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6:55 PM ET, October 17, 2007


 Top Items: 
Dan Froomkin / Washington Post:
Bush: 'I Am Relevant'  —  A defensive President Bush insisted that he was still relevant this morning in a news conference dominated by his bitter complaints about the Democratic Congress.  —  Asked how he found himself vetoing a children's health insurance bill that had passed Congress …
White House:
Press Conference by the President  —  THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.  We're now more than halfway through October, and the new leaders in Congress have had more than nine months to get things done for the American people.  Unfortunately, they haven't managed to pass many important bills.
John Whitesides / Reuters:
Voters unhappy with Bush and Congress  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush's approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
An embattled Bush: 'I've never felt more engaged'
The Atlantic Online:
Defining World Wars Down
Carpetbagger / The Carpetbagger Report:
Bush defends his 'relevance' at press conference
Associated Press:
Stephen Colbert: I am running for president  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert has announced his candidacy for president on "The Colbert Report," tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an already crowded race.  —  "I shall seek the office of the president of the United States," …
Jacques Steinberg / The Caucus:
Candidate Colbert  —  Stephen Colbert — who announced plans …
Discussion: Hot Air and The BRAD BLOG
CNN Political Ticker:   Colbert announces bid for the White House
Washington Post:
Birth-Control Foe To Run Office on Family Planning  —  The Bush administration again has appointed a chief of family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who has been critical of contraception.  —  Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration …
Spencer Ackerman / TPMmuckraker:
Mukasey Calls Torture 'Antithetical' to American Way  —  That was, um, unexpected.  Not only did Michael Mukasey repudiate the so-called 2002 "torture memo" signed by Office of Legal Counsel chief Jay Bybee — which appears to have survived in spirit, if not in letter — but he compared U.S. torture to the Holocaust.
Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
Mukasey, Durbin and the Right
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Video: Bush warns of World War III if Iran gets the bomb  —  The red font is out at Drudge and the left will be wetting itself over it for the rest of the day and long into the night, but there's nothing here that isn't self-evident.  Once a state sponsor of terror, whose leading "pragmatist" …
Agence France Presse:
Bush warns of World War III if Iran goes nuclear
Discussion: The Corner
Janet Elder / New York Times:
Packaging 9/11, Terror and the War in Iraq  —  The language used to talk about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the language used to take the nation to war in Iraq have been so interlaced that polls show they are inextricably linked in the minds of a substantial number of voters.
Discussion: The Carpetbagger Report and Salon
Brian Faughnan / Weekly Standard:
NYT: Surprisingly, Voters Associate Iraq with War on Terror
Brian Faughnan / Weekly Standard:
House Democrats Shut Down Debate to Preserve Terrorist Loophole  —  Not many people are familiar with the House Rules Committee, or why it has so much power to determine what legislation passes the House.  Simply put, the Committee sets the terms for debate of all significant legislation …
Associated Press:
McKinney registers in Calif., where some want to nominate her  —  Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has registered to vote in California, where some want her to run for president as a Green Party candidate.  —  McKinney posted a letter on her Web site last month saying she has no interest in the Green Party nomination.
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
THE PARTY LINE....The point of the Laffer Curve, in a nutshell, is that sometimes tax rates can be so high that they seriously disincentivize people from working at all.  Ronald Reagan was a Laffer acolyte because of his days in Hollywood during the era of 90% marginal rates …
Spencer Ackerman / TPMmuckraker:
Mukasey Punts on Indefinite Detentions of U.S. Citizens  —  Among Michael Mukasey's most controversial decisions as a judge was to sign a material-witness warrant for suspected (and now convicted) al-Qaeda affiliate and U.S. citizen Jose Padilla, which allowed his detention after his mid-2002 arrival at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
Discussion: Secrecy News
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Live-blogging the Mukasey confirmation hearing
Discussion: New York Times and Prairie Weather
Klaus Marre / The Hill:
Pence pushes vote against Fairness Doctrine  —  Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) filed a discharge petition Wednesday to force a vote on legislation to ban the so-called Fairness Doctrine.  —  "The time has come to do away with the Fairness Doctrine once and for all," the lawmaker said on the House floor.
James R. Carroll / Courier-Journal:
McConnell knew of e-mails about boy  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knew last week — at a time when he was denying it — that his staff had sent e-mails encouraging reporters to look into the background of a 12-year-old boy used by Democrats to support expansion of a health-care program.
Discussion: Horses Mouth and The Politico
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 More Items: 
African-Americans boost Clinton lead, poll finds
Discussion: The Swamp
Rasmussen Reports:
Republican Iowa Caucus
Arnold Kling / TCS Daily:
So You Want to be a Masonomist … In 1962, few people knew …
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Plame's book faults Bush, journalists
Faiz / Think Progress:
Days After Claiming U.S. Less Safe Due To Iraq War, Counterterrorism …
Stephen Trimble / Flight Global:
EXCLUSIVE: US considers Airbus A380 as Air Force One and potentially …
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Gawker
 Earlier Items: 
Molly Moore / Washington Post:
Turkey Authorizes Military Operation in Iraq
techPresident Launches
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Does Obama's Message Match the Moment?
Media Matters for America:
Cliff May on Sen. Clinton: "At least call her a Vaginal-American"
The Hill:
Pelosi sours on Senate
Syrian officials admit site attacked by Israel nuclear
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Rudy Roughs Up Arabs