Wednesday, July 14, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 7/14

  • Educators have long cautioned that students can lose much of what they learn in school during the three-month summer vacation. Yet for the 19 million students who get free and reduced-cost government-subsidized meals at school, the summer months can also mean an unhealthy vacation from good nutrition.
  • The NAACP passed a resolution Tuesday calling on all people — including tea party leaders — to condemn racism within the tea party movement. Delegates said, however, that they wanted to make it clear the resolution wasn't intended to indict the entire tea party movement as racist. The resolution was amended to include the word "some" tea party supporters.
  • For the second year in a row President Barack Obama will address American schoolchildren with a back-to-school speech, the White House confirmed Tuesday. Last year's speech created an uproar. Before Obama addressed students Sept. 8, some parents said a White House video broadcast to youngsters amounted to propaganda.
  • An Iranian nuclear scientist who'd been missing for more than a year amid Iranian claims that the CIA had abducted him turned up at the Pakistani embassy in Washington on Tuesday and was preparing to return home, after providing what a U.S. official said was "useful information" about Iran's nuclear program.
  • The number of naturally occurring microbes that eat methane grew surprisingly fast inside a plume spreading from BP's ruptured oil well, an oceanographer who was one of the first to detect the plumes said Tuesday.
  • Three months after a mine explosion killed 29 workers in West Virginia, lawmakers debated legislation Tuesday that would toughen workplace safety rules and increase penalties for all of the nation's employers for only the second time in 40 years.
  • Guillermo Zuloaga has no plans of laying low as an international fugitive. Facing arrest in Venezuela, the president of Globovision — the nation's last TV station openly critical of the government — said he'll travel the world and continue pressing the Hugo Chavez administration as the country gears up for legislative elections on Sept. 26.
  • President Barack Obama reached Tuesday for the nostalgia of long-gone Clinton-era budget surpluses to soothe debt-weary voters, choosing a Clinton budget veteran to run the White House budget office.
  • A $700 million state plan to prevent 40,000 California foreclosures came under fire Tuesday from activists who called it another bailout for the nation's largest banks. Representatives of statewide unions, churches and community groups said new state plans to partially pay off mortgages of struggling homeowners will largely subsidize bank losses and leave owners still owing too much to avoid foreclosure.
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's job approval rating has fallen to a record low, matching that of former Gov. Gray Davis from 2003, the year he was recalled, according to a Field Poll released today.
  • They're getting desperate in Obamaland. There's no other word for it. The recent jobless report was terrible — 125,000 payroll jobs gone.
    For Democrats, the portents for the November election are increasingly gloomy, even dire. The respected political analyst Charlie Cook predicts a "Hurricane GOP."

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