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12:50 PM ET, October 17, 2007


 Top Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Hmmm ...  It hasn't gotten much attention outside of the Boston suburbs and truly hardcore political junkies.  But there was a congressional election today.  The topline is that the Democrat, Nikki Tsongas, wife of the late Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas, won.
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.
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 …
USA Today:
Timing of gifts stirs 'earmark' debate  —  WASHINGTON — Days after a Senate committee approved $1 million for a Woodstock concert museum, the project's Republican billionaire backer and his family contributed $29,200 to help the Democrats who requested the money, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer.
Yeas & Nays:
Larry Craig isn't Internet literate?  Don't buy it  —  Bathrooms and buses  —  Among all of the bathrooms Sen. Larry Craig has visited, none has been on the information superhighway.  Or so he says.  —  In his interview with Matt Lauer that aired on NBC's "Matt Lauer Reports" …
Discussion: MoJoBlog and Think Progress
Washington Post:
Many GOP Donors Yet to Open Wallets  —  More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOP candidates and their Democratic counterparts.
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.
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Sarah Maria Santorum's tears inspire song  —  This is the story of a defeated senator, his crying daughter, a Nashville songwriter and Martina McBride, the country music star.  —  It begins in Pittsburgh on election night 2006.  Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), losing to Democrat Robert P. Casey Jr …
The Hill:
Pelosi sours on Senate  —  Frustrated by lack of legislative progress in the Senate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is increasingly touting Democratic achievements in the House.  —  Her statements represent a significant shift from the stance she took six months ago.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote
Kieran Crowley / New York Post:
TERROR LAWYER SAYS SHE'D 'DO IT AGAIN'  —  Disbarred terror lawyer Lynne Stewart held court at Hofstra yesterday - unrepentant about the help she gave to a World Trade Center bombing conspirator.  —  Stewart was convicted in 2005 of smuggling secret messages out of prison for Islamic terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Rudy Roughs Up Arabs  —  Now comes "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week."  —  David Horowitz's conservative Freedom Center has designated next week the time to "break through the barrier of politically correct doublespeak that prevails on American campuses, if you want to help our brave troops, who are fighting the Islamo-Fascists abroad."
Cahal Milmo / The Independent:
Africans are less intelligent than Westerners, says DNA pioneer  —  Fury at James Watson's theory: "All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really"  —  One of the world's most eminent scientists was embroiled …
Syrian officials admit site attacked by Israel nuclear  —  Israeli reps at UN Disarmament Commission meeting overhear Syrian official say facility targeted by Air Force last month nuclear  —  Syrian officials have admitted that the site attacked by the Israeli air force last month was a nuclear facility …
techPresident Launches  —  Dear techPresident readers and friends:  —  We're excited to announce the launch of, a new kind of online presidential forum, one that aims to make the most of what the internet has to offer to politics.
The Atlantic Online:
I take it all back  —  A conservative publication, which I will not name, just spiked a book review because I said that the Laffer Curve didn't apply at American levels of taxation, even while otherwise expressing my vast displeasure with the (liberal) economic notions of the book I was reviewing.
Gore rules out presidential bid  —  Ex-VP says he is now running 'a different kind of campaign' for environment  —  OSLO, Norway - Former Vice President Al Gore has ruled out joining the U.S. presidential race after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting climate change.
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Fenty to Order Switch to Meters for District Taxis
Kenneth R. Timmerman /
Kurdish Rebels Strike Iran
Washington Times:
Mr. Reyes's FISA falsehoods
Dick Morris / Real Clear Politics:
Huckabee is the Right Wing's Last Survivor
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"
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Global Warming Starts to Divide G.O.P. Contenders
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
 Earlier Items: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A Karl Rove, Max Cleland face-off
Jesse Lee / The Gavel:
House Passes the Free Flow of Information Act
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Specter: No Retroactive Immunity for Telecoms
David Freedlander / Newsday:
Artist bringing 'Chocolate Jesus' back
George Will / Real Clear Politics:
Democratic Pandering to the Middle Class
Yahoo! News:
As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch