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President Obama purses his lips one stern passage of the speech.

Wide shot of Obama exhorting Congress to get up and do something

The DCCC is hitting the airwaves in Queens and Brooklyn with a new ad against Republican Bob Turner, who's running against Democrat David Weprin to replace Anthony Weiner in New York's 9th District. Take a look:

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Updated: September 8, 2011, 4:40 PM

Chris Larsen, a low-level Wisconsin state employee, was fired for the apparent cause of using his work e-mail to mock and disparage state policy to his co-workers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The policy in question: The state's decision for DMV employees to not tell citizens about the availability of free photo identification to satisfy the state's new Voter-ID law, unless they ask first.

Larsen, a limited-term employee at the state Department of Safety and Professional Services, sent this e-mail Thursday morning to colleagues, encouraging them to tell all their friends about the free ID cards:

"Do you know someone who votes that does not have a State ID that meets requirements to vote? Tell them they can go to the DMV/DOT and get a free ID card. However they must ask for the free ID. a memo was sent out by the 3rd in command of the DMV/DOT. The memo specifically told the employees at the DMV/DOT not to inform individuals that the ID's are free. So if the individuals seeking to get the free ID does not ask for a free ID, they will have to pay for it!!


He was subsequently fired for misuse of e-mail.

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Obama draws some lines in the sand:

what we can’t do – what I won’t do – is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.  I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients.  I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy.  We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards.  America should be in a race to the top.  And I believe that’s a race we can win. 

When last we heard from Nebraska Attorney General Job Bruning (R), who is running for Senate, he was walking back comparisons he made between poor people on welfare and raccoons scavenging for insects. But he went on to blame "the liberal intelligentsia" for the controversy and defend the basic point.

In a radio interview last month with local station KLIN, audio of which was posted Thursday by Democratic Super PAC American Bridge, Bruning said that he understands the struggles of the poor, but that his raccoon metaphor still holds up.

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NBC News reports:

Federal officials are investigating a credible threat surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, NBC News reported Thursday. "As we know from the intelligence gathered from the Osama bin Laden raid, al-Qaida has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11," the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday in a statement obtained by NBC News. "In this instance, it's accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information," the department said.

This seems like a critical passage: the President appealing to “simple math” over ideology.

So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process. But in order to do this, we have to decide what our priorities are. We have to ask ourselves, “What’s the best way to grow the economy and create jobs?”

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both. Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both.

This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math. These are real choices that we have to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close. And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.

President Obama gets a cheer out of some Republicans by referencing their “No Tax Pledge”:

I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live.  Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.

Funnily enough, though, the payroll tax extension seems to be the one tax break that the GOP leaders seem to have turned their noses up at.