CNN Washington AM Note
July 22nd, 2013
06:10 AM ET
9 months ago

CNN Washington AM Note

BREAKING OVERNIGHT:

CNN: Royal baby is on the way; Catherine enters hospital
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in the early stages of labor, Buckingham Palace announced early Monday morning. The duchess and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital, his office at Clarence House announced. The hospital, next to Paddington Station in London is where William was born, as was his brother, Harry.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: CNN's Max Foster and Tom Foreman explain the royal succession in the British monarchy.

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: 3 women's bodies found wrapped in plastic; authorities fear more discoveries
The gruesome discovery of three women's bodies wrapped in plastic might only be the beginning - authorities fear there may be more. The bodies were found not far from one another in East Cleveland, Ohio, over the weekend. Police have arrested 35-year-old Michael Madison, who leased the garage where one of the bodies was found, but no charges were immediately filed.

WSJ: U.S. Growth Outlook Stuck in Neutral
The long-anticipated acceleration in the U.S. economy has been put on hold once again. Disappointing economic and corporate-earnings reports in recent weeks have dashed hopes that the U.S. was at last entering a phase of solid, self-sustaining growth. Instead, while economists expect a modest second-half pickup in growth, few are predicting the kind of substantial rebound needed to quickly bring down unemployment, raise wages and insulate the U.S. from economic threats abroad. There also are signs that consumers—whose spending has helped prop up the economy for much of the past year—are beginning to tighten their belts.

NYT: After Detroit bankruptcy filing, city retirees on edge as they face pension cuts
The battle over the future of Detroit is set to begin this week in federal court, where government leaders will square off against retirees in a colossal debate over what the city owes to a prior generation of residents as it tries to rebuild for the next. Soon after Detroit emergency manager Kevyn D. Orr and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) approved a bankruptcy filing Thursday, groups representing the 20,000 retirees reliant on city pensions successfully petitioned a county court to effectively freeze the bankruptcy process. Now, city and state officials, who say the court ruling will not affect their plans, are asking a federal judge to hold hearings early this week to validate the bankruptcy and move forward with a strategy for Detroit to discharge much of its estimated $19 billion debt.

Boston Herald: Bulger buddy Flemmi back on the stand
Kevin P. O’Neil, a longtime lieutenant of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger who owned the infamous Winter Hill Gang watering hole Triple O’s and ran the South Boston liquor store that doubled as their headquarters, will be one of the government’s last witnesses called against his former boss, federal prosecutors disclosed Friday. O’Neil, 64, of Quincy was sentenced in 2004 to one year and one day in federal prison for racketeering, extortion and money laundering.

WX Post: AAA says motorists experiencing ‘sticker shock’ as gas pump prices rise 12 cents in a week
American motorists are bracing for further increases in gas pump prices this summer after average national prices rose 12 cents in the past week alone. AAA says drivers are experiencing “sticker shock” as increased summer demand, unrest in Egypt and production disruptions in the U.S. and other countries push up the price of crude oil and gasoline.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama to talk about economy at Illinois college
President Barack Obama will hit the road again to talk about jobs and the economy, resetting the message amid a busy summer that's so far been dominated by immigration reform efforts, the IRS scandal, national security leaks and the president's trips to Europe and Africa. Obama will return to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday to kick off a series of speeches about his economic plan, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer wrote in an e-mail to supporters Sunday evening.

WSJ: U.S. Schools Chief Arne Duncan Labors to Straddle Political Divide
The 48-year-old education chief has been more successful at bridging the political divide than perhaps any other member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, even more in his dealings with governors than with Congress. He has prodded more than 40 states to adopt higher academic standards, cutting deals with Republican as well as Democratic governors.

Politico: Another round of nominees faces scrutiny
Welcome back to filibuster city. The Senate’s agreement to approve President Barack Obama’s nominees and avoid the “nuclear option” will expire later this week after senators are expected to vote in two new members to the National Labor Relations Board. That’s the last part of the deal that expedited seven of Obama’s picks, with the president agreeing to choose two NLRB nominees to satisfy Republicans. But there’s already a queue forming of new Obama nominees, and Republicans aren’t about to lay down and let this group go through.

BuzzFeed: Why Won’t Obama Pay His Interns?
At some point in the near future, an intern could be standing over a hot photocopier spitting out White House talking points on the president’s campaign to raise the minimum wage — and getting paid exactly $0.00 per hour to do so. To Mikey Franklin, the man trying to blow up Washington’s unpaid intern culture, the scene is nothing short of ridiculous.

The Hill: Obama tries to regain ObamaCare edge after mandate delay setback
The White House is working to get back on offense in the debate over ObamaCare, after a surprise delay in part of the implementation knocked its message off course. President Obama touted the law’s benefits in a White House speech Thursday, emphasizing a provision that is already in place and heralding positive news about the cost of insurance policies sold through the law’s insurance exchanges.

CAPITOL HILL:

NPR: Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is fighting for her bill to curb sexual assaults in the military. Her measure would give independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which cases should be tried in military court. Military leaders fiercely oppose moving that authority outside the chain of command, arguing that commanders are responsible for the health and welfare of their soldiers. Removing their authority would undermine their ability to lead, they say. Gillibrand says commanders are not experts on serious assaults and are unable to prevent retaliation against victims who report crimes.

WSJ: House Panel to Weigh Citizenship for Young Immigrants
House Republican leaders will test this week whether rank-and-file GOP lawmakers are willing to rally around creating a path to citizenship for a subset of people in the U.S. illegally: those brought to the country as children. In general, House Republicans have been wary of any broad effort to offer a path to citizenship or legal status to illegal immigrants, arguing such a move would reward people who broke the law. But many GOP leaders have voiced support for making an exception for those who immigrated illegally as children.

Politico: The 'death panel' bill lives
Rep. Earl Blumenauer wants Congress to talk about death. Much of Congress would rather walk over hot coals. The bow-tied, bike-riding Oregon liberal was the author of the 2009 bill aimed at encouraging doctors and physicians to talk to patients about what kind of care they want near the end of life. It notoriously became known as the “death panel.” The bill is back. Or rather, it’s never gone away.

WSJ: Companies Square Off in Tax-Rewrite Battle
Corporate battle lines are being drawn over the congressional effort to overhaul the tax code, pitting giants such as General Electric and Microsoft against each other as they maneuver to influence the debate. The stakes are particularly high for multinational companies because the White House and Congress are considering changes that would dramatically alter the way foreign income is treated.

Politico: House freshmen on financial services making bank
If you’re a freshman member of the House, it pays to be on the Financial Services Committee. The 11 freshman lawmakers who serve on the House panel raised an average of $322,012 during the second quarter — $100,000 more than the $221,633 average hauled in by all House freshmen, according to POLITICO’s analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

The Hill: Bill requiring warrants for email searches nears Senate vote
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is pushing to fast-track legislation that would require police to obtain a warrant before accessing emails and other private online messages. Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) goal is for the Senate to unanimously approve his bill before the August recess, according to one of his committee aides. Any opposition could delay a vote until after Congress returns in the fall.

POLITICAL:

CNN: Candidates say embattled Virginia governor should consider resigning
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell should consider resigning in the face of federal and state investigations into lavish gifts he and his family received from a wealthy executive, the two men running to succeed McDonnell said during a debate Saturday. Neither of the candidates, Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe, issued an outright call for McDonnell to leave office when asked about the controversy by the debate’s moderator. But both said he should at least contemplate stepping down.

NYT: Republicans in Arizona Are at Odds on Medicaid
For Gov. Jan Brewer, the passage last month of a Medicaid expansion was a major coup. Despite a Republican majority in the Legislature, where she faced significant opposition from Tea Party members, she rallied the entire Democratic delegation to her side and made a progressive issue palatable to just enough conservatives, casting the expansion as the right decision for the state, morally and monetarily.

CBS: 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls already trading blows
Ask any potential 2016 candidate about their presidential aspirations, and you'll hear the usual non-answers: The next election is a long way off, I'm concentrating on my day job, and, by golly, presidential politics is the last thing on my mind. The cagey answers are obligatory – anything more forthright would smack of unseemly ambition – but they're also usually rubbish.

HuffPost: Texas Voter ID Laws Protested By Democrats
Local Democrats are less than thrilled about new voter ID laws, and anticipate a crowd at an upcoming rally to protest what they see as unfair regulations that suppress a segment of the voting population. The Lubbock County Democratic Party's Right to Vote Rally will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at 5&J Art Gallery, located at Fifth Street and Avenue J. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced last month that the law requiring voters to present state-issued identification at the polls would take effect immediately, following a Supreme Court ruling the state would not require federal approval to change its election laws.

The Hill: Mood turns somber for Democrats in 2014 contest for Senate control
President Obama talked earlier this year of a Democratic takeover of the House, but instead his party is now in danger of losing the Senate. The latest blow to their hopes of keeping the upper chamber came from former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D),who opted out of a race to replace retiring Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Las Vegas Sun: Harry Reid and the fine art of self-bluffing
Negotiation is the art of compromise. And sometimes, it is the art of appearing totally uncompromising. In the past few months, Sen. Harry Reid has perfected the art of the bluff.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: Official: Al Qaeda-affiliated groups gaining strength in Syria
Al Qaeda-affiliated groups are gaining strength in Syria, giving an edge to extremists in the country, a top military intelligence official said this weekend. David Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Aspen Security Forum that extremist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which has publicly pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, have been the most successful in operations against troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

NYT: NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists
Twelve years later, the cranes and earthmovers around the National Security Agency are still at work, tearing up pavement and uprooting trees to make room for a larger workforce and more powerful computers. Already bigger than the Pentagon in square footage, the NSA’s footprint will grow by an additional 50 percent when construction is complete in a decade. And that’s just at its headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.

Der Spiegel: 'Prolific Partner': German Intelligence Used NSA Spy Program
Angela Merkel and her ministers claim they first learned about the US government's comprehensive spying programs from press reports. But SPIEGEL has learned that German intelligence services themselves use one of the NSA's most valuable tools.

USA Today: Pentagon chief can't offer hope in budget cuts
On the heels of the department's first furlough day, and in three days of visits with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, Hagel played the unenviable role of messenger to a frustrated and fearful workforce coping with the inevitability of a spending squeeze at the end of more than a decade of constant and costly war. The fiscal crunch also lays bare the politically unpopular, if perhaps necessary, need to bring runaway military costs in line with most of the rest of the American public that has struggled economically for years.

Reuters: 'Prolonged exposure' therapy may help vets with PTSD
Therapy that involves repeatedly processing painful memories and approaching anxiety-provoking situations in a safe way may ease symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans, a new study suggests. Although there is good evidence so-called prolonged exposure therapy can help people with PTSD, researchers said most of the data come from civilians, including women who have been sexually assaulted.
SEE ALSO: WX Post: Strain on military families affects young children, report says

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

NBC: Falling TVs send a child to the ER every 30 minutes
Enormous flat-screens are in millions of homes, but come with a risk that many parents may not realize: children can be seriously hurt in a TV tip-over. The number of kids injured by a TV falling on them grew 125 percent between 1990 and 2011, according to a new study of emergency room records that calls for greater prevention efforts. Overall, more than 17,000 children under age 18 were treated each year for various TV-related injuries in ERs across the United States – that’s one child every half hour – during that time period, the study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics found. Between 2000 and 2011, 215 children died from injuries caused by a falling TV.

WSJ: Marshals Lose Track of Encrypted Radios Worth Millions
The U.S. Marshals Service has lost track of at least 2,000 encrypted two-way radios and other communication devices valued at millions of dollars, according to internal agency documents, creating what some within the agency view as a security risk for federal judges, endangered witnesses and others. The problem, which stretches back years, was laid out in detail to agency officials at least as early as 2011, when the Marshals were deploying new versions of the radios they use to securely communicate in the field. Agency leaders continued to have difficulty tracking their equipment even after they were warned about the problems by an internal technology office, according to the documents, which were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

Bloomberg: Philadelphia Sets Record Sale as A Rated Debt Trails: Muni Deals
Philadelphia is selling $363.8 million in general-obligation debt this week, its biggest issue on record, as similarly rated securities trail top-rated bonds. The sale scheduled for tomorrow includes $197.4 million in new borrowing to finance hundreds of capital projects in the city of 1.55 million residents, from repairing bridges to upgrading information-technology systems, said James Lanham, deputy treasurer. It’s the biggest fixed-rate, long-term issue for Pennsylvania’s largest municipality since at least 1990, when Bloomberg data began.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Gubernatorial campaigns mainly funded from outside Va.
Both of the major-party candidates running for governor are getting the majority of their campaign donations from out of state. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee, has received $6.1 million in itemized cash contributions in the first six months of the year. About 54 percent of those donations are from out of state. But the vast majority of his individual donors — 80 percent — live in Virginia, according to a new report by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in state politics.

Chicago Tribune: Personality likely to trump issues in Democratic governor race between Pat Quinn, Bill Daley
With the field for next year's Democratic primary nomination for governor becoming clearer, so too is the realization that the battle between incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and challenger Bill Daley will be fought more along personal rather than ideological lines.

NYPost: Effort to challenge Spitzer's petitions called off
The Republican activist who filed a challenge to Eliot Spitzer’s petitions for comptroller is pulling the plug on the effort — citing a lack of funds to underwrite the legal costs. E. O’Brien Murray said well-heeled donors who could bankroll a court challenge to try to knock Spitzer off the ballot are hesitant to do so. They worry about retribution if “Steamroller” Spitzer survives the challenge and is elected comptroller, he said.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Quake hits northwest China
At least 47 people are dead and there are fears the number will rise after a strong and shallow earthquake ripped through northwest China Monday morning, according to the Gansu provincial ministry of civil affairs. Earlier, state broadcast CCTV reported that another 279 people were injured. The quake hit the province of Gansu around 7:45 a.m. local time, according to state news agency Xinhua.

CNN: 6 men convicted of raping Swiss tourist in India
As India grapples with how to better protect women and girls from sexual assault, a court over the weekend convicted six men in the gang rape of a Swiss tourist. The court in the province of Datia sentenced them to life in prison on Saturday for the March rape and robbery, public prosecutor Rajendra Iwari said. The men have denied the charges and may appeal.

NYT: Seasoned Hand in Mideast May Shepherd Peace Talks
Secretary of State John Kerry is fielding a new team to manage the new Israel-Palestinian peace talks, and Martin Indyk, the former American ambassador to Israel, has emerged as a leading candidate to head up that effort, diplomats said Sunday.
SEE ALSO: Jerusalem Post: How Netanyahu averted coalition crisis at start of talks

Reuters: Egypt starts amending constitution despite political divisions
A panel of legal experts started work on Sunday to revise Egypt's Islamist-tinged constitution, a vital first step on the road to fresh elections ordered by the army following its removal of Mohamed Mursi as president. Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, which has accused the army of orchestrating a military coup and denounced plans to revise the constitution, staged fresh rallies on Sunday to maintain pressure on the new, interim government.

WSJ: Pope Visits Brazil During Pivotal Time for Country
Thousands of young Catholics streamed into this seaside city anticipating the expected arrival on Monday of Pope Francis, who is making his first major overseas trip as pontiff to a country convulsed lately by mass student protests and seen as crucial to the future of the church. Born in neighboring Argentina, the 76-year-old Jesuit is the first Latin American pope and many here are treating the trip as his triumphant homecoming to a region that now accounts for some 39% of Catholics world-wide.
SEE ALSO: NBC: How will the 'people's pope' handle security issues in Brazil?

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: Abenomics boosted as LDP earns sweeping victory
Voters handed the architects of Japan's bold new economic policy a sweeping electoral victory over the weekend, delivering 76 of the 121 open parliamentary seats to the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner. The result should boost the so-called Abenomics platform championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - a mix of coordinated government spending, central bank stimulus and structural economic reforms designed to push up prices and end 15 years of deflation.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: Guest Jeffrey Kingston discusses the potential of "Abenomics" given the Japan PM party's new electoral victory.

CNNMoney: Recovering U.K. opens gap over Europe
The U.K. economy is shifting up a gear and leaving its European neighbors trailing. Second quarter GDP figures for the world's sixth-biggest economy due this week should show growth of about 0.6%, twice the rate of expansion seen in the first three months of the year.

Reuters: Insight: Resigned to reform, Wall Street tries a different tack in DC
Bank executives, lawyers and lobbyists now portray themselves as concerned parties trying to help stretched technocrats, who face the task of writing hundreds of complex rules to regulate high finance. The current strategy contrasts with the knock-down, drag-out fights that occurred during the legislative process – and even afterward, as bank lawyers battled agencies in court, and lobbyists fought to repeal Dodd-Frank in Congress. Wall Street today tacitly acknowledges that it can tweak but not undo reforms.

CNBC: Beijing loosens grip on rates – will it matter?
China took another step towards financial liberalization on Friday, when the nation's central bank scrapped the floor on lending rates for commercial banks, essentially freeing lenders to issue loans as cheaply as they wished. Authorities hope the move would spur competition among lenders, and allow borrowers access to cheaper money at a time when economic growth is slowing.

Reuters: Amazon vs. IBM: Big Blue meets match in battle for the cloud
The tech industry maxim that "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" is a testament to how Big Blue has been the gold standard in computing services for decades. But IBM faces an unlikely challenger in Amazon.com Inc, the e-commerce retail giant that is becoming a force in the booming business of cloud computing, even winning backing from America's top spy agency.


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

    i have to say these repubs are terrified that obamacare is working, they cannot afford to see another law they've told folks would destroy America actually do the opposite, if this law keeps on its projected way of being good for the American people, the repubs will have zero credibility when it comes to the economy. this cannot happen. they are ramping up their war to destroy this law at every turn. they demagog social security, medicare, medicaid saying that these programs would wipe our country off the map, but these programs turned America from a mediocre country to the most powerful country on the planet. the repubs were wrong then and they seems to be wrong now.

    July 22, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  2. king

    aahh here come the repubs and this IRS stuff again. they are now saying that the conservatives groups that have been targeted went through one of the two person that Obama appointed dahh!!! first of all, does any tea party folks work at the IRS or this person that obama appointed was working by himself in his office. what should he do if stuff is taking its normal course and going through his office, should he say stop, if there is not a claim that their is some kind of discrimination against conservative, this man has just got appointed for crying out loud and doesn't yet know the ins and outs of how the IRS operates that fast. if tea party groups were being borned out of the wood works because of the first African American president, who was out numbering liberal groups 100 to 1, of course it will seems that conservative groups will be more concentrated on just by the law of the share volume of disparities between the liberals and conservative groups. it would be prejudice if it was any way different.

    July 22, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |