NEWS CLUES: ‘Boring But Important News’ Edition


NITTANY LION KING: Obama Draws 20,000 At Penn State Rally, Urges Crowd To ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling, Take Them Bowling’

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Shivering in blankets of Penn State’s colors, some 20,000 people filled a campus lawn Sunday to hear Barack Obama say he can win the Democratic nomination even if rival Hillary Rodham Clinton stays in the race. Supporters stood in long lines for hours to hear Obama ahead of the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. Some Democrats, particularly Obama’s supporters, have voiced concern that the hard-fought, drawn-out race is already hurting the party‘s chances to win in November. The Illinois senator told the crowd not to worry. “As this primary has gone on a little bit long, there have been people who’ve been voicing some frustration,” Obama said. “I want everybody to understand that this has been a great contest, great for America. It’s engaged and involved people like never before. I think it’s terrific that Senator Clinton’s supporters have been as passionate as my supporters have been because that makes the people invested and engaged in this process, and I am absolutely confident that when this primary season is over Democrats will be united.” [via ASSOCIATED PRESS/photo courtesy of SQUASH713]


Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., bowls at Pleasant Valley Recreation Center in Altoona, Pa., Saturday, March 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


9 GOP Lawmakers Breaking Ranks To Support ‘Common Sense’ Gun Legislation

gunfiring.gif HARRISBURG – Nine Philadelphia-area Republicans signaled last week they would break ranks with their caucus today and support handgun-control legislation when the state House of Representatives resumes debate on a controversial proposal. The measure, which would require reporting handguns that are lost or stolen, has been vigorously pushed by Democrats in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as a “common sense” restriction that would reduce gun violence. Through a legislative maneuver this month, gun-control proponents attached the proposal as an amendment to a separate weapons bill, setting up a possible historic full House vote on a substantive gun-control bill. That would force lawmakers of both parties to make their positions known at a time when polls show a majority of Pennsylvanians support some form of gun control and a noticeable shift is occurring among Republican lawmakers who represent the Philadelphia suburbs. [via THE INQUIRER]


Economy To Become $1 Trillion Lighter, Says Guy Who Would Know

TrillionDollarMeltdown.jpg March 31 (Bloomberg) — Be it ever so devalued, $1 trillion is a lot of dough. That’s roughly on a par with the Russian economy. More than double the market value of Exxon Mobil Corp. About nine times the combined wealth of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Yet $1 trillion is the amount of defaults and writedowns Americans will likely witness before they emerge at the far side of the bursting credit bubble, estimates Charles R. Morris in his shrewd primer, “The Trillion Dollar Meltdown.” That calculation assumes an orderly unwinding, which he doesn’t expect. “The sad truth,” he writes, “is that subprime is just the first big boulder in an avalanche of asset writedowns that will rattle on through much of 2008.” Expect the landslide to cascade through high-yield bonds, commercial mortgages, leveraged loans, credit cards and — the big unknown — credit-default swaps, Morris says. The notional value for those swaps, which are meant to insure bondholders against default, covered about $45 trillion in portfolios as of mid-2007, up from some $1 trillion in 2001, he writes. [via BLOOMBERG NEWS]


KILLADELPHIA: Two More Dead Since You Went To Bed

skeleton_running.gifTwo men were shot dead over the weekend bringing Philadelphia’s homicide count for the year to 70. The number of killings in the city remains down — about 28 percent — from last year’s total of 98 slayings to date, police said. Early Saturday morning, police were patrolling in West Philadelphia at 3:20 a.m. when they heard gunshots. Officers rushed to the 4600 block of Parish Street where they found Hasan Deloach, 30, suffering from multiple gun shot wounds. Deloach, of the 2100 block of S. Simpson Street, was taken toskeleton_running.gif the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he was pronounced dead shortly before 4 a.m., police said. Police have a suspect in custody. Late Sunday, officers on patrol in North Philadelphia heard several gun shots minutes before 11 p.m., police said.They found a black man on the 1800 block of Cecil B. Moore Ave. bleeding from his head. The man, who has not been identified pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have no motive or suspect in the shooting. [via INQUIRER]


Bush Housing Sec. To Resign, Set To Become The Next ‘Heckuva Job Brownie’

bushjackson.jpgHousing Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson is expected to resign Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night. Mr. Jackson has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is supposed to outline plans for dealing with the financial crisis set off by the risky mortgage lending. If Mr. Jackson steps down, it would remove a key player from the administration team dealing with the problem. Mr. Jackson, 62, has been under investigation by the Justice Department and the housing department’s inspector general in inquiries focusing on whether he gave lucrative housing contracts to friends. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has interviewed several of his employees. In 2004, less than two months after his confirmation as housing secretary, Mr. Jackson told a House panel that he believed poverty “is a state of mind, not a condition.” Two years later, he said in a speech that he had canceled a contract for a company after its president told him that he did not like Mr. Bush. Mr. Jackson later said he had made the story up. MORE

GAMBLE & HUD: City Claims Feds Forced Discount Land Deal For Kenny Gamble

kennygamble.jpgPresident Bush’s housing czar pressured the Philadelphia housing agency to transfer land worth $2 million to Kenny Gamble, the music producer turned developer, and retaliated when the agency would not knuckle under, a lawsuit says. The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) says the top federal housing official, Alphonso Jackson, improperly sought to steer the land to Gamble at a big discount. In court filings, Carl Greene, PHA’s executive director, says Jackson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, called Mayor John Street twice to lobby on Gamble’s behalf. HUD confirmed yesterday that Jackson, a friend of Gamble’s, had made the calls to Street. It denied it had in any way retaliated against the Philadelphia agency. In the federal suit, filed in December, Greene contends that HUD is threatening to impose new controls on how Philadelphia spends millions in federal housing grants as payback for Greene’s refusal to help Gamble. Greene said the federal crackdown could force PHA to lay off hundreds of workers, raise rents, and halt millions of dollars in construction work on low-income housing. [via INQUIRER ORIGINALLY POSTED 2/5/08]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *