May 8th, 2009
05:07 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 8, 2009

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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: Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts
Republican congressional leaders tore into President Obama's proposed 2010 budget Thursday, arguing that his spending cuts will do little to stem a rising tide of red ink.

CNN: Military procurement reform sweeps through Senate
The Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday to change the costly process of procuring weapons and equipment for the military, a budget reform pushed by President Obama.

CNN: CNN Political Ticker wins best political news blog
The CNN Political Ticker Thursday was named the best political news blog by Editor & Publisher and Media Week Magazines.

CNN Commentary: 5 reasons GOP will rebound
"It is important for us to have a strong Republican Party," Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tauntingly told a press conference on April 23. "And I hope that the next generation will take back the Republican Party for the Grand Old Party that it used to be."

CNN: Cheney: Mistake for GOP to 'moderate'
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is weighing into the heated internal debate over the future of the Republican Party, declaring it would be a mistake for the GOP to "moderate."

CNN: Palin pulls out of White House Correspondents' Dinner
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will miss a chance to chat up President Obama this weekend because she's cancelling plans to attend the White House Correspondents' dinner, but she's got a good excuse.

NYT: Elite Unit’s Problems Pose Test for Attorney General
A week after shutting down the criminal case against former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska because it had been botched by prosecutors, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. delivered a pep talk to Justice Department lawyers.

Washington Post: Democrats Assail Obama's Hit List
President Obama's modest proposal to slice $17 billion from 121 government programs quickly ran into a buzz saw of opposition on Capitol Hill yesterday, as an array of Democratic lawmakers vowed to fight White House efforts to deprive their favorite initiatives of federal funds.

LA Times: Records suggest Pelosi, others were told of harsh interrogations
Congressional leaders were briefed repeatedly on the CIA's use of severe interrogation methods on Al Qaeda suspects, according to new information released by the Obama administration Thursday that appears to contradict the assertions of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

WSJ: U.S. to Appoint Top General to Kabul in Afghan Revamp
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to bolster the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan by appointing a three-star general to Kabul, according to senior defense officials. The move underscores growing concern in the military over the course of the conflict and marks the first time since the seven-year war began that the U.S. will have two senior commanders there.

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May 7th, 2009
05:34 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 7, 2009

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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: Obama: Afghanistan, Pakistan, U.S. working to defeat extremists
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States are meeting "as three sovereign nations joined by a common goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat" al Qaeda and the Taliban.

CNN: White House plans to release plane flyover report, photo
The White House indicated Wednesday that a report and a photo from the controversial low-altitude New York flyover by a 747 plane used as Air Force One could be released soon.

CNN: Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance
For the past eight years, the White House recognized the National Day of Prayer with a service in the East Room, but this year, President Obama decided against holding a public ceremony.

CNN: Limbaugh to Powell: 'Become a Democrat'
Rush Limbaugh fired back at Colin Powell for his critical comments earlier this week, saying Wednesday that the former secretary of state should join the Democratic Party.

CNN: Reid discusses Obama's 'I have a gift' quote
In his interview with CNN Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid discussed a 2005 encounter with then-Sen. Barack Obama, when the newly-elected senator declared, "I have gift."

Washington Post: U.S. Halts Pilot Program in New York to Detect Biological Attacks
The Department of Homeland Security is dismantling a next-generation biological attack warning system in New York City subways because of technical problems, U.S. officials said.

NYT: F.B.I. To Pay for Anthrax Inquiry Review
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay $879,550 to the National Academy of Sciences for a 15-month review of its scientific work on the anthrax investigation, academy officials said, but the review will not assess the bureau’s detective work or its conclusion that an Army microbiologist, Bruce E. Ivins, sent the deadly letters in 2001. The academy panel will review genetic fingerprinting that led agents to Dr. Ivins’s Maryland laboratory, as well as clues to how and where the anthrax was grown and dried. Some colleagues of Dr. Ivins, who killed himself in July, have expressed doubt that he mailed the anthrax.

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May 6th, 2009
05:18 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 6, 2009

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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: Analysis: Obama faces test on Afghanistan, Pakistan
President Obama's ambitious strategy for Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, dubbed "Afpak" by administration officials, will face its first test Wednesday when he meets with the leaders of both countries - neither of which is seen as able to maintain stability and fight strengthening Islamic insurgencies.

CNN: Obama official to appear on 'The Daily Show'
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is either about to score a major public relations coup for the Obama White House or wind up with some egg on his face.

CNN: Deep-pocketed donors want campaign finance reform
After giving more than $16 million in political contributions, a group of Democratic donors is saying enough is enough – it's time for Congress to scrap the current campaign funding system and encourage a new hybrid model of small dollar donations and public financing.

CNN: Elizabeth Edwards breaks silence on affair
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of two-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, does not know whether he fathered a child during his affair with a campaign staffer, she says in an interview that is to air this week.

CNN: Borger: Partisan juices flowing over Supreme Court opening
In a Washington that pays homage to bipartisanship but never quite gets there, the prospect of a new Supreme Court battle only gets the partisan juices flowing.

CNN: DNA test could shed light on Lincoln's last days, doctor says
Was President Abraham Lincoln dying of a rare genetic disease when an assassin killed him in 1865?

Washington Post: Bush Officials Try to Alter Ethics Report
Former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften an ethics report criticizing lawyers who blessed harsh detainee interrogation tactics, according to two sources familiar with the efforts.

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May 5th, 2009
04:58 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 5, 2009

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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: Specter starts anew with longtime constituents
He has represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate for nearly three decades, but Arlen Specter now has to re-introduce himself back home.

CNN: Is trade embargo with Cuba hurting U.S. interests?
If Americans wonder what it's like to travel to Cuba, just ask a Canadian.

CNN: Edwards and wife deny financial wrongdoing
While acknowledging federal authorities are investigating the finances related to John Edwards political efforts, he and his wife say they don't believe there was any financial wrongdoing.

CNN: Dems nix money to close Gitmo, say plan needed first
House Democrats told the president Monday he won't be getting money to close the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until he has a "concrete program" for shutting it down and moving its prisoners.

Washington Post: Murtha's Nephew Got Defense Contracts
The headquarters of Murtech, in a low-slung, bland building in a Glen Burnie business park, has its blinds drawn tight and few signs of life. On several days of visits, a handful of cars sit in the parking lot, and no trucks arrive at the 10 loading bays at the back of the building. Yet last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services.

NYT: Advances by the Taliban Sharpen U.S. Concerns
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said Monday that he was “gravely concerned” about Taliban advances in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as President Obama prepared for meetings here this week with President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan in an atmosphere of crisis.

LA Times: What the Pakistani people would tell Obama
Many Pakistanis welcomed the election of President Obama as an opportunity for some fresh thinking about their troubled region.

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May 4th, 2009
04:38 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, May 4, 2009

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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: Obama likely to pick female nominee?
In the very early stages of the selection process to replace Justice David Souter, Obama administration officials say there is a strong inclination to pick a woman, but stress there is no short list and the field of candidates is wide open.

CNN: Rice: Bush wouldn't approve illegal interrogations
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the Bush administration's policies on the interrogation of terrorism suspects Sunday, saying former President George W. Bush would not have authorized anything illegal.

CNN: Specter: Switch should be 'wake-up call' to GOP
Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Sunday that he hopes his recent switch to the Democratic Party will serve as a "wake-up call" to an increasingly conservative GOP.

CNN: Sestak says he's 'not sure' Specter's a Democrat yet
Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak told CNN Sunday that he wasn't sure Sen. Arlen Specter is really part of the Democratic Party, the latest in a series of tough comments aimed at his potential Senate primary rival.

CNN: Former Republican VP candidate, congressman Kemp dies
Former congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp died Saturday at age 73 after a battle with cancer, his family announced.

CNN: Conservatives prepare for Supreme battle
Few issues rally conservatives as much as a Supreme Court nomination - and activists are wasting no time gearing up for a battle.

NYT: Senators Accuse Pentagon of Delay in Recovering Millions
The Pentagon has done little to collect at least $100 million in overcharges paid in deals arranged by corrupt former officials of Kellogg Brown & Root, the defense contractor, even though the officials admitted much of the wrongdoing years ago, two senators have complained in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

Washington Post: 4th-Grader Questions Rice on Waterboarding
Days after telling students at Stanford University that waterboarding was legal "by definition if it was authorized by the president," former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice was pressed again on the subject yesterday by a fourth-grader at a Washington school.

Forbes: What Souter's Exit Means For Business
Justice David Souter's retirement from the Supreme Court gives President Obama an opportunity to appoint a left-leaning justice. How scared should business be? Not very.

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May 1st, 2009
04:59 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, May 1, 2009

ALT TEXT

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: Justice David Souter to retire from Supreme Court, source says
After more than 18 years on the nation's highest court, Supreme Court Justice David Souter is retiring, a source close to Souter told CNN Thursday.

CNN: Analysis: What's ahead for Obama in the next 100 days
After passing the 100 days benchmark, President Obama pushes on with a daunting task ahead of him: Tackling foreign and domestic issues while dealing with a Republican Party opposed to nearly all his major economic initiatives.

CNN: White House apologizes for undue alarm over Biden comments
The White House apologized Thursday "if anybody was unduly alarmed" by Vice President Joe Biden's comments that seemed to suggest Americans should avoid air travel or confined spaces of any kind.

CNN: Immigration agents told to target employers who hire workers
The Department of Homeland Security told its immigration enforcement agents Thursday to target employers who hire illegal workers, but also to continue to arrest the illegal immigrants it encounters.

Washington Times Exclusive: Interrogation blame spread to Congress
In a rare gesture, House intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes sent a letter this week to all CIA employees suggesting that Congress shared some blame for the CIA interrogation controversy and should play a more robust role in the intelligence policymaking process.

Washington Post: White House Cheat Sheet: Souter Retirement (Further) Roils Political Landscape
The news that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire as early as next month is likely to set off a massive campaign-style fight over the man or woman that President Obama nominates to fill the vacant slot on the bench, and could well sidetrack other legislative priorities of the administration.

WSJ: At Treasury, Big White House Role
On Jan. 20, Timothy Geithner took control of the Treasury Department, directing the government's response to the financial crisis.

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April 30th, 2009
05:21 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, April 30, 2009

ALT TEXT

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: Obama says he doesn't have 'rubber-stamp Senate'
President Obama said Wednesday that he's under no illusions that he'll have a "rubber-stamp Senate" now that Sen. Arlen Specter has switched parties to join the Democrats.

CNN: GOP set to launch rebranding effort
Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama's characterization of Republicans as "the party of 'no.'"

CNN: Congress approves $3.44 trillion budget resolution
Congress approved a $3.4 trillion budget for the coming year Wednesday, approving most of President Obama's key spending priorities including increasing in health care, education and alternative energy spending.

CNN: Torture tape delays U.S.-UAE nuclear deal, say U.S. officials
A videotape of a heinous torture session is delaying the ratification of a civil nuclear deal between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, senior U.S. officials familiar with the case said.

CNN: GOP using Specter's own campaign ads against him
After Arlen Specter bolted the GOP Tuesday, Republicans like party chair Michael Steele attacked him as a "leftist" with a history of "left-wing" stands.

Washington Post: Justice Department Backs Plan to Eliminate Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
Justice Department officials yesterday endorsed for the first time a plan that would eliminate vast sentencing disparities between possession of powdered cocaine and rock cocaine, an inequity that civil rights groups say has affected poor and minority defendants disproportionately.

Washington Times: Donors demand refund from Specter
Sen. Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party is prompting his campaign donors large and small to demand their money back, including several Republican senators whose political action committees gave tens of thousands of dollars to the Pennsylvania lawmaker.

WSJ: Obama Aims for Fast Private Sector Exit
President Barack Obama said he wants to get the government out of the private sector as fast as possible - but that as long as his administration is acting as a major shareholder for large sectors of American commerce, from cars to finance, he won't hesitate to shape decisions at those firms.

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April 29th, 2009
05:09 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

FIRST 100 DAYS
National Report Card: First 100 Days
Live CNN.com and on CNN TV | Apr 29 | 7 p.m. ET
100 days after his inauguration, Obama is graded by you and the Best Political Team

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/44.president/first.100.days/

CNN: Amanpour: Obama's 100 days of foreign affairs
Judging by the hysterical reaction in some quarters, to President Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, or his bow to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, you would think that America's national security rested solely on body language not sound policy.

CNN: Borger: GOP in search of change of its own
Since we are all obsessed with President Obama's first 100 days, let's get this out of the way: He's shown himself to understand the ways to communicate and lead as president. His aerobic first three months have taken the term "activist agenda" to a whole new level. He stands shoulder-to-shoulder with leaders on the world stage. He reaches out to the opposition, but only so far. He's an "all-in" president - checking off items on his to-do list almost daily. And more than 60 percent of the public actually likes him - although they don't agree with all of his ideas.

CNN: Reviewing Obama: How he's done so far
In his first 100 days in office, President Obama has made it very clear that he's not afraid to tackle the financial and economic mess he inherited.

Chicago Tribune: Obama at 100 days
A new president who came into office following a bitterly contested election, replacing a polarizing predecessor, gets credit for his low-key style, success in changing the tone in Washington and greater-than-expected popularity with the American people. Barack Obama on the eve of his 100th day in office? Yes, but also George W. Bush at the same juncture in 2001.

NYT: Obama’s Stand in Auto Crisis Shows Early Resolve
For a new president, the automobile industry crisis has tested the boundaries of his activist approach and the acuity of his political instincts. As with so many issues in his action-packed 100 days in office, Mr. Obama confronted choices few of his predecessors encountered.

Washington Post: Bruised by Stimulus Battle, Obama Changed His Approach to Washington
During his first 100 days, Obama has moved quickly to strengthen the U.S. economy, refine the American strategy in two foreign wars and reverse Bush-era detention and interrogation policies that have drawn condemnation at home and abroad. But his first weeks in office have also showed a president who, rather than changing Washington, as he pledged during his historic campaign, was being changed by it.

US News & World Report: Obama's 12 Most Important Decisions in His First 100 Days
President Obama has been remarkably busy since he took office in January, making a series of important decisions that have, in some cases, moved the nation in a new direction from the past eight years. Whether the impact will be good or bad, here are the 12 decisions that helped shape Obama's first 100 days and could shape history.

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April 28th, 2009
05:12 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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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: White House apologizes for low-flying plane
A White House official apologized Monday after a low-flying Boeing 747 spotted above the Manhattan skyline frightened workers and residents into evacuating buildings.

CNN: Bipartisanship didn't last long in Obama's first 100 days
There's little debate that Democrats who run Congress mark President Obama's 100-day milestone with some significant victories.

CNN: Republicans blast 'special rules' in budget proposal
As the final details of a proposed budget deal were worked out Monday, Republican lawmakers slammed Democrats for including special rules to speed up legislation for health-care reform.

CNN: Fox won't air Obama's prime-time press conference
Fox Broadcasting Company announced Monday it will not carry President Barack Obama's prime time press conference marking his first 100 days in office, the first time a broadcast network has refused an Obama administration request for that valuable airtime.

CNN: Obama more popular than his policies, poll shows
A new national poll suggests that President Obama is personally more popular than his policies.

The Washington Times: Top Dem: Forced to strip flu-fighting funds
A top House Democrat on Monday accused fellow lawmakers of forcing him to strip millions of dollars out of the recovery act he said would have helped prepare to fight the new swine flu outbreak.

NYT: U.S. Plans Attack and Defense in Cyberspace Warfare
When American forces in Iraq wanted to lure members of Al Qaeda into a trap, they hacked into one of the group’s computers and altered information that drove them into American gun sights.

WSJ: Obama Seeks to Reverse Mountaintop-Mining Rule
The Obama administration on Monday sought to reverse a last-minute Bush administration rule that made it easier for companies that mine for coal by shearing off mountaintops to dump waste near rivers and streams.

LA Times: FBI monitored members of O.C. mosques at gyms, alleged informant says
As part of their anti-terrorism efforts, FBI agents monitored popular gyms throughout Orange County to gather intelligence on members of several local mosques, according to a man who claims to have been a key informant in the operation.

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April 27th, 2009
05:00 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, April 27, 2009

ALT TEXT

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: King: Second 100 days will be bigger test for Obama

As introductions go, it has been a fast-paced, fascinating first 100 days: an ambitious domestic agenda aimed at reinvigorating the economy and the government's reach into its workings, and several provocative steps on the world stage that, like at home, signal a clear break from the previous administration.

CNN: Official White House photographer gets inside view

It's early April, and President Obama is on his way to France with the nation's top diplomat at his side. As he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton converse in a private room aboard Air Force One, a photographer peers through the half-open door and snaps a candid picture of the formerly bitter campaign rivals.

CNN: Senators rip WH for releasing interrogation memos

President Barack Obama's decision to release four Bush-era memos regarding the use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" was heavily criticized Sunday as a couple of prominent senators told CNN's John King that the decision was a potentially dangerous mistake.

CNN: Gibbs issues 100-day grades for administration, press

Reporters are outshining the Obama administration in the first hundred days, at least according to the administration's press liaison.

CNN: Leahy wants to probe 'chain of command' on torture

An independent commission is needed to determine who authorized the use of abusive interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists, a leading advocate of such a panel said Sunday.

NYT: Shortage of Doctors Proves Obstacle to Obama Goals

Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.

LA Times: Obama has no flu symptoms after Mexico visit

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Obama had shown no flu symptoms since returning from Mexico, where he stopped April 16-17 on his way to a regional economic summit.

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