The President's Weekly Address:
... The transcript is here.
Nate Silver: President Obama continues "to hold leads in most polls of critical states. Of the 13 polls of swing states released on Thursday, Mr. Obama held leads in 11 of them."
Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times: "Several battleground states, including Florida, Nevada and Ohio, saw large drops in unemployment over the last 12 months, the government reported Wednesday."
Jeffrey Jones of Gallup: "Americans who report watching the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney believe Obama did a better job, by 51% to 38%. That is a sharp reversal from the first debate for which Romney was widely regarded as the winner.... Three-fourths of Americans (76%) in an Oct. 17-18 Gallup poll say they watched the debate, higher than the 66% who told Gallup in an Oct. 4-5 poll that they watched the first presidential debate on Oct. 3."
"Romnesia!" Jerry Markon of the Washington Post: "President Obama fired up nearly 10,000 supporters in Virginia on Friday by debuting a new line of attack on Mitt Romney, accusing him of having 'Romnesia' for changing his positions and trying to move to the political center. In a speech devoted almost entirely to attacking Romney, an energized Obama smiled, joked, waved his finger and portrayed the Republican as a 'throwback to the 1950s' who would restrict women's rights, favor the wealthy and squeeze the middle class." Watch the whole video:
This Is Stunning. Salt Lake City Tribune Editors: "... our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."
David Ignatius of the Washington Post: "The Romney campaign may have misfired with its suggestion that statements by President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Benghazi attack last month weren't supported by intelligence, according to documents provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official. 'Talking points' prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States." CW: Isn't this a timely leak? Let's hope we see Obama II in the 3rd debate & he whacks Romney for his multiple, repeated irresponsible statements about the Libyan attack. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.
An Obama campaign ad running in Ohio. Jed Lewison of Daily Kos calls the ad "easily one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, ads of the campaign. And that last question -- 'How can you say something like that?' -- that's not a question that Mitt Romney can answer":
... CW: If you ask me, I think this ad is just as effective, albeit for a different demographic. "I'd be delighted" to see this ad run in every swing state & a few that might be swingable. I don't think women know this:
Gail Collins: "When it comes to gun control, both presidential candidates are strongly in favor of quality education."
Romney is outdoing himself. Steve Benen chronicles forty-nine lies in this week's installment of "Mitt's Mendacity." ...
... Free, Free at Last. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone: Mitt Romney is no longer "being careful, and weighing himself down on debate stages with painstakingly parsed positions (this was frequently the situation in the primaries...). Now there's no more future to worry about and he's ... being what he basically is at heart, which is a salesman and bullshit artist of the highest order. Romney's realized that numbers don't matter, and past facts don't even matter that much: he's run all fall on completely made-up, mathematically-incoherent jobs and tax plans, and not only is he not suffering, he's made it all the way to a statistical tie with the president...."
** Charles Pierce: "There are people who have made careers and a very comfortable living by telling the rest of us how we can't expect 'government' to do everything for us, and by railing against the "nanny state." But who's out there now, spouting off about all he'll make the government do for us if we just put him and his zombie-eyed, granny-starving running buddy in charge of it? Who's talking about Five Point Plans and North American Energy Independence and all the things he'll do for us?"
"Bailout Bonanza." Greg Palast of The Nation: Mitt "Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the [auto] bailout -- and a few of Romney's most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys', were astronomical -- more than 3,000 percent on their investment.... Mitt Romney may indeed have wanted to let Detroit die. But if the auto industry was going to be bailed out after all, the Romneys apparently couldn't resist getting in on a piece of the action." CW: Read the whole story -- especially the part about how billionaire investors screwed the Delphi workers -- then got some of them to complain in TV ads that Obama was responsible.
Investor Peter Joseph, in a New York Times "Campaign Stops" blogpost: "... voters need to consider whether the time [Mitt Romney] spent in single-minded pursuit of profit ... has prepared him to tackle the complex problems facing America, which can't be reduced to a financial model. Romney's financial success ... came by following the mantra of increasing cash flow, cutting jobs and minimizing taxable income.... The real issue is how Romney's experience relates to a president's need to balance budgetary responsibility with the heavy lifting required to address our collective concerns, our common obligations.... I can assure you that compassion and broader social concerns rarely make it into an investment memo."
Rick Hertzberg & John Cassidy talk with Dorothy Wickenden about the presidential town-hall debate:
Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg News, with a little help from Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, prognosticates on what a Romney presidency would look like. CW: it depresses the hell out of me. ...
... Wilkinson didn't even mention the Romney-Ryan International Misogyny Program. New York Times Editors: "Romney & Ryan "would support the recriminalization of abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and they would limit access to contraception and other services. But they have also promised to promote policies abroad that would affect millions of women in the world's poorest countries, where lack of access to contraception, prenatal care and competent help at childbirth often results in serious illness and thousands of deaths yearly."
Jamil Smith, writing in The New Republic, on a new form of voter suppression: billboards -- up in poor Cleveland neighborhoods -- announcing that "Voter Fraud Is a Felony! 3-1/2 Years & $10,000 Fine." You might not give such a billboard a second thought, but many people who live in neighborhoods where the police & the courts are their enemies would likely take a different view. ...
... What Smith doesn't mention is that Clear Channel Communications -- the company that owns the billboards themselves -- is owned by Bain Capital. What a coincidence! Color of Change, has an online petition campaign to force Clear Channel to take down the billboards. Rashad Robinson, who heads Color of Change, told The Huff Post, "For us, these billboards, they create a culture of fear. They've only been put up in black and brown neighborhoods, so these are not widespread billboards. They are targeting certain communities, and they're creating a fear for people going to the polls."
Bush III. Tim Dickinson's piece in Rolling Stone -- "19 Ways Mitt Romney Is Just Like George W. Bush" -- is mostly superficial, but the superficial parallels are still notable & form a cautionary tale.
Dana Milbank: "If not for a series of tea party upsets in Republican primaries, the Republicans would be taking over the Senate majority in January."
CW: Contributor Julie complained about Scott Brown's latest misleading attack ad against Elizabeth Warren, but it's worse than it appears. Per the Huffington Post: "Scott Brown recently got in hot water for falsely claiming that ... Elizabeth Warren was using paid actors in her commercials. Brown ... should have known more about the people appearing in his ads." A Brown television ad "featured a union construction worker whose publicly accessible Facebook page is riddled with insults against ... Warren and President Barack Obama. On one post made in August, well before Brown's ad appeared, the worker, George Patriarca, calls Warren a 'DOUCHEBAG.' On another he labels the president a 'faggot,' and on a third he says, 'there is a Muslim in the White House.' ... Patriarca's ... union, the Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices Local Union 550..., supports Warren." ...
... CW: I missed this from earlier in the week, but it's worth passing along. Kevin Robillard of Politico: "Sen. Scott Brown apologized Wednesday after suggesting people in an ad defending Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren's work on an asbestos case were paid actors -- in fact, all five were the relatives of asbestos victims. 'A lot of them are paid,' Brown had told reporters, according to the Taunton Daily Gazette. '... Listen, you can get surrogates and go out and say your thing. We have regular people in our commercials. No one is paid. They are regular folks that reach out to us and say she is full of it.'" Yeah, regular folks like George Patriarca. Brown's assertion was disgraceful. Noah Bierman of the Boston Globe has more.
New York Times: "The United States and Iran have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran." CW: get ready for the wingers to claim Ahmadinejad is a key Obama supporter.
Washington Post: "The U.S. government is intensifying its intelligence sharing and military consultations with Turkey behind the scenes as both countries confront the possibility that Syria's civil conflict could escalate into a regional war, according to U.S. and NATO officials." ...
New York Times: "The government of Syria, trying to contain a rapidly expanding insurgency, has resorted to one of the dirty tricks of the modern battlefield: salting ammunition supplies of antigovernment fighters with ordnance that explodes inside rebels' weapons, often wounding and sometimes killing the fighters while destroying many of their hard-found arms."
Washington Post: "When local elections opened on Saturday, Palestinians across the West Bank began to exercise their right to vote for the first time in six years. Here in this city, the poll carried even more significance: A long 37 years have passed since residents last cast ballots for their municipal council." ...
... AP: "Israeli army radio is reporting that naval vessels have made contact with a pro-Palestinian boat sailing to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade. The radio reported Saturday that Israeli forces ordered the Swedish owned, Finnish-flagged Estelle to halt its course."