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9:25 AM ET, October 1, 2012


 Top Items: 
James Hohmann / Reuters:
Battleground Poll: Race still tight  —  The presidential race is tight enough nationally that a strong performance in Wednesday's debate by Mitt Romney could put him in the lead.  —  A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent …
Discussion: National Review
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Obama Leads on Expectations - But the Race Itself Stays Close  —  Registered voters by 2-1 think Barack Obama will win the upcoming presidential debates and go on to prevail in the November election.  But expectations aside, the race remains close, with strengths and vulnerabilities for both candidates in the campaign ahead.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Real Referendum  —  Republicans came into this campaign believing that it would be a referendum on President Obama, and that still-high unemployment would hand them victory on a silver platter.  But given the usual caveats — a month can be a long time in politics, it's not over until …
Kbh / Keith Hennessey:
The Washington Post's hatchet job on Paul Ryan  —  Today's Washington Post contains an election-season hatchet job on Paul Ryan by reporter Lori Montgomery, “Amid debt crisis, Paul Ryan sat on the sidelines.”  I would expect a story like this on the Newsweek or Huffington Post sites …
Charles C. Johnson / The Daily Caller:
As college student, Eric Holder participated in ‘armed’ takeover of former Columbia University ROTC office
NY Daily News:
Lindsay Lohan tussles with congressional staffer in Manhattan hotel room over cellphone photos, tells cops he choked her  —  California man Christian LaBella initially arrested and charged with assault and harassment in W Hotel Union Square scuffle, but now both of them are facing charges.
Mitt Romney / Wall Street Journal:
A New Course for the Middle East  —  Restore the three sinews of American influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values.  —  Disturbing developments are sweeping across the greater Middle East.  In Syria, tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered.
Discussion: The Hill, ABCNEWS, The Fix and The Mahablog
Historian Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95  —  Eric Hobsbawm joined the Communist Party aged 14  —  Eric Hobsbawm, one of Britain's most eminent historians, has died at the age of 95, his family have confirmed.  —  He died in the early hours of Monday morning at the Royal Free Hospital in London …
Esther Addley / Guardian:   Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95
Bill Gertz / Washington Free Beacon:
White House Hack Attack  —  Hackers linked to China's government broke into one of the U.S. government's most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
David Carr / New York Times:
The Media Equation: Challenging the Claims of Media Bias - the Media Equation  —  In the last few days, conservatives have become agitated about Mitt Romney's drop-off in the polls.  So did they think the stumble was because of the ill-fated “47 percent” slip of the lip …
How The Economy Collapsed (As a Political Issue)  —  Republicans and Democrats no longer have the same facts.  It's the perceptual bias, stupid.  —  Via:  —  The big issue of the 2012 election — the American economy — has been settled.
Discussion: Riehl World News
Sayed Salahuddin / Washington Post:
Three NATO soldiers killed in Afghan suicide bombing  —  Nashanuddin Khan/AP - Afghan police secure the site of a suicide bombing in Khost, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2012.  The suicide bomber was driving a motorcycle packed with explosives and rammed it into a patrol of Afghan …
US military death toll in Afghanistan reaches 2,000
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Obama: I'm just an ‘OK’ debater  —  Las Vegas - Barack Obama wants you to know that he's a really not so great as a debater.  —  As part of his week-long effort to lower expectations ahead of Wednesday's first Obama-Romney debate in Denver - an obligatory ritual even the campaigns find tiresome …
Discussion: CNN and New York Magazine
Obama Beats Romney as Better for Middle-Income Americans  —  Candidates are tied in perceptions of who would most benefit small-business owners  —  PRINCETON, NJ — More Americans believe middle-income earners would be better off in four years if President Barack Obama is re-elected than if Mitt Romney wins, by 53% to 43%.
Discussion: GOP 12, Politico and PoliticusUSA
Kyle Balluck / The Hill:
What will be this year's October surprise?  —  October, the month of political surprises, has arrived.  —  From Henry Kissinger's 1972 “peace is at hand” declaration to Mark Foley's 2006 sex scandal to the Wall Street bailout of 2008, U.S. elections have a long and colorful history …
Discussion: Politico
Mitt Romney advisers clash over Libya  —  Instead, the Republican ticket will leave calls for an investigation to Capitol Hill, where both Republicans and Democrats have complained about the briefings they have received.  “Let Congress do it: It's a bipartisan thing, and that's a better place for us to be,” a Romney adviser said.
Discussion: blogs
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Aurora survivor offers debate topic  —  A survivor of the July massacre in Aurora, Colo., is appearing in a television ad airing nationally this week to press the presidential candidates to discuss their plans to stop gun violence at the first debate.  —  Mayors Against Illegal Guns …
Discussion: CNN
The parallel universe where Mitt leads all polls  —  To talk with any working Republican political operative these days is to hear the same tale of woe: a grim accounting of the past few weeks, a dash of gallows humor and a measure of hope that President Obama is still beatable.
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
NBC's David Gregory Misquotes Obama, Falsely Claims President Said ‘Al Qaeda Has Been Defeated’  —  This morning on Meet The Press, David Gregory twice asserted that, in May, President Obama declared that “al Qaeda has been defeated.”  Gregory used that claim to advance a theory that Obama …
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and The Raw Story
Joel B. Pollak / BREITBART.COM:
ROMNEY'S CHALLENGE: HE IS ALREADY THE INCUMBENT  —  Mitt Romney is about as close to defeating President Barack Obama as any Republican could have hoped to be.  The polls—if you believe them—show him slightly or significantly behind, but within striking distance.
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 More Items: 
Danny Hakim / New York Times:
With New Delays, a Growing Sense That Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Not Approve Gas Drilling
Discussion: ANIMAL, Politicker and Prairie Weather
Sheldon Alberts / Ballot Box:
The Hill Poll: Voters switch, saying Obama is set to win second term
Liz Alderman / New York Times:
Right-Wing Extremists' Popularity Rising Rapidly in Greece
Owen Jones / The Independent:
Whatever happened to the Labour Party?
Discussion: Spectator, Guardian and The Agonist
Angela Couloumbis /
Pa. judge backs most of voter ID law
Discussion: The BRAD BLOG
Thomas Grove / Reuters:
Azerbaijan eyes aiding Israel against Iran
Discussion: and Via Meadia
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Philips pulls presidential debate sponsorship
Discussion: Say Anything
 Earlier Items: 
Helen Murphy / Reuters:
Chavez to Obama: I'd vote for you, and you for me
Craig Sailor /
Crazed fan takes a bite out of Danny Bonaduce
Discussion: Eschaton and ABCNEWS
Patrick McGreevy / Los Angeles Times:
Riverside County GOP registration surge raises questions of fraud
CBS News:
Arnold married same-sex couples while Calif. gov.
Discussion: AMERICAblog and The Raw Story
Sen. Harry Reid / Las Vegas Sun News:
Romney's offensive comments raise doubts
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Josh White / Washington Post:
Lee Boyd Malvo, 10 years after D.C. area sniper shootings: ‘I was a monster’
Discussion: New York Magazine