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Obama's chance to stand for Main Street (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson argues that in order to win tonight's presidential debate, Barack Obama will have to be a better advocate for himself than he was last time around, and it would help if "himself" was a populist guy with some big ideas, like restoring Glass-Steagall.
Why Romney and Ryan's 'Reforms' of Medicaid Would Likely Destroy It (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that Medicaid has been the unloved stepchild of entitlements in the debates, but Romney-Ryan's block grant strategy deserves more scrutiny unless we want the program to wind up listed as missing on the side of a milk carton.
There's nothing 'courageous' about raising the Social Security retirement age (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that the tough-minded compromisers who think raising the retirement age is a fair and courageous approach to Social Security reform are mostly those who could stand to hack out a few more years at a keyboard opining about other people's money.
The National Debt and Our Children: How Dumb Does Washington Think We Are? (HuffPo)
Dean Baker writes that elites are conspiring to build support for slashing the social safety net by having their media allies ignore all that and instead pretend that the national debt will open the seals and unleash the Four Horsemen unless we address it right now.
No, Virginia, Consumers Delevering via Default is Not a Reason for Economic Cheerleading (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller warns that as some analysts celebrate recent drops in consumer debt, they're overlooking how much of that is from defaults. It's not just "glass half-empty," but more like "the glass is broken and you're swallowing shards."
Unemployment Doesn't Just Hurt the Unemployed (On the Economy)
Before anyone starts a "We Are The 92.2 Percent" Tumblr to celebrate how many of us are still working, Jared Bernstein reminds us that elevated unemployment is also bad news for anyone who wants to get paid a decent wage for all the work they're doing.
Contraceptive Economics (NYT)
Nancy Folbre notes that while the conservative take on contraception has ranged from serious biological confusion to dismissing it as irrelevant to the economy, it actually is pretty important to make sure that half the labor force isn't randomly going into labor.
Rare Agreement: Obama, Romney, Ryan All Endorse Retraining for Jobless -- But Are They Right? (ProPublica)
Amy Goldstein writes that "more job training" has become a catch-all prescription for helping the unemployed, but until we start creating more jobs, it remains unclear what exactly we're training them to do aside from feeling even more frustrated.
Still Don't Trust the Jobs Report? Here's How to Build a Better One (The Atlantic)
It's probably not possible to please conservatives who are convinced the latest jobs report was really from Kenya, but Matthew O'Brien writes that there are ways the BLS data could be more accurate if they don't mind filing more reports with Big Government.
The Koch Brothers Write a Letter to Employees Whining About President Obama (Slate)
Eliot Spitzer notes that the Obama-bashing letter the Kochs sent to 45,000 of their employees contains a lot of claims that don't match up with our reality, but the mirror-universe Obama they're describing sounds like pretty bad news and probably has a goatee.