Monday, October 11, 2010

WHILE AMERICA WAS SLEEPING, I fixed a 'news breakfast' for you -- ready for your media diet, at 6am each weekday. These must-reads will help you kick start the day:

BREAKING -- Two Americans, One Briton Win Nobel Economics Prize: "Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides won the 2010 Nobel Prize on Monday "'for their analysis of markets with search frictions.'" (WSJ)


Obama Still Aiming at the Chamber of Commerce: "The White House intensified its attacks Sunday on the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its alleged ties to foreign donors, part of an escalating Democratic effort to link Republican allies with corporate and overseas interests ahead of the November midterm elections. The chamber adamantly denies that foreign funds are used in its U.S. election efforts, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a speculative smear campaign during a desperate political year." (WaPo)

Paladino Disputes Anti-Gay Comments: "'I do not agree with this passage, nor did I say it,' Paladino said in a statement released late Sunday. 'Apparently a few reporters relied upon suggested remarks distributed by my hosts at the synagogue in Williamsburg after my departure, not the actual statement I made.'" (CNN)

Cable News Chatter Changing the Electoral Landscape: "The increasing polarization of cable news is transforming, and in some ways shrinking, the electoral landscape. What has emerged is a form of narrowcasting, allowing candidates a welcoming platform that helps them avoid hostile press questioning and, in some cases, minimize the slog and the slip-ups of retail campaigning." (Kurtz & Tumulty @ WaPo)

Democrats Conflicted Over Black Vote, Obama (WSJ)

Tactics Split California's Top Two GOP Contenders: "Fiorina, trying to unseat Boxer, stays true to her conservative primary stance. Whitman, running against Brown, moves to the center in search of moderate voters." (LA Times)

Same Ol' Newt: "It has been a busy season for the former House speaker, who seems every few weeks to return to a playbook he first began using three decades ago: Lobbing rhetorical grenades into the crowd, and basking in the uproar that follows." (Politico)

GOP Poised to Make Gains in Races for Governor: "Republicans are well-positioned to pick up a substantial number of governor’s seats in this year’s election, with potentially far-reaching effects on issues like the new health care law, Congressional redistricting and presidential politics. " (NY Times)


Congressional Staffers Gain From Trading in Stocks: "At least 72 aides on both sides of the aisle traded shares of companies that their bosses help oversee, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of more than 3,000 disclosure forms covering trading activity by Capitol Hill staffers for 2008 and 2009." (WSJ)

Army Suicides Continue Despite Prevention Efforts: "Nearly 20 months after the Army began strengthening its suicide prevention program and working to remove the stigma attached to seeking psychological counseling, the suicide rate among active service members remains high and shows little sign of improvement. Through August, at least 125 active members of the Army had ended their own lives, exceeding the morbid pace of last year, when there were a record 162 suicides." (NY Times)

Eight Arraigned in Anti-Gay Hate Crimes in NY: "Charges against them include harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful imprisonment, assault, robbery and sexual abuse as hate crimes. . . . The teenagers are being charged as adults, police have said. None of the defendants entered pleas at the arraignment." (CNN)


Court Adds to Foreclosure Delay: "The recent suspensions of foreclosures by four major companies that service mortgages compound a problem that had existed for years in states where foreclosures are handled by the courts. In the 23 states in which foreclosures must be approved by a judge, the process takes longer than in states where courts are not involved, and some economists say it's among the factors delaying a housing rebound." (WSJ)

White House Doubts Need to Halt Them All: "It is a serious problem,' said David Axelrod, who contended that the flawed paperwork is hurting the nation's housing market as well as lending institutions. But he added, 'I'm not sure about a national moratorium because there are in fact valid foreclosures that probably should go forward' because their documents are accurate." (AP)

Mortgage Bullies: Banks accused of illegally breaking into homes facing foreclosure. (ABC)


Karzai Admits Talks with the Taliban: "'We have been talking to the Taliban as countryman to countryman, talk in that manner,' Karzai told CNN's Larry King when asked about media reports of 'secret high level talks' between the two sides. Karzai said that contact with the anti-government group was not regular 'but rather unofficial personal contacts [that] have been going on for quite time'. (Al Jazeera)

Liu Xiaobo's Detained Wife Pleads for Help on Twitter: "Brothers, I have returned home. On the eighth (of October) they placed me under house arrest. I don't know when I will be able to see anyone" . . . "My mobile phone is broken and I cannot call or receive calls. I saw Xiaobo and told him on the ninth at the prison that he won the prize. I will let you know more later. Everyone, please help me tweet. Thanks." (AFP)

Talks Over South China Sea Tensions: "The defence ministers of South East Asian nations, China, Japan and the US have met in Vietnam for the first time." (BBC)

Starting to Smell  Like the 30s: "Austria's resurgent far-right party won over a quarter of the vote in Vienna's provincial election Sunday." (Reuters)

Chilean Miners to Share Profits: "The 33 trapped Chilean miners have moved to stop any individual from profiting at the expense of the group, drawing up a legal contract to share the proceeds from the story of their ordeal." (Daily Telegraph)

Tech, Science

After Building an Audience, Twitter Turns to Ads: "In the last two weeks, the company has introduced several advertising plans, courted Madison Avenue at Advertising Week, the annual industry conference, and promoted Dick Costolo, who has led Twitter’s ad program, to chief executive — all signs that Twitter means business about business. It’s Twitter’s biggest financial effort since April, when it introduced its first, much-anticipated ad program, Promoted Tweets." (NY Times)

Chinese, Saudis Lead the Way: People in China and the Middle East are the busiest and most enthusiastic internet users, according to a TNS study of the world’s online habits. (FT)

Media, Entertainment

Why NOW Should [Heart] Mad Men: "'Mad Men' is TV's most feminist show -- Mad Men's writers aren't sexist. The time period was. There wasn't even a word for the sexual harassment the character Joan experiences." (WaPo)

CBS On a Roll: "At CBS, a network that unashamedly embraces the supposedly dying notion of being a broadcaster, something close to serenity has settled in. So far, CBS has managed to avoid, on every night, across every hour of prime time, the kind of failure that has visited all of its main competitors. " (NY Times)

Newsweek, Daily Beast to Merge? "U.S. weekly magazine Newsweek and the Daily Beast news website are exploring possibilities to combine their operations and the likelihood of a deal is increasing, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the discussions. A deal would make Daily Beast co-founder and co-owner Tina Brown the editor of Newsweek on top of her existing editorial duties at the website." (Reuters)