OBAMA/BIDEN: Back In The Saddle

obamachill_1.jpgCNN: Sen. Barack Obama has widened his lead over Sen. John McCain, according to CNN’s latest “poll of polls.” Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain by 3 percentage points, according to CNN’s “poll of polls.” The senator from Illinois is ahead of McCain in national polls by 3 percentage points, 47 percent to 44 percent. Obama was up by 2 points in the poll of polls released earlier Thursday. McCain led in national polls last week, but by the weekend, the candidates were tied. Obama recaptured the lead for the first time in 10 days Wednesday. The latest poll of polls consists of four surveys: CBS/The New York Times (September 12-16), Gallup (September 15-17), Diageo/Hotline (September 14-16) and American Research Group (September 13-15). It does not have a sampling error. The economic crisis has given Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, the opportunity to go on the offensive. Most Americans see Obama as more capable than McCain when it comes to the economy, polls indicate. MORE

CNNMONEY: The federal government, in what may be its most comprehensive attempt yet to contain the financial crisis, is poised to establish a program to let banks get rid of mortgage-related assets that have been hard to value and harder to trade. Leaders from both the House and the Senate were briefed on Thursday evening by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. “The root cause of distress in capital markets is the real estate correction and what’s going on in terms of the price declines in real estate,” Paulson said at a press briefing after the meeting. “So we’re coming together to work for an expeditious solution aimed right at the heart of this problem, which is illiquid assets on financial institutions’ balance sheets.” MORE

gop-party-flag1-s.gifMUDFLATS: Disturbing allegations of new “caging” techniques being implemented by the Republican party have surfaced in Michigan. The Republican Party Chairman in Macomb County, Michigan, (a swing county in a swing state) is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes as a resource to block voters in the upcoming election. Lose you home, lose your vote. And, yes, most of the foreclosed homes in Michigan affect African-American families. The use of these lists is an attempt to challenge that these voters are “true residents” of the state, a requirement to vote. MORE

WORTH REPEATING: What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural nixonlandcropped_1.jpgAmericans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany’s best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world. MORE

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