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September 09, 2010 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-09

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0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 3A

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 3A

Court won't order
California to defend
Proposition 8
California's highest court has
refused to order Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Attorney
General Jerry Brown to appeal a
ruling that overturned the state's
gay marriage ban.
The state Supreme Court yes-
terday denied a conservative legal
group's request to force the officials
to defend voter-approved Proposi-
tion 8.
The court did not explain why
it turned down the request by the
. Pacific Justice Institute.
Earlier Wednesday, lawyers for
Brown and Schwarzenegger said
the attorney general and governor
have discretion to choose which
laws they challenge or defend.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn
Walker struck down Proposition 8
last month as a violation ofgay Cali-
fornians' civil rights.
Illegal power
connections probed
in Detroit fires
DTE Energy Co. says it is inves-
tigating whether illegal electric-
ity connections led to some of the
fires that burned dozens of houses
and garages in pockets of neighbor-
hoods across Detroit.
The Detroit-based utility says
yesterday in a release that energy
theft creates the potential for falling
power lines.
Detroit fire officials says downed
lines may have spawned eight fires
Tuesday afternoon. Two other fires
may have resulted from arson.
DTE says winds and gusts of
up to 50 mph blew trees and limbs
onto power lines, causing outages to
more than 50,000 customers.
The utility says it responded
Tuesday to a report of "flicker-
ing lights, low voltage and poten-
tial energy theft" on Robinwood, a
street heavily damaged by the fires,
and that no downed wire was found.
Army opens high-
speed test track for
war vehicles
The Army has a new test track
* in Maryland to study war-fighting
vehicles operating at high speeds.
An Abrams tank, a Humvee and
other vehicles thundered down the
4.5-mile oval yesterday at Aberdeen
Proving Ground north of Baltimore
during a ceremony.
The Department of Defense says
the oval is the military's first contig-
uous, flat track for sustained high-
speed vehicle testing.
Engineers hope to use the track
to find ways to reduce the number of
motor vehicle accidents, the leading
cause of U.S. military fatalities.
Officials say military convoys
in Iraq and Afghanistan must fre-
quently travel long distances at over
70 mph to counter enemy threats.

But until now, the military has had
no way to test all its vehicles at high
speeds for extended periods.
CARACAS, Venezuela
Chavez accuses foes
* of power sabotage
President Hugo Chavez accused
his political adversaries yesterday
of sabotaging Venezuela's electric-
ity grid as part of a campaign to chip
away at his popularity before legis-
lative elections in two weeks.
Chavez didn't provide any evi-
dence supporting his allegations
about what is behind the country's
troubles with power outages. He
has made similar claims in the past,
also without giving any evidence.
Opposition leaders argue power
outages are the result of the govern-
ment's failed efforts to upgrade the
electricity grid.
Chavez called on federal police
and intelligence agents to arrest
those responsible for the purported
sabotage, saying his government
would "confront and neutralize" the
perpetrators "to guarantee peace
and calm" before the Sept.26 vote.
"We are facing a wave of sabo-
tage, I have no doubt," Chavez said
during a televised speech.
Authorities have not arrested
anyone for sabotaging the grid,
power lines or electricity plants.
Government opponents deny they
are sabotaging the power grid, say-
ing Chavez's administration has not
invested enough in electrical infra-
structure or built enough new power
plants to satisfy growing demand.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

L.A. police
face protests

President Barack Obama waves after delivering remarks on the economy yesterday at Cuyahoga Community College West
Campus in Parma, Ohio.
Obama won't yielo
tax hike for wealthiest

Local residents in
uproar over fatal
shooting on Sunday
mobilized yesterday to avoid more
mayhem on the streets after being
taken by surprise at consecutive
nights of violent protests sparked
by the fatal shooting of a knife-
wielding man.
The police chief, city officials
and consuls general from three
Latin American countries sched-
uled a community meeting as
senior officers tried to reach out to
residents of the central Los Ange-
les neighborhood where the man
was shot.
Sunday's killing of Manuel
Jamines, 37, has turned into a ral-
lying point as community mem-
bers, aided by outsiders, have
taken to the streets for two nights
running and used the death to
highlight past injustices and vent
ongoing frustrations.
Police have defended the kill-
ing and said they've been taken
aback by the level of protest for
what appeared like a clear-cut case
of justifiable use of force. Each
year, the LAPD is involved in up
to about 40 shootings - those that
typically cause controversy involve
unarmed or surrendered suspects.
Residents outraged over the
killing have said police should have
handled the situation differently
and say the surprise by depart-
ment brass shows that the force is
out of touch with the people.
Three bicycle officers were
flagged down Sunday by people
concerned about a man wielding
a knife. The officers approached
the suspect and told him in Span-
ish and English to put down the
Instead, Jamines raised the

knife above his head and lunged
at Officer Frank Hernandez, a
13-year veteran of the department,
said Capt. Kris Pitcher, who heads
the Los Angeles Police Depart-
ment's force investigation division.
Hernandez shot Jamines twice
in the head. He died at the scene.
Several witnesses later told police
Jamines had been drinking.
"They could have used pepper
spray or a Taser gun," said Salva-
dor Sanabria, executive director
of nonprofit community group El
Rescate. "The community ... react-
ed this way because they thought
there was another way to deal with
a drunk guy."
Pitcher said Jamines was an
illegal immigrant from Guatemala.
The day laborer was carrying a
switchblade knife with a serrated,
3-inch blade. The police captain
pledged an open and transparent
investigation into the shooting.
The other officers involved
were Steven Rodriguez and Paris
Pineda,both5-year veterans of the
department. All the officers were
Latino and speak Spanish.
Police said the knife was cov-
ered in blood, and DNA tests were
being carried out to determine
whose it was. Officers received
unconfirmed reports Jamines may
have attacked someone before
police arrived, Pitcher said.
The officers involved were
placed on administrative leave, a
standard move after shootings.
An estimated 300 protesters
who gathered outside the local
police station pelted officers Tues-
day night with eggs, rocks and
bottles and set a trash bin on fire.
Others dropped household items
from apartment buildings.
Officers fired atleast two rounds
of foam projectiles at demonstra-
tors and 22 people were arrested,
mainly for failure to disperse and
unlawful assembly.

President Obama
unveils plans to
grow businesses,
CLEVELAND (AP) - Political-
ly weakened but refusing to bend,
President Barack Obama insisted
Wednesday that Bush-era tax cuts
be cut off for the wealthiest Amer-
icans, joining battle with Republi-
cans - and some fellow Democrats
- just two months before bruising
midterm elections.
Singling out House GOP leader
John Boehner in his home state,
Obama delivered a searing attack
on Republicans for advocating
"the same philosophy that led to
this mess in the first place: cut
more taxes for millionaires and cut
more rules for corporations."
Obama rolled out a trio of new
plans to help spur jobygrowth and
invigorate the sluggish national
economic recovery. They would
expand and permanently extend
a research and development tax
credit that lapsed in 2009, allow
businesses to write off 100 percent
of their investments in equipment
and plants through 2011 and pump
$50 billion into highway, rail, air-
port and other infrastructure proj-
The package was assembled
by the president's economic team
after it became clear that the
recovery was running out of steam.
There was a political component,
too: With Democrats in danger
of losing control of the House in
November, Obama is under heavy
pressure to show voters that he
and his party are ready to do more
to getcthe economy moving and get
millions of jobless Americans back
to work.
However, none of yesterday's
proposals, nor Obama's call for
allowing tax rates to rise for the
wealthiest Americans, seems
likely to be acted on by Congress
before the elections, reflecting the

battering Obama and congressio-
nal Democrats have taken in pub-
lic opinion polls.
Obama made one of his stron-
gest appeals yet to allow the
tax cuts passed under President
George W. Bush - in 2001 and 2003
- to expire at the end of the year
on schedule, but just for individu-
als earning more than $200,000
annually or joint filers earning
over $250,000. The changes would
affect dividend and capital gains
rates and various other tax ben-
efits as well as income from wages
and salaries.
The president's strategy - push-
ing for legislation to save some
tax cuts but not all - carries its
own risks. Since all the tax breaks
would expire automatically at the
end ofthe year if Congress failed to
act, that could result in sweeping
increases for taxpayers at every
income level - a major blow to
recovery hopes and a colossal dose
of blame for voters to parcel cwt to
lawmakers and the White House.
Some influential Democrats,
and Obama's own former budget
director, Peter Orszag, have sug-
gested a compromise might be
necessary - one to temporarily
extend all the tax cuts, perhaps for
a year or two - given the current
election-year animosity between
the two parties.
But in his remarks in Cleveland,
Obama strongly signaled he wasn't
about to sign off on any such deal.
"Let me be clear to Mr. Boehner
and everyone else. We should not
hold middle class tax cuts hostage
any longer," the president said. The
administration "is ready this week
to give tax cuts to every American
making $250,000 or less," he said.
It was a slight misstatement of his
own position, since the $250,000
would apply to household income.
The threshold for individuals
would be $200,000.
White House officials said
Cleveland was picked as the
speech site expressly because
Boehner, who probably would
become House speaker if Repub-

licans take back control of the
chamber in November, laid out his
party's economic agenda here in a
fiery Aug. 24 speech.
At that time, the Ohio Repub-
lican called for Obama to fire key
economic advisers and to support
an extension of all the Bush tax
Boehner kept up the attack yes-
terday. "If the president is really
serious about focusing on jobs, a
good start would be taking the
advice of his recently departed
budget director and freezing all
tax rates, coupled with cutting of
federal spending to where it was
before all the bailouts, government
takeovers and 'stimulus' spending
sprees," he said after Obama spoke.
Earlier, Boehner was even more
specific on ABC's "Good Morning
America," saying Congress should
freeze all tax rates for two years
and pare back federal spending to
2008 levels. The deep recession
began in December 2007.
White House press secretary
Robert Gibbs noted that keeping
the Bush tax cuts in effect just for
two more years would represent a
change from past calls by Boeh-
ner to keep them in place perma-
"My question for him is: Are
they abandoning the permanent
or are they going with the two-
year plan? I've seen him saying
permanent so many times that I
tend to believe that," Gibbs told
reporters aboard Air Force One.
"That's his plan and I think that
continues to be his plan."
Republicans, and some Demo-
crats, argue that the fragile state
of the economy makes this a poor
time to raise taxes on anyone - and
that increases could stifle wealth-
ier people's appetite for spending.
Obama argued that the rich
are more likely to save additional
money than spend it.
And he said the struggling
U.S. economy can't afford to
spend $700 billion to keep lower
tax rates in place for the nation's
highest earners.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will not seek re-election in the upcoming election.
Chicag~o mayoral
race remnains oipen

Environmental activist tapped
to oversee anti-carp campaign

Obama selects
former official to
stop Asian carp
CHICAGO (AP) - John Goss,
an environmental activist and
former state official from Indi-
ana, was appointed yesterday as
the Obama administration's point
man in the fight to prevent Asian
carp fromgaininga foothold in the
Great Lakes.
Goss will oversee efforts by
federal, state and local agencies
to halt the advance of bighead
and silver carp, which are on the
verge of invading Lake Michigan
through Chicago-area waterways.
Scientists say if the voracious carp
become established in the lakes,
they could damage the food chain
and a $7 billion regional fishing
Goss has served as executive
director of the National Wild-
life Federation's Indiana affiliate
for four years. Previously, he was
director of the state Department of

Natural Resources and served as
vice chairman of the Great Lakes
Commission, an agency represent-
ing the region's eight states.
Goss "will help to ensure coor-
dination among government
agencies and the most effective
response across all levels of gov-
ernment to this threat," said Nancy
Sutley, head of the White House
Council on Environmental Qual-
He also will be Sutley's primary
adviser on the carp problem and be
in charge of carrying out a $78.5
million federal effort to control the
carp announced in February. The
plan calls for a series of technolog-
ical and infrastructure upgrades,
such as strengthening an electron-
ic barrier on the man-made water-
way linking Lake Michigan to the
Illinois River.
Critics say the plan lacks clear
goals and timetables and is weak
because it does not endorse clos-
ing navigational locks and gates in
Chicago that could give the carp an
opening to the lake - an issue that
has sharply divided the region.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio,
Minnesota and Pennsylvania have
filed a federal lawsuit seeking to
shut down the locks and perma-
nently sever the link between the
Great Lakes and Mississippi River
watersheds. At a hearing on the
case Wednesday in Chicago, a top
official with the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers testified that electri-
cal barriers are the agency's best
defense against the Asian carp, but
aren't perfect.
Gen. John Peabody said metal-
hulled ships can disrupt a small
part of a barrier's electrical field.
Asked by an attorney for the states
whether a fish could get through
the barrier by swimmingclose to a
barge, Peabody said, "It's possible.
We consider itcvery unlikely."
Peabody, who commands the
Great Lakes and Ohio River Divi-
sion of the Corps, said the equip-
ment and barriers needed to
permanently close the locks would
cost millions of dollars that other-
wise could pay for repairs to locks
and dams in such bad shape they
could fail.

Many speculate that
Rahm Emanuel may
enter the race
CHICAGO (AP) - Months of
political jockeying began in ear-
nest yesterday as speculation grew
about who would try to succeed
Mayor Richard M. Daley as leader
of the nation's third-largest city,
including one-time aide and cur-
rent White House chief of staff
Rahm Emanuel.
White House Press Secretary
Robert Gibbs said yesterday he
has "no doubt" that Emanuel will
weigh his future options now that
the race for Chicago mayor is wide
open. Emanuel has made no secret
of wanting to run for Chicago
mayor one day.
"Obviously something like that
doesn't come around a lot," Gibbs
told reporters traveling with the
president to Ohio. "I presume that
Rahm will take some time and
make a decision about that."
For now, Emanuel is focused-on
being President Barack Obama's
chief of staff, and, "the enormous
number of tasks we have in front
of us as an administration," said
Gibbs, who hadn't spoken with
Emanuel about his plans and he
wasn't sure if he'd talked with the
president. Emanuel represented
Chicago in Congress before going
to work for Obama.
Several aldermen are said to be

mulling their chances. And Cook
County Sheriff Tom Dart is con-
sidered a strongcontender.
Then there are U.S. Reps. Jesse
Jackson Jr. - who has considered
face-offs with Daley inthe pastbut
then didn't run - and Lois Gutier-
rez, who could draw support from
the city's substantial Hispanic
Daley, who presided over the
City Council a day after announc-
ing he wouldn't seek a seventh
term, said voters must decide who
they want asthe next mayor, which
he called "the best job in America,"
and that he will not endorse any-
one to replace him.
"It won't be Rich daley to make
that decision," he said.
Aldermen crowded the hall-
ways outside the chamber toassess
who might have the best chance of
succeeding Daley and what kind of
mayor the city will need.
"I don't think we have to have
a strong-arm type of mayor," said
Alderman Sandi Jackson, who has
been named as a possible contend-
er, along with her husband, Jack-
son Jr. "We're in dire economic
times so it would behoove them to
bring everybody to the table and to
find ways to work with everyone."
Alderman Ed Burke, a longtime
Daley rival and influential finance
committee chairman, dodged the
question of whether he would run.
"Oh, we'll have to give that some
thought," he said. "I think right
now the...line is pretty crowded."

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