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9:30 AM ET, October 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
The Huffington Post:
Eagleburger Blisters Palin: “Of Course” She's Not Ready  —  A former Republican Secretary of State and one of John McCain's most prominent supporters offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise.
New York Times:
Growing Doubts on Palin Take a Toll, Poll Finds  —  A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Washington Post:
An ‘Idiot Wind’  —  John McCain's latest attempt to link Barack Obama to extremism  —  WITH THE presidential campaign clock ticking down, Sen. John McCain has suddenly discovered a new boogeyman to link to Sen. Barack Obama: a sometimes controversial but widely respected Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi.
New York Times:
Political Storm Finds a Columbia Professor  —  Rashid Khalidi had been bracing for the storm for months, friends said.  —  Since an April news report detailing his relationship with Senator Barack Obama, Mr. Khalidi, a Middle East scholar and passionate defender of Palestinian rights …
Discussion: The Corner, Sandbox and Washington Post
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Cover this!  Inside the nastiest '08 rumors  —  Thank you for your e-mails!  —  When John McCain and Barack Obama started running for president in 2007, they were two of the most universally liked and respected politicians in America — men who even members of the opposite party saw as decent …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
4 days — Watch for spookspeople  —  Happy Halloween!  Good Friday morning.  On the last weekend of the campaign, Senator McCain will hit “Saturday Night Live,” the campaign confirms.  (Hat tip: Marc Ambinder)  —  Bloomberg News: “The last time many Americans will hear …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: Petraeus Wants to Go to Syria; Bush Administration Says No
Discussion: Syria Comment and Matthew Yglesias
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
When Consumers Capitulate  —  The long-feared capitulation of American consumers has arrived.  According to Thursday's G.D.P. report, real consumer spending fell at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the third quarter; real spending on durable goods (stuff like cars and TVs) fell at an annual rate of 14 percent.
Wall Street Journal:
Obama and the Runaway Train  —  The race, the case, a hope for grace.  —  The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes:  —  He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years …
R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
A Last Push To Deregulate  —  The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.  —  The new rules would be among …
Joe Klein / Swampland:
And Lower...  Here we have the McCain campaign's execrable Michael Goldfarb slinging around accusations of anti-semitism—a favorite pastime, as we've seen this year, among Jewish neoconservatives.  I've never met Rashid Khalidi, but he is (a) Palestinian and therefore (b) a semite, so the charge of anti-semitism is fatuous.
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Poll: Dead heats in 2 key swing states  —  Barack Obama and John McCain are evenly matched in the swing states of North Carolina and Missouri, though Obama is strongly outpacing McCain in two of those states' crucial battleground counties, according to new Politico/InsiderAdvantage polls.
Change of Subject:
08 reasons Barack Obama will win next Tuesday  —  Today I offer 08 reasons why Barack Obama will nevertheless win handily:  —  1. Obama's supporters are more energized.  —  Obama draws enormous crowds wherever he goes and has energized young and first-time voters in a way that will surprise …
Discussion: New York Times
Matthew Mosk / Washington Post:
In Final Stretch, McCain to Pour Money Into TV Ads  —  Sen. John McCain and the Republican National Committee will unleash a barrage of spending on television advertising that will allow him to keep pace with Sen. Barack Obama's ad blitz during the campaign's final days …
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Mortgage Plan May Aid Many and Irk Others  —  As the Treasury Department prepares a $40 billion program to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure, it confronts a difficult challenge: not making the plan too tempting to people like Todd Lawrence.  —  An airline pilot who lives outside Norwich …
Discussion: EconLog and naked capitalism
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Hank Paulson's $125 Billion Mistake  —  It was only a few weeks ago that most right-thinking economists and left-leaning bloggers were jumping on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson for his plan to jump-start the markets in asset-backed securities by having the government buy them up at auction.
Discussion: Salon and Commentary
Carl Prine /
Majority of Allegheny prostitutes are on the Democratic side  —  TRIBUNE-REVIEW  —  John McCain and Barack Obama, if you're wooing a population of registered voters who are young, female and drawn to men in suits, then Allegheny County has 675 ladies ready to pull your lever.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden and Don Surber
Agence France Presse:
US election: If Iraqis could vote it would be for McCain … For five years Ali and Mohammed have lived alongside US soldiers in their Baghdad neighbourhood near Rasheed Street, a prominent commercial artery running through the heart of the Iraqi capital.  —  During that time American culture …
The Huffington Post:
Court Docs: GOP Donor Secretly Funneled $75K To Coleman Family  —  The CEO of a major marine technology company is alleging that he was pressured by a friend and associate of Norm Coleman to secretly funnel tens of thousands of dollars to the Senator's family.
Japanese man petitions to marry comic book wife  —  Wedding bells ... a man wants to marry a comic book character, just like Superman and Lois Lane in 1996 / Reuters  —  A JAPANESE man has enlisted hundreds of people in a campaign to allow marriages between humans and cartoon characters …
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Murtha pleas for $1 million after racism comments  —  Veteran Democratic Rep. John Murtha (Pa.) has sent out a last-minute plea for $1 million to save his hotly contested seat, endangered by his own remarks describing his district as racist.  —  In an e-mail sent to potential donors …
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Inquiry Targeted 2,000 Foreign Muslims in 2004  —  WASHINGTON — An operation in 2004 meant to disrupt potential terrorist plots before and after that year's presidential election focused on more than 2,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, but most were found to have done nothing wrong …
Discussion: TigerHawk
Alan Fram / Associated Press:
AP poll: 1 in 7 voters still persuadable  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Patrick Campbell worries Barack Obama will raise his taxes but thinks John McCain will send people off to war.  He says that leaves him leaning toward Obama ... maybe.  —  “I'm split right down the middle,” …
Discussion: MSNBC and Donklephant
As a Conservative, I Must Say I Do Quite Like the Cut of this Obama Fellow's Jib  —  By T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII  —  Columnist, The National Topsider  —  Membership Chairman, The Newport Club  —  When my late father T. Coddington Van Voorhees VI founded the iconoclastic conservative …
Discussion: Dr. Melissa Clouthier
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
Obama prepares for quick transition  —  The best-kept secret in Washington is that Barack Obama has the largest and most disciplined presidential transition team anyone can recall.  Headed by John Podesta, former chief of staff in Bill Clinton's White House, it started work …
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Obama Plans a Four-Day Hunt for More Democratic Voters  —  VIRGINIA BEACH — Senator Barack Obama is spending the final four days of his campaign mining for votes in places where Democrats have not turned out at full strength in recent presidential races, hoping to offset other areas in swing states where his candidacy may need a lift.
Discussion: and The Caucus
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 More Items: 
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
In Ohio, McCain Is Everywhere Even if Joe the Plumber Isn't
Discussion: and The Caucus
New York Times:
McCain and Obama Advisers Briefed on Deteriorating Afghan War
Discussion: The Foundry and USA Today
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Intelligence Head Says Next President Faces Volatile Era
David Hambling / Danger Room:
Military Investigates Amnesia Beams
The Media Line / Jerusalem Post:
Iran threatens US with suicide bombers
Discussion: Hot Air and Jihad Watch
Solomon Moore / New York Times:
Records of Obama and McCain as Lawmakers Reflect Differences on Crime
Discussion: TalkLeft
 Earlier Items: 
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Thank you, Stanley Kurtz
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
Condé Nast Cuts Focus on 2 Magazines
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
The association that dare not speak its name
Washington Post:
WaPo-ABC Tracking: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Discussion: American Street and TalkLeft
Pierre Thomas / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: U.S. Expects Bin Laden Message Near Election