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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Democratic Chatter 2-18-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

Today, President Barack Obama will announce his mortgage relief program in Phoenix, Arizona - this is the home state of his 2008 presidential opponent, Senator John McCain. Phoenix has experienced high levels of foreclosures. The program is part of the revised 700 billion Bailout bill (TARP), Secretary Timothy Geithner tried to explain last week. Reportedly, 50-100 billion will be made available to help banks restructure loans resulting in lower monthly payments to homeowners. has more here.


Unfortunately, the first reaction by Wall Street to the Stimulus bill signing yesterday was a 297.1 drop in the Dow Jones - the close was 7552.60, the lowest in ten years. We could see this coming as we reported the drop on Global stocks yesterday morning. It did not help when former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. is not doing enough to stabilize the financial markets. has more here.


All of this while the auto industry asks for more money - the 13.4 billion GM and Chrysler received earlier under the bailout bill required restructuring plans to be submitted to congress yesterday. The plans were submitted and included - guess what? - a request for more money while cutting a total of 50,000 jobs. Chrysler wants 5 billion and GM wants 16.6 billion. Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has agreed to restructure current agreements. has more here.


The President announces a 17,000 troop level increase in Afghanistan - hardly a surprise as he campaigned that the U.S. had lost it's focus in Afghanistan under the previous administration. Currently, the U.S. has 38,000 troops deployed and NATO has another 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. It is anticipated President Obama will increase the troop level again as he continues a review of the military strategy for the region. In Iraq, there are currently 146,000 U.S. troops. has more here.


Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Illinois Democratic Senator Roland Burris - the more the former Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed Senator speaks, the more trouble he stirs up. First, it was an amendment to his statement to his testimony given to the Illinois impeachment panel which said the former Governor's brother had solicited campaign funds from him. The state of Illinois is considering charges of perjury. The latest revelation is Burris says he did try to hold a fundraiser for the Governor but no one was interested. Now it seems the Senate Ethics committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calf.) has opened an investigation. has more here.


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