For our weekend political readers:
ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN BEFORE OBAMA?
The question is posed to swing state voters in Virginia, which has “comfortable” statistics suggesting the economy is doing decently.
Get past the statistics and talk for a while to people going about their business, however, and their faces and voices are uneasy. Across the state, from farmland to backwater to shipyard to technology hub, voters in this new battleground sounded more anxious than angry, and uncertain whether any president can solve their money troubles.
The Washington Post surveys the subject in style — through a photo essay complete with insightful quotes and interesting pictures. Read more here.
IS MITT ROMNEY A WIMP?
Newsweek thinks so and in its latest issue Romney graces the cover with the title, “Romney, the Wimp Factor” emblazoned in huge type.
The story invokes shades of George H.W. Bush, who was tagged with the moniker in his 1988 campaign.
Writes Michael Tomasky:
“Romney is the genuine article: a true wimp. In some respects, he’s more weenie than wimp—socially inept; at times awkwardly ingratiating, at other times mocking those 'below' him, but almost always getting the situation a little wrong, and never in a sympathetic way.”
Read Romney's reaction to his “awkward” characterization and then read the entire Newsweek story here.
TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT A U.S. CARBON TAX
The Wall Street Journal reports on new interest to revisit the idea of a carbon tax.
The concept is as simple as it is politically sensitive — place a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions, which will help drive them do
wn. Use the proceeds to cut taxes elsewhere or reduce the deficit.
On Thursday, Rep. Jim McDermott (D – Wash.) is set to introduce a carbon bill in the House that sets a target for reduction in emissions and instructs the executive branch to impose a tax sufficient to meet that target. The bill is designed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and raise tens of billions of dollars that could help pay down the deficit.
But will the bill go anywhere? Can it garner Republican support and fight-off energy companies' opposition? It has a surprising backing.
Some of the most vocal supporters of a carbon tax are conservatives. One of Mitt Romney’s economic advisers, Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, is a huge fan of raising taxes on activities that are seen as undesirable—say, polluting the air.
Read more from The Wall St. Journal about how the proposed carbon tax could be one of the few bills to actually achieve bipartisan support.
BILL CLINTON TO WORK SUPER PAC FOR OBAMA AID
Former President Bill Clinton is taking his star power to the Democratic National Convention and to a super PAC later this month in support of President Obama, according to Politico.
Former President Bill Clinton is slated to meet with donors at a private residence in Manhattan to urge them to open their wallets to the pro-President Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, two sources told POLITICO.
Get the scoop from Politico on how Obama embraced Priorities USA Action, and about how this super PAC has “led the way on the Bain Capital messaging, carrying the attacks on Romney's business career that even Republicans privately acknowledge have been an undefended point of vulnerability for the GOP nominee.”
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