Wall Street’s major indexes soared after U.S. home prices saw their best annual rise in seven years, and consumer confidence got another boost. But even before today’s stock-market gains, President Obama is in rare company when it comes to Wall Street returns.
…. I don’t think a strong stock market is necessarily proof of a robust economy. On the contrary, I care far more about unemployment, median wages, and economic growth than Wall Street returns. But the right shouldn’t try to have it both ways – if a bear market in 2009 is, in the minds of conservatives, clear proof that Obama’s agenda is misguided and dangerous, then by the same reasoning, should we interpret soaring Wall Street indexes as proof of Obama’s genius?
Ed Kilgore: ….. we’re having to come to grips with the fact that about half the states appear unlikely to participate fully in the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act …. that leaves quite a few (including most of the South) just flat out refusing to do anything for people with incomes under the federal poverty line. And that creates a very large “coverage gap … I’d suggest the “wingnut hole.”
ThinkProgress: How Obamacare Is Encouraging Employers To Cut Wasteful Spending And Promote Workers’ Health
In an effort to cut wasteful U.S. medical spending, certain employers will be scaling back expensive health plans available to their employees and encouraging workers to pursue more preventative and ongoing primary care. The move is being prompted by Obamacare provisions that encourage a more cost-sensitive and efficient approach to Americans’ health care than the status quo.
Bloomberg: The unofficial slogan for Massachusetts Democrats as they work toward a special U.S. Senate election next month is “Remember 2010.”
That was the year that political newcomer Scott Brown won the seat held for 46 years by the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and became the first Republican to prevail in a Massachusetts Senate race since 1972.
…. To demonstrate the party isn’t resting on its 3-to-1 voter registration edge over Republicans, Democratic leaders are lining up behind nominee Representative Ed Markey, 66, including first lady Michelle Obama, who is set to host a fundraiser for him today in Boston. The president, who has a 67 percent approval rating in the state according to a recent poll by Suffolk University, endorsed him yesterday.
But Dotster found this: First Lady Michelle Obama won’t be joining the president back home. She is scheduled to be in New York for Democratic National Committee fundraisers, including a gala for the lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities that features Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player.” (Chicago Tribune) – so, not sure which is right. Both??
Steve Benen: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s made quite a name for herself over the course of four terms in Congress, made a surprise announcement overnight: she won’t seek re-election…..
…. In recent elections, the right-wing Minnesotan eked out narrow victories — she very nearly lost last November — and recent polling suggested Bachmann would struggle to keep her seat in 2014. Quitting will save her the trouble of losing.
…. Bachmann will be missed, but mostly by the nation’s comedy writers.
10:40: Delivers remarks at Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay
11:45: Departs Green Bay
1:15: Arrives Las Vegas
2:10: Delivers remarks at Cheyenne Sports Complex, Las Vegas
3:25: Departs Las Vegas
5:55: Arrives Denver, Colorado
7:0: Delivers remarks at Coors Events Center, Denver
8:45: Departs Denver
1:05: Arrives Columbus, Ohio where he will stay overnight
Steve Benen: If the White House hopes to see initial unemployment claims drop just before the election, officials got their wish. The new figures from the Department of Labor – the last report before Election Day – show a move in the right direction:
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000 in the week of Oct. 21-27, keeping them in a range that indicates little change in U.S. hiring patterns over the past few months. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to fall to 365,000. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 372,000 from an original reading of 369,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
Toledo Blade: In the final few days of the presidential contest, Mitt Romney evidently recognizes that his opposition to the federal rescue of General Motors and Chrysler is costing him voter support he needs in Ohio and Michigan. So the Republican nominee is conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.
…. Mr. Romney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto industry, on which Ohio relies for one of every eight jobs. Voters in Ohio and Michigan — and the nation — need to remember that.
NYT Editorial: When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back. Not Mitt Romney’s campaign. Having broadcast an outrageously deceitful ad attacking the auto bailout, the campaign ignored the howls from carmakers and came back with more.
Mr. Romney apparently plans to end his race as he began it: playing lowest-common-denominator politics, saying anything necessary to achieve power and blithely deceiving voters desperate for clarity and truth.
….. Mr. Romney is providing a grim preview of what kind of president he would be.
Greg Sargent: The chatter continues this morning about GOP Governor Chris Christie’s astonishingly effusive praise of Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. After they toured the damage yesterday, Christie thanked Obama for their “great working relationship” and claimed Obama “sprung into action immediately.” The day before, Christie praised Obama’s storm response as “outstanding,” adding: “He deserves my praise, and he will get it regardless of what the calendar says.”
What’s striking about this is how directly it undermines one of the central arguments Mitt Romney is making against Obama, with only five days left until Election Day … Romney has been closing out the campaign with a series of ads claiming that he will work with Democrats to get things done in Washington and arguing that Obama utterly failed to persuade Republicans to work with him….
Now Americans are being treated to images of a Republican Governor extensively praising Obama for working with him cooperatively and displaying leadership and a propensity for quick action at a time of crisis.