintained, “even if there were problems, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’’

The Hill: Boehner a rubber stamp for Pelosi?
It’s an attack ad that writes itself: The House Republican leader, Rep. John Boehner (Ohio), votes with liberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a majority of the time. The statistic seems impossible to believe, given the ferocity with which Boehner denounces Pelosi, the progressive champion of San Francisco elitism and favorite GOP villain. But it’s true, according to an analysis by Democrats. Boehner has voted with the Democratic leadership 52 percent of the time in 2010. So has Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), chairman of the Republican conference and former head of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Wall Street Journal: Wooing Hearts and Minds in Land of Independents
Independent voters will be crucial to congressional races all over the country, and nowhere more than in Connecticut, where the biggest party is no party at all. In the state's heated U.S. Senate race, Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon are locked in a bruising battle to win over Connecticut's more than 900,000 unaffiliated voters, who outnumber about 800,000 registered Democrats and some 400,000 registered Republicans.

CNN: Trump teams up with Christie for GOP fundraiser
Donald Trump is teaming up with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a Republican fundraiser later this month, a Republican source with knowledge of the event confirmed to CNN. The real estate mogul will host a reception for the National Republican Senatorial Committee at Trump Towers on October 25. NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn will also join Christie and the Apprentice star.

Los Angeles Times: Apathetic voters, the silent majority
Ann Quinn is in her red camp chair watching her 10-year-old son at Friday afternoon soccer practice. There's a bin of blue and gold hats in the back of her SUV and a big flag. When she isn't working full time at the local Navy base, she is cubmaster for her son's pack and a classroom volunteer at his school. If all that isn't enough, there is an election coming up next month and her husband, John, comes home most nights all spun up about what a lousy job President Obama and the Democrats are doing. She likes Obama and the Democrats. But she's tired from juggling work, parenting and cooking, and voting in these dispiriting times seems like just one more chore.

Dallas News: Gov. Rick Perry agrees he, donor whose firm got tech grant are 'close'
Gov. Rick Perry acknowledged Wednesday that he has a "nice, close personal relationship" with a major campaign donor whose company was awarded $4.5 million in state technology funds despite its failure to win approval from a regional screening board. The governor defended the funding as permissible under the law and said he was not concerned that the award made in August to Convergen Lifesciences Inc. of Austin, founded by David G. Nance, might appear improper.

CNN: Obama town hall gets Hollywood treatment
In what appears to be an unprecedented move, the audience at President Obama's town hall meeting Thursday may include people found through a casting call, which was advertised on a web site for actors. MTV, BET and CMT are the three networks sponsoring the event, which will be held at BET headquarters in Washington D.C. The invitation to participate in the event was posted on the sponsor's web sites and through social media. But it was Back Stage, which bills itself as an online resource for actors, models and other performers, that stirred up controversy when it posted a casting call notice for the same event.

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

CNN: 911 tape a chilling reminder of Fort Hood shooting
The shootings at Fort Hood were replayed in vivid detail in a military hearing Wednesday as the moans of the injured, the shouts and sobbing of people trying to escape, and the pop-pop-pop of gunfire sounded in the background of the tape of a call to an emergency operator. In the second day of an evidentiary hearing for accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood courtroom opened a window into the November shootings that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded.

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

CNN: Everyone out of the mine in Chile
The painstaking process of hoisting 33 miners trapped nearly a half-mile below ground for more than two months in northern Chile was completed Wednesday night, less than a day after it began, ending a saga that gripped a nation that never gave up hope. "I hope this will never happen again," said the last man out of the gold and copper mine, shift foreman Luis Urzua, upon reaching the surface, as he was embraced by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. "I'm proud of being Chilean."

CNN: As they emerged: How each man spent his first moments above ground
Some gave a thumbs-up, waved Chilean flags, and hugged their loved ones. One dropped to his knees and prayed, while another asked about his dog. One led the crowd in a cheer for Chile. And then they were all wheeled away on stretchers. This is how the Chilean miners - emerging from the dark San Jose mine after more than two months - savored their first moments above ground.

Washington Post: NATO forces facilitate talks between Taliban leaders, top Afghan officials
Momentum toward peace negotiations in Afghanistan appeared to grow Wednesday as a senior NATO official said the military alliance had "facilitated" contacts between senior Taliban members and the "highest levels of the Afghan government." The official said NATO forces in Afghanistan were granting safe passage to Taliban leaders traveling to Kabul to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government.

CNN: British prime minister to meet with U.S. Afghan commander
British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to meet Thursday with America's top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus. The meeting comes less than a week after a British aid worker was killed during an operation to rescue her from kidnappers in Afghanistan. Linda Norgrove may have been killed by a grenade thrown by American forces trying to free her, Cameron said Monday.

CNN: French strike set to roll into 3rd day
A strike to protest government pension reforms is set to extend into a third day Thursday. On Wednesday, more than 1 million people walked out to protest the reforms - and at least some of them will stay off the job on Thursday. French workers are fighting government plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

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

CNN Money: States launch foreclosure probe
The top prosecutors in all 50 states announced Wednesday a coordinated probe into improper foreclosures by the nation's largest loan servicers, but stopped short of calling for a freeze on all foreclosures. The group of attorneys general and bank regulators will work to put an immediate stop to improper mortgage foreclosure practices. It will also review past and present practices by loan servicers and come up with potential remedies.

CNN Money: Drilling ban's job impact less than feared
With the end of the deepwater drilling moratorium, it seems that fears of massive job losses among drill workers may have been overblown. About 9,700 people were directly employed in deepwater drilling before the moratorium was imposed in May, according to a recent Commerce Department report. Of those workers, about 2,000 were expected to lose or leave their jobs due to the 6-month moratorium, the report said.

CNN Money: Oil, gold, corn...oh my!
Commodity prices are surging across the board as the U.S. dollar remains under pressure from building speculation that the Federal Reserve is about to take action to aid the stumbling economy. Oil and gold prices have been on a tear this month. After jumping 1.5% last week, crude prices spiked more than 1% again Wednesday. And gold continued it's record-breaking streak, surging nearly 2% to settle at a new record high of $1,370.50 an ounce.

In Case You Missed It

Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell talks about fiscal responsibility during her debate with Chris Coons.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/10/13/sot.delaware.debate.tax.troubles.cnn

Nevada Senate candidates Harry Reid and Sharron Angle trade barbs in interviews with CNN's Jessica Yellin.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/10/13/reid.angle.trade.barbs.cnn

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