What to Read Before You Unwonk Tonight

  • This election will be decided on the economy. It's easy to forget about that with the current obsession with the sex lives and relative truthiness of candidates, as well as the focus on the deficit and the Super Committee, but voters are worried about the economy. The person who wins next November will have convinced voters that they are the best chance at improving the economy. Obama and his eventual Republican opponent have tough hurdles to jump in order to prove they are the solution to our country's woes—Obama needs to explain that the relationship between Congress and the White House is not like a child and a parent but instead like warring siblings. He can't boss them around, and it's not his fault. Republicans will need to explain why they are completely against raising taxes as a way of helping the economy when polls show that the public is in favor of these measures, when they are accompanied by spending cuts. Actually, they'll need to explain why a majority of their positions are out-of-touch with public opinion.
  • Romney's worries that Herman Cain would drop out of the race and give Newt all his supporters were unfounded. The Cain Train is refusing to put on the emergency brakes (for the sake of the people of course), which means that there is a warehouse of books somewhere that still need to be sold. This week was mere intermission—it's time for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money everyone!
  • The weirdest thing about the primary isn't the pool of candidates. It's the fact that the candidates aren't taking advantage of the format of the primary. Shaking hands in small towns seems to be a thing of the past, and the permanent campaign has engulfed the primary system whole, forcing us to endure a year-long election on the national stage. 
  • Gingrich's lead in the polls is growing in important early primary states, and Mitt Romney, as Josh Marshall points out,  "looks a lot less like a sure thing." Gingrich's campaign is responding to its lead—which seems less and less transient as the days pass—by increasing operations in Iowa and South Carolina.
  • The crisis in Europe is really complicated, and you've probably been avoiding reading up on it because 1) It's super depressing, and 2) you need to read A LOT to understand what's going on. Luckily, there is the Daily Intel's "The Absolute Moron's Guide to the Euro Debt Crisis." 
  • The Occupy movement is right, and the government needs to respond to the protesters' concerns about income inequality and the unemployment rate. However, for some perspective, we should all be relieved that the unemployment rate isn't hovering below 50, like in Spain and Greece. Yikes.
  • Now we know which countries would be in Herman Cain's circle on his phone plan. Who needs International Relations 101 when you can take Foreign Policy Vision 999?

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