Good morning, gentlemen. Here’s your news feed for this Wednesday morning.
President Obama will be rolling out his economic plan in Cleveland today, which is expected to propose the following: body slam Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy into oblivion and move billions of dollars toward infrastructure spending and small business tax breaks that the GOP have long supported. While his language is expected to be mostly bipartisan—save for his anti-Bush tax cut spiel—his intent may be to dare Republicans to oppose a plan so close to what they’ve wanted for ages. (After all, the Democratic contention is that they’ll do anything to deny Obama a victory.) We’ll see if that includes opposing their own plan.
“Multiple companies and work teams” were at fault in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, according to BP’s internal investigation report, released this morning. After weeks of insisting it’s “too soon to tell” why the off shore oil rig exploded on April 20, the company finally explained its side of the story, claiming that because its team “incorrectly accepted” results of a negative pressure test before the disaster, a lot of the blame should land on the shoulders of the rig owner, Transocean. (Really, guys?)
The rest of the report (which you can read here) weaves a detailed and labyrinthine tale of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, and operational implementation that all sum up to: it’s not all our fault, people.
High winds, dry conditions, downed power lines, and a lack of resources spread Detroit firefighters thin all through last night, as more than eighty-five fires erupted across the city in a four-hour window. Luckily, no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported, though dozens of homes were destroyed.
“I haven’t had anything like this in twenty years,” Detroit Fire Chief Gregory Williams said.
More than a million people went on strike in Paris yesterday to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempt to raise the legal retirement age from 60 to 62. As French schools start up their semester, many were forced to close right back down because they didn’t have enough teachers. (Public transit was also tangled up in knots.)
The French government insists that the aging population and severe budget deficits require an overhaul of their leaky pension system. The French retirement age is already among the lowest in Europe. Germans can’t retire until they’re 67.