Sunday, September 21, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - September 21, 2008

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New York Times
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-Bombing at Hotel in Pakistan Kills at Least 53
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A huge truck bomb exploded at the entrance to the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening, killing at least 53 people and wounding at least 266, according to the acting interior minister.

-Olmert Resigns as Israel's Prime Minister
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni wasted no time Sunday working to put together a new government, meeting with potential coalition partners even as outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert formally resigned. Her ability to move fast in her first task could have far-reaching effects on Mideast peace talks.

-The Wall Street Bailout Plan, Explained
News reports about the upheaval in the world of finance have been full of esoteric terms like "mortgage-backed securities" and "credit-default swaps," but the crisis has resonated for people who know little about Wall Street and who did not think they would ever have to know. Here are several questions and answers of concern to Main Street Americans:

-Op-Ed Columnist: No Laughing Matter
Of all the points raised by different analysts about the economy last week, surely the best was Representative Barney Frank's reminder on "Charlie Rose" that Ronald Reagan's favorite laugh line was telling audiences that: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.' "

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Push to 'Otherize' Obama
Here's a sad monument to the sleaziness of this presidential campaign:
Almost one-third of voters "know" that Barack Obama is a Muslim or believe that he could be.

-Editorial: The Candidates and the Court
Among the many issues voters need to consider in this campaign is this vital fact: The next president is likely to appoint several Supreme Court justices. Those choices will determine the future of the law, and of some of Americans' most cherished rights.

-Editorial: 'Never Again,' Again
Hurricane Gustav gave the state of Louisiana a test for which it had three years to prepare. There were thousands of poor, sick, disabled and elderly people who could not get out on their own. They needed to be rescued with dispatch, and sheltered in safety and dignity.

-Editorial: Right to Smear
The wholesale descent into Swift Boat campaigning has been blocked - for now - by a federal judge in Virginia. But voters should not rest easy. A group calling itself The Real Truth About Obama is appealing the ruling.

Washington Post
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-With Olmert gone, clock starts on Israel coalition
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni wasted no time Sunday working to put together a new government, meeting with potential coalition partners even as outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert formally resigned. Her ability to move fast in her first task could have far-reaching effects on Mideast peace talks.

-Obama Hopes to Reverse Party Fortunes in Vote-Rich Fla.
Barack Obama was wrapping up his remarks at a Friday night fundraiser here when he turned to the importance of Florida and its 27 electoral votes in his battle for the White House against Republican John McCain.

-Format of Biden-Palin Debate Sets No Limit on Subject Matter
Negotiators for the campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama agreed yesterday on a format for the Oct. 2 debate between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., resolving an issue left open in August after the campaigns settled on the structure of the three presidential debates, according to sources involved in the talks.

-Cheney Is Told to Keep Official Records
Judge's Order Responds to Suit Filed by Open-Government Advocates, Historians
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction yesterday ordering Vice President Cheney and the National Archives to preserve all of his official records.

-Tale of Two Churches Reflects Split Over Slavery
Middleburg United Methodist Church, a classic high-steepled brick church on Washington Street whose founding was rooted in the denomination's bitter split over slavery, is celebrating its 150th anniversary today.

-Tucked in a Tehran Neighborhood, One Man's Temple of Modern Art
TEHRAN -- It's the statue of a lion in the front yard, welded from old engine parts, that makes 31 Soheil Alley stand out in a Tehran neighborhood of palatial houses surrounded by high walls. Unlike the barricaded, burglar-alarmed entrances of its neighbors, the door to 31 is wide open, inviting all to enter.

-Financial Crisis In Russia Raises Stakes for Putin
Fiscal Test Is Nation's Gravest Since '98
MOSCOW, Sept. 20 -- For the past eight years, the political strength of Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, has rested on what seemed an unbeatable combination -- a soaring economy that raised average incomes eightfold and a steady drive to consolidate control over government, media and business that stifled any meaningful opposition.

-A Dual Fight for Stevens
Senator's Trial Begins Monday as He Campaigns to Keep Seat
Embattled Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska goes on trial tomorrow in a historic public corruption case, bucking conventional legal wisdom in the hope of winning acquittal in time to be reelected to a seventh full term.

-The Plain Vanilla Revolutionary
KABUL -- Bob Gates looks uncomfortable in his pinstriped suit, standing in the hot sun outside the U.S. Embassy here before a gaggle of Afghan reporters. But he wants to send a message of contrition to a country that is angry about civilian deaths caused by U.S. airstrikes. He announces later that the United States will adopt a new approach of compensating the victims of such accidents first and then investigating the details.

-A Debate's High Stakes
Friday evening in Oxford, Miss., Barack Obama and John McCain will meet in the first presidential debate of 2008, and this dramatic campaign will in all likelihood reach another turning point.

-Hiding in Plain Sight
Why is Sarah Palin granting so few interviews?
JOHN McCAIN selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate 23 days ago. Since then, Ms. Palin has not held a single news conference with the national media. She has answered only a handful of questions from voters and reporters. She sat down for a lengthy discussion with one nonpartisan interviewer, ABC's Charles Gibson, and granted another interview to conservative Sean Hannity of Fox News, as well as a sit-down with People magazine and some interviews with Alaska media. Where Dick Cheney made the rounds of five news shows the weekend after he was tapped by George W. Bush, Ms. Palin has not turned up on a single Sunday program.

-Aftershocks: Rough Week, But America's Era Goes On
Does Wall Street's meltdown presage the end of the American century? Many commentators have warned that the past week's financial mayhem signaled a major political setback for the United States as well as an economic one. "Why should the rest of the world ever again take seriously the American free-market model after this debacle?" a leading British journalist asked me last Thursday. This crisis, he argued, was to economics what the Iraq war was to U.S. foreign policy: a fatal blow to the credibility of American claims to global primacy.

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-Presidential debates: What to watch and listen for
The first debate of the presidential campaign is Friday night. Here's a look at what to watch and listen for as you're watching the presidential debates. This score card for evaluating the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the coming debates matchups, offered by Robert P. Watson, Ph.D. Watson runs the American studies program at Lynn University in Boca Raton.,0,6174475.story?track=rss

Palm Beach Post
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-Voters' racial bias - America's great unknown
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, in Jacksonville for a Barack Obama rally, weighed in on a poll out this morning from the Associated Press that showed deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House.

Fort Report
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-Poll: Racial misgivings of Dems an Obama issue
Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks -- many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

-Palin's silence
Ignoring subpoenas, Troopergate ripe for attack
Enough about Sarah Palin. What about John McCain? What does McCain think of Palin? There's no question that the Alaska governor has been a huge energizing asset to McCain's presidential bid. Conservatives, in particular, who sounded pretty ho-hum about McCain until she came along, now appear to be willing to stroll over hot coals to help send the Arizona senator to the White House-as long as he brings Palin with him.,0,1329347.column

-Alaskans angered that Palin is off-limits
Jerry McCutcheon went to Sarah Palin's office here last week to request information about the firing of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the scandal that for weeks has threatened to overshadow the governor's role as Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate.,0,829160.story

-The drilling bill that bans drilling
Q: Says here the House of Representatives approved a bill to allow offshore oil drilling, but nearly all the Republicans voted against it. Weren't Republicans the ones chanting "Drill, baby, drill!" at their convention last month?
A: Yep. That's why they voted against this bill. It isn't a drilling bill, it's an anti-drilling bill. If it becomes law, nearly all the oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf would be off-limits

-In Fla., Obama hits McCain on Social Security
Senator Barack Obama delivered a warning to Florida voters yesterday, suggesting that Senator John McCain would "gamble with your life savings" by investing Social Security money in private accounts that could be affected by the boiling financial markets.


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