The Earlybird: Today's headlines

CFR dead for now, missile defense coming soon, energy plan emerging, crowded Mass.-09 race, Barr calls for Condit's resignation.

  • The House's Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill was shelved Thursday "after the bill's supporters refused to accept the procedural rules for considering the issue," the Washington Times reports.
  • The Washington Post reports that "the fissures the past few days revealed in both parties -- and the evident coolness of President Bush to the entire project -- weigh heavily against an early revival" of any large-scale change in the campaign finance law.
  • The Washington Post details the behind-the-scenes wrangling Thursday that ended with Shays-Meehan on the back burner.
In The Administration
  • The White House on Thursday "offered a new account of its dealings with the Salvation Army over a regulation protecting anti-gay bias," the Washington Post reports. Now it is the Office of Management and Budget that took the lead on the matter, not White House senior adviser Karl Rove.
  • "Five big health care companies" promised Thursday to work with Bush to help Medicare beneficiaries obtain discounts on prescription drugs through a voluntary private program starting Jan. 1, the New York Times reports.
  • Recent sightings of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) with Bush at Camp David, the White House, Philadelphia and Kennebunkport, Maine, "spark talk he is being wooed for a top administration job," Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports.
  • USA Today reminds political observers that Wednesday marks the 180th day with Bush in office -- the point at which Bush said it would be fair to judge his progress.
  • The Federal Election Commission voted 4-0 on Thursday to open to the public "6,000 pages of documents that the Democratic National Committee and the AFL-CIO wanted to suppress following an FEC investigation of their coordinated campaign activities," the Washington Post reports.
On The Defensive
  • Senior Pentagon officials announced details Thursday of "an ambitious missile-testing plan that they said could lead to a working system of land-based, sea-launched and airborne weapons in four years," the New York Times reports.
  • The accelerated plan "could violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia within months," USA Today reports.
  • The United States "is abandoning requirements that its military be prepared to fight two major wars simultaneously," according to a classified strategy document obtained by the New York Times.
Good Day To Be An Oilman
  • "The Senate, in a signal of support for President Bush's energy development plans, rejected an attempt Thursday to delay oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico," AP reports.
  • Enron Corp. posted a 40 percent increase in second-quarter net income, "reflecting the enormous profitability of its energy marketing and trading enterprise," the Wall Street Journal
  • "An administrative law judge mediating talks between the state of California and energy companies says the state is likely owed 'hundreds of millions of dollars' in refunds, much less than the $8.9 billion the state wants," AP reports.
Let's Try This Again
  • "United Airlines said Thursday it will meet its contractual obligations and continue the process needed to merge with US Airways by asking federal regulators to assess the $12.3 billion deal," the Charlotte Observer reports.
  • "With assurances that punch-card balloting will disappear from Florida, the NAACP is changing its legal challenge to last year's disputed presidential election to focus on voter registration, voter lists and balloting," the AP reports.
Cue Gary Bauer
  • The details the final presentations made by the five cities hoping to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing is considered the favorite to win today's International Olympic Committee vote.
  • After China bought 165,000 tons of U.S. corn on Wednesday -- its biggest purchase in 5 1/2 years, futures prices were up on the Chicago Board of Trade, where December corn futures closed at their highest price in more than a year, the Des Moines Register reports.
Attacks, Support, Announcements
  • New York Comptroller Carl McCall (D) criticized Gov. George Pataki's (R) decision "to invest millions of dollars more in a problem-plagued computer system," the Albany Times Union reports. The Pataki administration called "McCall's criticism another in a series of political acts by the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful."
  • "The day after joining the 2002" Florida governor's race, state House Democratic leader Lois Frankel "sharply criticized" Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Thursday on issues such as oil drilling, education and the 2000 election, the News-Journal Wire Services report.
  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) "underscored his reputation as a risk-averse politician who sits out Democratic primary battles" when he "said he would remain neutral in the Democratic donnybrook for governor," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
  • "Colorado House Speaker Doug Dean [R], who once spoke openly of considering a bid for governor, said Thursday he won't seek elective office again," the Rocky Mountain News reports.
Massachusetts 09 Field
  • The Boston Globe reports that rarely "if ever in Massachusetts have so many candidates from one political rank sought promotion to the same office," as "three -- or maybe four -- state senators" campaign "to succeed the late J. Joseph Moakley" (D) in the 9th District special election.
  • Former federal prosecutor William Sinnott (D) joined the 9th District race yesterday, "saying he is 'worthy of the legacy'" of Moakley, the Boston Herald reports.
In The States
  • Attorney General John Ashcroft has "directed the U.S. Marshals Service to provide backup protection" for abortion clinics in Wichita, Kan., during planned anti-abortion protests that start Saturday, AP reports.
  • In Nashville, Tenn., "a mob of protesters broke a window in the governor's office" as they protested against new taxes, the Nashville Tennessean reports.
  • A New Jersey redistricting plan that has been approved by the state's congressional delegation "would mean safer seats for the most vulnerable members" -- Reps. Rush Holt (D) and Mike Ferguson (R), the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
  • "New Mexico unexpectedly broke with the federal government and 17 other states" on Thursday, resolving antitrust charges against Microsoft, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
  • Four years after being tortured while under police custody, Abner Louima agreed Thursday to settle his civil lawsuit against New York City and its main police union for $8.75 million, the New York Times reports.
Tough Days For The Reagans
  • Maureen Reagan, 60, is hospitalized and undergoing whole brain radiation for melanoma that has now spread to her brain, the AP reports.
  • "Nancy Reagan has privately indicated her support for research on embryonic stem cells," the New York Times reports, and two of former President Ronald Reagan's closest former aides have conveyed her position to senior White House officials.
The Search Continues
  • Washington police continued the search for missing intern Chandra Levy Thursday as they "foraged through abandoned buildings in Northwest" Washington, the Washington Times reports.
  • A note signed by the Pentecostal minister's daughter who reportedly had an affair with Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., denies "knowing 'the congressman who's involved in all this' and asked to be left alone," the Washington Post reports.
  • The New York Post reports that the "minister's daughter gave birth to a son during the two years she allegedly had an affair with" Condit.
  • Republican Georgia Rep. Bob Barr came forward Thursday as the first member of Congress to ask Condit to resign, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
  • "Republicans, coveting Condit's conservative district, hear from four would-be candidates there," the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports.
Names In The News
  • A Democratic spokeswoman said Thursday that former Vice President Al Gore "plans to campaign next year for congressional candidates as he keeps his options open for another White House bid," Reuters reports.
  • Ira Einhorn, "convicted of killing girlfriend Holly Maddux in 1977," won "a last-minute legal reprieve yesterday when a French court delayed his extradition to Philadelphia until at least next week," just hours after slashing "his throat upon hearing the court had denied his bid," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Einhorn was "treated at a hospital for what was apparently a superficial wound."
Airlocked In
  • The five astronauts aboard space shuttle Atlantis examined equipment this morning "that they will be using to install a $164 million entryway in the international space station," the AP reports.

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