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Not much is known about surprise Democratic South Carolina Senate nominee Alvin Greene, but military records obtained by the Associated Press provide some insight into Greene's honorable discharge from the Air Force in 2005.

A performance review describes Greene as "unable to express thoughts clearly," and "not able to adapt to any changes to daily routine."

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Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon has a new ad in the Connecticut Senate race, clearly reaching out to women voters who might be turned off by her background in the raunchy entertainment world of pro-wrestling.

The ad shows two women going for a drive and talking about McMahon. One of the women says she likes what she hears about McMahon, but that the wrestling stuff is "not exactly my cup of tea." The other woman responds: "It's a soap opera...Look, she tamed the traveling show world of professional wrestling, turned it into a global company, and created 500 jobs here in Connecticut."

The first woman responds: "Alright, you think she can shake things up in Washington?" The ad ends with the women declaring an exuberant "Oh, yeah."

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Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has been charged with ethics violations, the House ethics panel announced today.

The committee did not announce the specifics of the violations.

The panel has reportedly been investigating Rangel for the four rent-controlled apartments he rents in Harlem and his fundraising efforts for a City College of New York educational center named in his honor.

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Democrats are circulating an internal polling memo out of Louisiana that finds Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) in a dead heat with David Vitter in the race for Vitter's Senate seat.

"The race for Louisiana's U.S. Senate seat has undergone a fundamental shift in the past few weeks," the memo reads. "Vitter's mishandling of the [a recent scandal] and the emergence of a strong Republican primary challenger are new, dramatic hurdles to Vitter's already imperiled re-election prospects. Charlie Melancon's active role during the oil spill has provided him with a platform to demonstrate his strong leadership on behalf of Louisiana voters on a statewide platform. The head-to-head vote with Charlie Melancon is now a dead-heat, fifty percent of voters prefer someone new to another Vitter term, and voter perceptions of Vitter are tanking as the electorate continues to warm to Melancon."

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Today's Rasmussen poll of the Florida Senate race suggests that the Democrat in the contest could make a real difference -- even though neither possible Democratic nominee seems to have a great shot at actually winning.

When Democratic businessman Jeff Greene is pitted against Independent Charlie Crist and Republican Marco Rubio, Crist leads Rubio 36-34, with Greene lagging in third with 19%. But when Rep. Kendrick Meek is the Democrat in the race, Rubio tops Crist 35-33, while Meek trails with 20%.

The last Rasmussen poll -- from July 6 -- showed Rubio leading Crist and Meek 36-34-15, and leading Crist and Greene 37-33-18.

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Light it on fire, and let its carbon pollution soar into the sky unrestricted: climate change legislation is dead.

At a press conference this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Democrats' top climate and energy negotiator, acknowledged officially, and with obvious disappointment, that they lack the votes to pass legislation limiting carbon pollution, and that forthcoming energy legislation will be extremely narrow, in a bid to overcome a GOP filibuster.

"Many of us want to do a thorough comprehensive [climate and energy] bill that creates jobs, breaks our addiction to foreign oil, and curbs pollution," Reid said. "Unfortunately at this time we don't have a single Republican to work with in achieving this goal. For me it's terribly disappointing and it's also very dangerous. So the President, Senator Kerry and I and others, large numbers of my caucus will continue to reach out to Republicans and work with environmental and energy committees, communities, to garner the support we need to move forward on a much larger more comprehensive bill."

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TPMDC's Christina Bellantoni is live from Las Vegas this weekend, bringing TPM readers exclusive videos, interviews and reporting -- and, if that wasn't enough, she's Tweeting as she goes. After the jump, you can check out her Twitter stream from 2:30 ET Thursday on!

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Candidates are starting to pile up in West Virginia's special Senate election. Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin remains the frontrunner to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd, but some other old names have been popping up -- some very old names.

Yesterday, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito announced that she would not run, depriving the GOP of its seemingly strongest potential candidate. Had she run, Capito would have started out as an underdog -- a Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago had Manchin leading her by 53%-39%. Nevertheless, she did seem like the best possible GOP candidate in a state that has been trending to the GOP, but where the party's bench is very thin.

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