Monday, August 2, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 8/2

  • An internal memo prepared for the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it is possible to provide green cards or delay deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are now living and working in the United States without papers or permanent residence.
  • A World War II photographer with the Army-Air Force flew over Hiroshima just after the "Enola Gay" dropped the first A-bomb -- and took pictures that for years were credited to others. John McGlohan's B-29 wasn't supposed to be in the sky over Hiroshima that day, and for years McGlohan's story was treated as spurious.
  • When President Obama visits Texas on Aug. 9, the state's top-tier Democratic candidate, gubernatorial nominee Bill White, will likely be miles away, reaching out to voters in Johnson County near Fort Worth. Another Democratic hopeful for statewide office, Austin attorney Hector Uribe, says he'll be elsewhere, and Barbara Radnofsky, the Democrats' nominee for attorney general, says she too has no plans to attend an Obama event.
  • The marshes on the Gulf Coast serve as nurseries for shrimp, crabs and other sea life, a nesting ground for pelicans and other birds and a much-needed buffer against hurricanes. The millions of gallons of oil spilled already threatens to kill the intricate ecosystem. Without the marsh, smaller fish won't be able to hide from predators. Shrimp won't breed and birds won't nest. The grasses won't be there to block the tidal surges.
  • Tiny cancer-fighting agents are poised to play a big role in the future of chemotherapy. The breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded a UC Davis researcher $450,000 for the development of nanoparticles capable of effectively targeting and destroying tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
  • Advocates for changing Texas' sex offender registry say it should include using a more risk-based classification system and allow offenders who are not deemed public threats the possibility of getting off the list. The current registry has swelled to 62,000 names and is becoming too bloated to perform its purpose of protecting the public, they say.
  • Maria Marquez told the pollster who called in late June that if the November election were held that day, she would vote for Republican Meg Whitman for governor. Now she thinks she might prefer someone else. The 47-year-old Los Angeles working mother belongs to an increasingly key California voter group: Latinos, who political consultants say are now too numerous for statewide candidates to antagonize or ignore.
  • In the weeks and months of desperation that came after the January quake in Haiti, hundreds of do-gooders — from emergency doctors and disaster specialists to animal lovers, movie stars, and even clowns — have poured into the flattened capital. But after all of these relief groups landed in post-quake Haiti to help, the question of who is qualified to respond has emerged.
  • His order to resume furloughs next month essentially doubled-down Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bet that he has the authority to impose unpaid days off on state workers. It's also a high-stakes gamble that the policy will wring concessions from state labor unions and squeeze the Legislature, now seven weeks late on passing a budget, to craft a deal that includes significant reductions to employee pensions.
  • In a legal showdown with the IRS, the Miccosukees say their members don't owe any taxes on income they receive from the tribe's gambling operation — a stance that sets them apart from possibly every Indian tribe with casinos in the United States.
  • Eight years ago on Aug. 1, armed with two legal opinions that gutted the prohibition against torture, CIA agents and contractors began the month-long "enhanced interrogation" of Abu Zubaydah in a secret CIA dungeon in Thailand. Today, nobody argues that Abu Zubaydah wasn't tortured. Yet we have done practically nothing: no prosecutions or investigations of senior officials who oversaw the torture program, no meaningful acknowledgment or redress for the victims of our torture program.
  • It's nice that so many people around the world care so deeply about the Palestinians.
    Palestinians are indeed victims of mistreatment. But you won't hear much about what they endure, unless someone can pin the blame directly on Israel. Conditions in Gaza, for example, have made for a tough existence there. But human-rights activists have turned a blind eye to the systematic assault on individual freedom that has beset the population ever since the Islamic militant movement Hamas took over in 2005.

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