The 2008 presidential campaign and congressional races cost an estimated $5.3 billion, shattering all previous records, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. While that’s a lot of money, it’s less than the $6 billion Americans spent this year on Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations.
USA Today

YouTube videos mentioning Barack Obama or John McCain were viewed 2.3 billion times, according to the media measurement firm TubeMogul.
The New York Times

Astronauts Michael Fincke and Greg Chamitoff, who are living on the International Space Station, cast electronic ballots from space. A 1997 Texas law allows astronauts based in Houston to vote in that state while on space missions.

The U.S., which long enjoyed the world’s top high school graduation rate, has fallen to 13th place behind such countries as South Korea, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia. The U.S. is now the only country in the developed world where young people are less likely to graduate than their parents were.
The New York Times

About 250 thefts of nuclear material were reported around the world this year, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.  IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei called the number of thefts “disturbingly high’’ and said most of the material is never recovered.
Associated Press