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5:35 PM ET, October 2, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
McCain pulling out of Michigan  —  John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.  —  McCain will go off TV in Michigan …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin's new plan: Go after Biden  —  ST. LOUIS — Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight's debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight's showdown.
Foon Rhee / Boston Globe:
McCain: Life isn't fair  —  Republican John McCain — making the rounds of the morning news shows as polls show him falling behind Democratic rival Barack Obama and his running mate losing the confidence of voters — sounded either bitter or fatalistic, or perhaps was trying some gallows humor.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
McCain's ‘Stop Sarah Palin’ strategy working like a charm, polls show  —  Fresh evidence tonight that the brilliant McCain campaign strategy to lock away the political effervescence of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to stoke overconfidence among the nation's Democrats and set the stage …
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
GOP ‘Gotcha Journalism’ Charges Throw Spotlight on Debate  —  For days now, television viewers have watched Sarah Palin unable to explain the significance of her home state's bordering Russia, unable to name a Supreme Court ruling she disagrees with, unable to name a single newspaper she reads.
Discussion: The New Republic and The E&P Pub
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
Sarah Biden  —  Journalists continue to ask, “What was John McCain thinking in selecting the gaffe-prone Gov. Sarah Palin?”  —  In what has now become a disturbing pattern, the Alaska governor seems either unable or unwilling to avoid embarrassing statements that are often as untrue as they are outrageous.
St. Petersburg Times:
Florida GOP meets in secret as Obama passes McCain in polls  —  TALLAHASSEE — Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state.  —  Their fears were confirmed Wednesday when four …
Chris Orr / The New Republic:
Another Reason Palin Will Win Tonight  —  I think Michelle is spot on in her pre-analysis of tonight's Biden-Palin debate, but I'd add one additional dynamic that's likely to operate in Palin's favor: She is much closer to her floor of support right now than her ceiling.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Plouffe protests  —  David Plouffe spoke to reporters just now, my colleague Victoria McGrane reports, previewing the debate.  —  After repeatedly calling Palin first “an extremely good debater,” then a “great” one, at the end he ramped it up to “Gov. Palin is one of the best debaters in American politics …
Discussion: and TPM Election Central
Michelle Cottle / The New Republic:
Cue The Comeback  —  Will Palin get pushed into a sinkhole of cringe-inducing incoherence tonight?  Don't bet on it!  —  There's a memorable exchange in the divinely trashy B-movie The Devil's Advocate in which Al Pacino—well-cast as the head of a Manhattan-based legal empire who also happens to be Satan …
Jim Oliphant / The Swamp:
Obama camp: Palin ‘one of the best’
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
CNN:   McCain camp cedes ground in Michigan
Washington Post:
Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds
Ifill Ethics Commission Clears Ifill  —  By Gwen Ifill  —  PBS Chief Political Correspondent  —  and Gwen Ifill  —  President, Ifill Center for Media Ethics  —  and Gwen Ifill  —  Editor, BarackBeat Fanzine  —  WASHINGTON - As expected, a blue ribbon panel from the Ifill Center …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
CJR: Yes, Ifill has a conflict of interest
Ross Douthat:
The Struggles of Sarah Palin  —  What's been interesting - in a watching-from-behind-your-hands sort of way, if you're a conservative who wishes her well - about Palin's interviews with Charlie Gibson and especially Katie Couric is the way they've provided examples of almost every single …
Washington Post:
Judge Could Dismiss Stevens's Indictment or Declare Mistrial  —  Prosecutors Wait Until Last Minute to Disclose Potentially Exculpatory Material  —  A federal judge this morning scolded lawyers prosecuting Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) on ethics charges for waiting until the last minute …
Discussion: Firedoglake, Emptywheel and Kevin Drum
John Bresnahan / The Crypt's Blogs:
Judge suspends Stevens' trial, may dismiss case
Discussion: Weekly Standard
New Yorker:
THE CHOICE  —  Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that's the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast.  And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true?  When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Wonkette
Margaret Newkirk / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Black turnout high in early voting  —  A disproportionate number of Georgia's 194,138 early voters are African-American, in what could be an encouraging sign for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.  —  As of Wednesday, about 39 percent of those voters — 74,961 — are African-Americans …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Donklephant
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
Gilchrest Unloads on Know-Nothing Pols and the Rest of Us  —  Wayne Gilchrest, the nine-term Republican congressman who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County, has had it, and he's ready to talk.  —  He's had it with his own party, which he says “has become more narrow …
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Obama releases iPhone recruiting, campaign tool  —  Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign launched an iPhone application on Thursday that turns the vaunted device into a political recruiting tool.  —  The most notable feature “organizes and prioritizes your contacts by key battleground states …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs, Slog and Needlenose
BJ Lytle / Taxpayers for Common Sense:
HEADLINES BY TCS  —  The following are some of the top tax sweeteners in the Senate passed Bailout Bill.  Not all the provisions are per se outrageous, but collectively are intended to help Congressional leadership get final passage of the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
Dareh Gregorian / New York Post:
NOT ONE 'BUCK'LEY FOR YOU!  —  WILL'S WILL: GRANDSON, 8, DEAD TO ME  —  Before he died, William F. Buckley Jr. put his young grandson on the firing line.  —  The intellectual conservative icon - renowned for his erudition and use of uncommon words - excluded his son's illegitimate child …
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain by 5 Points  —  Obama has led McCain by significant margin for last six days  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Registered voters currently prefer Barack Obama (48%) to John McCain (43%) for president, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update.
Discussion: MyDD
Justin Scheck / Wall Street Journal:
Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets  —  Packs of Fish Catch On as Currency, Former Inmates Say; Officials Carp  —  When Larry Levine helped prepare divorce papers for a client a few years ago, he got paid in mackerel.  Once the case ended, he says, “I had a stack of macks.”
Discussion: Marginal Revolution
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
New Obama Ad In South Stars Bluegrass Legend Saying Obama Is “A Good Man”  —  Now this is a good ad.  A Virginia Democrats sends over a new radio spot that Obama is airing in the southern part of the state — it stars homegrown bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley vouching for Obama's values …
KMyles / The Wichita NAACP Blog:
OH NO HE DIDN'T - The Mayor of Ark City performs in Blackface  —  Mel Kuhn, the Mayor of Arkansas City Kansas, won a beauty pageant fundraiser last weekend.  Kuhn participated in the Men in Tights, drag queen contest that has become an annual fund raiser for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
McCain Says Bailout Bill He Voted For Is “Putting Us On The Brink Of Economic Disaster”  —  There were a couple of odd moments during John McCain's interview with MSNBC just now.  The first: In a strange verbal stumble, he appeared to harshly criticize the bailout bill he voted for yesterday.
Nate Silver /
Real Credibility Problems  —  EDIT: Please see also my follow-up post here.  —  Last week, I discussed Real Clear Politics' decision to exclude the Research 2000 daily tracking poll from their national averages.  After a lengthy discussion with RCP founder John McIntyre, I decided to defend them …
Discussion: American Street
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 More Items: 
Lexie Verdon / Washington Post:
Biden to Speak at Son's Deployment Ceremony
Discussion: Boston Globe
Anne / Nielsen Wire:
Obama and McCain's Ads: Equally “Negative”
Discussion: The Swamp and Boston Globe
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
McCain Pulls Out of Michigan
Discussion: The Marathon Blog
New York Times:
Bank Limits Fund Access by Colleges, Inciting Fears
Discussion: Think Progress
Aaron Smith /
Insurers plunge on Reid's remark
Discussion: The Corner and On Deadline
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Confronting Racism Against Obama
Ari / Firedoglake:
Bill O'Reilly: I am proof G-d Exists
Discussion: Shakesville
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
100 percent, absolute truth?
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
JEFFERSON'S CHURCH-STATE WALL.... CBS's Katie Couric asked …
Discussion: CBS News and The Moderate Voice
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Calm Of Obama
Bruce Ackerman / Los Angeles Times:
Abolish the vice presidency