Open up the presidential debates, writes Cato’s Gene Healy: “So stock up on the hard stuff: The “zinger” shootout tomorrow in Denver promises to be the same old stale, stage-managed affair. That’s the way the Demopublican duopoly wants it, and the Commission on Presidential Debates — the gatekeeper corporation set up by the two major parties in 1986 — makes sure the duopoly gets its way.” (Washington Examiner)

Michael Hayden: When intel meets the political debate. (Washington Post)

What if the presidential debate is boring. It could happen: “Amid all the hype about Wednesday night’s debate being the political event to end all political events, it’s important to remember that there’s a very real chance that the set-to delivers far less drama than the political class seems to believe it will,” write Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake. (Washington Post)

Audience boos Scott Brown for naming Scalia as ‘model justice.’ (ThinkProgress)

Room for Debate asks: Decades after the apparent arrival of a post-racial New South, and after years of economic and social changes, why does the Deep South remain so much more conservative than the rest of the country? (New York Times)

“So far this year, public housing has accounted for nearly 20 percent of all shootings in the city, 10 percent of felony assaults and 11 percent of rapes — though less than 5 percent of city residents live in the projects. NYPD “vertical patrolling” of public housing for trespassers, who are often there for the worst of reasons, is a key aspect of bringing safety to their law-abiding residents,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald. (New York Post)

Jim Marshall: How Karzai could make himself a hero. (New York Times

Victor Davis Hanson: The neurotic Middle East. (National Review)