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With Louisiana Sens. Mary Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R) blocking a vote on the confirmation of Jack Lew, President Obama's pick to lead the White House budget team, speculation ran rampant this week that Obama might offer Lew a recess appointment.

Well, that won't be happening.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided he'd hold multiple weekly pro-forma Senate sessions during the election-season recess, which will prevent Obama from legally recess appointing his stalled nominees. The reason, according to top Democratic and Republican aides has nothing to do with recess appointments per se, but rather with protecting the rest of Obama's executive and judicial nominees.

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1||Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell (R) at the Values Voter Summit. ||Jeff Malet/

2||Melissa Charvanneau (White House Correspondent), Ozzy Osbourne, Christine O'Donnell and Matt Smith (from the White House Public Liaison Office) at the 2002 White House Correspondents Dinner.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

3||Melissa Charvanneau (White House Correspondent), Secretary Donald Rumsfield and O'Donnell at the 2002 Correspondents Dinner.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

4||At St. Newark's Senior Home.||

5||O'Donnell with Rev. Laura Hattier.|| &&

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8||O'Donnell with her family.|| &&

9||O'Donnell and former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave.|| &&

10||SALT members take a break during an MTV interview for the "Sex in the 90's" series. On it, O'Donnell said: "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can't masturbate without lust!"||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

11||On location in Aspen, Colorado at the HBO Comedy Festival. From left: O'Donnell, Jennifer Weddington (former SALT Field Director), Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis and "Politically Incorrect" producers Carole Chouinard and Joy Dolce.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

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13||Salem Radio Network interviews O'Donnell and two SALT teens.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

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15|| ||ABC News &&

16|| ||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

17||O'Donnell on Sean Hannity's show. || &&

18|| ||Newscom/RollCall&&

19||Backstage at Christian Rock Festival, Creation '98 SALT volunteers Rachel Aschalew, Christy Hines and O'Donnell hang out with Grammy nominated Christian rock group "Third Day."||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

20|| "In The Beginning....." a pro-life youth rally in San Diego, California, launched the start of the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT) in 1996. Pictured are rally organizers (left to right) Gloria Parr, O'Donnell, Tom, Christine Miller and Sean McDowell.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

21||O'Donnell with Luke and Marc Sherman, at Wilmington, Delaware's Tax Day Tea Party Rally.||

22||O'Donnell at Values Voters. ||Jeff Malet/

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24|| ||Jeff Malet/

25||O'Donnell on MTV.|| &&

26||O'Donnell with Nancy Baron.||

27||O'Donnell and Congressman Bob Dornan in the green room before a Hardball taping.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

28||O'Donnell at an interview with Carl Cameron from Fox News.||

29||O'Donnell at an interview with Jessica Yellin from CNN.||

30|| ||Jeff Malet/

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32||O'Donnell with Jonathan Karl from ABC News.||

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34||ABC-TV's "Extra!" interviews O'Donnell for a story on teen pregnancy. ||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

35||Presidential candidate Alan Keyes and NFL wide receiver Justin Armour (Baltimore Ravens) celebrate with O'Donnell at a banquet promoting chastity in Annapolis, MD.||Savior's Alliance For Lifting The Truth &&

Rand Paul has a double-digit lead in the Kentucky Senate race, according to a new poll from Rasmussen out today. The poll of likely voters shows Paul, the Republican nominee, leading Democratic nominee Jack Conway by a margin of 49-38.

Rasmussen's last poll in Kentucky, conducted Sept. 7, showed Paul with a larger 15-point lead. That poll showed Paul ahead 54-39. The dip in support for Paul matches that seen in all other polling of the race lately, which has shown Conway gaining ground. The poll shows that Paul's self-professed tea party candidacy may be causing some problems for the Republican, despite the large lead.

"Paul has the backing of 88% of Tea Party members and 29% of non-members," the pollster reports. "Fifty-eight percent of those who say they are not part of the movement support Conway."

The TPM Poll Average shows Paul ahead 47.4-41.9

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The Harry Reid campaign has a new ad against Sharron Angle, continuing their recent line of attack over her opposition to mandating that insurance companies cover various procedures -- in this case, mammograms.

The ad features a woman named Barbara Trznadel, talking about how a mammogram detected her breast cancer.

Then the narrator cuts in: "In the Assembly, Sharron Angle tried to repeal the law that makes insurance companies cover mammograms. She wouldn't even cover mammograms."

The ad then goes back to Trznadel: "If insurance companies don't cover the cost of mammograms, fewer women will get them -- and more women will die."

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 47.7%-45.2%.

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Opponents of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., spent the last two days arguing in court that Islam is not a religion and that the leaders of the mosque -- which has been in the town, in a different location, for decades -- preach jihad and a Sharia law takeover.

Three opponents of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's planned expansion have sued the county, claiming officials broke open meeting law when they approved the mosque's building plan. The officials deny violating any laws. But the case quickly became, not about open meeting laws, but about Islam itself.

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Republican Christine O'Donnell is a perennial Senate candidate who seems to have enrolled in plenty of courses, certificate programs and think tank seminars to further her political ambitions.

Her frequent television appearances have surfaced on perma-reel as she tries to win over Delaware voters, and now, so has her checkered educational history. It's all sort of cloudy, and without O'Donnell sitting down with the press to clarify things it's hard to know exactly what's real, what's exaggerated and what's all just a misunderstanding.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Christine O'Donnell: Anti-Masturbation Crusader. Witchcraft Dabbler. Republican Senate Nominee.]

So, after the jump, TPM breaks down O'Donnell's actual education, and all the various claims she has made about it.

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A left-leaning military veterans group is spending half-a-million dollars on canvassing efforts to boost Democrat Joe Sestak's Senate campaign. said the campaign literature would be "blistering" in its message, comparing Republican nominee Pat Toomey to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and implying that Toomey puts financial industry interests above those of military servicemembers.

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There's measuring the drapes, and then there's measuring the drapes on a house you haven't bought, and may never own, but you're so convinced you will that, hey, let's buy drapes!

And there's hubris, Joe Miller-style.

So confident is Miller that he'll win Lisa Murkowski's Alaska Senate seat in November, he boasted last night to his over 4,000 Twitter followers that, on his trip to DC this week, he might do some house hunting. And perhaps buy some furniture. And also commission a name plaque for the door of his future Senate office.

The tweets were flagged by a source and sent my way. Check it out.

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