POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, October 17, 2011
October 17th, 2011
04:57 AM ET
3 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, October 17, 2011

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.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Obama to push for passage of every part of jobs plan
After his jobs bill sputtered in the Senate, President Barack Obama will use a trip this week to push lawmakers to pass every element of it in multiple bills, the White House said Sunday. On a trip to North Carolina and Virginia, "The president will challenge Congress to get to work this week passing every element of the American Jobs Act piece by piece," Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. The first part Obama will focus on is a proposal to prevent teacher layoffs, as well as saving jobs of police officers and firefighters, Earnest said.
CNN: Both parties rolling the dice in Nevada
Republicans and Democrats are holding conferences in Las Vegas this week and seven of the leading GOP contenders are participating in a CNN debate here Tuesday - evidence, activists in both parties say, that the state could play a pivotal role not only in the race for the Republican presidential nomination but also in the general election. "Where Nevada goes so goes the presidency," Republican political consultant Robert Uithoven said noting the state's history of correctly choosing the eventual winner of the White House in general elections.

Variety: Hollywood Republicans still undecided
The most common misperception is that Hollywood is bereft of Republicans, making it a waste of time for the now-solidified field of 2012 contenders to court donors and supporters in the land of the left. But while the celebrity activists, politically active creative types and executives on the right and center-right may be smaller in number than their counterparts, they are not insignificant, and compared with the last presidential cycle, there are ample signs that this time around, they will be better organized and energized.

CNN: Americans urged to live MLK's ideals at memorial dedication
As the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial was officially dedicated Sunday, speakers called for carrying on King's ideals and values and confronting issues including bullying and social and economic justice for all Americans. "Nearly 50 years after the March on Washington, our work - Dr. King's work - is not yet complete," President Barack Obama said at the dedication ceremony. The nation faces many challenges, he said, including an ailing economy, substandard education, war and tragedy.

CNN: Rep. Lewis reflects on MLK’s impact
On the morning of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial dedication, a longtime Georgia congressman and the last surviving speaker from the March on Washington said King was not only a instrumental figure in American culture—but in him, as well. “I saw segregation. I saw racial discrimination. I tasted the bitter fruits of racism,” Rep. John Lewis said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And he made me a different person. And today I can say I don't have any bitter feelings or have any anger or hatred (toward) human beings.”

CNN: McCain on sending troops to Africa: Be careful
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Sunday questioned the president’s recent order to send American troops to central Africa, saying the move could put the United States on a slippery slope. “I worry about, with the best of intentions, that we somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can't get out of,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

CNN: Axelrod strikes Romney, says Perry could bounce back
David Axelrod, adviser for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, targeted Romney on Sunday saying the former Massachusetts governor had a history of shifting too much in his “core principles” while running for office. “Time and time and time again, he shifts,” Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And you get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office.”

Roll Call: DeMint May Endorse Romney
Mitt Romney is the favorite to receive Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) much-sought-after endorsement in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to knowledgeable GOP sources. DeMint, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in 2008, made clear in an interview late last week that he has made no decisions on whom he will support in the 2012 primary. But Republican operatives familiar with the DeMint-Romney relationship and privy to the conservative Senator's private assessment of the GOP field believe Romney is the most likely candidate to receive the backing of the tea party favorite.

CNN: Cain: Some would pay more under '9-9-9'
Herman Cain said Sunday some Americans would pay higher taxes under his "9-9-9" plan, but denied suggestions that the poorest Americans and middle-class would pay more. "Some people will pay more. But most people will pay less," Cain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has surged toward the head of the pack in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, with "9-9-9" a centerpiece of his economic platform.

CNN: Gingrich: Cain has a strong shot at nomination
GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Sunday fellow candidate and Georgia businessman Herman Cain could end up winning the Republican nomination. “If Herman figures out how to do it all right, and if he can explain a 9% sales tax so people decide they want it, he has a good chance to be the nominee,” Gingrich on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

CNN: Electric fence remark was a joke, Cain says
GOP presidential contender Herman Cain walked back comments Sunday that he made a day earlier when he called for a deadly electric fence on the United States-Mexico border. "That's a joke," Cain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I've also said America needs to get a sense of humor. That was a joke, OK."

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

CNN: Protesters arrested nationwide as Occupy Wall Street rallies hit monthlong mark
Police hauled away protesters in various cities Sunday as Occupy Wall Street rallies continued for the 30th day. In Washington, D.C., 19 people were arrested by Supreme Court Police, a spokeswoman said. New York authorities arrested 14 people for violating a midnight curfew by sitting in a fountain with no water at Washington Square Park. The number was in addition to 78 arrested Saturday in citywide protests.

CNN: Manhattan Islamic center owes $1.7 million, landlord says
Lower Manhattan's controversial Park51 Islamic center is now in a court battle with utility Consolidated Edison, which says the center owes it $1.7 million in a dispute over back rent. In court papers, Park51 says it owes Con Edison only $881,000 and calls the utility's demand "grossly inflated." The center has filed suit against the company over a default notice it was issued in September, and a New York state judge has stayed any action until after a hearing in November.

CNN: Racing vet Dan Wheldon dies in crash at Vegas IndyCar race
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday of "unsurvivable injuries" sustained during a multi-car wreck at the Las Vegas Indy 300. He was 33. The rest of the race - the marquee event of the IZOD IndyCar World Championships - was canceled. "IndyCar is sad to announce that Dan Wheldon passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said.

CNN: Cardinals to take on Rangers in World Series
The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 12-6 in Game 6 Sunday night to win the National League Championship Series. The Cards will now take on the Texas Rangers in the World Series, which begins Wednesday. St. Louis has won the World Series 10 times, most recently in 2006. For the Rangers, it will be their second straight appearance.

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

CNN: Arab League holds emergency Syria debate
The Arab League, which held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday about the ongoing unrest in Syria, is considering suspending the country from the organization. The Gulf Cooperation Council, made up of six Gulf Arab states, is spearheading the motion, which would need two-thirds of the assembly vote to pass.

Christian Science Monitor: Kenya sends troops into Somalia in major policy shift
Kenya has reportedly sent its troops into Somali territory, after announcing to reporters this weekend that it intends to pursue militant groups launching attacks onto Kenyan soil. The military intervention marks an immense shift in policy for Kenya, a country that has never sent its troops to fight in another country’s territory since independence in 1963.

CNN: Dozens killed as heavy rains hammer Central America
Dozens of people have been killed in Central America as heavy rains continue to hammer the region. In Guatemala, the death toll has risen to 28 and close to 110,000 people have been affected so far, the state-run AGN news agency reported. Citing the president, the agency said 15,000 more people are at risk and roughly 12,000 are in shelters.

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

Bloomberg: Kinder Morgan to Buy El Paso for $21 Billion in Cash, Stock
Kinder Morgan Inc.’s agreement to buy El Paso Corp. for $21.1 billion, the energy industry’s biggest transaction in more than a year, would create the largest natural-gas pipeline network in the U.S. The cash and stock offer is valued at $26.87 per El Paso share, or 37 percent more than the Oct. 14 closing price, Houston-based Kinder Morgan said in a statement yesterday. The combined company would have 67,000 miles (107,000 kilometers) of gas lines and eclipse Enterprise Products Partners LP as the biggest U.S. pipeline operator.

In Case You Missed It

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. leaves some questioning the sculpture. Athena Jones reports.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/10/16/jones-mlk-sculpture-controversy.cnn

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