THE DEBATE

Carl: “The GOP knows how to use language. For example, they call higher taxes for the rich an ‘attack on job creators.’ Dems need to master language also. In every speech Dems should remind the public that most of the Debt is from the GOP. Dems should constantly remind voters that even Republican economists recommend tax increases. In every speech where Republicans say raising taxes has never helped the economy they should remind voters that the economy grew almost twice as fast under Clinton than Reagan. Instead of letting Republicans call themselves fiscal conservatives we should call them fiscal math dropouts. Dems are almost always trying to play the nice guy or intellectual while being pushed around by bullies. Here is a news flash…. people don’t trust leaders who allow themselves to be pushed around. Republicans say Dems are ‘tax-and-spend liberals.’ We should say they are ‘borrow-and-spend plutocrats.’ We need to learn to communicate to the average Joe. We can do this without stooping to the levels and lies of the GOP but we have to do it in a way Americans understand. We also need to show that we believe what we do with at least the same level of fight and conviction Republicans seem to demonstrate. I know I’m talking to the choir.”

☞ When Al Gore said Bush’s tax cuts would go mainly to the top 1%, we all thought that would resonate wit a lot of voters. Research later showed that 19% of Americans thought they were in the top 1% and a further 20% expected one day to be.

Here’s an idea! How about sentencing Rupert Murdoch to 20 years of community service – specifically, getting all his media outlets, among them Fox, to be genuinely fair and balanced. What a difference that would have made these last dozen years.

DVAX

A somewhat dejected Guru: “Trial succeeded. It showed superiority to standard hepatitis B vaccine. It also showed lot-to-lot consistency at weeks 12 through 28, though not at 8 weeks, where one lot produced slightly higher titers than the other two. The safety of the vaccine was the same as the standard hepatitis B vaccine. I guess for these small cap stocks, no one cares.” I bought more at $2.58. You never know, but the drug is likely to be approved later this year or in the first half of next year and the stock is more likely to be higher than lower.

RAW DEAL

I don’t agree with all of this analysis by Robert Borosage (for example, I would tweak Social Security, modestly affecting today’s young and young-ish people’s projected benefits, knowing that if we ever can make the benefits more generous, once we’re prosperous again, and they’re actually nearing retirement, Congress can quickly do so). But I agree with a good chunk of it. From my point of view, “shared sacrifice” should mean NO sacrifice for the middle class, which has already done its share of sacrificing for the last ten years, and catch-up sacrifice for the top 1%, who’ve been reaping and reaping and reaping and reaping it.

THE FARM

Yesterday I ventured into a farm analogy to make my point. Today, I offer this 14-question quiz aimed at educating folks about the farm bill that will be debated and passed – in some form – next year. (Hint: it should not include subsidies for mega-farms or for corn ethanol.) If you care about 925 million chronically hungry people around the world . . . though, let’s be frank, few of us really do (out of sight, out of mind) . . . this quiz may be particularly enlightening.

 

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