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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Thursday November 6 2008 - (813)

Thursday November 6 2008 edition
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Democrats Win 18 More Seats In U.S. House
2008-11-06 03:30:07

House Democrats promised an agenda of improving the economy, ending the war in Iraq and expanding access to health care after gaining at least 18 additional seats in Tuesday's elections, ballooning the size of the party's congressional majority to its largest since 1994.

"Our increased numbers in the House will better enable us to work closely with our new president for a vision for America and for a plan to succeed," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. "With our added numbers, more numbers in the House, more in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House, we have an opportunity, we have a responsibility, and the American people should and will hold us accountable."

While some analysts had suggested that Democrats could gain more than 30 seats, the party appeared to have fallen short of that, but it will approach the total of 259 seats it held in 1994 before Republicans seized control of Congress that fall.

On Tuesday, four House Democrats were defeated, including Reps. Tim Mahoney (Florida), who was embroiled in a sex scandal, and Nick Lampson (Texas), who had claimed the seat of former House majority leader Tom DeLay two years ago.

Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), who described his constituents as "racist" and "redneck" in recent weeks, easily won reelection over William Russell, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

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Upon Inauguration, Obama Inherits Budget, Stimulus Decisions
2008-11-05 22:03:46

When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) moves into the White House in January, he will inherit a stratospheric budget deficit, a collapsing financial system and the gloomiest economic outlook since the Great Depression. The silver lining? For a few months, at least, he will have a license to spend money.

Make that lots and lots of money. With the nation sliding into what is expected to be a severe recession, economists are calling on the federal government to pump at least $150 billion - and as much as $500 billion - into the economy to blunt the most painful effects of rising joblessness and stalled consumer spending.

Even at the low end, that's about what the nation spent last year on the Iraq war. To cover the cost of stimulating the economy, there's a broad consensus that the government should simply borrow more money. That means Obama would have a one-time free pass to fulfill any number of expensive campaign promises, without opposition from budget watchdogs who ordinarily would demand tax hikes or spending cuts to pay for the new programs.

"You can do your energy plan. You can do a massive infrastructure investment that includes rebuilding schools and repairing schools. You can do public housing that helps poor people and gets the construction guys going," said Robert Borosage, president of the liberal Institute for America's Future. "There are a whole range of things that are progressive that liberals want that can come under this shelter" of stimulating the economy.

On the downside, stimulus spending will further bloat a budget deficit that already is spiraling toward a record $1 trillion in the fiscal year that began last month. And key lawmakers say they will demand that Obama keep his promise to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington by paying for any other new programs, including his marquee proposals to permanently cut taxes for the middle class and to offer health care coverage to the uninsured.

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U.S. Stocks Take Late Day Plunge, Dow Drops 5.05 Percent
2008-11-05 22:02:55

With the presidential election out of the way, U.S. stocks took a dive Wednesday as investors' focus returned to the economic turmoil that has weighed down stocks.

The market fell in early trading as investors sold off shares to secure profits after Tuesday's rally, but the losses accelerated throughout the day as traders digested more poor economic data.

"Many people are relieved to have the election behind us, but unfortunately that leaves only the economy for us to focus on," said Matthew D. McCormick, portfolio manager and banking analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel. "People are getting off their post-election high, and they realize the economic hangover will be with us for a while."

After a late-day sell-off, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 5.05 percent, or 486.01 points, at 9139.27 - its 12th-biggest point drop in history. It is also the largest swing - in either direction - for the Dow the day after a presidential election. Every stock on the index took a loss, with financial firms leading the way down.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 5.27 percent, or 52.98 points, to close at 952.77. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 5.53 percent, or 98.48 points, to close at 1681.64.

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The Serenity Of Barack Obama
2008-11-05 03:31:24
Intellpuke: The following article is from the Berlin, Germany-based Spiegel news magazine and appeared in its edition for Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

Barack Obama has done it. On Tuesday, Americans elected their first black president - and a genuine intellectual. It is the crowning of one of the most rapid political rises ever, but the real work is only now set to begin.

Democrat Barack Obama beat Republican contender John McCain by a clear margin in Tuesday's presidential election and made history by becoming the country's first African-American president.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," Obama told hundreds of thousands of elated supporters in Chicago, Illinois.

Despite his historic triumph, the ecstatic cheering of the crowd and the scale of the challenges facing him, Obama looked as calm and collected as ever as he addressed his supporters.

Just one night earlier, the comedy show Saturday Night Live took one last opportunity to lampoon the candidates. And the candidates' doubles make it clear just how different the outcome could have been for Barack Obama.

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Obama Launches Transition Operation
2008-11-05 22:04:00
President-elect Barack Obama unveiled his transition operation Wednesday, as Democratic sources said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, was seriously considering an offer to serve as White House chief of staff.

Emanuel has long been considered a front-runner for chief of staff if Obama won. The Illinois congressman is one of the rising stars within the Democratic Party. He worked for President Bill Clinton, was elected to a Chicago-area seat in 2002 and served as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 election, in which Democrats moved back to the majority.

Through that tenure, Emanuel has built a reputation as one of the savviest political minds in the party and also one of the most confrontational. His tactics and approach earned him the name "Rahmbo."

In pursuing Emanuel, Obama is sending a message to Capitol Hill that he recognizes the need to work with them by selecting one of their own but that he also will not be afraid to play tough - Emanuel's trademark.

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Around The World, Praise For Obama And America
2008-11-05 22:03:28
Through tears and whoops of joy, in celebrations that spilled onto streets on distant continents, people around the globe called Barack Obama's election a victory for the world and a renewal of America's ability to inspire.

By electing a youthful African American with chestnut-colored skin, the United States has chosen a man whose face seems familiar and comforting in most of the world.

From Paris to New Delhi to the beaches of Brazil, revelers said Obama's election made them feel more connected to America, and that America, after years of strained relations, seemed suddenly more connected to the world.

"As a black British woman, I can't believe that America has voted in a black president," said Jackie Humphries, 49, a librarian who partied with 1,500 people at the U.S. Embassy in London Tuesday night.

"It makes me feel like there is a future that includes all of us," she said, wrapping her arm around a life-size cardboard likeness of the new U.S. president-elect.

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Democrats Make Strong Gains In U.S. Senate
2008-11-05 03:31:40

Congressional Democrats, capitalizing on an unpopular Republican administration and riding the coattails of their party's victorious presidential ticket, expanded their majorities in both houses of Congress Tuesday, as voters went to the polls in record numbers.

Democrats picked up five Republican-held Senate seats in the elections, knocking off incumbents in North Carolina and New Hampshire and capturing open seats in Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado. That gave the Democrats at least 54 seats in the 100-seat chamber. In addition, two independents caucus with the Democrats.

Republicans emerged with 40 Senate seats, and four other Republican-held seats were hanging in the balance early Wednesday as vote counting continued in Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon and Alaska.

In one of the nation's most closely watched Senate races, Democrat Kay Hagan, a state senator, defeated Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina after a bitter campaign.

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A Dawn To Savor, But A Tough Tomorrow
2008-11-05 03:31:03
Intellpuke: This article appeared in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based Globe&Mail online edition for Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.

Barack Obama's convincing victory has redefined a fractured, troubled America.

There have been few nights in the annals of this republic to equal the one we are waking from. The first true democracy, which survived its revolution and its civil war, defeated the dictators and reached the moon, last night elected a black president. Suddenly, “historic” seems too small a word.

Historic, also, are the challenges facing the man who will be the 44th president of the United States. The economy teeters on the abyss; foes and competitors test the restless giant on every front. And rarely has a president come to office with so little experience in rising to such challenges.

Yet Mr. Obama confronts this grim agenda with a powerful weapon not available to any of his recent predecessors: While previous presidential elections have revealed the cultural fissures the plagued America, last night was an act of union. The defining question of the coming years is whether he can hold that union together.

The president-elect harbors no doubt that he is the harbinger of yet another American renaissance.

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