Bush warns of ‘long and painful recession’

President Bush on Wednesday warned Americans and lawmakers reluctant to pass a $700 billion financial rescue plan that failing to act fast risks wiping out retirement savings, rising foreclosures, lost jobs, closed businesses and even “a long and painful recession.”

His dire warning came not long after the president issued extraordinary invitations to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, one of whom will inherit the mess in four months, as well as key congressional leaders to a White House meeting on Thursday to work on a compromise.

“Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold,” Bush said in a 12-minute prime-time address from the White House East Room that he hoped would help rescue his tough-sell bailout package.

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Russian troops in South Ossetian capitol to help stop violence

Ron Paul Fears Staged Iran Pretext Could Bring National Draft

Congressman Ron Paul fears that a staged incident exploited as a pretext to attack Iran may be the precursor to a national draft, as he responded to Sy Hersh’s astounding report that Dick Cheney proposed faking a Gulf of Tonkin style incident by killing Americans in the Straits of Hormuz and blaming it on Iran.

“The influence is still there that they want it to happen, they probably themselves don’t have a day set to do it but they’re waiting for an opportunity and something will come along,” Paul told the Alex Jones Show.

“They’re capable of doing anything,” said Paul, refering to the consideration unveiled in the Downing Street Memo, where Bush and Blair discussed painting a U2 spy plane in UN colors and goading Saddam to have it shot down as a pretext to invade Iraq.

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The Real State of the US Economy

In an eerie echo of President Herbert Hoover in 1930, during a Presidential campaign against Roosevelt, following the stock market crash and collapse of numerous smaller banks, Paulson recently appeared on national TV to declare “our banking system is a safe and sound one.” He added that the list of “troubled” banks “is a very manageable situation.” In fact what he did not say was that the US bank deposit insurance fund, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a list of problem banks that numbers 90. Not included on that list are banks such as Citigroup, until recently the largest bank in the world.

The statement is hardly reassuring. The California savings bank, IndyMac Bank which was declared insolvent a month ago was not on the FDIC list a week before it collapsed. The reality is the crisis created by “securitizing” millions of home mortgages into new financial instruments and selling the packages to pension funds and investors is unfolding like a snowball rolling down the Swiss Alps.

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The Geopolitics of Iran: Holding the Center of a Mountain Fortress

To understand Iran, you must begin by understanding how large it is. Iran is the 17th largest country in world. It measures 1,684,000 square kilometers. That means that its territory is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal – Western Europe. Iran is the 16th most populous country in the world, with about 70 million people. Its population is larger than the populations of either France or the United Kingdom.

Under the current circumstances, it might be useful to benchmark Iran against Iraq or Afghanistan. Iraq is 433,000 square kilometers, with about 25 million people, so Iran is roughly four times as large and three times as populous. Afghanistan is about 652,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 30 million. One way to look at it is that Iran is 68 percent larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, with 40 percent more population.

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VIDEO: What is the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee?

Americans Say No to War with Iran

Despite what you may have read, this issue is not about nuclear proliferation—in fact an attack would increase the likelihood that Iran would acquire a nuclear weapon, says Sarah van Gelder.

Will Washington Listen?

Two weeks ago, I was alarmed to learn that congressional Democrats were sponsoring Resolution 362, which encourages what amounts to an act of war against Iran.

Today, there are more than 230 co-sponsors of the House resolution, but there is also growing mobilization to stop passage of Res. 362. What is especially stirring opposition is the provision that calls for:

“Prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”

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