April 28, 2009

McClatchy Washington Bureau Newsletter

Filed under: News — hypeplug @ 3:44 pm

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Daily News Update

8:00am Tuesday, April 28, 2009 EDT

  • Overhauling health care was going to be tough enough for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. However, the growing scare over swine flu is likely to command her attention, if, as expected, the Senate on Tuesday confirms her as secretary Health and Human Services, the final vacancy in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet.

  • The “Axis of Evil” is gone. The “global war on terrorism” is no more. “You are either with us or against us” is a thing of the past, replaced by reaching out to global foes and friends alike. Obama has reached out to more U.S. adversaries in a shorter time than perhaps any modern occupant of the Oval Office. But none of the problems that Obama inherited on Jan. 20 has gotten any better.

  • The lines that separate Iowans on gay marriage cut through neighborhoods and churches, dividing people who live in the same world but see the issue much differently.

  • Team Sarah, a social networking site of nearly 70,000 of Gov. Sarah Palin’s supporters, is hoping its members have a shot at derailing the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the president’s Health and Human Services secretary.

  • Surgical masks are rolling off the production lines as fast as they can be made at Prestige Ameritech in Richland Hills. A major U.S. producer of surgical masks, the company is ramping up to meet the demand for the protective masks amid growing concern over the spread of swine flu.

  • President Barack Obama took aim at the housing crisis during his first 100 days with a broad plan to stabilize the market by trying to prevent foreclosures, pushing down mortgage rates and offering a handsome tax credit to new buyers. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to recovery in South Florida is that banks, for the most part, still aren’t lending.

  • The Obama administration is moving to tighten a coal-mining rule loosened by his predecessor, but it might not be enough to satisfy environmentalists.

  • The Kentucky Derby has long been considered recession proof. It was not, however, Depression proof. But the Depression era saw great popularity for the Derby, three Triple Crown winners and an expansion of horse racing in general.

  • For Sacramento-area Pontiac fans, the announced departure of General Motors’ “excitement” brand is a bitter pill to swallow.

  • As more swine flu cases were reported Monday from Mexico to Spain and New York to New Zealand, cruise lines pondered itineraries, airlines shifted refund policies and South Florida travelers debated canceling vacations. The death toll in Mexico rose to 159, and the U.S. State Department advised Americans to defer all nonessential travel there.


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