TPM News

The nominees for governor in Ohio met in their final debate of the race last night, and according to reports from the ground, the narrow gap in the polls made for some fireworks. Republican nominee John Kasich leads incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by a margin of 48.9-42.2 in the TPM Poll Average, but Democrats say the momentum is with them and predict they'll win in the end. Polls suggest that's something of a Pollyannaesque view of the situation, perhaps, but it seems the numbers were good enough to provoke some jabs from Strickland last night.

The chief issue is the economy, and that was the focus of much of the back-and-forth at the debate, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

"The free-fall has been stopped and all you and your friends want to do is just criticize and say no, no, no," Strickland said, addressing Kasich and attempting to tie him to national GOP rhetoric. "While we have been working here in Ohio to create jobs, you were working on Wall Street to outsource our jobs. I think the people of Ohio can tell the difference between the two of us."

Kasich's jabs came on the issue of tax increases, the subject all GOP pols likely fantasize about debating when they dream at night.

"You actually have been asleep at the wheel," Kasich said to Strickland, according to the Plain Dealer. "If you had come out of the box when you were elected governor and did what you promised, which was turn Ohio around, you would have created a government that is more effective and efficient and dealt with the tax situation."

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Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell (R) yesterday told Delaware voters a big fib that she worked for a "nonprofit" when doing marketing for Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," real-world experience that she said claims her best suited to represent the state in office.

"What I do is nonprofit work, I take on clients," O'Donnell said when asked about critiques she is unqualified in video you can watch below. "I have a very extensive client history from working with Icon Productions at the 'Passion of the Christ.'"

Yes, the same Icon Productions that shattered box office records with "Passion of the Christ" in 2004. It's not listed in the nonprofit disclosure databases, and Icon's own description doesn't include any mention of being a nonprofit.

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Jon Stewart last night lampooned the banks behind the 2008 financial crisis, latching on to reports that the banks themselves never read the fine print on many of their foreclosure agreements.

"The banks weren't reading the fine print? The banks? You're the fucking people who came up in with the fine print in the first place," Stewart said.

Later, Stewart succinctly addressed President Obama's veto of the bank foreclosure bill this week by saying, "It's crazy when getting us back to square one feels like victory."

"We're fucked," Stewart concluded.

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Last week, a Rasmussen survey of the Washington Senate race found incumbent Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) trailing Republican nominee Dino Rossi for the first time in nearly a month's worth of polling. Today, Rasmussen is out with a new survey and similar results: Murray is down to Rossi 49%-46%.

A number of recent polls have shown a close race. A September 21 SurveyUSA poll had Murray ahead only two points, 50%-48%, and a September 25 Fox News poll had the race separated by a single point, with Murray on top 48%-47%.

The TPM Poll Average still has Murray leading in the contest, 48.5%-47.7%.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

Stephen Colbert kicked off his show last night by showing anti-immigration campaign ads from Senate candidates Sharron Angle (R-NV) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), that use the same stock photos.

"This is the most terrifying scenario of all: There aren't enough stock photos of scary minorities out there to represent all the scary minorities we know have got to be out there," Colbert said.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: The Whole Truthiness: Stephen Colbert Testifies On Capitol Hill]

Colbert also showcased his new "fear-based photo licensing service," dubbed, which offers one picture of Colbert in a vaguely threatening pose.

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A lawyer in Tupelo, Miss., was thrown in jail Wednesday for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance in court.

When the judge asked the court to rise and say the Pledge, the lawyer, Danny Lampley, stood but did not say the words. According to local reports, Lampley, known for taking on First Amendment cases, has done so before.

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Alaska Republican Senate hopeful Joe Miller already got into a heap of trouble this week for not going to bat for Sarah Palin. And now Palin's other protégé, Christine O'Donnell, has also refused to answer, when asked, whether Palin is qualified to be president.

The fateful moment came deep in an interview with CNN yesterday.

"Is Sarah Palin qualified to be president?"

""Is she running for president?" O'Donnell asked back. "Again, hypothetical."

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A member of the Westboro Baptist Church who represented the fringe church before the Supreme Court in a freedom of speech case on Wednesday tells TPMMuckraker that they support the right of Muslims to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero.

"Of course" Muslims should be able to build the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center in New York City, Margie J. Phelps told TPMMuckraker in an interview Thursday. She said it would be hypocritical for the United States to not allow construction to proceed, and called opponents of the mosque un-American.

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GOP Eyes Potential Defectors CQ reports: "House Republicans are already examining which Democrats might want to switch parties after Nov. 2 and are mapping out a strategy for how to persuade them to make the leap. Republican aides and lobbyists said there are a handful of Democratic Members whom GOP leaders plan to target, with Member-to-Member conversations beginning immediately after the midterm elections. Incentives for switching sides could include a leadership-level position or seat on a powerful committee such as Appropriations or Ways and Means."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET. He will tour a small business in Bladensburg, Maryland, at 11:25 a.m. ET, and deliver remarks on the monthly jobs numbers at 11:40 a.m. ET. He will meet with senior advisers at 1:40 p.m. ET, at the White House. At 2:05 p.m. ET, he will sign the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.

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Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…