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The Austin Times

Volume:16 Issue 23

THEAUSTINTIMES.COM

INSIDE

Friday. May 17. 2013

YOUR MULTICULTURAL NEWS SOURCE

Texas tornado ravages community O.J. takes the stand in Vegas

Dr. Dre raises money for youth education, pg 4 A.G. Holder says he didn’t make the AP decision, pg 2

Tougher drunken driving threshold recommended, pg 3

HEALTH Strokes happen to the young, recognize the signs, pg 5

Changing mother’s aid limits juice for kids, pg 5

OPINIONS Make gun use among kids a child safety issue, pg 7 Michael Steele: Republicans face crossroads, pg 7

Once considered public enemy number 1, O.J. Simpson, former NFL great and notorious defendant in the murder of his ex-wife in the trial of the century finally took the stand Wednesday to ask for a new trial in his kidnapping conviction. Read more on page 4.

Police arrest man in Mother’s Day parade shooting Police in New Orleans have released surveillance footage of one of at least three suspects wanted in connection with the afternoon shooting that injured 19 people at a Mother’s Day parade. In the footage, posted to YouTube, a man wearing a white T-shirt and dark pants can be seen standing on the side of a street in the city’s 7th Ward. The man appears to open fire on the crowd, which scatters, and the man flees. Police say most of the victims—10 men, seven women, a 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl—were only grazed by gunfire, but three of them arrived at the hospital in critical condition and underwent immediate surgery, according to NOLA.com. The 10-year-olds “had graze wounds to the body and are in good condition,” police said. A separate, choppy video posted to the social video sharing app Vine appears to capture the moment shots were fired. New Orleans Police and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are offering a $10,000

reward for information leading to “the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible for this crime.” Police also warned that anyone withholding information or helping “harbor, conceal, or aid the offender, knowing or having reasonable ground to believe that he has committed the felony, and with the intent that he may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment” could be charged as an accessory. The annual parade was attended by about 400 people led by a contingent of police officers. “The specialness of the day doesn’t appear to interrupt the relentless drumbeat of violence,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a news conference late Sunday outside a hospital where the victims were being treated. “These kinds of incidents are not going to go unanswered. We’re going to be very, very aggressive. There were hundreds of people out there today. So somebody knows who did this, and the way we’re going to stop the violence together in this city is everybody come together.” New Orleans has a history of street violence, and federal officials say there is no indication the shooting was an act of terrorism.

ATWS - Officials and residents in northcentral Texas had to wait until daybreak to assess the damage caused by a string of tornadoes that touched down Wednesday night, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless. At least seven people remained unaccounted for Thursday morning, Hood County spokesman Tye Bell said. In Granbury, Texas, about 65 miles southwest of Dallas, about 50 people were injured, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said at a midnight briefing. Of those, 14 were admitted to the hospital, and two were transferred to a hospital in nearby Fort Worth. Another 50 gathered at an elementary school in the town of about 8,000 to “have their injured children examined by paramedics,” the Associated Press said. Some of the dead were found in houses, Deeds said. Others “were found around houses.” “There was a report that two of these people that they found were not even near their homes,” he added. “So we’re going to have to search the area out there.” The hardest-hit neighborhood in Granbury—Rancho Brazos—were constructed by Habitat for Humanity. Behind one house in the storm’s path sits a detached garage stripped of much of its aluminum siding, the door caved in and its roof torn off. Siding was scattered up to 50 yards away, and bits of fiberglass insulation draped on a fence. A tree behind the house was stripped of most of its branches, and a vacant doublewide mobile home on an adjoining lot was torn apart. “We were all, like, hugging in the bathtub and that’s when it started happening,” Elizabeth Tovar, a Granbury resident, told the news service. “I heard glass shattering and I knew my house was going. We looked up and the whole ceiling was gone.” According to the National Weather Service, another tornado about a mile wide tore through Cleburne, Texas.

Kermit Gosnell jury cites greed in conviction of abortion BY KEVIN DOLAK Jurors who found Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder for killing three new born infants said today that his “greed” was a major element in their verdict. The jurors spoke after Gosnell, 72, was sentenced to a third life sentence. They are to be served consecutively, ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. The doctor was accused of routinely carrying out late term abortions, but was convicted of “snipping” the spinal cords of three babies who were born alive. Jury foreman David Misko explained today outside the courthouse what made the jury decide on first degree murder. “The premeditation of it,” he said. “It was just business as usual with him, he snipped the necks no matter what happened, so it seems that was what it was the premeditation of the babies.” Juror Joseph Carroll emerged from the courthouse to explain the jury’s deliberations. “Most of us felt it came down to a greed factor. The services … it was like a machine. They came in, he gave them a service, and bam, the women were gone,” Carroll said. Juror Sarah Glinski said today that the hardest part of the trial was viewing the images of the

lifeless new borns. “Seeing those photos and just having to say to myself, ‘This did happen to those kids. There were children that died at the hands of this man.’ That was what was hard for me. To admit that that kind of evil exists in this world,” she said. Gosnell was handed two life sentences Tuesday after a deal was struck with prosecutors which spared him a potential death sentence. The third sentence was handed down today. Gosnell was also sentenced to 2.5 to 5 years in prison for the 2009 overdose death of a female patient. He was cleared of the “snipping” death of a fourth infant. The guilty verdicts against

Gosnell came on Monday, the jury’s 10th day of deliberations. The Philadelphia clinic run by Gosnell has been described as a “pill mill” for drug addicts by day, and an “abortion mill” by night. When Gosnell aborted the fetus of a teen who was nearly 30 weeks pregnant, he allegedly joked the baby was so big it could “walk to the bus.” For two months, the jury heard often grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell’s staff. Eight staffers have pleaded guilty to several crimes. Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors. Gosnell ran the Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia for decades until

February 2010, when FBI agents raided his clinic looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing. Instead they found, as reported in a nearly 300 page grand jury report released in 2011, a filthy, decrepit “house of horrors.” Blood was on the floor, the clinic reeked of urine and bags of fetal remains were stacked in freezers. The clinic was shut down and Gosnell’s medical license was suspended after the raid. Despite repeated complaints to state officials over the years -- as well as 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell -- investigators said in the report that state regulators had conducted five inspections since the clinic had opened in 1979.


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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he didn’t make AP phone records decision BY DAVID INGRAM AND TABASSUM ZAKARIA U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he did not make the controversial decision to secretly seize telephone records of the Associated Press but defended his department’s actions in the investigation of what he called a “very, very serious leak.” The decision to seek phone records of one of the world’s largest news-gathering organizations was made by Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole, Holder said. Holder, speaking at a press conference, said he recused himself from the matter to avoid a potential conflict of interest because he was interviewed by the FBI as part of the same leak investigation that targeted the AP records. That seizure, denounced by critics as a gross intrusion into freedom of the press, has created an uproar in Washington and led to questions over how the Obama administration is balancing the need for national security with privacy rights. Combined with a separate furor over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny, it also is stoking fears of excessive government intrusion under President Barack Obama. The White House has said it had no advance knowledge of the IRS or Justice Department actions. Lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday criticized the Justice Department’s decision to obtain the AP records. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the action “inexcusable.” But in a letter to AP president Gary Pruitt, Cole on Tuesday defended the department’s unusual action against a member of the media, saying it was a necessary step in the year-old criminal probe of leaks of classified information. A law enforcement official said the probe is related to information in a May 7, 2012, AP story about an operation, conducted by the CIA and allied intelligence agencies, that stopped a Yemen-based al Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb on an airplane headed for the United States. Cole declined Pruitt’s request to return the records. “We strive in every case to strike the proper balance between the public’s interest in the free flow of information and the public’s

interest in the protection of national security and effective enforcement of our laws,” he wrote. “We believe we have done so in this matter.” Pruitt, in a statement responding to Cole’s letter, said “it does not adequately address our concerns,” which include that the subpoena’s scope was “overbroad under the law” and that the AP was not notified in advance. The AP story at issue, he said, contradicted White House assertions that there was no credible threat to the American people in May 2012 around the first anniversary of the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Cole disclosed that investigators conducted more than 550 interviews and reviewed tens of thousands of documents in the probe before seizing the toll records of AP phone calls. Holder said he did not have specific knowledge about the formulation of the subpoena for the AP records, but does not believe the Justice Department did anything wrong. PUT AMERICANS ‘AT RISK’ “This was ... a very, very serious leak,” he said. “I have been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks that I have ever seen,” Holder said, speaking at an unrelated press conference on Medicare fraud. “It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,” he said. “And trying to determine who was responsible for that, I think, required very aggressive action.” In June 2012, Holder ordered two U.S. attorneys to pursue separate leak investigations, the subject of which he did not identify. The probes followed calls by Congress to crack down on national security leaks after the Associated Press report on the Yemen plot and a New York Times report on details of the Stuxnet computer virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. The AP said it was informed last Friday that the Justice Department had gathered records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to the

Two million fewer U.S. uninsured to gain health coverage: Congressional researchers President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform law will extend coverage to 2 million fewer uninsured Americans than expected only a few months ago, congressional researchers said on Tuesday. A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said 25 million people who currently lack insurance will obtain coverage through subsidized marketplaces or an expanded Medicaid program over the coming decade, down from a February CBO estimate of 27 million people. The office attributed the drop to a change in administration policy that will exempt 500,000 to 1 million more people from the law’s individual mandate, which levies a fine on those who fail to obtain health coverage beginning in 2014. There are nearly 49 million uninsured people in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. The number of uninsured expected to gain coverage under the law has been declining since last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. The broader mandate exemption, and the accompanying reduction in revenue from fines, is one factor behind a $39 billion rise in the net cost of providing coverage under the law. The law offers tax credits to help low-to-moderate income people pay premiums and rich subsidies to states that expand their Medicaid program for the poor. Coverage provisions are now expected to cost a net $1.36 trillion. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is due to take full effect on January 1. But the administration faces mounting political pressure from Republicans who want it repealed and Democrats who worry that implementation could fail just as the 2014 midterm congressional election campaign gets under way. The new online marketplaces, or exchanges, and Medicaid are expected to provide coverage to 37 million people overall by 2023, including employees of small businesses and consumers who switch from plans in the individual market. The total includes about 1 million fewer exchange beneficiaries, with a roughly equal-size gain in Medicaid recipients. With fewer people expected to pay fines for remaining uninsured, the CBO said mandate revenues will fall by $7 billion, to $45 billion, compared with February’s estimates. The agency also expects a $58 billion drop in excise tax revenue on private insurance plans and $10 billion less from penalties on employers, due in part to an expected increase in employmentbased insurance.

news agency and its reporters, covering April and May of last year. Pruitt, in a letter to Holder on Monday, called the seizure a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news-gathering operations. Five reporters and an editor involved in the AP story about the Yemen plot were among those whose phone records were obtained by the government, the AP said. Reuters reported that on May 7, 2012, Obama’s top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, who is now CIA director, held a small, private teleconference to brief former counterterrorism advisers who are TV commentators and told them the plot was never a threat to U.S. public safety because Washington had “inside control” over it. One of the former officials on the call later said on network TV that the U.S. government had indicated implicitly that “they had somebody on the inside who wasn’t going to let it happen.” U.S. and European authorities later acknowledged the alleged plot had been discovered because an informant had been planted inside the conspiracy by MI5, Britain’s principal counterterrorism agency. The original AP story made no mention of an undercover informant or “control” over the operation by the United States or its allies. Brennan acknowledged during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had been interviewed by prosecutors in connection with two leak inquiries, including the Yemen probe. He told Congress that he had not leaked any classified information. Several prominent Republicans last year called for a crackdown on leaks, with some

suggesting the White House was orchestrating them to burnish Obama’s security credentials and chances for re-election in November. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee, when asked whether Republicans had the type of action taken against the AP in mind, said: “No, I don’t think anybody wants to take away the freedom of the press. ... You can’t be free if you’ve got government monitoring your calls, and your interviews. How is that a free press?” Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, told reporters at the Capitol, “I don’t know who did it, why it was done, but it’s inexcusable, and there is no way to justify this.” The Obama administration has been aggressive in combating national security leaks, conducting at least a half-dozen prosecutions - more than under all other previous presidents combined, according to tallies by multiple news organizations. Mark Corallo, a Justice Department spokesman between 2002 and 2005, said that during his tenure, the rule was that any request from any part of the Justice Department for the issuing of subpoenas against a news organization had to be submitted to his office for approval. Corallo said that of “dozens” of requests from prosecutors for subpoenas directed against news organizations, he approved one during his tenure. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that President Barack Obama “believes that the press as a rule needs to have an unfettered ability to pursue investigative journalism.” “He is also committed, as president and as a citizen, to the proposition that we cannot allow classified information, that can do harm to our national security interests or do harm to individuals, to be leaked,” Carney said. “Certainly there have been lots of presidents upset about leaks and there have been a number of chief executives who have gone to rather extraordinary lengths,” said Darrell West, director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution think tank. “But I think people believed that Obama was more committed to civil liberties so it’s actually more shocking that he did it rather that someone like (George W.) Bush and (Richard) Nixon because people had higher expectations of him,” he said.

We Got Issues!


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Republicans target IRS employees in Tea Party probe Tougher drunken driving threshold recommened (ATWS) - Republicans investigating the Internal Revenue Service want to question five employees about the tax agency’s targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative groups, an effort that a key lawmaker said was part of a fact-finding mission. “It appears that a number of IRS employees played key roles in carrying out the improper scrutiny,” Republican Representative Darrell Issa, head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a letter on Wednesday to the IRS requesting interviews with the employees. A congressional aide said the five workers sought for questioning were chosen based on a timeline from the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration report that revealed the stepped-up IRS scrutiny and listed the job roles involved in the activity. It was unclear whether these employees had any role in any wrongdoing. The IRS, which did not respond to a request for comment on Issa’s letter, has not released the names of employees who were involved in an effort launched in 2010 in Cincinnati to target Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status. The agency has said it will cooperate with any inquiries. The targeting effort eventually came to the knowledge of top IRS officials in Washington, one of whom acknowledged it and apologized publicly Friday. Faced with a widening scandal, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that the acting director of the IRS, Steven Miller, would resign. In a letter to employees, Miller praised the agency’s work and said he was stepping down to restore confidence in the IRS. Republicans are looking for bigger culprits. “The IRS low-level employees who made these egregious decisions need to be dealt with, but we also need to find out who directed them to do it and how high up does it go and who knew about it?” Republican Senator Rob Portman in an interview. One of the employees sought by Issa is Holly Paz, the Washington-based director of rulings and agreements for the tax exempt division, who contributed at least $2,000 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008, according to federal election records. A congressional aide said there was greater interest in her among the group because she appears to play multiple roles throughout the inspector general’s timeline. According to the inspector general, the director of rulings and agreements learned of

the first set of “sensitive case reports” under the controversial checklist in April 2010. In 2012 Paz announced at a tax conference steps the IRS was taking to question large taxexempt groups about their political activities. Paz said at the time that the IRS was looking at whether such groups were complying with the law, which does not allow exemptions for groups primarily focused on political activities, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing her comments at the conference. Paz didn’t name any specific groups. The Journal named Crossroads GPS, the giant organizing committee co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, as one group the IRS would examine. Priorities USA, a rival started by Obama aides, is another of the biggest of these groups. Another employee Issa wants to question is Greg Muthert, who told Reuters he is a 28-year veteran agent in the Cincinnati office. Muthert declined to elaborate on his role with the IRS and to what extent, if any, he was involved in the controversial flagging of certain groups. He defended the work of the Cincinnati office. Issa also asked to speak with Joseph Herr. A Tea Party group, the Ohio Liberty Coalition, told Reuters that Herr handled its application for tax-exempt status and asked questions the group considered inappropriate. It was not clear why they were deemed inappropriate by the group. Some Tea Party groups complained to members of Congress about the extensive questioning from the IRS. In letters the groups had complained that the IRS was seeking lists of donors and many documents. Hofacre’s letter shows that the group was asked for a list of speakers and their qualifications for events, resumes for each board member, a list of questions the group asked political candidates at so-called job interviews and a list of who was invited to those events. “They were personal and they didn’t seem to have too much bearing on whether or not we could be tax exempt,” Huls said. The group stopped the process “because then we thought that we would lose our rights of free speech,”

(AP) — States should cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half— from .08 blood alcohol level to .05_matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries, a federal safety board recommended Tuesday. That’s about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 pounds, two for a 160-pound man. More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 alcohol content standard or lower, according to a report by the staff of the National Transportation Safety Board. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped, the report said. NTSB officials said it wasn’t their intention to prevent drivers from having a glass of wine with dinner, but they acknowledged that under a threshold as low as .05 the safest thing for people who have only one or two drinks is not to drive at all. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 80-proof alcohol in most studies. Alcohol concentration levels as low as .01 have been associated with driving-related performance impairment, and levels as low as .05 have been associated with significantly increased risk of fatal crashes, the board said. New approaches are needed to combat drunken driving, which claims the lives of about a third of the more than 30,000 people killed each year on U.S highways — a level of carnage that that has remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade and a half, the board said. “Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. “Alcohol-impaired deaths are not accidents, they are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.” An alcohol concentration threshold of .05 is likely to meet strong resistance from states, said Jonathan Adkins, an official with the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. “It was very difficult to get .08 in most states so lowering it again won’t be popular,”

Adkins said. “The focus in the states is on high (blood alcohol content) offenders as well as repeat offenders. We expect industry will also be very vocal about keeping the limit at .08.” Even safety groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and AAA declined Tuesday to endorse NTSB’s call for a .05 threshold. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets national safety policy, stopped also short of endorsing the board’s recommendation. “NHTSA is always interested in reviewing new approaches that could reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, and will work with any state that chooses to implement a .05 BAC law to gather further information on that approach,” the safety administration said in a statement. The board recommended NHTSA established “incentive grants” designed to encourage states to adopt the lower threshold. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has estimated that 7,082 deaths would have been prevented in 2010 if all drivers on the road had blood alcohol content below .08 percent. The lower threshold was one of nearly 20 recommendations made by the board, including that states adopt measures to ensure more widespread use of use of alcohol ignition interlock devices. Those require a driver to breathe into a tube, much like the breathalyzers police ask suspected drunken drivers to use.


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Arts & Entertainment

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has canceled some upcoming performances due to unknown “medical reasons.” The 71-year-old singer was scheduled to perform May 20 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and on May 26 at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

MJ’s ‘One’ show in Vegas: More of a good thing BY HANNAH DRIERER Michael Jackson spent his life breaking music industry records. Four years after his death, the pop star’s estate has delivered another first: Jackson is now the only person, place or thing to have inspired two Cirque du Soleil shows. The Montreal-based acrobatic-theater company presented a sneak peak of its new Jackson tribute show, “One,” at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The show shares many features with “Immortal,” another Cirque production that capitalizes on the enduring public fascination with the King of Pop. In both, performers dance, somersault and glide above the crowd in dramatic riffs on Jackson’s number one hits. But unlike “Immortal,” which is a touring show, “One” will have a permanent home in Vegas when it opens June 29. “Immortal” is scored by a live band, whereas “One” will feature original recordings. Creative director Welby Altidor said he

Friday. May 17. 2013

tried to channel Jackson’s famous knack for pushing boundaries. “If Michael was an acrobat, how would he fly? How would he do the things Cirque du Soleil does?” he asked. The 20-minute preview Tuesday looked like Cirque’s typical display of elaborately costumed, often airborne, attention deficit theater. Each scene featured at least five separate points of action at any given time, with actors taking advantage of the full threedimensionality of the space — flying over the crowd, climbing ropes to the ceiling, and dancing off to the wings in ramps. The show is not biographical, and no one directly portrays Jackson. Instead, it presents emotional, if fairly literal, takes on the pop star’s hits. During the act set to “Stranger in Moscow,” a huddled figure wanders in the snow. Performers don bejeweled prison stripes for “Smooth Criminal.” And for “Bad,” they do tightrope tricks amid a scene of urban decay. The show does portray a general sense

of Jackson-ness. Paparazzi-like monsters with flashing headgear torment four main characters. Dancers appear in white fedoras and white jackets over shimmering bikinis. They moonwalked and leaned to precariously

acute angles. Pictures and stock footage of Jackson also drift on and off a giant LED screen that serves as the show’s backdrop. The Jackson estate is co-producer of both Cirque shows. In addition to sharing in revenue from the box office and merchandizing, the estate earns royalties on the music used in the productions. While some fans might be leery of what appears to be another money grab, “One” is likely to fit right in on the Strip, which has also hosted Beatles and Elvis-themed Cirque shows. As acrobats tumbled and bounced in Las Vegas, the spirit of the late performer was also hovering over an entirely different production a few hundred miles away. A wrongful death trial is currently playing out in a Los Angeles court between Michael Jackson’s mother and concert giant AEG Live. Altidor acknowledged that the trial has put the singer’s name back in the headlines, but he hopes no one will be thinking of the tabloid side of Jackson’s life when they come to the Mandalay Bay theater. “We’re really focusing on the positive; all the things he brought to the world,” he said. “That’s what we want to celebrate.”

O.J. takes the stand to ask for another trial Big changes brewing at ‘American Idol’ (ATWS) - O.J. Simpson, a former star athlete who once lived for the spotlight, was back on stage telling the grim story of the Las Vegas afternoon in 2007 that sent him to prison. No longer the glamorous celebrity in an expensive suit, Simpson wore a drab prison uniform during Wednesday’s court appearance. But he ignored the impediments of leg shackles and handcuffs, settled back in the witness chair and talked his heart out for five hours trying to convince a judge he had been wrongly convicted. When he left the stand, he sighed and appeared relieved. His lawyer, Patricia Palm, said, “He was happy he got to tell what happened.” Simpson seemed to describe every minute of a weekend that was seared in his memory. It began with plans for a friend’s wedding and ended with him under arrest. Malcom LaVergne, a lawyer who handled part of Simpson’s earlier appeal, was expected to discuss the relationship between the football Hall of Fame star and his Florida lawyer, Yale Galanter. Simpson told of meeting LaVergne after he was convicted and feeling the appellate lawyer had a firmer grip on his case than Galanter, who was preparing the appeal.

Dre and Lovine go old school to invest in future

(ATWS) - Talk about taking it old school. Beats headphones moguls Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are joining forces with the University of Southern California, which was founded in 1880 – but they’re not doing it as some sort of history lesson. Rather, they’re banking on the future. The noted hip-hop figures are donating $70 million to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Starting in the fall of 2014, Trojans will be able to enroll in the four-year program, which offers courses in technology, art, design and marketing. “The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic

media,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias said in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world.” Iovine, who has a keen eye and ear for talent (he’s worked with artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen and U2 to Eminem and 50 Cent over the years), told the New York Times he’s hoping the program will generate the next multimedia superstar. “If the next start-up that becomes Facebook happens to be one of our kids, that’s what we are looking for.” As for Dr. Dre, maybe the students in the new program will motivate him to finish that album we’ve been waiting on for more than a decade.

(ATWS) - Fox broke its silence on the worrisome performance of former reality titan “American Idol” and reports that the network is planning to reboot the entire show — including dumping its judges panel. Longtime Idol judge Randy Jackson quit last week after hearing the news, which still leaves Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj up for possible elimination. Speaking on a conference call with reporters before the network’s upfront presentation in New York City on Monday, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly blamed the show’s ratings decline on the age of the show and some creative changes that were made to season 12′s format. “More so than any one factor is the age of the show right now, but [also] maybe the format this year,” Reilly said. “We expanded some of the middle rounds we did a boy-girl thing that went over three weeks — that’s really where the ratings took their biggest hit. The only thing I will confirm is next year, without getting into any specifics, our next season begins on the Friday morning after our [Idol] finale — that’s when we’re really going to get to work in earnest.” Despite partly blaming the show’s ratings

decline on format tweaks, Reilly pledged there will be more format tweaks next year for lucky season 13: “The format will have a few fresh twists, that we’ve already identified, that will be a nice little jolt for next season.” Pressed on whether the remaining three judges will be “welcome” to return, Reilly said, “Welcome back? Absolutely. But everything at this point is on the table.” And asked if the show will return to a three-judge panel, instead of four, Reilly replied, “Likely.” The 12-year-old reality franchise is down 23 percent to 15.2 million viewers for its Wednesday night performance shows this year, and has gone from the No. 1 show to a mere Top 5 show. Fox has won the broadcast season for a record eight consecutive years in a row. But “Idol” is a major part of Fox’s success and the network will likely come in second place behind CBS this season. Reilly added: “We can only confirm that one judge is not coming back, obviously in Randy. It was not a complete a shock. We’ve talked to Randy, we felt like it was time to move [on], we didn’t know the exact timing of it. He’s been a great partner for 12 years and there’s not an ounce of ill-will there.”


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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday the Department of Justice had charged 89 defendants in eight cities with healthcare fraud, and warned that budget cuts could limit future efforts to crack down on fraudulent claims.

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Health & Fitness

Strokes happens to the young, recognize the signs Anger linked to heart attack risk

Imagine a weird feeling—say, an unusual headache or a random surge of euphoria. Then imagine losing control of your muscles and your voice. Then imagine blacking out and waking up in a hospital. It sounds awful, mind-boggling, and totally unlikely to happen. But even though strokes are rare in people under 55, they do happen. What’s worse, strokes in young adults are on the rise, and while they often start as something just slightly “off,” the results can be devastating. Five years ago, a friend of mine, Harshada Rajani, experienced the same string of events I describe above. As a 23-year-old, perfectly healthy medical student, she had two headaches that just didn’t feel normal. After seeing several doctors who told her they were migraines, she came down with dizziness and vomiting. Then she lost control of her voice and woke up in the hospital having had a debilitating stroke at the base of her brain. Strokes are commonly called “brain attacks” because they mirror heart attacks: Something stops blood from reaching the brain, killing the parts of the brain that would’ve received that blood. Like heart attacks, they can be the result of blood clots formed by cholesterol. But they can also happen in healthy people, when gas bubbles block blood vessels, or when those vessels tear for no apparent reason. The consequences are unpredictable: Some patients recover completely; some—including Harshada—end up with disabilities;

and some die. After her stroke, Harshada couldn’t move or walk, but she is now regaining those abilities. Though many associate strokes with the elderly, one-fifth of strokes happen to people under 55. One in seven strokes in younger adults may be misdiagnosed, according to a study in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. And new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that, for younger adults, the story doesn’t end even if they recover completely: They have a higher mortality rate for the rest of their lives. Major hospitals have rehabilitation services geared toward stroke patients, but a full recovery can take years (if it’s possible at all). And for young stroke patients, the path forward is even less clear. “No one knew what would help and what wouldn’t,” Harshada told me. “No one even knew if I was going to live or die. So we all were just trying anything and everything. We still do that even to this day. It’s all been a frustrating, never-ending trial-and-error process.” But all is not always lost. Today, Harshada writes about her experiences and runs a nonprofit called We Will Win, dedicated to spreading awareness, building hope, and raising funds for

BY TREVOR STOKES

young survivors of strokes and other serious illnesses. She’s still fighting her own battle, pushing through therapy to regain her own function, but helping others with their battles as well. So what can you do to keep this from happening to you? A healthy lifestyle helps, so here’s yet another reason to lay off alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Apart from that, be sure you can recognize the National Stroke Association’s “Five Sudden, Severe Symptoms” so that you can get yourself or a loved one to help immediately— here are the signs of a stroke to watch for: SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause

Changing mother’s aid limits juice for kids (ATWS) - A change to a U.S. program that provides food and medical visits to many infants, children and pregnant women succeeded in reducing the amount of juice bought overall, according to a new study. Researchers examined the impact of an October 2009 change in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children - known as WIC, which cut the monthly allowance of 100 percent juice by more than half. Pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to age five are eligible for WIC as long as they meet certain requirements, including financial need. In 2011, about 9 million people received the benefits every month, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before the change, WIC recipients were able to buy 288 ounces of juice per month, but that far exceeded the daily recommended amount of 4 ounces for young children. The Institute of Medicine suggested bringing juice and other WIC food in line with recommendations. Now, WIC recipients are allowed to purchase 128 ounces of juice. Before the change, the researchers found WIC recipients

were buying about 238 ounces of juice per month. That fell by about 44 percent after the change in October 2009. That was matched by about a 14 percent increase in juice purchases using other non-WIC money. Overall, the researchers found monthly juice purchases fell by about a quarter, to 182 ounces per month. Shannon Zenk, who has researched the WIC program but was not involved with the new study, said the results are intriguing and support past research that found stores are offering more fruits and vegetables since the change in 2009. “One thing we already know from the studies that have already come out is the change in the retail environment,” said Zenk, from the College of Nursing at University of Illinois at Chicago. The results of the new study are limited, however. The researchers only looked at one supermarket chain in two New England states and they can’t say if the WIC recipients were actually eating better diets. Still, Andreyeva said the results show policy changes can be effective.

Bottling up emotions is thought to harm both mind and body, but a new study suggests that the opposite extreme may be no better. In a study of thousands of heart attack patients, those who recalled having flown into a rage during the previous year were more than twice as likely to have had their heart attack within two hours of that episode, compared to other times during the year. “There is transiently higher risk of having a heart attack following an outburst of anger,” said study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, postdoctoral fellow with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The greater the fury including throwing objects and threatening others - the higher the risk, Mostofsky’s team reports in The American Journal of Cardiology. The most intense outbursts were linked to a more than four-fold higher risk while milder bouts of anger were tied to less than twice the risk. “The association is consistently stronger with increasing anger intensity; it’s not just that any anger is going to increase your risk,” Mostofsky told Reuters Health The data came from a group of 3,886 patients who were part of a study between 1989 and 1996 to determine what brought on their heart attacks. Within four days of having a myocardial infarction - the classic “heart attack” - participants were asked about a range of events in the preceding year, as well as about their diets, lifestyles, exercise habits and medication use. A total of 1,484 participants reported having outbursts of anger in the previous year, 110 of whom had those episodes within two hours of the onset of their heart attacks. Participants recalled their anger on a seven-point scale that ranged from irritation to a rage that caused people to lose control. The researchers found that with each increment of anger intensity, the risk of heart attack in the next two hours rose. That risk was 1.7 times greater after feeling “moderately angry, so hassled it shows in your voice;” and 2.3 times greater after feeling “very tense, body tense, clenching fists or teeth” and 4.5 times greater after feeling “enraged! lost control, throwing objects, hurting yourself or others.” The most frequent causes of anger outbursts that participants recalled were family issues, conflicts at work and commuting. Although the research cannot prove that the angry outbursts led to the heart attacks, the results “make sense,” according to Dr. James O’Keefe Jr, a cardiologist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City who wasn’t involved in the research. Anger is an emotion that releases the fight-or-flight-response chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine, he said. Those hormones raise our blood pressure, our pulse, constrict blood vessels, make blood platelets stickier (increasing the risk of blood clots), which O’Keefe says could be one way anger may be associated with increased heart risk. “Contrary to the urban myth that it’s best to express anger and get it out there, expressing anger takes a toll on your system and there’s nothing really cathartic about it,” O’Keefe told Reuters Health. “(Anger) serves no purpose other than to corrode the short and long-term health of your heart and blood vessels,” he said. In the study, patients on blood pressure medications known as beta blockers had a reduced chance of having a heart attack following an angry outburst, Mostofsky’s team notes in their report.


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Opinions & Editorials

Make gun use among kids a child safety issue BY CYNTHIA TUCKER After a rural Kentucky family suffered an unspeakable gun tragedy late last month, that sad story, unfortunately, became new fuel for the scorching debate over gun control. When news broke that 5-year-old Kristian Sparks had shot his 2-year-old sister with a rifle he had been given as a gift, opposing factions latched on to either defend rural America’s gun culture or to denounce it. Having grown up in Alabama, steeped in the Deep South’s gun culture, I feel nothing but sympathy for the Sparks family. One child is dead; another will be scarred for life by his horrible mistake. And Caroline Sparks is just one of many: The careless handling of guns sends Americans to their graves with mind-numbing frequency. Indeed, in the days since she died, other children have been wounded or killed in accidental shootings. On May 1, 3-year-old Darrien Nez shot himself dead with his grandmother’s handgun in Yuma, Ariz. On May 4, a 13-year-old boy in Oakland Park, Fla., accidentally shot his 6-yearold sister in the chest, injuring her critically. That, by the way, is just a partial list. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an average of eight Americans under the age of 20 are killed by firearms every day. While urban children are more likely to be homicide victims, Brady says, rural children are more likely to be suicides or victims of accidental shootings. But the mindless political punches and counter-punches, finger-pointing and blameassessing do little to curb the death toll. If concerned grown-ups really want to save children from accidental gun discharges, we ought to separate those gun accidents from the broader debate over gun control, which is hopelessly mired in partisan madness. Instead, let’s discuss this as a child safety issue. There are plenty of precedents in American cultural history for focusing on child safety even if it impinges on the convenience of adults. One of the best examples is the decades-long crusade to make child safety seats a familiar part of child care. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to bring some

commonsense child safety measures -- legally enforceable measures -- to routine gun use. There are many factions who are eager to keep any discussion of guns locked into a doctrinaire set of talking points. And, of course, the most ferocious and fanatical factions of the gun lobby -- notably the National Rifle Association -- will have no use for even the mildest reforms aimed at stemming the carnage. For years now, the NRA has insisted that children ought to be armed for sport shooting right alongside their parents; it offers firearms safety courses as the surefire way to protect them from injury. However, while gun safety courses are a good idea, they are no substitute for ageappropriate gun handling, adult supervision or safe storage of firearms. The availability of firearms courses may have lured some parents into a false sense of security, leading them to believe that preschool or elementary-aged children can handle weapons prudently without supervision. That’s just ridiculous. To reinforce that, we need an all-out crusade with an emphasis on proper supervision of the youngest sport shooters, as well as safe storage of weapons when they are not in use. Adults who fail in their responsibilities, allowing children to be hurt or killed, should face criminal sanctions in each and every case. That won’t be an easy cultural shift: In homes already facing a tragedy, as the Sparkses do, local law enforcement officials will be reluctant to press charges. While national efforts to reinforce the shift can help, the best results will come from persistent and courageous efforts by local leaders, including state legislators, police, prosecutors and physicians. My own father was a nut about gun safety -my brother didn’t get his first rifle until he was about 11, and he was closely supervised -- but Dad’s conscientiousness didn’t extend to all my relatives. When I was 11, I picked up a loaded handgun off a bedside table at an uncle’s house and aimed it at my brother, then 2. I thought it was a toy. I don’t know why I didn’t pull the trigger. My brother was saved by fate or caprice or the grace of God. Too many children don’t get that lucky.

Friday. May 17. 2013

Republicans face crossroads BY MICHAEL STEELE One of the hardest things to do in politics, believe it or not, is to standout. Sure you can go off and say something crazy; or even do something inherently stupid that will generate attention. But most politicians and political parties don’t want that kind of attention. I’m talking about truly standing out: to be recognized for pushing against the conventional wisdom or fighting the status quo; or even better, standing against the prevailing winds of one’s party. That is a lot harder than you may imagine. In a life spent advancing conservative principles, I have had the privilege of serving as a county chairman, a state chairman, a candidate and an elected official. When I assumed the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 2009 on the heels of humiliating defeats in 2006 and 2008, this would be my opportunity to advance those conservative principles in a new way; to go a bit against the grain, to push back on the “establishment” mindset that had led to these back to back devastating losses. In short, for the party to survive it was time to turn the elephant to face its future. But have you ever tried to turn an elephant? Invariably, whichever end you start with will test your resolve. Republicans lost their voice on the things that mattered not long after the 2004 elections; and by 2008 that gap between our rhetoric and our actions had grown to the point that our credibility had completely snapped. From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the implosion of the nation’s economy, more and more Americans began to view the party as out of step with the direction they believed the country should be heading. To make matters worse, what many inside and outside the arty failed to understand was it wasn’t the fault of our ideals or the principles we espoused, but rather the failure of our leadership to honor those principles. Over time, our principles had morphed into baser motives. We became more interested in red vs. blue state politics, egged on by political know-it-alls and high-priced consultants. The net effect of their “leadership” diminished the noble vision of the Party of Lincoln—the party I had joined at the tender age of 17—as the GOP became the party of big government Republicanism. It should be no secret to Republicans by now that the country has changed and continues to do so. You don’t need to spend a million bucks to figure that out. Nor do Republicans have to keep repeating “we need to reach out to [fill in the blank].” Shut up and do it already! And that doesn’t mean sticking your finger in the air to check the prevailing political

winds before “reaching out”; that’s blatantly disingenuous and the equivalent of the party giving voters the finger. Consequently, most Americans today see a Republican Party that defines itself by what it is against rather than what it is for. Republicans will scream at President Obama for his spendthrift ways, but then fail to reconcile to voters their own spending habits. Republicans can tell you why public schools aren’t working, but not articulate a compelling vision for how they’ll make them successful. We’re well equipped to rail against tax increases; but can’t begin to explain how our policy prescriptions will help the poor and the middle class. 2006, 2008 and now 2012 are painful reminders of the importance of owning our mistakes listening to the American people, and taking action on issues of importance to them — not us. If we are to regain the trust of the American people and restore the credibility of our ideas, a 21st Century GOP must reconnect with its radical past and focus importance on economic opportunity, civil rights, the environment, and individual liberties. During my last months as RNC Chairman, I warned the party that we stood on the precipice of Republicanism, ready to throw each other off, because some want a litmus test party. But that party of exclusion will not and must not succeed. For me, the Party of Lincoln was, and should be again, a party of opportunity and inclusion; assimilation and self-determination. I still hold out hope that new voices consistent with the radical nature of Republicanism will give rise to a fresh approach to meet the challenges we face. I will continue to be one of those voices. Let’s start that conversation on the healthcare, economic and political disparities that continue to cripple communities of color; let’s reframe the role of government not because we want to eliminate it; but because its purpose should be limited to serving the people and not itself; and let’s once again be the champion of the poor and middle class. Yes, a rising tide lifts all boats, but we can’t lose sight of those who don’t have a boat. Republicans stand at the crossroads to their future and the voters are standing there with them wanting to know what we believe, how we will lead, and which way we intend go. They seek assurances that we are Republicans who see opportunity for every American not just those who donate to us or vote for us. The Party of Lincoln was built on the uniting principles of hard work, personal responsibility, and self-determination. Republicans must once again call upon these principles to chart where the Party goes from here.

The Austin Times WEEKLY HOROSCOPE ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20) Passion is inevitable and commitments can be made during the heat of the night. Unexpected visitors will be a welcome surprise. You may find it difficult to discuss personal matters with family members. You’re best not to get involved in joint financial ventures. TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21) Spend time with friends and relatives. Travel for pleasure. You will be extremely sensual; take precautions and don’t take any risks. You will find your vitality is lowered. Don’t let friends or relatives make you feel guilty if you’re not able to attend one of their affairs. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) You may find that your emotional partner will not be too eager to accommodate you. Your doubt could lead to insecurity. Your high energy will enable you to enlist the help of those in a position to back you. CANCER (June 22-July 22) You can make it up to them later. You may find your nights sleepless due to bad dreams. Friends or groups that you’re affiliated with may want you to contribute more cash than you can really afford. Don’t give out any personal information that you don’t want spread around. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Be prepared to overcome frustrations and obstacles at work. Secret affairs could cause upset. Empty promises will cause upset. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) Concentrate on work or make changes to yourself. You will find that friends or relatives may not understand your needs. Your anger may be impossible to contain if you get into debates with family members. Opportunities to make financial gains will develop through your connections with other people.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) Your lover will be extremely sensitive and now will not be a good time to make changes that they won’t like. Exercise is always a good way to relieve stress. Don’t push your luck with authority. Your ability to relate will close the generation gap. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) Difficulties with older females in your family may turn out to be quit trivial after all. Your emotional state will vacillate You may jump from the frying pan into the fire if you make a move this week. Knowledge can be acquired if you listen. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) Although up setting, changes in your domestic situation will be favorable. You will have the stamina and the know how to raise your earning power. Leave your checkbook and credit cards at home. Reevaluate your situation. CAPRICORN Dec 22.- Jan. 20) Children may be less than honest with you. Difficulties with your mate may lead to estrangement. Abrupt changes concerning your professional position are evident. Don’t let your personal dilemmas interfere with your goals. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19) You will be emotional with regard to your personal life. Be sure to take care of the needs of your immediate loved ones first. You can sell your ideas to those who have the money to back them. Try not to overreact to the loss. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) Electrical problems may be an issue. Offer good conversation and a nice soothing lunch. You may want to make changes in your home environment. You haven’t been totally honest with yourself and it’s time to review your motives.


Friday. May 17. 2013

“How can women complain that they are single and there are no men, when they ignore the men that show interest?” they ask. “Isn’t that like shooting yourself in the foot?” There’s a disconnect. So instead of getting frustrated or angry, let me attempt to build a bridge so that there’s more understanding. The average, socially-adjusted woman is not offended by a man who says “Excuse me, miss,” or approaches her to say “Good morning,” “You look nice today,” or some such. That’s not harassment, that’s a compliment. And if it’s been a light day for street harassment, most straight women will welcome a kind word from a stranger. However, if it’s been a heavy street harassment day, she’s probably not trying to hear it. By “heavy,” I mean any sunny day, especially if it’s a warm one and she’s not covered in a burka (and I’m sure a Muslim woman on U.S. soil has a story about being harassed in a burka). And by the time you — because of course you are a nice man, because in the history of reading and writing about street harassment, I’ve never seen a male commenter confess to it despite the overwhelming presence of men who actually do it — encounter her, she’s been through hell. This is an average version of hell: you leave your house to walk to the car/ train and you’re minding your own business and a random strange man demands that you “Smile!” for him. You don’t know him, he doesn’t know your life or what’s on your mind, but he feels entirely comfortable telling you what to do with your own self. Before you get to the car, you encounter another group of men, all of whom try to holler at once, and one may even invade your personal space, as he tells you how sexy you are. You keep walking — because who stops to talk to a group of strange men just hanging out? The guy, or all of them, get offended because you weren’t interested in his advances. You promptly get called

an “ugly b***h,” a “dumb b***h,” or some other more creative adjective, which always precedes an epithet related to your gender. On a really bad day with a really rowdy guy, you can get spit at or on (happened to me), a guy will grab your arm or behind (both happened to me, and more than once), or you get hit (hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve heard testimonies). Maybe you — the man reading– are wondering a blame-the-victim type of question, like, “Well, then why couldn’t she just be polite and speak so that doesn’t happen?” Ok. Say the woman is polite, says “hi” with a small smile, thinking that if she’s polite, and keeps it moving, she’ll be spared the pejorative being hurled at her that morning. That’s tricky, too, because now she’s given a guy an “in” by showing some interest. Maybe he’ll go back to chatting with his friends (best case scenario), but maybe he’ll leave off and keep pace with her to spit his game — that she doesn’t want to hear — while she walks to wherever she’s going. God willing, a guy doesn’t drive by and yell out his window at her, or park and yell out of the window for her to come over later on that day. Still think it’s not so bad? Imagine a man, or many of them at once, who are bigger than you doing this to you on a daily basis, multiple times a day and every time you leave your house. Some women change their route to avoid it. Some women put on headphones and turn the music all the way up so they can pretend it’s not happening, because they don’t hear it. Some women just stay inside so they don’t have to deal. Navigating this terrain is something women in places with moderate to heavy foot traffic deal with every time they leave the house. Would you be thankful for that? Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.

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We are family

Street harassment: No, it’s not a compliment BY DEMETRIA L. LUCAS

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BY RICHARD REEVES Just about 30 years ago, I wrote a “Reporter at Large” article for The New Yorker magazine about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living, illegally and legally, in Southern California. The Mexican and Chicano population of Los Angeles was the second-largest Mexican city in the world, behind only Mexico City itself. For a New Yorker, a stranger in a strange land, the reporting launched fireworks of new ideas and revelations. The first and most astounding thing to me was that white Angelenos were the only middle-class Americans I had seen who had servants -- maids, nannies, gardeners, nurses and handymen -- all Mexicans, some naturalized or second- and third-generation American citizens. Whatever their immigration status, they were great workers and good people, usually raising their children as English-speaking, Americanized young people. Spanish accents were fading then. Now, most of my MexicanAmerican students at the University of Southern California sound just like any boys and girls from the San Fernando Valley and other points Angeleno. I haven’t seen their papers or documents, but they are as American as me or you. Obviously, the people hiring for about halfprice compared with other American workers loved them, even if they grumbled now and then about “foreigners” and “wetbacks,” a word used back then. The other thing that I learned, and something that has enormous political importance now, is that the “legals” and the “illegals,” the “documented” and the “undocumented” were related. They were family. Mexican-Americans did not vote much then, but they were extremely sensitive to any political or governmental moves that denied American rights to the undocumented, their parents, uncles, brothers and sisters. They do vote now, as Republican candidates learned last year. Despite socially conservative views about everything from marriage to work, they are voting Democratic by large margins. And that is one reason Barack Obama won a second term as president and Antonio Villaraigosa has been the mayor of Los Angeles for the past eight

years. They think Republicans hate them and hate any liberal governance aimed at helping working people or poor people. Perhaps this will change when there are Chicano hedge funds. In sifting through the election returns of last year, some of the clueless Republicans and conservatives did get some clues. Losing focused their minds for a bit. Last week, one of the stars of the “soft” right, David Brooks of The New York Times, wrote a wake-up column with implications for readers who not only do not much like dark-skinned immigration, but are also hostile to such kindling issues as gay marriage and abortion. They seem incapable of understanding, once more, that these are family issues. Gays and women who choose abortion are our relatives. They are in our families. We love them -- even Republican senators with gay children love them -- and we don’t like seeing them pushed around by our government. The Republicans like to talk about “family values,” but they certainly don’t appreciate some of them. What Brooks wrote to his clueless friends included this: “Immigration opponents are effectively trying to restrict the flow of conservatives into this country. In survey after survey, immigrants are found to have more traditional ideas about family structure and community than comparable Americans. They have lower incarceration rates. They place higher emphasis on career success. They have stronger work ethics. Immigrants go into poor neighborhoods and infuse them with traditional values.... “Immigration opponents are trying to restrict assimilation. The evidence about this is clear, too. Current immigrants enter this country because they want to realize the same dreams that inspired past waves. Study after study shows current Hispanic immigrants are picking up English at an impressive clip, roughly as quickly as earlier immigrant groups. They are making steady gains in homeownership rates, job status and social identity. By second generation, according to a Pew Research Center study released earlier this year, 61 percent of immigrants think of themselves as ‘typical Americans.’” Soon they may be more typical than Republicans.


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Friday. May 17. 2013

AUTOZONE 2013 GMC ARCADIA: BIG THINGS POSSIBLE

BY GEORGE ODELL AUSTIN TIMES STAFF The GMC name might bring to mind well-muscled work trucks and similarly burly sport-utes, but there’s a pair of crossovers with the three-letter badge, too. The GMC Acadia is the larger of the two: it’s the eight-passenger companion to the five-seat Terrain, and it’s a more masculine alternative not to the SUV, but to the minivan. Over its five years on the market, the GMC Acadia hasn’t changed a lot. It’s been given a light facelift that doesn’t alter its handsome looks a lot--mostly, it chisels off its rear glass in a way that recalls the old Saturn Outlook. It’s still the bestlooking of its remaining family, which includes the closely related Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. The most obvious changes to the new Acadia occur on the outside. In the front, there’s a new three-bar grille, bold and upright. LED daytime running lamps, new taillight design, wraparound rear glass and a new rear spoiler add to the exterior changes. Upgraded soft-touch materials, French stitching, and red ambient lighting dress up the interior, while SLT and Denali models receive aluminum accents on the doors, dash and center console. Unlike GMC’s traditional trucks and SUVs, the 2013 GMC Acadia doesn’t leave a lot of room for powertrain choice. With a standard 288-horsepower V-6 and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the Acadia is strong enough for most family duty. Ride quality is well balanced, too, with new

dual-flow damper shocks for 2013 further helping the ride-

versus-handling tradeoff. The Acadia makes good use of the potential space under its rather boxy profile, with excellent seating comfort and a tight, quiet cabin--although the floor sits a little higher than in some other crossover vehicles. A third-row seat is included in all Acadia models, and whether you go for the captain’s chairs or the bench in back you get adult-sized accommodations (they’re also heated and cooled in the Denali), and they slide fore and aft for more space in the third row. And with the third row up,

the Acadia has 24 cubic feet of room for cargo; fold down the second- and third-row seats, and it reveals 116 cubic feet of space. GMC has also improved interior materials throughout the 2013 Acadia lineup, including more soft-touch materials, French stitching, and red ambient lighting. SLT and Denali models also get aluminum accents, with additional satinchrome accents, perforated leather, and mahogany inserts in the Denali. The Denali also gets even quieter with an exclusive interior acoustic package. Side Blind Zone and Rear Cross Traffic Alert have been added to the Denali’s list of features for 2013. And that’s on top of an already-robust list of standard features such as anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; front-seat side airbags, and curtain bags that reach to the third-row seat. The Acadia’s crash-test ratings have been excellent, too. The 2013 Acadia is offered in SLE, SLT, and Denali versions--although SLE2 and SLT2 trims add a few more features to each.The Acadia Denali is a luxury model in every way except the badge, so the price might be an issue for some shoppers. Infotainment has been stepped up for the entire model line this year. Newly standard is a Color Touch Radio with touch-screen control (surrounded in some models by capacitive controls for audio and climate control), and navigation is available with the system. Also optional is IntelliLink, which adds Pandora and Stitcher internet radio capability plus handsfree voice controls. Auxiliary and USB inputs are provided, and the system includes a SiriusXM satellite radio tuner plus HD Radio compatibility, a photo viewer, and a built-in rear-vision camera. Hit the road in an Arcadia.

MSRP $39,900


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