OurFuture.org's Robert Borosage:  "...who in the Congress stands with the middle class? To answer this question, the Campaign for America’s Future and TheMiddleClass.org are publishing its Middle Class Voting Guide. It grades every Senate and House member on the basis of 10 votes over the last session of Congress that we consider central to middle-class concerns. It is presented in a user-friendly web page -- themiddelcass.org/voterguide -- that allows voters to locate their legislators by zip code, see their total grades, and probe their votes on each of the 10 issues. Voters can also click on their state, and see how the state delegation ranks on these issues. We also offer a handy guide to the worst and the best of the legislators."
Unemployment rate drops to 7.8%. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  "The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000 ... The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point ... there were 802,000 discouraged workers in September, a decline of 235,000 from a year earlier ..."
Fed signals it will have a "jobs trigger" for when to pull back monetary stimulus. Bloomberg:  "The Federal Reserve signaled it’s moving toward linking its outlook for near-zero interest rates to specific economic conditions such as a decline in the unemployment rate. The move would represent a shift from the Fed’s policy of tying low rates to the calendar."
Entrepreneurs starting up with fewer employees. NYT:  "In 1999, the typical new business had 7.7 employees; its counterpart in 2011 had 4.7 ... the implications for the American work force are worrisome, and may help explain why economic output is growing much faster than employers are adding jobs."
Walmart walkout. NYT:  "Several dozen Walmart workers in Southern California staged a one-day strike on Thursday, according to workers and union officials, a move that culminated in a rally of some 250 workers and supporters in front of a Walmart store in Pico Rivera ... they were mainly protesting what they said was management’s frequent retaliation against employees who spoke up about working conditions. Several of the workers, who said this was the first-ever strike against Walmart in the United States, also said they were protesting low wages and short hours."
"Romney's Performance Is a Test for the Media" says TNR's Jonathan Cohn:  "Romney on Wednesday night tried make voters believe he never endorsed tax cuts for the rich, that he can magically reduce taxes without raiding the deficit, and that he can repeal Obamacare without making it more difficult for people to get health insurance ... Will the media do its job, like it did after the Ryan speech?"
NYT's Paul Krugman eviscerates Romney for false claim about pre-existing conditions in his health care plan:  "'No. 1,' declared Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s debate, 'pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.' No, they aren’t ... What Mr. Romney actually proposes is that Americans with pre-existing conditions who already have health coverage be allowed to keep that coverage even if they lose their job — as long as they keep paying the premiums. As it happens, this is already the law of the land ... What Mr. Romney did in the debate, in other words, was, at best, to play a word game with voters, pretending to offer something substantive for the uninsured while actually offering nothing. For all practical purposes, he simply lied about what his policy proposals would do."
Top adviser tries to not to admit Romney does not extend coverage to uninsured people with pre-existing conditions. CNN:  "Asked at Wednesday's debate what he would put in place of President Barack Obama's health care law, Romney offered two particular provisions: 'Number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. Number two, young people are able to stay on their family plan.' ... Fehrnstrom said 'the governor is a federalist when it comes to health care," and supports giving state governments flexibility to craft their own state laws.' When pressed whether Romney would require states to include a pre-existing conditions stipulation in their legislation, Fehrnstrom answered: 'We will give the state initiatives and money so that they can manage these decisions on their own.'"
Obama campaign adjusts to deal with newly Etch-a-Sketched Romney. NYT:  "Mr. Obama’s campaign made an early decision ... to campaign against Mr. Romney as a conservative, wary that attacking him as equivocal would create an impression with more centrist independent voters that he did not truly hold the right-leaning positions he espoused during the primaries. So several officials suggested they would approach his new tone by suggesting he was not being honest about his plans."
Romney also lied about Obama's record on green jobs. NYT's Robert Semple:  "[Take] Mr. Romney’s assertion that 'half' of the companies funded by the green energy portion of the stimulus have gone out of business. His campaign later said he meant to refer only to the Energy Department’s $40 billion loan guarantee program, but even here he was not even within hailing distance of the truth. The program has produced one notable casualty which Republicans cannot stop harping on — a solar panel company called Solyndra, whose bankruptcy cost taxpayers $535 million, as well as two smaller companies. But the bottom line, so far, is that only three of the 33 companies that received loans have failed, representing less than 2 percent of money budgeted."
"Mitt Romney finds his way to ‘Sesame Street,’ but they’re not happy to see him" reports McClatchy:  "President Barack Obama didn’t respond during the debate to Romney’s promise to cut the budget with a whack at PBS, but he jumped in Thursday, telling a Denver crowd, 'We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.' ... PBS said[,] 'The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget.' PBS and its supporters said eliminating the subsidy wouldn’t help the federal debt but the effect on the public 'would be devastating.'"
8-year old writes Mitt Romney:  "When I grow up I'm going to get married and I want my kids to watch it so do not cut it off. You find something else to cut off!"
We've seen these lies before. NY Mag's Jonathan Chait:  "During the 2000 election, the growth of a budget surplus offered the country a major choice. Al Gore proposed to use most of the surplus to retire the national debt and the balance for public investment. George W. Bush proposed a large, regressive income tax that Gore warned would exacerbate inequality and jeopardize the soundness of the budget.
Then, as now, the Republican simply denied over and over that his plan would do what the Democrats said it would ... But Bush in fact followed through on what his plan actually did, which happened to be what Gore described it as, and not what Bush described it as."
"Romney’s Own Website Refutes His Claim About Tax Cuts For The Rich"  reports ThinkProgress.
"New Romney Tax Idea Could Crush Charitable Giving" reports TPM:  "If Romney were to impose a cap on the total amount individuals could benefit from these deduction, people would likely respond by shifting priorities, experts say. But some priorities are more easily shifted than others. While it’s very difficult to downsize a home, and a bitter pill to accept stingier health insurance benefits, cutting smaller checks to churches, universities, and ballet companies is a no-brainer."
After defending for days, Romney suddenly retracts 47% comment. National Journal:  "'I said something that's just completely wrong,' Romney told Sean Hannity on Fox News ... Romney initially described his remarks as not 'elegantly stated' but said they reflected the choice in the election between 'a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits' or 'a free-enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams.'"
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are meeting with Senators, making tweaks to debt plan, reports Politico:  "...Simpson and Bowles are looking to retool their deficit reduction package to decrease the amount of revenue it raises — to address those concerns from the right regarding tax increases. And they’re zoning in on increased tweaks to health care programs and want to bolster social safety net protections for low-income Americans — to address concerns from the left."
Bowles-Simpson is already partly implemented, notes CBPP:  "Policymakers have already enacted about half of Bowles-Simpson’s nearly $2.9 trillion of program cuts ... The majority of the savings in Bowles-Simpson that haven’t yet been achieved is on the revenue side."
"Liberals slam Obama on Social Security" reports The Hill:  "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday strongly criticized President Obama for not taking a more forceful stance on Social Security in the presidential campaign ... 'I was dumbfounded,' said [Campaign for America's Future Co-Director Roger] Hickey. 'He could have said, "Lets see if we agree on Social Security, I’m not in favor of cutting benefits, I’m not in favor of privatizing like you and your running mate have advocated."'"