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Oct 8, 2008, 00:08

Is Palin Trying To Incite Violence Against Obama?

At her last rally in Florida, Sarah Palin told the audience that Barack Obama "palled around with terrorists" adding,"I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America."  Upon hearing the Republican VP candidate's concern that Sen. Obama might be a terrorist, a voice in the crowd cried out 'Kill him!'

Dow dips more than 500 on worries about financials

NEW YORK - Wall Street has had yet another dismal day, extending its heavy losses as investors' worries about the financial sector wiped out early enthusiasm over the Federal Reserve's efforts to inject confidence into the credit markets. Trading remained fractious and grew more turbulent in the last hour, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than 500 points and all the major indexes falling more than 5 percent.

Global Fears of a Recession Grow Stronger

WASHINGTON � When the White House brought out its $700 billion rescue plan two weeks ago, its sheer size was meant to soothe the global financial system, restoring trust and confidence. Three days after the plan was approved, it looks like a pebble tossed into a churning sea.

Iceland teeters on the brink of bankruptcy

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - This volcanic island near the Arctic Circle is on the brink of becoming the first "national bankruptcy" of the global financial meltdown.

Sweeping authority for Treasury chief survives bailout negotiations

Provisions that will give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson virtually unfettered authority to suspend federal acquisition and competitive hiring rules has survived contentious congressional negotiations on the $700 billion plan for federal intervention in financial markets. The House passed the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (H.R.1424) Friday on a 263-171 vote, and President Bush signed it shortly after the vote. The Senate approved the bill Wednesday. The measure will allow Paulson and his eventual successor to waive provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation "upon a determination that urgent and compelling circumstances make compliance with such provisions contrary to the public interest." While the department would have to notify congressional committees when choosing to forgo standard procurement practices, the legislation would not grant the committees explicit power to block or reverse Treasury's decision. Donald Kettl, a political analyst and University of Pennsylvania professor, said on Monday that the power the bill would give Paulson and the next Treasury secretary is "unprecedented in American history and American government."

Fed to buy massive amounts of short-term debt

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday a radical plan to buy massive amounts of short-term debt in a dramatic effort to break through a credit clog that is imperiling the economy. Invoking Depression-era emergency powers, the Fed will buy commercial paper, a short-term financing mechanism that many companies rely on to finance their day-to-day operations, such as purchasing supplies or making payrolls.

Tightening race puts Harper in minority territory

With eight days remaining until Canada votes and anxiety growing over the economy, the race between Liberals and Conservatives is tightening in Ontario and Quebec, sending Stephen Harper's hopes for a majority government fluttering further out of reach.

Aide quits as copycat uproar stings [Canadian] PM [Harper]

A senior Conservative policy adviser has quit amid damaging revelations by the Liberals that a major 2003 speech by then-opposition leader Stephen Harper on the Iraq war copied almost word-for-word a speech by then-Australian prime minister John Howard.

US Household winter heat costs to rise [an average of] 15 percent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Average household heating fuel costs this winter will be 15 percent higher than last year, with heating oil and natural gas users taking the biggest hit due to more expensive crude oil and colder weather than last winter, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Tuesday.

Advisers worry about �grumpy McCain�

When Politico�s Ryan Grim approached Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after the evening of the Senate bailout vote, the reporter didn�t even get his question out. �Excuse me, you�re bothering me,� McCain said. It was a surprising rebuke from a politician who once was famous for palling around with reporters, and who was so media-friendly that he was sometimes known as �the senator from �Meet the Press.�� But what friends call �grumpy McCain� is showing up regularly on the campaign trail, and several top advisers worry that it�s hurting his campaign by making him appear peevish and hunkered down when the country is looking for a larger and more optimistic brand of leadership.

Brigitte Bardot slams Palin as a 'disgrace to women'

PARIS (AFP) - French film legend-turned-activist Brigitte Bardot took a swipe at Sarah Palin on Tuesday, saying the US vice presidential candidate was a disgrace to women.
Oct 7, 2008

Dow recovers to close down 370 after plunging 800

NEW YORK - Wall Street suffered through another extraordinary and traumatic session Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials plunging as much as 800 points � their largest one-day point drop � before recovering to close with a loss of 370. The catalyst for the selling, which also took the Dow below 10,000 for the first time in four years, was investors' growing despair that the spreading credit crisis will take a heavy toll around the world.

Paulson picks interim head for rescue effort

WASHINGTON - The administration has selected a former Goldman Sachs executive to be the interim head of its $700 billion rescue effort for financial institutions. Neel Kashkari, the Treasury's assistant secretary for international affairs, was selected Monday to be the interim head of Treasury's new Office of Financial Stability.

European, Asian markets plunge on crisis fears

LONDON - Asian and European stock markets plunged Monday as government bank bailouts in the U.S. and Europe failed to alleviate fears that the global financial crisis would depress world economic growth.

Black Monday II: the worst for decades

More than �93 billion was wiped from the value of the UK's biggest companies today as London's FTSE 100 suffered its biggest fall since Black Monday. As fear swept through global markets and governments rushed to prop up banks across Europe the Footsie slumped 7.8 per cent - its largest one-day percentage decline since the aftermath of Black Monday in October 1987.

Bail-out leads to conflict of interest claims as Wall Street financiers cash in on crisis

New questions have been raised about the $700 billion economic bail-out of the US economy as President George W. Bush warned that the world may have to wait weeks for the benefits of the rescue package to be felt. . . . Doubts about the package were fuelled when financial experts warned that conflicts of interest could arise because Wall Street financiers, many of whom have been blamed for causing the financial meltdown in the first place, will have a hand in spending the $700 billion of taxpayers' money.

U.S. Treasury to Hire Up to 10 Asset Management Firms

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. plans to hire five to 10 asset-management firms as Secretary Henry Paulson establishes the government's new office for handling the financial bailout, a Treasury official said.

Officials Refuse to Provide Details on Secret Previous Bailout

Top government officials are refusing to provide details on a secretive deal it made to manage billions in assets from an earlier bailout. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been pressing top officials for months to provide details on a deal the Federal Reserve made for a private firm to manage $30 billion in financial assets from the collapsed investment bank Bear Stearns, as part of an arrangement to facilitate J.P. Morgan Chase's purchase of the bank in March. The Federal Reserve announced at the time that it had contracted with BlackRock Financial Management Inc. to manage the assets. Since then, it has declined to share any further details on the arrangement with anyone � not reporters, not the public, and not Sen. Grassley.

Obama highlights McCain scandal

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has attacked John McCain's links to a 1980s financial scandal. He also accused his Republican rival of being more focused on running a smear campaign than on fixing the US economy. It comes after Mr McCain's running mate Sarah Palin accused Mr Obama over the weekend of associating with terrorists. . . . In a new internet video being e-mailed to supporters, the Obama campaign launched its own attack on Mr McCain over his connections to tycoon Charles Keating, who was convicted of securities fraud after his savings and loan scheme collapsed. Mr McCain was one of five senators - known as the Keating Five - to be investigated by a Senate ethics panel over their intervention with banking regulators on behalf of Keating.

In slip up, Palin calls Afghanistan �our neighboring country�

SAN FRANCISCO - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called Afghanistan �our neighboring country� on Sunday in a speech that could revive questions over her tendency to stumble into linguistic knots.

Debate stakes higher for McCain as insults mount

WASHINGTON - Running short on time, John McCain has the most riding on the second presidential debate, though Barack Obama will be out of his scripted comfort zone in the town hall-style confrontation. It could be ugly if Monday's tussling is any indication.

Full of Doubts, U.S. Shoppers Cut Spending

Cowed by the financial crisis, American consumers are pulling back on their spending, all but guaranteeing that the economic situation will get worse before it gets better.

EBay Cuts 10% of Work Force

The Internet company, eBay, announced Monday that it was laying off 10 percent of its work force, or about 1,000 permanent employees and several hundred temporary workers.
Oct 6, 2008

McCain's Brother Says N. Va. 'Communist Country'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain's brother made an apparent joke at a campaign rally this weekend that might not play well in parts of newly competitive Virginia. Joe McCain, speaking at an event in support of his brother, called two Democratic-leaning areas in Northern Virginia ''communist country,'' according to a report on The Washington Post's Web site.

Homeland Security seeks cyber counterattack system

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- First, there was "Einstein," the federal government's effort to protect itself from cyber attacks by limiting the number of portals to government computer systems and searching for signs of cyber tampering. Then Einstein 2.0, a system now being tested to detect computer intrusions as they happen. And in the future? Perhaps Einstein 3.0, which would give the government the ability to fight back. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Friday said he'd like to see a government computer infrastructure that could look for early indications of computer skullduggery and stop it before it happens. . . . Chertoff said the government is moving slowly to avoid stepping on the toes of the private sector as it addresses calls to reorganize the governance of cyberspace to provide accountability and authority.

War on Taliban cannot be won, says army chief

Britain's most senior military commander in Afghanistan has warned that the war against the Taliban cannot be won. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said the British public should not expect a �decisive military victory� but should be prepared for a possible deal with the Taliban. His assessment followed the leaking of a memo from a French diplomat who claimed that Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British ambassador in Kabul, had told him the current strategy was �doomed to fail�.

Power cuts feared in UK nuclear plants crisis

The meltdown of Britain's nuclear capacity is largely responsible for an alarming tightening of electricity supplies that is forecast to start at the beginning of November, as demand rises sharply for the winter, and to continue until at least the end of the month. An independent nuclear analyst, John Large, said last night: "It's all in a pretty sad state. The reactors are starting to break up; they are becoming knackered. There comes a point when you simply have to turn the things off. "We have been lucky for two years with mild winters, but if we have a cold snap then I can see the lights blinking off."

A.I.G. Uses $61 Billion of Fed Loan

The American International Group said on Friday that it had already drawn down $61 billion of the $85 billion emergency bridge loan it received from the Federal Reserve two weeks ago, an announcement that startled credit ratings agencies. The emergency loan was supposed to buy the company time to sell its troubled assets in an orderly manner. But the sell-off has not yet begun, and now the insurer faces the additional pressure of trying to sell the businesses at a time when potential buyers are having trouble borrowing money. Moody�s downgraded A.I.G.�s senior unsecured debt on Friday and said it might downgrade other types of the company�s debt, which could make it more expensive for A.I.G. to borrow money and do business.

Palin's Tax Return Mystery: Where Are The Per Diems?

In typical news-dump fashion, the McCain campaign put out the last two years of Sarah Palin's tax returns late Friday afternoon. The information contained a few interesting revelations in what was, otherwise, a fairly mundane filing. Palin, it appears, did not pay taxes on the more than $60,000 of travel reimbursements that she and her family members reportedly billed the state during her 18 months as governor. There is a fairly wonky debate over whether she should have been charged for these trips or whether it was accounted for in her salary. John Bogdanski, a tax professor at the Lewis and Clark Law School, told the Huffington Post's Seth Colter Walls that they did qualify as taxable income.

Agency�s �04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt

On that bright spring afternoon [April 28, 2004], the five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission met in a basement hearing room to consider an urgent plea by the big investment banks. They wanted an exemption for their brokerage units from an old regulation that limited the amount of debt they could take on. The exemption would unshackle billions of dollars held in reserve as a cushion against losses on their investments. Those funds could then flow up to the parent company, enabling it to invest in the fast-growing but opaque world of mortgage-backed securities; credit derivatives, a form of insurance for bond holders; and other exotic instruments. The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left to become Treasury secretary.

Analysis: Palin's words may backfire on McCain

WASHINGTON - By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign. And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain

SARAH PALIN�S post-Couric/Fey comeback at last week�s vice presidential debate was a turning point in the campaign. But if she �won,� as her indulgent partisans and press claque would have it, the loser was not Joe Biden. It was her running mate. With a month to go, the 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race � about �the future,� as Palin kept saying Thursday night � and the only person who doesn�t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.

Shock and Awe: Bipartisan Beltway Terrorists Launch Economic 9/11 on the American People

You've seen the news. You know the score. The House of Representatives has now completed the economic terrorist attack inflicted on the American people by the nation's elite. The bailout bill -- or as Arthur Silber more rightly terms it, the "Extortion Bill" -- is already law, thanks to the Democrats in Congress, and to Barack Obama, who spent the day working the phones and twisting arms to make sure the $700 billion bonanza for the filthy rich passed without any more of the hiccups that held it up earlier this week.

What an Arrow Shaft Has to Do With a $700 Billion Rescue [Bailout] Plan

Rose City Archery is a venerable company, around since 1932 and by far the world�s biggest manufacturer of a special cedar arrow shaft, turning out a million or so a year, its president and chief executive, Jerry Dishion, said on Thursday. But why, one might ask, does it have anything to do with the bailout? Rose City Archery is seeking an exemption from a federal excise tax of 43 cents for a natural-wood, unreinforced arrow shaft suitable for use with bows with peak draw weights under 30 pounds � �kiddie arrows,� as opposed to the sharp-pointed kind used by big-game hunters, Mr. Dishion said in a telephone interview. Mr. Dishion said removing the excise tax on the blunt-nosed arrows would benefit school districts and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations that buy his company�s arrows.

Teacher Suspended After Writing Racial Comment About Obama On Chalkboard

MARIANNA, Fla. -- A Florida middle school teacher has been suspended after students said he used a racial epithet directed at presidential candidate Barack Obama. Seventh-grade social studies teacher Greg Howard reportedly wrote the word CHANGE as an acronym on the board and wrote an expletive with the letter 'N.' The phrase he wrote has alternately be reported as "Can You Help A (expletive) Get Elected" and "Come Help A (expletive) Get Elected."
Oct 3, 2008

McCain gives up on Michigan in a major retreat

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate John McCain conceded battleground Michigan to the Democrats on Thursday, GOP officials said, a major retreat as he struggles to regain his footing in a campaign increasingly dominated by economic issues. These officials said McCain was pulling staff and advertising out of the economically distressed Midwestern state. He also canceled a visit slated for next week. Michigan, with 17 electoral votes, voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004, but Republicans had poured money into an effort to try to place it in their column this year. The decision marked the first time either McCain or his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, has tacitly conceded a traditional battleground state in a race for the White House with little more than a month remaining.

McCain Camp: We've Got Obama Right Where We Want Him

Strategists for John McCain insisted late Thursday afternoon that it was Barack Obama, not the Arizona Republican, who was on the defensive when it came to the electoral map. On a conference call for the press hours after it was announced that McCain would be pulling resources and staff from Michigan, Mike DuHaime, the campaign's political director, and Greg Strimple, its senior adviser, outlined a strategy akin to political rope-a-dope, in which their campaign had goaded Barack Obama into pouring in money into un-winnable locales.

British envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo

Britain�s Ambassador to Afghanistan has stoked opposition to the allied operation there by reportedly saying that the campaign against the Taleban insurgents would fail and that the best hope was to install an acceptable dictator in Kabul. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a Foreign Office heavyweight with a reputation for blunt speaking, delivered his bleak assessment of the seven-year Nato campaign in Afghanistan in a briefing with a French diplomat, according to French leaks. However sources in Whitehall said the account was a parody of the British Ambassador�s remarks.

Next president will reshape U.S. courts from top to bottom

WASHINGTON � The next president will tip the courts, one way or another. Supreme Court openings are all but guaranteed, and that's just the start: 44 trial and appellate federal judicial vacancies already await filling. There will be more.

Judge refuses to block Alaska Troopergate probe

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska judge on Thursday refused to block a state investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this summer. Judge Peter Michalski threw out the lawsuit filed by five Republican state legislators who said the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics and was being manipulated to damage Palin shortly before the Nov. 4 presidential election. "It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature's investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination (of) a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed," the judge wrote in his decision.

McCain on his drop in the polls: 'Life isn't fair'

WASHINGTON - Asked why he has been falling in polls since the financial crisis, Republican presidential candidate John McCain sums it up this way: "Cause life isn't fair." McCain chuckled as he made the remark Thursday on the Fox News morning show "Fox & Friends" � not that trailing Democratic rival Barack Obama in a series of new polls is a laughing matter for the GOP campaign.

Bloomberg Says He Wants a Third Term as Mayor

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Thursday that he would abandon his earlier opposition to changing the term limits law and seek a third term as mayor, arguing that the economic crisis buffeting the nation called for continuity in municipal leadership

Fake pollsters' scare tactics target Obama

Barack Obama's campaign for the White House is receiving increasing complaints about scam pollsters involved in dirty tricks operations to discredit the Democratic candidate. Victims claim the fake pollsters work insinuations into their questions, designed to damage Obama. Those targeted in swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania include Jews, Christian evangelicals, Catholics and Latinos.

US embassy in London to switch to former industrial site

After a diplomatic history dating back 200 years the United States has admitted that security concerns have forced its embassy to abandon London�s most prestigious neighbourhood for a new home on a former industrial site. More than 700 staff will leave the landmark building in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, and move to a compound at Wandsworth. The new embassy will occupy a five-acre site overlooking the river Thames between the former Battersea power station and the MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall. Diplomats will swap London�s premier residential and shopping district for an area renowned for its hardcore gay clubs.

Weak economy pushes jobless claims to 7-year high

More people than expected lined up at the unemployment lines last week and orders to U.S. factories plunged by the largest amount in two years, according to government data released Thursday.

Oil falls below $95 on falling global demand

NEW YORK - Oil prices tumbled below $95 a barrel Thursday, falling for a second day as investors bet that a revised $700 billion financial bailout plan won't be enough to avoid a recession and revive dwindling U.S. energy demand.
Oct 2, 2008

Bailout passes Senate, House foes soften

WASHINGTON - After one spectacular failure, the $700 billion financial industry bailout found a second life Wednesday, winning lopsided passage in the Senate and gaining ground in the House, where Republicans opposition softened. Senators loaded the economic rescue bill with tax breaks and other sweeteners before passing it by a wide margin, 74-25, a month before the presidential and congressional elections. In the House, leaders were working feverishly to convert enough opponents of the bill to push it through by Friday, just days after lawmakers there stunningly rejected an earlier version and sent markets plunging around the globe. The measure didn't cause the same uproar in the Senate, where both parties' presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, made rare appearances to cast "aye" votes.

McCain turns irritable, sarcastic in interview

DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican presidential candidate John McCain, once renowned for his jocular sessions with journalists, appeared irritable and at times sarcastic in an interview in which he defended running mate Sarah Palin's experience and campaign ads critical of rival Barack Obama.

McCain's Kremlin Ties

Over the course of the presidential campaign, John McCain has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to stand up to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as proof that only he possesses the fortitude and judgment to become the next leader of the free world. . . . Yet despite McCain's tough talk, behind the scenes his top advisers have cultivated deep ties with Russia's oligarchy--indeed, they have promoted the Kremlin's geopolitical and economic interests, as well as some of its most unsavory business figures, through greedy cynicism and geopolitical stupor. The most notable example is the tale of how McCain and his campaign manager, Rick Davis, advanced what became a key victory for the Kremlin: gaining control over the small but strategically important country of Montenegro.

Among Bailout Supporters, Wall St. Donations Ran High

The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington nonprofit group that studies money and politics, reports that on average, lawmakers who voted in favor of the bailout bill have received 51 percent more in campaign contributions from sources in the finance, insurance and real estate industries -- or FIRE industries, for short -- over their congressional careers than those who opposed the emergency legislation. The legislation is of vital interest to Wall Street firms and banks, many of which would like to use the program to offload noxious mortgage-related assets. The FIRE industries -- or, more specifically, individuals and political action committees associated with them -- have been the top source of campaign contributions in federal politics, the group said, giving more than $2 billion to federal candidates and political parties since 1989. This year, sources from the FIRE industries have been particularly busy, doling out millions to candidates that are facing tough reelections.

ID-match law stalls 5,000 voter applications

TALLAHASSEE - Three weeks after Florida began enforcing a controversial law to require tougher ID matches for would-be voters, registration applications from more than 5,000 Floridians have been held up, at least temporarily. In Orange County, just more than 50 percent of the 672 challenged registrations were from Democrats and about 10 percent were from Republicans, with the rest showing an unknown party or no party affiliation, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis.

Palin: McCain campaign's end-run around media

The McCain campaign is attempting to do something unheard of in the modern political era. It is not just running against the mainstream media, it is running around it.

Palin's foreign negotiations limited to Canada

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who touts her state's proximity to Russia as part of her foreign policy experience, has not met with Russian leaders or delegations, negotiated any Russian issues or visited the country, according to an Associated Press review of records from the governor's office.

Bill Clinton in McCain ad leading role

WASHINGTON - Bill Clinton is playing a starring role in a John McCain commercial. And here's the ad's kicker: "You're right Mr. President." Fancy that. The Republican presidential nominee with a tip of the hat to the last Democratic president. A new minute-long McCain commercial features the former president asserting that congressional Democrats could have done more to regulate the nation's major mortgage financiers. In a clip taken from a Sept. 25 interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Clinton says: "I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress, or by me when I was president, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Medicare Won�t Pay for Medical Errors

ST. PAUL � If an auto mechanic accidentally breaks your windshield while trying to repair the engine, he would never get away with billing you for fixing his mistake. On Wednesday, Medicare will start applying that logic to American medicine on a broad scale when it stops paying hospitals for the added cost of treating patients who are injured in their care.

B.C. man dies after being tasered by police

VANCOUVER � A man has died after Mounties in the Vancouver suburb of Langley used a taser to subdue him after he jumped out of the window of a house.

Xenophobic climate' fueling policies, violence in Italy

Milan, Italy - For the past two weeks, groups of teenagers have mourned in front of "Shining," a snack bar not far from Milan's Central Station. Many leave flowers and cards. But some leave cookies and two euros, a provocative gesture referencing the killing of Abdul Guibre: the 19-year-old African-Italian youth who was allegedly beaten to death Sept. 14 by two shop owners for having stolen some cookies, worth a few euros. This death comes on the heels of a recent wave of racially motivated attacks in Italy that are raising concerns about violence against minorities, and a potential backlash from those who feel they are unfairly treated as second-class citizens.

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