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Weekly Report

10 most important and relevant items of the week are follows (in no order or chronology):

1.) Debate Day! Obama and McCain butt heads in their final debate appearance. The long awaited confrontation between Obama and McCain over William Ayers didn’t make as big of a splash as either candidate hoped for.

2.) Joe the Plumber from Ohio becomes a media sensation, after asking Barack Obama why he wanted to hike taxes on small business owners. McCain repeatedly mentions him in the debate, prompting a media storm that follows Joe back to Ohio. Thanks to the work of some intrepid reporters, it surfaced that Joe wasn’t exactly a licensed plumber, didn’t make 250,000 a year, wasn’t in a position to buy his employer’s business, and has a few outstanding tax liens against him. Oh, and a suspended driver’s license. Oh, and he voted Republican in the primary. Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Malkin and other conservative commentators pointed out that it was unfair to wage a full-scale media blitz against a private citizen. The New Republic pointed out that Malkin did the same thing when Democrats used a young boy to as a campaign prop to advance the S-CHIP legislation

3.) McCain/RNC robo-calls tying Barack Obama to domestic terrorist William Ayers and ACORN are reported in the blogosphere. GOP senator Susan Collins goes on record as condeming them, while McCain defended the calls on Fox News Sunday.

4.) The mania over alleged “voter fraud” continues. Citizen journalists at Palestra.net, a student muckraking site affiliated with Fox, uncovered that a group of out-of-staters had set up shop in Ohio and were registering voters. Michelle Malkin accused them of breaking the spirit of Ohio’s voter registration laws, and the story made it all the way to the New York Post. Ohio democrats retaliated by launching their own complaint against a group of Republicans performing essentially the same job, and who also cast ballots in Ohio.

5.) Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for President, on Meet the Press. Powell had previously given the maximum allowable contribution to McCain’s campaign when it stalled in the summer of 2007, while McCain had previously called Powell the greatest living hero during the 2000 election cycle. Rush Limbaugh says it was totally about race, asking “what inexperienced white liberals has Powell endorsed recently?

6.) The Obama campaign announces that it has raised $150 million dollars in September, doubling its August totals and shattering all records. Throughout the cycle, Obama has raised more than half a billion dollars in campaign contributions. McCain claims that Obama’s fundraising has broken the public financing system forever. On the Congressional side, the DNC took out a $15 million loan on behalf of the DSCC to push last-minute funds into competitive Senate races, to give the Democrats a fighting chance of capturing 60 seats in the Senate (a filibuster-proof majority).

7.) Reality and comedy collide for one brief moment, when Sarah Palin appears on SNL. This season’s ratings are amongst the best the best in 14 years, undoutbedly thanks to Tina Fey’s doppleganger of Sarah Palin.. As a result of the popularity of the show, NBC has seen a spike in web traffic, as more and more users seek clips on the Internet rather than watch the live broadcast.

8.) Patriotism comes to the forefront, as several prominent Republicans essentially accuse the Democrats of being un-American Congresswoman Michele Bachmann causes a minor stir when she suggests that Barack Obama has un-American views, and goes on to suggest that the media should do an expose on other Members of Congress with un-American views. She later claims she essentially walked into a trap that host Chris Mathews cleverly laid. Her opponent immediately saw a huge spike in fundraising after her comments hit the blogosphere. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin apologized for her comment that she enjoyed spending time in the ‘pro-America’ parts of the country. Finally, Congressman Robin Hayes makes an utter buffoon of himself when he claims that liberals ‘hate real Americans that work. Hayes denied the accusations at first, but recanted and apologized when audio of his comments surfaced. His unfortunate comments happened immediately after he told the fired-up crowd, “make sure we don’t say something stupid, make sure we don’t say something we don’t mean.”

9.) Barack Obama wins the Chicago Tribune endorsement. While the paper is is hometown daily, it also has never ever ever endorsed a Democrat for President in its 100+ year history. Twice it endorsed third-party candidates (Theodore Roosevelt and Horace Greeley), but it has never once endorsed a Democratic candidate for President (not even Kennedy! Not even FDR!).

10.) Barack Obama suspends his campaign just two weeks before the election in order to spend time with his ailing grandmother, who raised him and put him through high school while his mother was still in Indonesia. The blogosphere debates whether it was a risky move, and whether it would be “classy” for McCain to do the same for the time being.

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