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RCP Obama vs. Romney: Obama +1.0%; 7-day change: Obama -1.7%.

RCP Obama approval: 47.6%; 7-day change: -0.7%.

Intrade percent chance of Obama win: 56.7%; 7-day change: -1.4%.

Top story: The Republican National Convention

Mitt Romney is now officially the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. "The Republican Party on Tuesday formally bestowed its presidential nomination on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, launching its convention here with two goals: to make the GOP contender more appealing and to sharpen the case against giving President Obama a second term." Karen Tumulty and David A. Fahrenthold in The Washington Post.

Lucian Perkins / For The Washington Post

But a pre-convention poll shows sour numbers for the Rom-i-nee. "Even as he runs evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, Mitt Romney — the newly official Republican presidential nominee — continues to trail the president in one regard: basic popularity. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 40 percent of voters say they have favorable impressions of Romney, with 50 percent saying so about Obama. And among all adults, Romney’s popularity has dipped since earlier in the month, to 35 percent, with a record high (albeit by a single point) 51 percent holding unfavorable opinions." Jon Cohen in The Washington Post.

Romney's party turns its platform sharply rightward. "The new platform — with its call to reshape Medicare to give fixed amounts of money to future beneficiaries so they can buy their own coverage, its tough stance on illegal immigration and its many calls to shrink the size and scope of government — shows just how far rightward the party has shifted in both tone and substance in the decades since it adopted the 1980 platform, which was considered a triumph for conservatives at the time...[S]ome political scientists say that party platforms do matter. Gerald M. Pomper, a professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University, studied meaningful platform pledges from 1944 to 1976 — and later updated his work by looking at the 1990s — and found that winning political parties try to redeem roughly 70 percent of their concrete platform pledges. " Michael Cooper in The New York Times.

Read: The full 2012 Republican Party platform.

Wonkbookmark: The Washington Post's live grid of convention converage.

In brief: Winners and losers from yesterday at the convention.

Charts! The graph you should see before watching the convention.

Wonkbook's guide to the convention speeches

NJ Gov. Chris Christie, the keynote speaker, on leadership and the example of his state. "This stage and this moment are very improbable for me. A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans. A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight... Here’s what we believe as Republicans...We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up...We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements...We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete...[R]eal leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls." Rachel Weiner in The Washington Post.

@davidfrum: That was not a good speech by Christie. No message of hope, way too much emphasis on NJ record - opening unnecessary vulnerability

Ann Romney on love and Mitt. "I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country. I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children...At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up. He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%...I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America! It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance." Rachel Weiner in The Washington Post.

@petersuderman: I found Ann Romney's speech totally charming, disarming, and likeable. But it provided almost no substantive reason to vote for Mitt.

VA Gov. Bob McDonnell on pro-business government. "We need a President who will say to a small businesswoman: congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that! Small businesses don’t come out of Washington D.C. pre-made on flat bed trucks. That coffee shop in Henrico; that florist in Virginia Beach….that bakery in Radford…they were all built by entrepreneurial Americans with big dreams….not a big spending government with a wide open wallet full of other people’s money!" Rachel Weiner in The Washington Post.

@Ben_German: GOP Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, at Repub. convention, calls EPA the 'employment prevention agency.'

SC Gov. Nikki Haley on the values of 'you didn't build that.' "My parents started a business out of the living room of our home and, 30-plus years later, it was a multimillion dollar company...But there wasn't a single day that was easy and there wasn't a single day my Mom and Dad didn't put everything they had into making that business a success...[M]y parents loved that when they came to America, if you worked hard, the only things that could stop you were the limits you placed on yourself. Unfortunately, these past few years, you can work hard, try to be as successful as possible, follow the rules, and President Barack Obama will do everything he can to stand in your way." Ramsey Cox in The Hill.

@resnikoff: Nikki Haley: "We deserve a President Mitt Romney." Oh my god, what if she's right? We are the worst.

WI Gov. Scott Walker on choices in elections. "Elections have consequences! As was the case in Wisconsin two years ago, too many Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction. But Mitt Romney understands, like I understand, that people – not governments – create jobs. Sadly, the federal government seems to be going in the opposite direction. We need someone to turn things around in America. That leader is Governor Mitt Romney...With [Romney's] pick [of Rep. Paul Ryan for his running mate] he showed us that the “R” next to his name doesn’t just stand for Republican, it stands for Reformer. Now, more than ever, we need reformers: leaders who think more about the next generation than just the next election." Fox News Insider.

@ezraklein: Scott Walker is way better at giving a speech than the other Republicans who have been on the stage tonight.

NV Gov. Brian Sandoval on the American Dream. "I stand here tonight humbled to share with you the story of a nation, a state, and of one man. It is the story of America itself—of courageous, freedom-loving visionaries who believed in the promise of opportunity, rather than the divine right of kings...We must leave Tampa this week on a mission to remind Americans they deserve more than the status quo. They deserve to dream big. We must remind Americans that the promise of opportunity remains unbroken—that every person in this great nation can succeed through hard work, courage, and personal responsibility." Direct transcript from Governor's blog.

@ed_kilgore: As former convention speechwriter, amazed at how little handlers cared about pre-keynote speakers. Tired stuff, poor audience react.

Speaker of the House John Boehner on the need for a change in leadership. "Throw him out...President Obama just doesn’t get this...So in 70 days, when the American people walk into the voting booth, what should we do? Throw him out...We can do better. We can do a lot better. It starts with throwing out the politician who doesn’t get it, and electing a new president who does...When I met Paul Ryan 22 years ago, he was a student at Miami of Ohio volunteering on my campaign. Soon, he will be our party's nominee for vice president of the United States. Who says this isn't the greatest country on Earth?" Michael Catallni in National Journal.

@pourmecoffee: This seems like a convention to elect Barack Obama not-President, which is not a real thing.

Rick Santorum on hands. "When my grandfather died, I remember as a kid kneeling at his casket and not being able to take my eyes off his thick strong hands — hands that dug his path in life — and gave his family a chance — at living the American Dream...I held its hand. I shook the hand of the American Dream. And it has a strong grip...I shook hands of farmers and ranchers who made America the bread basket of the world. Hands weathered and worn. And proud of it...A vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will put our country back in the hands of leaders who understand what America can and, for the sake of our children, must be to keep the dream alive." Fox News Insider.

@zackbeauchamp: Santorum mentioned Romney three times, for those you who are curious. Hands? 19 times.

Frmr. Democratic Rep. Artur Davis on words and action. "Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don't end well," he said, referring to the 2008 Democratic convention. Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo...But dreams meet daybreak: the jobless know what I mean, so do the families who wonder how this administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting. So many of those high-flown words have faded." BET.

@mattyglesias: Reconsidering all my core ideological beliefs after hearing that Artur Davis did.

TX Sen. candidate Ted Cruz on Hispanics in the GOP. "Unfortunately, President Obama’s campaign is trying to divide America — separating us all into groups...telling seniors that Medicare will be taken away; Hispanics, that we’re not welcome here; and sending the Vice President to preach a message of division. It’s tragic, how far we’ve come from hope and change...My father is here tonight...When he came to America, el no tenia nada, pero tenia Corazon. He had nothing, but he had heart, a heart for freedom. Thank you, Dad." Jay Root in The Texas Tribune.

@jbouie: I’m actually a little frightened of Ted Cruz. Dude is a genuine extremist.

What it's like on the floor of the Republican National Convention. "The convention convened, finally, at 2 p.m., with the prayers, the gush of procedural pronouncements, the first pounding numbers by G.E. Smith’s rock band and, at last, the requisite appearance of delegates in silly hats. The Texans wore white cowboy hats, while the West Virginians wore hard hats saying 'Coal keeps the lights on,' and the Kansans dressed like characters from 'The Wizard of Oz.' One guy from Wisconsin wore a cheesehead. Republican delegates have no desire to blend into a crowd — sartorially or ideologically...Political conventions in the modern era are group-hug spectacles, particularly on television. There is one main purpose, which is the canonization of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. But conventions are rowdier down on the floor, in the corridors, in the hotel bars." Joel Achenbach and Aaron Blake in The Washington Post.

@pourmecoffee: Ron Paul has climbed out of some kind of sewer beneath convention center and is speaking through a mask calling for revolution.

Republican Senate candidates got lots of speaking time. "In an effort nearly eclipsed by the presidential campaign, the Republican Party is using its national convention to promote the party's Senate candidates in hopes of emerging from 2012 with control of both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. A handful of top GOP Senate prospects addressed the convention Tuesday." Janet Hook in The Wall Street Journal.

But House Republicans were kept out of the spotlight. "House Republicans, who less than two years ago were the fresh insurgent face of their political party, are being granted little prominence at the Republican National Convention as Mitt Romney takes over...The spotlight will shine on only a few, including Sean P. Duffy of Wisconsin, a friend of Mr. Ryan’s, and Mia Love, an African-American running for Congress in Utah whose presence here has meant at least as much to the Republican Party as her speaking slot on Tuesday night meant to her...[T]he scarcity of his colleagues here may reflect the unease within the party for an institution whose popularity is near rock bottom." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.

@davidfrum: Q: why arent we hearing at this convention from young people who cant get their first job, workers still unemployed after 6 months, etc.?

Boring but important: Convention passes change to party rules. "The RNC rules committee last week adopted a rule under which states would be required to allocate delegates according to the statewide vote – a move that was pretty clearly aimed at avoiding situation like this year, when Ron Paul supporters effectively took over the delegate-nominating process in a few states that he didn’t win. Some states, like Maine, currently do not allocate delegates based on the statewide vote, but rather through a lengthy and complicated process that follows. In addition, the rules committee adopted another rule that would allow for the committee to changes its rules between conventions. Currently, a full convention vote is needed to change the rules." Aaron Blake in The Washington Post.

PARKER: Missing the convention is LA Gov. Bobby Jindal. "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is either the luckiest or unluckiest man in America. Every year about this time, he gets slammed with a potentially catastrophic natural disaster and has to miss all the fun...This week, his nemesis is Hurricane Isaac, which has been bearing down on his state...Based on my own observations and interviews with Jindal, no one less enjoys the glad-handing required of politicians. He’s far too serious a thinker — and his multitasking attention span too like a hummingbird’s...It must be painful for someone like Jindal to stand by as lesser mortals try to wrap their minds around policy issues he wrestled to the ground as a mere child. At age 24, Jindal, then-secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, magically transformed the budget for the state’s Medicaid program from a $400-million deficit to a $220-million surplus. At 26, he led a bipartisan Medicare reform plan." Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post.

Infographic: The Republican National Convention by the numbers.

KLEIN: Romney is a very, very good politician. "Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts, one of the bluest states in the union. He used to describe himself as a pro-choice progressive. He signed a health-care reform law that was the predecessor to Obamacare, and included an individual mandate. He’s lost more elections than he’s won. He’s a finance guy in a populist moment. And he’s running in a party that’s swung far to the right, that sees Obama’s health-care plan as the single largest threat to the country, that is obsessed with winning, and that has never much liked Romney." Ezra Klein in the Washington Post.

BERNSTEIN: They didn't build that, even though they said they did. "Quite a few people noted during the day noted how remarkable it was that they build the entire day around an out of context quote from Barack Obama; they spent the day asserting that, yes, indeed, we did build that. Only they didn't, really. The best one was the guy from Nevada whose entire business, apparently (according to him, that is) was getting government contracts...I think it was for road signs. And how disappointed he was when the stimulus didn't give him any new business. But all day long, we heard speaker after speaker start to explain how they, alone, had built their business, only to eventually credit their family, their workers, their communities." Jonathan Bernstein at A Plain Blog About Politics.

@mattyglesias: Do they show any convention stuff on broadcast TV anymore? I don't have cable and don't really want to stream it while working.

BRUNI: Conventions are insincere. "As often as not, a convention is a communal lie, during which speakers and members of the audience project an excitement 10 times greater than what they really feel and a confidence about the candidate that they only wish they could muster. It’s balloons and ginned-up fervor and manufactured swagger and more balloons. And in Tampa, the helium and revelry obscure a great deal of doubt." Frank Bruni in The New York Times.

@R_Thaler: Do ANY undecided voters watch the conventions? Find me one.

Top op-eds

ALDRICH: What political science has to say about hurricanes. "As a political scientist (I taught at Tulane at the time), I decided to study how communities respond to natural disasters. I’ve concluded that the density and strength of social networks are the most important variables — not wealth, education or culture — in determining their resilience in the face of catastrophe...There’s no doubt that speedy, efficient distribution of emergency shelter, food, medical care and clothing are among the essential responsibilities of government. But at a time of scarcity, with governments and charities facing financial strain, a focus on the social infrastructure of vulnerable communities may be the best (and most cost-effective) survival strategy." Daniel P. Aldrich in The New York Times.

FELDSTEIN: Romney's tax math is sound. "Mitt Romney's plan to cut taxes and offset the resulting revenue loss by limiting tax breaks has been attacked as 'mathematically impossible.'...Careful analysis shows this is not the case...I decided to analyze the Romney plan using the most recent IRS data...And what do we get when we apply a 30% marginal tax rate to the $636 billion in itemized deductions? Extra revenue of $191 billion—more than enough to offset the revenue losses from the individual income tax cuts proposed by Gov. Romney." Martin Feldstein in The Wall Street Journal.

SOLOMON: Fuel economy standards need to keep rising. "Both Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney say they want to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, an important goal that will make the nation less beholden to the Middle East and will create jobs, increase wages and reduce the trade deficit. Their strategies for getting us there, however, differ vastly. Obama's approach, encompassed in today's fuel-economy rule, includes making cars more fuel-efficient so consumers fill up less often and the U.S. reduces its consumption of oil. Automakers are required to more than double fuel efficiency in vehicles by 2025, so that new cars average 54.5 miles per gallon. The administration says the policy will reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day by 2025 -- as much as half of what the U.S. currently imports each day."Deborah Solomon in Bloomberg.

DALLEK: Cut the piety. American politics has always been a blood sport. "The current presidential-campaign season has been marked by complaints that it has been inordinately abusive and untruthful. There is no question that some of the allegations being tossed around by the candidates or their surrogates are distorted and unfair. But there is much to question when pundits and other political scolds decry the 'unprecedented' negativity of the campaigns. Political vitriol is a familiar enough characteristic of American history." Robert Dallek in The Wall Street Journal.

Top long reads

Sarah Stillman investigates the consequences for police informants: "Informants are the foot soldiers in the government’s war on drugs. By some estimates, up to eighty per cent of all drug cases in America involve them, often in active roles like Hoffman’s. For police departments facing budget woes, untrained C.I.s provide an inexpensive way to outsource the work of undercover officers...Every day, offenders are sent out to perform high-risk police operations with few legal protections. Some are juveniles, occasionally as young as fourteen or fifteen. Some operate through the haze of addiction; others, like Hoffman, are enrolled in state-mandated treatment programs that prohibit their association with illegal drugs of any kind. Many have been given false assurances by the police, used without regard for their safety, and treated as disposable pawns of the criminal-justice system. The recruitment of young informants often involves risks that are incommensurate with the charges that they are facing. And the costs of cooperating can be high."

Thursday jazz interlude: Bill Evans Trio, "Solar".

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

Still to come: Good and bad economic news from Europe; very few employers plan to drop insurance coverage due to Obamacare; could the filibuster be unconstitutional; new fuel economy standards; and something wierd and radioactive happened in 774.


New study finds long-term growth outlook dismal. "They don’t call it the dismal science for nothing. In a new paper, the Northwestern economist Robert J. Gordon argues that the United States should get ready for an extended period of slowing growth, with economic expansion getting ever more sluggish and the bottom 99 percent getting the short end of the (ever-slower-growing) stick. 'A provocative ‘exercise in subtraction’ suggests that future growth in consumption per capita for the bottom 99 percent of the income distribution could fall below 0.5 percent per year for an extended period of decades,' he writes. To put that in context, American households’ real consumption expanded by about 3 percent a year before the recession hit." Annie Lowrey in The New York Times.

Banks made big bucks this quarter. "Borrowers are doing a better job of keeping up with their loan payments, boosting the health and profits of the nation’s banks 21 percent, to $34.5 billion in the second quarter, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday. The improving health of borrowers is a hopeful sign for the recovery, which has been picking up steam recently. Agency officials said the percentage of delinquent loans tumbled 29 percent, to the lowest level in more than three years." Danielle Douglas in The Washington Post.

Home prices are rising again. "The nation’s housing market continued its slow climb from the depths of the recession in June with the first annual gain in prices in nearly two years, according to a widely watched real estate measure released Tuesday. The S&P/Case-Shiller national composite index was up 1.2 percent in the second quarter over the second three months of last year. Compared with the first quarter of this year, prices were up a robust 6.9 percent." Michael A. Fletcher in The Washington Post.

Good news from Europe? Business lending rises. "Euro-zone banks increased lending to businesses in July, reversing the trend of the previous two months, the ECB said Tuesday. The annual growth rate of the broad monetary aggregate known as M3 accelerated in July to 3.8%, its fastest in over three years, while the narrower M1 aggregate grew 4.5% year-to-year, an 18-month high. Traditionally, economists view both aggregates as a leading indicator of the real economy, although most admit the link has been weakened since the crisis. That was well ahead of analysts' expectations." Margit Feher and Geoffrey T. Smith in The Wall Street Journal.

Draghi is helping defend the Eurozone from breakup. "Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, has helped the euro zone survive August. But can he save September? This month, Mr. Draghi stared down bearish international traders who were convinced that Europe’s common currency project would collapse...Investors, or at least the ones venturing into the lightly traded markets this month, have taken heed...[In September, Draghi] will face severe pressure to provide specific details of his plan to shore up the euro zone’s weaker members by buying their bonds." Landon Thomas Jr. in The New York Times.

But European nations never converged economically as intended.  "The quarter-century experiment in a common currency was supposed to have produced a Europe of rough equals, nations with comparable rates of productivity and competitiveness. Instead, the region’s economies now appear profoundly out of balance. A few are thriving, but others may be so far gone they need permanent subsidies. That schism, as much as the debt and banking-sector problems troubling the region, is at the root of the current crisis and may prove the most difficult issue to overcome." Howard Schneider in The Washington Post.

Farm incomes set to rise despite drought. "Income on U.S. farms is expected to climb this year to its highest level in nearly four decades, the Department of Agriculture said...The USDA on Tuesday forecast net farm income will rise 3.7% this year to $122.2 billion, the highest level since 1973 on an inflation-adjusted basis." Mark Peters in The Wall Street Journal.

Only the fate of the world hangs in the balance interlude: Arctic sea ice hit a record low. Here's why it matters.

Health Care

Poll: 0 out of 512 employers plan to drop health insurance in response to Affordable Care Act. "The consulting firm [Towers-Watson] polled 512 companies that employed more than 1,000 workers each. These are companies that spend at least $5 million in health benefits annually. They were asked how likely it was that they would drop coverage in 2014 and send employers to the new health care exchanges being created to accommodate the law...Not a single employer said that scenario was 'very likely.' A mere 3 percent ranked it 'somewhat likely.' The vast majority — 77 percent said — it was 'not likely' that they would stop offering health insurance." Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

The link between recessions, age, and health. "There's a long body of research finding that longevity goes up during economic downturns. Intuitively, that makes some sense: the unemployed have less disposable income to spend on cigarettes or alcohol and more time to sleep and exercise...[For elderly persons,] an economic downturn looks to have a negative effect" Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

Domestic Policy

Federal court blocks Texas district maps. "A federal court in Washington ruled on Tuesday that political maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Texas discriminated against minority voters...The three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit found that a set of maps for Congressional, State House and State Senate districts drawn by the Legislature failed to comply with part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965...[I]n some cases districts drawn to look like Hispanic ones on paper would actually perform to the benefit of candidates preferred by white voters." Manny Fernandez in The New York Times.

@ByronTau: Texas brags that they elected no Democrats statewide. YAY ONE PARTY RULE.

Taxes are encouraging firms to move overseas.  "More big U.S. companies are reincorporating abroad despite a 2004 federal law that sought to curb the practice. One big reason: Taxes...Since 2009, at least 10 U.S. public companies have moved their incorporation address abroad or announced plans to do so, including six in the last year or so, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of company filings and statements. That's up from just a handful from 2004 through 2008." John D. McKinnon and Scott Thurm in The Wall Street Journal.

Could the filibuster be unconstitutional? "On Monday, public-interest group Common Cause filed a legal brief in a U.S. District Court trying to persuade the court that the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold in the Senate violates the Constitution...Common Cause believes that the filibuster is a historical accident that Aaron Burr introduced in 1806, and that it violates the Founding Fathers’ intention to avoid supermajority requirements that threatened 'to embarrass the operations of the government and … to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority,' as Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 75." Suzy Khimm in The Washington Post.

Defense spending in the U.S., in four charts. "How much has U.S. defense spending grown? In some ways, it’s a simple question. The Office of Management and Budget keeps very good data on past defense expenditures, and in inflation-adjusted terms, it’s gone up quite a bit since the Cold War, peaking during the height of the war in Iraq...But then again, the U.S. economy grew quite a bit during that period. Maybe the share of our resources devoted to defense didn’t actually change much. If one looks at defense spending as a share of gross domestic product, you actually see steady decline since the end of the Korean War...No, no, no, one might say. That’s all wrong. Armed forces don’t defend economies, they defend people. Military spending shouldn’t increase in proportion to the economy that can fund the military, it should increase in proportion to the size of the population it’s meant to protect. That’s Wonkbooker Evan Soltas’ argument." Dylan Matthews in The Washington Post.

Scientific strangeness interlude: New evidence for a major flare-up in radioactivity in 774: tree rings.


Obama admin. finalizes fuel economy standards. "The Obama administration released final fuel-economy standards that are set to nearly double the average mileage of cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025...[The standards] would require steady increases in fuel efficiency for new cars built between 2017 and 2025." Ryan Tracy in The Wall Street Journal.

G7 calls for more oil production. "The Group of Seven leading industrialized economies appealed to the world's major oil producers to boost output as fears about Hurricane Isaac and tensions with Iran pushed up oil prices...Crude oil futures prices rose Tuesday by 86 cents to $96.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While that is below the $100-plus levels of the spring, it is up $18.64, or 24%, over the past two months. Gasoline prices nationwide averaged about $3.76 a gallon on Tuesday, up 27 cents from a month ago, according to AAA." Sudeep Reddy in The Wall Street Journal.

'Lights out' across the Gulf's oil rigs. "Energy companies shut down nearly all offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as about two-thirds of the region's natural-gas output, as Hurricane Isaac headed toward the Louisiana shore Tuesday. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees offshore-oil-and-gas operations, estimated that 1.29 million barrels a day of crude, or 93% of the oil production in the Gulf's federal waters, was offline as of 12:30 p.m. EDT. About three billion cubic feet of natural gas, 67% of the area production, was also shut in, and 503 of the region's 596 manned oil-and-gas platforms had been evacuated, the agency said."" Ben Lefebvre and Angel Gonzales in The Wall Street Journal.

Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams.