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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 10th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Robert Borosage urges facing up to reality with China as a rogue nation when it comes to trade:“…the US will have to have an aggressive trade policy to challenge Chinese mercantilism and a smart industrial policy to revive advanced US manufacturing. We know how to do it – to target a key industry with public supported R and D, smart procurement, planning to build supply chains, subsidies for investment here.”

OurFuture.org‘s Natasa Chart says the US should treat job creation the way China does: “…even though I’m glad the US government isn’t being called out as a global hacker menace, I wish they gave as much of a damn about making sure there was an abundance of good jobs for Americans. The Chinese government is at least trying to keep food on the table. I can respect that.”

OurFuture.org‘s Dave Johnson begins exploring how we can double exports: “Paul Krugman recently calculated the job loss just from the currency imbalance to be 1.4 million American jobs, but [C. Fred Bergsten’s] statement that 1 percent [increase in the US dollar’s value] = 150K jobs [lost] indicates the job loss could be much higher than that.”


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———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Campaign for America’s Future
Date: Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 9:33 AM
Subject: Your Progressive Breakfast: Jobs Forecast Calls For Snow


Campaign For America's Future
Progressive Breakfast
What You Need To Start Your Day
FEBRUARY 10, 2010



On the menu this morning:

Chance For Small But Bipartisan Jobs Bill … After the Snow

Health Care Summit To Establish “Common Facts”

Calls For Filibuster Reform After NLRB Nom Blocked

WH Steps Up Pressure To Pass Student Loan Reform

Dodd May Back Version of Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Dealing With China

Tea Party Exposed



Chance For Small But Bipartisan Jobs Bill … After the Snow

Senate jobs package based on GOP tax cut ideas, though GOP still hasn’t endorsed. LAT:“In a rare move toward bipartisanship, Senate Democrats prepared Tuesday to unveil an $85-billion jobs bill that would include payroll tax breaks for employers who create new jobs, aid to small businesses and other GOP-backed ideas to attack unemployment … Few Republicans had seen the proposals Tuesday and bridled when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped the Senate would pass the bill by the end of the week … Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not endorse the emerging bill, but neither did he shoot it down.”

GOP negotiators suggest they won’t vote for the bill by themselves. W. Post: “Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) — senior Republicans who walked away from health-care talks last year — have been heavily involved in drafting the legislation but are reluctant to sign on to the bill unless it attracts broad GOP support.”

CNN reports key components of House jobs bill are missing in Senate bill: “What’s not included in the draft legislation is additional funds for states or stimulus money for infrastructure, which Republicans have said they will not support.”

No vote this week. NYT:“With snow quickly accumulating around the Capitol again Tuesday night, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, gave up on his hope of advancing a jobs-creating bill by the end of this week … no real action appeared likely until Congress returns the week of Feb. 22 following a President’s Day recess.”

Reid still working on building support for jobs bill. The Hill: “Fifteen senators missed votes on Tuesday and Democrats would likely not have enough support to pass a jobs bill by Friday, as Reid had hoped. Reid said Democrats would hold a special meeting on jobs legislation Thursday at 12:30 pm and urged all members of his conference to attend … Reid said he is making progress negotiating the jobs legislation with GOP leaders.”

GOP leader downplays scope of package. Bloomberg: “[Sen. Jon] Kyl … said Democrats shouldn’t advertise the package as jobs legislation because it’s just ‘extending a bunch of tax policy and related items that we need to do.’ … Lawmakers tentatively agreed to three-month extensions of unemployment insurance and aid to help jobless workers buy health insurance from their former employer…”

Speaker Pelosi cool to Senate emphasis on business tax cuts in WH meeting. Politico:“White House economic advisers Christina Romer and Larry Summers defended the administration’s proposal to give employers a $5,000 credit for each new worker they hire as well as help with Social Security taxes. Pelosi countered that no one she’s consulted believes that the plan will actually lead to the creation of new jobs, sources said … [But] she didn’t say she’d refuse to move the bill…”

The Atlantic’s Don Peck explores “How A New Jobless Will Transform America”: “…this era of high joblessness will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults-and quite possibly those of the children behind them as well. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar white men-and on white culture. It could change the nature of modern marriage, and also cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a kind of despair and dysfunction not seen for decades … Concerns over deficits are understandable, but in these times, our bias should be toward doing too much rather than doing too little.”

Health Care Summit To Establish “Common Facts”

President Obama explains bipartisanship to Republicans at presser.“Bipartisanship can’t be that I agree to all the things that they believe in or want, and they agree to none of the things I believe in and want.”

Referee will be in the room for bipartisan health care summit, President Obama announces: “I do want to make sure that there’s some people like the Congressional Budget Office, for example, that are considered non-partisan, who can answer questions … [As] Senator Moynihan said, ‘Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.'”

WH won’t rule out use of Senate budget rules to pass health care with simple majority. HuffPost: “White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that Republicans coming to the West Wing for the much-anticipated February 25 meeting would be better off arriving ‘without preconditions.’ Asked whether Obama would commit to not using reconciliation … Gibbs replied: ‘The president is not going to eliminate things based on preconditions.'”

“Top Pelosi Aide Says Reconciliation Process Is ‘The Only Way’ To Save Health Reform” reports Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky.

New ABC/W. Post poll finds public still wants health care reform, more bipartisanship from GOP: “Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren’t doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues; more than four in 10 see Obama as doing too little … nearly two-thirds of Americans say they want Congress to keep working to pass comprehensive health-care reform [including] 56 percent of independents.”

The best W. Post’s Ruth Marcus can say about the summit, “It can’t hurt.”: “To take this at face value is to assume that (a) these conversations have not been occurring over the past year, which flies in the face of Democratic assertions that they have accepted numerous Republican ideas, or that (b) Republicans are correct that they’ve been shut out of the sausage-making, which ignores the endless weeks of negotiations among the Senate Finance Committee ‘Gang of Six.'”

Digby concludes the health care stall means the “Obama Bubble” has popped: “…people are now dealing with political realities. Believing that he was some kind of wizard whose very person was imbued with the power to change reality with a few well-chosen words wasted a lot of time. But if its over, I’m very glad of it. Now maybe they can start looking at problems realistically and understand just how hard they have to fight to solve them.”

HHS Sec. takes to WH blog to attack massive Anthem Blue Cross rate hike:“What’s happening in California can happen in any state. It’s clear that we need health insurance reform that will give American families the secure, affordable coverage they need and put a stop to insurance company abuses and control out-of-pocket costs.” House to hold hearing on rate hike on Feb. 24 reports AP.

The Treatment’s Jonathan Cohn on the political significance of Anthem’s rate hike: “…many Americans are still asking: What’s in it for me? They should put that question to Californians who have individual insurance coverage from Anthem Blue Cross–and just learned their premiums will be going up by almost 40 percent this year.”

The Nation continues its Voices of the Uninsured” series:“Many stories expressed great, unshakeable fear that one medical emergency would ruin them. ‘I would say my wife and I are one medical emergency away from losing everything, but actually I’ve pretty much resigned myself in my head to the reality that if I have a medical emergency I am going to die,’ says a used-book seller in California.”

Reviving Liberalism criticizes renewed focus on tort reform: “…California, the home of Anthem Blue Cross, has capped medical malpractice claims since 1975. And research shows that that capping medical malpractice claims in other states has had no effect on insurance rates.”

Calls For Filibuster Reform After NLRB Nom Blocked

Craig Becker’s nomination to the NLRB was filibustered. The Hill: “The confirmation of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was considered a key priority for the labor movement. But the nominee failed to clear the 60-vote threshold in the Senate to beat back a Republican-led filibuster … Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined GOP senators in blocking the nominee…”

McClatchy explores the consequences for the labor movement: “‘”It’s a statement that anything friendly to organized labor won’t get through the Senate as long as Republicans stand together,’ said Gary Jacobson, an expert on Congress at the University of California at San Diego. ‘The labor wing of the Democratic Party is not going to get what they were hoping for.'”

W. Post’s Harold Meyerson suggests labor should have made more advances under Obama: “For American labor, year one of Barack Obama’s presidency has been close to an unmitigated disaster. Labor’s primary priority – the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – died when the Democrats lost their 60-vote majority in the Senate. Labor’s normal priority – a functioning National Labor Relations Board – also seems out of reach … In their failure to advance labor’s prospects, the Democrats condemn themselves to a future of fewer Democratic voters and their nation to a future of mass downward mobility.”

Exasperated Senators explore rule changes to end obstruction. HuffPost: “‘I’m in my thirty-sixth year. I’ve never seen anything like it,’ said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), noting that no previous Republican Senate leader would have allowed his party to filibuster such a routine nomination. Leahy said that the overuse of filibusters by the GOP was leading Democrats to consider ways to modify it. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) … said that abuse of the filibuster is unsustainable. ‘I think it will either fall of its own weight … or it will fall after some massive conflict on the floor…’ adding that the filibuster should be restricted to major issues.”

WH Steps Up Pressure To Pass Student Loan Reform

HuffPost reports Education Sec. Arne Duncan attacking bank lobbyists opposing end of student loan subsidies: “Taking aim at Sallie Mae … Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday accused the company of using taxpayer funds to lobby and advertise, and cast its executives as white-collar millionaires uninterested in serious education reform … Duncan called the administration’s plans to overhaul the student loan program by ending government subsidies for private lenders ‘a once-in a generation, maybe once-in-a lifetime’ opportunity that Congress would be foolish to let slip away.”

OurFuture.org‘s Richard Eskow warns Senate of consequences for siding with banks over students: “any politician who fails to fight for this program will be hurting themselves politically and punishing college students financially, leaving those students in the hands of rapacious and corrupt lenders.”

Campaign for America’s Future launches online campaign demanding Senate choose students over banks.

Dodd May Back Version of Consumer Financial Protection Agency

HuffPost’s Shahien Nasiripour reports Sen. Dodd will likely include housing an independent consumer agency within Treasury: “[The bill] will likely call for an agency dedicated to protecting consumers from abusive financial practices — while not a stand-alone entity, it will nevertheless be free from outside interference … Key details, however, are scarce. Committee aides are still writing the legislative text.”

GOP Sen. Shelby withholds support of independent agency. HuffPost’s Ryan Grim: “Shelby said: ‘I’m sure at this juncture that he’s gonna go with his bill and go it alone. We don’t believe he can pass a bill without us …’ HuffPost asked Shelby if Dodd had confirmed to him on the floor that he was moving ahead with an independent Consumer Finance Protection Agency. ‘Well, that’s been our biggest split, okay, and it’s still at impasse there,’ Shelby said. ‘But we’re talking.’ … Asked if he specifically told Shelby he was moving ahead with an independent CFPA, Dodd said: ‘No, I didn’t say that. I said the door was open.'”

Dealing With China

Robert Borosage urges facing up to reality with China as a rogue nation when it comes to trade:“…the US will have to have an aggressive trade policy to challenge Chinese mercantilism and a smart industrial policy to revive advanced US manufacturing. We know how to do it – to target a key industry with public supported R and D, smart procurement, planning to build supply chains, subsidies for investment here.”

OurFuture.org‘s Natasa Chart says the US should treat job creation the way China does: “…even though I’m glad the US government isn’t being called out as a global hacker menace, I wish they gave as much of a damn about making sure there was an abundance of good jobs for Americans. The Chinese government is at least trying to keep food on the table. I can respect that.”

OurFuture.org‘s Dave Johnson begins exploring how we can double exports: “Paul Krugman recently calculated the job loss just from the currency imbalance to be 1.4 million American jobs, but [C. Fred Bergsten’s] statement that 1 percent [increase in the US dollar’s value] = 150K jobs [lost] indicates the job loss could be much higher than that.”

Tea Party Exposed

Newsweek’s Jonathan Kay – a self-identified conservative – delves into the far-out conspiracy theorists that populated the convention: “Within a few hours in Nashville, I could tell that what I was hearing wasn’t just random rhetorical mortar fire being launched at Obama and his political allies: the salvos followed the established script of New World Order conspiracy theories, which have suffused the dubious right-wing fringes of American politics since the days of the John Birch Society.”

Recalling the radical leanings of original Tea Party leader Samuel Adams, 1973 Tea Party attendant Jim Sleeper wonders where today’s Tea Party radicals are hiding: “Do they have a Sam Adams in Sarah Palin? Is there a John Adams among their cheerleaders at Rupert Murdoch’s global News Corporation? Tea Partiers protest that government is coddling incompetent and dishonest corporations with taxpayers’ money. But have they taken action against incompetent and dishonest corporations’ control of government?”


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