July 29th, 2008
06:05 AM ET
14 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, July 29, 2008


CNN: McCain says he could support 16-month Iraq timetable
Sen. John McCain could support a 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, he told CNN's Larry King Monday night.

CNNMoney.com: Welcome, Mr. President: Here's the tab
The federal government's 2009 deficit is projected to rise to $482 billion. That's not great news for the next president – no matter who wins on Election Day.

USA Today: McCain gains on Obama in poll
Republican John McCain gained ground in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll that found Democrat Barack Obama's highly publicized foreign trip has not broadened confidence in his ability to be commander of the U.S. military.

NY Times: A Canceled Obama Visit, and the Story Behind It
For four days, Senator John McCain has sought to keep alive a story about how Senator Barack Obama called off a visit to American troops recuperating from war wounds at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

CNN Radio: There Will Be Biopsies starring Sen. John McCain
Touring California oil fields, Sen. McCain's mole is the talk of the nation. McCain talks too, getting a word in edgewise on Sen. Obama's economic plan. CNN’s Bob Costantini has today’s CNN Radio Political Ticker.

LA Times: GOP suffering from a lack of (ballot) initiative
The strategy of pushing propositions likely to draw conservatives to the polls has faltered as Republicans face mishaps in drafting measures and a more aggressive opposition.

LA Times: New 'W' trailer: A walk on the wild side with Bush
It was just a couple of weeks ago that conservative commentators were all saying that liberals were humorless dolts, offering as Exhibit A the outraged reaction to the New Yorker's hilarious Barack Obama as Muslim terrorist cover cartoon. So I'm betting those same commentators will heartily embrace Lionsgate's first teaser trailer for Oliver Stone's "W," which just posted today on YouTube (with the admonition: "This is not a fake"), focusing on the young Dubya, acting like he's starring in a boozy remake of "Old School."

NY Times: A Hug for Obama, a Handshake for McCain
Senator Barack Obama’s audience inside the Capitol this week will number about 200, not the 200,000 who gathered last week in Berlin. And with their own careers tied to his on Election Day, the House Democrats gathered to listen to him will bring more critical scrutiny.

WSJ: Irked Extremes May Mean A Happy Political Middle
At this point in the presidential race, there's grousing on the left about Sen. Barack Obama, and grumbling on the right about Sen. John McCain. Does that mean Americans who reside in the broad center of the political spectrum should be happy?

CNN: Obama: Odds of winning are very good
Barack Obama told donors at a Monday night fundraiser just across the Potomac River from Washington that “the odds of us winning are very good."

Politico: How to roll out a running mate
As the two party conventions loom, Barack Obama and John McCain have a common wish: that their choice of a running mate shoves their rival out of the news, adds new complexity to the electoral map and brings a welcome spike in the polls.

CNN: Gonzales aides politicized hirings, investigators find
Aides to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales improperly considered political affiliations and ideologies in hiring, but Gonzales was unaware of those actions, according to results of an investigation released Monday by the Justice Department internal watchdog.

Washington Post: Mr. Novak Takes Leave; Leaving a hole on our op-ed page
ALONG WITH many readers, we were saddened to learn yesterday that, at least for a short while, we won't be receiving any columns from Robert D. Novak to publish on the opposite page. Mr. Novak has been writing a column since 1963 - that's not a typo - and, to our knowledge, he has never missed a deadline. He revealed yesterday that he has a brain tumor.

NY Times: The Story Behind Kennedy’s Surgery
When Senator Edward M. Kennedy disclosed on May 20 that he had brain cancer, three days after suffering a seizure, doctors did not list surgery as a possibility.

Politico: Tim Johnson on air for first time since brain hemmorhage
Nearly two years after suffering a debilitating brain hemorrhage, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) appears in his campaign’s first television ad telling voters that his illness has given him “a unique view on life.”

NY Times: Candidates Return Focus to Economy and Jobs
Shifting the emphasis of his campaign back to the deteriorating economy after a weeklong trip abroad, Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, met in Washington on Monday with a group of 20 prominent economists, former government officials and business and labor leaders to discuss problems like vanishing jobs and rising food and fuel costs.

LA Times: Campaign ads attack GOP candidates for oil industry ties
With consumers fuming about high gas prices, political strategists see connections to oil firms as an added liability - and Democrats are taking aim.

CNN: JibJab welcomes McCain, Obama
JibJab.com bids farewell to President Bush and gives Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain a proper JibJab welcome.

CNN: Senate Democrats offer deal to break energy bill standstill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid surprised Republicans on Monday by offering them a chance to vote this week on four GOP-backed amendments to an energy bill, including one that would expand offshore oil drilling.

NY Times: Drop in Miles Driven Is Depleting Highway Fund; Loan From Mass Transit Is Urged
Gasoline tax revenue is falling so fast that the federal government may not be able to meet its commitments to states for road projects already under way, the secretary of transportation said Monday.

WSJ: Michele Bachmann Op-Ed: The Democrats' Energy Charade
Earlier this month the House of Representatives voted on an energy bill called the Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands (Drill) Act. The good news, for those of us who actually want to do something to lower gas prices, is that it failed.

CNN: Candidates oppose quotas, but offer no fix for affirmative action
Both John McCain and Barack Obama say equal opportunity should not be based on quotas, but neither side has said how to reach equality without them.

AP: Investigation of firing by Alaska Gov. approved
Alaska lawmakers on Monday approved an investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in firing a public safety commissioner. Lawmakers say they want to know whether Palin was mad at former commissioner Walt Monegan for not firing an Alaska State Trooper who went through a messy divorce and ongoing child custody battles with Palin's sister.

NY Times: Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Seen as Unlikely
When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton abandoned her bid for the presidency and endorsed Senator Barack Obama in June, she made clear that she was interested in becoming his running mate, and Mr. Obama and his associates signaled respectfully that she would get full consideration.

WSJ: Perle Linked to Kurdish Oil Plan
Influential former Pentagon official Richard Perle has been exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan, according to people with knowledge of the matter and documents outlining possible deals.

Washington Times: Doubts mount on Afghan surge; Taliban recruitment outpaces efforts of U.S., NATO forces
While U.S. commanders and both presidential candidates are pressing the Pentagon to send more troops to Afghanistan, several military and Afghanistan analysts say a surge there will not solve and could even worsen the problems of a country famous for resisting foreign interference.

USA Today: Petraeus: Level of violence in Iraq tapers toward 'normal'
U.S. combat deaths in Iraq appear headed to the lowest monthly total since the start of the war as the top U.S. general there said overall violence is declining toward "normal" levels.

AP: Study questions US strategy against al-Qaeda
The United States can defeat al-Qaeda if it relies less on force and more on policing and intelligence to root out the terror group's leaders, a new study contends. "Keep in mind that terrorist groups are not eradicated overnight," said the study by the federally funded Rand research center, an organization that counsels the Pentagon.

LA Times: Guantanamo jurors shown graphic film on Al Qaeda
Jurors hearing the first war crimes case against a Guantanamo prisoner watched a graphic 90-minute film chronicling the history of Al Qaeda on Monday, which included footage of mangled corpses in the rubble of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya.

CNN: Study: U.S. security system still broken
The national security system it is broken and needs major changes, according to a congressionally mandated study released Monday.

NY Times: A U.S. Trial by Its Looks, but Only So
On the surface, the proceedings unfolding inside a makeshift courthouse on a hill here resemble an American trial. A judge wearing a black robe presides. There is a public gallery and a witness stand. Prosecutors present witnesses, and defense lawyers cross-examine them. Objections are made and ruled upon.

WSJ: Majority of Jobless in U.S. Don't Get Benefits
When the July employment report comes out Friday, U.S. payrolls are likely to shrink by an additional 68,000, according to economists. But a substantial number of those who lose their jobs won't get unemployment benefits - even though Congress recently took steps to bolster the program.

CNN: EPA e-mail to workers: Don't answer inspector's questions
The Environmental Protection Agency advised employees last month not to answer questions from journalists, the Government Accountability Office or the agency's inspector general, according to an EPA e-mail made public Monday.

WSJ: Politics Is National in Local Web Campaign
Novice politician Sean Tevis spent two weeks trudging door to door through the outskirts of Kansas City, touting his qualifications for the Kansas state Legislature, and what did he have to show for it? A few slammed doors and one lonely $25 donation.

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