So today we’ll have the usual Special Evening Event drill of an early suspension of blogging followed by live-blogging of tonight’s Biden-Ryan debate. I’d recommend PA as a superior and less perilous accompaniment to watching the debate than Twitter, where the herds do tend to stampede.

Here are some mid-day consumables:

* New weekly jobless claims numbers drop to lowest level in four years.

* Atlantic‘s Robert Wright discusses factors raising the likelihood of war between Turkey and Syria.

* TNR’s Nate Cohn reports on big new batch o’ battleground polls, which show Romney gains smaller than in national polls.

* Weigel explores growing use of moms by Republican candidates to vouch for good will towards Medicare.

* Josh Marshall argues you can call Romney both hard-core conservative and a flip-flopper, since he keeps flipping and flopping from his hard-core policy commitments.

And in non-political news:

* Bay Area baseball frenzy: A’s survive last night, Giants battling today.

Back in a bit.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.