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Obama Will Announce Emission Target To Boost Chances Of Climate Agreement

Obama to announce carbon emissions target in advance of Copenhagen. NYT: "The United States will propose a near-term target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions before the United Nations climate change meeting in Copenhagen next month, a senior administration official said Monday. President Obama, the official said, will announce the specific target 'in coming days.' ... the president would decide shortly whether and for how long he might attend the December climate meeting, which runs from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18 ... The House passed a measure in June that calls for a 17 percent reduction over 2005 levels of the domestic emissions of the gases that contribute to the heating of the planet. A Senate committee passed a bill last month that sets a 20 percent target, but that is likely to be weakened in future negotiations."

Politico notes WH looking for political boost from tripartisan trio: "U.S. negotiators are holding out hope that a bipartisan effort by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will give them some momentum heading into the climate talks. The trio of senators is expected to release a framework laying out broad principles of their bipartisan proposal before the conference."

Climate Progress reacts: "I take this White House announcement to be another clear message that, yes, they will be insisting on an economy-wide cap-and-trade bill in the Senate "

EU may raise bar on emission cuts. NYT: "Stavros Dimas, the environment commissioner of the European Union, called on the trade bloc on Monday to pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels to demonstrate leadership before a landmark climate change summit meeting in Copenhagen in December ... Last year, E.U. countries agreed to cut emissions by a lesser amount, by 20 percent, by the end of the next decade ... 'In my opinion, the 30 percent commitment by the European Union would be better in our negotiations,' Mr. Dimas said. 'The moral pressure would be much stronger on the developed countries and developing countries alike.'"

Senators may have to forgo Copenhagen to vote on health care. The Hill: "This has created a conundrum for senators such as Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who have primary jurisdiction over the [climate] issue and were planning to attend the summit."

Danish ambassador raises expectations, lays out benchmarks for success, in Green Inc.: "Yes we can reach a strong, comprehensive and global agreement next month ... The overall aim ... will be to conclude a binding agreement that will set the path to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius ... [the agreement] will contain precise language of a comprehensive political agreement covering all key issues: Commitment of developed countries to emission reductions and of developing countries to actions. Strong provisions on adaptation, finance and technology, including upfront finance for early action. In addition, there will be underlying annexes outlining the specific commitments of individual countries. We want numbers on the table in the agreement in Copenhagen."

Grist's Geoffrey Lean says Copenhagen has regained momentum: "National leaders have rushed to say they are going, elevating it to the status of a major summit. More and more commitments to action are coming in, from both developed and developing countries. And there are signs that even the United States may put an, albeit provisional, offer on the table. It has all been enough to cheer up the phlegmatic Yvo de Boer, who ... is in charge of the talks. Last month he was sounding downbeat, but now he says: 'There is no doubt in my mind that (the meeting) will yield a success.'"

Obama meets with India PM Singh today. Bloomberg: "Also on the agenda today will be climate change, where the Obama administration has been pushing the world’s fourth-biggest polluter to agree to binding emissions curbs. Singh has said India isn’t ready to set an emission- reduction target, as the nation still has a per-capita output of greenhouse gasses far lower than that of developed countries. Last night, he called negotiations on the climate treaty 'more difficult than we would have liked.'"

More evidence the U.S. Chamber speaks for a narrow slice of right-wing executives. GreenWire: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce often says it speaks for 3 million members, businesses both large and small. What it doesn't promote as readily is that 19 supporters last year provided a third of the trade group's total revenue ... The chamber did not release the names of those supporters."

Afghan Announcement Dec. 1, As Cost Concerns Heighten

McClatchy reports on expected Dec. 1 announcement of Afghanistan strategy: "President Barack Obama met Monday evening with his national security team to finalize a plan to dispatch some 34,000 additional U.S. troops over the next year ... Obama is expected to announce his long-awaited decision on Dec. 1, followed by meetings on Capitol Hill aimed at winning congressional support amid opposition by some Democrats ... the commander of the U.S.-led international force in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, could arrive in Washington as early as Sunday to participate in the rollout of the new plan, including testifying before Congress toward the end of next week. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry also are expected to appear before congressional committees ... The administration's plan contains 'off-ramps,' points starting next June at which Obama could decide to continue the flow of troops, halt the deployments and adopt a more limited strategy or 'begin looking very quickly at exiting' the country, depending on political and military progress, one defense official said. 'We have to start showing progress within six months on the political side or military side or that's it,' the U.S. defense official said."

NYT on possible Dem backlash: "White House officials are bracing for opposition in Mr. Obama’s own party ... Mr. Obey and other senior House Democrats introduced legislation last week to impose a surtax beginning in 2011 to cover the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While the legislation has little chance of enactment, it underscores the frustration among Democratic lawmakers and the pressure Mr. Obama is under to outline a clear exit strategy when he announces his plan for Afghanistan."

WH budget director participated in last night's war council meeting reports Politico.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

3Q GDP estimate revised downward by Commerce Dept. this AM, from 3.5% to 2.8%

The Hill on the work of the House "jobs caucus:" "[Rep. Marcy] Kaptur [D-Ohio], Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), the top three members of the Jobs Now Caucus, have all said they’re open to using some of the roughly $600 billion left in stimulus money for new programs targeted specifically for job creation. Miller floated the proposal during a news conference last week introducing the caucus. Miller supports redirecting stimulus funds toward more infrastructure projects. When asked about using remaining stimulus money, Rush, the group’s chairman, said that the caucus would consider that idea along with others. Kaptur said she would be open to using any funds left over from the stimulus or the $700 billion Wall Street bailout."

HuffPost's Ryan Grim reports some Dems looking at direct hiring of temp workers, other Dems skeptical: "here are much more efficient ways to create jobs -- or prevent them from being lost -- such as direct aid to states that would otherwise layoff teachers, cops, firefighters and bureaucrats. That doesn't require creating a new bureaucracy, it's just a matter of cutting the check. 'Most economists are not sure that [CETA] works as well as some other things that they think would be better, like infrastructure investment and assistance to the states, which helps them retain jobs,' said [Rep. Steny] Hoyer." Wonk Room's Pat Garofalo supportive: "While I would prefer a straight, WPA-style program (both for efficiency and accountability purposes), instead of a public-private partnership, it’s encouraging to see that Congress is finally willing to put such a plan on the table, albeit far later than it should have. There’s no reason that direct job creation — particularly for young people — has been avoided for so long."

Now we can all rest easy. Newt to host his own jobs summit. CNN: "Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will kick off a series of town halls on jobs next month, one day before President Barack Obama holds a jobs forum at the White House. Gingrich's American Solutions organization announced Monday that Gingrich will hold what it calls a 'real jobs summit' in Cincinnati, Ohio, followed by another the next day in Jackson, Mississippi."

Bank of America eager to repay TARP funds, feds making it wait reports Charlotte Observer.

AARP and AMA To Debunk Smears, Strengthen Senior Support

The Treatment's Jonathan Cohn on a new truth squad campaign from AARP and AMA: "Interest group endorsements aren't always as important as they might seem, but veteran political operatives I know all seem to think these two groups really do have a lot of sway over the way seniors think."

Wonk Room crystalizes savings for families from health care reform: "Under Senate Bill, Families Would Pay 25% Less For Health Care In Individual Market"

FireDogLake's Jon Walker finds Sen. Robert Menendez supporting the trigger compromise: "Let’s make this clear for Sen. Menedez. Supporting a 'trigger' is no different than supporting the elimination of the public option."

Time on Sen. Casey' role in finding an abortion compromise: "Casey is working on an amendment, though it might not be the one ... the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ... might hope for. Casey's amendment would boost services to pregnant women to help educate them on their choices. 'I think it would help a lot of folks on both sides feel more comfortable about the bill,' Casey says. That certainly won't go far enough for pro-life advocates who say the current language in the Reid bill — a version of the separation of funds idea — is 'an enormous disappointment ... " as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a letter to the Senate last week. While Casey is speaking with other Senators on the issue and is considering other amendments, he's 'not drawing any lines in the sand,' he says..." Politico reports Catholic bishops-backed amendment does not have Senate sponsor yet.

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