June 18th, 2008
06:21 AM ET
13 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

NY Times: After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction
Michelle Obama’s eyes flicker tentatively even as she offers a trained smile. As her campaign plane arcs over the Flathead Range in Montana, she is asked to consider her complicated public image.

Washington Post: McCain's Declaration of Independence
The Ad: John McCain stood up to the president and sounded the alarm on global warming five years ago. Today he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions. A plan that will help grow our economy and protect our environment. Reform. Prosperity. Peace. John McCain.

LA Times: Democrats and Republicans will party hard on soft money
When delegates travel to the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions late this summer, they'll enter a cocoon of corporate largesse. Democrats will fly to Denver on reduced-fare tickets provided by United Airlines. Many will be picked up in plush new vehicles donated by General Motors that run on fuel made from "waste beer" donated by Molson Coors Brewing Co.

AP: Thousands join president in mourning Russert
Thousands of friends, colleagues and strangers joined President Bush and his wife, Laura, in paying respects on Tuesday to Tim Russert. Several hundred people were in line more than an hour before the early afternoon start of the wake at St. Albans School, an elite private boys school on the grounds of Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington

Washington Post: Democratic Convention Host Lagging on Funds
The committee that will host the Democratic National Convention announced this week that it is $10 million short of the $40.6 million it promised to raise by mid-June. Organizers of the Denver 2008 host committee blame the sluggish economy, the city's limited corporate base and the distraction of the long Democratic primary fight, which Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) won less than two weeks ago.

CNN: Military lawyers objected to harsh interrogation techniques
A top legal adviser to the Pentagon squelched objections from legal experts when the military was writing rules that cleared the way for harsh interrogation of prisoners, a former lawyer for the senior U.S. military commander testified Tuesday.

NY Times: Campaigns in a Skirmish Over Terrorism and Law
A sharp debate over terrorism, security and the rule of law broke out on Tuesday as the campaigns of Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama exchanged pointed salvos over who could best keep the nation safe.

NY Times: Three Questions for McCain
A week before Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary — in April, back when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were still the big story — John McCain traveled to Pittsburgh to remind everyone how different his economic agenda would be from theirs.

Politico: Don't expect Gore on the campaign trail
Despite Al Gore’s choreographed endorsement of Barack Obama Monday, top Democratic strategists don’t expect the 2000 Democratic nominee will risk his environmental agenda by campaigning vigorously in this year’s presidential race.

Politico: Obama courts Clintonites on the Hill
Sen. Barack Obama and top campaign aides were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as part of a full-scale offensive to win over the hearts and minds of those who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton herself was nowhere to be found.

USA Today: Independent groups plan to use money to sway election
The first wave in a flood of spending by independent groups in the general election race for the White House came Tuesday with a TV ad blasting Republican John McCain for his support of the Iraq war.

Politico: Now in production: Senate majority
Powerful Hollywood women may be despondent over Hillary Rodham Clinton’s departure from this year’s presidential race, but they’re not ready to throw in the towel — not by a long shot.

AP: Obama promises tuition tax credit
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama recalled paying off his own mountain of student loan debt and promised struggling college students Tuesday he would help them pay for school.

NY Times: Bill Promotes Universal College Loans
Responding to reports that some lenders have stopped offering federal loans at community and other colleges, two Democratic senators introduced legislation Tuesday to prohibit lenders from picking and choosing among institutions.

AP: GOP objects to jobless benefits extension bill
Senate Republicans blocked legislation Tuesday that would have given an extra three months of jobless benefits for all unemployed Americans, but congressional Democrats plan to bring the bill back by attaching it to an Iraq war funding measure.

WSJ: McCain risks ‘flip-flop’ jibes by voters
Nobody is yet calling John McCain a “flip-flopper”. But the Republican nominee’s increasingly finely balanced efforts to shore up his support among the shrinking Republican base while reaching out to independents is starting to fire up the critics.

AP: Bush begins effort to track state of environment
The White House on Tuesday directed four agencies to develop yardsticks for charting changes in the amount and quality of the nation's water.

CNN Money: Congress takes aim at oil speculators
Record prices have prompted a slew of bills to curtail the role of investors, but traders say they could backfire.

Washington Post: In Her Own Time; Caroline Kennedy Takes a Role as More Than Keeper Of the Flame
Barack Obama's decision to name the only surviving child of John F. Kennedy to his three-person vice presidential search team was not without its noisy critics, who questioned Caroline Kennedy's credentials for the job and suggested the presumptive Democratic nominee was merely trying to latch himself to the legacy of Camelot.

Politico: War funds adrift in Hill fights
A massive wartime spending bill has become the Flying Dutchman of this Congress, sailing back and forth between the House and Senate like a doomed phantom ship, never able to get home to the White House for President Bush’s veto — or signature.

Washington Post: House Panel Approves Higher Civilian Raise Than Bush Wanted
A House Appropriations panel yesterday approved a 3.9 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees next year, a significantly larger increase than President Bush had sought. Lawmakers on the financial services and general government subcommittee adopted the pay provision as part of the $22.4 billion fiscal 2009 spending bill approved by voice vote to fund the Department of Treasury, the District of Columbia and many independent agencies. The raise for 1.9 million federal workers matches the 3.9 percent hike approved by the House for military personnel in May as part of the Defense Department authorization bill.

Washington Post: Senate to Take Up Measures to Aid Homeowners
Senate leaders unveiled a package of initiatives yesterday aimed at easing the nation's housing crisis, including an $8,000 tax credit for some first-time home buyers, a new tax deduction for some homeowners and a plan to rescue more than 400,000 borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

WSJ: Idaho Race Gets Personal
The launch of Rex Rammell's Senate bid didn't go as planned. The mud pit and the monster trucks were an insurmountable distraction. The would-be supporters were too drunk to think about the election. He quickly gave up hope of even delivering a speech.

New York Post: SCHUMER: AIR TRAFFIC IS OUT OF CONTROLLERS
Flying in and out of New York will become increasingly dangerous and inconvenient over the next five years if the feds don't do something, Sen. Chuck Schumer will testify today at a special House hearing on the region's overcrowded skies.

AP: Maryland elects 1st black woman to Congress
Democratic lawyer and nonprofit executive Donna Edwards won a special election Tuesday to become Maryland's first black woman elected to Congress.

Washington Post: America's Unkempt Front Yard; Park Service Says Mall Needs $350 Million in Deferred Maintenance
The latch is missing from the stall door in the public restroom south of the Washington Monument. The hinges are bent. The partition is wobbly. Paint is peeling from the ceiling. Rust stains the toilet fixtures, and two signs on a wall warn in red letters: "No Bathing."


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