OurFuture.org's Sam Pizzigati:  "Good manufacturing jobs have largely disappeared, outsourced away. Most Americans no longer make things. They provide services. We could, of course, have a robust 'service' economy, if we built that economy on providing quality services to all Americans. But providing these quality services, in everything from education to health to transportation, would take a significant public investment — and significant tax revenue from America’s rich ... That leaves young people today, as economist Jeff Faux points out in his new book The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class, with a stark choice. ... Young people can become engineers and programmers and spend their careers in 'pitiless competition with people all over the world' just as smart and trained but 'willing to work for much less.' Or they can join the servant economy and 'service those few at the top who have successfully joined the global elite.' In this new 'servant economy,' we’re not talking just nannies and chauffeurs. We’re talking, as journalist Camilla Long notes, 'pilots, publicists, art dealers, and bodyguards' — a 'newer, brighter phalanx of personal helpers.'"
Romney position on FEMA: shut it down. HuffPost:  "During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response. 'Absolutely,' he said ... A Romney official reaffirmed the former governor's position Sunday evening in an email."
Bill Clinton to help close deal while President manages storm response. The Hill:  "'When you were down, you were out and your whole economy was threatened, the president had your back,' Clinton said. 'You’ve got to have his back, too.'"
In OH, Romney tries to overcome his opposition to the auto bailout with deeply misleading ad. HuffPost:  "...the ad's narrator says that President Barack Obama 'took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.' ... [But] Obama supported a bridge loan from the government to help the auto companies go through bankruptcy, while Romney wanted the private sector to pick up the tab ... basically every principal involved in rescuing the auto industry said at the time, there was no money available from the private sector during the height of the recession ... the ad accuses Obama of selling 'Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.' ... Fiat, the Italian company that now owns Chrysler, is building Jeeps in China. But the company is not moving jobs from America to do it ... [The ad] displays a line from a Bloomberg story stating that Chrysler 'plans to return Jeep output to China,' ... Chrysler has denied the report, and multiple news outlets have called out the Romney campaign for using it in on the stump."
Bank on Romney gutting Medicaid, says NYT's Paul Krugman:  "...while Medicaid is generally viewed as health care for the nonelderly poor, that’s only part of the story. And focusing solely on who Medicaid covers can obscure an equally important fact: Medicaid has been more successful at controlling costs than any other major part of the nation’s health care system ... Mr. Romney has said that a lack of health insurance doesn’t kill people in America; oh yes, it does, and states that expand Medicaid coverage show striking drops in mortality ..."
The agendas of Obama and Romney are clear, says NYT's Bill Keller:  "With Obama, we can anticipate that the unfinished business of universal health care and the re-regulation of the Wall Street casino will be finished. We can expect investments in education, infrastructure and innovation, followed by a gradual, balanced attack on deficits that includes higher taxes on the wealthiest ... If Romney is elected ... we can fairly expect a rollback of universal health care in favor of the rough marketplace, and at least a partial dismantling of regulations on banks, extractive industries and whatever other industries squeal about job-killing red tape. We can expect a lowering of the safety net, especially a retrenchment of Medicaid and a marketization of Medicare. His deficit plan will rely on draconian spending cuts and on the supply-side superstition that tax cuts automatically produce growth."
But Romney's gains are because he is denying his agenda. Jared Bernstein:  "...what bothers me about the Romney campaign and the current moment is not just the policy agenda. It’s their ability to completely deny that agenda and gain ground in the polls. It’s Romney’s ability to very successfully argue that he doesn’t really have a big tax cut (the first debate), that the tax cut he doesn’t really have can be paid for by magic math, that his foreign policy is the same as the President’s (the last debate), that his plan will add 12 million jobs—the number that forecasters tell us we’re likely to see regardless of who wins."
"Democrats Hold Early Voting Advantage Over Republicans" reports Bloomberg:  "[In] Iowa and Nevada -- Democrats are building a significant advantage in early voting. Who has the edge is more muddled in the bigger swing states of Ohio and Florida, while Republicans have a narrow lead in Colorado ... If current trends for ballots requested and ballots returned [in Iowa] remain unchanged through this week, he said Obama’s advantage could become almost insurmountable for Republican challenger Mitt Romney."
Black churches redouble early voting efforts after FL Gov. ends early voting on Sunday before Election Day. NYT:  "Across Florida, black churches have responded with ferocity to changes that Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and the Legislature made to eliminate six days of early voting this year — including the Sunday before Election Day, which had been the traditional day to mobilize black congregations. In 2008, black voters cast early ballots at twice the rate of white voters, and turned out in significant strength on the Sunday before Election Day to help propel Mr. Obama to victory here."
"What Will Hurricane Sandy Do to Early Voting?" asks The Atlantic:  "The storm could potentially slow the pace of of early or in-person absentee voting in the three swing states of Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina..."
Obama campaign holding its own against the Super PACs. so far. NYT:  "Over the last month, the pro-Obama forces have run more ads and, more critically, have reached audiences in roughly the same numbers as Mitt Romney and the group of well-financed conservative super PACs working to elect him ... The lack of a discernible Republican advantage is all the more surprising because Mr. Romney and conservatives have been spending more money ... But Mr. Romney and his supporters have started to buy more advertising time. And with eight days until the election, there is still plenty of time for them to increase their engagement."
Handful of billionaires taking power away from traditional Republican Party. NYT's Tom Edsall:  "The newly empowered billionaires are positioned to challenge the Republican Party at its point of greatest vulnerability, during the primaries. The three major party organizations — the Republican National, Congressional and Senatorial Committees – cannot, except in unusual circumstances, intervene in primaries. Those are to be decided by voters, not the party. The new class of financial bosses, equipped to legitimate primary candidates at all levels, has no such restriction over participation in primaries. Instead, the incentives are substantial to engage full force in the nomination process where the marginal value of each dollar is higher and more likely to influence the outcome than in the general election."