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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Jim Hightower takes a disturbing look at “The Corporate Takeover of the 2012 Presidential Election” at nationofchange.org. Hightower notes that “Corporate hucksters, intent on political profiteering, are setting up dummy funds with such star-spangled names as Make Us Great Again and Restore Our Future….These groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money…As of August, more than 80 percent of the money in Super PACs backing Republican candidates had come from only 35 people writing six- and seven-figure checks.”
In his post, ‘Decision Season” at The American Prospect, Scott Lemieux considers the political and legal ramifications of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act — during the peak of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Steven Shepard reports at National Journal’s Hotline on Call that President Obama is holding a slight lead over both Romney (+2 percent) and Santorum (+3 percent) in a new Quinnipiac University PA poll, with a 6 percent edge over Perry. The poll also found that 52 percent of respondents want PA to keep its winner-take-all electoral vote allocation, with 40 percent favoring the district allocation scheme proposed by the GOP.
The Rude Pundit has the snark chops needed to put into perspective bloated MSM coverage of Chris Christie’s non-announcement, while all but ignoring the Occupy Wall Street protests.
John Paul Rollert posts on “The Hardy Myth of ‘Job Creators‘” at Salon.com, and offers some interesting observations about the elite group of folks the GOP argues should be exempt from taxation. During the Clinton Administration, notes Rollert, “…Higher taxes on the “job creators” proved no obvious hurdle to economic growth — the economy grew for 116 consecutive months, the most in U.S. history — it did cut the deficit from $290 billion when Clinton took office to $22 billion by 1997 and helped put the country on a projected path to paying off the national debt by 2012.”
Conversely, Brian Cooney’s “GOP in Denial: Tax Cuts Do Not Increase Revenues” in the Lexington (KY) Record brings the numbers that show Republican tax cuts are no panacea for joblessness: “In 2008, tax expert David Cay Johnston reported that “Total income was $2.74 trillion less (in 2008 dollars) during the eight Bush years than if incomes had stayed at 2000 levels.” The average family lost $21,000 during this period…The government didn’t do any better. According to the Washington Post, by 2011 the Bush tax cuts had cost, in lost revenue, $2.8 trillion…In September, 2009, the majority staff of the Joint Congressional Economic Committee reported that the Bush economy had the slowest job growth of any administration since Herbert Hoover.”
The Campaign for America’s Future presents “A Contract for the American Dream,” a 10-point agenda to restore America’s economy leading up to the October 3rd “Take Back the American Dream” conference.
We’ve reported on a couple of the unintended beneficial consequences of the ‘Citizens United’ decision, none of which offset the huge damage the ruling does by giving corporations carte blanche in supporting Republican candidates. But In These Times has an article “Corporations Are Not People: A Movement Builds to Fight Corporate Rule and Amend the Constitution,” by Joel Bleifuss, reporting on the emergence of a multi-faceted campaign to address the injustices of the ruling.
Far be it from TDS to gin up paranoia about the integrity of America’s vote-counting systems. But do read Elinor Mills’s “E-voting Machines Vulnerable to Remote Vote Changing” at cnet.com, or at least this graph: “The Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne Laboratory, which is a division of the Department of Energy, discovered this summer that Diebold touch-screen e-voting machines could be hijacked remotely, according to team leader Roger Johnston…As many as a quarter of American voters are expected to be using machines that are vulnerable to such attacks in the 2012 election.”
For a motherlode of clever quotes about economic inequality and greed, check out inequality.org, featuring such pearls as Matthew Arnold’s “Our inequality materializes our upper class, vulgarizes our middle class, brutalizes our lower class” and Robert Lear’s “You have to pay your CEO above average or you’re admitting you have a below-average CEO.”
Speaking of economic inequality, E. J. Dionne, Jr. has a WaPo column explaining “Why Conservatives Hate Warren Buffet,” Says Dionne: “No wonder partisans of low taxes on wealthy investors hate Warren Buffett. He has forced a national conversation on (1) the bias of the tax system against labor; (2) the fact that, in comparison with middle- or upper-middle-class people, the really wealthy pay a remarkably low percentage of their income in taxes; and (3) the deeply regressive nature of the payroll tax.”
At commondreams.org, Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson takes a look at the latest messaging advice from GOP wordsmith guru Frank Luntz. Grayson has some fun with Luntz’s penchant for euphemisms and suggests some new ones: Vampires are “blood recyclers” and nuclear war is “1000 points of light.” Riffing on Luntz’s “You don’t create jobs by making life difficult for job creators,” Grayson explains that “job-creators” is Republican-speak for “greedy, soulless multinational corporations who don’t give a damn about you.”
Kyle Kondik argues at Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball that Dems’ prospects for retaking control of the House of Reps depends on President Obama’s re-election, and he rolls out charts assessing the most competitive House races. If you wanna help, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ‘Drive to 25’ campaign accepts donations here and ActBlue’s progressive House candidates can be supported here.

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