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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ryan Speech Equal Parts Biography, Policy and Contrast


Paul D. Ryan offered a mix of folksy charm, family biography and biting criticism of President Obama's administration, earning huge applause from the delegates gathered in the convention hall on Wednesday.

He did not shy away from his proposals on Medicare, accusing Mr. Obama's administration of taking $700 billion away from the program to finance the president's health care reforms.

“An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for,” he said as the crowd booed. “The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we're going to stop it.”

In the face of attacks by Mr. Obama and Democrats to paint Republi cans as foes of Medicare, Mr. Ryan said, essentially: Bring it on.

“Our opponents can consider themselves on notice,” he said. “In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn't going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.”

Earlier in the speech, Mr. Ryan talked about his father, “a small-town lawyer” and “a gentle presence” in his life, until he died when Mr. Ryan was 16.

“I live on the same block where I grew up,” he told a hushed crowd. “We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place.”

But he quickly shifted to an effort to take apart Mr. Obama's policies, including the stimulus spending, health care reform and tax policy.

“What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus?” Mr. Ryan asked. “More debt. T hat money wasn't just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.”

He was interrupted briefly by a protester who yelled “health care, not warfare” as Mr. Ryan started to talk about Mr. Obama's health care plan.

He paused as the crowd chanted “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” Then he proceeded to describe the health care plan as “more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines that have no place in a free country.”

Follow Michael D. Shear on Twitter at @shearm.

Secret Service Agent Accidentally Leaves Gun on Romney\'s Plane


A Secret Service agent was pulled off Mitt Romney's campaign plane on Wednesday after accidentally leaving her loaded handgun in the bathroom.

A CBS News producer found the gun in the lavatory as the Republican nominee flew from Tampa, Fla. to Indianapolis for a speech on Wednesday. An agent on the plane was alerted and retrieved the gun without incident.

By all accounts, the gun appeared to have been left inadvertently and Mr. Romney was never considered in any danger. The agent involved stayed behind in Indianapolis to address the matter with her supervisors when Mr. Romney returned to Tampa for the remainder of the Republican National Convention. Romney campaign aides were told about the episode but referred questions to the Secret Service.

“We are aware of the incident,” said Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service. “We take the care and custody of our equipment, especially firearms, very seriously . This matter will be dealt with internally and in an appropriate manner.”

Five Questions for Marco Rubio


TAMPA, Fla. â€" Senator Marco Rubio of Florida will take the stage at the Republican National Convention on Thursday with a critical assignment: introduce Mitt Romney before he delivers his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination. Here are five questions from an interview on Wednesday.

What parts of Mr. Romney still need to be introduced?

He's a modest guy. He doesn't like to brag about himself. But Americans deserve to know what a quality person he is â€" irrespective of whether they agree with him on an issue or not.

Are you giving people permission to be something of a “Cafeteria Romney” supporter â€" to overlook things they don't like?

There may be folks that are not going to vote for Mitt Romney, no matter what he stands for, but I want them to know who he is as a person. There might be others who are going to vote for him, but it's still good for them to know who he is and what he's acc omplished in his personal life.

More attention will be paid to his faith on Thursday, so is Mormonism, Christianity?

It's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm not a theologian. I don't get into theological debates about people's faith. All I can tell you is the Mormons that I know and many members of my family consider Jesus Christ to be their personal Lord and Savior, which is the heart of Christianity.

Has the debate over immigration caused permanent damage to the Republican brand?

I don't know about permanent damage. I wouldn't characterize it that way. I would say, I don't like every time that Republicans talk about immigration to be in the context of illegal immigration.

Will your speech be more like Ann Romney, Chris Christie or a different mold?

We all have a different job to do. Obviously, Ann Romney's job was to present Mitt Romney as a person. Chris Christie was the keynote addr ess to lay out a vision of what Republicanism means in the 21st century. And my role is to introduce Mitt Romney and hopefully do it in a way that frames it within a choice that this election presents the American people, which is a choice about what country we want to be.

Live Updates from the Republican National Convention


The Times will be providing updates and analysis from Tampa on our live dashboard. You can also follow along on Twitter @thecaucus, or follow our list of Times journalists covering the convention.

A Republican Platform Line Friendly to Immigrants


It was no surprise that the Republicans declared their intention to strictly crack down on illegal immigration in their platform, which was released last week.

But one line was added to the text that went counter to the calls for strict verification and expanded by states: It called for “a legal and reliable source of foreign labor where needed through a new guest worker program.”

And Brad Bailey, a Texas Republican who owns two seafood restaurants in suburbs of Houston, was satisfied to see it there.

Mr. Bailey, 39, is not a delegate at the convention in Tampa, Fla., but he has been roaming the hallways there since last week, striding up to delegates to convince them that the party should be on record supporting new access for employers to legal foreign labor. He is a nonstop advocate for the immigration plank that Texas Republicans wrote into their state platform after contentious meetings in June, which in cludes a temporary foreign worker program.

“We are a border state and we have the same problem as Arizona, but we addressed it totally differently than Arizona,” Mr. Bailey said, referring to polarizing enforcement laws passed in that state.

Mr. Bailey admits he is rowing against his party's tide this year. But he is among a number of Republicans, many of them farmers or small-business owners, who are urging party leaders to recognize that some employers still have a hard time filling low-paying jobs despite high unemployment.

He also wants the party to take the edge off its rhetoric against illegal immigrants. “Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio are hijacking the issue and damaging the Republican party brand,” Mr. Bailey said, referring to Arizona's governor and the hard-line sheriff of Maricopa County. “We need to stop the hatred language and fix this problem.”

Mr. Bailey said he started his personal campaign to chan ge the party's approach after Latino workers in one of his restaurants - longtime legal employees - asked him last year why he was a Republican. “They don't like Hispanics,” the workers said of the party.

He said Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas who wrote several enforcement amendments that were added to the convention platform, did not understand the needs of employers in labor-intensive businesses.

“I sign the front of the paychecks, he signs the back,” Mr. Bailey said.

In Tampa, Mr. Bailey found a sympathetic hearing from several delegates, including Sue Sharkey, a Colorado state official, who came to the meetings with her own proposal for a guest worker program run entirely by the private sector. Ms. Sharkey said she offered the language that was eventually adopted in the final text of the platform.

The party's candidate, Mitt Romney, has said little recently on immigration, generally avoiding an issue that divides the party a nd has distanced it from Latino voters. Mr. Bailey said he was hoping for leadership on the issue from Representative Paul D. Ryan, Mr. Romney's running mate, who co-sponsored a Democratic proposal in Congress two years ago to give legal status to immigrant farmworkers.

TimesCast Politics: Christie\'s Night


Ryan Medicare Plan Is Already Shaking Up House Races


TAMPA, Fla. - Paul D. Ryan will take the stage at the Republican National Convention here on Wednesday to accept his party's nomination for vice president, but around the country, his plan for a sweeping remake of Medicare is shaking up Congressional campaigns, in some cases allowing Democrats to make inroads in races in which they were once seen as dead in the water.

Republican and Democratic pollsters and strategists say a curious split is developing around the Ryan plan. The top of the Republican ticket - Mitt Romney and Mr. Ryan - is holding its own with the issue in a presidential contest that has shown little movement in polls for months. But down the ticket, Medicare attacks are taking a serious toll on Republicans.

“It's a down-ballot disaster, across the board,” boasted Representative Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We left for recess in a fairly neutral environment, where nearly a month later we have a good stiff wind at our backs. That wind is mostly propelled by Paul Ryan and his budget.”

Officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee said the attacks were not working. Guy Harrison, the committee's executive director, predicted that within two weeks, frustrated Democrats will move on to other issues.

But other Republicans - privately and publicly - say Democrats are not about to let up. Tom Cotton, a rising Republican star running for the Arkansas seat of Representative Mike Ross, a Democrat who is retiring, said that the attacks were not working on him in a district that is trending strongly Republican, but that other candidates were struggling.

Still, he said, most candidates are ready to fight for Mr. Ryan's plan.

“They recognize, as the House members already there recognize, we have to have this debate, and we have to win this debate,” he said, recalling ambush training he had in the Army when soldiers were drilled to face an attack head-on. “This is the most predictable ambush in politics. You don't duck and cover. You turn and face it.”

In Mr. Ryan's Wednesday night speech, Republicans are not expecting him to delve into the details of his “Path to Prosperity,” the budget plan he wrote and the House passed earlier this year. Under the Ryan proposal, those who are now under 55 would no longer receive a government-guaranteed, fee-for-service health plan when they reach 65. Instead, at 67, they would receive a fixed amount each year that they would use to purchase private health insurance or buy into the existing Medicare program. That check would increase each year slightly faster than the growth of the economy, regardless of the rate of health care cost inflation.

Democrats are pointing to a raft of polling - most of it from Democratic pollsters - showing their candidates building sig nificant leads in districts Republicans think they should win. A late July poll showed Representative Jim Matheson of Utah 18 percentage points ahead of the Republican candidate, Mia Love, who is getting star treatment in Tampa. In a poll by the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners, Ricky Gill, another Republican candidate granted a speaking slot at the convention on Tuesday, was 16 points behind Representative Jerry McNerney, a California Democrat in a redrawn Republican-leaning district.

Representative Mike McIntyre, Democrat of North Carolina, was all but left for dead after his district was redrawn to skew heavily Republican. But in late July, he was up on the Republican candidate, David Rouzer, 53 percent to 34 percent.

Since then, Democrats have poured on the Medicare attack, especially since Mr. Ryan was named to the ticket. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's first independent expenditures advertisement was an attack on the freshman repr esentative Dan Benishek of Michigan, saying he had voted to “essentially end Medicare and raise costs on seniors by over $6,000 a year.”

The same line of attack ison the air in North Carolina against Mr. Rouzer, coupled with the charge that his Ryan budget vote would also cut taxes for millionaires, “definitely not North Carolina values.”

President Obama's campaign came to Tampa on Wednesday to keep the heat on, introducing Carole Nenninger, a 71-year-old from just outside Tampa, to tell her story of her husband, Bill, whose battle with cancer has cost endless heartaches and more than $1 million - all paid by Medicare.

“If there's a voucher, I'm a little skeptical about turning over medical insurance to a private insurance company,” said the Obama campaign volunteer.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the National Republican Congressional Committee's recruitment chairman, expressed no concern about the attacks and confidence that R epublicans will actually pick up seats in November. Mr. Harrison added that the Medicare attacks were no more potent with Mr. Ryan on the ticket than they were when the first wave of them hit in a 2010 special election in upstate New York, when the Democratic candidate, Kathy Hochul, won a Republican seat.

“There is not going to be an additional House ad because of Paul Ryan,” said Mr. Harrison, the N.R.C.C.'s executive director. “There were going to run on him anyway.”

Romney Criticized for \'Dry Land\' Remark at Campaign Event


TAMPA, Fla. - Mitt Romney made a comment about being on “dry land” Wednesday, prompting criticism that he was making light of Hurricane Isaac, which was continuing to lash the Gulf Coast.

“I appreciate this invitation to join you on dry land this afternoon,” Mr. Romney told members of the American Legion in Indianapolis, where he delivered a speech on foreign policy.

Members of the audience laughed at the comment - which was in his prepared remarks - before Mr. Romney moved on to talk about the seriousness and the dangers of the hurricane.

“Our thoughts are of course with the people of the Gulf Coast states,” Mr. Romney said. “Seven years ago today, they were bracing for Hurricane Katrina. This afternoon they are enduring Isaac.”

He added: “We're grateful that it appears Isaac will spare them from the kind of damage we saw during Katrina, but for many in t he Gulf Coast who just finished repairing their homes and are getting a life back to normal, this must be a heavy burden. So today our thoughts are with them, our prayers go out to them, and our country must do all we can to help them recover.”

Mr. Romney then proceeded to promise that he would stop “reckless defense cuts” that he blamed on President Obama. He said Mr. Obama had failed to lead and had dodged tough choices as president.

But the comment at the beginning of his remarks was immediately condemned on Twitter.

“Did #MittLiar make a joke about being on dry land while ppl are in the midst of knowing they've lost their homes due to #Issac?” one person tweeted. “OK. #Vote.”

Another said: “MittRomney NOT FUNNY making a joke about #Issac today “happy to be on dry land” on the 7th anniversary of #Katrina â€" where is his character?”

Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Mr. Romney, dismissed the criticism as silly.

“Gov ernor Romney clearly showed concern for those affected by the storm,” Ms. Saul said. “He was addressing the fact there has been rainfall in Tampa over the course of the last few days.”

Follow Michael D. Shear on Twitter at @shearm.

Romney Tells Veterans That Obama \'Dodged the Tough Choices\'


INDIANAPOLIS â€" Mitt Romney promised veterans at a convention on Wednesday that he would stop “reckless defense cuts” set for the end of the year and slammed President Obama as a commander in chief who has “failed to lead” and has “dodged the tough choices.”

Mr. Romney broke away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., to fly to the American Legion convention here as his party focused on national security, an area that has received little attention in a campaign dominated by the economy. Mr. Romney planned to return to Tampa in time to watch Wednesday night's speeches, including some by the party's national security leaders.

The speech here, his last one scheduled until he formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night, drew a sharp contrast with Mr. Obama on issues that have been a political strength for the president. Having ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as well as scores of drone strikes that took out other terrorists, Mr. Obama has led Mr. Romney on his handling of international affairs in many polls.

But Mr. Romney complained that Mr. Obama remains too reticent about America's role in the world, expanding on a theme that has flavored the Republican nominee's speeches and a book he wrote called “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,” which is being distributed to delegates in Tampa.

“For the last four years, President Obama has allowed our leadership to diminish,” Mr. Romney told thousands of veterans gathered here. “In dealings with other nations, he has given trust where it's not earned, insult where it's not deserved and apology where it's not due.”

The candidate concentrated in particular on automatic budget cuts that will take effect at the end of the year unless Mr. Obama and Congress agree on an alternative plan. Half of the cuts, or nearly $50 0 billion, are due to come from national security agencies, including the armed forces, over the next 10 years on top of a roughly similar amount already to be cut over a decade.

“The Obama administration is set to cut defense spending by nearly a trillion dollars. My administration will not,” Mr. Romney said. “I'll make reductions in other areas and install pro-growth policies to make sure that our country remains safe and secure.”

He also accused Mr. Obama of not doing enough to help veterans who seek help from the government.

Mr. Obama's campaign has rejected the Romney criticism, pointing to successes in dismantling terrorist groups over the last three and a half years. Independent analysts have called the notion that Mr. Obama apologizes for his country overstated or even false.

And the automatic budget cuts that Mr. Romney vowed to stop were part of legislation passed with the support of Republican leaders, including his running mate, Re presentative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, as a motivation to the two parties to come together on a more agreeable budget-cutting alternative. Mr. Obama, like Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, does not want them to go into effect.

The Obama campaign fired back on Wednesday by saying that Mr. Romney should support higher taxes on the wealthy to shield the armed forces from deeper cuts.

“Throughout this campaign, Mitt Romney has offered a lot of reckless bluster and vague platitudes, but zero specific national security policies â€" and that continued at the American Legion today,” said Lis Smith, an Obama spokeswoman. “Lost in his speech was the fact that the only thing standing in the way of preventing the automatic defense cuts he decried is his refusal to ask for another dime from millionaires and billionaires.”

But Mr. Romney has made military spending a higher priority in his campaign speeches, vowing to protect it from the sort of cuts that he would impose on other government programs. And he has suggested that he would be less willing to let allies lead in situations like the Libya war, when Mr. Obama encouraged NATO countries in Europe to step forward.

“Our foreign policy should take a page from the U.S. Marine Corps â€" no better friend, no worse enemy,” he said. “A just, peaceful world depends on our strength and our confidence. Our foreign policy must demonstrate confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might.”

As Mr. Romney's motorcade arrived at the site of the convention here, the American Legion was deeply involved in the sorts of social issues that he has tried to avoid this campaign season, advancing resolutions promoting school prayer, a ban on flag burning, tougher crackdowns on illegal immigration and the adoption of English as the official language. Mr. Romney made no mention of such issues in his speech.

Mr. Romney's appearance before the veterans here reinfor ced a historical oddity: For the first time in 80 years, none of the presidential or vice-presidential nominees of the two major parties served in uniform.

National security has been largely a secondary campaign topic at a time of high unemployment and rising national debt. But the Romney campaign has concluded that it needs to make sure that the candidate comes across as a plausible commander in chief to make sure voters are comfortable casting ballots for him.

To that end, the campaign will roll out two of the best-known voices on foreign policy at the convention on Wednesday night, Senator John McCain, at 8 p.m., and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at 10 p.m.

“The No. 1 issue on people's minds is the economy,” said Kevin Madden, a Romney adviser, “but national security, leadership abroad, America's place, American power around the globe is part of the course of consideration that many voters go through.”

Behind the New View of Globalization


After a recent Economix post (as part of the election-year project called The Agenda) explaining that many economists see globalization as a major cause of the income slowdown in this country, Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations noted on Twitter that this view was a new one. For years, economists argued that increased global trade did not have a large effect on wages or employment in the United States. The editors invited Mr. Alden - the director of the Renewing America initiative at the council, who previously helped run a council task force on trade and investment policy â€" to send along a more detailed version of his point.
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For decades, economists resisted the conclusion that trade â€" for all of its many benefits - has also played a significant role in job loss and the stagnation of middle-class incomes in the United States. As recently as 2008, for instance, Robert Lawrence of Harvard, one of the country's most respected trade experts, concluded that trade explained only a small share of growing income inequality and labor market displacement in the United States.

Rather than focusing on trade, economists argued that other factors â€" especially “skill-biased technical change,” technological innovation that puts an added premium on skilled workers â€" played the biggest role in holding down middle-class wages. But now economists are beginning to change their minds. Responding to The Times's recent survey about the causes of income stagnation, many top economists have cited globalization as a leading cause.

While the evidence is still not conclusive, it i s pretty strong. Trade's effect on jobs and income, which was probably modest through the 1990's, now seems to be growing much larger. Among the recent studies:

- In “The Evolving Structure of the American Economy and the Employment Challenge,” the Nobel-winning economist Michael Spence looked at job growth from 1990 to 2008 in sectors of the United States economy. He found almost no net job growth in sectors, like manufacturing, in which global trade played a large role. Nearly all of the net gains occurred in sectors in which trade plays a minor role. Government and health care, in which trade plays almost no role, accounted for more than 40 percent of all new jobs.

- David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson looked at regions in the United States where companies are competing most directly with China. From 1990 to 2007, they found that regions that faced growing exposure to Chinese competition had higher unemploym ent, lower labor-force participation and lower wages than might otherwise be expected. And the effects grew over that period. In 1991, just 2.9 percent of United States manufacturing imports came from low-wage countries; by 2007, that had risen to nearly 12 percent, mostly from China.

- In the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, my colleague Matthew Slaughter looked at employment at multinational companies with headquarters in the United States, companies that account for roughly 60 percent of American exports and imports. From 1989 to 1999, those companies created 4.4 million jobs in the United States and 2.7 million jobs at their foreign affiliates overseas. From 1999 to 2009, however, those same companies eliminated a net of nearly 3 million jobs in the United States while adding another 2.4 million jobs abroad.

The usual rebuttal to these findings is to argue that they stem mostly from manufacturing. And m anufacturing, the argument goes, is facing a long-run, secular decline in employment that is largely technology-driven, not unlike the story of agriculture in the 20th century. The job losses in manufacturing may seem as if they have been caused by trade, according to this view, but they have actually been caused by technological change.

Through the 1990s, that story was largely plausible. But over the last decade it is not. Manufacturing output in the United States is no longer growing as rapidly as it once was (and as you would expect if technology had simply been replacing workers in factories). Real manufacturing output grew just 15 percent in the 2000s, compared with more than 35 percent in each of the 1970s and 1980s and more than 50 percent in the 1990s. And one sector where the statistics are of dubious meaning - computers and electronics â€" accounts for almost all of the recent gains. In 13 of 19 manufacturing sectors, real output declined over the last decad e, in some industries quite sharply. There is no question that over the last decade United States manufacturing has declined, taking away jobs and driving down wages for those who are still employed. Robert Atkinson and colleagues have a useful paper on this topic, showing that the loss of more than five million jobs in manufacturing in a decade was not primarily a technology and productivity story.

The real-world evidence makes it surprising that it has taken economists so long to catch on. The recent strike in Joliet, Ill., at Caterpillar â€" a true global company - ended with union workers being forced to accept an agreement that includes a six-year wage freeze, even as the company is earning record profits. Elsewhere, two-tier agreements, in which new hires earn wages and benefits roughly half as large as those in the old union contracts, have become standard in many of the manufacturing industries that remain in the United States.

One reason that economists may be uncomfortable talking about trade's impact on jobs and wages may be concern that it could set off protectionist responses. And economists are right that expanded trade has certainly been good for the United States. It has brought us better and cheaper consumer goods, opened new export markets, lifted up many poor countries and strengthened American alliances around the world.

But I think the fear of protectionism is overblown. One unexpected feature of the great recession was how little protectionism it led to, especially in the advanced economies. The lesson of the Great Depression â€" that protectionism is counterproductive â€" seems to have been learned.

Instead, the evidence should produce some soul-searching about the causes of this country's declining competitiveness. The list is discouragingly long: crumbling infrastructure, inadequate educational performance, stifling regulation and a cumbersome tax system. But it might not take that much to tip th e scales in favor of the United States. The Boston Consulting Group, which has looked at the slight uptick in the nation's manufacturing employment over the last two years, argues that rising wages in China, high transportation costs and falling United States energy costs should bring more manufacturing back home.

With the rapid growth of middle classes abroad, trade should be an opportunity for the United States to sell into growing markets, increasing opportunities and wages for many Americans here at home. But over the last decade, that has not been the story.

Housing Market Improvements Lessen Consumer Distress


Improvement in the nation's housing markets has helped ease consumer financial woes, according to a quarterly report from a large credit counseling agency.

For the first time in nearly four years, the Consumer Distress Index, published by the nonprofit agency CredAbility, showed that  consumers nationally were inching their way out of financial distress.

The index tracks the financial condition of American households by measuring employment, housing, credit, household budget management and net worth. United States households scored a 71.3 on the 100-point index, an increase of 1.4 points from the first quarter. Scores below 70 indicate financial distress. The last time the index topped 70 was in the third quarter of 2008.

Housing was the main driver of consumers' improved financial condition this quarter, according to Mark Cole, the agency's executive vice president and chief operating officer. Late payments on mor tgages reached a three-year low, and housing costs dropped as many homeowners cut their payments by refinancing.

The average household also kept a tighter rein on its budget, which helped drive the savings rate to a one-year high in June. Net worth also ticked up.

The index's unemployment score improved by only a half-point, however, to 59.8 from 59.4, and continued to drag down the index. Although 381,000 jobs were added during the quarter, joblessness remained the same as more people who had given up looking began seeking work again.

Whether the overall gains persist, in light of continued economic uncertainty and the political headwinds of an election year, remains to be seen, Mr. Cole said. “This really is very fragile in nature.”

This quarter's report also includes information on metropolitan areas. Several large areas remain in distress. Orlando, Fla., suffering from both housing woes and stubborn unemployment, i s the most distressed city, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg in Florida, Riverside-San Bernardino in California, Las Vegas and Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Among the 30 largest metropolitan areas, the healthiest cities are Boston, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver.

Are you feeling less distressed financially? Why or why not?

Majority in Poll Say Akin\'s Remarks Don\'t Reflect Most Republicans\' Views


In the wake of the widespread outrage over a Missouri congressman's remarks about rape and abortion, about 60 percent of Americans do not think his comments reflect the views of most Republicans, according to the latest CBS News poll.

That result includes a majority of women. And while there is little gender difference over all on abortion views, women and Democrats are more likely than men or Republicans to say they could not back a candidate who disagreed with them on abortion.

Abortion has resurfaced in the 2012 campaign, partly because Representative Todd Akin, the Republican challenger to Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, was forced to issue several apologies after saying that women who were raped could physically prevent themselves from becoming pregnant. More than half of voters have heard or read about his comments, including about a third who said they had heard or read a lot.

Democrats have trie d to link Mr. Akin's comments and stance against all abortions to leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney. In an interview this week with CBS News, Mr. Romney reiterated his view that while he was opposed to abortion, exceptions should be made in cases of rape, incest or when the health of the mother is at stake.

According to the poll, conducted Aug. 22 to 26, few Americans think abortion should be completely banned, even as the Republican Party approved a platform this week that included a plank opposing any abortions..

Just 32 percent of men and 38 percent of women approve of unrestricted abortions, but 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women think the availability of abortion should be subjected to more constraints. Men (27 percent) and women (26 percent) are just as likely to say that women should be allowed to get an abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save their lives.

Allowing abortion only to save a mo ther's life is supported by 9 percent of men and 12 percent of women. And 12 percent of men and 10 percent of women say there are no circumstances in which the procedure should be legal.

Although there are few gender differences, there are political ones. Democrats and supporters of President Obama tend to say abortion should be available, while Republicans and supporters of Mr. Romney are more likely to favor significant limits on abortion.

The nationwide poll was conducted by landline and cellphone with 1,218 adults, of whom 1,051 said they were registered to vote. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

A Day in Indianapolis, and a Night in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. - A day after being formally nominated for president, Mitt Romney left the Republican National Convention on Wednesday to address the American Legion in Indianapolis as Republicans tried to focus on national security.

Mr. Romney canceled plans to stay overnight in Indianapolis and will return to Tampa on Wednesday evening in time to watch the prime-time speeches by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, and other party luminaries. Mr. Romney is scheduled to deliver his own speech formally accepting the nomination on Thursday evening.

While foreign policy and national security have not played major roles in the economy-focused campaign so far, Republicans hope to undermine what has been a political strength for President Obama. Mr. Romney has criticized Mr. Obama for not believing enough in the singularity of American power in the world and he has staked out rhetorically stronger positions on Russia, China and Iran. But Mr. Romney's specific policy prescriptions in most cases have been different by degree rather than fundamental changes.

The party has tapped two national security figures to address the convention in the evening. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the party's last presidential nominee, a Vietnam War hero and leading foreign-policy hawk, will kick off the prime-time speeches at 8 p.m., but will speak before the broadcast networks begin coverage. Speaking at 10 p.m., when the networks join the convention, will be former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had a well-noticed spot near Mr. Romney on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Romney will watch the evening proceedings with his wife, Ann, from their Tampa hotel. Whether he will make other public appearances after returning from Indianapolis was not clear. “That's still in flux,” said Rich Gorka, a campaign spokesman.

Bright Lights, Small Tent at Homocon 2012


TAMPA, Fla. - The go-go dancers at the party for gay Republicans on Tuesday night were, by go-go dancer standards, modestly dressed in T-shirts and jeans, baring only their midriffs and arms. Their choreography, set to dance remixes of “Call Me Maybe” and other Top 40 hits, conveyed enthusiasm more than sexual enticement.

“This is the largest event hosted by a gay group at a Republican convention,” Jimmy LaSalvia, a co-founder of GOProud, an advocacy group for gay conservatives, said from the stage at a club called the Honey Pot. “Not that size matters.”

The convention's Homocon 2012 party did manage to smoothly blend straight-laced Republican mores with the lowbrow decadence that characterizes Ybor City, Tampa's nightclub district. Several hundred people listened to Mr. LaSalvia talk about the tax code and free market capitalism while standing under silky blue and magenta fabric that dangled from the ceili ng, interspersed with white paper globe lanterns. “Booze,” offered up in Mr. LaSalvia's Southern drawl, was served in clear plastic cups to the relatively young crowd, consisting mostly of neatly groomed men still in their convention-appropriate button-downs and blazers.

But, despite the triumphant speeches, the event highlighted that gay people have yet to be smoothly incorporated into a party that is still dominated by social conservatives.

As Mr. LaSalvia noted, GOProud was the only gay group to endorse the Romney-Ryan ticket (the right's other prominent gay group, the Log Cabin Republicans, has yet to sign off on a presidential candidate). However, what he did not say was that half of the gay men and lesbians on the board dissented, according to MetroWeekly.

Mr. LaSalvia said that gay marriage, the group's central disagreement with Mr. Romney, is not as important as economic issues in 2012.

“Before you can get married, you have to have a date,” he said. “And everyone knows you can't get a date without a job.”

There were other reminders that while gay people might be embracing the G.O.P., the affinity is not mutual. The hosts acknowledged Richard Grenell, a conservative foreign policy expert who was at the party. But in May, objections from social conservatives to his sexual orientation contributed to his decision to resign from the Romney campaign as a foreign policy spokesman. And GOProud itself was barred from participating in the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference.

And many in the crowd were not Republicans or Romney backers. The founders' remarks were sometimes drowned out by jeers from supporters of Representative Ron Paul and President Obama who were gathered at the back bar.

But some of the Democrats there said they would be open to the Republican Party if it changed its stance on same-sex marriage. Michael Smith and Steve G. Barth elemy have been together for 17 years and were invited to Homocon by a friend on the convention host committee. Mr. Smith is a Democrat and Mr. Barthelemy is a Republican, but their political views are not that much different. It's a matter of priorities.

“Would a marriage license change anything?” wondered Mr. Barthelemy, 50, a small-business owner and an accountant who likes the Republicans' economic policies.

“As a centrist Democrat,” Mr. Smith, 51, said, “the Republican Party posture on morality and gay civil rights is the only things standing between” him and the party.

“I've really got to make a decision in November,” added Mr. Smith, who works at the Home Shopping Network.

The gender gap that is vexing the party as a whole seems to carry through to gay Republicans. Women were a stark minority at Homocon, and after weeding out the journalists, straight guests and gay supporters of Mr. Paul and Mr. Obama, it was difficult to find any gay Republican women.

Super PACs and Party Stalwarts Mix in Tampa


Why did the super PAC go to Tampa? Because that's where the money is.

Tucked away amidst the parties, speeches, and junkets on Wednesday was a private breakfast briefing thrown by Restore Our Future, the super PAC that helped Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination and now hopes to help him win the White House. The group, founded by three former Romney aides, set up shop at the Vinoy Renaissance resort in St. Petersburg, the same hotel booked by Mr. Romney's campaign and the Republican National Committee to house top “bundlers” and donors.

“All the super PACs are here,” said Carl Forti, who was political director of Mr. Romney's 2008 and campaign and now directs Restore Our Future's more than $100 million budget of political ads. “You've got hyper-interested people, you've got the major donors of the party here. So it's a great time for us to talk to them and tell them what our plans are.”

Mr. Forti and his colleagues - Larry McCarthy, a Republican veteran who created ads for Mr. Romney and now does the same for super PAC, and Charles Spies, the group's lawyer and a former Republican National Committee council - held forth for two hours to a crowd of current and potential donors in a ballroom not far from the Romney campaign's own donor welcome suite at the Vinoy. Fruit plates and muffins awaited the donors, along with thick red information packets, a “What They Are Saying” pamphlet touting Restore's press, and a dramatic video narrating Mr. Romney's victory in the GOP primary and crediting Restore with a pivotal role in the win. Mr. Forti jogged through a Power Point presentation and took questions from the six- and seven-figure givers about polls and swing state politics.

“During the primary, we had contributed to Mitt's campaign,” said Mark Speers, a medical consulting executive and friend of Mr. Romney's. “We were looking for a way to contribute in a bigger way.”

“They're very thoughtful, these PAC guys,” Mr. Speers added.

Several prominent Republican elected officials also attended, reflecting the super PAC's growing clout in party politics and the increasing boldness of party officials in mixing with the super PACs who must attend carefully to federal rules barring them from coordinating their spending with candidates and parties. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who will introduce Mr. Romney on Thursday night, gave brief remarks, as did Mia Love, a Republican congressional candidate and rising star who spoke during prime-time on Tuesday - a chance for both to hob-nob with the sort of top-tier donors who can help power a bid for higher office.

“These are folks who have been very generous in helping us get the message out about the choice in this election,” Mr. Rubio said. “It's a good group.”

“Obviously, these groups have legal restrictions on how they can coordinate and what we can, and you have to lawyer up to make sure you're not violating any laws,” Mr. Rubio added. “On the other hand, they're an important voice now in American politics. They're a vehicle through which we can inform voters of who we are and who we're not and explain to them the choices in every election cycle.”

Other attendees included William F. Hagerty, a Tennessee executive a senior advisor to Mr. Romney's campaign in the state; William Simmons, a Washington lobbyist who is among Mr. Romney's top bundlers; William Laverack, Jr., an investor and major Romney donor; and Brian Baker, the president of Ending Spending, the super PAC bankrolled by billionaire investor Joe Ricketts.

As donors exited, a Restore aide, mindful of a reporter taking notes outside, encouraged guests to hide their name-tags under their jackets. Outside the room, Mr. McCarthy, pressed by one potential donor about coordination rules, gave a quick pep tal k about the rules of the road and noted that the group worked closely with American Crossroads, a super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, for which Mr. Forti also consults.

“You can't coordinate with the R.N.C. and you can't coordinate with Mitt,” Mr. McCarthy explained to the guest. “But we coordinate very closely with Karl.”

Ex-Senator Criticizes Republicans\' Tone on Immigration


TAMPA, Fla. â€" Mel Martinez is a former United States Senator from Florida, served as chairman of the Republican Party under President George W. Bush, and is one of the highest-level Hispanic Republicans in public life. So it was striking on Wednesday morning to hear him speak starkly about his party's problems with Latino voters after a primary season in which all the candidates stressed measures that would severely curb immigration

“We went through a tough period of time when the primary did the exact opposite of what we needed to be doing,” Mr. Martinez said, “which polarized the electorate in a terrible way.”

“I think the tone has been wrong,” he said. “And I think the tone in the primary really did a lot of damage.”

Mr. Martinez stopped short of criticizing Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, for his own rhetoric on the subject, and acknowledge d that Mr. Romney had largely avoided the issue since winning the nomination. “In my view he has decided he is going to deal with this issue as president, and not as a candidate,” he said. “And I think that's probably smart politics. But I still think he needs to reach out to Hispanics.”

He said Mr. Romney should talk about immigration, but not get pulled into the details of a difficult debate during the campaign. “The immigration issue is too difficult to deal with in a public contest,” he said, speaking on a panel on the Republican Party and Latino voters sponsored by National Journal, Univision News and ABC News.

“Tomorrow night is about winning an election,” Mr. Martinez said of Mr. Romney's acceptance speech. “What I would have him say is, have him speak to Hispanics in the country about what he is going to do about jobs in this country.”

Mr. Martinez noted that his former boss, Mr. Bush, had done particularly well with Latino vot ers. He said part of that was because Mr. Bush was from Texas, a border state. But there was something else.

“He got more mileage out of the Spanish he knew that anyone else I have ever known,” he said.

Day 2: TimesCast Politics Schedule and Convention Day at a Glance


Tuesday's Republican National Convention schedule featured nominations, protests, keynotes and 3 Doors Down, and that was only the beginning. The Times's political unit is back in action in Tampa, Fla., broadcasting live with the latest from the convention hall, beginning at 2 p.m. Here are a few of the highlights from the program:

TimesCast Politics

  • Jeff Zeleny, a national political correspondent, breaks down last night's key speeches by Ann Romney and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
  • As part of The Deciders series, a video profile looks at a Florida inventor who is not certain President Obama's economic policies are working.
  • Mark Leibovich, chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, shares his favorite tales from the campaign trail.
  • Christoph Niemann will have“live illustrated” tweets from the second day of the convention.
  • Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, checks in with Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist, on the social media discussion surrounding the convention.
  • And from the Opinion section, the Op-Ed columnists Charles M. Blow and Ross Douthat discuss Tuesday in Tampa.

On the Floor Tonight

While the theme of Tuesday night was “We Built It,” Wednesday looks to move toward the Republican agenda with a theme of “We Can Change It.”

Events get under way at 7 p.m., and TimesCast Politics will be broadcasting live from Tampa as soon as events begin.

An early highlight of the night is a video tribute to Ron Paul, whose delegates made quite the ruckus in Tuesday's nomination process. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mr. Paul's son, will speak shortly after his father's video is broadcast.

The night, however, belongs to Representative Paul D. Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee, whose speech will cap the evening's proceedings. Mr. Ryan has been working on his speech for we eks, but may have to tone down some of his rhetoric as Hurricane Isaac barrels down on the Gulf Coast.

Mr. Ryan will be preceded by a list of Republican luminaries, including vice-presidential contenders Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Senator John Thune of South Dakota.

Former President George W. Bush will deliver a video address, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak, and Senator John McCain also will address the convention.

A full schedule for tonight's proceedings can be found here.

And, if you missed last night's events, you can watch key speeches and TimesCast Politics.

Republican Platform Opposes Agenda 21


The G.O.P. platform approved Tuesday in Florida included tough language on many expected issues like abortion, but also takes a stand on an issue that has historically been out of the party's mainstream: Agenda 21.

“We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax,” the platform reads.

Agenda 21 is a 1992 United Nations resolution that encourages sustainable development globally. Although it is nonbinding and has no force of law in the United States, it has increasingly become a point of passionate concern to a circle of Republican activists who argue that the resolution is part of a United Nations plot to deny Americans their p roperty rights.

In a New York Times article in February written with my colleague, Kate Zernike, we reported about activists aligned with the Tea Party disrupting local city and state land use planning meetings nationwide to denounce sustainable efforts to reduce energy use - including bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances. The activists see such community projects as  the first steps in a plan to limit individual rights.

Since that article, land use officials in many parts of the country have  complained of anti-Agenda 21 disruptions, most recently in Notasulga, Ala.

Most of those pushing the Agenda 21 theory have been largely on the margins of their own party. But the inclusion of language for Agenda 21 in the Republican Party platform could mark a turning point, said Tom Madrecki, a spokesman for Smart Growth America, an advocacy group that works to limit sprawl.

“Though the actual language of the platform does not sa y anything besides ‘we oppose Agenda 21,' the fact that it's in the platform gives credence to something that just shouldn't get any,” he said.

He said he's concerned that formalizing opposition to Agenda 21 will bring more disruption and will “continue halting beneficial conversations about community planning.”

Mitt Romney's campaign did not return e-mails asking whether the nominee supports the inclusion of formal opposition to Agenda 21 in the platform.




Republican Platform Opposes Agenda 21


The G.O.P. platform approved Tuesday in Florida included tough language on many expected issues like abortion, but also takes a stand on an issue that has historically been out of the party's mainstream: Agenda 21.

“We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty, and we oppose any form of U.N. Global Tax,” the platform reads.

Agenda 21 is a 1992 United Nations resolution that encourages sustainable development globally. Although it is nonbinding and has no force of law in the United States, it has increasingly become a point of passionate concern to a circle of Republican activists who argue that the resolution is part of a United Nations plot to deny Americans their p roperty rights.

In a New York Times article in February written with my colleague, Kate Zernike, we reported about activists aligned with the Tea Party disrupting local city and state land use planning meetings nationwide to denounce sustainable efforts to reduce energy use - including bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances. The activists see such community projects as  the first steps in a plan to limit individual rights.

Since that article, land use officials in many parts of the country have  complained of anti-Agenda 21 disruptions, most recently in Notasulga, Ala.

Most of those pushing the Agenda 21 theory have been largely on the margins of their own party. But the inclusion of language for Agenda 21 in the Republican Party platform could mark a turning point, said Tom Madrecki, a spokesman for Smart Growth America, an advocacy group that works to limit sprawl.

“Though the actual language of the platform does not sa y anything besides ‘we oppose Agenda 21,' the fact that it's in the platform gives credence to something that just shouldn't get any,” he said.

He said he's concerned that formalizing opposition to Agenda 21 will bring more disruption and will “continue halting beneficial conversations about community planning.”

Mitt Romney's campaign did not return e-mails asking whether the nominee supports the inclusion of formal opposition to Agenda 21 in the platform.




The Morning After His Big Speech, Christie Mentions Romney More


TAMPA, Fla. - Some listeners thought Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey buried the lead in his keynote speech on Tuesday night at the Republican convention - only mentioning Mitt Romney toward the end of his remarks.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Christie gave much higher prominence to Mr. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, in a personal account of how Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, visited the Christies' New Jersey home in October and won his early endorsement.

Describing Mr. Romney talking to his two youngest children, then 11 and 8, about their hockey and gymnastics pursuits in an unaffected manner, Mr. Christie recalled thinking, “This is a real guy.”

“I hope that that Mitt Romney comes across on Thursday night,” when he accepts his party's nomination in the most important speech of his life, Mr. Christie said. “It's going to be a challenge.”

He seemed to acknowledge the perception of Mr. Romney's personal remoteness and the Republican ticket's challenge to improve on surveys showing only a minority of voters express favorable opinions of him.

Mr. Christie spoke to delegates from Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, part of a series of breakfast speeches that the Republican National Committee has organized this week for party V.I.P.'s to fire up the delegations of battleground states.

“You guys can make a difference,” Mr. Christie said. “Let's be real, it's not happening in New Jersey,” a solidly blue state.

He said the pressure of speaking on such a nakedly exposed stage as the Tampa Bay Times Forum was not to be underestimated.

“Believe me, it all looks easy until you get up there and you're standing up there and there's 20,000 people standing there and lots of millions of people on TV, and it's not as easy as it looks,” he said. “I hope that Mitt Romney comes across. I suspect he will.”

Mr. Christie described how Mr. Romney had asked to drop by his home last year to seek his support. The two couples, including Mr. Christie's wife, Mary Pat, sat on a back patio talking about policy and politics, when the younger Christie son, Patrick, zoomed up on Rollerblades. Mr. Romney engaged him in a lengthy talk about his hockey career.

When the Christies' youngest child, Bridget, saw her brother getting so much attention, Mr. Christie said, “she decided it was time to make her own move.” She performed a series of “cartwheels, somersaults and handstands in front of the next president of the United States.” Mr. Romney walked her over to the grass away from the hard patio and chit-chatted at length about her gymnastics classes.

It was a telling moment, Mr. Christie said. “When you look at Mitt Romney's resume, of course he checks all the boxes on being qualified to be president,” he said.

“You also need to know when you're voting for president, does that person have the kind of heart that I trust sitting behind that desk?

“I would apply to most politicians the child test. If they pass that test you know they've lived their lives in a way the family is central. And if their family is central to them, our family is going to matter to them too.”

He said that when Mr. Romney asked “What do I need to do to make you part of the team?” he replied: “Nothing. I'm in.”

“He turned to Ann and said, ‘Wow, Christmas in October.'”

Being the businessman he is, Mr. Romney moved “to close the deal,” Mr. Christie said, and got his commitment to endorse him three days later in New Hampshire.

Ideological Diversity Adds Spice to Protests


While the speakers on the stage at the Republican convention have been largely on message, the protesters outside have not always been so united. At times during the protests over the last two days, the groups and individuals vying to use the same stretches of public space have been coming into conflict.

One such example occurred on Tuesday afternoon, when members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist splinter group from Kansas, entered a designated protest zone near the convention center. Soon, the handful of church members â€"â€" known for holding protests at soldiers' funerals while arguing that American combat deaths are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality â€"â€" were confronted by a group of anarchists and other leftists.

Insults were exchanged. Tempers flared. Witnesses said one church member became belligerent when two men kissed in front of him. Lines of police officers wearing helmets and carrying round plastic shields stood between the groups and ended up escorting the church members from the area as their detractors jeered.

“They are just a silly cartoon,” said John Murdock, 37, of New York, as the group departed. “They should be mocked.”

A few hours later, however, it was the anarchists who came under criticism during a march of immigrant groups and opponents of measures requiring voters to present identification at polling places.

As dozens of black-clad youths surged to the front of the march, in Ybor City, and shouted anti-capitalist slogans, some leaders of the march objected. After a while the anarchists stopped and held a quick meeting and one of them, Anthon y Robledo, urged his colleagues to restrain themselves, shouting, “Do not co-opt their march!”

His comrades concurred. Then, singing the words “solidarity forever,” the anarchists moved to the sides of the street and allowed the other marchers to lead the procession.

The interesting amalgam of Occupy Wall Street protesters, Ron Paul supporters and even Mitt Romney backers has led to some intriguing confrontations on the streets.

As a group of Occupy protesters yelled demands to see Mitt Romney's tax returns, some of the group also sparred with a handful of Paul supporters standing nearby. The Paul supporters shouted the name of the Texas congressman. Occupy members responded by shouting, “Nobody for president!”

A Romney supporter, Ben Howe, paused to debate an Occupy protester. The protester castigated Mr. Romney. Mr. Howe criticized part of the message against his candidate. “When you say '1 percent,' all I hear is ‘class warfare,'â € he said.

As the two continued to exchange views, there were moments of harmony. But the adversarial atmosphere returned when a Paul supporter accused Mr. Howe of harboring an anti-Islam bias. At that, Mr. Howe turned away, declaring that further conversation would be pointless.

Postponing Retirement Indefinitely


More than a third of adults near retirement age - 35 percent - said last year that they simply don't expect to retire. That was up from just 29 percent two years earlier.

More than four in 10 of these “pre-retirees” who don't expect to retire say it is because they are financially unable to do so. They cite the need for extra income and the maintenance of employer benefits as the main reasons for continuing to work.

That was among the findings in the “2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report” from the Society of Actuaries.

“There is a core group of people earning a paycheck who feel, for whatever reason, they aren't going to be able to support themselves in their retirement ye ars,” said Carol Bogosian, an actuary and retirement expert.

The survey was conducted for the society by Mathew Greenwald and Associate and the Employee Benefit Research Institute in July 2011, using telephone interviews of 1,600 adults ages 45 to 80. Half were retirees and half were pre-retirees, who were still working. The margin of sampling error for the survey was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The findings suggest that Americans need to recalibrate their expectations about how long they can actually work, she said. While many pre-retirees say they expect to continue to work well past traditional retirement age, that may be “wishful thinking” - or an excuse for not saving and preparing, the report says. The reality is that many people actually retire earlier than they expect, whether because they lose their jobs and can't find new ones, or because of failing health.

Half of retirees (51 percent) report that they re tired before age 60. But just one in 10 pre-retirees (12 percent) think they will retire that early. Instead, half of pre-retirees who expect to retire say they will wait at least until age 65.

That gap, combined with the failure of many people to plan for a long enough retirement period, may indicate significant future financial problems for many, Ms. Bogosian notes.

A more realistic plan might be to work two or three years longer than you may originally have expected, to earn additional income and maximize your Social Security income, she said. And workers in their 50s need to think strategically about what skills they need to acquire to keep working longer, whether in their current career or a new line of work.

Are you planning on working longer in retirement? What sort of work do you expect to be doing?

Wednesday Reading: A Great Time to Visit Martha\'s Vineyard


A variety of consumer-focused articles appears daily in The New York Times and on our blogs. Each weekday morning, we gather them together here so you can quickly scan the news that could hit you in your wallet.

From the Magazine: Day 2 of Illustrations From the R.N.C.


Christoph Niemann is in Tampa this week, where he is “live illustrating” posts on Twitter relating to the Republican National Convention.