Friday, September 26, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - September 26, 2008

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New York Times
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-Bailout Talks to Resume After Impasse
Bush Urges Parties to Come Together
President Bush tried to assure Americans on Friday that an agreement would be reached on a proposal to rescue the country's financial system.

-Government Seizes Washington Mutual
In the largest bank seizure in U.S. history, pieces of Washington Mutual
were sold to J.P. Morgan Chase.

-McCain Leaps Into a Thicket
The day's events raised questions about why Senator John McCain had called for postponing the first debate. At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting. [...] He now finds himself in the middle of an ideological war that pits conservative Republicans, loath to spending so much taxpayer money on Wall Street, against the Bush White House, which, with the support of Democrats and a sizable number of Republicans, sees a bailout package as essential to averting a potential economic disaster.

-What About the Rest of Us?
Political theater delayed the passing of the $700 billion bailout package, but the wait will be worth it if keeps Americans in their homes. [...] It is simply outrageous that every type of secured debt - except the mortgage on a primary home - can be reworked in bankruptcy court.

-Where Are the Grown-Ups?
The grown-up thing to do is to rescue the financial system. If Henry Paulson isn't the grown-up we need, are Congressional leaders able to fill the role? [...] Furthermore, one non-rank-and-file Republican, Senator John McCain, is apparently playing spoiler. Earlier this week, while refusing to say whether he supported the Paulson plan, he claimed not to have had a chance to read it; the plan is all of three pages long. Then he inserted himself into the delicate negotiations over the Congressional plan, insisting on a White House meeting at which he reportedly said little - but during which consensus collapsed.

-Thinking About McCain
What disappoints me about the McCain campaign is it has no central argument. His proposals don't add up to more than the sum of their parts. [...] One day he's a small-government Western conservative; the next he's a Bull Moose progressive. The two don't add up - as we've seen in his uneven reaction to the financial crisis.

-Russia, Georgia and the Space Station
If the Senate does not extend a waiver allowing NASA to buy seats on Russia's space vehicles, the United States could lose access to the International Space Station. [...] The catch is that an arms-control law bans payments to Russia for activities related to the space station until Moscow takes steps to prevent the flow of weapons technology to Iran and others. Congress granted NASA a waiver through 2011. NASA needs an extension now because the Russians want a contract signed three years before any launch so they can produce the necessary hardware.

-Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits
Voters should know if sexual-assault victims in Wasilla, Alaska, were being billed for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams while Sarah Palin was mayor. [,,,] The rape-kit controversy is a troubling matter. The insult to rape victims is obvious. So is the sexism inherent in singling them out to foot the bill for investigating their own case. And the main result of billing rape victims is to protect their attackers by discouraging women from reporting sexual assaults. That's why when Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, he included provisions to make states ineligible for federal grant money if they charged rape victims for exams and the kits containing the medical supplies needed to conduct them. (Senator John McCain, Ms. Palin's running mate, voted against Mr. Biden's initiative, and his name has not been among the long list of co-sponsors each time the act has been renewed.)

-Poor Sarah
I spent the past week in New York, helping my mother recover from surgery.
It was a new role for me, taking care of my mom. It must, I think, have been somewhat destabilizing.

-What the World Wants to Know
Leaders and writers from around the world pose questions they'd like to the presidential candidates to answer at the debate in Oxford, Miss.

-It All Comes Down to Experience
Barack Obama continues to hold a 4- to 5-point national lead over John McCain in a race where the economy and change are the two dominant issues for the electorate. Questions about Mr. Obama's experience continue to hold back the Illinois senator and have kept the race relatively close in an election where Democrats have the clear political advantage. These words could have been used to describe the presidential campaign back in June as well. Despite all the back-and-forth of the last month on the campaign trail, the fundamentals of the race are much the same and the impressions of the two candidates are largely unchanged from the beginning of the summer.

Washington Post
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-Pakistan warns US troops after exchange of fire
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan warned U.S. troops not to intrude on its territory Friday, after the two anti-terror allies traded fire along the volatile border with Afghanistan.

-Carbon Is Building Up in Atmosphere Faster Than Predicted
The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers' most dire projections, according to figures being released today, as human-generated greenhouse gases continued to build up in the atmosphere despite international agreements and national policies aimed at curbing climate change.

-Dobson, Whoopi and Waffles
Christian Right icon James Dobson went on the air Tuesday to scold Whoopi Goldberg and ABC's "The View" for linking him and his organization, Focus on the Family, to a gag product that ridicules Barack Obama, African-Americans, Hispanics and Muslims. Goldberg and her co-hosts discussed the product, Obama Waffles, last week on their show. "Last Saturday, conservative groups American Values and Focus on the Family sponsored a Values Voters Summit that offered something called Obama Waffles for sale," Goldberg told viewers while showing pictures of the product. A co-host asked, "Who did this? Dobson's Family Council?" Goldberg said yes.

-The Photo McCain Wanted
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
John McCain's sudden intervention in Washington's deliberations over the Wall Street bailout could not have been more out of sync with what was actually happening. He lamented that "partisan divisions in Washington have revented us from addressing our national challenges." But for days, bipartisanship has been the rule on both sides of this argument. Republicans and Democrats alike were highly critical of President Bush's proposal to inject $700 billion into the financial system.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Report: Activist who applied to protest in special Olympic zone detained by Chinese police
Ji Sizun disappeared Aug. 11, three days into the Olympic Games, and hasn't been seen since, the overseas Chinese Human Rights Defenders group said. On Thursday, police from Fuzhou City in southeastern Fujian province told a friend of Ji's that he had been detained, the group said.,0,4907642.story

-David Letterman keeps up verbal assault on McCain
He described socialite Paris Hilton -- Thursday's guest whose celebrity was once used in a McCain campaign ad to mock Obama -- as McCain's first choice for a running mate. "Here's how it works: you don't come to see me? You don't come to see me? Well, we might not see you on Inauguration Day," Letterman said. Noting that McCain wanted to postpone Friday's first debate with Barack Obama, Letterman said running mate Sarah Palin wanted to put off her debate with Democrat Joe Biden until after Election Day. Letterman said McCain taking Palin to meet world leaders at the United Nations was like "take-your-daughter-to-work day.",0,4183003.story

Wall Street Journal

-The Public Deserves a Better Deal
The Treasury plan to buy illiquid financial assets has been widely criticized as being unfair to taxpayers, who will have to bear losses ahead of shareholders of the institutions that will be bailed out.

Miami Herald
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-Alaskan senator's trial begins
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is accused of lying on financial disclosure forms.
Sen. Ted Stevens used one of Alaska's biggest employers as his ''own personal handyman service'' and never paid Veco Corp. for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of work done on his home, a federal prosecutor charged Thursday as she outlined the government's case for finding the Alaska Republican guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms. ''You'll learn that the defendant never paid Veco a dime for the work on the chalet. Not a penny,'' the Justice Department's lead prosecutor, Brenda Morris, told jurors in the opening minutes of Stevens' trial.

Inside Higher Education

-Barriers to Student Voting
Every four years, like clockwork, two declarations make the rounds: (1) This is the most important election of our generation, and (2) young voters will help determine the outcome. Usually, proponents of both claims end up disappointed. But, given the increases in turnout seen during this year's primaries, there's reason to think that this time, at least first-time voters, and especially college students, could play a decisive role in November's political contest. And that possibility is motivating nonprofit groups and members of Congress to take a closer look at the dizzying jumble of local and state election laws that could affect - and in some cases, discourage - students' participation in the electoral process.

Pew Research center
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gender and Power
Women Call the Shots at Home; Public Mixed on Gender Roles in Jobs
They say it's a man's world, but in the typical American family, it's the woman who wears the pantsuit. Still, Americans retain strong traditional gender preferences with respect to some job roles. Read more

-Who's the Boss?
Before you read the report, find out where you fit by taking our Couples Quiz. Who makes the decisions in your house? Take our quiz

-Foreign Policy Politics
Support for Global Engagement Declines Even as Optimism About Iraq Surges The public's top long-term foreign policy goals are decidedly America-centric. Defending the country against terrorism, protecting U.S. jobs, and weaning the country from imported energy all draw extensive bipartisan support. Read more

-Picturing the Candidates
The Candidates: In a Word
View "word clouds" of voters' impressions of the candidates based on one-word descriptions from a recent Pew survey. Read more

-McCain's Image Falls as Economic Worries Rise; Public Awaits Debate
Independents' views of McCain have become significantly less favorable in the last few days, but they still expect him to win the coming foreign policy debate. Read more

-Online Connections
Networked Workers
More than six-in-ten workers now use the internet or email on the job. But many find technology a mixed blessing as they are able to do their jobs more efficiently but also report higher rates of working at home. Read more

-Daily Number
46% - Don't Know Obama is Christian
Nearly half of Americans (46%) are unable to correctly identify Barack Obama as a Christian including 13% who still maintain that he is a Muslim and another 16% who say they have heard different things about his religion. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-NM GOP official quits over remarks about blacks
The chairman of the Republican Party in New Mexico's most populous county resigned Thursday, nearly a week after saying "Hispanics consider themselves above blacks" and won't vote for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

-Mental-health-parity bill clears U.S. House
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring health-insurance providers nationwide to cover mental-health treatment on an equal basis with medical care, a concept known as mental-health parity. The Senate included similar legislation in a massive tax relief bill it passed Tuesday. The two versions must be reconciled before Congress adjourns for the election or the measure will die.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring health-insurance providers nationwide to cover mental-health treatment on an equal basis with medical care, a concept known as mental-health parity.


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