- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 15, 2010


Officials oppose birthright change

The Obama administration says it’s wrong to try to change the constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to babies born in the United States.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she is surprised that Republican congressional leaders are joining a push to reconsider the 14th Amendment instead of working with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform. Miss Napolitano said that’s “just wrong.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama agrees with Mrs. Napolitano.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said he supports holding hearings to reconsider the citizenship rights of illegal immigrants’ babies born in the U.S. But he emphasized that Washington should remain focused on border security.


Whitman adds big cash to campaign

SACRAMENTO | Billionaire Republican Meg Whitman has given her campaign for California governor another $13 million, bringing her total contribution from her personal fortune to $104 million.

The former eBay chief executive had spent nearly $100 million on her primary and general election contests through the end of June, making it the most expensive campaign in California history.

Her Democratic rival, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, has spent just $774,000, including donated services, although union-backed groups have spent nearly $6 million on ads supporting him. The latest is scheduled to begin airing Monday.

Public opinion polls show the two in a dead heat, with nearly a quarter of voters still undecided.

Word of Mrs. Whitman’s most recent contribution came in a filing late Friday with the secretary of state’s office.


Angle cites Chile for Social Security

LAS VEGAS | Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle said the nation’s Social Security system needs to be privatized, and that it was done before in the South American country of Chile.

Mrs. Angle referred to Chile at the opening of a campaign office in North Las Vegas while explaining previous statements that the United States should phase out its Social Security system.

“When I said privatize, that’s what I meant,” she said last week.

“I thought we would have to go just to the private sector for a template on how this is supposed to be done,” Mrs. Angle said. “However, I’ve since been studying, and Chile has done this.”

On Friday, the campaign said Mrs. Angle’s comments were misconstrued and she believes the federal government can manage a personalized system in which workers choose their retirement plans.

Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen said the candidate referenced Chile as an example because its system has helped that country’s economy - not because it was run privately.


Obama to mark Katrina anniversary

President Obama will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Aug. 29.

The White House said Mr. Obama will speak at Xavier University. Other administration officials who have worked on Katrina recovery efforts will also be in the region to mark the anniversary.

Mr. Obama made his first trip to New Orleans since taking office in October, holding a town-hall session with local residents. He returned to the city again this year to assess efforts to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


Hundreds with PTSD likely misdiagnosed

Hundreds of soldiers who were discharged from the Army for personality disorders may actually have been suffering from the traumatic stresses of war.

According to figures provided by the Army, the service discharged about 1,000 soldiers a year between 2005 and 2007 for having a personality disorder.

But after an article in the Nation magazine exposed the practice, the Defense Department changed its policy. It began requiring a top-level review of each case to ensure post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a brain injury wasn’t the underlying cause.

After that, the annual number of personality disorder cases dropped by 75 percent, while the number of PTSD cases soared. By 2008, more than 14,000 soldiers had been diagnosed with PTSD - twice as many as two years earlier.

Advocates for veterans say many troops may still unfairly bear the stigma of a personality disorder, making them ineligible for military health care and other benefits.


Waters disputes ethics allegations

Rep. Maxine Waters said she violated no House rules and did no wrong in connection with ethics violations, including an assertion she sought federal assistance for a bank where her husband served on the board.

The California Democrat said, “I have not violated any rules.” She also said at a Capitol Hill news conference that she’s gone “above and beyond” what was required by House rules in reporting her activities.

Mrs. Waters said Friday she had worked to improve access to federal regulators for the National Bankers Association, which represents 133 minority banks, including OneUnited Bank, where her husband also owned stock.

Mrs. Waters contends the association requested a meeting with Treasury officials, which was held on behalf of the organization, not OneUnited. That institution eventually got $12 million in bailout money.


Campaign links to racist blog

WICHITA | Republican congressional candidate Mike Pompeo apologized Thursday after his campaign posted on its Twitter feed and Facebook page a link to a blog that uses a racial slur to refer to his Democratic opponent and calls President Obama an “evil muslim communist USURPER.”

Mr. Pompeo, who is running for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, said a staffer, who he declined to identify other than saying it was the campaign’s communications director, posted the link to the wrong Google alert on Wednesday before the campaign realized the mistake and removed it an hour later.

Mr. Pompeo apologized to his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle, by phone Thursday morning, and posted an apology on both websites in which he said he spent a “great deal of time visiting with the staff person who inadvertently posted the link.”

“I am convinced there was no malice in his actions,” Mr. Pompeo wrote.

“The statements of the blogger in no way reflect my views. There is no place in campaigns or in public discourse for language of this nature,” he wrote.

Josh Wells, the campaign’s communications director, declined to say whether he posted the link and referred all questions to Mr. Pompeo’s posted apology.

Mr. Pompeo is white and Goyle is of Indian descent.

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