Kansas

[with contributions from Matt O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Liberals who wanted President Obama to embrace populism have gotten their wish -- again. On Tuesday, speaking in Osawatomie, Kansas, Obama made a passionate call for “fairness” – laying out the themes that he will be using in the year to come, as a lawmaker and increasingly as a candidate for re-election.

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President Obama spoke today about economic inequality and the plight of the middle class more forcefully than he ever has before. He gave the speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, site of Theodore Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" speech in 1910.

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The Mad Men Revolution

The meme is now the message. So I learned from Monday’s New York Times profile of Kalle Lasn, the Adbusters editor who can be dubiously credited with creating the Occupy Wall Street movement. My dubiousness has nothing to do with the qualities of the movement itself, which, whatever else can be said about its tactics or its political direction, has sparked an important national conversation about income inequality. It’s the word “create” that I’m not sure about. Lasn did not issue a call to action, or write a position paper, or build an encampment.

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Okay, we've been puzzling a little while now over the new Herman Cain quote to beat all Herman Cain quotes: “I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother...And proud of it.” We imagine this was meant to be taken figuratively, as a remarkably forthright acknowledgment of what so many other Tea Party-affiliated Republicans are loath to admit, that they are backed in a big way by the deep-pocketed, arch-conservative brothers from Kansas.

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Never heard of Americans Elect? You will soon. The group, which I wrote about for the new issue of the magazine, is seeking to get on the ballot in every state for the 2012 election and to nominate a bipartisan ticket for president and vice president in an online convention in June. They held their big introductory press conference at the National Press Club in Washington today; more importantly, perhaps, they announced today that they have secured ballot access in Ohio, after having already secured it in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Kansas, Florida and Michigan.

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Glancing over the invitations to briefings and rallies from organizations with names like the Iranian-American Community of Kansas, and the Iranian-American Community of North Texas—which include broad references to the "Iranian opposition" and looming "humanitarian catastrophes"—it's fair to assume that these organizations represent a broad set of issues that face Iranians living here in the United States and back in their native country. However, attending these events reveals that all of these groups have one primary, and rather narrow, aim: removing an organization known as the as the Muj

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My evaluation of the debt ceiling deal is decidedly mixed, and many liberals are deeply unhappy. Dave Weigel wittily captures the spirit in his liberal denunciation mad lib: I am [outraged/fed up/fixin’ to vomit] at the news of this [sellout/betrayal/Chekovian drama of political adultery]. While I have yet to see all the details of this plan, it may be the worst piece of legislation since [the Kansas/Nebraska compromise/the Enabling Act/the one that renamed a rest stop in New Jersey after Howard Stern].

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Now that Census 2010 results are coming out, some places around the country are scratching their heads. They are puzzled by the lower-than-expected population counts and considering mounting challenges to get the official number changed. The state of California thinks the census missed 1.5 million residents.

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History and the Enlightenment By Hugh Trevor-Roper (Yale University Press, 314 pp., $40) Letters from Oxford: Hugh Trevor-Roper to Bernard Berenson Edited by Richard Davenport-Hines (Orion Publishing, 326 pp., $25) Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Biography By Adam Sisman (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 598 pp., £25) At the beginning of July 1973, my wife and I arrived in London from Chicago to spend a year doing research in the British Library.

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Without an extension by the end of December, the 2 year old Build America Bond (BAB) program will expire. As of this writing, both the Senate and House tax bills failed to include BABs as part of their packages. The program, which was birthed as part of the stimulus package, authorizes state and local governments to issue these bonds to finance pretty much any kind of infrastructure project.

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