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The Morning Plum

* A silver lining for Dems amid some extremely dark clouds? The new New York Times poll highlights the Dem conundrum: There's widespread disapproval of Obama's performance on the economy (51 percent) and a widespread desire to "throw the bums out," which is to say, replace their member of Congress (55 percent).

But the internals show the public disapproves of the GOP even more (68 percent), overwhelmingly thinks the GOP lacks a clear plan to solve our problems (72 percent), and opposes GOP policies like extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich (53 percent).

So: How can Dems dissuade the public from voting merely to register generalized disapproval of the current leadership amid the bad economy, and get them to vote against an alternative that voters themselves seem to believe might be worse? How can Dems get voters to make their distaste for the GOP a key factor in their thinking?

* Dead even: Meanwhile, the new Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds the generic Congressional matchup is dead even at 43-43 -- and Dems hold an edge in the midwest and northeast battleground regions, where multiple contested races are situated.

* Yes, Elizabeth Warren is in charge: Administration officials say that her new advisory role will give her full power to build and shape the new consumer financial protection bureau. Liberals cheer, and Chris Dodd weeps.

* Clueless: Is Dem enthusiasm about voting down mainly because rank and file Dems are largely clueless about what's about to hit them?

* Where's the air cover from the left? That outside group headed by Karl Rove pours still more cash into ads blasting multiple Dem Senate candidates.

* Anxiety in Boehner Land? The question everyone in D.C. is asking: Will the Speaker-in-waiting fumble the ball on the two yard line?

* The GOP is a big-tent party, with room for a whole range of views: Michael Steele defends Newt Gingrich's comments about Obama's "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview by pointing out that Obama's father was "of Kenyan, African descent.".

* Fighting for his constituents? I reported yesterday that Blue Dog Dem Jim Matheson doesn't want to vote to extend just the middle class tax cuts without extending the high end ones too, but Pat Garofalo calculates that all of 12,012 households in Matheson's district fall into the latter category. How many fall into the former?

* Another Democrat chooses Bush policy over Obama policy: West Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin joins a long line of Dem candidates and comes out against "raising taxes" on the wealthy.

* No more mental masturbation about O'Donnell's opposition to masturbation: Marcy Wheeler says we should stop joking about Christine O'Donnell's anti-masturbation activism and take a serious look at what she's really driving at.

* And she's a rock star -- only among the most wild-eyed, hard-core Tea Partyers: While Sarah Palin seems to have the power to swing GOP primaries, the new NYT/CBS poll finds that among the broader electorate a huge majority, 85 percent, say her endorsement would make no difference or make them less likely to back her choice.

What's more, even majorities of Tea Partyers (57 percent) and of Republicans (61 percent) say a Palin endorsement wouldn't affect their vote.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  September 16, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Next: Is the Dems' Bush strategy finally gaining traction?

Comments

Morning, Greg:

Curious whether Manchin made his statement before or after Obama announced the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts. If it was after then I expect the White House to call him and straighten him out immediately. It is past time for party discipline. Dems must line up behind the Obama Middle Class Tax cuts if they hope to salvage November.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 16, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Here's an argument for you.

Someone claims that "Modern American conservatives do not care if your daughter, victimized by a rapist, must take that rapist's baby to term."

A conservative reponds, "But that's not my position."

Original claimant answers, "See, you are the exception that proves my claim to be true."

Idiotic? Yup. It was even featured in a Rockford Files episode where the father wielded it in some preposterous circumstance leaving the son bewildered. Of course, it is a riff off of the equally idiotic "axiom" that "every rule has an exception".

But Bill Kristol is happy to put it to use this morning:

"A Good Primary Season for the GOP
Christine O'Donnell is the exception that proves the rule."

You can read the full piece at the link below (Paladino and Scott - Kristol's kind of civic-minded citzens!) if you care to watch a propagandist at work. His position on O'Donnell is precisely the same as Rove's (because, as for Rove, gaining power is all that's really important) so we'll see if Limbaugh gets apoplexy on this fellow too.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/good-primary-season-gop

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"Pat Garofalo calculates that all of 12,012 households in Matheson's district fall into the latter category [high income]."

And at least 10,000 of those consistently vote republican.

Posted by: converse | September 16, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

To wit:

"Hoyer: I Will Not Support An Extension Of Bush Policies"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/hoyer-i-will-not-support-an-extension-of-bush-policies.php?ref=fpblg

The President declares himself and the Dem Caucus falls into line. More of this, please. Much much more.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 16, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I've been posting items from the Brit press on the telephone-hacking illegalities by Murdoch's British paper. Here's one of the first bits I've seen from American media...

"Murdoch's Watergate
The U.K. phone-hacking scandal will undo the media mogul."
http://www.slate.com/id/2267468/

The title is a tad optimistic but a profound social good would arise if this eample of psycopathy and meglomaniacal plutocracy was to be finally brought down.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, mind sending me an email? I realize I forgot to send you my address re book. thx

Posted by: sargegreg | September 16, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "so we'll see if Limbaugh gets apoplexy on this fellow too."

He almost certainly will. Limbaugh is frequently unhappy with Kristol, over precisely this sort of thing.

re: "proving the rule". I take it that you're saying that the whole idea that "the exception proves the rule" is foolish, which I agree. It's such an odd basis to try to construct an argument from. This result that clearly contradicts what I'm claiming to be true somehow proves what I claim to be correct by directly contradicting it!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 16, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"But the internals show the public disapproves of the GOP even more (68 percent), overwhelmingly thinks the GOP lacks a clear plan to solve our problems (72 percent), and opposes GOP policies like extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich (53 percent)."

This is where the conservadems come back to haunt the party as a whole. Instead of the Democrats selling their parties "self-centering" attributes they let Fox and the right define their legislation as "radical left" and "socialist". And no one is defending...

The fact that the Democrats can't agree on Bush tax cuts should be sold as a good example of a party that self centers but instead it is again being presented as infighting etc... The GOP all agree on the Bush tax cuts, they are either far right or removed from the party.

Because the Democrats won't sell their diversity as the reason they should be left in charge the conservadems who blocked things like the PO has left them with a unmotivated base and Independents who are holding their nose and voting for the extreme right fringe. If the Dems don't start selling their centered legislation as a party that self-centers then they won't have any support in November. Their best hope is the Independents since their base hates what they've done...

Posted by: soapm | September 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

If D voters need to close the enthusiasm gap they need to communicate what a Tom Colburn/Jim Demint/Tea Party US Senate would look like. Common sense legislation like Food Safety is being held up by the GOP. Food Safety for goodness sake, that is absolutely insane but precsiely what we should expect with a GOP run Congress:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/15/AR2010091505528.html?hpid=politics

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 16, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

There are no such things as Obama middle class tax cuts. There are only Republican tax cuts and Obama tax increases.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"“Ultimately, Democrats must be exceedingly disciplined in their messaging,” Anzalone and Keida write, adding that “reminding voters at every step that the president’s plan puts money into the pockets of families and small businesses, takes a responsible course on the budget deficit and, most important, presents a stark choice between the Democrats, who are siding with the middle class, and the Republicans, who are siding with millionaires and proposing the same economic policies that drove our economy into a ditch.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42252_Page2.html#ixzz0zhMankCs

Posted by: wbgonne | September 16, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Its official: Michael Steele has been replaced by Rush who has proclaimed that he is now the official leader of the GOP:

ABC’s Steven Portnoy reports:

Following the Tea Party’s latest major electoral victory over the Republican establishment, Rush Limbaugh gave his party’s inner-circle a tongue-lashing Wednesday, accusing the power players of having a “petulant attitude” and declaring that he – not they – is “in charge” of anointing candidates who can win.

“This is about conservatives taking back the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said Wednesday, following Christine O’Donnell’s victory in the GOP senate primary in Delaware over Rep. Mike Castle despite the vociferous objections of party insiders.

“Who the hell are they, anyway, to anoint or disanoint somebody as electable or not electable?” Rush Limbaugh asked Wednesday. “I’m in charge of that! … That’s always been my purview and nothing’s changed.”

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Democrats must be exceedingly disciplined in their messaging"

Pass the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts now! To the Dem Caucus: Get on board or get run over.

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Horrors, Kristol used an old and dubious cliche. Surely he is a calculating and cloven-hooved propogandist, providing us a glimpse at the very heart of eviiilll.

Somehow it reminds me of the opening lines of War of the Worlds.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B.

"There are no such things as Obama middle class tax cuts. There are only Republican tax cuts and Obama tax increases."

That's lame partisanship even by your standards. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire. They are OVER. Whatever happens going forward will be on Obama's watch.
Do you understand that...there are NO tax cuts after this year...R or D...unless one of both of the parties decide to act.

BTW as was pointed out yesterday...OBAMA'S
tax cuts include everybody. EVERYBODY would get a tax cut since even the wealthiest 2% would pay less on their first $250,000 of income. The 3% hike is only on the marginal rate...the money they make above $250,000.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Some conservatives argue for letting ALL the Bush tax cuts expire so we can begin to pay down the deficit.

I do not support this position but I do respect it. It is consistent with the conservative mantra to work on the deficit.

This whining and carping about the tax cuts on the MARGINAL rates of the wealthy is simply pandering by partisans like McConnell and Q.B. People who will drop to their knees to service the wealthy in this country.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I have no particular bone to pick with theists. Unless they are really stupid theists.

"O’DONNELL: Well, as the senator from Tennessee mentioned, evolution is a theory and it’s exactly that. There is not enough evidence, consistent evidence to make it as fact, and I say that because for theory to become a fact, it needs to consistently have the same results after it goes through a series of tests. The tests that they put — that they use to support evolution do not have consistent results. Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it’s merely a theory. [...]

Now, he said that it’s based on fact. I just want to point out a couple things. First of all, they use carbon dating, as an example, to prove that something was millions of years old. Well, we have the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens and the carbon dating test that they used then would have to then prove that these were hundreds of millions of years younger, when what happened was they had the exact same results on the fossils and canyons that they did the tests on that were supposedly 100 millions of years old. And it’s the kind of inconsistent tests like this that they’re basing their ‘facts’ on. [...]

Well, creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that."
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/15/odonnell-evolution/

It isn't merely that the statements above are incoherent. This twit doesn't even know the basics of what she's talking about.

Carbon dating isn't used by anyone to measure dates in the millions of years but only up to around 60,000 years.

Further, there's a really simple means to verify the results/accuracy of carbon dating - tree rings.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

ru, what I understand is that Bush and Republicans have always wanted to make all the cuts permanent, that Dems always resisted this, a d that Obama is now just before an election cynically and opportunistically trying to steal the tax cut mantel. He is the one blocking.g permanent.t tax cuts.

When you can explain how that is untrue and wb's statement.t a Government is not partisan spin, I will take your point seriously.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Re: Christine O'Donnell:

First, any private citizen can go on MTV and urge teens to abstain from all forms of sex before marriage. You guys on the left weren't upset when Jimmy Carter admitted to "adultery" because of lust in his heart. Why the big deal when Christine O'Donnell points out the same exact thing? I hope she wins just to see your heads explode.

Second, the Feds should be OUT of the State education business completely. Local governments get to teach what the community wants taught, whether that's sex education (or God forbid alternative theories to evolution). As long as the Constitution is not violated, and there is at least one secular reason, that's fine by me. You guys on the left don't have a legal foot to stand on. There's nothing that I've seen from Christine O'Donnell that indicates she violated the Constitution.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 16, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - Limbaugh talks to a very different audience than Kristol or Rove. Nuance and realism aren't his language.

But I highly recommend the book linked below as a study (rigorous) in rightwing media and the correspondences between Limbaugh's operation and that of the more 'high minded' operations of the WSJ editorial page and the folks I'm pointing to.
http://www.amazon.com/Echo-Chamber-Limbaugh-Conservative-Establishment/dp/0195366824

Otherwise, yes, it's one of those cliches that pretends something it doesn't deliver and it's always a good to take potshots at such.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

there were over $200 billion in middle class tax cuts in the stimulus bill that ALL Rs opposed. Obama campaigned in 2008 on middle class tax cuts and has been advocating the extension of them since his inauguration. Those facts apparently don't fit into the GOP script but the better question is if the GOP truly supports all tax cuts, why they would now oppose NEW PERMANENT middle class and research tax cuts. The current tax cuts are not permanent, would anyone question that? So pass them now and if Palin and the GOP then want to campaign in 2012 on cutting additional unpaid for taxes for Paris Hilton, all power to them.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@quarterback1 "There are no such things as Obama middle class tax cuts. There are only Republican tax cuts and Obama tax increases."

Which is why taxes are at a 50 year low under Obama. It's because he keeps increasing them... Someday I will understand conservative logic???

Posted by: soapm | September 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

BTW: a "serious look" at what Christine O'Donnell is saying does not include dismissing as some kind of punishment for men (or women). For instance, how many STDs would there even be if all sex was only within marriage (between one man and one woman)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"You can read the full piece at the link below..."

Which you should definitely do so as not to be deceived by Bernie. In the actual article, as opposed to the sub-headline that Bernie cites, Kristol says simply:

"Christine O'Donnell is the exception to the rule that Republicans have, on the whole, nominated strong, electable and conservative candidates in key Senate, gubernatorial, and House races."

Note there is nothing about "proving" anything. Just a commonplace expression of Kristol's opinion that most GOP nominees are electable, while O'Donnell is not. Such "propaganda"!

BTW, Bernie says this:

"[Kristol's] position on O'Donnell is precisely the same as Rove's..."

And, it turns out, precisely the same as Bernie Latham's! Just the other day Bernie was "hoping" that O'Donnell would win the GOP nomination because, just like Kristol, he thinks she can't win in the general election.

The fact that Bernie is now accusing Kristol of engaging in "propaganda" for articulating a position that Bernie himself thinks is true suggests that Bernie's routine attacks on Kristol (and, likely, others) has little to do with anything Kristol actually says or does, and more to do with the fevered imaginations of Chomskyite conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"When you can explain how that is untrue and wb's statement.t a Government is not partisan spin, I will take your point seriously."

We know Republican's want to cut taxes and make those cuts permanent, the question is is that the responsible thing to do? How will we pay for the cuts? How can we sustain them? Do we keep borrowing from the Chinese? How can we continue to function with the cuts? Do we get rid of the military, police and fire fighters? Do we get rid of all the teachers? How about homeland security, CIA and FBI? Do we get rid of them also?

Unlike what they want you to believe, eliminating all entitlement would still leave us a deficit with the cuts Bush made. Can't you see that? What Bush did was irresponsible which is why the Democrats opposed them.

Posted by: soapm | September 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@Greg (PLEASE UPDATE YOUR POST)

"...Pat Garofalo calculates that all of 12,012 households in Matheson's district fall into the latter category. How many fall into the former?"

According to the same census data that Garofalo used to find the 12,012 number...there are a TOTAL of 295,786 households in his district.

This means:
Households UNDER $200,000 = 283,774 (~96%)
Households OVER $200,000 = 12,012 (~4%)

It's also worth noting that this is only to $200k, since it doesn't break it out at $250k. So it's likely that the number/percentages are even worse for Matheson's argument than they look here.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Marcy!

Well, at least O'Donnell isn't discriminatory in her freakdom-she doesn't want anyone to have fun.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 16, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Clawrence - "the same thing". Well, no, it isn't. Carter was speaking only of himself and explicitly stated that this was a matter between he and his God, not a social or moral mandate to be pushed on others...

"Because I'm just human and I'm tempted and Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Christ said, I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery. I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.... This is something that God recognizes, that I will do and have done, and God forgives me for it. But that doesn't mean that I condemn someone who not only looks on a woman with lust but who leaves his wife and shacks up with somebody out of wedlock. Christ says, don't consider yourself better than someone else because one guy screws a whole bunch of women while the other guy is loyal to his wife. The guy who's loyal to his wife ought not to be condescending or proud because of the relative degree of sinfulness."

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Illegal immigration.

It's the topic of the day, even eclipsing the economy, in some elections already.

My prediction is that it will have become the second most important NATIONAL topic by the time that 2012 election season rolls around.

Economically challenged people in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas, all of which are suffering higher-than average unemployment, are increasingly intolerant of competition over jobs (e.g., at McDonald's) with illegal workers, and with years of neglect at every level of government, under both parties.

Posted by: paul65 | September 16, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

glad to hear that O'Donnell and her supporters have chosen to campaign on the important issues of the day,lol

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 16, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "http://www.amazon.com/Echo-Chamber-Limbaugh-Conservative-Establishment/dp/0195366824"

Is it better than David Brock's "Republican Noise Machine"? I found that interminable.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 16, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"For instance, how many STDs would there even be if all sex was only within marriage (between one man and one woman)?"

Yes, but then what would conservative lawmakers do in their spare time?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 16, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "http://www.amazon.com/Echo-Chamber-Limbaugh-Conservative-Establishment/dp/0195366824"

Is it better than David Brock's "Republican Noise Machine"? I found that interminable.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 16, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I still can't believe Republicans are willing to raise taxes on the middle class if they don't get their way.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 16, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Whatever it was that the GOP wanted ten years ago, rather than negotiate in good faith, they chose to ram their version of tax cuts down the throats of the American people by using reconciliation. As a result, the ridiculous budget busting tax cuts they passed are set to expire at the end of this year. Rather than allow that to happen, the President and the majority of pragmatic Democrats are attempting to pass reasonable middle class tax cuts that will not explode the deficit about which the GOP so cynically and disingenuously claim to have concern.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 16, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

qb (and Kevin):

"Horrors, Kristol used an old and dubious cliche."

You should know better by now than to take Bernie at his word. Always, always check his sources. (He has obviuosly learned his trade at the feet of the deceptive Chomsky.)

Kristol did not use the old cliche. Some headline writer at WS did. As I point out above, Kristol simply said that O'Donnell was an exception to the rule that the GOP had elected strong candidates. He didn't claim that anything was "proved" by her exception.

As usual, Bernie is trying to make something out of nothing, as propagandists are wont to do.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Q.B. Point accepted. Certainly R's are always for tax cuts. But technically it will be Obama's tax cuts IF he gets them through since the R tax cuts did expire.

They expired because of the R's manipulations in the Senate revolving around how much deficit these cuts produced. And so I'll concede your point that if the R's had their way then they would have made them permanent!

But that begs the question...isn't it hypocritical to whine about the deficit and then support a tax plan which would add more to the deficit than Obama's stimulus and Bush's TARP combined?

Again for conservatives who want to let ALL the tax cuts expire...I don't agree but I understand and respect their opinion...they are being honest and perhaps more importantly CONSISTENT.
For those who whine about the 3% increase on the marginal rate...they should then be required to shutup about the deficit since again even that slice of the tax cuts contributes to the deficit more than the stimulus and TARP combined.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

ANOINT?!?!

-----

“Who the hell are they, anyway, to anoint or disanoint somebody as electable or not electable?” Rush Limbaugh asked Wednesday. “I’m in charge of that! … That’s always been my purview and nothing’s changed.”

-----

Can you imagine if Keith Olberman or Rachel Maddow said that?

OMG.

The GOP is out to lunch. Insane asylum.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 16, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Sullivan on O'Donnell...

"What also strikes me is how O'Donnell disproves the notion that the tea party is uninterested in social issues. O'Donnell is a fundamentalist fanatic - a social reactionary of almost comic proportions. She opposes legal abortion in cases of rape and ince$t, opposes m*sturbation, women in the military and sees gays as "curable". And yet there seems no tension between her and the fiscally-oriented tea-partiers. This hope that somehow they can mean the down-playing of Christianism seems like wishful thinking to me. And the idea of these people running foreign policy on the basis of religious doctrine, Greater Israel, institutionalized torture and anti-Muslim bigotry, is terrifying." http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

Yes, it is.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, I am not condemning anyone.

schrodingerscat, Vitter is not a conservative.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan - But Limbaugh is exactly right. That has been his purview. And he is very proud of it, having actually quoted from the Annenburg book I noted above on numerous occasions to valid his egomaniacal perception of what he has been able to achieve in supporting or in eliminating candidates.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@bernie, he's definitely right. It's crazy nonetheless.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 16, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

ScottC, thanks for the warning about Bernie.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

JOBS JOBS JOBS...

...Wait, did somebody say JOBS?

-----

* Weekly jobless claims hit two-month low *

Claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, dropping to a two-month low, according a government report on Thursday that hinted at some stability in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 450,000, the lowest since the week ended July 10, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 460,000 from the previously reported 451,000 the prior week, which was slightly revised up to 453,000 in Thursday's report.

A Labor Department official said data for only two states had been estimated for last week's report. The four-week average of new jobless claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends, dropped 13,500 to 464,750.

The second straight week of declines pulled claims for unemployment benefits further away from a nine-month high of 504,000 touched in mid-August and claims are now in the upper end of a 400,000-450,000 range that analysts say is associated with sustainable job growth.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/09/weekly_jobless_claims_hit_two-month_low.php

"claims are now in the upper end of a 400,000-450,000 range that analysts say is associated with sustainable job growth"

"sustainable growth"

Where's Skip?

You know how you keep asking "Where are the jobs?"

Are you paying attention?

Hello? Bueler? Wakey wakey Skippy Skip!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 16, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@Paul "My prediction is that it will have become the second most important NATIONAL topic by the time that 2012 election season rolls around."

Agreed..in fact if the economy improves it'll move to the top of the list.

However I would suggest a far more motivating driving force...my friends who have been laid off here in Florida are not carping about not getting to bend over all day in the strawberry fields...or squatting under cows to hook up the milking machines...admittedly "some" jobs in our area..most notably "lawn services" and construction certainly have an economic incentive to support stringent immigration laws.

The major reason however is purely political...as in electoral. The R's are a dying breed...the demographics do not favor them..both in terms of racial diversity...Hispanics, blacks etc..and also in age demos...it's was largely a movement that got out the youth vote that put Obama in office to begin with. If you look at tea party rallies for example..the predominate demo is older white folks...a shrinking demo in our country.

The R's would like to put off the inevitable for as long as possible. Virtually all the genuine immigration reform that reached "some" bi-partisan consensus under Bush..with McCain and Kennedy doing the lifting...contained some form of "amnesty"....requiring undocumented workers to learn English...pay any back taxes...civics courses such as are currently required of immigrants etc.

But the R's are now deathly afraid of any law that would put 8-10 million more Hispanics on the voter's rolls. They realize they have alienated Hispanics for at least a generation and so it would simply speed up the decline and fall of the Republican rich white guy empire.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"schrodingerscat, Vitter is not a conservative."

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

I suppose neither was Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Roy Ashburn,.....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

All, check this out: New evidence the Dems' message about Bush may finally be gaining traction:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/is_the_dem_tie-gop-to-bush_str.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan "The GOP is out to lunch. Insane asylum."

And the GOP now gives new meaning to the old bromide about "the inmates running the asylum."

And apparently unlike mental illness..wingnuttery is contagious.
Look at News Gingrich. This man has surely lost his mind.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

JOBS JOBS JOBS...

The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell, and those getting extended payments plunged.

“The labor market may finally be gaining traction after a long period of uncertainty,” said John Herrmann, senior fixed- income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston. “This fits with the view that private payrolls in September should grow by nearly 100,000, possibly better.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-16/jobless-claims-in-u-s-unexpectedly-decline-to-lowest-level-in-two-months.html

"private payrolls in September should grow by nearly 100,000, possibly better"

Skippy Skip, wakey wakey! Here's your jobs!

Paying attention Skip?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@S'cat "Yes, but then what would conservative lawmakers do in their spare time?"

I swear if we had audio on this blog we'd have to arrange for a drum and cymbals to give you a rimshot....That was some funny snark.

It's been said there is not that much difference between D's and R's

D's love to tax and spend.
R's love to borrow and spend.

Might I add..
D's love sex, drugs and rock and roll.
R's love sex, drugs and rock and roll...but only in the closet.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Totally RUK. He didn't have much to lose, either.

Clinton said it best yesterday.

Political PHILOSOPHY is one thing, but political IDEOLOGY is extremely dangerous because it demands and necessitates a willful ignorance of factual evidence.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I realize Republicans already assume they're taking at least one chamber of Congress, and the odds of them doing so are pretty good. It's possible, if not likely, that voters will find the GOP's message, agenda, and tactics to be completely wrong, and then elect them anyway.

But reading a poll like this, it's hard not to think Dems still have a chance.

* Asked for their opinion on the way congressional Democrats have done their jobs, 30% of respondents approved. Asked the same about congressional Republicans, only 20% approved.

* Generally speaking, 45% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, the highest score in a year. For the GOP, 34% have a favorable opinion. At this point in 1994, when Republicans took control of Congress, the party's favorable rating was 52%.

* 39% of Americans believe President Obama has a clear plan for solving the nation's problems. 18% say the same about congressional Republicans.

* Which party has better ideas for solving the nation's problems? 40% say Democrats, 33% say Republicans.

* Who's doing more to improve the economy? 48% say President Obama, 28% say Republicans.

* Which party is more likely to create new jobs? 44% say Democrats, 38% say Republicans.

* Which party will do more to help the middle class? 55% say Democrats, 33% say Republicans.

* Who's to blame for the economic mess? 37% say the Bush administration, 11% say Congress, 5% say the Obama administration.

Even on health care, 40% support repeal. But when the poll tells respondents that repeal would go back to allowing insurance companies to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, support for repeal drops to 19% -- suggesting the repeal push would fail miserably if Americans were told of the consequences.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025690.php

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't "assume" we will take back at least one chamber.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ru, no I don't think it is hypocritical to critize the deficit while supporting marginal tax rate cuts. The deficit is caused by spending to much not taxing too little, and most conservatives believe both that rates are unfairly high and that lower rates produce higher growth and have to take priority.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I am duly contrite.

cmc, that is a sorry attempt at revisionism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I am duly contrite.

cmc, that is a sorry attempt at revisionism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

This story from O'Donnell's campaign staff is just unbelievable. She acts like an immature ego maniac, 10 year old kid. It would be hard to make up this behavior and I urge all to read this story. Apparently she struggles to do simple things like pay her rent or phone bills and thinks she deserved a spot as a speaker at the GOP Convention, spent $3000 to travel to Ca to collect $200 in contributions and passed out 10,000 containers of sun tan lotion.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42321.html

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 17, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

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