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4:20 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 …
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.
Ifill Ethics Commission Clears Ifill
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
McCain camp cedes ground in Michigan
Discussion: Oliver Willis
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
CJR: Yes, Ifill has a conflict of interest
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
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 …
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.
New York Times:
Questions for the Next Vice President  —  Tonight, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska will meet in the one and only vice presidential debate of the 2008 campaign.  The Op-Ed editors asked people with knowledge of the vice presidency, the candidates and their records …
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain by 5 Points
Discussion: MyDD
Washington Post:
Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:   Sarah Biden  —  Journalists continue to ask, “What was John …
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 and The Plank
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 …
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.
Discussion: Open Left and Pam's House Blend
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Anne / Nielsen Wire:
Obama and McCain's Ads: Equally “Negative”  —  Despite finger-pointing from both sides, Barack Obama and John McCain's presidential campaigns have run almost the same number of negative local campaign ads, Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported Thursday.  —  From June 3, when the primaries ended …
Discussion: The Swamp and Boston Globe
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 …
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:
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 …
Discussion: Harry's Place and Oliver Willis
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 …
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 …
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
McCain Pulls Out of Michigan  —  John McCain's decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach …
Discussion: The Marathon Blog
The Hill:
Congress Has an Obligation to Protect Main Street (Sen. Gordon Smith)  — The Hill : In the latest installment of HillTube's “Mills on the Hill,” The Hill's Jim Mills caught up with Senate reporter Man Raju outside Sen. Ted Stevens's (R-Alaska) corruption trial, being held at the U.S. district court in Washington, DC.
Discussion: The Swamp
Aaron Smith /
Insurers plunge on Reid's ‘bankrupt’ remark  —  Comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about a ‘major insurance company’ on the verge of bankruptcy send already hard-hit stocks sharply lower.  —  NEW YORK ( — Several big life insurance stocks fell sharply Thursday …
Discussion: The Corner and On Deadline
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 More Items: 
New Yorker:
THE CHOICE  —  Never in living memory has an election …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Wonkette
Los Angeles Times:
Metrolink engineer sent text message moments before fatal crash
Discussion: On Deadline and American Power
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Confronting Racism Against Obama
Discussion: Political Machine
Ari / Firedoglake:
Bill O'Reilly: I am proof G-d Exists
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
100 percent, absolute truth?
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
McCain, Bernanke: ‘Not overly pleased’
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Calm Of Obama
Bruce Ackerman / Los Angeles Times:
Abolish the vice presidency
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Mike Allen / The Politico:
33 days - Chuck Todd sees race ‘at a tipping point’