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Sharron Angle is offering a novel explanation for her seeming secret quid-pro-quo offer to a third-party conservative candidate that she could get him access to top GOP Senators if he dropped out and helped her win the race. Instead, as Jon Ralston reports, she now says she would help any constituent in Nevada meet with big-name Senators.

Earlier this week, Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian released a secret tape of himself meeting last week with Angle. As she had told Ashjian: "That's really all I can offer to you (Ashjian) is whatever juice I have, you have as well...You want to see DeMint, I have juice with him...I go to Washington, DC, and want to see Jim DeMint, he's right there for me. I want to see Tom Coburn, he's right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he's there."

But that wasn't improper at all, Angle told conservative talk radio host Heidi Harris: "Well, of course, I offered him meetings with people that are friends of mine. Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are friends of mine, and I would offer that to any constituent in Nevada."

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Rand Paul is having a hard time escaping his plan to add a $2,000 deductible to Medicare, despite a pricey ad campaign that appears to be aimed at just that. In a rather blatant edit to one of his TV ads, Paul's campaign changed language saying he "never" supported a deductible to words and narration saying he "doesn't" support such a plan.

It's a fairly dramatic public walkback that suggests Paul is concerned about how the deductible talk could affect his performance on Election Day. Democrats in Kentucky say the fact that Paul changed the ad means their opposition research operations are bearing fruit and making victory for their nominee, Jack Conway, more likely.

The back story: Back in 2009, Paul told a group that a $2,000 deductible for Medicare was necessary to help get the program "to more of a market-based system." Paul admitted the plan would be a tough sell to voters, snarking "but try selling that one in an election year." That remark was captured on video of the speech taken by Democrats. Conway went up with an ad calling out the deductible plan a couple weeks ago, and has made great use of the what the campaign says is the unpopularity of increasing the costs of Medicare among those who receive it (read: senior citizens, the demographic absolutely no one wants to get on the wrong side of in an election year).

Paul is clearly worried about the ads, as he is now running his own spots calling Conway out for ever saying that he supported a deductible for Medicare (fact check: Paul does in fact support increasing the deductible costs for Medicare, but only for people 55 and younger).

Paul's attempts to rebut the Conway ads were stymied somewhat by his own past statements however.

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Top Obama adviser David Plouffe told reporters today that the extreme positions of Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle and Rand Paul have had a measurable effect on improving Democratic voter enthusiasm and will make a "pronounced impact" on the 2012 presidential battle.

Plouffe said Democrats initially thought candidates like Angle and Paul would be "unique situations to their states," but when O'Donnell splashed onto the national scene with her ideas, the tea party extremism became a national force.

"She was ... the icing on the cake in terms of this," he said.

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Earlier this year, Campbell Canada introduced a line of halal-certified soups. The 15 soups comply with Islamic dietary regulations which, much like kosher regulations, prohibit certain foods and define the right way to slaughter animals.

The line, which includes low fat cream of broccoli and vegetarian vegetable, was certified by the Islamic Society of North America, which has been certifying halal foods since 1988.

To some people, that's just more evidence that Sharia is coming to North America -- this time, via the grocery store.

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Sharron Angle has a new ad in the Nevada Senate race, making good on a Republican attack line that has been over six months in the making: Alleging that Harry Reid favors giving Viagra to sexual predators!

"Want to know just how out of touch Harry Reid is?" says a woman in the ad. "Spending $787 billion on a stimulus that failed, is a start. Or Reid voting to give illegal aliens special tax breaks and Social Security benefits is another big clue. But here's the kicker. Reid actually voted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra -- for convicted child molesters and sex offenders. What else could you ever need to know about Harry Reid?"

The vote referred to in the ad was part of a last-minute political gambit by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), in late March 2010, to derail the health care bill by forcing the Democrats to vote for or against various politically sensitive amendments to the bill -- in this case, "prohibiting coverage of Viagra for child molesters and rapists." This and other similar amendments were all voted down by the Dems -- because if they had passed, it would have gummed up the parliamentary works in a serious way -- and provided GOPers with the chance to make attack ads just like this one.

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 47.3%-46.6%.

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1||On October 7, 2010, the U.S. marked the 9th anniversary -- and the start of the tenth year -- of the war in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama chats with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the start of a dinner at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 28, 2010.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

2||After firing a grenade, Army Staff Sgt. Brent Adams reaches for another round while sprinting to his vehicle when a torrent of automatic weapons fire erupted from a nearby hill in Barmel District, Paktika Province on July 16, 2007.||U.S. Army photo by Spc. Micah E. Clare&&

3||Army Capt. Lisa Kirby, Female Engagement Team coordinator for the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Mike Spann in northern Afghanistan, leads a group of Kaka Kot School children in Nahr-e Shahi District to the center of the school, October 4, 2010. ||Photos by Sandra Arnold, RC-North Public Affairs Advisory Team.&&

4||A local Afghan boy looks on as his father talks to U.S. Marines during a security pause at a compound in Northern Trek Nawa, Afghanistan on August 15, 2010.||Photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe&&

5||President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops at a mess hall at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||U.S. soldiers burn down an alleged Taliban safehouse discovered during operations in the Paktika province of Afghanistan March 30, 2007.||U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Holley&&

7||U.S Army Sgt. 1st Class David Banks drinks tea with Afghan National police during a cordon and search of Pana, Afghanistan, June 9, 2007.||U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael L. Casteel&&

8||An Afghan girl in Boragay Village, Zabul province, December 4, 2009.||Photo by Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez&&

9||President Obama meets with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, left, and then-Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010. McChrystal was the commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan.||White House photo by Pete Souza&&

10||A Marine sprints down the line of heavy machine guns to deliver a map after a firefight with Taliban insurgents on February 9, 2010 at the "Fire Points" intersection -- a key junction of roads linking Marjeh with the rest of Helmand province.||Photo by Sgt. Brian Tuthill &&

11||A U.S. Army medic treats an Afghan child for a sunburn in the village of Meryanay Kherwar District, Logar province on April 9, 2010.||Photo by Sgt. Russell Gilchrest&&

12||An Afghan boy greets soldiers during a dismounted patrol in Kvoshab Village near Kandahar Airfield on January 2, 2010.||U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez&&

13||President Barack Obama greets deployed service members and civilians during a surprise visit to Bagram Airfield on March 28, 2010||Photo by Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt&&

14||U.S. Army Soldiers of the Provincial Reconstruction Team from forward operating base Kalagush conduct a patrol through the village of Kowtalay in the Nuristan province on June 12, 2007.||U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken&&

15||An Afghan local of the village of Shinkey in the Zabule province listens during a medical seminar on March 15, 2010.||Photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston&&

16||U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, and Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak ride in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to visit the Combined Fielding Center on Camp Blackhorse March 10, 2010.||DoD photo by Cherie Cullen&&

17||A 20-year-old Afghan gunshot wound victim receives surgical care at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Farah on May 18, 2010. The victim received wounds caused by Taliban gunfire in Shewan village in the Farah Province.||ISAF photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rylan K. Albright&&

18||Pfc. Michael Elliott talks with Mohammad Dode, a village resident on February 5, 2010 in southern Afghanistan.||Photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston &&

19||Women members of a rural Poultry Association, Balkh province, northern Afghanistan.||Photo from DFID - UK Department for International Development on Flickr&&

20||Gen. David H. Petraeus congratulates British Lt. Gen. Sir Nick Parker after pinning him with a NATO ribbon for his year-long service as deputy commander of NATO and International Security Assistance Force troops on September 28, 2010.||Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell&&

21||A soldier watches cattle run for their lives while a CH-47 helicopter prepares to land during Operation Saray Has near Forward Operating Base Naray on July 19, 2006.||The U.S. Army on Flickr&&

22||U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeff Cantor shakes the hand of an Afghan boy outside Bagram Airfield in Janquadam, Parwan province on September 25, 2009.||U.S. Army photo by Spc. Matthew McKinny&&

23||An Afghan boy rides a donkey into the village of Salar, Sayed-Abad District, Wardak province on March 28, 2010.||Photo by Sgt. Russell Gilchrest&&

24||U.S. Army Soldiers hold candles in memory of 9/11 victims during a vigil on Sept. 11, 2010 at Camp Phoenix.||Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump&&

25||A medevac flight on June 3, 2009 in Afghanistan.||The U.S. Army on Flickr&&

26||An Afghan National Interpreter and U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Matthew Hilderbrand talk with an Afghan boy during a patrol at a bazaar in the Zabul province of Afghanistan on June 29, 2010.||U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. William Tremblay&&

27||Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle pays tribute to one of his fallen Marines on March 8, 2010 at South Station, Helmand province, Afghanistan. A little more than two weeks later, Cottle was struck by a roadside bomb that killed him and 19 year old Marine Lance Cpl. Rick Centanni.||Photo by Marine Corps 1st Lt. Joshua Diddams&&

28||U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, walks with Maj. Wayne Don, advisor for the Mongolian Expeditionary Task Force assigned to NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, and Mongolian Lt. Col. Javkhlanbayar, senior representative of the contingent, in Camp Eggers in Kabul on March 8, 2010.|| The U.S. Army on Flickr&&

29||Paratroopers prepare to load a Chinook Helicopter in the Bermel District of the Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, October 13, 2009 during an air-assault mission to detain a known militant.||Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Andrya Hill, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs&&

30||Petty Officer 3rd Class Liz J. Arevalo looks over a young Afghan child during a village medical engagement just outside Patrol Base Siapan in Marjahon July 10, 2010.||Photo by Cpl. Megan Sindelar&&

31||Six-month-old Stare waits inside the Farah province governor's compound with her mother and other refugee women for humanitarian assistance on December 9, 2009. Farah, Afghanistan.||Photo by Master Sgt. Tracy DeMarco &&

32||The North Dakota National Guard Military Funeral Honors team transfers the remains of U.S. Army Spc. Keenan Cooper upon arrival in North Dakota on July 14, 2010. Cooper was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 5, 2010. His funeral took place in his hometown of Wahpeton, ND on July 16, 2010.||Photo by Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp&&

Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal met earlier this morning for a debate in the Connecticut Senate race -- and didn't pull their punches.

As the New York Times reports, the Republican went on the offensive, claiming that the Democrat Blumenthal made false claims about her company.

"Maybe you just misspoke again, like the time when you talked about how you had served in Vietnam," Ms. McMahon said dryly, referring to the attorney general's explanation earlier this year that he had "misspoken" when he said on several occasions that he served in the Vietnam War, though he did not.

Mr. Blumenthal, who was in the Marine Reserves during the war and never left the country, gave her an icy stare before turning back to the audience at the packed banquet ball, and told them that he had inadvertently "mischaracterized" his military service on only a few instances.

"I regret it," he said. "It was unintentional."

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According to a new PPP poll of the Colorado gubernatorial race, things are looking good for Democrat John Hickenlooper... and really, really bad for Republican Dan Maes.

The survey shows Hickenlooper with a comfortable lead, ahead of third-party candidate Tom Tancredo by 14 points and up a seemingly insurmountable 34 points on Maes. Through the last month, Tancredo has steadily increased his polling numbers, while Maes has fallen into a downward spiral. When PPP looked at the race in early August, Maes was on top of Tancredo-- through Hickenlooper still led big with 48%, to Maes's 23% and Tancredo's 22%.

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