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12:30 PM ET, October 5, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
Gallup:
GOP Well Positioned Among Likely Midterm Voters  —  Voting preferences remain close among registered voters  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup's generic ballot for Congress among registered voters currently shows Republicans with 46% of the vote and Democrats with 43%, similar to the 46% to 46% tie reported a week ago.
Newsweek:   Does Boehner Even Want to Win Big?
Scott / Power Line:
The wreck of the Jim Oberstar?
Discussion: Hot Air and DickMorris.com
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
It Has Come To This: O'Donnell Family Straightens Out Father's Bozo The Clown Career  —  Christine O'Donnell's campaign is facing yet another set of questions about her background, and this time it's on a really weird line of discussion — whether her father was Philadelphia's local Bozo the Clown.
RELATED:
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.
Sean Alfano / NY Daily News:
Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell in first ad: 'I'm not a witch'
Discussion: Haaretz and The Agonist
The Note:
Christine O'Donnell Ad: 'I'm Not A Witch'
Brad Phillips / Mr. Media Training:
I Am Not a Witch: Christine O'Donnell's New Ad
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
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.
msnbc.com:
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
Discussion: Oliver Willis and Balloon Juice
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” …
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.
RELATED:
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Who's Got West Wing Juice? Look to Flickr
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Centrist Democrats 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 …
Liam Stack / Christian Science Monitor:
Fifth NATO tanker attacked in six days since Pakistan sealed border post  —  A small bomb damaged an oil tanker carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan as it waited at Pakistan's closed Torkham border crossing Tuesday.  No casualties were reported.  —  The attack underscored …
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
Michael Luo / The Caucus:
Watchdog Groups Ask I.R.S. to Investigate Crossroads GPS  —  A pair of campaign finance watchdog organizations issued a letter to the Internal Revenue Service today, requesting that it conduct an investigation into whether a non-profit advocacy group tied to Karl Rove is violating federal tax laws …
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.”
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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Mondale to Obama: Ditch the ‘idiot boards’  —  Former Vice President Walter Mondale suggested in an interview today President Obama stop relying on “idiot boards” — teleprompters, that is — to deliver his message to the American people.  —  “He uses these idiot boards to read speeches in television …
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: judicialwatch.org and TalkLeft
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Year of the missing candidate  —  With a month left until the midterm elections, there is something noticeably absent from some key statewide races: the candidates.  —  They're ducking public events, refusing to publicize the ones they do hold and skipping debates and national TV interviews altogether …
Discussion: The Spot and Mediaite
The Hill:
How to Keep Your Seat 101: Don't mention that you're a Democrat  —  With voters in an anti-incumbent mood and a national headwind against their party, some freshman Democrats are touting themselves as unaffiliated outsiders — and it may help them win reelection.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jamie Crawford / CNN:
Solar power coming to the White House
Discussion: newsfeed.time.com
Annie Lowrey / The Washington Independent:
Financial Reform in Peril
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Infrastructure Spending Now  —  Mark Thoma wrote the other day …
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Midwest Democrats rip Senate foes
Discussion: WISH-TV and CNN
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Obama: Fiscal Situation “Untenable”
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Wanted: More Fraud, Abuse in Government Spending
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Samizdata.net
 Earlier Items: 
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
New Fuel for Local Papers: Medical Marijuana Ads
Discussion: Gawker and Romenesko
Rosalind Helderman / Virginia Politics Blog:
Cuccinelli reissues global warming subpoena to U-Va.
Charles Ferguson / Chronicle of Higher Education:
Larry Summers and the Subversion of Economics
Discussion: Whiskey Fire