Thursday, October 28, 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:


Anger and Frustration: "A far grimmer mood than in 2008 now pervades the electorate, one shaped not just by the immediacy of the economic distress that has hit virtually every household, but by fears that a recovery might take years." (WaPo)

Post-Vote Deals Planned: "Politicians from both parties are debating ideas on taxes and spending that move the discussion to the right, putting pressure on the White House and top Democrats to work with a newly empowered Republican Party after Tuesday's election." (WSJ)
U.S. President Barack Obama chats with Daily Show host Jon Stewart during a commercial break in taping in Washington on October 27, 2010.  UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg Photo via Newscom

Obama On Jon Stewart's Daily Show: "President Obama appeared on the Daily Show Wednesday, but was more serious than his last appearance on the show. The President interwove a few light moments with a defense of his policies, ending by urging young people to vote next Tuesday." (CSM)

Jon Stewart Gets Serious: "Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the Mall Saturday has occasioned handwringing from some devoted fans who worry that he’s losing his outsider credibility, and celebration from some Democrats who hope to channel his energy to advance their electoral prospects." (Politico)

Alaska Court's Write-In Ruling Could Aid Murkowski: " After a day’s worth of back-and-forth, the Alaska Supreme Court late Wednesday said voters can look at a list of certified write-in candidates when they go to the polls." (McClatchy)

Coalition for Obama Split by Drift to G.O.P. -- Poll: " Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls." (NY Times)

Democrats Stress Social Issues: "Polls show men leaning heavily Republican this year. That has Democrats and their backers trying in the campaign's last days to spur left-leaning and independent women to vote, by emphasizing abortion and other social issues." (WSJ)

Does She Have What It Takes? "Karl Rove, the former senior adviser to George W Bush, has cast doubt on Sarah Palin’s viability as a White House candidate, questioning if the American people thought she had the 'gravitas' for the 'most demanding job in the world'." (Telegraph)

Goodbye, Girlie Men; Hello, Wimps: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Says D.C. Politicians Are 'Wimps' Against Big Oil" (ABC)

Brown Leads by 10: "Democrat Jerry Brown has amassed a 10-point lead in the California governor's race over Republican Meg Whitman, whose negative ratings have reached record levels despite her spending $162 million in the largest self-funded campaign in American history, a new Field Poll shows." (SFGate)

Too Late? "President Barack Obama has improved his standing among voters, and Democrats finally have started to energize their base, but it might be too little and too late to change the course of Tuesday's elections, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll." (McClatchy)

If Not Now, in 2012? "If Senate Democrats think 2010 is a tough cycle, just wait two more years.
They’ll probably hold the Senate majority Tuesday — with a couple of seats to spare, most analysts believe. But 2012 is a different story. By then, Republicans will be poised to take control of the Senate — with pickup possibilities scattered across the map and a much narrower base of their own to defend." (Politico)

Then Again, Maybe Not: "A majority of voters see the midterm election as a referendum on Barack Obama, but most have not decided whether they’ll vote against the president in 2012, according to a poll." (The Hill)

The Party Crashers: Behind the New Republican Revival (David Von Drehle @ Time)

Apr. 15, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - 12th Annual Keepers Of The Dream Awards.Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers New York, NY 04-15-2010.REV. JESSE JACKSON. 2010.I15179BT. © Red Carpet Pictures

Jesse Jackson Scolds NPR over Juan Williams' Firing: "NPR was wrong because they did not afford him freedom of speech," Jackson said. "They did it in a way that was unfair. The context was he was arguing with Bill O’Reilly, saying why he should not be so virulently anti-Muslim … It reminded me so much of the case with Shirley Sherrod. They jumped so quick." (Politico)

For Steve Rattner, a Legal Standoff With Andrew Cuomo: "Wall Street deal-maker and former U.S. car czar Steven Rattner recently reached a tentative settlement with Securities and Exchange Commission staff over his role in a pay-to-play investigation of New York State's public pension fund, according to people familiar with the matter. But Mr. Rattner has been stymied in efforts to forge a similar deal with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, another powerful Democrat also probing activities surrounding the pension fund and who is running for governor in his state. One reason for the delay came up in a tense phone call in the summer of 2009 between Mr. Cuomo and a lawyer for Mr. Rattner, people familiar with the matter said." (WSJ)


Bank Probe Trouble for FDIC Chief? "The demise of the politically connected ShoreBank has sparked yet another investigation -- one that could spell trouble for FDIC chief Sheila Bair." (FBN)

Stores Push Black Friday Into October: "The year’s most popular discount shopping event, referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving, is arriving ahead of Halloween this year, with some promotions beginning this week and others throughout November." (NY Times)

Robert Reich -- Prepare Yourselves: "In the short term there is very little the President can do. He can put the best face on it and say 'Look we're trying very hard' but this is going to take years at best. This is no garden variety recession. The great recession is officially over but the aftershock will continue for years." (Sky News)

Can the E.U. Fix the Euro? "The convulsions that rattled the euro this year — and nearly tore it asunder — were supposed to be a wake-up call for Europe, a sign that it had to fix once and for all the potentially fatal flaws built into its single currency. Caught unawares by the Greek debt crisis, European Union governments eventually pulled together a "shock and awe" $1 billion bailout plan to avert the eurozone's collapse — and then pledged to overhaul their policies to ensure they would never again be so threatened. However, as E.U. leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday for a major two-day summit, they are divided on how best to repair the euro and restore confidence in their debt-riddled economies." (Time)

Nissan Recalls 2.14m Cars: "Nissan Motor Co said on Thursday it would recall 2.14 million March/Micra, Cube and about a dozen other models in its third-biggest recall, to fix a faulty ignition relay that could cause engine problems. No accident was reported from the defect, Nissan spokesman Toshitake Inoshita said. " (Reuters)


Nigeria Intercepts 13 Iran Missile Containers Possibly Destined for Gaza: "Rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives camouflaged as building material were seized in the Nigerian port of Lagos after being unloaded from an Iranian ship." (Haaretz)

French Still Striking -- In Other Words, Generalissimo Franco Is Still Dead: "The lower house of France’s parliament, the National Assembly, gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill that raises the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 and the age for a full pension from 65 to 67. But, despite the ballot, new protest strikes called by labor unions disrupted air and rail traffic on Thursday." (NY Times)

China Slows Iran Oil Work: "China's top energy firms have slowed work on projects in Iran as their ties grow with U.S. energy companies, a blow to Tehran as it struggles under sanctions to attract investment in its strategic oil sector." (Reuters)

Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Tops 300: "Survivors said they had almost no warning that the 3m wall of water was bearing down on them, despite the laying of a sophisticated network of alarm buoys off the Sumatran coast. As the magnitude of the disaster became clear, many were asking whether the expensive warning system -- established after the 2004 Asian tsunami which killed at least 168 000 people in Indonesia alone -- had failed." (Mail & Guardian)

Suu Kyi To Be Released? "The Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be released from house arrest after the Myanmar's elections next month. . . . Indonesia's foreign minister Marty Natalegawa said Win indicated Suu Kyi will be freed when her sentence expires in November." (Sky News)

Ban Ki-Moon to Junta -- Free Prisoners or Else: " The United Nations chief warned Thursday that unless Myanmar's junta frees political prisoners its planned Nov. 7 elections may not be considered legitimate or credible." (AP)

Top General Won't Run: "Myanmar's top leader Gen. Than Shwe will bow out of national elections next month, but his role in the country's political future remains unclear, a Southeast Asian diplomat said Thursday." (AP)

Berlusconi Gave Me Cash After We Had Sex, Says Teenager: "Il Giornale, the newspaper owned by Mr Berlusconi's brother, described the allegations as a potential "sex scandal" and another "D'Addario case" – a reference to Patrizia D'Addario, the prostitute who last year claimed that she slept with the prime minister at his mansion in Rome. Magistrates cautioned that the Moroccan woman's claims might be without foundation and could be part of a plot to blackmail the 74-year-old premier, or an attempt at self-promotion by the aspiring showgirl." (Telegraph)

Giants Pound Rangers in Game 1: "The pitching duel never materialized, but the previously hibernating Giants offense did." (Sports Illustrated)