Lightning Round: "Getting By" By the Swimming Pool.

  • To those with incomes above $250,000 who claim they can't afford a tax hike because they are "just getting by," Annie Lowrey offers a rebuttal: you may not feel rich, but you probably have the fixed costs of a wealthy person. Plus, the higher tax rate only applies to income beyond the $250,000 threshold, so if you make $250 001, you will only be paying three cents more in income tax. If only we could only all "get by" so well.
  • After the White House said it would not focus on tying the GOP to the Tea Party during the midterm elections, Robert Erikson laments that the Democrats aren't getting more aggressive at a time when Republicans are in the same hot water. "If the Democrats offer only silence, voters will conclude that they have nothing worthwhile to say, that they implicitly confess to failure, and that it must be time for the other team to run things for a while," he writes. As a rule, I wouldn't encourage speaking for the sake of it; as the adage goes, it's better to keep mum and look stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
  • Nate Silver predicts that the Tea Party will help the Republicans in the short term by energizing the party at a time when the Bush legacy should be weighing it down. Long term, who knows? If Republicans take back the House, he predicts Tea Partiers will be disappointed with their inability to repeal health care or lower taxes. Republicans might be good at retarding progress, but for the moment at least they're not reversing it.
  • Remainders: National politicians could learn a thing or two from mayors; Ta-Nehisi Coates tracks Marty Peretz's racism.

-- Sarah Babbage