The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 = 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 3A
rejected by key U.N.
Key U.N. Security Council mem-
bers rejected Sudanese pressure to
withdraw thousands of peacekeep-
ers from Darfur yesterday, even as
the U.S. reported a wave of govern-
ment air strikes near a rebel-held
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice
said the United States is "gravely
concerned by reports of intense
aerial bombardment" - at least 28
bombing raids Tuesday morning
alone - by Sudanese forces on the
outskirts of the town in southern
Sudan's government on Sun-
day asked the U.N.-African Union
peacekeepers, on a mission known
as UNAMID, to leave the town
before bombing began, but U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
has said they won't go.
While Sudan has regularly chal-
lenged the U.N.'s fragile presence
in the country, the request was the
first of its kind from Sudan, U.N.
officials said. U.N. and Sudanese
officials meet in Khartoum to dis-
cuss the request, a spokeswoman
for the U.N. mission has said.
Obama plans to
limit executive pay
The Obama administration plans
to issue new limits on executive pay
today for companies that receive
help from the government's finan-
cial sector bailout program.
"One of the things that that we're
going to do tomorrow is talk about
the need to control executive com-
pensation for companies that are
taking money from the federal gov-
ernment," President Barack Obama
said in an interview Tuesday with
"NBC Nightly News.
"If the taxpayers are helping you,
then you've got certain responsibili-
ties to not be livinghigh on the hog,"
the president added.
The administration will make
its announcement as congressio-
nal lawmakers work on their own
proposals to restrict compensa-
tion for companies that get money
from the $700 billion government
rescue fund. One legislative plan
would set the highest salary at a
Mass. couple who
led gay marriage
fight to divorce
A lesbian couple who led the
fight for gay marriage in Massachu-
setts have filed for divorce.
Julie and Hillary Goodridge
were among seven gay couples who
filed a lawsuit that led to a court rul-
ing making Massachusetts the first
state to legalize same-sex marriag-
es in 2004. The couple became the
public face of the debate in the state
and married the first day same-sex
marriages became legal.
The divorce case was filed last
week in Suffolk Probate and Fam-
ily Court and was not unexpected.
The couple announced they were
separating in 2006.
Messages left for the Goodridges
were not immediately returned
posts $1.5B loss
in fourth quarter
Dow Chemical Co. reported a
$1.55 billion fourth-quarter loss
yesterday as a deteriorating global
economy led to a 23 percent drop in
sales and huge job cuts.
The loss was larger than expect-
ed and revenue came in below Wall
"We are planning for a global
recession throughout 2009 and will
continue to take actions on manag-
ing our cash and controlling our
costs,"said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow's
chairman and chief executive.
Dow slashed operating rates
h to 64 percent in the fourth quar-
ter with demand for its products
evaporating. Diminished produc-
tion led to operating rates not seen
in more than 25 years, according to
The nation's largest chemical
maker said its loss amounted to
$L68 per share in the three months
ended Dec. 31. It had earned $472
million, or 49 cents per share, dur-
ing the last quarter of 2007.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Daschle leaves, health reform uncertain
South Dakota Sen.
will not be Obama's
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tom
Daschle's decision to withdraw his
nomination as health and human
services secretary clouds hopes
that President Barack Obama
will make significant progress on
health reform in his first 100 days
in the White House.
But the problems of unafford-
able medical bills and millions of
uninsured aren't going away, and
a deepening recession has more
Americans feeling worried about
their jobs and insecure about their
So even if Obama's hand-picked
architect of health reform sud-
denly leaves the political scene,
the president himself still has an
opportunity to refocus the nation's
attention on its health care woes
and on his own program for mak-
"It's a real blow to the effort
because Tom really was knowl-
edgeable," Sen. Christopher Dodd,
D-Conn., who himself is deeply
involved in health care issues, said
Tuesday. "This is an issue I had
hoped would be a priority, and that
we could deal with it very quickly."
He added: "It hurts. It slows
things down. So this has been a
At the White House, spokesman
Robert Gibbs put on a brave front.
"I don't think the effort slows
down for health care reform, and
I think Sen. Daschle and others
would admit that the effort is far
bigger than any one individual."
"We'll miss Sen. Daschle's lead-
ership," said White House senior
adviser David Axelrod, "But this
issue has great power of its own."
Obama has a chance to recover
some lost momentumright away.As
early as Wednesday, he's expected
to sign legislation to expand health
coverage for uninsured children
of low-income working parents, a
major priority for Democrats. The
president's words at the signing
ceremony will be closely followed.
The White House has been plan-
ning a health care summit early in
the spring to kick off the health
reform campaign, but that may
now be delayed.
Obama must quickly select a
new HHS nominee who can be
confirmed smoothly. The list of
possible picks includes Kansas Gov.
Kathleen Sebelius and others with
state and national leadership cre-
dentials, including Howard Dean,
the former Democratic presiden-
tial candidate and party chairman,
Vermont governor and medical
doctor, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Ren-
dell and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
Not only could prospects for
health reform dim further if the
choice is delayed, but it means that
problems at HHS agencies such as
the Food and Drug Administration
could continue to fester. Agency
heads are not usually named until
a cabinet secretary is in place.
The loss of Daschle hurts Obama
in two ways. Daschle knows both
the details of health care policy
and the ways of the Senate. If a
bipartisan deal is to be struck on
health care, the best chance is in
the Senate, which is not as polar-
ized as the House.
"He brought special traits to the
job that were tremendous advan-
tages," said Judy Feder, a health
care policy expert who was a top
HHS official in the Clinton admin-
istration. "But the commitment of
the president is the key here. You
can't underestimate that."
Most health care reform advo-
cates say conditions are still favor-
able to get a bill passed. Interest
groups from insurers to small busi-
nesses, to the seniors lobby AARP
say the time has come. Key com-
mittee chairmen in the Senate and
the House remain committed.
man Max Baucus, D-Mont., whose
panel will write much of the bill, said
he's not slowing down. "It will take a
couple, three weeks at best, not alot
longer, to get health care reform leg-
islation up and ready," Baucus said.
"So this has no effects on our efforts
in the Congress."
But false starts do take their toll
in Washington. You don't get back
lost time. Other crises flare, compet-
ing for time and attention. Former
President Bill Clinton's delay in get-
ting a health care bill written and
delivered to Congress is widely seen
as a major factor in the subsequent
collapse of the legislation. And the
Obama administration has no short-
age of serious problems to confront.
Between the loss of Daschle and
continuing economic problems, "I
don't see how we get to health care
reform until the fall," said Robert
Laszewski, a policy analyst and con-
sultant for health care companies.
U. S. supply route
Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, center at rear, leaves the Wayne County Andrew C. Baird Detention Facility in Detroit
yesterday after serving 99 days in jail. Kilpatrick will serve five years of probation after a plea to two criminal charges.
After 99 das, ex-Detroit
Kilpatrick to pay
$1M in restitution
to the city
DETROIT (AP) - Kwame Kil-
patrick regained his freedom
early yesterday morning, emerg-
ing from jail after a 99-day sen-
tence and stepping back onto the
cold, dark streets of the city he
once ruled as mayor.
The 38-year-old Kilpatrick,
about 25 pounds lighter than
when he entered jail at the end
of October, left the downtown
Detroit facility wearing a dark
suit just after 12:30 a.m.
Before leaving the building, Kil-
patrick stood for several minutes
in the jail lobby, consulting with
lawyers and friends on the other
side of the glass front doors.
As he stepped onto the side-
walk, Kilpatrick stood for a long
moment amid bright television
camera lights, a crush of await-
ing reporters and swirling snow-
flakes, smiling occasionally to
those in the crowd who called his
name and shouted: "We love you,
Kwame. Detroit loves you, baby!"
Flanked by a number of men,
several dressed in fedoras and
long coats, Kilpatrick then was
rushed to a waiting blue Chev-
rolet Suburban. The Democrat
waved from behind tinted win-
dows as he was whisked away as
part of a multi-vehicle caravan.
Kilpatrick made no statements
to the media during his release,
upon the orders of new defense
attorney Willie E. Gary.
"He's not bitter. He said he
learned a lot," Gary said a short
time later during an impromptu
sidewalk news conference. "He
said this has been an experience
he'll never forget, and he thinks
because of it he'll be a better
person. Right now, he's just con-
cerned about getting home to his
mom, his sister, and of course his
"The former mayor ... he
wishes the city well, all the peo-
ple of Detroit well and that there
are no hard feelings one way or
It's been more than a year since
a text-messaging sex scandal first
reported by the Detroit Free Press
started the long process that
ended in Kilpatrick's disgraceful
arrest, plea, jailing and release.
Now, the man who quickly rose
from a state representative to
mayor of a city of 900,000 people
simply is looking for work.
Kilpatrick was expected to
before heading to a job interview
Wednesday with an unnamed
company at an undisclosed loca-
tion in Texas. His wife, Carlita,
and three young sons, already
have left Michigan.
A judge has ordered that he
return by Feb. 9.
"The job prospect is very, very,
very favorable," Gary told report-
ers. "We want to make sure he can
get, and land, the job. That's his
first thing. He wants a job. That's
what he is concerned about now.
He wants to get with his family,
get with his kids so he can start
his life again."
Bridge in Khyber
Pass collapsed from
KABUL (AP) - U.S. troops in
Afghanistan saw their supply lines
squeezed from the north and east
Tuesday after militants blew up
a bridge in Pakistan and Kyrgyz-
stan's government said it would end
American use of a key air base fol-
lowing Russia's announcement of
Securingefficient and safe supply
routes into Afghanistan has become
a top priority for U.S. officials as the
Pentagon prepares to send in up to
30,000 more American soldiers
this year. Some 75 percent of U.S.
supplies travel through Pakistan,
where militants have stepped up
attacks on truck convoys destined
for U.S. bases.
Attackers yesterday blew up a
bridge in northwestern Pakistan in
a fresh salvo in an escalating cam-
paign seeking to cripple Washing-
ton's war effort in Afghanistan.
The red metal bridge in the Khy-
ber Pass partially twisted and col-
lapsed on one end, with chunks of
concrete scattered about. A trailer
truck caught on the span - about 15
miles northwest of Peshawar - fell
on its side and spilled dozens of bags.
While U.S. officialshavelongsaid
they are seeking fresh supplyroutes,
they have never hinted publicly at
any concern about running out of
food or fuel. American forces stock-
pile enough supplies to last 60-90
days in the event that their supply
chain is severed, U.S. officials say.
The top U.S. military spokes-
man in Afghanistan shrugged off
any supply worries after Tues-
day's events, saying that traffic
was already flowing again in Paki-
stan after the attack. "They made a
bypass," said Col. Greg Julian.
He also dismissed Kyrgyzstan's
threat to close access to the Manas
air base as nothing but "political
positioning." Gen. David Petraeus,
who oversees the wars in Afghani-
stan and Iraq, met with officials in
Kyrgyzstan last month and "came
away with the sense that every-
thing was fine," Julian said.
"We have a standing contract,
and they're making millions off our
presence there. There are no plans to
shut down access to it anytime soon,"
Julian told The Associated Press.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Mor-
rell said: "I have seen nothing to
suggest, other than press reports,
that the Russians are attempting to
undermine our use of that facility."
Pentagon planners and logistics
officers have a variety of alterna-
tive supply routes into Afghanistan,
although defense officials acknowl-
edged that Manas is singularly
"There are other ways to resupply
via air or land if need be, but Manas
is well situated, it's well-appointed,
it's well run and it well serves our
troops in Afghanistan," Morrell
told The Associated Press. "We
think it's in everybody's interest to
continue our operations there."
Petraeus, chief of the U.S. mili-
tary's Central Command, said
last month that agreements had
been reached to use supply routes
through Central Asia, but details of
the deals have not been announced.
Kyrgyzstan President Kurman-
bek Bakiyev's statement that U.S.
forces would have to stop using
Manas air base came after Russia
said it was providing the poor Cen-
tral Asian nation with billions of
dollars in aid.
The Kyrgyz government "has
made the decision on ending the
term for the American base on the
territory of Kyrgyzstan and this
decision will be announced tomor-
row or the day after," Bakiyev said
in televised comments.
The United States set up the
Manas base and one in neighboring
Uzbekistan to back operations in
Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 ter-
Chrysler sales plunge 55
percent; GM, Toyota down bid for Obama post,
Automakers hurt by
tough credit market
DETROIT (AP) - Chrysler's
U.S. vehicle sales plunged 55 per-
cent in January, while General
Motors' tumbled 49 percent and
Ford's dropped 40 percent, start-
ing 2009 at an abysmal pace for the
whole auto industry as lower sales
to fleet buyers like rental car com-
panies weighed down the results.
Toyota's sales dove 32 percent
for the month, Nissan's dropped
30 percent and Honda's fell 28
percent, putting the overall indus-
try on track for its fourth straight
month in which U.S. sales plunged
30 percent or more.
But Subaru bucked the trend
of declines for a second month in
a row, posting an 8 percent sales
increase, and Hyundai said its
sales jumped 14 percent.
Hyundai credited its increase
to its offer to cover a new vehicle's
depreciation if customers return a
car within 12 monthsbecause they
are unable to make the payments.
"This program gets to the root
cause of today's economic con-
cerns - fear of job loss," Hyundai
regional general manager Peter
DiPersia said in a statement.
Chrysler's sales chief, Steven
Landry, told reporters yesterday
at a meeting with dealers that
U.S. industry sales could drop as
much as 35 percent in January.
The annualized sales rate for the
month could drop below 10 mil-
lion for the first time in more than
26 years, he said.
According to Ward's AutoIn-
foBank, the last month in which
the seasonally adjusted annual
sales rate dropped below 10 mil-
lion was August 1982, when it
hit 9.9 million as the nation was
mired in a recession.
Domestic and foreign auto-
makers have been struggling as
unemployment rises, consumer
confidence weakens and many
people have a tougher time get-
ting loans. General Motors Corp.
and Chrysler LLC have received
$13.4 billion in federal loans to
stay afloat, and they hope to get
more after they submit a viabil-
ity plan to the government by
Feb. 17. Ford Motor Co. has said
it does not plan to use govern-
GM said earlier this month it is
planning its turnaround under the
assumption the entireindustry will
sell 10.5 million new vehicles in the
U.S. this year. Chrysler has said it's
planning on 11.1 million units, and
Ford last week reduced its forecast
to a range between 11.5 million and
12.5 million. But few people were
expecting the automakers to start
2009 at such a pace.
January is typically a slow sales
month, and many automakers and
analysts are expecting the mar-
ket to rebound in the second half
of the year as the economy and
access to credit improves.
Detroit-based GM sold 128,198
light vehicles in January, while
Ford's sales totaled 93,060 and
Chrysler sold 62,157. Toyota Motor
Corp. sold 117,287 cars and trucks.
The automakers have rolled
out hefty incentive offers to boost
sales. Edmunds.com estimated
the average automaker incen-
tive at $2,714 per vehicle sold in
January, down 5.2 percent from
December but up 12.5 percent'
from January 2008.
Jesse Toprak, the auto Web site's
executive director of industry anal-
ysis, attributed the year-over-year
increase to a greater number of lin-
gering2008 model year vehicles.
citing unpaid taxes
owed $946.69 to IRS
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nancy
Killefer withdrew her candidacy to
be the first chief performance offi-
cer for the federal government on
yesterday, saying she didn't want
her bungling of payroll taxes on her
household help to become a distrac-
tion for the Obama administration.
Killefer was the second major
nominee to withdraw.Within hours,
former Sen. Tom Daschle also with-
drew his nomination to be secretary
of health and human services.
In a brief letter to President
old executive with consulting giant
McKinsey & Co., wrote that she had
"cometo realize inthe current envi-
ronment that my personal tax issue
of D.C. unemployment tax could
be used to create exactly the kind
of distraction and delay" that must
be avoided in responding to urgent
She offered no further details of
her tax difficulties.
In announcing his choice of Sen.
Judd Gregg to be commerce sec-
retary, Obama took no questions
Tuesday and left the White House
lectern ignoring a shouted question
about why so many of his nominees
have tax problems.
But White House press secretary
Robert Gibbs later insisted Killefer
and Daschle decided on their own to
withdraw. "I think they both recog-
nized that you can't set an example
of responsibility but accept a differ-
ent standard in who serves," Gibbs
told a White House briefing.
When Hillefer's selection was
announced by Obama on Jan. 7,
The Associated Press disclosed
that in 2005 the District of Colum-
bia government had filed a $946.69
tax lien on her home for failure
to pay unemployment compensa-
tion tax on household help. Since
then, administration officials have
refused to answer questions about
the tax error, which she resolved
five months after the lien was filed.
It wasn't clear whether theadmin-
istration was aware of Killefer's tax
errorsbefore Obama named her.