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12:30 PM ET, October 22, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jeanne Cummings / The Politico:
RNC appears to shell out $150K for Palin fashion  —  The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
Marc Ambinder:
Republicans Disgusted By RNC Spending On Palin … There is already an attempt to blame the media — as in, the liberal media would have looked askance at Palin if she wasn't clad in Neiman Marcus, but this won't wash. Republicans, RNC donors and at least one RNC staff member have e-mailed …
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: OBAMA WIDENS LEAD  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Carrie Dann  —  *** Obama widens his lead: With 13 days to go, Obama has opened up his biggest lead over McCain in the NBC/WSJ poll, 52%-42%, which is up four points from his lead two weeks ago.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and marbury
Washington Post:
Big Donors Drive Obama's Money Edge
Discussion: Election Law and Prairie Weather
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Sarah Palin's $150,000 camp wardrobe
Washington Post:
On Al-Qaeda Web Sites, Joy Over U.S. Crisis, Support for McCain  —  Al-Qaeda is watching the U.S. stock market's downward slide with something akin to jubilation, with its leaders hailing the financial crisis as a vindication of its strategy of crippling America's economy through endless, costly foreign wars against Islamist insurgents.
Pamela Hess / Associated Press:
Al-Qaida-linked Web site backs McCain as president  —  Featured Topics: - John McCain - Barack Obama  —  WASHINGTON - Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:   Jihadists for McCain  —  Interesting Associated Press report …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Feminists and Sarah Palin  —  Part of the idea behind picking Sarah Palin was to help broaden the GOP's appeal to women.  Instead, Palin is even less popular among women than John McCain.  And if this exchange between Rick Davis and Bill Bennett is any guide, conservatives aren't looking …
Paul J. Nyden / Charleston Gazette:
Woman quits job at call center over anti-Obama script  —  WESTON, W.Va. — Chaylee Cole, a student at Fairmont State University, lost her part-time job in Weston last Friday after refusing to make telephone calls attacking Barack Obama.  —  McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee …
Discussion: West Virginia Blue
Washington Wire:
Early Voting Update: North Carolina Gets Big Turnout  —  Maurice Tamman reports on the 2008 election.  —  Nearly half a million North Carolina voters have already cast their ballots, either with a mail-in absentee ballot or by casting one in person.  —  That means nothing Republican …
Discussion: Donklephant
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Early voting a boost for Dems
Discussion: and New York Times
DJ Drummond / Wizbang:
Gallup and New Coke  —  The polls are wrong this year, very wrong.  I have been saying this for months, and I have backed up my claim with both statistical and anecdotal support.  The claims I have made have inspired some, caused others to laugh in derision, and brought others to test their assumptions and revisit the hard data.
John / Power Line:
THE END OF JOURNALISM AS WE KNEW IT  —  I'm not familiar with columnist Orson Scott Card, but his open letter to journalists is must reading.  It appeared first in The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro, North Carolina.  Via InstaPundit: … But the mainstream media—which is to say …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
As clock ticks, hope dims for McCain savior  —  For the GOP, the cavalry apparently isn't coming.  —  Republicans attuned to conservative third-party efforts say that with less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the prospects for any 11th-hour, anti-Obama ad campaign are highly unlikely.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Police prepare for unrest  —  Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.  —  Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election …
The Huffington Post:
NYT Mag Lifts Curtain On Palin Choice, Angst With Schmidt, Worry In McCain Campaign  —  The New York Times Magazine is set to publish an explosive story this Sunday on the inner workings and combative personalities of what has been a wild few months for the McCain campaign.
Robert Draper / New York Times:
The Making (and Remaking) of McCain  —  On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 24, John McCain convened a meeting in his suite at the Hilton hotel in Midtown Manhattan.  Among the handful of campaign officials in attendance were McCain's chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt …
Discussion: The Plank
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
The ‘Socialist’ Scare  —  WOODBRIDGE — John McCain should not have to be here, not on a crisp October Saturday scarcely two weeks before the election.  Prince William County is the electoral Maginot line between the Washington suburbs and what a McCain spokeswoman has just unhelpfully described as “real Virginia.”
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Adam Lerrick / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and the Tax Tipping Point  —  How long before taxpayers are pushed too far?  —  What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes?  Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Commentary
Michael Barone / Wall Street Journal:
Are the Polls Accurate?  —  Reading them right is more art than science.  —  Can we trust the polls this year?  That's a question many people have been asking as we approach the end of this long, long presidential campaign.  As a recovering pollster and continuing poll consumer, my answer is yes — with qualifications.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
How Anti-Intellectual Is Palin?  —  Ramesh Ponnuru asks the question.  He refers to Noam Scheiber's devastating piece on Palin's Nixonian hatred of educated elites.  But Ponnuru wants more evidence.  Here's one way to look at the question: how has Palin brought up her own kids?
Discussion: The Corner
Faiz / Think Progress:
Bachmann: It's All Chris Matthews' Fault!  ‘He Laid A Trap, And I Walked Into It’  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is still on the defensive from an appearance last Friday on MSNBC's Hardball, in which she called for the media to conduct a “penetrating exposé” into anti-American views of members of Congress.
Discussion: Salon and Minneapolis Star Tribune
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
O'Reilly: You'll Still Have Me to Kick Around  —  Bill O'Reilly has signed up for another tour of duty at Fox News, saying that he decided “to put myself through all the attacks and smears” for several more years.  —  The pugnacious pundit said that he signed the contract despite what he sees as a constant assault on his reputation.
Discussion: Think Progress and TVNewser
Charlie Cook / National Journal Online:
In Endgame, Metrics Are Adding Up For Obama  —  It Ain't Over Till It's Over, But Several Key Factors Don't Look Good For McCain  —  One of the most unsettling aspects of this campaign is that for an election cycle so turbulent, with so many surprising twists and turns …
The Trail / Washington Post:
McCain to Granite State: ‘I Love You’  —  GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — John McCain returned briefly this morning to the scene of some of his greatest political triumphs to try to rally voters for one last victory.  —  “I can't tell you how happy I am to be back in the great state of New Hampshire,” …
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Steal Back Your Vote!  —  Greg Palast's book: Armed Madhouse is a good read.  —  Intimidation is a big part of Republican strategy to keep turn out low.  Latinos should band together and show up to vote in groups of at least four so that they won't be intimidated when someone tries to deny them the right to legally vote.
Discussion: Greg Palast
Olivia Judson / New York Times:
Weighing the Vote  —  Here's something I've found myself speculating about recently: could the obesity epidemic have a political impact?  In particular, could obesity in a pregnant woman influence the eventual political outlook of her child?  I came to this question after mulling over a number of facts.
Jim Carlton / Wall Street Journal:
Gay Marriage in Peril in California  —  A state ballot measure to ban gay marriage in California is gaining momentum, with polls showing almost even odds of it passing after trailing by double digits a month ago.  —  In June, the state legalized same-sex marriages.
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 More Items: 
Nick Turse / Salon:
Main Street's body count rises
Discussion: The Heretik
Houston Chronicle:
The Chronicle endorses Adrian Garcia in the race for sheriff of Harris County
Discussion: Off the Kuff and Greg's Opinion
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Agencies Counted Big Firms As Small
The Trail / Washington Post:
Palin Displays Her Feminist Side
Discussion: Reproductive Health
Danny / Political Radar:
Obama Tweaks Tax Plan to Rebut McCain
Discussion: Babalu Blog
The Trail / Washington Post:
McCain Stands by Controversial Flier
 Earlier Items: 
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal Revolution:
Where is the Credit Crunch? III
Discussion: EconLog
Miriam Jordan / Wall Street Journal:
Mortgage Prospects Dim for Illegal Immigrants
Discussion: IMAO
Bonney Kapp / FOX Embeds:
Creative Protesting  —  MIAMI - Another protest by air for …
Mark Hemingway / The Corner:
The Emperor Has No Taste Buds
Discussion: New Yorker
Dave / Political Machine:
A Closer Look At the State Polling