The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, March 9, 2009 -- 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, March 9, 2009 - 3A
GOP official: No
more money for
GM without plan
House Republican leader John
Boehner said yesterday he doesn't
support handing over more fed-
eral money to keep General Motors
Corp. afloat unless the automaker
develops a viable and long-term
business model and can pay back
"Anything short of that is just
throwing good money after bad,"
Boehner said on CBS's "Face the
As part of the deal that provided
$17.4 billion in federal aid to Gen-
eral Motors and Chrysler LLC,
the companies must seek changes
in their contracts with the United
Auto Workers by March 31. The car
companies, which have asked for
an additional $21.6 billion in fed-
eral money, must bring their labor
costs in line with those of foreign
competitors' plants in the U.S.
Although Ford Motor Co. has
not sought federal assistance, it
has reached an agreement with the
UAW to freeze wages and make
other concessions. Union members
were expected to finish voting on
the proposed agreement today.
U. S. announces
12,000 troops to
leave Iraq by Sept.
The U.S. military has announced
that 12,000 American and 4,000
British troops will leave Iraq by
Maj. Gen. David Perkins says
that will reduce U.S. combat power
from 14 brigades to 12 brigades. He
also said yesterday that the U.S. is
turning over more facilities to the
Iraqi military as part of the draw-
President Barack Obama has
decided to remove all combat
troops by the end of August 2010
with all troops gone by the end of
2011. The 4,000 British troops due
to leave are the last British soldiers
There are currently about
3K,000 U.S, troops in Iraq.
ST. PAUL, Minn.
still no winner in
Minn. Senate race
What lasts longer than a Minne-
sota winter? The struggle to choose
the nation's 100th senator.
More than four months after
Election Day, Minnesota vot-
ers are only marginally closer
to knowing whether Democrat
Al Franken or Republican Norm
Coleman will represent them in
The stakes go beyond Minneso-
ta: Franken would put Democrats
in position to muscle their agenda
through with barely any Republi-
can help, and he could be a differ-
ence-maker on the federal budget
and a proposal giving labor unions
a leg up on management when
Some Minnesotans, like actor
Jared Reise, are past caring who
wins and just want the state to
regain its second senator.
"This is a very important time
to have everybody there, with the
way the economy is," said Reise,
of suburban Eagan, who didn't
vote for either man on Nov. 4. "It's
a little long-winded, this whole
One dead in Illinois
Illinois state police say a man
has shot a pastor to death and
injured others at an church dur-
ing a service in the community of
Illinois Master Trooper Ralph
Timmins says the man walked
down the aisle during the early
Sunday service at First Baptist
Church in Maryville.
He said the man exchanged
words with pastor Fred Winters
and then pulled out a .45-caliber
Timmins said the man fatally
shot Winters once before the gun
jammed, then pulled out a knife
and wounded himself.
Churchgoers tried to subdue the
attacker and two of them suffered
Timmins said officials don't
know if Winters and the suspect
know each other.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Obama to overturn
Bush's stem cell policy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Presi-
dent Barack Obama's announce-
ment today that he is overturning
his predecessor's policies toward
embryonic stem cells also will
include a broad declaration that
science - not political ideology -
would guide his administration.
Obama planned to reverse Pres-
ident George W. Bush's limits on
federally funded stemcell research
through the National Institutes of
Health and to put in place safe-
guards through the office of Sci-
ence and Technology Policy so that
science is protected from political
interference. The moves would
fulfill a campaign promise.
"We've got eight years of science
to make up for," said Dr. Curt Civin,
whose research allowed scientists
to isolate stem cells and who now
serves as the founding director of
the University of Maryland Center
for Stem Cell Biology and Regen-
erative Medicine. "Now, the silly
restrictions are lifted."
Bush limited taxpayer money
for stem cell research to a small
number of stem cell lines that were
created before Aug. 9, 2001. Many
of those faced drawbacks. Hun-
dreds more of such lines - groups
of cells that can continue to propa-
gate in lab dishes - have been cre-
ated since then. Scientists saythose
newer lines are healthier and bet-
ter suited to creating treatments
for diseases, but they were largely
off-limits to researchers who took
"We view what happened with
stem cell research in the last
administration is one manifesta-
tion of failure to think carefully
about how federal support of sci-
ence and the use of scientific advice
occurs," said Harold Varmus, a
is chairman of the White House's
Council of Advisers on Science and
Bush and his supporters said
they were defending human life;
days-old embryos - typically from
fertility-clinic leftovers otherwise
destined to be thrown away - are
destroyed for the stem cells.
Obama's advisers sought to
downplay the divisions.
"I think we all realize, and the
president certainly understands,
there are people of good faith on
both sidesofthis issue," said Melody
Barnes, the White House's domestic
policy adviser. "We recognize there
are a range of beliefs on this."
Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2
Republican in the House, said the
focus should be on the economy,
not on a long-simmering debate
over stem cells.
"Frankly, federal funding of
embryonic stem cell research can
bring on embryo harvesting, per-
haps even human cloning that
occurs," he said Sunday on CNN's
"State of the Union." "We don't
want that. ... And certainly that is
something that we ought to be talk-
ing about, but let's take care of busi-
ness first. People are out of jobs."
The long-promised move will
allow a rush of research aimed
at one day better treating, if not
curing, ailments from diabetes
to paralysis - research that has
drawn broad support, including
from notables such as Nancy Rea-
gan, widow of the late Republican
President Ronald Reagan, and the
late Christopher Reeve.
The move also will highlight divi-
sions within the Republican Party,
now in the minority and lacking
votes in Congress to stop Obama.
The proposed changes, which
Obama planned to sign around
noon Monday, do not fund cre-
ation of new lines, nor specify
which existing lines can be used.
They mean that scientists who
until now have had to rely on
private donations to work with
these newer stem cell lines can
apply for government money for
the research, just like they do for
studies of gene therapy or other
From Page 1A
Frier used the example of a pro-
fessor at the University of Wis-
consin at Milwaukee who was
disciplined after he publicly pro-
tested university administrators'
handling of a federal grant.
In the case, Renken v. Gregory,
Prof. Kevin Renken argued that
officials from his university had
retaliated against him for com-
plaining about the way his univer-
sity decided to use federal grant
money from the National Science
Renken argued his protest
against the university was pro-
tected under the First Amendment
because he was protesting a mat-
ter of public concern. He asserted
that the university should not have
been allowed to take disciplinary
action against him. Despite his
claims, the Seventh District Court
and the U.S. Appeals Court for
the Seventh Circuit both held that
Renken's complaints were not pro-
tected under the First Amendment
because Renken made the com-
plaint as part of his official duties
as a professor.
Frier said if a university can pun-
ish a professor for disagreeing with
administrators at the university,
then faculty will likely not express
their true concerns.
"If, for instance, I was in a dis-
pute with an administrator over,
for instance, a grant or something
like that and the administrator had
the capacity to say at the end of the
day 'If you don't go along with me, I
will lower your salary,' that makes
a considerable difference to the
discussion," he said.
University Spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham said she doesn't
believe the recent court cases at
other universities would influ-
ence anything at the University of
"Nothing in the recent court
decisions affects or diminishes the
University's deep commitment to
academic freedom," she wrote in
Frier said there is no immediate
fear that this might happen at the
UniversityofMichigan. Instead, he
explained that SACUA is address-
ing the regents because the body
wants to avoid a potential future
"We're talking about this in
terms of what might happen down
the line," he said. "There's no
Frier said SACUA doesn't have
a specific course of action in mind
right now, but is open to several
approaches to prevent faculty at
the University from being threat-
ened by the court decisions.
"Everybody agrees this should
be negotiable," he said. "There are
a number of specific forms."
Although the report will be pre-
sented to the regents, Frier said he
doesn't expect they will take action
on the issue. Instead, Frier said
he thinks most of the work can be
done between faculty and admin-
"It's really just a courtesy to the
regents," he said. "This is an issue
of current concern to the faculty
and so we wanted to convey it."
"Some of these problems (in
SOCIOLOGIST the black community) have gotten
From Page 1A so severe now that it would be in
our nation's best interest to have
school dropout and teenage preg- specific, targeted programs to
nancy rates - is naive, Wilson deal with them," Wilson said in an
argued. Likewise, the author said interview while signing booksfor a
one must consider the discrimina- line of fans. "Even if the programs
tion that impoverished inner-city don't necessarily apply to every-
residents face daily. one, it's in our best interest."
He praised the president's He said such government
speech on race from last summer, assistance would be necessary in
saying it struck a balance between Detroit, a city that is more than 80
the two ideologies. percent black and has an unem-
"Unlike Bill Cosby or the talk ployment rate of nearly 11 percent.
show hosts you see on TV, Barack Wilson said the area's situation
Obama does not isolate structure is even more dire because of the
from culture," he said. "Obama sputtering auto industry. Two of
sees that they are very much tied the Detroit Three automakers,
together." Chrysler LLC and General Motors
The 73-year-old, who was Corp., have both raised the specter
named one of Time magazine's 25 of bankruptcy in recent weeks.
Most Influential People in 1996, "If that happened, it would have
has consulted the Obama admin- a devastating effect on the black
istration frequently,' prescribing community," he said. "I shudder to
solutions for the problems plagu- think what would happen if they
'iAinwrica'1 cities. ' °" "dup filing bankruptcy.
Wilson, who holds 41 honorary The audience seemed split by
degrees including doctorates from Wilson's talk, but most agreed that
Columbia University, Dartmouth his new book would raise debate.
College, the University of Penn- Laura Norton-Cruz, a gradu-
sylvania and Princeton University ate student in the School of Social
used lofty rhetoric during his talk. Work, said the author seemed to
Rather than talking freely, he read overlook key aspects from his talk
from a 40-page stack of papers and and book.
cited 15 books and studies. Many "I'm sure it will be a goodbook,"
in the crowd - largely comprised said Norton-Cruz, who has read
of graduate students and profes- Wilson's award-winning "The
sors - had pens and notebooks out, Truly Disadvantaged" from 1987.
writing down Wilson's key points. "But it just sounds like he neglect-
About midway through his lec- ed the gender issue, and that pisses
ture, Wilson said the government me off because a lot of researchers
should implement policies spe- of urban inequality leave that part
cifically aimed at helping impov- out."
erished blacks. The statement Kim Lijana, a graduate student
marked a departure from Wil- in the School of Education, put it
son's previous philosophy, which bluntly:
favored programs that benefited "It's absolutely controversial,"
all poor people. Lijana said of the book's premise.
In this Feb. 11, 2009 file photo, thousands of people line up at a federal government job fair in downtown Atlanta. If the current
recession lasts into April 2009, it will be the longest in postwar history.
Recession on track to be
longest in postwar period
If recession lasts
into April, it will
pass the 16-month
mark from 1981-1982
WASHINGTON (AP) - Fac-
tory jobs disappeared. Inflation
soared. Unemployment climbed
to alarming levels. The hungry
lined up at soup kitchens.
It wasn't the Great Depres-
sion. It was the 1981-82 reces-
sion, widely considered America's
worst since the depression.
That painful time during Ron-
ald Reagan's presidency is a grim
marker of how bad things can
get. Yet the current recession
could slice deeper into the U.S.
If it lasts into April - as it
almost surely will - this one
will go on record as the longest
in the postwar era. The 1981-
82 and 1973-75 recessions each
lasted 16 months.
1982 levels and the gross domes-
tic product hasn't fallen quite as
far. But the hurt from this reces-
sion is spread more widely and
uncertainty about the country's
economic health is worse today
than it was in 1982.
Back then, if someone asked
if the nation was about to expe-
rience something as bad as the
GreatDepressionthe answer was,
"Quite clearly, 'No,"' said Murray
Weidenbaum, chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers in
the Reagan White House.
"You don't have that certain-
ty today," he said. "It's not only
that the downturn is sharp and
widespread, but a lot of people
worrythat it's going to be a long-
lasting, substantial downturn."
For months, headlines have
compared this recession with
the one that began in July 1981
and ended in November 1982.
-In January, reports showed
207,000 manufacturing jobs van-
ished in the largest one-month
drop since October 1982.
-Major automakers' U.S. sales
extended their deep slump in
February, putting the industry on
track for its worst sales month in
more than 27 years.
-Struggling homebuilders have
just completed the worst year for
new home sales since 1982.
-There are 12.5 million people
out of work today, topping the
number of jobless in 1982.
"I think most people think it is
worse than 1982," said John Steele
Gordon, a financial historian. "I
don't think many people think it
will be 1932 again. Let us pray. But
it's probably going to be the worst
postwar recession, certainly."
The 1982 downturn was driv-
en primarily by the desire to
rid the economy of inflation. To
battle a decade-long bout of high
inflation, then-Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker, now an
economic adviser to President
Barack Obama, pushed interest
rates up to levels not seen since
the Civil War. The approach
tamed inflation, but not without
Hardest hit was the industrial
Midwest; the Pacific Northwest,
from construction declines; and
some states in the South, where
the recession hit late.
Frustrated workers fled to the
Sunbelt to find work. In Michi-
gan, which led the nation in job-
less workers, newspapers offered
idled auto workers free "job want-
ed" ads in the classified section.