The Note: Desperate Times . . .

Time for another new era, already? "Some Congressional Republicans have begun viewing [McCain's] potential defeat as a step toward political renewal," John Harwood writes in The New York Times. "Now House Republicans say they would consider losing only 10 [seats] a success. Nor do they fear Mr. McCain's defeat. His 'maverick' stance has long left Republican regulars ambivalent. As Republicans in Congress learned under Bill Clinton, and Democrats under Mr. Bush, opposing a president of the other party can help legislative minorities refocus message and agenda."

GOPers want to drive: The Republican Party is filing an FEC complaint Monday against the Obama campaign.

"In announcing the move Sunday, they said they were concerned that the Democratic presidential candidate may be accepting donations from foreign nationals, and may also be taking a large number of donations that exceed federal limits for individuals," T.W. Farnam writes in The Wall Street Journal. "The Republican Party cited a large amount of money coming to the Democratic presidential candidate from overseas, and a small amount of money that he has returned from foreigners, in explaining their complaint."

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff: "Consider the cases of Obama donors 'Doodad Pro' of Nunda, N.Y., who gave $17,130, and 'Good Will' of Austin, Texas, who gave more than $11,000 -- both in excess of the $2,300-per-person federal limit. In two recent letters to the Obama campaign, Federal Election Commission auditors flagged those (and other) donors and informed the campaign that the sums had to be returned. Neither name had ever been publicly reported because both individuals made online donations in $10 and $25 increments."

Also in circulation: "Sen. Barack Obama, who vows to change Washington by trimming wasteful spending and disclosing special-interest requests, wrote the Bush administration last year to seek a multimillion-dollar federal grant for a Chicago housing project that is behind schedule and whose development team includes a longtime political supporter," the Washington Times' Jim McElhatton writes. "Mr. Obama's letter, however, was never disclosed publicly. In fact, the letter was ghostwritten for him by a consultant for the Chicago Housing Authority, which wanted the money -- a practice ethics watchdogs have frequently criticized."

Palin gaffes? The vice-presidential candidate, quoting a Starbucks cup, quoted Madeleine Albright thusly: "There's a place in hell reserved for women who don't support other women."

Per the New York Daily News: "As it turns out, Palin misquoted both Albright and her mocha cup, which reads: 'There's a place in hell reserved for women who don't help other women.' At least for the moment, Albright had the last word. 'Though I am flattered that Gov. Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics,' Albright told the Huffington Post."

Per Reuters' Jason Szep: "Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called Afghanistan 'our neighboring country' on Sunday in a speech that could revive questions over her tendency to stumble into linguistic knots."

But look who else thinks she's a star: "Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common yesterday that Trig Palin, the child with Down syndrome whom Governor Sarah Palin chose not to abort, was the 'star' of the political conventions this year," per The Boston Globe's Michael Paulson.

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