–The format of the presidential debates has been set.
–Widespread drought has decimated the U.S. corn crop and is expected to send food prices soaring next year. To this point, 2012 is the hottest year on record.
–In Wednesday’s episode of political theater, Senate Democrats pass a stand-alone bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000, and reject a measure to extend them for everyone else. The Democratic legislation is DOA in the House, which soon pass its own symbolic legislation to die in the Senate. Meanwhile, we roll apace toward the fiscal cliff.
–A Romney foreign policy advisor accuses Tom Donilon of being the source of the White House’s national security leaks.
–The House Intelligence Committee chairman fingers Hezbollah, and by extension Iran, for orchestrating the Bulgaria terrorist attack that killed five Israeli tourists. The White House isn’t ready to go that far.
–Charles Krauthammer argues the impossibility of an economic revival before November gives Mitt “the ultimate edge.”
—Six policy proposals that are economically sound but politically unpalatable.
–A dispatch from Free Syria by TIME’s intrepid correspondent, Rania Abouzeid.
–And the great chicken kerfuffle escalates.
What else is going on?