POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
May 18th, 2011
04:27 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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

For the latest political news: http://www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Coburn pulls out of Gang of Six, dealing blow to deficit talks
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, is pulling out of so-called "Gang of Six" bipartisan negotiations for now – dealing a potentially fatal blow to the group that has been working intensely for some five months to find agreement on a deficit reduction plan. Coburn believes the group has reached an "impasse."

CNNMoney: Risk default? 'You've got to be kidding' – Geithner
Now is the time to figure out how to rein in deficits, but even if lawmakers can't come to an agreement by early August, they will need to raise the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday evening. "It simply is not an option for Congress to evade the basic responsibility to protect America's creditworthiness," Geithner said at the Harvard Club in New York City.

Washington Post: CIA flew stealth drones into Pakistan to monitor bin Laden house
Using unmanned planes designed to evade radar detection and operate at high altitudes, the agency conducted clandestine flights over the compound for months before the May 2 assault in an effort to capture high-resolution video that satellites could not provide. The aircraft allowed the CIA to glide undetected beyond the boundaries that Pakistan has long imposed on other U.S. drones, including the Predators and Reapers that routinely carry out strikes against militants near the border with Afghanistan.

CNN: Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke late Tuesday afternoon with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in the wake of his comments regarding Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare. Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler told CNN Gingrich was “reaching out” and that the call “went very well.” Tyler did not say directly if Gingrich issued an apology, but did not dispute Ryan’s characterization of the phone call. Ryan told conservative talk radio host Michael Medved earlier that Gingrich apologized.

CNN: Democratic bill to end oil subsidies is defeated in the Senate
On a mostly party-line vote, the Senate on Tuesday defeated a Democratic measure to strip major oil companies of about $20 billion in tax subsidies over the next 10 years and use the savings to pay down the deficit. …In the end, Democrats from oil-producing states, including Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, opposed the bill, along with Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

For the latest national news: http://www.CNN.com

CNN: Vicksburg, Mississippi, waits for record river levels
Nervous anticipation. That is the feeling permeating through Vicksburg, Mississippi, as it awaits a historic flood crest to wash through the area later this week. The Mississippi River, already at record levels, is forecast to peak early Thursday more than a foot over the record set in the city in 1927. As the waters rise, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is keeping a watchful eye on the Yazoo Backwater Levee.

New York Times: In Japan Reactor Failings, Danger Signs for the U.S.
Emergency vents that American officials have said would prevent devastating hydrogen explosions at nuclear plants in the United States were put to the test in Japan — and failed to work, according to experts and officials with the company that operates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant. …After the venting failed at the Fukushima plant, the hydrogen gas fueled explosions that spewed radioactive materials into the atmosphere, reaching levels about 10 percent of estimated emissions at Chernobyl, according to Japan’s nuclear regulatory agency.

CNNMoney: The Great Recession's lost generation
The brutal job market brought on by the recession has been hard on everyone, but especially devastating on the youngest members of the labor force. About 60% of recent graduates have not been able to find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco. And for those just entering the workplace, a bout of long-term unemployment can affect their career plans for years to come.

CNN: Proposed naming of Navy ship for Cesar Chavez draws fire, support
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will be in San Diego on Wednesday at the General Dynamics Nassco shipyards and is expected, according to the shipbuilding company, to formally announce that the latest Lewis and Clark-class Navy cargo ship will carry the Chavez name. …Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, objects to naming a ship for Chavez. In a statement released by his office, he suggested the Navy is paying too much attention to politics and not enough to tradition.

Chicago Tribune: Emanuel's $75 million in cuts full of estimates, generalities
On his first full day in office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaimed he's already figured out how to cut $75 million from his predecessor's final budget, just as he said he would. "These figures are not based … on assumptions of what might or might not happen," Emanuel said. "They are based on the realities that will happen." But a look at what Emanuel unveiled Tuesday shows much of his planned spending cuts are estimates based on marching orders the new mayor gave to his staff. Other proposals lack specifics.

For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com

CNN: IMF chief faces pressure to resign as scandal ripples across Europe
The head of the International Monetary Fund, jailed on charges of sexual assault of a chambermaid in his New York City hotel suite, should consider stepping down for the good of the institution, Austria's finance minister said Tuesday. …Ahead of Tuesday's meeting to address the Greek debt burden, Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said the alleged crimes of the IMF chief were "very serious" and suggested letting "justice take its course."

Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia Defies Mideast Upheaval
Saudi Arabia is leading a counter- revolution against the sweeping political changes in the Middle East by using money, force and religion. As popular movements for democracy toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and began threatening neighboring Bahrain and Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s Al Saud royal family strengthened control over the Arab world’s biggest economy. Once restrictive of the Muslim clerics, King Abdullah offered money and new censorship powers for their loyalty as he doled out 500 billion riyals ($130 billion) nationally in housing grants and other sweeteners.

CNN: Mexican authorities find 513 illegal immigrants in 2 tractor-trailers
Mexican authorities said they found and detained more than 500 illegal immigrants from Central America and Asia who were crammed inside two tractor-trailers heading toward the United States on Tuesday. X-ray equipment detected the immigrants at checkpoints in the southern state of Chiapas, the state attorney general's office said. The drivers of both trucks sped away after authorities ordered them to stop, but police apprehended them nearby.

CNN: Guatemala's president declares 'stage of siege' after 'massacre'
Guatemala's President Alvaro Colom has declared a "state of siege" in a northern border province, ordering in the military after police found 29 migrant workers brutally killed on a farm over the weekend. Colom, in a televised address late Monday, promised to challenge the drug dealers authorities believe are responsible for the killings, which have been described as a "massacre" by the state-run Guatemalan News Agency.

CNN: Missing Al Jazeera reporter safe in Qatar, network says
An Al Jazeera reporter who disappeared after landing in the Syrian capital of Damascus last month to cover anti-government protests has been released, the network said early Wednesday. The network said Dorothy Parvaz was safe and well in Doha, where her fiance had gone to greet her. The journalist will head to Canada.

For the latest business news: http://www.CNNMoney.com

Financial Times: Sony chief braced for cost of hacker attack
In his first interview since taking the gaming network offline in late April, Sir Howard said Sony had not determined whether it will take a one-time charge related to the breach. But he acknowledged that the company is facing costs related to repairing and upgrading its online networks, lost revenues during the outages, and new identity theft insurance that it is offering customers.

Bloomberg: Hewlett-Packard CEO Expects ‘Tough Third Quarter,’ Memo Says
Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker told top executives that he’s bracing for “another tough quarter” in the July period and urged his deputies to “watch every penny and minimize all hiring.” The company’s existing headcount plans are “unaffordable given the pressures on our business,” Apotheker wrote in the May 4 memo to deputies including Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems business, and Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak. The memo was obtained by Bloomberg.

CNNMoney: Dell's PC sales fall 8%
Dell's PC sales slumped in the first quarter of 2011, even as the computing giant booked record earnings. …Despite the profit growing, sales in several product categories slipped. Desktop PC sales fell 8% compared to last year, coming in at nearly $3.3 billion. That's a worrisome trend for Dell, as desktop PC sales still make up 22% of its total net revenue - behind only the mobility category, which comprises 32% of Dell's total revenue.

In Case You Missed It…
Tom Foreman reports on the long list of men in the public spotlight who have been unfaithful or otherwise behaved badly.

Filed under: Political Hot Topics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    [CNN: Coburn pulls out of Gang of Six, dealing blow to deficit talks]
    Just when you thought there was “compromise” – Coburn walks!!

    [CNNMoney: Risk default? 'You've got to be kidding' – Geithner]
    Yes they will Default – “And that’s hard to believe?” – a “frightner!!!”

    [Washington Post: CIA flew stealth drones into Pakistan to monitor bin Laden house]
    That’s why Musharaf(sp) complained because he knew bin Laden was “trapped there like a mouse”

    [CNN: Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment]
    But we all know he truly believes in his original statement!!

    [CNN: Democratic bill to end oil subsidies is defeated in the Senate]
    I can’t believe those who voted against it – “don’t they get it?”


    May 18, 2011 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    CNN: Gingrich apologizes to Ryan after 'radical' comment
    If someone had told me 15 years ago that Newt Gingrich would be too moderate to be a major player in Republican politics, I would told them that Newt would never move that far to the left. Today, Newt is viewed as too moderate and his views on the issue(s) that are causing this opinion are still pretty much the same. Not even Reagan could win the Republican nomination in today's party.

    May 18, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. rusty155

    The Reason He pull out of the talk Is the Republican don't want to Compromise,all they want Is to forced President Obama Into the Paul Ryan Plan. That no one In America want. The Republican will learn this In 2012 when the Lose a lot of seat In the House and the Senate. And they won't win the white house either. All you republican are doing with this war on the Middle Class,the POOR , the OLD and the Disabled Is cutting there own throat In 2012. Wise up Republican.

    May 18, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. REG in AZ

    The Republicans are clearly showing their emboldened ‘cockiness’ as they squabble among themselves over which con to support. They simply take the people for granted as they assume, with the substantial power, influence and money constantly provided them, they can just manipulate the voters like a large group of small fish being guided to and fro towards the net. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachmann and others clearly demonstrate this in their stubborn and arrogant loyalty to Special Interests and the select few, their strong supporters who ‘pull their strings‘, and in their focus on their political ambitions without any conscientious regard for Social Security, for Medicare, for seniors, for veterans, for the total middle-class, for the majority. You can readily see the offensive and disgusting ‘cockiness’ in the antics of Limbaugh, Beck, Palin and these others as they just assume they can play people’s emotions. They all are confident that, as they have done in the past with the manipulation of the Christian block, with the Swift-boat propaganda, recently in the appeals to people’s emotions with the extremes offered by the Tea Party and even in the ridiculous like with the ‘birthers’ argument, they can always manipulate public opinion as they wish. Unless the people recognize these constant efforts and actually become offended, literally insulted by them, then it is possible we could be returned to more of the same, Bush-Cheney style, that cost us so much.

    May 18, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    CNN: Coburn pulls out of Gang of Six, dealing blow to deficit talks
    Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, is pulling out of so-called "Gang of Six" bipartisan negotiations for now...
    The will of the American people do not coincide with agenda of the Republican party. What is so remarkable is that conservatives are blaming liberals for this failure of the American people to approve of the right wing vision. What's even more remarakable is that the hard right continues to push and push their views (which causes the rest of America to push back and push away from them) and they do not understand that the disapproval is completely of their own making. Instead they blame liberals, just as they always have. And America sees that, too.

    May 18, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |