Thursday, July 29, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 7/29

  • The chief executive of Moody's Investors Service sold almost $3 million in company stock this year, and $7.1 million last year, both times right before his company's stock price fell from its peak levels, a McClatchy analysis has found.
  • When the first lady visited Florida's Gulf Coast, she got her feet wet. Will the president dive in? Much may ride on President Barack Obama's fondness for beaches and body surfing as he readies for next month's family vacation in the Sunshine State. For a tourism industry spending millions to convince vacationers that the Gulf remains a safe a place to swim, footage of Obama plunging into the surf would provide an instant publicity coup after a summer of grueling media coverage of soiled beaches.
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality proposed new rules Wednesday for oil and gas drilling permits to beef up regulations and better protect air quality in the Barnett Shale region in North Texas.
  • Kansas City police are reopening a 40-year-old investigation into the 1970 shotgun slaying of black political leader Leon Jordan. Police have rediscovered physical evidence in the case that they had earlier said was missing. Not only have they found partial fingerprints taken from the murder weapon, a Remington 12-gauge Wingmaster shotgun, they also have found the gun itself — in one of their own patrol cars.
  • As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill hit the 100-day mark Wednesday, here are some big developments likely to influence future decisions on offshore exploration.
  • The Grace Tully Archives, a collection of papers preserved by Franklin D. Roosevelt's longtime secretary, were unveiled on Wednesday, weeks after legislation took effect that moved them from private hands to the National Archives.
  • Over the last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has broken diplomatic ties with Colombia, warned his nation to prepare for an invasion and threatened to stop crucial oil exports to the United States — even if Venezuelans have to "eat rocks." On Thursday, Venezuela has an opportunity to roll back the rhetoric when it presents a "peace plan" at an emergency session of the South American Union of Nations, or UNASUR, in Ecuador.
  • Less a month after ending unpaid days off for more than 200,000 state workers, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is bringing back a scaled-down version of the furlough policy that will take effect on Sunday.
  • Imprisoned Veco chief executive Bill Allen will not be a government witness in the trial of former Juneau state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, according to a court memorandum filed Wednesday by Weyhrauch's attorney. Doug Pope said he was told by federal prosecutors that they had no intention of calling Allen, whose credibility has suffered since he was the chief government witness in three prior federal corruption trials.
  • A most peculiar thing happened last week: The Washington Post ripped a federal welfare boondoggle to shreds, exposing tens of billions of dollars of waste, duplication and bureaucratic excess . . . and conservatives didn't erupt in astonishment and praise. In fact, they didn't raise a peep. That's because the welfare queens ripping off taxpayer dollars in this case aren't poverty pimps waving the bloody flag of race and class, but military-industrial hustlers exploiting the war on terrorism to build themselves opulent and powerful fiefdoms.
  • Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is still required reading for many junior and senior high school students.
    The book ought to be required reading, not just for schoolchildren, but every American — especially the radio talk show hosts, Fox News commentators, members of the current administration in Washington and, yes, leaders of the NAACP.

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