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Friday, September 05, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Friday September 5 2008 - (813)

Friday September 5 2008 edition
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McCain Vows To End Partisan Rancor In Convention Speech
2008-09-05 02:40:22
Arizona Sen. John McCain sought to wrest the change mantle from Sen. Barack Obama in his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, appealing for an end to Washington's partisan rancor and casting himself as someone who has never forgotten that the first mission of elected officials is to serve the public.

"I don't work for a party," the Republicans presidential nominee declared before tens of thousands of cheering, flag waving delegates and party officials. "I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you."

McCain's staccato speaking style is a far cry from the smooth, soaring rhetoric of Obama, but Thursday night he seemed to work to modulate his speech to add emphasis and emotion to his words. The speech, delivered before a gathering of his party's conservative base, also largely avoided the sort of red-meat rhetoric that might have whipped the live audience into a frenzy but alienate swing voters, who were clearly the target of the address.

But in boasting of his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain declared: "Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming."

McCain repeatedly cast his life story - from his captivity during the Vietnam War to his storied battles within the halls of Congress - as examples of his willingness to, as his campaign slogan states, put "country first" and act more out of concern for America than for a political party. He portrayed the choice in the fall presidential election between someone who has brought about reform and someone who simply talks about doing so.

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Dow Index Loses More Than 344 Points
2008-09-05 02:39:36

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 344.65 points on Thursday on a confluence of poor news about the economy, although investors could not pin the drop on any overriding reason.

Reports showed that retail sales were weak last month, just as more Americans filed for unemployment benefits. Anxiety lingered about a global slowdown. Fears of another financial crisis refused to go away.

None of the news came as a shock to Wall Street. So what pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index down 3 percent, its worst daily performance in three months?

“Boy, it’s hard to say,” Douglas M. Peta, a market strategist at J.& W. Seligman, said after the market’s close. “All of us were scratching our heads. Why today?”

Explanations were proffered, but rarely proved. Speculation ran rampant that some major hedge funds were rapidly selling assets; Atticus Capital, a $14 billion hedge fund based in New York, was forced to issue a statement denying that it was shutting down.

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Pentagon Urges Extended Delay Of Troop Drawdown In Iraq
2008-09-05 02:39:16

Pentagon leaders have recommended to President Bush that the United States make no further troop reductions in Iraq  this year, administration officials said Thursday.

The plan, delivered this week, calls for extending a pause in drawdowns until late January or early February - after the Bush administration has left office. At that point, up to 7,500 of the approximately 146,000 troops in Iraq could be withdrawn, depending on conditions on the ground there. The reduction would coincide with new deployments to Afghanistan, said officials.

Defense officials described the recommendation as a compromise between those who believed that security gains in Iraq remained too tenuous to contemplate further withdrawals now, and those who proposed continuing the reductions that began this spring.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, adopted a cautious approach in an assessment he presented last week to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Petraeus cited several areas of ongoing concern, including the postponement of provincial elections initially scheduled for this month, the disputed status of the northern city of Kirkuk, lingering ethno-sectarian conflicts, and questions surrounding the future of a local security force known as the Sons of Iraq.

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Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Gets 4-Year Prison Sentence
2008-09-05 02:38:20
Jack Abramoff, the powerhouse Washington lobbyist who admitted running a wide-ranging corruption scheme that ensnared lawmakers, Capitol Hill aides and government officials, Thursday received a reduced sentence of four years in prison because of his cooperation with federal investigators.

Abramoff, 49, already has served nearly two years for his conviction in a related Florida fraud case. The sentence yesterday by U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle means that the former Republican lobbyist will likely remain in prison until 2012.

More than a dozen people, including an Ohio congressman and a deputy secretary of the interior, have been convicted in the Abramoff lobbying scandal, and Justice Department officials said the investigation is continuing. Still under scrutiny are former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and retiring Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-California). 

With his wife and children sitting just a few feet away in a packed courtroom, Abramoff choked back tears yesterday as he watched lawyers argue over his sentence. He then told Huvelle that he was sorry for his crimes, adding that he was no longer the person "who happily and arrogantly engaged in a lifestyle of political corruption and business corruption."

"I am sorry, so sorry that I have put everyone through this," said Abramoff.

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Detroit Mayor Resigns, Faces Jail Sentence After 2 Guilty Pleas
2008-09-05 02:36:35
Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick (D) resigned Thursday after admitting that he lied to hide an affair with his chief of staff. After months when Kilpatrick's refusal to step aside paralyzed municipal government, City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr., prepared to take over.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felonies and agreed to serve four months in jail, pay $1 million and resign the office that he won twice as one of Michigan's most dynamic young leaders. He also pledged not to run for office for at least five years.

"Yes, I lied under oath," a somber Kilpatrick, 38, told Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner, abandoning the bravado of his early denials and his promise of "full and complete vindication."

In a televised address later, he vowed to make a triumphant return to politics.

"I know there's another day for me," said Kilpatrick. "I want to tell you, Detroit, that you have set me up for a comeback."

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John McCain's Acceptance Speech
2008-09-05 02:40:07
Following is a transcript of Senator John McCain's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, as recorded by CQ Transcriptions.

MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans: the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for president of the United States.


Thank you. Thanks. And I accept it with...


Thank you. I - and I accept it with gratitude, humility, and confidence.

In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability who love our country and wish to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor that I won't forget.

I'm grateful to the president of the United States for leading us in these dark days following the worst attack in American history.


The worst attack on American soil in our history and keeping us safe from another attack that many - many thought was inevitable.

MCCAIN: And to the first lady...


And to the first lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private.


And I'm grateful to the 41st president and his bride of 63 years for their outstanding example...


... for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. You know, the pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more and can't imagine a life without the happiness that you've given me.

You know, Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers.


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Editorial: The Real John McCain
2008-09-05 02:39:25
Intellpuke: This editorial appeared in the New York Times edition for Friday, August 5, 2008.

By the time John McCain took the stage on Thursday night, we wondered if there would be any sign of the senator we long respected - the conservative who fought fair and sometimes bucked party orthodoxy.

Certainly, the convention that nominated him bore no resemblance to that John McCain. Rather than remaking George W. Bush’s Republican Party in his own image, Mr. McCain allowed the practitioners of the politics of fear and division to run the show.

Thursday night, Americans mainly saw the old John McCain. He spoke in a moving way about the horrors he endured in Vietnam. He talked with quiet civility about fighting corruption. He said the Republicans “had lost the trust” of the American people and promised to regain it. He decried “the constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving” problems.

But there were also chilling glimpses of the new John McCain, who questioned the patriotism of his opponents as the “me first, country second” crowd and threw out a list of false claims about Barack Obama’s record, saying, for example, that Mr. Obama opposed nuclear power. There was no mention of immigration reform or global warming, Mr. McCain’s signature issues before he decided to veer right to win the nomination.

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Large Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Away, Adrift In Arctic Ocean
2008-09-05 02:39:01
Canadian scientists are sounding another environmental alarm with word that a massive Arctic ice shelf has broken free and is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean.

The 50-square-kilometer Markham Ice Shelf broke away in early August, say researchers, and two large sections representing 60 per cent of the Serson Ice Shelf have also become detached.

That means some 214-square-kilometers of Arctic ice shelves have been lost this summer, or about a quarter of what was left. It's the equivalent of more than three times the area of the Manhattan island.

“It's astounding what's happening up there right now,” said Derek Mueller, a researcher at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

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U.S. Rep. Rangel Failed To Report $75,000 In Income
2008-09-05 02:36:53

Representative Charles B. Rangel has earned more than $75,000 in rental income from a villa he has owned in the Dominican Republic since 1988, but never reported it on his federal or state tax returns, according to a lawyer for the congressman and documents from the resort.

Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the federal tax code, bought the beach front villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club and has received twice-yearly payments from the resort, which rents the property for $500 or more per night.

Records from the development, now called the Punta Cana Resort and Club, indicated that Rangel’s rental profits varied from year to year, from $2,700 in 2004 to $7,600 in 1994.

A lawyer for Rangel, Lanny Davis, said on Thursday that the congressman would most likely file amendments to his tax returns for the years in question.

Davis said Rangel’s accountant believed he would most likely owe back taxes to the state and New York City.

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