Saturday, October 25


Huffington Post - John McCain, who has harshly criticized the idea of sitting down with dictators without pre-conditions, appears to have done just that. In 1985, McCain traveled to Chile for a friendly meeting with Chile's military ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, one of the world's most notorious violators of human rights credited with killing more than 3,000 civilians and jailing tens of thousands of others. The private meeting between McCain and Pinochet has gone previously un-reported anywhere by the U.S. media.

Manitoba Herald, Canada -
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. . . Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. 'I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,' said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.

Science Blogs - Sarah Palin gave a policy speech today in which she claimed that she wanted more support for children with disabilities, more tools to test for disorders, and while also decrying the expense of scientific research: "Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? . . . You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.". . . Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage . . . and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system - precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.

- The handful of tycoons who control the gambling industry are playing an unprecedented role: putting all their money behind Sen. John McCain in Nevada, a key battleground state. McCain's Vegas team of five includes billionaires Sheldon Adelson, of Las Vegas Sands and longtime Democrat Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts. They're acting as "bundlers," mega-fundraisers who, critics say, get special access. One of their posh events last June carried a $1,000 ante; $10,000 got donors into a VIP reception with McCain; and $33,000 bought access to an even more exclusive reception

Standard Times, MA
- After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said. In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay. The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said. "The people of Iraq want us out, and we want to stay over their objection," he said. "It's extraordinary." The Maliki government in Iraq "can't sell (the withdrawal deal with the U.S.) because it sounds like we're going to stay too long.". . .

Miami Herald - Jorge Ramos, Univision's news anchor, claims he has conducted more one-on-one interviews with the 2008 presidential candidates than any other anchor in the mainstream media. So far, he has interviewed Barack Obama twice and John McCain three times. Four years ago, he only got a couple minutes -- once -- with Democratic hopeful John Kerry. Earlier this month, Ramos flew to Waukesha, Wis., to interview McCain, who gave him 10 minutes. But when his time was up, McCain agreed to 10 minutes more. ''No candidate can enter the White House without passing through Univision and other Spanish-language media. They know it,'' said Ramos.

James Carville -
The reason the Republicans found Joe the Plumber was to find someone hanging around a toilet other than Larry Craig.

Political Wire
- Gov. Sarah Palin's traveling makeup artist was the highest paid person on Sen. John McCain's campaign staff during the first half of October, the New York Times reports. Amy Strozzi, "who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show So You Think You Can Dance?, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone."


- Election experts predict that up to 40 percent of the electorate will vote early in Florida, one of 31 states that let registered voters show up early and vote without restriction. Three other states and the District of Columbia allow voters to cast their ballots in person ahead of time if they have an approved excuse for not being able to make it on Election Day. Thanks to aggressive voter registration efforts by both parties and fueled by younger voters' enthusiasm for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., election experts predict that a third of the electorate will already have voted by Nov. 4, up from 15 percent in 2000 and 20 percent in 2004.


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