TOP NEWS: Democracy: October 18th, 2012
COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION: 18 DAYS
Top Five News and Analysis Links (Excerpts Below)
- FBI Foils New York Fed Bomb Plot
- Is Obama Back?
- Candidates Zero In on Women Voters
- It’s Down to Just 8 States
- Voters With Debate Questions Still Have Them
More top news and analysis: (Updates coming shortly)
TERRORISM: FBI Foils New York Fed Bomb Plot – WSJ
The FBI has arrested a man in connection with a terrorist sting operation after he allegedly plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve building in New York City.
TERRORISM: Guilty Plea in Plot to Kill Saudi - WSJ
A Texas man pleaded guilty to plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., agreeing to hire what he thought was a drug dealer in Mexico last year for $1.5 million to carry out the attack.
ELECTIONS 2012/POLLING: Is Obama Back? – WSJ, Jason L. Riley
Polls following Tuesday night’s presidential debate had something positive to offer Obama and Romney partisans alike.
ELECTIONS 2012: Romney Campaign Makes $12 Million Ad Buy - NYT
Flush with cash from its impressive haul of $170 million last month, Mitt Romney’s campaign is reserving large quantities of airtime for the coming week.
ELECTIONS 2012: Obama rallies but Romney remains calm – FT
President seeks to make up lost ground
ELECTIONS 2012: The Five Worst Ideas Romney and Obama Agree On – BLOOMBERG, Josh Barro
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama disagreed a lot in last night’s debate, but they don’t disagree on everything. Unfortunately, Romney and Obama share affection for a number of terrible, terrible ideas.
ELECTIONS 2012/CAMPAIGN: A Night of Laughs Amid a Bitter Run for President - NYT
With President Obama and Mitt Romney as draws, the annual charity gala of the Archdiocese of New York is expected to raise a record amount.
WOMEN VOTERS: Candidates Zero In on Women Voters - WSJ
The focus of the race shifted to women voters, as Obama and Romney carried their argument over women’s health care and job opportunities onto the campaign trail.
WOMEN VOTERS: Rival Campaigns Intently Pursue Votes of Women - NYT, JIM RUTENBERG, JEREMY W. PETERS: With Election Day looming, the push for votes is coming down not only to a state-by-state fight, but also to one for the allegiance of vital demographic groups, chief among them undecided women.
WOMEN VOTERS: Obama Looks to Regain Edge With Women Voters - RCP, Alexis Simendinger
President Obama tried in his debate Tuesday night with Mitt Romney to halt any precipitous slide of women voters toward his opponent, which meant he spent loads of time pouring crack filler into his base.
WOMEN VOTERS: Women Voters Won the Second Presidential Debate – TIME, MICHAEL SCHERER
Both candidates lurched onto the campaign trail Wednesday with new appeals to shore up support among a key demographic that may decide the outcome in key swing states.
WOMEN/ROMNEY: Mr. Romney’s Version of Equal Rights – NYT, EDITORIAL
During the debate, Romney bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.
WOMEN VOTERS: ‘Walmart moms’ unconvinced by debate – FT
Female focus group finds clear answers lacking
SWING STATES: It’s Down to Just 8 States for Obama and Romney – NATIONAL JOURNAL
SWING STATES: Electoral map’s shrinkage has been historic.
SWING STATE POLLS: Battleground RCP Avgs – RCP
SWING STATES: An Obama buy in Minnesota - POLITICO
The campaign airs $57,000 in radio TV ads in a state Mitt Romney hasn’t even contested.
SWING STATES: Romney’s October surge heightens Wisconsin drama - JSONLINE via RCP, Craig Gilbert
Wisconsin is back to a very familiar place in the partisan political wars, according to the latest poll by Marquette Law School: almost perfect parity.
SWING STATES: Energised Obama woos swing voters - FT
President seeks to follow up on combative debate
SWING STATES: Obama’s Battle for Ohio’s Atheist Vote – BLOOMBERG, Phil Zuckerman
U.S. President Barack Obama’s multiple references to Planned Parenthood in the second presidential debate showed how keen he is to sway female voters in swing states.
VOTERS: Voters With Questions at Debate Still Have Them - NYT
Three of the 11 voters who addressed President Obama and Mitt Romney on Tuesday said the answers did not help them settle on a candidate.
VOTERS/POLLING: Scant Gains for Romney in a Poll of Young Voters – NYT
Despite Republican efforts, President Obama has maintained a strong advantage over Mitt Romney among the crucial constituency of the young.
UNDECIDED VOTERS: An aggressive rematch - ECONOMIST
A draw between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, a defeat if either was hoping to woo undecided voters.
WHITE VOTE: Mitt Romney is winning the white vote – WP, Aaron Blake
Recent polls show him up by more than any GOP candidate since Ronald Reagan.
DEBATE: Candidates seek edge from debate – WP
Back on trail, recriminations fly as Obama and Romney revisit some of the memorable exchanges.
DEBATE/LIBYA: Romney on Libya: Just shameful - NY DAILY NEWS, Richard A. Clarke
The last of the presidential debates will focus on national security and will surely produce another round of sniping about what happened before, during and after the raid on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Voters, therefore, ought to think about this issue in context.
DEBATE: How Not to Choose a President - NYT, GARY GUTTING
It is easy to think of any competitive situation as a sporting event. But presidential debates are perhaps the best example of the sports analogy gone wrong.
DEBATE: The Kid Stays in the Picture – VANITY FAIR,Todd S. Purdum
President Obama is back on the board after Tuesday’s tense Long Island town hall, and Mitt Romney showed his most combative stripes.
DEBATE: Would You Please Let Me Finish … – NYT, DEBORAH TANNEN
Just as conversational styles vary widely, so do ideas about what constitutes interruptions, and whether they are good or bad.
*MORE DEBATE NEWS AND ANALYSIS BELOW
LOCAL RACES: GOP’s problems exposed in Senate struggle – POLITICO
The party is in danger of blowing its shot at a majority for the second cycle in a row.
LOCAL RACES: Akin Bonds Tighter With Evangelicals – WSJ
Two months after his comments about rape triggered a national uproar, Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin has retreated deeper into his evangelical base.
VIRGINIA SENATE: A more cautious, humbler Allen – WP
The once-impulsive candidate for U.S. Senate from Va. has yielded to harsh experience and age.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Campaign Finance Free-For-All: How We Got to This Point - ProPublica, Justin Elliott
In a forthcoming law review article, Richard Briffault of Columbia Law School argues that the rise of super PACs and unfettered contributions and spending this election cycle are “effectively ending the post-Watergate era of campaign finance laws.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Unexpected top source of Romney contributions – WP
A Philadelphia-based orthopedic clinic is Mitt Romney’s largest source of contributors over the past quarter.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Sheldon Adelson gave $5M for Tampa GOP convention - POLITICO
The host committee for the Republican National Convention in Tampa raised more than twice as much as the Democrats did for Charlotte, helped by big-name donors including Sheldon Adelson and David Koch.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Bloomberg Starts ‘Super PAC,’ Seeking National Influence - NYT
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, a billionaire and registered independent, will back candidates in close races who support some of his biggest policy initiatives.
HEALTH: Multivitamin Use Linked to Lowered Cancer Risk – NYT
A large clinical trial of older male physicians followed for more than a decade found that those taking a daily multivitamin experienced 8 percent fewer cancers than the subjects taking dummy pills.
SUPREME COURT: Reaping the Whirlwind – NYT, LINDA GREENHOUSE
An affirmative-action hearing that ought to embarrass both the Supreme Court and the state of Texas.
SUPREME COURT: Supreme Abstention – WSJ, Collin Levy
It was a good day for Democrats and procrastinators yesterday as the Supreme Court refused to hear Ohio’s appeal of its early voting law.
MILITARY VETERANS: No Medal for Veterans Affairs – WSJ, Pete Hegseth, Paul Rieckhoff
Boasting about ‘access’ to services doesn’t count. Veterans around Los Angeles wait an average of 377 days for a response to their claims.
DEMOCRACY: Legitimacy rests on restoring opportunity – FT, Raghuram Rajan
Pillars of democracy are under severe strain, writes
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Obama’s War Against Openness – BLOOMBERG, EDITORIAL
As the name suggests, the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 is intended to punish those who commit acts of treason, whether for personal gain or out of ideological conviction. The Obama administration, however, seems to have abandoned all caution in wielding this extraordinary power.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Health-Care Executive in Drug Bust – WSJ
Prosecutors in Santa Clara County, Calif., charged an administrator for a Silicon Valley public-health plan with trading drug prescriptions for cash and methamphetamine.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A Schizophrenic on Death Row – NYT, EDITORIAL
The Florida Supreme Court’s decision to allow the state to proceed with the execution of a mentally ill man violates the Constitution.
IMMIGRATION: Groups Protest Operation by Immigration Agents - NYT
The protests came after officers in Detroit stopped two illegal immigrants as they were dropping off their children at school.
EDUCATION COST: Rising College Costs Pose Test for Obama on Education Policies – NYT
The political dispute over college costs and the Obama administration’s policies highlight the differing philosophical views about the role of government in education.
EDUCATION: Florida Officials Defend Racial and Ethnic Learning Goals - NYT
Setting different goals for student achievement in reading and math by race and ethnicity is just an interim step, calculated as part of a waiver granted by the federal government, officials say.
EDUCATION: Cover Story: College Is Dead. Long Live College! – TIME, AMANDA RIPLEY
Can a new breed of online megacourses finally offer a college education to more people for less money?
EDUCATION: University of Phoenix to Shutter 115 Locations – NYT
The University of Phoenix has announced plans to close more than half of its brick-and-mortar locations and to lay off about 800 employees, reflecting declines in the for-profit higher education sector.
GAY RIGHTS: Maryland voters poised to approve same-sex marriage – WP
Md. voters would be among the first to legalize gay marriages.
RELIGIOUS SPEECH: Cheerleaders Gain Ally in Free Speech Fight – NYT
High school cheerleaders who are fighting to keep using banners with Bible verses at football games can now count on Gov. Rick Perry as an ally.
SCIENCE: Cosmic Crack-Up: How We Got the Moon – TIME, VERONIQUE GREENWOOD
New theories about the long-ago collision that forever transformed our nighttime sky
MORMON/BOY SCOUTS: As Partners, Mormons and Scouts Turn Boys Into Men – NYT
The Mormon Church gives the Boy Scouts a central role in preparing male youths for missionary stints and adulthood as lay priests, and the relationship is a boon to scouting.
TRAYVON MARTIN: Florida Judge Sets Trial Date in Trayvon Martin Case – NYT
George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Mr. Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in a case that prompted nationwide protests.
HEALTH INSURANCE: Scott’s Story and the Election – NYT, NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
The experience of a college friend who lacked health insurance has lessons for us and our country.
CRIME: Violent Crimes Rose by 18% Last Year – WSJ
The number of violent crimes rose by 18% in the U.S. last year while property crimes went up by 11%, the government reported.
CORRUPTION: L.A. Tax Assessor Accused of Bribery – WSJ
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noquez, the official responsible for assessing the value of some the nation’s most upscale properties, was arrested for allegedly accepting bribes in return for tax breaks.
SOCIAL CHANGE: Social Change’s Age of Enlightenment - NYT, DAVID BORNSTEIN
We’re getting smarter about the way we’re addressing social problems. And patterns in the most effective solutions are emerging.
MORE DEBATE NEWS & ANALYSIS
POST-DEBATE: Obama and Romney Keep Up Attacks After Debate - NYT
President Obama and Mitt Romney girded for a final debate on Monday and the increasingly pugilistic closing rounds of the election.
DEBATE: In the debates, dodging reality - WP, EDITORIAL
Both candidates ducked many issues.
DEBATE: Debating Over Last Term, Candidates Say Little of Next - NYT, PETER BAKER
The candidates for president and vice president have spent more time on the campaign’s biggest stage fighting over the last four years than describing their visions for the future.
DEBATE: Five Things Republicans Won’t Tell You - BLOOMBERG, Caroline Baum
Mitt Romney passed the likeability test at the first presidential debate on both an absolute and a relative basis. It wasn’t even a contest between the Republican nominee and the Barack Obama impersonator who showed up to play the president in Denver on Oct. 3.
DEBATE: Obama Delivered, While Romney Sputtered - DAILY BEAST, Robert Shrum
Sit down, Mitt—the president just passed you by. Robert Shrum breaks down Romney’s mistakes, Obama’s success—and why Republicans are already trying to turn the public against Candy Crowley.
DEBATE/LIBYA: The Obama-Romney clash over Libya - WP, Glenn Kessler
FACT CHECKER: When did Obama say “act of terror” and “terrorist act”— and does it make a difference?
DEBATE/LIBYA:The Libya Question - NEW YORKER, Steve Coll
A tense encounter in the second debate over what happened in Benghazi.
DEBATE/LIBYA: The Trouble with ‘Terrorism’ in Benghazi - BLOOMBERG, Lisa Beyer
The word “terrorism” took on almost magical qualities during this week’s presidential debate.
DEBATE/LIBYA: How to Beat Obama on Foreign Policy - BLOOMBERG, Jeffrey Goldberg
Does President Barack Obama have the next, and final, debate in the bag? Politico’s Mike Allen said yesterday that the town-hall debate at Hofstra University on Oct. 16 represented “Governor Romney’s last, best chance, because the next debate is foreign policy, where President Obama is strong.”
DEBATE TOPICS/CHINA: On China Currency, Hot Topic in Debate, Truth Is Nuanced - NYT
Mitt Romney accused China of being a “currency manipulator,” but the renminbi has strengthened during President Obama’s time in office.
DEBATE/CHINA: China a Punching Bag in U.S. Presidential Debate - WSJ
Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeatedly chided China during Tuesday night’s debate.
DEBATE/CHINA: Calling China a Currency Manipulator Could Be Empty Gesture - BLOOMBERG, Paula Dwyer
Imagine it’s Jan. 21, 2013, the day after Mitt Romney’s inauguration. He arrives at the Oval Office for his first full day as president, and makes good on a major campaign promise: He signs an executive order declaring China a currency manipulator.
DEBATE/ENVIRONMENT: The Energy Non-Debate - NEW YORKER, Elizabeth Kolbert
In the midst of what will almost certainly be the warmest year on record, climate change has become the Great Unmentionable…
DEBATE/ECONOMY: Our fiscal future - WP, ROBERT SAMUELSON
Why wasn’t it a major part of the debate?
DEBATE AUDIENCE: For 90 Minutes, Only Accents Separate New Yorkers From Swing-State Voters - NYT
New Yorkers are not often directly courted by presidential candidates, but they got a platform in Tuesday night’s debate at Hofstra University.
DEBATE/BINDERS: Debate anecdote prompts closer look at Romney applicants - WP
Publication contradicts Romney, reports Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus reached out first.
DEBATE/BINDERS: Romney pushed back on to the defensive - FT
Twitter set ablaze by response to question on women in workplace.
DEBATE/BINDERS: Blunders and Binders - NYT, CHARLES M. BLOW
The overall impression left by the second debate was of a president once again in control and a challenger out of control.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.