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This week we were treated to televised debates in three of the country's most high profile Senate races — Connecticut, Nevada and Delaware.

While the Connecticut debate wasn't quite the smackdown that many pundits were expecting and hoping for, and the Nevada debate ended in a draw by most counts, the Delaware debate made for some spellbinding TV.

In a twist of irony, the Yale-educated Democratic candidate often seemed positively dumbfounded by what his far-less-educated Republican opponent had to say.

Perhaps he should have studied up on her.

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: White House Press Secretray Robert Gibbs; Colorado Senate Debate between Michael Bennet (D) and Ken Buck (R).

Face the Nation: Former DNC Chair Howard Dean; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sociopath Liz Cheney; William Galston (Brookings Institution).

This Week: Democratic Candidate for Delaware Senate Chris Coons; Republican Candidate for Delaware Senate Christine O'Donnell; California First Lady Maria Shriver; Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Terry Moran (ABC News), Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd and Political Offspring Meghan McCain.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Republican Candidate for California Senate Carly Fiorina; Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Mara Liasson (NPR/FNC), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times).

State of the Union: White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod; Former Presidential Candidate Gary Bauer; Evan Tracey (Campaign Media Analysis Group); Michael Duffy (TIME); Reliable Sources: Jonathan Martin (Politico); Amy Holmes (CNN); Thomas Frank (Harper's Magazine); Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

The Chris Matthews Show: Andrea Mitchell (NBC News); Bob Woodward (Washington Post); David Brooks (New York Times); Helene Cooper (New York Times).

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Nobel Laureate in Economics Peter Diamond; Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report from a controversial archaeological dig under the city of Jerusalem (preview); a report on an annual encampment in San Diego where veterans can find hope, help and services (preview); and, a report on a mysterious film that was made on San Francisco's Market Street just days before the 1906 earthquake (preview).

...

On Comedy Central:

Jon Stewart looked at some of the more egregious unforced errors made by candidates this election season.

And Stephen Colbert examined the threat Islam poses to America's children and foodstuffs.

Note: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will both be airing reruns this week.

...

Elsewhere:

Mitt Romney devised a novel strategy to goose his book sales.

Mitt Romney boosted sales of his book this spring by asking institutions to buy thousands of copies in exchange for his speeches, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.

The hosts ranged from Claremont McKenna College to the Restaurant Leadership Conference, many of whom are accustomed to paying for high-profile speakers like Romney. Asking that hosts buy books is also a standard feature of book tours. But Romney's total price - $50,000 - was on the high end, and his publisher, according to the document from the book tour - provided on the condition it not be described in detail - asked institutions to pay at least $25,000, and up to the full $50,000 price, in bulk purchases of the book. With a discount of roughly 40 percent, that meant institutions could wind up with more than 3,000 copies of the book - and a person associated with one of his hosts said they still have quite a pile left over.

...

Meanwhile:

TV game show host Pat Sajak worried that public employees might be unfairly enriching themselves by exercising their constitutional right to vote.

None of my family and friends is allowed to appear on Wheel of Fortune. Same goes for my kids’ teachers or the guys who rotate my tires. If there’s not a real conflict of interest, there is, at least, the appearance of one. [...]

In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it’s only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? The same question goes for federal workers in federal elections.

...

And Sajak isn't alone in his efforts to Keep Out The Vote.

He's joined by, among others, Republican nominee for Illinois Senate Mark Kirk.

Last week, Kirk was recorded telling supporters that he’d assembled a team of integrity squads to combat "vote fraud," which in some conservative circles is code word for "minorities at the polls."

"These are lawyers and other people that will be deployed in key, vulnerable precincts, for example, South and West sides of Chicago, Rockford, Metro East, where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat," Kirk said in the phone conversation, which was secretly taped and posted on YouTube.

Those, of course, are the four most African-American sections of Illinois.

...

Color me surprised.

- Trix

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 09:32 PM PDT.

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