Wednesday, April 28, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 4/28

  • A Senate investigations panel confronted Goldman Sachs executives Tuesday with evidence that the firm peddled subprime mortgage securities its traders considered to be "crap" as they secretly made huge bets on a housing downturn. The hearing stretched on for more than 10 hours, culminating in the testimony of Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein.
  • Fresh off passage of a sweeping health care overhaul, the Obama administration is supporting legislation to provide mandatory paid sick leave for more than 30 million additional workers who are some of nation's lowest-paid employees.
  • While Congress ripped into investment giant Goldman Sachs executives on Tuesday, the scandal threatened to tear the scab off a political wound in the California governor's race. Republican front-runner Meg Whitman tried again to put her prior relationship with the bank behind her, telling the Associated Press she regrets taking part in a now-banned stock sale practice involving the firm and that she left its board after 15 months because it "wasn't a good fit."
  • Republicans continued Tuesday to block Senate efforts to begin formal debate on the most sweeping overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system since the Great Depression, as political sniping turned uglier and more partisan. Still, at the same time, Senate negotiators continued cordial private talks aimed at reaching a bipartisan deal.
  • Often, to be a Democrat in South Carolina is to accept defeat. In today's South Carolina, where Democrats often finish in second place, it's increasingly hard to recall that in 1986, S.C. Democrats held all nine statewide posts. As S.C. Democrats convened in Columbia Saturday to build enthusiasm for their candidates, some contemplated how the consummate underdog party could turn the tide and create a true two-party state in South Carolina.
  • Critics are beginning to question how the American Red Cross is spending the $430 million raised by donors. More than three months since it raised hundreds of millions to aid Haiti in the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 and left 1.3 million homeless, the organization says it has spent about a quarter of the money.
  • California's state Senate leader on Tuesday urged a possible end to state contracts with Arizona to protest that state's new immigration law. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Arizona's law is a "gross civil-rights violation" because it requires local police to demand proof of legal status if officers suspect a person might be an illegal immigrant.
  • Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday.
  • In what seems to be a first-of-its-kind rule, Santa Clara County, Calif., voted Tuesday to ban restaurants from giving away free toys in high-calorie meals. This includes nearly all versions of the McDonald's Happy Meal. The toy edict is the latest in the growing ado about childhood obesity.
  • We're Trading Places. From his Fox News pulpit, Rev. Right (Glenn Beck) begs God to damn America for empowering Barack Hussein Obama. Gal Sharpton (Sarah Palin) travels the country stoking the fears of white Americans telling them their country has been stolen by a mixed-race president.
  • Call it the myth of inevitability. It is the mind-set that says enlightenment and progress are the inescapable byproducts of time. Time doesn't bring change. People bring change over time.
    One of those people, Dorothy Height, died last week. Another, Benjamin Hooks, died a few days before.
  • It's inevitable: Charlie Crist, independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.
    You've never seen such fuming, whining and grinding of capped teeth. And that's not from voters — that's from Republican leaders, who are pitching a hissy fit.

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