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The Morning Plum

* You have two months to turn things around, Dems: The new Washington Post/ABC News poll paints a very bleak picture for Democrats, with time fast running out before election day. Highlights:

* Republicans hold a slight edge on the economy for the first time, with 43 percent of registered voters trusting the GOP versus 39 percent who favor Dems.

* The enthusiasm gap remains: Among those most likely to vote this fall, 53 percent plan to vote Republican, versus only 40 percent for Dems.

* Dems are hemorraging independent support: Indys say they'll back GOP House candidates by a 13-point margin, and indy disapproval of Obama has reached an all time high of 57 percent.

* Voters have very short memories: ABC's Gary Langer reads the poll data and concludes that the economy has wrecked public confidence in the federal government.

"The same forces that put Barack Obama on the road to the presidency two years ago," Langer says, are "now threatening to undo his party's control of Congress."

* The GOP game plan: Avoid discussing policy and only attack? So says Karen Tumulty, who offers up this droll reporting:

In coming weeks, House Republican leader John A. Boehner, the speaker in waiting, plans to unveil a blueprint of what his party would do if it regains a majority. But it is not clear whether that message will have much impact, or even whether Republican candidates will want to line up behind it. Many GOP campaign consultants are advising their candidates simply to stay on the attack and avoid getting tripped up by deep discussions of issues and policy.

* Indeed, the choice couldn't be clearer: As if to confirm the above, Boehner derided the $50 billion in new infrastructure spending Obama unveiled yesterday as "more government stimulus spending":

"If we've learned anything from the past 18 months, it's that we can't spend our way to prosperity."

* But give credit where credit's due: Bob Herbert hails Obama's vigorous push for more infrastructure spending as exactly the sort of presidential leadership on the economy we need to see more of.

* Time to start calling it the "Bush deficit"? Jonathan Capehart valiantly marshals empirical data to remind everyone which president is really at fault for the deficit. Hint: His initials are GWB, not BHO.

* Air cover: The labor giant AFSCME goes up with a new, $1.5 million ad buy thanking Dems for passing the massive state aid jobs bill and contrasting that with Repubicans, who have scapegoated public employees for our economic woes. More air cover from the left coming?

* Must-read from now until election day: Don't miss The Post's new guide to the midterm elections. Of particular interest: This snazzy, interactive map of the nation's House races.

* Sharron Angle again struggles to explain "domestic enemies": She ducks it again, this time talking to CNN:

"The larger focus of that conversation is what has happened domestically here and our country for the last 18 months," Angle said, pointing out that no names were mentioned during the conversation, and again avoiding the intent of her statement.

Still no direct disavowal.

* And still more bad polling news: As if you needed to hear more of this, the new NBC/WSJ poll finds approval of Obama on the economy dipping below 40 percent for the first time. And:

Among those expressing a high interest in voting, that GOP lead increases 18 points, 53 percent to 35 percent.

Two months to turn things around, Dems.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Labor Day Roundup
Next: Voters aren't listening to Dem message about GOP and Bush

Comments

Welcome back, young fellow.

"Israeli probe finds Austrian billionaire behind illicit money transfer to Sharon family
Investigation reveals Martin Schlaff is behind the $4.5m funneled to the former PM's family; millions more went to company believed to be controlled by Lieberman.

By Gidi Weitz

VIENNA - Austrian billionaire Martin Schlaff is behind the transfer of $4.5 million to the bank accounts of Gilad and Omri Sharon, an investigation conducted by Israel's national fraud squad has concluded.

The investigators are therefore recommending that Schlaff be indicted on bribery charges, and that Gilad and Omri, the sons of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, be charged with serving as conduits for a bribe."
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-probe-finds-austrian-billionaire-behind-illicit-money-transfer-to-sharon-family-1.312606

Not unusual, sadly. about a decade ago, Netanyahu and wife were facing prosecution for receiving corporate kickbacks until prosecutors made the decision not to proceed believing they couldn't win the case even though police investigators wanted the case to proceed. More recently, of course, Olmert has been in court to face corruption charges (not sure of the present disposition of this matter).

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

CJR note the Fortune piece on Arizona's prison-industrial complex. Well worth reading whether you want more Americans behind bars for longer and with higher recidivism or whether you'd prefer a different sort of future...
http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/a_fortune_look_at_arizonas_pri_1.php

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Bernie. I unplugged for nearly 10 days. It's a nifty feeling, not to be glued to a small computer screen 10-12 hours a day.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 7, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

@Greg...

Glad you got to unplug for nearly 10 days. I know how great that can feel. When Joe Wilson yelled his famous "You Lie" I was unplugged in the Great North and didn't even know it had happened until a week after the event.

Again...not to be a nag...but while you were gone two trolls showed up..and ironically were lamenting all the progressive commentors leaving "The Fix"
Two other posters then pointed out that these two had thread bombed the progressives out of existence on that blog.

We're not asking you to toss anybody out.
That's obviously not our call, nor do we wish to place any additional burden on you to make difficult judgment calls. We all believe in free speech.

All we are asking is for the techies to move poster's names to the head of their comments so we can all have a chance to skim past posters we know simply cut or paste or repeat talking points ad infinitum.

It would also give everybody a chance to scroll past my long winded rants. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - Yes. I was hoping you would set about your holiday with that sort of liberation in mind. But you were missed, just so you know.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Some reports have Obama whining that people have talked about him like a dog.


However, how have the democrats treated Bush?


During the last administration, the way the democrats treated Bush was unprecedented - the signs, the harsh language - the non-stop hatred.


Obama NEVER spoke out about the treatment of Bush.


NEVER did any democrats say that Bill Clinton said several times that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction - AND there is NO VIDEO of Bush saying that Saddam had weapons of mass dustruction.


Yet, all the while, the democrats claimed Bush Lied, never mentioning Clinton said the same thing.


If Obama wanted to complain about this behavior, he should have - INSTEAD Obama joined in the Bush-bashing, which has not stopped.


This is a problem with Obama - every once in a while he comes out with a completely ridiculous statement which says more about his own hypocrisy than anything else.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 7, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

NRO has two pieces up this morning which might be of interest to those who take such stuff as scriptural and those who find the study of propaganda interesting. One is a (we knew it was coming) a rah rah for the new Alaskan candidate and another (this one's more interesting re neoconservative propaganda technique) on marriage and gays...
http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Polls suggest that voters are going to hand the country back to The Republicans.

That should work out well, considering how they looked after the working classes, the last time around.

Republicans are Dyslexic Robin Hoods; They take from the working class, to help The Rich.

Republicans have always opposed setting even a Starvation Level Minimum Wage Standard, and want to eliminate the Social Security Safety Net For The Elderly.


Americans will really put those people back in charge? If they do, then they will deserve what will happen to them, because they will be the people who decided to take the bank, where the working class got a fair shake, away from George Bailey, and turn it over to Henry F. Potter, again.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

You can't be a friend and a flatterer too.
While I admire Obama greatly I'm afraid his HCR is simply a ticking time bomb that will explode in the Dems face.

First nothing of substance really happens for FOUR MORE YEARS! For people in the 55-65 demo this is a disaster. And then even when it does happen there are no real cost controls...how big are co pays etc.
My wife and I are blessed...but not that blessed when we end up paying $23,000 this year with $4,000 deductibles across the board...heaven only knows what it will be next year and by 2014..thank God we'll be on Medicare.

Meanwhile the St. Pete Times has a front page story that illustrates my fears.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/pre-existing-health-condition-insurance-premium-too-expensive-for-many/1119922

"While the pre-existing condition insurance plan does offer coverage that often is not available at any price, many Americans are quickly finding out the monthly premiums are out of their reach. OF THE ESTIMATED 4 MILLION AMERICANS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM, ONLY ABOUT 2,000 HAD APPLIED AS OF AUG. 1 in the 23 states, including Florida, that opted to have the federal government run their plans."

"Clyde Holladay says he was excited about a new government insurance plan for people with pre-existing health conditions, one of the first programs of the federal health overhaul package. That is, until he found out what his monthly premium would be: $773.
"Almost gave me another heart attack," Holladay joked.

But he's not kidding when he says $773 a month isn't affordable for a 61-year-old man with heart problems, who makes less than $30,000 a year as the proprietor of Pedro's, a small downtown St. Petersburg barbershop."

This is not hurl stones it is to point out that HCR has been sold as "real" reform..it's at most a band aid. And when the public realizes how little it really does the spit is going to hit the fan.

The Dems better get off their arse and work for a single payer system. The luke warm mush that was passed for HCR is a joke IMHO.

And this is the opinion of a progressive who admires and supports Obama. What are the working folks going to say when they realize they still can't afford insurance...but ohhh they HAVE to pay those exorbitant premiums. And please don't mention subsidies or assistance.

"When federal health officials launched the program July 1, Jay Angoff, director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said it would offer "comprehensive coverage at a reasonable cost." ABSOLUTE BS!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Hitler/Obama on the march against the Everyman innocents of Wall Street...

"Has the war of metaphors gone too far? Historians, constitutional lawyers and even zoologists have jumped into the fray provoked by Wall Street critics of the Obama administration and Congress.

It all began when Stephen A. Schwarzman, a co-founder (with right-wing Republican deficit hawk Pete Peterson) of the Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm, said that the Obama administration’s proposals for taxing partners in firms like his brought to mind "when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939."

Schwarzman’s critics have included fellow members of the financial industry like Robin Plunder of Dewey, Schwindel and Howe, a major U.S. pump-and-dump firm. "That comparison was way too kind to President Obama," Plunder wrote in his monthly letter to his co-conspirators. "Let’s remember that Poland provoked Hitler, after all. But Wall Street had nothing to do with the financial crisis."
http://www.salon.com/news/wall_street/index.html?story=/opinion/feature/2010/09/06/obama_wall_steet_analogies

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

A bit more on the purity of conservative womens' vaginas... http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/odonnells-greatest-hits.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning one and all. So now is the time for me to take my break. I waited for Greg to get back because I could see we had a couple of newbies trying to hijack the conversation and couldn't just desert the plumline under those conditions.

I'll be back, I just have a lot on my plate right now and really don't have time to contribute much to the conversation. I may check in periodically to see what's happening. One of the things I'm working on is the Bill Hedrick campaign out here so please don't think I'm taking a break from politics.

Good luck everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: lmsinca | September 7, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca....Hope your break from PL is a very short one. You have been a balancing force here..much as Kevin W has been from the other side. Good luck to Bill Hedrick..and to your daughter as she continues her studies.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Muslims Are Indifferent to Human Life and Therefore Unworthy of First Amendment Protection (concludes Marty Peretz)...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/peretz-muslims-are-indifferent-to-human-life-and-therefore-unworthy-of-first-amendment-protection/

Unworthy of continued existence at all, perhaps.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bernie;

The Vagina Idealogs?.

That Christine O'Donnell is a piece of work. She brought back to mind, an old line of mine:

If you want to keep your beer cold, place it next to A Republican Woman's Heart.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 7, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca 9:21 AM

So is that how you justify the harassment of other posters?

A civil discussion is a civil discussion.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 7, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

This is Bush's deficit?

That takes the cake for chutzpah. Please make that your campaign.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 7, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Why is the left so misogynistic?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 7, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie....but...but...Muslim's believe in stoning and other barbaric practices.

Well some of them do...fundamentalist Muslims..not modern Sufi Muslims.

What would happen if Christianity reverted to true fundamentalism? Why surprise, surprise...stoning!

http://dangerousintersection.org/2007/09/02/who-to-stone-and-when/

"As you can see from Deuteronomy 22:13-21, believers in the inerrant Bible need to stone all non-virgins who dare to get married. It’s all very logical, you see. “Oh, you’re a woman who is not a virgin? Then God requires that I must brutally kill you. But it truly was such a beautiful wedding . . .”

According to Deuteronomy 17:2-5 , Bible literalists need to kill all of those people who worship gods, other than the god of the Bible, by hitting them with stones."

Since less than 3% of the U.S. is Muslim I'm really not too worried about Sharia taking hold in our nation.

However since the R's are again ascendant
and one of their leading Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee is on the record as saying the Bible should take precedence over the Constitution...I am a little nervous about Christianity being forced down my throat..as it is already being done in our U.S. Military.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

RU, lmsinca, and others, can you be a bit more specific? What has been happening exactly?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 7, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "(this one's more interesting re neoconservative propaganda technique) on marriage and gays..."

Are we getting to the point where nobody is writing opinion pieces, but are instead propagandizing the masses every time they speak?

@Liam-still: "Republicans have always opposed setting even a Starvation Level Minimum Wage Standard, and want to eliminate the Social Security Safety Net For The Elderly."

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Every increase in the minimum wage has had Republican supporters, if not in significant majorities. The major increase in the minimum wage was signed into law by George W. Bush (as, admittedly, part of a larger piece of legislation). Even those who object to increases in the minimum wage have reasons, including not reducing the opportunities for employment by unskilled workers, particularly the young who need opportunities more than a living wage, giving they are usually still living off their parents. Which may or may not be a bad argument, but isn't a position based on Republican's deep-seated desires to starve the poor (there is other legislation being considered towards that goal /snark ).

And no serious Republican is advocating the elimination the Social Security Safety Net, or anything even remotely close. Indeed, right now, Republicans running for office aren't running on much of anything except the fact they aren't Democrats. Which apparently is a very compelling argument for a lot of voters, if the polls are to be believed.

"What does he stand for? I got no idea. But he's not the other guy! That's good enough for me."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 7, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

On my way out the door let me remind everyone again of STR's idea of civil discussion.

Thanks ruk, you guys know what to do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STR @ 2:38pm on Sept.1
Jake

"I have the best solution for the southern border.

All we need to do is set up machine guns with camaeras at various points - linked to the internet.

We can charge people to log onto the website for each gun and see the surrounding area.

This way, we don't even have to pay for border guards - we can take care of the border from the comfort of our own homes.
Quite a deterrent - huh ? I think after a while, they will stop coming.

What do you think ???"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STR’s comment to me at 3:23am on Sept. 3

"I would suggest that you cease from these hostile statements from now on.

If you do not, I would suggest that we meet personally and discuss what your problem is. Please post your name, address and phone number.

We can set up a personal meeting to discuss exactly why you hold these views - and what we can do to make sure that innocent American lives are properly protected.

If you do not want to post your name, phone number and address, I suggest you take your bad attitude elsewhere and shut up."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 7, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

Good for you. Fight the good fight. I am also going to be spending most of the next five weeks working to get out the vote.

I urge all those who would prefer to leave the bank in George Bailey's hands, rather that turning it over to Potter, to get involved in your local congressional races, and if your State has a US Senate Race, to also pitch in, and work to turn out the vote, for your Democratic Candidate for that seat.

See if you can convince six people to help out, in the turn out the vote efforts, and urge each of them, to try and convince six more, and those six.......well, you get the point.

The time has come to engage the enemy. It is time for trench warfare. All the elections are local, so I am going to focus on my local elections.

I hope many of you will do them same in your home districts and states. The national perspective is not as important, as concentrating on local races during midterm elections, so spend your energy where it is most needed.

Fight to the very end. Never give up.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 7, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"ABC's Gary Langer reads the poll data and concludes that the economy has wrecked public confidence in the federal government."

Perhaps it's just wrecked their confidence in incumbents, or the idea of lifetime incumbency. Not saying that's the case, but it could be.

"Time to start calling it the 'Bush deficit'? Jonathan Capehart valiantly marshals empirical data to remind everyone which president is really at fault for the deficit."

Best of luck with that. Rightly or wrongly, I think there's a perception on the center-to-center-right that Obama and his administration spends too much time as it is trying to blame the previous administration. I think there is a point at which saying, "Well, it's the other guy's fault. The buck stopped there, people! Not here!" is at best neutral, and is more likely to be perceived as weakness and ineffectiveness.

And, yes, Republicans often point back to Clinton and Carter, as they will to Obama. I'm just not seeing any indication that it's something to run on.

Which is ironic, as the Republicans are essentially running on "not Obama", while the Democrats want to run on "still not Bush". Yet it's a much easier argument to make, that you aren't the people currently in charge, and have it resonate, that it is to argue that you're still not the folks who used to be in charge 2-to-4 years ago.

@qb: "Why is the left so misogynistic?"

I don't think they are, per se. They just believe that only the folks who think like them are entitled to protections against sexism, racism and the like. If you're a conservative, Katie bar the door. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 7, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Just as you left a couple of posters...who can remain nameless as I don't wish this to degenerate into personal attacks...began posting long rote pieces..sometimes..3-4 times in a row...pretty much repeating the mindless assertions..birtherism..the usual conspiratorial stuff. I respect everybody's right to post...but not necessarily their opinions...and when it's pretty much the same crap over and over...it's simply boring. Several other posters identified these folks as people who had thread bombed other blogs into submission. It's not nearly that bad YET.

I'd be the first to suggest putting MY NAME at the head of my posts so that people can scroll by. As someone who has done a very poor job of editing, and gotten far too long winded it would be hypocritical of me to deride long, or even frequent posts. Personally I try to limit going bananas to slow periods when I might engage Q.B. or Kevin in a direct discussion. When there are numerous posters all commenting on the specific thread topic I try to use restraint.

These posters show no restraint and at times have simply overwhelmed us with several long double spaced posts in a row.

I respect their right to post, they are certainly entitled to their opinions without my judgment...but I believe I and others are entitled to choose not to bother with posts that truly lack substance...again in our opinions. Freedom of speech should also be accompanied by freedom to read or not to read.

Hence my solution...simply move poster's names to the head of their post and people can scroll by them....and me. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey, we might hold onto Democratic majorities if the national Democrats listened to liberals, fought for massive stimulus packages, universal health care, and so on. I mean, sure liberals have been right about everything in the past 20 years, but you centrists are in charge, and you think Republican-lite is the way to go. Wonder how that will work out....

Posted by: stonedone | September 7, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@Liam - "The Vagina Idealogs?"
Not at all bad, that.

@ru - Yes, it must be the case that the sort of individuals who fall easily to the poossibilities of punitive barbarism represent a personality type which comprises a certain rough percentage of any human population. The justifications, from Evangelicals, for government sponsored and implemented torture being a case in point.

@Kevin - "Are we getting to the point where nobody is writing opinion pieces, but are instead propagandizing the masses every time they speak?"

Of course not. But if one wishes to be honest and realistic about this subject, then one has to acknowledge that the word "propaganda" refers to something in the real world, that it means something quite different from mere "opinion", and then one has to go about defining and conceptualizing the differences, and then studying where the one arises and where the other arises and is recognizable. None of this is very tough but it does take some dilligence and some study.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "I urge all those who would prefer to leave the bank in George Bailey's hands, rather that turning it over to Potter"

Trying to appropriate George Bailey? Have you know shame?

Besides, don't you know the Bailey family was full of war mongers? He was desperate to enlist, only he couldn't, because of his ear. I defer to Mr. Bailey: "That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport."

Plus, the movie was pro-God and anti-self-euthenasia: "Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry. You see, George, you really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?"

Plus the movie is, like, totally about the difference one individual life can make in the world. It wasn't the government that bailed out the Bailey Building & Loan, if you recall. And George Bailey wasn't agitating for higher taxes on Potter to solve the housing problem in Bedford Falls. You don't get to appropriate It's a Wonderful Life!

/snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 7, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, recommending an article on NRO, says:

"and another (this one's more interesting re neoconservative propaganda technique) on marriage and gays..."

I too recommend reading the NRO piece on marriage and gays. And then ask yourself 1) what in the world about the piece is "neoconservative" and 2) how does this piece differ from virtually any other opinion piece published in any other journal or newspaper, left or right, such that it qualifies as an example of a "propaganda technique" where the others do not.

Could someone, anyone, explain to me why we should conclude anything other than that, when Bernie refers to "propaganda", he means quite literally nothing other than "an argument with which I disagree"?

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/245649/case-marriage-editors

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 7, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Horrible writing...I respect everybody's right to post...and certainly they can post their opinions...but I don't necessarily respect those opinions.

This btw is not a left right thing. It's my own opinion of some posters thoughtfulness, and awareness of what is happening in current events. Again I've had my strongest "battles" (affectionately of course :-) ) with Q.B. We used to name call..but Kevin W. calmed me down I stopped and now Q.B. has reciprocated.
I don't need to scroll by Q.B., Scott, SBJ, Tao and many others from the right who I ABSOLUTELY disagree with politically in most instances...but all of these guys post with integrity, thoughtfulness, and not simple bromides.

One thing that makes this blog standout...besides you of course Greg...is the overall thoughtfulness of posters from both sides...with some obvious exceptions.

Contrast that to the comments following St. Pete Times stories...I mean really how intelligent is it to play the socialist card incorrectly..."dumbocrats" "repiglicans"...ultimately these terms lose their effect and are not really clever the 1000th time or so you've read them.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Plus the movie is, like, totally about the difference one individual life can make in the world. It wasn't the government that bailed out the Bailey Building & Loan, if you recall. And George Bailey wasn't agitating for higher taxes on Potter to solve the housing problem in Bedford Falls. You don't get to appropriate It's a Wonderful Life!"

Yes!!! I had a long dialogue with Bernie last Christmas about exactly this. He had accused me of being Potter, and I had to set him straight on how the movie didn't mean any of thing he thought it meant.

If you are interested, see the comments at the link below, first at 12:33, and then the last 3 or 4 comments in the thread.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/economy/happy-hour-roundup-126/

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 7, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie & Kevin....

Bernie wrote.."the word "propaganda" refers to something in the real world, that it means something quite different from mere "opinion","

And I think the critical difference here is when people actually don't believe the stuff their putting out..again I give people like Palin slack here...she probably does believe all that hooey...again not the brightest bulb in the chandelier...but folks like Gingrich and Kristol are IMHO engaged in propaganda.

Faux news is certainly engaged in propaganda. When you violate journalistic precepts and allow anchors to spout crap like..."mere fist bump or terrorist fist jab" NO rational, halfway intelligent person could hold the opinion that Obama might have engaged in a "terrorist" symbol when he celebrated his nomination with his wife. That's not news or opinion..it's propaganda!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Greg.

Maybe someone should put together clips of GOPers basically echoing POTUS on infrastructure.
http://www.progressiveblue.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=5602

For a while now I've thought that the investment deficit is the natural Democratic "responsibility" issue. I'm biased here because of that, but I loved the message yesterday. (I thought Herbert had the best take on the speech too.) As far as the nexus of the economy and the midterms goes, it is too little too late to a certain extent. But the contrast is a great one, especially for the blue collar Midwest AKA the "Rust Belt." And we (Dems) need all the help we can get there.

Obvs., the weak recovery is just killing us.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@michael...good morning...excellent points but if I may nitpick...

"the weak recovery is just killing us."

As Erin Burnett pointed out on MTP Sunday this has been the strongest recovery after a recession in 25 years. What is killing us are the unemployment numbers. And alas as Burnett pointed out...get used to it folks...we have some structural changes loose in the land that means UE is going to be a HUGE problem for years to come no matter which party is in power.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"But if one wishes to be honest and realistic about this subject, then one has to acknowledge that the word "propaganda" refers to something in the real world, that it means something quite different from mere "opinion", and then one has to go about defining and conceptualizing the differences, and then studying where the one arises and where the other arises and is recognizable."

Perhaps, but if one is to be honest and realistic about this, one has to be prepared to defend the characterization of something as "propaganda" by actually being able and willing to point out those differences of which you speak. So far every time I have asked you to identify those differences in specific cases, like between NRO and Greg Sargent, you have remained conspicuously silent.

Again, you have never, ever, provided any reason to think that the differences you see are anything more than simply the degree to which they appeal to Bernie's political ideology.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 7, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh great. Here comes the right-wing butthurt over the accurate "like a dog" comment.

Maybe POTUS wanted to say "they talk about me like I'm Hitler," which is demonstrably true, but held back.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 7, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else finding their posts being held in moderation far more frequently than previously?

Posted by: bernielatham | September 7, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

To circle back to two things in Greg's opener that we haven't connected: WHY aren't the Dems explicitly calling out the GOPs, individually, on their "plan" for moving forward on the economy and other major issues?

This needs to happen at the national level, of course, but I don't understand why we don't see more local races pitched at least at a basic policy level. What is GOP candidate X's position on job creation? On getting the economy moving? How is it different from the Bush years?

Two months to go, and it had better get substantive fast.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 7, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

and PS. If this kind of factual info about income inequality isn't making an impact on voters, then Dems are in real trouble.

This is PRECISELY what the teabagger noise is drowning out. The brutal truth, not "Obama is taking my freedoms."

http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026/?from=rss

Please read.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 7, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

All, check this out:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/voters_arent_listening_to_dem_message.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 7, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@rukidding

Legitimate topic to nitpick about.

I missed that... I'll have to track down a transcript or see the discussion. Burnett is pretty much a Friedmanite, so it's highly unlikely I'll agree with her take. (Different value set, priorities, standards, etc.) But it's worth tracking down.

I can say off the bat that I agree with the structural changes part (they're needed), but from what I can tell from here, will strongly disagree with her on the unemployment part. It doesn't need to be this bad. I would contend not even close really. It's a matter of political will, not policy options.

Thanks for the heads up though.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 7, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

all, please come to the new thread:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/voters_arent_listening_to_dem_message.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 7, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@rukidding

Memory kicking in now. I think this clip did show up in my You Tube subscription feeds a few days ago.

FWIW, I'm with Ezra on this.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/good_news_and_bad_news_in_the.html

Sorkin is another head scratcher for me. Occasionally mind-numbingly wrong columns and assertions ("no yoonyun biz can haz profit" ... budget deficit = DEATH BOMB!!! but health care cost inflation = meh, no urgency here folks... and IIRC, he's on Team Confidence Fairies too), but apparently good book.

Maybe the garbage columns and occasionally "what is this guy smoking and where can Rand Paul get some?" TV appearances are the price of admission for access or something.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 7, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe POTUS wanted to say "they talk about me like I'm Hitler," which is demonstrably true, but held back."


Democrat pols including Byrd, Glenn, and Gore actually did talk about Bush as Hitler. Not to mention the liberal fringocracy and echo chamber.

So your statement is probably right, just about the wrong POTUS.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 7, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

So there wasn't any negative news this morning?

Posted by: michiganmaine | September 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@Michael...I agree totally with your observations about Burnett. She is a Friedmanite (a man who is dead so I'll refrain from what I think about him) and she usually comes across as a conservative.

That's why I was surprised to hear her defense of Obama's stimulus among other things..pointing out that remarkable stat about the quickest recovery after recession in 25 years. The little ferret Rich Lowry was also on the panel..of course spouting the party line about how the stimulus was a total failure...again surprisingly Burnett took on ferret face and pointed out his ignorance...with that cute smile of hers..Lowry..OK and maybe me were transfixed..lol..at any rate she ended up simply smiling at Lowry and everybody watching knew exactly how full of hooey Lowry is when it comes to economics.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 7, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Capehart's whining about the cost of our military defense against global jihadists is childish. The United States was founded on the basis of individual liberty. As a result, the Constitution assigns to the federal government the primary responsibility to “provide for the common defence.”

It is entirely reasonable to expend 4 percent of national income in the defense of freedom. Never­theless, the federal government is now allocating a smaller share of national income to defense than the average for the past four decades, despite the ongo­ing war against terrorism.

Projected growth in entitlement spending (not defense spending at this level) is at the core of the looming fiscal crisis facing the federal government. Defense expenditures at this level will jeopardize neither the health of the economy nor the prosper­ity of the American people— but a sustained commit­ment to defense is necessary to sustain liberty.

Paying 4 percent for freedom is worth the price. Indeed, it is a bargain.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

[Greg whined: Sharron Angle again struggles to explain "domestic enemies"]

Why didn't Pelosi's McCarthyistic threat to "investigate" patriotic Americans cause "struggles" for Greg? She is, afterall, the most powerful woman in the world (not some obscure candidate in Nevada).

I've waited patiently all month for the ACLU to denounce the “chilling effect” on the 1st Amendment exerted by Pelosi's hamfisted attempt to intimidate the American citizenry and inhibit folks from freely expressing their dissent.
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/114773-pelosi-new-yorkers-should-decide-in-ginned-up-mosque-controversy

But it’s still early September, maybe they’re all still celebrating Labor Day weekend over at ACLU-HQ?

I’m sure they’ll all be chiming in on this any time now, you betcha.

*crickets chirp*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: "And I think the critical difference here is when people actually don't believe the stuff their putting out..again I give people like Palin slack here...she probably does believe all that hooey...again not the brightest bulb in the chandelier...but folks like Gingrich and Kristol are IMHO engaged in propaganda."

By that criteria, I'm not sure there is much that could be called propaganda in the NRO piece on gay marriage, really. Opinion journalism and issue advocacy generally tend to pick a side of an issue and argue for it. That doesn't necessarily make it Triumph of Will.

That being said, there's some great propaganda films from the 1940s that I love, and the reality is that some of propaganda films got it wrong in that they were far too tame in their portrayal of the Nazis. Which is apropos of nothing, except to say that I love WWII era American propaganda.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 7, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

BTW, our spending on defense may be 4.7% of GDP, but it's 23% of the overall budget, s it's a big portion of our spending. However, that money goes to a lot of things, including medical research and technology research (that has resulted, amongst other things, in the development of TCP/IP and a little thing called the Internet). So, if we decided to slash the military budget, what goes? Cancer research? Probably. Chemical demilitarization, at $1.6 billion? I guess we can table that. Space-Based infrared System at 1.5 billion? I guess we can skip that. Who cares about things like GPS--the development of which came right out of the defense budget?

$23.9 billion of military spending is military construction. That would be, um, shovel-ready jobs. So, we want to cut all those jobs? Okay, fine. $3.1 billion is spent on family housing. We want to cut that? Decommissioning military personnel, whose salaries cost us $154.2 billion--now, there's an idea. Or perhaps we should stop spending that $283.3 billion on operations and maintenance. Maintaining equipment, armoring vehicles, providing flak jackets . . . nah, let's just cut that budget.

Whichever president and whichever party succeeds in reducing the defense budget will get clobbered.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 7, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@ruk:

No biggie on being transfixed by her smile. She's attractive. When I used to get up at 3:00 AM (West Coast Time), I would space out from time to time staring at Kiran Chetry. It happens.

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Why is the Defense Budget of the USA equal to the next forty nine countries combined?

Surely China, Russia, India, Germany, France, Great Britain, France, Brazil, etc, must want to defend their countries, just as much as the USA wants to defend itself. What is going on here. Is it the Military Industrial Complex at work?

Was the Iraq war more about Halliburton than WMD? After all, they did receive the very first contract, for Iraq, on a no-bid basis, and sure continued to rake in tons of money, from the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld created Iraqmire, long after it was established that there was no WMD there. So did we invade because of the WMD, or because of The Military Industrial Complex? How would President Eisenhower answer that question?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about minimum wage increases. The increase did what it always does, made prices go up. My basic breakfast with tip went from $7.00 to $12.00. I solved the problem by fixing my own, no more business, no more tip and far, far cheaper so maybe increasing minimum wage was good after all. Raise it again and more customers will save money by not going.

Posted by: wonderingstevie | September 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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