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Biden: No brain scans for aneurysms

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The Chicago Tribune reports that among recent medical records released by Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, there are no scans that might indicate the potential for another dehabilitating aneurysm such as the ones he suffered 20 years ago. Biden, 65, had multiple brain surgeries following the attacks.

Here’s the report:

Newly released medical records from vice presidential candidate Joe Biden do not include the results of any recent brain scans, which some experts consider necessary to assess whether the senator is at risk for a repeat of the brain aneurysms that nearly killed him 20 years ago. Biden’s most recent physical exam in July showed him to be in good health, according to a letter from Dr. John Eisold that the campaign released Monday. The letter from Eisold, who is the attending physician for Congress, described Biden’s cardiac capacity as excellent.

But the 49 pages of records the campaign released gave no indication that Biden’s doctors sought follow-up tests after the serious aneurysms he suffered in 1988. Medical experts are divided over the need for such precautionary brain scans, but many feel it is the only way to be sure a patient is out of danger.

“If this was my patient, I would re-image every three to five years to make sure no new aneurysm had cropped up,” said Dr. Mark Alberts, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The health of the candidates on both sides has become a small but growing issue in the last days of the presidential campaign. A comprehensive look on the subject by the New York Times’ Lawrence K. Altman stated that all four candidates on both tickets could be more forthcoming about their physical condition.

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RNC spent $150,000 to glam Palin

Politico has a scoop:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission’s long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

McCain camp says that it was always intended the clothes would be donated to charity after the election.

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Global warming ruins my day

Some days, the world spills in.

Take Tuesday for example. I came out of a meeting to find a message on my office phone. It was left by the woman who runs my 3-year-old daughter’s school.

“Please come and get your daughter,” she said. “There is a bomb threat. We are dismissing early.”

That’s all she said. Not your typical afternoon message. My daughter’s school is Columbia Heights, a neighborhood north of downtown D.C. It is propitiously lacking in terrorist targets.

So I take a cab in the middle of the day up to the school to grab my daughter, who is, thankfully, oblivious to the world we now in live in, where a crazy bomb threat can empty a few city blocks. She instead accused me of screwing up the days of the week and dropping her off on Saturday. In her mind, I had returned to rectify my error.

As we went to the subway, a Metro employee told me there the “bomb threat” had merely been a suspicious package. This, in fact, was the package:

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I had seen this “person” earlier that morning surrounded by police and had incorrectly assumed it was a homeless man who was for some reason known only to him wearing a giant dog head. (You have to give the residents walking by him credit for being only mildly interested, as if seeing a homeless man dressed as a minotaur happens all the time.)

Instead, this wasn’t a person at all. It was a mannequin of a “homeless” polar bear, left there by as yet unidentified artist to protest global warming. Others have been popping up around the city.

The Washington police department was not edified. Instead it shut down the Metro station, emptied the block, and “defused” the bear. By the time I grabbed my daughter, the bear was already gone. And we had an afternoon to kill.

We went to the park. All dogs there had to be leashed. Bears too.

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Obama: ‘Who are they fighting for?’

 

 

Barack Obama addresses reporters at a hydroelectric turbine plant in York, Pa. 

YORK, Pa.–Barack Obama said Thursday he wasn’t surprised by the ferocity of Republican attacks this week during the party’s convention in St. Paul.

“This is what they do,” Obama told reporters after a campaign event at a plant in York. “They don’t have an agenda to run on. They haven’t offered a single concrete idea so far in two nights about how they would make the lives of middle class Americans better”

Obama echoed a theme that his campaign has established all day in response to jabs from former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin that questioned his experience and mocked his work as a community organizer as a young man in Chicago.

Obama called the attack on community service “curious.”

“i would argue that doing work in the community to try and create jobs, to bring people together, to rejuvenate communities that have fallen on hard times, to set up job-training programs in areas that have been hard hit when the steel plants closed, that that’s relevant only in understanding where I’m coming from, who I believe in, who I’m fighting for and why I’m in this race.

“And the question I have for them is? Why would that kind of work be ridiculous? Who are they fighting for? Who are they advocating for?

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