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November 07, 2008 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 7, 2008 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, November 7, 2008 - 3

Obama selects
Rahm Emanuel as
chief of staff
Barack Obama is signaling a shift
in tactics and temperament as he
moves from candidate to president-
elect, pickingsharp-elbowed Wash-
ington insiders for top posts.
His choice yesterday for White
House chief of staff- Rahm Eman-
uel, a fiery partisan who doesn't
mind breaking glass and hurting
feelings - is a significant depar-
ture from the soft-spoken, low-key
aides that "No-Drama Obama" has
surrounded himself with during
his campaign. And transition chief
John Podesta, like Emanuel, is a
former top aide to Bill Clinton and
a tough partisan infighter, though
less bombastic than the new chief
of staff.
The selections are telling for
Obama, who campaigned as a non-
traditional, almost "post-partisan"
newcomer. People close to him say
the selections show that Obama is
aware of his weaknesses as well as
his strengths and knows what he
needs to be successful as he shifts
from campaigning to governing.
"No one I know is better at get-
ting things done than Rahm Enian-
uel," Obama said in a statement
announcing the selection.
Bush and Obama to
discuss transition
President Bush and Barack
Obama on Monday will hold their
first substantive talks about the
nation's daunting priorities as the
transition to a Democratic adminis-
tration accelerates.
Bush, soon to return to Texas
after two terms in office, ordered
employees on yesterday to ensure a
smooth transfer of power to Obama.
The transition is a delicate dance in
which the White House keeps the
president-elect in the loop, and even
solicits his input, but the decisions
remain solely the president's.
On Monday's discussion list for
the current and future presidents:
the financial crisis and the war in
"We face economic challenges
that willnot pause to let a new pres-
ident settle in," Bush told a gather-
ing of hundreds of employees from
the presidential bureaucracy, gath-
ered on the back lawn of the White
Stocks plunge for
second day in a row
Wall Street plunged for a second
day, triggered by computer gear
maker Cisco Systems warning of
slumping demand and retailers re-
portingweak sales for October. Con-
cerns about widespread economic
weakness sent the major stock in-
dexes down more than 4 percent
yesterday, including the Dow Jones

industrial average, which tumbled
more than 440 points.
The two-day plunge totals about
10 percent for the major indexes.
Paper losses during that time in U.S.
stocks came to $1.2 trillion, accord-
ing to the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000
Composite Index, which represents
nearly all stocks traded in America.
No charges for fmr.
N.Y. Gov. Spitzer
Federal prosecutors said yester-
day that they will not bring crimi-
nal charges against Eliot Spitzer for
his role in a prostitution scandal,
removing a legal cloud that has sur-
rounded the former New York gov-
ernor since his epic downfall eight
months ago.
U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia
said investigators found no evi-
dence that Spitzer or his office mis-
used public or campaign funds for
prostitution. Investigators found
that Spitzer solicited high-priced
call girls, but federal prosecutors
typically do not prosecute clients of
prostitution rings.
"In light of the policy of the De-
S partment of Justice with respect to
prostitution offenses and the long-
standing practice of this Office, as
well as Mr. Spitzer's acceptance
of responsibility for his conduct,
we have concluded that the public
S interest would not be further ad-
vanced by filing criminal charges
in this matter," Garcia said in a
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

GM, Ford set'
for more cuts

Bush admin. will hand
off peace deal to Obama

Auto giants to
announce billions
in losses today
DETROIT (AP) - With their
employers poised to announce
billions more in losses and fur-
ther job cuts today, it's worry time
once again at General Motors
Corp. and Ford Motor Co. facto-
ries across North America.
Both companies are spending
billions more than they're mak-
ing amid the worst economic cri-
sis in decades.
Both say that factory produc-
tion needs to reflect declining
sales, which means job cuts.
According to Ford's top sales
analyst and two people briefed
on GM's plans, neither automaker
is planning to announce factory
closures, although they are likely
to cut production by eliminating
shifts, banning overtime or tem-
porarily shutting down plants.
The people did not want to be
identified because GM's plans are
GM also is expected to slow
its product development sched-
ule, delaying some models and
engines at least for a short time.
Both automakers, though, are
expected to report huge losses

when they release third-quarter
results today, a day after their
CEOs traveled to Washington to
make the case for federal aid for
the industry.
"I haven't heard nothing spe-
cific, but we are worried," said
James Kendall, president of UAW
Local 23, which represents work-
ers at GM's parts-stamping fac-
tory in Indianapolis. "Absolutely,
we're worried.Who knows what's
goingto happen?"
Kendall's concerns were
echoed at Ford and GM factories
elsewhere as workers braced for
cuts and waited to learn if the
government will toss their com-
panies a lifeline.
Industry analysts say Ford and
GM likely are spending around
$1 billion a month above their
revenue. With credit markets fro-
zen and their credit ratings cut
to junk, both have had difficulty
borrowing more money.
Barclays Capital analyst Brian
Johnson on Thursday estimated
that GM burned through $4.2 bil-
lion ofcash in the third quarter and
will end 2008 with $15.9 billion.
With no sales improvement
expected next year and without
government aid, Johnson expects
GM's cash balance to fall to $5 bil-
lion next year, "below the compa-
ny's $14billion minimumworking
cash needs."

peace deal won't be
done by this term
administration has conceded that
an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal
is no longer possible by the end of
its term and is preparing to hand
the fragile, unfinished U.S.-backed
peace effort to President-elect
Obama may not want it, at least
as designed by the Republican
Bush administration, seen as slow
to embrace the role of honest Mid-
east broker. Many of Obama's for-
eign policy advisers were players
in the Clinton administration's
extensive Mideast peace efforts
and are unenthusiastic about Pres-
ident Bush's hands-off approach.
After months of publicly insist-
ing that an agreement still could
be sealed by the year-end deadline
set by the two sides and Bush last
November in Annapolis, Md., U.S.
officials said yesterday for the first
time it would have to wait.
"We do not think it is likely it
will happen before the end of the
year," White House spokeswoman
Dana Perino said in Washington

after Secretary of State Condoleez-
za Rice acknowledged as much at
the start of a Mideast trip.-
Bush has employed Rice as .a
goad and monitor, but not a cen-
tral negotiator. The administra-
tion said that to be viable, any deal
should come from the Israelis and
Palestinians themselves. Rice's
eighth visit to the region since the
Annapolis peace conference had
been intended as a push for urgent
progress on the modest gains from
a year of U.S.-sponsored talks
between Israel and one part of the
fractured Palestinian leadership,
Instead, amid political uncer-
tainty in Israel, the administration
is focused on keeping the two sides
from backsliding. Rice wants them
to produce an affirmation of their
commitment to the peace process:
She said it remained an "open
question" as to what form the affir-
mation would take, but said it was
critical for the incoming Obama
administration, as well as a new
Israeli government to be elected in
February, to inherit a solid frame-
work to restart negotiations.
"It should be carried forward,"
she said, stressing that progress,
if not a full-on deal, had been
achieved since Annapolis, includ-
ing the fact that the two sides were


talking again after years of Pales-
tinian rebellion and international
efforts to support the Palestinian
She added that she hoped the
Israelis and Palestinians would
"affirm that the Annapolis process
and the framework it establishes
is indeed the basis on which they
believe they can come to a resolu-
tion of their conflict, regardless of
anyone's timetables."
"It will be important to wrap up
all of that work one way or anoth-
er," she said.
Negotiators from the two sides
were to brief top officials from the
international diplomatic "quartet"
on the Middle East - the United
States, United Nations, European
Union and Russia - in Egypt on
Sunday on their progress to date.
"We hope that the current
American administration will give
the upcoming administration a
positive opinion to continue this
process, and bring it to a success,"
said Ahmed Qureia, the chief Pal-
estinian negotiator.
Rice's comments at times took
the tone of a concession speech
and came at a news conference
with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi
Livni, Israel's chief negotiator in
the talks.

Economy sinks lower
as jobs disappear

Confusion,.protests in Calif.
over new gay marriage ban

Nearly 500,000
people file for
claims last week
vicious cycle ofvanishing jobs and
stresses on American consumers
is spelling deeper trouble for the
already sinking U.S. economy.
All the economy's woes - a
housing collapse, mounting fore-
closures, hard-to-get credit and
financial market upheaval - will
confront President-elect Obama
when he assumes office early next
year.Obamahas shifted fromcam-
paign mode to the task of building
a new Democratic administra-
tion. A top priority will be quickly
assembling his economics team,
including the secretaries of Trea-
sury, Commerce and Labor.
On the crucial jobs front, the
situation is likely to move from
bad to worse next year.
Employers have slashed jobs in
the first nine months of this year.
A staggering 760,000 losses have
been racked up so far.
And more are expected. The
government's monthly jobs report
is due out today, and net job losses
for October are expected to total
about 200,000. The unemploy-
ment rate, now 6.1 percent, is
expected to rise to 6.3 percent.
If it does, it would match the

highest unemployment rate that
was logged after the last reces-
sion, in 2001. The jobless rate hit
6.3 percent in June 2003 and then
started to drift downward.
Many expect the jobless rate to
climb to 8 percent, possibly high-
er, next year. In the 1980-1982
recession, the unemployment rate
rose as high as 10.8 percent before
inching down.
Stressed consumers are cut-
ting back on their shopping and
trying to trim their debt. Econo-
mists believe consumers cut back
on borrowing in September, as
another report to be released Fri-
day is expected to show.
Nearly half a million Ameri-
cans filed new claims for unem-
ployment benefits in the last week
alone, andskittishshoppershand-
ed many retailers their weak-
est sales since 1969, government
reports out yesterday showed.
The Labor Departmentsaidnew
filings for jobless benefits clocked
in at 481,000, a dip from the pre-
vious week but a still-elevated
level that suggests companies are
resorting to big layoffs to cope
with the economy's downturn.
Hartford Financial Services
Group Inc., Circuit City Stores
Inc., auto parts maker Dana
Holding Corp., cable operators
Comcast Corp. and Cox Commu-
nications Inc. and Fidelity Invest-
ments are among the companies
that recently have announced

Three court
challenges filed this
week against the ban
dreds of protesters took to the
streets yesterday over California's
new ban on gay marriage, amid
deepening political turmoil and
legal confusion over who should
have the right to wed.
Legal experts said it is unclear
whether an attempt by gay-rights
activists to overturn the prohibi-
tion has any chance of success,
and whether the 18,000 same-sex
marriages performed in Califor-
nia over the past four months are
in any danger.
California voters Tuesday
approved a constitutional amend-
ment disallowing gay marriage.
The measure, which won 52 per-
cent approval, overrides a Califor-

nia Supreme Courtrulinglast May
that briefly gave same-sex couples
the right to wed.
Yesterday, about 1,000 gay-
marriage supporters demonstrat-
ed outside a Mormon temple in the
Westwood section of Los Ange-
les. Sign-waving demonstrators
spilled onto Santa Monica Boule-
vard, bringing afternoon traffic
to a halt. The temple was target-
ed because the Mormon church
strongly supported the ban on gay
"I'm disappointed in the Cali-
fornians who voted for this," said
F. Damion Barela, 43, a Studio City
resident who married his husband
nearly five months ago.
He noted that nearly 70 percent
of black voters and a slight major-
ity of Hispanic voters voted for
the ban.
"To them I say, 'Shame on you
because you should know what
this feels like,"' he said.

Some spectators cheered from
apartment balconies; one person
threw eggs at the marchers. Two
people were arrested after a con-
frontation between the crowd and
an occupant of a pickup truck that
showed a banner supporting the
On Wednesday night, police in
Los Angeles arrested seven peo-
ple as more than 1,000 protesters
blocked traffic in West Hollywood.
One man was wrestled to the
ground by police after he jumped
up and down on the roof of a squad
car. Another man was clubbed by
Hundreds of protesters also
gathered on the steps of San Fran-
cisco's City Hall, some holding
candles and carrying signs that
read, "We all deserve the freedom
to marry."
Gay-marriage proponents filed
three court challenges Wednesday
against the new ban.


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