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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 09:07 AM ET, 10/20/2011

The Morning Plum

* Newsflash: Only one party’s jobs plan will actually create jobs: Finally!!! My pick for read of the morning is Post fact checker Glenn Kessler’s brutal evisceration of the Senate GOP’s “ludicrous” claims about its new jobs plan. As you know, Rand Paul has been claiming it would create five million jobs, and multiple news orgs continue to refer to the plan as a “jobs plan” without making any kind of serious effort to determine whether it would actually create jobs in a manner that will pull us out of the crisis or divert another recession.

But as Kessler documents at length, even if you accept the studies and basic methodology behind the Senate GOP jobs plan, “in most cases they indicate the GOP proposals would do little to create jobs in the near future.” Got that? A jobs plan that experts say won’t create jobs.

Kessler is well respected among other journalists, so maybe other news orgs will get serious about answering a core question at the center of our politics right now, one with potentially far-reaching ramifications for the country.

In the view of experts, are both parties making a serious and legitimate contribution to the debate over what to do to alleviate a national crisis that’s causing mass economic suffering? Or is only one party making a serious contribution to that debate?

* A majority blames Obama for the economy: However insufficient the GOP jobs plan is, the fact is that Obama runs the place. Gallup finds this morning that for the first time, a majority, or 53 percent, blame him for the state of the economy. While a higher number (69 percent) blames Bush, this still reveals a perilous dynamic for the president.

As I’ve been saying here regularly, the unpleasant truth for Obama is that he may well pay the greatest political price if the economy continues to sputter — even if Republicans continue blocking jobs creation ideas that the public supports, and even if Republicans continue offering jobs plans that get panned by experts. This poll suggests that this problem could get worse before it gets better.

(Update: In fairness, it should be noted that Obama has also been called out for exaggerating the claims of economists about his jobs bill.)

* How will “moderate” Dems and GOPers vote on jobs provision? A vote is now set for this week on a major provision of Obama's jobs bill: State aid for hiring teachers and first-responders. So we are again going to discover whether “moderate” and “centrist” Dems and Republicans are willing to actually embrace moderate and centrist solutions to help alleviate a major national crisis.

* Is Occupy Wall Street shifting the conversation to jobs? Remember how it seemed like we were trapped in that Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop for months and months? Well, Zaid Jilani tallies up recent cable TV converage and makes a striking discovery: The deficit has largely vanished from the conversation and has been replaced with the topic that really matters — unemployment. He documents it in chart form.

Does that count as something of a victory for the movement in and of itself?

* How Obama should embrace Occupy Wall Street: A must-read E.J. Dionne column on one of my pet obsessions — how the conversation is shifting in the direction of left wing populist concerns such as fair taxation and income inequality. Note how Dionne ties Occupy Wall Street to Obama’s early strategy of forever seeking compromise with Republicans — and even to the abolitionists and Lincoln:

Politicians and commentators who had been silent about economic inequality and the excesses of the financial sector are finally facing up to economic injustice and the irresponsibility of the financial elites. In the meantime, Obama’s moderation has won him absolutely nothing. Having done much to save Wall Street and the banks, he receives in return only ingratitude and criticism. Bankers and financiers who needed the rest of America to bail them out now respond arrogantly when the rest of America complains about the unpaid promissory note it holds.
...the dissatisfaction with the privileged that the demonstrators are expressing extends far beyond the left, and majorities share Occupy Wall Street’s inclinations on many issues, including the need for the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
In their time, the abolitionists were radicals, too. Lincoln, a shrewd politician, understood that public opinion in the North did not fully embrace their cause but was moving in their direction. Lincoln remained a moderate at heart, but he abandoned moderation on slavery when this proved to be morally and politically unsuited to the imperatives of his moment. By following Lincoln’s example and acting against the injustices of our time, Obama could also come to occupy the high ground.

Read the whole thing.

* Occupy ... the classroom? Relatedly, a very interesting Nick Kristof column on how the movement is having the salutary effect of spotlighting inequality in America — and what this says about the paucity of our education system.

* Dems not backing down in face of RNC’s nonsense about OWS: I’m glad to see that Dems are laughing off the RNC’s accusations about OWS’s alleged “anti-semitism.”

By the way, credit where it’s due: Eric Cantor has noted the justifiable frustration of the protesters, and Mitch McConnell has stood up for their right to be heard.

* Today in media kow-towing to the right wing: Why is NPR investigating one of its host’s participation in an Occupy rally?

* More GOP comedy around Federal energy money: This just keeps on happening. The latest: Rick Perry, who likes to deride Federal energy subsidies even though he sought a Federal loan guarantee in 2008 for an energy company in Texas.

* The killing of Awlaki’s 16-year-old son: Glenn Greenwald on the killing and what it says about the American media’s acquiescence to the Obama administration’s secrecy.

* And the Mitt Romney mystery of the day: Evan McMorris-Santoro on the odd case of the disappearing Romney video savaging Rick Perry as too thick-headed to be president.

What else is happening?

UPDATE: Romney mystery solved? The Romney campaign says it pulled the video attacking Perry because CNN objected to its clips being used in it. Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul emails:

“While the use of the CNN clips was fully within our rights under the law, we respect and appreciate the role CNN has played as host in debates over the last several months. For this reason, we are honoring their request to remove the video.”

By  |  09:07 AM ET, 10/20/2011

 
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