* Austerity USA!!! When conservatives say we need to slash government spending and slash government payrolls to create jobs, remember that this is exactly what’s already happening as the stimulus fades out. Put another way, the stimulus has become the “anti-stimulus.”
* The result: Here’s an exceptionally bleak analysis of today’s terrible jobs report, which makes a point that sounds almost quaint in the current context: “The weak numbers put pressure on policymakers in Washington to find solutions to the jobs problem.”
* Steve Benen gets it exactly right on David Plouffe’s unemployment comments.
* But John Aravosis says Plouffe betrayed a worisome lack of awareness of the reality of unemployment, political and otherwise.
* A key quote from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, demonstrating how angry Dems are about the possiblity of a debt ceiling deal with entitlements cuts:
“There’s been very little conversation between the White House and the Senate about this, and I think they’re making a grievous mistake if they think they can just present anything to us and assume that because we’re Democrats, we’ll go along with what the president has capitulated to.”
* Move On mounts a last minute emergency push to pressure Dem members of Congress into not supporting entitlements benefits cuts, another measure of the urgency on the left over what may happen.
* Dem Rep. Gerald Connolly, a strong critic of entitlement cuts, says GOP leaders will need 100 Dem votes to pass it through the House, which (in theory) should give Dems some leverage.
* Friendly reminder of the day, from Jonathan Cohn: It’s possible to address the government’s long term debt problem while also putting people back to work.
* Ali Gharib on how yet another effort to push the Jews-abandoning-Obama meme has now collapsed.
* The latest Scott Walker/Rush Limbaugh myth about Walker’s greatness gets knocked down by the Wisconsin state schools superintendent.
* Local Wisconsin bloggers dig deeper into the story of the dirty-trick mailing in the recall wars. More on this next week.
* The Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking scandal raises a host of uncomfortable questions about journalistic ethics and corporate power.
* Creative political metaphor of the day: Tim Pawlenty compares Obama’s speechifying to “a manure spreader flapping in a windstorm.”
Which prompts Eric Kleefeld to ask: “Ah ...but would he say that to Obama’s face?”
* And T-Paw gets busted fibbing to the Des Moines Register about not raising taxes in Minnesota (he raised them on cigarettes, but called it a “health impact fee”).
What else is happening?