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.
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CNN: Signs of trouble for Dems who want to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'
In the wake of the gains by Republicans in last week's election, the prospects for a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" appear to be diminishing daily. Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that while he continues to support the repeal of the policy, which bans openly gay troops from serving, he does not see it as a foregone conclusion.
Wall Street Journal: Republicans May Yet Have Upper Hand in Senate
On paper, the numbers tell you the Democrats held on to a majority in the Senate last week. In reality, things won't be quite that neat. In fact, on some issues the Republicans actually may have a functional majority, given the sentiments likely to prevail among certain Democrats who face the voters in two years. ..Among the Senate Democrats, 23 will face re-election in just two years, and, having just witnessed the drubbing some in their party took at the polls, they likely will be even less willing now to toe the party line. Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who caucuses with Democrats, often leans rightward, anyway.
Washington Post: New GOP governors will steer health law
Republicans' consolidation of power in state capitols is likely to expand the number of states that employ a far more limited, free-market-oriented approach to implementing the nation's new health-care law than the robust regulatory model favored by its supporters. Although the law is a federal statute, it leaves states to administer many of its most important provisions and grants them considerable leeway. It is up to states to run markets, known as "exchanges," through which individuals and small businesses will be able to buy health insurance plans, often with federal subsidies, beginning in 2014. States will also oversee a mostly federally funded expansion of Medicaid to cover a far larger share of the poor.
CNN: Obama's next stop on Asia tour: Indonesia
U.S. President Barack Obama leaves India on Tuesday for Indonesia, where he spent part of his childhood. During a two-day visit, Obama is scheduled to meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and to hold a news conference with him; to attend an official dinner; and to visit the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in southeast Asia. The president also is expected to deliver a public speech at an outdoor location that has not been announced.
CNN: Issa walks back comment calling Obama 'corrupt'
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is walking back remarks he made on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's show last month in which he called President Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." In an interview with CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room, Issa initially said, 'It was a campaign and I make no bones about it – if I had to do it over again I'd have parsed my words a little more carefully."
Politico: Darrell Issa plans hundreds of hearings
California Rep. Darrell Issa is already eyeing a massive expansion of oversight for next year, including hundreds of hearings; creating new subcommittees; and launching fresh investigations into the bank bailout, the stimulus and, potentially, health care reform. Issa told POLITICO in an interview that he wants each of his seven subcommittees to hold “one or two hearings each week.” “I want seven hearings a week times 40 weeks,” Issa said.
CNN: Anti-Pelosi ads break records
More money was spent and more commercials were run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in this midterm election cycle than against any other congressional leader since Newt Gingrich. More than $65 million was spent on 161,203 ads that targeted Pelosi from January 1 through last week's election, according to a new analysis of TV ads for CNN by Campaign Media Analysis Group. "Not since 1996 and Newt Gingrich has a speaker been the target of so many elections ads, candidates, groups and party ads from the GOP put Pelosi front and center in the midterms" says Evan Tracey, CMAG's president and CNN's consultant on TV advertising.
Politics Daily: Did the Democrats' Loss Of Faith Lose Them the House?
Of the many reasons cited for the Election Day "shellacking" administered by Republicans to President Obama and the Democrats, perhaps none is as puzzling to political analysts - or as maddening to religious progressives who put so much faith and work into Obama's success - than the Democrats' failure to mobilize the Religious Left and reach out to conservative believers. …the reality is that after making great strides since 2004 in mobilizing religious progressives and convincing some Republican-leaning evangelical and Catholic churchgoers that they could safely vote Democratic, the party punted on faith-based outreach after the 2008 vote. It came back to haunt them this year as religious voters abandoned Democrats at a rate higher than that of the rest of the electorate and many of the religious progressives who turned out in force in 2008 stayed home.
CNN: House GOP to add freshman leadership slot
Three senior House GOP leadership sources told CNN on Monday that they are planning to add a leadership slot for a freshman member. Two of the sources said that South Dakota's Kristi Noem has expressed interest in the leadership post and appears to have the backing of the current GOP leadership. A source close to Noem confirms that she is interested in the leadership slot and has talked to several members of the Republican leadership about it.
CNN: Bush says brother Jeb isn't running for prez
Jeb Bush for president isn't happening – at least in 2012, according to his older ex-president brother. Though many White House aspirants fend off early questions about running for the Oval Office, former President George Bush says "no" means "no" when it comes to his brother. "I wish he would," the former president told Fox News. "He has to run first. And he has made it clear he is not running in 2012. And when the man says, 'I'm not running,' he means it. I wish he would run."
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CNN: Federal crackdown on child prostitution results in 884 arrests
A three-day federal crackdown on child prostitution rings across the country has resulted in the recovery of 69 children and the arrest of 884 people, including 99 pimps, federal authorities said Monday. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, authorities announced Monday they were arresting 29 individuals involved in gangs that trafficked underage Somali and African-America girls in a prostitution ring. The 29 people were connected to the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws, officials said.
CNN: CIA chief: No more leaking
The head of the Central Intelligence Agency sent a stern warning Monday to the nation's spies and employees to button up the leaks. In a memo sent to CIA employees, Director Leon Panetta said the government is taking "a hard line" and warned that unauthorized disclosure of information to media has done "incredible damage" and could endanger lives. In the memo, Panetta references only one example, WikiLeaks, but writes that in other cases "CIA sources and methods have been compromised."
CNN: High court declines to get involved now in health care overhaul fight
To no one's surprise, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected the first constitutional challenge to the sweeping health care reform effort championed by President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress. The justices without comment refused to get involved at this early stage, while various state and federal challenges are continuing. The high court rarely accepts cases before they have been thoroughly reviewed by lower courts.
Los Angeles Times: More Americans opt for high-deductible health insurance plans
Looking to save money in a weak economy, Americans increasingly are turning to health insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles — prompting doctors and health experts to worry that consumers may be skipping routine care that could head off serious ailments. Nationally, the number of workers with individual deductibles of at least $1,000 has nearly tripled over the last four years, reaching about 20 million, according to a recent survey of employers. Some have pushed their deductibles as high as $10,000, and, to keep medical bills low, are forgoing colonoscopies, blood tests and other preventive procedures.
CNN: Jurors: Man should die for deadly Connecticut home invasion
A man convicted of killing three members of a Connecticut family in a brutal 2007 home invasion should die for the crime, jurors decided Monday after nearly 18 hours of deliberation. Steven Hayes, 47, was convicted last month of 16 of the 17 charges against him, including nine counts of murder and capital murder and four counts of kidnapping. Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit, died in the attack.
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CNN: U.S.-born cleric rails against Yemen, Iran, United States
An American-born cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen blasted Sunni leaders, Shiite Iran and the United States in a video posted on jihadist websites Monday. Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been connected with the Fort Hood shooting suspect and the suspect accused of trying to bring down an airliner with explosives in his underwear, accused Yemen's government leaders of being agents for the United States. "There is an American political agenda that the Yemeni government is carrying out with a western funding in order to estrange the people of this country from their faith by all means," the cleric said in the video.
CNN: Final day of hearings gets under way into claims British abused Iraqis
The third and final day of hearings gets under way Tuesday at London's High Court into a secret British interrogation center near Basra, Iraq, where scores of Iraqis claim they were abused by troops. The Iraqis are demanding an independent inquiry into their treatment, via a lawsuit against the British government this week. At least 125 Iraqis allege they were subjected to mistreatment including sleep deprivation, hooding, being forced to stand or kneel in stress positions, or being exposed to "loud pornography."
CNN: Two miners killed in Chile blast
Two miners were killed and a third was injured in a dynamite explosion at a copper and gold mine in Chile's Atacama Desert, not far from another mine where 33 miners were trapped for 69 days. The miners were working in what was a new mine in an area known as Los Reyes, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of the town of Copiapo, near the site of the San Jose Mine, where the dramatic rescue of the 33 miners grabbed the world's attention.
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CNN Money: Bankruptcy filings jump 14% in 2010
As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from a deep recession, the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy continues to rise dramatically. In the federal government's fiscal year 2010, which ended September 30, more than 1.5 million non-business bankruptcy filings were processed, according to data released Monday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That's up more than 14% from fiscal 2009, when about 1.3 million personal bankruptcies were filed.
USA Today: 1.2 million people want a job but aren't looking
A heartening jobs report last week masked an ominous statistic: Discouraged workers hit a record 1.2 million. Discouraged workers are those who want a job but aren't counted in the labor force because they've stopped looking for work. When the job market improves, many Americans on the sidelines will return to the labor force, holding up the unemployment rate even if job growth surges. "That is going to be a major factor in keeping the unemployment rate from dropping," says Sean Snaith, economics professor at the University of Central Florida.
In Case You Missed It
Alaska Senate Candidate Republican Joe Miller on the Alaska Senate race, Tea Party influence this year and tweeting.
Author Matt Taibbi contends many Tea Party voters are unknowingly doing the heavy lifting for big banks.
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