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ThinkFast: October 1, 2008

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"ThinkFast: October 1, 2008"

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Before Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) chose her as his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) had an 82 percent approval rating in her state. Since then, however, Palin’s approval rating has dropped to 68 percent. Support stayed steady with Republicans, but dropped 24 points with Democrats and 18 points with independents.

The number of job cuts announced in September rose as the economy slowed,” according to a report released today by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Cuts “rose 7.2% to 95,094 from 88,736 the previous month, and were 33% higher than the same month last year, when 71,739 cuts were announced.”

The Drudge Report and numerous conservative outlets are reporting that PBS anchor Gwen Ifill, who is moderating Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate, “is releasing a new book on Barack Obama, raising questions about her objectivity.” The book takes note of “Obama’s stunning presidential campaign” to introduce the emerging “young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.”

The Senate will vote on its version of the bailout bill today, which added tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy and higher government insurance for bank deposits to the version rejected by the House earlier this week. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Joe Biden (D-DE) are all expected to return to Washington to vote.

On the trail today: Barack Obama will hold a rally in La Crosse, WI; John McCain starts his day in Kansas City. Both will return to D.C. to vote on the financial bailout package later in the day.

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, “just 27 percent of Americans approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president, the lowest rating of his presidency.” Bush’s approval rating declined from 31 percent in the last Gallup poll.

City and state governments “have been effectively shut out of the bond markets for the last two weeks, raising the cost of day-to-day operations, threatening longer-term projects and dampening a broad source of jobs and stability.” The sudden loss of credit, “one of the ripple effects of the current financial turmoil, is affecting local governments in all parts of the country, rich and poor alike.”

Yesterday, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) “created legislation meant to help the capsizing financial markets right themselves.” “DeFazio, a vociferous opponent of the Bush Administration’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout, calls his legislation the ‘No BAILOUTS Act.’ Read about the details of the legislation here.

Former VECO head Bill Allen testified against Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) yesterday, detailing the free gifts he exchanged with Stevens. Allen said gave Stevens a 1999 “loaded” Land Rover, valued at $44,000, in exchange for a 1964 Mustang and $5,000, explaining he went through with the sweetheart deal “because I liked Ted.”

And finally: Sin City has launched a new marketing campaign geared at Election Day. According to Vegas.com President Howard Lefkowitz, “[B]y the time voters go to the polls, their frustration is bound to manifest itself in drinking, gambling and other questionable behavior. ‘This is our attempt to make the campaign a little more tolerable,’ he said. New bumper stickers being sold by Vegas.com read: “Vegas: Because you need to be drunk to make it through this election.

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