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EARLYBIRD

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Obama meets voters in televised town hall, as GOP prepares new 'contract.' Plus: Poll shows a plurality favors principle over compromise.

Congress: Senate Democrats Try For Cloture Vote On Defense Bill

• "Senate Democrats were unable Monday to count on the support of a single Republican moderate for today's floor vote on whether the Senate should proceed with the FY11 defense authorization bill and shine a pre-election spotlight on such hot-button issues as immigration and repeal of the 1993 law banning gays from serving openly in the military," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "Gay rights groups on Monday coupled behind-the-scenes lobbying with the more unconventional tactic of enlisting pop star Lady Gaga to press moderate GOP Senators to support a repeal of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

 

• "House leaders are considering adjourning as early as the end of this week, which would give lawmakers five and a half weeks to campaign before the Nov. 2 election but could also leave them exposed to allegations that they didn't finish their work in Washington," Politico reports.

White House: Obama Faces Disillusioned Voters On CNBC Town Hall

• "President Obama on Monday came face to face with supporters disillusioned they have not seen the change they voted for and fearful the American Dream has slipped out of reach," The Hill reports. "During a town hall focused on jobs and the economy carried live by CNBC, Obama offered reassurances to those voters."

• "President Obama urged Democrats to recapture the enthusiasm of his historic 2008 campaign Monday as he raised cash for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak and the national party at three Philadelphia events," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

 

Politics: Poll Finds Support For Leaders Who Won't Compromise

• "Nearly half of America -- including nearly two-thirds of Republicans and 53 percent of independents -- admires political leaders who refuse to compromise," NationalJournal.com reports. "The Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center, suggests a confrontational mood in the country that may mirror the partisan wrangling in Washington and might even give trumped-up cable TV's political spout-fests some rationale for their vein-popping intensity.

• "Republicans will unveil their new 'Contract With America' in Virginia on Thursday as they try to present a clear alternative to the Democrat-led Congress heading into the midterm elections," The Hill reports.

• The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee "announced Monday that it outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee $8.3 million to $6.6 million during August," Politico reports. "The DCCC now has $39 million on hand to the NRCC's $25 million."

• "Corporations have begun to send a majority of donations from their political action committees to Republican candidates, a reversal from the trend of the past three years," the Wall Street Journal reports.

 

• "A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found a sharp difference in the way men and women say they are going to vote in November," the New York Times reports. "Even though women are still more likely to vote Democratic, the poll suggests that they may stay home this year, giving more of the decision-making to men by default."

Economy: Panel Says Recession Officially Ended In June 2009

• "A panel of prominent economists delivered a verdict Monday that may surprise 14.9 million unemployed Americans: The Great Recession ended more than a year ago, in June 2009," USA Today reports.

• "As lawmakers bicker over whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, not just for the middle class but also for the wealthy, many economists and budget analysts say there's a simple way to curb borrowing: Let the tax cuts expire for everyone," the Washington Post reports.

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• "Ally Financial, the troubled lender that received a massive federal bailout, has temporarily halted evictions on foreclosed homes in 23 states, a company spokesman said Monday," the Washington Post reports.

• "Interest by China's biggest auto maker in possibly buying a stake in General Motors Co. this fall raises the dicey issue for the U.S. government over foreign investment in the Detroit company," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Energy & Environment: Kerr-McGee Ordered To Pay Fine Over Offshore Leases

• "A federal judge has ordered an oil company to pay $22.9 million for hiding the amount of royalty it owed the government for oil pumped from offshore leases," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. "The judge ruled that Kerr-McGee Corp. underreported the value of the oil and natural gas it produced--and therefore paid fewer royalties to the government than it owed."

• "BP said Monday that it would join the oil spill response group formed over the summer by Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron," the Washington Post reports.

National Security: 2010 Becomes Bloodiest Year Of Afghan War

• "Nine Western service members died" today "in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, making this the deadliest year for NATO in the nine-year war," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• "The FBI overstepped its authority in investigating left-wing domestic groups after the September 11, 2001 attacks and then misled Congress about its actions, an inspector general's report has said," Agence France-Presse reports. "The report said the FBI improperly used the cover of 'terrorism' to investigate a number of domestic activist groups from 2001 to 2006 including Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the pacifist Thomas Merton Center."

• "North Korea announced" today "that the ruling Workers' Party would hold a major gathering next week, the first such congress in 30 years and a meeting that could signal the formal designation of Kim Jong-il's youngest son as his heir apparent," the New York Times reports.

Health Care: GOP Makes Plans To Roll Back Health Care Law

• "Hopeful of picking up substantial numbers of seats in the Congressional elections," Republicans "are developing plans to try to repeal or roll back President Obama's new health care law," the New York Times reports.

• "Health plans in at least four states have announced they're dropping children's coverage just days ahead of new rules created by the healthcare reform law, according to the liberal grassroots group Health Care for America Now (HCAN)," The Hill reports.

• "The U.S. has moved closer to approving a laboratory-tweaked salmon that grows twice as fast as conventional farmed fish and would become the first genetically modified animal to appear on American dinner plates," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Technology: Chinese Telecom Firm Builds Bridges In U.S.

• "A little-known company working to open the U.S. market to telecommunications gear made by China's Huawei Technologies Co. has added a pair of dignitaries to its board in an attempt to address the security concerns around Huawei," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

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