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Archive for November 20th, 2008

Automakers Get A Piece Of The Taxpayer Action Baby…

Bipartisan group works to revive auto bailout

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of auto-state senators reached a last-ditch compromise Thursday to throw Detroit’s Big Three a government lifeline worth billions, but the plan faces an uphill battle in a reluctant Senate.

With the auto bailout stalled, the fate of hundreds of thousands of workers and Detroit’s once-venerable car companies hangs in the balance.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., canceled plans for a vote on a bill to carve $25 billion in new loans out of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue fund. The Bush administration and congressional Republicans oppose that plan.

Warning of economic disaster, Democrats and Republicans from auto industry states reached a deal Thursday on an alternative package that would temporarily divert money from a fuel-efficiency loan program to cover the Big Three’s immediate costs. But it was unclear whether it could draw enough support to pass.

The group, led by Sens. Carl M. Levin, D-Mich. and Kit Bond, R-Mo., scheduled a news conference to announce details.

(more…)

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Cheney, Gonzales Arraignment Set For Friday

CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN | November 20, 2008 12:20 AM EST | AP

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas — A Texas judge has set a Friday arraignment for Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others named in indictments accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a federal detention center.

Cheney, Gonzales and the others will not be arrested, and do not need to appear in person at the arraignment, Presiding Judge Manuel Banales said.

In the latest bizarre development in the case, the lame-duck prosecutor who won the indictments was a no-show in court Wednesday. The judge ordered Texas Rangers to go to Willacy County District Attorney Juan Guerra’s house, check on his well-being and order him to court on Friday.

Half of the eight high-profile indictments returned Monday by a Willacy County grand jury are tied to privately run federal detention centers in the sparsely populated South Texas county. The other half target judges and special prosecutors who played a role in an earlier investigation of Guerra.

One indictment charges Cheney and Gonzales with engaging in organized criminal activity. It alleges that the men neglected federal prisoners and are responsible for assaults in the facilities.

The grand jury accused Cheney of a conflict of interest because of his influence over the county’s federal immigrant detention center and his substantial holdings in the Vanguard Group, which invests in private prison companies.

The indictment accuses Gonzales of stopping an investigation into abuses at the federal detention center.

MORE HERE

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Afternoon Jukebox… Jailhouse Rock


Elvis- Jailhouse Rock (1957 color)

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AP

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has been chosen to be secretary of the vast and troubled Department of Homeland Security. Photo: AP

Arizonan will head Homeland Security

Politico- By | 11/19/08 11:18 PM EST

Arizona Demcratic Gov. Janet Napolitano has been chosen to serve as secretary of the vast and troubled Department of Homeland Security for President-elect Barack Obama, Democratic officials said. Napolitano is a border governor who will now be responsible for immigration policy and border security, which are part of Homeland Security’s myriad functions.

Napolitano brings law and order experience from her stint as the Grand Canyon State’s first female attorney general. One of the nation’s most prominent female elected officials, she made frequent appearances on behalf of Barack Obama during the campaign. She was reelected to a second four-year term in 2006.

Transition insiders have long expected that she would be offered a Cabinet slot, although she had also been mentioned for other posts, including attorney general.

Napolitano, 50, endorsed Obama in early January, just as the primaries were kicking off, and the female up-and-comer’s decision to back the Illinois senator got widespread coverage.

MORE HERE

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World Leaders Don’t Shake Bush’s Hand At G20 Summit (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |  Katharine Zaleski   |   November 20, 2008 08:31 AM

It appears in this video that President Bush’s approval is in a sorrier state than polls indicate. In a video taken at the G20 summit, Bush walks across a line of world leaders without shaking or being asked to shake any of their hands. Whether the President is being rejected by the world leaders or he is rejecting them, CNN’s Rick Sanchez aptly says that Bush looks like “the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked.”

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U.S. Jobless Claims Now At 16-Year High!

U.S. jobless claims jump to 16-year high

Data are more evidence of a rapidly weakening labor market

BREAKING NEWS

updated 2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, the Labor Department said Thursday, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening job market expected to get even worse next year.

The government said new applications for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week. That’s much higher than Wall Street economists’ expectations of 505,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

That is also the highest level of claims since July 1992, the department said, when the U.S. economy was coming out of a recession.

MORE HERE

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