Sunday, September 30, 2012

News Nuggets 1075

DAYLEE PICTURE: Sky lanterns lighting up the night in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

How Small Money Can Matter Again in Politics (Jonathan Alter) from Bloomberg News Service
"A funny thing’s happening on the way to Nov. 6. The billionaires trying to buy the U.S. election with contributions of $1 million, $10 million or even $100 million aren’t succeeding."

Where is Republican Anger Over Obama’s Health-care Law? (Juan Williams) from the Washington Post
" the presidential campaign enters the home stretch, health-care reform is the dog that has not barked. ... "

Along Virginia’s Route 15, the South’s Cultural Border Displays a Political Divide from the Washington Post
"Southern hospitality isn’t about to disappear, but the intensity of American politics in this election season can make for awkward encounters and tricky relationships, to judge by dozens of interviews in recent days along Route 15 in Virginia."

Poll: Outside the South, Obama's Doing Well With the "White Working Class" (David Weigel) from Slate
"... this new study from the Public Religion Research Institute does a lot to correct some lazy ideas about the "white working class" vote. We all know that the Obama campaign has abandoned those people, and they've abandoned him. Right? Right? Not quite."

2012 Map Could Be Deja vu for Obama from Politico
"Some political scientists and Democratic strategists believe it’s now possible that President Barack Obama could replicate his break-out Electoral College map from 2008, with the exception of Indiana, even if the popular vote is closer than four years ago."

The Electoral Map Turns Blue (John Cassidy) from the New Yorker
"An objective look at where the race now stands conveys the scale of the challenge facing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan…"

Why Romney is Losing (Steve Kornacki) from Salon
"A new set of battleground polls shows that the month of September has been especially brutal for the GOP nominee. ... taken together, they represent the latest piece of evidence that Obama is the clear leader and offer some insight into how he’s built and maintained his advantage."

Goodbye, Columbus: Why top Ohio Republicans Think Romney Has Lost the State (Walter Shapiro) from Yahoo News
"Maybe Romney isn’t down by 10 points, they argue, but the GOP presidential nominee seems destined to lose by a solid 5 points – and in closely divided Ohio that represents a loss of nearly landslide proportions. ... Many of the well-known Ohio Republicans I interviewed offered their blunt assessments only after they were guaranteed complete anonymity."

Shapiro (a VERY knowledgeable veteran non-partisan campaign reporter) gets a two-fer for his spot-on examination of the Romney campaign in Ohio:
You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Mitt Romney’s Losing in Ohio (Walter Shapiro) from Yahoo News
"This is the reality of the 2012 campaign: substance ends up on the cutting room floor. Voters consider local TV news a prime information source for the presidential campaign. But watching newscasts on three different channels in Ohio’s largest media market during the past 24 hours underscored how difficult it is for Romney to make himself heard amidst the clutter and the clatter of Columbus television."

Commiserating with the Monied Masses (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"With evidence building that his prospects have been hurt by his dismissal of nearly half the country as moochers, Romney has been making it his job to worry about the 47 percent of Americans he famously said it wasn’t his job to worry about. But when such an appeal is attempted by a man who has painstakingly crafted for himself a public image combining Scrooge McDuck and Thurston Howell III, there is bound to be a certain amount of awkwardness and inconsistency."

Presidential Debates Rarely Have Much Effect on Election Outcomes (Miranda Green) from Salon
"Nixon’s flop sweat may have cost him the 1960 election, but in most cases presidential debates such the one coming up on Oct. 3 don't have much effect on an election, writes Miranda Green."

40 Days of Night (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"... the fact that Obama has a growing lead when the polls are taken in aggregate is undeniable. This is just an extension of the Republican war on facts. If you find a truth disagreeable, simply deny it. Call it corrupt. Suggest that it is little more than one side of a story — an opinionated, biased one — and insist that there is another explanation. The base will buy it. Let’s just call this Operation Ostrich."

How Democratic Ads Are Exploiting Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Moment from Talking Points Memo
"Evidence is mounting that Mitt Romney’s leaked remarks about how 47 percent of Americans see themselves as “victims” are doing significant damage to his campaign both nationally and in key swing states around the country. While the hidden camera video has gotten plenty of play on its own in the press, Democrats are piling on as much as possible with a growing number of attack ads. The degree of difficulty may be low, but the current body of ads connect Romney’s quotes to an impressive array of themes in a very short amount of time."

Ann Romney: Biggest Fear Is For Mitt's 'Mental Well-Being' from the Huffington Post
"I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being," she said. "I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his
understanding of the economy. ... So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it."
If I had spent the last five years spouting the inauthentic BS Mitt has had to throw out there to get the GOP nomination, I'd be concerned about his "mental well-being" too.  When this is all over, one can only hope there's some 12-step program out there where GOP candidates can go to rediscover reality. I'm not being entirely facetious here. There is so much about the GOP now that is "cult-ish" and closed off from the real world, it really is quite mind-bending. I wasn't going to post this deeply disturbing story about this father who killed his entire family and himself because he "dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election" -- but this seems like an appropriate time. While this guy was clearly mentally ill, there is a whole partisan cottage industry out there right now that fed his paranoia!

Todd Akin Suggests Employers Should Be Able To Pay Women Less from Talking Points Memo
"Todd Akin appeared to endorse allowing employers to pay women less than men at a town hall on Thursday."
Ah -- just when his "legitimate rape" comment was beginning to fade from the headlines, he comes up with this!!  What a dope!

At Home with the King of Cool: Images of Steve McQueen that Show Screen Legend was Just as Mesmerizing Behind the Scenes from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"More than six decades after Steve McQueen earned the nickname the King of Cool thanks to his on- and off-screen macho persona, a series of rare photos went of display depicting candid moments from the actor's life on the verge of super-stardom."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

News Nuggets 1074

DAYLEE PICTURE: A moose at Maligne Lake in Alberta, Canada.  From National Geographic.

Mitt Romney Ohio Ground Game: A Frantic Race To Catch Obama (Sam Stein) from the Huffington Post
"It is part of a frantic effort by the Romney campaign to catch President Barack Obama on the ground in Ohio ... While Romney has 36 campaign offices in Ohio, Obama has 96. Romney and the state GOP have an estimated 130 staffers. Obama has what his state communications director said were "hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers." Romney started his general election campaigning in May and opened his first Ohio office in early June (he closed the Dublin Street headquarters after he won the primary). Obama for America has been in the state, basically, for five years."

What difference does this make? See the following:
As Iowa Launches Early Voting, A Prime Opportunity For Mitt Romney Is Slipping (Jon Ward) from the Huffington Post
"He was the first to arrive, around 7:15 a.m., but soon a long line of around 200 people formed behind him, almost all of them wearing stickers distributed by President Obama's reelection campaign with the message: "Be the First!" Iowa was the first swing state to begin early voting, though not the first to begin voting overall. Ohio will follow when it opens up the polls on Tuesday. All the other swing states start their early voting near the end of October."

State Of The Race: How Previous Presidential Campaigns Looked Going Into October (CHART) from Talking Points Memo
"Historically, President Obama is in a solid position to win re-election, if the Gallup tracking poll of the presidential race is any guide."

Whose Idea Was It to Nominate Romney, Anyway? (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
Chait has been ON FIRE lately!!  In case you missed his excellent column from yesterday, check it out!
"In what you might regard as an unhealthy sign for Mitt Romney’s campaign prospects, conservatives have turned to debating the question of who is to blame for nominating this man in the first place. ... The case for Romney, such as it is, falls to his anonymous advisers, who tell Politico that he is a brilliant and wonderful man but sadly bad at politics: ... Being terrible at running for office sounds like a pretty serious drawback for a presidential nominee!"

GOP Insiders: Senate A No-Go (Alex Roarty, Naureen Khan and Brian McGill) from the National Journal
"Republicans no longer think they're going to retake the Senate, according to the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll, a stunning drop in optimism for a party that began 2012 confident it would regain control of the chamber. Only four percent of GOP insiders rate their chances as "high," a free-fall in confidence from when National Journal Insiders were asked about Senate races in February."

GOP's Acorn Moment (Alex Seitz-Wald) from Salon
"A Republican consulting firm allegedly commits voter registration fraud. Where's the right-wing outrage this time?"

Why Mitt Romney is the Perfect GOP Candidate (Andrew Leonard) from Salon
"Mitt Romney is the perfect evolutionary adaptation to a world in which workers get screwed."

Shades of 1996: Unless Mitt Romney Does Something—Quick—He Could See GOP Donors Abandon Him, Just as They Did Bob Dole (Charlie Cook) from the National Journal
"Public attitudes toward candidates and elections often start off in a fluid state. Then they gradually begin to jell, first reaching a semisolid state before hardening to rock-solid. This year’s presidential race isn’t over, but Mitt Romney’s current trajectory in the polls will not cross President Obama’s by Nov. 6—or maybe even Nov. 6 of next year. If something doesn’t happen to shake up the race, Romney will lose."

The Million Wingnut March (Ed Kilgore) from Washington Monthly
"There’s been a steadily building discussion, albeit shrouded in some mystery, about the potential impact on Election Day (and to some extent, before it) of right-wing “volunteer poll watchers” who are promising to descend on minority neighborhoods to make sure the Pink Elephant threat of “voter fraud” does not transpire. ... But it’s the specter of Election Day (or perhaps in-person Early Voting locations) that should trouble everyone, regardless of partisan affiliation."

“47%” Was Bad for Romney; Ryan Has Been Deadly (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic
"The conventional wisdom on Obama’s recent surge is that it’s due largely to Mitt Romney’s 47% disaster, and there’s clearly something to this. ... But it’s worth pointing out another dynamic that’s been overlooked here: The escalating disaster that is Paul Ryan."

The Debate Expectations Game (Michelle Cottle) from the Daily Beast 
"How Romney botched it and Obama played it perfectly. ... A crisp, clear, resounding debate victory is the governor’s best shot at turning this baby around. Why then does Team Romney seem dead set on making such a breakthrough performance nearly impossible? Romney needs some jokes. And he needs them for his first presidential debate on Wednesday."
I disagree here.  I do not get that Romney is a good teller of jokes -- and a joke that lands flat ends up being a great joke for the likes of Jay Leno and Jon Stewart ... or Joe Scarborough (as we saw the other day)!

In the End, It’s Mitt (Allen, Martin & Vandehai) from Politico
"It isn’t the chair or the ho-hum convention. Or the leaked video. Or Stuart Stevens. Or the improving economy. Or media bias. Or distorted polls. Or the message. Or Mormonism. It’s Mitt. ... Slowly and reluctantly, Republicans who love and work for Romney are concluding that for all his gifts as a leader, businessman and role model, he’s just not a good political candidate in this era."
While there is a lot of truth here, I am more of the view that it is the party and GOP voters who are at the source of Romney's problems.  The party itself is so divided and delusional that Romney (a basically sane human being) has had to pretend to be something else.  The key to getting elected is having enough voters see your real strengths and forgive enough of your real weaknesses.  These are the things campaigns reveal.  It's hard enough selling voters on who you really are never mind some crazy fake Tea Party version of yourself, someone you have never been in all your years of public and private life.  During the primaries, many of Romney's most difficult moments stemmed from when he was being too candid and he basically revealed who he really was or what he really thought.  Is there any of that real Romney left now?  Based on the 47% video, I suspect not.

Mitt Romney: King of Comedy (Roger Simon) from Politico
"It is time to cut Mitt Romney some slack. It is wrong to criticize him until you’ve walked a mile in his living room. That last line was a joke that someone posted on Twitter. Jokes have power. When a politician makes a joke, he can make a point and also leave people with the impression that he is a regular guy and not some cardboard cutout."

Do the Romneys Suffer from a Siege Mentality? (Judith Warner) from Time Magazine
"Their recent comments reveal a real resentment of the social changes that have helped former outsiders gain a toehold in society."

The Republican Brain: Constructing an Alternate Polling Reality for 2012 (Kevin Drum) from Mother Jones Magazine
"Neither side has a monopoly on sloppy number crunching or wishful thinking, but liberals, faced with a reality they didn't like, ended up accepting reality and deciding to learn more about it. That's the Nate Silver approach. Conservatives, faced with a reality they didn't like, invented a conspiracy theory to explain it and then produced an alternate reality more to their liking. "

George W. Bush Posts Better Favorability Ratings Than Mitt Romney in New Bloomberg Survey from the Dallas Morning News
"For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush –and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee."

Forging a Giant Footprint (AUDIO) from WESA's Program, Essential Pittsburgh 
In case you've missed this awesome PPG series on UPMC, check it out!
"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters talk about this week's 4 part series on UPMC's growing presence in the region's real estate market. Then Carnegie Library's five year plan..."

The Sacrifice of Innocents: Haunting Images from 1911 Show Workers Who Lied About Their Ages to Keep Their Families from Starving... as They Made Toys for Other  Children from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Haunting images taken at mills in Winchendon, Massachusetts in 1911 capture the faces of children as young as eight as they illegally endured unsafe conditions, long hours and poor pay to keep their families from starving."

Avengers Assemble! (Sean Howe) from Slate
"How Marvel went from Hollywood also-ran to mastermind of a $1 billion franchise."

Friday, September 28, 2012

News Nuggets 1073

DAYLEE PICTURE: Baby elephant seal basks on a South Georgia Island beach.  From National Geographic.

On the GOP’s Self-Delusion Syndrome (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast 
"With Obama’s lead in several swing states becoming insurmountable, the right has begun to panic—by denying reality altogether. ... There is no joy in the kingdom of man so great as the joy of seeing bullies and hucksters laid low, and watching people who have arrogantly spent years assuming they were right about the world living to see all those haughty assumptions die before their eyes."
This column is, at times, quite funny -- but the whole thing is very spot-on when looking at the GOP reaction to yesterday's polling.

MAN!! Short ... and devastating!
New Obama Ad Lets Mitt Romney Destroy Himself in his Own Words (Jed Lewison) from Daily Kos
"The toughest ad of the 2012 election comes from the Obama campaign ... and it features nothing but Mitt Romney's own words... The ad will air in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire."

The Poetic Justice of Romney’s Self-Immolation (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again, but I may never have been as wrong as I was when I initially predicted that Mitt Romney’s heinous diatribe against 47 percent of America would have little direct impact on the election. It’s an absolutely crushing blow.... the fact that he is currently running ads trying to make the case that he does care about all of America testifies to the grim position in which Romney finds himself. If you’re trying to clear the threshold of “does this candidate hate me” six weeks before the election, you’re probably not on the verge of closing the sale."
Read Chait's whole column -- he is completely on-the-money with every word!!

Netanyahu’s Iran Blunders (Roger Cohen) from the New York Times
"No Israeli prime minister should seek to circumvent the president, bet on his losing an election, and attack him publicly."

Backlash to the Backlash (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times 
"Muslim moderates have been fighting back. While it’s not clear whether the trend can be sustained, it’s certainly worth watching."

Fox News Climate Coverage 93% Wrong, Report Finds (Stephanie Pappas) from Yahoo News
"Primetime coverage of global warming at Fox News is overwhelmingly misleading, according to a new report that finds the same is true of climate change information in the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages. Both outlets are owned by Rupert Murdoch's media company News Corporation. The analysis by the science-policy nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that 93 percent of primetime program discussions of global warming on Fox News are inaccurate, as are 81 percent of Wall Street Journal editorials on the subject."

The Party That Can't Shoot Straight (Robert Kuttner) from the American Prospect
"Obama’s lead keeps widening. It’s worth unpacking why. The most obvious reason, of course, is the sheer clumsiness of Mitt Romney, God’s gift to the Democrats. If a computer had been asked to generate a candidate guaranteed to alienate independents and divide his own base, it could not have done better."

Mitt Romney's 47 Percent Remark Hurts Him In Swing States from the Huffington Post
"Voters have a mostly negative reaction toward the 47-percent comments at a time when the president appears to be widening his lead across swing states. The latest findings are also consistent with other national surveys taken in the days immediately after the video was widely reported, but paint a more troubling picture of the impact those remarks may have had on Romney's standing with independent voters."

Here's the clincher:
Mitt Romney's '47%' Comment Alienated Undecided Voters: Poll from the Los Angeles Times
"Mitt Romney’s semantic misadventure with the “47%” helped alienate some of the narrow band of undecided voters whom the Republican needs to beat President Obama in November. That’s the single strongest sentiment registered this week by previously undecided voters interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. ... “I don’t want the presidential candidates to be average Americans,” he concluded, “but I at least want them to understand what exactly … I am going through so they don’t look like a ... in front of everyone.” Michael used a word to describe Romney we don’t publish at The Times."
Quotes from other interviewees are just as rich as this last one.  Check out the whole article!  Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos comments on this article HERE.

Sept. 26: Could 2012 Be Like 2008? (Nate Silver) from the New York Times 
"There’s no point in putting it gently: Mitt Romney had one of his worst polling days of the year on Wednesday. ... The smart money is on an outcome somewhere in the middle – as it has been all year. But if you can conceive of a Romney comeback – and you should account for that
possibility – you should also allow for the chance that things could get really out of hand, and that Mr. Obama could win in a borderline

Five Signs Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is Crumbling from the National Memo 
"Reason #5: Inventing Gaffes, Ignoring Policies - ... All he can do is pull the president out of context and hope something sticks. Fortunately for Romney, his base will indulge in anything that makes the president look bad. But the outrage doesn't seem to interest anyone else."

Criticism of Romney's Campaign Grows; Six in 10 Rate His Efforts Negatively from ABC News
"Public criticism of Mitt Romney's race for the White House has risen sharply, with six in 10 Americans expressing a negative opinion of how he's handling his campaign and a majority responding unfavorably to his comments on people who don't pay income taxes."

Mitt Romney: This Year’s Michael Dukakis (Michael Kinsley) from Bloomberg News Service
"If, as seems possible, Mitt Romney is not elected U.S. president on Nov. 6, he will not be the first presidential candidate to run on the issue of competence and then lose because he ran an incompetent campaign. He will not even be the first governor of Massachusetts to do so."

David Corn, Romney-Slayer? (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo 
"... I thought the story was “devastating” and probably that rare story where the press actually understates the magnitude of the damage. I still do. ... Democrats painted a picture of Romney as an out-of-touch centi-millionaire, who played every rigged angle of the current system and had some mix of contempt and indifference for the lives of ordinary working and middle class families. Then those 47% comments came along and it turned out that cartoon caricature Mitt Romney was actually real Mitt Romney. I suspect that’s when he definitively lost the race."
I completely agree with Marshall's assessment here.  The 47% video has been the big turning point in this campaign.  Up to then, sane voters could look at Romney and still take his campaign messages seriously.  The video, with it's hidden-camera, mega-buck fund-raiser atmospherics, and an astonishingly candid Romney, has caused significant numbers of sane voters to turn away.  No matter what Romney says now, his public utterances will be dismissed as just more inauthentic election year blather.  For many sane voters, the video captured the "real Romney."  I cannot see how the Romney team can spin their way out of this dilemma.

Mitt Romney Pleads for Voters to ‘Come Through’ for Him in Ohio (David Freedlander) from the Daily Beast
"A second day of damaging polls in the state no Republican has ever clinched the White House without winning turned up the anxiety for the GOP ticket’s bus tour. David Freedlander reports on Romney’s new compassionate side."

Jobs Revision Show that Obama has Created Jobs Overall (Matthew Zeitlin) from the Daily Beast
"Government revises jobs totals, and finds an extra 380,000 at work."

Obama Surges Ahead Among Catholic Voters, Poll from the Religion News Service via the Huffington Post
"President Obama's support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, despite a summer that included the Catholic bishops' religious freedom campaign and the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOP's vice-presidential candidate. On June 17, Obama held a slight edge over Mitt Romney among Catholics (49-47 percent), according to the Pew Research Center. Since then, Obama has surged ahead, and now leads 54-39 percent, according to a Pew poll conducted on Sept. 16."

Catholics Flee Romney-Ryan-Dolan (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast 
"No actual Catholic could ever find anything but puerile cruelty in the works of Ayn Rand, or rally to the idea that home-care for the elderly should be sacrificed to reduce tax rates for the super-rich. Paul Ryan believes that the basic principles of Rand can be compatible with Catholicism. American Catholics are just not that dumb or confused about their faith."

Jewish Voters Favor Obama Over Romney By A Huge Margin from USA Today
"I am Jewish, and I care about Israel, but the most important question is jobs and the economy," Finkel, 94, said in an interview in this south Florida community. "I'm going with Obama." For all the efforts by the Romney campaign to court voters like Finkel, Obama's campaign is expressing growing confidence that they have been able to keep Jewish voters."

Conservative Media Warns Readers Not to Listen to 'The Media' (David Frum) from the Daily Beast
"This is pretty funny. The conservative Media Research Center has posted a public letter urging supporters not to listen to non-conservative media. Exposure to diverging views: no telling where that might lead. The risk is high and real that listeners may well find the New York Times more credible than Fox News."

Are the Polls Really Biased for Obama? (Schoen and Tarlov) from the Daily Beast
"That’s what conservatives are saying. Douglas Schoen and Jessica Tarlov weigh the evidence."

Friendly Reminder: The Polls Are Usually Right (Nate Cohn) from the New Republic
"With Romney trailing by a clear margin, a frontal assault on the accuracy of polling has begun. Some of the skepticism is understandable, but other elements are brazenly self-serving. I'll be assessing the critiques of the polls over the next few days, but any debate about the accuracy of the polls must start by remembering a central point: The polls are usually pretty good."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

News Nuggets 1072

DAYLEE PICTURE: The roof of Saint Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. From National Geographic.

Scarborough Cries ‘Oh, Sweet Jesus!’ as Romney Fails to Lead Chant from the Raw Story
Here's the video.
"Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough cried out for his Savior on Wednesday after viewing video of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney awkwardly trying to get a crowd in Ohio to chant his name."

Obama’s Stirring U.N. Speech (John Avlon) from the Daily Beast
"The president’s recent speeches have not always lived up to his reputation for dazzling oratory. But his U.N. address exceeded expectations. John Avlon on why this was one of his best."

How Is Romney Still Competitive? (Andrew Rosenthal) from the New York Times
"The poll, conducted by The Times with CBS News and Quinnipiac, shows similar gaps in Florida and Pennsylvania at a time when a solid majority of voters say they’re really paying attention to the race and have pretty much made up their minds. But here’s what continues to puzzle me: Why is Mr. Romney doing even this well?"

Romney’s Tongue-tied Eloquence (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post 
"In fact, the problem is not Romney but the new Republican Party. Given the direction in which it has moved and the pressures from its most extreme — yet most powerful — elements, any nominee would face the same challenge: Can you be a serious candidate for the general election while not outraging the Republican base? ... Why won’t Romney, an intelligent man, fluent in economics, explain his economic policy? Because any sensible answer would cause a firestorm in his party."

Mitt Romney’s Conundrum Deepens (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post 
"’s the key finding: In both states, majorities think the economy is either improving now or will improve under Obama’s policies. ... Meanwhile, voters simply don’t accept that Romney would engineer a speedier recovery than the one Obama is overseeing. ... If these are close to accurate, this race could now be slipping away from Romney with increasing speed."

Presidential Polls Of Swing States Differ On Size Of Obama's Lead (Mark Blumenthal) from the Huffington Post
"A batch of new polls from two key battleground states produced some of the largest leads yet for President Barack Obama, drawing criticism from the campaign of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In Ohio and Florida, the new surveys from The Washington Post and the polling partnership of CBS News, The New York Times and Quinnipiac University show Obama leading by margins approaching double-digits."

Obama Has Big Leads In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac
University/CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll Finds from Quinnipiac University
"President Barack Obama is over the magic 50 percent mark and tops Gov. Mitt Romney among likely voters by 9 to 12 percentage points in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University/ CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll released today."

Why Romney is Losing Must-Win Ohio (Peter Hamby) from CNN
"Romney appears to be in deeper trouble in Ohio than elsewhere, an alarming development for Republicans who know that the candidate's White House chances begin and end with the kind of middle-class voters who reside in places such as Akron, Cincinnati and Zanesville. So why exactly is Romney trailing?"

How Ohio Began To Slip Away From Mitt Romney from Talking Points Memo  
"Romney’s surreptitiously recorded remarks made at a swanky fundraiser earlier this year gave substance to the caricature Obama and Democrats have drawn of the Republican nominee. For a candidate running in a state like Ohio, that amounts to a potential coup de grâce."

Obama Campaign has Momentum _ and Nerves (Julie Pace) from the Associated Press via the Columbus Dispatch
"Six weeks from Election Day, President Barack Obama's campaign has momentum — and a big case of nerves. ... Also weighing on them: unforeseen domestic or international events that can shake up a close race in the homestretch. "I can only worry about what I can control," says Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager."

Obama Up In Iowa As Early Voting Begins from Talking Points Memo
"Obama leads Republican candidate Mitt Romney 51 percent to 44 percent in the Hawkeye State, according to a new survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. The president only notched a 2-point lead in Iowa in the firm’s poll from late August."

Romney Team: The Polls are Wrong (Jonathan Miller) from the National Journal
"Republicans recently have complained that Democrats are being over-sampled in polls, skewing the results. Pollsters have argued that the results reflect slight changes in public sentiment, and that adjusting their polls to match arbitrary party-identification targets would be unscientific."

More Poll Trutherism (Alex Pareene) from Salon
"Conservatives debate: Is the liberal media purposely or simply accidentally making Romney look like he's losing? I’m not sure it’ll amount to anything, but today seems to have marked the birth of the sophisticated version of the elaborate liberal media polling conspiracy fantasy."

Obama Campaign Trying to Distract Staff From Awesome Poll Numbers (Colin Campbell) from Politicker
"...  the president’s campaign press secretary, Jen Psaki, dismissed the polls and vowed to keep focus, with a “series of sports metaphors that run the gamut from horse racing to putt putt,” according to a press pool report. “We’re running the race in every swing state as if we’re five points down,” she declared."

CT-SEN: Murphy Leads by 6 in CT-Senate Race from Public Policy Polling 
"PPP's newest poll of the Connecticut Senate race finds Democrat Chris Murphy expanding his lead to 6 points over Republican foe Linda McMahon, 48-42. Last month he led 48-44."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

News Nuggets 1071

DAYLEE PICTURE: The Catamount area of the Adirondacks.  From National Geographic.

China Shows Off Carrier, but Experts Are Skeptical from the New York Times 
"Beijing put its first aircraft carrier into service Tuesday, a move intended to signal its growing military might. ... [D]espite the triumphant tone of the launching, which was watched by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and despite rousing assessments by Chinese military experts about the importance of the carrier, the vessel will be used only for training and testing for the foreseeable future."

If you haven't seen it -- check it out!!

Some reactions:
A Good Day (Joe Klein) from Time Magazine
"There have been so many dispiriting days during this campaign, but today was not one of them. In fact, it was a fine day of speech-making–two strong foreign policy speeches by President Obama and one by Mitt Romney. "

Why Obama Matters (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
"The moments in the speech that identified with the democratic forces in the Middle East, that included them in the victims of Jihadist violence, were the ones that affected me the most - and have the most power."

More bad news for Romney:
Analysis: For Romney, Some Troubling Signs Among Older Voters from Reuters 
"New polling by Reuters/Ipsos indicates that during the past two weeks - since just after the Democratic National Convention - support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over Democratic President Barack Obama to less than 4 points."
"Troubling"?! That's an understatement!

Latino Enthusiasm Bounces Back (Jamelle Bouie) from the American Prospect 
"Hispanics are now more excited for the 2012 election than they were for 2008.  ... Since the Democratic convention, however, all of this has changed. Not only has Obama increased his vote share among Latinos—according to the latest Latino Decisions survey, he leads Mitt Romney, 69 percent to 24 percent, with 7 percent undecided—but Latino enthusiasm has spiked."

Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap: Republicans Cling to National Polls, Must Ignore Awful State Polls (Steve Singiser) from Daily Kos
"... the polls that really count in a presidential election (state polls) show Mitt Romney in an increasingly perilous position as the clock winds down to just six weeks before Election Day. To wit: Mitt Romney now trails by double digits in two of his must-win states. And that is according to Republican pollsters. Meanwhile, the last four polls in North Carolina, a state most pundits concede to the GOP nominee, have either had Mitt Romney tied or trailing."

Latest 2012 Polls Show Biggest Barack Obama Lead Yet (Mark Blumenthal) from the Huffington Post
"Monday's new polls produced no signs that President Barack Obama's recent polling "bounce" is fading. If anything, the latest surveys indicate that his lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney may be expanding."

Pollsters Suggest Race Stabilizing in Obama’s Favor (Charlie Cook) from the National Journal
"The presidential race remains remarkably stable, which is good news for President Obama and Democrats and bad news for Mitt Romney and Republicans. ...  a change of the trajectory is exactly what would have to happen for Romney to win; his current one simply doesn’t intersect with Obama’s before Nov. 6."

Republicans to Pollsters: Too Many Democrats In Your Surveys from the Washington Post
"Party composition has become a conservative flashpoint, but pollsters say it reflects reality."

The Trap that has Ensnared Mitt Romney (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"That is putting pressure on Romney to be more specific about why his alternative, such as it is, would spark a faster recovery than is occurring under Obama. But Romney can’t be too much more specific about that alternative, because it risks reminding voters of the degree to which his policies resemble those of the aforementioned George W. Bush, under whom the meltdown happened in the first place."

The Sargent Theorem and Romney’s Troubles (E.J. Dionne Jr.) from the Washington Post
"The Romney team’s driving assumption remains that, once voters come to their senses about the depth of Obama’s failure, they will opt for the alternative without being too picky about the specifics he is offering.” In fact, as Greg has argued, voters take “a more nuanced and longer view of the situation” and “appear willing to factor the situation Obama inherited into their thinking.”"

Conservatives to Mitt: We Never Liked You Anyway (Paul Waldman) from Salon 
"As the Romney campaign falls apart in slow motion, the right begins preparing for the post-election recriminations."
AH! That's the ticket!  Why wait until after the elections to begin the post-mortems?  This is a good use of their time!

MO-SEN: Dems Release The Hounds As Deadline For Akin To Drop Out Expires from Talking Points Memo
"The McCaskill campaign confirmed to TPM that the ad began airing statewide Monday night. Immediately following Akin’s press conference, liberal super PAC American Bridge released a video and memo documenting the “top ten crazy Akin moments.”"

Another video of Eldad Hagar and Hope for Paws rescuing two abandoned dogs in a park in LA.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

News Nuggets 1070

DAYLEE PICTURE: A butterfly at Hod ha'sharon in Israel.  From National Geographic. 

North Korean Farmers May Be Allowed to Sell Their Own Crops (Dashiell Bennett) from the Atlantic
"In what could be the most drastic change to North Korea society since the nation's founding, the government has announced new rules that would give farmers some small bit of ownership over the crops they grow."

Analysis of Satellite Images Shows Halt in North Korea Work on New Launch Pad from the Associated Press via the Washington Post
"North Korea has stopped construction on a launch pad where intercontinental-range rockets could be tested, an interruption possibly due to heavy rains and that could stall completion up to two years, according to an analysis of new satellite imagery."

China Says First Aircraft Carrier Entering Service, Although Not Ready for Combat or Planes from the Washington Post
"China formally entered its first aircraft carrier into service on Tuesday, underscoring its ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, although the ship is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time."

Russia Needs Its Own Prophet Muhammed (Richard Lourie) from the Moscow Times [in English]
"What is certain is that Russia's recent outburst of Americaphobia, expressed last week in the expulsion of USAID, is different from the epidemic of hateful fury that swept the Islamic world. Local political interests were at play there as well, but something greater was involved: the inevitable clash between a civilization that reveres freedom of speech and a civilization passionate about the sacred. Russia, clearly, is neither."

Obama’s Policy on Iran Bears Some Fruit, but Nuclear Program Still Advances from the Washington Post
"“It created real hope inside Iran,” recalled Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official and witness to the internal rift over Obama’s 2009 inaugural speech. “The question was whether he could deliver.” Both sides misjudged Obama, who has proceeded to chart a course with Iran that is neither fully conciliatory nor bellicose."

More Posturing on Iran (Paul Pillar) from the National Interest
"Two actions at the end of last week, involving two different branches of the U.S. government, continued a pattern of unthinking support for anything that gets perceived as opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Why Obama Has Gone on Political Offensive Against Romney Over Iran (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"The president’s resistance to drawing a red line on Iran and his attacks on Romney for being cavalier about military action are fueled by the GOP nominee’s foreign policy blunders—and the knowledge that most Americans oppose a war with Tehran."

Disappointed Republican Talks About Why He's Dumping Mitt (Nathan Shrader) from the Philadelphia Inquirer
"Einstein once said that "character is doing what's right when nobody's looking." When nobody but a group of wealthy donors was looking, Romney took the opportunity to assail the patriotism, work ethic, decency and moral fiber of the people he seeks to lead. This isn't character. This is despicable. My fellow Republicans, and all voters with a sense of right and wrong, should ditch Romney. He just isn't worth it."

The Conservative Mind (David Brooks) from the New York Times
"Conservatism has lost half of its intellectual firepower. Republicans need to recover traditional conservatism or risk becoming irrelevant."

Mitt’s Mortification (Frank Bruni) from the New York Times
"What happens to a politician on the path to the presidency isn’t pretty."

The Republican Brain Drain (Richard Cohen) from the Washington Post 
"Where did all the talent go? Until the Republican Party can answer this question, it makes no sense to continue to carp about Mitt Romney and the startlingly incompetent presidential campaign he’s running. His faults as a politician are manifest. He is robotic, unknowable ..., ideologically incoherent and severely out of touch with the average American. He is his party’s nominee because, like the one-eyed man in the valley of the blind, he is just the best of the worst."

Heartland Monitor Poll: Obama Leads 50 Percent to 43 Percent (Ronald Brownstein) from National Journal
"President Obama has opened a solid lead over Mitt Romney by largely reassembling the “coalition of the ascendant” that powered the Democrat to his landmark 2008 victory, the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found. The survey found Obama leading Romney by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, with key groups in the president’s coalition such as minorities, young people, and upscale white women providing him support comparable to their levels in 2008."

"Obama's Ground Game Will Make 2008 Look Like Jurassic Park" - Here's Your Ground Game (K Gardner) from Daily Kos
"Around September 4th of this year, Jim Messina was quoted in Huffington Post as stating, “The Democratic ground game will make 2008 look like Jurassic Park.” Referencing the technological innovations that the campaign could bring to voter turnout efforts, Messina added: "This is light-years ahead of where we were in 2008.”* I smiled to myself at the time, knowing what I know has been going on just in my small neighborhood, in my small southern town, in this solidly red state, since May of 2012."

Romney's Chances Are In Jeopardy (Nate Cohn) from the New Republic 
"...a Romney victory just doesn't seem like it's in the cards. Not in the abstract and not after considering the specifics of a static contest defined by the weaknesses of the Republican challenger."

On Mitt Romney’s Sham Economic Plan (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast 
"This is the perfect time for Romney to pivot back to the economy. Unfortunately for him, talking up his economic “plan” won’t do anything to fix his faltering campaign."

Senate Democratic Candidates Look Strong in Recent Polling (Sean Sullivan) from the Washington Post
"The latest Marquette Law School poll of the Wisconsin Senate race shows Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) leading former governor Tommy Thompson (R) , 50 percent to 41 percent, a sharp turnabout from a mid-August survey that showed the Republican ahead by the same margin.  It’s the most recent (and perhaps most dramatic) survey released this week with good news for Senate Democrats, who have shored up their standing in several battlegrounds."

Republicans Risk Being the Party of Mean (Julian Zelizer) from CNN 
"If this rhetoric continues, the GOP is at risk of becoming the party that takes away government services, takes away immigration rights, takes away social rights, but doesn't offer anything back. ... If the GOP ignores the kind of backlash it has encountered, it risks falling right back to 1964 or even 1932, when Democrats were able to paint Republicans as a ruthless party only intent on protecting the prosperous."

The Faces of Freedom: Newly-found Photos Show Joy of Residents - and Despair of Nazis - as Allied Troops Liberate Dutch Town After Four Years of Occupation from the Dail Mail [of the UK]
"Previously unseen photos showing British and American soldiers liberating the Dutch city of Eindhoven 68 years ago have come to light. The black and white snaps depict scenes of jubilation among the local residents who had just endured four years and four months of Nazi occupation."

Homeland’s Damian Lewis: My Favorite Mistake from Newsweek
"The Emmy-winning actor on having a split personality."

Great Plains Go Back in Time as 1,000 Bison Make the Ground Shake During Annual Buffalo Roundup from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Two-year-old Jameson Maxwell sat mesmerized on Monday as nearly 1,000 bison rumbled across the prairie in western South Dakota, the massive creatures racing at speeds of up to 50 mph in the annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park."

Monday, September 24, 2012

News Nuggets 1069

DAYLEE PICTURE: No -- those are not mosquitos.  They are long-tailed mayflies over the Tisza River near Budapest.  From the Atlantic.

Is China Burning? (Gordon Chang) from Forbes Magazine
"The short-term effect of the rioting, therefore, should be limited.  Moody’s says the longer-term consequences will be “difficult to determine,” but they could prove to be detrimental to China’s economy for three principal reasons. ..."

Can Romney Get a Majority? (Andrew Hacker) from the New York Review of Books
"Most striking, of course, is the plunge in the percentage of voters willing to call themselves Republicans. This decline has been long building, and not wholly due to George W. Bush’s record. Down to not quite a quarter of the voters, the GOP will need a surge of outside recruits if it hopes to win this year. That Democrats have held steady suggests a continuing loyalty to Obama, despite some dissent in the party’s liberal wing. (Eight years of Bill Clinton taught stalwarts they can’t expect to get all they want.) Indeed, Pew interviews found half again as many Democrats as Republicans praising their party for “standing up for its traditional positions.”"

President Obama: The Democrats' Ronald Reagan (Andrew Sullivan) from Newsweek
"With his first term behind him, Obama is poised to be as significant a president as Reagan—tackling the deficit, spearheading immigration reform, and jolting the GOP back to sanity."

Obama Ticks Up on Romney in Tight Race (James Hohmann) from Politico
"President Barack Obama has opened a national lead in a tight race that's been static for much of the year.  —  A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters finds little good news for Mitt Romney but a race that remains competitive."

Can this Election Settle Anything? (E.J. Dionne) from the Washington Post 
"Romney’s 47 percent remarks finally unshackled the more moderate conservatives who know how destructive the Ayn Rand/tea party approach to politics has been. Some are talking about a Republican organization, similar to the old Democratic Leadership Council, to pull the party closer to the center."

On Democracy: Mitt Tells the Truth (Bill Moyers and Michael Winship) from
"If you had reported as long as some of us have on winner-take-all politics and the unenlightened assumptions of the moneyed class, you wouldn’t find the remarks of Romney and his pals all that exceptional. The resentment, disdain and contempt with which they privately view those beneath them are an old story."

Mitt Romney, On 60 Minutes, Cites Emergency Room As Health Care Option For Uninsured (Terkel and Stein) from the Huffington Post
"Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured."

Obama Campaign Releases First Ad Targeting Mitt Romney's '47 Percent' Comments from the Huffington Post
Wow.  This ad hits hard on a lot of different cylinders.
"President Barack Obama's campaign is launching its first television advertisement targeting Mitt Romney's comments about Americans who don't pay income taxes, arguing the GOP nominee should stop attacking others on taxes and "come clean" on his own."

Romney’s Class Warfare (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"Romney obviously believed he was among friends who shared his worldview, which I would translate as: “We must stop coddling the servants.” ... To all the single parents holding down two minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, all the seniors who saw their savings dwindle and had to go back to work part time, all the breadwinners who lost their jobs when private-equity firms swooped down to slash and burn—to all struggling Americans, it must come as a surprise to learn how irresponsible they’ve been."

Romney, GOP are Stuck in Old America (Bill Schneider) from Politico 
"Romney is the worst presidential nominee since Barry Goldwater and George McGovern. Don’t expect Romney’s vote to collapse to the 38 percent that both Goldwater and McGovern got, however. There are probably enough anti-Obama voters out there to keep Romney’s share of the vote above 45 percent. But not much above that. Romney’s gaffes have exposed him as painfully out of touch with ordinary Americans."

The Presidential Perception Gap (Schoen and Tarlov) from the Daily Beast 
"When it comes to ranking the presidents, there's plenty of disagreement between historians and the public. Douglas Schoen and Jessica Tarlov explain why."

Who Can Pull the Plug on the Romney Campaign? (Sasha Issenberg) from Slate 
"Romney’s biggest problem is that more than one-half the money he has collected this spring and summer from his most generous donors is controlled by entities whose priorities may no longer align with his by election day. ... The worst scenario for the Romney campaign would come if the national or state parties begin to see his candidacy as a lost cause, or decide to make congressional majorities—or gubernatorial, state row-office or legislative races—a priority instead."

Take a Look at What Paul Ryan Did to His Own Congressional District, and Be Very Scared for Your Country (Roger Bybee) from Alternet
"Child abuse and suicide is skyrocketing, the number of battered women has tripled, foreclosures have tripled, wages plummeting, and more."

Ann Romney Cancels Interviews After Stop It Controversy from
"In Omaha for a closed to the press fundraiser for her husband Friday, Mrs. Romney was supposed to give interviews to several reporters but canceled due to the controversy over her blow up at Republicans on a radio interview, in which she ordered Mitt’s Republican critics to “stop it.”"
There's part of me that cannot help but empathize with her comment here (and the clear pressure-cooker environment I suspect she and Mitt have been living in lately).  BUT ... welcome to the big leagues!  You are no longer running against Newt, Rick, or Herman -- and this time the prize is the presidency of the USA.  And, in my view, the media circus only gets worse on that bigger stage.  So she and Mitt will have to show they can handle all of this (and much worse) with the grace and calmness that the current incumbent has demonstrated.  It is now a job requirement.

What "grace and confidence" am I referencing?  Check this out from 2009!! 
Child Asks Obama:"Why Do People Hate You?" from YouTube
At a a town hall in New Orleans, a child asks President Obama "Why do people hate you?"

Discovery of Skeleton Puts Richard III in Battle Once Again from the New York Times
"For more than 500 years, King Richard III has been the most widely reviled of English monarchs. But a stunning archaeological find this month here in the English Midlands — a skeleton that medieval scholars believe is very likely to be Richard’s — could lead to a reassessment of his brief but violent reign."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

News Nuggets 1068

DAYLEE PICTURE: Yosemite valley at dusk.  From National Geographic.

1.  Occupy Activists Commandeer Anti-Occupy Wall Street Rally from the Guardian [of the UK]
"Protest backed by billionaire Koch brothers fizzles out as Occupiers match numbers and attend with host of satirical signs. ... almost half of the sparse crowd were Occupy Wall Street protesters, smartly dressed and bearing signs parodying Americans for Prosperity's ultra-conservative message. "My sign says: 'I'm dreaming of a white president, just like the ones we used to have,'" said Stan Williams, a labour organiser and member of the Occupy movement."

2.  The Son Also Sets (Maureen Dowd) from the New York Times
"Sometimes in the course of human events, we must ask, as Hemingway did in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” what is that leopard doing at this altitude? As a candidate, Mitt Romney is awkward, off-putting and hollow, so bad that if he were a Bain company, he would shut himself down. ... Aside from Mitt’s penchant for being a piñata, the campaign is a moveable feast of missteps..."

Dangerous and Deepening Divide Between Islamic World, West from Reuters 
"The outrage and violence over a crude film ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad points to a chasm between Western free speech and individualism and the sensitivities of some Muslims over what they see as a campaign of humiliation. There seems no shortage of forces on both sides to fan the flames."

Exploiting the Prophet (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times
"Christians didn’t riot after seeing a photograph of Jesus steeped in urine, so why are Muslims up in arms about insults to the Prophet Muhammad?"

Romney Missed Big Chance with Latino Voters (Andres Openheimer) from the Miami Herald
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had his best opportunity to reach out to Hispanics and increase his paltry 30 percent support among Latino voters last week when he appeared before a nationally broadcast Univision/Facebook forum in Miami. He blew it."

Just Say What You Stand For, Mitt (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post 
"The best political minds at Romney headquarters have come up with an antidote to the candidate’s floundering presidential bid: “More Mitt” — putting more of him in front of more voters more often. This is supposed to be a good thing? ... But voters don’t need More Mitt. They need Core Mitt: a sense of what exactly he proposes to do as president. At this late stage, just six weeks before the election, even his most ardent supporters don’t know."

Back to Ohio, Romney Faces Uphill Battle in Key State from USA Today 
"A multiday bus tour through Ohio by Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan this week further shows the state's significance in the presidential race but also comes as a new poll shows Ohio presents an uphill battle for the GOP ticket. President Obama, who will also make stops in the Buckeye State this week, leads Romney 51%-46% among likely voters..."

Can Romney Replicate Bush’s 2004 Path to Victory? It Looks Dicey (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"... the bigger and more important question when it comes to the electoral-college conversation is whether former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney can come close to replicating the path to victory that President George W. Bush took during his 2004 reelection race. At the moment that looks like a dicey proposition, and that should make Republicans very nervous."

David Brooks: Mitt Romney Is 'The Least Popular Candidate In History' (VIDEO) from the Huffington Post
""Look at his high unfavorable ratings," host David Gregory said. "At 50%. The highest of any candidate running in recent memory. This is an image problem that his philosophical statements in this speech in May to fundraisers only exacerbates." Brooks did not mince words, calling Romney "the least popular candidate in history.""

Why is Romney Such a Loser? Seven Theories (John Cassidy) from the New Yorker
"Because the margin of error in Fair’s forecasting equation is three per cent, he isn’t really predicting a Romney victory; he’s just saying that the race should be close, really close. As of today, it isn’t. ... What’s gone wrong for Romney? Here are seven possible explanations:..."
Reasons 1 thru 6 are on the money -- No. 7 is dead wrong.

The Turning Point: Voter Contempt For GOP Driving Democrats Upward from the Carville-Greenberg Memo
"Looking closely at polling numbers, it is now clear that this election has reached a real turning point. The Republican Party has lost five points in voter identification over the past month. Contempt for the Republicans is pushing Democrats into the lead, not only in the
presidential race but across Senate and likely many House races as well."

Don’t Blame Mitt for the GOP’s Problems (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Conservative columnists are lining up to dump on Romney. But the real problem isn’t the candidate or his campaign. It’s the Republican Party and its pathologies."

Low on Cash, Romney Tries to Rally Donors for Final Phase from the New York Times
"Campaign filings, and disclosures by major “super PACs” supporting both candidates, challenge the appearance of financial strength that Mitt Romney enjoyed over the summer."

Why the Press Needs to Crash More Fundraisers (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"The press needs to storm the only place pols tell the truth."

How Perry Lost His Edge in Bid to Be President (Jay Root) from the New York Times
"Despite the support that Texas governor Rick Perry received when he joined the presidential race last year, a series of faux pas and debate inexperience came with political costs."

The Bodice Ripper That Started It All from the New York Times
"The rivalries and resentments that animate “Homeland” and “Downton Abbey,” best-drama nominees at the Emmys, churned a decade ago in “The Forsyte Saga.”"