Progressive Breakfast for October 22

Morning Message

5 Reasons Why Democrats Should Push Social Security Expansion – Now

In two weeks voters will go to the polls in a race that looks increasingly dire for Democrats. It’s not that voters agree with Republicans on the issues. On the contrary, polls show that a majority of voters across the political spectrum agree with core Democratic principles and programs ... The Democrats should be using Social Security expansion as a key part of their 2014 election strategy ... A few of them have, and in recent days Social Security has been raised in several more Democratic races. But the days are dwindling down to a precious few ... Democrats can still use it as a key campaign tool. Here are five reasons why they should...

Republican Governors In Trouble

“The GOP Looks Surprisingly Weak in Midterm Governor Races” notes TNR’s Sam Wang: “Ten incumbents are in danger of being turned out of office … Five out of eight vulnerable Republican governors are running in states won by President Obama in 2008 and 2012 … some Republican governors have gotten into trouble by sticking too closely to partisan principles. Nowhere is that more apparent than in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act …

Gov. Scott Walker is “worried”: “Among the class of 2016 GOP hopefuls, Walker is the lone early contender who faces such a critical test Nov. 4 … most of the sparring in the race has focused on the governor’s 2010 pledge to create 250,000 new jobs in his first term — a target he missed by nearly 150,000 jobs.”

Obama, Hillary Hit The Trail

Hillary speaks to women in Colorado on behalf of Gov. Hickenlooper and Sen. Udall. W. Post: “She said the right to abortion ‘is under assault today across our country and is less secure than it has been at any time in the last 40 years. These Democrats will never shame and judge a woman for decisions that are complex and deeply personal … As far as I’m concerned, and as far as Mark [Udall] is concerned, when he fights for women’s rights, he is fighting on the frontier of freedom,’ Clinton said.”

While Obama eyes African-American vote. Bloomberg: “His appearances over the last two days were in predominantly black communities. Both Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have emphasized early voting at campaign events targeting blacks, who in many states use early voting at higher rates than other racial groups … In the run-up to Election Day, Obama is also scheduled to appear with Democrats running for governor in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maine and Michigan…”

Kochs spend $6.5M in final ad blitz. W. Post: “Through the new round of commercials, Freedom Partners Action Fund hopes to tie senators in Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowaand New Hampshire to President Obama and his policies … The ads come just one week after the group spent $4 million on ads attacking five Democrats including Sens. Mark Udall (Colo.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) as well as Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and Joe Garcia (D-Fla.).”

Underdog Dem in WV Senate race ties GOP nominee to Wall Street. The Hill: “The Tennant campaign will blast the 30-second ad — dubbed ‘Wall Street’s Secret Weapon’ — in every television market across West Virginia to reach 80 percent of voters, costing the campaign $415,000 … Tennant, West Virginia’s secretary of State, has looked to portray Capito as using her seat on the House Financial Services Committee to benefit herself and Wall Street.”

Breakfast Sides

VP Biden pushes infrastructure investment. W. Post: “Speaking at a Washington Post Live event on Tuesday about the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure, Biden told audience members that the United States needs airports that ‘actually look like the 21st century,’ a subtle callback to comments he made earlier this year comparing the New York airport to a ‘third-world country.’ … ‘Modern infrastructure at this point, in my view right now, is about jobs. Infrastructure investment is one of the most direct ways to good paying, middle-class jobs,’ he said.”

“Currency wars are back, though this time the goal is to steal inflation, not growth” reports Bloomberg: “…when one jurisdiction weakens its exchange rate, another’s gets stronger, making imported goods cheaper. Deflation is a both a consequence of, and contributor to, the global economic slowdown that’s pushing the euro region closer to recession and reducing demand for exports from countries such as China and New Zealand.”