* Economists say Obama jobs plan would prevent recession: This story is likely to drive much chatter today: Bloomberg surveys a number of economists and finds that they agree that the American Jobs Act would stave off another recession next year by boosting growth and pushing down unemployment.
Chuck Todd predicts that this story will become a key White House talking point in selling the jobs plan. I would add that it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens if Congressional opponents of the plan, not to mention Dems who are reluctant to embrace it, are asked for comment on this story.
White House talking point or not, this is pretty clear cut. Though their estimates vary, and not all are optimistic, some independent economists say that passing Obama’s jobs plan would prevent another recession. They say it would push down the jobless rate. They say it would prevent the serious drag on the economy that would take place if other programs — such as the payroll tax holiday; unemployment benefits — expire. They generally agree that not acting right now could push the economy backwards. So what’s the justification for opposing the plan or foot-dragging on it?
* Dems won’t take up Obama’s jobs bill right away: Relatedly, here’s Harry Reid, noting that Dems won’t take up the jobs plan immediately, as the White House wants: “We’ll get to that.”
Points for urgency!
* Reid, eyeing vulnerable incumbents, seeks leverage with White House: In fairness to Reid, he wants to first have debate next week on a jobs-protection measure punishing China and other countries for currency maipulation, as a way of shoring up vulnerable Senate Dems and increasing leverage with the White House:
The Obama administration is not eager to confront China over its currency policy, but congressional Democrats are eager to tackle it — especially politically vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Midwestern states. They include Sens. Sherrod Brown, Debbie Stabenow and Bob Casey Jr., whose states’ economies have suffered because of a steady outflow of manufacturing jobs to China.
* The GOP favored to take back Senate: Relatedly, Real Clear Politics’s Sean Trende has a detailed, race-by-race overview of the Senate map that’s worth clipping and saving.
Bottom line: Republicans need three seats to win the Senate; they are currently favored to win two, and need one more. There are only two GOP-held seats that are tossups, versus six Dem seats that could go either way. Also: It’s looking more like Elizabeth Warren’s Senate run could be pivotal.
* The strategist behind Obama’s newly aggressive populism: Jason Horowitz on how David Plouffe, the architect of Obama’s inspirational 2008 win, is now consumed with the grinding task of saving his presidency.
Key nugget: Plouffe allies defend his role in crafting Obama’s previous compromise strategy by arguing that failure in previous standoffs was not an option, and note that he’s fully behind the pivot to the new and feisty populist stance.
* Is Obama anti-Israel? Not according to Israelis: Ben Smith flags a new Jerusalem Post poll finding that 54 percent of Israelis now see Obama’s policies as pro-Israel. Not that this will have any impact on what American conservatives think of his Israel policies, of course.
* More notes on “class warfare”: E.J. Dionne gave a nice answer to the silly “class warfare” charge on MSNBC:
There’s no such thing as a self made person. You and I didn’t pick who our parents are. We didn’t pick the country we were born in ... The whole issue here is, we’re not going to tax the rich because we don’t want them to be rich. It’s that they owe even more back to this country because they did very well here. And it takes nothing away from them to say that they owe something back.
* Obama continues embracing “class warrior” label: The Times does a whole takeout on Obama’s response to the “class warfare” charge: His open embrace of the role of “warrior” for the middle class.
As I’ve been saying, this is a good argument for Obama — and the rest of us — to be having.
* Swing state polls of the day: In Ohio, voters disapprove of Obama 53-42, but he edges Rick Perry by 44-41 and Mitt Romney by 44-42.
In Pennsylvania, voters disapprove of Obama 54-43, but he edges Perry by 46-40 and Romney by 45-43.
* No more “Grand Bargain” nonsense, please: A great line from Hendrik Hertzberg on the nature of the GOP’s opposition to Obama:
For Obama, a Grand Bargain, which is to say a Grand Compromise, is not currently an option. His real choice is between a Grand Surrender and a Grand Fight.
* Rick Perry and the mythical $16 muffin: No one will care, but as Ruth Marcus details, when Rick Perry referred to that taxpayer-funded $16 muffin to slam Obama for wasteful spending, he was makin’ it up.
Also note Perry’s casual falsehood about Obama supposedly proposing that veterans pay $200 before getting any health benefits.
* Will Supreme Court even rule on constitutionality of health law? Dahlia Lithwick offers the counterintuitive suggestion that the high court may look for ways to duck the Constitutional question:
I remain unsure that there just are five justices at the high court eager to have the court itself become an election-year issue. I don’t think Chief Justice John Roberts wants to borrow that kind of partisan trouble again so soon after Citizens United, the campaign-finance case that turned into an Obama talking point. And I am not certain that the short-term gain of striking down some or part of the ACA (embarrassing President Obama even to the point of affecting the election) is the kind of judicial end-game this court really cares about.
So perhaps this bomb won’t detonate in the middle of Campaign 2012, after all.
* And the forever-pining-for-Chris-Christie headline of the day: Courtesy of the New York Post:
Christie doesn’t sound like a noncandidate
Here is a video of Christie himself saying again and again that he’s a noncandidate, but hey, keep hope alive!
What else is happening?