Friday, January 11, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for FRIDAY, JAN. 11, 2008 – 2:08 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Study Deals a Blow to Independent Pharmacies
  • Concerns Build About Public-Safety Network Requirements
  • Flu Pandemic Nothing to Sneeze At, Energy Official Warns
  • Rep. Berman Likely to Succeed Lantos as Foreign Affairs Chairman
  • Party Officials Poised to Select Nominees in Indiana’s 7th District
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 11
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 15.

The Senate  meets in pro forma session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President visits Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem; visits holy sites in Galilee; flies to Kuwait City and meets with Emir Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait.

In Washington, an exhibit of the paintings of American artist Edward Hopper is in its final 10 days at the National Gallery of Art, East Building, 4th and Constitution Ave. N.W.

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Top Stories

Study Deals a Blow to Independent Pharmacies

Independent pharmacists complaining they don’t make enough money from Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit have gained the ear of Congress and expect to see an increase in their payments this year.  [Read More]

Concerns Build About Public-Safety Network Requirements

Congress mandated a nationwide transition to digital television in 2009 so analog TV airwaves would be freed up for use by emergency first responders — but that part of the plan now appears in jeopardy and lawmakers might have to revisit it.  [Read More]

Flu Pandemic Nothing to Sneeze At, Energy Official Warns

Few people connect electricity with the flu, but they might if all the lights go off because the power company’s staff is home sick.  [Read More]

Rep. Berman Likely to Succeed Lantos as Foreign Affairs Chairman

California Democrat Howard L. Berman is likely to take over the gavel at the House Foreign Affairs Committee when Chairman Tom Lantos retires at the end of this Congress, according to a senior Democratic source.  [Read More]

Party Officials Poised to Select Nominees in Indiana’s 7th District

Local Democratic and Republican Party organizations will be working this weekend to pick their nominees to fill the 7th District seat of Indiana Democratic Rep. Julia Carson, who died Dec. 15.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 11

Where did George W. Bush win his first primary in 2000 after losing in New Hampshire?  [Read More]

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TheCapitol.Net: Update on the 110th Congress, 2008, 2nd Session

Our expert faculty look at the second session of the 110th Congress in terms of leadership, membership, the 2008 elections, and the anticipated legislative agenda. They will also review and analyze the major legislative initiatives and accomplishments of the first session of the 110th Congress
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: January 29, 2008, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Registration Fee: $395
Full program description and online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

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Political Clippings

The Prescott Daily Courier reports that freshman Republican state Rep. Andy Tobin said Thursday he is considering a run at Arizona’s 1st District seat in Congress, which GOP Rep. Rick Renzi is leaving at the end of this year. So far, there is only one Republican in the race, Sidney Hay. Four Democrats have announced campaigns: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Kim Titla, Howard Shanker and Jeffrey Brown. State Sen. Tom O’Halleran, a Republican, “said Thursday that he decided a while ago not to run.” Tobin said “he started considering the idea seriously Wednesday after Rep. Bill Konopnicki of Safford announced he would not run.” Tobin “is the co-owner of TLC Employee Benefits and has specialized in the health care insurance and business consulting market for the past 10 years.”

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, “Marco Gonzales, in seeking the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District, said Thursday that he can appeal to Democrats in the tradition of U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and even California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’ll have to. The Northern New Mexico district voted just 27 percent Republican in the last congressional race, and Gonzales’ own family is mostly Democratic.” Gonzales, 40, an attorney, joins at least five Democrats and one other Republicans seeking to succeed Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who is running to succeed retiring Republican Domenici in the Senate.

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
CLEVELAND: City Sues 21 Banks over Foreclosure Crisis
SALT LAKE CITY: Mayor Seeks Domestic-Partner Registry
LOS ANGELES: City Sees Plunge in Gang-Related Homicides
PHOENIX: City Faces Layoffs, Service Cuts
DETROIT: Plunging Propane Truck Incinerates House, Closes I-75
ARIZONA: State Defies Feds on Auto Emissions
GEORGIA: New DOT Chief May Scrap All Toll-Road Projects

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for THURSDAY, JAN. 10, 2008 – 2:12 P.M.

In This Issue

  • New Stem Cell Research Development Could Alter Debate
  • Businesses Face Seasonal Worker Shortages as Visa Cap Is Reached
  • Former Treasury Secretary Urges Narrow Focus for Stimulus Effort
  • Former CIA Official Will Not Testify Without Immunity
  • Seven Lawmakers Have Something in Common Today
  • Political Trivia for January 10
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 15.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President meets and holds a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, in Ramallah in the West Bank; meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah; visits the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

In Washington, the World Affairs Council holds a forum on “Burma: The Next Steps,” with Priscilla Clapp, former chief of mission to Burma; Derek Mitchell, CSIS; Bo Hia Tint, NLD MP-elect; and Drew Thompason, Nixon Center. 6:30-8 p.m., 1800 K St., N.W.

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Top Stories

New Stem Cell Research Development Could Alter Debate

In yet another development that could shake up the years-long political debate in Washington over the ethics of stem cell research, scientists have created embryonic stem cell lines without destroying human embryos.  [Read More]

Businesses Face Seasonal Worker Shortages as Visa Cap Is Reached

Industries that rely on seasonal workers say they are facing a critical and imminent labor shortage because Congress last year failed to extend an exemption to the ceiling on a specific type of temporary work visa.  [Read More]

Former Treasury Secretary Urges Narrow Focus for Stimulus Effort

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin warned against weighing down a potential economic stimulus package this year with extraneous issues, urging lawmakers not to address long-term taxation, infrastructure and social spending in the measure.  [Read More]

Former CIA Official Will Not Testify Without Immunity

An attorney for a former CIA official said to have ordered the destruction of interrogation videotapes has told the House Intelligence Committee he will not let his client testify about the matter without a grant of legal immunity, according to sources familiar with the discussions.  [Read More]

Seven Lawmakers Have Something in Common Today

Members of Congress are forever touting their “common sense” approach to public policy. But some of them have a special claim to the phrase.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for January 10

Which auto executive twice won Michigan presidential primaries — once in each party?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Billings (Mont.) Gazette reports that political newcomer Kirk Bushman of Billings, a facility designer and field technician contractor for an engineering consulting firm, “said Wednesday night he will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Max Baucus. . . . He joins another Billings Republican, state Rep. Michael Lange, who declared his candidacy for the Senate last year. Baucus has not yet formally announced his candidacy for a sixth six-year term in the Senate, but he has already raised $8.6 million through Sept. 30 for his re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that monitors campaign spending.”

According to the Glenview Pioneer Press, “a lawyer from Chicago’s Northwest Side is fighting incumbent U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky for the right to become the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 9th Congressional District on Feb. 5. John Nocita is Evanstonian Schakowsky’s first primary opponent since 1998, the year she began representing the district, which includes a portion of Glenview. Nocita says Schakowsky’s views are to the left of most of her constituents, and contribute to a ‘polarized and mean-spirited’ Congress that is unable to solve the nation’s problems.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
SAN FRANCISCO: Court Clears Way for Universal Health Coverage
NEW YORK CITY: City Mandates Recycling of Plastic Shopping Bags
THE WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION: Subways' On-Time Performance Slides
ARIZONA: Report: Illegal Immigrants Cut State Wages
FLORIDA: Prisons Chief Who Managed Turnaround to Quit

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9, 2008 – 2:16 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Supreme Court Weighs Photo-ID Requirement for Voters
  • Bush Will Release Billions in ‘Contingency’ Funds for Veterans
  • House Panel to Probe FCC Practices
  • Landrieu Denies Ethics Allegation by Watchdog Group
  • Sparing Trees, Saving Money: The Fiscal 2009 ‘E-Budget’
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 9
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 15.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President meets separately with President of Israel Shimon Peres and Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert in Jeursalem; holds a news conference with Olmert at his residence in Jerusalem.

In Washington, the American University’s Washington College of Law begins its 2008 Founders Celebration with a day-long conference, “Turkey: At the Crossroads of Secular West and Traditional East.” Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Supreme Court Weighs Photo-ID Requirement for Voters

Although neither political party yet knows who its presidential nominee will be this year, the Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a pair of cases that could affect the outcome of a close contest.  [Read More]

Bush Will Release Billions in ‘Contingency’ Funds for Veterans

President Bush plans to approve $3.7 billion in “contingency” funding for veterans’ programs by the end of the week, ending speculation over whether the White House would block release of the funding.  [Read More]

House Panel to Probe FCC Practices

While most of the telecommunications industry was at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas checking out the newest gadgets, lawmakers in Washington initiated a formal investigation of the federal agency charged with the industry’s regulation.  [Read More]

Landrieu Denies Ethics Allegation by Watchdog Group

Aides to Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., adamantly deny that the two-term senator violated ethics rules by steering funds to a Texas-based company that they contend only later contributed funds to her campaign.  [Read More]

Sparing Trees, Saving Money: The Fiscal 2009 ‘E-Budget’

There will be no delivery truck pulling up to the White House next month to unload freshly printed copies of President Bush’s fiscal 2009 budget proposal, which is likely to total more than 2,000 pages.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 9

When was the last year a presidential candidate won the nomination after losing Iowa and winning New Hampshire?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Glen Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star reports that Republican Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell “has pumped another $300,000 of personal money into his campaign” for the GOP nomination to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York’s 20th District. That brought Treadwell’s total personal spending on the race as of Dec. 31 to $627,207 and triggered the so-called “Millionaire’s Amendment.” The amendment, part of a 2002 campaign finance law, allows candidates facing wealthy self-funding opponents to raise money above the usual contribution limits. Three other Republicans are also seeking the nomination and could invoke the provision: Michael Rocque, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel; Richard Wager, a former aide to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and John Wallace, a real estate broker and retired state trooper.

According to Indianapolis Star political columnist Matthew Tully, Jim Schellinger, “once the perceived sure thing” for Indiana’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination, “a man with all the party and fundraising connections, has run one of the more uninspired campaigns in recent memory.” Schellinger faces a May 6 Democratic primary against former Rep. Jill Long Thompson, but “ten months after the Indianapolis businessman entered the race, it’s a good bet most Hoosiers haven’t heard of him.” While “Schellinger’s campaign has been a lackluster one,” Thompson “has run a more spirited campaign than Schellinger’s team expected. She recently snagged several key union endorsements and has polled well.”

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for TUESDAY, JAN. 8, 2008 – 2 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Growing Deficit Adds to Complexity of Budget Decisions
  • U.S. Chamber Urges Targeted Mortgage Help, Tax Stimulus
  • Dispute Over FEC Nominations Stalls Enforcement of Bundling Law
  • Iowa: Someone Still Loves You
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 8
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 15.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President meets with Turkish President Abdullah Gul at the White House; departs for Middle East trip.

In Washington, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, hosts a discussion, “CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program): A coming forth in regional affairs?” 5-7 p.m., Rome Auditorium, Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

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Top Stories

Growing Deficit Adds to Complexity of Budget Decisions

Concerns about a slowing economy and growing deficit are sure to become part of this year’s debate in Congress over efforts to balance the federal budget.  [Read More]

U.S. Chamber Urges Targeted Mortgage Help, Tax Stimulus

Amid the ongoing housing collapse and credit crunch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce favors helping “responsible” homeowners stay in their homes, while opposing help for speculative real estate buyers.  [Read More]

Dispute Over FEC Nominations Stalls Enforcement of Bundling Law

A Senate standoff over nominations to the Federal Election Commission has left the agency unable to implement, much less enforce, the bundling provision in a new lobbying law.  [Read More]

Iowa: Someone Still Loves You

The presidential candidates may have moved on to New Hampshire and beyond, but Iowans still can count on visits from at least one politician.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 8

When was the last U.S. House special election in Indiana?  [Read More]

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Political Clippings

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that Post Falls, Idaho, businessman Richard Phenneger, 71, a retired Air Force and airline pilot, “wants to restore ethics and accountability to the U.S. Senate. Which is why at 71 years of age, he’s . . . seeking the seat currently held by Republican Larry Craig,” who is retiring. “Phenneger commissioned a survey by Robinson Research, a Spokane polling company, to test the political climate in North Idaho. He presented a thick data file that shows only 21 percent of Idahoans are happy with Senate candidates Jim Risch and Larry LaRocco. The poll surveyed 400 Idaho residents between Nov. 26 and Dec. 12.” Also running for the open seat are Republicans Rex Rammell, Scott Syme and Ken Marmon.

According to the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph, “area Democrats are working to find a candidate to try to run for U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood’s seat in Congress, even though they can’t make any official decisions for a month,” when Democratic county leaders in the 18th Congressional District will choose a replacement for “former college and professional basketball coach Dick Versace, who dropped his Democratic bid last month.” Three Republicans are already in the race to succeed LaHood: economic developer Jim McConoughey, former Peoria City Councilman John Morris and state Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria. “The seat has been held by a Republican for decades.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
LOS ANGELES: Controller: City's Lawsuit Handling 'Knee-Jerk'
BALTIMORE: City Sues Lender to Stem Foreclosures
SEATTLE: Feds Launch Criminal Probe of Port
THE MILWAUKEE REGION: Costs Sidetrack Commuter-Rail Push
INDIANA: Governor Still Has Ambitious Privatizing Plans
FLORIDA: Tribe Pays State $50 Million in Gambling Deal

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Monday, January 07, 2008

CQ Today Midday Update

Highlights from today's news on CQ.com
Midday Update for MONDAY, JAN. 7, 2008 – 2:29 P.M.

In This Issue

  • Those Who Win Both Iowa and New Hampshire Share a Title: ‘Nominee’
  • However Uncomfortably, Hill Leaders Will Rally Behind Presidential Nominees
  • Former Governor Seeks Democratic Senate Nomination in Mississippi
  • Judge Urges Plea Deal in Capitol Police Officer’s Case
  • Political Trivia for Jan. 7
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Today in Washington

The House is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 15.

The Senate  is not in session; reconvenes for business on Jan. 22.

The President visits Horace Greeley Elementary School in Chicago, Ill., and urges Congress to renew the “No Child Left Behind” education law; visits with the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Committee; visits the Union League Club of Chicago and makes a statement on the economy.

In Washington, the U.S. Institute of Peace and WorldPublicOpinion.org hold a briefing on their survey of more than 900 Pakistanis. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., U.S. Institute of Peace, 1200 17th St., N.W.

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Top Stories

Those Who Win Both Iowa and New Hampshire Share a Title: ‘Nominee’

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is counting on the “Super-Duper Tuesday” primaries Feb. 5 to rescue her presidential campaign if she falters again in New Hampshire. But history offers her little cause for optimisim.  [Read More]

However Uncomfortably, Hill Leaders Will Rally Behind Presidential Nominees

Maverick presidential candidates such as Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are getting a tepid response on Capitol Hill to their calls for an end to partisan gridlock.  [Read More]

Former Governor Seeks Democratic Senate Nomination in Mississippi

Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove gave Democrats a boost Monday as he announced he will seek the nomination to challenge newly appointed Republican Sen. Roger Wicker in November.  [Read More]

Judge Urges Plea Deal in Capitol Police Officer’s Case

A federal judge on Monday urged lawyers for a Capitol Police officer charged with setting a fire in a Senate office building to work with prosecutors to strike a deal before a tentative March 17 trial date.  [Read More]

Political Trivia for Jan. 7

Which candidate came in third in the 1980 New Hampshire GOP primary?  [Read More]

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TheCapitol.Net: Update on the 110th Congress, 2008, 2nd Session

Our expert faculty look at the second session of the 110th Congress in terms of leadership, membership, the 2008 elections, and the anticipated legislative agenda. They will also review and analyze the major legislative initiatives and accomplishments of the first session of the 110th Congress
WHERE: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C.
WHEN: January 29, 2008, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Registration Fee: $395
Full program description and online registration, or call our registrar at 202-678-1600.
This training conference is sponsored by TheCapitol.Net, exclusive provider of Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences.

---------------------------------

Political Clippings

The Manchester Union Leader reports on the rarest of events: politician saves newsman. “When a piece of chicken got stuck in journalist Al Hunt’s windpipe Friday night, Sen. John Sununu came to the rescue. ‘John was terrific,’ said Hunt, 65, executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News. ‘He quickly jumped up, put his arms around me, did the (Heimlich) maneuver. Within about two seconds, it came out.’ Hunt and Sununu were sitting next to each other” at a local chop house at a table “packed with powerbrokers, politicians and prominent journalists.” After the incident, everyone got back to “chewing and chatting” until well after midnight.

According to the Sioux City Journal, Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns, a former governor and U.S. secretary of Agriculture, “has raised more than $1.5 million for his U.S. Senate bid, his campaign said Sunday.” Johanns had $1 million on hand Dec. 31, according to his campaign manager Chris Peterson. No Democrat has filed to take on Johanns, although Tony Raimondo, a businessman and former Republican who switched parties in December, might seek the Democratic nomination. “Democrat Scott Klebb, who ran for Congress in the 3rd District and lost in 2006, has also said he might seek the Democratic nomination.”

The Tampa Tribune reports, “Democrats are lining up for the chance to unseat freshman GOP Rep. Gus Bilirakis next fall,” contending that Bilirakis is “ineffective in the 9th Congressional District seat he won last year after his father, Mike, decided to retire from the job.” Former Plant City Mayor John Dicks; William D. “Bill” Mitchell, a Tampa employment lawyer and Navy veteran; Michael van Hoek, a paramedic and a member of the Hillsborough Democratic Club; and Anita de Palma, 66, outgoing Florida director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, are vying for the right to take on Bilirakis. But “Democratic resources are more likely to go into trying to unseat Republican Rep. Tom Feeney,” the paper said, and into “defending Democratic seats viewed as potentially vulnerable, such as the one held by freshman Rep. Tim Mahoney.”

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Today on Governing.com

State and local government news from CQ’s sister publication
NEW ORLEANS: 22,000 City Workers Get Pay Raises
SEATTLE: Audit: Port's Shoddy Management Wasted $97 Million
THE WASHINGTON, D.C. REGION: Deal Set to Add HOT Lanes to Beltway
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Panel: Deputies Broke Rules in Actor's Arrest
CALIFORNIA: Early Release of 22,000 Inmates on the Table
THE NATION: Other States Back California in Federal Emissions Fight
COLORADO: Governor Won't Fight Federal Gas-Drilling Plan

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