By Bill Scher
August 27, 2012 - 8:07am ET
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: A Maximum Wage
OurFuture.org's Sam Pizzigati: "...what can we do to bring some semblance of fairness back into our workplaces? For starters, we obviously need to raise the minimum wage. But some close observers of America’s economic landscape believe we need to do more. A great deal more. Count Larry Hanley among these more ambitious change agents. Hanley, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union ... called for a 'maximum wage,' a cap on the compensation that goes to the corporate execs who profit so hugely off low-wage labor. This maximum, if Hanley had his way, would be defined as a multiple of the pay that goes to a company’s lowest-paid worker. If we had a “maximum wage” set at 100 times that lowest wage, the CEO at a company that paid workers as little as $15,080 — the annual take-home for a minimum wage worker — could waltz off with annual pay no higher than just over $1.5 million."
As Convention Begins, Some Republicans Fear Tone Of "Exclusion"
In today's Republican Party, Dan Quayle is the one making the most sense. NYT: "Some leaders expressed worry that the turn to contentious social issues ... could undercut the party’s need to broaden its appeal. Many of them said they feared it was hastening a march to becoming a smaller, older, whiter and more male party ... said Dan Quayle, the Republican former vice president[,] 'The philosophy you hear from time to time, which is unfortunate, is one of exclusion rather than inclusion.'"
Romney trying to limit damage by keeping "big names" off stage. National Journal: "The absent former rivals include Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in 2011; former pizza magnate Herman Cain ... Texas Gov. Rick Perry ... and retiring Rep. Ron Paul, who is getting a video tribute but no live address ... Also missing from the podium, and the convention as well: Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney ... Almost all of these no-shows have national favorability ratings in the 20s and 30s. That includes former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin..."
GOP convention keynoter Chris Christie is as big a fiscal phony as Paul Ryan, says NYT's Paul Krugman: "...while Mr. Christie has made a lot of noise about his tough budget choices, other governors have done much the same ... If there is a distinctive feature to New Jersey’s belt-tightening under Mr. Christie, it is its curiously selective nature. The governor was willing to cancel the desperately needed project to build another rail tunnel linking the state to Manhattan, but has invested state funds in a megamall in the Meadowlands and a casino in Atlantic City ... while much of his program involves spending cuts, he has effectively raised taxes on low-income workers and homeowners by slashing tax credits. But he vetoed a temporary surcharge on millionaires while refusing to raise the state’s gasoline tax..."
Romney Campaign Descends Into Racial Division
Romney-Ryan campaign based on racial division, argues NYT's Tom Edsall: "The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor ... Faced with few if any possibilities of making gains among blacks and Hispanics — whose support for Obama has remained strong — the Romney campaign has no other choice if the goal is to win but to adopt a strategy to drive up white turnout."
SC voter ID law heads to court today reports McClatchy.
Romney Hugs RomneyCare
To attract women voters, Romney praises RomneyCare, pretends ObamaCare doesn't exist. CBS: "'With regards to women's health care, look, I'm the guy that was able to get health care for all of the women and men in my state,' Romney said on Fox News Sunday. 'They're just talking about it at the federal level. We actually did something...'"
Texas counties try to get Medicaid funding despite Gov. Perry's opposition. W. Post: "For years, Texas’s six most populous counties, as well as some smaller localities, have offered free or low-cost health care for uninsured residents with incomes as much as three times the federal poverty level ... If some of the patients were enrolled in Medicaid ... it could be salve for cash-strapped county budgets and a boon for local taxpayers ... [A] county-led effort would require the consent of both the White House and the Texas legislature. Federal officials would have to waive requirements that states apply the same eligibility standards statewide."
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