MOVING A BUDGET: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) is retiring at the end of this year. He has no reason to play politics — so he plans to mark up a budget this week. But his own party wants to let things lie until after the election: Humberto Sanchez for Roll Call: Conrad Budget Plan Puzzling
FAVORITE DRINKS: Democrats like cognac. Republicans like Sam Adams Lite. But Bud Light, Guinness, Scotch, Michelob Lite and Coors Original? Those are the drinks that have a No Labels tilt: Thomas B. Edsall for The New York Times: Let the Nanotargeting Begin
TAXES, TAXES, TAXES: Both presidential campaigns are making taxes a central issue. The House and Senate are considering tax proposals this week. Tax Day is tomorrow. But almost no one in Washington thinks any kind of solutions will come until after the lame duck session: Bernie Becker for The Hill: GOP and Dem lawmakers race hand in hand toward a fiscal cliff
BUT WHERE ARE THE SOLUTIONS? When the lame-duck hits, there need to be options on the table. Regardless of what you think of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) and President Obama's budget proposals, the fact is that each are partisan — and thus not viable says Judd Gregg, who writes about another possible solution: Judd Gregg for The Hill: Let Bowles, Simpson finish their job
WHAT CONGRESS IS ACTUALLY DOING: Instead of looking at solutions like Gregg's that might have a chance of passing, Republicans and Democrats alike are focused on Election Day. Republicans want to help small businesses. Democrats want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share to relieve the burden on the middle class. At least that's the narrative each party is trying to peddle: Seung Min Kim for POLITICO: Hill girds for tax-bill battle
IN THE MIDDLE: "Swing voters have views; they are just not views that all come from any one party’s menu," Bill Keller writes. They are not looking for a checklist of empty promises, but "a problem-solver, a competent steward, someone who understands them and has a convincing optimism." Agreed: Bill Keller for The New York Times: The Sweet Spot
STAT OF THE DAY: Just 32 percent of likely voters said they are more confident about the economy now than they were at the start of the year: Bernie Becker for The Hill: Hill Poll: Voters expect personal finances will improve, not economy
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Tips, questions or ideas? Email Collin Berglund at or tweet at me (@nolabelsorg).

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