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An Extreme Makeover

  • During the current campaign season, many Republican candidates have pushed to revive failed and unpopular policies from the GOP past, such as eliminating the Department of Education or privatizing Social Security.
  • Disaster is just days away

Progress Report, Think Progress

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During the current campaign season, many Republican candidates have pushed to revive failed and unpopular policies from the GOP past, such as eliminating the Department of Education or privatizing Social Security. "We need to get back to transferring many of the powers of the federal government to the states," said Alaska's Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, calling for the abolition of Social Security as we know it. "I'd start by eliminating the U.S. Department of Education at a cost of $50 billion and then move on to Housing and Urban Development," said Utah Republican Senate nominee Mike Lee.

Lee's call was echoed by Nevada's Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle, who said, "I would like to go through to the elimination. I think we start by defunding it, and the reason that we should eliminate it is because its not the federal government's job to provide education for our children." And these newcomers to the national political stage may find many sympathetic ears in the incumbent Congress, as the GOP's shift to the right and embrace of the Tea Party has caused it to espouse an extreme anti-government zeal. These ideas -- and others becoming part of the mainstream right wing, like ending the 14th amendment's guarantee of birthright citizenship -- highlight the extreme policy positions that have come to define the modern-day conservative movement and the candidates that it has adopted.

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Disaster is just days away, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

  • Future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness
  • Divided we fail
  • Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day


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Disaster is just days away

  • Future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness
  • Divided we fail
  • Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day

Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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Future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can't. This is going to be terrible. Future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

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Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day, Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future

  • If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn't work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.
  • This stuff really matters.
  • Five Things People "Know"
  • People Are Allergic to the Facts


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September Jobs Report Reveals America’s Emerging Third World Economy

  • September Jobs: American Worker Displacement At Record High
  • New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy

Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House

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For a number of years I reported on the monthly nonfarm payroll jobs data. The data did not support the praises economists were singing to the "New Economy." The "New Economy" consisted, allegedly, of financial services, innovation, and high-tech services.

This economy was taking the place of the old "dirty fingernail" economy of industry and manufacturing. Education would retrain the workforce, and we would move on to a higher level of prosperity.

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September Jobs: American Worker Displacement At Record High, Edwin S. Rubenstein, VDare.com

  • The economy lost 95,000 more jobs in September, as state and local governments downsized at a faster rate than the private sector expanded.
  • The drop was much larger than the 8,000 decline expected by economists and far outstripped the 57,000 lost in August.

New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy, Huffington Post
Those Americans earning more than $50 million increased their income from an average of $91.2 million in 2008 to almost $519 million. That's nearly $10 million in weekly pay!These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers."

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Attack on the Middle Class

The Long Con
Attention tea partiers: The head you're putting on the chopping block may be your own.
By Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery

Attack on the Middle Class!!
First they came after your paycheck. Then your house. What's next?
By James K. Galbraith

Will Obama Put Up a Fight?
How Obama lost control of the economic message.
By David Corn

Invasion of the Brain-Devouring Platitudes
Five election-year memes I never want to hear again. Ever.
By Kevin Drum

Adventures of Unemployed Man
Quick, free marketeers! Deploy the social safety net!
By Erich Origen and Gan Golan

Attack of the 50-Foot Palin<>
The B movie classic behind this issue's Mother Jones cover.
By Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein

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Indiana parents told drop disabled kids at shelters

  • Daunna Minnich of Bloomington said Indiana Department of Education funding for residential treatment for her 18-year-old daughter, Sabrina, is due to run out Sunday. She said officials at Damar Services Inc. of Indianapolis told her during a meeting that unless she took Sabrina home with her, the agency would drop the teen off at a homeless shelter.
  • "It's heart-wrenching as a parent to watch it. We are people and they are people," Becky Holladay said, referring to her son and others with disabilities. "They have lives that are worth something."
  • Anti-tax fervor undermines the common good


Ken Kusmer, Associated Press/MSNBC

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Twenty-two year old Cameron Dunn waits in his step-father Ron Holladay's truck while Holladay goes to work in Battle Ground, Ind., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. Dunn suffers epilepsy, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. His mother Becky Holladay says that when she called Indiana's Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services to ask about a Medicaid waiver to pay for services that support disabled people living independently, a bureau worker told her that leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters is one option families have if they can't be cared for at home.

Indiana's budget crunch has become so severe that some state workers have suggested leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters if they can't be cared for at home, parents and advocates said.

They said workers at Indiana's Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services have told parents that's one option they have when families can no longer care for children at home and haven't received Medicaid waivers that pay for services that support disabled people living independently.

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Anti-tax fervor undermines the common good, Neal Peirce, Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA

  • Facing yawning deficits, many years of tough sacrifice and reckoning lie ahead of us. But to use that as an excuse to eviscerate government functions left and right, or push down taxes just when government needs them to remain solvent, represents a strange kind of patriotism.
  • The Myths of Austerity
  • Hey Tea Party-Republicans: The Founders Are Not Your Guy

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2010 Elections: Why Have the Democrats Lost Popular Support?

  • What the Democrats Could Have Done
  • Scaring Us To The Polls

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun.org

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Perhaps the November elections will not be as harsh on the Democrats as the polls predict, but the Dems' behavior in power has decreased their popularity dramatically.

We know, of course, that the Democrats did not have a solid majority in Congress, given Rahm Emanuel's 2006 decision to back the most conservative candidates in the Democratic primaries in order to win in swing districts and take Democratic control of the House of Representatives (a decision he made while serving as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee). Democrats in the Senate followed a similar path. As a result, they won formal control and hence could be blamed for what ensued, but they did not have the votes to fulfill their promise to the electorate to cut off funding for the war in Iraq.

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Scaring Us To The Polls, Lydia Howell, Evergreene Digest

  • What’s so pathetic about the Democrats is that they could have addressed voters real fears in the last two years and be in a much better position in the mid-term election.
  • Advancing the Progressive Agenda in November: Don’t Vote Dem!


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Thank you Wikileaks - Now Let's End Wars and Occupations

  1. Abuse, rape, torture, murder of detainees
  2. Civilians are dying in greatest numbers
  3. Hundreds of civilians killed at checkpoints
  4. Private contractors non-uniformed, unsupervised, wreak havoc
  • WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety
  • Wikileaks Iraq: data journalism maps every death

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Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

Thanks to the heroic leakers in the US military and to Julian Assange and the hundreds of Wikileaks staffers and volunteers: Iraq War Logs was released Friday (Oct 22). Its 391,000 records reveal the standard operating procedures of a huge military occupation over the years 2004 - 2009.

Ray McGovern writes that Assange was presented the Sam Adams Award for integrity from Veteran Intelligence Professions for Sanity Saturday in London by Daniel Ellsberg and Craig Murray. The New York Times reported Sunday (Oct 24) that Assange is a "hunted man," having been denied residency in Sweden, or in any country where the U.S. government's influence is significant enough to endanger him.  The Robert Gates (Defense) and Robert Gibbs (Obama's Press Secretary) team repeats the same threat they did in July when Afghan War Diary came out: Wikileaks somehow "may have blood on their hands," for letting the truth out.

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Wikileaks Iraq: data journalism maps every death, Simon Rogers, The Guardian | UK<>

  • Data journalism allows us to really interrogate the Wikileaks Iraq war logs release. Here is the statistical breakdown - and data for you to download
  • Get the data
  • Get the fullscreen map
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Some candidates are avoiding voters

'Pressing the flesh' falls from favor as an election tactic - except as photo op

Sandhy Somashekhar, Washington Post | DC/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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With less than two weeks before the midterm elections, candidates all across America are doing ... not much of anything?

Congressional hopefuls from California to Delaware are shunning the traditional trappings of American campaigns, avoiding public events, debates and other venues where they can't control the action. Many are keeping their schedules secret and limiting their in-person appearances and have canceled interviews on national television in favor of smaller, friendlier venues.

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Incumbent John Kline's lips are sealed, Nick Coleman, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
With so little attention on his race, he clearly feels safe ignoring his challenger.

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