Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: Time To March
OurFuture.org’s Isaiah Poole: ”Attendees at the Take Back the American Dream conference piled into buses at high noon Wednesday and took their stand on the grounds of the Capitol, joined by hundreds of other demonstrators, from grassroots activists to dozens of unemployed people … The rally was dominated by the stories of the casualties of the class war conservatives are now waging on working-class and middle-class people … presidential candidate Herman Cain gave what could be read as the official conservative movement response. ‘Don’t blame the big banks,’ he said. ‘If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.’ … Hear this, Herman Cain and the conservative movement: The victims of this Wall Street-induced recession are not taking the blame anymore.”
“Take Back the American Dream” Wraps Up, “Occupy Wall Street” Keeps Growing
“Contract for the American Dream” centerpiece of American Dream movement agenda. Rebuild The Dream blog: ”Friends and leaders in the American Dream Movement gathered on stage the Take Back the American Dream conference on Tuesday to discuss the Contract for the American Dream, actions to support it, and to paint a picture of just what it is that we’re trying to reclaim.”
Attendees indict Washington more than Obama, reports The Hill: ”‘Washington is a machine, and one person can’t change the entire machine,’ said Annabel Park, founder of the Coffee Party … Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future … said the debt-ceiling episode no longer bothers liberals, citing Obama’s Rose Garden speech last month when the president all but took entitlement benefit cuts off the table. ‘In the Rose Garden, frankly, I was worried that he was going to repeat his offer to the Republicans about Social Security and Medicare,’ Hickey said. ‘Instead, he said just the opposite. … That clears the decks for Democrats to run as defenders of those programs.’”
Progressive Caucus members endorse Occupy Wall St., reports The Hill: ”‘We share the anger and frustration of so many Americans who have seen the enormous toll that an unchecked Wall Street has taken on the overwhelming majority of Americans while benefiting the super-wealthy,’ Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said in a joint statement … The fourth-ranking House Democrat, Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.), released a statement Wednesday saying, ‘The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore. They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.’”
Protesters to should resist calls for specific demands, counsels FT’s John Gapper:“Bankers are adept at turning broad demands for changes in their behaviour into trench warfare over detail. That is clear from the arcane disputes over implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act … Better for Occupy Wall Street to remain outside the skyscrapers and committee rooms and instead keep camping on the edge, reminding the insiders of popular outrage.”
Climate activists join occupiers. ThinkProgress’ Stephen Lacey: ”Along with the 350.org march, a coalition of youth and environmental activists lead by the Energy Action Coalition are holding an Occupy Wall Street ‘sleep-in’ at the U.S. Department of State to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
Biggest day yet for Occupy Wall Street followed by pepper spray. ABC:“Representatives from no fewer than 15 of the country’s largest labor unions joined the Occupy Wall Street protesters … The ‘Union March’ drew thousands and appears to be the movement’s largest yet. Tonight, it has also generated numerous arrests and there are reports of pepper spray and police waving batons at protesters. As of Thursday morning at least 30 arrests in various locations around Wall Street.”
Seattle police arrest 25 occupiers reports McClatchy.
Senate Dems Revamp Jobs Bill
WH, Senate Dems agree to revise tax provisions in American Jobs Act. CNN: ” Under the new agreement, the [millionaires'] surtax would be 5.6% … The White House and congressional Democrats had hoped to present a unified front against Republicans, who they anticipate will oppose the surtax, and portray them as protecting the wealthy over creating jobs for the middle class…”
Not all Dems may support new proposal. The Hill: ”Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats … voiced concern as to whether that money should be spent on a jobs bill that could do little to boost the economy. ‘I would like to do that as part of an overall debt-reduction program hopefully coming out of the special committee,’ … Sen. Ben Nelson said Tuesday that Congress should cut spending instead of raise taxes. Sen. Bill Nelson (D), who is facing a difficult reelection fight in Florida, declined to comment…”
WH Chief of Staff Bill Daley offers GOP to break up jobs bill. HuffPost quotes: ”‘I would like to see anything start to be brought [to the floor] … The [issue] is, get moving. It is now October, every three weeks they are gone. And they have a lot to do in a short time … If they don’t bring it to the floor, the question is, ‘Okay, fine, you don’t like the president’s plan, what is your plan that’s real?’”
Republicans attack jobs bill by spouting nonsense about Affordable Care Act, argues W. Post’s Dana Milbank: ”… rather than exploit Obama’s vulnerability on the economy, the tea party faithful are stuck in 2010, demanding repeal of the health-care law. That has allowed Obama, despite his own belated focus on unemployment, to jump way out in front of Republicans on the issue: In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama has a 15-point advantage over congressional Republicans on job creation, and his jobs package enjoys majority support.”
Sen. Min. Leader McConnell predicts China currency bill will fail. Politico: ”…Republicans have grown furious that Democratic leaders have prevented their amendments from being considered, and senior Republican aides were uncertain Wednesday night whether GOP senators would prevent the plan from advancing over their procedural concerns … McConnell, however, may have been referring to its slimmer chances in passing both chambers of Congress, given the opposition from both House Speaker John Boehner and the business community, as well as the lukewarm response by the Obama administration.”
President to hold press conference at 11 AM ET reports CNN.
Super Committee Keeps Meeting In Private
Then the Super Committee met behind closed doors, again. HuffPost: ”The six Democratic members of a 12-member super committee with extraordinary powers to shape spending over the next decade held another secret meeting on Wednesday … the majority of their meetings [have been] behind closed doors … The committee is now meeting twice each day, once midday and once in the evening, but releasing little information about what is discussed.”
House Republicans debating over which economically illiterate budget amendment to support. The Hill: ”[The less conservative] version of the bill does not cap spending relative to the size of the economy and does not require a two-thirds vote to raise taxes … Should leadership try a more centrist approach in an attempt to attract Democratic support, conservatives could cry foul. Many on the right argue that firing up the conservative base is the way to go. This group includes members who are worried that a BBA without the cap would lead to big tax increases by future Congresses.”
Dems chafe at Defense Sec. Panetta’s attempt to prevent further military cuts. Politico: ”He has angered Democrats by urging Congress to whack Social Security and Medicare before touching defense again. He drew scorn from liberal and conservative analysts alike for predicting a 1-point hike in the unemployment rate if the supercommittee deadlocks and the Pentagon loses $600 billion in funding.”
Rep. Barney Frank challenges Panetta at Take Back the American Dream. The Nation: ”Assuming that it does its job, the supercommittee on deficit reduction will issue recommendations within the next seven weeks about how to reduce the federal budget by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. At the Take Back the American Dream conference Tuesday morning, Representative Barney Frank called for progressives to pressure the supercommittee to take nearly all of that money from military budgets.’The focus has got to be in the supercommittee $200 billion per year’ in reductions, Frank said.”
Housing industry presses Super Committee to lay off mortgage interest tax deduction. Bloomberg: ”Budget cutters, in the form of a deficit-reduction supercommittee, have put the mortgage interest deduction on the table, a once-unthinkable act. The panel is charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings over the next decade by Nov. 23. Tomorrow, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, will hear ideas for revising tax breaks for homeowners, including a capital gains exemption for homeowners who profit from selling their primary residence.”
BofA Defends Debit Card Fee Hike
BofA responds to presidential criticism on debit card fee hike. Politico: ”…Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan defended his company’s new $5 monthly fee on debit cards, arguing that ‘we have a right to make a profit.’”
Acting CFPB head pushes for transparency on fees. LAT: ”[Raj] Date said banks often are unclear about how much they charge customers for various services, and he suggested the agency might move to simplify checking account disclosures … ‘Ideally, consumers would have a simple way to evaluate checking account costs.’”
Latest Volcker rule draft leaves room for changes. NYT: ”People close to the rule-making cautioned late on Wednesday that regulators could even make adjustments to the rule over the next week, before the F.D.I.C.’s scheduled vote on Tuesday. And three other federal agencies must also vote on the proposal for it to advance into a public comment period that would end in December … Dodd-Frank provides several exemptions from the [proprietary trading] ban, including underwriting, hedging and market making. The draft proposal that emerged on Wednesday would exempt even more varieties of hedging than originally expected.”
“How Lobbyists Are Undermining Dodd-Frank: A Case Study,” from Darius Tahir of TNR.
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