ThinkFast: October 5, 2010

MSNBC is embracing a new “progressive political identity,” with the tagline “Lean Forward.” “It’s an umbrella that’s pretty wide, but that does have a progressive sensibility,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin. “We’re confident. We’re strong. Let’s not live in the past, let’s not live by fear.”

This year, Republican candidates have been “noticeably absent” from public events, televised interviews, and debates, “out of fear of a gotcha moment that will come back to haunt them.” Tea party candidates have been especially reticent, and “the lengths to which some of the hopefuls have gone — such as refusing to release public schedules to local reporters — have astounded veteran political observers.”

In her first campaign ad of the general election, Christine O’Donnell (R) assures voters that she is “not a witch.” O’Donnell addresses the camera directly and tells voters that she isn’t perfect, but rather: “I’m you.”

The U.S. transportation system is failing, according to a bipartisan panel of experts. Their report, released yesterday, says that American infrastructure is in severe need of repair and the problem will lead to “a steady erosion of the social and economic foundations for American prosperity in the long run.”


The White House has announced that it will be installing solar panels on its roof, following last month’s attempt by global warming activists to deliver panels to the Oval Office. The “solar panels — which will be installed by spring 2011 — will heat water and supply some of the first family’s electricity.”

Families of 9/11 victims yesterday “lost their bid to get the Supreme Court to rule that New York City must provide a proper burial for material taken from the World Trade Center site because it could contain the ashes of victims.” The justices said they would not hear an appeal from the families, whose requests had been denied by lower courts.

In the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board meeting yesterday, two conservative members pressed President Obama to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, “triggering an unexpected debate” over a major election issue. Obama told the former Bush and Reagan appointees that an extension “would turn into a permanent extension” that increases the deficit “with little increase in demand.”

According to data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions “are being deported in recent years, driving up the number of people being removed” from the U.S. “Of the 350,000 people deported this year, more than half had criminal convictions, a 55 percent increase since 2008.”

During a discussion yesterday with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the state’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said that Medicaid’s lenient eligibility standards have led to “intergenerational welfare.” Paul said too many people are receiving Medicaid who don’t need it, noting half the state’s births are covered by it.


And finally: Asked about his relationship with President Obama last night on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, notoriously tan House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) poked fun at himself, saying of their meetings, “But first thing that happens is, you know, I come in and he’ll say Boehner, you’re almost as dark as me.”

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