Content Section
  1. Breaking Alaska Senator Guilty of Corruption

    1. Alaska Senator Guilty of Corruption

    Ted Stevens of Alaska, the Senate’s longest-serving Republican, is guilty of lying about receiving gifts, a jury found this afternoon. The guilt verdict on seven felony charges could spell the end of a long career for the Alaskan political patriarch. Stevens, 84, failed to report more than $250,000 in gifts from Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., and others. The senator had told the court he didn’t want the gifts and was unaware of them. He faces five years in prison on each of the seven charges, but is likely to serve little of that time.

    October 27, 2008 12:11 PM

  2. The Election McCain Warns of "Dangerous Threesome"

    2. McCain Warns of "Dangerous Threesome"

    McCain spoke out today against the “dangerous threesome” of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, which, we must admit, would not be the sexiest ménage a trois. McCain, whose campaign has now taken to warning of the dangers of Democratic control of both elected branches of government, warned that these leaders would initiate a “spending spree” of “your hard earned money.” A side note: During a September debate, Obama announced that he was against Washington’s “orgy of spending.”

    October 27, 2008 9:11 AM

  3. Frightening

    3. Plot Against Obama Called Dubious

    With eight days to go before Election Day, federal officials in Tennessee have unsealed an arrest complaint against two neo-Nazis who allegedly plotted to kill Barack Obama. Thankfully, NBC is reporting that officials are saying the plot, which involved assassinating the Democratic presidential nominee and decapitating 100 other African-Americans, never got beyond the talking stage. Still, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, arrested Thursday, reportedly had a sawed-off shotgun and rifle. Scary stuff.

    October 27, 2008 2:27 PM

  4. Essential

    4. Report: U.S. Launches Attack in Syria

    Yesterday, explosions in Syria killed nine construction workers and wounded 19 others. Several media sources report that the attack was carried out by U.S. special forces, though the military has not issued a statement. The attack, the London Times writes, is "the culmination of years of frustration with Damascus's reluctance to police its own border with Iraq." (An anonymous military official tells the AP: "We are taking matters into our own hands.”) Syria has called the attack a "terrible crime" and demanded explanation.

    October 27, 2008 3:21 AM

  5. Tragic

    5. Confirmed: Body Found Is Hudson's Nephew

    Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis has confirmed that the body found in an SUV connected to Jennifer Hudson's missing nephew is indeed that of the 7-year-old boy, Julian King. The actress-singer and her family identified the body, which had multiple gunshot wounds; an autopsy will be conducted tomorrow. King had been missing since Friday, when Hudson's mother and brother were found murdered in their South Side home. Police have an unnamed suspect in custody who is believed to be Hudson’s brother-in-law.

    October 27, 2008 6:12 AM

  6. Smart

    6. Why Evangelical Teens Get Knocked Up

    When Bristol Palin's pregnancy surfaced, liberals figured that her mother's conservative base would react with outrage. Instead it embraced her. Margaret Talbot examines teenage evangelical pregnancy in a must-read piece in The New Yorker. Unlike blue states, where premarital intercourse and contraception are tolerated but teenage pregnancy is stigmatized, "red states' generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant." Seventy-four percent of white evangelical adolescents do not believe in sex before marriage, and yet they are more sexually active than teenagers of all other religious groups except black Protestants. 

    October 27, 2008 2:58 AM

  7. Who Knew? The Holy Land Primary

    7. The Holy Land Primary

    Here’s a rare and unexpected agreement between Israelis and Palestinians: Both support John McCain over Barack Obama. Ynetnews reports a poll showing McCain besting Obama among Israelis 46 to 32, while a Jerusalem Post article mentions a poll of Palestinians from September, showing McCain beating Obama 33.5 to 27.7. A plurality of Palestinians, however, prefer neither candidate, and the Post article emphasizes Palestinians’ pessimism that both outcomes will have little effect on their lives. Nearly half of all Israelis, meanwhile, think a McCain administration would better impact Israel. The only other countries surveyed that support McCain are Georgia and the Philippines.

    October 27, 2008 10:53 AM

  8. Obit

    8. Mystery Novelist of the West

    Tony Hillerman was a mystery writer whose gumshoes roamed vast deserts instead of mean streets. Hillerman died yesterday at 83, and Deanne Stillman, a former student, pays his teacher tribute at LA Observed. “Around Tony,” Stillman writes, “you knew what the heart of a story was; you just needed to figure out how to get there. If you couldn't get there right away, that was ok; deadlines were for sports reporters and somehow, he made you understand that stories unfold in their own time; like the land, I came to realize, they have seasons.”

    October 27, 2008 7:54 AM

  9. Novel In Defense of Al Franken

    9. In Defense of Al Franken

    Politics is a humorless practice, but that may change ever so slightly if Al Franken wins his Senate race in Minnesota. Jonathan Chait musters a rousing endorsement of Franken for Slate. Franken’s comedy has disqualified him in the eyes of many as a serious candidate for office. But, Chait writes, Franken is a satirist, and “satire is a form of political commentary.” After rereading Franken’s book, Chait decides that Frank is “smarter than he is funny”—smarter, in fact, “than most members of Congress or national political reporters I’ve met”—and that he’s a political moderate who suffers from a misperception that “conflates blunt opposition to the Republican right with left-wing beliefs.” Franken is so smart, Chait concludes, that, should he win, “I can’t imagine he’ll find politics anything but a crushing disappointment.

    October 27, 2008 11:33 AM

  10. Haunting

    10. Hostage Escape in Colombia

    A harrowing story from Colombia: A few days ago, the Colombian Army found Oscar Tulio Lizcano, a former congressman whom the FARC had kidnapped eight years earlier. Lizcano walked through the jungle for three days without food or rest, carried at the end by his former captor, a 28-year old who helped him to escape from the FARC prison. “I’m sorry if I say incoherent things,” Lizcano told the press, “but I have spent eight years without talking.” He said his main regret was leaving behind love poems he had recently written for his wife. Lizcano is the third high profile hostage to escape in the past two years. Twenty-eight politicians and soldiers, among hundreds of others, are still captive in the Colombian jungle.

    October 27, 2008 10:58 AM

  11. Spin Control

    11. Drudge's Latest Shocker

    Is Matt Drudge getting desperate over a likely McCain defeat? Last week, he floated a bogus story about an attack on a McCain staffer. Today, the Drudge Report blares this headline: “2001: Obama Tragedy that ‘Redistribution of Wealth’ Not Pursued by Supreme Court”—a meme that the McCain campaign has already seized. Andrew Sullivan notes how blatantly Drudge takes Obama’s quote out of context. “The ‘tragedy,’ in Obama’s telling, is that the civil rights movement was too court-focused. He was making a case against using courts to implement broad social goals—which is, last time I checked, the conservative position.” Sullivan provides the Obama quote in its entirety, so you can judge for yourself.

    October 27, 2008 9:47 AM

  12. Gagger The United Kingdom of Rats

    12. The United Kingdom of Rats

    Another sign of pending apocalypse: Britain's rat population has exploded in recent years, falling somewhere between 60 and 80 million individuals, as opposed to the 60 million people who inhabit the island. The sudden growth is due to a string of mild winters and last year's floods. York has been the worst hit, with its rat population tripling in the past year. Experts say the best solution is a reduction in food waste--and presumably a whole lot of glue traps.

    October 27, 2008 3:45 AM

  13. Seen This?

    13. World's Fattest Man Marries

    Most couples walk down the isle, but Manuel Uribe came in his bed. According to The Telegraph, Uribe, who has not left his bed in 6 years, wore a white silk shirt and had a sheet wrapped around his legs, while his custom-made bed, decked with flowers and gold-trimmed bows was wheeled up to the event hall on a flatbed truck. Uribe cried as notary declared him and long-time girlfriend Claudia Solis, 38, man and wife. In 2006, Uribe, a former mechanic, weighed in at 1,230 pounds and made the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s heaviest man. Since then, he has dropped 550 pounds and gained a wife. He didn’t eat a morsel of the 5-tier wedding cake, preferring to stick to his diet in hopes that his next claim to fame will be as the world’s biggest weight-loser.

    October 27, 2008 10:56 AM

  14. Heh Rock of the Recession

    14. Rock of the Recession

    Proof that England is entering a recession: AC/DC tops the album charts for the first time in 28 years. It seems that the rock group has become the official band of economic doom. After forming in the midst of the 1973 oil crisis, AC/DC's first No. 1 record was in 1980, when inflation reached 20 percent and unemployment almost topped 2 million. As The Guardian put it, the band's appeal is that “people crave something uncomplicated and dependable in a time of uncertainty.” As fans know, AC/DC is nothing if not uncomplicated and dependable.

    October 27, 2008 3:04 AM

  15. Against the Grain

    15. Saving Conservatism from the GOP

    "The GOP is in bad shape," Peter Wehner writes in today's Washington Post. "Conservatism is not." Indeed, the GOP's problems "stem from being seen as having become less conservative and principled." And the American public still regularly identifies as conservative—in favor of lower taxes and smaller government. This bears out in the presidential election, where Obama has succeeded, in part, by tacking right. The financial crisis, if nothing else, gives conservatives a chance to reemerge from the political wilderness by proving their commitment to "modern, accountable and responsive institutions."

    October 27, 2008 3:02 AM

  16. Seen This?

    16. Geffen Ankles DreamWorks

    The man who enticed Steven Spielberg to join DreamWorks is now leaving it himself. After engineering DreamWorks' recent separation from Paramount, David Geffen has officially ankled the company. Indeed, after amassing $6.5 billion over the years, Geffen is planning to take a step back from Hollywood altogether. Long considered Hollywood's biggest powerbroker, Geffen's only remaining presence is on the board of DreamWorks Animation, but many expect that he will soon resign from that, too. "I cannot imagine not having David in my professional life," Spielberg tells The Times. "If that's true, I'm going to have to figure out what to do about it."

    October 27, 2008 3:34 AM

  17. Promotions Jesse Jackson Jr. for Senate!

    17. Jesse Jackson Jr. for Senate!

    About a million campaign subplots ago, Jesse Jackson blurted out that he wanted to “cut [Obama’s] nuts off.” Today we learn that his son, Jesse Jackson Jr., is more concerned about Obama’s Senate seat. Should Obama win the presidency, The Chicago Defender says it endorses Jackson Jr. to replace him. (The seat will be filled by Illinois’ Democratic governor.)  After praising Jackson Jr.’s policy positions, the paper says that Obama, the Senate’s only African-American, should be replaced by another African-American. Jackson’s office—which has been maintained publicly that it’s much, much too early to talk about this stuff—has been gleefully sending out the story in email.

    October 27, 2008 3:01 AM

  18. Intriguing

    18. Kim Jong Il Mystery Deepens

    This morning’s London Times offers more speculation on the condition of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il. A Japanese television crew found Dear Leader’s son in Paris, “apparently eliciting the emergency services of a top brain surgeon.” Then: “Two days later, an unnamed French doctor was filmed arriving at Charles De Gaulle airport in a car owned by the North Korean mission to Unesco, seemingly bound for Beijing. When asked, the doctor did not deny that Pyongyang was his ultimate destination.” Kim, who is 66, missed military events earlier this year, fueling speculation about his health. 

    October 27, 2008 3:08 AM

  19. Person of Interest Axelrod to the White House?

    19. Axelrod to the White House?

    The New York Times and the Politico weigh in today with a pair of stories on Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod. The Times examines his particularly close relationship with Obama, noting his unique "personal investment in Mr. Obama's success." Meanwhile, the Politico wonders whether Axelrod will stay onboard in an Obama White House. "Democrats who know Axelrod say they expect him to make the jump to the White House," Ben Smith reports, but, given the bad name Karl Rove has lent executive political operatives, some Democratic veterans like Bob Shrum and Doug Schoen advise against it.

    October 27, 2008 2:56 AM

  20. Novel What Would Teddy Roosevelt Do?

    20. What Would Teddy Roosevelt Do?


    John McCain famously idolizes Teddy Roosevelt, so he’ll want to read this fun article from today’s Times. Edmund Morris, a Roosevelt biographer, has taken some real quotes from T.R. and cast them as his response to our current political predicament. On the chance that Sarah Palin might be elected: “I shall feel exactly the way a very small frog looks when it swallows a beetle the size of itself, with extremely stiff legs.” On the ever-talkative Joe Biden: “You can’t nail marmalade against a wall.” On Dubya: “He looks like Judas, but unlike that gentleman has no capacity for remorse.”


    October 27, 2008 2:59 AM

  21. Heh The Obama Lottery

    21. The Obama Lottery

    If you thought Obama was big in Denver, you should see him in Villavicencio, Colombia. The candidate’s face was plastered all over town last week, thanks to a savvy lottery agency which decided to print special Obama edition lottery tickets. According to the lottery manager, Magdalena González, the Obama tickets were a way to "honor" black citizens. Sure, she could've chosen the face of a Colombian of African descent or a member of an indigenous group, but Obama’s mug has caused sales to soar.

    October 27, 2008 8:08 AM

  22. Juicy

    22. Fawlty Voicemails

    Who says the English are civilized? British comedians Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand (the latter of this spring’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall) have stirred controversy in Britain by leaving a raunchy voicemail for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. They recorded the voicemail, in which Brand claims to have slept with Sach’s granddaughter, on their radio show after Sachs failed to answer their call at the agreed time. The duo have offered apologies to Sachs, but he was not their only victim. “Such a mind numbingly poor item during the show,” Julia Raeside writes in The Guardian, “was a crime against listeners, not to mention comedy.”

    October 27, 2008 7:35 AM

  23. Seen This? Prince Harry and the Helicopter

    23. Prince Harry and the Helicopter

    Prince Harry wants to get back into action, reports The Telegraph, volunteering to be helicopter pilot like his older brother William. Harry's previous service in Afghanistan was cut short after web sites leaked his location. If Harry is accepted he will face an enemy eager to capitalize on his position. "We ask God to enable our beloved brothers in the Taliban to seize this priceless booty because nothing would break the heart of his grandmother more than if she lost him," said one poster on an Al Qaeda website. Harry’s military life does offer a certain kind of reprieve. As The Telegraph puts it, "By remaining in the military both princes will be afforded some privacy from the media."

    October 27, 2008 9:08 AM

  24. Audacious

    24. Mohammed, Superstar

    Take cover! Producer Oscar Zoghbi announced today that a biopic of the Prophet Mohammed called The Messenger of Peace is now being scripted. The film will be a remake of the 1976 film The Message. That film was well-received in the Middle East, but in Washington, D.C., the Black Panthers killed two and took 149 others hostage in response to the rumored casting of Anthony Quinn as Mohammed (he actually played a different role). Note this, too: The director of The Message, Moustapha Akkad, went on to produce the Halloween franchise.

    October 27, 2008 8:44 AM