fresh voices from the front lines of change







The daily Progressive Breakfast serves up what progressive movement members need to know to start their day.

Fed Paints Gloomy Jobs Picture

Krugman says Fed analysis supports "piling on, not looking for the exit.": "...the Fed expects unemployment to come down only very gradually — over 9 percent at the end of 2010, over 8 percent at the end of 2011, around 7 percent at the end of 2012. Inflation, meanwhile is expected to remain consistently below the Fed’s target. Which raises the question, why is anyone talking about an 'exit strategy'? On the Fed’s own forecasts, the economy will remain seriously depressed three years from now."

Economic Populist also laments Fed conclusions: " we get some real labor and jobs policy going that deals with the real facts of labor economics? These numbers imply we're going to destroy hundreds of thousands of middle class lives....permanently."

Wonk Room's Pat Garofalo advocates for direct hiring of young people: "With Democrats reportedly looking at a direct jobs program — using some form of public-private partnerships — the time is right for focusing at least some attention on young people. To that end, Melissa Boteach, Joy Moses, and Shirley Sagawa advocate using national service programs to tackle both youth unemployment and the growing number of those 'seeking assistance from the nation’s non-profits and relevant government agencies.'"

Sen. Schumer calls on Adidas, NBA to keep uniform production in US. NYT: "Adidas is planning to move most production of N.B.A. players’ official jerseys and shorts out of the United States, managers of the main factory producing the gear said on Tuesday. With the decision threatening 100 jobs at the factory, American Classic Outfitters in Perry, N.Y., 50 miles east of Buffalo, Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, urged Adidas not to move the jersey operation."

WH may embrace milder version of anti-public investment deficit commission. WSJ: "Two officials said the White House was likely to make its own proposal for a panel, which could have less power than the proposed Conrad-Gregg commission. White House aides said no final decision had been made."

Dodd makes bipartisan pairs to work out compromises on financial reform. Politico: "It’s a quick pivot on the part of Dodd after his sweeping legislation took a bipartisan beating last week, causing financial insiders to declare the legislation on life support. Dodd will pair up with his ranking member, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, to work on two of the most controversial elements of his discussion draft: prudential regulation of banks and consumer protection."

Banks remained troubled despite higher earnings. LAT: "The financial health of the U.S. banking industry improved slightly during the third quarter, with commercial banks and savings and loans posting net income of $2.8 billion. But the sector remains troubled, highlighted by the continued rise in the number of institutions in danger of failing, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said today ... Lending remains a problem as the total amount of loans on the rolls of U.S. banks fell by the largest percentage since the FDIC began reporting the data in 1984. Banks continued to set aside more money to cover potential loan losses, limiting the amount they can lend."

Opposing views on Geithner from Bo Cutter and Elliot Spitzer at New Deal 2.0.

Obama Going To Copenhagen

BREAKING this AM, Obama will go to Copenhagen climate summit. Politico quotes WH official: "Reflecting the president’s commitment to combating climate change, he will attend the climate talks in Copenhagen on Dec. 9, where he will have the opportunity to engage key leaders and give momentum to the negotiations. The progress made in the bilateral talks with China and India over the course of the past two weeks, and the president’s sustained focus on this issue throughout the year in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, has made a meaningful Copenhagen accord possible."

US and India make optimistic but vague remarks on climate agreement. President Obama: "With just two weeks until the beginning of Copenhagen, it's also essential that all countries do what is necessary to reach a strong operational agreement that will confront the threat of climate change while serving as a stepping stone to a legally binding treaty. And to that end, Prime Minister Singh and I made important progress today. We reaffirmed that an agreement in Copenhagen should be comprehensive and cover all the issues under negotiation. We resolved to take significant national mitigation actions that will strengthen the world's ability to combat climate change. We agreed to stand by these commitments with full transparency, through appropriate processes, as to their implementation."

HuffPost's Carl Pope proposes international trust-building steps: "...Stop methane leaks and make money for natural gas drilling and pipeline companies ... Use solar power to light the world's un-electrified villages ... make sure that poor families can at least burn their wood or cow dung cleanly and efficiently in simple stoves..."

72% believe global warming is real, majority continues to back carbon cap in ABC/W. Post poll. Yet W. Post hypes minor dip in global warming acceptance. Get Energy Smart Now rewrites headline: "Large majority of Americans rejecting massively funded disinformation conspiracy."

CA agency moves to establish cap-and-trade program. NYT: "California’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The proposed system would begin in 2012 with 600 major sources of global warming pollutants, including power plants, refineries and concrete factories ... The draft of the California program dodges one of the toughest issues in designing any cap-and-trade system: how to allocate permits that allow companies to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."

Energy Dept. announces $620M in smart-grid projects. Green Energy Reporter: "... $435 million will support fully integrated, regional smart grid demonstrations in 21 states, representing over 50 utilities and electricity organizations with a combined customer base of almost 100 million consumers. And $185 million will fund utility-scale energy storage projects."

Legislative Log-Jam Impedes Health Care

Bloomberg runs down the to-do list: "Raising the U.S. government’s $12.2 trillion borrowing limit tops an agenda of must-pass legislation that imperils Senate Democrats’ ability to pass a health-care bill this year. As the senators struggle to meet President Barack Obama’s year-end deadline to overhaul the health system, they must also act to keep the government running and prevent a 21 percent drop in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. They need to approve measures to avert a Dec. 31 expiration of the estate tax, extend jobless benefits and renew key provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act ... This year’s long list of obligatory legislation gives Republicans parliamentary leverage over health care, said Conrad, the chairman of the budget committee. 'You just have to deal with it, but it makes getting it done in three weeks extraordinarily challenging,' he said."

HCAN runs ads in AR and NE in support of right-leaning Dems that supported first health care vote. Politico: "Health Care for America Now launched a week long Arkansas ad buy thanking Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor for voting to begin debate on health reform. In Nebraska, the progressive group is airing and week-long ad accusing Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of siding with the insurance industry when he voted to block the debate from moving forward."

NYT explores rising medical bankruptcies: "...there is a general sense among bankruptcy lawyers and court officials, in Nashville as elsewhere, that the share of personal bankruptcies caused by illness is growing."

NYT's David Leonhardt tells right-leaning Dems to put up or shut up on controlling health care costs: "A cynic may suggest they were never as fiscally conservative as they let on. Some have preferred repeating bromides about fiscal conservatism to engaging in the details of cost-cutting. Others, like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and many Blue Dog Democrats in the House, have seemed mainly interested in securing Medicare dollars for rural areas. Still others — including Joe Lieberman, who represents a state, Connecticut, that is home to many insurance executives — have seemed obsessed with the so-called public insurance option. None of these positions will fix the health care system. Fortunately, though, the senators still have plenty of opportunity to prove the cynics wrong."

Wonk Room's Igor Volsky slaps Rove's fuzzy math: Rove's reasoning is as pernicious as his math. In its September 22nd letter to the Senate Finance Committee the CBO does project that premiums in the none group market would cost approximately $6,000 for individuals and $11,000 for families, but it also demonstrates that health premiums would be cheaper for a majority of families."

The Breakfast will not be served for the rest of the week so we can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers. We will be back on Monday.

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