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February 19, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
LANSING, Mich.
Michigan's 'wish
list' for stimulus

Obama pitches
$75B lifeline for

Cole discusses militant
uprising in Iraq conflict

funds goes online homeowners

Gov. Jennifer Granholm's
administration created a Web site
yesterday that broadly outlines
her priorities for spending Michi-
gan's share of the federal stimulus
money.
The site includes a 1,200-plus
page wish list of projects that edu-
cational institutions, local gov-
ernments and state agencies hope
might get a share of the federal
stimulus cash. But it doesn't give
specifics on how much money the
state will get or how it will be dis-
tributed.
None of the 16,000 submitted
project requests - worth about
$59 billion combined - have been
approved. The Granholm adminis-
tration warns on the Web page that
not all the projects will be funded
and that some wouldn't even be eli-
gible for funding.
Granholm, a Democrat, is
expected to discuss the federal
stimulus plan with local transpor-
tation officials at events in Lansing,
Detroit and Flint tomorrow and
in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo
tomorrow.
TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich.
Wind farm academy
coming to college in
Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Valley Community
College is creating an academy to
train students to work on turbines
found on wind farms.
The 26-week program will start
training technicians in October to
repair and install utility-grade tur-
bines.
College leaders on Wednesday
turned on the school's new 145-
foot wind turbine. The turbine
can produce up to 15 percent of the
electricity for the college's techni-
cal wing.
Officials says the academy will
be the first of its kind inthe country
to train wind, turbine technicians.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granhoim
is trying to boost the alternative
energy industry in the state, so
there could be more "green" jobs
available in coming years.
BATON ROUGE, La.
GOP governors
might pass on
stimulus money
A handful of Republican gover-
nors are considering turning down
some money from the federal stim-
uluspackage, amove opponents say
puts conservative ideology ahead
of the needs of constituents strug-
gling with record foreclosures and
soaring unemployment.
Though none has outright
rejected the money available for
education, health care and infra-
structure, the governors of Texas,
Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska,
South Carolina and Idaho have all
questioned whether the $787 bil-
lion bill signed into law this week
will even help the economy.
"My concern is there's going to
be commitments attached to it that
are a mile long," said Texas Gov.
Rick Perry, who considered reject-
P ing some of the money but decided
Wednesday to accept it. "We need
the freedom to pick and choose.
And we need the freedom to say
'No thanks."'

WASHINGTON
Troops 'stalemated'
in Afghanistan,
commander says
The top U.S. commander in
Afghanistan offered a grim view
Wednesday of military efforts in
southern Afghanistan, warning
that 17,000 new troops will take
on emboldened Taliban insur-
gents who have "stalemated" U.S.
and allied forces.
Army Gen. David McKier-
nan also predicted that the bol-
stered numbers of U.S. soldiers in
Afghanistan - about 55,000 in all
- will remain near those levels for
up to five years.
Still, McKiernan said, that is
only about two-thirds of the num-
ber of troops he has requested to
secure the war-torn nation.
McKiernan told reporters at the
Pentagon on Wednesday that the
extra Army and Marine forces will
be in place by the summer, primed
for counterinsurgency operations
against the Taliban.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Lending plan aims
to prevent 9 million
homeowners from
being evicted
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - President
Barack Obama threw a $75 bil-
lion lifeline to millions of Ameri-
cans on the brink of foreclosure
yesterday, declaring an urgent
need for drastic action - not only
to save their homes but to keep
the housing crisis "from wreak-
ing even greater havoc" on the
broader national economy.
The lending plan, a full $25 bil-
lion bigger than the administra-
tion had been suggesting, aims
to prevent as many as 9 million
homeowners from being evicted
and to stabilize housing markets
that are at the center of the ever-
worsening U.S. recession.
Government support pledged
to mortgage giants Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac is being dou-
bled as well, to $400 billion, as
part of an effort to encourage
them to refinance loans that are
"under water" - those in which
homes' market values have sunk
below the amount the owners
still owe.
"All of us are paying a price for

this home mortgage crisis, and
all of us will pay an even steep-
er price if we allow this crisis
to continue to deepen," Obama
said.
The new president, focusing
closely on the economy, in his
first month in office, rolled out
the housing program one day
after he was in Denver to sign his
$787 billion emergency stimu-
lus plan to revive the rest of the
economy. And his administra-
tion is just now going over fresh
requests for multiple billions in
bailout cash from ailing auto-
makers.
Wall Street has shown little
confidence in the new steps,
declining sharply on Tuesday
before leveling off after Wednes-
day's announcement. The Dow
Jones industrials rose 3 points
for the day.
Success of the foreclosure res-
cue is far from certain.
The administration is loosen-
ing refinancing restrictions for
many borrowers and providing
incentives for lenders in hopes
that the two sides will work
together to modify loans. But no
one is required to participate.
The biggest players in the mort-
gage industry temporarily had
halted foreclosures in advance of
Obama's plan.

Regional resources
helped to finance
insurgency, Cole says
By ANNIE THOMAS
For the Daily
In a lecture yesterday, Juan Cole,
professor of Middle Eastern and
South Asian history at the Univer-
sity and an expert on the Middle
East, discussed howa band of mili-
tants in Iraqwere foiled many of the
plans the U.S. political and military
officials had for the country.
The event, sponsored by the Col-
lege of Literature, Science and the
Arts, introduced Cole as the Richard
P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor in
History, an honor acknowledgingthe
accomplishments of the most senior
faculty members at the University.
The lecture - entitled "Collec-
tive Action in American Iraq: Can
the People Thwart Empire?" -
detailed the Bush administration's
actions in Iraq and how its plans
and policies were thwarted by
groups of militants.
Cole said officials in the U.S. gov-
ernment didn't anticipate that their
goals would be challenged in Iraq.
"The Bush administration had
a set of goals in. Iraq which, they
didn't announce publicly...and they
gave interviews, and if you are
good at Lexus Nexus you can find
out what they thought they were
up to," he said. "And those goals
were undone by Iraqis of various
sorts, including slum doctors and
poor people and workers and union
members and so forth."
He went on to discuss the role
of Iraq's unique culture in the con-
flict. The country houses regional
resources which, when taken over
by militant groups, funded their
efforts. He cited hijacked petro-
leum and looted antiquities as the
main revenue sources.
"It was not well known by the
people who planned this occupation
but it has certain features, which
made it a poison pill and made it
particularly difficult to occupy,
dominate, exploit," Cole said.

Prof. Juan Cole discusses the situation in Iraq during a lecture yesterday

For automakers,
no easy solutions

Cole added that he thinks Presi-
dent Barack Obama doesn't have a
thorough knowledge of the details
that he outlined in his lecture, but
that he is well equipped to handle
the situation in Iraq.
"I don't think (Obama) probably
knows these details about Iraq but
I think he knows what colonialism
was and the damage that it did to
people's psyches," he said. "And so I
think his instincts on this are good."
Cole also said though the mili-
tary is somewhat divided on the
withdrawal, many military officials'
are looking for a way out.
"I do have some contacts in
Washington, my own feeling from
them, is the senior officers, they're
really sick and tired of Iraq and
they think it's breaking the army

and they want out," he said.
Ann Arbor resident Peter Ber-
tocci, who attended the lecture,
said he found it to be informative
and thought provoking.
"What he did was essentially
package everything in a way which
made it coherent and gave you
something to think about what
happened," he said.
Rackham Graduate School stu-
dent Andrea Wright, who is study-
ing anthropology and history, said
the lecture gave her the resources to
evaluate the U.S. presence in Iraq.
"I think it confirmed suspicions
and gave me information to be able
to critique and thinkaboutthe U.S's
role and think through its goals and
what ideological positions informed
those goals," she said.

GM, Chrysler say
they need billions
more to stay afloat
WASHINGTON (AP) - Gen-
eral Motors Corp. and Chrysler
LLC, two venerable titans of
American industry, will burn
through $17.4 billion in govern-
ment loans in three months and
want billions more to stay alive.
The ink is still drying on their
new requests for an additional
$21.6 billion, but for President
Barack Obama's month-old
administration, there are no easy
answers.
Give them more money? GM
and Chrysler could return seek-
ing more. Let them slip into
bankruptcy? Hundreds of thou-
sands of jobs could be lost. Try a
government-led bankruptcy? In
GM's case, that might cost up to
$100 billion.
"There can't be a bottom-

less pit to this. There aren't the
resources to deal with it," White
House press secretary Robert
Gibbs said Wednesday as the
government began reviewing the
automakers' plans.
"We have to get a sustained
path to that restructuring to
ensure that there isn't a constant
necessity for continued govern-
ment intervention and money
from the taxpayers," Gibbs said.
At stake is much more than
the future of the PT Cruiser or
the Saturn Vue. Jobs at assembly
plants, car dealers, parts suppli-
ers and the small businesses that
serve them could be at risk in a
fatigued economy in which near-
ly 12 million people are unem-
ployed, including about 600,000
who got pink slips last month.
"This is an entire way of life
here," said Republican Rep.
Thaddeus McCotter who repre-
sents a district near Detroit. "An
entire state is hanging in the
balance."

WRITE FOR DAILY NEWS
E-mail smilovitz@michigandaily.com.

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