By Bill Scher
October 9, 2012 - 8:44am ET
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: Workers Blocking Bain Trucks Shipping Jobs To China
OurFuture.org's Dave Johnson: Sensata is a Bain-owned company that is closing a factory in in Freeport, Il to move the jobs to China. The workers have set up a camp they call 'Bainport' and workers and supporters are trying to block the Bain trucks that are moving equipment out to ship to China right now. In breaking news there were arrests made today ... they are asking Mitt Romney to show that he means what he is saying about cracking down on China by coming to Freeport and asking his former company not to send these jobs to China."
Romney's Tries Late Etch-a-Sketch
Romney going Etch-a-Sketch, dons moderate persona again. Politico: "For months, Ann Romney and her eldest son, Tagg, were dutifully supportive of the political professionals running Mitt Romney’s campaign. All the while, their private frustration was mounting. Shortly before the final debate, it finally boiled over. What n followed was a family intervention ... The family pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee..."
"A Little Late For a Pivot" says TNR's Jonathan Cohn: "It appears Romney and his advisers now want us to believe that at least some of these old statements don't matter—that he suddenly believes in hiring teachers, for example, and that his health care plan would help many more people than his previous positions suggested. But it’s not like those previous commitments were ancient history. Every single example I just mentioned was based on statements that he and his advisers made within the last sixteen months."
Obama campaign mocks Romney's anti-Big Bird stance in new ad: "Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about. It's Sesame Street."
Romney forced to water down jobs attack after unemployment rate drops below 8%. CNN: "...Romney dropped a regular line attacking President Barack Obama for presiding over 43 months in office with a rate higher than 8% ... 'before President Obama, there were 39 months in all 60 years with unemployment above 8%. With this president, there've been 43 months under one president alone.'"
Romney profited off of tobacco at Bain. HuffPost: "Although Romney's activities helming the private equity giant Bain Capital have drawn significant attention, his role at Bain & Co. has received almost no public scrutiny. A Huffington Post investigation into Bain's tobacco work found that the consulting firm helped Philip Morris increase its revenues in the U.S., and aided two other tobacco titans as they vied to move forcefully into the Russian market."
Ryan cuts off local TV interview after being pressed on gun violence. Politico: "'The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunities to the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities and teach people good discipline, good character,' Ryan said. 'That is civil society. That’s what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value of one another.' [Reporter Terry] Camp then asked Ryan, 'And you can do that all by cutting taxes? With a big tax cut?' 'Those are your words, not mine,' Ryan responded. [Ryan spokesman Michael Steel] then interjected, saying 'Thank you very much, sir.'"
Super PACs May Tip House Races
Super PACs try to make outsized impact in low-cost House races. NYT: "With some of the groups backing Democrats and some supporting Republicans, they are picking a few Congressional races in which advertising is cheaper or the airwaves less cluttered and transforming them with a barrage of outside money ... Through the beginning of October, super PACs and other outside groups reported at least $38.5 million in independent spending to the Federal Election Commission, nearly seven times as much as they spent during the same period in 2010 ..."
Dems expected to make gains in the House. W. Post: "In recent weeks, the political tide has turned ever so slightly in House Democrats’ favor, particularly in late September as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney stumbled. Still, to gain the 25 seats they need to return to the majority in the House, Democrats probably need to defeat at least 35 Republican incumbents. That appears unlikely, although Republicans concede privately that their ranks are likely to be reduced somewhat."
Republican Tommy Thompson struggles with Medicare stance in WI senate race. National Journal: "Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin and the Democrats have been attacking Thompson on the issue in television ads: A recent spot from Majority PAC features (twice) a clip of Thompson saying, 'Who better than me to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?'"
Debt At 6-Year Low
US debt at "six-year low" reports Bloomberg: "U.S. debt has shrunk to a six-year low relative to the size of the economy as homeowners, cities and companies cut borrowing, undermining rating companies’ downgrading of the nation’s credit rating. Total indebtedness including that of federal and state governments and consumers has fallen to 3.29 times gross domestic product, the least since 2006, from a peak of 3.59 four years ago ... Reduced borrowing means there is less competition for the U.S. Treasury Department as it sells debt to fund spending programs to help the nation recover ... Deleveraging in the private sector may allow households to boost spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, and increase their capacity to pay taxes."
Wall St. CEOs press for "grand bargain." Politico: "...some on Wall Street — who ordinarily would share the conservative aversion to higher taxes — believe the circumstances are so dire they are ready to pressure Republicans to abandon orthodoxy ... Dimon, Blankfein and others have signed onto a multimillion dollar ad campaign to build public support for a deal ... Both Romney and Obama are widely viewed in corporate America as likely to support a deal roughly along the lines of the Bowles-Simpson commission recommendations that will include trims to Social Security and Medicare and new revenues beyond just increased taxes for the wealthy."
Europe leans hard on Greece, Germany tough on Spain. NYT: "International officials told Greece on Monday night to accelerate the pace of economic reform in exchange for further financing from a stalled bailout package. Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, told a news conference that 89 so-called 'prior actions' like overhauling labor and pension laws that were agreed to with Greece in March needed to be implemented, 'at the latest,' by Oct. 18 ... The government of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has lately seemed intent on seeking to delay any request by Spain for a government bailout — or at least to ensure that any such request is bundled with requests from other countries, like Cyprus. That could help Ms. Merkel avoid having to make repeated explanations to the German Parliament..."
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