1. Substance first: It’s increasingly clear that if Mitt Romney wins, the United States will be back in the torture business. Charlie Savage reports.
2. Excellent follow-up by Adam Serwer on the weakness of the Team Romney case for torture — and a reminder that Barack Obama has failed to do anything to make the ban on torture permanent.
3. Political scientist Joseph Cera argues that Mitt Romney won’t be able to pivot successfully to a forward-looking economic message (while ditching the “four years” retrospective question, which may well have backfired against him) precisely because voters seem to have become more confident about the economy going forward.
4. What’s it like for TV viewers in Ohio? Ed O’Keefe watches non-stop political ads in a crucial swing state.
5. Oh, the question about whether the polls are biased. I’m inclined to just skip over the whole thing — the Romney campaign and their friends have a major incentive to pretend that the race is closer than it currently appears to be, but there’s no reason for the rest of us to take that spin seriously. Still, if you have some doubts, Nate Cohn explains why there’s no reason to believe the polls are oversampling Democrats.
6. Which brings up another point: Why should we believe cries about polling bias from people who make demonstrably false claims about polling in 1980? Greg Mitchell, er, demonstrates.
7. I’m more skeptical that the “47 percent” thing has been having major electoral effect than most, but I do agree with what Jonathan Chait says about any damage to Romney and the Republicans from it is entirely deserved.
8. Yet another embarrassing-but-legal Mitt Romney tax avoidance strategy revealed; Jesse Drucker reports.
9. Jamelle Bouie: “I still can’t believe that Mitt Romney would run for president and somehow think we wouldn’t find out this stuff.”
10. My response: Story remains: He managed to get through the primaries without facing anyone with a halfway decent op-research team. And: Still, no excuse for not dumping it all back in April or May.
11. Somehow it doesn’t seem likely that calling Claire McCaskill — er, that’s United States Sen. Claire McCaskill — insufficiently ladylike is the path back to respectability for Todd Akin. Rachel Weiner reports.
12. Related item from National Journal: Republican insiders used to believe they would win back the Senate this year. Now? Nope.
13. Forty years of feminism: Alyssa Rosenberg’s close reading of two covers of Ms. Magazine. Really good, but I wish she had talked a bit about what’s happened to Wonder Woman’s face in the two pictures.
14. Some good news for international health efforts: a deal to slash prices on contraceptives for developing nations.
15. A dissent against early voting: Francis Wilkinson argues against it. I don’t think I agree, but I do think it’s odd to make a significant change in how elections work without a real discussion of it.
16. And great moments in United Nations prop use, collected by Joshua Keating.