Saturday, April 26, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS April 25, 2008

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New York Times
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-The Trouble With Not Being Earnest
Senator John McCain sells himself for the presidency as a champion ofcampaign finance reform, a sworn enemy of Congressional handouts and amaverick who is immune to the corrupting influence of big money. In twocampaigns, he has vowed not to dispense favors to contributors.

-Self-Inflicted Confusion
After Barack Obama's defeat in Pennsylvania, David Axelrod, his campaignmanager, brushed it off: "Nothing has changed tonight in the basic physicsof this race."

-In Democrats' Calculus, Race Returns
Robert Novak, writing in his Chicago Sun-Times column, thinks race is at theheart of the Democrats' "deepening dilemma."

-'American Idol' Meets 'Survivor'
Back in the heady, halcyon days of winter, the Democratic primary had takenon the characteristics of a high-stakes and more substantive version of"American Idol," in which a dwindling number of contestants performed theirbest material before a group of surrogate judges and a nationwide audience.
The eventual winner would receive not only the party's presidentialnomination, but an almost certain path to the White House over abaggage-laden Republican nominee. While there was great suspense over whichcompetitor would eventually claim the prize, the political version of thestardom that had been granted to Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard seemed acertainty for the victor.

-McCain and His Shadow
While Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have spent the week moving theirbattle from Pennsylvania to Indiana and North Carolina, John McCain has beenfighting a different foe: the dark overhang that the Bush presidency castson his campaign.

-After Earth Day
Now that Earth Day 2008 has come to a close, it's easy to be cynical. I won't even begin to list all the examples of crass commercialism/brandopportunism/greenwashing/totally missed-the-point-ism that transpired. Toomany easy targets, too few surprises. As one blogger on Treehugger.comappropriately quipped, "Earth Day is the new Christmas."

-Pakistan Asserts It Is Near a Deal With Militants
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - The Pakistani government is close to an agreement toend hostilities with the most militant tribes in its turbulent border area,whose main leader is accused of orchestrating most of the suicide bombingsof recent months and the assassination of former Prime Minister BenazirBhutto.

-Black Leader in the House Sharply Criticizes Bill Clinton
One of the nation's most influential African-American political leaderssharply criticized former President Bill Clinton on Thursday afternoon forwhat he called his "bizarre" conduct during the Democratic primary campaign.

-Informal Style of Electronic Messages Is Showing Up in Schoolwork, StudyFinds
As e-mail messages, text messages and social network postings become nearlyubiquitous in the lives of teenagers, the informality of electroniccommunications is seeping into their schoolwork, a new study says.

Washington Post
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-Obama's 'Distractions'?
Real change has never been easy. . . . The status quo in Washington willfight. They will fight harder than ever to divide us and distract us withads and attacks from now until November.
-- Barack Obama,
Pennsylvania primary night speech
With that, Obama identified the new public enemy: the "distractions" foistedupon a pliable electorate by the malevolent forces of the status quo, i.e.,those who might wish to see someone else become president next January.
"It's easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and thetit for tat that consumes our politics" and "trivializes the profoundissues" that face our country, he warned sternly. These must be resisted.

-The Race Goes On
And why not? Democrats are still learning about Hillary Clinton and Barack

-Economy Showing Signs of Stability
Future Cloudy as New-Home Sales, Durables Slump.

-Many states appear to be in recession
The finances of many states have deteriorated so badly that they appear tobe in a recession, regardless of whether that's true for the nation as awhole, a survey of all 50 state fiscal directors concludes.

-Texas Court: State Can Take Sect Children to Foster Homes
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Dozens of mothers from a polygamist retreat were busedaway from their children Thursday, their legal efforts to stay unitedrejected as Texas officials sort out their massive custody case.

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-Future of justices depends on election
Every four years, we're told that this is the most important election sincea caveman asked for a show of hands. So some skepticism seems warranted whenwe hear the same refrain this year.,0,6529818.story

-Rising cost of rice, flour pressuring restaurants
South Florida restaurant owners and bakers that use rice and flour sayrising costs may soon be served up to customers.,0,1035784.story

Miami Herald
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-IN MY OPINION: U.S. athletes won't win by being silent

-WE THE PEOPLE: A hunger for national purpose by Leonard Pitts
Let's talk about us. Not as in you and me but, rather, as in common cause.

-White House favors secrecy, privilege

-Boycotting Games makes no sense

-PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Get ready for the smear
Barack Obama believes his patriotism can't be challenged. Maybe he shouldtalk to Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry.

-Eating out ain't cheap
With grocery prices spiking -- 2007 had the worst food inflation in 17years -- it became more important than ever to find out which was moreexpensive: eating at home or going to a restaurant.

Pew Research center
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-Writing, Technology and Teens
Most teenagers spend a considerable amount of their life composing texts.
Still, a new Pew Internet & American Life survey finds, they don't regardmost of the material they create electronically as real writing. Doese-communication help -- or hurt -- students' writing skills? Read more

-Election '08
Campaign More Negative, Less Interesting
Barack Obama's 'bitter' comment registered widely, but just 29% of Americanssay they paid very close attention to news about the presidential campaignlast week, the lowest percentage recorded since December 2007. Read more

-Debatable Campaign Coverage
Last week, a major part of the media narrative about the 2008 campaigninvolved the media themselves -- specifically ABC's moderators for the April16 debate in Philadelphia. Read more

-The Evidence for Belief
In an interview, Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and anevangelical Christian, argues that advances in science present "anopportunity for worship," rather than a catalyst for doubt. Read more

-How Different Are People Who Don't Respond to Pollsters?
Survey research firms face increasingly high non-completion rates. Analysisbased on extra efforts to reach non-responders finds few differences betweenthe responses of the easy- and hard-to-reach. Read more

-11% - Rating the Current Economy Good
Just 11% of the public rates the economy as excellent or good, down from 17%in early February, and 26% in January. Check back every weekday for anothernumber in the news. Read more

Inside Higher Education

-Validation for
You've heard the reasons why professors don't trust, the Web site to which students flock. Students who don't do the work have equal say with those who do. The best way to get good ratings is to be relatively easy on grades, good looking or both, and so forth. But what if the much derided Web site's rankings have a high correlation with markers that are more widely accepted as measures of faculty performance? Last year, a scholarly study found a high correlation between and a university's own system of student evaluations. Now, a new study is finding a high correlation between RateMyProfessors and a student evaluation system used nationally.

Fort Report
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-Cheer Up, Democrats!
Even if the primary stretches on, a long-term tectonic shift in theelectorate means the party is in great shape for November.


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