Kicking off a little early today because it’s my anniversary, and the wife and I are headed downtown for some revelry. Anyway, the Dow numbers are making me a little ill.

• PPP has some fairly depressing final numbers on the Wisconsin recall elections, showing that Democrats could end up with as little as one victory to show for all this. There is a Republican poll putting Jessica King in the lead over Randy Hopper. Chris Bowers explains why these recalls are so tight despite seemingly favorable terrain in Wisconsin: these are red seats won by Republicans in the wave election of 2008.

• Everyone had something to say about Drew Westen’s critique of President Obama but me. I was actually more partial to Julian Zelizer’s take on politics in the Obama era, which has left Democrats without any ideas of their own to put forward. Michael Tomasky’s charitable but generally correct take on Obama and his pathological desire for civic-republicanism is good as well.

• Nancy Pelosi’s opening statement on the S&P downgrade – “Without respect or regard for the recent S&P comment on our nation’s credit rating…” was my favorite. Barney Frank’s attempt to shoehorn it into a commentary on our bloated military spending, while I agree with the sentiment, was not my favorite.

• S&P, meanwhile, is saying exactly what they want: Catfood Commission austerity.

• Protests in Israel took off over the weekend, with 250,000 people in the streets. Gershom Gorenberg has a report.

• This long piece looks at how Eric Cantor and his “Young Gun” allies (none of whom are all that young) built a years-long movement to use the debt limit as leverage to secure long-sought policy goals.

• I don’t buy the throw up your hands approach that too many political commentators have taken to elections and accountability. Presidents have the ability to seek creative outcomes without being hampered by legislative channels. They choose to not take these routes.

• Speaking of accountability, Jerry Brown today committed California to the simple proposition that the winner of the Presidential election should be the candidate with the most votes. The bill, known as the National Popular Vote plan, will give its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote as soon as states reaching 270 EVs sign onto the plan. Right now they’re at 132.

• A mainstream commentator has figured out we’re in a liquidity trap! Break out the Champale!

• Labor will have a hard time stopping those three corporate-written trade deals, which are on a fast moving track headed downhill.

• The leading international advisor to the Federal Reserve abruptly quit today. He got out when Geithner couldn’t?

• Ryan Lizza finds some gold in Michele Bachmann’s reading list.

• Immigrations and Customs Enforcement canceled all its agreements on Secure Communities late on Friday, and now they will just try to continue the program without any memorandum of understanding with the various jurisdictions. This is the program that turns local law enforcement into de facto immigration officials.

• That mystery Mitt Romney supporter with the company that gave him a $1 million donation and then dissolved turned out to be a former executive at Romney’s former company, Bain Capital.

No surprise: The Chamber of Commerce plans to sue over the NLRB rule change to make union elections easier.

• Jill Biden arrived at a refugee camp in Kenya treating famine victims, as hundreds of thousands of Somalian children are at risk of death.

• Unemployment isn’t all that bad – at least Rebekah Brooks is still getting paid.

• Al Gore calls bullshit, quite literally.

• Insurance companies are building in costs due to our dramatically changing climate.

• A TV station in Reno pulled a Republican attack ad against Kate Marshall, the Democrat running for Dean Heller’s Congressional seat on September 13.

• Now British politicians have to promise to work on economic growth. After a couple more horrible quarters, I’m sure we’ll get there too.

• After pressure, Scott Walker will not close multiple DNV offices in Democratic districts, right when constituents have to show picture ID at the polls.

• RIP to one of the great liberal anti-war Republicans, Mark Hatfield. One of the leading conservative funders to George W. Bush, the flip side of the Republican Party, Charles Wyly, also died.

David Dayen

David Dayen