ThinkFast: October 29, 2008

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"ThinkFast: October 29, 2008"

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Politico reports: “Two days after next week’s election, top conservatives will gather at the Virginia weekend home of one of the movement’s most prominent members to begin a conversation about their role in the GOP and how best to revive” the party. The meeting will include a “who’s who of conservative leaders.”

Recently convicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) “is asking the Justice Department to investigate the conduct of federal prosecutors” who prosecuted him. Stevens’s attorney has requested an investigation into “numerous, serious constitutional violations” by government prosecutors, alleging that his trial was “irretrievably tainted by the prosecution team’s zeal to convict a high-profile but innocent defendant.”

“After years of flooding Americans with credit card offers and sky-high credit lines, lenders are sharply curtailing both, just as an eroding economy squeezes consumers.” The move “threatens an already beleaguered banking industry with another wave of heavy losses after an era in which it reaped near record gains from the business of easy credit that it helped create.”

President Bush has transformed America’s federal appeals courts, “advancing a conservative legal revolution that began nearly three decades ago under President Ronald Reagan.” By Inauguration day, “Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up about 62 percent of the bench” while controlling 10 of the 13 circuit courts.

Six days to go: John McCain will campaign with “Joe the Plumber” today in Miami, while Sarah Palin will be holding rallies in Bowling Green and Chillicothe, OH, as well as Jeffersonville, IN. Palin will also be giving a policy speech on energy in Toledo, OH. Barack Obama will be holding a rally in Raleigh, NC and another one with President Bill Clinton in Kissimmee, FL. He and Joe Biden will appear at a joint rally in Sunrise, FL, and Biden will also be in Jupiter, FL.

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) returned to his Washington residence yesterday, after spending the last six months at his home on Cape Cod battling brain cancer. Kennedy’s spokesperson “declined to speculate on when Kennedy might return to his full duties in the Senate,” but his return is “a sign that his treatments have been progressing well.

U.S. commanders in Afghanistan now believe they need about 20,000 more troops to battle a growing Taliban insurgency, the Washington Post reports today. The recent troop requests reflect the struggles that the military is facing in the country, where overall attacks “are up about 25 percent from January to October this year, compared with the same period last year.”

Afghans are increasingly pessimistic about their country, according to a new Asia Foundation poll. Only 36 percent believe they are “more prosperous today than under the 1996-2001 Taliban government,” down from 54 percent in 2006.

A U.S. military judge “barred the Pentagon Tuesday from using a Guantanamo prisoner’s confession to Afghan authorities as trial evidence, saying it was obtained through torture.” The detainee’s defense attorney, Air Force Maj. David Frakt, told the AP that the ruling removes “the lynchpin of the government’s case.”

“In a study conducted in Florida, researchers found that drugstores in the poorest areas charge more, on average, for four widely used prescription medications than do pharmacies in wealthier neighborhoods.”

And finally: Happy Halloween from the White House, with special greetings from Barney, Miss Beazley, and Willie the cat.

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