November 17th, 2008
08:50 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Keep your enemies closer

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Hello everyone:

Is this a case of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Today President-elect Barack Obama and Senator McCain sit down for a meeting at his Chicago transition HQ.

Apparently McCain won’t be getting any job offers, as per guidance from sources, but rather the discussion will focus on how the new WH can work well with the Senate. Or McCain and Obama make nicey nicey after a long and bitter campaign that is now well behind both of them.

Over the weekend there were some announcements of sr staff appointments from the Obama transition team, but we are waiting for the Big Guns, the Cabinet-level announcements.

Our CNN poll shows that 77% of you believe that Obama will make the right decisions on Cabinet appointments. As for which ones are the most important to you: 41% of you believe the key role is Sec of Treasury, followed by Sec of State at 25%, and Sec of Defense at 24%.

It’s no surprise that the Treasury Secretary topped your list as we continue to get a blizzard of Bad News on the economy.

Japan officially announced it’s in a Recession, and Asian/European markets were mixed on the heels of this news. Japan, the world's second-largest economy, now joins the 15 nation euro-zone as officially in recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction.

In an interview yesterday, Obama said “we have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again, that we’re gonna have to spend money now to stimulate the economy”. I don’t know about you guys but most folks I know are slamming their wallets shut these days, particularly at a time when we are entering a holiday season and normally drop more cash than any other time during the year.

Has everyone else noticed holiday season lights in certain stores/streets? Last time I checked it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet, but it seems retailers are trying to get folks in the mood to spend some dough.

Speaking of needing cash, the Big 3 automakers will be gunning for money themselves this week in Congress. Dems have pledged to do their best to get Detroit a slice of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue in this week's lame-duck session of Congress, they may introduce legislation today, attaching an auto bailout to a House-passed bill extending unemployment benefits and a vote is expected as early as Wednesday.

It’s not clear if Republican opposition will sink this proposal. Can any rescue plan actually save the American auto industry? Should they ‘be saved'? We will have this story for you tonight.

In other news, US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker calls the Cabinet approval of a security pact that would allow US troops to remain in the Country until 2011 an "historic occasion," as parliament prepares for a vote on the pact.

Iraq's Cabinet on Sunday approved the security pact with the United States that will allow American forces to stay in Iraq for three years after their U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year. Will the Iraqi Parliament now approve this version of the agreement? Maybe we’ll rustle up Michael Ware tonight to help us put this in perspective.

That’s where we start, all this and more at 10pet, see you then!

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    I'm hoping that one of my more affluent friends will take me to see Mad2 as a Christmas present...and those opening weekend numbers are nowhere near record breaking. I prefer a line from last year's movie "The Holiday" where the Eli Wallach character says "I remember when opening weekend numbers were not reported like baseball scores!"

    Seriously, Cindy, you may live somewhere where people aren't suffering, but the majority of us are. I'm fighting to keep my small, moderately priced home, bought 20 years ago on a VA loan, after nearly eight years of economic disasters, including a bankruptcy. This recession started in 2001 when telecom cratered, was enhanced by 9/11, and has just been slowly building up steam, rather like an avalanche. It seems slow moving at first, but you can't outrun it. Unless your yearly income is 6 figures or better, you'll feel it soon enough. The food pantries around the country are emptying out faster than they can get donations, foreclosures are up, the shelters are filling up, unemployment benefit funds are running out just when thousands more need them...you just haven't been watching. If you really are doing that well, I'd suggest you volunteer to go work at a shelter or two, and see for yourself. Even better, take some of the money you were going to spend on useless presents and contribute it to the Salvation Army or Food Pantries!

    November 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  2. pat brown

    I say instead of bailing out the companies that are in trouble because of their big bounes give the American people a buy out plan. Give each family $150,000 and we will get this ecomony back on its feet. We could pay our mortages and buy a car and get all the things we need. Then the people would be the ones putting this country on their feet the correct way. The big three, AIG and all else who want a buy out should be ashamed of themselves. We can't eat but they can party. There is no one who should earn over one million dollars unless it is his/her own business.

    November 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  3. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Cindy said:
    "I heard this morning that Germany also said that they are in a recession. So it seems that it isn’t just the U.S. that is hurting. It’s the whole world it seems.
    I think people in the news and elsewhere are just way over reacting about the economy. If we are doing oh so bad then why are people still spending frivolously? I mean this weekend Madagascar 2 took in $63.1 million dollars. It doesn’t look like people are hurting or too worried to me!"

    What Planet are you living on Cindy ? The actual economic numbers paint a much different picture from the one you are imagining. I don't know where or what your source of household income is but if you lose it due to a lay off or monetary loss in the stock market as a significant number of Americans are currently experiencing you'll be singing a much different tune.. Obama and the Democrats swept this nation simply because there are one heck of a lot of poeple really genuinely hurting out there. If a small percentage tht you see are not hurting it is most certainly an anomally.

    November 17, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  4. Bev

    Let the auto industry go bankrupt so they can clean up their act, get rid of alot of "dead weight", i.e., assistant to the assistant of the. . . . , make better cars, keep their overhead down, etc. I am tired of giving my money to people who already have alot of it, so they can do nothing with it to better their companies, and instead spend it on themselves at their "conferences" in Tahiti!!

    November 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I hope the auto industry gets bailed out with some sort of plan for them to innovate and make fuel efficient cars at affordable prices. If we ship these jobs overseas, the talent and skillset that is needed will in just a few years no longer exist in this country – making us dependent on other countries for good cars too. We've watched too many jobs go off shore – we need to keep our skills intact along with a lot of our jobs. Self sufficiency is never a bad thing to be.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 17, 2008 at 10:22 am |
  6. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Good Morning AC 360 ers!
    That should be interesting meeting between Obama and McCain very interesting indeed. Obama is keeping him close by to make sure he doesn't go all "maverick" on the transition to poewr team .The stores heere have started all the Christmas music ,buying specials to get that holiiday spirit going .I't's sad that Chirstmas has become so commeralized has everybody forgtten whose birthday it truly is ? Thanks for the buzz see you later on 360!
    Michelle D.

    November 17, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  7. Joanne, Syracuse, NY

    People are seriously worried. The fact is either we learn to live with a lower standard of living for all the obvious reasons, loss of jobs, overspending, new taxes (inevitable), big business carrying on as usual and past mistakes to include over-generous retirement benefits in the public sector to which the American people must support by taxation...or change... and that change would include allowing the present "big business" big names to outright fail and reorganize.

    It doesn't look like the President elect wants to see GM fail.

    November 17, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  8. Cindy

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall today in that meeting with Obama and McCain. You know they really don't like each other so this meeting should be interesting. I bet though that they'll act all nice but they'll be talking dirty things under their breath.

    I heard this morning that Germany also said that they are in a recession. So it seems that it isn't just the U.S. that is hurting. It's the whole world it seems.

    I think people in the news and elsewhere are just way over reacting about the economy. If we are doing oh so bad then why are people still spending frivolously? I mean this weekend Madagascar 2 took in $63.1 million dollars. It doesn't look like people are hurting or too worried to me!


    November 17, 2008 at 9:11 am |