Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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

DEVELOPING STORY: Police Investigate Potential Gunshots at or Near Pentagon; entrances and a parking now open after being temporarily locked down (NBC News via @BreakingNews)

Situation Back to Normal: "Pentagon police locked down the South parking lot and the entrances to the building, but an initial sweep didn't find anything. Arlington Police and officers with canines responded for a second sweep, but again found nothing. As of now, police do not know the source of the alleged gunshots. All Pentagon entrances were reopened and everything was back to normal." (NBC Washington)

Republican congressional candidate for New Hampshire's first district Frank Guinta speaks at the New Hampshire Republican Party State Convention in Concord, New Hampshire September 25, 2010. Guinta is challenging Democrat incumbent Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. In New Hampshire, the Republican Party's renewed focus on fiscal matters could prove fruitful after a devastating decade that saw them lose a Senate seat, both House seats and control of the state legislature. Republicans aim to win back that lost ground this year and win the governorship as well. Picture taken September 25, 2010.  REUTERS/Joel Page (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

N.H. Turning Red? "GOP candidates are in a position to win all three of New Hampshire's congressional races Nov. 2—two House seats and one Senate. If they do, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who won election in 2008, would be the Granite State's lone Democrat in Washington." (WSJ)

NY Gov. Debate a Lively, Controlled Affair: "Miracles can happen." (WaPo)

GOP House Leaders Push Compromise: "Some House Republicans are pushing a post-election strategy aimed at securing concrete legislation, even at the potential cost of compromising with Democrats." (WSJ)

Some Dems Won't Now Touch Keynesianism With a 10-Foot Pole: "For decades, Keynesian policies, which call for government spending to make up for the shortfall in private-sector demand during an economic downturn, have been a central element of the Democratic tool kit and a principle of the party’s identity. But the unpopularity of the stimulus package signed into law by President Obama has left many Democrats in competitive races distancing themselves from such programs, raising questions about whether the party is beginning a more fundamental rethinking of its approach to the economy. " (NY Times)

Why Are Democrats Down in Pennsylvania? "Even in a state with such a strong trend toward blue, the unpopularity of President Obama's agenda is hurting Democrats' midterm election prospects." (Newsweek)

It's a Litmus Test: "Two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Pat Toomey appears poised to lead a Republican surge in Pennsylvania in a Senate race that will test just how deeply the state's 'blue' roots run." (Washington Times)

Dems' Grip on the South Continues to Slip: "The Southern white Democrat, long on the endangered list, is at risk of being pushed one step closer to extinction. From Virginia to Florida and South Carolina to Texas, nearly two dozen Democratic seats are susceptible to a potential Republican surge in Congressional races on Election Day, leaving the party facing a situation where its only safe presence in the South is in urban and predominantly black districts." (NY Times)

Obama Surrenders on Outside Spending: "Democrats enter the home stretch of the 2010 elections complaining vocally about the flood of Republican money, much of it anonymous, pounding their candidates. But as the White House points the finger at outside Republican groups, many Democrats point the finger back at the White House, which dismantled the Democratic Party's own outside infrastructure in 2008 and never tried to rebuild it." (Politico)

Democrats Remain Favored to Retain Senate: "Today, we’ve re-run the numbers for the Senate, and they show little change in the overall likelihood of a Republican takeover. The model gives Republicans a 17 percent chance of winding up with at least 51 Senators after Nov. 2. That’s essentially unchanged from our previous update, from last Wednesday, when they were given an 18 percent chance." (Nate Silver @ NYT)


Judge Leaning Against DADT: "A federal judge said on Monday that she is learning toward denying a government request to delay her order halting the military from enforcing its ban on openly gay troops." (AP)
Teenage boy (16-17) smoking outdoors, close-up

Prop. 19 Celebration Party Totally Ruined, Dude: "Mexican soldiers seized 105 tonnes of marijuana with a U.S. street value of more than $340 million on Monday in Mexico's biggest-ever pot haul, the army said." (Reuters)

DoD Asks Media Not to Publish Wikileaks Docs: "Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, made the request to reporters on Monday morning during a daily off camera briefing." (Fox News)

Slater Plea Deal Expected: "The flight attendant who went berserk on passengers at JFK Airport over the summer will reportedly plead guilty today in exchange for no jail time." (NY Post)


BofA Reports $7.3bn Loss: "On a non-cash basis for the quarter, the bank reported a loss of $7.3 billion because of $10.4 billion write-down in the value of its credit card unit, which will be hurt by federal regulations that limit overdraft charges and other fees." (NY Times)

National Debt Up $3 Trillion So Far On Obama's Watch: "The National Debt stood at $10.626 trillion the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated. The Bureau of Public Debt reported today that the National Debt had hit an all time high of $13.665 trillion. The Debt increased $4.9 trillion during President Bush's two terms. The Administration has projected the National Debt will soar in Mr. Obama's fourth year in office to nearly $16.5-trillion in 2012. That's more than 100 percent of the value of the nation's economy and $5.9-trillion above what it was his first day on the job. Mr. Obama frequently lays blame for soaring federal deficits on his predecessor. (Mark Knoller @ CBS)

Banks Restart Foreclosures: "Monday's moves are part of a growing counterattack by lenders scrambling to stem a financial and political threat over allegations that certain employees signed hundreds of documents a day without carefully reviewing their contents when foreclosing on homes." (WSJ)

U.S. Will Not Devaluate the Dollar -- Geithner: "It is very important for people to understand that the United States of America and no country around the world can devalue its way to prosperity, to (be) competitive . . . It is not a viable, feasible strategy and we will not engage in it." (Reuters)

Oh, and the Economy Is Improving: "We're making some progress in repairing the damage caused by the crisis." (Merc)

Just Imagine How Much More Enraged They Will Be Now that They Know: "There is now a dollar amount to put on the collective rage of U.S. airline passengers over flight delays: $16.7 billion. " (WaPo)

The Little Tax Cut that Nobody Heard Of: "In a troubling sign for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections, their signature tax cut of the past two years, which decreased income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples, has gone largely unnoticed." (NY Times)

It's Not Because of Obamacare -- Boeing: "The Associated Press reported Monday that the Boeing Co. was asking 90,000 nonunion workers to pay more for their health insurance next year because of the new health care law passed by Democrats this year. A Boeing spokeswoman said the company would've made the changes even if the bill signed by President Barack Obama hadn't become law." (Seattle P-I)

Main Street Getting Squeezed: "Some U.S. retailers are caught between frugal consumers and escalating costs." (WSJ)

Japan's Economy at Standstill: "In a monthly report, the government downgraded its assessment of the economy for the first time since February 2009. A senior Japanese official said further pressure on the economy, which is mired in stubborn deflation, could tip it into recession." (Reuters)


Chechen Parliament Under Attack: "At least six people have apparently been killed after a suicide bomber and gunmen attacked two government buildings in Russia's volatile Chechnya region. . . . There had been reports of hostages being seized but, according to the government, all the militants involved - at least three men - are now dead." (Sky News)

Labor Shutdown in France Enters 6th Day: "France is enduring a sixth national day of strikes and protests over plans to reform the country's pension system. Mass marches are planned across France while strikes disrupt air travel, trains and schools, and an ongoing refinery blockade hits oil supplies." (BBC) -- Live Updates @ Guardian
42809, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Wednesday July 21, 2010. Novelty toy company HeroBuilders.com has just launched an Anna Chapman toy action figure in two different versions: The The Predator and The Spy I Could Love each with a retail price of $29.95. Photograph: . Supplied by PacificCoastNews.com. , USA: +1  Disclaimer: BWP Media Inc and their brand Pacific Coast News does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Any downloading fees charged by BWP Media Inc and their brand Pacific Coast News are for its services only, and do not, nor are they intended to convey to the user any Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold BWP Media Inc and their brand Pacific Coast News harmless from any claims, demands or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material.

Deported Russian Spies Win Kremlin Honors: "The agents themselves have been lying low since their return — all except for Anna Chapman." (NY Times)

Pakistan Spies Tied to Mumbai Siege: "Pakistan's intelligence agency was deeply involved in planning the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai, going so far as to fund reconnaissance missions to the Indian city, according to a report on the interrogation of a U.S. citizen convicted in the attack." (AP)

Tech, Science

Obama Administration Pushing to Ease Obstacles to Wiretapping: "The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that create technical obstacles to surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps." (NY Times)

Microsoft's Top Visionary Leaves: "According to one person familiar with the situation, Mr. Ozzie decided to quit Microsoft because "he has accomplished what he wanted to accomplish" at the company. His major contribution to Microsoft was in helping it shift the company to focus on cloud computing, in which more computing chores move into data centers rather than being executed on PCs operated by users." (WSJ)

Brain Tumor Vaccine Tested: "The vaccine - IMA950 - is designed to help the body's immune system fight glioblastoma, one of the most common forms of brain cancer." (Sky News)

Neanderthals Were Very Paleo, After All: "Researchers use a new carbon-dating technique on artifacts found with Neanderthal remains and discover that the items may not be the same age." (LA Times)

Media, Entertainment

Tribune Co. to Oust CEO:  "The board of directors of the Tribune Company is expected to ask Tuesday for the resignation of Randy Michaels, the controversial chief executive of the company, according to a person directly involved in the matter. . . . Mr. Michael’s resignation would follow by days the exit of another top executive at the media company, Lee Abrams, Tribune’s chief innovation officer, who resigned on Friday after sending a sexually explicit memo to the entire company." (NY Times)

The Pope Loves Saint Bart (And It's Not the Island): "The official Vatican newspaper has declared that beer-swilling, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson and his son Bart are Catholics. What's more, it says that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch 'the adventures of the little guys in yellow'." (ABC Australia)