Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. lost the most jobs in five years in September and earnings rose less than forecast as the credit crisis deepened the economic slowdown.
Payrolls fell by 159,000, more than anticipated, after a 73,000 decline in August, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate, the last one reported before the presidential election, remained at 6.1 percent. Hours worked reached the lowest level since records began in 1964.
The world's largest economy may be headed for bigger job losses as the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression causes consumers and companies to retrench. A sinking labor market and rising borrowing costs raise the odds Federal Reserve policy makers will cut interest rates by their Oct. 29 meeting.
``The financial panic is a body blow to business confidence, and companies are now battening down the hatches,'' Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. ``We're in store for very sizable job losses across many industries. A rate cut by the Fed could come before the next meeting.''
Revisions added 4,000 to payroll figures previously reported for August and July. The Labor Department said it was ``unlikely'' that Hurricane Ike, which struck the Gulf Coast last month, ``had substantial effects'' on payrolls figures.
After today, the total decline in payrolls so far this year has reached 760,000. The economy created 1.1 million jobs in 2007. [...]
The jobless rate is up 1.4 percentage points from September 2007. Since World War II, the rate has risen only twice during similar periods before presidential elections. In both cases -- when Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992 and when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 -- the incumbent party lost the election.
Americans will go to the polls on Nov. 4 and the October jobs report is due Nov. 7.
``Voters are extremely angry, and they want someone to blame,'' said Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Minneapolis.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has opened up a lead over Republican rival John McCain in the aftermath of their first debate and amid growing concerns about the economy, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken Sept. 27 to Sept. 29. A mid-September poll from Washington-based Pew had shown the candidates were in a statistical dead heat.
Earlier in September, a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll showed more respondents said Obama would do a better job handling the financial crisis than McCain, and almost half of the voters believed he had better ideas to strengthen the economy than his rival.
[/IMG]This photo provided by the Palin Campaign shows Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, preparing for her first and only debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Sedona, Ariz., ranch of her running-mate, Sen. John McCain, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. On the left is McCain-Palin campaign senior policy advisor Randall Scheunemann. The debate will take place Thursday in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/Palin Campaign) (AP)
NEW YORK -- Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin enters her debate Thursday with Joe Biden needing to make a strong positive impression on voters, many of whom are expressing serious doubts about her readiness.
A new AP-Gfk poll released Wednesday found that just 25 percent of likely voters believe Palin has the right experience to be president. That's down from 41 percent just after the GOP convention, when the Alaska governor made her well-received debut on the national stage.
Thursday night's debate in St. Louis gives her a chance to overcome the doubts in a 90-minute showcase, the first time most Americans outside Alaska will see her in a lengthy give-and-take session.
On the other hand, a poor performance against Biden, the Delaware senator, could cement a negative image for the rest of the campaign.
Palin has been preparing at Republican presidential candidate John McCain's retreat in Sedona, Ariz
HONING AN IMAGE Senator John McCain, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, at a hearing in 2005 to examine accusations of misconduct made by six Indian tribes against their former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.
See how McCain profited from being a Maverick!
Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.
BETS Mr. McCain supported tax breaks for casinos over the years, including one that helped Foxwoods in Connecticut. He has also gambled there.
A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.
The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.
As a two-time chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Mr. McCain has done more than any other member of Congress to shape the laws governing America’s casinos, helping to transform the once-sleepy Indian gambling business into a $26-billion-a-year behemoth with 423 casinos across the country. He has won praise as a champion of economic development and self-governance on reservations.
“One of the founding fathers of Indian gaming” is what Steven Light, a University of North Dakota professor and a leading Indian gambling expert, called Mr. McCain.
As factions of the ferociously competitive gambling industry have vied for an edge, they have found it advantageous to cultivate a relationship with Mr. McCain or hire someone who has one, according to an examination based on more than 70 interviews and thousands of pages of documents.
Mr. McCain portrays himself as a Washington maverick unswayed by special interests, referring recently to lobbyists as “birds of prey.” Yet in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests — including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors.
When rules being considered by Congress threatened a California tribe’s planned casino in 2005, Mr. McCain helped spare the tribe. Its lobbyist, who had no prior experience in the gambling industry, had a nearly 20-year friendship with Mr. McCain.
In Connecticut that year, when a tribe was looking to open the state’s third casino, staff members on the Indian Affairs Committee provided guidance to lobbyists representing those fighting the casino, e-mail messages and interviews show. The proposed casino, which would have cut into the Pequots’ market share, was opposed by Mr. McCain’s colleagues in Connecticut.
Mr. McCain declined to be interviewed. In written answers to questions, his campaign staff said he was “justifiably proud” of his record on regulating Indian gambling. “Senator McCain has taken positions on policy issues because he believed they are in the public interest,” the campaign said.
Mr. McCain’s spokesman, Tucker Bounds, would not discuss the senator’s night of gambling at Foxwoods, saying: “Your paper has repeatedly attempted to insinuate impropriety on the part of Senator McCain where none exists — and it reveals that your publication is desperately willing to gamble away what little credibility it still has.”
Over his career, Mr. McCain has taken on special interests, like big tobacco, and angered the capital’s powerbrokers by promoting campaign finance reform and pushing to limit gifts that lobbyists can shower on lawmakers. On occasion, he has crossed the gambling industry on issues like regulating slot machines.
Perhaps no episode burnished Mr. McCain’s image as a reformer more than his stewardship three years ago of the Congressional investigation into Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Republican Indian gambling lobbyist who became a national symbol of the pay-to-play culture in Washington. The senator’s leadership during the scandal set the stage for the most sweeping overhaul of lobbying laws since Watergate.
“I’ve fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes,” the senator said in his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination this month.
But interviews and records show that lobbyists and political operatives in Mr. McCain’s inner circle played a behind-the-scenes role in bringing Mr. Abramoff’s misdeeds to Mr. McCain’s attention — and then cashed in on the resulting investigation. The senator’s longtime chief political strategist, for example, was paid $100,000 over four months as a consultant to one tribe caught up in the inquiry, records show.
Mr. McCain’s campaign said the senator acted solely to protect American Indians, even though the inquiry posed “grave risk to his political interests.”
PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama leads John McCain, 49% to 44%, when registered voters are asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update.
These results, from Sept. 24-26, are almost entirely based on interviewing conducted before Friday night's first presidential debate. This suggests Obama was moving into a slightly better positioning as the two met in Mississippi to debate foreign policy matters and the economic crisis. The five percentage point lead for Obama in today's update is one of his best in recent weeks, just short of the six-point advantage he had in Sept. 17-19 polling. McCain had been running ahead of Obama since the Republican National Convention earlier this month, but as the financial crisis deepened Obama regained the lead positioning he had enjoyed through much of the summer. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
The initial impact of the debate -- and perhaps more importantly, the political spin in the days after -- on voter preferences will be apparent in the next few days of Gallup Poll Daily tracking, with Tuesday's report the first for which all interviews will be conducted after the debate. -- Jeff Jones
There's saving money and there's saving money - between cutting funding for teen mothers when Palin was governor and charging for rape kits when Plain was mayor (or ignoring the fact that these women were being charged – how could she have not known) - shows an emerging pattern that Palin does not walk the walk when it comes to women’s issues.[/FONT]
Dorothy Samuels at the New York Times dug into the story that Wasilla charged rape victims for forensic exams and rape kits while Sarah Palin was mayor -- or at least she tried to. Apparently the McCain campaign is stonewalling:
If Ms. Palin ever spoke out about the issue, one way or another, no record has surfaced. Her campaign would not answer questions about when she learned of the policy, strongly supported by the police chief: whether she saw it in the budget and if not, whether she learned of it before or after the State Legislature outlawed the practice.
All the campaign would do was provide a press release pronouncing: "Prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault is a priority for Gov. Palin."
There's more circumstantial evidence that Palin knew of the policy, which Samuels lays out below. You can read her full piece here.
Eric Croft, a former Democratic state lawmaker who sponsored the corrective legislation, believes that Wasilla's mayor knew what was going on. (She does seem to have paid heed to every other detail of town life, including what books were on the library's shelves.)
The local hospital did the billing, but it was the town that set the policy, Mr. Croft noted. That policy was reflected in budget documents that Ms. Palin signed.
Mr. Croft further noted that right after his measure became law, Wasilla's local paper reported that Ms. Palin's handpicked police chief, Charlie Fannon, acknowledged the practice of billing to collect evidence for sexual-assault cases. He complained that the state was requiring the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs. "I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," the chief explained.
"I can't imagine any police chief, big city or small, who would take on the entire State Legislature on a bill that passed unanimously and not mention to their mayor that they're doing this," Mr. Croft said. Even if he didn't inform her, the newspaper article would have been hard for her to miss.
Here’s John McCain is full fixing mode – off to fix the financial crisis – in the meeting with the President Obama and others John McCain’s voice was barely audible!
Obama did attend on the request of the President – who has been making such a big deal about suspending his campaign – in order to deal with the problem – had almost nothing to add – given the perfect opportunity.
Let’s see how long this charade can continue – will he or won’t he show up for the debate tonight?
That he also wants to postpone the VP debate is telling – a Biden vs. Palin debate – everyone can’t wait to see that – could McCain think she needs more time to prepare?
We would love to hear more about the Russian Alaska connection.
It's a long and winding road to the suspension ~ of the McCain and Plain's campaign. Last night he found time to appear on a TV interview and this morning he found time to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative. Why insist Barack slow down or put on hold his campaign when he has not stopped himself? And today Palin ~ toured ground zero in New York ~ this smacks of control freak ~ McCain is grappling to control not only what Palin might say off the top of her head ~ he is also trying to control the Obama campaign.
NEW YORK — John McCain expressed confidence Thursday that Congress and the Bush administration can reach consensus before markets open Monday on a $700 billion bailout plan to rescue financial institutions from crippling debt.
His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, also called for prompt bipartisan action.
McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, told the Clinton Global Initiative in New York that it's often difficult to act quickly and wisely. But he said that is what's required now to come up with a plan that can achieve bipartisan support in the House and Senate.
"Time is short and doing nothing is not an option," McCain said. He headed to Washington after his speech.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaking to the same audience by satellite later in the morning, agreed that it was imperative to act now in a bipartisan manner.
"Now is the time to come together, Democrats and Republicans, in the spirit of cooperation on behalf of the American people," Obama said.
But Obama made clear that his schedule this week included the first presidential debate. He said he would be in Mississippi on Friday for the debate with McCain after joining legislators in Washington on Thursday. McCain has called for postponing the debate, set to be on foreign policy issues, if no deal has been reached on the bailout by then.
Both presidential candidates received high praise from former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton praised McCain on the environment: "When most people in his party had been thinking that global warming was overstated ... he decided to look into it."
In lauding Obama, Clinton referred to a conversation the two men had earlier this month at Clinton's Harlem office.
"Eighty percent of the conversation had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the responsibilities of the next president for the welfare of the American people and the future of the world," Clinton said.
The candidates were equally gracious to Clinton, thanking him for his work with the initiative.
John McCain has surrounded himself with lobbyists in this election campaign ~ isn't understandable to think that he will put their interests over the interests of those of the American people ~ he claims he wants to 'work for'? If not why all the lobbyist?
Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager, has remained the treasurer and a corporate director of his lobbying firm this year, despite repeated statements by campaign officials that he had ended his relationship with the firm in 2006, according to corporate records.
The McCain campaign this week criticized news stories disclosing that, since 2006, Davis's firm has been paid a $15,000-a-month consulting fee from Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant recently put under federal conservatorship. The stories, published Tuesday by NEWSWEEK, The New York Times and Roll Call, reported that the consulting fees continued until last month even though, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement, neither Davis nor anybody else at his firm did any substantial work for the payments.
McCain/Palin are peas in a pod ~ elect them at our peril ~ without knowing much about the economy he is tinkering with ~ John McCain has been all about the deregulation of segments of it. No doubt inspired on by his lobbyist and corporate buddies ~ but his action had nothing to do with the good of the economy ~ and the result of these efforts 'he worked hard to put in place' have been nothing short of disastrous. John mcCain's actions are like the man around the house ~ who wants to fix something ~ and ends up making the thing that was at least working ~ explode into flames! And yet he still remains confident in his abilities.
Gov. Sarah Palin could not name a single instance in which Sen. John McCain has advocated for more regulation of the market -- a position that, in the wake of crisis in the housing and financial markets, the Arizona Senator has adopted as his own.
Appearing on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Palin briefly discussed McCain's call for greater oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the two beleaguered mortgage houses - as evidence that McCain doesn't always shy from a firmer government role in the economy. But when pressed, she could not name an actual instance where McCain supported regulation.
"I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point," Couric said. "Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation."
"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," Palin responded.
The reason she was stumped is somewhat simple: McCain, in his 26 years in Congress has been a strict champion of deregulation. As my colleague, Nico Pitney reported: Back in October 1999, when Senate Republicans led by Phil Gramm were deep in negotiations on key legislation to deregulate the banking industry, McCain was at a primary debate in New Hampshire touting the benefits of such a measure.
"There's a number of reasons why we are experiencing this almost unprecedented prosperity," McCain said back then. "Among them are a lack of regulation, free trade, and most importantly, we are going through a revolution the likes of which the world has seldom seen."
Here is the entirety of Couric's interview with Palin.
COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?
PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie--that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.
COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.
PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.
COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation? PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.
Here's a new video taking a look at John McCain's Keating Five problem in just 97 seconds.
The video combines archival footage of CBS and NBC News (including a report from Andrea Mitchell!) with reporting by CNN's John King aired just last month.
The bottom-line is that two decades after his role in the savings and loan crisis, John McCain is still the same old guy, more focused on deregulation than on delivering the sensible protections we need.
Serious questions posed about McCain's fitness to lead - mainly focusing on his temperament and conduct under a crisis.
Conservative columnist George Will turned heads this weekend for savaging John McCain over his "un-presidential" reaction to the economic crisis. "McCain showed his personality this week," Will said, "and made some of us fearful."
Now Will has expanded on his comments in Tuesday's Washington Post with an op-ed titled, "McCain Loses His Head." The piece begins:
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential" and demonstrated that McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does."
But the most incendiary paragraph is the final one:
It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?
Likely Sarah Palin’s waning popularity in media circles is her ~ extreme ideas which run contrary to many of the issues women feel are important. Brought in to attract the women voter ~ some of the major women's groups have not offered her their support and in the style we have come to know as Palin she told them "that their prerogative". And that she will not change her views just to suit them.
But the one view ~ which goes against the grain of the average woman ~ is her view that abortion should only be carried out if the mother's life is in danger. However what she is really saying that if it came down to her life or her baby's life ~ she'll choose her own.
I hear her glasses are selling like crazy ~ but as for a model for the Christian Right ~ her children can be seen online drinking under age ~ one of them is pregnant ~ most things which were said to be true about her; the bridge to no where, the plane sole on eBay turned out to be untrue. And now her use of yahoo emails to conduct government business - is a strike against her claim to be transparent. In a nutshell she has proved to be untrustworthy. In her one-to-one interviews she doesn't sound well verses, nor does she appear to be highly intelligent and to spark it all off - suggesting in all her wisdom that we could go to war with Russia.
The economic crisis on Wall Street is being described as the final pop to a bursting economic bubble. But in the realm of politics, the grim news may have snapped another: namely, the media attention that accompanied Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's rise to the national stage.
A Nexis search for Palin's name within the "major newspapers" category during the week before Monday September 15 -- when the stock market dropped more than 500 points -- yields 2,697 results, representing an impressive haul of coverage. (By contrast, search for "Joe Biden" over the same period and you will only find 613 articles vying for your attention.) But, counting from last Monday, the same Palin search on Nexis turns up 1,866 hits, a decrease of just under 31 percent.
Of course, a raw total of clippings tells little about the tenor of coverage a candidate receives. The last week has not been easy on Palin, either. In the past few days, her husband's decision not to cooperate in the "troopergate" probe, and the apparent outsourcing of the governor's Alaska office to John McCain headquarters has dominated Palin-related headlines. While her interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity also merited some coverage, some of it focused on the thinness of her answers, just as with her interviews with ABC's Charles Gibson. The Washington Post deemed her "retreat is defeat in Iraq" answer to a Hannity question "a slogan, not a vision for how to proceed," while a Baltimore Sun columnist described her interlocutor as "all smiles and servility" -- not particularly helpful in combating the perception that Palin is asking to play slow-pitch ball in the major leagues by avoiding tough questions.
Was it the economic crisis that got newspapers off the Palin beat, or just the inevitable coming down to earth after a major media scrum? Of course, it's difficult to say for certain. But even withing the decreasing number of stories about Palin, once can find a certain relief among press members who are eager to talk about issues instead of personalities. In the week before last Monday's market crash, 16 stories turned up in major newspapers in which Palin was discussed through the lens of "lipstick" -- the punchline to her well-received joke at the RNC and a subsequent headache for Barack Obama after he used the same term in a different context.
Last week, Palin and lipstick only merited four articles in major newspapers, according to Nexis. And one of those four was headlined "Farewell, distractions."
McCain's anger and judgment issue came into play this week. To clear his party of any wrong doing and to demonstrate that he understood the economic reality - he made the mistake of attacking those on Walls Street by name ~ and even once warned ~ repeated that he could fire the SEC chairman Cox ~ who like others was once was a McCain supporter.
For John McCain, the panel discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos could not have been more brutal.
Minutes after conservative columnist George Will declared that the Senator was decidedly un-presidential is his unexpected call for the firing of SEC Chairman Chris Cox, Sam Donaldson, the long-time ABC hand, said that McCain's erratic message on the economy again raised questions about his age.
"I suppose the McCain campaign's hope is that when there's a big crisis, people will go for age and experience," said Will. "The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and un-flustered? It wasn't John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said 'let's fire somebody.' And picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason... It was un-presidential behavior by a presidential candidate."
Donaldson then jumped in: "It was two days after the he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. His talking points have gotten all mixed up. And I think the question of age is back on the table."
It should be noted that McCain's call for the firing of Cox was dismissed right off the bat, as the president does not have the authority to axe an SEC chairman. The criticisms that Donaldson raised concerned the fact that McCain started the week by touting the fundamentals of the economy, before pivoting into fits of populist mantra and calling for increased regulation of the markets - position at odds with McCain's traditional economic philosophies.
"When I say age," he explained, "I don't know the difference between finding your talking points and not delivering the right ones, we have seen him do this frequently but this last week was the worst. Between two stops in Florida, as you say, he had to revise his thinking about what he wanted to say about the economy, wanted to feel the pain suddenly than say everything is great."
The whole, painful, episode crested with Will leveling an even harsher blow.
"John McCain showed his personality this week," said the writer and pundit, "and made some of us fearful."
In John McCain's haste to show that is has an understanding of the economy and cover any perceived lack of it ~ he has made several critical mistakes. One he could not remember what his own committee did and now throwing the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission under the bus ~ absolving his party of any responsibility for the Wall Street troubles.
Four years ago Kerry talked of the unbolting of factories to ship them and the jobs overseas. Isn’t it logical to conclude that if people don’t have a job or have less well paying jobs then this will have some effect on people’s ability to pay their mortgages? The Republicans ~ which includes john McCain didn’t seem concerned at the time. They were more concerned with tax cuts for the wealthiest ~ of which John McCain still keeps high on his agenda in his tax plan.
Between him and Palin ~ I wonder if there is anyone left who they have not insulted. Likely the Presidential Duo will lose support on Wall Street ~ with this crazy say anything do anything approach to getting elected.
The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board finds John McCain's sudden economic policy shifts less than inspiring:
John McCain has made it clear this week he doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does. But on Thursday, he took his populist riffing up a notch and found his scapegoat for financial panic -- Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
To give readers a flavor of Mr. McCain untethered, we'll quote at length: "Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch. The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling -- which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.
"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the President and has betrayed the public's trust. If I were President today, I would fire him."
Wow. "Betrayed the public's trust." Was Mr. Cox dishonest? No. He merely changed some minor rules, and didn't change others, on short-selling. String him up! Mr. McCain clearly wants to distance himself from the Bush Administration. But this assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair. It's also un-Presidential.
In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help. Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution.
But while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair, a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission cannot be removed by the president.
From time to time, presidents have attempted to remove commissioners who have proven "uncooperative." However, the courts have generally upheld the independence of commissioners. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fired a member of the Federal Trade Commission, and the Supreme Court ruled the president acted unconstitutionally. 
Well I suppose it's either celebrities helping you to raise campaign funds or it's the oil lobbyist!
Aren't celebrities are people too !!
If you listen to McCain next he'd be raising money with his celebrity friends ~ and you'd be left high and dry! Baa HumBug!!
Despite a massive financial crisis rocking Wall Street and several days of lashing from media fact-checkers, the McCain campaign is still hammering away at "issues" that could charitably be described as frivolous.
On Monday evening, McCain's press crew blasted out an email to reporters titled "John McCain On Barack Obama And The Financial Markets." Sounds substantive enough. But when reporters opened it, they found the bolded, highlighted line was McCain's criticism of Barack Obama for holding a fundraiser in Hollywood with Barbara Streisand:
"[Obama] talked about siding with the people, siding with the people, just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbara Streisand and his celebrity friends. Let me tell you, my friends, there's no place I'd rather be than here, with the working men and women of Ohio." - John McCain.
Never mind that McCain held a top-dollar fundraiser of his own, in Hollywood, with celebrities, less than a month earlier.
Fast forward to today, and McCain aides are now decrying Obama for not being inclusive enough in his treatment of celebrities, actually calling out the Democratic nominee for reportedly turning down a fundraising event with Lindsay Lohan. Per TMZ.com:
"So let me get this straight," said Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for the McCain campaign. "They turned away Lindsay Lohan, but Barack Obama has friends like unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and convicted felon Tony Rezko? Maybe LiLo is just too upstanding for Barack Obama." Certainly, the Obama campaign has engaged in its share of trivialities. But the Democratic nominee's press shop has done, at least this week, yeoman-like work in striking a serious tone on the economy. Just look at the somber two-minute long commercial Obama released this morning. As Tommy Veitor, Obama's spokesperson, responded (undoubted, gleefully): "Glad to see they're focused on the important issues over in McCain HQ."
Make no mistake - a McCain administration would mean war!!
From the cheesy comments about relations with France 'if you live long enough that anything is possible' to cries of laughter in the crowd.
To the talk by his girl friend Palin of war with Russia.
It is clear these guys plan to continue to play reckless hardball with any and every nation outside of the US. Likely with the exception on Britain - whose leader Tony Blair was asked to step down because of his close association with the current Bush administration and their treacherous actions. Likely any new British leaders won't be so eager.
McCain has not mentioned the repairing of America's image and standing in the world. His new slogan is Ccountry First i.e. America alone!
Really what the world needs is Barack Obama alone - the Europeans are America's allies - and a true friend and so ally - should be able to say where they think you are going wrong.
It is becoming apparent that John McCain's policies will be based on Democracy at home Dictatorship abroad.
McCain is a crazy old man - with dreams of greatness above anything he ever stood for.
Late Wednesday night, news made its way from the other side of the Atlantic that John McCain, in an interview with a Spanish outlet, had made a series of bizarre responses to a question regarding that country's prime minister.
"Would you be willing to meet with the head of our government, Mr. Zapatero?" the questioner asked, in an exchange now being reported by several Spanish outlets.
McCain proceeded to launch into what appeared to be a boilerplate declaration about Mexico and Latin America -- but not Spain -- pressing the need to stand up to world leaders who want to harm America.
"I will meet with those leaders who are our friends and who want to work with us cooperatively," according to one translation. The reporter repeated the question two more times, apparently trying to clarify, but McCain referred again to Latin America.
Finally, the questioner said, "Okay, but I'm talking about Europe - the president of Spain, would you meet with him?" The Senator offered only a slight variance to his initial comment. "I will reunite with any leader that has the same principles and philosophy that we do: human rights, democracy, and liberty. And I will confront those that don't [have them]."
The implication seemed fairly clear: McCain was refusing to commit to meet with Zapatero, the "socialist" party leader, whose country is a member of NATO and intricately involved in many of America's global financial and national security objectives.
Already, several explanations are being offered to explain McCain's statements. As Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo opined: "The great majority [of those who have weighed in] appear to think the McCain was simply confused and didn't know who Zapatero was -- something you might bone up on if you were about to do an interview with the Spanish press. The assumption seems to be that since he'd already been asked about Castro and Chavez that McCain assumed Zapatero must be some other Latin American bad guy. A small minority though think that McCain is simply committed to an anti-Spanish foreign policy since he's still angry about Spain pulling it's troops out of Iraq."
If, in fact, that latter group is correct and McCain was just putting voice to an adversarial stance, it could be as quizzical as if he didn't know Zapatero's name in the first place. Indeed, such a take on U.S.-Spain relations puts McCain in a far more hard-lined position than even the Bush administration, which has warmed to the Spanish leader after a rocky initial period. Indeed, the State Department's website touts the Zapatero government, which came to power in April 2004, for supporting "coalition efforts in Afghanistan" as well as "reconstruction efforts in Haiti" and counterterrorism tasks across the globe.
That Zapatero immediately withdrew Spanish forces from Iraq upon entering office, it seems, is being chalked up for what it is: an electoral promise the prime minister made good on. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice touched on this during press briefing in June 2007.
"The United States and Spain are allies," she said. "We're in NATO together; we are serving together in Afghanistan. A lot of our conversation today was about that, working together on any number of issues. We've had our differences... [but] I feel that the relationship is warm. We had a good discussion today... We're allies. But when we have differences, we will express them. I think there's no secret that out of the Iraq war, we had a particular difference in the timing of the withdrawal. But that's behind us now, and we need to look forward and look to areas on which we can cooperate and work together."
Only days earlier, Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, made much the same case in an interview with El Pais.
"I think that we got off to a bad start with President Zapatero's government," he declared. "There were various issues that got in the way. But the fact is, and the reason for this trip, is that the United States and Spain need to work together on a common agenda. Spain is one of the most successful European states of the last generation in terms of where Spain was in 1965 and where Spain is today. You weren't in 1965 the ninth or tenth largest economy in the world. You weren't a country that was fabulously productive, affluent and a leader in Europe. In 1965 you were some place else. Look at Spain now."
The truth is, even McCain has been willing to extend an olive branch to the Zapatero government in the past. John Aravosis of AmericaBlog - a fluent Spanish speaker - noted that McCain gave an interview to El Pais back in April in which he said that the differences between the U.S. and Spain should be swept under the rug.
And thus, the Senator finds himself in what appears to be an embarrassing if not potentially damaging proposition: either admit to confusing the name of the Spanish prime minister, a tough pill to swallow even with the built in perception that he is the candidate with foreign policy know-how, or explain away a position on U.S.-Spain relations that appears far outside the mainstream.
The French nuclear power stations - the one's McCain always talks about - are leaking waste into the ground water. Around the German nuclear power - there is a cancer cluster. Perhaps if McCain is so comfortable with nuclear power - why doesn't he build all 45 of them in his own state and then see that his nuclear generated electricity is piped to a connecting grid to be sent throughout the US so that everyone can use.
It might be a lot cheaper - to put solar panels connected to the grid on every house - in the warmer states - that way these houses can become a part of the power grid - people who have this setup have reported paying as little as $5.00 /month on electricity bills.
One solution and no nuclear waste to get rid of.
John McCain's plan to revive the U.S. nuclear power industry with 45 new reactors may cost $315 billion, with taxpayers bearing much of the financial risk.
The Republican presidential nominee wants the plants built in time to help the U.S. meet a 29 percent increase in electricity demand by 2030. Industry estimates put their cost at $7 billion each. Barack Obama, McCain's Democratic opponent, is less specific about his plans, saying he wants to ``find ways to safely harness nuclear power.''
Global warming and the rising cost of fossil fuels have boosted chances that atomic energy will supply more U.S. electricity. Public concerns remain about reactor safety and disposing of waste that stays hazardous for millennia. Investment bankers, citing the industry's cost overruns in the 1980s, say they won't finance its long-sought ``nuclear renaissance'' without federal backing.
BitBull Palin takes Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey to task - rough. I thought the skit was needling humor - but also a bit complimentary.
How to win friends and influence people – is a good book for Palin.
What were the Republicans thinking saying that Palin knows foreign policy - because on a clear day she can see Russia from her state of Alaska?
Palin was giving advice to Hillary on how a woman should take part in a campaign. Let’s she how she fares.
If you're wondering what Sarah Palin thought about Tina Fey's spot-on impression of her on last night's season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Palin's only comment was that she had once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween. Seems she's not nearly so charming without a script written by Fact Forger. Of all the remarks she might have made, the one she did make seems the most alienating.
According to CNN's Dana Bash who was on Palin's campaign plane at the time SNL aired their 34th season premiere, Palin was watching it behind a curtain, but her remark was overheard.
Maybe Palin should hang out with Fey who could teach her how to pronounce nuclear. Then again, maybe not.
Palin, who appears in photos to be pulling away from McCain's embraces (not that there's anything wrong with that), is stumping on her own, leaving the Republican presidential nominee to ponder his chances if Palin can't keep her new fanbase as more facts about her beliefs continue to emerge.
Perhaps they should bill themselves as Father Time and Mother Nutter.
There is no real Sarah Palin, there's only Tina Fey.
When I heard the words coming out of Palin's mouth I was completely shocked - like hollowed out floored shocked. And that everyone in the room laughed - was cruel.
What the Evangelical Right are saying - is that - they're the only ones with families, they're the only ones who can have a belief in country - and its only the things they do - that matter - and that's why we should get behind - them!
But after 8 years and a broken economy - his VP's debut speech was so arrogant - that it left Old McCain tucking tail and running from the community organizers he would undoubtedly encounter at Carter's Habitat for Humanity.
The McCain campaign sent out a press release this morning, announcing a schedule change:
ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today announced that the McCain family's appearance at the Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity build site on Thursday, September 4, 2008 has been canceled.
My partner in vlog, Ana Marie Cox, made quick note of the change, twittering:
How anti-press is the McCain campaign? They just canceled a Habitat for Humanity PHOTO OP. Because it has to do with "houses"? Go figure!
Indeed. How could McCain maintain his sense of press victimization against the backdrop of people building homes for people who look forward to being able to one day say, "I know exactly how many homes I own! One! Just the one!"
But another part of the reason McCain canceled the outing is because last night, his campaign went out of its way to slag community organizers, defaming them for not having any "actual responsibilities." Habitat For Humanity, as it happens, is one of the biggest brand names in community organizing -- they maintain a massive network of individual donors, are capable of mobilizing an equally impressive volunteer base to contribute labor to the cause, and have a global reach. It's not a bad idea at all to associate one's own brand with Habitat's. But after last night, I have to imagine that McCain would have found it difficult to face the community organizers of Habitat For Humanity.
And now, a special message for Governor Sarah Palin:
Does the McCain choice for VP reflect his sense of social confinement – as a young person he always had access to power by way of his father's position – but lacked the financial backing to fully realize this - likely one of the reasons he - as a serial adulterer - settled on little Cindy McCain for a wife. And why he would rebel against the rational counsel - and proven election winner - Karl Rove – by picking Sarah Palin.
Why did John McCain select Sarah Palin as his running mate? The real reason is that he made an impulsive decision to prove his independence in reaction to pressure from Karl Rove, who was lobbying for Mitt Romney, as I explain in a forum on Firedoglake.com on my new book, The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party.
I explain the inside story, according to sources close to the McCain campaign:
On Palin: My information is that Karl Rove wanted Romney and pushed him. McCain pushed back. He really wanted Lieberman. That was completely out of the question. Palin is the result. One element of the Palin nomination is McCain establishing himself apart from the Bush/Rove political operation, even as his campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, is one of their creatures. From the outside, it's often hard to figure out how vicious and divided the Republicans can be with each other.
I further explain that McCain rationalized his hasty choice as an appeal to the Republican base:
On McCain and the GOP base: Conventions are real tests of party unity, as we've just seen with the Democrats. McCain still has to pass the test through his own convention. Palin, among other things, enables him to bring along the social conservatives, or it ought to do so. Once McCain receives the nomination he is freer to move to the center. He is already campaigning more as a "maverick" and behind the scenes he is in some conflict with both Bush and Rove on policy and politics. If we had a sensate political press corps they might report on these abrasions.
McCain's emergence as the GOP nominee represents the fracturing of the conservative Republican dominance of the party, shattered as a consequence of George W. Bush's radicalism. I explain the story of how the Republicans came apart in "The Strange Death of Republican America." On the ruins, McCain must attempt to piece together the broken shards. In McCain's case, the political motive has combined with the temperamental. Thus, Sarah Palin.