Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Join a Discussion

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Weekly schedule, past shows

ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 10/24/2011

The Morning Plum

* Obama to open new front against GOP on economy: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Senate Republicans will continue to filibuster pretty much every one of Obama’s proposals to create jobs, even though they enjoy majority support among Dems, indys and GOP voters alike. The New York Times has the scoop on Obama’s next move:

With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act.

Obama will be announcing a new initiative each week through the rest of the year, aides say. Such measures won’t be nearly enough, given the severity of the economic crisis. But this new approach seems designed to maximize whatever political benefits Obama can wring out of GOP obstructionism, by demonstrating in a fresh way that Republicans are the primary obstacles to progress on unemployment and the economy. The message: Congressional Republicans won’t act? Then I will.

The move also seems designed to address another political problem Obama faces: Republicans are likely to benefit from blocking jobs policies that the public supports, because voters who aren’t schooled in the finer points of Senate procedure don’t necessarily understand or care why Obama can’t get his policies through. They may simply conclude Obama is weak or ineffective. So demonstrating any kind of action — even if it’s far less ambitious than the solutions we need — may go some small way towards breaking that dynamic.

* Why Obama’s program to help homeowners is failing: Zachary Goldfarb has a sobering and deeply reported look at the failure of Obama’s program to help homeowners, reduce foreclosures, and boost the housing market. Obama today is set to visit Nevada, which has been hardest hit by foreclosures, and to continue hammering the GOP for blocking his jobs plan, which included aid to struggling communities.

* Mitch McConnell’s unintentionally revealing argument about unemployment: Steve Benen does a nice job decoding and poking holes in McConnell’s latest misleading explanation for not allowing a majority Senate vote on Obama jobs policies (the latest one being spending for hiring teachers and first responders) that have majority support, even among Republicans.

* Nope, Occupy Wall Street isn’t a fringe movement: It’s good to see that an establishment columnist like Albert Hunt is willing to state clearly that the movement is animated by sentiments that are thoroughly mainstream in nature:

Income and wealth inequality in America have been growing for decades with little public outcry. The catalyst for the movement now is that during the worst financial crisis since the Depression, there is a perception that Wall Street and the wealthy were taken care of while average folks suffer. That isn’t a fringe view.

And get this — Hunt demonstrates that a majority of Americans agree with the protesters by citing actual poll data!

* Some news outlets get the importance of OWS: Nice piece by Brian Stelter on “Democracy Now!” and its early recognition of the importance of the protests.

* The roots of conservative anti-tax fanaticism: E.J. Dionne digs into the history to explain why conservative ideas about economic policy now largely revolve around one thought:

Almost everything conservatives suggest these days is built around the single idea that if only government took less money away from the wealthy, all our problems would magically disappear.

Okay, make that two thoughts: Poor people aren’t paying enough in taxes.

* White House pushing back on “regulatory uncertainty” canard”: It looks like the Treasury Department is preparing to redouble its efforts to knock down the GOP claim that “regulatory uncertainty” is to blame for the ailing recovery.

Friendly reminder: The “regulatory uncertainty” line has already been debunked by CNN, the Associated Press, McClatchy, and former Reagan policy adviser Bruce Bartlett.

* Today in deficit supercommittee follies: Nice to see that nearly 200 companies and special interests have now reported lobbying the members of the deficit supercommittee, with the health care industry outdoing all other special interests for the top lobbying prize.

* Beltway Dem headscratcher of the day: Why are Chuck Schumer and other Dem Senators entertaining the idea of a jobs “compromise” that would include a huge tax cut on corporate profits, when the last time we tried this it largely failed to create job growth and the evidence suggests it would only increase the deficit?

* History lesson of the day: The claim that Obama is resorting to “demagoguery” against the business community is absurd, but this Wall Street Journal op ed comparing Obama’s current populism to FDR’s public campaign against Wall Street is worth thinking about.

* Romney camp thinks Perry is on the ropes: Mitt Romney’s team appears to have concluded that now is the time to go in for the kill against Rick Perry, who’s sinking fast in the polls.

* And Romney’s strategy, made simple: Kevin Drum aptly boils it down:

He can’t afford to dive too far down the tea party rabbit hole because that would hurt his chances in the general election, but he still needs the tea party vote in the primaries. So instead of flat taxes and electrified fences, he tries to appease them with absurdly over-the-top criticisms of the Great Satan himself, Barack Obama.

As it happens, Romney has been doing this since the day he announced his presidential candidacy.

What else is happening?

By  |  08:59 AM ET, 10/24/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company