Archive for September 14th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:30 PM MST

People carried boxes out of the headquarters of Lehman Brothers in New York on Sunday.

People carried boxes out of the headquarters of Lehman Brothers in New York on Sunday.

In Frantic Day, Wall Street Banks Teeter

Published: September 14, 2008

(This article was reported by Jenny Anderson, Eric Dash and Andrew Ross Sorkin and was written by Mr. Sorkin.)

In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

The humbling moves, which reshape the landscape of American finance, mark the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in which once-proud financial institutions have been brought to their knees as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments.

But even as the fates of Lehman and Merrill hung in the balance Sunday night, another crisis loomed as the insurance giant American International Group appeared to teeter. A.I.G. sought a $40 billion lifeline from the Federal Reserve, without which the company may have only days to survive.

The stunning series of events culminated a weekend of frantic around-the-clock negotiations, as Wall Street bankers huddled in meetings at the behest of Bush administration officials to try to avoid a downward spiral in the markets stemming from a crisis of confidence.

“My goodness. I’ve been in the business 35 years, and these are the most extraordinary events I’ve ever seen,” said Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group, who was head of Lehman in the 1970s and a secretary of commerce in the Nixon administration.

It remains to be seen whether the sale of Merrill, which was worth more than $100 billion during the last year, and the controlled demise of Lehman will be enough to finally turn the tide in the yearlong financial crisis that has crippled Wall Street and threatened the broader economy.

Questions remain about how the market will react Monday, particularly to Lehman’s plan to wind down its trading operations, and whether other companies, like A.I.G. and Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest savings and loan, might falter.


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Physicians Demand Release Of McCain’s Health Records

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:15 PM MST

Updatedx3: Physicians demand the release of McCain’s Health Records

Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:11:42 AM PDT

Most of you may not know that I am a physician. As such, I am keenly aware of thethreat that melanoma poses. John McCain as far as we know has had several bouts with melanoma, invasive melanoma. A condition that strikes fear in t he heart of every internist, because Melanoma can manifest at anytime, and virtually anywhere in the body.

You can be fine for 10, 20, 30 even fifty years after a melanoma removal, and then have seizures one day, and find it to be caused by a metastatic melanoma to the brain.
It could go to your liver, and destroy it, leading to death.
It goes to the lungs.
It is virtually ubiquitous, and when it does strike, its is deadly, and extremely resistant to effective treatment.

Melanoma is not just a cancer. It is a chameleon, in that it will mimic other illnesses and will be hard to find. The only clue will be a history of the patient havig had a melanoma some time in his past. Other times, even that will be unknown.

Given all this, it is no surprise that PHYSICIANS demand to know what is the status of John McCain and his health. We expect to know what his health is like, in full, before he potentially is elected president.

Let people know how dangerous this is, a presidential candidate with a history of melanoma NOT making his health records a part of the public record.

It is unheard of. Frankly, it is dangerous to our national security, to our country.

Demand John McCain release his health records.

The link for the Physicians’ video on McCain’s Health as well as PETITION:


Update 2: Rec List. Appreciate the attention this is getting. Thank you!  Our country is too important to let this issue be ignored any longer.

Update 3:Here’s the video from the courageous group of physicians who have come forward:

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Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally – VIDEO

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:30 PM MST

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By- Suzie-Q @ 6:30 PM MST

Conservatives fear a last-minute Obama veep switch

Published: Sunday September 14, 2008

“Prominent conservative leaders,” said Town Hall‘s Matt Lewis, expressed worries at the recent Values Voters Summit that Senator Obama would trade Delaware Senator Joseph Biden for former opponent, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, as his vice presidential running mate to counter the popularity of McCain running mate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Gov. Palin herself took a shot at the Obama campaign in an interview that aired Friday, telling ABC’s Charlie Gibson “I think he’s regretting not picking her now.”

“This entire notion, of course, sounds like a conspiracy theory,” Lewis wrote, “primarily because it is a conspiracy theory.” A certain amount of paranoia does exist, Lewis noted, since New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002 in a last-minute move by his predecessor, Robert Torricelli, to drop his reelection bid.

“But while the notion of a last-minute veep substitution sounds absurd,” he continued, “is it any more absurd than the last-minute replacement of Torrecelli (sic) with Lautenberg?”

Senator Biden himself elevated Senator Clinton while defending her against an audience member at a rally last Wednesday. “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be Vice President of the United States of America,” Biden said. “She’s easily qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”

“Chuck, stand up and let the people see you,” Biden told paraplegic State Senator Chuck Graham before quickly correcting himself at a recent stop in Columbia, Missouri.

“[Biden is] a great guy with a big heart and a tremendous grasp of the issues,” a Democratic aide told the Daily Mail. “He doesn’t take himself too seriously and that is why he is so genuine and sincere…But he is known to make the occasional stupid mistake and that’s simply not a luxury he or Obama can afford right now with Palin having such a big impact.”

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Obama Raised $66 Million In August

By- Suzie-Q @ 6:00 PM MST

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., arrives for a rally at the Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., arrives for a rally at the Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Obama Raises $66 Million In August

JIM KUHNHENN | September 14, 2008 03:41 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama raised $66 million in August, a record for a presidential candidate that illustrated his continuing appeal to donors and his robust outreach to new contributors.

The campaign said it raised the money with the help of more than a half million, first-time donors. By comparison, Republican presidential nominee John McCain raised $47 million in August, a personal best for his campaign as well. The monthly figures for both candidates were especially noteworthy because August is typically a slow month for fundraising.

Obama’s totals, however, also underscore the challenge he faces in the remaining two months of the campaign. McCain, for now, has a significant advantage because he has accepted $84 million in taxpayer funds under a public financing system that Obama chose to bypass in favor of raising more money.

The combined efforts of the two campaigns and the two national parties left both candidates on nearly equal financial footing with about $94 million at the end of August, according to campaign and party officials who discussed the finances on Sunday.

Obama had $77 million in the bank at month’s end, and the Democratic National Committee had $17.5 million.

McCain ended the month with about $18 million in cash, which he had to transfer to the Republican National Committee because of his decision to participate in the public finance system. The party committee had $76 million in the bank before the transfer. A party official said the party also had about $20 million in a joint fundraising committee and in special state party accounts that can be used to help McCain.

But McCain has a head start over Obama with the $84 million in federal funds. By accepting that money, however, he can no longer raise money for his campaign from donors and is limited to spending only that amount. As a result, any additional fundraising can only be done for the GOP.

Democratic fundraisers say Obama and the Democratic Party must do even better than their August totals to stay ahead of McCain and the well-heeled RNC. Obama and the DNC raised a combined total of more than $83 million, but fundraisers say their joint totals ahead should exceed $100 million a month.

McCain and the GOP have been able to stay essentially even with Obama and the Democrats through August because the RNC has had strong fundraising and low spending. The Democratic National Committee has had lower fundraising and higher spending.

In August, the RNC raised about $22 million, shy of its $26 million sum in July. The Democratic National committee reported raising $17.3 million in August, short of the $20 million raised in July.

Even though he can raise no more money for his campaign, McCain has placed his popular running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on an aggressive fundraising schedule for the Republican Party. She has about one fundraiser every two days for the remainder of the campaign.

Obama has scheduled a series of fundraisers and has continued to make Internet and e-mail appeals his donors and supporters. The campaign reported that it raised $10 million in less than 24 hours this month, following Palin’s address to the Republican National Convention.

Overall, Obama has raised more than $440 million for his presidential campaign, an unprecedented amount. The campaign said it has more than 2.5 million donors. McCain has raised $194 million.

“The 500,000 new donors to the Obama campaign demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to kick the special interests out and change Washington,” campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement.

McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said the announcement provides “66 million reminders that Barack Obama is willing to stray from reform, break his word to the American people and forgo public financing in favor of his own ambitions. Americans need change, not self-promotion.”

McCain’s campaign reported raising $10 million in the final days in August, a surge the campaign has attributed to Palin’s selection as running mate.


On the Net:

Obama: http://www.barackobama.com

McCain: http://www.johnmccain.com

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Greenspan: Worst Economy He Has Seen In His Career

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:15 PM MST

Greenspan: This Is The Worst Economy I’ve Ever Seen

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

September 14, 2008 11:21 AM

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan offered a woeful outlook of America’s economic situation on Sunday, saying the crisis with the country’s financial institutions was as dire as he had ever seen in his long career, and predicting that one or more of those institutions would likely collapse in the near future.

“Oh, by far,” Greenspan said, when asked if the situation was the worst he had seen in his career. “There’s no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I’ve seen and it still is not resolved and still has a way to go and, indeed, it will continue to be a corrosive force until the price of homes in the United States stabilizes. That will induce a series of events around the globe which will stabilize the system.”

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Greenspan would not definitively say whether the government should come to the rescue of Lehman Brothers, which has been forced to consider a possible sale after its stock shares plunged drastically this past week. Instead he called the situation surrounding the investment bank — and the bailout that occurred this past spring of Bear Stearns — as a “once in a half century, probably once in a century type of event.”

The circumstances for Lehman may, as Greenspan noted, be different. Bloomberg News reported on Friday: “Rising speculation that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may fail is generating less concern among investors than when Bear Stearns Cos. imploded in March.”

Much of the issue, Greenspan added, was the trouble in the housing market, which he predicted would become stabilized by next year. Pressed by host George Stephanopoulos as to whether another major financial institution — such as the struggling Washington Mutual, American International Group, or Merrill Lynch — would fail in the interim, the former Fed chair responded in the affirmative.

“I suspect we will [see one fail],” he said, “but in and of itself that does not need to be a problem. It depends on how it’s handled and how the liquidations take place. And, indeed, we shouldn’t try to protect every single institution. the ordinary cost of financial change has winners and losers.”


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Rove: McCain Can’t Type On Computer Because He Was POW

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:15 PM MST

Rove: McCain can’t use computer because he was POW

Raw Story- David Edwards and Andrew McLemore

Published: Sunday September 14, 2008

Karl Rove lambasted the Obama campaign on Fox News Sunday for its recent ad criticizing Sen. John McCain for his supposed inability to use a computer.

Asked by Chris Wallace to comment on negative campaigning by Sen. Obama, Rove said that McCain’s injuries suffered in a Vietnamese prison camp were responsible for his computer illiteracy.

“But they then say he doesn’t …send e-mail. Well, this is because his war injuries keep him from being able to use a keyboard. He can’t type. You know, it’s like saying he can’t do jumping jacks,” Rove said. “There’s a reason he can’t raise his arms above his head. There’s a reason he doesn’t have the nimbleness in his fingers.”

However, Rove did admit in the same interview that advertisements from both campaigns “gone one step too far,” Politico reported.

“Both campaigns are making a mistake, and that is they are taking whatever their attacks are and going one step too far,” he said. “They don’t need to attack each other in this way.”

A Huffington Post report claims McCain is learning to use a computer and is capable of using electronic devices.

Although Rove said “you can’t trust fact-checking organization,” he added that McCain’s attack ads on Obama are “sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test.”

The Obama campaign has ramped up negative ads about John McCain in recent weeks as the emerging popularity of his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin and a slew of ads attacking Obama have given McCain a lead in election polls.

Pursuing a tougher stance on the “war hero” and “the mom” is a strategy the Obama campaign must embrace if it is to win the election, according to U.S. News and World Report.

This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast September 14, 2008.

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She’s Not Ready

posted @ 18:20 BST

BOB HERBERT | NYT | September 12, 2008

While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”

Ms. Palin may be a perfectly competent and reasonably intelligent woman (however troubling her views on evolution and global warming may be), but she is not ready to be vice president.

With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.

“Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?” Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.

Clueless, she asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”

“Well, what do you interpret it to be?” said Mr. Gibson.

“His worldview?” asked Ms. Palin.

Later, in the spin zones of cable TV, commentators repeatedly made the point that there are probably very few voters — some specifically mentioned “hockey moms” — who could explain the Bush doctrine. But that’s exactly the reason we have such long and intense campaigns. You want to find the individuals who best understand these issues, who will address them in sophisticated and creative ways that enhance the well-being of the nation.

The Bush doctrine, which flung open the doors to the catastrophe in Iraq, was such a fundamental aspect of the administration’s foreign policy that it staggers the imagination that we could have someone no further than a whisper away from the White House who doesn’t even know what it is.

You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.


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“Alaska Women Reject Palin” Rally (Video And Photos)

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:00 AM MST

“Alaska Women Reject Palin” Rally: UPDATED w/ VIDEO!

Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 07:30:42 AM PDT

We begin in Anchorage, Alaska, where a group of average women decided to hold a small rally to let it be known that their Governor, Sarah Palin, does not represent their views on many of the issues that are important in their lives.

They put together a press release and sent it to the Anchorage media outlets.  A local right-wing talk show host broadcast the names and phone numbers of the two organizers over the air.  They began receiving a series of harassing phone calls for the remainder of that afternoon.  The leading TV station picked up the story on Thursday. Alaska Public Radio Network put up some audio.

An anonymous caller contacted the local media on Friday afternoon and told them they were one of the organizers, and the rally had been cancelled. Someone even faxed forged a document saying the Secret Service had cancelled the permit for the rally, even though no permit is required.  Some people were putting an awful lot of effort in to making sure no dissent would be heard from Alaska.

Well, it didn’t work.  Despite overcast skies and a forecast for rain, there was a rally here today.  Oh man, was there!  In fact, it was by most accounts the largest protest rally in the history of Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News wrote that the rally drew an “estimated” 1500 people.  Let me be clear: the organizers used a hand-clicker and counted at least 1,483 Alaskans, mostly women, who showed up to say that Sarah Palin does not speak for them. They also counted 93 McCain/Palin supporters. The national media loves to say that Sarah Palin enjoys an “80% popularity rating” in Alaska. Do the math on todays rally, and you’d need a faith-based calculator to get 80%. This was grassroots activism at its best – Alaskans coming out to speak their minds on a host of issues. Here are some still pics, I’ll update with video later today.

UPDATE: And the video is here!  Gotta love iMovie!


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