Important new research from political scientist Larry Bartels has a bit of good news for Barack Obama: contrary to previous findings which stressed that voters mostly care about recent economic news, it seems now that voters “reward” presidents if income growth in their first year of their terms was bad. Note: while Bartels is brilliant and while I tend to find these sorts of projections very plausible, it’s important to discount them to at least some extent because they’re based on just a relative handful of cases and there’s always the possibility that something new will happen this time around. Still, this is something to take seriously, and certainly good news for Obama.And also:
1. On the Herman Cain scandal front, it can’t be a good thing to have a conservative talk show host in Iowa saying that Cain acted inappropriately in a visit to his station. Not a good thing at all. Reported by Jonathan Martin.
2. Earlier today I read the polls and found good news for Romney, but David S. Bernstein has been doing the reporting, and he finds a large group of 2007 Romney donors who have joined the Ex-Mitt Club (yes, we’re brothers).
3. And Jamelle Bouie argues that Mitt Romney should wish for tougher competition. I’m not sure I’m convinced – maybe it just would mean that he’d lose – but I recommend reading his case for it.
4. Scott Bland has new polling on how economic devastation has hit young voters especially hard.
5. Have to read about the women of the White House Counsel’s office.
6. If you’re confused about conservative myths about the subprime collapse, Freddie and Fannie, and Congress, Mike Konczal has a very helpful primer. My favorite part: the same conservatives who blame the GSEs now spent the pre-crisis decade complaining the Freddie and Fannie weren’t
making enough irresponsible loans expanding home ownership quickly enough.
7. Five questions about Greece to keep an eye on, from Sarah Kliff.
8. I totally agree with Kevin Drum that modifying ACA in order to defuse opposition is a hopeless task.
9. Also with Aaron Carroll on the same subject: “Regardless, I still wish we could see more stories detailing to the public what decisions like this [on the individual mandate] will mean to actual Americans instead of to the few hundred people running for office.”
10. This matters: “Today, more than 12,000 people — 85 percent of whom are black — serving time in prison for crack cocaine offenses will have the opportunity to have their sentences reviewed by a federal judge and possibly reduced.” New federal guidelines go into effect; Jorge Rivas has the story.
11. Sacrifice? Digby doesn’t want to hear about it.
12. The Occupy folks are petitioning the Justice Department for protection of their right to, as they put it, “assemble and speak freely.”
13. Erik Loomis has the history of US general strikes.
14. Nick Baumann wants to know who is funding the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin efforts to rig the electoral college.
15. Brad Plumer profiles Fed dissenter Charles Evans.
16. And Alyssa Rosenberg has the scoop on financial regulation in the movies during and before the Great Depression. Fascinating.