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1:30 PM ET, October 5, 2010


 Top Items: 
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
What Did I Tell You About Her?  —  Christine O'Donnell's first TV ad of the general election campaign:  —  The American Spectator, July 27: … With a smile like that, she's awfully hard to hate.  The Castle campaign tried to demonize her and it backfired.  Maybe Baldy the Tax-Hiking Wanker will have better luck.
The Note:
Christine O'Donnell Ad: 'I'm Not A Witch'
Sean Alfano / NY Daily News:
Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell in first ad: 'I'm not a witch'
Discussion: Haaretz and The Agonist
Brad Phillips / Mr. Media Training:
I Am Not a Witch: Christine O'Donnell's New Ad
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
It Has Come To This: O'Donnell Family Straightens Out Father's Bozo The Clown Career
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Online:
Why Christine O'Donnell's New Ad Might Work
Levi Johnston / Washington Post:
Democrats gain in poll but GOP still leads as midterm elections near  —  Less than a month before the midterm elections, the political landscape remains strongly tilted toward Republicans, although Democrats have made modest improvements with voters since their late-summer low point, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
GOP Well Positioned Among Likely Midterm Voters
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
On the right, hateful words are fired like bullets  —  I still ride a bike.  I do 12 miles, several days a week, and as I do so I listen to music — the Pandora service on my iPhone.  I have created a station that plays folk rock.  Lately, it has repeatedly played the Neil Young song “Ohio” …
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Obama's new culture war over government's role
Chris Stirewalt / Fox News:
Fox News Polls: GOP Poised to Gain or Hold Senate Seats in Key States  —  Democrats have a mountain to climb in West Virginia.  —  The latest Fox News battleground state surveys of five key states shows Republicans in good position to gain two seats and hold two seats left open by GOP retirements.
Associated Press:
Sen. Murkowski Asks Alaska Stations Not to Air Tea Party Ads  —  JUNEAU, Alaska — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's campaign is warning Alaska broadcasters not to air ads by a national tea party group that the campaign says are “littered with lies and intentional mischaracterizations” about her and her write-in campaign.
The first place for key political news and analysis from the NBC News Political Unit  —  First thoughts: Mind the (money) gap  —  GOP-leaning outside groups are blowing away their Democratic counterparts... Why did Dem groups disarm?... A potential downside to GOP outside groups essentially replacing …
Marc Lacey / New York Times:
Disillusioned Hispanics May Skip Midterms, Poll Suggests  —  PHOENIX — Arizona's controversial immigration law has prompted denunciations, demonstrations, boycotts and a federal lawsuit.  But it may not bring the protest vote many Democrats had hoped would stem a Republican onslaught in races across the country.
Discussion: Riehl World View
Pew Hispanic Center:
Latinos and the 2010 Elections: Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation
Discussion: Facing South
Jillian Rayfield / TPMMuckraker:
Missouri Tea Partiers, Joe The Plumber Join Movement Against ‘Radical’ Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation  —  Dog bites man or man bites dog?  —  A conservative group in Missouri is picking up the backing of the Tea Party and Joe The Plumber in its quest to stop the Humane Society …
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
With Tagline, MSNBC Embraces a Political Identity  —  MSNBC, once the also-ran but now the No. 2 cable news channel, has a new tagline that embraces its progressive political identity.  —  The tagline, “Lean Forward,” will be publicly announced Tuesday, opening a planned …
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Soft Side  —  By now everyone has an image of Rahm Emanuel.  He's the profanity-spewing political street-fighter.  He's the guy who once sent a dead fish to a political opponent.  This past week, “Saturday Night Live” spoofed him as an abrasive pit bull.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Who's Got West Wing Juice? Look to Flickr
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Zaid Jilani / Think Progress:
After Firefighters Watched Home Burn, Obion County Expands Subscription-Only Fire Service To More Towns  —  As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, South Fulton Fire Department firefighters from Obion, Tennessee, last week stood by and watched as a family's home burned down because their services …
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Exclusive: Foreign-Funded ‘U.S.’ Chamber Of Commerce Running Partisan Attack Ads  —  The largest attack campaign against Democrats this fall is being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors.
Jan Crawford / CBS News:
Kagan Leaves a Mark on Her First Day  —  There's been a lot of hyped-up consternation about whether Elena Kagan was ready to be a justice.  Among the nine, she is the only justice who hadn't first been an appeals court judge, and so the chatter among critics is that she would struggle because her learning curve was steep.
Nathan Brown / AdirondackDailyEnterprise:
Hoffman drops out (update)  —  Statement tells voters to back Doheny; no elaboration given  —  SARANAC LAKE - Doug Hoffman has dropped out of the race to represent New York's 23rd Congressional District.  —  Hoffman's name will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative line; however …
Fox News:
GOP Rep. Cao ‘Hurt’ After Obama Endorses Dem, Warns of Opponent's Ethics History  —  Republican Rep. Joseph Cao — in an act of either selfless concern or political expediency — says he “must” warn President Obama that the Democratic candidate he's endorsed in the race has a history of ethical problems.
Elisabeth Rosenthal / New York Times:
U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels  —  With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Centrist Dems may reign in House  —  If Democrats retain a slim hold on the House next year, a handful of the party's most conservative members could find themselves in the catbird seat, wielding wide influence over the Democratic agenda.  —  In that scenario, the finicky Blue Dog Coalition …
Wall Street Journal:
Frank's Own Battle Erodes Help for Fellow Democrats  —  It's the kind of political year in which even Rep. Barney Frank is being forced to break a sweat.  —  The Massachusetts Democrat, one of Congress's most well-known members, usually wins re-election by steamrolling his opponents.
Discussion: Politics Daily and The Caucus
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Odds Against Third-Party Bid Not as Long as They Seem  —  Thomas Friedman's Sunday column, in which he predicted the emergence of a “serious third party candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her,” is attracting a lot of comment — and criticism — in different parts of the blogosphere.
Mike DeBonis / Mike DeBonis on Local Politics:
Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial  —  Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of “give it your best shot.”
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Rail Service Expansion Imperiled at State Level  —  Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama's signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation's first bullet-train service.
Arthur Laffer / Wall Street Journal:
The Bill Gates Income Tax  —  If Washington's most famous billionaires are really worried about their state's finances, they'd write personal checks to the government and leave everyone else alone.  —  Framed on a wall in my office is a personal letter to me from Bill Gates the elder.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Worker Spoke of Jihad, Agency Says  —  WASHINGTON — A New Jersey man accused of joining Al Qaeda in Yemen spoke openly of militant views while working at American nuclear plants, according to a report by the inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that proposes tightening personnel security rules.
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Federal judge charged with buying drugs from stripper  —  A longtime federal judge was freed on a $50,000 bond Monday after his arrest on federal charges that he bought cocaine and other illegal drugs while involved in a sexual relationship with an exotic dancer for the past several months.
Discussion: and TalkLeft
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 More Items: 
Noam N. Levey / Los Angeles Times:
Health insurers pour money into GOP campaigns, hoping to limit new regulations
Jamie Crawford / CNN:
Solar power coming to the White House
Michael Luo / The Caucus:
Watchdog Groups Ask I.R.S. to Investigate Crossroads GPS
Liam Stack / Christian Science Monitor:
Fifth NATO tanker attacked in six days since Pakistan sealed border post
Does Boehner Even Want to Win Big?
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Midwest Democrats rip Senate foes
Discussion: WISH-TV and CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Obama: Fiscal Situation “Untenable”
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Year of the missing candidate
Discussion: The Spot and Mediaite
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Wanted: More Fraud, Abuse in Government Spending
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and
Scott / Power Line:
The wreck of the Jim Oberstar?
Discussion: and Hot Air