The President's Weekly Address:
The transcript is here.
Susan Saulny of the New York Times: "Many of the black voters who gathered [in front of the main polling site in Duval County (Jacksonville)] Saturday morning, the first day of early voting in Florida, had spent the night sleeping in tents and recreational vehicles near the elections office. Their plan was to 'Occupy the Polls' in an effort to raise awareness about changes to early voting this year that shorten the number of days for casting ballots."
Nate Silver: "Thursday was a busy day for the polls, with some bright spots for each candidate. But it made clear that Barack Obama maintains a narrow lead in the polling averages in states that would get him to 270 electoral votes. Mr. Obama also remains roughly tied in the polls in two other states, Colorado and Virginia, that could serve as second lines of defense for him if he were to lose a state like Ohio."
Another October Surprise. Zachary Goldfarb of the Washington Post: "The White House is weighing the idea of a tax cut that it believes would lift Americans' take-home pay and boost a still-struggling economy, according to people familiar with the administration's thinking, as the presidential candidates continue battling over whose tax policies would do more for the country."
Stephanie McCrummen of the Washington Post: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has told President Obama that she will stay in office until her successor is confirmed, but said in an interview that 'this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.'"
Kyle Clark of KUSA Denver interviews President Obama. He answers questions about Libya & that bullshitter guy:
Will Oremus of Slate: "Jim Lehrer didn't do it. Martha Raddatz didn't do it. Candy Crowley 'almost' did it. Bob Schieffer wishes he had been able to do it. Sway Calloway, a DJ and media personality known for giving rappers Eminem and Notorious B.I.G. their first radio airplay, finally did it. In an interview with President Obama that aired on MTV on Friday evening, Sway asked a question about climate change." Includes transcript of Obama's full response. Video segments of the full interview are here.
This One's for Kate. Jonathan Bernstein in the Washington Post: The number one thing at stake in this election is the Supreme Court. Bernstein is a genuine, certified political scientist.
David Remnick & Rick Hertzberg of the New Yorker discuss the presidential candidates with Dorothy Wickenden:
Steve Benen chronicles -- and refutes -- 36 lies in this week's edition of "Mitt's Mendacity." Benen begins with this (I've altered it slightly for brevity's sake):
St. Peter stands at the Pearly Gates, a huge wall of clocks behind him. A new arrival asks what the clocks are for. St. Peter says, "These are lie clocks. Every time a person lies, the clock hands move." St. Peter points out Mother Teresa's clock. The hands have never moved. Then he points to Honest Abe Lincoln's clock. The minutes hand had ticked twoice. "Where is Mitt Romney's clock?" the new arrival asks. "Romney's clock is in Jesus' office," St. Peter says. "He's using it as a ceiling fan."
"Memo from the Boss." Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times on employers urging their employees to vote for Mitt Romney, legalized by our favorite Supreme Court decision, Citizens United. "In these letters [to employees], the executives complain about the costs of overregulation, the health care overhaul and possible tax increases. Some letters warn that if President Obama is re-elected, the company could be harmed, potentially jeopardizing jobs.... Larry Gold, associate general counsel of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said some of the recent employer letters, by hinting at the possible loss of employees' jobs, appeared to cross the line into improper coercion. Federal law and the laws of several states bar anyone from coercing or intimidating voters into voting a certain way." ...
... Wendy Gittleson of Addicting Information: Bishop David L. Ricken of the Green Bay, Wisconsin, Roman Catholic Diocese "warned his parishioners that their souls might be in danger if they vote for Obama.... Not only is the Bishop threatening his congregation's souls, he's threatening the community, by saying that the Church will withhold healthcare services." Includes copy of the bishop's full letter. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.
Strange But True. Lee Ferran of ABC News: Romney bundler & billionaire Paul Singer holds Argentine naval ship, economy hostage.
Not surprisingly, in the last few weeks of the campaign Romney & Congressman Creepy have been drawing bigger crowds. But apparently not big enough! So they just photoshopped a buncha people into a "panoramic shot" of a campaign event for use in an official Instagram.
Gail Collins: Indiana's Richard "Mourdock is the only Senate candidate for whom Romney has appeared in a TV ad, although there are lots of beleaguered Republicans who could use his help: the guy in Montana who had a fire on his property and then sued the local fire department that worked to put it out; the guy in Florida who used to do promotional work for 'Hooters'; the woman who's running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in New York. She's against abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but, so far, very few New Yorkers know it because they have yet to learn more basic information, such as her name." ...
... Mark Leibovich of the New York Times profiles the Hooters guy, my own Congressman, Connie Mack IV a/k/a CoMa. If you'd like to know what species of lowlife the average GOP Congressman is, look no further than CoMa.
Ed Kilgore: "... the biggest defeat the Right has already suffered (other than the failure to recruit and/or unite behind a presidential candidate less weaselly than Romney) was to take a Senate victory for granted. They've got no one but themselves to blame for that mistake."
Right Wing World ...
... Is apoplectic to find that "we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire..., [where] people ... have no problem with the President of the United States, via a campaign ad, ridiculing virgins and comparing sex to voting." See yesterday's Commentariat for the "offending" video by Lena Dunham.
Sabrina Tavernise & Andrew Pollack of the New York Times: "An FDA inspection of the New England Compounding Center, "whose tainted pain medicine has caused one of the worst public health drug disasters since the 1930s, found greenish-yellow residue on sterilization equipment, surfaces coated with levels of mold and bacteria that exceeded the company's own environmental limits, and an air-conditioner that was shut off nightly despite the importance of controlling temperature and humidity.... Instead of producing tailor-made drugs for individual patients, as the law allowed, the company turned into a major drug maker that supplied some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country, including ones affiliated with Harvard, Yale and the Mayo Clinic, all with minimal oversight from federal regulators."
John Cushman of the New York Times: "The United States is facing a year or more without crucial satellites that provide invaluable data for predicting storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements.... The project is run by the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and NASA. The outside review team ... called the management of the program 'dysfunctional.'"
Washington Post: "The two big weather models that track storms came to a consensus Friday that the storm [Sandy] would turn inland somewhere to the east of the Chesapeake Bay and drench at least eight states as it drives across the Great Lakes into Canada. It is expected to turn into a blizzard before it gets there, dropping up to a foot of snow. Although Sandy's top winds diminished Friday and the National Weather Service downgraded it to tropical storm status at 5 a.m. Saturday, that loss of power was seen as temporary." The Weather Channel story is here.
Reuters: "Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, join Syria's rebellion and to ensure Egypt implements sharia, SITE Monitoring reported on Saturday, citing a two-part film posted on Islamist websites. The Egypt-born cleric, who became al Qaeda leader last year after the death of Osama bin Laden, spoke in a message that lasted more than two hours."
ABC News: Frank Tanabe, "a World War II veteran whose effort to vote from his deathbed inspired thousands, has died a week after casting his final ballot.... Honolulu elections officials say Frank Tanabe's vote will be counted unless they receive his death certificate before the Nov. 6 election and they're able to find his ballot from among the tens of thousands of ballots mailed in." (CW: sorry, late with this story.)