Republican Fiscal Policy
Always Reward Those Who Destroy The Economy
And Screw Over The Average Taxpayer
Radical Shift for Goldman and Morgan
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN and VIKAS BAJAJ
Published: September 21, 2008
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last big independent investment banks on Wall Street, will transform themselves into bank holding companies subject to far greater regulation, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night, a move that fundamentally reshapes an era of high finance that defined the modern Gilded Age.
The firms requested the change themselves, even as Congress and the Bush administration rushed to pass a $700 billion rescue of financial firms. It was a blunt acknowledgment that their model of finance and investing had become too risky and that they needed the cushion of bank deposits that had kept big commercial banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase relatively safe amid the recent turmoil.
Iraqi detainees languish in clogged justice system
A new U.S.-funded legal clinic in Baghdad attempts to review the cases of those who have been held without charge or trial, but the task is daunting and hurdles numerous.
By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 22, 2008
BAGHDAD — Just five minutes.
That’s what Iraqi soldiers said they needed when they took Ahmed-Hussein Juma in for questioning in February 2007.
“And now here we are, 1 1/2 years later,” Juma said with a hopeless laugh last month as he stood in a holding cage, metal handcuffs on his wrists and a prison number stitched crookedly on his green jumpsuit.
Dozens of other men sat on benches at Baghdad’s Rusafa detention center, all waiting to visit a new U.S.-funded legal aid clinic that American officials hope will help clear the backlog of detainees lost in Iraq’s severely overloaded prison system.
In its bid to get the men fair trials or release, the clinic faces immense obstacles, not the least of which is a case file system that consists of paperwork tied together with bits of string. But even more worrying are the sectarian overtones: Most of the detainees are Sunni Arabs accused of terrorism-related offenses, and many claim to be targets of the Shiite Muslim-dominated security forces who they say used trumped-up charges to achieve sectarian “cleansing.”
As Hill Debates Bailout, Wall St. Shifts Continue
Paulson, GOP Oppose Democrats’ Proposal to Limit Executive Pay
By Lori Montgomery and David Cho
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 22, 2008; Page A01
Congressional Democrats considering the Bush administration’s emergency plan to shore up the U.S. financial system countered with their own demands yesterday, presenting draft legislation giving the government power to cut salaries of chief executives at firms that participate in the bailout and slash severance packages for their top management. Democratic leaders have broadly embraced the administration’s proposal to spend up to $700 billion to take troubled assets off the books of faltering firms and are not questioning the need to give the Treasury Department expansive authority to halt the meltdown in world markets.
Homeland security grants are becoming a local burden
By LES BLUMENTHAL | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Since 9/11, millions of dollars worth of homeland security grants have flowed to Washington state and its local governments for everything from bomb-defusing robots to planning and training to respond to a terrorist attack or a catastrophic earthquake.
But now, with state and local jurisdictions already struggling financially and considering sharp cuts in their own budgets, the Department of Homeland Security wants them to start sharing in the cost. The department has signaled it may require a 25 percent match to the grants. State, county and city officials say they don’t have that type of money.
“There’s no way,” said Steve Bailey, director of Pierce County Emergency Management and president of the Washington State Emergency Managers Association. “We would lose millions of dollars. This is going to affect everybody.
Turkey scared to admit Armenian genocide, says historian
· Remarks cast shadow over efforts to rebuild relations
· Turkish show interest in museum of tragedy
Robert Tait in Yerevan
Monday September 22 2008
Turkey risks a collapse of its secular political system akin to that of the Soviet Union if it bows to international pressure to recognise the 1915-22 Armenian genocide, the head of Armenia’s state memorial to the event has told the Guardian.
Hayk Demoyan said Ankara could not acknowledge the systematic killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman troops during the first world war because it would lead to a wholesale re-writing of history and undermine the ideological basis of the Turkish state.
In remarks that will cast a shadow over attempts to forge a new Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, he said those implicated included Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey and a figure Turks are taught to revere
Immigrant attacks spark riots in Italy
By Peter Popham
Monday, 22 September 2008
Italy is confronting a rising tide of immigrant anger this week after demonstrations erupted at opposite ends of the country against violent attacks directed at African immigrants.
At Caserta, a decaying seaside resort north of Naples, which has become both the stronghold of the most aggressive clan of the Camorra, the Naples mafia, and home to thousands of illegal immigrants, African demonstrators overturned cars and rubbish bins and tore down street signs in a spontaneous protest against the gangland killing of six Africans in and outside a boutique and tailoring workshop. Then on Saturday in Milan, thousands of demonstrators marched through the city to condemn the beating to death of a youth from Burkina Faso by the owners of a local bar who caught him stealing biscuits.
‘I have been a loyal member of the ANC for 52 years’ – Mbeki resigns in TV address
· South Africa President quits after losing power struggle with rival
· Emergency meeting as ruling party faces split
Chris McGreal in Johannesburg
Monday September 22 2008
Thabo Mbeki yesterday resigned as South Africa’s president and said he will leave office on a date set by parliament, after he was toppled by his own party following a long and bitter power struggle with his former deputy, Jacob Zuma.
Mbeki called an emergency meeting of his cabinet as many of his ministers threatened to resign in solidarity after the African National Congress on Saturday told the president to agree to step down or face being removed by parliament.
Mbeki handed his resignation letter to the speaker of parliament yesterday and in an unusually humble speech broadcast on national TV broadcaster SABC said he had decided to quit out of loyalty to the party that is rejecting him.
Detained Nigeria oil rebel needs urgent care: wife
Mon 22 Sep 2008,
The suspected leader of Nigeria’s main militant group needs urgent treatment for a kidney ailment and should be allowed to go to South Africa for care, his wife and one of his lawyers said on Monday.
Henry Okah, who is being tried for gun-running and treason, still commands loyalty from several well-armed factions in the Niger Delta, where militants carried out a wave of attacks on oil platforms, pipelines and flow stations last week.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the militant group which Okah is believed to have led before his detention, is holding three foreigners and 22 Nigerian oil workers captive as leverage to demand his release.
A trial court judge in the central town of Jos ordered state security officers to take Okah to an undisclosed hospital last week following a plea from his lawyers but his family said the medical care he needed was not available in Nigeria.
Outspoken Aso to be Japan PM
By Chisa Fujioka, Reuters
Monday, 22 September 2008
Outspoken nationalist Taro Aso, an advocate of spending and tax cuts to boost the economy, won the race today to become Japan’s next prime minister and swiftly set his sights on an election expected within months.
Aso, a former foreign minister, clinched the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership vote by a landslide to take over from Yasuo Fukuda, who quit this month just as the economy flirts with recession and faces further damage from turmoil on Wall Street.
China milk poisoning cases rise >
Nearly 53,000 children in China are now known to have been made ill by milk powder contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, officials say.
About 13,000 of the victims remain in hospital, the health ministry added. Four children have died.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has visited sick children in hospitals and apologised for the food scandal.
Most victims are under two years old, and at least 104 of those in hospital are in a serious condition.
For young English-speakers gone astray in Israel, a helping hand
A Texan has set out to assist some of the hundreds of Jews who come to Israel every year and find trouble instead of religious awakening.
By Danna Harman | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the September 22, 2008 edition
Jerusalem – At 14 he had dropped out of school and was spending his days dealing and doing drugs on London’s streets. A year later, packed off to Israel by his newly religious and worried parents to join his brother and sister, he was at a yeshiva in Jerusalem, being taught right from wrong by the rabbis.
It looked like progress – but in fact nothing had changed. He was still addicted and lost.
“The plan was to come to Israel, get away from my debts and drug mates, and then kick the habit. But that doesn’t happen easily,” he says today, a sober 22-year-old with a dark velvet kippa pinned to his slicked back hair and a world of experience behind him.
What saved him was getting arrested and sent to jail, he says, and what helped him start fresh was Caryn Green and Crossroads.
Young and Arab in Land of Mosques and Bars
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN
Published: September 21, 2008
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – In his old life in Cairo, Rami Galal knew his place and his fate: to become a maintenance man in a hotel, just like his father. But here, in glittering, manic Dubai, he is confronting the unsettling freedom to make his own choices.
Here Mr. Galal, 24, drinks beer almost every night and considers a young Russian prostitute his girlfriend. But he also makes it to work every morning, not something he could say when he lived back in Egypt. Everything is up to him, everything: what meals he eats, whether he goes to the mosque or a bar, who his friends are.
Brazil sits pretty amid U.S. economic crisis
There was a time that when the ‘the United States coughed, Brazil got pneumonia’ but after its own share of crises, Brazil has seen a period of economic stability and rapid growth.
By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 22, 2008
ITAGUAI, BRAZIL — ThyssenKrupp’s towering steel factory going up near Rio de Janeiro resembles a medieval cathedral — and stands as a latter-day shrine to the belief that Brazil’s economy will withstand U.S. financial turmoil.
Brazil’s stocks and currency whipsawed wildly last week along with U.S. markets, recalling the gyrations that preceded financial crises in the 1990s when meltdowns in Mexico, Russia and Thailand sucked this country’s economy down with them.
But as the U.S. financial system seemed to teeter on collapse, few here seemed too concerned. Like other emerging countries that learned the bitter lessons of the 1990s, Brazil’s economy is much stronger this time around, more diversified and better able to withstand global shocks — including the economic ups and downs of its powerful neighbor to the north.