Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Morning News Roundup (09 January)

A quick one this morning, as I'm prepping some more CES coverage for the Amazon tech blog (check out a couple of my posts here and here) as well as getting zenned out for the big Macworld keynote by Steve Jobs this morning. Speaking of which...

Mac Stuff
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to deliver his keynote address at 9 am PT this morning and may introduce the company's new iPhone with service from AT&T's Cingular Wireless, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. [MacNN]

  • The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) claims that CEO Steve Jobs may announce today the availability of Paramount Pictures' catalog, which includes titles such as "Forrest Gump," "Mission: Impossible," and "Star Trek." However, it does not appear as though new releases would be included in the deal (yet). [MacRumors]

BushCo's Wars
  • After a meeting between President Bush and more than 30 Republican senators yesterday, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) said, “‘It was clear to me that a decision has been made for a surge‘ of at least 20,000 additional troops." Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) noted that most senators didn’t embrace Bush’s plan: “I think I was the only senator who acted like he would be supportive." [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

  • In a blunt challenge to President Bush, the leader of the Senate's new Democratic majority said Monday he will "look at everything" within his power to wind down the war in Iraq, short of cutting off funding for troops already deployed.

    "I think we've got to tell the president what he's doing as wrong. We've got to start bringing our folks home," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, in remarks that portend a struggle if, as expected, Bush announces plans later this week for an increase in troop strength of 20,000.
    Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a potential presidential candidate, said that while he opposes any measure that would increase the risk to troops already deployed, "the central question then becomes, is there a way of conditioning appropriations so that the president is constrained and that's something that we're investigating right now." [AP via Yahoo!]

  • Tony Blair will make clear this week that Britain is not going to send more troops to Iraq even if the US pushes ahead with a "surge" of 20,000 extra soldiers. The Prime Minister will insist that the UK will stick to its own strategy of gradually handing over to the Iraqi army, as it has been doing with success in Basra and the south. [Daily Mail]

Domestic Potpourri
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday proposed a system of universal health insurance for Californians that would make the nation's most populous state the third to guarantee medical coverage for all its residents. Much of the opposition to Schwarzenegger's program, which requires legislative approval, is expected to come from his fellow Republicans, who object that the plan will be costly for small businesses. But the governor said California cannot afford not to do it. Nearly one in five California residents does not have health insurance -- a total of 6.5 million people, many of whom seek expensive care in emergency rooms.

    Nationwide, the ranks of the uninsured are growing. Census figures show that a record 46.6 million Americans, including 8.3 million children, had no health insurance in 2005, up from 45.3 million in 2004. Among those who did have coverage, fewer were receiving it through their jobs as employers scaled back their health plans. [WaPo]

Obama Watch
  • People captured Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) trip to a Hawaiian beach New Year's Day. His photo appears next to those of Penelope Cruz and Hugh Jackman. [National Journal's Hotline]

The Road to 2008
  • Though Hillary Clinton stands the best chance of any woman in history to win Democrats’ 2008 presidential nomination and perhaps election, longtime feminist leader Kate Michelman has decided not only to endorse John Edwards but also to organize other women to support the former North Carolina senator.

    Michelman, who recently stepped down after nearly two decades as president of the pro-abortion rights group now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America, insisted in an interview today that her decision reflects no negativity toward New York’s Sen. Clinton, whom she called “a good friend.”

    “It isn’t a rejection” of Clinton, she said, acknowledging, “though I suppose you could call it that.” Rather, she said, her endorsement is “a statement of my conviction that John Edwards is a person women can depend on to defend their rights,” based on his one-term record in the Senate, including as a member of the Judiciary Committee. Michelman said she also has been impressed both by Edwards’s campaign emphasis on fighting poverty, which mostly affects women and their children, and by his potential for inspiring people. [WSJ's Washington Wire]

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