February 15, 2011 |
The Republican-led House passed a short-term extension of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Monday, temporarily bypassing opposition from conservative and "tea party"-inspired lawmakers as it sought to keep the terrorist surveillance program from lapsing at month's end. The Obama administration prefers a longer extension through 2013, as a Senate measure would provide. But that legislation is likely to face resistance in the House, where GOP leaders were blindsided last week when conservatives joined Democrats to defeat it. Opponents see the provisions as an overreach of federal authority into private lives.
January 18, 2011 |
In his push to scrap onerous regulations on companies, President Obama is not only trying to patch a strained relationship with business leaders but also displaying a new strategy to bypass a hostile Congress and protect his political interests. Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that aims to weed out rules that administration officials admitted could be burdensome for companies struggling to recover from the deep recession. The executive order preempts House Republicans who had planned to make an extensive review of federal regulations their next major priority after an attempt to repeal Obama's healthcare law. By invoking his executive authority, Obama showed that he no longer sees Congress as the main arena for advancing his agenda, as he did when his own party controlled both the House and the Senate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2010 |
Crunching through fallen leaves in a sprawling walnut grove, John Tos frets about the high-speed railroad headed his way. He gets why many in this part of the Central Valley are excited about a construction project that could mean tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity. But a newly selected route cleaves through prime cropland his family has farmed for 94 years. Fields would be split, complex irrigation systems disrupted and operations complicated, says the grower with a graying Abe Lincoln beard.
December 26, 2010 |
Joe Konrath can't wait for his books to go out of print. When that happens, the 40-year-old crime novelist plans to reclaim the copyrights from his publisher, Hyperion Books, and self-publish them on Amazon.com, Apple Inc.'s iBooks and other online outlets. That way he'll be able to collect 70% of the sale price, compared with the 6% to 18% he receives from Hyperion. As for future novels, Konrath plans to self-publish all of them in digital form without having to leave his house in Schaumburg, Ill. "I doubt I'll ever have another traditional print deal," said the author of "Whiskey Sour," "Bloody Mary" and other titles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2010 |
A drilling rig bit into the bed of California's biggest river, hauling up sage-green tubes of clay and sand the consistency of uncooked fudge. The rig workers rolled the muck into strips, dried it in sugar-sized cubes and crushed them under their palms. They packed slices into carefully labeled canning jars for testing at an engineering lab. They were taking the river bottom samples for a $13-billion project that would shunt water around ? or under ? the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the big aqueducts that ferry supplies south.
November 20, 2010 |
He was the biggest man in town. Joe McDonnell always got the scoop, whether it was Pat Riley being fired or Wayne Gretzky being traded, Magic Johnson's comeback or Mike Scioscia's contract, no secret too deep, no detail too obscure. Athletes loved him. Sources trusted him. Fans followed him. Nobody beat him. He was the biggest man in town. Joe McDonnell weighed 740 pounds. That is not a misprint. Visiting players would gasp. Insensitive fans would jeer. Everywhere he lumbered, somebody would stare.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2010 |
Two Los Angeles city workers accused of defrauding the Department of Water and Power pocketed thousands of dollars by marking up the cost of furniture and other materials delivered to the offices used by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's five-member DWP commission, officials said Friday. Over the past two years, the utility obtained new office furniture for the utility's executives, even though there was no money in its budget for such expenditures, said Joe Ramallo, a spokesman for the utility.
October 15, 2010 |
A new bridge soaring across the Colorado River uniting Arizona and Nevada was formally dedicated Thursday, eliminating a 75-mile detour around Hoover Dam. Named for heroes from different wars, the bridge will be the key part of a faster route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is the Western Hemisphere's longest single-span concrete arch bridge and one of the highest in the world, officials said. The 1,900-foot bridge, which is 890 feet above the river, is part of a $240-million four-lane bypass that will shift traffic away from the two-lane U.S. 93 across Hoover Dam. It is about 1,500 feet south of the dam and crosses over Black Canyon.
October 14, 2010 |
Named for heroes from different wars, the bridge designed to speed traffic by bypassing the area around the Hoover Dam was formally dedicated Thursday morning. Top officials including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dedicated the bridge, which soars across the Colorado River uniting Arizona and Nevada and will be the key part of a new, faster route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is the Western Hemisphere's longest single-span concrete arch bridge and one of the tallest in the world, officials said.