Monday, November 01, 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:

CANTON, OH - OCTOBER 30: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a rally for Jim Renacci on October 30, 2010 in Canton, Ohio. Boehner, who could be the next Speaker of the House is trying to help Renacci unseat first-term Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH). (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Avalanche: Lead in generic ballot large enough to give Republicans solid majority control of U.S. House. (Gallup)

Size of G.O.P. Wave Hard to Predict (FiveThirtyEight)

G.O.P. Has Lead in Final Midterm Run-Up: "Republicans roll toward congressional elections Tuesday with a more commanding lead than either party has held on the eve of a midterm contest in more than a generation, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. By 55%-40%, those surveyed say they plan to vote for the Republican candidate, the widest margin since Democrats' advantage in the 1974 elections held in the wake of Watergate." (USA Today)

Obama to Dust Off Veto Pen Should Republicans Take the House: "'The president doesn't shrink from a fight,' one White House official said." (The Hill)

Pols Mad at the Media: " This year will likely go down in the history books as the year of the angry voter. But 2010 will also be an election year notable for another kind of ire: when politicians let their contempt for the news media boil over." (NY Times)

Grim Dems Awaiting their Fate: "There is nearly uniform consensus among Democratic campaign professionals that the House is gone — the only question, it seems, is how many seats they will lose.
While few will say so on the record for fear of alienating party officials or depressing turnout, every one of nearly a dozen Democratic House consultants and political strategists surveyed expect a GOP majority to be elected Tuesday — the consensus was that Democrats would lose somewhere between 50 and 60 seats. A senior party consultant who was on the low end with his predictions said the party would lose between 40 and 50 seats. On the high end, one Democratic consultant said losses could number around 70 seats." (Politico)

Revival of Volatility Signals Historic Era in U.S. Politics: "Voters this week look set to do something not seen since the early 1950s: Oust a substantial number of sitting House lawmakers for the third election in a row. The apparent Republican resurgence suggests the country is caught in a cycle of political volatility witnessed only four times in the past century, almost all during war or economic unease." (WSJ)

Forecasting Count Chaos in Alaska: "The wrinkles of a write-in campaign in an Alaskan election could mean it takes weeks before anyone knows whether Senator Lisa Murkowski pulled off a political miracle. Then again, the race could be called on election night. Or it could end up in court, making the long Arctic winter seem even longer. And depending on how the Senate races in the Lower 48 are decided, control of the United States Senate could rest on whether the Democratic candidate pulls off an even bigger upset." (NY Times)

Miller on the Lead: "Joe Miller is favored heading into the final two days of the US Senate campaign in Alaska. 37% of voters say they'll pick him while 30% plan to vote for Scott McAdams and another 30% plan to write in Lisa Murkowski." (Public Policy Polling)

Senate Out of Reach for Republicans? "Top Republicans conceded Sunday that they could fall short of winning control of the Senate in Tuesday's congressional elections. With the Republican wave in danger of falling short in the Senate, tensions rose over a faltering Tea Party-backed Republican candidate in Alaska." (McClatchy)

Next for GOP Leaders: Stopping Sarah Palin? " Interviews with advisers to the main 2012 presidential contenders and with other veteran Republican operatives make clear they see themselves on a common, if uncoordinated, mission of halting the momentum and credibility Palin gained with conservative activists by plunging so aggressively into this year’s midterm campaigns." (Politico)


Conservative Donors Lay a Base for 2012 Elections: "The midterm election campaign will end Tuesday, but one of its most marked developments — the emergence of outside groups, often backed by anonymous donations, that can direct waves of advertising into political battles — is just getting started. Buoyed by the impact their blistering, anti-Democratic campaigns have had this year, two of the largest new conservative groups helping Republicans are planning to keep pushing their agenda in the lame-duck session of Congress that will begin in two weeks and are already laying the groundwork for a more aggressive campaign in the 2012 presidential race." (NY Times)

Trial Set to Begin for DeLay: "Opening arguments were set for Monday in the long delayed trial of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a once powerful but polarizing Republican politician accused of illegally financing Texas GOP legislative races in 2002. DeLay has been pressing for a trial since he was indicted five years ago, but the case was slowed by appeals of pretrial rulings, including his attorneys' attempt to move the trial out of Austin -- the most Democratic city in one of the most Republican states." (AP)


Fed, Bernanke's Credibility on the Line: "The Federal Reserve is preparing to put its credibility on the line as it rarely has before by taking dramatic new action this week to try jolting the economy out of its slumber. If the efforts succeed, they could finally help bring down the stubbornly high jobless rate. But should the Fed overshoot in its plan to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, it could produce the same kind of bubbles in the housing and stock markets that caused the slowdown. Or the efforts could fall short and fail to energize the economy, leaving a clear impression that the mighty Fed is out of bullets - thus adding even more anxiety to an already dire situation." (WaPo)

Growth in Profit, But Concerns Over Sales: "Corporate America is on track to post its healthiest profit margins in more than three years in the current third-quarter earnings season. But some companies are warning that skittish consumers and higher raw-materials prices promise a tougher road next year, damping hopes for a resurgence in hiring." (WSJ)

Merkel Consigns Ireland, Portugal, and Spain to Their Fates: " Germany has had enough. Any eurozone state that spends its way into a debt crisis or cannot adapt to a monetary union set for Northern rhythms will face “orderly” bankruptcy." (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard @ Daily Telegraph)

China Manufacturing Growth Leaps Past Forecasts: "China's factories ramped up their production last month and were buoyed by an influx of new business, highlighting the strength of the world's second-largest economy but also pointing to price pressures." (Reuters)


Yemen Bomb Suspect Released: "Yemen authorities on Sunday released a 23-year-old engineering student who had been arrested a day earlier for her alleged connection to Al Qaeda and the foiled plot to mail packages of concealed explosives to the U.S., her lawyer said. The Yemen government did not issue a statement on why Hanan Samawi, who was detained Saturday after her cellphone number was traced to shipping orders, was freed." (LA Times)

Saudi Bombmaker Key Suspect in Yemen Plot: "He is suspected of packing explosives into the underwear of a Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas and sent his own brother on a suicide mission against a top Saudi official. Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, considered a key figure in al Qaeda's most active franchise, is now the chief suspect behind the mail bombs sent from Yemen and bound for the United States, according to U.S. intelligence officials." (CBS)

Undetectable: "One official told the Guardian that the bomb inside a computer printer discovered at East Midlands airport on Friday, en route from Yemen to Chicago, was 'one of the most sophisticated we've seen ... The naked eye won't pick it up, experienced bomb officers did not see it, X-ray screening is highly unlikely to catch it.'" (Mail & Guardian)

Another Lockerbie: "The al-Qaeda parcel bomb plot was designed to blow up passenger jets in a Lockerbie-style terrorist outrage, investigators believe." (Daily Telegraph)

Intelligence Was Key: "The foiling of the package plot was a significant success in an era of well-publicized intelligence breakdowns and miscommunications. It was also a sobering reminder to officials around the world that quick response to timely intelligence rules the day. Despite the billions of dollars governments have spent on elaborate airport technology to guard against terrorism threats, the packages would probably have been loaded onto planes bound for the United States, but for the Saudi tip." (NY Times)

Brazil Elects 1st Ever Female President: "A former Marxist guerrilla who was tortured and imprisoned during Brazil's long dictatorship was elected Sunday as president of Latin America's biggest nation, a country in the midst of an economic and political rise. A statement from the Supreme Electoral Court, which oversees elections, said governing party candidate Dilma Rousseff won the election. When she takes office Jan. 1, she will be Brazil's first female leader." (CBS)

Death Toll in Iraq Church Siege Rises: "Fifty-two hostages and police were killed on Sunday when security forces raided a Baghdad church to free more than 100 Iraqi Catholics held by al-Qaida-linked gunmen, a deputy interior minister said. Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal said on Monday that 67 people were wounded during the raid of the church in central Baghdad by gunmen demanding the release of al Qaida prisoners in Iraq and Egypt." (MSNBC)

U.S. Missile Kills 5 in NW Pakistan: "A U.S. drone attack killed five people in northwest Pakistan on Monday, local intelligence officials said, the latest in a barrage of such strikes against al-Qaida and Taliban militants that have long sought sanctuary in the region." (AP)

Report of Odor Diverts NY-Cuba Flight: "A Vision Airlines flight from New York City to Havana, Cuba, carrying 154 passengers has been diverted to Baltimore Washington International Airport after a report of odor in the cabin. Airline spokesman Bryan Glazer says Flight RBY-6401 out of John F. Kennedy International Airport made a precautionary landing at the Baltimore airport. The flight landed about 5:20 p.m. Sunday. No one was hurt. Glazer says the aircraft was inspected and allowed to depart for its destination." (AP)

Tech, Science

Somehow We Suspect the Methodology Is the Same as the Iraq Casualties Study: "Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs -- beating out crack and heroin -- according to study results released by a British medical journal. A panel of experts weighed the physical, psychological and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Sunday." (CNN)