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Campaign spending by independent groups could set a record of $500 million in this year's mid-term elections.  Where is the money coming from?  Are multiple TV spots and the Internet allowing candidates to campaign and hide out at the same time? Also, Guantanamo detainee Ghailani goes on trial in New York City federal court, and for the first time, researchers have injected embryonic stem cells into a human patient. We hear about the medical hopes and fears and the ethical objections.

Banner image: Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove (L) and White House counselor Ed Gillespie make their way to a farewell reception for the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Rob Portman August 1, 2007 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Making News Guantanamo Detainee Ghailani on Trial in NYC Federal Court 7 MIN, 40 SEC

Ahmed Ghailani, an accused terrorist held at Guantanamo Bay, went on trial in civilian court today in New York City. The big question is whether Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the professed mastermind of September 11, will be next. Scott Horton is contributing editor at Harper's magazine and professor at Columbia Law School.

Scott Horton, Columbia Law School / Harper's (@ColumbiaLaw)

Main Topic Big Money and Stealth Campaigns 34 MIN, 55 SEC

Since the US Supreme Court declared that private spending is a form of free speech, political campaigns have been as much about money as anything else. Now, the Obama White House is attacking Republicans for hiding the sources of millions of dollars, suggesting they might be raised illegally overseas. Republican agents like Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are striking back, accusing Democrats of a government-run smear to divert attention from the economy. Even some Democrats are worried about a backfire. Meantime, as the TV commercials multiply, is this the “year of the Missing Candidate?”

Kenneth Vogel, New York Times (@kenvogel)
James Bopp, Bopp Law Firm
Fred Wertheimer, Founder and President, Democracy 21
James Rainey, Variety (@raineytime)
Robert Thompson, Syracuse University

Reporter's Notebook First Patient Treated in Stem Cell Study 8 MIN, 15 SEC

Last Friday, researchers in Atlanta injected millions of embryonic stem cells into a patient with a damaged spine, in the first clinical trial of embryonic stem cells in a human being. Phase I is for safety, but they're looking for therapeutic consequences as well. Some critics say it's premature, while others contend it's immoral. Rob Stein is national science reporter at the Washington Post.

Rob Stein, NPR (@robsteinnews)

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