John McCain Approves This Message One So Confused That Only Confusion Could Understand It
Specter of Deflation Lurks as Global Demand Drops
By PETER S. GOODMAN Published: October 31, 2008
As dozens of countries slip deeper into financial distress, a new threat may be gathering force within the American economy — the prospect that goods will pile up waiting for buyers and prices will fall, suffocating fresh investment and worsening joblessness for months or even years.The word for this is deflation, or declining prices, a term that gives economists chills. Deflation accompanied the Depression of the 1930s. Persistently falling prices also were at the heart of Japan’s so-called lost decade after the catastrophic collapse of its real estate bubble at the end of the 1980s — a period in which some experts now find parallels to the American predicament. “That certainly is the snapshot of the risk I see,” said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “It is the crisis we face.”
Is this troubled nation ready for change?
US correspondent Rupert Cornwell examines the mood of America and asks if the young pretender can really defeat the combative McCain
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Make the jump»
Who, back then, could have imagined what would follow? On the glacially cold morning of 10 February 2007, I stood shivering in the crowd outside the Old State House in Springfield, Illinois, as Barack Obama formally declared himself a candidate to be the 44th President of the United States. The very thought that, for the first time, an African-American and a relative political newcomer to boot, had a small but realistic chance of entering the Oval Office made the moment fascinating enough. There was also a small personal conceit. Back in October 1991, I had travelled to Little Rock to watch a young governor of Arkansas make a similar announcement. Bill Clinton went all the way. So, would lightning strike twice – might I have stumbled on another winner?
The Steam Shovel Of Stupidity Continues To Run At Full Tilt For The McCain Campaign
Around the World, the Signs Of Slowdown Spiral Outward
By Steven Mufson and Blaine Harden Washington Post Staff Writers Saturday, October 25, 2008; Page A01
Pessimism about the global economy deepened yesterday as fresh evidence of a worldwide slowdown showed up in feeble corporate profit reports from Asia, sinking commodities prices, and a scramble by emerging economies to prop up their sagging currencies and avert credit defaults. The signs of trouble popped up around the globe. Japanese giants Sony and Toyota, as well as South Korea's Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips, flat-screen televisions and liquid crystal displays, posted weakened profits and sales outlooks. Toyota's quarterly sales fell for the first time in seven years. Britain reported its first economic contraction since 1992.
Japan's Papers, Doomed but Going Strong
Loyal, Older Subscribers Allow Industry To Delay Demographic, Internet Effects
By Blaine Harden Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, October 25, 2008; Page A10
Make the jump»
TOKYO, Oct. 24 -- Due to a shrinking population and an expanding Internet, the decline and fall of newspapers in Japan is all but guaranteed. "I am in a dying industry," laments Kenichi Miyata, a senior editor and writer at the Asahi newspaper, a national daily with a circulation of 8 million. "Young people do not read newspapers, and our population is getting very old very rapidly." But something unexpected is happening en route to the ink-stained graveyard.
Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2008-10-18 07:57:40 -0500. -- GH
The Financial Bailout Funds
Being Put To Excellent Use
Salaries And Bonus's For Wall Street Bankers and Investors
Obama’s Ad Effort Swamps McCain and Nears Record
By JIM RUTENBERG
Published: October 17, 2008
PHILADELPHIA — Senator Barack Obama is days away from breaking the advertising spending record set by President Bush in the general election four years ago, having unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era.
With advertisements running repeatedly day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels, Mr. Obama is now outadvertising Senator John McCain nationwide by a ratio of at least four to one, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.
Wall Street banks in $70bn staff payout
Pay and bonus deals equivalent to 10% of US government bail-out package
The Guardian, Saturday October 18 2008
Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.
Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.
Pay plans for bankers have been disclosed in recent corporate statements.
Salon has this up at their site and I'm sure we haven't heard the end of this incident, or like others maybe we have!!
The only way that doesn't happen is if You, the Citizens Of This Country, Make Sure It Gets Investigated and Indictments come down, not for the Soldiers but for those in Leadership, Top Down!!
Friendly fire in Iraq — and a coverup Make the jump»
Promoted. Originally posted 2008-10-11 07:30:58 -0500. -- GH
When Accusing Someone Of Being A Terrorist
And You Say It Enough People Begin
To Believe It Which Then Leads To
The Incitement Of Violence Through Words And Actions
Rich Nations Pushing for Coordination in Rescue
By MARK LANDLER
Published: October 10, 2008
WASHINGTON — The United States and six other nations that are among the world’s richest agreed on Friday to a coordinated plan to rescue the financial industry, but fell short of offering concrete steps to backstop bank lending on a day when fear tightened its grip on investors from Wall Street to Hong Kong.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said the United States would move aggressively on one part of the plan by infusing American banks directly with cash and taking ownership stakes in return.
Western Journalists in Iraq Stage Pullback of Their Own
By Ernesto Londoño and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 11, 2008; Page A01
BAGHDAD -- The number of foreign journalists in Baghdad is declining sharply, a media withdrawal that reflects Iraq's growing stability and the financial strains faced by some news organizations.
In a stark indication of the changing media focus here, the number of journalists traveling with American forces in Iraq has plummeted in the past year. U.S. military officials say they "embedded" journalists 219 times in September 2007. Last month, the number shrank to 39. Of the dozen U.S. newspapers and newspaper chains that maintained full-time bureaus in Baghdad in the early years of the war, only four are still permanently staffed by foreign correspondents. CBS and NBC no longer keep a correspondent in Baghdad year-round.
Promoted. Originally posted 2008-10-04 07:22:45 -0500. -- GH
Undisclosed Location: Population 2
Check Shotguns And Booze At The Door
For Treasury Dept., Now Comes Hard Part of Bailout
By MARK LANDLER and EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: October 3, 2008
WASHINGTON — It will be one of the world’s largest asset management firms with an impressive $700 billion war chest. Nothing short of the global economy depends on its success. And the Treasury Department has barely a month to get it up and running.
The bailout bill that President Bush quickly signed into law on Friday must do what financial experts have been unable to do for the last year — put a dollar value on mortgage-related assets that no one wants, move them off the books of ailing banks and unlock the frozen credit markets.
Judge: Government not free of toxic trailer suits
Ruling says there's evidence FEMA delayed response over liability concerns
NEW ORLEANS - The government is not immune from lawsuits claiming many Gulf Coast hurricane victims were exposed to potentially dangerous fumes while living in trailers the government provided, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The ruling said there is evidence that the Federal Emergency Management Agency delayed its response to concerns about formaldehyde levels in its trailers due to liability concerns. The preservative can cause breathing problems and is classified as a carcinogen.
Originally posted 2008-09-27 07:17:32 -0500. -- GH
I'll Be On A Stage With Someone Else
But Pretend Like They Are Not There
That's Not Presidential That's Childish
Candidates Clash on Economy and Iraq
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 27, 2008
From the economy to foreign affairs to the way they carried themselves on stage, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama offered a dramatic contrast to the nation in their first presidential debate on Friday night, mixing disdain and often caustic remarks as they set out sharply different views of how they would manage the country and confront America’s adversaries abroad.
The two men met for 90 minutes against the backdrop of the nation’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and intensive negotiations in Congress over a $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street.
China milk scandal hits home
Chinese had shrugged off previous problems as Western hysteria, but tainted milk has many wondering what else poses a risk. Even professed patriots seek out products not made in China.
By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:43 PM PDT, September 26, 2008
BEIJING -- Even after regulators assured the public that all contaminated baby formula was off the shelves, B.X. Wei wasn't going to feed his 2-month-old son anything that came out of a can. Especially not one made in China.
But his wife didn't have enough breast milk for the baby.
Then the 30-year-old businessman from Jiangsu province remembered that during his childhood, women would nurse each other's babies if one ran out of milk. So he decided to try a new twist on the old tradition: On Monday, he put an ad on the Internet soliciting a wet nurse.
"I don't know if any milk powder is safe," Wei said.
China's latest food scandal has created a surge of interest in wet nurses. Wei has been interviewing candidates who are asking for as much as $1,500 a month -- about 10 times the average price of a nanny
Bumped and promoted. Originally published 2008-09-20 05:05:33 -0500. -- GH
John McCain Wants
The Chairman Of The "FEC" To Resign
Is This Because His Campaign Has Sunk
To The Bottom Of Tokyo Bay?
Or Is Because He Does Not Understand
The "Alphabet Soup" Of Government Regulators?
Or Maybe He Just Doesn't Know the Alphabet.
Capital Feels Its Way on Huge Rescue Plan, Eyes on Nov. 4
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: September 19, 2008
WASHINGTON — The huge bailout of the financial system that the Bush administration and Congress are rushing to draft will leave taxpayers with at least part of the bill at a time when high gasoline prices, job losses and stagnant incomes have already helped produce an overwhelming sense that the nation is on the wrong track.
Policy makers cannot say where it all ends. News reports are unrelentingly talking of “crisis.” After decades of deregulation and free-market fealty, antiregulation, small-government Republicans are putting the government in control of a big chunk of the financial sector.
All of which has left Washington in the midst of a political convulsion that both parties are struggling to understand and turn to their advantage — or at least keep from turning against them.
That School Isn't A Hospital
One Shouldn't Steal Music
U.S. Rescue Seen at Hand for 2 Mortgage Giants
By STEPHEN LABATON and ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
Published: September 5, 2008
WASHINGTON — Senior officials from the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve on Friday called in top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants, and told them that the government was preparing to place the two companies under federal control, officials and company executives briefed on the discussions said.
The plan, which would place the companies into a conservatorship, was outlined in separate meetings with the chief executives at the office of the companies’ new regulator. The executives were told that, under the plan, they and their boards would be replaced and shareholders would be virtually wiped out, but that the companies would be able to continue functioning with the government generally standing behind their debt, people briefed on the discussions said.
The escalating breakdown of urban society across the US
'There are two Americas - separate, unequal, and no longer even acknowledging each other except on the barest cultural terms. In the one nation, new millionaires are minted every day.
Saturday September 6 2008
Baltimore - it's been an ordinary week in Maryland's largest city. The August heat broke and one can nearly sleep with a window open; the Orioles are again down in the cellar in the American League East; the city murder rate is a bit behind last year's blood-letting, and if it holds into the fall, politicians and police commanders will compete to claim credit.
The stories in the Baltimore Sun remain fixed on the surface, each of them premised on the givens: schools will open next week and provide more or less the same inferior education as previous years; Johns Hopkins is building its biotech park expansion where the East Baltimore ghetto used to be and the ghetto is migrating due east and north-east; the biotech park will be great for white folk with college degrees, for those with union cards, the factories are still closed and the port is still losing cargo to Norfolk; a shooting here, a cutting there ..
Bumped. Originally posted 2008-08-30 08:17:43 -0500. -- GH
Palin has risen quickly from PTA to VP pick
Alaska's first-term governor and McCain's new running mate is enormously popular in her state, despite some tensions with other Alaska Republicans.
By Cathleen Decker and Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
August 30, 2008
Palin is breathtakingly unlike any other vice presidential pick in American history -- a gun-toting, mooseburger-eating former Miss Wasilla, an Alaska governor whose parents nearly missed her national unveiling because they were out hunting caribou.
The first woman to grace a Republican ticket stepped onto the stage with McCain in Dayton, Ohio, surrounded by her husband and four of their five children, including a baby born in April. The tableau of everyday mom-ness, however, may have masked the ambition and grit that have marked Palin's meteoric rise in Alaska.
Two years ago, she knocked off the sitting Republican governor in the primary and a former Democratic governor in the general. Her relations with Alaska officialdom have not always been sunny, resuscitating a nickname given when, as a high schooler, she led her basketball team to the state championship: "Sarah Barracuda."
By her own telling, Palin's political rise has been improbable.
Thai protesters break into gov't office as PM heads to consult king
Thai protesters broke into abandoned government offices Saturday in their escalating campaign to force Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej from office.
The prime minister, just back from visiting the revered king's seaside palace, meanwhile planned to return there Saturday evening to consult on the crisis, a government official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Chamlong Srimuang, one of the leaders of the so-called People's Alliance for Democracy for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, ordered 45 PAD guards to break into the main government building on Saturday afternoon, activists said.
The PAD have been holding a protest camp in the grounds surrounding the building since Tuesday, and 15,000 people were rallying in the compound on Saturday.
Originally posted 2008-08-23 07:42:45 -0500
Someone Sent A Message
About Something Important Today
Despite Pullout, Russia Envisions Long-Term Shift
By CLIFFORD J. LEVY
Published: August 22, 2008
MOSCOW — As the Russian Army withdrew most of its forces from Georgia, it was becoming ever more clear on Friday that Moscow had no intention of restoring what once was — either on the ground or diplomatically.The West wants a return to early August, before an obscure territorial dispute on the fringes of the old Soviet empire erupted into an international crisis. But Russia’s forces are digging in and seizing ribbons of Georgian land that abut two breakaway enclaves allied with Moscow, effectively extending its zone of influence.
Guards' Lapses Cited in Detainee Suicides
Probe Also Faults Lenient Policies At Guantanamo
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 23, 2008; Page A01
As the lights flickered off above them, more than two dozen detainees began to raise their voices in prayer and other songs, a din the guards dismissed as harmless. Three of the detainees furtively stuffed water bottles and toilet paper under their bedsheets to create the illusion of sleeping bodies, and they each strung up walls of blue blankets in their metal-mesh cells, seeking cover from their captors' glances.
Then, with strips of white sheets, T-shirts and towels wound into nooses, the three detainees in Guantanamo Bay's Camp 1, Block Alpha, hid behind the blankets and hanged themselves, their toes dangling inches above the floor while their bodies became blue and rigid. For hours, the guards failed to notice the first deaths to occur at the controversial U.S. military detention facility.
Originally posted 2008-08-16 07:14:46 -0500
Building A Better Police State
Through More Domestic Spying
Welcome To Bush's America
Six days that broke one country - and reshaped the world order
Saturday August 16 2008
Pity Georgia's bedraggled first infantry brigade. And its second. And its hapless navy.
For the past few evenings in the foothills of the Southern Caucasus on the outskirts of Joseph Stalin's hometown of Gori, reconnaissance units of Russia's 58th army have been raking through the spoils of war at what was the Georgian army's pride and joy, a shiny new military base inaugurated only last January for the first infantry, the army engineers, and an artillery brigade.
A couple of hours to the west, in the town of Senaki, it's the same picture. A flagship military base, home to the second infantry brigade, is in Russian hands. And down on the Black Sea coast, the radars and installations for Georgia's sole naval base at Poti have been scrupulously pinpointed by the Russians and destroyed.
No Cold War, but Big Chill Over Georgia
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: August 15, 2008
CRAWFORD, Tex. — “The cold war is over,” President Bush declared Friday, but a new era of enmity between the United States and Russia has emerged nevertheless. It may not be as tense as the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, for now, but it could become as strained.
Russia’s military offensive into Georgia has shattered, perhaps irrevocably, the strategy of three successive presidential administrations to coax Russia into alliance with the West and integration into its institutions.
From Russia’s point of view, those efforts were never truly sincere or respectful of its own legitimate political and security interests. Those interests, it is now clear, are at odds with those of Europe and the United States.
Originally posted at 2008-08-09 07:35:29 -0500.
Who Needs The
When One Can
Have A War
AP and Reuters
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Intense fighting raged for a second night in the Georgian separatist region of South Ossetia today, with Georgia's interior ministry reporting air attacks on three military bases and key facilities for shipping oil to the West.
Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of Tbilisi was bombed by warplanes during the night and that bombs fell in the area of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
Chinese man kills U.S. tourist in Beijing attack
Attacker targeted two Americans before committing suicide
BEIJING - A Chinese man attacked two American tourists on the opening day of the Olympic Games, killing one of them before committing suicide, officials said Saturday.
The Beijing Municipal Government said the attack happened in downtown Beijing at noon on Saturday. Officials issued a statement saying the 47-year-old attacker, Tang Yongming, also injured an American woman and her Chinese tourist guide.
F.B.I. Says It Obtained Reporters’ Phone Records
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday that it had improperly obtained the phone records of reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post in the newspapers’ Indonesia bureaus in 2004.
Robert S. Mueller III, director of the F.B.I., disclosed the episode in a phone call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, and apologized for it. He also spoke with Leonard Downie Jr., the executive editor of The Washington Post, to apologize.