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In this Oct. 1, 2014 photo, placards advocating a position to keep casino gambling in Massachusetts rest against a wall in the entrance to the Plainridge Racecourse harness racing track in Plainville, Mass. The Plainridge Park Casino is under construction adjacent to the harness racing track in Plainville. Voters will decide in the Nov. 4 election whether to repeal a 2011 law that opened the door for casinos in the state. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Pew Research poll finds motivated conservatives twice as likely as liberals to vote on Nov. 4

- The Washington Times

Conservatives are twice as likely as their liberal counterparts to go to the polls Nov. 4. No really. "Although overall turnout among the public is likely to be around 40 percent, 73 percent of those who hold consistently conservative attitudes are likely to vote in the midterm, as are 52 percent of those with mostly conservative views," reports the Americans Trends Panel, a substantial new gauge of the upcoming midterm election by the indefatigable Pew Research Center.

Voters in Tennessee's 9th Congressional District to decide whether they will send a black woman who embraces the tea party to Congress. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Intelligence community ponders the 'immaculate collection'

- The Washington Times

"There’s no 'secret' version of the NIS. Our oversight committees, our partners, the public and, for that matter, even our adversaries are all seeing the very same strategic direction I'm giving to the Intelligence Community," says James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence - who also has thoughts on the current intel landscape.

Voters in Tennessee's 9th Congressional District to decide whether they will send a black woman who embraces the tea party to Congress. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

It's not for frugal: Half of the U.S. Senate gets an F in 'fiscal performance'

- The Washington Times

Alas, almost half of the U.S. Senate has earned an F grade in "fiscal performance" according to the National Taxpayers Union's 35th annual rating of Congress. Indeed, 45 senators received the rock bottom grade on the scorecard, which analyzes their responses to every single roll call vote affecting federal taxes, spending, debt and significant regulations.

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio was one of three Republicans that voted to end his party's filibuster of the energy efficiency bill. Mr. Portman, who co-sponsored the bill, called its defeat "yet another disappointing example of Washington's dysfunction."

The GOP's youthful Maverick PAC set to host Portman, Cruz, Priebus

- The Washington Times

The term "maverick" used to belong to Sen. John McCain back in the day. Now it's been expanded to represent a growing batallion of young, aggressive Republicans and conservatives who are ready to rumble, and in touch with their inner maverick, or words to that effect. Founded in 2009, Maverick PAC - or MAVPAC - now boasts 2,500 members. The group gathers Friday in the nation's capital for an annual conference that has attracted a stellar line-up of speakers.

A voter leaves the polls in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, after voting in the South Carolina primary runoff. Voters across the state were deciding the GOP nominations for lieutenant governor and superintendent of education, as well as the Democratic nomination for superintendent of education. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

49 percent of Americans now say they would vote for a gay presidential candidate

- The Washington Times

Big majorities of Americans - about seven-out-of-10 - say they would be comfortable voting for a presidential candidate who was Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, childless or single. So says a meticulous new Harris Poll which reveals some partisan divides among other demographics. Half of the overall public - 49 percent - would be comfortable voting for a gay presidential hopeful; 36 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents agree with that.

Candy hearts with clear messages (Image from Associated Press)

Study finds people attracted to the smell of those who share their politics

- The Washington Times

Politics stink? Maybe. A new study reveals that people are attracted to the smell of others with similar political opinions - an idea that also helps explain why couples share political views. This is no random conclusion. Researchers from three universities persuaded 125 participants to evaluated the body odor of 21 "strong" liberal and conservative who were cooperative indeed. All taped little cotton squares in their underarms for 24 hours to get the sample scent.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton, listen to speakers in Washington in this Jan. 14, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Hillary Clinton heads to Iowa 'meat and greet' steak fry with vegan husband Bill

- The Washington Times

Poll numbers suggested this week that Hillary Clinton's lofty approval ratings are waning, and she appears more like a typical political candidate than invincible Democratic rock star. But Iowa is calling, nonetheless. On Sunday, she journeys to the heartland with former President Bill Clinton, both bound for the Hawkeye State's biggest "Steak Fry", this organized by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin for the 37th year in a row.

Two rival U.S. senators spend a week on a deserted island, courtesy of the Discovery Channel. (Photo from Discovery Channel)

Discovery Channel strands two rival U.S. senators on deserted island in shark-infested waters

- The Washington Times

It was inevitable. The old "survivor" reality TV template has gone political. The Discovery Channel has produced "Rival Survival",which takes a pair of real world political adversaries and maroons them on a remote island for a week. No, really. This is not a joke. "Senators Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and Martin Heinrich, Minnesota Democrat,must put their political differences aside and work together for six days and six nights to find common ground through compromise if they want to survive," the network says.

A MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, is piloted by Col. Lex Turner during a mission over southern Afghanistan. (USAF via Associated Press)

Other nations back U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, oppose taking part themselves

- The Washington Times

Well, at least it's a sign that American air power, know how and guts still has respect and approval overseas. A new YouGov survey finds that majorities of European allies of the U.S. are just fine with air strikes on Iraq - as long as it's the U.S. that is doing the striking. Reactions to the findings ranged from annoyance to sarcasm.