Saturday, November 1, 2008

Morning News

by Kevin Flynn - Saturday October 11 2008 09:10:53 AM

From the Toledo Blade:

'We have seen our share of hard times. The American story has never been about things coming easy,' Mr. Obama said. 'We remember that some of the most famous words ever spoken by an American came from a President who took office in a time of turmoil — ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'?'

...Yesterday, Mr. Obama wrapped up a two-day bus trip that took him to Dayton, Cincinnati, Portsmouth, Chillicothe, and Columbus, speaking to a total of more than 50,000.

...In his remarks, Mr. Obama seemed to allude to the attacks coming from the campaign of Republican nominee Sen. John McCain...

...'It's easy to rile up a crowd by stoking anger and division. The American people aren't looking for someone who can divide this country — they're looking for someone who can lead this country,' Mr. Obama said.

...Mr. Obama unveiled what he called a 'small business rescue plan' to offer disaster-style loans through the Small Business Administration and to offer tax incentives immediately to encourage new investments.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a native of southern Ohio who previously represented the area in Congress, urged listeners not to be deceived in the heat of the campaign.

'Unfortunately, there are those who have tried to spread untruths about Barack Obama. Barack Obama is a good, Christian family man. The McCain-Palin campaign and unfortunately some of their followers would want you to be afraid of Barack Obama,' Mr. Strickland said.

Mr. Strickland also tried to assure sportsmen and hunters that Mr. Obama supports their Second Amendment right to own weapons.

After the speech in Columbus's Genoa Park, Mr. Obama paid an unannounced visit to a meeting of 700 Obama volunteers, who erupted in prolonged cheers when Mr. Obama suddenly burst into the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

In Chillicothe, Mandy MacLachlan, 30, said she wants Mr. Obama elected to 'make sure my kids have health insurance and my grandkids have health insurance. I don't want the rich to keep getting richer with no concern for the middle class.'

From the Associated Press:

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Friday that Republican John McCain is trying to "take the lowest road to the highest office in America," with ads and rhetoric questioning Barack Obama's character and judgment.

"Every single false charge, every single baseless accusation is an attempt to stop you from paying attention to what is affecting your daily lives, to what is happening at your kitchen table," Biden said at a campaign rally in Springfield, a traditional Republican stronghold in the swing state of Missouri.

The nation's financial problems have been felt in Missouri, where the unemployment rate is at its highest mark in 17 years. Many of those lost jobs have been in the manufacturing sector.

Biden spoke on a sunny but windy day from a temporary stage erected in a city park near a minor league baseball stadium. The speech ended Biden's two-day swing through four Missouri cities, located in counties that supported President Bush in 2004. Springfield is the home of GOP Gov. Matt Blunt, and the southwest corner of the state has historically been Republican territory.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. Obama, campaigning in Chillicothe, Ohio, unveiled a plan to temporarily provide low-interest loans to struggling businesses by using existing structures already in place through the Small Business Administration.

...Obama campaign officials said the Democratic nominee's proposal wasn't intended to be a dramatic response to collapsing credit markets or to Sen. McCain's recent housing-policy proposal. "It's just another tool in the toolbox," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

...Sen. Obama's lending plan for small businesses was cobbled from similar legislation pending in the Senate. In late September, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, introduced a bill that would treat the financial crisis like a federal disaster, thereby allowing the Small Business Administration to guarantee private low-interest loans to small businesses.

Like Sen. Kerry's bill, Sen. Obama's proposal would temporarily waive closing fees associated with these loans. The Kerry bill seeks $715 million in appropriations, which Sen. Kerry said would generate $25 billion in loan guarantees. Sen. Kerry's bill was shelved while Congress worked on passing the $700 billion rescue plan last week.

On Friday, the Obama campaign issued a statement..."Barack Obama supports allowing senior citizens to delay withdrawals from 401(k)s and believes we don't have to wait for Congress to act to provide seniors with these protections," spokesman Bill Burton said. He called on Sen. McCain to support Sen. Obama's small-business policies.

Dallas Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a Washington nonprofit group, said Sen. McCain's retirement-account proposal would likely benefit mostly wealthy retirees who could afford to leave their stock investments untouched. He said Congress has made similar proposals in the past, but they have died because they would benefit only a narrow slice of retirees...

From the Boston Globe:

U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday welcomed a plan by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy equity in financial institutions if necessary to halt market turmoil.

"There are many causes of this economic crisis, and it's critical that we respond using all the tools that we currently have," Obama said in a statement.

"That's why I support Secretary Paulson's latest initiative to use the authority we gave him in the financial rescue plan to provide more capital to our financial institutions so that they have money to lend to families and businesses," the Illinois Democratic senator added.

Paulson said the program aims to encourage the raising of new private capital to complement the public capital injections. It would use authority created by the $700 billion financial rescue package that Congress passed last week.

... Obama said the Paulson plan should be implemented "quickly, aggressively, and ensure that it protects taxpayers, does not reward CEOs, and is limited in duration."

The Democratic White House contender said that as market conditions evolve, the government should be ready to take further steps to boost investor confidence, such as extending guarantees.

"And the United States must step up its efforts to work with the G-7 (Group of Seven) and our other allies to ensure a globally coordinated solution," he said.

From Reuters:

White House Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. policymakers have the tools they need to address the deepening financial crisis but it is crucial that they use them right away.

"What they need to do is use the tools that they've got immediately," Obama told Reuters during a stop in Columbus, Ohio to visit campaign volunteers.

"We've given them authority to capitalize the banks, we've given them the authority to buy up assets, we've given them the authority even to apply guarantees. The Fed is already using its authority on the commercial paper markets."

But Obama said more needs to be done to communicate to the markets the steps that will be carried out to address the turmoil.

"The problem is that there's been a lack of coordination, a lack of marketing of what's being done, clarity -- so that the market understands these clear signals," he said.

"My hope is over the weekend that package is being put together in a way that can really start making a difference."

The U.S. Congress last week approved a $700 billion rescue package that gives that would allow the government buy up troubled assets.

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