Morning News - Europe Embraces Coal Edition

Apr 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton proclaimed "the tide is turning" following her decisive 10-point victory over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania last night. However, analysts point out she still lags in total delegates, the popular vote count, and the number of states won. The Clinton people counter that they have won more big states, and the states where Democrats will have to perform well to beat John McCain. The picture also changes if Florida and Michigan are counted. One troubling sign for the Democrats – the exit polls seemed to indicate last night there was growing animosity between Clinton and Obama voters and many may stay home or vote for McCain if their candidate doesn’t win the nomination. The next contests are in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6.

The pious and almighty New York Times editorial board no longer finds the Democratic primary to its liking, nor the tactics of its favored candidate, Hillary. In an editorial today, the paper scolds both candidates, and the entire process:

"The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it. Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11, [a tactic] torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook … Her negativity [is doing] harm to her, her opponent, her party, and the 2008 election."

The Senate today will vote on legislation that would overturn the Supreme Court Ledbetter decision putting time limits on how long employees have to file discrimination complaints against employers with EEOC. The U.S. Chamber opposes the legislation.

Stocks took a hit yesterday as oil broke through the $120 a barrel mark and on DuPont and Texas Instruments reports. The Dow lost about 105 points. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are calling for an investigation into oil-market speculation. Sen. Feinstein said "until we build the replacements for gasoline ... there ought to be a prohibition on market speculation."

Following is tenth auction of $50 billion in short-term loans, the Fed has now lent a total of $360 billion to squeezed banks since December to help them overcome credit problems.

The New York Times reports that in the face of rising oil and natural gas prices, many European nations are reverting back to coal. Italy, for example, will increase its reliance on coal to 33% from 14%. European countries are slated to build about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades. In the United States, fewer new coal plants are slated to go on line, in part because it’s increasingly difficult to get regulatory permits.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday there's no need for new regulation of the Internet – or so-called net neutrality regulations -- arguing his agency has all the authority it needs to prevent discrimination by Internet service providers.

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