Friday, October 10, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - October 10, 2008

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New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Global Markets Dive in Relentless Selloff
Japan Down 10% as Investors Look to G7 Meeting
European markets fell more than 10 percent at the opening but came off their lows later as investors looked to global financial authorities.

-Building a Better Bailout
The Treasury Department's plan to take an ownership stake in many United States banks is more efficient and - not incidentally - more fair.

-Moment of Truth
If a new rescue plan is not announced this weekend, the world economy may experience its worst slump since the Great Depression.

-The Class War Before Palin
Over the past few decades, Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare. [...] But over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare.

-Politics and the Pulpit (Once Again)
The story goes that when he was running for re-election to the Senate in 1954, Lyndon Johnson was opposed by a couple of non-profits that urged voters to reject him and his radical communist ideas. (And you thought things were crazy today.) In response, Johnson had new language inserted into the section of the IRS code, which defines a tax exempt entity. His addendum declared that an exempt organization "does not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." Now, in the middle of the 2008 election, several dozen pastors are challenging the amendment by speaking out in the pulpit in favor of a candidate (usually John McCain) and by sending the IRS copies of the sermons in which they openly cross the line the law has drawn since 1954. At the same time, a bill (H.R. 2275) repealing the Johnson amendment has been introduced by Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina. The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee where it awaits action. [...] What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole.

-Palins Repeatedly Pressed Case Against Trooper
Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband and seven administration officials made three dozen contacts to a commissioner about the status of a trooper.

-Former Finnish President Wins Nobel Peace Prize
The 2008 peace prize went to Martti Ahtisaari, associated over decades with quiet, cautious diplomacy.


-Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds
The United States is failing to develop the math skills of both girls and boys, especially among those who could excel at the highest levels, a new study asserts, and girls who do succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued.

Washington Post
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-Spying Gone Awry
A covert surveillance operation in Maryland tramples on civil liberties.
THOMAS E. HUTCHINS, the former Maryland state police superintendent, spoke about a covert operation that spied on harmless activists for the first time at a legislative hearing this week. Mr. Hutchins, who authorized the operation, didn't provide new information about the spying program. But his spirited defense of the surveillance and his refusal to acknowledge serious missteps offers insight into the flawed mind-set that led to the operation's creation.

-Sentences on Trial
Congress can reenact a proud moment in its history by dumping strict mandatory minimums.

-Carmakers' Pain Could Spread
Faltering manufacturing sector, led by the car industry, could pose a new economic threat.

-Pakistanis Repudiate Violence
Amid a series of suicide bombings across the nation, anti-terrorism debate grows more urgent.

-PR Consultant Helped Palin Grab Spotlight
During her first months in office, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin kept a relatively light schedule on her workdays in Juneau, making ceremonial appearances at sports events and funerals, meeting with state lawmakers, and conducting interviews with Alaska magazines, radio stations and newspapers. But this spring, Palin's official calendar chronicles an extraordinary rise to national prominence. A fresh face in Republican politics, she was discovered by the national news media at least in part because of a determined effort by a state agency to position her as an oil and gas expert who could tout Alaska's determined effort to construct a natural gas pipeline.

-Sensitive Palin ethics report kept secret, for now
Sworn to secrecy, Alaska lawmakers have begun reviewing a lengthy and politically sensitive investigative report focusing on whether Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her authority as governor. The first-term Alaska governor has been accused of firing a state commissioner to settle a family dispute. But the report is also expected to touch on whether Palin's husband meddled in state affairs and whether her administration inappropriately accessed employee medical records.

-Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally
There were shouts of "Nobama" and "Socialist" at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin. "It is absolutely vital that you take it to Obama, that you hit him where it hits, there's a soft spot," said James T. Harris, a local radio talk show host, who urged the Republican nominee to use Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., and others against him.

-McCain Opens Pandora's Box
The decision by John McCain's campaign to launch television ads linking Barack Obama to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers signals a belief within the Arizona senator's inner circle that drastic measures must be taken to turn the presidential race around over the next 25 days. The ad, which went up this morning seeks to raise questions about Obama's judgment -- linking his association with Ayers to the current financial crisis in the country. Let's watch:

The Wall Street Journal
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-The Terrorists Next Door
Justice Kennedy's consequences. Even as the anti-antiterror lobby cheers as the courts attack the Bush Administration's wartime legal architecture, the practical results are starting to emerge. It is increasingly possible that many enemy combatants will be set free -- in the U.S.

-McCain Campaign Is at Odds Over Negative Attacks' Scope
Senator Says Faith Issue Puts Obama's Former Pastor off Limits
Top McCain campaign officials are grappling with how far to go with negative attacks on Sen. Barack Obama in the final weeks of what is turning into a come-from-behind effort.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Sarah Silverman: Young Jews travel to tell family to vote for Obama
The campaign, called "The Great Schlep," opens today, with out-of-state Barack Obama volunteers having "challenging conversations" with their grandparents about voting.,0,2114761.story

-Watch This Now: Sarah Silverman's video for The Great Schlep (WARNING: Mature content)

-Poll: Florida's senior citizens swinging toward Obama,0,4561461.story

Fort Report
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-Campbell Brown Blasts McCain Campaign For "Race Baiting"
In her "No Bias, No Bull" segment Wednesday night, Campbell Brown pleaded with the McCain campaign to stop what she referred to as "race baiting." "It is getting very, very ugly," Brown said. "Tonight, we are cutting through the bull on the issue of race and this campaign."

-Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals
Extremists Mark Chryson and Steve Stoll helped launch Palin's political career in Alaska, and in return had influence over policy. "Her door was open," says Chryson - and still is. Editor's note: Research support provided by the Nation Institute Investigative Fund. For Salon's complete coverage of Sarah Palin, click here.

-Obama opens 5-point lead on McCain
Democrat Barack Obama has opened a 5-point lead over Republican rival John McCain in the White House race and expanded his support among women voters, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released Friday. Obama leads McCain 48 percent to 43 percent among likely U.S. voters in the national poll, up slightly from a 4-point advantage for Obama Thursday. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

-'Kill Him' Yell At Clearwater Palin Rally Being Probed
The U.S. Secret Service is looking into reports that a crowd member yelled,"Kill him!" while Gov. Sarah Palin was talking about Sen. Barack Obama during her Clearwater rally Monday. The incident reportedly occurred after Palin questioned Obama's patriotism because of his acquaintance with William Ayers, a Chicago university professor who was an anti-Vietnam War radical in the 1970s.

-Group wants probe of McCain's gambling winnings
The Senate Ethics Committee should look into whether John McCain violated federal laws by failing to list gambling winnings on his Senate financial disclosure forms, according to a watchdog group.

-Fox News' faux documentary sets new low
Sean Hannity's Sunday report, 'Obama and Friends: The History of Radicalism,' relied on innuendo and guilt by association to label the Illinois senator a dupe of the shadowy forces of the left.,0,6872257.story?track=rss


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