Sued by the feds for mortgage fraud earlier in the week, Wells Fargo posted healthy earnings numbers today. Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib says: “Wells Fargo & Co. continues to smash through its profit records, posting another quarter of double digit profit growth Friday. The bank’s profits jumped 22 percent from a year ago to $4.9 billion, or 88 cents per share for six consecutive quarters of record high profits. The consensus earnings estimate was 87 cents, based on a Thomson Reuters survey of industry analysts. The bank’s sales, however, illustrated concern about how long the nation’s mortgage-banking boom will help fuel bank profits.
MPR’s Mark Zedechlik adds more to the story of outside money flowing into the 8th District race. “According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, more than a dozen groups have spent $3.9 million to influence voters in the district, one of the most competitive in the nation. ‘More of it’s been spent opposing Chip Cravaack than Rick Nolan, although not a lot more,’ said Viveca Novak, the center’s communications director. ‘It’s like $2.1 million to $1.5 million. There have been a wide array of groups involved in the race.’ “
I don’t know about waiting in line for scented candles, but I like a good warehouse sale. John Ewoldt of the Strib writes: “Thymes is among a growing number of Twin Cities companies that have dropped their warehouse sales, along with Europa Import near White Bear Lake, Manhattan Toy in Minneapolis and Illume Candles in Bloomington. Retailers have long seen the sales as a great way to clear out unsold inventory while generating buzz among customers. But changes in the supply chain mean there’s less unsold stuff, and the Internet offers new and often easier ways to get rid of it. ‘Everyone is getting sharper about inventory control,’ said Jim McComb, a Minneapolis retail expert. ‘It trickles down from retailers to wholesalers to manufacturers. It’s a permanent change.’ “
Steve Wagner of The Bemidji Pioneer files his story on the demand for absentee ballots and says: “An increasing number of Minnesota voters, including those in Beltrami County, are requesting absentee ballots in advance of November’s general election. ‘We’re having a good incidence of absentee requests,’ said Kay Mack, auditor/treasurer for Beltrami County. ‘We’ve sent out a large number of them considering the election is four weeks away.’ Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Thursday that more than 100,000 Minnesota voters have requested absentee ballots. Of those, 41,208 have already been returned by the voter and accepted.”
Obviously, he wasn’t just checking the locks. Brandi Jewett of the Grand Forks Journal reports: “A deputy with the Walsh County (N.D.) Sheriff’s Office is in custody after being arrested in connection with a Thursday break-in at a Crookston, Minn., convenience store. The 22-year-old man from Park River, N.D., was arrested by police on charges of burglary and damage to property after he was found lying behind the till of a Holiday gas station early Thursday morning. … Upon entering the store, they discovered the suspect lying on the floor behind the counter with his eyes closed and multiple injuries to his face. He was wearing a badge on his belt and identified himself as a Walsh County sheriff’s deputy. He was not armed … “ This won’t look good at his job review.
Some thoughts from former Sen. Dave Durenberger on the presidential campaign: “The Republican promise to make it all better rides on a promise to change the role of government in helping Americans meet their needs and drive away the pain of the last four years. The Republican promise has been to repeal President Obama, and all his works and all his teleprompts, and replace him with an experienced financial industry executive, using the ‘private equity’ provided by the Citizens United to do it. There should be little doubt Republicans believe Romney-Ryan can do it. Every single elected Republican has spoken the same policy language for the last four years, hoping by doing so we would all be less well off until they took over. … Republicans were preparing a national strategy to make President Obama a one-term president and to elect a Mitt Romney (or Mitch Daniels) candidate in 2012. The strategy depended on creating a big enough political tent to cover everyone from Ron Paul libertarians to Rick Santorum evangelicals to Sarah Palin/Michele Bachmann/Fox News tea partiers, to RINO Romneyites. It depended on outstrategizing the president and his party on the economy by blaming it on government at all levels and fighting every effort to spend or tax. By raising more special interest money than ‘hope’ or ‘change’ could raise. By contesting every move the president made from executive and judicial nominations to his national security decisions, using the Senate rules to stymie every effort at progress and to use the 2010 election to test drive their campaign strategy in 2012.” I know someone who is not on the RNC’s Christmas card list.
More Veep Debate reaction
• From Paul Mirengoff at Power Line: “My sense is that Biden’s demeanor cost him the debate. Substantively, both candidates did pretty well. Ryan got a boost when Raddatz began the debate with a question about Libya. Biden was poised to play offense, but had to play defense on this issue, in the face of a very effective line of attack by Ryan. Thereafter, Biden was the aggressor. Ryan did reasonably well in countering most of Biden’s attacks, and he landed a few good punches of his own. But Biden was the dominant personality. Normally, a close substantive debate, like a close boxing match, goes to the aggressor. But when the aggressor behaves insufferably, I think it works the other way around.”
• Mitch Berg, at Shot in the Dark, says: “Biden is well aware that virtually nobody changes their mind over the Veep debates. The Veepstakes are all about getting bases jazzed for the final sprint. And what you saw was the comparison of the tactics the campaigns believed with reach their various bases. Ryan was thoughful, on point, intellectually cogent, and stayed on the message — “we’re going to start making the tough choices, and get people back to work” — the sort of things the conservative base is concerned with. Biden was arrogant, blustery, giggly, interrupting constantly — he was, in fact, the very model of the modern Liberal. The model of the lefty base is, in fact, Fast Eddie Schultz and Chris Matthews. I don’t think it was just boorishness, though. Biden is a bobblehead, but he’s not stupid. I think he knows that if the whole country was talking about what a jabbering, smirking, inappropriately-giggling jag he was, they would spend less time talking about the past four years, Benghazi, four years of 8% unemployment (not to mention the most important issues of the past year, last Wednesday’s debate and Big Bird).”
• At Let Freedom Ring, Gary Gross writes: “Biden was the aggressor tonight. That’s almost automatically a sign of who won the debate. Tonight was the exception to that rule. It isn’t that I think Paul Ryan won tonight’s debate, though he showed he’s more than capable of being a heartbeat away from the presidency. It’s that Joe Biden was consistently dismissive of Ryan. There’s no question that the MSNBC crowd is ecstatic tonight. If I got a sawbuck for each of their internal and external fistpumps, I’d have enough to pay for a lavish month-long vacation in the Carribbean. There’s equally no question that Vice President Biden’s antics turned off independents and women. This video of [FoxNews’] Greta van Susteren interviewing [FoxNews’] Brit Hume says everything.” Or, at the very least, suggesting a video of a FoxNews host interviewing a FoxNews says “everything” says a lot about your argument.