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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy, Day 3

As I noted last night, lost power and everything related (but not wife, cat, house still in one piece, no flooding).   Got a tree issue taken care of today, with more to come but looking better.  But probably no power or home internet or heat for, oh, ten days at least....Told today that our town hall has heat and wi-fi so there now, and not too crowded, so may be able to do some actual blogging tomorrow, so stay tuned....Sorry to be out of commission in final week or election campaign I have followed as closely as anyone..... But my e-book on the campaign still set to go, on the Day After...

And, for now, for the hell of it, here's Nate Silver's latest forecasting today:

Mr. Obama made gains in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Tuesday, with his chances of winning the Electoral College increasing to 77.4 percent.

A fair amount of this boils down to Ohio, where three polls released on Tuesday gave Mr. Obama leads by margins ranging from three to five percentage points. Two of the polls, from Grove Research and the Mellman Group, generally show strong results for Democrats, which give them less impact in the forecast after applying our adjustment for pollster “house effects”. Still, the three polls taken collectively were enough to widen Mr. Obama’s projected lead in Ohio to 2.4 percentage points from 2.1 on Monday. Given how central Ohio is to each candidate’s electoral strategy — and how little time remains in the race — this was enough to improve Mr. Obama’s Electoral College chances.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy and Me

Sorry I've been off line for more than 24 hours now, but Sandy winds hits north of NYC, a roar rose behind us,  and I'm am now without power, internet, heat, even water, and writing this from a Panera--one of very, very few places with power for miles around....Two big trees down right around house but no damage to house, but power lines and cable tangled and would guess will take two weeks to get back online at home. 

Will try to blog from...somewhere in days ahead.  This smart guy made hotel booking a few days ago.  One prob: hotel has no power.  

More, sooner (or later).   So, what were the Gallup and PPP numbers today?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Poll Dancing

UPDATE #1:   New Pew national survey says, oddly, that Obama has failed to regain footing--but finds him tied with Romney while he was down 4% three weeks ago.   It finds only 6% edge among women for Obama, lower than most polls for sure.  And it finds voters expect Obama to win 49%-31%.

 New Gallup daily at 1 pm.  It found some gains for Obama yesrerday.  Today: Mixed news for Obama.  He lost the point he gained among likely voters yesterday (in the 7-day poll) and again trails by 5%.  However, he had a giant jump in the 3-day approval rating (after gaining 2% yesterday) and now back up to healthy 51%.  This suggests gains in the 7-day poll in coming days....

Obama at press conference just now: "I am not worried at this point on the impact on the election...It will take care of itself next week." He cancelled all appearances starting last night.  Bill Clinton filling in for him today i Florida. 

And away we go, eight days before the election.  Interesting new development:  Will polling decrease, or get less accurate, thanks to Sandy causing disruptions in reaching good samples?

More movement toward the president in Rasmussen, with its daily tracker knocking another point of the Romney lead (as it did yesterday), so it's down to 2%. 

Another new poll, good for Obama, is the Politico/Battleground which finds him with a 1% lead nationally--he had previously trailed by 2%.  He leads  53%-45% among those who have already voted (about 1 in 7 of all voters).  It found an 11% edge for Obama among women.

As we noted last night, new Reuters-Ipsos has him 3% ahead (even as Gallup and Rasmussen keep him down by 3%-4%).   Both PPP and WashPost/ABC have Romney by 1%.  Swing state polling continues to favor Obama and Nate Silver has maintained odds for Obama at around 73%.  New Rasmussen puts Romney 2% ahead in Ohio but Huff Post analysis today gives Obama  just over the needed 270 electoral votes from solid and leaning states--with 55 votes still full toss-ups.

PPP, often Dem-leaning, gives Sen. Sherrod Brown new 11% lead in Ohio.  The Cincinnati Enquirer backed Romney on Sunday--but also Brown. 

Krugman: Doris Lessing Is Gone

The NYT columnist with blog item just now announcing the inevitable:   "Some readers may know that for a long time Robin and I have had two sibling cats, Albert Einstein and Doris Lessing, both 19. Well, Doris — who had a lot of health problems over the years, but always managed to hold up — has had a tumor on her liver for several months. We babied her along, getting her to eat by feeding her special treats, and she held up much longer than the vet expected. But several days ago she stopped eating and drinking, seeming increasingly uncomfortable, and this morning we did the necessary and had her put to sleep. I bawled like a baby. But she had a good life."

Now He Tells Us

In a new hour-long interview with David Frost for the BBC, Paul McCartney disputes the popular perception (at one time promoted by him) that John Lennon's relatonship with Yoko Ono in the late-1960s broke up the Beatles. “She certainly didn’t break the group up,” McCartney said in remarks quoted by The Guardian. “The group was breaking up....

“When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Krugman Hits Romney on Medicaid

Medicare has gotten most of the attention, but the GOP's plans to hurt Medicaid must less so, but here's Paul Krugman with a corrective, in tomorrow's column.
If he wins, Medicaid — which now covers more than 50 million Americans, and which President Obama would expand further as part of his health reform — will face savage cuts. Estimates suggest that a Romney victory would deny health insurance to about 45 million people who would have coverage if he lost, with two-thirds of that difference due to the assault on Medicaid.
So this election is, to an important degree, really about Medicaid. And this, in turn, means that you need to know something more about the program.

And The Rain Came Down

Another tune to welcome Sandy, Steve Earle, "The Rain Came Down."

Director Backs Romney as Zombie-Friendly

In one of the best ads of this cycle, film director Joss Whedon (Marvel's The Avengers) professes to be a former Obama backer who has switched to Romney because he is likely to bring on the "zombie apocalypse." And the way he describes it, yeah, could be.

Connie: Mitt's Full of Something and It Ain't Heart, Y'all

One of my faves, even in the new soap opera "Nashville," Connie Britton,  has co-written a column for USA Today hitting Romney for mis-using "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" from Friday Night Lights, set in Dillon, TX. (Of course, she played Tammy, coach's wife.)  She writes,  "Dillon is a classic American town filled with hard-working, middle-class Americans, who just want to lead productive, healthy lives. And the women we represented on the show -- the women we are in real life -- are like the millions of women across the nation. Women who want to make our own health care decisions. Women who want to earn equal pay for the work we do. Women who want affordable health care....

"So as women, let's take 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts/ back and use it as it was always intended -- as a motivator for progress, power, and greatness. Let's use our clear eyes and full hearts to vote early. Let's use our clear eyes and full hearts to tell every friend, family member and neighbor about what's at stake for women in this election. What's at stake for all of us."

Drink Up for the Storm: A Fifth of Beethoven

What betters captures the dread--and "fate knocking"--of the Sandy storm prelude than the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and you may have never heard it this way before:  Glenn Gould's solo piano version (based on Liszt transcription).  I prefer the Glenn/Franz 6th symphony but that's far too "pastoral" for this night.

Sunday Morning in the Church of Beethoven

Continuing my weekly feature, even with Sandy bearing down, we turn to the final movement of what many consider Beethoven's greatest string quartet--the opus 131--which also marks the climax of the upcoming film "A Late Quartet," starring Christopher Walken as, yes, a famous cellist and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the unhappy 2nd violinist (more on that to come).

Gary Glitter, Again

No, not a joke:  The Brits have made an arrest in that "BBC scandal" involving coverup of Jimmy Savile and child sex charges (and now drawing former BBC chief/new NYT CEO Mark Thompson in)--and according to reports, it's none other than '70s rocker, with a long history in these matters, Gary Glitter.    More than 300 have already come forward to accuse Savile of pedophilia.  NYT:  "Mr. Glitter, a glam-rock star whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was convicted in Britain in 1999 on charges of possessing child pornography. He served nearly three years in prison in Vietnam for sexually abusing two girls, aged 11 and 12 years."  In case you wonder what Mr. Glitter was up to back in the day (he also was famous for, "Do You Want to Touch Me"):

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Songs to Worry By

From Springsteen, live 1975 (three years after I first him do it), "Lost in the Flood."

From Mr. Bob Dylan: "Shelter from the Storm," 1974, alternate take. 

'NYT' Endorses Obama

Not exactly a shock, but still: they among the relatively few who do so, they say, "enthusiastically." And they go issue by issue.  They also express hope for a Congress that may actually work with him at times.
President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless. Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery.
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that.
Note: Margaret Sullivan, the paper's fine new public editor, has a new column on how the Times makes its choice--and the influence of newspaper endorsements these days.  She even quotes me. 

Tomorrow's 'NYT' Columns This Afternoon

Okay, you got Maureen Dowd on why Mitt is, inexplicably gaining women voters.  Tom Friedman on being "pro-life" on more than just abortion matters and Nick Kristof on the hidden truths about rape.  Ross Douthat, of course, hits Obama on...something or other.  And the Times officially endorses Obama in an editorial.

AP Poll: So Much for the 'No Racism' Myth

 Romney rally in Ohio: Getty Images
We've heard the argument all autumn--racism is a tiny factor (if a factor at all) in explicit hatred of Obama and general drift toward whiter-than-white Romney.  Now the Associated Press is out with a poll showing that not only do a majority of Americans harbor some anti-black views ("whether they recognize those feelings or not"), that number has actually grown since Obama took office--up from 51% to 56%.

AP:  "Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks."  They said racist views will cost Obama 5% of the vote, while pro-black views gain him 3%, so he loses 2% on balance. 

And anti-Hispanic views are held by 57%.  

AP found a wide partisan gap, with 79% of Republicans vs. 32% of Dems expressing anti-black views.  The AP developed the surveys "to measure sensitive racial views in several ways and repeated those studies several times between 2008 and 2012," they relate.  They ask questions to tease how prejudicial views, such as whether people in ethnic groups are viewed as lazy, or if you are less likely to vote for someone because of their race.

The poll found that only 49% believe Obama was born in the U.S., with 39% still saying he was born in another country.  The rest would not offer an opinion.   Still, the wingnuts quickly denounced the poll, or rather, "poll," as they put it.

Other findings, when you drill down:  23% consider Obama "socialist"  and 18% call him "un-American." Some 33% ID him as Protestant or Catholic with 10% calling him Muslim--and 18% saying he is Jewish.   The poll sample was 1,057 adults with margin of error about 3.5%, with 35% Dem and 27% GOPers.  The sample was 67% white. Full results here.

Why Isn't Obama Ahead (By More)?

Frank Bruni in his Sunday NYT column ticks off the many indicators that suggest Obama should have a more clear lead over Romney in the final stretch, plus Romney's major flaws.   Yet he does not.   Instead he has "squandered advantages."  You will probably argue with some of his points, agree with others.  For example, he dismisses racism with the rightwing talking point that it can't be a factor because, after all, he did get elected last time!  This ignores the fact that most white Americans voted against him last time, and that total has risen to about 62% this year.  Obviously, most of them are not racists but is naive to suggest that this in no factor at all. 

Weekend Newspaper Endorsements

UPDATE #3  Bunch of new endorsements Sunday morning.  According to this non-partisan chart, the circulation of the papers among the nation's 100 largest that are backing Obama is now 8.6 million, vs. 4.3 million for Romney, with 32 nods for the president and 24 for the challenger (of course, many are in states that are not being hotly contested).   Among the latest:  In key swing state Ohio, the Cincinnati Enquirer, usually Republican, backed Romney--but also Sen. Sherrod Brown.  However, the Toledo Blade went for Obama.   In another battleground, the Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed Romney.

The Detroit Free Press picked Obama (balancing the Romney-backing of the Detroit News).  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Buffalo News both chose Obama, as did the Hartford Courant and the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.  and the paper in Lexington, Ky.  The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City went for Romney. 

UPDATE #2    Kansas City Star latest big city paper to back Obama. 

Blow to Obama tonight, with the key paper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsing Romney, in a bit of surprise.  The paper has not backed a Republican for 40 years--backing (ouch) Nixon. Remember, this was the paper that complained when Obama said their interview with him was off the record (after they went public, he relented).   Did they resent it?  Their editorial  said, “Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.”  Read it all, for a good laugh.

Note: By now, a very large number of Iowans have already voted.

UPDATE #1  Margaret Sullivan, the NYT's fine new public editor, interviewed me earlier this re: the value of newspaper endorsements, and her Sunday column, with a quote or two from me is now posted.  It coincides with the Times endorsing Obama, "enthusiastically."

Earlier:  I've been tracking all of the major newspaper endorsements here and at The Nation (following my practice since 2000) and most papers will have made their picks by Sunday, although some wait until the final weekend.   Until now, the endorsements have been split, with Obama getting the edge in the number of larger papers, and Romney earning some key switches from papers that backed Obama in 2008.

This chart for the top 100 papers finds Obama with 23 endorsees to Romney's 18, and a nice edge in circulation numbers--and with backing from NYT not included last time I checked.

The San Jose Mercury-News today endorsed Obama, as it had in 2008.  This is not reflected in chart mentioned above.  Ditto: for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  The Miami Herald, in a key move, also has endorsed Obama:  "In the end, Mr. Obama’s policies across the board — the environment, social policy, taxes and immigration — offer a more generous vision for America. The issues he has fought for, coupled with the lingering doubts about Mr. Romney’s persona and his true intentions, make this a clear choice."   The Daily News in Los Angeles has backed Romney but the San Francisco Chronicle today went for the president.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/26/3068819_p2/obama-for-president.html#storylink=cpy

The Chicago Tribune--often hard to predict--has endorsed native son Barack Obama for president.  The paper, once rigidly conservative, is again owned by Republicans but still backs the president.  As it admits,  "On questions of economics and limited government, the Chicago Tribune has forged principles that put us closer to the challenger in this race, Republican Mitt Romney. We write with those principles clearly in our minds. Romney advocates less spending, less borrowing -- overall, a less costly and less intrusive role for government in the lives of the governed."  But his deficit plan is not good, and Obama's foreign policy views much better.

Weekend Poll Updates

SUNDAY  7 p.m.  PPP just now reported Obama by 4% in Ohio.  Had race even last time they checked.

New Reuters-IPSOS poll gives Obama a 3% lead nationally.  New PPP puts Obama up 2% in N.H. (he was down one previously).

Today's 1 pm. Gallup marks a better day for Obama.  He gained a point among likely voters to trail by 4%,  took the lead again among reg voters by 1%, and gained 2 points in approval to 48%.

 Believe it or not, Omaha newspaper poll has Bob Kerrey, long considered the longest of longshots, within 3% of Deb Fischer--and another polls puts it at 2.5%.   And new Wash Post poll has Tim Kaine up 7% vs. George Allen.

Philadelphia Inquirer poll has Obama maintaining 6% lead in that state despite big Romney push.

Saturday UPDATE #2  Big one from Wash Post:  Obama with 51%-47% lead in Virginia.  As noted previously, if he wins there, Ohio becomes academic, likely.

Nate Silver at NYT (posted at 5 p.m.) continues to predict Obama win--now with rising 74% odds--despite national polls going against, in the main, still.  Reason? If anything, his lead swing states is growing or holding firm. 

UPDATE #1 The 1 p.m. daily Gallup tracker is out and it shows no change at all in the race, among likely voters (Romney +5) and reg voters (even),  but Obama's plunge in approval rating continues.  Just a few days ago he was at peak of 53% and now has declined to 46%.  This is a three-day poll so, if accurate, one would have to wonder what was going on Wed-Thurs-Fri.  

Earlier: Okay, here we go again.  Early Saturday we have new PPP showing candidates dead even nationally, and morning Rasmussen tracker boosting Romney back to a 4% lead.   CNN polls finds Obama maintaining steady 4% lead in Ohio.

BTW, last night on Bill Maher's show, Nate Silver repeated his estimate of an Obama, with 75% odds. This, of course, is based on his continuing lead in most key swing states.  So will Romney win popular vote and Obama electoral college?  Surprisingly, he placed the odds on this at only 7%.   He also said this is the biggest racial split yet in any presidential race.

Yes, amazingly, new poll finds Todd Akin close to Claire McCaskill in Missouri. 

Memo from the Boss: Vote for Romney

The NYT catches up to story reported long ago in other outlets about heads of companies directing their employees to vote for Romney.  Gosh, I wrote about this in my book about Upton Sinclair's fabled 1934 campaign, so it's hardly unprecedented, but still quite alarming--and in this case, the candidate himself has encouraged this.
Mr. Romney has himself urged business owners to appeal to their employees. In a conference call in June organized by the National Federation of Independent Business, he said, “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.”
And don't miss this new column by Joe Nocera on Romney, Nu-Skin, Mormons and the "ties that bind."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh Sandy, the Aurora Is Rising Behind Us

To preare for the next few days:  Neil Young with one of the all-time greats, "Like a Hurricane." Jackson Browne, "Before the Deluge."   Creedence, "Who'll Stop the Rain."   Will early voters sing, "I wanna vote for ya but I'm gettin' blown away"?

Meat Loaf: Vote Fraudster?

Smoking Gun with a "probe" of Meat Loaf voting effort, a day after he endorsed Romney in Ohio.   It seems he has moved to Austin, but failed to register there, and sold his house in California some time ago, so he has asked for a mail-in ballot from there.  So Smoking Gun suggests this is another case for James O'Keefe.
During his remarks last night, Aday exhorted rally attendees to “Go out and vote!” He also claimed to have made three calls Thursday “to Democrats in California and I got two of ‘em to switch to Romney.” He added, “So two out of three ain’t bad.”

Paul Krugman's Gets Civil

The columnist always has a Friday night song pick (often involving fire in an arcade) and this week it's The Civil Wars.  But continuing our Loudon Wainwright theme (see here) here's his "Paul Krugman Blues."

I Wish I Was (Were) a Lesbian

Classic Loudon Wainwright III song, with anime.

The Rape Exemption

Gail Collins in her Saturday column for NYT looks at What's Up, Mourdock in Indiana.   But she's not nuts about his opponent either:  "When it comes to abortion, both Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Representative Joe Donnelly, are anti-choice. But, unlike Mourdock, Donnelly makes an exception in the case of rape or incest. One of the truly disturbing parts of our current politics is that we have begun to identify people who want to impose their religious beliefs on millions of women who don’t share them as moderates as long as they’re O.K. with the rape exemption."
The real moral of the Mourdock flap isn’t about giving rape victims special dispensation, or whether it’s offensive to say that you believe even sexual assaults are part of God’s plan. It’s the one President Obama came up with: “This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care.”

Joe the Plumber Debate

Watch here now, vs. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

13abc.com: Breaking News, Weather and Sports

The Main Top Issue Ignored in Campaign?

There's been much talk this week about the many key issues not raised at all (or just barely) in this year's debates,  the overall campaign and in media coverage:  from climate change to campaign financing.  But we still have not heard many complaints about this (perenially ignored) one:  how a candidate's faith may, or will, influence his views and decisions as president.  We saw what that lack of probing got us with George "Doing God's Will in Iraq" Bush.  The right only perked up when it could link Obama to Rev. Wright.

Very belatedly here's a new online column by the NYT's Bill Keller, inspired by Richard Mourdock's what-God-intends rape/pregnancy crack.  Keller ties this to Paul Ryan very well.  But still: no emphasis on Romney and Mormonism.  Reporters are so scared of getting accused of being religious bigots that they refuse to probe one of the most--some would say, most--vital factors in a candidate's makeup (when that candidate professes to be deeply devout).

Take this simple quiz:  Can you say much, if anything, about Romney's views in relation to his Mormonism, drawing on what he has said in the past and teachings he is supposed to follow?  If you know very little, at this very late date, who do you blame?

Newspaper Creates Bizarro World Romney

We've noted previously an unsettling trend for Obama fans this year: the number of large papers that backed him in 2008 now switching to Romney.   Last time around, quite the opposite happened, with papers that backed Bush going to Obama.  Today the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (based in populous Fort Lauderdale) made the switch, but you really have to read the editorial to marvel, perhaps even laugh, ruefully.

Nearly every position they endorse--from cutting the defense budget to protesting women's rights at the Supreme Court and favoring negotiation always--actually comes right from the Obama playbook.   The fantasy Romney they describe is Bizarro World Mitt.  They even claim,  "We believe Romney will help this nation find the political will to address the challenges with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."  Remember when Romney adding Ryan to the ticket would doom him in seniors-heavy Florida?

Friday Poll Watch

UPDATE #1  New CNN poll in Ohio has Obama up by 4%, just over the 3% average for other polls this week.  Rasmussen, no surprise, the outlier.

Nate Silver tweets at 3 p.m.:  "The eight national trackers published today show Obama +0.2% on average. (Was Romney +0.2% yesterday)."

Today's daily tracker from Gallup, which showed nice gains for Obama earlier this week, then no change yesterday, finds Romney gaining again, boosting his lead among likely voters to 5% and Obama's approval off 3% to just 48%.

Gallup also released a report on the debates.  Like all others, it found viewers gave the third debate to Obama, 56%-33%.  Also the second debate, after wide Mitt win in #1.  Asked who did better overall, judging all three debates, it was a virtual tie, with Romney up by 2%.

Even Rasmussen now gives Eliz Warren a solid 5% lead.  

Earlier: And here we go again.  After very good, overall, days for Obama Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday results provided more of a mixed picture.  Now for Friday.

No change in today's Rasmussen--Obama still down 3 points.  PPP has the two candidates tied.  RAND puts Obama ahead by 6%.  Take yer pick.  NBC/WSJ has Obama up by 3% in Nevada and deadlocked in Colorado.  Two polls give the president a 3% edge in N.H.   New poll gives Tammy Duckworth big lead over the much-lamented Joe Walsh. 

Mittzine on the Way

Who said the magazine world is in peril?  Well, the most widely distributed magazine in the U.S. is coming soon, a glossy, 12-page number to be inserted inside newspapers around the country.   Amusing: the million dollar plus venture is sponsored by Joe Ricketts' PAC known as End the Spending Action Fund.  It features several heartwarming stories about the candidate:
In one article titled “How Romney’s Leadership Rescued a Missing Girl,” he is praised as a “hero” for helping track down the daughter of one of his colleagues at Bain Capital.
Another article, headlined “Romney to the Rescue,” chronicles the effort to save a family whose boat was sinking on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Also rescued, as the article notes: the family’s Scottish terrier, McKenzie. There is even a picture of the little dog.

Sound and Fury Over Nothing?

This may be funnier than the movie:  the estate of William Faulkner is suing Sony Pictures over Woody Allen's "unauthorized" use of the author's famous quote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  It's uttered--in an altered form, no less--by Owen Wilson in "Midnight in Paris."  The Wood man won an Oscar for the screenplay.   Now, will estates of Hemingway and Gertrude Stein sue over their portrayals?

Malala Recovering

Pakistani girl shot in head by Taliban seems to be mending.  Photo at left with family (from European Press Photo Agency).

'Girls' Talk

Lena Dunham cuts a video urging young folks to make "the first time" beautiful, pick the right guy, etc...in vote for President.  Rightwingers, such as Erick Ericksonup in arms (without tattoos) over the ad.  "Yeah, vote for Obama--and you WILL get fucked."  Buzzfeed "echoes" the wingnuts here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Another Horror (Bullying) Story

Yesterday, on Staten Island, a school girl, 16,  distraught from constant bullying, joined her classmates at the local train stop--and threw herself in front of the train, to her death.  The night before she had tweeted, I cant, im done, I give up."

NYT: "By the time her friends began to congregate in the hospital waiting room, posting messages on Twitter and Facebook  in what would become a flurry of online speculation about her death, most had pinpointed a cause: Felicia had been bullied, they said, tormented by football players on Tottenville’s undefeated team. Some said she was teased because she had piercings and lived in foster care. Others said players had spread sexual boasts about her over the weekend, after Tottenville’s 16-8 victory over Port Richmond High School."

Will Meat Loaf Make You Sick?

Well, the election is in the bag--Romney has gained the endorsement of Mr. Loaf (as the NYT once persisted in calling him), otherwise known as Meat or Meat Loaf.  Yes, the large, aging rocker emerged from under the dashboard and came out for Mitt today, in Ohio, naturally.   He explained:  “There has storm clouds come over the United States.”

He also said that Obama saying "the Cold War" is over was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard.  When Romney came out on stage, he said,  “I mean, Meat Loaf was here.  Can you believe it?”   Yes, and no.

Funny story.  Back in the 1980s, I was on a team (as a ringer for WNEW radio) that played Meat's team in a NY softball league.  He insisted on being the pitcher, of course, arguing with the ump all the time.  One night, he hit a hard ground single up the middle where, playing the unique softball position of "short field," I fieldef it cleanly--and threw him out at first base!  You should have heard the trademark bellow that followed from that direction....

Tomorrow's 'NY Post' Today

New York magazine tries to anticipate the Post's front page tomorrow after news of NYPD would-be cannibal breaks.   Many more here, including "NYPD Chew," "Gnaw and Order,"  Cook 'em, Danno," "Stop and Fricassee," etc. 

GOP Rape Advisory Chart.

It went from orange to red this week. From a Daily Kos contributor, updated for the Mourdock remark. I might change named to Rape Apology Chart,  however.

Obey Beethoven

Don't be dumb-dumb-dumb, listen to the master and commander. (h/t Barbara Bedway @bbedway)

Campaign Climate No Climate for Climate Change

Important NYT piece today--perhaps belatedly--on the absence of climate change as an issue in this year's race, even beyond not inspiring a single question or comment in the debates.   Of course, the media have not helped, but at least this is a partial corrective.  "Throughout the campaign, Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have seemed most intent on trying to outdo each other as lovers of coal, oil and natural gas — the very fuels most responsible for rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."

Romney Transcript In Divorce Case Now Out

That court hearing into Boston Globe request for transcript of that divorce case involving Staples CEO  led to the judge ruling that it could indeed be released, while upholding gag order on ex-wife.  Portions of transcript now leaking out.  Here is Buzzfeed with some of Romney's talk on vulture capitalism etc.   Most companies, he admits, are "liquidated" or "harvested."   Some claim that wife feels that Romney downplayed Staples' worth to help buddy get off better in settlement.  AP story.

Big Endorsement for Obama

The Washington Post just picked the president for four more years.  The editorial page (often hawkish) has had a mixed view of his first term but backed him again, as it had in 2008.  May not matter much within the Beltway, or with pundit crowd, but of course will swing a few votes in swing state Virginia.   Excerpt: 
Even granting the importance of the fiscal issue, a case might still be made for Mr. Romney if Mr. Obama’s first term had been a failure; if Mr. Romney were more likely to promote American security and leadership abroad; or if the challenger had shown himself superior in temperament, capacity and character. In fact, not one of these is true.

Thursday Poll Dancing

UPDATE  New from PPP:  Since debate, Obama widens leads in Wisconsin (to 6%) and in Iowa (to 2%).  Also, surprise, gains tie in N. Carolina.  But believe the media: debate didn't matter, and...Mittmentum!

Brand new from Rasmussen: Obama still up solid 5% in PA, despite GOP attempts to spin it as up for grabs.

Gallup's 1 pm report just up, after finding Obama cutting 3% off Romney's lead in past two days along with surge in approval rating.   Today:  no change at all in race, reg or likely voters, Obama takes 2% hit on approval but still at 51%.

Nate Silver's morning analysis has Mittmentum--if there was much of it--halted and Obama at highest point since Oct. 9 for winning, up to 71%.   He gained in five of six tracking polls yesterday and Nate points out that this was best day for any candidate recently--disputing the assertions to major trend to Mitt.

Earlier: Here we go again, buckle your seat belts.  Rasmussen just out with daily tracker, showing Obama gaining a point, and closing gap to -3%.   Still only two of the three post-debate days included in that.  Rasmussen still has virtually every key Senate race with better numbers for GOPers than most other polls.

First new state one I've seen comes from PPP, giving Obama nice 5% lead in ol' Virginny.   In fact, it's been odd to see most in media now considering this state moving toward Romney when poll averaging finds Obama in front there by a couple of points.   See my post here on media falling for Romney "momentum" hype despite evidence to contrary.

AP has a national poll giving Romney a 2% lead but talk about being an outlier--it actually finds the two candidates dead even among women!  No other major poll even comes close to showing that.

Colin Powell for Obama Again

See the general on morning TV today:

So Much for Mittmentum

Along with many others, I have mocked in recent days the pundit and reporter claim --falling for concerted Romney camp hype--that Mitt was now in the lead and had the "momentum."   This came even though half a dozen respected polls showed Obama won the third debate by wide margins, and some polls showed some movement in HIS direction afterward.  Also: no electoral map outside Karl Rove's have ever showed Romney in the lead.  Oh, and then the little matter of Obama leading in Ohio in virtually every poll.

In reply, some in the media have replied, oh look at the Romney gains in polls--since early October.  No one disputes that, following Obama's flop in the first debate.  The point was the hype THIS week, clearly after Romney had peaked, and based, clearly, on Romney pushing that line.

Now comes Nate Silver's morning assesssment,  based on yesterday's polls, giving Obama his highest chances of winning--up to 71%--since October 9. 

Colbert Mocks Fox on Libya

Brilliant Colbert Report last night, opening with Sarah Palin hippo pooping--you had to be there--and then on to segment two, on Libya (and how Fox makes its points vs. Obama in the form of questions).  Stephen also raises his own salient question about Fox's Peter Johnson Jr.  "Why are his three names all euphemisms for penis?"  Here's that segment:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

That Story CNN Killed

Perhaps you didn't get a chance to catch the CNN howler today about women supposedly voting a certain way because of their hormones.  They've now killed and said it did not meet their standards--but only after a hard blog and Twitter pounding.  But this being the Internet age, the untruth is still out there.  Here is link to the original as posted elsewhere.  One highlight:
While the campaigns eagerly pursue female voters , there’s something that may raise the chances for both presidential candidates that’s totally out of their control: women’s ovulation cycles.
You read that right. New research suggests that hormones may influence female voting choices differently, depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship.

Wednesday Night Cat Blogging

Starting a new tradition--that I will probably never repeat. Zoe, age 2, ex-shelter kitty.

Joining the 'Gangnam'

Believe it or not, famed Chinese artist/dissident Ai Weiwei has just uploaded his own version of "Gangnam Style."  Yes, he ends up in handcuffs. 

Bai Low: Claims Bill Clinton Hurt Obama With Advice

It may take you through-the-looking-glass but you might get a kick out of the NYT's Matt Bai attempt to blame Bill Clinton for Obama's decline in the polls earlier this month.   Yes, you read that right.  It seems, according to Bai, that Bill advised Obama months ago to simply paint Romney as "severely conservative" (to coin a phrase) rather than an "inauthentic" flip-flopper.  According to Bai, Obama bought this hook, line and sinker.  One problem:  Evidence that Clinton was prime mover on this?  Second:  It's nonsense that there weren't two themes to Obama claims and ads all along, with plenty of "inauthentic Mitt" mixed in.

Then Bai charges that Mitt's move to the middle caught Obama off guard in the first debate and that's why he hit the skids and, in fact, that move is "apparently" working.  Again, couple problems:  Bai has bought the D.C. meme that the reason Obama flopped in the first debate was because he was shocked by Romney's feints to the middle.  Again:  No evidence for this at all, beyond making excuses (blame the other guy).  Obama was coasting that night, no matter what Romney said.  Second:  Is the Romney strategy working? Has Bai looked at the polls after the last two debates, featuring that newly "middling" Mitt--polls showing Romney got thrashed, especially for his biggest lurch to the center this week.  And now most national and state polls in recent days show movement toward Obama again.  

Poll, Poll, Pitiful Me for Wednesday

UPDATE #2  New Time mag poll has Obama up a full 5% in Ohio.  Basically tied among those who have not yet voted--but ahead 2-1 among those who have....Also, by wide margin, voters THINK Obama will win.

PPP reports Obama up 61%-39%--among early voters, anyway.  But he's up 4% among all voters, Senate race tied, they say.  Two other polls today put his lead at 2%.

UPDATE #1  Gallup's daily tracker, out at 1 p.m., which found some movement toward Obama yesterday, today finds more good news for the president:  He's closed gap with likely voters from 5% to 3%, he has taken lead among registered voters by 1%, and got a huge 5% swing on approval--a plus 2 upward and minus 3 down. So approval now at whopping 53%.  I predicted this yesterday.

The approval rating, also up yesterday, is a three-day-average.  It indicates very strong gain for Obama via the debate and indicates he will keep closing likely voter gap in days ahead.  I predicted yesterday that Gallup would find it tied this weekend but now think that will happen before then.  Also:  no way Obama can be trailing with a 53-42 approval gap.  Impossible.

A plug:  My 2009 book "Why Obama Won" on the 2008 campaign now out as e-book and this week only is just 99 cents!  

Earlier: Rasmussen's daily tracker (a 3-day average), which boosted Romney to an unprecedented 4% lead just yesterday, today finds that it remains unchanged despite all polls showing bad Romney defeat in debate.  But in a note, Rasmussen admits that the polling since the debate drops that margin down to 2%.

Quinnipiac poll gives Obama nice 5% lead in Ohio.   New Quinnipac/CBS poll finds that 1 in 5 in Ohio have already voted (nearly equal to all of 2008)--and Obama leads among them 54%-39%.  But remember: Dems have been pushing harder there on that.   SurveyUSA shows Obama with 3% lead in Ohio.  New Rasmussen, of course, has it dead even.

Obama takes lead in new Reuter-Ipsos by one point--and they give him whopping 322 electoral votes.  They also found that Obama easily won 3rd debate, 47%-31%.  Meanwhile, those in media and GOP bubble--Romney has Mittmentum! 

WBUR poll in Mass. shows Elizabeth Warren maintaining 5% lead there.   It also finds Mitt getting 36% of vote--in state that knows him best.  And Chris Murphy up on Linda McMahon by 5% in Conn.  That same Quinnipiac Ohio poll gives Sherrod Brown clear 9% lead there.

Why We Must Exit Afghanistan--Even Faster Than Obama Promises

Just stop and read this remarkable story just posted at NYT site and not even on home page yet.  It's by longtime war correspondent Alissa Rubin on her brave visit to outpost just outside Kabul.  It seems Kabul gives impression of at least some progress and some respect between Afghans and Americans. But just outside the city--it's the Wild West.  Only worse.  Her driver barely escapes death when a tiny bomb explodes three tankers just outside where she is doing an interview.  Hostility reigns.  She gets called a "bitch" and a "spy."  By our allies.  The tragedy of the past ten years and destruction and deaths and what will follow for so many wounded and traumatized--our troops and Afghans--is truly depressing.  Out now.

Meme Dead in O-HI-O

Okay, enough with the candidate-who-wins-Ohio-wins-it-all hype.  Stop. It only encourages.  And I love Ohio.  I even have several close in-laws there and have visited state dozens of times.  Outside of Chuck Todd and a few others you never hear this:  Obama could very well win without Ohio, and Florida, and Virginia.  That's why the GOP bluff about "winning" is so off, even if the media are now pushing it.  Obama could still win without those states if he takes other toss-ups, all within reach based on polls and pass behavior (favoring Dems off and on):  Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin.  In fact, many are already giving him Nevada and Wisconsin and the others are truly even.  Obama is even close in Arizona.  And Virginia and Florida certainly are feasible.

Americans Looking to Retirement Have No Friggin' Idea About Money Costs

As someone who is, ahem, in process of applying for upcoming Medicare, this story about annual Wells Fargo survey hits home (although I am a LITTLE more savvy and reality-bed than most surveyed, it turns out).  It shows that those in middle-class when looking ahead to retirement vastly underestimate upcoming medical costs--by a factor of five--and how much they will need to live on (and on).  Three out of four admit they are simply "guessing" about what they'll need.

Pregnant Via Rape: God's Will

If you missed the uproar tonight over tottering GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in Indiana--Todd Akin Lite--see the comments in video below.  Story hereHow this hurts GOP chances of taking Senate.  

UPDATE #2  Dems now hitting this issue hard.  Spokesman for Obama says he finds Mourdock view "demeaning to women."  Now the Dems are calling on Romney to take down his pro-Mourdckk ad (view it below).  NYT:  GOPers "struggle to contain damage."

UPDATE #1   AP with full reaction story this morning.  Romney distancing himself from candidate and hits his comment.  But DNC just out with ad highlighting this unfortunate fact for Romney:  Just this past Monday he cut the only ad he has done so far for any candidate--and it backed Mourdock (see it below).  "Romney aides would not say whether the ad would be pulled and if the Republican presidential nominee would continue to support Mourdock's Senate bid. Other Republicans did not immediately weigh in. Indiana Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat referred comment to the Mourdock campaign. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday night.

"National Democrats quickly picked up on Mourdock's statement and used it as an opportunity to paint him as an extreme candidate."

Such a Deal: My Obama Book for 99 Cents

The buck stops here? Actually, less than a buck.  My book on the 2008 campaign, Why Obama Won--And Lessons for 2012, just went on special sale for a few days as an e-book (it's also available in print) for just 99 cents or as Herman Cain might say,  99-99-99.   It's a close-up look at the campaign as it happened, with plenty of fun sections, from Colbert to Palin.  Go here to read more or order.

Plus:  The sequel will be out the day after Election Day, and will include the winner--assuming there is no deadlock.   Which might happen.  The new e-book closely follows the Obama-Romney showdown in its final months, day-by-day,  and will includes hundreds of clickable links and key videos. 

Just Desserts With a Little Drudge on Top?

UPDATE They're out of court.   For what it's worth, TMZ says the ex-wife is claiming  that Romney lied under oath when he said Staples stock was worth very little, so she asked for little in divorce.  Then Mitt turned around and cashed out big just a little later, or so she says. No confirmation of that at all.  But Boston Globe wants the transcript out.  The ex-wife does not.  Sane report here by David Bernstein. 

Earlier: It may rival in seriousness whatever is coming from Donald Trump next, but there's a Drudge-driven campaign "event" set for 9 a.m. this morning, as Drudge-loving Mark Halperin describes here.   Involves, gasp, Gloria Allred and a divorce case, featuring his Staples CEO friend, that Romney figured in.  Unfortunately, not as "the other man" but for testimony he  gave about someone's net worth...or something.  Boston Globe also involved.  Here's Radar report.  Fun to see Halperin refer to the "the usual web gossip peddlers."  Later report here.

Hard to imagine why this might be a big deal so assume it won't.  Developing....Meanwhile, latest rumor on the Trump "bombshell" is claim the Obamas were once close to divorce.  Probably after Michelle found his real birth certificate. Wait, an update on that, too:  Trump as in Rump ended up merely offering $5 million--for Obama's college transcripts and passport.  Trumprolled, again.

Eastwood on Script This Time, Chair Prepares Response

Big Clint, silent after his "wooden" performance at the GOP convention, returns in a 30-second spot for Romney courtesy of the fine folks at American Crossroads.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama Hate Peaking

NYT tonight looks at the "strident" anti-Obama messages rising in certain states.   Just one example: "And a new anti-Obama DVD is dropping into voters’ mailboxes, claiming that the president is the love child of an illicit relationship between his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party loyalist. 
The back story of the DVD offers the latest example of how secretive forces outside the presidential campaigns can sweep into battleground states days before the election.

This summer, a group of well-financed conservative activists had an idea for what they hoped would be a last-minute game changer in the presidential race. They would put out a DVD that made a compelling case against Mr. Obama in battleground states, sending it to voters through a carefully targeted direct mail campaign or as an insert in Sunday newspapers in the weeks before Election Day.  They went to the unusual length of arranging a focus group to test anti-Obama films. Conducted by Frank Luntz....
Here's my item on the hateful film that is focus of article--created by a Bob Dylan freak.   See trailer:

The Other D'Souza Affair

A leading cable operator in Ohio (and five other states)--a Romney funder--is now offering that fact-challenged but popular Dinesh D'Souza doc about Obama to his subscribers for...free.  It's the first time, an exec with Armstrong says, they had offered a feature film recently released for no charge on demand.  They operate in 10 Ohio counties.

Obama Gets Boost in Bin Laden Film

NYT with preview tonight of the controversial movie--from Harvey Weinstein, big Obama backer--to be aired on TV two nights before Election Day.  Word is: it was edited to give Obama more of a starring role. The film will be seen on the National Geographic channel--owned by, get this, Murdoch's News Corp.--and the next day via Netflix.  Trailer below.

"[Promotional materials and a copy of the movie provided to The New York Times this week also show that the film has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House.

"In a joint interview on Tuesday Mr. Weinstein; the film’s director, John Stockwell; and others said the changes to the film were not politically motivated but were meant to give the film a stronger sense of realism. Some of the Obama moments were added at the suggestion of Mr. Weinstein, they said, using material gathered by Meghan O’Hara, a producer who worked closely with the documentarian Michael Moore on politically charged projects like 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and 'Sicko.'”

Akin Busted (Again)

Rapidly evolving story, with summary here from Salon with links:  It turns out--according to a forthcoming St. Louis Post-Dispatch probe-- that Todd Akin, the legitimate rape guy, was arrested not once but four times in the mid-1980s in protests at abortion clinics, and had to be literally carried off at one of them.  Earlier today he had been linked to a militant anti-abortion activist tied to militias.  The latest came about when a reporter at the Post-Dispatch emailed draft of his story to check facts or quotes to Akin's spokesman,  who leaked it to the press to maybe control the damage.

UPDATE: The story has just been posted by the newspaper.
The liberal group People for the American Way, which has been hammering at Akin's past in the anti-abortion movement, said that past should disqualify him from office.
“We wondered why the Akin campaign broke its promise in late September to provide details about his arrest. Now we know why,” Michael Keegan, president of the group, said in a written statement.
“. . . These were not non-violent protests. These were aggressive, physical efforts to shut down clinics . . . What’s remarkable is how long Todd Akin has been able to hide these incidents.”

Final Debate: Songified and Taiwaned

The Gregory Brothers arrive with their latest Songified debate vid, this one titled "Yes We Chant," Gregorian influenced (and we don't mean David). Schieffer creeps me out, though. 

Those wacky Taiwanese animators weigh in on the final debate (even though their country not mentioned once amid all the China talk).

Iran's Secret Path

It took a bit for meme to develop (overwhelmed as it was by horses and bayonets) but now Romney's laughable--yet revealing--claim that Iran sees Syria as its "route to the sea" is drawing the attention it deserves.  See fun images below.

Romney Leads Charge in Afghanistan!

Or in Syria or Iran or wherever.  In his fantasy, it may look something like this, until it goes horribly wrong.  One of the greatest films and film scenes ever, from Kubrick's "Paths of Glory."

Climate Doubts

Trailer for tonight's big "Frontline" probe of "movement" to cast doubt on science and findings of climate change and human blame. 

You've Been Pranked

Vanity Fair has some fun with purported never before seen photos of teenage Mitt pranking friends, foes,  the poor, gays and even firing someone.   He says "I love you" to Ann--on his Etch-a-sketch.  Its secret source is said to be a Romney insider IDed only as "R.R." but who seems to be (if you follow link) a certain horse with a name beginning in R.  Some will probably fall for this anyway.  But fun.  Here's one, at left, which supposedly shows Mitt fishing for homeless person on the street with a piece of cash.

Tuesday Poll Dancing

UPDATE #2   New Quinnipac/CBS poll finds that 1 in 5 in Ohio have already voted--and Obama leads among them 54%-39%.  But remember: Dems have been pushing harder there on that.

Obama takes lead in new Reuter-Ipsos by one point--and they give him whopping 322 electoral votes.  They also found that Obama easily won 3rd debate, 47%-31%.  Meanwhile, those in media and GOP bubble--Romney has momentum!   

UPDATE #1  Gallup's 1 p.m. daily tracker (based on 7-day average) finds Obama gaining another point, to trail by 5%,  no change in reg voters,  and 2% gain in approval.  Yesterday Obama had also gained a point to trail by 6%, a result deemed an "outlier" by most polling experts (see other results below).  Note:  His approval rating up to healthy 51%--and that's based on 3-day, not 7-day average.  So quite possible we will be seeing more gains in next few days, even before winning last night's debate fully kicks in.

For first time, Gallup missed 1 p.m. report for awhile.  I joked that there was either 1) power failure in their home city of Outlier or 2) they were busy polling likely mini-iPad buyers in seven swing districts.

Earlier:  A PPP poll for SEIU finds race tied, a gain of 4% by Obama since last week.  Oddly, it finds the gender gap at only 9%.  It also shows Obama with surprisingly modest lead among those who claim they've already voted, 53%-45.%.

Our daily updates.    First up, new PPP poll gives Romney 2% lead nationally.  Last night new CBS had Obama 2% ahead and new ABC/WashPost gave him a 1% lead. Note: Today's Gallup tracker will not reflect last night's debate at all, as it averages previous seven days.

This morning's Rasmussen tracker (for what it's worth), which averages past 3 days,  puts Romney up 4%, a gain of 2% and first time it has had either candidate with that wide a margin in months.  New Granite poll in N.H. gives Obama 8% lead there.

The Overseas Vote

Maybe this one, not CNN's, should be called "The Poll of Polls."  A BBC World Service poll in 21 countries finds sharply higher overseas approval ratings for President Obama than Mitt Romney, 50% to 9%.   Citizens of only one country want Romney to win--and that country is Pakistan.  Nearly 22,000 were polled.  France produced the highest numbers for Obama.   He got very wide margins in the UK, Spain, Australia, Canada, Germany--well, almost everywhere.   And here's NYT report on how analysts abroad view the debate--which revealed a skewed view of the world.

Horses and Bayonets

Early on during the debate I predicted this would happen and sure enough we now have a new meme.   As someone tweeted, Obama just lost the civil war re-enactors vote.  Some early images posted below.  Surely there is an image out there of Big Bird in a binder, on a horse, carrying a bayonet (and stabbing Jim Lehrer?).  For somewhat more serious coverage of post-debate and other reactions, go here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Post-Debate Polls and Others Reactions

UPDATE #3  Nate Silver at NYT in twetg helpfully sums of the debate polls:  "Average of CNN, CBS & post-debate polls: 1st: Romney +29;  VP: Biden +6;  2nd: Obama +10;  3rd: Obama +16."

For fun, check out some early images from the new Horses and Bayonets viral brigade. 

UPDATE #2   CNN poll of voters gives it to Obama 48% to 40%--and once again they admit sample skewed GOP.   This time, by 5%. In previous polls, the skew was 8% for GOP (see final paragraph below).  Obama won previous debate by about thesame margin.  Without GOP skew, tonight's would have been much bigger.

Yet CNN, on its site, outrageously leads with:  "A CNN/ORC International Poll following Monday's presidential debate found those who watched the third and final head-to-head matchup of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did not identify a clear winner." They also tweeted that out in an email.

Sixty percent of poll say Romney seemed like commander-in-chief. somewhat lower number than Obama (but poll with more Repubs). 

UPDATE #1  First instant poll, and most valid, from CBS,  with 521 undecided voters, scientific sample:  big win for Obama, 53%-23%, 24% tie.  Margin of error: 4%.  CBS poll after 1st debate: Romney wins by 24 points. CBS poll after 3rd debate: Obama wins by 30 point.  

PPP poll of swing state voters: Obama won the debate 53-42, and are planning to vote for him 51-45.

My view:  Obama won as easily as Romney took debate #1, though media will not spin that way, and GOPers and Fox (unlike Dems and MSNBC) won't admit that.  BTW, a new CBS poll tonight on national race gave Obama lead 48% to 46%. 

Earlier:  Okay, I'm back for the post-debate polling and spin.  I've followed the polling fallout more closely than anyone, I think, and will again.  Early pundit reaction:  Even some conservatives say Obama "won on points" but then claim Romney "passed commander-in-chief test."

Maddow going ballistic vs. Steve Schmidt and Romney on changing position again on Afghan war.  Calls it "disqualifying."  Don't hold your breath waiting for media to hit Romney on flip-flops. James Carville going wild saying so clear Obama won.  Repubs can only say: Romney scored on economy--not the subject of debate.

Sen. Rob Portman in spin room:  "Romney if anything seemed more ready to be commander in chief." Charles Krauthammer says this debate probably will make Romney president. But wanted him to be more "bellicose." Karl Rove on Foxcomplains to Greta's 3rd face that Obama said he "took a shot at bin Laden"--no, SEALs shot him,  Karl "corrects" him.

Reminder: CNN again admitted it's post-debate poll was skewed to GOP last week--didn't get as much attention because Obama won anyway.   Like it's poll's for the first debate and the Veep debate, it had, as they disclosed, about an 8% tilt toward GOPers.  The difference last week: after much hammering from me and a few others Wolf Blitzer stressed the "skewing" up front, not in small type on their Web site.  But Romney could do not so great tonight and still easily tie or "win" in the CNN poll.

Tagg and Those Ohio Voting Machines

MSNBC reports now, with former top Ohio elections official saying Romney son's financial share in voting machine compnay that supplies Ohio "doesn't look good."
Hart Intercivic supplies voting machines that will be used in Hamilton County, Ohio, one of the state’s most populous counties. In 2008, Barack Obama won the county with 209,000 votes—his third highest vote total among all Ohio’s 88 counties.
H.I.G. Capital, a large investment fund, is a “significant investor” in Hart Intercivic, according to an announcement put out last year by Hart. And H.I.G., in turn, is one of the largest partners, with nearly $10 billion of equity capital, of  Solamere Capital, the investment fund founded and run by Tagg Romney (pictured), Mitt’s eldest son, The Nation recently reported*.
Mitt Romney seeded the firm with a $10 million investment, offered strategic advice, and was the featured speaker at its first investor conference in 2010, The Nation reported.
Brunner, a Democrat, served as Ohio’s Secretary of state from 2007 until 2011. In 2007, a test conducted by her office found voting systems run by Hart Intercivic and four other companies had critical flaws that could allow them to be corrupted.

Remembering "Amnesia"

Jon Pousette-Dart remakes his late-1970s classic "Amnesia," as (what else) "Romnesia."

Tonight's Debate Song Pick

Great writer and guitarist Richard Thompson joined by son Teddy (who is swell in his own right) for his song, "Persuasion."  Any undecided listeners out there open to that?

This Gore Is a Winner

Video of the day:  Dozens of women sing "You Don't Own Me"--introduced by Lesley Gore herself!  And she reappears with pitch to women voters at the end.

Little Girl Shot--Mistaken for Skunk

I wish I was shocked to read just now that a young man in Pennsylvania took out his gun and plugged an eight-year-old girl dressed Halloween in a black costume with a white slash.  He reportedly thought, or was told, she was a skunk. 
According to the statement, Grant then retrieved a shotgun from the home. While his mother shined a flashlight at what they believed was a skunk, Thomas fired the gun, striking the still unidentified girl in the shoulder and abdomen.
The girl was flown by helicopter about 30 miles to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, where she underwent surgery and where police say she remains in critical condition.

Poll Dancing for Monday

UPDATE #3  ABC/Wash Post just out with it's first "daily tracking" poll.  It gives Obama a 1% national lead.  But a 7% lead among reg voters.  Among the details: He's up 14% with women and down 12% with men.   In nine  battleground states he now trails Romney by 4%, a switch from last month (but also not consistent with most other polls).  Note:  Obama leads, sometimes easily, in how he would handle almost every issue, raising question of why he is not leading by nice margin.  Couldn't be racial, right?

UPDATE #2  Gallup's daily tracker out at 1 p.m. and finds Obama gaining a point among likely voters to "only" trail by 6%.  Also picked up 2% among reg voters so now only trails by 1%.

NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll: Obama 70, Romney 25 among likely Latino voters; enthusiasm up to 68% vs. 59% in September.  Romney has "image problem."  Vote split in Florida, however, due to high Cuban population.

UPDATE #1  Lengthy Nate Silver take on the race today, finding Obama still in good shape, for now, in the key states, so still a 2-1 favorite to win in the stupid Electoral College.  Nate agrees with me that there has been no "bounce" for Obama after the debate, which he clearly won.  We wonder why.  It's possible he blew it so badly in the first debate--and Biden's mocking performance didn't help--that he locked about 48% in solidly for Romney now until Election Day.

New Quinnipac/CBS poll has Obama still up 5% in Ohio, though this is down from 10% in previous poll.   Muhlenberg poll in PA  also gives Obama 5% lead, easing some concerns for him.  

Politco/GWU poll gives Romney 2% edge nationwide, a 3% gain, but fair amount of poll from before last week's debate.  Also:  they give him 7% edge among the very extremely no doubt certainly will vote voters--same as Gallup's "likely voter" model.  Rasmussen, if you care, today shows Romney maintaining same 2% lead he had before the latest debate.  In fact, I have seen no evidence anywhere that Obama got any "bounce" expected after that debate.