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It’s Monday morning, and I’m moving slowly today.  So I thought we’d start out with a "whatcha reading?" thread until my fingers warm up enough to type properly for something more in depth. 

– A quick reminder:  the Lamont campaign is still more than happy to accept volunteers.  You can sign up here if you can get to Connecticut for the next coupla days.  It’s crunch time, and GOTV is critical.  Your phone calls could make the difference, so if you can get there, please consider helping out.

– I found this ChiTrib article via Skippy, and it makes for an interesting read.  What does it say when people who have known you your entire life can’t vote for you because they don’t trust your judgment?  I wonder if Joe Lieberman ever stops to think about why so many of his old pals are walking away from him these days?

– The new Quinnipeac poll is out, and Ned still has a lead — by 6 points this time.  Jane and I have been saying for weeks that no poll is going to be an accurate gauge of this race — hell, the pollsters have been saying the same thing — because this is such a volatile primary electorate.  Hold onto your hats, gang, it’s going to be a nail biter.  (See the "please go to CT if you can" information above.)

– TeddySanFran sent along a link to this infuriating article about GOP welfare reform v.2.0.  It seems that folks on welfare are encouraged to work at low-end wage jobs with no real future or benefits attached to them — but going to college?  Not going to be encouraged any longer.  Oh yeah, that is some constructive thinking.  That’s gonna help their children see that they can do something better.  (Bangs head on keyboard.  Arrrrrgh.  Sorry, but this is an enormous pet peeve of mine — education is a way up for a lot of folks, and the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress and George Bush just said, "Well, booo frickin’ hoo.  Stay on welfare and work as a night janitor and tell your kids to have a great life doing the same damn thing.")

ABC is reporting that Rep. Bob Ney is not going to seek re-election.  One wonders if he has been served with a target letter or cut a deal.  Either scenario could be pretty interesting for some of his Jack Abramoff pals, wouldn’t you say?  UPDATERoll Call has more — it seems the DoJ is looking into Ney’s testimony to Congress about his Abramoff connections, so now I’m truly wondering if a deal or an indictment is in the offing…

The Asia Times is reporting that Iraqi Shi’ites are moving toward formation of their own government in the southern part of the country.  This comes at a time when hardliners are increasingly pushing for a more Iranian-connected government, and could break the already tenuous bonds within the coalition government wide open.  (I’ll be keeping an eye on this via Juan Cole and Swope and Laura Rozen, among others, today.) 

– Things are getting even more heated between Israel and Lebanon, as air and ground attacks intensify.  Mass protests are apparently breaking out across the Muslim world (including all over Iraq) against the US support of Israel in all of this.  So, other than feeling less safe as a result of the idiocy that is George Bush’s foreign policy and it’s increasingly violent aftermath, I don’t even know where to start…if I were an Israeli I’d be doubly pissed (seeing how Bush hasn’t even bothered to talk with Olmert yet after how many days of conflict now?  Oh, that’s right, he’s on vacation whacking shrubbery…)

– Hope you filled up yesterday, because oil prices are headed even higher…

– For something a bit more cheery, take a listen to the new Blue America jingle that Howie, Tommy Yum, Rickie Lee Jones, and a whole host of other angels put together for us.  It’s awesome!

So what are you reading this morning?  What’s got you thinking?