The Rundown, 10/8

It's a big day for the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will not only hold a markup of the Free Flow of Information Act, aka the media shield bill--the legislation, beloved in all corners of the news media, that protects journalists from having to reveal their sources in court--it will also hold its anticipated markup of the PATRIOT Act. They'll examine the three sections that are set to expire, which deal with rules for electronic surveillance and obtaining documents.

Privacy and civil liberties will likely be focal points of the debate (as they are wont to be in national security matters these days), as Chairman Patrick Leahy has thrown in some more court scrutiny for good measure.

We'll also get some new polling numbers to bandy about, as Quinnipiac will release polling on job approval, health care, and the state of the GOP.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will hold what looks to be, from the extensive witness list, a beast of a hearing on military exposure response: 13 military people, health officials and academics will testify on military exposures to health risks such as water contamination, and the military's responses to them.

And the U.S. may take one step closer to having a representative to the E.U. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee takes up William Kennard's nomination to that post.