• Like the cover says, Monday's your last chance. If you haven't registered to vote yet, get it done now. See "So You Think You're Registered?" for registration info.

• On Tuesday, Alcoa announced a virtual shutdown at its Rockdale smelter, laying off 660 people for possibly an instant local recession.

City Council convenes this week with a slight agenda; congratulations to Council Member Randi Shade, who gave birth to Emily Austin Shade-Shell on Friday. See "City Hall Hustle."

• After bungling one attempt, at press time, Congress continued to work on a financial recovery plan, hoping to pass something – and spend a ton of money doing so – in the next couple of days.

• The vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin goes down tonight (Thursday) – gaffes ahoy! Get your debate fix each week with election vlog Hail to the Hustle, at austinchronicle.com/hustle.

Quote of the Week


"The House passed (by one vote) a bill to eliminate barriers between banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies. This sets up financial holding companies that can offer all three types of services simultaneously. The most obvious risk is that a blunder in the insurance or brokerage end of the business could bring down a bank, putting insured deposits at risk. The taxpayers, of course, then wind up with the tab, as we did with the savings-and-loan mess."

– Molly Ivins, soothsaying in her Sept. 23, 1998 column

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