Wednesday, November 10, 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:

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta November 10, 2010. Obama said on Wednesday much more needs to be done to repair frayed U.S. relations with the Muslim world in an acknowledgement of the difficulties in eradicating years of mistrust.  REUTERS/Jason Reed  (INDONESIA - Tags: POLITICS)

'Indonesia Is Part Of Me': "In the Muslim nation that was his boyhood home, President Barack Obama acknowledged today that US relations are still frayed with the Islamic world despite his best efforts at repair. He urged all sides to look beyond "suspicion and mistrust" to forge common ground against terrorism. Forcefully returning to a theme he sounded last year in visits to Turkey and Egypt, Obama said: "I have made it clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam ... Those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy." Beaming with pride, Obama delivered perhaps the most intensely personal speech of his presidency, speaking phrases in Indonesian to a cheering crowd of more than 6,000 mostly young people who claimed him as their own. "Let me begin with a simple statement: Indonesia is part of me," he said in Indonesian at the University of Indonesia." (The Guardian)

Straight Into a Hornet's Nest: "U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in South Korea on Wednesday, where the leaders of top global economies will convene at the G-20 summit to try to stabilize the world's financial markets. . . . Tensions about currency and trade are likely to run high at the G-20 meeting, which will be held Thursday and Friday in Seoul, the South Korean capital." (CNN)

'I Deserve It': " Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told ABC News today that she deserves to be elected chairwoman of the Republican Conference in the next Congress, mainly because of her role as the face of the Tea Party movement that helped propel the Republican majority in the next House." (ABC)

Spelling Bee, Midterm Edition: "Republican Joe Miller of Alaska is suing in federal court to prevent the state from counting any write-in ballots in which a candidate's name is not spelled precisely — a move that could undermine incumbent Lisa Murkowski." (Politico)

Obamacare Not Top Voter Issue -- Poll: "Americans who turned out to vote last week dislike healthcare reform but it was not their top concern -- the economy was. A poll released on Tuesday by the non-profit Kaiser Foundation showed healthcare came only fourth in a list of concerns voiced by people who voted in the congressional elections on November 2." (Reuters)

His Guys Lose, He Wins: "President Obama's approval rating is up - despite the clobbering he got at the ballot box. Obama's poll numbers climbed to 47% in the days after the Republican rout gave the GOP control of the House and big pickups in the Senate, a new Gallup poll found. While that's only slightly higher than Obama's 43% approval rating before last week's midterm elections, past Gallup trends showed that a President's popularity usually declines when his party suffers a midterm loss." (NY Daily News)

Republicans Plotting to Oust Steele? "Some senior party officials are maneuvering to put pressure on Michael Steele, the controversial party chairman, not to seek re-election when his term ends in January or, failing that, to encourage a challenger to step forward to take him on.
So far, the effort has been tentative, with Mr. Steele’s most ardent opponents working behind the scenes to persuade an alternative to run against him — fearful that any overt moves will create a backlash in Mr. Steele’s favor among those committee members who tend to view the establishment in Washington with suspicion." (NY Times)

Fight Brewing Over Democratic Leadership Spot: "Supporters of Steny Hoyer have touted his momentum in his campaign against Rep. James E. Clyburn." (WaPo)

Obama Moving Afghan Date From 2011 to 2014: "The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy. The new policy will be on display next week during a conference of NATO countries in Lisbon, Portugal, where the administration hopes to introduce a timeline that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the year when Afghan President Hamid Karzai once said Afghan troops could provide their own security." (McClatchy)

Palin Won't Say: "As questions about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's presidential ambitions swirl, her remarks to a group of Pennsylvania students Tuesday night certainly did little to dispel the rumors." (Political Ticker)

Scott Brown, Dead Man Walking? " His polling numbers are still solid. There’s no Democratic war-horse candidate primed to take him on. Brown’s campaign coffers are full and his celebrity lets him command a national following. But virtually every result from last week’s elections in Massachusetts offered up grim omens for Brown’s future." (Politico)

Was It a Bird? Was It Superman? No, It Was a Plane: " A series of U.S. government agencies said Tuesday that they could not explain what created a vapor trail that lit up the sky Monday night over Southern California. But a series of civilian experts said they could. It was not a missile, they said, as many conjectured, but an airplane." (WaPo)

3 Ex-Marines Suspected of Selling Weapons to L.A. Street Gang: "The suspected ringleader, Adam Gitschlag, who served in Iraq and was once based at Camp Pendleton, was arrested at his Orange County home Nov. 2 as part of an operation carried out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as military investigators and local police." (AP)

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 10: Anti-G20 activists from Oxfam wear masks depicting the G20 leaders during a rally on November 10, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. World leaders will converge on Seoul for the fifth meeting of the G20 group of nations to discuss the global financial system and world economy. South Korea is the first non G-8 country to host the G-20 summit. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Fed Vs. The World: "An international backlash against the Federal Reserve's move last week to pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy is threatening to undercut the Obama administration's economic goals for this week's G-20 meeting of world leaders." (WaPo)

Ireland's Fate Tied to Doomed Banks: "For two years, Ireland has poured money on a raging banking crisis, to no avail. Now, investors are betting the bill could be higher still and could reignite Europe's sovereign-debt crisis." (WSJ)

Foreclosure Lawsuits Piling Up: "Lawsuits against banks over their mortgage lending and foreclosure practices continue to pile up, with JPMorgan, PNC Financial Services and Ally Financial disclosing suits." (Reuters)

New Risk -- Munis: "The housing crisis was fueled by cash-strapped homeowners who walked away from their mortgages. Some analysts and investors now are worried about the same problem happening with debts of cities and towns." (WSJ)


Iran Won't Discuss Nuclear Issue With Big Powers: "We have repeatedly said that our (nuclear) rights are not negotiable ... We only hold talks to resolve international problems ... to help the establishment of peace," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in central town of Qazvin. (Reuters)

Netanyahu Fires Back: "Responding to criticism from Obama, Netanyahu struck a defiant tone in commenting on plans to build 1,300 more Jewish housing units in East Jerusalem, saying his government had never agreed to limit construction in the city. 'Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the capital of the state of Israel,' Netanyahu said in a statement. 'Israel sees no connection between the diplomatic process and the planning and building policy in Jerusalem.'"

Father of 'Toxic Milk' Child Jailed in China for Protesting: " Zhao Lianhai, whose five year-old son was poisoned during China's toxic milk crisis, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after he set up a website in 2009 to warn other parents about the disease." (Daily Telegraph)

Tech, Science

Google to Give Staff 10% Raise: "The raise, which will be given to executives and staff across the globe, is effective in January. The pay hike comes as Google ramps up its battle with competitors, especially neighboring Facebook Inc., in a fight to secure talented staff." (WSJ)

Firings for Posts on Facebook Illegal -- Feds: "A Connecticut woman who was fired after posting disparaging remarks about her boss on Facebook has prompted a first-of-its-kind case by federal authorities who say her comments are protected speech under labor laws." (AP/USA Today)

Art, Media, Entertainment

Pepsi Couldn't Be Reached for Comment: "A black-and-white Coke bottle on canvas by Andy Warhol sold for $35.36 million on Tuesday at Sotheby's robust contemporary and post-war art auction." (Reuters)

Olbermann Back on Air: "He opened his first show back on Tuesday mischievously. The camera showed an empty desk, then he slowly edged his way into the picture, saying, 'Oh, hi. What's new?' . . .  Olbermann said he read over the weekend that the suspension was a publicity stunt.He said: 'This was not a publicity stunt. 'Course, if I had known all this was going to happen, I would have done this years ago.'" (AP)

Lauer's W Interview Bombed: "TV by the Numbers is reporting that NBC’s special hour-long interview got the lowest network ratings of any show in the 8 o’clock hour other that 90210 (apparently the only thing people like less than 00’s nostalgia is 90’s nostalgia). The interview even did worse than all of this season’s episodes of Chuck, a show that usually airs in that timeslot and is well-regarded but not at all a ratings blockbuster." (Mediaite)

Hollywood Hit Job: "‘Fair Game’ propagates easily disprovable myths about lead up to Iraq War" (Daily Caller)