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September 15, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-15

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 3

Health overhaul
plan's cost cut to
under $880 billion
Senate health care negotiators
said Monday they've cut the cost
of their 10-year coverage plan to
under $880 billion, but they're
not ready to shake hands yet on a
bipartisan deal.
Finance Committee Chairman
Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he'll
have a formal proposal by midweek
- maybe as early as Tuesday - to
meet a deadline for moving ahead
on President Barack Obama's top
domestic priority with or without
Republican support.
At the same time, Baucus said
the bipartisan talks could continue
even as his Finance panel begins
its formal bill-drafting session
next week. Talks continued during
the day Monday, and more meet-
ings were expected Tuesday.
Teen sentenced
after attack on boy
One oftwoteens accusedofbeat-
ing a 15-year-old boy because he is
gay will spend six to nine months
in juvenile detention after pleading
guilty to aggravated assault.
The 16-year-old defendant was
sentenced Monday in Kalamazoo
County Family Court.
Portage's Steve Harmon says he
was attacked Aug. 13 in a Portage
parking lot. He says his attackers
used anti-gay slurs as they struck
him about 20 times in the head and
The attackers broke Harmon's
cheekbone and gave him two black
eyes, a swollen lip and scratches.
Police say he apparently was
targeted because of his sexual ori-
The two defendants weren't
charged with a hate crime because
Michigan's ethnic-intimidation law
doesn't address sexual orientation.
$30M bail for man
accused of 18-year
A judge on Monday set bail at
$30 million for a Northern Califor-
nia man accused of kidnapping a
girl and holding her captive for 18
In setting the high amount, El
Dorado County Superior Court
Judge Douglas Phimister cited
the serious nature of the charges,
injuries to the girl and the fact
that Phillip Garrido was on parole
at the time of the alleged abduc-
Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy
to 29 charges of kidnapping, rape
and false imprisonment charges
and have been held without bail in
an El Dorado County jail.

The couple are accused of kid-
napping 11-year-old Jaycee Dug-
ard from her home near South
Lake Tahoe in 1991 then holding
her captive in a backyard jumble
of tents and sheds for nearly two
decades. Authorities say Phillip
Garrido fathered two daughters
with Dugard.
Four imprisoned
for suicide plot to
blow up plane
In a case that altered airport
security worldwide, three British
Muslims were imprisoned Mon-
day for at least 30 years each for a
plot to kill thousands by blowing
up trans-Atlantic airliners with
liquid explosives hidden in soda
The judge described the foiled
suicide bombings - meant to
rival the Sept. 11 attacks - as "a
grave and wicked" conspiracy,
likely the most serious terrorist
case ever dealt with by a Brit-
ish court. The plot's disclosure
prompted an immediate ban on
taking some liquids onboard
passenger jets, a measure that
remains in place, inconvenienc-
ing passengers throughout the
Abdulla Ahmed Ali - the plot's
ringleader - was given a minimum
of 40 years in prison, one of the
longest sentences ever handed out
by a British court. Assad Sarwar,
29, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, were
imprisoned for a minimum of 36
years and 32 years respectively at
London's high security Woolwich
Crown Court.
- Compiled from
'Daily wire reports

No replacement
yet for Kennedy

Challenge of short
race leads to lack of
big-name candidates
BOSTON (AP) - With the clock
running on a shortened election
calendar, the campaign to succeed
Sen. Edward Kennedy has become
notable for who's not running,
instead of who is.
Not his wife,Vicki Kennedy. Not
his nephew Joseph P. Kennedy II.
Not Martin Meehan, a former con-
gressman with a mother lode of $5
million in the bank. Not Andrew
Card, a former White House chief
of staff with the capacity to raise
millions himself.
On Monday, Rep. John Tier-
ney said he wouldn't run because
he was more valuable to the state
as a House veteran than as a Sen-
ate freshman. That was the same
rationale his fellow Democrat, Rep.
Edward J. Markey, gave Friday
when he bailed on a campaign.
So far, the field includes an attor-
ney general not three years into her
first statewide term, a state sena-
tor and a town selectman. Former
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schil-
ling has talked about running, and
Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the
Boston Celtics, is said to be weigh-
ing a campaign.
"You can drool, but if the cake
is too expensive, you don't buy it,"
said Marc Landy, a Boston College
political science professor.
The dearth of big-name candi-
dates, said Landy, shows the chal-
lenge of competing in a short race,
and political calculations amid the
prospective field.
"The odds of a Democrat win-
ning this seat are overwhelming,
so the question for the Democrats
is, 'Can I win the primary?"' Landy
"For the Republicans, the ques-
tion is, 'What is it worth to me to
get nominated, what is the value of
this nomination?' You don't have
to win for it to be valuable."
The primacy some candidates
have given to their personal and pri-
vate-sector lives also speaks to the
lost luster of serving in Congress.
Meehan said: "As I was consid-

ering whether to run, I was con-
sidering the job I was presently
in, and Joe Kennedy had the same
thought: We liked what we were
doing and the lifestyle of not being
in Congress, of not having to get
on a plane every week and go to
Meehan's $4.8 million his
re-election account would have
helped in a quick campaign, letting
him advertise on television before
others had raised their first penny.
But in 2007, he resigned from
Congress to become chancellor of
his alma mater, the University of
Massachusetts-Lowell. His annu-
al salary increased from $165,000
to $280,000, and he got to be home
with his wife and two grade-
school sons. He now wants to keep
all that.
"There's been a trend, unfortu-
nately, away from people running
for office, the sacrifices people
make in terms of family life, per-
sonal finances, the increasing bit-
terness of the tone of American
politics today," he said.
Even before Kennedy died of
brain cancer Aug. 25, Attorney
General Martha Coakley kicked off
her campaign. The Democrat did
polling, hired a Washington media
consultant, fundraisers, acampaign
manager and a spokesman.
And three days after Dec. 8 was
set as the primary date and Jan. 19
as the date for the special election,
Coakley declared her candidacy.
Ever since, the sound emanating
from Boston has been the rumina-
tions of prospective candidates.
"My father called politics an
honorable profession, and I have
profound respect for those who
choose to advance the causes of
social and economic justice in
elective office," said Joseph Ken-
nedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy.
But, he said, he decided the best
way he could contribute to those
causes is by continuing his work at
a nonprofit organization.
Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey
declined a l;id for the Republican
nomination by citing her family -
even though her two children are
still teenagers, as they were when
she who ran unsuccessfully for
governor in 2006.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden before President Obama's Congressional speech on health care Wednesday.
ElectiOon trouble brewin
for House Dems in2010

Democratic party
could face huge losses
in next year's election
NEW YORK (AP) - Despite
sweeping Democratic successes
in the past two national elections,
continuing job losses and President
Barack Obama's slipping support
could lead to double-digit losses for
the party in next year's congres-
sional races and may even threaten
their House control.
Fifty-four new Democrats were
swept into the House in 2006 and
2008, helping the party claim a
decisive majority as voters soured
on a Republican president and
embraced Obama's message of
hope and change. Many of the new
Democrats are in districts carried
by Republican John McCain in last
year's presidential contest; others
are in traditional swing districts
that have proved tough for either
party to hold.
From New Hampshire to
Nevada, House Democrats also
will be forced to defend votes on
Obama's $787 billion economic
recovery package and on energy
legislation viewed by many as a job
killer in an already weak economy.

Add to that the absence of Obama
from the top of the ticket, which
could reduce turnout among blacks,
liberals and young people, and the
likelihood of a highly motivated
GOP base confused by the presi-
dent's proposed health care plan
and angry at what they consider
reckless spending and high debt.
Taken together, it could be the
most toxic environment for Demo-
crats since 1994, when the party
lost 34 House incumbents and 54
seats altogether. Democrats cur-
rently have a 256-178 edge in the
House, with one vacancy. Republi-
cans would have to pick up 40 seats
to regain control.
"When you have big sweeps as
Democrats did in 2006 and 2008,
inevitably some weak candidates
get elected. And when the environ-
ment gets even moderately chal-
lenging, a number of them are going
to lose," said Jack Pitney, a politi-
cal science professor at Claremont
McKenna College in California.
Since the mid-19th century,
the party that controls the White
House has lost seats in virtually
every midterm election. The excep-
tions were in 1934, when President
Franklin D. Roosevelt navigated
the Great Depression, and in 2002,
after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,

strengthened George W. Bush's
image as a leader.
With history as a guide, Rep.
Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who
heads the party's House campaign
committee, said he has warned
colleagues to be prepared for an
exceptionally challenging environ-
ment going into 2010.
But Van Hollen said voters will
make their choices on the strength
of the national economy and will
reward Democrats for working
aggressively to improve it.
"We passed an economic recov-
ery bill with zero help from Repub-
lican colleagues," he said. "I think
voters will see that and will ask
themselves, 'Who was there to get
the economy moving again, and
who was standing in the way?"'
Democrats have gotten off to
a much faster start than Republi-
cans in fundraising for 2010. The
Democratic Congressional Cam-
paign Committee had $10.2 million
in the bank at the end of July, with
debts of $5.3 million. The National
Republican Congressional Com-
mittee had just $4 million in cash
and owed $2.75 million.
The economy poses the biggest
problem for Democrats, with job
losses of 2.4 million nationwide
since Obama took office.

New Haven police search for evidence linked tothe body found where missing Yale
graduate student Annie Le was last seen.
Inside job likely i
Yale student killing

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There's something you can do.
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Police say Le's death
was a targeted act, no
suspects named
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -
Clues increasingly pointed to an
inside job Monday in the slaying of
a Yale graduate studentwhose body
was found stuffed inside a wall five
days after she vanished from a
heavily secured lab building acces-
sible only to university employees.
Police Monday sought to calm
fears on the Ivy League campus,
saying the death of 24-year-old
Annie Le was a targeted act. But
they declined to name a suspect or
say why anyone would want to kill
the young woman just days before
she was tobe married.
"We're not believing it's a ran-
dom act," said officer Joe Avery, a
police spokesman. No one else is in
danger, he said, though he would
not provide details and denied
broadcast reports that police had a
suspect in custody.
Yale officials said the building
where Le worked would reopen
under increased security. Still, some
students worried about their safety.
"I'm not walking at nights by
myself anymore," said student
Nato.a Peart, 21, of Jamaica. jIt

could happen to anyone, anytime,
Michael Vishnevetsky, 21, of
New York, said he did not feel safe
when he made a late trip to his lab
Sunday in a different building. "It
felt very different than how I usu-
ally felt," he said.
Twenty-year-old Muneeb Sultan
said he's shocked that a killingcould
take place in a secure Yale building.
"It's a frightening idea that
there's a murderer walking around
on campus," said Sultan, a chemis-
try student.
Police found Le's body about 5
p.m. Sunday, the day she was to
marry Columbia University gradu-
ate student Jonathan Widawsky,
lovingly referred to on her Face-
book page as "my best friend." The
couple met as undergraduates atthe
University of Rochester and were
eagerly awaiting their planned
wedding on Long Island.
Police have said Widawsky is not
a suspect and helped detectives in
their investigation.
The building where the body
was found is part of the university
medical school complex about a
mile from Yale's main campus. It is
accessible to Yale personnel with
identification cards. Some 75 video
surveillance cameras monitor all


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