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Oct 17 2008
So the Washington Post reports that Bush defends the bailout and says the plan was the ‘last resort’. Bush said his administration has been “systematic and aggressive” trying to thaw the credit freeze and urged Americans to be patient with his administration’s efforts.
“The federal government has responded to this crisis with systematic and aggressive measures to protect the financial security of the American people,” Bush said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. “… It took a while for the credit system to freeze up; it will take a while for the credit system to thaw.”
Bush went on to blame Bill Clinton for his and the economy’s problems saying “the roots of the crisis go back ‘more than a decade'”. Actually, many of the problems go back to August 1987, when Alan Greenspan became the 13th Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Yesterday, the NY Times reported that the Banks are likely to hold tight to the bailout money. “Since mid-2007, when the credit crisis erupted, the country’s nine largest banks have written down the value of their troubled assets by a combined $323 billion.”
For every dollar the banks earned during the industry’s most prosperous years, they have now wiped out $1.06.
Even with the capital from the government, analysts say, the banking industry still needs to raise around $275 billion in light of the looming losses…
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is urging them to use their new capital soon. On Monday, Mr. Paulson unveiled plans to provide $125 billion to nine banks on terms that were more favorable than they would have received in the marketplace. The government, however, has offered no written requirements about how or when the banks must use the money.
“There is no express statutory requirement that says you must make this amount of loans,” said John C. Dugan, the comptroller of the currency. “But the economics work so that it is in their interest to do so.”
Marketplace, on public radio, reported that all this Unused cash piling up at the Fed. The banks are not lending and hundreds of billions of dollars in cash are now at the Federal Reserve. The reserve balances “have hit historic highs in the past few weeks” and have “gotten even bigger” from the bailout.
Now $265 billion are in now at the Fed in reserve accounts and the Fed is paying interest on those deposits. So much for thawing the credit markets.
Setting the stage for the next two years at the United Nations, the NY Times reports Three nations win security council seats.
Turkey, Austria and Japan won nonpermanent seats on the United Nations Security Council on Friday, defeating Iceland and Iran in elections in the General Assembly…
They join Uganda, for Africa, and Mexico in taking up the five rotating seats on the 15-seat Security Council for the 2009 and 2010 sessions.
Four at Four continues with the Iranian revolution and Obama’s gray hair.
Oct 17 2008
I’m still in Mexico – staying at a place with no Internet access (unexpectedly) and no TV. So last night my husband and I amused ourselves by capturing the little crabs that wandered into our condo and returning them to the beach. Three crabs were successfully trapped and relocated.
In a few days we return to the US. We’ll be happier than clams when we get our Internets back.
Oct 17 2008
Once the American Idol election frenzy dies down and we wake up from the nightmare of the last eight years and look around at the pile of shit we are neck deep in thanks to George “the Torturer ” Bush and his magical destructo administration, there will be only one conclusion possible. We need to build a new reality. We need to select a new world track. We need to create a new future.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of proving the old world track we were going down just plain didn’t work.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of proving that an economy based solely on further enriching the already super-rich is bad for everyone BUT the super-rich.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of decimating the world destroying American Military and Economic Empire. Of, perhaps, ending the entire concept of Nation State Empires.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of exposing (by arousing it fully) the hate and intolerance of Right Wing America.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of demonstrating the hypocrisy of a supposed Republican Moral Superiority by indulging the Right Wing’s authoritarian and fascist tendencies, from domestic spying to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
Nothing and no one could have done a better job of discrediting and destroying every single meme, policy, philosophy, idea and talking point of Republicanism.
Oct 17 2008
In this election, to vote as a citizen of the state of Michigan, I will for the first time have to present photo identification at the polls, or sign an affadavit stating that I do not possess one. Michigan joins just seven states that now require photo ID.
In total, there are twenty-four states that require voters to present ID, although in seventeen of them no photo is required. In those states voters are able to vote with birth certificates and social security cards, forms of ID with no cost to acquire. This makes it possible for essentially all citizens to vote.
This is not the case with required photo ID laws.
Oct 17 2008
Today is Iraq Moratorium day, a day to interrupt our usual routine and do something, big or small, individually or with a group, to call for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq.
Events are planned across the country. You can find them, and suggestions for individual action, on the Moratorium website, IraqMoratorium.com.
The Raise Hell for Molly Ivins campaign, which has participated in the Moratorium since it began in September 2007, started out asking people to bang on pots and pans, as the late, great progressive voice, Molly Ivins, had suggested in one of her last columns.
The Ivins campaign is asking people this month to call or visit their local Congressional offices today to demand an end to the war, and has enlisted Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July,” for this video:
A lot of people are preoccupied with the election, and that’s important. But we elected a new Congress two years ago with a mandate to end the war, and nothing happened. Just changing leaders is not enough. We need to keep the pressure on, no matter who wins on November 4.
Oct 17 2008
On my trip over to ePluribus Media this morning I found this open thread Help Make Sure Every Voter’s Story Gets Told in 2008, not long but with very useful information that was gathered from two other sources from yesterday, one found here at daily kos about incidents at early voting polls here in North Carolina and also sourced at Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic
Regardless of your political alignment, nobody — from any party, special interest or group, has the right to interfere with your right to vote for the candidate of your choice.
Oct 17 2008
David Letterman Hands
McCain His G. Gordon Liddy
In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition
By JONATHAN D. GLATER
Published: October 16, 2008
In difficult dinner-table conversations, college students and their parents are revisiting how to pay tuition as personal finances weaken and lenders get tough.
Diana and Ronnie Jacobs, of Salem, Ind., thought their family had a workable plan for college for her twin sons, using a combination of savings, income, scholarship aid and a relatively modest amount of borrowing. Then her husband lost his job at Colgate-Palmolive.
“It just seems like it’s really hard, because it is,” Ms. Jacobs, an information technology specialist, said of her financial situation.
Kenyans follow Obama’s fortunes nervously
Many are proud of his connection to their country but believe there is a lingering racism in the United States that will prevent a black man from being elected president.
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2008
NAIROBI, KENYA — A popular morning-radio personality summed up how many Kenyans are viewing the U.S. presidential race.
“There’s no way,” said disc jockey Maina Kageni, “the U.S. is going to elect” a black man.
Despite Sen. Barack Obama’s strong lead in the polls and his huge popularity here in his father’s homeland, some Kenyans can’t shake a sense of doubt about whether Americans are ready to put a black man in the White House.
The quiet pessimism is rooted in Kenyans’ perceptions about racism in the United States and sharpened by the nation’s own flawed presidential election 10 months ago, which saw hatred among tribes come to the fore.
McCain Forced to Fight for Virginia
Traditionally Red State Finds GOP Struggling to Match Obama Operation
By Michael D. Shear and Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 17, 2008; Page A01
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain will take different messages to different audiences in different parts of Virginia over the next two days, but they will have the same goal in mind: to urge their supporters to spend the final stretch of the campaign fighting for every vote they can find.
Obama will hold a rally today in Roanoke, a conservative part of the state where he hopes to keep the race relatively close. McCain will travel tomorrow to Prince William County, where he aims to cut into Obama’s Northern Virginia base.
Oct 17 2008
Muse in the Morning
The Dark Side of Redworld