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4:00 PM ET, October 18, 2006

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Washington Post:
Elections May Leave Bush An Early Lame Duck  —  On desks around the West Wing sit digital clocks counting down the days and hours left in the Bush presidency, reminders to the White House staff to use the time left as effectively as possible.  As of 8 a.m. today, those clocks will read 825 days, four hours.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
A Lesson From Europe on Health Care  —  Shortly before he moved to Greece last year, an American named John Econopouly received the unpleasant news that he needed a hernia operation.  He had the surgery done in Northern California, and it didn't go so well.
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Kevin G. Hall / Real Cities:
Health care, wages, energy costs put squeeze on middle class
Discussion: Political Animal
Elana Schor / The Hill:
Weldon's Itera ties long known  —  As President Bush prepared to announce a new energy cooperation pact with Russia in May 2002, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and 10 fellow lawmakers sat down in Moscow with executives of oil and gas trader Itera Group, praising the company as a prime prospect for U.S. partnerships.
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Investor's Business Daily:
Reid It And Weep  —  Scandal: As the FBI raids Curt Weldon's …
William Sim / Bloomberg:
Bush to Blame for North Korean Crisis, Soros Says (Update1)  —  Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire investor George Soros today blamed U.S. President George W. Bush for escalating tensions with North Korea, which last week tested a nuclear bomb for the first time.
Discussion: Austin Bay Blog
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Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority  —  U.S. Says Shift Is Not A Step Toward Arms; Experts Say It Could Be  —  President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests."
Jon Craig / Cincinnati Enquirer:
Governor's race turns ugly  —  Blackwell campaign links Strickland to predators, hints he's gay  —  COLUMBUS - With Republican Ken Blackwell trailing by double digits in almost every poll, Blackwell's campaign Tuesday tried to link his Democratic opponent to child sex predators …
Steven E. Moore / Opinion Journal:
655,000 War Dead?  —  A bogus study on Iraq casualties.  —  After doing survey research in Iraq for nearly two years, I was surprised to read that a study by a group from Johns Hopkins University claims that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war.
Ian / Hot Air:
Video: 'Wrong' Rosie won't voice support for US victory in Iraq  —  Bill O'Reilly was on this morning's "The View" to discuss his book, "traditionalists" and "secular progressives", and a variety of other issues.  —  Before Bill O came out with the gals, Rosie introduced "Disagree" and …
Richard Norton-Taylor / Guardian:
Iraq war cost years of progress in Afghanistan - UK brigadier  —  Commander echoes criticism of Blair's foreign policy by head of army  —  The invasion of Iraq prevented British forces from helping to secure Afghanistan much sooner and has left a dangerous vacuum in the country for four years …
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Pastor endorses Bachmann; IRS gets complaint  —  The candidate also spoke at four services at Brooklyn Park church.  —  A Brooklyn Park minister's church-delivered endorsement of congressional candidate Michele Bachmann has prompted a formal complaint to the IRS and led a church official …
New York Times:
Alarm Bells for G.O.P. in a Battleground State  —  Supporters of both candidates in the Senate race in Ohio hit the streets on Friday in Dayton.  Senator Mike DeWine, a Republican, is trailing.  —  The bellwether state of Ohio appears to have become hostile terrain for Republicans this year …
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / TCS Daily:
We're All Soldiers of Fortune Now  —  Survival kits and disaster preparedness used to be something out of the mainstream.  After a brief (and heavily-mocked) period of fallout-shelter construction in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the notion of private disaster preparedness retreated from the mainstream.
Discussion: alicublog and One Hand Clapping
Ann E. Marimow / Washington Post:
Hoyer Remark 'Racist,' GOP's Steele Charges  —  Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele accused a leading Democratic congressman yesterday of racial insensitivity for saying the Republican candidate has "slavishly" followed the GOP.  —  Steele, an African American running for the U.S. Senate …
Redstate:
Senate Democrats Bankroll Extortion  —  Just as a refresher, the breaking Larry Craig story is not a story about sex, or sexuality, or hypocrisy, it's about criminal extortion.  Several months ago, Mike Rogers threatened to out an unnamed United States Senator if he voted to confirm Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
Rasmussen Reports:
Pennsylvania Senate: Santorum Trailing by 13  —  Casey (D) 54% Santorum (R) 41%  —  With just a few weeks to go until November 7, Senator Rick Santorum's chances of securing reelection fade a bit more every day.  The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll finds that challenger Bob Casey …
Jim VandeHei / Washington Post:
Funding Constrains Democrats  —  Party Chiefs See Chance to Take 40-Plus Seats With TV Push  —  Top Democrats said yesterday that they are planning to significantly expand the number of GOP House seats they will target during the final 20 days of the campaign but that financial disputes …
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Iraq Removes Leaders of Special Police  —  The Iraqi government removed the country's two most senior police commanders from their posts on Tuesday, in the first broad move against the top leadership of Iraq's unruly special police forces.  —  The two generals had led Iraq's special police commandos …
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Which Way to Win?  —  As we head toward Election Day 2006, political analysts are focusing on a few dozen tossup races that will determine whether the Democrats take the House and Senate.  But there's a larger, overarching battle this year between two visions of America …
Michael Freund / Jerusalem Post:
Pro-Israeli editor beaten in Bangladesh  —  A Muslim journalist facing charges of sedition for advocating ties with Israel was recently attacked and beaten by a crowd in Bangladesh that allegedly included leading officials of the country's ruling party, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
BBC:
Human species 'may split in two'  —  Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.  —  Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Sweeney: You Call That A Sweatshop?  —  Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) joined the Abramoff party today.  And his blithe remarks about the lack of apparent mistreatment in the Northern Mariana Islands could mean political trouble.  —  In 2001, The Albany Times-Union reports …
Brian Ross Reports / The Blotter:
FBI Yet to Find Evidence of Foley-Page Sexual Contact  —  Brian Ross Reports:  —  After interviewing some 40 former congressional pages, FBI agents have yet to turn up any evidence of direct sexual contact between underage pages and former Congressman Mark Foley.
Discussion: PoliPundit.com
Guardian:
Gaza doctors say patients suffering mystery injuries after Israeli attacks  —  Rory McCarthy in Gaza City  —  Doctors in Gaza have reported previously unseen injuries from Israeli weapons that cause severe burning and deep internal wounds often resulting in amputations or death.
 
 
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 More Items: 
WKRC-TV:
Political Campaigns Use New Tactics
Charlie Cook / MSNBC:
The blue wave of the future is clear
Center for American Progress:
Securing the Common Good  —  Georgetown University, Washington, DC, Gaston Hall
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:
Getting To The Heart Of Things
Charles S. Johnson / Billings Gazette:
Iraq plan ignites Burns-Tester debate
Washington Post:
Virginia's Senate Race
 Earlier Items: 
CNN:
Ministry: Iraq families join exodus to escape violence
John Kerry / The Huffington Post:
Will You Fight With Them?  —  Anyone who comes to Huffington Post …
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Report Spells Out Abuses by Former Congressman
Alan Dershowitz / New York Sun:
Clinton And I  —  Several years ago, I provoked a storm …
Johanna Neuman / Los Angeles Times:
Some Seek 'Pink Purge' in the GOP