Weekly Review — November 4, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A grasshopper driving a chariot, 1875]

Democrats were outvoting Republicans in all nine states that track the party affiliations of early voters, indicating a likely election victory for Barack Obama. George Mason University“It’s gonna get nasty,” Obama told a crowd in Missouri.CNNRepublicans claimed that Democrats were coercing dementia patients to cast absentee ballots,Des Moines Registerand fliers posted in black neighborhoods of Philadelphia falsely warned that voters with unpaid parking tickets would be arrested at the polls.APIt was reported that Obama‘s half-aunt Zeitun Onyango lives in a Boston housing project and is an illegal immigrant–a detail likely leaked by the Bush Administration against the procedures of the Department of Homeland Security.TPM MuckrakerEvidence emerged that during the Senate Ethics Committee investigation of the Keating Five scandal in 1990, John McCain allegedly committed perjury and illegally leaked details to the press that made himself seem innocent and his colleagues seem guilty–actions that had they been exposed at the time, could have resulted in McCain’s expulsion from the Senate.TNRNovelist John Updike endorsed Obama. “I am so much for Obama,” said the author of “Terrorist,” “it would be hard for me to cook up a character who was for McCain.” New York TimesDick Cheney endorsed McCain, Telegraphand two white-supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee for plotting to kill 88 people, behead 14 African Americans, and assassinate Barack Obama while wearing white tuxedos and top hats.ReutersAuthor Erica Jong told an Italian interviewer, “If Obama loses, it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it’s not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets.” New York ObserverMadelyn Dunham, Obama‘s 86-year-old grandmother, died of cancer,New York Timesand a man leaped to his death from the Spaghetti Bowl, in El Paso, Texas, leaving behind a note that read, “Obama take care of my family.”El Paso Times

American consumer spending declined by 0.3 percent, its first dip in 17 years. “The economy has taken a turn for the worse, big time,” said Allen Sinai of Decision Economics. IHTExperts predicted a period of deflation, or falling prices–a condition that wrecked Japan’s economy throughout the 1990s. “We could get into a vicious circle of deepening malaise,” said economist Nouriel Roubini. New York TimesThe Treasury Department declined a request for $10 billion from General Motors to help finance its possible merger with Chrysler, which would result in the elimination of thousands of jobs.New York TimesSomali pirates were reported to have attacked 75 vessels this year and were on track to make $50 million in tax-free profits. “All you need is three guys and a little boat, and the next day you’re millionaires,” said Abdullahi Omar Qawden, formerly a captain in Somalia’s defunct navy. New York TimesStuds Terkel died, New York Timesand the Christian Science Monitor announced that it will drop its print edition and publish only on the Web.Christian Science MonitorA drum maker in London died after inhaling anthrax from an African animal skin he was using to make a drum,BBCand Chuckie Taylor, Boston-born son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, was convicted in a Miami court of torture and conspiracy–the first instance of a conviction under a 1994 law that allows for the prosecution of American citizens accused of committing torture overseas. bbcCharred flint found in Israel indicated that human ancestors–either Homo erectus or Homo ergaster–mastered fire 790,000 years ago,New Scientistand a barn fire in Waterville, Nova Scotia, incinerated 1,000 hogs.Chronicle-Herald

An Ohio judge ruled that the homeless may list park benches as their residences in registering to vote. Columbus DispatchA Montreal comedian posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a prank call to Sarah Palin and spoke to the candidate for five minutes about hunting, her foreign-policy experience, and Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni. “I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler’s ‘Nailin’ Palin,'” said the caller, referring to a pornographic video. “Oh, good, thank you,” Palin replied. “Yes.” Daily KosEvangelicals were praying to block curses against McCain and Palin they believed were emanating from the witches and warlocks of Kenya. injesus.comObama paid an estimated $3 million to air an infomercial on three television networks, and McCain diverted funds away from ground operations to pay for more television advertising.Washington PostAppearing on “Saturday Night Live,” the Arizona Senator said, “I’m a true maverick, a Republican without money.”New York TimesKay Hagan, a Democratic candidate for Senate in North Carolina, filed an application to sue her opponent, the incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole, for an ad associating Hagan with the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. “Godless Americans and Kay Hagan,” says the ad. “She hid from cameras. Took ??Godless’ money. What did Kay Hagan promise in return?” The spot, which lawyers for Dole called “100 percent factually accurate and truthful,” concludes with an image of Hagan and a female voiceover that states, “There is no God.”CNN

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At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

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