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: Closing the Enthusiasm Gap
OurFuture.org’s Isaiah J. Poole: “A straw poll taken at the Take Back the American Dream conference shows that the ‘enthusiasm gap’ between progressives and President Obama is very real … if the activists and intellectuals at the core of the progressive movement have such mixed feelings, will he take bold steps to assure the progressive rank-and-file that he will be a more effective fighter for progressive values in his second term than he was in the first? Yes, progressive leaders will have his back in the coming months, the straw poll indicated. But will he have ours?”
Take Back Conference Voices Agenda for the Middle Class
Take Back attendees press White House to crack down on Wall Street. AP: “Some said that the rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street movement had been disappointingly absent from Obama’s message. Others implored the president to pressure Republican challenger Mitt Romney to reveal the big-dollar donors who are fueling his campaign by ‘bundling’ contributions from smaller donors. Activists also said they were put off by what they called Obama’s lack of exasperation when efforts to regulate Wall Street post-recession fell short of what many had demanded.” Rep. Defazio pushes financial transaction tax at Take Back reports ThinkProgress.
Attendees back Elizabeth Warren for President in 2016 in conference poll. The Atlantic: “Warren ran away with the 2016 straw poll conducted at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, winning 32 percent of the vote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 27 percent … It tells you something about Warren’s status as a rock star of the left that before the Massachusetts Senate candidate has even won her first election she’s being pumped as a future presidential candidate. But it tells you even more about the status of the Democratic farm team … Numerous sessions at the Take Back conference focused on candidate development at the minor-league level …” Click here for full poll results.
Bill O’Reilly smears Take Back keynoter Melissa Harris-Perry: “Bill O’Reilly attacked Harris-Perry over this section of the speech, claiming she said that ‘we, the United States, are racists because we defended ourselves against radical Islam after 9/11′ … [But] Harris-Perry wasn’t saying that we are ‘racists’ for ‘defend[ing] ourselves’ — she was talking about worries over the Patriot Act and the curtailment of civil liberties, especially for racial and religious minorities.”
The Atlantic’s Matthew O’Brien slams Fed for timid action: “The big news was that the Fed will extend ‘Operation Twist’ — which was set to expire — through the end of the year. In plain English, the Fed will keep selling short-term bonds, and using that money to buy long-term bonds. It’s a way to push down long-term interest rates without printing money. But that was it. There wasn’t any more bond-buying. Nor did the Fed say that it expects to keep rates low for longer. It was a status quo meeting when the status quo is not good.”
Bernanke points finger at Congress. TPM: “…Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reminded reporters that the Fed isn’t the only game in town, and practically begged Congress to take affirmative steps to boost recovery. Bernanke cited ‘Fiscal restraint at the federal state and local levels,’ as a key head wind threatening the recovery … he offered Congress his familiar prescription — it amounts to stimulus in the short term paired with a credible long-term path to reduced deficits.”
Romney Tries To Hide Economic News
“Romney Campaign Reportedly Asked Florida Governor To Downplay Job Growth” reports Bloomberg: “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter. Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.”
Romney speaks to Latino group today, as Latino vote slipping away from him: “The U.S. Latino population increased from about 35 million in 2000 to 50 million in 2010, and about 45 percent of that growth occurred in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia … While the five swing states mentioned above combined for about 20 percent of the Latino population growth over the last decade, another 20 percent came in Texas alone, and about 7 percent came in Arizona and Georgia.”
Transportation bill prospects brighten as Reid and Boehner lead talks. The Hill: “‘The meeting yesterday was huge progress, both leaders saying they want a bill by the end of the week,’ [Sen. Barbara Boxer] said … Funding for federal transportation projects will expire on June 30 without a deal.”
Five recent studies show higher minimum wage does not lose jobs reports ThinkProgress.
Link higher taxes on the wealthy to counter-terrorism, suggests W. Post’s Walter Pincus: “…why doesn’t President Obama link his request to restore Clinton-level taxes on the wealthy to the $88.5 billion requested for fiscal 2013 to pay for continuing the war in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts worldwide?”
Natural gas exploration not suffering from excess regulation in Western PA. NYT: “…to make that case, Republicans will have to convince voters in regions like Western Pennsylvania that the free-for-all they see all around them could somehow be even more, well, free. It is a tough sell. ‘It’s the Wild West,’ said C. J. Callahan, a 29-year-old banker in Point Marion…”
Health reform opponents outspending advocates. NYT: “…about $235 million has been spent on ads attacking the law since its passage in March 2010, according to a recent survey by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. Only $69 million has been spent on advertising supporting it…”