Tuesday, April 20, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 4/20

  • A special Senate panel over the next week will begin to unveil the results of yearlong inquiries into the roles of Goldman Sachs and credit ratings agencies such as Moody's Investors Service in the subprime mortgage meltdown. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein will be a star witness.
  • Scam artists are working overtime. They're hawking fake insurance policies by preying on the fears and confusion that surround the nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul Congress approved last month. Older people are popular targets.
  • Congress and the Obama administration on Monday headed toward a showdown over access to information about how an Army major with known contacts to Islamic extremists was able to carry out a deadly shooting spree at a Texas military base last fall. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued subpoenas to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder.
  • With Florida Gov. Charlie Crist facing a brutal Republican U.S. Senate primary or a full-blown party mutiny if he runs as an independent, prominent supporters are urging him to consider a third option: quitting altogether. The toughest assessment came from the arm of the national Republican Party that had clamored to endorse Crist and shove aside rival Republican Marco Rubio nearly one year ago.
  • President Barack Obama and congressional leaders vowed tough budget discipline in February when they approved a "pay as you go" requirement, but they've already avoided paying for major programs twice.
  • Today is the Fourth of July of weed. In California, at places such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz and Redwood Park in Arcata, thousands will light up in celebratory marijuana smoke-ins. April 20 has morphed into a social, political and cultural event, with 4/20 fests lighting up college towns and urban centers from Seattle to Boulder, Colo., to New York City.
  • Conservative Supreme Court justices appeared poised Monday to strike down a San Francisco law school's refusal to recognize a Christian student group because it effectively prohibits gays from joining. Justice Antonin Scalia equated it to forcing the campus Republican club to admit Democrats.
  • It has been three months since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed nine of the state university's 13 campuses, and Haiti's largest institution of higher learning is still looking for tents and space to offer classes outdoors. Officials at both public and private universities in Haiti say that with food and shelter straining resources in a nation wracked with problems, higher learning is low on the list of priorities.
  • More than 500,000 Internal Revenue Service postcards will go out this week to California small businesses and tax-exempt groups that may qualify for new tax credits on their employees' health care premiums. The federal tax credits are one of the first pieces to roll out of the health care legislation signed last month by President Barack Obama.
  • Cuban agricultural scientist Humberto Rios Labrada, a PhD with Cuba's National Institute of Agricultural Science, uses a guitar and a song to spread the benefits of organic farming. For this, he has won the prestigious Goldman Prize, a $150,000 award presented each year to grass-roots "environmental heroes."
  • We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to John McCain's integrity.
    It died recently — turned a triple somersault, stiffened like an exclamation point, fell to the floor with its tongue hanging out — when the senator told Newsweek magazine, "I never considered myself a maverick." This, after the hard fought presidential campaign of 2008 in which McCain, his advertising team, his surrogates and his running mate all but tattooed the "M" word on their foreheads.
  • The April 15 tea parties are over. As tax day passed I'm sure most, tea partiers or not, filed their tax returns and met the midnight deadline. I'm not one to have a problem with the tea party movement. America is full of diverse ideas and we have a history of protests against governments — from King George to the anti-war protest of the Vietnam era.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think it symbolizes?