The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday,.March 2, 2009 - 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Mondsy,.March 2, 2009 - 3A
Obama chief of staff
The president's chief of staff
criticized U.S. car companies yes-
terday for relying too long on gas
guzzlers and not investing enough
in alternative energy vehicles.
Rahm Emanuel also said the
automakers have an outdated
health care cost structure. He said
the companies are making the kind
of changes now that many people
long had told them to make.
President Barack Obama's auto
industry task force is trying to
restructure General Motors Corp.
and Chrysler LLC by a March 31
deadline. If the Obama adminis-
tration fails to approve their turn-
around plans, earlier loans could
be called back and the companies
could be forced into bankruptcy.
GM and Chrysler have received
$17.4 billion in loans, and are
seeking an additional $21.6 billion
The administration's top budget
official, Peter Orszag, said on ABC's
"This Week" that Americans can
expect higher energy prices as a
result of the administration's bud-
get and stimulus plans.
Arkansas QB Ryan
Fayetteville police arrested
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett
on a public intoxication charge early
yesterday outside of a nightspot
The 20-year-old Mallett was
booked into the Washington Coun-
ty Jail at 3:47 a.m. after Fayetteville
police arrested him on Dickson
Street. Mallett was released on bond
about anhour later.
Coach Bobby Petrino said Mallett
would be disciplined.
Mallett is seen as the likely start-
er for the Razorbacks in 2009. He
sat out 2008 after transferring from
"I am very disappointed that
Ryan Mallett put himself in a situ-
ation that doesn't reflect positively
on him or on our program," Petri-
U.S: says Iran has
enough material for
R nuclear bomb
Sunday that Iran has sufficient fis-
sile material for a nuclear weapon,
declaring it would be a "very, very
bad outcome" should Tehran move
forward with a bomb.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered
the assessment when questioned
in a broadcast interview about a
recent report by the U.N. nuclear
watchdog on the state of Iran's
uranium enrichment program,
which can create nuclear fuel and
may be sufficiently advanced to
produce the core of warheads.
Mullen was asked if Iran now
had enough fissile material to
make a bomb. He responded, "We
think they do, quite frankly. And
Iran having a nuclear weapon I've
believed for a long time is a very,
very bad outcome for the region
and for the world."
State Department spokesman
Robert A. Wood said Sunday that it
was not possible say how much fis-
sile material Iran has accumulated.
23 homes destroyed
in central Texas fire
A wildfire fueled by grass, brush
and trees has destroyed at least 23
homes and three businesses in cen-
Officials say two National Guard
helicopters joined other aircraft
Sunday in dropping water on the
blaze near the towns of Bastrop
Gov. Rick Perry has activated
state resources, including four
Blackhawk helicopters equipped to
drop water and fire retardant, fire-
fighters and equipment.
The wildfire has charred just
over a square mile since it was
started Saturday by a fallen power
Texas Forest Service spokesman
Lewis Kearney says the fire is about
50 percent contained.
He says some residents who
were evacuated during the night
were being escorted back into
the area Sunday to identify their
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
AIG to get up
to .$30 billion,
more in Fed aid
Source says Under the new deal, the U.S.
Treasury and the Federal Reserve
insurance company would provide about $30 billion in
fresh capital to AIG from the gov-
will announce $60B ernment's Troubled Assets Relief
Program, or TARP. The money
in quarterly losses would be provided as a standby line
of equity that AIG could tap as its
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - losses mount, the source said.
Struggling insurer American Inter- AIG has already received $40
national Group Inc. will receive up billion from TARP.
to $30 billion in additional federal In exchange for the latest infu-
assistance in the fourth govern- sion, the Federal Reserve would
ment rescue of the company, a per- take stakes in two international
son familiar with the matter told units, the source said.
The Associated Press yesterday. Instead of paying back $38 bil-
The new infusion is intended lion in cash with interest that it
to prop up AIG - once the world's has used from a Federal Reserve
largest insurer - as it is expected to credit line, AIG now will repay
announce $60 billion in quarterly that amount with equity stakes
lossesearlytoday,thesourcesaidon Asia-based American International
the condition of anonymity because Assurance Co. and American Life
the discussions are still ongoing. Insurance Co., which operates in
Thecompany,whichisconsidered 50 countries.
too large to fail, previously received Under the plan, another $20 bil-
about $150 billion in loans from the lion from a Federal Reserve credit
government, which now has an 80 line remains available for borrow-
percent stake in the company. ing, the source said.
Lions player lost off
Florida's Gulf Coast
President Barack Obama speaks about his fiscal 2010 federal budget, Thursday, Feb, 26, 2009, in the Eisenhower Executive
Office Building on the White House campus in Washington as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (middle) and Budget Director
Peter Orszag (right) listen.
Budget chief: Oba-ma
will sign spending bill
Orszag says Obama
would sign $410
billion spending bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
White House yesterday down-
played massive deficit spending
and President Barack Obama's
pledge not to sign legislation
laden with billions in earmarks
amid Republican criticism that he
was .recanting on a key campaign
The administration's top budget
official, Peter Orszag, said Obama
would sign the $410 billion spend-
ing bill despite a campaign pledge
that he would reject tailored bud-
get requests that let lawmakers
send money to their home states.
Orszag said Obama would move
ahead and overlook the time-
tested tradition that lets officials
divert millions at a time to pet,
It was the Washington equiva-
lent of officials pinching their nose
and swallowing a bitter pill.
"This is last year's business,"
Orszag said, offering an acknowl-
edgment that Obama would sign a
bill that doesn't conform with his
campaign vows. "We want to just
move on. Let's get this bill done,
get it into law and move forward."
White House chief of staff Rahm
Emanuel offered mirrored lan-
guage: "That's last year's business."
The House last week passed the
measure that would keep the gov-
ernment open for business through
Sept. 30, when the federal budget
year ends. Taxpayers for Common
Sense, a watchdog group, identi-
fied almost 8,600 earmarks total-
ing $7.7 billion; Democrats say the
number is $3.8 billion.
Regardless of the precise num-
ber, it was still far more than
Obama promised as a candidate.
He refused earmarks for the eco-
nomic stimulus package he cham-
pioned, as well as a children's
"We're going to be working
with the Congress. We want to
make sure that earmarks are
reduced and they're also transpar-
ent. We're going to work with
the Congress on a set of reforms
to achieve those," said Orszag,
who is director of the Office of
Management and Budget.
Obama's top hands assigned
responsibility to their prede-
cessors and President George
W. Bush. By blaming Bush-era
proposals for deficits, Obama
wanted to set up his own bud-
get, which he unveiled last
week with a bold proposal to
cut the deficit by half within his
four-year term with the budget
that would start Oct.1.
"First, this is a $1.7 trillion
deficit he inherited. Let's be
clear about that. We inherited
this deficit and we inherited $4
trillion of new debt," Emanuel
said. "That is the facts."
Facts, aides said, would be the
cornerstone of the administra-
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tion'spublic relations push. Officials
faced a tough haul, even as Orszag
and others said the proposal would
raise taxes on wealthy Americans
and increase energy costs.
Emanuel said energy costs are
too low, anyway. U.S. car compa-
nies relied too long on gas-guz-
zling autos and failed to invest in
alternative energy vehicles, he
said, and contended that the time
for new auto fuels is now.
"They never invested in both
alternative energy cars. They
got dependent on big gas guz-
zlers. They didn't do - they have
a health care cost structure that's
outdated," Emanuel said.
Defensive end Corey
Smith among four
boaters to not return
from fishing trip
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP)
- Detroit Lions defensive end
Corey Smith and Oakland Raid-
ers linebacker Marquis Cooper
were among four boaters missing
yesterday offFlorida's Gulf Coast,
the Coast Guard and Smith's
Smith and Cooper were on a
21-foot vessel that left Clearwa-
ter Pass for a fishing trip Satur-
day morning and did not return
as expected, the Coast Guard said
yesterday. Crews used a helicop-
ter and a 47-foot boat to search
a 750-square mile area west of
Clearwater Pass yesterday.
Cooper owns the boat and he
and Smith have been on fishing
trips before, said Ron Del Duca,
Smith's agent. The pair had been
teammates on the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers in 2004. The Coast
Guard said two others were
aboard, identified as Will Bleakley
and Nick Schuyler. The St. Peters-
burg Times on its Web site identi-
fied them as former University of
South Florida players. Calls to the
school by The Associated Press
were not immediately returned.
Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M.
Close said the weather early Sat-
urday had been fair, but worsened
toward the evening as a front still
battering the area moved in. The
National Weather Service said
seas were about 2 to 4 feet Satur-
day morning and increased to 3to
5 feet in the afternoon.
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