CNBC is reporting French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg’s comments in regard to the potential nationalizing of an Indian company that has threatened to leave France:

“It’s a very good sign to send out (to investors). Nationalizing is a very modern step to take. Especially when you not only nationalize losses but profits as well, when you make public/private partnerships. This is our strategy.

“The strategy we’re putting forward is extremely modern and adapted to the current times of crisis. It’s a way of making the economy work in the interests of industry, more than just helping the financial sector,” he added.

Apparently in France, the nationalization of industries is a good thing for investors and will lead to automatic profits. If this is the case, why aren’t all industries nationalized?

In an age of sustained historic unemployment and economic malaise where the leader of the United States of America eschews responsibility for the economy under his watch, so do many Americans follow his example, refusing to take responsibility for themselves. Rather, the majority of Americans voted to continue the expansion of government, which, over the past for years, has been driven by the expansion of handouts, adding $5 trillion to the national debt, an increase of 45%. Therefore, the most significant thing we learned about American culture is a majority of people who were concerned enough to vote want things for free, they want reward without work, and they have realized they can vote it to themselves.

Let’s look at some numbers and attempt to quantify what this looks like.

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We were up until the wee hours of the morning until the Iowa Caucus was decided back in January, or at least until everyone believed it had been decided. Join us tonight until the election is called. Hopefully it isn’t called one way, then the other, then back the original way again, then subject to a recount followed by a Supreme Court challenge.

The first polls will close on the east coast within the hour. For Mitt Romney to win the Presidency, he must carry Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and one of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin with one of the smaller swing states. Otherwise, President Obama will have his second term.

The final PD Composite is largely driven by the 18 polls released over the past seven days. Of those polls, President Obama leads four, Governor Romney leads six, and eight are tied. All but three are within the margin of error, or a statistical tie, and of the three that aren’t, Obama leads in two and Romney in one and in each the lead is by one point or less outside the margin of error. In other words, all polls show the popular vote is a dead heat.


Pollster Scott Rasmussen believe “Wisconsin may be the new Ohio“.

A quiet prayer delivered by Mitt Romney had a significant impact on a Washington insider.

Peggy Noonan writes: “America doesn’t date losers”.

Unable to make any comprehensible argument whatsoever on the economy or actual plans to improve it, Politico reports that Democrats are going all in on abortion. More evidence of this is today’s quarter 3 economic growth report showing a stagnant annualized rate of 2%, in other words a three month growth rate of 0.5% and a Q1-Q3 annualized rate of only 1.77%. This pales in comparison to the President’s projection in 2009 based on his policies. At that time Obama told Americans that his actions would result in GDP growth of 4.6% in 2012.

Even CNN is now questioning whether President Obama has an actual, feasible plan for a second term. Video after the jump.
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Races can often be looked at in retrospect at certain dates when things began to change. In 2008, the homestretch according to polling began September 18, 2008 as Barack Obama led John McCain by only 1.9%. Then Obama only pulled away from there. In comparison, on September 18, 2012, Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by 2.8%, eventually reaching a high of 4.1% on September 30. Since then everything has changed. On today’s date in 2008, Obama’s lead had grown to a completely unbeatable 8%. Today, incumbent Obama trails Mitt Romney by 0.7%, who seems to have turned the corner on October 9, leading the RCP average all but three days since. Romney has also led the daily Gallup tracking poll every single day since October 11. Additionally, despite losing 8 points of his advantage among male voters, Romney has completely erased a 16 point deficit among female voters.

In light of the recent debate on foreign policy, the Washington Post reports:

The government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaeda continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a necessary part of what we do. . . . We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

Tonight marks the final Presidential Debate. The live conversation starts here on Political Derby at 9:00 pm ET.

Foreign policy is the theme, which leads to several questions:

  • How many times will President Obama tout: “Bin Laden is dead”?
  • Will Governor Romney be successful in moving the conversation to the terrorist attack on American soil in Libya?
  • Are there any major differences between the candidates, or will they end up agreeing with each other most of the night?
  • Will both candidates continue to show a lack of understanding of the benefits of trade by continually pounding China for making American lives better through the production of lower cost goods?

Finally, a contest. Jason Wright will send a signed copy of his newest book, The 13th Day of Christmas to whomever can the most accurately predict which candidate is allowed more speaking time and by how much (to the nearest second). Entries must be posted in the comments prior to 8:55 pm ET. If someone has already posted a prediction and you duplicate it, your entry will be invalid.

Mitt Romney had now led President Obama in 10 straight daily Gallup Polls. Today he took his biggest lead at 52%-45%. With 19 days to go until the election, Romney appears to suddenly be the leader.

Edit: Real Clear Politics now has North Carolina moving to Romney, resulting in Romney’s first projected electoral college lead. However, the 131 electoral votes of 10 “toss up” states are not included in either candidate total.

With less than three week to go until the election, President Obama and Governor Romney find themselves in a dead heat across national polls. The only major poll where the lead is not within the margin of error is the daily Gallup tracking poll, where Romney is up 6 points (margin of error of +/-3). Regarding this poll, Karl Rove says: “No candidate who has led in mid-October with 50 percent or more in the likely voter poll has ever gone on to lose.” Romney must have as bright an outlook, especially as traditional Republicans are typically more likely to vote. In 2008 there was a significant exception as with historically high Democrat turnout drove Obama’s decisive win. Most analysts do not expect this to be repeated.

The missing California jobless claims not reported last week, leading to the supposedly lowest week during Obama’s presidency, have been reported this week, given the US its highest weekly number of new jobless claims-388,000-in four months.

Governments in the US spent $1.03 trillion on welfare in 2011. This “data excludes spending on Social Security, Medicare, means-tested health care for veterans without service-connected disabilities, and the means-tested veterans pension program” and is divided between $746 billion spent by the federal government and $283 billion spent by state governments.

Finally, in Cuba some private property ownership is now being allowed, mostly for apartments. There is a significant division in the value of apartments built since 1959 and those built in the 1940s and 1950s. The older apartments have a significantly higher value in the free market as they are typically marketed as ‘capitalist construction’.

Joe “The Gaffe Machine” Biden faces off against Paul “MiniMitt” Romney. The festivities begin at 9:00 pm eastern daylight time. (Yes, we are still on daylight time unlike the rest of the world. Not fun when you’re in international business.)

Tonight’s moderator is the wife of Julius Genachowski, whom President Obama appointed to lead the FCC. Her name Martha Raddatz. Obama also attended their wedding in 1991.

If you have a television, every major network will be carrying the debate. If you don’t, it will also be broadcast on YouTube.

Tonight is the country’s one and only opportunity to see Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate head to head. CBS News says not to expect it to have much of an impact the election. However, after Mitt Romney’s dominating performance in front of 70 million viewers has led to Romney leading five of the last seven  major polls (tied and down one in the other two), it seems Americans are quite interested in the candidates’ real time responses to their opponent’s positions and accusations.

Of course, we will have a debate open thread up and going here on beginning about an hour before the fracas begins at 9:00 pm eastern.

Politico has ‘5 things to watch in VP debate‘ which include: ‘Can Biden draw blood?,”Can Ryan defend himself?,’ ‘Good Joe v. Bad Biden’.

The Supreme Court is once again hearing arguments from an American university, this time the University of Texas, regarding why the school believes the color of a person’s skin is a valid criteria to determine admission.

Finally, more evidence continues to show the global financial crisis is nowhere near solved as Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Spain’s debt rating to ‘one level above junk’. Of course, you could probably see this coming as Spain’s external debt to GDP ratio is 243%, similar to Greece at 232%. The US is just over 100% with its $16 trillion-plus debt and surprisingly the UK is over 500%.

Nearly all commentators that don’t work for the Obama campaign agree that Mitt Romney won the debate and won it handily.

Washington Times: ‘Obama the debater: Making Jimmy Carter look awesome’

CNN: ‘Romney engaged the incumbent while Obama looked down at his lectern. The challenger was a more forceful debater while Obama appeared less than engaged.’

Politico: ‘Obama hit with left hook on TV, online

USA Today: ‘Romney plays strong offense

National Journal: ‘Republican nominee Mitt Romney hit his stride Wednesday night. Where President Obama was flat

Washington Post: ‘Romney goes on offense, forcing Obama to defend record

The Hill: ‘Romney lands punches against subdued Obama

Daily Beast: ‘This was a disaster for the president

Meanwhile a Democratic operative claimed Romney ‘came in with a chainsaw‘ and the Obama campaign blamed the moderator.

The first of the debates that really matter are here.

Use the comments section for your immediate reactions to each candidate’s comments.

Within the comments, the Disqus system will automatically refresh, with notification bars that appear while you are in the comments. The bar will say “new comment above” or “new comment below”. Click the bar and it will take you to the new comment so you can remain fully engaged in the discussion.

The image below was posted today on the “Obama 2012 campaign’s official home on Tumblr”.

Following an immediate backlash, the campaign took down the image.

This leads us to pose a question to women, especially to the feminists who descended upon Political Derby in droves when we posted economist Don Boudreaux’s comments on ‘equal pay’, is being reduced as to to vote based on your ‘lady parts’ offensive or are you okay with that?

President Obama still leads in recent polling, but that lead has been reduced and is within the margin of error. In a race this close, will the debates prove to sway the last undecided voters?

Rasmussen provides its analysis of the race:

Currently, 43% of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney. Forty-two percent (42%) are that certain they will vote for Obama. The remaining 15% are either uncommitted or open to changing their mind. To many Americans, especially partisan activists, it is hard to imagine how someone could be anything but certain at this point in time. One of the distinguishing features of these potentially persuadable voters is that they don’t see the choice between Romney and Obama as terribly significant. In terms of impacting their own life, just 28% say it will be Very Important which man wins.

Univision continues to dig into Fast and Furious, where the mainstream media does not.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough mocks Mitt Romney’s performance at a campaign event where the muted crowd audio completely distorts the reality of what actually occurred.

Finally, Hugo Chavez says he would vote for Obama and he thinks Obama would vote for him. This is the same person who has nationalized companies in oil, agriculture, heavy industry, gold, steel, telecommunications, power, transportation, and tourism.

Dr. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan calculates ‘Equal Occupational Fatality Day‘ each year. Yesterday was the latest release of the next ‘Equal Occupational Fatality Day’. Perry summarizes his data in the chart to the left (note: click twice to enlarge) from his blog and his commentary follows.

Every year the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) publicizes its “Equal Pay Day” to bring public attention to the gender pay gap. “Equal Pay Day” this year fell on April 17, and represents how far into 2012 the average woman had to continue working to earn the same income that the average man earned last year.  Inspired by Equal Pay Day, I introduced “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” in 2010 to bring public attention to the huge gender disparity in work-related deaths every year in the United States.  “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” tells us how many years into the future women would have to work before they would experience the same number of occupational fatalities that occurred in the previous year for men.

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