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Sharron Angle is continuing to rail against unemployment benefits -- going so far as to say that extending the payments "really doesn't benefit anyone."

Angle has previously said that "We really have spoiled our citizenry" with unemployment benefits -- a comment that has made its way into a Harry Reid attack ad. Now, as the Huffington Post reports, Angle made her latest comment Wednesday on the radio show of conservative talker Heidi Harris.

"The problem here, the problem here is what always happens with progressives. They want to put band-aids on problems rather than put real solutions to problems," said Angle. "People don't want to be unemployed. They want to have real, full-time and permanent jobs with a future. That's what they want.

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Now that we know the Republicans have settled on a campaign strategy pledging to "defund" health care reform if they win back Congressional power, it's time to take a look at what that actually means. Could it be a precursor to a Republican showdown with President Obama repeating the 1995 and 1996 government shutdowns?

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he thinks the Republicans are hinting at shutdown with their promises to defund everything.

"They want to shrink it to where it doesn't work, and then when it doesn't work, they go, 'Look! It doesn't work, get rid of it.' And that's been their strategy all along," Trumka told TPM Thursday after speaking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "They don't talk about how to make things effective; they talk about how to get rid of them."

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The new SurveyUSA poll of the California gubernatorial race gives Republican Meg Whitman an expanding lead over Democrat Jerry Brown.

The numbers: Whitman 47%, Brown 40%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.2% margin of error. In the previous Survey USA poll from three weeks ago, Whitman was only ahead by a narrow 44%-43%.

The TPM Poll Average shows Whitman taking a narrow lead of 44.8%-43.8%.

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The new SurveyUSA poll of the California Senate race gives Republican Carly Fiorina a narrow edge over incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer.

The numbers: Fiorina 48%, Boxer 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.2% margin of error. In the previous SurveyUSA poll from three weeks ago, Fiorina was actually given a wider lead of 47%-42%.

Other pollsters have generally been kinder to Boxer, showing her with narrow leads. As such, the TPM Poll Average gives Boxer a slight edge of 46.3%-44.4%, though Fiorina is also gaining. In either case, it seems clear that this race will be hotly fought through election day.

Full coverage of the race here.

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On the cusp of America's celebration of labor's place in American life, the Labor Department released its monthly review of employment statistics to relatively optimistic reactions from the White House and the media, despite the fact that 54,000 fewer Americans had jobs at the end of August than did in July.

The cause for all the celebration is that the 54,000 net new unemployed Americans were mostly Census workers who expected to be unemployed by September, so the overall increase in unemployment wasn't really that bad. But, a deeper look at the numbers belies the rosy rhetoric.

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Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott is up with a new ad linking Democrat Alex Sink to President Obama, just as the Republican Governors Association is reportedly transferring $2 million to the Florida Republican Party to help Scott attack his Dem opponent.

The new ad shows footage of Obama urging Florida voters to back Sink, before knocking "liberal Alex Sink" for supporting the president's "government takeover of health care" and "trillion dollar stimulus bill."

Scott ran an extremely negative (and successful) campaign against Republican establishment choice Bill McCollum in the primary, and clearly isn't pulling any punches heading into the general election.

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Remember the birther infomercial, produced by, that asked viewers for $30 for a "got a birth certificate?" bumper sticker?

The man behind it, Bill Keller, is now railing against the Islamic center planned for lower Manhattan. He says he'll be holding Sunday services from a room at the Marriott across from Ground Zero every weekend until he can find a permanent spot for his "9/11 Christian Center."

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