Obama takes jobs message to GOP leaders’ home turf

Employing in-your-face politics, President Obama sold his jobs plan Thursday from the turf of the top Republicans on Capitol Hill, combatively calling them out by name to demand action.

There was no sign his confrontational approach was changing any minds in Congress.

Obama stood in front of an aging bridge that links House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio with Kentucky, home to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to call for passage of his $447 billion package in tax cuts, jobless aid and public works projects.

“Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge,” Obama said. “Help us rebuild America. Help us put construction workers back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away.”

It amounted to one of Obama’s most direct and defiant challenges to leaders of the opposition party. And the incursion into the Republicans’ territory illustrated a new White House aggression and a desire by the president’s advisers to distinguish him from Republicans and to get them to share some of the blame for the struggling economy.


U.S. displomats walk out on Iran president’s speech

American diplomats led a walkout at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fiercely attacked the United States and major West European nations as “arrogant powers” ruled by greed and eager for military adventurism.

The two U.S. diplomats were followed out of the chamber by diplomats from more than 30 countries, including the 27 European Union members, Australia, New Zealand, Somalia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Macedonia, a U.N. diplomat said. Israel boycotted the speech.

Ahmadenijad’s fiery anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli rhetoric has been a staple of the General Assembly’s ministerial meetings.


House Republicans struggle to revive spending measure

House Republicans grappled Thursday with ways to revive a must-pass measure to provide billions of dollars in disaster relief and prevent a government shutdown at the end of next week.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the House would vote anew on the legislation Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, the House voted 230-195 to reject the legislation, which contained $3.7 billion in disaster aid and enough money to keep the government running into mid-November.


Condemned inmates won’t get to choose last meals

Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn’t eat any of it.


Scientists try to figure out where satellite will fall

While North America appears to be off the hook, scientists are scrambling to pinpoint where and when a dead NASA climate satellite will plummet back to Earth today.

The satellite is expected to break into more than a hundred pieces as it plunges through the atmosphere.