Struggling economy; Bloomberg budget cuts...

Behind The News
September 23, 2008 1:28:09 PM PDT
A not-so-funny thing may be happening on the way to the $700 billion bailout package getting Congressional approval. Or, as ABC's Jake Tapper describes it, Democrats have discovered another wrinkle .... and that wrinkle's name is John McCain. There is some concern that McCain will come out against the bailout - giving other Republicans an "out" to also come out against it - and leaving, in an irony-of-irony case, Democrats backing the Bush proposal.

Talk about strange bedfellows.

With Americans divided about giving corporate America a free-ride, it's unclear whether Friday's Congress-imposed deadline for passing this plan will actually be achieved. If McCain doesn't come out for the plan - many folks say it won't happen.

In any event, what precedent is this setting, letting these supposed brainiacs of business make all the mistakes and then not having them pay the consequences? And is $700 billion really the number here? How big is it likely to grow, and what bad loans are we talking about?

The list of questions is endless.

Tonight at 11, we'll have the latest on the bailout -- and reaction to it.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on today's U.N. General Assembly activities - the speeches by the Presidents of the U.S. and of Iran. And what a back-story involving Sarah Palin, as she gets her foreign affairs lesson by meeting with two world leaders and Henry Kissinger. At first, the McCain campaign would allow only one "pool" photographer into the "photo opp."

But that goes against ABC News policy - and the policies of the other TV networks: An editorial producer or reporter must also accompany a cameraperson into these events. So the networks balked, and said they would not attend the "photo opp."

That got the McCain camp thinking, because the entire purpose of these meetings was to get a picture out there of Gov. Palin getting foreign policy experience by meeting with these dignitaries.

So, they relented - and allowed the cameras in for ----- 29 seconds.

We're also covering the tough times ahead for New York City. Mayor Bloomberg's Budget Director today sent a memo to all city agencies cutting funds across the board by 2.5% - that's $500 million -- for the rest of this fiscal year ending June 30, and 5% for the next fiscal year.

This is on top of the Mayor's plan to increase property taxes 7%.

Buckle up, folks.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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