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The Nation

September 28, 2008
Christopher Hayes

Sirota lays out the case against the bailout. A must read.

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September 27, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

Actors do not usually turn in performances that gain the notice of presidents.

But when Paul Newman decided to take the role of anti-war activist in the early days of the Vietnam imbroglio, he performed so ably – as an early and essential campaigner for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and prominent supporter of George McGovern – that he ranked high on then-President Richard Nixon's "enemies list."

Newman's name was on the original list of enemies produced by Nixon aide Charles Colson in 1971.

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John Nichols
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September 27, 2008
Christopher Hayes

Very quickly: word from the Hill is that they are close to a deal.

I say, Hell No.

Read this, this, and this.

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September 27, 2008
William Greider
William Greider

My bottom line on Friday's debate: Barack Obama failed to step up to the historic moment. He made perfunctory remarks about the massive banking bailout facing the political system, but he decided not to speak to the American people with anything resembling forceful honesty and clarity. McCain wasn't any better. Both men faced a gut check in their campaign and both of them flinched.

The explanation, I suspect, is that Barack Obama and John McCain know they are going to wind up voting for this outrageous package, probably sometime next week, so why pretend to be thinking independently? McCain had flirted with the idea that he could speak for the public's anger and reap big benefits for his troubled candidacy. Someone advised him not to go down that road. He folded.

Obama has offered critical comments on how the bailout should be redesigned for greater equity, but it seems clear he won't press the point. Left-labor groups are pushing Democrats to address the burdens of indebted Americans and the swooning economy with substantive measures. But party leaders are resisting - reluctant to slow down the bankers' bonanza with complicating issues.

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The Notion
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September 27, 2008
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

If, God forbid, foreign policy had to be the deciding factor in choosing between Barack Obama and John McCain, then last night's terrible showing by Obama would make me a Ralph Nader voter in a heartbeat. Obama's performance was nothing short of pathetic, and only a Democratic-leaning analysts and voters with blinders on could suggest that Obama won the debate. More important, he utterly blew a chance to draw a stark contrast with John McCain on America's approach to the world.

He checked all the boxes. Barack ("Senator McCain is right") Obama couldn't find anything to disagree with the militarist Arizonan about. Support for NATO expansion? Check. Absurd anti-Russian diatribes? Check. Dramatic escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Check. I'm ready to attack Pakistan? Check. (Actually, on this one, McCain was the moderate!) Painful sanctions against Iran, backed up by the threat of force? Check. Blathering about the great threat from Al Qaeda? Check. It went on and on.

Here's Obama on Afghanistan:

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Bob Dreyfuss
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September 27, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Barack Obama not only had the good judgment to oppose the war in Iraq, he argued for the need "to end the mindset that took us into" that war. So it was troubling that tonight---in the first of the three presidential debates-- a man of such good judgment called for an end to the war in Iraq in order to escalate US military forces in Afghanistan. (This holds true not just for the two men on the Democratic ticket but for too many Democrats in Washington who argue, mantra-like, that we need to leave Iraq in order to free additional troops to serve in "the right war.")

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me an e-mail. "Here is a future dictionary entry for Afghanistan," he wrote.

"Afghanistan. The place where the dreams and hopes of the Obama Presidency are buried."

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September 26, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Could the need for real and aggressive campaign finance reform be any clearer than it is now?The Bush Administration continues to hawk its $700 billion bonanza bailout for Wall Street with little oversight, accountability, or justice for the people on Main Street who would be picking up the tab. Why? Maybe because – as Nick Nyhart, President of Public Campaign points out – since 1990 the financial, insurance and real estate sectors have spent $2.06 billion dollars on federal political contributions.

And the money is flowing more rapidly now than ever before.

Hard money totals for these sectors during the 2000 election cycle – when the Glass-Steagall Act was formally repealed and the regulatory firewall between investment banks, commercial banks, and insurance companies was brought down – totaled nearly $200 million. With the accounting for the 2008 cycle only partially in, those sectors have already upped the ante to over $300 million. They have supported John McCain and Barack Obama roughly evenly with $42 million in contributions.

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September 26, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

A blistering economic crisis may be the all-encompassing issue of the moment.

But the war in Iraq still defines the difference between John McCain and Barack Obama.

McCain remains the true believer in that occupation, the man who really does want to carry it forward until some ill-defined "victory" is obtained – even if that takes a hundred years.

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John Nichols
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September 26, 2008
Christopher Hayes

In 1929, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon faced the impending Great Depression and said: Bring. It. On.

Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate … It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people …

This is basically the stance of the House Republicans. Brad DeLong points to this nugget:

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