CNN Washington AM Note
July 10th, 2013
05:23 AM ET
10 months ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Accused Boston Marathon bomber faces charges, victims and the public
When the public last saw accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he was climbing out of a motorboat dry-docked in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts, home. He was covered in blood from bullet wounds sustained during a manhunt that brought greater Boston to a standstill. Tsarnaev was taken to hospital and he has been out of sight for the last 11 weeks. Wednesday, the 19-year-old steps back into the public eye, when he enters a courtroom for his arraignment.

CNN: Zimmerman judge delays ruling on animation, Martin's texts
In a hearing Tuesday outside of the jury's presence, attorneys in the George Zimmerman trial argued about whether jurors should see the defense's 3D re-creation of the altercation between the neighborhood watch captain and Trayvon Martin. The defense also wants jurors to hear about Martin's text messages, which reportedly show he had been in fights and was trying to purchase a gun. The court will reconvene at 9am Wednesday morning, and experts believe the defense may rest by the end of the day.
ALSO SEE: CNN: 'Raise your voice, not your hands,' cops urge as Zimmerman verdict looms

CNN: NTSB: Asiana jet pilot was halfway through training to fly Boeing 777
The pilot at the helm of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was training to fly a Boeing 777 and was sitting next to a man in his first trip as an instructor pilot when their plane's main landing gear hit a seawall around San Francisco's airport, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Deborah Hersman, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, revealed these and other details during a news conference that included information about the pilots and their flying experience, based on the interviews they've conducted with investigators.
SEE ALSO: CNNMoney: Where can Asiana crash victims file lawsuits?
WATCH: VIDEO Gary Tuchman co-pilots a flight simulator to show what may have happened when the 777 crashed in San Francisco.

CNN: Coast Guard responds to natural gas leak in Gulf of Mexico
A natural gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico has left a four-mile-wide "rainbow sheen" on the water's surface south of Louisiana, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, but the owner of the well said it expects the leak to be plugged within a day. Houston, Texas-based Talos Energy said the gas is flowing from a well that it was in the process of abandoning.

WSJ: Tuition Rises Fastest for In-State College Students
Tuition at four-year state schools increased at a faster rate for in-state students than their out-of-state classmates in the past three years, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education. The report highlights the tricky balancing act public schools faced as they grappled with significant cuts state legislators made to their budgets during the recession.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Analysis: Is Obama bluffing about Afghanistan pullout?
Is President Barack Obama seriously considering pulling all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by next year or is just a sign of his frustration with Afghan President Hamid Karzai? There's no doubt that Obama has had his fill of dealing with Karzai's on-again, off-again negotiations over how many troops would remain in the country after 2014.

Politico: Obama's immigration strategy in limbo
Shortly after the Senate passed an immigration bill late last month, President Barack Obama quizzed House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during separate telephone calls: What could he do to help the House pass a bill? The answer still isn’t entirely clear — not even to the White House.

WSJ: U.S. Struggles to Meet Health-Law Deadline
When Obama administration officials delayed a central plank of the new health law—requiring that big employers offer health insurance to workers—they said it was to help businesses pleading for more time. Left unsaid was the federal government hadn’t written key rules guiding employers, according to current and former administration officials, and computer systems that were supposed to run the program weren’t operational.

Associated Press: Republicans accuse Obama of exceeding authority
In the courts of law and public opinion, congressional Republicans increasingly accuse President Barack Obama of exceeding his constitutional authority for the benefit of special interests, most recently by delaying a requirement for businesses to provide health care for their workers. In one instance, Senate Republicans formally backed a lawsuit challenging the president's appointment of three members of the National Labor Relations Board without confirmation. The Supreme Court has agreed to review a ruling in the case, which found that Obama overstepped his bounds.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNN: National park on moon proposed
The site of man's first lunar landing could join battlefields, presidential birthplaces and other major American historical sites on a roster of protected places if two Democrats have their way. U.S. Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas have proposed legislation that would designate artifacts at the site of American moon landings as comprising a National Historical Park, citing potential commercial traffic on the moon that could damage the areas.

WSJ: As Agriculture Booms, Farm Bill Gets Yawns
The farm bill is drawing less grass-roots support from the Farm Belt this time around as high commodity prices keep the good times rolling in the agricultural sector. The safety net for farmers is changing from automatic payments to farmers regardless of their economic circumstances, to crop insurance and other programs. Both the House and Senate support eliminating $5 billion a year in the direct payments to farmers, and would expand federal subsidies toward the cost of crop insurance.
SEE ALSO: Roll Call: Leaders Struggle to Find Votes for Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

The Hill: Intelligence panels cut off aid to Syrian rebels by restricting funds
House and Senate Intelligence panel members have voted to block President Obama from arming Syrian rebels, committee insiders told The Hill. They did so by placing severe restrictions on funding. Lawmakers made their decision last month for fear that the administration plan would let weapons fall into the hands of terrorist groups, such as the many linked to al Qaeda. The exact nature of the restrictions is unknown because the committees voted privately on the basis of classified information.

NYT: Seeing Opening, House G.O.P. Pushes Delay on Individual Mandate in Health Law
House Republican leaders on Tuesday seized on the Obama administration’s one-year delay of a mandate for larger employers to offer health insurance or face penalties, demanding the same postponement for the mandate on individual insurance purchases and promising a series of showdowns aimed at dividing Democrats from the White House.

WX Post: Vitter drops filibuster threat on EPA nominee Gina McCarthy
The ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said Tuesday he would no longer block the nomination of Environmental Protection Agency official Gina McCarthy to head that agency and would support a vote on the Senate floor without a filibuster. Sen. David Vitter (La.) said he had changed his position after “major progress” was made on five demands he and other committee Republicans made of the EPA.

Politico: Appropriations bills could begin with THUD
Can THUD be a thumper in the budget wars this summer and fall? Senate Democrats sure hope so and have designated the giant highway, transit and housing measure as their leadoff batter when the 2014 appropriations bills begin to come to the Senate floor later this month.

NYT: Effects of Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Start Rippling Out Through Government
The federal government is moving quickly to extend benefits like health care and life insurance to gay and lesbian married couples in response to the Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. And in a sign that the political momentum from that ruling is being felt elsewhere, a Senate committee is expected to approve a bill on Wednesday that would grant protection from discrimination to people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It would be the first measure of its kind to advance to the floor in either house of Congress.

POLITICAL:

CNN: Bush to speak on immigration but avoid politics
Former President George W. Bush speaks on Wednesday about immigration, but don't expect him to wade into the political battle over immigration reform. Bush's comments at a naturalization ceremony at his presidential center in Dallas will come on the same day that House Republicans meet behind closed doors to discuss their next steps on immigration reform, following the passage late last month of a bipartisan bill in the Senate.

CNN: Palin: I'm considering a Senate run
Sarah Palin may not be done with politics after all. The former Alaska governor, who was also 2008's GOP vice presidential nominee, said Tuesday she's contemplating a bid for U.S. Senate against Democrat Mark Begich. He's up for re-election in 2014.

CNN: Former top Obama campaign aides to advise Clinton effort
The group already pushing a 2016 Hillary Clinton bid for president announced Wednesday it was bringing aboard the services of two former aides to President Barack Obama's own successful White House campaigns. Ready for Hillary, which has raised money and held rallies at events where Clinton is speaking, said they had partnered with 270 Strategies, a consulting firm run by Mitch Stewart, the director of battleground state strategy for Obama's 2012 campaign, and Jeremy Bird, who was Obama's national field director in last year's contest.

USA Today: Bachmann out to kill immigration overhaul
Rep. Michele Bachmann is on a mission to kill an immigration overhaul. The Minnesota Republican contends immigrants who came to the United States illegally shouldn't be rewarded with legal status. She says they are taking jobs from American citizens and depressing wages because they work for less. Creating a path to legal residency is a key piece of the bill passed by the Senate last month.

NYT: Spitzer’s First Challenge Is Collecting Signatures
Eliot Spitzer’s improbable return to New York politics has all the elements of a Hollywood circus: hordes of television crews, crowds of curious onlookers and a high-wattage celebrity at the center, basking in the limelight. But for all the star power of his candidacy for city comptroller, Mr. Spitzer now faces the gritty and mundane realities of an 11th-hour campaign, as he must collect at least 3,750 valid signatures by the end of Thursday to qualify for the September primary.

Business Week: The GOP's Pie-in-the-Sky Plan to Win Hispanic Votes
Last fall, when President Obama was reelected and Republicans were processing their unanticipated loss, the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform looked stronger than any policy objective had in Obama’s first four years. That was mainly because Republicans had just watched Mitt Romney lose Hispanic voters by more than 40 percentage points and they understood that demographics were threatening their future viability. Eight months later, the odds for immigration reform look much, much worse. Notwithstanding the comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Once again, Republican sentiment is responsible for the change.

Dallas Morning News: Candidates seeking Gov. Rick Perry's job act as if passing lane’s on the right
The race to replace Gov. Rick Perry began to take shape Tuesday as two Republicans seeking the job touted their conservative records in appeals to the party’s base. Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely front-runner for the job, was finalizing plans for a statewide tour next week, a day after he won cheers from an impassioned crowd of abortion foes outside the Capitol.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: Is Snowden ready to take flight? WikiLeaks hints at next move
As speculation grows over Edward Snowden's path to freedom, WikiLeaks teased that his "flight of liberty" campaign starts Wednesday, promising further details. But so far, WikiLeaks has not lived up to the Twitter promise to provide more details. And the questions are piling up. Is the future of the U.S. intelligence leaker, grounded at Moscow's airport for more than two weeks, no longer up in the air? Not so fast.
ALSO SEE: Time: How the West Enabled Snowden’s Bid for Latin American Asylum

CNN: Jury selection begins in Fort Hood shooting case
Six potential jurors from a pool of 20 were excused Tuesday from serving during the murder trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, the military said. The remaining 14 will be questioned by the prosecution and defense beginning Tuesday, according to a written statement released by the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office. The military plans to call a pool of 20 potential jurors every week until it fills out the court-martial panel with 13 jurors.

Associated Press: Pentagon takes 'second look' at embattled MIA unit
The Pentagon said Tuesday it will take a "second look" at how it goes about accounting for missing Americans on foreign battlefields, following the disclosure of an internal assessment that the work is "acutely dysfunctional" and at risk of failure. "We have a sacred obligation to perform this mission well," Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters, referring to the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC, which is based in Hawaii and run by a two-star general. The U.S. estimates there are more than 83,000 Americans missing from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Reuters: How the Pentagon’s payroll quagmire traps America’s soldiers
Reuters found multiple examples of pay mistakes affecting active-duty personnel and discharged soldiers. Some are erroneously shortchanged on pay. Others are mistakenly overpaid and then see their earnings drastically cut as DFAS recoups the money, or they are forced to pay money that was rightfully theirs. Precise totals on the extent and cost of these mistakes are impossible to come by, and for the very reason the errors plague the military in the first place: the Defense Department’s jury-rigged network of mostly incompatible computer systems for payroll and accounting, many of them decades old, long obsolete, and unable to communicate with each other.

WX Post: A brand-new U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan. And nobody to use it.
The U.S. military has erected a 64,000-square-foot headquarters building on the dusty moonscape of southwestern Afghanistan that comes with all the tools to wage a modern war. A vast operations center with tiered seating. A briefing theater. Spacious offices. Fancy chairs. Powerful air conditioning. Everything, that is, except troops.

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: Police: Man arrested in Odin Lloyd's death ID'd Aaron Hernandez as shooter
Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez fired the shots that killed Odin Lloyd, a man who'd been with him told another of their friends, according to a court document cited Tuesday by a Florida police spokeswoman. The conversations allegedly involved two people who were with Hernandez when he picked up Lloyd from his Boston apartment early on June 17, hours before a jogger found Lloyd's body in a North Attleborough, Massachusetts industrial park. All three men are now in custody.

CNN: Illinois becomes 50th state to allow concealed weapons
Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in public on Tuesday. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, vetoed the legislation, but the Illinois General Assembly overrode the governor. The law allows the state to distribute permits for the carrying of firearms in public if applicants meet certain requirements.
SEE ALSO: Chicago Tribune: How gun law works

LA Times: FBI nominee Comey signed memo allowing waterboarding
James B. Comey Jr., nominated to become the nation's seventh director of the FBI, conceded Tuesday that he signed a controversial memo allowing waterboarding but said he first lobbied hard to have the policy toned down. Comey, who is facing confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been hailed by some as a hero for blocking, at least temporarily, a White House surveillance program during his time as deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.

NYT: U.S. Vows to Battle Abusive Debt Collectors
Federal regulators are cracking down on questionable debt collection practices by some of the nation’s biggest lenders. The push comes after revelations that some of the same practices that have haunted the foreclosures of homes — like robo-signing and faulty documentation — have cropped up in efforts to recoup delinquent credit card debt. The debt collection practices of banks and lenders have long existed in a kind of regulatory gulf.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

USA Today: Mich. pot supporters to promote clout through $2 bills
Starting Wednesday, leaders of medical marijuana and cannabis legalization groups in Michigan plan a quirky three-week campaign to demonstrate their economic clout. They want supporters to spend at least one $2 bill for every cash purchase.

Baltimore Sun: Batts brings new look to police with command shake-up
The Baltimore Police Department promoted 15 commanders Tuesday and put new faces at the helms of four patrol districts and key investigative units — moves that drew concerns from some City Council members, who called for continuity following a violent summer outburst that saw dozens shot. Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said the shake-up marks the end — for now — of a reorganization that has been continuing since he took over the department last fall. He said he sought to promote "up-and-coming talent" while tweaking or adding roles to better respond to community concerns.

New Orleans Times-Picayune: FEMA okays construction of new City Park championship golf course
It appears construction of the $24.5 million championship golf course at City Park could begin before the end of the year. City Park CEO Bob Becker said FEMA has green-lighted the project and the state is fairly confident it can be bid out at the end of August with construction starting possibly as early as November.

The Detroit News: Detroit Police and Fire pension fund may try to force city's $30M payment
Pension board officials could soon try to force Detroit to pay a $30 million judgment stemming from unpaid pension contributions, a move that sets up a potential showdown today with Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Incoming Detroit Police and Fire pension chairman George Orzech said he is considering the move as his board and representatives from the General Pension Fund for city retirees prepare to meet later today with Orr.
SEE ALSO: Detroit Free Press: Detroit's legal fees could top $100 million for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy

NY Post: Huge blow against Bonanno crime family as seven crew members indicted on enterprise corruption charges
Manhattan prosecutors Tuesday announced a big blow against the Bonanno crime family: the indictment on enterprise corruption charges of seven crew members, including jailed Donnie Brasco-era gangster and alleged underboss Nicholas "Nicky" Santora. Two leaders of Teamsters Local 917, which handles liquor store and parking lot employees, were additionally indicted for allegedly helping the Bonannos gain loansharking and book-making footholds among members.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Egypt's military moves to allay fears of instability
Egyptian Armed Forces sought Tuesday to portray itself as a stabilizing force fully capable of handling the anger and unrest that have divided the nation less than a week after overthrowing the first democratically elected president. "Destruction of public property or the stability of the state will not be tolerated," the military said in an audio statement broadcast on state television. "A constitutional declaration has been issued and the road to transition is clear, so people should feel secure."
WATCH: VIDEO Grisly killings in Alexandria are shedding an unflattering light on Egypt's jihadists. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.

CNN: Irish politicians to vote on divisive abortion bill
Abortion is banned in Ireland, a historically devout Catholic country. Come Wednesday, that may change a little. Dublin lawmakers will vote on a bill that will permit a woman to terminate a pregnancy if it poses a threat to her own life, including if she is contemplating suicide. It's the last stipulation that has raised the ire of conservative lawmakers and religious citizens. Catholic leaders have called it a 'Trojan horse' leading to easy abortion access.

The Telegraph: Calls grow to boycott 'toxic' human rights court
The European Court of Human Rights agreed that a “whole life” tariff, which forces murderers to die in jail, was “inhuman and degrading” after an appeal was brought by Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his family in 1985. The court proposed that those serving life with no possibility of parole should have their cases reviewed after 25 years, following which they could be freed. The ruling prompted a furious reaction from the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and the Justice Secretary.

BBC: Italy ex-PM Berlusconi's tax fraud appeal set for 30 July
Italy's highest court has set 30 July as the date for hearing ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi's tax fraud appeal – a much earlier date than expected. The Court of Cassation acted on the day the appeal was formally lodged. The early hearing could prevent the statute of limitations from expiring on one of the charges, analysts say.

Voice of America: S. Africa Proposes Legal Auction of $1B Worth of Rhino Horn
South Africa is seeking permission from conservation authorities to sell off some $1 billion worth of stockpiled rhino horn. The move, officials have said, may thwart black-market sales of the valuable, but illegal commodity, which has gained popularity in Asia for its alleged medicinal uses. That hunger for rhino horn has decimated South Africa’s population of the rare and endangered animal. South African officials say they want to open a new front in the ongoing war against illegal rhino poaching.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: IRS chief seeks to stop bonuses
IRS chief Danny Werfel told employees on Tuesday he's working to stop bonuses and instead cut back on furloughs. The news comes after an outcry over IRS plans to award $70 million in bonuses by Sept. 30. Werfel told his 90,000 Internal Revenue Service workforce that he aims to reverse the plan to award bonuses, according to a memo. He blamed the move on the sequester - the $85 billion in forced spending cuts that has hit all federal agencies.

CNNMoney: AIG, GE Capital tagged "systemically important," will face greater regulation
American International Group and GE Capital will face increased supervision after regulators announced Tuesday that the firms had been deemed systemically important and "potential threats to financial stability." The rulings do not mean that AIG and GE Capital are in any distress right now. Rather, the government's Financial Stability Oversight Council has concluded they could destabilize the financial system if they faced problems.

WSJ: J.P. Morgan Review Finds Errors in Debt-Collection Lawsuits
As a top regulator prepares to slap J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.35% & Co. for mistakes that were made while collecting old debts, an internal review shows that errors occurred as the bank sued its credit-card users for the delinquent amounts. The bank studied roughly 1,000 lawsuits and found mistakes in 9% of the cases, said people familiar with the review.

WX Post: Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate ‘living wage’
The world’s largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Wal-Marts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law. A team of Wal-Mart officials and lobbyists, including a high-level executive from the mega- retailer’s Arkansas headquarters, walked the halls of the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday afternoon, delivering the news to D.C. Council members.

CNBC: Wall Street’s Bulls Are Sniffing Out New Highs
With the small cap Russell 2000 hitting record levels for a third day Tuesday, traders are watching to see if the S&P 500 and Dow will follow it. The Dow is within striking distance of its all-time high, just 109 points from 15,409, the close reached on May 28, and the S&P is just 1 percent away from the high it set on May 21, of 1669.


Filed under: Washington AM Note
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. king

    here is the repubs demogogging obamacare again, does these folks ever give up, they've tried to kill it 38 times in congress, through the supreme courts, through their governors of over 20 states all have failed, but the repubs mission of not seeing this law survive is their top priority, and they will take every opportunity to sabotage and demagog this law like what the repubs governors are doing right now to drain the law of needed money.
    since obamacare inception jobs have been created for 36 straight months, instead of the 800 jobs lost per month prior to the law. the repubs switched their way of complaining because of the jobs this law was creating, and start saying that this law is forcing employers to hire part time workers, we are living in a technical world now a days, computer systems and robots have kicked out millions of worker out of our assembly lines in our manufacturing jobs, most companies are going animated kicking out more folks out of their jobs, right now this economy should be losing human labor, yet this economy keeps gaining jobs, month after month after month. obamacare is a big part of this reason, because its has been at the forefront of job creation ever since its inception and will lead job creations in the future, but that if the repubs fails on their mission to destroy it fails, failure will kick 30 million plus to the side of the road.

    July 10, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  2. Pete

    Republicans are just scared because once the ACA bill is fully inacted people will see their premiums fall and will see increases in health care jobs being filled nationwide something republicans have been lying about for months...Remember republicans those repeals 38 times cost tax payers money and it'll be felt by republicans at midterms when they'll be seen leaving Washington for good because of their unpatriotic,obstructionistic ways that they arrogenyly think no one else sees!!

    July 10, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |