Thursday, October 14, 2010

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


Rahm's Class of 2006 in Jeopardy: "The morning after the 2006 election, Rahm Emanuel sounded like a coach whose team had just won the national championship. Emanuel, the leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had reason to boast. The committee’s prodigious efforts to target districts, recruit challengers and raise money played a decisive role in Democrats roaring back to claim control of the House of Representatives. . . . Four years later, Emanuel has just left Washington. And the odds, it seems, are that many of his star recruits of 2006 are about to do the same. (Politico)
LAS VEGAS - JULY 24: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks at the fifth annual Netroots Nation convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino July 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Netroots Nation, formerly called the YearlyKos Convention, is a convention for political activists and bloggers. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

For Reid, No Shaking Tea Party Challenger: "As two new polls this week showed the candidates effectively tied yet again, it appears increasingly likely that Mr. Reid’s fortunes may ultimately turn on the weapon he has long boasted of: a sophisticated voter turnout operation that he has methodically built since President Obama ran in Nevada two years ago." (NY Times)

'None of the Above' Vote Could Help Him Win: "Those Nevadans fed up with Washington, as most voters in this state appear to be, have a unique option: They can vote for 'none of these candidates.' Yet on Nov. 2, that protest vote could help re-elect the consummate Washington insider, struggling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, since a vote for no one is a vote that Reid's challengers won't get. (McClatchy)

Bill Clinton Making More Stump Stops Than Obama, Biden: "Clinton is by far the most active and in-demand personality, even in states where candidates are distancing themselves from Obama's agenda." (ABC). "Even," or "understandably"?

Warmup for Tonight's Debate: "For the first time since Sharron Angle won the GOP primary, she's edging out U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in a new poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow highlighting the high stakes of tonight's only debate in the race.
The survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows Angle with 47 percent support compared with 45 percent for Reid." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

O'Donnell, Coons Square Off: "Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell went on the offensive Wednesday, attacking Democrat Chris Coons as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies. Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate portrayed O'Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting the nation." (Fox News)

The Land of Independents: "Independent voters will be crucial to congressional races all over the country, and nowhere more than in Connecticut, where the biggest party is no party at all." (WSJ)

Rabbi Breaks With Paladino Over Gay Apology: "'Which part of the speech that you gave in Brooklyn to the Orthodox Jewish community are you apologizing for?' Rabbi Levin asked at a news conference in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue. 'Will we see you next year with your daughter at that gay pride march?'" (NY Times)

An Apathetic Majority? "For all the sound and fury of the "tea party" movement, the chorus of marchers descending on the Capitol and the nightly racket on cable TV, there are untold millions of Americans who arenot angry so much as frustrated, anxious and resigned that, whatever happens Nov. 2, little the politicians say or do will change their stressed-out, stretched-thin lives." (LA Times)

Military Ballots May Not Count in Illinois: "The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law." (WLS)

Republicans Ahead in 8 of 10 Open House Districts: "Taken on top of 11 GOP leads out of 12 freshman Democratic districts polled last week, The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll points toward 19 Republican victories out of 22 races, while Democrats win only two and one is tied." (

Tea Party fueling G.O.P. Momentum: "Four of five Tea Party supporters who say they plan to vote in the November congressional elections will back Republicans, even though one-third describe themselves as independents. Eighty-five percent of these respondents say the economy will improve with Republicans in control of Congress." (Bloomberg)


Scholars Debate Impact of DADT rule: "They are divided on whether the ruling lifting the ban on gay troops applies to all service members. The Justice Department is expected to appeal."

Obama Is No Socialist, Say Socialists: "Obama has taken over the leadership of the American empire, which is a capitalist nation . . . And he’s the head of the Democratic Party, which is the world’s, America’s, second-most-enthusiastic capitalist party." (Daily Caller)

U.S. to Let Insurers Raise Fees for Policies on Sick Kids: "Insurers 'can adjust their rates based on health status until 2014, to the extent state law allows,' said Jay Angoff, director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services." (NY Times)


Dems -- Let cuts die to narrow income gap: "When Congress returns to Washington next month, a solid core of Democratic lawmakers says it will urge party leaders to seize a rare opportunity to reverse three decades of rising income inequality by resisting any effort to extend the cuts for the richest 2 percent of households. " (WaPo)

Hitting the Fan: "Raising questions for the first time about the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the unfolding mortgage-foreclosure crisis, the two government-owned giants are reviewing the work of a Florida law firm they recommended to process foreclosures. Until now, Fannie and Freddie have been largely bystanders in the widening foreclosure scandal, because they don't directly service loans, or handle day-to-day management of mortgages. But their use of so-called foreclosure mills, law firms that specialize in quickly processing thousands of foreclosures on behalf of lenders, is dragging the companies into the latest crisis." (WSJ)

All 50 States to Investigate Mortgage-Services Industry: Experts worry that housing recovery may be delayed as a result. (ABC)

How 2 Civilian Sleuths Brought Foreclosure Problems to Light: "PALM BEACH, Fla. — More than a year before lenders, law firms and document companies began owning up to widespread paperwork problems with their foreclosure filings, Lisa Epstein and Michael Redman already knew that something was wrong — very wrong." (McClatchy)

September Home Foreclosures Top 100,000 for First Time: "Though foreclosures are expected to slow in coming months as lenders work through questionable paperwork, real estate data company RealtyTrac said on Thursday." (Reuters)


Chileans celebrate after the last miner was rescued in Copiapo October 13, 2010. All of Chile's 33 trapped miners were rescued from the bowels of the earth in a special capsule on Wednesday as a extraordinary two-month survival story many call a miracle triggered wild celebrations. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo (CHILE - Tags: DISASTER BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Libres!: "The painstaking process of hoisting 33 miners trapped nearly a half-mile below ground for more than two months in northern Chile was completed Wednesday night, less than a day after it began, ending a saga that gripped a nation that never gave up hope. 'I hope this will never happen again,' said the last man out of the gold and copper mine." (CNN)

Iran's Leader Continues Controversial Tour: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is pressing on with the second day of his controversial tour of Lebanon, despite criticism from within the country and the US. . . . The Iranian leader will visit the scene of fighting between Israel and Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas in the war of 2006. He is expected to come close to the border and to visit a replica of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem." (Sky News)

U.S. Lawmakers Warn Lebanon: "U.S. representatives renew opposition to transfer of $100 million in U.S. assistance to Lebanon in wake of visit by Iran President, Lebanese daily reports." (Haaretz)

Pakistan Foils Plot to Assassinate Top Officials: "Pakistani police said Thursday they have foiled a plot to kill the country's prime minister, foreign minister and other senior police, army and government officials by arresting a group of seven militants in central Pakistan." (AP)

U.S. Backing Taliban Talks: "The U.S. military has said in the past that Mr. Karzai's efforts to broker peace with the Taliban were premature. But a senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization official said the allied force was now offering direct help for preliminary peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which has strong influence in big swaths of the country." (WSJ)

News Alert -- Taliban Ready for Talks: "Former Afghan president who heads new peace council says Taliban are ready to talk peace." (AP)

Xiaobo's Nobel Spurs Calls for More Press Freedom from China's VIPs: "A former secretary to Mao Tse-tung as well as an ex-publisher of the People's Daily are among retired Communist Party heavyweights who have published a toughly worded open letter calling on the Chinese government to abolish censorship." (LA Times)

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Indian energy major Reliance Industries, arrives to address the annual shareholders meeting in Mumbai June 18, 2010. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, unfettered by a pact that banned it from competing with his brother's firms, announced an aggressive push into the power business but was short on specifics during a hotly anticipated shareholders meeting. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS)

No Housing Bust for Some People -- India Richest Man Builds 1st Billion-Dollar Home: In Mumbai, it has 27 floors, and has a health club with a gym and dance studio, at least one swimming pool, a ballroom, guestrooms, a variety of lounges, a 50-seater cinema, and helicopter pad on the roof. "On the top floors, with a sweeping view of the city and out over the Arabian Sea, are quarters for the 53-year-old tycoon and his family. Overall, there is reported to be 37,000 sq metres of space, more than the Palace of Versailles. To keep things running smoothly, there is a staff of 600." (Guardian)

The Queen that Stole Christmas: "Faithful royal staff were devastated last night after the Queen axed the Buckingham Palace Christmas party in a cost-cutting drive." (The Sun)

Tech, Science

AOL Sets Sights on Yahoo: "AOL Inc. and several private-equity firms are exploring making an offer to buy Yahoo Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, devising a bold plan to marry two big Internet brands facing steep challenges." (WSJ)

It's the Private Equity Firms Taking the Lead On a Potential Yahoo Deal; Both AOL, News Corp. Approached: "Several private equity firms have approached Internet and media companies including News Corp and AOL Inc to gauge their interest in buying out Yahoo Inc, a source with knowledge of the approaches said. . . . Talks with News Corp and AOL began about two weeks ago and intensified in recent days, but Yahoo had not yet been approached as talks were still in their early stages, the source said." (Reuters)

Caveat Amicus: "An Electronics Frontier Foundation freedom of information request uncovered a memo encouraging agents to try to befriend people on a variety of social networks in order to take advtage of their readiness to share -- and spy on them." (Fox News)

2 Million Hijacked PCs in the U.S.: "The US leads the world in numbers of Windows PCs that are part of botnets, reveals a report." (BBC)

No More Shocking Cellphone Bills? "Mobile phone companies would have to warn customers before they rack up eye-popping extra fees on their bills under rules that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will propose on Thursday." (Reuters)

Laughing Young Woman Texting on Cell Phone

Y U Luv Texts, H8 Calls: "For anyone who doubts that the texting revolution is upon us, consider this: The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago, Nielsen says." (WSJ)

Love Potion No. 9: "Intense romantic love really is like a drug, claim scientists, after finding it can be as effective as morphine for relieving pain." (Daily Telegraph)

Media, Entertainment

Hell Freezing Over? "I'm going to do things differently on my website than I have in the past. I'm not going to call people nasty nicknames. I'm not going to go the mean route. I'm going to force myself to be funnier or smarter...not out people," says Perez Hilton. (ABC)
Rapper Makes Something Worthwhile: "T.I. talks man down from hotel roof in Atlanta" (CNN)

U.S. Porn Industry in HIV Crisis: "Five film companies have suspended production, and others are expected to follow, as medical officials scrambled to track down other actors exposed to the disease. The identity and gender of the actor involved have not been disclosed." (Daily Telegraph)


Liverpool Soccer Club Sale to U.S. Group Stalled: "Tom Hicks launched a last-ditch attempt to derail the sale of Liverpool to John W Henry’s New England Sports Group last night, securing a temporary restraining order from a Texas court to prevent the deal being completed." (Daily Telegraph)