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In our August 19 show, we're going negative

Surely if you've been following the news of late, you've heard the conventional wisdom about the supposed "nastiness" of the campaign -- driven mostly by Mitt Romney's inflated rhetoric about "campaign of division and anger and hate" and references to Chicago, which last I checked, has voters in it.

What this is actually about is Democrats stating Republicans' actual record and policy proposals, and Republicans calling that "hateful." It's about the real examination of the presidential tickets, not empty assumptions and proclamations about being Serious Policy Wonks™, proof to the contrary be damned. It's about the President asking Republicans in Congress to actually allow government to function, rather than get caught up in the race to the nearest microphone to utter the latest condemnation of President Obama's policies. Or something Vice President Joe Biden said.

We're going to have a negative campaign. That's something that may annoy Americans, but it's something we all accept. But there's a difference between running a negative campaign, and one that insults our intelligence.

Yesterday in his weekly address, the President called upon Congress to stop playing politics, and save a bunch of teachers from being laid off:

In his weekly address, Mr. Obama noted that education employment has fallen by 300,000 jobs since 2009. He pushed for Congress to help stem the job losses and called the Republican approach to education financing “backwards” and “wrong.”

“The economic plan that almost every Republican in Congress voted for would make the situation even worse,” Mr. Obama said, referring to a budget put forward by Representative. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mitt Romney’s running mate.

In today's show, Melissa will lend historical perspective and, then ask some young people about, the negative (and low-minded) campaign we're experiencing right now, and also talk about education -- specifically, the proposals both sides are offering in the presidential race. We also lead discussions on the debt, hear Melissa's primer on Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand, and add a Footnote on this week's applications filed by undocumented immigrants who seek to defer deportation. We'll also delve into the issue of sexual assault in the military via a new YouTube series starring our guest, actor Jennifer Beals.

Other guests will include:

  • Natasha Adams, student at the City College of New York and youth leader in the group Girls for Gender Equity.
  • Derrell Bradford, executive director of Better Education for Kids.
  • Anthea Butler, professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dan Dicker, CNBC contributor, principal partner at MercBloc, and author of "Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy."
  • Michael Gellman, graduate of Bronx Science High School and in 2013, an incoming freshman at Harvard University.
  • Peter Goodman, executive business editor of The Huffington Post and author of "Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy."
  • Ileana Jimenez, high-school English teacher and founder of
  • Lila Leff, founder of the UMOJA Student Development Corporation.
  • Jamal Simmons, Democratic consultant at the Raben Group.

As always, folks -- be sure to interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!