Monday, May 31, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 5/31 

  • "The failure of the top kill really magnified this disaster exponentially," said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska marine scientist. "I think there's a realistic probability that this enormous amount of oil will keep coming out for a couple months."

  • Roger Duke is a Vietnam veteran, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Since 2006, he's spent at least one weekend a month embedded with a California National Guard unit. He's a trusted face whom the soldiers confide in before and after their deployments.

  • "Hurricanes pass through," the Rev. Mike Tran told parishioners Sunday. "We don't know when this will ever be over. It's a way of life that's under assault, and people don't when their next paycheck is going to be."

  • A litany of half-truths, withholding crucial video, blocking media access to the site and a failure to share timely and complete information about efforts to contain the largest oil spill in U.S. history have created the widespread impression that BP is withholding information about the April 20 oilrig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, if not misleading the public and the government.

  • Jerry Brown's bigger-than-life dad, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Sr. - who had preceded his son as governor from 1959 to 1967 - became a large presence when his son assumed the top job in 1975. As Brown seeks a third term as California governor, the files from his past administrations reveal a complex existence among the young governor, his legendary late father and his ambitious chief of staff.

  • Aside from 10 men at a Navy weather station, the island was uninhabited when the Japanese Army took possession on June 6, 1942. Allied forces reclaimed the island 14 months later, built their own base, but soon abandoned it. The relics remain, however, making Kiska probably the most intact battleground from World War II.

  • In poll after poll, California voters from both major parties have made it clear they see the recession, the state's budget mess and taxes as their top priorities this election year. On the airwaves, however, the Republican candidates for governor are talking about anything but that trio of issues.

  • Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos achieved a commanding lead in Colombia's presidential elections Sunday, but still must face a runoff June 20. Santos received 46.5 percent of votes to 21.5 percent for former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus, according to official returns.

  • Terrified shoppers fled a crowded SuperTarget Sunday after a brazen shooter walked into the store and shot and killed a cashier, a former girlfriend, before killing himself. Shoppers fled the store, leaving belongings and purchases behind, and one family sought refuge in a walk-in cooler.

  • "Shackles, hanging from the ceiling, and a tombstone with somebody's name on it. ... But that wasn't the real problem," said 71-year-old Linda Burkitt, shaking her head.

  • The holiday isn't meant for mall sales or picnics, but to pay tribute to the fallen, from the eight minutemen who died in Lexington, Mass. to the nearly 5,500 troops who've been killed since 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Rand Paul is not as politically unsophisticated as the media, tea party organizers and Republican strategists would like you to believe.
    In the hours after his victory in a Republican senate primary, Paul did not let it slip accidentally during an NPR interview that he opposed aspects of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. And it certainly was no fluke that later in the day on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show he repeated his "libertarian" philosophies supporting a business owner's right to discriminate racially.

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