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Saturday, September 27, 2008

It is angry and sneering, just like John McCain.

John McCain is running a new campaign ad that actually attacks Barack Obama for agreeing with John McCain. This has to be the first time in history that a candidate ever went negative on his opponent for being too agreeable.
If the ad had a lighthearted, funny tone I think it could work. But instead, it is angry and sneering, just like John McCain.
Watch the ad:

McCain Is Right

Aside from the tone, the ad's problem is that it reinforces Obama's message that he is willing to work across party lines. Why in the world would a campaign put up an ad that says that the opposing candidate only cares about doing the right thing, not about winning the political battle.

Basically, McCain is accusing Obama of being a decent guy.

Moreover, everybody knows that Barack Obama has serious disagreements with John McCain, starting with Iraq -- where John McCain was unequivocally wrong:
Obama Is Right: McCain Was Wrong

Friday, September 26, 2008

Liar's Poker

Why McCain just can't tell the truth.
The pattern here is perfectly clear. McCain has contempt for anybody who stands between him and the presidency. McCain views himself as the ultimate patriot. He loves his country so much that he cannot let it fall into the hands of an unworthy rival. (They all turn out to be unworthy.) Viewed in this way, doing whatever it takes to win is not an act of selfishness but an act of patriotism. McCain tells lies every day and authorizes lying on his behalf, and he probably knows it. But I would guess--and, again, guessing is all we can do--that in his mind he is acting honorably. As he might put it, there is a bigger truth out there.

Jack Cafferty: If Sarah Palin Being One Heartbeat Away "Doesn't Scare The Hell Out Of You, It Should"

The Raw Story | Rice admits officials approved 'harsh interrogation techniques'

GOP House Leader Says McCain "Got The Discussion Going In The Direction That We Wanted"

Just before 2PM, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt told CNN's Jessica Yellin that John McCain's so-called 'rescue mission' on the financial crisis deal negotiations "got the discussion going in the direction that we wanted to see it go all week."
Blunt added that "John McCain came back and said 'Wait a minute, I think the House Republicans have the taxpayers in mind here and I'm with them.'"
Here's video:

GOP House Leader: McCain's With Us

As a reminder, just as John McCain arrived in Washington, DC, GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus appeared at a joint news conference with House and Senate leaders of both parties to announce that a deal framework had been reached. Here's video:

Before McCain Arrived: GOP Rep. Bachus At Deal Announcement

Although Bachus was the least enthusiastic of those at the press conference, he clearly stated that (a) he was pleased the the bailout deal would protect taxpayers and that (b) House Republicans were committed to a successful negotiation.
As Bachus made his remarks, John McCain was meeting with John Boehner. Within an hour of that meeting ending, Boehner issued a statement saying House Republicans opposed the deal, repudiating the comments by Bachus


"Mr. Paulson is demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review 'by any court of law or any administrative agency.'"

The Great Switch: Banks Rob People
New York Times liberal columnist Bob Herbert put it nicely. "Does anyone think it's just a little weird to be stampeded into a $700 billion solution by the very same people who brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?" The American people should revolt against business as usual and rule by the Lords of Finance by inundating Congress with the demand to stop the insanity now.

CRAP, This is a Republican Problem!!!!!!!!! They owned the lot for the last friking 8 years

Joint Statement of Sens. Obama and McCain on the Financial Crisis
Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain issued the following joint statement on the financial crisis, about six hours after agreeing to do so:
Joint Statement of Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain
“The American people are facing a moment of economic crisis. No matter how this began, we all have a responsibility to work through it and restore confidence in our economy. The jobs, savings, and prosperity of the American people are at stake.
“Now is a time to come together – Democrats and Republicans – in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail.
This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.”
* * *
In addition, Sen. Obama appended the following statement of principles he wants in the legislation, and asked Sen. McCain to support them as well. Obama campaign officials say Sen. McCain’s campaign rhetoric suggests he agrees with the principles.
I believe that several core principles should guide this legislation.
First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency.
Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers.
Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis.
Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street.
Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.
This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem – this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution.

Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency?

Blow your mind yet, America?

McCain Lost PR Battle

McCain has left town.
Administration Official: McCain Lost PR Battle
Concerned that the public relations battle had turned against their favor, John McCain and the group of conservatives who opposed the outlines of the compromise financial bailout package will likely back away from their recalcitrance, an official close to the Administration tells the Huffington Post.
The Republican source, with direct knowledge of the negotiations, said that GOPers and McCain were "scared about the press perception" that they were at fault for "blowing the thing up." The takeover of Washington Mutual on Thursday combined with the continued downturn in the futures and credit markets "also scared them," to the point that a bailout deal seemed within the realm of possibility "over the weekend."
The official's tone - more optimistic than that of key figures just last night - signals an end may be in sight on a bailout negotiations. McCain has generally avoided taking a stance on the set of compromise principles agreed to by the administration, Democrats and many Republicans in Congress. But talks stalled during a White House meeting last night, in large part, sources say, because of a power struggle within the House Republican caucus.
McCain had left the campaign trail mid-week with a promise to force a consensus. But it seems, at this point, that he will have done relatively little during the negotiations - save for possibly killing the earlier arrangement and providing an opening for the opposition.
"I do think that John McCain was very helpful in what he did. I saw him this morning, we've been talking with his staff," House Republican Whip Roy Blunt told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. "Clearly, yesterday, his position in that discussion yesterday [at the White House] was one that stopped a deal from finalizing that no House Republican, in my view, would've been for."

Chuck Schumer: "Tell Sen. McCain To Get Out Of Town"

During a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) urged President Bush to "respectfully tell Sen. McCain to get out of town. He's not helping."
Schumer also requested that Bush get the his House Republicans in line. "We need President Bush to take leadership. We need President Bush, first and foremost, to get the Republican House members to support his plan or modify it in some way to bring them on board," he said.
He added, "When you inject presidential politics into some of the most difficult negotiations under normal circumstances, it is fraught with difficulty. Before McCain made his announcement, we were making great progress. Now after his announcement, we are behind the 8 ball. We have to put things back together again."
"So this is a plea to President Bush, for the sake of America, please get your party in line. Get the House Republicans to be more constructive; get Sen. McCain to leave town and not throw fire on these flames. And maybe we can get something done."
Meanwhile, per a GOP congressional source, McCain has told House Republicans leaders this morning that it was time to get someone to the negotiating table and work towards a deal.
House Minority Leader Boehner has now designated the whip, Roy Blunt, to be that person.

Report: Gonzales Pointing Finger At Bush In Surveillance Investigation

The rats are jumping ship

What Did Bush Tell Gonzales?

Sources say Alberto Gonzales now claims that President Bush personally directed him to John Ashcroft's hospital room in the infamous wiretap renewal incident—and that in another instance the President asked him to fabricate fictitious notes


Ignore The Pundits:

Here's what I learned: the pundits are full of it. They don't know any more than you do and many of them have a vested interest in tilting the scales one way or another. After the debate ends, if you want to know who won, turn off the TV. You can figure it out for yourself.
The first thing to understand is that the winner of the debate isn't the person who makes the best arguments. If it was, Al Gore would be finishing up his second term. The winner of the debate is the person who moves votes to their side. You can figure out who that will be by focusing on these three factors:
1. 30 seconds are more important than 90 minutes. Although tens of millions of people will watch the debate, most everyone will forget the bulk of it immediately. The lasting impression of the debate for most voters will be the two or three exchanges -- usually less than 15 seconds long -- that are replayed, discussed, and analyzed over and over again. More often than not, whoever gets the best of these moments wins the debate.
For example, in the Des Moines Register debate in mid-December, Obama was asked a pretty tough question: How he could rely on so many former Clinton advisers and still represent a break from the past? Hillary laughed and said, "I want to hear that!" Obama flashed a smile and shot back: "Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me as well." It was a pitch-perfect response and catnip for the media, which played the exchange repeatedly for days. Overall, Hillary turned in a very solid performance and demonstrated an impressive command of the issues. But it didn't matter. Obama had won the key 15 seconds and it gave him a critical boost just days before the Iowa caucus.

Jon Stewart: Bush Bailout Speech Just Like Iraq Speech

Jon Stewart finds an eerie similarity between President Bush's big bailout speech and his Iraq invasion speech five years ago. "Those who do not study the past get an exciting opportunity to repeat it."

He won? Oh my gosh

GOP VS GOP ON BAILOUT ...BUSH: "WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM"Talks Continue... ABC: Looks Like McCain Has To Buy The Bailout Now That He's Broken It... At White House, McCain Plays Bailout Spoiler... McCain At Meeting: Sat Quietly, Never Offered Specifics... Bush: "If Money Isn't Loosened, This Sucker Could Go Down"...

Scroll down to see McCain ad...
After days of saying that John McCain would not attend Friday's presidential debate unless an agreement on a bailout package for the markets was "locked-down," the McCain campaign has gone back on its word.
On Friday, it announced that the Senator would head down to Mississippi even though, as they readily admit, much work remained needed on the bailout agreement.
The whole episode left even conservatives admitting that the McCain campaign looked erratic and a bit foolish with no apparent direction or guiding principle.
"It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology," said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. "In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The 'steady hand in a storm' argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain."
Shirley added, "My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff."
Adding to the rocky perception was a McCain campaign web ad released this morning declaring "McCain Wins Debate!" -- put out even before the candidate had announced he was planning to debate. LinkHere

The Obama Relationship: A Major Benefit Nobody's Talking About

Wouldn't it be nice after the last 8 years

One of the greatest benefits of an Obama presidency is hidden in plain sight: the relationship between Michelle and Barack. They provide a great role model of a healthy relationship, at a time when such models are sorely needed.
For example...Imagine having a president who is not distracted from the nation's business by the stresses of secrets in the presidential marriage.
Imagine having a president who likes his partner and values her as an equal, a president who touches his wife affectionately in public and actually listens to her when she talks!
Fortunately we don't have to imagine it, because we already have that potential at the tip of our voting fingers. For Americans, one of the most important aspects of an Obama presidency is being overlooked: the model of a healthy relationship. In the 28 years of our own marriage, we've worked with more than 4,000 couples in our office and seminars, so we have a reasonably good idea of what kinds of behavior one sees in a healthy relationship. For example, Michelle and Barack do something we've never seen before in a presidential couple: they actually look directly at each other when they're speaking to each other. They also laugh at each other's humor, and they allow their sexual attraction for each other to be visible. Contrast that with other presidential marriages, in which the sexual attraction to each other was not visible but their sexual attraction to others became highly visible. Michelle and Barack talk openly about their feelings for each other. They're real.
Why would their relationship be a benefit to the American public and the world at large? The main reason is that it would be genuinely useful to have a visible, public role model of what a healthy relationship looks like. Over the last fifty years there's been a parade of not-so-great relationship models in the White House. They range from idol-worship (Nancy's perpetually-adoring glaze, oops we mean gaze, at Ronnie) to the sternly maternal façade of the first Mrs. Bush. We've witnessed White House marriages strained to the breaking point by secrets. The country lost 50 million dollars and a year of the government's focus because one president actually did have sex with "that woman" but wouldn't tell us the truth until he was outed by DNA.
How about Camelot? Many of us were fooled into thinking the Kennedys were the very picture of a Perfect Relationship. There was a handsome, rich Prince with knockout hair, coupled with a doll-Princess whose faraway smile and breathy, little-girl voice made her seem heaven-sent. Unfortunately, it was all just a fantasy. In reality, John was a serial philanderer and Jackie was a chain-smoker who swore like a sailor and dropped the little-girl voice the moment she walked off-stage. There's no way to measure the productivity that was lost because the president's staff had to earn part of their government salaries ushering women in and out of the White House, all with exquisite timing (and with the look-the-other-way collusion of the media.)
However, you don't have to go back in that far in history to see a strange or strained White House marriage. Have you ever seen the current occupant of the White House speak, much less listen, to his wife in public? For example, do we ever get to hear from the real Laura Bush, the one who disagrees completely with the far-right views of her husband on such matters as women's reproductive rights? No, because she's been muzzled, like most of her predecessors, and sealed off behind the glazed smile of the Perfect Presidential Wife.
It's high time we got to see an honest, loving, real relationship in the White House. If you're like us, you probably don't want to spend the next four years hearing how much the perfectly-coiffed Mrs. McCain has spent on her outfit, which of their nine houses they're weekending at or which of their thirteen cars they're wheeling around in. There's something bigger to worry about, though. If the actuarial tables have any predictive value, a McCain presidency would soon become a Palin presidency, and that is a scenario truly frightening to contemplate.
President Palin would be desperately trying to comprehend and handle business during one of the most trying times in our nation's history, while taking care of a special needs baby, riding herd on pregnant teenagers, foul-mouthed hockey-jock son-in-laws and other household dramas. On the brighter side, a Palin White House would provide one exciting possibility for our increasingly tabloid-obsessed culture: the perfect capstone for Jerry Springer's career! He would make an ideal Chief of Staff or Sergeant-At-Arms, charged with keeping the gun-totin', hockey-stick-wielding clan from wrecking the furniture (and each other) or blowing away a moose for sport on the White House lawn.

Kathleen Parker: After Interviews, Palin Should Bow Out

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, admitting that until recently she was a vocal supporter of Sarah Palin, now says the vice presidential nominee should bow out:
Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick -- what a difference a financial crisis makes -- and a more complicated picture has emerged.
As we've seen and heard more from John McCain's running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn't know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.
Parker says her turnaround came from watching Palin in interview. Like other critics, she wasn't impressed:
Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there.
It's so bad, Parker says, that Palin should quit the race:
Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Radio talk show host Ed Schultz reports:
Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin. The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as "disastrous." One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, "What are we going to do?" The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is "clueless."

Obama has 13-point Michigan lead over McCain

. Momentum swings to Obama in almost every demographicA week of economic crisis in Washington and on Wall Street has been very, very good for Barack Obama – at least in Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press/Local 4 Michigan Poll shows the Democratic senator from Illinois with a commanding lead of 13 points over Republican John McCain in the presidential race. Obama’s lead of 51% to 38% in the poll is nearly double the edge he had a month ago in a Michigan Poll taken just before the Democratic convention in Denver.
The poll showed momentum swinging clearly to Obama in almost every demographic. Among women, his lead is now 54%-35% -- eight points better than it was a month ago, before the Democratic and Republican national conventions and McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Among independents, Obama enjoys a 14-point lead.

Obama Won't Cede Stage, Releases Minute-Long Ad On Economy

John McCain To The Rescue!

Bush is no diplomat," said a Democratic staffer, "but he's Cardinal freaking Richelieu compared to McCain. McCain couldn't negotiate an agreement on dinner among a family of four without making a big drama with himself at the heroic center of it. And then they'd all just leave to make themselves a sandwich."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

National Enquirer Alleges Sarah Palin Affair With Brad Hanson

The National Enquirer is continuing its foray into politicians' personal lives this election season. Less than two months after the magazine's investigation forced John Edwards to admit an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, the Enquirer has identified what it calls "Sarah Palin's Other Man" — Todd Palin's former business partner, Brad Hanson.
According to the Enquirer, the identity of Palin's extramarital lover was confirmed by "no less than three members of the man's family including one by sworn affidavit."
One Hanson family insider, Jim Burdett, passed a "rigorous polygraph test," and went on the record telling the Enquirer, "I've known about Brad having had an affair for a long time, but it wasn't until just recently that I learned his affair was with Sarah Palin."
Another insider, who preferred to remain anonymous but provided the Enquirer with a sworn affidavit attesting to the affair, said, "Todd was away on business a lot and Sarah felt lonely. Brad was a good listener, and Sarah talked to him at length. Eventually, she real­ized she was falling in love with him."
The Enquirer has also taken credit for the announcement that Bristol Palin is pregnant, claiming that it was "triggered" by the fact that the magazine was about to break the news.
Courtesy of reader Amy.
Posted By Bob Cesca

Ilan Goldenberg, 09.25.2008
In her interview with Katie Couric, Palin essentially called Kissinger naive and also proved that she just hasn't done her homework on foreign policy.

The corruption of these thugs just keeps coming.

JPMorgan To Buy WaMu Deposits, Branches

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. acquired the assets of Washington Mutual Inc.'s banking operations Thursday after federal regulators seized the ailing thrift, the country's largest.
The deal marks the second time in six months that JPMorgan Chase has taken over a financial institution crippled by bad mortgage bets.
The deal will cost JPMorgan Chase $1.9 billion. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits, said it would not have to dip into the insurance fund as a result of the seizure.
The Seattle-based thrift has roughly $310 billion in assets and was searching for a lifeline after piling up billions of dollars in losses due to failed mortgages.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. acquired the assets of Washington Mutual Inc.'s banking operations Thursday after federal regulators seized the ailing thrift, the company's largest. The deal marks the second time in six months that JPMorgan Chase has taken over a financial institution crippled by bad mortgage bets.
The deal will cost JPMorgan Chase $1.9 billion. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits, said it would not have to dip into the insurance fund as a result of the seizure.
The Seattle-based thrift has roughly $310 billion in assets and was searching for a lifeline after piling up billions of dollars in losses due to failed mortgages.

The 2002 Warning About Wall Street
In contrast to dividends, Mr. Greenspan intoned, "Earnings are a very dubious measure" of corporate health. "Asset values are, after all, just based on a forecast," he said, and a chief executive can "craft" an earnings statement in misleading ways.
Speaking with a hard-edged frankness rarely heard in public -- and seeing that those assembled were not sharing his outrage -- Mr. Greenspan slapped the table. "There's been too much gaming of the system," he thundered. "Capitalism is not working! There's been a corrupting of the system of capitalism."
Mr. O'Neill, for his part, pushed to alter the threshold for action against chief executives from "recklessness" -- where a difficult finding of willful malfeasance would be necessary for action against a corporate chief -- to negligence. That is, if a company went south, the boss could face a hard-eyed appraisal from government auditors and be subject to heavy fines and other penalties. By matching upside rewards with downside consequences -- a bracing idea for the corner office -- Messrs. O'Neill and Greenspan hoped fear would compel the titans of business to enforce financial discipline, full public disclosure and probity down the corporate ranks.

Palin's Bush-like Interview: Foreign Affairs Is Good v. Evil

Gov. Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric has already provided several head scratching moments. But the installment that aired Thursday evening has Democrats openly perplexed as to why voters have not been more critical of her candidacy.
The segment they are pointing to involves an utterly simplistic take on the Israeli-Iranian relations that makes emanates of Bushism.
"We don't have to second-guess what [Israel's] efforts would be if they believe that it is in their country and their allies, including us, all of our best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth," Palin said when asked - playing off an earlier interview - whether the United States should ever second-guess Israeli policy. "It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that. Now, one who would seek to protect the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including the United States. In my world, those are the good guys."

Palin's Baffling CBS Interview


FDIC May Need $150 Billion Bailout as More Banks Fail

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Deborah Horn tugs on the handle of the glass-paned entrance of the IndyMac Bancorp Inc. branch in Manhattan Beach, California. The door won't budge. The weekend is approaching, and Horn, 44, the sole breadwinner in a family of three, needs cash.
A small notice taped to the window on this Friday afternoon in mid-July tells her why she's been locked out. IndyMac has failed, the single-spaced, letter-sized paper says; the bank is now in the hands of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
``The Receiver is now taking possession of the Bank,'' the sign says.
``I'm physically shaking,'' says Horn, an academic tutor, as she peers into the bank. Inside, an FDIC examiner is talking to six stone-faced IndyMac employees. ``I don't know when I'm going to be able to get my money,'' Horn says. ``I'm a single mom. This is the money I live on.''
Don't worry about Horn. She'll be all right, as will most of Pasadena, California-based IndyMac's 200,000-plus customers.
That's because the FDIC, created in 1934, insures all accounts up to $100,000 at its member banks, and it has never failed to honor a claim. The people to worry about are U.S. taxpayers.
The IndyMac debacle is taking a large bite out of FDIC reserves, and if scores of other banks fail in the year ahead, the fund will be depleted. Taxpayers will have to step in.
Worst Wave
Americans had gotten used to the idea that bank failures were as rare as a category five hurricane. No banks went bust in 2005 or 2006. Seven collapsed in 2007 as the credit crisis began to exact a toll. So far in 2008, 12 more, with total assets of $42 billion, have fallen -- that's the worst wave of bank failures since 1992.
IndyMac, which had $32 billion in assets when it went into receivership, is the most expensive bank failure the FDIC has ever covered. And that record may not stand for long.
By the end of 2009, about 100 U.S. banks with collective assets of more than $800 billion will fail, predicts Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, a Torrance, California-based firm that sells its analysis of FDIC data to investors.
``It's not going to be Armageddon,'' says Mark Vaughan, a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia and a senior lecturer in economics at Washington University in St. Louis. ``But it's going to be bad.''
FDIC's Secret List
The FDIC knows which banks are at risk; it has a watch list with 117 institutions. The agency won't disclose their names because doing so could cause depositors to panic and pull out all of their funds.
It won't take many more failures before the FDIC itself runs out of money. The agency had $45.2 billion in its coffers as of June 30, far short of the $200 billion Whalen says it will need to pay claims by the end of next year. The U.S. Treasury will almost certainly come to the rescue by lending money to the FDIC.

What Scum these thugs are including the DUMBASS, running to be leader of the free world

If the Democrats give in to these thugs who caused this, they should loose their seats
Inside an intense White House meeting over the financial crisis on Thursday, where nearly every key player came to an agreement on the outlines of the bailout package, Sen. John McCain stuck out. The Republican candidate, according to sources with direct knowledge, sat quiet through most of the meeting, never offered specifics, and spoke only at the end to raise doubts about the rough compromise that the White House and congressional leaders were nearing.
McCain's reluctance to jump on board the bailout agreement could throw the entire week-long negotiation into a tailspin. Sen. Chris Dodd, after leaving the White House, suggested on CNN that the tenuous process could be derailed by what he viewed as McCain's political motives.
"What happened here, basically, if you want an honest appraisal of the thing, we have been spending a lot of time and I am tired. I have spent almost seven straight days at this in trying to come out with a workout plan for our economy a rescue plan," said Dodd. "What this looked like to me was a rescue plan for John McCain for two hours and took us away from the work we are trying to do today. Serious people trying to do serious work to come up with an answer."
According to the source with knowledge of the White House gathering -- which featured both presidential candidates, congressional leaders and the President -- virtually ever key figure in the room, save McCain and GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, were in agreement over a revised version of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's plan.
Towards the end, McCain finally spoke up, mentioning a counter-proposal that had been offered by some conservative House Republicans, which would suspend the capital gains tax for two years and provide tax incentives to encourage firms that buy up bad debt. McCain did not discuss specifics of the plan, though, and was non-committal about supporting it.
UPDATE: CBS News reports that McCain's alternative proposal includes "fewer regulations and corporate tax breaks":

McCain bailout plan: More deregulation


Palin wins delay for financial disclosure

Source: Anchorage Daily News

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sarah Palin requested and received an extension of the deadline for revealing her personal finances, until the day after her debate with Democrat Joe Biden

The Republican vice-presidential candidate received a four-day extension today from the Federal Election Commission.

The federal financial disclosure report was initially due Monday. Now Palin has until Oct. 3, the day after her debate in St. Louis with Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Earlier this month, Biden released a decade of personal financial records that showed the veteran U.S. senator from Delaware earned less than many of his congressional colleagues. For example, Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $319,853 in 2007. On Thursday, Biden submitted an updated report to the Federal Election Commission.

Presidential, vice presidential and congressional candidates must all file ethics reports outlining their assets and liabilities. That includes such things as sources of income, real estate held for investment purposes, stocks and debt.

Scientists Find Way to Regress Adult Cells to Embryonic State

Source: Washington Post
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 25, 2008; 2:00 PM

Scientists are reporting today that they have overcome a major obstacle to using a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells, bolstering the prospects for bypassing the political and ethical tempest that has embroiled hopes for a new generation of medical treatments.

The researchers said they found a safe way to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state, alleviating what had been the most worrisome uncertainty about developing the cells into potential cures.

"We have removed a major roadblock for translating this into a clinical setting," said Konrad Hochedlinger, a Harvard University stem cell researcher whose research was published online today by the journal Science. "I think it's an important advance."

The development is the latest in the rapidly advancing and politically charged field of stem cell research.

Dodd says White House meeting was a disaster

Source: Market WatchWASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Sen. Chris Dodd, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, said Thursday that bipartisan meeting with President Bush at the White House on the mortgage rescue plan was nothing short of a disaster. In an interview on the CNN cable news network, Dodd described a meeting in which Democrats were blindsided by a new core mortgage proposal from House Republicans, with the tacit backing of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. "I am not going to sign on to something I just saw this afternoon," he said. Dodd said Republicans and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had to decide what they wanted to support. The whole meeting "looked like a rescue plan for John McCain," Dodd said. He said he was simply going to pretend that the meeting had never happened.

O'Neill: Bush Doesn't Get Crisis, 'It Shows'

The President's Former Treasury Secretary Speaks Out About $700 Billion Bailout
Sept. 25, 2008—
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said today that our nation's leaders -- especially President Bush -- are "in a panic" and haven't thought through the $700 billion bailout plan in a rush to pass it by the end of the week.
"I don't think he understands or knows much about any of this and it shows," O'Neill said, adding that current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson "knows a lot of about this, and it's good that he's there."

Project Censored 2009: the stories your corporate news whores are ignoring

When they send a “reporter” to cover the latest Sarah Palin photo-op, what story have they decided not to cover?
Here’s this year’s list, and you can click for the stories at the Project Censored page:
# 1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
# 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
# 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
# 4 ILEA: Is the US Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America?
# 5 Seizing War Protesters’ Assets
# 6 The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
# 7 Guest Workers Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
# 8 Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly
# 9 Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
# 10 APA Complicit in CIA Torture
# 11 El Salvador’s Water Privatization and the Global War on Terror
# 12 Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind
# 13 Tracking Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq
# 14 Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste
# 15 Worldwide Slavery
# 16 Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights
# 17 UN’s Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
# 18 Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers
# 19 Indigenous Herders and Small Farmers Fight Livestock Extinction
# 20 Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
# 21 NATO Considers “First Strike” Nuclear Option
# 22 CARE Rejects US Food Aid
# 23 FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs
# 24 Japan Questions 9/11 and the Global War on Terror
# 25 Bush’s Real Problem with Eliot Spitzer


McCain Aide Claims Credit For Deal,

Shortly before 2pm ET, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said on MSNBC that his boss deserves credit for the bipartisan bailout deal.
Bounds then apparently went way off message, indicating that McCain would attend tomorrow's debate. "We're going into a debate," Bounds said, adding "I think we're going there strong."
Here's a transcript of his conversation with Andrea Mitchell:
Before John McCain suspended his campaign yesterday, the situation that we're looking at today looked very different then. After he showed leadership and called for bipartisanship, for us to partisanship aside and tackle this solution head on, here we are. And we're going into a debate, I think we're going there strong.
McCain Aide Claims Credit For Deal, Says "We're Going Into A Debate"

David Letterman Reacts to John McCain Suspending Campaign

Barney Frank: GOP Colleagues Winced At 'Mighty Mouse' McCain

One would think that some of John McCain's Republican colleagues might actually want to help him become president of these United States, but no: given the opportunity to ensure that the presidential candidate might be able to make a substantive contribution to bailout measure negotiations, McCain's friends in the Republican Party put their noses to the grindstone and worked out a deal without any Maverick input. Clearly Republican leaders are totally in the tank for Obama.
How painful was the thought of working alongside McCain? Over at Politico, they report that Barney Frank minced few words, saying: "Nobody mentioned him. The man's irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I'm the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did." Frank also compared McCain to a cartoon superhero:
"He's been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be," said Frank. "I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman's Mighty Mouse -- 'here I am to save the day' -- I thought that would slow things down. I didn't see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever." LinkHere

Fox host tells guest mentioning McCain role in Keating Five scandal to 'pipe down'

'Cut his mike,' producer suggests

The Keating Five scandal, and John McCain's role in it, has received relatively little mention in presidential campaign coverage, and at least one Fox News host seems dedicated to keeping it that way.Appearing Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, radio host Mike Papantonio tried to remind viewers about McCain's intervention with federal regulators on behalf of real estate mogul Charles Keating, who was trying to avoid regulations of a savings and loan he owned during the S&L crisis of the 1980s. F&F's Steve Doocy told Papantonio to "pipe down," called him "rude" and demanded he "cut it out." A show producer could be overheard saying "cut his mike."As Papantonio tries one last time to explain the details of the Keating Five scandal, Doocy again cuts him off."This is not the History Channel," he says.Papantonio's apparent crime was interrupting fellow guest Michael Reagan, the conservative radio host, who was arguing that it would be unfair to judge McCain based on his actions 20 years ago."It has everything to do with what's happening today," Papantonio said before being told to pipe down. LinkHere

"It's pro-voting, and pro-American."

If He Can Attack Obama, Why Can't He Debate Obama?

If He Can Attack Obama, Why Can't He Debate Obama?
Apparently, even though John McCain doesn't want to debate Barack Obama, he doesn't have any problem attacking him -- even after suspending his presidential campaign.
Here's video from McCain's CBS News interview yesterday. He starts out by earnestly professing his desire suspend his campaign and skip the debates to do the country's business. But he just can't help himself. Within seconds, he's on the warpath, attacking everything in sight, including Barack Obama.

McCain's Suspension Pays Off? Ad Removal Could Save Him $1 Million A Day
The McCain campaign is working "feverishly" to take down television advertisements that it is running nationally, according to sources who follow media ad buys. And the move, driven by the Senator's self-enforced suspension of his campaign, could save his candidacy more than a million dollars a day.
Officials from markets across the country reported on Thursday that the McCain campaign had contacted them about temporarily postponing the television slots they had purchased, Evan Tracy of the Campaign Media Analysis Group told Huffington Post. But because of the abruptness of the policy change, the effort was taking time.
"I'm sure it probably took a little bit of time knowing what that exactly means," said Tracy, "and buying television spots is like buying airline tickets, every station has a different policy on what they will cancel."
As a byproduct of the move, the McCain campaign stood to save more than a million dollars a day. On September 23, for example, his campaign spent $1.1 million on 2,600 national ads. Today only a portion of them ran. Tomorrow, Tracy predicted, 90 to 95 percent would be completely off the air.
One Democratic source involved in the ad buy industry suggested that McCain's move was driven by financial as well as political concerns. Saving cash in the interim -- when the race is dominated by economic news and the upcoming debates -- would allow McCain to plow money back into the race during the waning days of the election.
By Bob Cusack
Posted: 09/25/08 12:26 PM [ET]
Republican presidential nominee John McCain has not introduced any banking or housing bills in the 110th Congress, while Democratic rival Barack Obama has proposed five.
Both candidates are traveling to Washington on Thursday to meet with President Bush and congressional leaders to build support for a massive rescue plan for the nation’s ailing economy.
Neither Sen. McCain (Ariz.) nor Sen. Obama (Ill.) sits on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which is taking the lead in the upper chamber of molding the bailout plan.
McCain is the lead sponsor of 38 pieces of legislation during the 110th Congress, none of which have been referred to the Banking panel, according to a review of Thomas, a congressional website.
Obama has introduced 130 measures during this Congress. Five of Obama’s standalone bills fall within the Banking Committee's jurisdiction.
Obama’s legislation calls for bolstering housing assistance for veterans, amending the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 to provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation, halting mortgage transactions that promote fraud, authorizing local and state governments to crack down on companies that invest in Iran's energy sector and authorizing a pilot program to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless.
Palin 'Suspending' Her Campaign Too ... But Planning Philly Rally

"Israelis for Obama,"

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

"Israel does not need another George Bush," says Amos Schocken, publisher of the paper Ha'aretz. "I don't think there is any doubt about this."


I guess the only difference between Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney is ... lipstick.

Palin's Big Oil infatuation
She is as much a product of the oil industry as the current president and his vice president.
Palin's enthusiastic embrace of Big Oil's agenda (if not always Big Oil itself) has been the platform of her hasty rise in Alaskan politics. In that sense she is as much a product of the oil industry as the current president and his vice president. Palin, whose husband is a production operator for BP on Alaska's North Slope, has sued the federal government over its listing of the polar bear as an endangered species threatened by global warming, and she has fought to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Alaska's coast to oil drilling.

Rice Fesses Up To Bush Officials Role In Torture

Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations
Published: September 24, 2008
WASHINGTON — Senior White House officials played a central role in deliberations in the spring of 2002 about whether the Central Intelligence Agency could legally use harsh interrogation techniques while questioning an operative of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah, according to newly released documents.
In meetings during that period, the officials debated specific interrogation methods that the C.I.A. had proposed to use on Qaeda operatives held at secret C.I.A. prisons overseas, the documents show. The meetings were led by Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, and attended by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top administration officials.
The documents provide new details about the still-murky early months of the C.I.A.’s detention program, when the agency began using a set of harsh interrogation techniques weeks before the Justice Department issued a written legal opinion in August 2002 authorizing their use. Congressional investigators have long tried to determine exactly who authorized these techniques before the legal opinion was completed.
The documents are a list of answers provided by Ms. Rice and John B. Bellinger III, the former top lawyer at the National Security Council, to detailed questions by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is investigating the abuse of detainees in American custody. The documents were provided to The New York Times by Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the committee.
ABC News first reported on the White House meetings in a broadcast earlier this year. Ms. Rice’s answers to the questions shed some light on the internal deliberations among senior officials but do not present a clear picture of the positions taken by participants in the debate.
Some of the techniques proposed by the C.I.A. — including waterboarding, which induces a feeling of drowning — came from a program used by the Pentagon to train American pilots to withstand the rigors of captivity.
“I recall being told that U.S. military personnel were subjected in training to certain physical and psychological interrogation techniques and that these techniques had been deemed not to cause significant physical or psychological harm,” Ms. Rice, now secretary of state, wrote in response to one question.
Still, Ms. Rice wrote that she asked Mr. Ashcroft personally to review the program and “advise N.S.C. principals whether the program was lawful.”
Gordon D. Johndroe, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on which officials attended the meetings in 2002. He said Vice President Dick Cheney often attended meetings of the National Security Council’s principals committee, a group of senior officials who advise the president on national security.

Olbermann: What If Obama Was Linked To A "Witch Hunter" Pastor?

Last night on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann discussed a video of Sarah Palin being blessed by a Kenyan witch hunter, and wondered how a video of Barack Obama in a similar situation might be received. Watch:

"You can't suspend the democratic process because we're facing problems.

Craig Ferguson on McCain suspending his Campaign
Newly minted US citizen Craig Ferguson is outraged that John McCain would attempt to suspend the democratic process in the face of an economic crisis. In his monologue Wednesday night, Ferguson railed against McCain, saying:
"You can't suspend the democratic process because we're facing problems. At what point do you think, maybe we should suspend the election? We'll have the elections later. Some people have done that before: Castro did it, Napoleon did it, Julius Caesar did it. You can't do that. If you like it or not, the campaign is part of the democratic process....You wanna take your time off, that's fine, but you don't say we're suspending the campaign. You can't say that. It's the democratic process. We didn't suspend it for 9/11, we didn't suspend it for Pearl Harbor, we didn't suspend it for the Nazis, we didn't suspend it for the damn British. We don't do that in America!"

"Seriously, What Were You Thinking?"

Palin Talks Russia With Katie Couric (VIDEO)

Hasn't 8 years of Georgie and his gang of thugs been enough, Holy crap how in the Hell could it have gotten worse.
Another cringe-inducing performance by Sarah Palin in part II of her interview with Katie Couric.
In the segment below, Couric presses Palin to explain why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience. Palin doesn't seem to have improved her answer since she was asked the same question by Charlie Gibson.

Guess Who's Running Alaska While Palin Campaigns...

The McCain Campaign

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The McCain campaign is speaking for the Alaska state government these days, especially when it wants to ensure that nothing embarrassing about Gov. Sarah Palin emerges before Election Day.
Questions for the Palin administration are most often answered by McCain staffers, including Meghan Stapleton, a former Palin spokeswoman; Taylor Griffin, who worked for President Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004; and Ed O'Callaghan, a McCain campaign lawyer and former federal prosecutor from New York.
They have clamped down on information flowing out of state government, especially when it comes to the so-called Troopergate investigation. The inquiry centers on whether Palin abused her power by firing the public safety commissioner after he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. The McCain group even attached a "truth squad" moniker to Troopergate news conferences this week.

Republican National Convention - which she termed an "Dr. Evil board meeting,"

WATCH: Wanda Sykes Tears Into GOP, Palin

Ah, one forgets, from time to time, how delightfully ranty comedienne Wanda Sykes can get, but last night on The Tonight Show, Sykes did some aerial hunting of the Republican National Convention - which she termed an "Dr. Evil board meeting," Sarah Palin's media blackout, and - best of all - a diatribe against unregistered voters: "I think that there should be a list. And people who don't vote, we should make a big list, and anything that bad happens, they should get it first. Years from now when we're driving around in our electric cars, we should still make them pay $12 for gas."

Palin Stumped On McCain's History Of Supporting Regulation (VIDEO)

Gov. Sarah Palin could not name a single instance in which Sen. John McCain has advocated for more regulation of the market -- a position that, in the wake of crisis in the housing and financial markets, the Arizona Senator has adopted as his own.
Appearing on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Palin briefly discussed McCain's call for greater oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the two beleaguered mortgage houses - as evidence that McCain doesn't always shy from a firmer government role in the economy. But when pressed, she could not name an actual instance where McCain supported regulation.
"I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point," Couric said. "Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation."
"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," Palin responded. LinkHere

Sarah Palin on John McCain's deregulation record

Sarah Palin blessed against 'witchcraft'

Palin blessed against "witchcraft"
Pastor asks God for campaign funds
Palin speaks fondly of Pastor

Religion ... a YouTube video has surfaced showing US vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin being blessed by a pastor who prayed for her to be free from "witchcraft" as she sought higher
office. LinkHere

Palin Witchcraft

"They have destroyed my future, my soul.

An Afghan journalist held for nearly a year in Afghanistan said Tuesday he would stop at nothing to get justice to compensate for the "hell" he went through at the torturing hands of the U.S. military. Jawed Ahmad, a 22-year-old reporter who worked for Canadian TV (CTV), was detained Oct. 26, 2007, at a NATO base near the southern city of Kandahar. He was initially labeled by the U.S. military as "an unlawful enemy combatant" but was released 11 months later without charge. Ahmad was accused of having contact with Taliban leaders, including possessing their telephone numbers and video footage of them..."I was tortured and jailed for 11 months and 20 days for doing nothing," he said in Kabul. "They have destroyed my future, my soul"...

Western Lawyers Say Iraq Discarded Due Process in Hussein Trial


Nearly two years after an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam Hussein to death, new disclosures by Western lawyers who helped guide the court have given fresh ammunition to critics who contend that he was railroaded to the gallows by vengeful officials in Iraq’s new government. These lawyers say the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, forced the resignation of one of five judges in the trial only days before the court sentenced Mr. Hussein. The purpose, the lawyers say, was to avert the possibility that judges who were wavering would spare Mr. Hussein the death penalty and sentence him to life imprisonment instead... Long before Mr. Hussein was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006, with supporters of Iraq’s new Shiite-led government taunting him as the noose was tightened around his neck, a pattern of intervention by powerful Iraqi officials had been established. The court’s first chief judge was dismissed under government pressure for giving Mr. Hussein too much leeway for his courtroom outbursts, and the associate judge named to succeed him was removed under government threats before he could take over. But until now, only officials involved with the court’s inner workings knew that a third judge, Munthur Hadi, was forced from the judges’ panel less than a week before the court delivered its verdicts, on Nov. 5, 2006. He was replaced by another judge, Ali al-Kahaji, who had heard none of the evidence in the nine-month trial. ,,,

Chattanooga: UT student not indicted in Palin e-mail hacking case

Source: timesfreepress.com

A federal grand jury in Chattanooga ended its session around lunch time today without indicting a University of Tennessee student who authorities believe may have hacked into vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.

Three students arrived at the federal courthouse on Georgia Avenue at about 8:45 a.m. today to provide testimony about UT student David Kernell’s activities. The students did not provide their names and did not answer questions about the case. An attorney with them declined to comment as well.

The students were allowed to leave the court house secretively through the back door, where members of the public generally are not allowed.

FBI agents from Knoxville exited the front doors of the court house at about 10 a.m., also declining to comment about any aspect of the case.

Unsevered Ties? (McCain campaign chief Rick Davis remains an officer with his lobbying firm)

Source: Newsweek

Regulatory filings indicate that McCain campaign chief Rick Davis remains an officer with his lobbying firm.

Michael Isikoff
Newsweek Web Exclusive

Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager, has remained the treasurer and a corporate director of his lobbying firm this year, despite repeated statements by campaign officials that he had ended his relationship with the firm in 2006, according to corporate records.

The McCain campaign this week criticized news stories disclosing that, since 2006, Davis's firm has been paid a $15,000-a-month consulting fee from Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant recently put under federal conservatorship. The stories, published Tuesday by NEWSWEEK, The New York Times and Roll Call, reported that the consulting fees continued until last month even though, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement, neither Davis nor anybody else at his firm did any substantial work for the payments.

Stefanie Mullin, a spokesperson for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has taken over Freddie Mac and its sister entity Fannie Mae, confirmed Wednesday that the Davis Manafort contract is being terminated. "All lobbying activity has stopped and political consulting contracts at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in the process of being terminated," said Mullin. (Democratic strategist Paul Begala also was on the Freddie Mac payroll, according to sources familiar with the arrangement.)

In its initial statements to reporters this week, the McCain campaign said that the disclosure of the payments from Freddie Mac was irrelevant because Davis, who was never a registered lobbyist for the troubled housing corporation, had severed his relationship with Davis Manafort in 2006, and was no longer drawing any income from it. Jill Hazelbaker, the campaign's communications director, said in an e-mail Tuesday that Davis "left" Davis Manafort in 2006. In a statement attacking The New York Times, posted on the campaign's Web site on Wednesday, campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said that Davis "separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006." (A senior campaign official, in an e-mail statement to NEWSWEEK that was not for attribution on Tuesday night, said "Rick is no longer affiliated with the firm.")

McCain's Bottom Line: No Deal = No Debate

Source: Marc Ambinder

A senior campaign official says that McCain will NOT debate -- no matter what -- if Congress hasn't reached an agreement on a bailout package.

The aide said that Obama's refusal to suspend his campaign will have no bearing on McCain's decision to attend the debate.

The aide did not know whether Gov. Palin would attend Oct. 2's vice presidential debate if Congress, by that point, still hasn't reached a deal.

Another aide said: "The VP debate is days off. We're focused on getting a deal and getting to the debate on Friday."
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