With stakes high, Obama hits back at Romney in a fiery second debate: “A far more aggressive President Obama showed up for his second debate with Mitt Romney on Tuesday, and at moments their town-hall-style engagement felt more like a shouting match than a presidential debate. The two men challenged each other on the facts, talked over each other and stalked each other across the stage.” (Washington Post)

Glenn Kessler fact-checks the town hall presidential debate: We heard some oldies but goodies in Tuesday night’s feisty debate between President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney. Here are some factual highlights–or lowlights… (Washington Post)

Wonkbook: Everything you need to know about the second presidential debate. (Washington Post)

Winners and losers from the second presidential debate. (Washington Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: President Barack Obama aimed to regain lost ground in Tuesday night’s debate against Gov. Mitt Romney. Did he succeed? Or was this debate another sweeping victory for Romney? The Wilson Center’s Aaron David Miller says it was no slam dunk for either side. 

Romney and Obama are now neck and neck: “President Obama clearly came ready to play Tuesday night, and Mitt Romney may have touched the borders of disrespect, but in the end I came away convinced (once more) that this race will go down to the wire,” writes CAP’s Matt Miller. (Washington Post

A presidency squandered: “The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress — while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?” asks Victor Davis Hanson. (National Review)

Room for Debate asks: At a time when low rates have led to a boom in new and refinanced mortgages, recent moves by the Federal Reserve have allowed banks to make even more profit off mortgage-backed bonds than they did previously. And those rates could be a half-point lower if banks were satisfied with the profit margins of just a few years ago. But should the government consider cutting out the middleman, as it does with student loans, and issue mortgages itself? (New York Times)

Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce: Against the wind. (New York Post)

Cato’s Michael Tanner: Take this economy and shove it. (National Review)

AEI’s Jonah Goldberg: Red, blue and faithful. (National Review)

Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth: White House to contractors: Break the law, we’ll pay the costs. (Washington Examiner)