Thursday, October 23, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - October 23, 2008

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New York Times
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-Confessions of a Phone Solicitor
If you can come up with something that would send a telemarketer over the edge, you have really overachieved on the offensiveness front.

-Rebranding the U.S. With Obama
In the western industrialized world, the idea of electing a member of a racial minority to the highest office seems an astonishing breakthrough.

-Iran Is Job One
Iran's leadership would pay a high price for a handshake with America. As the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution looms, it's time to rethink U.S. strategy toward Iran.

-$150,000 Wardrobe for Palin May Alter Tailor-Made Image
Republicans feared that Gov. Sarah Palin's "hockey mom" image would fray amid revelations that the Republican Party outfitted her from high-end stores.

-China, an Engine of Growth, Faces a Global Slump
As demand for its exports weakens, China hopes to prevent the possible global recession and financial crisis from derailing the country's economic miracle.

Washington Post
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-Pakistan to Arm Tribal Militias
Hope is nascent anti-Taliban groups will replicate "Awakening" movement that worked in Iraq.

-Stopping A Nuclear Tehran
It is likely that the first and most pressing national security issue the next president will face is the growing prospect of a nuclear-weapons-capable Iran. After co-chairing a recently concluded, high-level task force on Iranian nuclear development, we have come to believe that five principles must serve as the foundation of any reasonable, bipartisan and comprehensive Iranian policy.

-A Healthy Schism in South Africa
In 1990, when Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years' imprisonment in South Africa, he noted in his first speech to a waiting world: "I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress. I am therefore in full agreement with all of its objectives, strategies and tactics." His iconic status helped sustain the ANC over the next decade and a half as it transformed itself from a liberation movement into an electorally unassailable democratic government.

Fort Report
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-Block the Vote
Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president? These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

-Ugly election incidents show lingering U.S. racism
Two weeks before an election that could install the first black U.S.
president, scattered ugly incidents have reflected a deep residue of racism among some segments of white America. A cardboard likeness of Barack Obama was found strung from fishing wire at a university, the Democratic presidential nominee's face was depicted on mock food stamps, the body of a black bear was left at another university with Obama posters attached to it.

-Obama, living "American dream," well ahead in China poll
BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama enjoys a support rate as high as 75 percent among the Chinese, state media reported on Thursday, with an analyst saying he personified the American dream. That is the result of an online poll conducted on the China Daily website by the U.S. embassy. Another survey issued by Horizon Research also showed that Obama was strongly favored in China over his Republican rival, John McCain.

-Palin on defensive as scrutiny rises
Spent $150,000 of RNC money for clothing
As her qualifications, her understanding of the vice presidency, and even her wardrobe came under renewed scrutiny yesterday, Sarah Palin told a high- profile conservative Christian leader that she isn't discouraged by the Republican ticket's sagging poll numbers because she and running mate John McCain have always been underdogs.

-Group asks IRS to investigate Catholic bishop against Obama
A church-state watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., violated tax laws by denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama's support of abortion rights.

-Health care plans: Obama vs. McCain
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain have dramatically divergent visions of how to reshape the health insurance system. For example, Obama wants to require parents to provide health insurance for their children, while McCain does not. Both proposals are complex, and both candidates have offered broad outlines of what they would do - without some key specifics. MORE INFORMATION: Health plan analyses on the Web


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