It's the same Republican dirty tricks, and the Democrats as well as the American people keep voting these greedy money changers into office.
The McCain campaign needed to do something before the Vice Presidential Gaff-off on Thrusday.
The Republicans had their talking points and mouthpieces in place. Senator John McCain flopped all around the country suspending and un-suspending his campaign. Never once did he go on the record to support the Republican President's Bailout Proposal.
The Republicans played politics with the American economic system. They NEVER had the votes necessary for the Bailout Bill. Once again they just lied through their teeth and tricked Speaker Pelosi into calling for a vote of one of the most unpopular legislations ($700 billion bailout), by the most unpopular president (Bush), for the most unpopular group of people (rich, Wall Street fat-cats). The Republicans lied and cheated, they assumed ABSOLUTELY no responsibility or accountability in the making of this housing bubble and the deregulation of the derivative markets.
The Republicans pretend they are as innocent as newborn babies. The Republicans have held all three branches of government for 6 out of 8 years. The Republican fingerprints are all over the looted US treasury, yet they tarred and feathered Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
They blame Jimmy Carter, they blame President Clinton. They think we're stupid! They think the American people don't know that total Republican Tyrannical control over ever lever of the government caused this unbridled orgy of deregulation and corporate greed.
Now the Emperor Caligula McCain is blaming Senator Obama and Speaker Pelosi for the market meltdown and financial crisis. Speaker Pelosi was hoodwinked and bamboozled by those GOP Crooks and Liars that will do any cheap trick to keep their grubby hands in the government till. Country first my ass.
Don't get me wrong, I'm just like all of the rest of you, part of the bipartisan jumble of viewers that keeps one hand poised above the mute button and the other over my eyes during Palin's disastrous interviews. Like everyone else, I can barely take the waves of embarrassment that come with watching someone do something so badly. Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem, Sofia Coppola acting in "The Godfather: Part III," Sarah Palin talking about Russia -- they all create the same level of eyeball-squinching discomfort.
When you don't take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don't support, I don't feel bad for you.
When you don't have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test -- a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics -- I don't feel bad for you.
When your project is reliant on gaining the support of women whose reproductive rights you would limit, whose access to birth control and sex education you would curtail, whose healthcare options you would decrease, whose civil liberties you would take away and whose children and husbands and brothers (and sisters and daughters and friends) you would send to war in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and wherever else you saw fit without actually understanding international relations, I don't feel bad for you.
I’m not holding my breath, but I would like to see the self-proclaimed conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots step up and take responsibility for wrecking the American economy and bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Depression.
"Our investigation found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several . . . U.S. attorneys."
In other words, as far as the team of investigators could determine from the limited evidence they were allowed to uncover, what we suspected and feared seems to have been true. The Bush administration seems to have removed at least three federal prosecutors -- who are supposed to be even-handed and apolitical in the way they do their jobs -- for partisan political reasons.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times has amazing insight. On Krugman's blog he writes:
OK, we are a banana republic
House votes no. Rex Nutting has the best line: House to Wall Street: Drop Dead. He also correctly places the blame and/or credit with House Republicans. For reasons I’ve already explained, I don’t think the Dem leadership was in a position to craft a bill that would have achieved overwhelming Democratic support, so make or break was whether enough GOPers would sign on. They didn’t.
I assume Pelosi calls a new vote; but if it fails, then what? I guess write a bill that is actually, you know, a good plan, and try to pass it — though politically it might not make sense to try until after the election.
For now, I’m just going to quote myself:
So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch.
As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes.
"[W]hen was the last time someone asked you for $700bn? It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.""Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.""Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street. The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardise the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilisation bill.""Today we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership … We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a new direction to a better future."
Representatives Barney Franks and Rahm Emmanuel talkling to about the crisis on.
Here’s the story. There’s a terrible crisis affecting the American economy. We have come together on a bill to alleviate the crisis. And because somebody hurt their feelings, they decide to punish the country. I mean, I would not have imputed that degree of pettiness and hypersensitivity.We also have — as the leader will tell you, who’s been working with them — don’t believe they had the votes, and I believe they’re covering up the embarrassment of not having the votes. But think about this. Somebody hurt my feelings, so I will punish the country. That’s hardly plausible. And there are 12 Republican members who were ready to stand up for the economic interest of America, but not if anybody insulted them.
I’ll make an offer. Give me those 12 people’s names and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they’ll now think about the country.
by: Ron Edwards
As lawmakers write legislation to bailout the Wall Street bankers and investment houses, the New Testament Parable of the Unmerciful Servant is strikingly parallel and applicable today. The banks and the financial industrial complex request that the government of the USA bequeath them with a massive bailout, in the ballpark of an unfathomable price tag of $700 billion taxpayer dollars to buttress their bad business decisions and practices.
Meanwhile back on Main Street, Anywhere, USA the taxpayers and their descendants who will pick-up Wall Street's tab are getting foreclosed and harangued by these same financial institutions. The overburdened taxpayers are asked to shoulder this nearly trillion dollar burden. From the exact people that have for years shouted from the mountaintops “free market,” “personal responsibility,” “ownership society,” “the government is the problem, not the solution,” “no welfare checks for the poor,” “no government handouts,” and it goes on and on. The laundry list of rightwing talking points only seem to apply to the poor and downtrodden, God forbid the rich and well connected should actually suffer the same foreclosures, delinquent payments, overdrawn credit cards, and other non-dischargable debt that was legislated and written by these same banking beggars.
In other words, the bankers have been the “unmerciful servants” that Jesus speaks about in Matthew 18:21-35 of the New International Version.
The “Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” begins when Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Then in verse 22, Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Jesus begins to teach through a short story about a a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
18:24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents [of gold] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
In this story, the “king” is the federal government and the “servant” that owes about $700 billion dollars is the banking and finance industry. Now much like today, the king (feds) are negotiating a deal to bailout the debts of the groveling servants (banks). The rich and powerful bankers will no doubt get the taxpayer money. Their bad business practices and unfettered greed has flipped the whole system of American capitalism into American socialism. In 8 short years, the Bush Administration and their corrupt cronies cratered the national economy.
Back to the parable of the unmerciful servant. The unmerciful servent is like the bankers on Wall Street, who are going to get a trillion dollar bailout, but how will the bankers react to the mercy and debt forgiveness from the taxpayers and the feds. Oh yes, you guessed it. The bankers will continue to foreclose on mortgages and throw the taxpayers out of their homes. The big wigs on Wall Street won't reset the A.R.M (adjustable rate mortgages) to keep the loan repayments at a reasonable rate for strapped consumers. They'll continue business as usual, by selling those demonic derivatives and their skanky cousin the credit swap to each other--all the while blaming the dufass sub-prime market. Certainly the bankers will act like the unmerciful servant from Jesus' parable.
We'll pick-up the text from verse 28: "But when that servant [Wall Street bankers] went out, he found one of his fellow servants [Main Street taxpayers] who owed him a hundred denarii.[silver] He [banker] grabbed him [taxpayer] and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
This parable explains exactly what is happening across the landscape of America today. The bankers will get debt forgiveness and a bailout, while struggling regular run-of-the-mill Americans will get both the shaft and bill. The bankers wrote the bankruptcy bill, the bankers made big bucks riding this housing bubble, the bankers paid each other millions and billions of dollars for shady deals with swampy swaps and demonic derivatives. It's been their big drunken money orgy and the American people have to clean-up the mess that the elephants made for 8 years, under the bigtop of life.
For decades now the mantra of personal responsibility has kept a lock on our imaginations. And our political dialogue....
In the economy even more than the culture, personal responsibility has been a best-seller. We were told by conservatives and free-market holy rollers that markets were smart and governments were dumb, that the government was the problem not the solution. So when credit cards come through the mail, college freshmen are expected to just say no. When poor people were wooed and seduced by subprime mortgages, they are the ones dubbed irresponsible....
...The ownership society turned into the everyone-on-your-own society. Three years ago, Congress passed a law making it harder for people to declare bankruptcy. Just six months ago, Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary who now wants to be czar, insisted the government actions to prevent mortgage foreclosures would "do more harm than they would do good."
But now, as Jacob Hacker, the author of "The Great Risk Shift," puts it, we are seeing that "the rhetoric of personal responsibility stops at the edge of the market."
... Consider the lame duck who reappeared on the national stage this week, sounding less like a president than as a press secretary for Paulson...
The other bookend on the Bush years is this meltdown of epic proportions. We are bailing out the institutions that operated what Warren Buffett once called the financial weapons of mass destruction. Only this time, the mushroom cloud -- the threat of an economic catastrophe -- may be real.
Personal responsibility? "I share the outrage," says Paulson. But in his original three-page fix-it manual there was a paragraph that lit up like neon. The secretary who asked for all the power to "take such actions as the secretary deems necessary" also asked for protection from any oversight or review. Personal responsibility? The titans coming to Congress with cups in their hands and the economy in the balance were not too embarrassed to fight against caps on their salaries. What exactly do we have here? Socialism for the rich?...
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.
...Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire.
When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother...
...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. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”
When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”
CNN's Campbell Brown is on a roll. Check out her commentary on "White House caught napping on financial crisis" below.
Campbell Brown says, "They are now telling us we are in a dire crisis, and that we must hand over hundreds of billions of dollars so they can lead us out of this mess."
"What's amazing to me is that the administration seems a little surprised that Congress and the American people are not marching in lockstep with them on this and not fully appreciating the urgency."
Then she nails the whole 8 years of the Republican Administration of President Bush in one sentence that sums-up the Iraqi Operation Never ending Occupation, the Katrina debacle and its aftermath, non-existent weapons of mass destruction, credit crunch, financial socialism, Wall Street bailouts for billionaires, etc., etc. With this Administration it's just one crisis (real or imagined) after another. They are like the boy who cried wolf. After about the 5th or 6th time, the American people are righteously skeptical of this Administration's clarion call for urgency.
These unfaithful stewards of our national economy have ran the ship-of-state into an abyss. And Bush & Co. expects the American people to just blindly trust them with $700 billion taxpayer dollars to bailout their cronies' shady business practices.
Mrs. Brown nails it when she says "Well here's why, in one word: accountability."
"This administration missed the boat on this crisis. They didn't see it coming. That's why when Bush goes on TV in a few minutes, he will face a very wary audience."
"And Secretary Paulson, frankly, you didn't help the situation with your initial, imperious request to Congress that you be handed this money and that your decisions "may not be reviewed by any court of law or administrative agency." Seriously, what were you thinking?"
2. Due Diligence: we must protect the hard-earned assets of the American public.
3. Prudence: No reforms = no money for the bailout.
4. Help families fight off foreclosure.
5. Wrongdoers must be held responsible.
I do not believe that the people who helped bring about this situation should be allowed to profit from it. Therefore, I will insist on measures that hold responsible anyone whose actions helped bring us to this extraordinary moment where the American people are being called upon to save the financial system.
Andrew Mullins, special assistant to university Chancellor Robert Khayat, told ABC News that the Ole Miss campus has been transformed to accommodate the candidates and the press. Road blocks are in place on campus and in the community and the debate set for the candidates has already been constructed. He said the university has spent roughly $5.5 million getting ready for the debate.
"It's huge. You cannot just say that you're not going to do this thing," Mullins said. "I don't have any idea whether we do the debate" at a later date. (We) probably wouldn't do it."
According to the Los Angeles Times' article on the "Emmy Night Notables": After "The Colbert Report" took home the Emmy for outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy program, star Stephen Colbert popped in to the press tent in a lively mood. When asked if he were casting a film, who he would pick to play John McCain, Colbert replied, "Rickles, obviously, would be good, and maybe me for Sarah Palin, 'cause I also have absolutely no business being vice president."
Members of Congress are being exhorted to stampede, like lemmings in reverse, away from a postulated cliff. But some of the economic geographers who say they know that the cliff is there, and that the economy will plunge over it if Congress stops to think before empowering the secretary of the Treasury to control the flow of capital through the veins of American capitalism, are some of those experts who said in March that prophylactic federal intervention in the matter of Bear Stearns was necessary to contain the crisis.Everything that has been done for the past six months has been done to cope with what previous actions were supposed to prevent. A perhaps pertinent axiom: There is no education in the second kick of a mule. The essence of this crisis is lack of knowledge, including the inability to know who owes what to whom, and where risk resides. In such a moment, government's speed should not vary inversely with its
information...Henry Paulson, a.k.a. the Fourth Branch of Government, is intelligent and indefatigable and has as much pertinent experience as could be hoped for. But no one has ever had much experience that is pertinent to the tasks that would be assigned to him by the three-page legislation that would give him almost complete discretion over at least $700 billion.Before Congress codifies this, it should consult Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution: "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." ...Rep. Barney Frank...says: "No one in a democracy, unelected, should have $800 billion to spend as he sees fit. . . . That's not the way to run a democracy." ...
Yesterday on September 23rd, Mr. Will took a cold stab at the heart of Senator John McCain's response to the financial crisis. In his article entitled “McCain Loses His Head,” George Will compares McCain with the Queen of Hearts character from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He even opens his critique with a quote from Lewis Carroll's classic: “The queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said without even looking around." Oh man, if that weren't cold enough, Will adds:
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential" and demonstrated that McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street...."
...In any case, McCain's smear -- that Cox "betrayed the public's trust" -- is a harbinger of a McCain presidency. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are "corrupt" or "betray the public's trust," two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people. McCain's Manichaean worldview drove him to his signature legislative achievement, the McCain-Feingold law's restrictions on campaigning...
By a Gresham's Law of political discourse, McCain's Queen of Hearts intervention in the opaque financial crisis overshadowed a solid conservative complaint from the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the RSC decried the improvised torrent of bailouts as a "dangerous and unmistakable precedent for the federal government both to be looked to and indeed relied upon to save private sector companies from the consequences of their poor economic decisions." This letter, listing just $650 billion of the perhaps more than $1 trillion in new federal exposures to risk, was sent while McCain's campaign, characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence, was airing an ad warning that Obama favors "massive government, billions in spending increases."
...Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain's party [Republican] now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale. Treasury Secretary Paulson, asked about conservative complaints that his rescue program amounts to socialism, said, essentially: This is not socialism, this is necessary. That non sequitur might be politically necessary, but remember that government control of capital is government control of capitalism. Does McCain have qualms about this, or only quarrels?
Read the complete "McCain Loses His Head" article here.
George Will deserves the Ice, Ice Baby Award (Jim Carey-style) for his accurate portrayal of the financial fiasco that we call Wall Street free market capitalism.
But on Wall Street, specialized insurance known as a credit default swaps are turning a bad situation into a catastrophe.
When historians write about the current crisis, much of the blame will go to the slump in the housing and mortgage markets, which triggered the losses, layoffs and liquidations sweeping the financial industry.
But credit default swaps -- complex derivatives originally designed to protect banks from deadbeat borrowers -- are adding to the turmoil.
"This was supposedly a way to hedge risk," says Ellen Brown, the author of the book "Web of Debt."
"I'm sure their predictive models were right as far as the risk of the things they were insuring against. But what they didn't factor in was the risk that the sellers of this protection wouldn't pay ... That's what we're seeing now."
Brown is hardly alone in her criticism of the derivatives. Five years ago, billionaire investor Warren Buffett called them a "time bomb" and "financial weapons of mass destruction" and directed the insurance arm of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to exit the business.
Recent events suggest Buffett was right. The collapse of Bear Stearns. The fire sale of Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (MER.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). The meltdown at American International Group Inc (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). In each case, credit default swaps played a role in the fall of these financial giants.
In a week that will be remembered for centuries, it was difficult to define the most memorable moments of the Democratic National Convention. But 10 stand out for the political, emotional and historic impact they had - and will continue having - on America.
1. Barack Obama’s nomination speech and the historic night at Invesco Field. More than 80,000 people packed the stadium stands and covered the playing field while another 38.4 million Americans watched on television...
2. Hillary Clinton moves that rules be suspended and Barack Obama be nominated by acclamation... As the “ayes” erupt in favor of Obama’s nomination, history is made at 5:38 p.m. on August 27, 2008.
3. Michelle Obama kicks off the convention with a rousing speech supporting her husband, her party and her patriotism...
4. Michelle Obama is joined on stage by her daughters, Sasha and Malia, and together the girls say, “Hi, Daddy” to Barack Obama, who is in Kansas City. At this moment, more Americans are watching a non-fiction black family on television than at any point in the country’s history...
5. Hillary Clinton uses the words of Harriett Tubman in her speech endorsing Barack Obama for president and pleading for Democratic Party unity. Clinton said, “Ask yourself, were you supporting me or the issues that we stand for?”
6. Though gravely ill, Ted Kennedy takes the stage after a video tribute and, in one of the convention’s most emotional scenes...,
7. Stevie Wonder ...sings the Obama campaign theme song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
8. Throughout the week, people of all races, genders and creeds were presented to the nation and world. Denver’s streets looked as cosmopolitan as any city’s on the globe.
9. Joe Biden delivers a tremendous vice presidential acceptance speech, and the Pepsi Center crowd goes wild when Barack Obama makes a surprise appearance...
10. Following a video tribute to slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., King’s friend and confidant Congressman John Lewis honors his legacy and all the sacrifices over decades that led up to Barack Obama’s nomination for president. Obama’s historic speech is delivered on the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
11. President Bill Clinton receives a lengthy ovation and must quiet the Pepsi Center crowd before he can endorse Barack Obama’s candidacy and unequivocally declare “Barack Obama is ready to lead.”
Hillary Clinton made a call for unity behind Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
"Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose," Mrs Clinton said. "We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines."
She went on to declare that the party must do nothing that would help the Republicans win the presidency. "No way. No how. No McCain," to thunderous applause.
In the 1993 movie Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, the Attorney Joe Miller (Denzel) often asks his client, Andrew Becket (Tom Hanks) to explain things to him like he was a two year-old. That's what Obama's campaign is lacking. Obviously, the same nation that voted George W. Bush into office not once, but twice needs the simplicity and message management of a small child.
Here's a small clip of Denzel delivering his lines of explain it to me like I'm a two year-old. Keep it simple enough for a small child that still drinks from a sippy cup and wears pull-ups to understand.
The outburst from Communities Secretary Hazel Blears threatens to undermine Prime Minister Gordon Brown's determination for the British government to maintain a neutral position in the US presidential election.
Speaking at a fringe meeting of the centre-left party during its annual party conference in Manchester, Blears said Palin was capitalising on people's disillusionment with regular politics.
"I just think there is so much anti-politics -- not just in this country but around the world," Blears said.
"One of the reasons why Sarah Palin has been such a phenomenon is because she's anti-politics, anti-Washington.
"Her politics are horrendous, but actually she's struck a chord with people -- 'I'm a maverick, I'm not part of those powerful people' -- and people identified with that."
Palin, the strongly anti-abortion governor of Alaska, has boosted Republican candidate John McCain's fortunes since being named his surprise choice as running mate.
She has previously remarked that US soldiers in Iraq were being sent on a task from God.
Read the full Breitbart.com story here.
ARY TV reported that 60 people had died and 200 injured in the explosion in which the popular American hotel chain was targetted for the second time in 20 months. The blasts were the most intense explosion ever in the country at one particular spot,according to officials.
Reports late tonight said that two-thirds of the 290-room hotel were destroyed in the blast which occurred at about 8 pm in the heavily guarded part of Islamabad. Several US officials were believed to be in the hotel at the time of the blast which would have been packed with diners including Muslism breaking the Ramzan fast.
by: Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.
In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called "troopergate" investigation.
Coghill charged that the senator, Hollis French, had "politicized" the probe by making a number of public comments in recent days, including telling ABC News that Palin had a "credibility problem" and that the investigation into the firing of public safety commissioner Walter
Monegan was "likely to be damaging to the administration" and could be an "October surprise." Wrote Coghill: "The investigation appears to be lacking in fairness, neutrality and due process."
The investigation, authorized by the Legislative Council last July, revolves around charges that Palin abused her power by embroiling the governor's office in a bitter family feud involving her ex-brother in law, a state trooper named Mike Wooten. Specifically, the council is investigating whether Palin fired Monegan when he refused to dismiss Wooten (who at the time was involved in an ugly custody battle with Palin's sister) after getting repeated complaints about him from the governor and her husband, Todd Palin. (Among the allegations that were raised against Wooten by Palin's sister: he had Tasered his ten-year-old stepson and shot a moose without a permit.) Palin has denied wrongdoing; Monegan has said he believes his firing was connected to his refusal to fire Wooten.
Read the entire article by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball in Newsweek.
On Sunday, Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, tried to draw a line in the sand against further bailouts of failing financial institutions; four days later, faced with a crisis spinning out of control, much of Washington appears to have decided that government isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. The unthinkable — a government buyout of much of the private sector’s bad debt — has become the inevitable.
The story so far: the real shock after the feds failed to bail out Lehman Brothers wasn’t the plunge in the Dow, it was the reaction of the credit markets. Basically, lenders went on strike: U.S. government debt, which is still perceived as the safest of all investments — if the government goes bust, what is anything else worth? — was snapped up even though it paid essentially nothing, while would-be private borrowers were frozen out.
Thus, banks are normally able to borrow from each other at rates just slightly above the interest rate on U.S. Treasury bills. But Thursday morning, the average interest rate on three-month interbank borrowing was 3.2 percent, while the interest rate on the corresponding Treasuries was 0.05 percent. No, that’s not a misprint.
This flight to safety has cut off credit to many businesses, including major players in the financial industry — and that, in turn, is setting us up for more big failures and further panic. It’s also depressing business spending, a bad thing as signs gather that the economic slump is deepening.
Paul Krugman interview on Bill Maher's Real Time:
McCain's first reaction to the climactic events of Sunday, Sept. 14, when Lehman Brothers fell, Merrill Lynch was sold and AIG began to totter, was to repeat his longstanding sound bite that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." When Obama predictably leapt on this clueless comment with a TV ad, McCain quickly backtracked by saying that he was merely talking about the strength of "the American worker" and anyone who disagreed obviously had a problem understanding the importance of working people. He told the morning shows that he was a Republican in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, though his true views on free-market economics are more in tune with Herbert Hoover.
Glenn Greenwald's piece entitled "What does Sarah Palin have to hide in her Yahoo e-mails?"
Still, it's really a wondrous, and repugnant, sight to behold the Bush-following lynch mobs on the Right melodramatically defend the Virtues of Privacy and the Rule of Law. These, of course, are the same authoritarians who have cheered on every last expansion of the Lawless Surveillance State of the last eight years -- put their fists in the air with glee as the Federal Government seized the power to listen to innocent Americans' telephone calls; read our emails; obtain our banking, credit card, and library records; and create vast data bases of every call we make and receive and every prescription we fill and every instance of travel and other vast categories of information that remain largely unknown -- all without warrants or oversight of any kind and often in clear violation of the law.
The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin's privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.
And the same Surveillance State Worshipper leading today's screeching -- Michelle Malkin -- spent the last several years deriding those who objected to the President's illegal spying program as "privacy crusaders" and "constitutional absolutists" and "civil liberties absolutists".
Shouldn't these same people be standing up today and insisting that if Sarah Palin has done nothing wrong, then she should have nothing to hide? If Sarah Palin isn't committing crimes or consorting with The Terrorists, then why would she care if we can monitor her emails? And if private companies such as Yahoo can access her emails -- as they can -- then she doesn't really have any "privacy" anyway, so what's the big deal if others read through her communications, too? Isn't that the authoritarian idiocy that has been spewed since The Day That 9/11 Changed Everything -- beginning with the Constitution -- to justify vesting secret and unchecked surveillance powers in our Great and Good Leaders?
Read the complete story by Glen Greenwald here.