September 6th, 2010
02:36 PM ET

Midterm politics by numbers

Mark Preston
CNN Senior Political Editor

Washington (CNN) – There are 57 days before Election Day and Democrats and Republicans are preparing closing arguments to try and convince voters as to why their respective political party should control Congress.

Republicans will need a net gain of 39 seats to take back control of the House and a pick up of 10 seats for the Senate majority. One high level Democratic campaign strategist predicted that "up to 30 seats" are "now probably" lost in the House, while Republicans could pick up "8 seats" in the Senate."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
12:43 PM ET

Plan C for Chile mine rescue: Use oil drill

Karl Penhaul

Capiapo, Chile (CNN) - Hedging their bets, officials in Chile said on Sunday they will set up an oil drill as a third option to rescue the 33 miners trapped underground since August 5.

The idea, which is Plan C, could be the fastest of the three options currently underway. However, the drill needs to be transported first from Iquique, a city in northern Chile, and then installed.

The drill is expected to be up and running around the middle of September, Chilean government officials said in an electronic presentation given to CNN.

Still, the estimated time it will take to rescue the workers has not changed, they said. Depending on ground conditions and the technology used, officials guess the workers will not be hauled above ground until November, or early December.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Karl Penhaul
September 6th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

New skirmish in battle over beer and bacon

Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director

(CNN) – Call it the food fight that won't end.

The Democrat challenging Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's sixth congressional district is headed to the state fair Thursday. No surprise there: people from across the state make an annual trek to the state fair, which runs through Labor Day.

But State Senator Tarryl Clark's visit comes just days after the Bachmann campaign went up with a television commercial which targets her Democratic challenger for voting to raise taxes on corn dogs, deep fried bacon and beer, popular cuisine at just about any state fair in the Midwest. And both candidates are using a back-and-forth over the ad for their own campaign fundraising.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
12:34 PM ET

Critic praises Craigslist move to censor ads, calls for more info

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Online classified service Craigslist's decision to censor its adult services section is a "good step but a continuing battle has to be fought," a leader in the fight against prostitution ads said on Sunday.

"I'm very pleased by this very solid and significant apparent step in the right direction," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who spearheaded a recent letter from 17 attorneys general urging Craigslist to discontinue its adult services section.

"I say apparent because we have received no definite or definitive word from Craigslist that the shutdown is permanent or complete," Blumenthal told CNN's Tom Foreman.

Blumenthal said he wants to broaden his fight against online prostitution ads but that "right now our focus is really on Craigslist."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
September 6th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Three arrested for murder of Boston area pizza deliveryman

(CNN) - Two high school students and a young man were charged Saturday with the killing of a pizza deliveryman in Boston, police said.

The victim, Richel Nova, of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, was found stabbed to death shortly after midnight on September 2, police said.

Nova, a deliveryman for a local Domino’s store, “was a hard working man, making an honest living to provide for his family when he was preyed upon by three vicious thugs,” said Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis in a statement. “For a small amount of money, these suspects committed unspeakable acts of violence while showing Mr. Nova no mercy.”

Arrested were Alexander Emmanuel Gallett, 18; Michel Andre St. Jean, 20; and Yamiley Mathurin, 17.

Authorities have charged the three suspects with murder, armed robbery, and armed breaking and entering of a dwelling house.

The suspects allegedly murdered Nova and then fled in his vehicle. A tip from a member of the community and surveillance footage led to the arrest of the three suspects.

Photos of the accused killers “will not be released at this time due to the nature of the investigation and, in particular, the extremely sensitive nature of eyewitness identifications developed thus far,” police said.

Authorities added that the investigation is ongoing.


Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
September 6th, 2010
10:11 AM ET

President mulls new measures to spark economy

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/09/06/obama.economy/story.obama.gi.jpg caption="President Obama will refocus on the economy this week, less than two months before the midterm elections." width=300 height=169]

Washington (CNN) - On this Labor Day, the White House will put its focus squarely back on the economy, following a week where the Obama administration concentrated on Middle East peace talks and the end of America's combat role in Iraq.

The address will be the first of two speeches this week in which President Barack Obama will try and frame his administration's response to the recession, less than two months ahead of midterm elections where Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are on the ropes.

Obama will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Monday, speaking at a Labor Day event in a state that has extremely competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

Then on Wednesday, he will deliver an economic speech in hard-hit Cleveland, Ohio, in a state that also has very competitive gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House battles that will help determine control of both chambers of Congress.

Obama said his message will be "my administration remains focused, every single day, on pushing this economy forward, repairing the damage that's been done to the middle class over the past decade, and promoting the growth we need to get our people back to work."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Letters to the President: #595 'Fighting the timeless war'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama has pledged to complete the job in Afghanistan, but I am writing my daily letter to the White House to ask, precisely what is the job there?

Dear Mr. President,

I started my day with a long run through Atlanta and it was a pleasure. To be honest, my legs were a shade stiff at the start; you could have played Foggy Mountain Breakdown on my hamstrings. So I suppose “pleasure” is a bit of an overstatement, but it was nice. If you know the town at all, I’ll tell you that I went from CNN up through Georgia Tech, then over to Piedmont Park where I looped around for a while, then back through GT and followed a winding path back to CNN. The weather was nice and folks were out everywhere enjoying the morning.

An item I saw in the news as soon as I was back in my hotel, however, certainly put a damper on the morning. Over in London, the Sunday Times has reported that Iran is using several companies set up in Kabul, Afghanistan, to secretly finance the Taliban.

No surprise. The Iranian government does not like us; and we don’t like them. It is an interesting cautionary note, however, about the danger of wars that drone on and on as this one has. Battlefields are living, breathing things. They change hour by hour, day by day, and certainly year by year. No advantage your troops win can ever be taken for granted because until the war is truly and well done, it can never be viewed as permanent. So while we have been pecking away in the southern part of the country with our latest surge, now we find that our enemies have been doing the same near our backdoor in Kabul; taking contracts for reconstruction, and effectively redirecting that money to bankroll the fight against us.

If you have a preeminent problem with this war on the home front, I suspect it is this: Too many Americans over the years have lost track of precisely what we are fighting for. To stop terrorism? To track down Al Qaeda? To stabilize Afghanistan or crush the Taliban? Or some amalgam of all those things?

September 6th, 2010
10:01 AM ET

CNN Poll: GOP's midterm advantage is growing

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/09/06/midterm.poll/story.gop.opinion.poll.gi.jpg caption="'Independents and voters who dislike both parties are starting to break toward the GOP,' says CNN's Keating Holland." width=300 height=169]

(CNN) - With November's midterm elections less than two months away, a new national poll indicates that the Republicans' advantage over the Democrats in the battle for Congress is on the rise.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, the GOP leads the Democrats by 7 points on the "generic ballot" question, 52 percent to 45 percent. That 7-point advantage is up from a 3-point margin last month.

The generic ballot question asks respondents if they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district, without naming any specific candidates.

"The survey indicates that independents and voters who dislike both parties are starting to break toward the GOP," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In a year when anger at incumbents is a dominant political force, the key to the election lies among those who aren't rooting for either side."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Technology and travel

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

Approximately one billion people—perhaps slightly less—have recently asked me about what kind of travel gear I use to roam the world and work.

Here’s the thing: I’m pretty basic. I can’t claim complete minimalism, but I’m not really that high-tech of a guy. My strategy is “use what works and keep it simple.”

So here’s what we’ll do: I’ll tell you what I bring with me wherever I go, and the fellow travelers among us can chime in and say what they bring for their own trips.

Filed under: Chris Guillebeau • Travel
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