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Serving Central Oregon since 1903

Will Bush tax cuts stay?

What the tax cuts might mean for you At the median income for a Deschutes County family of four — $64,000 in 2008, according to the Census Bureau — extending the middle-class portions of the 2001 tax cuts would prevent about $2,150 in tax increases next year, based on an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at the request of The Bulletin. This is a stripped-down example that doesn’t include things like capital gains and estate taxes. Remember that in the U.S. tax system, households pay different tax rates on different portions of their incomes. Here’s how it breaks down:

A look at our lawmakers’ views and Wyden’s push for reform By Keith Chu The Bulletin

WASHINGTON — With the scheduled expiration of President George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, federal income taxes will be hiked almost across the board at the end of this year, if Democrats and Republicans can’t reach an agreement in coming months. As the debate has heated up in recent weeks, Ore-


Paper? Check. Pencil?Check. Spell-check? ... Check

gon’s congressional delegation has largely followed its party leaders on the tax dispute: Democrats want most income tax cuts extended, except for households making more than $250,000 a year, while Republicans want all of the tax cuts continued. The exception is U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is pushing his own bipartisan plan to simplify the federal tax code. See Taxes / A7

• Preventing the 10 percent tax bracket from increasing to 15 percent — which will apply to roughly the first $17,000 of income for a married couple — will save about $858.

• Preventing a decrease in the standard deduction for married couples will save $293.

• Keeping the child tax credit at $1,000, rather than $500, will save $1,000.

To measure the impact on your family, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center offers a tax calculator for different proposals at

• Because the family’s taxable income is below $69,700, the bottom of the 25 percent bracket, it wouldn’t be affected by an increase of that rate to 28 percent.

On a national day of remembrance, 21 new citizens Naturalization ceremony in Redmond

Along with dictionaries, state adds program to kids’ writing test arsenal By Sheila G. Miller The Bulletin

Co-workers use spell-check programs on e-mails to one another; job-seekers use them to avoid mistakes on their résumés. And beginning this fall, the Oregon Department of Education will allow seventh- and 10thgrade students to use the program on their state writing tests. Calling spell-check a tool akin to dictionaries or calculators currently allowed on assessments, the state has decided it’s a common program that will not necessarily increase test scores but simply help students better demonstrate their writing abilities. “Personal computers, we don’t think they’re a fad anymore. We think spell-check might be around for a while, and we’ll be using it as part of our daily lives,” said Tony Alpert, the Oregon Department of Education’s director of assessment. “To use spell-check, one needs to know how to spell.” In the past, the spell-check option was disabled for the online version of the state writing test. Now, students can use the feature when they take the online test. For students who take the test with paper and pencil, there will also be a spell-check option — those students will be able to use a wordprocessing program to enter lines of text for spell-check purposes. Alpert said the spell-check debate has been going on more than a year. But he noted the discrepancy — found at schools in Bend-La Pine and other districts — between scores of students using the online and paper-and-pencil versions of the writing assessment helped bring the question to the forefront. See Spell-check / A8




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isters Laura Rivera, 25, and Alma Rivera, 20, smile shortly after becoming citizens of the United States during a naturalization ceremony Saturday in Redmond. The two Umatilla residents, originally from Mexico, were among 21 immigrants sworn in as citizens

at the Festival of Cultures. Public ceremonies are not the norm, but on certain holidays, such as Saturday’s observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host large swearing-in ceremonies. For the full story, see Page B1.

Nine years later

• Across the country, rites of remembrance and loss marked the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, familiar in their sorrow but observed for the first time Saturday in a nation torn over the role of Islam in society. Story on Page A4.

Saturday in Cherry Hill, N.J., Joe Zanghi reads the names printed in a version of the “Flags of Honor” memorializing those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks nine years ago.

• Also: No Quran burning, now or ever, Florida pastor says. “God is telling us to stop.” • Nine years on, the Afghan war is at its most dangerous point. Stories on Page A2.

Jose F. Moreno The Associated Press

An unsettled nation marks 9/11 with rituals of sorrow

Mining for baseball diamonds in China

An Independent Newspaper


Vol. 107, No. 255, 50 pages, 7 sections


By William Wan The Washington Post

It’s five minutes to game time, and Li Jiajie is still tinkering with his pitch, hurling ball after ball into a teammate’s mitt, trying to achieve pinpoint accuracy. Few 13-year-old players in the world

have as much invested in their adolescent frames as Li. The new baseball field he will pitch on was built with hard-fought public funding from this working-class town. His uniform and equipment are gifts from Major League Baseball. So is his 72-mph fastball — pieced together by a pitching coach

with more than 38 years of experience. For almost a decade, baseball has been struggling to break into the Chinese market, and much of its strategy now rests on the slender shoulders of Li and a few dozen other youngsters. In these boys, at this school, lies the future of baseball in China.

To the major league executives who set up this program in the city of Wuxi last year, the boys represent an entire generation of future coaches, sports ministers and players in China’s nascent national league. But the biggest dream is that one day a player from this school will finally make it to the majors in the United States and bring with him some of this country’s 1.3 billion potential fans. See Baseball / A6

A2 Sunday, September 12, 2010 • THE BULLETIN

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Oregon Lottery Results As listed by The Associated Press


The numbers drawn Saturday night are:

7 17 20 36 59 33 Power Play: 4. The estimated jackpot is $79 million.


The numbers drawn are:


8 10 15 31 47

Nobody won the jackpot Saturday night in the Megabucks game, pushing the estimated jackpot to $1.4 million for Monday’s drawing.

Pastor: Quran burning canceled for good Bulletin wire reports The Florida pastor who planned to burn Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Saturday now says he won’t “ever� burn Islam’s holy book. Terry Jones, who arrived in New York City on Friday night, is still seeking a meeting with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who plans to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site. The pastor said in an interview on NBC’s “Today� show that no meeting has been “We (wanted) scheduled. to expose “We feel that that there is God is telling an element us to stop,� of Islam Jones said. that is very “And we also dangerous and hope that with very radical. I us making this believe that we first gesture, have definitely not burning accomplished the Quran ... that mission.� we hope that — Terry Jones through that maybe that will open up a door to be able to talk to the imam about the ground zero mosque.� Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., said on “Today� that the goal of his protest had been accomplished, and it wasn’t a publicity stunt. He said he “can absolutely guarantee� there will be no Quran burning at his church, even if the Islamic center near ground zero is built. Jones, who has acknowledged receiving more than 100 death threats, said he “wasn’t scared into calling off the burning.� Jones’ plan had drawn opposition across the political spectrum and the world. President Barack Obama had appealed to him on television, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a personal phone call, not to burn the Islamic holy book. Nevertheless, there were isolated reports of Quran desecrations on the anniversary, including two not far from ground zero. Also in the area Saturday, about 1,500 opponents of the mosque chanted “USA� and “No mosque here.�

U.S. poverty on track for record gains The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty. Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of Obama’s presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings. It’s unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase, from 13.2 to about 15 percent, would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power. “The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there,� Obama said Friday at a White House news conference. He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, “If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle.�



Afghan security situation is worst since war began

Assessments by the United Nations of the safety of travel within Afghanistan Extreme risk, hostile areas High risk, volatile areas Medium risk Mazar-i-Sharif Kabul


2003 June

By Rod Nordland

As Afghans mark 9/11, Karzai calls for new approach against terrorism

New York Times News Service

KABUL, Afghanistan — Even as more U.S. troops flow in, Afghanistan is more dangerous than it has ever been during this war, with security deteriorating in recent months, according to international organizations and humanitarian groups. Large parts of the country that were once completely safe, like most of the northern provinces, now have a substantial Taliban presence — even in areas where there are few Pashtuns, who previously were the Taliban’s only supporters. As NATO forces poured in and shifted to the south to battle the Taliban in their stronghold, the Taliban responded with a surge of their own, greatly increasing their activities in the north and parts of the east. The worsening security comes as the Obama administration is under increasing pressure to show results to maintain public support for the war, and it raises serious concerns about whether the country can hold legitimate nationwide elections for parliament this Saturday. Unarmed government employees can no longer travel safely in 30 percent of the country’s 368 districts, according to U.N. estimates, and there are districts deemed too dangerous to visit in all but one of the 34 provinces. The number of insurgent attacks has increased significantly; in August 2009, insurgents carried out 630 attacks. This August, they initiated at least 1,353, according to the Afghan NGO Safety Office, an independent organization financed by Western governments and agencies to monitor safety for aid workers.

NATO response The International Security Assistance Force does not routinely release detailed data on attacks around the country, and the Afghan government stopped doing so in mid-2009. U.N. officials have also stopped releasing details of attacks, though they monitor them closely. Requests for access to that information were denied. ISAF officials dispute the notion that security is slipping from them, pointing to their successes with targeted killings and captures of Taliban field commanders and members of the Taliban shadow government.


KABUL, Afghanistan — The anniversary drew a few President Hamid Karzai protests across Afghanistan, called for a new approach though most Afghans spent to fighting terrorism, saying the day celebrating the end Saturday that the strategy in of the Muslim fasting month place is at odds with “the bitof Ramadan. Thousands of ter reality on the ground.� protesters irate at the now“Afghan villages canceled plan by a are not the birthplace small church in Floror the breeding ida to burn copies ground for terrorism, of Islam’s holy book and the innocent took to the streets in people must thereLogar province, near fore not fall victims Kabul. The Florida to a fight against pastor’s decision to terrorism,� he said in call off the bonfire a statement issued and Americans’ rePresident by his office on the Hamid Karzai pudiation of the plan ninth anniversary of appeared to stave off the Sept. 11 attacks violent riots targeting that brought a U.S.-led force U.S. and other Western tarto this country. Karzai did not gets in Afghanistan. mention neighboring Pakistan The Afghan Taliban, which by name, but it was clear he ruled the country in the years was referring to the insurgent before 9/11, marked the ansanctuaries there when he niversary with a statement said the war should “focus on calling for the immediate the sources and the origins of withdrawal of foreign troops. terrorism.� — From wire reports

2004 June

2005 October

2006 June

2007 September

American military officials blame the rise in the number of its forces here for the increased level of violence. The last 2,000 of 30,000 new U.S. troops are expected to arrive in the next week or two. The result is more military operations, they say, and more opportunities for the insurgents to attack coalition forces. But the Afghan NGO Safety Office maintains that by almost every metric it has, Afghanistan is more dangerous now than at any time since 2001. The most recent troop buildup comes in response to steady advances by the Taliban. Four years ago, the insurgents were active in only four provinces; now they are active in 33 of 34, the organizations say. “We do not support the perspective that this constitutes ‘things getting worse before they get better,’� said Nic Lee, director of the NGO Safety Office, “but rather see it as being consistent with the five-year trend of things just getting worse.� Humanitarian organizations say they are still able to serve Afghans in much of the country. They have to be much more careful, restricting their movements and pulling back from some areas altogether. They use Afghan

rather than foreign workers. They avoid travel by road and have taken to operating incognito as a matter of routine.

Elections implications The threat to government workers is just as severe. Last month, Afghan police and army officials asked the Independent Election Commission to cancel 938 of its proposed 6,835 polling centers, almost 14 percent, because it could not guarantee security for those areas. Only 500 international observers are coming to monitor these elections, compared with more than a thousand last year, according to Jindad Spinghar of the Free and Fair Election Foundation. Observers will be able to go only to provincial capitals, not rural areas, where most of the population lives, he said. “Because the control of the central government is decreasing,� Spinghar said, “power brokers and warlords will be able to use their influence at the local level.� It was in just such areas in 2009 that widespread voting fraud took place, resulting in a disputed and internationally discredited presidential election.

2008 June

2009 February

2010 January

The U.N. would not release the latest security map, which shows a large swath of the north as extremely dangerous. /PUF%BUBJOEJDBUJOHNFEJVNSJTLBSFBTBSF OPUBWBJMBCMFGPSBOE /FX:PSL5JNFT/FXT4FSWJDF



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THE BULLETIN • Sunday, September 12, 2010 A3

Explosion’s first reaction: fear of calamity San Francisco suburb’s anxieties center around quakes, airport Bulletin wire reports

New York Times News Service

Julio Locon Sr., of San Bruno, Calif., suffered burns on his hand and head. The death toll stood at four Saturday. they feel when an airplane sounds just a little too close or too low. The extent of the damage was still being surveyed Saturday, but officials said it seemed unlikely

the death toll would rise. The San Mateo County coroner identified two of the dead as an area 44-yearold and her 13-year-old daughter; also killed was a 20-year-old area woman, while the fourth victim has not been identified. A spokesman for this San Francisco suburb, meanwhile, said Saturday afternoon that authorities were unsure whether remains found at the blast site belonged to the two people reported missing since the explosion and fire. The section of gas pipeline that ruptured and exploded was ranked as high risk because it ran through a highly populated area, state and federal authorities said Saturday. Of primary concern was a report from residents that they had smelled gas in recent weeks, and whether trucks from Pacific Gas and Electric had been working in the area where the explosion occurred. City officials said the gas pipe system in much of the neighborhood was more than 50 years old.



170,000 U.S. families call a shelter ‘home’ San Francisco Bay

San Bruno SF International Airport ÂĽ.D$MBUDIZ5SJCVOF/FXT4FSWJDF

The notorious 1989 earthquake, for all its destructiveness, did less physical damage to this neighborhood than the gas explosion. But it provided a familiar reference for many people here to describe an unfamiliar event. Casey Calvo, 16, who was at the Red Cross shelter set up after the explosion getting free dog food for her Chihuahua, said she had determined that it was not a quake only because it kept going on. “My mom freaked out because she hates earthquakes. Then it just wouldn’t stop. ... We could not figure out what was going on. Then we opened the door, and our neighbor’s house was on fire.�


Boehner bound to lobbyists In Boehner, Obama finally finds a foil

New York Times News Service

While many lawmakers in each party have networks of lobbyists, donors and former aides who now represent corporate interests, ties to the House minority leader, John Boehner of Ohio, seem especially deep. His clique of friends and current and former staff members even has a nickname on Capitol Hill: Boehner Land. The members of this inner circle say their association with Boehner translates into open access to him and his staff.

By Eric Lipton New York Times News Service







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breaks for hedge fund executives and opposing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Boehner’s office said these were positions he already agreed with. (Still, with Boehner and his party in the minority, they often lost the fights.)

Many Democrats are joining Republicans in pushing a repeal of a tax provision in the new health care law that imposes a huge information-reporting burden on small businesses. The law requires businesses to file a 1099 tax form identifying anyone to whom they pay $600 or more for goods or merchandise in a year. Businesses will also have to send copies of the form to vendors, suppliers and contractors. The White House is nervous about a repeal, fearing that it could set a precedent for rolling back other unpopular features of the law. Moreover, the reporting requirement is expected to lead to a significant amount of revenue — $17 billion over 10 years — to help pay for the expansion of coverage and other health initiatives. — From wire reports


speech last week — and as Boehner becomes more visible, his ties to lobbyists, cultivated since he arrived here in 1991, are coming under attack. The woman he hopes to replace, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, derided him Friday as having met “countless times with specialinterest lobbyists in an effort to stop tough legislation� that would regulate corporations and protect consumers. And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, through a spokeswoman, charged that he “epitomizes the smoked-filled, backroom, specialinterest dealmaking that turns off voters about Washington.� Boehner, who declined to be interviewed for this article, and his lobbyist allies ridicule such criticism as politically motivated by desperate Democrats. His actions, they say, simply reflect the probusiness, anti-regulatory philosophy that he has espoused for more than three decades, dating back to when Boehner, the son of a tavern owner, ran a small plastics company in Ohio. And fielding requests from lobbyists is nothing unusual, he says. “I get lobbied every day by somebody,� he said last month after a speech in Cleveland. “It could be by my wife. It could be the bellman. It goes on all day, everyday, everyplace.� Boehner, 60, is not as fiery as Newt Gingrich or as unrelenting an arm-twister as Tom DeLay, two

Bipartisan push to nix one tax in health law


WASHINGTON — House Democrats were preparing late last year for the first floor vote on the financial regulatory overhaul when Rep. John Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists to Capitol Hill for a private strategy session. The bill’s passage in the House already seemed inevitable. But Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down. “We need you to get out there and speak up against this,� Boehner said that December afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with Democrats. That sort of alliance — they won a few skirmishes, though they lost the war on the regulatory bill — is business as usual for Boehner, the House minority leader and would-be speaker if Republicans win the House in November. He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS. They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns over the years, provided him rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes, and are now leading fundraising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed. Some of the lobbyists readily acknowledge routinely seeking his office’s help — calling the congressman and his aides as often as several times a week — to advance their agenda in Washington. And in many cases, Boehner has helped them out. As Democrats increasingly try to cast the Ohio congressman as the face of the Republican Party — President Barack Obama mentioned his name eight times in a

of his Republican predecessors in top House posts. It is his reputation as a “Chamber of Commerce� Republican and his fundraising skills — he has raised $36 million for Republican causes during this election cycle, more than almost anyone else in his party — that explain, in part, his rise. If elected as his party’s leader in the House, Boehner will certainly lean on his industry allies for help as he builds coalitions necessary to push legislation through Congress, his office acknowledges. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said the industry ties only help make Boehner a better Republican leader. “Like the American people, Boehner — a former small-business man — is most concerned right now about the issue of jobs,� he said. “So he often speaks with employers, rather than, for example, labor unions or environmentalists who support job-killing policies.� His lobbyist friends also defended the close ties. “Does he have a lot of relationships in this city? Yes, absolutely,� said Mark Isakowitz, a friend whose Republican firm represents more than three dozen financial, telecommunications, energy and consumer products companies as diverse as Coca-Cola and Zurich Financial Services. “But I think all the good lawmakers do.� One close lobbyist — after lauding each staff member in Boehner’s office that he routinely calls to ask for help — ticked off the list of recent issues for which he had sought the lawmaker’s backing: combating fee increases for the oil industry, fighting a proposed cap on debit card fees, protecting tax

John Boehner is hardly a household name, but President Barack Obama seems set on making him one. Obama gave Boehner a major cameo in his speech outside Cleveland on Wednesday, attaching a name and a face to the Republican opposition. In Boehner, the White House sees a useful foil for the argument that Congress should remain under Democrats’ control. As House GOP leader, Boehner once summarized his approach to the Obama agenda in two words: “Hell, no!� “You can’t have a debate against a vacuum,� a senior White House aide said in an interview Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s thinking. “Boehner provided an opportunity for that.� To mount an effective attack on Boehner, the White House must first introduce him to voters who, for the most part, have no idea who he is. A CNN poll released the day of Obama’s speech showed 55 percent either have never heard of Boehner (BAY-nur) or have no opinion about him. Privately, Boehner aides said they’re pleased that despite the gusts of criticism, the minority leader remains comparatively anonymous. Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, said, “I (think) most Americans ... wonder why the president is lowering himself to attacking a congressman.� — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The number of families in homeless shelters (households with at least one adult and one minor child) has leapt to 170,000 from 131,000 from 2007 through 2009, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With long-term unemployment ballooning, those numbers could easily climb this year. Late in 2009, however, states began distributing $1.5 billion that has been made available over three years by the federal government as part of the stimulus package for the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which provides financial assistance to keep people in their homes or get them back in one quickly if they lose them. More than 550,000 people have received aid through the $1.5 billion stimulus program, including more than 1,800 in Rhode Island, with just over a quarter of the money for the program spent so far nationally, state and federal officials said.


SAN BRUNO, Calif. — When an explosion jolted this city in the hills Thursday night — shaking houses with a powerful boom — some people thought it was an earthquake and dropped to the ground. Others thought an airplane had crashed while taking off from San Francisco International Airport, just a few miles away. Considering where they lived, both were rational guesses about what would have been a not-too-terribly-surprising event. It took a few minutes before the realization set in that this disaster, which has killed at least four people and destroyed 37 homes, had been caused by the rupture of a natural gas line. Still, that initial reaction, recalled in conversations among residents, suggests that the mindset of many people who live here is tinged with the possibility of some sort of cataclysm. Many of them recalled the powerful earthquake that shook the area in 1989, or described the apprehension

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A4 Sunday, September 12, 2010 • THE BULLETIN

Before likely succession, North Korea mends ties with South


Divisions evident on a day of national unity The Associated Press and The Washington Post NEW YORK — Under a flawless blue sky here that called to mind the day of Sept. 11, 2001, itself, there were tears and songs, chants, and the waving of hundreds of American flags. Loved ones recited the names of the victims, as they have each year since the attacks. They looked up to add personal messages to the lost and down to place flowers in a reflecting pool in their honor. For a few hours Saturday morning, the political and cultural furor over whether a proposed Islamic center and mosque belongs two blocks from the World Trade Center site mostly gave way to the somber anniversary ceremony and pleas from elected officials

By Chico Harlan The Washington Post

SEOUL — North Korea remained silent Saturday about a kickoff date for a political conference widely expected to mark a hereditary power transfer, but it took a step in the meantime toward mending frayed ties with South Korea. The North’s state-run news agency reported Saturday that the Pyongyang government wants to resume a reunion program for families living on opposite sides of the border that divides the peninsula. If the South agrees, as observers say is likely, select Koreans will be able to see relatives for the first time in a year. The idea for the family visits grew out of a North-South summit in 2000. Since then, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, some 20,000 Koreans have been reunited. However, no further clues were offered about an upcoming Workers’ Party conference in Pyongyang, which state media had initially slated for “early September.” Nor was any mention made of leader Kim Jong Il’s youngest son, Kim Jong Eun, who analysts predict will emerge from the conference with a key party position, confirming his anointment as the Stalinist dictatorship’s future leader.

Uniting families North and South Korea used early September to step back slightly from hostility that dates to the March torpedoing of the South’s Cheonan warship. In recent weeks, Seoul proposed an $8.4 million donation of flood aid to the North. The North released a captured South Korean fishing boat. Then it requested rice, cement and machinery. Politicians in the South spoke encouragingly about approving the request, though it hasn’t happened yet. The North’s latest proposal, for reunions of families separated by the demilitarized zone, is seen by analysts as another safe step toward repairing relations. According to its news agency, it suggested that officials from the North’s Red Cross meet with South Korean counterparts as soon as possible to discuss the idea. The reunions could take place Sept. 22, a holiday akin to Thanksgiving.

Transfer of power The widely accepted assumption had been that the North would hold its party meeting last week, before the Sept. 9 holiday commemorating its foundation. The Korean Central News Agency said Monday that party delegates were arriving in Pyongyang, where billboards proclaim the event. Now, observers wonder whether “early” just means before Sept. 15. In Seoul, some analysts have wondered whether the holdup is linked to economic difficulties. Some speculate it has to do with last-minute security checks on delegates. Others say it reflects ongoing debates about policy changes, given that the conference is a stage for announcements, not arguments. Still others attribute the delay to the elder Kim’s deteriorating health. The meeting would be the biggest since a 1980 gathering where Kim Jong Il made his public debut as future leader. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is greeting with a shrug an expected North Korean political convention that could see the public debut of the country’s next ruler. World leaders come and go, even in totalitarian North Korea; the important thing, U.S. officials say, is for the country to live up to past nuclear disarmament promises. “We’re watching the leadership process and don’t have any idea yet how it’s going to turn out,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week. She made clear that the U.S. goal is “to try to convince whoever is in leadership in North Korea that their future would be far better served by” giving up their nuclear ambitions. Should it convene, the North Korean convention would come amid a flurry of diplomatic activity among the five countries pushing the North to resume stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

“As Americans, we are not — and never will be — at war with Islam. It was not a religion that attacked us that September day — it was al-Qaida, a sorry band of men which perverts religion.” — President Barack Obama, in a ceremony at the Pentagon for religious tolerance. But this Sept. 11 was unmistakably different from the eight that came before it, and not only because a new World Trade Center is finally ready to rise. As they finished reading names, two relatives of 9/11 victims issued pleas — one to God and one to New York — that the site remain “sacred.”

And within hours of the city’s memorial service near ground zero, groups of protesters had taken up positions in Lower Manhattan, blocks apart and representing both sides of the debate over the mosque, which has suffused the nation’s politics for weeks leading up to the anniversary. Continued on next page

David Goldman / The Associated Press

A DAY OF PROTESTS, TOO On Saturday, about 1,500 opponents of a mosque near ground zero in New York chanted “USA” and “No mosque here.” Critics have said that even if organizers have a First Amendment right to build the center where they want, putting it near ground zero would be a show of disrespect. “This isn’t about religion,” said one protester, speaking of Muslims. “This is about rubbing our faces in their victory over us.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth Meehan, 51, was among about 2,000 rallying to support the mosque. Meehan, who rode a bus to the rally from her home in Saratoga, N.Y., about 180 miles away, said she is an observant Christian and felt it was important for Christians to speak in favor of religious freedom. “Muslims are fellow Americans — they should have the right to worship in America just like anyone else.”

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THE BULLETIN • Sunday, September 12, 2010 A5 Sitting on his father’s shoulders, Luke Pavlenishzili, 2, offers a rose to firefighter Joe Huber, standing as an honor guard by the reflecting pool at ground zero Saturday during ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York. Chang W. Lee / New York Times News Service

Continued from previous page On Saturday, Lower Manhattan was alive with humanity — Mennonites in white caps sang hymns, bagpipers in kilts marched, tourists and New Yorkers wandered around the perimeter of ground zero, some stopping to argue for, or against, the construction of an Islamic center near the site. The day’s debates included one between Hannah Moch, a 17year-old Brooklyn resident who wore a miniskirt and boots, flowered miniskirt and black cowboy boots, and an older man with shaggy hair sticking out from under a trucker’s cap. “I was here, I was 8 years old,”

Moch cried out. “Today is about the victims!” “Today is about freedom of speech!” the anti-mosque protester yelled. “You’ve got no right to talk!” said the man with the cap. “Why not?” said Moch, a recent high school graduate. “Because you’re Islam!” “No, I’m not,” she said. “I’m Jewish. I’m Jewish and Christian. Today is Sept. 11, and I don’t think today is a day to argue.” Behind them, police blew their whistles, trying to keep the sidewalks clear. Sometimes, the two sides did not even get close enough to talk. Mosque opponent Scott Black, 48,


said he feared for his life at the site. “I don’t mean to be overly romantic, but I wrote a farewell letter to my wife and children and mailed it this morning before I came down here, just in case,” said the salesman from South Carolina. “You have this crowd, Muslim extremists could set off a bomb, there could be a riot and a lot of people could be hurt.” At the other Sept. 11 attack sites, as at ground zero, elected leaders sought to remind Americans of the acts of heroism that marked a Tuesday in 2001 and the national show of unity that followed. President Barack Obama, appealing to an unsettled nation from the Pentagon, declared that the United States could not “sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.” “As Americans, we are not

Mark Lennihan / The Associated Press

In an annual tradition, the Tribute in Light rises above the construction cranes at the former site of the World Trade Center on Saturday. Ground zero, the spot in Lower Manhattan where Americans pay tribute, is transforming itself. Just last week, officials hoisted a 70-foot piece of trade center steel there and vowed to open the 9/11 memorial, with two waterfalls marking where the twin towers stood, by next year. At the northwest corner of the site, 1 World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, now rises 36 stories above ground. It is set to open in 2013 and be 1,776 feet tall. Meanwhile, the proposed Islamic cultural center, which organizers say will promote interfaith learning, would go in an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory two blocks uptown from ground zero.

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— and never will be — at war with Islam,” the president said. “It was not a religion that attacked us that September day — it was al-Qaida, a sorry band of men which perverts religion.” In Shanksville, Pa., first lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor, Laura Bush, spoke at a public event together for the first time since last year’s presidential inauguration. At the rural field where the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 lost their lives, Obama said “a scar in the

Earth has healed,” and Bush said “Americans have no division” on this day. In New York, the leader of a small Christian congregation in Florida who had planned to burn copies of the Quran to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary called off his plans. (Still, in Afghanistan, thousands protested.) Near the World Trade Center site, a memorial to the 2,752 who died there played out mostly as it had each year since 2001. Bells were tolled to mark the times of

impact of the two hijacked jets and the times the twin towers collapsed. Assigned to read the names of the fallen, relatives of 9/11 victims calmly made their way through their lists, then struggled, some looking skyward, as they addressed their lost loved ones. Sean Holohan, whose brother was killed, called out to the 343 firefighters who died: “All of you proved that day to the world that we are still one indivisible nation under God.”

A6 Sunday, September 12, 2010 • THE BULLETIN


Kremlin suppresses dissent, with tech piracy as an excuse

Baseball Continued from A1 The story by now has become almost cliche: Big company sees huge market in China. Big company tries to capture that market before anyone else. But in terms of professional sports, that boat set sail long ago. It was called the National Basketball Association, and, as anyone in here will tell you, its champion was 7-foot-6 Chinese star Yao Ming. An estimated 300 million Chinese now play basketball — roughly the size of the entire U.S. population. This country is the NBA’s largest foreign merchandise market. And when the league launched a separate entity called “NBA China� two years ago, Goldman Sachs estimated its value at $2.3 billion. That success has left other sports salivating. The National Football League has flown in players (and attractive cheerleaders) to make its case. Professional golf is also making a push. Even World Wrestling Entertainment is trying to sell its spandex-clad, muscle-bound act here. Far behind the NBA, but somewhere at the head of this second wave, is Major League Baseball. Its officials have adopted a guerrilla-warfare-type strategy — identifying areas where baseball can gain ground at minimal cost and settling in for the long haul. In charge of MLB’s operation is Leon Xie, a former marketing executive. “We’re at China Central Place. You know where that is?� asks Xie over the phone, trying to direct a reporter to his office. He tries a few more landmarks, then: “Just tell the driver we’re in the same building as NBA; everyone knows where they are.� Later, in a Beijing office seven floors above the NBA but several times smaller, Xie lays out the plight of his sport. Baseball in China stretches back to the late Qing dynasty when students dispatched to American universities by the emperor returned with the game. But baseball was purged during the Cultural Revolution, along with most things associated with the West (except for basketball, which Mao Zedong embraced).

After the Olympics, getting serious It wasn’t until 2002 — after Beijing won its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games — that MLB finally got serious about China. As host, China was guaranteed a spot in the Games, and MLB saw its chance to introduce the country to bang qiu, or stickball, as baseball is called in China. The biggest push, however, has come in the past three years with the establishment of the organization’s Beijing office. Since then, the MLB has created and sent a traveling baseball amusement park around the country. It negotiated a deal to have the sport’s fundamentals taught to more than 150,000 kids at 120 primary schools. And when Chinese parents expressed concerns about their children getting hurt, Xie and his subordinates secured rubber bats and squeeze balls, personally testing them by hitting one another. Executives declined to go into detail about costs but said the annual budget for operations in China is at the million-dollar level. Serious profit or revenue is still

Editor’s note: This is an indepth story by The New York Times on one of the Russian authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software. For the full story in today’s Times, visit

By Clifford J. Levy New York Times News Service

Qilai Shen / The Washington Post

Blue Stars players gather at a summer training camp in Wuxi, China. Major league baseball is targeting teenagers in hopes of grooming potential baseball talent in China and ultimately increasing the sport’s popularity in the world’s most populous country. for his lineage of two high-levelathlete parents taller than 6 feet. Table tennis has long been the favorite sport of the Chinese, His father, Qian Anjun, proudas has badminton. But with China’s 1.3 billion population and ly boasts of his son’s inexperiits explosive economy, a whole raft of foreign leagues and ence: “He is like the pure, whitest sports are now vying to capture their share of the market. paper on which the Americans can draw their masterpiece.� Teaching fundamentals isn’t the tough part, says Rick Dell, a veteran coach who oversees the People in China playing various sports program. “The harder thing is 3PVHIFTUJNBUFT  26 teaching them strategy — run5 4 million 1 ning to the right base, how to pick million million million someone off.� To instill such instincts, Dell Golf Baseball Tennis Soccer Basketball has built baseball into his players’ lives. Tuition for the highPlaying professionally in the U.S. level academics at Dongbeitang There are currently no players from China in MLB (there are three from Taiwan), but High School is covered, and Engthere are two in the NBA according to 2009-10 player rosters. lish-language tutors are provided three days a week. But in their spare hours, the players watch National Basketball Association Major League Baseball games in their dorms. TranslatOf 442 players, Of 833 players, 231 are ed magazine articles adorn the 83 are foreign-born: foreign-born: walls. And a game is always on 12 8 South in the clubhouse that MLB built 148 60 North and America North and South for them. Central Central America 5 ForeignForeignWith constant exposure, the America/ America/ Africa born born Caribbean Caribbean boys have begun to dress, act and players players 9 Asia/ 23 Pacific** even walk like real players. They 49 Asia/ swagger onto the field with the Europe Pacific* slow and easy gait of veterans. *ODMVEFTUXPGSPN$IJOB *ODMVEFTGSPN+BQBO UXPGSPN4PVUI They squint and fidget with their ,PSFBBOEUISFFGSPN5BJXBO hats between plays. Their skills have grown ex5IF8BTIJOHUPO1PTU 4PVSDFT.-# /#" '*'"4VSWFZ  8PNFOT5FOOJT "TTPDJBUJPO $IJOFTF#BTFCBMM"TTPDJBUJPO $IJOFTF(PMG"TTPDJBUJPO ponentially as well. On a recent Thursday, Dell’s 12-to-14-yearyears away. But there have been sion to eliminate baseball as an olds held their own against colsigns of hope. Olympic sport following the Bei- lege players. A 2008 survey by market re- jing Games. Without medals to So, just how far off is baseball search firm TNS Sport Asia win, interest among state sports from finding its Yao Ming — a showed that 16 percent of the officials has waned. Even the star to bring the Chinese masses Chinese population is interested Olympic stadium that hosted the to this sport? in baseball and 26 percent inter- 2008 Olympic baseball tournaIt is a question Dell gets all the ested in MLB merchandise. With ment has been torn down. time — one he calls unfair to him large followings in Taiwan, Japan “There is no short-term fix,� and to baseball. and South Korea, there’s already says Paul Archey, MLB’s senior The reality is that most playprecedent in Asia. And according vice president of international ers now at the school will probto the Chinese Baseball Associa- operations. “It’s just the nature ably never get a shot at the major tion, 4 million Chinese currently of the game. We have to start leagues. The game requires too play the game. young.� complicated a skill set. Many At the forefront of this strat- professionals start playing as egy is the development center in early as 6 or 7 years old. Some But who knows Wuxi, where 16 boys handpicked executives think it will be at least how to play? by MLB coaches have spent the 10 years before they see a serious Baseball officials admit that’s a past year living and breathing prospect out of China. drop in the bucket in China’s vast baseball. “Look, it’s not like basketball. population. Even now, few people Most came to the school with We’re not going to suddenly find off the street know how to play. less than a year of experience. a 7-foot player somewhere who Equipment is scarce and, with One boy, Qian Yichen, 13, from can walk into Yankee Stadium the skyrocketing value of land Wuxi, had never played the game and pitch the socks off people,� in China, baseball diamonds are before. Dell says. “Baseball doesn’t work rare. “It looked so strange, a bunch like that. We’re going to have A bigger problem, however, of people waving a stick around, to be deliberate, build it from came with the International all chasing such a little ball,� says scratch. That’s what this school Olympic Committee’s 2005 deci- Qian, who was largely recruited is about.�


300 million

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IRKUTSK, Russia — It was late one afternoon in January when a squad of plainclothes police officers arrived at the headquarters of a prominent environmental group here. They brushed past the staff with barely a word and instead set upon the computers before carting them away. Taken were files that chronicled a generation’s worth of efforts to protect the Siberian wilderness. The group, Baikal Environmental Wave, was organizing protests against a decision by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to reopen a paper factory that had long polluted nearby Lake Baikal, a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software. Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years. Security officials say the inquiries reflect their concern about software piracy, which is rampant in Russia. Yet they rarely if ever carry out raids against advocacy groups or news organizations that back the government. As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving pivotal assistance from an un-

expected partner: Microsoft itself. In numerous politically tinged inquiries across Russia, lawyers retained by Microsoft have staunchly backed the police. Interviews and a review of lawenforcement documents show that in recent cases, Microsoft lawyers made statements describing the company as a victim and arguing that criminal charges should be pursued. The lawyers rebuffed pleas by accused journalists and advocacy groups — including Baikal Wave — to refrain from working with the authorities. Baikal Wave, in fact, said it had purchased and installed legal Microsoft software specifically to deny the authorities an excuse to raid them. The group later asked Microsoft for help in fending off the police. “Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do,� said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Wave cochairwoman and one of Russia’s best-known environmentalists. Microsoft executives in Moscow and at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., asserted that they did not initiate the inquiries and that they took part in them only because they were required to do so under Russian law. Microsoft, like many U.S. technology giants doing business in authoritarian countries, is often faced with ethical choices over government directives to help suppress dissent.

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The Associated Press file photo

American hikers Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal at the Esteghlal Hotel in Tehran, Iran, in May. On Friday, in an abrupt shift that suggested divisions within the government, Iran postponed the release of Shourd, who has been detained with her two friends for more than a year.

U.S. hiker caught in middle of latest Iran power struggle By Brian Murphy The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s start-and-stop announcements over the release of one of three detained Americans add up to a distinct message: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies still have a fight on their hands within the ruling ranks. The confusing signals over the fate of 31-year-old Sarah Shourd — whose planned Saturday release was personally backed by Ahmadinejad — underscore the wider backlash to efforts at expanding his powers and sway over internal policies and Iran’s foreign affairs, analysts say. It also points to one of the main fissures in Iran’s conservative leadership: Ahmadinejad and his allies against the powerful judiciary overseen by Iran’s supreme leader. The judiciary head, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani — who took over shortly after the Americans were detained along the Iraqi border in July 2009 — apparently sees the detainees as his portfolio alone. On Saturday, the judiciary’s website quoted Tehran’s chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, as saying none of the detained Americans would be released “until the end of the legal procedure” and stressed that Shourd would not receive special treatment despite reported health concerns, including a breast lump and precancerous cervical cells. It’s unclear whether the prosecutor was referring to a trial on possible spy charges — which could takes weeks or months — or some other kind of case review. It appears, however, any fast-track release is unlikely. “By stopping the release of Sarah Shourd, the judiciary sent a strong message to the president that the buck stops with them,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Iran expert with the Middle East Economic and Political Analyst based in Israel.

Undercutting Ahmadinejad But the rumblings inside Iran’s power structure have potential resonance beyond the detained Americans. Pressure from the sources such as the judiciary and

“More and more, Iranian lawmakers and officials believe (Ahmadinejad) is ignoring them and acting solely in his own interest.” — Meir Javedanfar, an Iran expert with the Middle East Economic and Political Analyst, on Iran’s president parliament — led by Larijani’s brother Ali — could undercut Ahmadinejad’s ability to fend off domestic complaints. The list is long and includes a creaky economy, the squeeze of sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program and the crackdown on opposition groups who claim he stole last year’s election. “More and more, Iranian lawmakers and officials believe he is ignoring them and acting solely in his own interest,” said Javedanfar. The timing of the planned release of Shourd also could have played a role in the abrupt pullback. It coincided with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a common time to free prisoners in the Islamic world. But it’s just weeks before Ahmadinejad’s annual trip to attend the U.N. General Assembly — suggesting the judiciary did not want to hand Ahmadinejad potential goodwill points before heading to the United States.

Another woman in legal trouble Ahmadinejad also could be looking to soften international outcry over a stoning sentence — now put on hold — for an Iranian woman convicted of adultery in another case that overlaps political sensitivities and the judicial process. “There are definite lines of division within Iran,” said Behzad Sarmadi, a researcher on Iranian affairs at the Dubai School of Government. “It’s easy to imagine a case like the American detainees being caught up in the factional disputes.”

On Friday, state media reported that Ahmadinejad’s intervention helped secure her freedom in part because of the “special viewpoint of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the dignity of women.” Reporters were invited to witness her release. Then, just hours later, judiciary officials said it was off — an embarrassing rebuke to Ahmadinejad and dashing the hopes of Shourd’s family. Shourd and two other Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, were detained along the IranIraq border on July 31, 2009. They have been accused of illegally crossing the border and spying in a case that has deepened tensions with Washington — which has led the push from greater sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. Their families say they were hiking in Iraq’s scenic Kurdish region and that if they crossed the border, they did so unwittingly. Shourd has been held in solitary confinement, and her mother has said she’s been denied medical treatment.

Iran’s republic The judiciary is among the key pillars of authority directly overseen by Iran’s highest figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The mixed signals over Shourd’s release suggest a breakdown in the traditional flow of power — with Ahmadinejad trying to set policies without full clearance from the top. “You can see this as another sign of cracks in Khamenei’s authority,” said Patrick Clawson, deputy director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In an apparent attempt to save face, an unidentified official in the president’s office was quoted Saturday by the IRNA news agency as saying the postponement of Shourd’s release was due to the Eid al-Fitr holiday. But the timing of the end-of-Ramdan events are known days in advance. Still, the American woman’s lawyer, Masoud Shafiei, said he remains optimistic. “Since the case has turned into a political and diplomatic issue and many officials have talked about a release, she could be released soon,” he said.

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Continued from A1 The 2001 and 2003 Bush tax changes cut taxes in a host of areas, including: • Cutting income tax rates for most brackets. The top bracket fell from 39.6 to 35 percent, 36 to 33 percent, 31 to 28 percent and 28 to 25 percent. It also created a new 10 percent tax bracket. • Increasing the child credit from $500 to $1,000. • Eliminating the “marriage penalty,” so the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly is double the individual deduction. Previously, it was less than double, creating the “penalty.” In a news conference Friday, President Barack Obama said Republicans can break the stalemate by agreeing to extend tax cuts for all but the nation’s highest-income families. Obama has said the government can’t afford to spend $700 billion over 10 years to prevent tax increases for families earning more than $250,000. “We (have) got an area of agreement, which is, let’s help families out there who are having a tough time,” Obama said. “We, as I said, we could this month give every American certainty and tax relief up to $250,000 a year.” Economists have differed on whether to extend tax cuts for higher income brackets. While economist Mark Zandi and even Obama’s former Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag have said the cuts should be extended for at least a year; deficit hawks, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, have said the government can’t afford the cuts unless spending is cut to pay for them. Tad DeHaven, a budget ana-lyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the argu-

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THE BULLETIN • Sunday, September 12, 2010 A7 ment in favor of tax cuts is that individuals will use that money more efficiently to revive the economy than the government has. “I just view it as transferring resources from the productive private sector to the generally unproductive public sector,” DeHaven said. “We’ve had enough attempts by the public sector to stimulate economic growth.”

Reforming the tax code Wyden spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer declined to answer questions about whether he would support extending all of the Bush tax cuts or only those for middleincome taxpayers. “Senator Wyden views all discussions of tax policy as an opportunity to discuss his belief that the country is in need of fundamental tax reform,” Hoelzer said. “As such, he believes that any effort to extend the Bush-era tax cuts — either just those for the middle class or at all rate levels — should only be done temporarily in order to create space for Congress to pass and consider comprehensive tax reform.” Wyden introduced a bill with Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., that would simplify the tax system by drastically cutting the number of deductions while lowering many tax rates. The plan has gotten positive reviews from such diverse groups as the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institution, but Democratic leaders have shown little indication they plan to move the bill forward this year.

What other lawmakers and candidates think Wyden’s Republican opponent for his Senate seat, Jim Huffman, favors extending all of the tax cuts, spokesman John Vinson said. “The economy is weak, and serious people on all sides of the political spectrum understand that raising taxes, whether by action or inaction, will not help us create new jobs,” he said, cit-

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ing statements by Zandi and a speech by Obama last year on the need to keep taxes low during a recession. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, are closer to their party lines. On a conference call Thursday, Merkley said giving tax incentives to small businesses is more important than preventing a tax increase for upper-income families. Merkley pointed out that the U.S. income tax system means that even wealthy families benefit from lower tax rates for lower incomes. “Those who are affluent will still benefit from the tax cuts at the lower income brackets because of our marginal tax system,” Merkley said. “Every American would be helped.” Walden is backing House Minority Leader John Boehner’s proposal to extend all of the tax cuts for two years, spokesman Andrew Whelan said. “One benefit is that it would give small businesses some certainty for investing in the future, which many say they don’t have right now,” Whelan said. Walden’s Democratic opponent, Joyce Segers, favors extending tax cuts for two years, except those that benefit households earning more than $250,000 or individuals earning more than $200,000. “There is no economic consensus that blanket tax cuts to the rich stimulate the economy,” campaign manager Robert Bart said. “We need to use targeted tax incentives to create jobs and help small businesses, rather than giving tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of this country.” Keith Chu can be reached at 202-662-7456 or at

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Bulletin Daily Paper 09/12/10  

The Bulletin Daily print edition for Sunday September 12, 2010

Bulletin Daily Paper 09/12/10  

The Bulletin Daily print edition for Sunday September 12, 2010