Third party presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Friday the government missed a historic chance to rein in greed and excess on Wall Street when it approved a financial bailout package.
Speaking at a Statehouse news conference, Nader said Congress could have pushed for reforms but instead caved into Wall Street.
"Washington had Wall Street over the barrel two weeks ago and they could have gotten all these reforms because Wall Street wanted $700 billion," Nader said. "Instead, Wall Street stuffed Washington into a barrel and rolled them, so we have to wait until next year."
Nader spoke in Des Moines before holding a rally later in the day at Iowa State University in Ames.

that's the opening of mike glover's 'Nader: Government missed chance with bailout' (ap). ralph is on the road fighting the blockade against him the press has created. some might argue the democratic party created it and i wouldn't try to split hairs except to note that the press does what it wants.

in november, every vote for nader - gonzalez is a vote against undemocratic actions and a closed press. remember that.

and remember you can vote for ralph if you live in any state except oklahoma. he's on the ballot in 45 states (and d.c.) and the other 4 allow you to write him in. this is his biggest run ever so let's make sure we make our voices heard. if enough people have guts, he could end up in the white house.

gillian e-mailed a highlight. john leo 'the power of one' (city lights) traces how bad reporting leads to lies and this is too difficult to cut so if you get lost, use the link:

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post often writes with a good deal of attitude, and his Tuesday column was no exception. In his report on Sarah Palin’s campaign speech in Clearwater, Florida, laced with mocking Palinisms (“darn right,” “betcha”), he wrote that “the self-identified pit bull has been unleashed, if not unhinged.” The “unhinging,” in Milbank’s assessment, came when Palin charged that Obama still has some explaining to do about his relationship with 1960s Weatherman bomber William Ayers.

Milbank also wrote that Palin blamed Katie Couric for her “less-than-successful” CBS interview. Other newspapers reported a more light-hearted Palin response to the dismal interview. The Tampa Tribune, for example, reported that she said: “I shoulda told them I was just trying to keep Tina Fey in business.”

But Milbank’s report triggered Democratic rage across the Internet with his charge that “Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness.” Some in the Clearwater crowd, he wrote, shouted abuse at reporters. Someone yelled “Kill him,” apparently a reference to Ayers; and one person shouted an epithet at a network sound man (apparently the N-word, though Milbank didn’t say) and told him, “Sit down, boy.”


Milbank’s lone racist at the rally soon became a group (or a mob) of people shouting racial epithets. A New York Times editorial Tuesday (“The Politics of Attack”) misquoted Milbank’s Post column, claiming that one person shouted “Kill him” and “others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.” Many blogs followed suit: “Crowd at Palin Rally Hurled Racial Epithets at African American on News Crew,” read the headline at Pensito Review. This was too much for Bob Somerby, the left-leaning blogger at the Daily Howler. Calling Milbank “a highly unreliable chronicler,” Somerby taunted the Times for multiplying racists at the rally: “It’s the power of pluralization!...One example becomes much more powerful when we stick an ‘s’ on the end. In this case, one epithet-shouter turns into a group. How many people were shouting those epithets? The editors let you imagine.”

gillian lives in delaware and will be voting for nader (and this is the 1st election she can vote in so she's really excited to have a strong candidate to support). but she wrote that she wanted that highlighted for 2 reasons.

1st, she wanted to be sure 'the people in oklahoma know i support their decision to endorse john mccain and sarah palin. if i was in their position, i might be voting mccain. i know they must feel like some will judge them harsh for that but i don't and can speak only for me. barack is a liar who lies about ending the iraq war and no 1 who wants the war over should reward a liar. add in his use of homophobia and sexism and barack doesn't deserve a vote.'

i agree with gillian and will note that here. i'm sorry, i didn't realize i hadn't written about the oklahoma endorsement until gillian pointed it out in her e-mail.

always remember that these posts are written by a woman with a 1-year-old meaning i start and stop a lot. i'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, planning what to say and starting to type and, boom, have to stop. that's not an insult of flyboy who is a wonderful father but there are so many times when the baby just wants me and will fuss and fuss until she gets me. that's fine. i've waited all my life to have a baby so i'm not complaining.

but in the stop and start over and over, i sometimes think i have covered something i meant to only to find out that i didn't.

long before june 5th when barack admitted on cnn that he wasn't really promising anything and any campaign promise would be set aside if he got into the white house, i knew barack wasn't about ending the illegal war. you don't have so many advisors who support counter-insurgency (the opposite of peace) if you're planning to end the illegal war.

i agree with the decision of oklahoma community members. there will be no honeymoon for mccain. the peace movement will not continue to cower in silence. neither barack or mccain will end the iraq war, the people would have to under either of them.

i'm doing my pat to end it by supporting a candidate who will end it. but if i were in oklahoma and had to choose between the 2, i would vote mccain.

look at gillian's highlight and think about how you've heard that lie over and over all week and it never happened. (afp reported yesterday that the secret service concluded their investigation after finding no evidence of such a shout.)

the press is in the tank for barack, a good portion of the left and 'left' are as well. that's why he can't get real coverage from our allegedly 'independent' media.

you think if he gets elected, they'll finally find a way to call him out?

they had a chance to support ralph (or cynthia mckinney) who agrees with them and will end the illegal war. but positions and issues suddenly didn't matter because they wanted to hop on board the hopey-changey train.

barack has spat on the left and a number of them have stood there with their mouths open and swallowed his spit after.

in his 1st townhall in 2005, he told people the illegal war had to wait. he'd just been elected as the 'anti-war' senator and was already selling out. he'll do the same as president. which is why i wouldn't vote for him under circumstance and, if i lived in oklahoma, be announcing i was voting for john mccain.

i think the decision by the oklahoma community members also proves a point the nader campaign has raised: he's not pulling votes from barack, he's pulling them from mccain.

ralph's the real deal. he's not afraid to defend palestinians. he's not standing on stage asking them to take the flag down and put up the flag of israel so he can offer a pledge to that. ('no 1 has been a better friend to israel than joe biden,' bragged biden in his debate with sarah palin.) he's not afraid to call out wall st.

he's for unionizing and, pay attention to this 1, the union 'leaders' are endorsing barack.

it's a real shame so many are afraid to vote for what they believe in. but we don't have to sell out. when there's a candidate who really would bring change, i think it's our duty to support him or her.

in the case of oklahoma, they had no such choice. i think they made a strong statement and i think they made a great 1. i applaud them.

thank you to gillian for pointing out that i hadn't written about their decision. it was an oversight and not intended.

this is the latest from team nader:

In the Public Interest: The Derivatives Casino
Posted by Ralph Nader on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 04:36:00 PM
ShareThis In the Public Interestby Ralph Nader
The derivatives markets of today have become a high stakes casino of unimaginable magnitude. Wall Street's bets have gone bad, and now the whole financial system is in peril. In a best-case scenario, it appears, the taxpayers will be required to rescue the system from itself. This is why Warren Buffet labeled derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction."Amazingly, there seems to be some lingering sense that current-day derivatives properly perform an insurance function.

Case in point: Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman.
Greenspan says the world is facing the type of wrenching financial crisis that comes along only once in acentury, but, reports the New York Times, "his faith in derivatives remains unshaken." Greenspan believes that the problem is not with derivatives, but that the people using them got greedy, according to the Times.
This is quite a view. Is it a surprise to Alan Greenspan thatthe people on Wall Street--said to be ruled only by the opposing instincts of greed and fear--"got greedy?"
This might be taken as just a bizarre comment, except that, of course, Alan Greenspan had some considerable influence in driving us to the current financial meltdown through his opposition to regulation of derivatives.
A series of deregulatory moves, blessed by Alan Greenspan, helped immunize Wall Street derivatives traders from proper oversight.
In 1995, Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995, which imposed onerous restrictionson plaintiffs suing wrongdoers in the stock market. The law was enacted in the wake of Orange County, California's government bankruptcy caused by abuses in derivatives trading. An amendment offered by Rep. Ed Markey would have exempted derivatives trading abuse lawsuits from the PSLRA restrictions. In defeatingthe amendment, then-Representative and now-SEC Chairman Chris Cox quoted Alan Greenspan, saying “it would be a grave error to demonize derivatives;” and, “It would be a serious mistake to respond to these developments [in OrangeCounty, California] by singling out derivative instruments for special regulatory treatment.”
The New York Times reports how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission aimed for some modest regulatory authority over derivatives in the late 1990s. Strident opposition from Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan spelled doom for that effort.
Senator Phil Gramm helped drive the process along with theCommodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated the derivatives market.
Defenders of deregulation argued that sophisticated players were involved in the derivatives markets, and they could handle themselves.
It's now apparent that not only could these sophisticated players not handle themselves, but that their reckless gambling has placed the entire world's financial system at risk.
It seems to be then a remarkably modest proposal for derivatives to be brought under regulatory control.
Warren Buffet cut to the heart of the problem in 2003: "Another problem about derivatives is that they can exacerbate trouble that a corporation has run into for completely unrelatedreasons," he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. "This pile-on effect occurs because many derivatives contracts require that a company suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral to counterparties. Imagine, then, that a company is downgraded because of general adversity and that its derivatives instantly kick in with their requirement, imposing an unexpected and enormous demand for cash collateral on the company. The need to meet this demand can then throw the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in some cases, trigger still more downgrades. It all becomes a spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown."
That is to say, our current problems were foreseeable, and foreseen. There is no excuse for those who suggest that present circumstances--what many are calling a once-in-a-hundred-years event--were unimaginable during earlier debates about regulation.
Some ideologues continue to defend derivatives from very strict government control. As Congress moves to adopt new financial regulations next year, hopefully the proponents of casino capitalism will be given no more credence than those insisting that the sun revolves around the earth.

go read elaine's 'The Common Ills' and let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, October 10, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, another journalist is killed, yesterday's assassination causes more suspicions of the US, Iraqi Christians are targeted says an Archbishop, and more.

Yesterday at the White House, spokesperson Dana Perino was asked about Iraqi Christians "losing representation in Iraq's Muslim-dominated legislature" and Perino responded that "I think that that was resolved and the Christians' rights were restored." (Full answer: "I'll check, but I think you should double check, because I think that that was resolved and the Christians' rights were restored.") No, they were not. Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reported, "a separate bill" will be sent "to parliament to restore" Article 50. The bill may or not pass. But the provincial elections bill, which passed by Parliament, passed the presidency council and was signed into law by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, eliminated Article 50 which guaranteed representation to religious minorities. Yesterday, Kim Gamel (AP) reported that in Mosul so far this month, 7 corpses of Iraqi Christians have been discovered, notes that a person's religion is listed on the state i.d., that there are approximately 800,000 Iraqi Christians still in the country, and quotes Chaldean Archibishop Louis Sako stating, "We are worried about the campaign of killings and deportations against the Christian citizens in Mosul." The Kurdish Globe reported yesterday that the Yazidis and the Christians continue protesting over the elimination of Article 50 and quotes Jamil Zeito ("head of the Seriaques-Chaldeans Public Council") stating, "We will demonstrate and protest until we achieve autonomous rights for Christians in our districts as well as fair representation for religious minorities, including Christians, in the provincial elections. The protests and demonstrations will not stop till we accomplish our fair rights; ignoring the rights of minorities indicates incomplete democracy in Iraq." And, as AINA reports, the issue has led to protests elsewhere as well such as the Iraqi embassy in Sweden where protestors gathered and Isak Monir ("spokesman for the Chaldean Federation in Sweden") explained, "Since the decision to exclude minorities representatives was taken by the Iraqi parliament the violence against Christians has increased remarkably. The groups who want Iraq cleaned from other ethnic and religious groups maybe felt that they are backed up by the parliament and consequently have begun to kill Christians again. They want a homogeneous Iraq -- cleaned from other ethnic and religious groups." Ethan Cole (Christian Post) notes the 3 Iraqi Christians killed on Tuesday in Mosul and he explains of Mosul "the city is a historic center for Assyrian Christians, who view it as their ancestral homeland. It is home to the second-largest community of Christians in Iraq, after Baghdad." Asia News (via Catholic Today) identifies the dead:

More Christian blood in Mosul. On October 7, a father and son were killed in the neighborhood of Sukkar while they were working. Amjad Hadi Petros and his son were killed because "they were guilty of being Christian" in a place where a "systematic persecution" is being seen. In a second attack, recorded in another of the city's neighborhoods, a fundamentalist group broke into a pharmacy and killed an assistant, also of the Christian religion.
We also recounted the execution, on Monday, October 6, of Ziad Kamal, a 25-year-old disabled shop owner in the city. The young man owned a store in the neighborhood of Karama: he was taken by an armed group from inside his store and brought to a nearby spot, where he was shot to death. Also, on Saturday, October 4, two more men were barbarously assassinated in two other areas of Mosul: Hazim Thomaso Youssif, 40, was killed in front of the clothing store he owned, while 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya was shot to death in the neighborhood of Tahrir, outside of his house in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.

Vatican Radio offers a report:

Vatican Radio: Concern is growing once again over violence against Christians in nothern Iraq where, in the last week alone, seven of them have been killed in the city of Mosul. Attacks have tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide but these latest killings have sparked renewed fears. The Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Luis Sako, has condemned the violence.

Archbishop Sako: In Mosul the situation is terrible especially for the Christians and many families left the city, children cannot go to the school and also people cannot go to work they are staying in their houses. Just a real tragedy for them. I made an appeal to the Mosul population because I am from Mosul -- I lived years in Mosul, in a parish -- and I had many, many relationships with Muslims most of them so I made a call and an appeal. This appeal has been delivered in all the local medias. This could be helpful to encourage Muslim moderates to react and to do something.

The United Nations and Peoples Organization notes the Wednesday meeting of the European Parliament of the EPP-ED in Brussles which addressed "Christian Communities in the Muslim World: Iraq". Archbishop of Mosul Basile Georges Casmoussa called the crisis "heartbreaking" and stated Iraq Christians make up 40% of the refugee population despite being only 4% of Iraq's population. He also noted that that "aid was not reaching Christians in Iraq". The report also notes: "Kirkuk was identified as a crucial issue by Ms. Naglaa Elhag, of the IKV Pax Christi organization, in her presentation on 'The Situation of Refugees in Iraq' -- the topic of the final panel. Until this was addressed and Europe adopted a cohesive policy there were few positive signs to be seen in the region Ms. Elhag concluded. Even outside Iraq, Christians continued to find themselves excluded from basic social services and had to face ongoing intimidation and violence. There was also a pressing need to hold the Iraqi government accountable for its failure to adequately protect the Iraqi Christian minority." Marwan Ibrahim (AFP) reports Archbishop Louis Sako declared today, "We are the target of a campaign of liquidation, a campaign of violence. The objective is political. . . . We have heard many words from Prime Minister Maliki, but unfortunately this has not translated into reality. We continue to be targeted. We want solutions, not promises." So, to toss back to Dana Perino, no, "that" was not "resolved."

Dana Priest (Washington Post) was online at her paper yesterday afternoon for a discussion with readers and the topic of the National Intelligence Estimate [] was raised. Priest: "The jist of the NIE has been known for a while, since all the reporting that the Washington Post and other major news organizations have been doing over the past year says, basically, the same thing. In this sense, the NIE does not offer a big revelation; it just brings the series of daily intel/military analysis on Afghanistan to a higher level with more visibility. Unlike the days before the Iraq war, many people have access to what's happening in afghanistan and are willing to share it with reporters, in part because they are frustrated it's not getting more attention and they believe it should if, as we have said since 9-11, defeating terrorism is a priority." Wednesday Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reported on the upcoming National Intelligence Estimate (which may or may not be released prior to the US elections in November), "The draft NIE, however, warns that the improvements in security and political progress, like the recent passage of a provincial election law, are threatened by lingering disputes between the majority Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs, Kurds and other minorities, the U.S. officials said. Sources of tension identified by the NIE, they said, include a struggle between Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen for control of the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk; and the Shiite-led central government's unfulfilled vows to hire former Sunni insurgents who joined Awakening groups." At the White House yesterday Dana Perino noted that US Secretary of State Condi Rice has not read the report. Not a slam at Condi, just noting that the report is under wraps. Rice noted she hadn't read it in brief remarks to the press before meeting with Maris Reikstins (Lativian Foreign Affairs Minister) in DC, "Well, in fact, I have actually not seen the NIE. I will -- I assume that we'll be briefed on it shortly. But in any case, we had asked for the intelligence community to take a look. It's important that it do so." The issue of the NIE was raised at Thursday's State Dept press briefing conducted by Sean McCormack who noted, "She [Rice] has not yet seen it, and I don't believe any of the policy makers in the State Department have seen any drafts of this assessment. I would expect at some point that they will be briefed on it."

As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Iraqi MP Saleh al-Auaeili was assassinated yesterday. al-Auqaeili had been one of the 30 member Sadr bloc in Parliament. Tensions are high over the assassination and Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times) reports overnight fighting in the Sadr City section of Baghdad between, on one side, Sadr supporters and, on the other, Iraqi and US forces. Fleishman also notes that Ahmed Massoudi ("a Sadr spokesman") states, "The occupation sent us a message by staging this attack [the assassination] because of our stance against the agreement." Sam Dagher (New York Times) quotes Sheik Salah al-Obeidi (Moqtada al-"Sadr's chief spokesman") stating, "By killing Ugaili they are silencing a major opponent of the agreement" -- which would be the treaty the White House and the puppet of the occupation want to pretend is a SOFA. Sheik al-Obeidi ties the assassination in with other pressure to push on the treaty including US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte's visit to Iraq this week and he also notes that a demonstration will take place October 18th in Baghdad "against the American presence in Iraq." Ernesto London (Washington Post) quoted MP Ahmad al-Massoudi stating, "We have laid the blame on the occupation forces and the Iraqi government for the martyrdom of [the lawmaker] because the explosion happened in an area that is under the control of" the US military (the Green Zone). Marwa Sabah (AFP) reports that the "[m]ourners shouted anti-American slogans . . . as relatives hugged each other and wept while the wooden coffin of Ogayly was brought out of his home early on Friday draped in the tri-colour Iraqi flag." Khaled Farhan (Reuters) notes a statement released by Moqtada al-Sadr: "The martyr gave most of his time to eject the occupiers. . . . And for this reason the hand of the hateful occupation and terrorism killed him." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) explains that observers (US and Iraqi) are noting a shift from acts of violence targeting mass numbers of people to assassination attempts "using magnetic bombs, weapons with silencers and bicycle bombs. As provinicial elections approach, some officials worry that assassinations will increase as political parties try to eradicate their competitors." Leila Fadel (McClatchy) quotes the statement by al-Sadr reading, "Here is another star that brightens in the sky of martyrs, of Sadr followers and the sons of Iraq. Another martyr waters the land of Iraq with his blood, a martyr that sacrifices himself for the sake of Iraq and the people of Iraq, a martyr that gave all of his time to expel the occupier and not to sign agreements with him."

Tensions in Baghdad also include the ongoing conflict between northern Iraq and Turkey. Hurriyet notes reports coming out stating that Turkey will be "direct talks with the regional administration in the northern Iraq in its fight against the terror organization, PKK". CNN notes that Turkey bombed northern Iraq again today. Reuters provides the catch-up for the latest tensions, "Turkey's parliament on Wednesday approved a government request to extend for another year a mandate to launch military operations against PKK rebels based in northern Iraq from where they are suspected of crossing into Turkey to attack soldiers. Turkish authorities are under mounting pressure after a series of deadly attacks on Turkish security forces and police, which has left more than 20 dead in recent days." Meanwhile the Turkish Daily News offers this observation, "It looks like the [Turkish] government will not bow to pressure from the opposition which calls for a ground incursion to Iraq as well as setting up a security zone in the border." At the US State Dept today, spokesperson Sean McCormack was asked about Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan's statements regarding " a buffer zone in northern Iraq" to prevent attacks by the PKK on Turkey and McCormack replied, "We are working with the Turkish and Iraqi governments on a common problem, and that is the threat of terrorism from the PKK." An October 17th vote for a non-permantnet seat on the United Nations' Security Council will be held and that Turkey is a candidate for that seat. Asso Ahmed (Los Angeles Times) quotes PKK "senior leader" Bozan Takeen declaring in a phone interview "from his hideout in Iraqi Kurdistan," "We are ready and our forces are ready. We are not afraid of them. If they want to attack Iraq's Kurdistan, then the Middle East will turn into a fire ball."

Meanwhile Wednesday, in the Green Zone, US Maj Gen Jeffery Hammond declared:

Now, take for example, the transition or transfer of the Sons of Iraq to Government of Iraq control. Now, we have two phases to this plan. The first one is the transfer of the Sons of Iraq to the, to the Government of Iraq control, which will include the assumption and the payment of their salaries starting this month in October. We're working very closely with our Iraqi counterparts to make sure this works. The Government of Iraq has committed to accept responsibility for the Sons of Iraq and it's been mandated in the Prime Minister Order No. 118‑C, and we're going to be there to assist in the transfer. We spent the last few weeks working hand in hand with the Iraqi Security Forces, the IFCNR, our Iraqi partners and I'm confident ‑‑ I'm confident this is going to go well. But again, effective this month, the Government of Iraq will start paying the salaries for the Sons of Iraq.

Actually . . . Anwar J. Ali, Sam Dagher, Stephen Farrell, Erica Goode and Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) report on the tensions brewing among the "Awakeing"s including graffiti appearing that is "the motto of a feared paramilitary unit during Saddam Hussein's era": "Allah. Homeland. Salary" -- which "Awakening" Sgt. Alaa al-Janabi ("Dora Awakening") states is "our slogan." al-Janabi goes on to cite that the Iraqi government is not paying them enough money to live on and offer "We're not going to fight again. Unless they make us." Saleh al-Jubori ("a leader of the Awakening Council in Dora") states that "there is no trust between us and the National Police" and, "if the Awakening is let go, Dora will go back to worse than it was before. I hope you don't consider this a threat." And staying with the topic of "worse," Robert Fisk (Independent of London) reports "that secret executions are being carried out in the prisons run by Nouri al-Maliki's 'democratic' government. The hangings are carried out regularly -- from a wooden gallows in a small, cramped cell -- in Saddam Hussein's old intelligence headquarters at Kazimiyah. There is no public record of these killings in what is now called Baghdad's 'high-security detention facility' but most of the victims -- there have been hundreds since America introduced 'democracy' to Iraq -- are said to be insurgents, given the same summary justice they mete out to their own captives."

Staying with violence, Reuters notes that 28-year-old journalist Diyar Abbas was shot dead in Kirkuk today joining "at least 135 journalists [who] have been killed in the line of duty since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003." Tuesday the Committee to Protect Journalists featured Robert Mahoney's report on 27-year-old Iraqi journalist Jehad Abdulwahid Hannoon who had surived a shooting in Baghdad and, with help from the international journalism community (including CBS News' Lara Logan), was able to come to the US where he had "successful surgery in a California hospital to repair his bullet-shattered right leg." CPJ notes "135 journalists and 50 support workers" have died in Iraq. Here, we say 185 journalists. "Support workers" are doing a great deal more than that classification implies. So Diyar Abbass becomes at least the 186th journalist to die in Iraq.

In some of today's other reported violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 2 lives and left twelve wounded, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 12 lives with twenty-two more wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed 2 lives and left fourteen wounded. On the Mosul roadside bombing, China's Xinhua cites a police source who explains, "A roadside bomb detonated in the afternoon at a popular marketplace in the Bab al-Tob neighborhood".


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

In legal news, mercenaries in Iraq got a setback today. Matthew Barakat (AP) reports that KBR contractor Ira L. Waltrip -- caught with child pornography -- was informed by US District Judge T.S. Ellis III that he wasn't any getting any special breaks and that the argument that Waltrip was doing the same duties soldiers do so should be punished the same way one of them would have been was bunk. The Judge informed Waltrip's attorney that, "He wasn't there because he volunteered. He was there to get some money."

Public TV notes. NOW on PBS examines the American Dream as gas prices soar and home values crumble. PBS' Washington Week finds Gwen sitting down with Washington Post's Dan Balz, National Journal's James Barnes, Wall St. Journal's David Wessel and mystery guest Karen Tumulty (Time magazine) who may or may not do her Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte impersonation. Both programs air tonight in some PBS markets, check local listings.

Turning to the US presidential race, Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Rosa has the following upcoming campaign event this weekend in New York:

Jericho 10th Anniversary Weekend of Resistance


Saturday, October 11, 2008 @ 12 Noon

Rally at the Harlem State Office Building
(Corner of 126th St. & A.C. Powell Blvd.)

March through Harlem @ 1 p.m.

Closing Rally in Morningside Park @ 2 p.m.
Between 112th & 114th near Morningside Ave. entrances

Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Sunday he will be Fairfax, VA to speak at a press conference and rally at Geroge Mason Univeristy beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden is his running mate. As Wally and Cedric noted yesterday, Barack seemed to offer some sort of Born Free/Elsa excuse for his friendship with Ayers whom he called "rehabilitated." Jake Tapper (ABC News) ponders rehabilitation:

And Ayers has made it clear that he is unrepentant.
''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Ayers told the New York Times in 2001. ''I feel we didn't do enough.'' Asked if he would do it all again, Ayers said ''I don't want to discount the possibility. I don't think you can understand a single thing we did without understanding the violence of the Vietnam War."
In a comic strip that Ayers recently posted on his blog, Ayers tried to explain the "we didn't do enough quote" from seven years ago, writing, "It's impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being. During the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.
"When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough s---."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.' The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn't do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative."
(He doesn't think violent resistance is NECESSARILY the answer?)
So today, with today's facts, does Obama think Ayers has been "rehabilitated"?
No, he doesn't think so, a source at the campaign tells me.

Mike did a press roundup on Barack's Ayers stories last night, Kat called out AP's Philip Elliott who does not seem to grasp the number of "40," Ruth contemplated the press mistakes, Rebecca noted the lack of standards and Marcia congratulates Oklahoma community members (as have Kat, as did Elaine and Mike). Oklahoma community members are supporting the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The McCain-Palin campaign has a new TV ad entitled "Ambition" (click here to read more about it):

ANNCR: Obama's blind ambition.

When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers.

When discovered, he lied.

Obama. Blind ambition. Bad judgment.

Congressional liberals fought for risky sub-prime loans.

Congressional liberals fought against more regulation.

Then, the housing market collapsed costing you billions.

In crisis, we need leadership, not bad judgment.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

Today McCain-Palin 2008 announced that Bill Bruins, a dairy farmer from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, joined the McCain-Palin Farm & Ranch Team National Steering Committee. Bruins joins a distinguished team of elected officials and leaders in agriculture who share a common goal with John McCain: to provide the leadership necessary to create prosperity in America's rural heartland.

"John McCain understands agriculture's need for a comprehensive national energy policy that will combat rising energy costs," Bruins said. "I support John McCain because he will foster greater opportunities for agriculture to thrive in a market-driven society by reducing taxes and government regulations. Most importantly, he understands that reducing trade barriers expands international commerce and increases farmers' income."

In addition to serving on the McCain-Palin Farm and Ranch Team National Steering Committee, Bruins joins former Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Jim Harsdorf as a Wisconsin state co-chair on the Wisconsin McCain-Palin Farm & Ranch Team.

"Bill's understanding of agriculture from both state and national public policy involvement makes him a great addition to the McCain-Palin team in Wisconsin," Harsdorf said. "Bill Bruins is a hands-on dairy and crop producer who understands the importance of John McCain's support for free trade, his commitment to reducing the inheritance and capital gains tax on farmers and his plan to reduce high energy costs by pursuing domestic energy sources."

The continuing success of American agriculture and the health of America's rural heartland require a leader who understands that productivity and innovation are created by the effort, ingenuity and investment of individual Americans. As president, John McCain will address the key issues facing agriculture and rural America:

  • Establishing a comprehensive energy strategy
  • Controlling taxation and regulation
  • Judicial restraint and preserving property rights
  • Providing a sustainable, market-driven risk management system for farmers
  • Promoting agricultural markets and reducing trade barriers
  • Improving incentives to invest in technology and rural infrastructure
  • Encouraging common-sense conservation and food safety measures
  • Securing America's borders and implementing a fair and practical immigration policy
  • Recognizing the role of agriculture in national security
  • Strengthen America's economic competitiveness by eliminating wasteful government spending
The benefits of American leadership in agriculture extend well beyond our borders -- America's contribution to meeting the food, fiber, feed and energy needs of a growing world population through efficient production and technology innovation are critical to our national security.

More details on John McCain's statement on "Prosperity for Rural America" can be found on the McCain-Palin 2008 web site at

And finally, Team Nader notes:
This morning, as markets around the world are crashing, Nader/Gonzalez is on the rise.
And we need your help right now.
Here's why:
We have a chance over the next week to run inexpensive radio ads.
In battleground states all across this country.
To expose The Bailout Boys -- Obama and McCain.
And to let the American people know that on November 4, they have a choice.
The people's candidate -- Independent Ralph Nader.
The man who stood against the bailout of Wall Street crooks.
And for regulation that would have prevented the current crisis.
Here's the problem:
We want to run the radio ads from October 21 to Election Day -- November 4.
In thirty markets all across this country.
Our radio guy tells us he needs the money by Monday to be able to reserve air time for the last two weeks before the election.
Throughout this year, when we have asked, you have delivered.
Thanks to you, we have not missed one fundraising deadline this year.
Now, we are in a corner.
Over the past week, you have donated $130,000 to our October Surprise Fund.
On our way to our goal of $250,000 by Sunday midnight.
Now, to reach our goal, we need 12,000 of you -- our loyal supporters -- to kick in $10 each.
We know that many of you have dug deep for the past seven months.

So, after you hit that contribute button, pick up the phone and get your friends, relatives, neighbors -- who are angry about the bailout and looking for an independent outlet -- to support the one candidate who has stood with the American people against the corporate criminal elite on Wall street.

To give you a sneak preview, we have cut a demo tape.
If we reach our goal by Sunday night, we will be professionally producing a version of this demo ad and getting it out to our radio guy in Los Angeles.
As the Dow collapses, the Nader/Gonzalez shift the power platform is on the rise.
So, donate now -- whatever you can afford -- $10, $100, $1000 -- up to the legal limit of $2,300.

Help us fund our nationwide radio ad buy.
Inform the American public.
There is a choice on November 4.
Vote Independent.
Vote Ralph Nader for President.

Onward to November.
The Nader Team
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it is his middle name

starting off with abdon m. pallasch's article from the chicago sun-times:

Starting a two-day blitz in Wisconsin, where they're running 5 to 10 percentage points behind, John McCain and Sarah Palin praised veterans, denounced abortion, slammed the media and blamed the country's economic mess on Barack Obama and the his fellow Democrats.
Palin gave a shout-out to Wisconsin hunters, praising an "eat local" campaign and adding, "I hope that includes wild game, too, for those of us who are hunters."

At the town hall meeting at a youth sports center here, McCain said, "We don't care about an old washed-up terrorist and his wife, who still, at least on Sept. 11, 2001, said he still wanted to bomb more. That's not the point here. The point is, Sen. Obama said, Ayers is "just a guy in the neighborhood."
The crowd booed.
"We know that's not true," McCain said. "We need to know the full extent of the relationship because we need to know whether Sen. Obama is telling the truth to the American people or not."

john mccain is right. and, if his words have a familiar ring to community members, throughout 2007 and 2008, what did c.i. say? 'barack needs to get honest.'

barack's had plenty of time to. he has never done so.

the press needs to stop covering for him.

we're voting for the president of the united states. we need to know the truth about the candidates and we need to know if they're incapable of telling the truth.

with less than 30 days to go, barack's repeatedly refused to tell the truth.

they think they can scream 'racism!' and people will run in fear. that works for the egg heads and for the press, it doesn't work for the american people and that's why barack has no overwhelming lead despite outspending mccain 3 to 1 on advertising.

if you missed it, the 2nd big theme in the press today is that no 1 can use barack obama's middle name.



hussein. hussein. hussein.

i'm waiting.

no crash of thunder, no bolt has hit me.

i haven't been stricken dead.

what do you know, you can say his middle name.

now i'm fully aware that michelle obama has declared it is 'racism' to say barack's middle name. so if barack were in the hospital, michelle wouldn't give out his middle name to admissions? she wouldn't fill it in our forums?

barack gets in a fender and bender and the police ask his name and what? he screams 'racism!' if they insist upon knowing his middle name?

he wants to be president of the united states.

that's how coddled he's been by the press. he wants to be president of the united states and thinks - like many a junior - he can stamp his feet and say, 'don't call me that!'

where is this sense of entitlement coming from? you have a name. you're an adult and a lawyer. you chose not to change your name. it's your name.

get damn used to it.

in america we're supposed to strive for equality. there has been nothing equal about the press coverage of barack when compared to other candidates and it damn well needs to stop.

william jefferson kennedy. george herbert walker bush. no 1 ever screamed 'racism! you're racist for mentioning their middle names!' neither of those men ever said, 'you can't say my middle name!'

it's time for christ-child to take the same lumps every 1 else does. you think the average boy wants to be called 'francis'? probably not. but when he's an adult, he can change his name if he gets so unhinged by any 1 saying 'francis.'

barack's a grown up - or supposed to be.

he needs to get honest real damn quick.

and the press needs to hold him accountable the way they would any other candidate.

deroy murdock is a right-winger with the hoover institute. i don't care. if the press won't do their damn job then i will highlight deroy murdock's 'Obama's Weathermen pals should worry voters' (seattle post-intelligencer):

Barack Obama's supporters have trivialized his connections to former Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood," Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on April 16. Campaign strategist David Axelrod told CNN Monday that Obama "certainly didn't know the history" of these two barbarians when they hosted a reception for him when he launched his political career.
Obama might not have heard of Ayers and Dohrn's brutality from the '60s through the '80s had they merely tossed a rock or two in anger. But these two went much, much farther.
In 1970, Ayers encapsulated the Weathermen's worldview: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents." In his 2001 memoir, "Fugitive Days," Ayers brags that he helped blast NYPD headquarters in 1970, the U.S. Capitol in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972.

in 2007, the nation magazine did their cover story (by christopher phelps) where they were so alarmed that bernardine dohrn was being welcomed by some audiences of today's s.d.s. in 2007. but today? you get idiots like ari berman insisting it's not a story for barack.

but in 2007, it was enough of a damn story for the nation that they made it cover story.

i'm sick of the hypocrisy. i'm sick of the lies.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, October 9, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, tensions between Turkey and nothern Iraq continue, a member of al-Sadr's bloc is assassinated, Petraeus gives a speech, and more.

This morning
UPI reported a Baghdad roadside bombing in the Sadry City section that which resulted in the deaths of 2 bodyguards (three more wounded) and the death of Saleh al-Ageili, of the Sadr Movement, being taken to the hospital for his wounds Reuters updated with: that with: "At least two members of Iraq's parliament and a health ministry official told Reuters that Saleh al-Ugaili was pronounced dead in a Baghdad hospital following the roadside bomb that exploded near his convoy earlier in the day in the Habibiya district of eastern Baghdad." China's Xinhau states it was a motorcycle bombing. Citing Iraqi police, BBC maintains that "the bomb had been placed on a motorcyle and exploded as a convoy carrying Mr Ogaili drove past." AP notes an eye witness who states "the explosives had been planted in a hole near the road" and that "Al-Auqaeili was a senior member of al-Sadr political bloc, which has 30 seats in the 275-member parliament. The Shiite cleric's cease-fire order to his militia has been a key factor in a sharp decline in violence over the past year. The attack raised concerns that internal rivalries within Shiite and Sunni political groupings could emerge ahead of upcoming provincial elections as a major threat to Iraq's stability, even as sectarian violence ebbs." BBC reminds, "The last MPs killed in Iraq were among a group of eight people who died after a suicide bomber attacked the cafeteria at the Iraqi parliament on 12 April 2007." AFP reports that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki stated "he appointed a panel headed by Interior Minister Jawad Bolani to probe the assassination". Mariam Karouny and Aseel Kami (Reuters) note that another MP from the Sadr bloc, Bahaa al-Araji, is calling it an assassination and has stated, "We are not excluding the possibility that it might be a government-linked group which carried it out." Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times) quotes al-Araji telling Al Arabiya TV, "There will be a battle in the elections and this [killing] is indeed a liquidation. We have warned that the Sadr movement has been targeted, especially in seats where they already hold office."

Dropping back to yesterday's bombing in Diyala Province which claimed 10 lives (plus the bomber),
Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) provides some basic figures: from 2003 to 2008, the street where the attack took place (in front of the Court of Appeals) has seen "at least 16" suicide bombers or attempted ones; of that 16, 3 in 2008 have been women; and of that 16, 7 were people wearing bomb vests and 9 were done via car bombings. Ernesto London (Washington Post) adds that, across Iraq, over 50 women have either been "suicide bombers" or been caught "before detonating explosives" since the start of the illegal year, "including 30 this year" and that "at least 380 people" have been killed along with the bombers that have taken their own lives. Londono cites Ibrahim Hasan Bajilan ("chairman of the Diyala provincial council") stating that "he was told the female suicide bomber was a 16-year-old from Muqdadiyah". Londono also reports an increase in the use of "sticky IEDs" -- bombs utilizing "magnets so they will adhere to the undersides of automobiles and detonated by remote control or with timers" that have resulted in "rougly 200 cases involving magnetic bombs" this year alone.

Staying with weaponry, "On September 26, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Targeting Pods and AN/AAQ 13 LANTIRN Navigation Pods as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $200 million. . . . The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control Company in Orlando, Florida." [PDF format warning,
click here for announcement.] The pontential transcation comes as the tensions between Turkey and northern Iraq grow worse. As Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) noted yesterday, "Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to extend by one year its authorization of military operations against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, keeping the door open to future strikes in the region. The approval, by a vote of 497 to 18, had been largely expected, and occurred amid a flurry of attacks in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast." AP reports that this has been followed by a meeting today by "Turkey's leaders" to decide whether or not to up "the military's powers to combat Kurdish rebels . . . Newspaper reports, citing unnamed officials, said the requests include the right to search and detain suspects without prior authorization and to extend detention periods. Officials did not immediately confirm the reports." World Bulletin explains the meeting (of the Higher Board of Counter-Terrorism) met today for "about six hours" and is scheduled to meet again Tuesday. Hurriyet notes Nechirvan Barzani (KRG Prime Minister) states that the KRG "administration in northern Iraq" is "watching with concern the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey". Cuba's Prensa Latina notes talk of creating "a security area in US-occupied northern Iraq, where alleged PKK camps have been set up."

Meanwhile Gen David Petraeus spoke to the right-wing Heritage Foundation yesterday. Petraeus was the top commander in Iraq until just moving to head Centcom. Gen Ray Odierno is now the US' top commander in Iraq.
Peter Spiegel (Los Angeles Times) reports that Petraeus stated "that things could still go wrong" in Iraq and that "This progress is a little less fragile, if you will, and a little more durable" than during his testimony to Congress last spring. Anna Mulrine (US News and World Reports) notes, ". . . Petraeus highlighted what he sees as the chief threats to Iraq's progress in the months to come. Among them are the upcoming provincial elections, the possible return of Shiite special group militia members from Iran (whose specialities include planting devastating roadside bombs), and the return of Iraqi refugees to homes that they may find occupied by militias." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the deadline for provincial elections to be held was Januaary 31st; however, "there may be a further postponement, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission." Among the problems include staffing issue and the candidates who are running (no list has been provided to the commission). On Article 50 which guarantees minority representation and which the Parliament dropped, Fadel explains, "After approving the law, the Presidency Council decided to send a separate bill to parliament to restore a deleted article that assures minority representation in provincial assemblies. Christians across Iraq objected to the removal of the clause and even staged a demonstration on Monday to demand representation. The Council plans to propose the law to parliament this week, said Nasir al Ani the chairman."


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded for people, a Baghdad car bombing ("sticky IED" of the sort Ernesto London reported on today) claimed the life of the driver, a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed 2 lives (three more wounded) and a second one that claimed the life of 1 police officer, a Karbala car bombing ("sticky IED") that claimed the life of the driver, and a Diyala Province roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 4 family members including the father who "was a Sahwa member." Who are the four? Two childen and the "Awakening" member. The fourth is either his wife or his nephew depending upon which outlet's reporting. AFP notes the man was Abbas Khudair and he headed "a Sahwa, or Awakening group, that is paid by American forces, was targeted as he drove with his family in the Al-Uthaim area in Baquba, the capital of the restive Diyala province, officials said. An AFP photographer saw the bodies of Khudair, his son and daughter and the nephew taken away to the local hospital, where five more relatives were being treated for blast wounds." Reuters is among those stating Khudair's wife was killed, they also note that 8 women ("all relatives, travelling in the same minibus") were injured in the bombing. Reuters also notes a Tal Afar restaurant bombing that claimed the life of 1 police officer and 1 civilian.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 Patriotic Union of Kurdistand intelligence member was shot dead along with another person in Kirkuk.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad and the corpse of 1 Sawah/"Awakening"/SoI was discovered in Zab. Reuters notes 1 corpse discovered in Mosul.

Turning to the US presidential election. Barack Obama is the pampered baby in Pampers for the press. The wipe his butt for him, they burp him. And you're seeing just how expected that action for the allegedly grown man is. Barack Obama's name is Barack Hussein Obama III. We refer to him as Barack Obama. The same as we referred to Hillary Clinton as Hillary Clinton. Others included Rodham, others included her middle name (Elizabeth). It wasn't a problem. Her name is her name. True of all candidates. If their name is a 'liability' in their minds, then they should take their embarrassed and sheepish asses into court and change it. Until they do, their name is their name. If someone wants to list it, that's their business. And if you're ashamed or embarrassed by your name, maybe your delicate ass shouldn't run for public office, certainly not for the presidency.
Jimmy Orr (Christian Science Monitor) demonstrates just how ridiculous it's gotten, "The 'H' word. As in Barack Obama's middle name. Hussein. It's something you just don't say." The "H" word? There are millions of people with that name around the world and, yes, in America. The "H" word? Everyone's gotten a little too damn sensitive that Barack Junior might have diaper rash or catch cold. He's an alleged grown up. His middle name is his middle name. He and his supporters need to grow the hell up. A Florida sherrif is in the news for using Barack's nearly fully name (he left off "II"). Steven Beardsley (Naples Daily News) reports on Cult of Barack's self-created drama over this entire nonsense. John McCain should say in the next debate, "My middle name is Sydney. I'm not ashamed about. What's your problem with your middle name, Barack? Aren't you named after your father?" This is the biggest nonsense. If he doesn't like his name, change it or shut the hell up. Back in 2004, during the DNC convention, he was called "Barack Osama" -- on Air America -- by mistake -- on The Majority Report -- by Janeane Garofalo who immediately apologized (on air) for the trip of her tongue. He needs to grow up or change his name. And the press needs to stop breast feeding their little baby.

Senator Joe Biden has the difficult task of being Barack's running mate which may explain the additional stress.
Ryan Corsaro (CBS News) reports Biden is stating, ". . . John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him." If you've wept on stage in Pennsylvania the week before showing up at a televised debate where you almost lost it again, maybe interpreting the psyche of others isn't a door you want to open?

Scott Conroy (CBS News) reports the Republican ticket campaign in Wisonsin today and quotes Sarah Palin telling a town hall, ""Oh, yeah, the first thought that pops into my head also when you're talking about rights, and you're talking about freedoms is, we're talking about Senator John McCain and what he has done for our country, in putting his country first his entire life to fight for freedoms. And Wisconsin, here again kudos to you, your great Wisconsin Guard, about a third of your troops will be over in a war zone, in a number of months, in '09. You guys are going to be over there again helping to defend freedom, and defend liberty and the democratic liberties that we all cherish so much." Governor Palin is the topic Vaughn Ververs (CBS News) addresses noting a Pew Research Center study that has found that 38% said the coverage of Palin had "been too tough" and "41 percent of independents say they think the press has been too tough on her." Ed O'Keefe (ABC News, link has text and video) reports on McCain's interview with Charlie Gibson for World News Tonight where McCain declares, "This is a tough campaign. I'm the underdog. I've always been the underdog from the beginning" -- and on the subject of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, McCain stated, "[Ayers] wasn't a guy in the neighborhood. [Obama] launched his political career in his living room, in Mr. Ayers' living room. And I don't care about two washed-up old terrorists that are unrepentant about trying to destroy America. But I do care, and Americans should care, about his relationship with him and whether he's being truthful and candid about it." Today, McCain-Palin '08 released an online campaign ad entitled "Ayers" (here for video, here for text and announcement):

ANNCR: Barack Obama and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Friends. They've worked together for years.
But Obama tries to hide it. Why?
Obama launched his political career in Ayers' living room.
Ayers and Obama ran a radical "education" foundation, together.
They wrote the foundation's by-laws, together.
Obama was the foundation's first chairman.
Reports say they, "distributed more than $100 million to ideological allies with no discernible improvement in education."
When their relationship became an issue, Obama just responded, "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood."
That's it?
We know Bill Ayers ran the "violent left wing activist group" called Weather Underground.
We know Ayers' wife was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.
We know they bombed the Capitol. The Pentagon. A judge's home.
We know Ayers said, "I don't regret setting bombs. .... I feel we didn't do enough."
But Obama's friendship with terrorist Ayers isn't the issue.
The issue is Barack Obama's judgment and candor.
When Obama just says, "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood."
Americans say, "Where's the truth, Barack?"
Barack Obama. Too risky for America.
JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Rosa has upcoming campaign events:Rosa Clemente in New York October 9-11Tuesday, 07 October 2008 23:01from Rosa ClementePeace and Hello to all my New York City People:As the billionaires on wall street get bailed out, and more and more people are tired of a two party stranglehold, join me, as I celebrate my electoral independence, I am in town, for three exciting days of campaign activities, attending a press conference for assistance and solidarity for Haiti, marching for the freedom of Politcal Prisoners and Prisoner of War, as well as these media appearances, hope to see you! "The Green Party is not the alternative, it is the imperative!" Rosa A. Clemente, Green Party Vice-Presidential CandidateGritTV, with Laura Flanders, to air Wednesday October 8th, 2008, at 8:00pm & 1:00am ET, on Free Speech TV(DISH Network ch. 9415) www.lauraflanders.comWhere we Live, with Sally O'Brien Thursday October 9th, 2008 at 8:00pm on WBAI 99.5FM, www.wbai.orgThe Truth, with Jeff Johnson on to air on BET Friday October 10th, 2008 at 10:00pm (EST)_____________________________________________________________[. . .]____________________________________________________________THURSDAY OCTOBER 9th, 2008 @ 3:30pm Open Community Forum with Green Party Vice Presidential Nominee ROSA CLEMENTE, to be televised on Manhattan Public Access @ MNN Television Studios Manhattan Neighborhood Network 537 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019 (between 10th and 11th Avenues) Green Party VP Candidate - Discusses the Economy, Foreign Policy, Education, Gender Equity, Racism, Social Justice, & the Environment LIVE WITH THE COMMUNITY Featuring Community Organizations: -Grassroots Artists MovEment (G.A.ME) -UHURU Movement -Brenda Stokely from NY Solidarity Coalition With Katrina / Rita Survivors - La Peña del Bronx Performances: -Hasan Salaam -Video Screening of Final Outlaw's"HIP HOP 4Ever" THIS IS A LIVE TO TAPE EVENT: IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARRIVE AT 3:00PM SHARP! Please Contact: (917) 940-8961 or (917) 239-8992 with Questions or to RSVP for this event ABOUT G.A.ME - The Grassroots Artists Movement (G.A.ME) is a membership organization dedicated to addressing sociopolitical and economic realities facing low-income Black and Latino communities. Galvanizing the influence of hip-hop artists and culture, G.A.ME unites artists and community members to work side-by-side for social justice. G.A.ME runs youth leadership and community development programs that provide tools for positive change. __________________________________________________________FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10th, 2008 12:00 NOON YES! to international assistance and solidarity to Haiti, NO! to the military occupation of Haiti and the attacks on Haitian sovereignty! The Brecht Forum, 451 West St. @ Bethune St. in West Village, between W.
12th St. and Bank St. Tel. 212-242-4201 3:00pm Rally at Madison Square Park at 5th Ave and 23rd St.
www.jerichomovement.com 9:00pm Evening Concert to Benefit the Prisoners@ the Knitting Factory @ 74 Lenard
St., NYC • 9 p.m. until . . .Featuring: Inmesyah Soul, Hassan Salaam,
X-Vandals, Emperor,Rebel Diaz, The Wordstock Poetry Collective, Maroon Society,Gist the Essence, Collective Flow, United Front 6:30pm New York Univeristy(NYU) __________________________________________________________Jericho 10th Anniversary Weekend of Resistance
www.jerichomovement.com Saturday, October 11, 2008 @ 12 Noon Rally at the Harlem State Office Building (Corner of 126th St. & A.C. Powell Blvd.) March through Harlem @ 1 p.m. Closing Rally in Morningside Park @ 2 p.m. Between 112th & 114th near Morningside Ave. entrances

Rosa Clemente appeared on
Grit TV with Laura Flanders where she was among the Cult of Barack who especially seemed blank-eyed when Rosa pointed out that two debates now and Barack's not addressed issues for young Americans -- not even 'middle class' ones. Rosa also pointed out that his 'youth' support is more 'middle class' and not monolithic. Yesterday Pacifica and Free Speech Radio News' Election Unspun spoke with Matt Gonzalez (Leigh Ann Caldwell provides real laughs -- and no journalism -- as she 'preaches' about Sarah Palin's "vendetta" in what's supposed to pass for 'news' prior to the interview). Gonzalez is Ralph Nader's running mate. Gonzalez spoke out against the Congressional bailout and stated, "I think government should be promoting existing solvent institutions . . . But we should not be buying the bad debt." Asked about the McCain and Obama campaigns, Gonzalez explained, "I think the truth is each of the candidates makes a calculated decision as to whether or not they can blame the other for a specific issue. In virtually every single case, these are jointly-owned issues, jointly-owned problems." Ralph Nader will be in NYC October 16th to protest Wall St. at noon in front of the Federal Hall, 26 Wall St. The day before (October 15th) he'll be speaking at Cooper Union in NYC.

Ralph Nader writes:

I'm sitting at home reading a Bloomberg wire report about one of my favorite foods -- hummus.
Bloomberg reports that a group of Lebanese businessmen wants the European Union to declare hummus and other of my favorite foods like tabouleh -- as "traditional Lebanese dishes."
The Lebanese businessmen think that other countries are ripping them off.
"It's mostly Israeli companies claiming all our specialities as their own," said Fady Abboud, president of the group. "So many of our specialties are being marketed now as Israeli traditional dishes and among the most famous is hummus."
Abboud wants the EU to grant the hummus legal protection, the same way that the Greeks were given protection for feta, the French for champagne, and the Italians for parmesan cheese.
Now, I don't want to interfere in a international trade dispute.
Suffice it to say that my mother Rose was born in Lebanon.
And she made perhaps the best hummus I've ever had.
And I've had a lot of hummus.
Hummus is nutritious.
And delicious.
It makes you stronger and healthier.
So, Bloomberg's report on the Lebanese claim to hummus got me to thinking about an idea that would help us raise funds to push our substantive agenda onto the front burner of American politics.
Here it is:
If you
donate to Nader/Gonazlez by midnight tonight an amount that has the number three in it (three being the number of lemons in my mom's hummus recipe), we'll e-mail to you Rose Nader's hummus recipe tomorrow.
That simple.
So, you can give $3.
Or $13.
Or $30.
Or $33.
Or $300.
Anything up to the legal limit of $2,300.
But it has to have at least one three in it.
If it has a three in it, we'll e-mail you the recipe tomorrow.
You can share it with your friends and family.
donation will help us reach our current fundraising goal of $250,000 by the October 12 deadline. It will help us fund our get-out-the-vote drive over the final stretch of this campaign -- which translates into putting the substantive Nader/Gonzalez shift the power agenda front and center in this crucial election year.)
Thank you for your ongoing activism and support.
Together, we are making a serious difference -- and keeping our sense of humor.
Onward to November.

iraqleila fadelmcclatchy newspapersthe los angeles timespeter spiegel
the new york timesalissa j. rubin
sabrina tavernisethe washington posternesto londono


manhola dargis lets me down

this morning, i added the following to last night's post:

[added 10-08, thank you to susan of random thoughts for linking to me. read her on the social security, she says it better than me.]

thank you to sherry who saw that and e-mailed. i've mentioned susan here before. i never met her, i never exchanged e-mails with her. she was kind enough to link to me.

if you're a new reader, i've written before about a number of 'girls' who wrote to get a link. they wanted to link swap. and i would say 'sure' and add them. and wait and wait. some times they'd e-mail back that i'd done something 'controversial' and they had to lay low a bit. sometimes i'd have to e-mail them. they'd have some excuse.

when i went on vacation in 2005 and elaine filled in here, she removed all of them from my blogroll. she had her me ask repeatedly, 'is it me?' that's why elaine doesn't swap links especially with the push-up bra 'girls.'

but i never had any contact with susan and then 1 day some 1 (maybe sherry) e-mailed me and said susan had me on her links. and i added her.

there was no link trade. she didn't e-mail me this kiss-ass e-mail. she never asked for any attention.

she's a real feminist who just added me for whatever reason.

but she never expected anything back from it.

that's why i repeatedly warn against link trades to people who ask. i alway say, 'e-mail back i will keep you on for 2 weeks and if i haven't been added by then, i'm pulling you down.' because i really got burned. it was not funny and i kept thinking, 'well it must be me. i must have done something wrong.'

i do many things wrong, that wasn't the problem. the problem was thinking and thinking about it and trying to figure out what it was.

in the end i didn't do anything wrong.

i thank elaine for removing them. (i didn't ask her, she just did it. she had to ask c.i. how to do it and she explained to c.i. what was going on. at which point, c.i. dumped all those 'girls' from the common ills as well.)

but susan never asked for anything and never expected anything.

so she's some 1 who's stand up in my book.

if you haven't checked out her blog, make a point to. she writes from reno. she writes about hiking and movies as well as about politics. 1 of her favorites is carole lombard. she also likes bad movies. (so she probably likes my favorite film, valley of the dolls!)

you'll find text and video at her site.

now let me talk about another woman.

manohla dargis does film reviews for the new york times. i called her here (back in 2005) and i was thinking about writing something nice about her work because i've really enjoyed of late. (of late is probably the last 18 months.) i never did.

now i have to call her out. she's reviewing guy richie's new film (which is the same film he always makes) and it is enjoyable review. and i like her comment about 'many of the lads look lovely' which is 1 of things i really started noting about her review 18 months ago. she really does write something useful. if the film has a hottie (so few do), she'll let you know.

but here's my problem with manhola's latest: she leaves out something very important.

in fairness, she probaly has no say on the photos that run with her review. it's a photo of gerald butler and idris elba from the film.

but on page 2 of the arts section is a full page ad for rock n rolla (the guy richie film) and i recognize thandie newton and gerald butler (butler from the photo the paper runs with manhola's review) and i recognize jeremy piven and idris elba (elba from the photo with the review) but who the hell is the hottie in the shades with the cute self-pleased expression, holding a gun and flashing pit hair?

manhola, you failed me.

does he look like that in the movie?

if so, i'd pay to see it and i loathe guy richie films because they are all the same movie badly done.

but i've bought many a ticket for a hottie. (and flyboy likes guy's bad films and has been saying, 'we should think about seeing it' - which really means 'i want to see it.') if manhola had told me who the hottie was and if he looks like that in the film (and not just in the ad), i would know whether to tell my husband we could see the film this weekend or not. but manhola, you failed me.

i'm semi-joking. the review is actually good (click here for it) but i really have come to count on manhola's eye when it comes to which film has a hottie and which doesn't.

and what else? no political news from me tonight. sick baby or maybe just crying (doctor's visit today) and she's finally down for the night. i didn't even watch the new adventures of old christine (tivoed it) because it was just that kind of day.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, October 8, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, attempts to lure back Iraqi refugees fail, tensions continue to escalate between Turkey and northern Iraq, a widow sues the VA, and more.

Starting with the refugee crisis. The
UNHCR estimates Iraq has 4.7 million refugees (internal and external). On the heels of Jordan getting the oil gifts from Iraq and deciding to bus and fly some Iraqi refugees out (who did not want to leave), attempts took place in Syria to 'ease out' the Iraqi refugees. AP reports that they were offered "free journeys" by Iraq's Embassy in Damascus but "there have been no takers" and "Adnan al-Shourifi, the commercial secretary at the Iraqi Embassy, said that free convoys and plane tickets would be provided for the returnees, along with about $1,300 in cash to each family from the Iraqi government and $500 from the United Nations." Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) notes that "[o]nly a small fraction [of refugees] have returned," cites the Baghdad neighborhood of Hurriyah where only 325 "of the more than 7,000 Sunni families who fled in late 2006" have returned and notes that "U.N. officials and human rights groups are concerned that a speedy resettlement could touch off new strife, in part because sectarian segregation has helped to reduce violence".

AFP reports that Abdel-Karim Khalaf, Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesperson, stated today, "We have the ability to take over the internal security responsibility in Baghdad if American forces pull out of the city. The Interior Ministry is able to take responsibility for protecitng Baghdad." Erica Goode (New York Times) reports on yesterday's Green Zone press conference staged by the US Deputy Sec of State John Negroponte and Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zerbair where the two claimed that a SOFA (really a treaty) was coming any time soon." Today at the State Dept, spokesperson Sean McCormack pointed out that he had not said the SOFA would be singed by the end of July ("If you look back in the transcripts, you will find that I did not put a timeframe on it" -- no, he refused to do so; however, the White House put a deadline of July on it). McCormack acknowledged that "others did. Look the discussions are ongoing. And I guess the state of play is that nothing is done until everything is done and not everything is done. Secretary -- Deputy Secretary Negroponte offered some public comments when he held a press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Zerbari, so the discussions continue. And I think that the fact they are taking this long and that the discussions are as intense as they have been over this period of months is an indication of how seriously the Iraqi government takes this, as well as how seriously we take this issue. It's a negotiation between two sovereign states. And our negotiators continue their efforts -- our negotiators as well as the Iraqi negotiatiors." Asked if expected the treaty to be worked by year's end, he replied, "We're still working to get this thing done as soon as possible." December 31st the UN authorization for the occupation expires. This as Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) report an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate (which may or may not be released prior to the US elections in November) sounds alarms, "The draft NIE, however, warns that the improvements in security and political progress, like the recent passage of a provincial election law, are threatened by lingering disputes between the majority Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs, Kurds and other minorities, the U.S. officials said. Sources of tension identified by the NIE, they said, include a struggle between Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen for control of the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk; and the Shiite-led central government's unfulfilled vows to hire former Sunni insurgents who joined Awakening groups."

Meanwhile tensions between Turkey and northern Iraq are not going through. The PKK (considered a terrorist organization by many governments including the US) is the source of the conflict.
Hurriyet reports Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister, has stated that "a buffer zone in the north of Iraq could be created as a counter measure against terror attacks from this territory." Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) notes, "Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to extend by one year its authorization of military operations against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, keeping the door open to future strikes in the region. The approval, by a vote of 497 to 18, had been largely expected, and occurred amid a flurry of attacks in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast." China's Xinhau explains, "The anger of the Turkish people is mounting after last Friday's deadliest attack that killed 15 Turkish soldiers in Hakkari province, while the Edrogan government and the powerful military have pledged to intensify a campaign to crush the outlawed PKK." Meanwhile Arwa Damon (CNN) visits a PKK camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (Qandil Mountains) and speaks with Rengin ("head of a female battallion of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK") who states, "We want a natural life, a society that revolves around women -- one where women and men are equal, a society without pressure, without inequality, where all differences between people are eliminated."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded two people, a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 3 police officers and left six more injured and, in Diyala Province, "a female suicide bomber blew herself up near the Diyala governorate building" claiming the lives of 3 civilians, 1 police officer and 5 Iraqi soldiers. Ernesto London (Washington Post) notes that the death toll has risen to "at least 10 people" and explains, "Since 2003, more than 50 women carried out suicide bombings or were detained before detonating vests packed with explosives in Iraq, according to the U.S. military." CNN adds, "The official said the woman, covered in a traditional black garment known as an abaya, blew herself up near a security checkpoint outside the courthouse."


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 "Christian man" shot dead today in Mosul and 2 shot dead in Mosul yesterday.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

ICCC reports
4180 US service members have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war with 4 for the month thus far. That count includes Col Michael R. Stahlman whom the Defense Department announced died October 5th "from injuries sustained in a July 31 non-hostile incident in Anbar province, Iraq. . . . The incident is currently under investigation."

Meanwhile a widow brings a lawsuit against the VA. John
Latimer (Lebanon Daily News) reports that the wife of Donald Woodward, Tiera Woodward, has brought a $2 million law suit against the Lebanon VA Medical Center for "wronful death and medical malpractice" in the death of her husband who shot himself to death in March of 2006. Donald Woodward was an Iraq War veteran and beginning in July of 2005, the family was attempting to get help for him following a suicide attempt. Latimer notes, "Although he screened positive for depression and PTSD, it was determined that Woodward did not meet the criteria for a 'major depressive order'." Also covering the story, Carrie Cassidy (The Patriot-News) explains, "The lawsuit states that Donald Woodward has also tried to commit suicide three times before he succeeded, though he tried to get help before that . . . The Lenbaon VA staff failed to diagnose him with a 'major depressive disorder' earlier. A psychiatrist eventually diagnosed him with the disorder on Feb. 2, 2006, about a month before he died". The family is united on this, Larry Alexander (Lancaster Online) quotes Donald Woodward's mother, Lori Woodward, stating, "It's in her (his widow's) name, but I'm the one behind it. And we're not going to comment on it until it's settled."

Turning to the US presidential race.
On the subject of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers (and Bernardine Dohrn), the McCain-Palin campaign released this statement by John M. Murtagh whose father was an NY State Supreme Court justice:

"When I was 9 years-old the Weather Underground, the terrorist group founded by Barack Obama's friend William Ayers, firebombed my house. Barack Obama has dismissed concerns about his relationship with Ayers by noting that he was only a child when Ayers was planting bombs at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. But Ayers has never apologized for his crimes, he has reveled in them, expressing regret only for the fact that he didn't do more.
"While Barack Obama once downplayed his relationship with Ayers, today his campaign took that deceit one step further. Barack Obama now denies he was even aware of his friend's violent past when, in 1995, Ayers hosted a party launching Obama's political career. Given Ayers' celebrity status among the left, it's difficult to believe. The question remains: what did Obama know, and when did he know it? When did Obama learn the truth about his friend? Barack Obama helped Ayers promote his book in 1997, served on charitable boards with him through 2002, and regularly exchanged emails and phone calls with him through 2005. At what point did Barack Obama discover that his friend was an unrepentant terrorist? And if he is so repulsed by the acts of terror committed by William Ayers, why did the relationship continue? Any honest accounting by Barack Obama will necessarily cast further doubt on his judgment and his fitness to serve as commander in chief.
"Barack Obama may have been a child when William Ayers was plotting attacks against U.S. targets -- but I was one of those targets. Barack Obama's friend tried to kill my family."

Deliah Boyd (A Scriverner's Lament) calls out Obama mouthpiece David Axelrod's claim that Barack was just too wet behind the ears to have ever known anything about the Weather Underground: "But Dear Axelrod, I'm suggeting, nay, stating a damned fact -- that Obama's undergrad Poli Sci classes (at freakin' Columbia University, fer cryin' out loud) surely didn't skip the 1960's." Drew Griffin and Kathleen Jonston (CNN) reported last night that "the relationship between Obama and Ayers went deeper, ran longer and was more political than Obama -- and his surrogates -- have revealed, documents and interviews show." Ruth observes, "At this point, the relationship with Mr. Ayers is not even the issue. The issue is how Barack Obama has lied about it repeatedly. Just like he lied about his relationship with Antoin Rezco, he has lied about his relationship with Mr. Ayers."

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and, in a new column at Black Agenda Report, she takes on the bailout:

At the precise moment when we couldn't imagine it getting worse, it does. After all, the Democrats, since they acquired majority status in the Congress, delivered funding for George Bush's wars several times. They authorized retroactive immunity for telecoms that helped Bush's Administration illegally spy on us. And they never really considered any alternatives to the basic bailout wish list given to them by Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson.
Sadly, I must say that this failure on the part of the Democratic leadership is by far the greatest perfidy of the Democrats yet. I shudder to think what betrayal of the Constitution and the people of this country yet awaits us. I am forced to ask, "What do they stand for?" I think they have shown us time and time again what they stand for, what their values are, and that they are willing to leave the people behind in their quest to acquiesce to what Bush's base asks for. And remember, Bush told us that his base were the haves and the have mores! So, if the Democratic leadership is more loyal to them than they are to the working people in this country, then a new political alignment of historical proportions is taking effect that the working people of this country must recognize.

Chris Hedges (via Information Clearing House) examines the bailout and notes, "The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party. We are on our own. And don't expect any help from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who lobbied hard for the bill and voted for it. Ignore their rhetoric. Look coldly at the ballots they cast against us. We, as citizens, have only a handful of representatives left in Washington, most of whom were left sputtering in rage and frustration on the House floor. The sad irony is that some of them were Republican." Hedges goes on to explore the vote and the bailout and to quote US House Rep Dennis Kuccinich explaining of the vote, "It is a direct attack on the American people's ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation to markets that are openly rigged. We buried the New Deal. Instead of Democrats going back to classic New Deal economics where we prime the pump of the economy and start money circulating among the population through saving homes, creating jobs and building a new infrastructure, our leaders chose to accelerate the wealth of the nation upwards." Hedges juxtaposes Barack's support for the bailout with Barack's voting record and it's a must read article. Last week, Kucinich declared on Democracy Now!, "You know, I'll tell you something that we were told in our caucus. We were told that our presidential candidate, when the negotiations started at the White House, said that he didn't want this in the bill. Now that's what we're told. . . . That he didn't want the bankruptcy provisions in the bill. Now, you know, that's what we were told. And I don't understand why he would say that, if he did say that. And I think that there is a -- the fact that we didn't put bankrptcy provisions in, that actually we removed any hopes for judges to do any loan modifications or any forbearance. There's no moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in here. So, who's getting -- who's really getting helped by this bill? This is a bailout, pure and simple, of Wall Street interests who have been involved in speculation."

You need to remember for that for a number of reasons. The most current has to do with
last night's Democratic and Republican presidential candidate debate during which John McCain declared, "As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes -- at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those -- be able to make those payments and stay in their homes. Is it expensive? Yes. But we all know, my friends, until we stabilize home values in America, we're never going to start turning around and creating jobs and fixing our economy. And we've got to give some trust and confidence back to America." Katharine Q. Seelye (New York Times) live blogged the debate and noted McCain's proposal was "not somethng that had been proposed. Nor is it clear without further detail how or whether this would work" citing the paper's Jackie Calmes (citing Barack's campaign)? Robert G. Kaiser (Washington Post) doing a post-debate critique noted, "I was taken aback by McCain's opening proposal, which if I understand it correctly would have a huge impact on the housing market, the banks, the holders of securitized mortgages, etc." The proposal was a proposal. Michael Abramowitz (Washington Post) reports that Doug Holtz-Eakin, the campaign's policy advisor, on a morning press conference call, "offered a few more details of the so-called American Homeownership Resurgence Plan, unveiled at the Tuesday night debate, in which a homeowner having difficulty making payments or facing foreclosure would be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage. He said that some of the money for the new program, which could cost $300 billion, could come from the new $700 billion authority granted the Treasury Secretary to buy distressed assets; he also said some of the funds could also come from existing authority in the Federal Housing Administration." Abramowitz also notes that the Obama campaign is attempting to downplay the proposal by stating Barack was floating something like that publicly back in September. A shame he didn't fight to have it put in the bill -- especially considering he is the party's 'leader' and the Democrats control both houses of Congress. But can't tick off his biggest donors on Wall St. apparently. Alison Fitzgerald and Sharon L. Lynch (Bloomberg News) report Barack's whining the bailout that passed allows this to take place already and quote Holtz-Eakin stating, "It could help literally millions of people. We don't have a precise estimate." The McCain-Palin campaign has posted the text (and audio option) of Doug Hotlz-Eakin's comments:

"Senator McCain last night announced his initiative, the McCain Resurgence Plan, that has four very straightforward goals. Goal number one is to provide direct help to struggling homeowners making sure they can stay in their homes with a manageable mortgage, avoid foreclosures and the damaging impact that has on neighborhoods and property values in that area. It would also, in the process of refinancing, help them with their financial situation and, as a result, give some stability to the household spending in the overall economy.
"Second thing is it would provide, to the mortgage market, lower interest rates. If history was a guide, we'd see a spread of about 160 basis points above government interest rates to the mortgage market. That would put interest rates in the low five percent. Mortgage rates are above that right now. Providing this kind of financing would stabilize housing values and obviously take some stress off the pressures downward in the economy. Having a stabilized housing market would, in turn, combine with the purchase of these mortgages to stabilize the values that are underneath mortgage-backed securities and all the housing-related derivatives that have been plaguing the valuation of balance sheets in the financial sector. And so by starting with the homeowner and working up you accomplish some of the objectives of the financial stabilization plans that we've seen come out of Congress and proposed by the administration in recent weeks. Senator McCain beli eves this is exactly the right kind of policy: provide direct help to homeowners and, at the same time, support the financial markets and keep them from further damaging the availability of credit to Main Street America, one of the real threats to the economy at this point it time.
"The initiative would rely on authorities that have been provided in recent months by the Congress. There's $300 billion worth of refinance capacity at the FHA at this point. That can be combined with the statutory capacity at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now owned by the federal government for all practical purposes, to purchase mortgages. If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bought 80% of the mortgage, you could leverage that $300 billion in financing tremendously. And there's also the $700 billion that was provided to the Treasury by the Congress. There's direct purchase authority in there that would allow to augment these as well, although, it may be useful to reserve that for other purposes.
"Mechanically the initiative is very simple. A homeowner would initiate the process by calling a mortgage broker or other originator and basically saying 'I'd like to refinance my home.' They would start the underwriting process, verify incomes, this is an opportunity as well to make sure the program has in it appropriate checks to make sure that government money is not being given to folks who are not primary homeowners, who don't have adequate income, or otherwise, in the initial purchase of their home didn't provide valid information. These authorities could then be used to retire the existing loan. The FHA would issue a guaranteed thirty year fixed-rate mortgage at a manageable interest rate. The homeowner would stay in the home, their financial burden would be relieved, the valuation of the existing loan would be resolved, there would no longer be a threat of default or diminished capacity to repay. That would stabilize financial markets, and t he taxpayers' contribution would be, in some cases the difference between the values of those two loans, something which would be the necessity for taxpayer contribution.
"Senator McCain thinks this is the best way to go forward. He's obviously been personally very concerned about the problems facing the economy. He has participated, as I think everyone on this call knows, extensively in the process of taking the initial proposal by the administration to directly purchase Wall Street securities shaping it in a way that it was both possible to get it through Congress in a bi-partisan fashion, and also had it augmented with the adequate taxpayer protections, some oversight and transparency. This would take the authorities that have now come through and further target them in a way that he thinks would accomplish the purposes of financial stabilization but also to provide some relief to homeowners, near-term stimulus to the overall economy, and lay out a path where he can then turn to his initiatives in taxes, in energy, healthcare, trade to provide job creation in the American economy and a path forward out of this ter rible crisis."

Tomorrow, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin will hold a town hall at noon in Waukesha, Wisconsin (Center Court Sports Complex, 815 Northview Boulevard) and the proposal will be addressed there. Foon Rhee (Boston Globe, link has text and video) reports that he raised the issue at a campaign stop in Bethlem, Pennsylvania. Jonathan Newman, Matthew Jaffe and Stu Chamberlain (ABC News' Political Radar, text and video) report Democratic vice-presidential nominee, US Senator Joe Biden, was introduced at a Tampa campaign event today by Jim Pacillo who stated, "Please help me today in welcoming the next vice president of the United States, John McCain!" Also McCain-Palin announce the endorsement of 100 US ambassadors from a group co-chaired by Mark W. Erwin who was supporting Hillary in the primaries (and, disclosue, I know and like Mark and that's probably why I'm putting it in the snapshot). Other endorsements today include the majority of board members on the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with Jerry Natividad explaining, "I am supporting John McCain because he understands that small businesses are the job engine of America, and he has a real plan for the issues that Hispanic-owned small businesses confront, such as health care. John McCain's plan puts families first, provides them with more choices, and while it cut costs for my business, it allows my company to afford the best medical coverage for my employees." Maria G. Taxman is quoted explaining, "I am very confident John McCain will continue to break down foreign trade barriers, giving Hispanic-American-owned small businesses the opportunity to compete in the global markets. John McCain will promote a strong and growing economy that creates new jobs and increases wages."

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will speak out on Wall St. next week:

News Advisory FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ryan Mehta, 408-348-0681, rmehta@votenader.org (National HQ); Josh Starcher, 718-909-6343 (Local) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RALPH NADER TO SPEAK IN NEW YORKWHO: Ralph Nader WHAT: Major Campaign Address WHEN: Thursday, October 16 at 12:00pm WHERE: Federal Hall, 26 Wall St. NYC On Thursday, October 16 at 12:00pm, Ralph will take to the street in front of the NYSE to protest the bailout at Federal Hall, 26 Wall St. NYC. Ralph is the only Presidential candidate who supports jail time, not bail time for Wall Street fat cats, so come hear him speak in the historic Cooper Union after watching the game show debates on TV. He will also comment on the Presidential debates from which he was excluded. In another part of the city, after Ralph speaks in Cooper Union, the two corporate candidates will be debating each other without even mentioning the issues that Ralph will talk about and that matter to the American people. Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has sponsored every presidential debate and kept the discussion empty. Since its inception, the CPD has always been headed by two former chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties. In 1987, the League of Women Voters refused to sponsor any more presidential debates, ìbecause the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.

Back to the debate.
Susan (Random Thoughts) analyzes the debate and will note this section on Barack, "Obama was absolutely incoherent. He would start strong, but then he would wander off on some tangent and constantly ran overtime with his answers. This is going to kill him when people realize he doesn't really know what he is talking about. It was the same problem John Kerry had, but Kerry learned to keep his answers short in the debates with our dictator in 2004."

Rebecca noted that Barack declared war on Social Security, Elaine noted Barack's rush for more war, Mike found the debate a waste of time, Cedric & Wally (joint-post) noted how Barack got his way, Marcia skipped it and noted the crony ways of Barack in Chicago, and Kat explored the liars and cover-up artists in the press

Green Party presidential candidate
Cynthia McKinney's running mate is Rosa Clemente who has a series of campaign stops coming up including the following:

Rosa Clemente in New York October 9-11Tuesday, 07 October 2008 23:01from Rosa ClementePeace and Hello to all my New York City People:As the billionaires on wall street get bailed out, and more and more people are tired of a two party stranglehold, join me, as I celebrate my electoral independence, I am in town, for three exciting days of campaign activities, attending a press conference for assistance and solidarity for Haiti, marching for the freedom of Politcal Prisoners and Prisoner of War, as well as these media appearances, hope to see you! "The Green Party is not the alternative, it is the imperative!" Rosa A. Clemente, Green Party Vice-Presidential CandidateGritTV, with Laura Flanders, to air Wednesday October 8th, 2008, at 8:00pm & 1:00am ET, on Free Speech TV(DISH Network ch. 9415) www.lauraflanders.comWhere we Live, with Sally O'Brien Thursday October 9th, 2008 at 8:00pm on WBAI 99.5FM, www.wbai.orgThe Truth, with Jeff Johnson on to air on BET Friday October 10th, 2008 at 10:00pm (EST)________________________________________________________________WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9th, 2008 @ 7pm-10pmTHIS IS AN HISTORICAL MOMENT...BUT ONLY SOME OF IT WILL BE TELEVISED!You are invited to the home of Gloria Mattera & Sean Sweeney and host M1 of dead prezfor light fare, drinks and lively discussion with special guest:Rosa Clemente is a nationally known hip-hop activist, independent journalist, community organizer and Green Party vice presidential candidate. She helped organize the National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2003, to create a national political agenda for the hip-hop generation.Let's help Rosa and Cynthia raise the funds needed to get their message of peace and justice out to voters throughout the country!Campaign Merchandise will be on hand!Location: 437 2 Street between 6/7 Avenues in Park Slope BrooklynF train to 7 Ave; Q/B to 7 Ave (at Flatbush); R train to Union StRSVP: gmattera@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 718 369-2998________________________________________________________________THURSDAY OCTOBER 9th, 2008 @ 3:30pmOpen Community Forum with Green Party Vice Presidential Nominee ROSA CLEMENTE,to be televised on Manhattan Public Access@ MNN Television StudiosManhattan Neighborhood Network537 West 59th Street,New York, NY 10019(between 10th and 11th Avenues)Green Party VP Candidate -Discusses the Economy, Foreign Policy, Education, Gender Equity, Racism, Social Justice, & the EnvironmentLIVE WITH THE COMMUNITYFeaturing Community Organizations:-Grassroots Artists MovEment (G.A.ME)-UHURU Movement-Brenda Stokely from NY Solidarity Coalition With Katrina / Rita Survivors- La Peña del BronxPerformances:-Hasan Salaam-Video Screening of Final Outlaw's"HIP HOP 4Ever"THIS IS A LIVE TO TAPE EVENT: IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARRIVE AT 3:00PM SHARP!Please Contact: (917) 940-8961 or (917) 239-8992 with Questions or to RSVP for this eventABOUT G.A.ME - The Grassroots Artists Movement (G.A.ME) is a membership organization dedicated to addressing sociopolitical and economic realities facing low-income Black and Latino communities. Galvanizing the influence of hip-hop artists and culture, G.A.ME unites artists and community members to work side-by-side for social justice. G.A.ME runs youth leadership and community development programs that provide tools for positive change.

The Nader team notes:

Ralph Nader is on TV tonight!
Ralph will be on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blizter at about 5 p.m. EST this afternoon.
And he'll be on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly at about 8:25 p.m. EST tonight.
Hope you get a chance to watch.
And remember, this week we're offering a limited number of Ralph's most recent book -- The Seventeen Traditions. (HarperCollins, 2007).
It's a 150-page hard cover classic -- detailing the traditions Ralph grew up with in his home town of Winsted, Connecticut.
For a
donation of $100 or more, we'll ship you this Nader classic -- signed by the man himself -- Ralph Nader.
(This offer ends Sunday October 12, 2008 at 11:59 p.m.)
donate now.
By the way, the Nader/Gonzalez video team was with Ralph in Winsted, Connecticut last week.
And they put together
this neat little peek of Ralph in his hometown.
Take a look.
Pass it around.
And then pick up a copy of The Seventeen Traditions.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Onward to November

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