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Obama v. Warren Over TPP

Obama criticizes Warren on TPP during MSNBC interview. Time quotes: “We’re allies on a whole host of issues. But she’s wrong on this … [She] is out there saying things like this about the trade agreement: ‘It’s going to help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind,’ … I’ve spent the last 6½ years yanking this economy out of the worst recession since the Great Depression … I would not be doing this trade deal if I did not think it was good for the middle class.”

Watch the MSNBC interview with Obama here. Part 1 and Part 2.

Hillary Clinton lays out criteria for her to support TPP. W. Post: “‘Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security,’ Clinton said during a tour of a community college that focuses on technical skills. ‘We have to do our part in making sure we have the capabilities and the skills to be competitive.’ That fell short of an endorsement of the [fast-track] bill.”

Martin O’Malley comes out squarely against TPP. Bloomberg: “‘We need to stop entering into bad trade deals,’ O’Malley says in [a new] video. ‘I’m for trade, and I’m for good trade deals, but I’m against bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We need to focus on making our economy more sustainable, more circular, and making ourselves strong here at home.'”

US-Japan breakthrough may speed TPP deal. Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be able to declare next week that the U.S. and Japan have all but completed their part of negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S. said. Kenichiro Sasae said in Washington that while some issues remain to be settled on autos and agriculture, he hopes Abe and Obama will announce agreement when the Japanese leader visits the White House on April 28.”

Senate poised to pass fast track during Japan visit. Politico: “Republicans say they are confident the bill will pass committee and possibly hit the Senate floor by next week, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Washington.”

But Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid opposed. HuffPost: “‘You couldn’t find a person … who feels more negatively about it than I do,’ he said. ‘So the answer is not only no, but hell no,’ he added … Reid said that he wouldn’t try to defeat the legislation in any ‘single-handed’ way, but that he is pressing [Sen. Ron] Wyden to slow it down.”

“Coalition to Stop Fast Track” announces major ad campaign. Politico: “A coalition of labor, environmental and progressive interests is launching a seven-figure ad campaign aimed at pressuring congressional Democrats … a coalition spokesman said the ad would be aimed primarily at members who had yet to take a public position on the proposal …”

Fast track bill would push final approval into the fall. NYT: “… the full agreement would have to be made public for 60 days before the president gives his final assent and sends it to Congress. Congress could not begin considering it for 30 days after that. That extra time means that Congress probably will not consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership until at least October, the thick of the presidential primary debate season and just as White House hopefuls are preparing for the first primary voting.”

Hillary: Class Warrior?

Did Clinton say we need to topple the 1%? HuffPost: “Hillary Clinton believes that strengthening the middle class and alleviating income inequality will require ‘toppling’ the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, according to a New York Times profile published on Tuesday …’“No one in the room remembers this quote, and it doesn’t sound like language she’d use,’ a Clinton aide emailed to HuffPost. ‘That said, our economy was nearly toppled in 2008 because the deck was stacked for those at the top and Hillary Clinton has said she’s running to reshuffle the deck for everyday Americans so that it doesn’t topple again and people can actually get ahead.'”

TNR’s Danny Vinik argues progressives should be pleased with her rhetoric: “This should allay fears on the left that Clinton would run as a centrist, crafting her language carefully to avoid angering Wall Street donors. Instead, she’s going right after them.”

Dean Baker offers a “Simple Progressive Economic Agenda for Hillary Clinton (or Anyone Else)”: “While many policies will be needed to improve the situation of the poor and middle class, there are three simple ones that could make a big difference: a more competitive dollar, a Federal Reserve Board committed to full employment and a financial transactions tax to rein in Wall Street.”

Little Victory For Clean Energy

Modest energy-efficiency bill clears Congress. NYT: “Congress on Tuesday passed a bill focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings and water heaters, a move celebrated by both parties for breaking longstanding partisan gridlock … President Obama is expected to sign [the bill] into law this week…”

WH proposes billions for energy infrastructure. The Hill: “…it would cost up to $3.5 billion over 10 years to replace natural gas pipelines and improve maintenance. The Energy Department also wants to spend up to $5 billion to support state ‘energy assurance’ pipeline programs, to help them protect their energy infrastructure from various threats. The administration calls for nearly $4 billion to modernize the electrical grid, as well as $2 billion to promote carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, along with pipelines to move the gas.”

Breakfast Sides

Koch may back multiple presidential candidates. WSJ: “The network affiliated with billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch sees five contenders as having a good message and a shot at the White House. They are: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida,Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky … [Charles] Koch said the network would only intervene in the primary on behalf of a single candidate ‘if somebody really stands out from the standpoint of their message and what they would actually do to benefit America,’ and is electable.”

“Flash Crash” trader arrested. NYT: “…prosecutors said that much of the blame for the event could be pinned on a single person: a 36-year-old man who had been boldly manipulating markets from his suburban rowhouse just a few minutes from Heathrow Airport outside London, where he was arrested … news of the arrest, if anything, has raised anew concerns about how an individual could manage to exert such influence over the world’s financial markets.”

Greece buys six more weeks. Bloomberg: “Greek officials expect an order that local governments transfer funds to the central bank will keep the country afloat until the end of May …”

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