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Change that Would Really Mean Something

by Alexander Cockburn In substantive terms, Obama's run has been the negation of almost every decent progressive principle, a negation achieved with scarcely a bleat of protest from the progressives seeking to hold him to account. The Michael Moores stay silent

McCain's Cancer

by Alexander Cockburn His chances of surviving to 10 years at Stage IIA were 64 percent. But nearly 10 years have past since the year 2000, since that diagnosis. It is much lower now. It might it be more like 50 percent survival to the end of his first potential term. Further, the minute those melanoma cells migrate to a lymph node, his chances for survival are anywhere from 15 to 63 percent

How McCain Blew It

by Alexander Cockburn McCain should look back at the debate over the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street as the Rubicon he was too scared to cross. He spurned a huge chance to turn the tables on his all-too-decorous opponent. Instead he flopped around and then finished by making an ass of himself, claiming a vital role in successful passage of the bill, minutes before House Republicans, with 95 Democrats, voted it down

Neither Candidate Rising to The Challenges

by Alexander Cockburn Obama is too timid even to invoke the greatest hero in the Democrats' pantheon, Franklin Roosevelt. If ever there was a moment to quote FDR, to pledge a new New Deal, it is surely now

Israel Tries to Block Gaza Health Conference

Some 100 academics and mental health workers were denied entry to the Gaza Strip to attend an international medical conference, but the conference took place anyway -- by video link, with one group gathering in Gaza City and another in Ramallah

McCain Lurching Into Final Lap

by Alexander Cockburn The well-paid consultants running the McCain campaign didn't notice that America was engulfed in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. There was a total disconnect between the financial hurricane hitting America and some archaeology about a '60s radical sitting with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund

Bailout Good News: Wind, Solar Tax Credits Extended

Renewable energy businesses are breathing a sigh of relief today as the extension of the production and investment tax credits that benefit their industries were approved by Congress as part of the $700 billion bail-out package for the financial industry


by Steve Young In an attempt to cover last minute paid ads, the McCain/Palin campaign has resorted to emails sent from untrackable Nigerian URLs. One such email follows

It's The Satire Factor

by Steve Young Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Andy Borowitz, David Letterman. They've all played their part with immense help from the candidates. But no one of them is more amusing than Fox's top clown, Bill O'Reilly. Just hearing him say how objective he is

Oh, What a Tangled Web O'Reilly Weaves

by Steve Young This past week, while railing at a writer from the New York Times, Bill O'Reilly said that 'I've been at Fox News for 13 years and I don't know of one time anyone at Fox lied. If they did (Fox News Boss) Roger Ailes would have them fired.' If that were true, today there would be no Fox News commentators

Enough With the Lawn Signs

by Steve Young You can turn off TV and radio commercials by simply switching the channel. You can hang up on the robocall, unless you want to believe Barack is really calling you in particular. How do you bypass the lawn sign? You can't take a different route. And if you did, there'd be signs there. They're everywhere. You can't look the other way because they are the every way you look. And if your neighbors happen to want to publicize their support, it's there day and night

Wealthy Anti-Abortion Zealot Funding Anti-Obama Ads

by Bill Berkowitz As the presidential race winds down and attack ads against Sen. Barack Obama intensify, Raymond Ruddy, a multi-millionaire conservative Catholic who over the years has been more comfortable operating in the backrooms of conservative philanthropy, appears to be coming out of the closet

Bush Forgiving "Axis of Evil" Nations as Term Nears End

Analysis by Jim Lobe With only three months left in office, Bush appears increasingly determined to calm the international waters he so vigorously churned up, especially during his first term

John Hoover McCain

by Robert Scheer Instead of learning the harsh lessons of the S&L debacle, McCain plunged ahead, crusading for even more extreme deregulatory measures that dismantled the financial safeguards FDR had put in place to prevent another Great Depression. McCain, as much as anyone, is responsible for the decriminalization of the reckless conduct that he now attributes to Wall Street

The Battle for Obama's Economic Soul

by Robert Scheer Although Rubin came over to the Obama campaign after Hillary Clinton's defeat in the primaries, it does seem that Volcker and legendary investor Warren Buffett, another fierce critic of Clinton-era deregulation, are holding the floor for the time being. Buffett has been increasingly visible in the Obama campaign

Democrats' Hands Aren't Clean in the Financial Mess

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson In 2005, Senate Democrats had another chance to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Senate Banking Committee passed a bill to give regulators the power to require companies to shed their investments in risky assets (the so-named government-sponsored enterprises GSE reform bill). The bill never got to the Senate floor, thanks to Democrats. They killed it in committee. Democrats continued to parrot the line that any limitations on the financial industry would hamper its ability to compete in the financial markets

"Sweetened" Wall St. Bailout Becomes Law

by Adrianne Appel The bailout bill passed by the Senate Wednesday is nearly the same Wall Street giveaway as its original, critics say -- except that it now includes $100 billion more in tax giveaways and pet projects for lawmakers' home districts

Saudis Hosted Secret Taliban Peace Talks in Sept.

by Gareth Porter The beginning of political talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban revealed by press accounts this week is likely to deepen the rift that has just erupted in public between the United States and its British ally over the U.S. commitment to an escalation of the war in Afghanistan

Severe Bird Flu Outbreak Could Trigger 'Major Global Recession' - World Bank

by Abid Aslam In their current estimation, a 'mild' pandemic, like the Hong Kong Flu of 1968, could kill some 1.4 million people and cut global GDP by 0.7 percent in the first year. A 'moderate' pandemic, similar to the Asian Flu of 1957, could claim 14.2 million lives and cut global economic output by 2 percent in the first year. The 'severe' worst case, in which 71 million or more could die, would slash global GDP by 4.8 percent

Israel Blocking Palestinian Students From Study Abroad

by Mohammed Omer Close to a thousand students attempt to leave Gaza each year to pursue higher education; universities in Gaza offer only undergraduate degrees. This year about a third of them were allowed out. Israeli security has on occasion pursued students even after they have left. A Fulbright scholar had his visa revoked upon arrival in Washington DC after Israel tagged him with an unspecified security warning

Making the Bailout Less Toxic

by Joe Conason Rescuing the families who face foreclosure is just as urgent in economic terms as saving the financial institutions -- in fact, they are obviously complementary -- and is also preferable both morally and politically. A publicly financed homeowners-loan corporation, like the agency that helped millions of families during the Great Depression, would be one means to accomplish that purpose

"Joe the Plumber" Codeword for "Barack the Marxist"

by Joe Conason John McCain appears on the stump in these waning days of the presidential campaign, he is always accompanied by his imaginary friend "Joe the Plumber," but it is the specter of Karl Marx that lurks just offstage

Scapegoat Sarah

by Joe Conason The brilliant Palin maneuver of late August hasn't worked out so well for campaign manager Rick Davis and chief strategist Steve Schmidt come late October. The response in the latest round of leaked whispers is to trash her

Right Seeks to Blame Economic Crisis on "Greedy Poor People"

Analysis by William Fisher Federal housing data shows it was the unregulated private sector -- not the government or government-backed companies -- that was responsible for the explosion of subprime lending at the core of the crisis. According to the Federal Reserve Board, more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private unregulated lending institutions and private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year

Why the U.S. Raid on Syria?

by Ali Gharib A cross-border raid into Syria by U.S. forces in Iraq, and a subsequent stonewalling by U.S. officials unwilling to divulge details, has led to rampant speculation among U.S. analysts about the origins and meaning of the attack

Afghan Journalism Student Sentenced to 20 Years for "Blasphemy"

by Zainab Mineeia Afghan authorities claimed that Kambakhsh downloaded material from the internet that spoke to women's roles in Muslim societies and was distributing them on his college campus. Kambakhsh strongly denies the charges, stating that he made such confessions due to severe torture

Immigration Arrests Expand Nationwide

by Raj Jayadev Immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in the rest of the nation, are on notice: a new era of immigration enforcement has begun. An estimated 436 people were arrested by ICE from the San Francisco Bay Area -- many likely headed to Eloy -- and immigrant communities here are on notice: they are in a new era of immigration enforcement, and ICE could be anywhere

Two Faces of America's Economic Collapse

by Sandip Roy Karthik Rajaram, the unemployed father and husband who recently killed his three sons, wife, and mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself, has much in common with another Indian American, Neel Kashkari, who has been selected to head the Treasury's new Office of Financial Stability. When banks go bust, the American dream implodes -- not just in NASDAQ indexes, but also in tidy suburbs and quiet, gated communities

Mexico Economy Follows U.S. Into Ditch

by Diego Cevallos Projections of economic growth in Mexico have been sliding downwards in recent weeks. At the beginning of the year, GDP was forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2008, but now the figure has been corrected downwards to two percent or less. Growth as low as 1.3% is predicted for 2009, one of the lowest rates in Latin America

Palin's Bush-Style Whitewash

by Joe Conason The other bad habit that Palin seems to share with Rove and the Republicans currently in power is her allergy to disclosure, even when required by law. The 263-page report notes acidly that the Palin probe suffered from stonewalling by members of her administration, with at least 10 top officials refusing to testify or ignoring subpoenas

McCain's Politics of Personal Destruction

by Joe Conason Entering the election's final weeks, the rhetoric of the former maverick and his lipstick-toting pit bull, Gov. Sarah Palin, has turned so ugly and inflammatory that their rallies have begun to sound like lynch mobs

McCain's Unaccountable Appeal

by Robert Scheer Call me naive, but I think white males, startled by job cuts and the devastation wreaked upon their retirement savings, are finally getting the point: Someone's got to pay for this mess, and better those who got rich off the stock market theft than the rest of us

1 in 4 Mammals Face Extinction

by Alejandro Kirk The main threat to mammals comes from the loss of their habitat due to subsistence agriculture, which is quickly degrading forests and soils in tropical developing countries. Up to 40 percent of the planet's mammals are in danger as a result of this poverty-related cause

China's Hidden Hand in Bailout

by Ying Zhao Pressure from China played a role in the U.S. government's bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two giant government sponsored enterprises. The two mortgage companies owe China more than $200 billion. By bailing them out, the United States is showing China that the U.S. government is standing ready to guarantee its debt

More Election-Year Charges of Voter Registration Fraud

by Ali Gharib

Book: Remembering a Tolerant Iraq

by Aaron Glantz In the Vice Presidential debate, Democrat Joe Biden said the history of the last 700 years showed the Iraqi people could never get along with each other. But is that really true?

Glimpse of Japan's Secret Death Row

by Catherine Makino 'From seven in the morning until seven at night they have to sit still in a small space. If they move, fall over or lie down, the guards immediately force them to sit up again. They only exercise twice a week, for 30 minutes,' Takada said

Iraq Pact a Crushing Defeat for Bush/Cheney

by Gareth Porter The final draft of the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces agreement on the U.S. military presence represents an even more crushing defeat for the policy of the Bush administration than previously thought

McCain Losing Big on his Risky Election Bets

by Jim Lobe Overwhelmed by crashing stock markets and what is increasingly seen by even traditional conservatives as a Faustian bargain with the extreme right-wing core of his Republican Party, Sen. John McCain's chances of winning the Nov. 4 presidential elections have fallen sharply over the past three weeks

Michigan Republicans Angered at McCain's Exit

by Bankole Thompson McCain is facing a backlash from top Republicans, conservative media and party supporters for pulling out of Michigan, a key battleground state in the 2008 presidential election. The announcement, made Oct. 2 after a series of television ads and numerous visits to the state, left Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and other party officials and supporters by surprise

Chinese Deeply shocked by Toxic Milk Scandal

by Antoaneta Bezlova What amplifies the seriousness of the scandal is the fact that the company at the center of the poisoned milk scandal -- Sanlu Group -- began to receive complaints as far back as March. Sick children were turning up in hospitals with kidney stones and two of the infant deaths occurred in May and June. But the scandal did not come to light in the media until September, after China celebrated the successful conclusion of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinians Who Were Believed to Be Considering Violence

by Cherrie Heywood An IDF spokesman said Israeli soldiers had laid an ambush in response to a spate of stone and Molotov throwing incidents which had targeted Israeli settler vehicles in the last few weeks. The spokesman added that the soldiers 'assumed that the deceased were in the process of preparing Molotovs when they were shot'

Salvadorans Targeted in Anti-Gang ICE Raids

by Erika Cebreros, Translated by Elena Shore U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s crackdown on the Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) has had a much broader effect on the Salvadoran community in the San Francisco Bay Area. A three-year investigation culminating in the arrest of 29 indicted suspects -- 22 of whom were alleged members of MS-13 -- also resulted in the arrest of 11 undocumented immigrants who are now undergoing deportation proceedings, and affected numerous residents who were not affiliated with the gang

Palestinians Don't Trust Israeli Drinking Water

by Ramesh Jaura Palestinian villagers drink unsafe agricultural water rather than trusting water provided by an Israeli company because it smells of chlorine. So deep is the mistrust of Israelis that they fear it might have been contaminated, and would damage their children's health

A Plague Upon the White House

by Robert Scheer I do wish George Bush would stop asking God to bless America. Every time he does, we seem to be visited with another plague, suggesting divine wrath over our president's evil ways. How else to explain the persistent calamity that has marked this administration?

Pundits Side With Wall Street Over Main Street

by Robert Scheer The Democrats, however, also are culpable, and it was sickening to watch Clinton on The Daily Show getting away with blaming a crisis he helped create on overexcited home purchasers. I don't blame Daily Show host Jon Stewart for not knowing enough about the subject to challenge Clinton on his own fervent support of deregulation, but it is disappointing that Paul Krugman, one of the nation's sharpest commentators and an economist, should also miss that point

ACORN Becomes the GOP's Super-Villain

by Ali Gharib McCain's ad accused ACORN, in its advocacy of home ownership for working class people, of directly contributing to the sub-prime mortgage implosion that sparked the credit crunch and strained global financial markets

Colin Powell's Payback for GOP Disrespect

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama no doubt stems from his admiration of Obama. But it's sweet payback for the treatment he endured from a GOP and an administration that pushed through the Iraq War on the shoulders of his reputation

For Christian Right, Abortion is ONLY Election Issue

by Bill Berkowitz A host of anti-abortion organizations have unleashed a series of radio and television ads in swing states attacking Obama on the issue., an anti-abortion non-profit headed by Jill Stanek, has rolled out television advertisements explicitly accusing Obama of 'supporting infanticide. Not being quizzed on reproductive rights during the debates failed to prevent Alaska Governor Sarah Palin from raising the issue herself. At a recent rally and during a radio interview, Palin accused Obama of supporting infanticide

Now It's The Palin Curse

by Steve Young It should have been a sweet, memorable moment for Philadelphian Kathy O'Connell, voted the Flyers top hockey mom, but Snider forced O'Connell to become part of a national embarrassment when Palin was bought onto the ice next to her to a barrage of boos from the Philly crowd

Will Economic Crisis Mean End of IMF & World Bank?

by Abid Aslam Zoellick called for a new steering group made up of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and G7 members Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. Such a group would incorporate more than 70 percent of the world's economic output, 56 percent of world population, and 62 percent of its energy production

U.S. to Use Some of $700 Billion to Buy Bank Shares

by Adrianne Appel Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made the announcement following a meeting with the finance ministers of the G7 richest nations, who said 'urgent and exceptional action' is needed. The governments issued a brief, five-point plan for stabilizing markets, including allowing banks to raise capital from public and private sources as necessary

McCain's Views Still Reflect POW Trauma

by Randy Fertel Trauma can build character. Trauma perhaps helped build the empathy that made Franklin Roosevelt into a giant on crippled legs. But trauma does not automatically build character. Sometimes, it simply causes a repetition of the same mental loop -- in McCain's case characterizing the world and all those in it as good and bad. Friend or foe. Hero or villain. No shadows. No shades of gray

How the GOP Will Legally Suppress 2008 Minority Votes

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The crude, dubious, if not outright illegal, efforts to suppress votes have also drawn plenty of media attention, but the real problem is the legal ways the GOP use to tamp down minority votes on November 4th

What Obama, McCain, Aren't Talking About

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The candidates have yet to address failing urban public schools, the HIV-AIDS pandemic, their view of the death penalty, the drug crisis, and what type of judges they will appoint to the Supreme Court

Move to Allow Iraq Doctors to Carry Guns Provokes Mixed Reaction

On September 29, the Iraqi government decided to allow every doctor to carry a gun for personal protection, and approved the construction of secure residential compounds inside and around hospitals to ensure security for doctors and their families

Syrians Enraged by U.S. Attack

by Shane Bauer Two days after a helicopter attack by U.S. Special Forces, people are enraged. The unverified claims by unnamed American officials that the assault killed a terrorist leader who was smuggling fighters into Iraq is particularly infuriating to Syrians. For two days they have been watching televised images of the dead bodies of four children -- one of whom is missing half of his face -- being carried to their graves

Google Says Google us on How to Save the Economy

by Mary Ambrose Google's chief thinks that giving U.S. businesses incentives to develop renewable energy infrastructures and technology is the answer to checking the country's environmental degradation, as well as saving the economy

Enviros Fighting Plan to Tinker With Oceans

by Julio Godoy This kind of 'fertilization' is intended to accelerate the natural process of CO2 sequestration by photosynthesis, and help multiply microscopic organisms called phytoplankton that account for about half of all absorption of carbon dioxide by plants. Through photosynthesis, plankton capture carbon and sunlight for growth, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Phytoplankton productivity in the oceans is declining as a result of warmer temperatures. The amount of iron that is naturally deposited from atmospheric dust clouds into the oceans, providing nutrients for phytoplankton, has also decreased dramatically in recent decades

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