ThinkFast: September 29, 2010

President Obama issued a call to arms to progressives yesterday ahead of the midterm elections. Obama told a cheering crowd of 26,000 at the University of Wisconsin, “We cannot sit this one out. We cannot let this country fall back because the rest of us didn’t stand up and fight.” “[P]rogress is going to come, but you’ve got to stick with me. You cannot lose heart,” he implored.

In a profile of Glenn Beck for the New York Times Magazine, Mark Leibovich writes that the Fox host “often changes his mind or nakedly contradicts himself.” “When you listen and watch me, it’s where I am in my thinking in the moment,” Beck said. “I’m trying to figure it out as I go.”

Testifying before the Senate Budget Committee yesterday, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts will “reduce income” and “hurt the economy.” While net economic growth from tax cuts will be small, the “net deficit impact won’t be” because “lower tax revenues increase budget deficits and thereby government borrowing, which crowds out investment,” he said.

California gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown (D) and Meg Whitman (R) faced off at a contentious debate yesterday, with Brown labeling Whitman a defender of the state’s richest people. Whitman responded by attacking Brown’s support for state public employee unions.  Democratic efforts to end a tax provision that encourages American businesses to send jobs overseas failed in the Senate yesterday, after Republicans unanimously opposed the bill. Four Democrats joined the Republican opposition.


Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the “Senate’s chief tax writer,” called for a federal investigation of 501(c)4 groups, which “can raise unlimited donations from individuals, corporations and labor unions to spend on political advertisements.” Baucus wants to investigate whether the organizations, which are supposed to promote social welfare, are violating “the rules for tax-exempt entities” with their political activities.

A new Gallup poll released today finds that “fifty-seven percent of Americans do not trust the news media to accurately and fairly report the news.” Forty-eight percent of those surveyed found the media to be “too liberal.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) will speak at the House GOP weekly Theme Team meeting Thursday morning. While the meetings give House Republicans “a chance to have off-the-record conversations with key outsiders,” Bloomberg’s gun control stance, criticism of Republicans over the 9/11 responders bill, and endorsement of Democrats make his invitation “an unusual move” for the GOP.

And finally: “Joe Miller wants people to know he isn’t that Joe Miller.” The former, a North Dakota Republican state senator, has been getting increasingly confused with the latter, the tea party-backed Alaska Senate candidate with the same name. North Dakota’s Miller has been getting numerous misplaced requests for yard signs and media interviews, which he finds “hilarious.”

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