October 2011

Oct 31, 2011

U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghan Suicide Bomb Attack

By Nick Schifrin, Martha Raddatz, and Aleem Agha, ABC News

At least five NATO service members and eight civilian contractors, many believed to be American, were killed in Kabul today when a land cruiser with 1,500 pounds of explosives blew up next to an armored U.S. bus -- the deadliest attack on U.S. troops in the Afghan capital in 10 years of war.

Read more

U.S. Seeks Aid from Pakistan in Peace Effort

By Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

Just a month after accusing Pakistan's spy agency of secretly supporting the Haqqani terrorist network, which has mounted attacks on Americans, the Obama administration is now relying on the same intelligence service to help organize and kick-start reconciliation talks aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan. 

Read more

The debt fallout: How Social Security went ‘cash negative’ earlier than expected

By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

Last year, as a debate over the runaway national debt gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone. It went “cash negative.”     For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.

Read more

A tax reform fairy tale

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

Tax reform proposals are the political equivalent of science fiction: entertaining but imaginary. No tax proposal ever passes through Congress unscathed. There are too many interests that believe their survival depends on tax preferences — hence the tax code's immutable tendency to accumulate complexities as a ship collects barnacles.

Read more

Perry Plays Nice

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

When Rick Perry brought on a new team of advisers, the assumption was that he was about to initiate a scorched-earth campaign against anemic front-runner Mitt Romney. These advisers, who had helped Gov. Rick Scott win a rough-and-tumble race in Florida, were supposed to know how to play nasty. They would surely pummel Romney because time is short, no one has been able to lay a glove on him, and there is such ample opportunity.

Read more

In N.H., technocrat Romney vs. preacher Perry

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

They have debated on the same stage five times, but rarely have the contrasts between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry been more in evidence than during separate appearances here Friday night. It was Romney the careful technocrat versus Perry the unplugged preacher.

Read more

Newt Gingrich: GOP’s consummate survivor is back on his feet

By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

In an election season that already has taken more than its share of unlikely turns, few moments have seemed more improbable than the crowd scene Friday afternoon at a Chick-fil-A along a busy suburban thoroughfare here. At least 400 people jammed the restaurant, leaving those in the back straining to get even a glimpse of a man whose presidential candidacy had been left for dead not five months ago.

Read more

A New Ad Race, but the Vehicles Are Retreads

By John Harwood, The New York Times

In Mitt Romney’s telling, Gov.Rick Perry made Texas a wasteland. Under the words “Unemployment Has Doubled,” a tumbleweed rolls across a barren highway.

Read more

Studies challenge wisdom of GOP candidates' plans

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. But independent analyses raise serious questions about those plans and their ability to cure the nation's ills in two vital areas, the economy and housing.

Read more

Perry Presses for Second Look From Early Voters

By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

With time running short before the first votes are cast in the Republican presidential contest, Gov.  Rick Perry of Texas is urgently trying to convince voters that his candidacy warrants a second look. He is retooling his campaign with a newly emphatic anti-Washington message and steering the race into a sharper ideological contrast with Mitt Romney.

Read more

Cain camp denies harassment allegations

By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

The presidential campaign of Republican Herman Cain is pushing back against allegations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with at least two women when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.

Read more

Cain's Top Aide: Herman Cain Has Never Sexually Harassed Anybody

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said on Monday, "I have never sexually harassed anyone. These are false accusations." Cain's comments came in a hurriedly arranged interview on Fox News. The candidate was responding to allegations that two women left their jobs at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s because they were sexually harassed by the former Godfather's Pizza chain executive, who headed the organization at the time.

Read more in the National Journal