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Romney's personality shift (WaPo)
E.J. Dionne writes that President Obama struggled to put Mitt Romney on the defensive in last night's debate as the Republican reinvented himself in real time. Don't like his tax policy? Don't worry, he brought a spare. Regulations? He's pro-good ones!
Taking Stock of Some of the Claims and Counterclaims (NYT)
Romney accused the president of feeling entitled to his own facts, but his commanding debate performance was enhanced by an assortment of "facts" about the deficit, taxes, the social safety net, and the stimulus drawn from his own private reserve.
The Strategic Flaw in Obama's Debate Performance (TNR)
Noam Scheiber writes that President Obama was playing so defensively that he failed to show up for the debate, instead conceding issues like Social Security while occasionally looking up from his notes for a rousing discussion of payment advisory boards.
Go for the jugular (The Nation)
Conservatives have spent decades honing their skill at taking their opponents' lunch money and making them say thank you. Now, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren argues progressives must develop a similarly ruthless but principled attack strategy.
First Ladies Have More to Debate Than Cookie Recipes (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that Michelle Obama helped even the score for Democrats yesterday by besting Ann Romney in the Presidential Cookie Bake Off, which must have provided her greatest sense of achievement since graduating Harvard Law.
Are Women Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago? (Prospect)
E.J. Graff argues that determining whether women are better off now, financially or otherwise, is more complicated than tallying up all the equality points they've won and asking whether President Obama was generous enough in awarding their team.
Report Finds Banks Continued Abusive Practice After Foreclosure Settlement (Think Progress)
It's never easy to give up something you love, even if you were fined $25 billion for it. Pat Garofalo notes that banks remain extremely attached to dual tracking, the practice of foreclosing on someone while they try to decide whether they should or not.
Ryan Talks Jobs and Exposes the Lies About the 47% (HuffPo)
Bill Black argues that Paul Ryan accidentally gave away the game by claiming that the best way to deal with the shiftless 47 percent is to help them get good jobs, since the response from a typical member of the 47 percent is likely to be "Yes, please."
'I Am a Job Creator': This Is the Country I Want (The Atlantic)
James Kwak offers his perspective as someone who once created a successful business and would actually like for others to have an equal opportunity do the same, even if they wind up nauseating everyone else by self-identifying as "job creators."
Romney's Corporate Tax Cuts Cost 238 Times More Than All Public Broadcasting Funding Combined (Daily Change)
Zaid Jilani notes that despite Romney's promise to defund PBS (with an assist from Jim Lehrer, who helpfully demonstrated what the debate would be like if he wasn't there to moderate it), even Big Bird isn't as big as his proposed corporate tax cuts.