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12:30 PM 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 …
Washington Post:
Tight race nationally as first debate approaches  —  On the eve of the first presidential debate, President Obama leads or is at parity with Mitt Romney on virtually every major issue and attribute in what remains a competitive general election, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
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.
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
Glenn Thrush / Reuters:
Obama vs. Obama at debates  —  LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama's most dangerous opponent in the trio of upcoming presidential debates isn't Mitt Romney.  —  It's himself.  —  The president has been working on blunting his barbs nearly as much as he's been trying to sharpen …
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Aurora survivor offers debate topic
Discussion: CNN and The Week
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.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The Paul Ryan Legend Dissipates
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Chris Wallace / Fox News:
Exclusive: Paul Ryan plays off latest poll numbers, exudes confidence ahead of debates
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and PoliticusUSA
Fast and Furious Scandal: New Details Emerge on How the U.S. Government Armed Mexican Drug Cartels  —  Pools Of Blood On The Streets Of Villas De Salvarcar After A Massacre In Which Operation Fast And Furious Guns Were Allegedly Used (Univision)  —  On January 30, 2010 …
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 and Booman Tribune
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.
Tim Mak / Politico:   White House confirms cyberattack
Michael A. Walsh / New York Post:
Wheels coming off  —  Team O's Libya dissembling  —  With a little more than a month to go before a crucial national election, the wheels are coming off the Obama administration's national-security credentials.  —  The coordinated attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi …
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.
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%.
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
Discussion: The Stranger …
Donald Trump's Libyan Hindsight  —  He made the case for Libya intervention, now he says he knew all along.  Prediction: He will not acknowledge the contradiction.  —  Andrew Kaczynski  —  a half hour ago  —  respond
Charles C. Johnson / The Daily Caller:
As college student, Eric Holder participated in ‘armed’ takeover of former Columbia University ROTC office  —  As a freshman at Columbia University in 1970, future Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a five-day occupation of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) …
Tim Cavanaugh / Hit & Run:
If Romney's Losing, Why Do the Media Act Like He's Already the President?  —  At, Joel B. Pollak makes a powerful case that the media have “treated [Republican presidential candidate Mitt] Romney as the incumbent,” in the process overlooking any responsibility President Obama may have for the current state of the country.
Discussion: Instapundit
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 More Items: 
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Payroll Tax Cut Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year
New York Times:
Mistaken Sense of Security Cited Before Envoy to Libya Died
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Chrystia Freeland / New Yorker:
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Examiner:
Obama's poker tells
Darrel Rowland / The Columbus Dispatch:
Dispatch Poll: Brown opens lead on Mandel
Discussion: Politico and The Argo Journal
Danny Hakim / New York Times:
With New Delays, a Growing Sense That Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Not Approve Gas Drilling
 Earlier Items: 
Sheldon Alberts / Ballot Box:
The Hill Poll: Voters switch, saying Obama is set to win second term
Kyle Balluck / The Hill:
What will be this year's October surprise?
Discussion: Politico
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
NBC's David Gregory Misquotes Obama, Falsely Claims President Said ‘Al Qaeda Has Been Defeated’
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and The Raw Story
Angela Couloumbis /
Pa. judge backs most of voter ID law
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The BRAD BLOG
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Philips pulls presidential debate sponsorship
Discussion: Say Anything