Monday, July 26, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 7/26

  • The nation's farmers could face severe restrictions on the use of pesticides as environmentalists, spurred by a favorable ruling from a judge in Washington state, want the courts to force federal regulators to protect endangered species from the ill effects of agricultural chemicals.

  • When the U.S. and Afghan militaries launch their long-awaited Kandahar operation as early as this weekend, the key to its success may lie in some obscure mountain roads that connect the dusty heartland of the Taliban insurgency with a fertile valley nearby.

  • "A lot of people woke up every day in 2008 and asked, 'What can I do to get Obama elected?' " said Adam Green. "We want him to succeed, but unfortunately what we've seen so far is an unwillingness to truly fight the powerful interests."

  • Every night before she falls asleep, Marlene de Leon worries whether she'll be jarred awake the next morning by immigration agents banging on the door to deport her mother who for years has lived in Miami without papers. On Wednesday, a contingent of U.S.-born children will gather in Washington, D.C., with their undocumented parents to march in front of the White House and demand an end to deportations.

  • President Barack Obama's deployment of 250 National Guard troops to the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border has intensified a politically charged debate over border security just two weeks before Obama visits the state to raise money for Democratic candidates. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, one of Obama's harshest critics in Texas, has asked to meet with Obama during his Aug. 9 fundraising trip to discuss his concerns about Obama's "grossly insufficient" allocation of Guard troops.

  • Amid reports that embattled BP chief executive Tony Hayward is negotiating his departure from the company, the effort to plug the leaky oil well in the Gulf of Mexico got back on track Sunday.

  • California's landmark global warming law has yet to create the promised bonanza of green jobs, but it has boosted payrolls in another sector of the economy: state government.

  • Communal living and small perks have improved conditions for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, but many are still waiting for their day in court.

  • "It's an epidemic of military fakers and liars out there," said Mary Schantag of Branson, Mo., who's made it her job to expose fake POWs.

  • Texas Republicans are planning a special "welcome" when President Barack Obama comes to the Lone Star State on Aug. 9 to raise money for Democratic candidates. But don't look for red carpets and rousing fanfare. Texas Republican Party spokesman Bryan Preston said the "welcome" will likely be a rally designed "to send him a message once again — since he hasn't gotten it yet — to keep his hands off our state."

  • U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., wants to give $5 million a year to groups such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund that help endangered "great cats and rare canids." Its grants administrator is the congressman's daughter.

  • The inability to find citizens willing to work changes one Fort Worth, Texas, rancher's mind about undocumented laborers.

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