723 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY
November 8, 2008
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose."
Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey
VICTORY OFFICES CLOSED UP…we finalized closing down the various office and collecting all the old desk, phones and other equipment. Thanks to all the “locals” who pitched in to help get things under control.
GRANHOLM ADVISING OBAMA…wow, here we go. Obama has asked Governor Granholm to be one of his advisors on economic policy…I guess he wants to find out what NOT to do?!?
BONIOR…former Congressman David Bonior is being mentioned as Secretary of Labor.
THE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE…here is a GREAT conversation about what the Republican Party could use new technology and the “new” campaign tools that are necessary to build our party. Join the discussion.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS,COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:
Check…out…our…onlineArticles of Interest………News…you…can…use………
THE REST OF THE STORY:
No further commentary today.
TODAY’S TOP STORIES
The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.
Nathan Hurst and Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News
Big Three workers across southeast Michigan left office buildings and factories Friday afternoon under bleak skies that reflected a souring mood in their workplaces.
Struck by news that General Motors Corp. is running out of cash, white-collar employees at the company’s Renaissance Center headquarters were glum after executives announced yet another quarterly loss for the troubled automaker and another round of layoffs.
Mood from bad to worse
Reneysh Patel, an information technology worker at GM’s downtown Detroit headquarters, said the mood at the riverfront complex went from "already really bad to worse," after executives announced more cuts were imminent. Patel said fear was spreading among many workers that they might be among the 2,000 salaried employees facing a pink slip in coming weeks.
By VICTORIA MCGRANE
President-elect Barack Obama’s call for swift passage of a second economic stimulus package has put him at odds with President Bush early in the transition of power.
“I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later,” Obama told reporters during his first post-election press conference Friday, adding that if Congress and the White House cannot agree to legislation in a lame-duck session this fall, “it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.”
The press conference was meant to send reassuring signals to global markets that the two teams were working together on a smooth transition during these turbulent economic times. But Obama’s remarks also revealed some clear tensions between him and Bush when it comes to responding to the current crisis.
By JEFF ZELENY
CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama approached the lectern Friday for his first news conference since winning the election. He smiled as he looked out at a large retinue assembled from around the world, and paused for a moment before saying, “Oh wow.”
With that, Mr. Obama began the first nationally televised appearance of his new role. Since Election Day, he had been seen only in faraway shots as he dashed from the gym or walked to a meeting. But when he arrived at a hotel ballroom here, flanked by a team of economic advisers, Americans caught their first glimpse of the 44th president at work.
“I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead,” Mr. Obama said, his voice slow and controlled. “Some of the choices that we make are going to be difficult. And I have said before and I will repeat again: It is not going to be quick and it is not going to be easy for us to dig ourselves out of the hole that we are in.”
By JACKIE CALMES and BEN WHITE
CHICAGO — Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, a member of the new economic advisory board that met with President-elect Barack Obama here on Friday, is also a leading candidate to be the next Treasury chief.
That prospect has critics of Mr. Summers, particularly on the Democratic Party’s left, reviving old controversies in hopes of dooming his chances. In the days since Mr. Obama was elected, liberal bloggers have sought to ignite an online opposition by recalling the rocky five years Mr. Summers spent as president of Harvard, where he angered many women and blacks before resigning in 2006.
Reaching back farther, other Web sites have resurrected a 1991 memorandum that Mr. Summers signed as an economist at the World Bank that suggested parts of Africa could be repositories for toxic waste.
By DAVID ROCHE
The global economy is in recession. Will this lead to depression? And if not, how long and deep will the recession be? The answers to both questions depend on the extent of deleveraging by financial institutions.
The amount of risk-free or "tier-one" capital a bank is holding is a good reverse indicator of how leveraged it is. Globally, financial institutions had about $5 trillion of tier-one capital on the eve of the credit crisis. Those in the United States and European Union had about $3.3 trillion of tier-one capital supporting a loan book of some $43 trillion.
Then came the crisis.
How much did they lose? There are three answers. If mark-to-market rules are applied, global financial sector losses are estimated to amount to 85% of tier-one capital. But mark-to-market rules are extreme and assume the banks are insolvent and that all their assets will have to be fire-sold for whatever they can fetch in today’s dysfunctional markets
By JOHN FUND
Barack Obama obviously has thought carefully about mistakes made by previous Democratic presidential winners who wrongly believed a Congress controlled by their own party would help make them a success.
Pollster Doug Schoen, who helped Bill Clinton win re-election in 1996 over overwhelming odds after the 1994 Democratic debacle, recently warned in a Journal op-ed: "If the Democrats govern as if there is no Republican Party, they are likely headed to the kind of reaction that Bill Clinton faced when he made the same misjudgment after the 1992 election victory." Mr. Schoen cites specifically a meeting in Little Rock after the election with Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and House Speaker Tom Foley, when Mr. Clinton agreed to defer to Congress on key elements of his legislative agenda. The subsequent lurch to the left did incalculable damage to his presidency.
That may be one reason why Mr. Obama has chosen Rahm Emanuel, a respected member of the Congressional leadership, to become his new White House Chief of Staff. Mr. Emanuel has a reputation as a tough partisan, but he has also exhibited impatience with left-wing members of his party who have overly ambitious ideological agendas. A likely first assignment for Mr. Emanuel will be reminding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that, after only two years of Democratic control, Congress already has a lower approval rating than even President Bush’s.
By Christopher Caldwell
“Obama is absolutely brilliant,” the televangelist, Pat Robertson told CNN the day after Tuesday’s election. “He can be one of the great presidents of the United States if he doesn’t get pulled too far off of centre.” Mr Robertson is the living symbol of the alliance between fire-and-brimstone religiosity and the Republican party over the past three decades. When, with no detectable irony, he describes Barack Obama as a potential giant of American statesmanship, it is evident that John McCain’s bid to paint Mr Obama as a dangerous radical failed.
Mr Obama appealed to an unusual breadth of the US electorate in novel ways. Has the public changed its views? Or has Mr Obama simply brought a superb new political product to market? It is the latter. According to exit polls done by Edison Media Research, voter self-identification is virtually unchanged since the last election. Fewer than a quarter (22 per cent) describe themselves as liberal. More than a third (34 per cent) are conservative. The rest (44 per cent) are moderates.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called her critics cowards and jerks Friday for deriding her anonymously and insisted she never asked for the expensive wardrobe purchased for her use on the presidential campaign.
"I never asked for anything more than a Diet Dr. Pepper once in a while," Palin said as she returned to the governor’s office from her two-month odyssey as the GOP vice presidential nominee. She said the Republican National Committee paid for the tens of thousands of dollars in designer clothes and accessories.
"Those are the RNC’s clothes. They’re not my clothes. I never forced anybody to buy anything," she said.
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN and SOUAD MEKHENNET
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The leader of a jihadi group in Iraq argued Friday that the election of Barack Obama as president represented a victory for radical Islamic groups that had battled American forces since the invasion of Iraq.
The statement, which experts said was part of the psychological duel with the United States, was included in a 25-minute audiotaped speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organization that claims ties to Al Qaeda. Mr. Baghdadi’s statement was posted on a password-protected Web site called Al Hesbah, used to disseminate information to Islamic radicals.
In his address, Mr. Baghdadi also said that the election of Mr. Obama — and the rejection of the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain — was a victory for his movement, a claim that has already begun to resonate among the radical faithful. In so doing Mr. Baghdadi highlighted the challenge the new president would face as he weighed how to remove troops from Iraq without also giving movements like Al Qaeda a powerful propaganda tool to use for recruiting.
By KEVIN FREKING
WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Obama called Nancy Reagan on Friday to apologize for joking that she held seances in the White House.
At a news conference in Chicago, Obama said he had spoken with all the living presidents as he prepares to take office in January. Then he smiled and said, "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances."
The 87-year-old former first lady had consulted with astrologers during her husband’s presidency. But she did not hold conversations with the dead.