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Mr. 49 Percent

On a slow news day (except for, you know), the political world is taking note of something that I don't find very surprising, which is the bump in President Obama's poll numbers, including a new CNN poll that places his approval at a whopping 49 percent. What a perfect number. It just seems to symbolize the Obama presidency so far -- better than the known alternatives but not over the hump, nowhere near what it could or should be.

Nate Silver is right (is he ever wrong?), that it's the economy, stupid. Lower unemployment (which isn't really as good as portrayed in the media, but still..) and fewer layoff notices and good hype about Black Friday, etc., are all part of it, but I still think if Obama is re-elected in 11 months, the Osawatomie speech will be the turning point. Right-wingers are so drunk on their Ayn Rand kool-aid (case in point -- this bizarre and dishonest speech by Mitt Romney tonight) that they can't see how the reality of economic inequality is driving moderates back toward the president.

And if Obama wins, we'll have four years to pressure him on the horrific 51 percent of the rest of his presidency, his disgraceful record on civil liberties.