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2:05 PM ET, October 2, 2008


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds  —  With the vice presidential candidates set to square off today in their only scheduled debate, public assessments of Sarah Palin's readiness have plummeted, and she may now be a drag on the Republican ticket among key voter groups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.  —  Asked why Obama has been rising …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
McCain criticizes Ifill  —  Hours ahead of the vice presidential debate, Sen John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized the selection of PBS' Gwen Ifill as moderator because she is writing a book called “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”  —  “Frankly, I wish they had picked …
Liz Cox Barrett / CJR:
Drudge Raises a Point  —  Gwen Ifill has done solid, important journalism.  She'll likely be a good, tough, and neutral moderator to the vice-presidential debate.  Let's set that aside, for now.  —  Conflict of interest is often about appearances.  There appears, to us …
David Nather / Beyond the Dome:
Obama Makes McCain Very Uncomfortable  —  Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.  —  As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle …
Marc Ambinder:
Metathought Of The Day  —  If there's one thing that worries Republican strategists more than the polls today, even more than the listlessness of the Republican Party, it is that Sen. McCain seems flustered, angry, inconsistent-in-tone, and his campaign seems angry and off-kilter.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Open Left
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 …
Katharine Q. Seelye / The Caucus:
The V.P. Debate: What to Watch for  —  What to watch for tonight?  —  What's not to watch?  —  The debate between Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska should be fascinating on every level — from substance to style, soup to nuts.
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
Biden, Aides Focus On Tone of Debate
Discussion: The Caucus and Real Clear Politics
CBS News:
VP Candidates On Church-State Separation  —  CBS Evening News: Biden And Palin Answer Katie Couric's Vice-Presidential Questions … Katie Couric: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state.  Why do you think that's so important?
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
100 percent, absolute truth?  —  John McCain told the Des Moines Register this week that he always tells “100 percent absolute truth,” even in campaign ads.  There's one big problem with that bold statement: it's just not true.  —  McCain has made a number of statements …
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 …
Joe Sudbay / AMERICAblog News:
McCain on the bailout bill he supported last night: “This bill is putting us on the brink of economic disaster”  —  John McCain was on “Morning Joe” a few minutes ago to talk mostly about the bailout bill.  His answers were, as usual, discombobulated as he ranted about Washington (as if he hasn't served in D.C. for 26 years.)
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 …
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.
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THE CASE FOR EARMARKS.  —  The “how-a-bill-becomes-a-law” lesson from last night's bailout bill vote is pretty simple: Pork.  As Politico puts it, “with each permutation, the bill has steadily grown in size.  Treasury's initial plan was about three pages long.  The House version, which failed, stretched to 110.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Nate Silver /
Real Credibility Problems  —  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, pointing out that while RCP …
Marc Ambinder:
So Why's Huck An Early '12 Frontrunner?  —  It's very early to assume that Obama wins, but if he doesn't, expect the GOP to engage in a circular firing squad.  Who's the frontrunner?  —  The betting money is on Mitt Romney for his governing experience, talented pool of political operatives …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
33 days - Chuck Todd sees race ‘at a tipping point’  —  Newsday cover: “Senate to House: BAIL'S IN YOUR COURT - Sweetened rescue bill clears hurdle, but are there enough votes in the House?” ...  The Obama Channel (really) ... Debate Day II ... Phish reuniting
Ruth Mantell / MarketWatch:
U.S. jobless claims inflated by hurricanes  —  First-time filings hit highest level in seven years  —  WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. weekly jobless claims remained at their highest level in seven years, Labor Department data showed Thursday, as people hurricane-hit Louisiana and Texas filed for benefits.
Discussion: Wonkette and
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Calm Of Obama  —  I've been amazed by it for over a year now, because I have no ounce of it in myself.  But then I like my political leaders temperamentally conservative, so I can be as radical as I like and no harm gets done.  Obama's little secret is that he isn't that cool.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
McCain, Bernanke: ‘Not overly pleased’  —  The stunning news about the American economy delivered in the private session that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson held with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill two weeks ago today has been described in a number of ways …
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Bruce Ackerman / Los Angeles Times:
Abolish the vice presidency  —  The founders messed up.  We should do away with the office.  —  Sarah Palin is the product of a design flaw — the unintended consequence of the founders' decision to create the vice presidency.  —  For two centuries, presidential nominees have used …
Discussion: normblog
Krooney /
More Data Shows Obama Battleground Strength  —  From latest TIME/CNN state polls:  —  FLORIDA: Obama 51, McCain 47  —  MINNESOTA: Obama 54, McCain 43  —  MISSOURI: Obama 49, McCain 48  —  NEVADA: Obama 51, McCain 47  —  VIRGINIA: Obama 53, McCain 44 … Get The Page delivered to your inbox.
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 More Items: 
CBS News:
Poll: U.S. Concerned But Split On Bailout
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Hullabaloo
Obama Kids: Sing for Change (Pyongyang Remix)
Discussion: Right Wing News
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
Small Businesses Frozen by Crisis
Discussion: The Foundry and The Agonist
Yoav Gonen / New York Post:
Discussion: protein wisdom
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Obama releases iPhone recruiting, campaign tool
Nicholas Thompson / Washington Monthly:
How Fast You Can Read This Essay Online
Discussion: techPresident
 Earlier Items: 
Glen Johnson / Associated Press:
October remains the month for political surprises