The Lookout
  • AP080509021780Two Republican senators who took a hard right turn against immigration reform last spring are signaling they may be prepared to revisit comprehensive immigration reform in the new Congress.

    Of course, the GOP-controlled House would most likely never pass an immigration bill erecting a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants. But GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are nonetheless hinting that the Senate may attempt reform anyway.

    Graham told Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown he is again in talks with New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, though he said their plans are in the "infant stage." McCain said yesterday on CNN he would consider immigration reform once the border is secure. (A deadline that translates, in all likelihood, to Congress first passing the "10-point" border security bill that he and his home-state GOP senate colleague John Kyl have put forward to send 3,000 troops to the border). Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said in an interview that McCain, once a champion of reform, told him "that there's a shot at this."

    Read More »from Graham, McCain flirting with immigration reform support
  • AP081031012263Governors are proposing a slew of tough budget cuts to get through the next fiscal year without stimulus funds or increased taxes, reports The Wall Street Journal. Proposals in Texas and Iowa single out public education for steep cuts.

    In Texas, one proposal would reduce total education spending by 15 percent, or $7-$10 billion, depending on K-12 enrollment. The plan also calls for shutting down four community colleges in a bid to close the state's $15 billion deficit while honoring Republican Gov. Rick Perry's pledge not to use rainy-day funds or raise taxes.

    Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad wants to cut preschool funding from $71 million to $43 million, which would eliminate the universal free pre-school for four year-olds the state established in 2007.

    Higher education cuts are expected in California, New York, and several other states.

    (Texas Gov. Rick Perry: AP)

    Read More »from Iowa and Texas plan steep education cuts
  • Welcome to First Look, our daily round-up of early bird news:

    • The White House is fighting back against false claims its policies were to blame for rolling blackouts in Texas. (Politico)

    • A U.S. diplomat in Western Europe spoke fondly of Egypt's embattled leader Hosni Mubarak. (The Guardian)

    • New jobs data shows that layoffs are rarer even though unemployment remains high. (AP)

    Read More »from FIRST LOOK: Carbon monoxide sickens 54 at youth hockey game


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  • Djokovic, Wawrinka set up epic showdown, ill Serena through

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic and champion Stan Wawrinka set up 'The Djoker v The Man 3.0' at Melbourne Park after impressive quarter-final victories on Wednesday, while an ill Serena Williams moved a step closer to her 19th grand slam title. The American, however, will first have to overcome the pure hitting of Madison Keys after the 19-year-old ended the fairytale run of Serena's older sister Venus, despite suffering from a thigh injury that hampered her movement. With many suggesting prior to the tournament it could signify an epochal shift in both games, the teenager represents the up and comers in the semi-finals after Djokovic and Wawrinka crushed the last hopes of 'Generation Next' in the men's draw. Djokovic, seeking to become the second man to win a fifth Australian Open title, beat Canada's Milos Raonic 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2 in the late match on Rod Laver Arena, hours after Wawrinka had easily dispatched fifth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 7-6(6).

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