Paul Krugman at The New York Times compares Sandy and Katrina:
Sorry, guys: polls show overwhelming approval for Mr. Obama’s handling of the storm, and a significant rise in his overall favorability ratings.E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post assesses the candidate of the extremist, tea-party-impacted 21st Century GOP:
And he deserves the bump. For the response to Sandy, like the success of the auto bailout, is a demonstration that Mr. Obama’s philosophy of government — which holds that the government can and should provide crucial aid in times of crisis — works. And conversely, the contrast between Sandy and Katrina demonstrates that leaders who hold government in contempt cannot provide that aid when it is needed.
Romney may have flipped and flopped and flipped again on issues he didn’t care about, but his view of American capitalism and American government never wavered. If Teddy Roosevelt fought against the policies of the Gilded Age, Obama is fighting a Republican Party determined to bring the Gilded Age back and undo the achievements of a century.Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post says it's the uncallable election, and you can just catch the whisper of hope for a Romney upset in her words:
One thing going on is information saturation that reflects but also shapes reality. To what extent may not be knowable, but it can’t be denied that the constant barrage of analysis, projection and prediction influences the very thing—human behavior—that the quantifiers attempt to capture.José Holguín-Veras at the Los Angeles Times writes about the donations Sandy's victims don't need:
Over the next few weeks, we are likely to see a frenzy of clothing drives and canned food drives. Pet supplies, dry goods and books will be donated and dispatched to the affected areas. For many good-hearted people, participating in this kind of giving feels more concrete and satisfying than simply writing a check. But, as we've learned from studying Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the Japanese tsunami and numerous other disasters, unsolicited donations are seldom useful and often burdensome.Ana Marie Cox at The Guardian:
The best estimates available suggest that about 60% of the supplies that arrive at a disaster site are not beneficial to the survivors and should not have been sent.
The people who are gaming out what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's praise of Obama means for 2016 are the ones with all the power. And I mean this literally: they have power, because no one camping out with candles and kerosene heaters is thinking about 2016. If you're thinking about 2016, you also have time on your hands from giving up on the poll-average pundit Pictionary in favor of cost-free speculation about the inner life of a man who seems pretty willing to let it all hang out.Jeremiah Goulka at TomDispatch writes that the Dogs of War are Barking.
Greg Mitchell at The Nation attempts to reprise his excellent record of picking how the majority will vote in the "battleground" based purely on newspaper endorsement of presidential candidates. In 2004, he got 13 of 14 right; in 2008, he got 12 of 13. His predictions? An even split. For Obama: Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For Romney: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin.
Leo Gerard at In These Times makes note of Mitt Romney's missed "George Washington moments":
At virtually any moment as he ran for president over the past two years, Romney could have very publically deplored Republican attempts to suppress Democratic votes. That’s because virtually continuously over that time, Republican-controlled legislatures, Republican governors and other GOP officials have concocted a variety of measures to wrest from Democrats their right to vote. These include passing onerous photo ID requirements, limiting early balloting and aggressively purging voter rolls. [...]Jon McWhorter at the New York Daily News:
A simple statement from Romney would have sufficed: winning by means of voter suppression and registration fraud is craven and beneath the dignity of anyone seeking public office. But he said nothing.
It might surprise some to know that after all President Obama has been through, all he has done, all he has run up against, that after this rich four-year pageant of challenge, confusion and coping as a commander in chief, a certain crowd’s take on it all is “He hasn’t done anything for black people!”Juan Cole at Alternet suggests that Mitt Romney might steer the United States toward a capitalist dictatorship:
One big difference between capitalist democracy (as in contemporary Germany and France) and capitalist dictatorship is the willingness of the business classes to play by the rules of democratic elections, to allow a free, fair and transparent contest, to acknowledge the rights of unions, and to respect the universal franchise. Businessmen in such a society share a civic ethic that sees these goods as necessary for a well ordered society, and therefore as ultimately good for business. They may also be afraid of the social disruptions (as in France) that would attend any attempt to whittle away workers' rights. Attempts to limit the franchise, to ban unions, and to manipulate the electorate with bald-faced lies are all signs of a barracuda business class that secretly seeks its class interests above all others in society, and which is not afraid of workers and middle classes because the latter are apolitical, apathetic and disorganized.Timothy Noah at The New Republic writes that liberals are "predictably" worrying about what happens if Obama wins.
The outcome of the elections will be determined by the voters' decision as to which of the two candidates is good for America. But if any of them are vacillating in their vote over whether Obama has been a good president for Israel, the answer is yes.Aaron B. McConnell at The New York Times examines what's happened to the military-industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address in 1961:
But Eisenhower’s least heeded warning — concerning the spiritual effects of permanent preparations for war — is more important now than ever. Our culture has militarized considerably since Eisenhower’s era, and civilians, not the armed services, have been the principal cause. From lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense spending, to TV programs and video games like “NCIS,” “Homeland” and “Call of Duty,” to NBC’s shameful and unreal reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas. Of course, veterans should be thanked for serving their country, as should police officers, emergency workers and teachers. But no institution — particularly one financed by the taxpayers — should be immune from thoughtful criticism.