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The Morning Plum

* The GOP's massive midterm advantage: Important read of the morning: The Associated Press fleshes out the details of the lopsided, six-to-one edge right wing groups enjoy over the left as they flood the midterm elections with outside cash.

Key takeaway: While the huge amount of right-wing money is making up for the fundraising lag of the GOP party committees, it's also forcing Dem committees to spend more money earlier that they'd hoped to keep stockpiled for the final stretch. Read the whole thing.

* But those poor billionaires and corporations are just terrified of the left's wrath: Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, a leader of non-transparent efforts to flood the midterm elections with corporate cash, says conservative donors deserve to remain anonymous so they can avoid persecution from the left.

* Another Senate race in play? A new Quinnipiac poll finds wrestling exec Linda McMahon rapidly closing the gap with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in the race for a seat that national Dems assumed was safe. And Taegan Goddard notes that multiple other polls show the same.

But: In a sign of how worried the Blumenthal camp is about the come-from-behind narrative, his campaign rushes out a polling memo insisting he has a 12-point lead.

* Are things looking up for Dems in the House? Chris Cillizza explains why Dems are quietly growing a bit more optimistic.

One thing I would add: Dems argue that they are fielding stronger, better-prepared candidates than the GOP in multiple districts, an edge that would not register in national generic ballot matchup polling and could assert itself in a district-by-district sense when voters begin focusing on their choices in earnest.

* Takedown of the day: "Profiles in timidity." The New York Times edit board skewers skittish Congressional Dems for punting on the Bush tax cut vote -- and, crucially, whacks Dems for blaming their own spinelessness on the obstructionism of those mean and nasty Republicans.

* Special bonus takedown of the day: Kathleen Sebelius takes to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to skewer the ludicrous right-wing assault on her earlier demand that insurance companies avoid unjustified rate increases, which right wingers likened to "Soviet tyranny" and "thuggery."

* Random question: If the liberal groups staging a big rally on the Mall this Saturday get decent turnout, will it get anywhere near the coverage routinely lavished on Tea Party rallies that fall well short of turnout goals? No, there won't be any outsized three-corner hats or batsh*t insane signs, but still...

* Pushback of the day: Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee responds to Joe Biden's demand that the left "stop whining":

When Vice President Biden tells Joe Lieberman to "stop whining" about the public option, and tells Ben Nelson to "stop whining" about voting on a middle-class tax cut that benefits 98 percent of Americans, he'll have some credibility on the whining front.

* GOP blocking yet another jobs bill: Senate Dems don't think they'll be able to overcome the GOP filibuster of their bill to restrict outsourcing of U.S. jobs, another jobs bill Dems had hoped to bank before the midterms.

* And another right-wing attack bites the dust: The Post has now posted audio of Obama's discussion with Bob Woodward about how we can "absorb" another terrorist attack, and it reveals even more clearly that he was merely comparing a conventional terror attack to a nuclear one.

As I argued here the other day, there was nothing remotely controversial about what Obama said -- it was the opposite of being cavalier about the terror threat.

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | September 28, 2010; 8:36 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Next: Testing 'American Taliban'

Comments

"Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, a leader of non-transparent efforts to flood the midterm elections with corporate cash, says conservative donors deserve to remain anonymous so they can avoid persecution from the left."

BS. They want anonymity so they don't have to defend their positions, and their vested interests--and their possible conflicts of interest.

Transparency, please. For everybody.

"A new Quinnipiac poll finds wrestling exec Linda McMahon rapidly closing the gap with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal"

She's one piledriver away from victory. That would be awesome.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"The Associated Press fleshes out the details of the lopsided, six-to-one edge right wing groups enjoy over the left as they flood the midterm elections with outside cash."

BTW, anybody else think that given the relative anemia of the Republican's ideas, and the lack of charisma across most of the GOP, added to the fact that the Democrats were outraising Republicans a few election cycles back, that the Republicans have the Democrats to thank for this outsize money advantage.

Indeed, I think the Democrats are about 80% responsible for current right-wing fundraising/money spending/etc.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I must have missed the skewer in the Sebelius skewering. All I saw was a fog of socialist rhetoric and a few risible pieces of misinformation like "even though the facts show that the impact of the law on premiums is small, just 1% to 2% declining over time."

Don't worry, this time price controls and comprehensive bureaucratic micromanagement of the marketplace will work, for sure! All it costs is your freedom! Free lunch, unicorns and pixie dust for everyone!

If the threat she issued were not such patent Big Sister thuggery, she wouldn't be responding with this pathetic "skewering." The right scored a bullseye in lit what it is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

So Green is basically admitting that he's as much of a whiner as Lieberman and Nelson. No wonder Biden's frustrated.

Posted by: converse | September 28, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The Q poll is another sign that likely voter screens are heavily skewing to Republican candidates. Maybe this will pan out and R enthusiasm will produce a tidal wave, but some of these results are really pushing the envelope.

In the case of the Q poll, the ratios by party identification are:

D Blumenthal 89 McMahon 9
R Blumenthal 16 McMahon 80
I Blumenthal 44 McMahon 49

Looking at these figures you'd assume roughly equal D/R registration in CT, with Blumethal getting better of R/D split and McMahon having advantage in I column. In fact most recent reg stats show Rep 19.1%, D 34.9%, and I (unaffiliated) 39.6%. So, I and R voters are presumed to be much, much more likely to turn up at the polls compared to Ds, about 30% more likely by my calc. If likely voter stats roughly resembled registered voter figures, Blumenthal would have closer to a 10 pt. lead. This trend is same in a lot of races, e.g. in Wisconsin, where Feingold is claiming he still has an advantage over Johnson despite likely voter trendline showing Johnson with 6/7% advantage.

CT voter reg stats taken from http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/electionservices/registration_and_enrollment_stats/2009_registration_and_enrollment_statistics.pdf

Posted by: BillB10 | September 28, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

New study finds widest income gap between rich and poor... ever.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CENSUS_RECESSIONS_IMPACT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-09-28-06-46-26

Kevin, it just boggles the mind that someone as fairly realistic and honest as you supports the lying GOP. Linda McMahon, for example has been running ads attacking Blumenthal on Cap and Trade, calling it an "energy tax" and implying that it would be bad for the country. I've been seeing the ads. She is a liar, plain and simple. It is staggering that you would support her.

We need to grow the middle class, and green technology and green jobs is by far the best way to do it long term. Many people in the NorthEast know this, so for her to attempt to undermine the public's interest in progress on energy issues is utterly irresponsible. Again, how you can support these liars is beyond me. You come off as fair and intelligent, but the party you support is the exact opposite. It really is bizarre and sad imho.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

New study finds widest income gap between rich and poor... ever.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CENSUS_RECESSIONS_IMPACT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-09-28-06-46-26

Kevin, it just boggles the mind that someone as fairly realistic and honest as you supports the lying GOP. Linda McMahon, for example has been running ads attacking Blumenthal on Cap and Trade, calling it an "energy tax" and implying that it would be bad for the country. I've been seeing the ads. She is a liar, plain and simple. It is staggering that you would support her.

We need to grow the middle class, and green technology and green jobs is by far the best way to do it long term. Many people in the NorthEast know this, so for her to attempt to undermine the public's interest in progress on energy issues is utterly irresponsible. Again, how you can support these liars is beyond me. You come off as fair and intelligent, but the party you support is the exact opposite. It really is bizarre and sad imho.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Adam, please stop whining."

"But Ben and Joe started it! Make them stop whining first!"

"Adam, you know that Ben and Joe don't know any better. Will you help Daddy by being a big boy and stop whining so we can accomplish what we set out to do?"

"NO! I don't want to be a big boy! I want to whine! I'm going to take my ball and go home!"

Posted by: converse | September 28, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"calling it"

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"...will it get anywhere near the coverage routinely lavished on Tea Party rallies that fall well short of turnout goals?"

I think we all know that the major media outlets won't cover the rally this Sat. nearly as much as the tea-party rally.

The real question that needs to be asked is whether new media outlets will follow suite. Will TPM dedicate as much coverage as it did for the tea party rally? Will this blog?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 28, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

And Kevin, read the AP article. That is what we get with 10 years of GOP economics. That is what Democrats have been upset about for the last 10 years. All the things we've been so worried about with GOP economics -- increase in poverty, shrinking Middle Class, debt and deficits as far as the eye can see -- all those things have come TRUE. Republicans are just plain old irresponsible and disingenuous when it comes to their "trickle-on-America" economics. That ideology has utterly destroyed our economy and yes KILLED JOBS.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"The Associated Press fleshes out the details of the lopsided, six-to-one edge right wing groups enjoy over the left as they flood the midterm elections with outside cash."

I don't understand why the DNC doesn't make a bigger deal of this. Create a few ads painting the GOP is nothing but corporate puppets, taking orders from the same shadowy figures that wrecked our economy. That should "play" everywhere, and particularly flood DC to build a narrative with the national press. Make it really blatent to force a discussion - much like Grayson's "Taliban Dan" ad, which was 100% factually accurate while also being incredibly inflamatory.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 28, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Two quick points.

One - the influence of money on this election will look like peanuts compared to the next cycle.

Two - there was zero chance that Netanyahu would provide Obama with a PR victory this week.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 28, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Kevin, it just boggles the mind that someone as fairly realistic and honest as you supports the lying GOP. Linda McMahon, for example has been running ads attacking Blumenthal on Cap and Trade, calling it an "energy tax" and implying that it would be bad for the country."

A candidate's claiming her opponent's policies would be bad for the country is now a lie? Okay, then Obama is the biggest liar in U.S. history, and it's incredible that people support him!

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Not voting on the tax cuts will come to be seen as a crucial mistake. What good will anything that happens after the election in a lame-duck session do? If the Dems were truly committed to the outsourcing bill, they should
FORCE the GOP to do an actual filibuster, as I believe the rules allow them to do. Timidity indeed. It would a comic tour-de-force to see Rep after Rep trying to say why this was a bad bill.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 28, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you missed the story about Rand Paul belonging to a group a physicians that believes Obama hypnotized Jewish voters to vote for him, or something.

And qb and tao think that's perfectly normal these days because hey, what's a good conspiracy amongst allies right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you missed the story about Rand Paul belonging to a group a physicians that believes Obama hypnotized Jewish voters to vote for him, or something.

And qb and tao think that's perfectly normal these days because hey, what's a good conspiracy amongst allies right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

ethan 2010 wrote:

"We need to grow the middle class, and green technology and green jobs is by far the best way to do it long term"

The green jobs are in China, and cap and trade has little to do with energy and much about making winners and losers in the energy business among companies in key districts.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 28, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

What else is going on?

How about Republicans going back to their 1995 playbook and trying to do away with the Department of Education? After all, their education wasn't worth a d@mn, why should anyone need book learnin'?

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/77991/republican-ed-dept-elimination-nostalgia

Posted by: nisleib | September 28, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Random question: If the liberal groups staging a big rally on the Mall this Saturday get decent turnout, will it get anywhere near the coverage routinely lavished on Tea Party rallies that fall well short of turnout goals? No, there won't be any outsized three-corner hats or batsh*t insane signs, but still..."

The media has already developed its favored narrative of 2010, which goes:

"Mad-as-hell Tea Partiers represent ALL Americans (never mind the fact that they don't) and they will empower the Republicans (who can't corral them) in the Republican Party's Phoenix-like rise from the ashes to renewed glory -- a glory so bright and intense, it will sear the universally disengaged and disillusioned Democrats (never mind the grassroots efforts of many engaged people and groups), and blind an embattled and sinking (never mind the actual stability of the poll numbers) White House, dealing it a crushing defeat."

Notice that the narrative has no place for contradictions or nuance; it only deals in absolutes or gross generalizations.

As such, a rally of enthusiastic, "Hell, no! We're not gonna sit on the sidelines and watch the Republicans finish their hatchet job on the country" Democrats will, in typical media binary analytical fashion that does not allow for the consideration of anything more sophisticated than 0's and 1's, either be summarily dismissed as a fluke, a one-off event that cannot be reconciled with the existing narrative, or it will be ignored -- because it cannot be reconciled with the existing narrative.

In all possible scenarios, the only thing that matters is the existing narrative. It will be preserved at all costs.

Posted by: associate20 | September 28, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

And Kevin, read the AP article. That is what we get with 10 years of GOP economics. That is what Democrats have been upset about for the last 10 years. All the things we've been so worried about with GOP economics -- increase in poverty, shrinking Middle Class, debt and deficits as far as the eye can see -- all those things have come TRUE. Republicans are just plain old irresponsible and disingenuous when it comes to their "trickle-on-America" economics. That ideology has utterly destroyed our economy and yes KILLED JOBS.

Posted by: Ethan2010
___________________________

No, this is what we get with a two years of a recession. More people than ever are on unemployment or other government assistance. Generally you don't get rich when that is your main source of income. Like all recessions, the low income earners are hit hard. But so were the NY stock market people, so of course the average income will go down. I know it makes you feel better to blame the Republicans, and for many things you can. Most of them turned into no-tax but spend versions of Dems. Any surprise that some of them are in trouble this election year too?

Posted by: Bailers | September 28, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Greg, you missed the story about Rand Paul belonging to a group a physicians that believes Obama hypnotized Jewish voters to vote for him, or something.

And qb and tao think that's perfectly normal these days because hey, what's a good conspiracy amongst allies right?"

I'd suggest you get basic facts straight before applying your nonlogic to them.

But I do think it's funny to see the lefty conspiracy nuts get all panty-twisted about Kochs and such.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"In all possible scenarios, the only thing that matters is the existing narrative. It will be preserved at all costs."

Hmmm, so what was its narrative in 2008-09?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"How about Republicans going back to their 1995 playbook and trying to do away with the Department of Education?"

I wish. Aside from lacking any constitutional basis, what evidence is there that DEd has improved education at any level?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

qb, you still keep making the charges but have yet to point to one bit of lunacy regarding the Koch's.

Their father was one of the founders of The John Birch Society.

David Koch the individual that got CATO Institute off the ground.

David Koch still sits on the board.

Americans for Prosperity if funded by the Koch foundation.

They finance "grassroots" organizing around the U.S. to protest and organize against climate legislation that would be detrimental to their industry.

Nothing there even close to this, not even the same sport:

"Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul belongs to a conservative doctors’ group that, among other things, has expressed doubts about the connection between HIV and AIDS and suggested that President Barack Obama may have been elected because he was able to hypnotize voters.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, based in Tucson, Ariz., advocates conservative and free-market solutions on health care and a variety of other political issues.

But it also uses its medical journal and Website as forums for unorthodox medical views.

Rand Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, has touted his credentials as a doctor during this year’s Senate race against Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat."

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100924/NEWS0106/309240084/1008/NEWS01/Rand+Paul+part+of+AAPS+doctors++group+airing+unusual+views

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Not all the green jobs are being created in China. Here in CA we've passed a lot of emission restrictions, energy efficiency and waste water standards that have created new jobs. We're hoping the Koch brothers and other oil industry giants won't be able to undo our hard work with Prop. 23. Here's a report from two years ago highlighting the number of green jobs we created with a goal of 1% increased energy efficiency per year.

We still rely on fossil fuels and always will, but it's past time to #1, pay the true cost of oil and 2#, commit on both an individual and community level to cleaning up our act.

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

A detailed new economic analysis “Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California” finds:

Over the past thirty-five years, innovative energy efficiency policies created 1.5 million additional fulltime jobs with a total payroll of over $45 billion. Looking forward, the report finds that if California improves energy efficiency by just 1 percent per year, proposed state climate policies will increase the Gross State Product (GSP) by approximately $76 billion, increase real household incomes by up to $48 billion and create as many as 403,000 new jobs."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The ignorance of the Tea Party and some commenters on this blog is truly astounding.

I chatted with my lab guy yesterday when the conversation turned to politics. He was a borderline birther...too embarrassed to admit it...and then started the the Fox news talking points..Obama was raised by Marxist parents and grandparents..yadda yadda yadda.

So I cut him off and said let's stop with the name calling and irrelevancies. How did Obama handle health care? Focus on policy now...what did Obama do that was even remotely socialist much less Marxist...although being a tea bagger with the inability to distinguish between socialism and communism he didn't understand that question completely and so.......

Well..well Obamacare he sputtered.
Yeah exactly. If Obama had crafted a "socialist" reform why didn't he utilize a socialist system...such as our VA program. VA healthcare for everyone...that would have been socialist did Obama propose that?
NO!!!
How about at least single payer or Medicare for all...did he embrace that?
NO!!!!
How about even the OPTION to buy into Medicare? Did Obama embrace that?
NO!!!!
Obama stuck to a largely private insurance company series of reforms...the same reforms btw that were championed by REPUBLICANS as recently as the 90's.
Are Republicans also socialists?
NO!!!!

When I asked him why he thought an avowed marxist/socialist would resort to free market solutions he replied..."because the people wouldn't have stood for anything else." I then pointed out that the people were actually supportive of a single payer Medicare for all solution in poll after poll after poll. He sputtered...that's not true. I said here is the evidence and had him look at my computer screen.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

His first retort..well look its the Western Pa Coalition for Single Payer healthcare..what do you expect THEIR survey to include.

But it wasn't THEIR poll...they simply compiled a broad cross section of polls.
Then he said well this is fishy...they all say 58 or 59% approve of single payer..the same exact %. No I pointed out, look at this poll..65%..64%..54%...this is simply a collection of polls from very diverse polling organizations that show a significant % of Americans, including physicians supported a single payer solution and yet Obama went so far to the private side that he didn't even support an OPTION to buy into Medicare.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT SOCIALISM MEANS?
ARE YOU A MORON OR SIMPLY A DUPE OF FOX PROPAGANDA?

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The Rolling Stone interview is interesting.

Of Fox, Obama, for the first time, I think, asserts that its approach is "destructive" to the nation:

RS: What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?

PBO: [Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/209395?RS_show_page=1

Posted by: associate20 | September 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1 - Judging by your comments? Not much.

Posted by: nisleib | September 28, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey nickel, is there anything that GOP members of Congress have done in the past 1 1/2 years that you will criticize? Is there anything that a current GOP candidate has said that you do not support? Is there anything that the President has done or any legislation that has passed that you agree with?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 28, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You know, reading this New Yorker article regarding the Koch's and its section on CATO, I see where skipsailing got this line:

"the left wanted to stifle debate about climate change so they could get on with the task of taxing and regulating Americans for the greater glory of the state."

It's almost identical what the President, Ed Crane, of Cato institute said:

"Ed Crane, the Cato Institute’s founder and president, told me that “global-warming theories give the government more control of the economy.”"

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What else?

Kevin Drum has a great article out about how the Tea Party is nothing new.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/history-of-the-tea-party

"Too many observers mistakenly react to the tea party as if it's brand new, an organic and spontaneous response to something unique in the current political climate. But it's not. It's not a response to the recession or to health care reform or to some kind of spectacular new liberal overreach. It's what happens whenever a Democrat takes over the White House. When FDR was in office in the 1930s, conservative zealotry coalesced in the Liberty League. When JFK won the presidency in the '60s, the John Birch Society flourished. When Bill Clinton ended the Reagan Revolution in the '90s, talk radio erupted with the conspiracy theories of the Arkansas Project. And today, with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, it's the tea party's turn."

Posted by: nisleib | September 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"No, this is what we get with a two years of a recession."

The recession -- which was caused by GOP economics -- was bad.

But that's just papering over a SYSTEMIC problem that was exacerbated by the GOP economics.

This is from the article that you didn't read, Bailers:

"""The 2009 census tabulations, which are based on pre-tax income and exclude capital gains, are adjusted for household size where data are available. Prior analyses of after-tax income made by the wealthiest 1 percent compared to middle- and low-income Americans have also pointed to a widening inequality gap, but only reflect U.S. data as of 2007."""

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CENSUS_RECESSIONS_IMPACT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-09-28-06-46-26

As for Cap/Trade, profits from the system would be re-invested back into the economy and in renewable energy programs.

"""Initial estimates by the Congressional Budget Office project that an economy-wide cap-and-trade program would generate at least $50 billion per year, but could reach up to $300 billion. Approximately 10 percent of this revenue should be allocated to help offset costs to businesses and shareholders of affected industries. Of the remaining revenue, approximately half should be devoted to help offset any energy price increases for low- and middle-income Americans that may occur as a result of the transition to more efficient energy sources. The other half of the remaining revenue should be used to invest in renewable energy, efficiency, low-carbon transportation technologies, green-collar job training, and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Some resources should also be invested in the energy, environment, and infrastructure sectors in developing nations to alleviate energy poverty with low-carbon energy systems and help these nations adapt to the inevitable effects of global warming. Revenues from the permit auction would essentially be “recycled” back into the economy to facilitate the transition to an efficient, low-carbon energy economy and ensure that consumers are not unduly burdened by potentially higher energy costs."""

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/01/capandtrade101.html

So... ya know, get with the facts.

GOP economics has been an unmitigated disaster and GOP candidates are lying about cap and trade like they lie about everything else.

Democrats are the only true fiscally responsible adults in the room. Old myths die hard, but they must die given the FACTS. This isn't 1972 anymore. Democrats are strong on the economy and vastly more fiscally responsible than the other side.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

By the way, the Fox News part is just one part of that full-range, very interesting Rolling Stone interview.

Posted by: associate20 | September 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DeMental: One-Man Economy Wrecker and Job Killer

DeMint Threatens to Tie Up Senate

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) warned that he "would block all legislation that has not been cleared by his office in the final days of the pre-election session," Politico reports.

"With the Senate slated to adjourn Thursday untiil after the elections, DeMint's stance could mean trouble for Democrats if the two parties don't quickly agree on a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating past Sept. 30. And that could mean the demise of a slew of other stalled and largely non-controversial bills that both parties are looking to clear before Election Day."

Ezra Klein: "Everything he hasn't personally agreed to, he'll hold. The idea is to just run out the clock so the Senate has to adjourn for the election. No wonder Senate Democrats are beginning to murmur again about filibuster reform -- though first they'll have to survive the election."

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/09/28/demint_threatens_to_tie_up_senate.html

This is the most cynical, anti-democratic move by a sitting member of Congress that I've seen in a long long time.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bernie, welcome back!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 28, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This idea that Democrats want to control lives is more conspiracy crap. I hear Mark Levin who borders on some sort of neurological disorder and yells into his mike randomly in the way STRF uses random caps.

Republicans enjoy twisting Democrats trying to protect the consumer from unfair practices to controlling their lives.

Republicans goal is to give business all the power and take it from the voters in tern buying more campaign contributions for favorable legislation.

It's a constant power struggle, Democrats fighting for every day citizens and Republicans fighting for corporations and all the while trying to fight back against right wing libertarians/Fox/Republican propaganda of turning legislation intended to protect the consumer into taking over the consumers life.

I guess all you can do is try enlighten voters and fight through the barrage of misinformation coming from the extremists trying to distort public opinion.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Remember that Obama had a fundraising advantage over McCain in 2008.


Most democrats prefer to ignore the fact that Obama QUIT the Federal Campaign Finance system - and raised a bunch of internet cash.


The democrats thought that taking that advantage then was OK - but now that the advantage is on the other side, the democrats are crying foul.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Nobody cares about open campaign financing. Or are you going to come up with some conspiracy about how Obama's donations are untraceable because of some supr sekret komputers!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Alan Grayson, setting still higher standards for vile and groteque behavior.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42645.html

And yet he is a hero to PLers.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

OT but Reich has a good article out today:

Do Republicans Want to Bring Back Social Darwinism?

"Boehner and other Republicans would even like to roll back the New Deal and get rid of Barack Obama's smaller deal health-care law.

The issue isn't just economic. We're back to tough love. The basic idea is to force people to live with the consequences of whatever happens to them.

In the late 19th century it was called Social Darwinism. Only the fittest should survive, and any effort to save the less fit will undermine the moral fiber of society"

http://www.alternet.org/news/148311/do_republicans_want_to_bring_back_social_darwinism/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to try a tactic used by 12BarBlues over the weekend. Simply post an undeniable fact and see if a rational discussion can ensue.

FACT: Virtually every bit of posted economic research states that the wealth disparity in our country is at an all time high, matching the figures of 1929. This research also points out that this is a TREND that has been taking place since the late 1970's.

1.) Is there anybody on this blog who disagrees with this fact? Do we really have to fill an entire post with dozens of lines that PROVE this to be true.

OK now that we can agree on an easily observed phenomenon and the TREND can we all at least agree that this doesn't bode well for our nation. Obviously at some point if the trend continued there would be only the wealthy and the rest would be impoverished. We certainly can debate whether that appears likely in the near term, or how long it will take under the present trend lines...but statistically that is simply a fact.

And so once we ACCEPT an undeniable fact, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is shrinking...then we can debate whether this is a good thing...a bad thing..or nothing to even be concerned about.

If we think it is the second...a bad thing..then we can debate the solutions.
And please don't toss off the worn out bromides of "socialism" get REAL. This country has used tax policy for more than 100 years to influence societal behavior on everything from the number of children (deductions) we have to home ownership, stock ownership and all manner of things.
Unti the late 70's this country also used tax policy to prevent too much concentration of wealth in too few hands.

I realize that some of our posters believe that there is no such thing to worry about as too much wealth concentrated in too few hands...others will disagree...but could you at least address the issue coherently without Fox talking points, Koch brothers Heritage foundation propaganda. If you are for the concentration of wealth then simpy say so...you are after all entitled to your opinion.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis at 8:44 AM

Has the country gotten a full report from the Obama campaign on all their internet cash?

There were all sorts of stories that the controls which limited foreign money were turned off.


For instance, if a credit card was listed outside the country, there were controls which would have rejected that card - those controls were alleged to have been turn off - in the charges made.


There were several other questions revolving around Obama's credit card controls - some revolving around whether the contribution limits were respected properly - because multiple contributions had to be added up to be compared to contribution limits.


So - please the hands of the democrats are not clean on these issues -

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey all, Adam Serwer has a new post up:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I live in Fairfield County CT, and I honestly cannot say what a Blumenthal campaign sign looks like. I do see a lot of Linda signs in people's front yards, but zero Blumenthal ones.

Posted by: sold2u | September 28, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to media distortions, Shepard Fairey has not lost hope:

"I generally avoid commenting about Obama's performance because I have found that the mainstream media tends to reduce my views to a simplistic position of being either "for" the President or "disappointed" or "against" him. So when I was interviewed last week by an established publication, I spent almost an hour talking to the reporter and trying to articulate my views on Obama and his Presidency to date. It is important to me that my words not be distorted or taken out of context to avoid Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing media attack machine creating a false storyline.

Yet that is exactly was happened. Sadly, my position was again reduced to "Obama 'Hope' poster artist, losing hope," which is not my opinion. As with millions of other Americans, young and old, my position is far more complex.

Let me state as simply as I can my views on President Obama. I support President Obama. I believe he is an intelligent, compassionate person, with many good policy ideas. If Obama runs for reelection in 2012, I will support him."

Also, this episode is a case study that ties into my earlier comment about the media and its simplistic narratives. Fairey also notes:

"What is also frustrating to me is that the media wants to give readers a narrative of high drama instead engaging them in a broader and richer debate about the issues at stake. The quality of a discussion is determined by the depth and quality of information available to people. As Americans and as readers we have to hold our media as accountable as we hold our elected leaders."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shepard-fairey/on-obama-and-hope_b_740856.html

Posted by: associate20 | September 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@cmccauley60

"Hey nickel, is there anything that GOP members of Congress have done in the past 1 1/2 years that you will criticize? Is there anything that a current GOP candidate has said that you do not support? Is there anything that the President has done or any legislation that has passed that you agree with?"

That is a rhetorical question right?
You are asking that of one of the most reactionary right wing ideologues on this blog. This person has yet to post an original thought or and idea derived from critical thinking. Perhaps you're just trying to work in a little morning snark. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "Kevin, it just boggles the mind that someone as fairly realistic and honest as you supports the lying GOP."

Well, granted that they are prone to malfeasance, but I (and we disagree here, I know) don't see the Democrats as remotely superior in this regard. Indeed, it is an area where I find both parties equivalent, because an addiction of falsehood (even those at least partly believed by the speaker) is the crystal meth of the political class.

"Linda McMahon, for example has been running ads attacking Blumenthal on Cap and Trade, calling it an 'energy tax'"

Most proposals of cap and trade that I've heard of involve some form of taxing certain kinds of energy, or cost-shifting via cafe standards, pollution controls, and carbon costing (which sometimes comes down to carbon taxing). A fair and objective analysis it may not be (I have not seen the ads), but there are both short-term and long-term costs associated with cap and trade. Given that at least a few Republicans were once on board with Cap and Trade (and they are, as you noted, prone to lie) you should be a little more suspicious of said programs.

"and implying that it would be bad for the country."

I believe the point is arguable. Sorry, but I do.

"I've been seeing the ads. She is a liar, plain and simple."

She's in character. You do know that politics, like wrestling--though unquestionably hard work--is mostly fake, right? /snark

"It is staggering that you would support her."

Others are stunned. But you shouldn't be. McMahon is, in many ways, my kind of Republican. From the 'pedia:

"She is generally supportive of gay rights, supporting a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. She personally feels that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but favors state authority on the issue of same-sex marriage. McMahon has voiced displeasure with federal statutes on same-sex marriage, such as the Defense of Marriage Act."

She wants to bring out troops home, has expressed concerns about a protracted war, opposes amnesty and supports border security, is pro-choice (but favors parental notification), supports expanded drilling for oil, she rejects cap and trade and card check, supports free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

When it comes down to it, her public positions are the positions I like to see in a candidate. I wish there were more in the Republican party like her, and I'd certainly favor her in a leadership position over McConnell.

But that's just me, and I certainly understand why you'd have a much different opinion about her. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Nice post, RUK. YES the income gap is real and systemic. YES is it bad. YES we need solutions using the government's full toolkit, whether that means tax rate adjustments, closing tax loopholes, ending subsidies for moving jobs overseas, supporting targeted small business tax cuts and tax breaks, investing smartly in education and in growth industries. We can do so many things without "spending" a dime, but just by changing our priorities to one in which America prospers with a solid, steady Middle Class. It's really not that hard. You just have to be open to real governance and not ideologically against the very idea of government.

I'd be very interested in seeing responses from Kevin, in particular, but any other Republican who is willing to be intellectually honest about economics in our country. Hopefully there are a few out there who are lurking.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Conservative donors deserve to remain anonymous so they can avoid persecution from the left."

What happened here in California to Yes on 8 contributors proves there's a lot of truth to that.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 28, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Revenues from the permit auction would essentially be “recycled” back into the economy to facilitate the transition to an efficient, low-carbon energy economy and ensure that consumers are not unduly burdened by potentially higher energy costs.""

Translation: we will compel transition to an economy based on energy technologies that are not economically efficient (and may not even be feasible), but it won't cost consumers, because we'll tax them and give some of the money back in the form of subsidies.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

qb, exactly what did Grayson do that was vile and grotesque? Did he dodge the draft in Vietnam or something?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

rukidding7 at 10:21 AM

In Obama's plan, there is a system of subsidies to help people buy insurance - so the government basically looks at your income and decides how much you pay for health care. The less money you are earning, the less you pay.


That sounds great on the surface - but that is going to cost Billions and Trillions of dollars.


ALL that money has to be TAKEN from people ABOVE a certain income level. It certainly is not coming from people who the subsidies are going to. That is called a TRANSFER OF WEALTH.


So, every year, a portion of what people make over a certain level gets transferred to those making less than that level.


That is SOCIALISM -


Sorry.


But it is SOCIALISM.


The major objections to that system - it creates DISINCENTIVES - people will seek to hide their income - or divert their income so that they fall under certain levels. Studies have shown that economies tend to shift and become distorted.


The Medicare option seems more reasonable - simply allowing people to buy into Medicare - HOWEVER Obama's plan TOOK $500 BILLION OUT OF MEDICARE.

I would look at a tax on employer health plans - which would be more of a corporate tax - than a transfer between individuals.

However, we have to remember we are in a Free Trade economy, and if we tax businesses we can place them at a competitive disadvantage - jobs will go overseas. Extremely ironic that Clinton's Free Trade deals made health care more difficult, but that is the way it is.

We still have the problem of 30 million illegal aliens in the country - taking subsidies - why should someone be able to walk accross the border and get free health care.


If you create a system like this, you can not have illegal immigrants who come here be able to come into the system. EVERY SICK PERSON in the world will end up here.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Poor Kevin...he must feel the weight of the entire blog on his shoulders since he is viewed as the only rational non ideologue R left standing. Although personally IMHO I'd probably add Brigade to that small group.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"You are asking that of one of the most reactionary right wing ideologues on this blog. This person has yet to post an original thought or and idea derived from critical thinking. Perhaps you're just trying to work in a little morning snark. :-)"

I take these shots from ru as the highest endorsements I could hope to receive. A bit like Reagan's being denounced by Castro, or like being called stupid by Forrest Gump.

You are one fearsome and accomplished debater, ru. I can always tell by these little tales you tell about having left these conservative cavement quivering at your feet after their unfortunate encounters with you. By my count, you ought to have most of the state of Fla converted to socialism any time now. Oh, wait, I forgot, "mixed" socialism. Wouldn't want you to get all shouty and stuff.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@ruk,

How big is the income gap? How big was it in 1929? How low did the gap go and when was that.

That would be helpful in focusing on just one single fact.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 28, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar

"How big is the income gap? How big was it in 1929? How low did the gap go and when was that."

As always I appreciate your quest for facts.
I can supply many links but that would take all day and so I'm going to simply respond with a very comprehensive report compiled by a sociology professor at the University of California Santa Cruz.
I realize that a portion of our blogmates deride institutions of higher education as liberal communist pinko enclaves...but really are we going to dismiss all education. Besides you can simply google wealth disparity in the U.S. and see planty of other organizations who provide the same info. I'll include a couple of those a minute...but first the specific answer to your question...

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

"In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers)."

Numerous studies show that the wealth distribution has been extremely concentrated throughout American history, with the top 1% already owning 40-50% in large port cities like Boston, New York, and Charleston in the 19th century. It was very stable over the course of the 20th century, although there were small declines in the aftermath of the New Deal and World II, when most people were working and could save a little money. There were progressive income tax rates, too, which took some money from the rich to help with government services.

Then there was a further decline, or flattening, in the 1970s, but this time in good part due to a fall in stock prices, meaning that the rich lost some of the value in their stocks. By the late 1980s, however, the wealth distribution was almost as concentrated as it had been in 1929, when the top 1% had 44.2% of all wealth. It has continued to edge up since that time, with a slight decline from 1998 to 2001, before the economy crashed in the late 2000s and little people got pushed down again."

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar

If you are truly interested in wealth inequality and after reading all your posts about "social justice" and the Catholic viewpoint I'm assuming you are...here is a terrific link to an interview of an NYU Economics professor Edward Wolff.

http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

The individual Q&A that struck me the most was this exchange...but it's all great reading.

"MM: Apart from the absolute level of wealth of people at the bottom of the spectrum, why should inequality itself be a matter of concern?
Wolff: I think there are two rationales. The first is basically a moral or ethical position. A lot of people think it is morally bad for there to be wide gaps, wide disparities in well being in a society.

If that is not convincing to a person, the second reason is that inequality is actually harmful to the well-being of a society. There is now a lot of evidence, based on cross-national comparisons of inequality and economic growth, that more unequal societies actually have lower rates of economic growth. The divisiveness that comes out of large disparities in income and wealth, is actually reflected in poorer economic performance of a country.

Typically when countries are more equal, educational achievement and benefits are more equally distributed in the country. In a country like the United States, there are still huge disparities in resources going to education, so quality of schooling and schooling performance are unequal. If you have a society with large concentrations of poor families, average school achievement is usually a lot lower than where you have a much more homogenous middle class population, as you find in most Western European countries. So schooling suffers in this country, and, as a result, you get a labor force that is less well educated on average than in a country like the Netherlands, Germany or even France. So the high level of inequality results in less human capital being developed in this country, which ultimately affects economic performance."

Note again...these two links involved institutions of higher learning..NOT progressive think tanks. I suspect we'll be hearing from our Heritage,Cato, Rand people shortly. :-) Again though I'm not using partisan think tank propaganda but rather numbers and stats and discussion from INDEPENDENT Universities!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 28, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Key takeaway: While the huge amount of right-wing money is making up for the fundraising lag of the GOP party committees, it's also forcing Dem committees to spend more money earlier that they'd hoped to keep stockpiled for the final stretch."
---------------------------------------------

Key take-away, if you happen to have any spare cash laying around, the DNC, DCCC and DSCC all have contribution forms on their web sites.

I just sent a few bucks to Organizing for America, EMILY's list and my local congressman. I was just about to punch up another round of small contributions to all of the national Democratic committees. Guess maybe I'd better try and squeeze out a few bucks for the DGA too, while I'm at it. (Grumble, grumble.)

Posted by: CalD | September 28, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@ruk,

I was hoping there was an easy metric to focus on (like top 20% earning x%). It makes it easier to focus on a single number than a plethora of statistics. Of course that simplifies the discussion, but simplifying sometimes is JUST what is called for.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Another practical reason to strive for more income equality is "skin in the game".

People who are invested in the society behave in a way to safeguard their investment. They are better citizens, better parents and better neighbors.

At the extremes, people without skin in the game can revolt and take what they want. Hence the French Revolution.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 28, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"...No, there won't be any outsized three-corner hats or batsh*t insane signs, but still..."
---------------------------------------------

LOL. Ever seen a WTC or anti-war protest? If you seriously don't expect any silly costumes or over-the-top signage at a left-wing rally, you've painted yourself a very rosy picture of some of our fellow travelers.

Posted by: CalD | September 28, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Note to Adam Green and the PCCC:

Stop whining!

Jeez.

Posted by: CalD | September 28, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Another practical reason to strive for more income equality is "skin in the game"."

This is ironic, in view of the fact that liberal prescriptions for this generally call for placing government means of "spreading the wealth around" at the disposal of half the population to vote themselves money from the other half. Who exactly has skin in this game?

Income and wealth inequality are complex and the subject of much conflicting data and opinions among professional economists. There are wholesale changes in workforce composition, family composition, tecnology, education, and tax laws that put the lie to ru's claim that a steep rise in income inequality is beyond dispute. E.g., post and linked articles here: http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/12/inequality-wars.html

I've posted links to numerous sources on the topic like this before, but since they don't fit liberal mantra, they are dismissed. So much for ru's concern for facts.

I would modestly suggest, first, that a few noneconomists trading comments on a blog are unlikely ever to get to the bottom of the "truth of the matter," second, that trying to shape economic policies around and to alter such complex, inconclusive, and amorphous trends is worse than pointless, and that anyone who is at least 40 years old should need no data whatsoever to recognize as poppycock any claim that the middle class or poor are materially worse or no better off than they were 30, 40, or 50 years ago.

And, no, I have no problem with income or wealth disparities. I didn't when I was poor, and I don't now that I'm not.

What is most hurting the country is the Democratic Party's continued 80-year program of inciting class envy and resentment, and pursuing policies to "spread the wealth around" rather than preserving an economic environment for strong growth and prosperity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Poor Kevin...he must feel the weight of the entire blog on his shoulders"

That would be Greg. I'm just commenting. ;)

@nislieb: "How about Republicans going back to their 1995 playbook and trying to do away with the Department of Education"

If they can go back to 1985, that might be a good idea. As it is, the federal government is so entangled with state and local education that there is no ending the DOE. They'd have to split up it's functions and put it under other agencies, but you just can't get rid of it. At this point, it's a fantasy. And it wouldn't be just getting rid of the DOE. You'd have to effectively repeal No Child Left Behind and renege on any Race to the Top commitments, and so on and so forth.

Isn't going to happen. No matter who's in power.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"We still have the problem of 30 million illegal aliens in the country - taking subsidies - why should someone be able to walk accross the border and get free health care.


If you create a system like this, you can not have illegal immigrants who come here be able to come into the system. EVERY SICK PERSON in the world will end up here."

Anyone already CAN walk across the border and get free care in the emergency room. That has nothing to with the new health care. Also Illegal immigrants are specifically excluded from the new plan. The can't buy into it, even if they want to.


.


Posted by: 54465446 | September 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Isn't going to happen. No matter who's in power.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis
______________________________

Sure it can. How about the Federal Government stop trying to set the standards when there are already effective standards? It's called the ACT and SAT. Or how about the states stop selling their residents short and conceeding everything to the Feds? States already have standardized tests, and there is no reason that they couldn't band together and come up with other standards independant of the feds. There is no reason for a large Dept. of Ed. Just have enough people to distribute the money that Congress appropriates. How much is their annual budget for administration, $1 Billion? More? How much good would that do?
Stop trying to pretend that a bunch of MBA's in DC have any clue how to educate people in California, or Wisconsin, or Georgia. Or even Maryland for that matter.

But you are right, it will never happen. Congress will never give up the ability to control outcomes and crow to the voters about the good they have done, would they?

Posted by: Bailers | September 28, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "I'd be very interested in seeing responses from Kevin"

I'd like to take more time, but I don't have it. But I don't see the income divide as being the system problem that many, reasonably, do. That being said, I think the super-rich can afford higher taxes, and that small (and significant more progressive than we have) tax increases would be easily affordable in a manner that would not cost jobs. And might help decrease the deficit.

Wealth reallocation for the sake of getting rid of the income gap strikes me as a well-intentioned killing of the goose that lays the golden eggs. "The problem is, all the golden eggs are concentrated in just a few geese . . . "

Which is an insufficient comparison, just sufficed to say I don't think lowering the upper end of ultra-wealthy income is really a desirable goal. Rather, that are other things that can be focused on that lead to tangible improvement for the great majority of people, and worrying over the fact that 1% of the country now has more wealth than they ever have had before strikes me as missing the forest for the trees.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Bailers: "Sure it can. How about the Federal Government stop trying to set the standards when there are already effective standards? It's called the ACT and SAT. Or how about the states stop selling their residents short and conceeding everything to the Feds? States already have standardized tests, and there is no reason that they couldn't band together and come up with other standards independant of the feds."

I'm not saying that it is technically or procedurally impossible, but there is never going to be the will. It's such a huge part of the process now.

I work for a large (50k student) school system. Looking at it from the inside, I don't see NCLB doing anything but growing. Race to the Top. And whatever comes next. There will be more fed influence, not less, no matter what politicians promise.

The federal government is intrinsically intertwined. I'm spending nights and weekends working on a cursed server--the one that generates the 20 day reporting for NCLB. And now, any child can be multiple races (up to and including all of them, but reporting only requires that we indicate them as "two or more" right now), and Hispanic is no longer a regular race. Rather, all children are first classified as "Hispanic" or "Non-Hispanic" than additional race information (white, black, pacific islander, asian) is specified, selecting either one or more. Very different from what it was last year, and a mess to do the reporting for (did I mention 50k students)? But there are a lot of jobs now where reporting and record keeping for federal requirements is that job. And so on.

The federal government is going to be forever in public education, unless the economy completely collapses.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CENSUS_RECESSIONS_IMPACT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-09-28-06-46-26


From the article I did read Ethan:

The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever.

But if you want to quibble over the years, fine. My bad for not reading the very last sentances.

Posted by: Bailers | September 28, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

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