As noted earlier, I’m deliberately off to slow start today because we wanted to make sure everyone knew about the new ebook, which isn’t just political history but a reminder that this election is really a “referendum” on Bush policies as well as Obama’s. But it’s been a slow news day so far in any event. Here are some mid-day nuggets I’ve managed to dig out of the back of the fridge:

* Don’t know how many times you’ve read that Mitt’s unveiling a “new message,” but today’s installment is really odd: it’s all about China! Really? That’s your game-changer?

* At Monkey Cage, John Sides amplifies Edsall’s myth-busting piece on non-monolithic nature of white working-class vote.

* Nate Silver publishes ultimate data dump on comparisons of the current state of the presidential race with those in past years. You should read it all.

* Paul Ryan says: “[T]hat’s just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that – to kind of complain – about any imperfection they might see.” Annoy the media: run a bad campaign.

* Game Change surprise big winner at Emmys. Shout-outs to Mark Halperin not helpful to his and other Beltway pundits’ modesty.

And in sorta non-political news:

* Homeland other big surprise Emmy winner. It’s said to be Barack Obama’s favorite show, along with the other, predictable hardware-winner, Modern Family.

Back after some life maintenance.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.