STOP-AND-FRISK. We were happy to see an exclusive Nation video on stop-and-frisk gain widespread attention this week, both in the news and at this week’s New York City Council hearings. Investigative filmmakers Ross Tuttle and Erin Schneider obtained the only known recording of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program in action—and what they heard is nothing short of chilling. After stopping a Harlem teenager named Alvin without giving a legally valid reason, the officers proceed to call him a “fucking mutt” and threaten to break his arm and punch him in the face. We applaud the bravery of Alvin in coming forward and are hopeful that this video will continue to fuel efforts to end the racially discriminatory practice. I hope you’ll take a look at the powerful video—and find out what you can do to help defeat the program.

VP DEBATE. The vice presidential debate may have been more successful than the presidential one but, as John Nichols points out, we still have no idea what the specifics are of the Romney/Ryan tax plan. “On issue after issue,” writes Nichols, “the Republican vice presidential candidate danced around the details.” And unlike President Obama last week, Joe Biden was prepared to call out his opponent. For analysis, read Nichols’s piece, “Richard Milhous Ryan: No Specifics, Just a ‘Secret Plan.’ ” And you can find more debate coverage on from Emily Douglas on Martha Raddatz’s abortion question and Robert Dreyfuss on the foreign policy gap. Also, be sure to tune in to CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on Sunday at 10:30 am ET, as I join a panel to discuss the debate and election.

PROGRESSIVES & ELECTION 2012. If you’re in New York City, please join me at The New School on Wednesday at 7 pm for a conversation about the role of progressives in the election. Featuring Chris Hayes, John Nichols, Patricia Williams and Ilyse Hogue, and moderated by Richard Kim, we’ll address how to balance support for the Democrats with the need to mobilize grassroots movements for social and economic causes. To find out more and sign up, click here.

THE MEDIA & POVERTY. The media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) recently released a damning report that shows how major news outlets have given the issue of poverty little attention during the campaign season, despite high poverty rates. We were pleased that FAIR senior analyst Steve Rendall recommended our very own Greg Kaufmann as one of the only reporters who’s doing an “excellent” job covering poverty. Kaufmann’s been writing his weekly blog on poverty at for a year now—take a look at his most recent article, “Cutting Poverty in Half in Ryan’s Wisconsin.”

WELCOME MICHELLE DEAN. Starting this week, we’re pleased to welcome Michelle Dean as guest blogger covering arts and culture. Check out her first two pieces, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Lena Dunham” and “The Week of Unhappy Men on the Internet,” and check back next week for more!