By Bill Scher
November 5, 2012 - 9:10am 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: Middle-Class Zeros Could Get Zeroed Out Tuesday
OurFuture.org's Isaiah Poole: "At least eight toss-up races in the House that will be decided Tuesday feature strong progressive challengers trying to unseat Republican incumbents who received zeros in this year's TheMiddleClass.org Voter Guide. Victories by progressives in these races will help dispel the notion that strong progressive populist campaigns can't work in swing districts. They will also help undermine any effort to assert a mandate for continuing in the direction of cutting programs that provide economic support for middle-class and low-income families while continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."
Last Pitch To Undecideds
Both candidates make bipartisan appeals in final days. LAT: "It's a tonal shift for Romney, who described himself as 'severely conservative' in the primary and has been sharply critical of Obama's 'liberal agenda' all year. He sounded very much like candidate Obama of 2008 as he campaigned Sunday ... Obama had the benefit of a fresh example of bipartisanship. The aftermath of super storm Sandy created a steady stream of images of the president working side by side with New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie ... As he seeks to fire up Democrats in the final days, Obama also promises not to 'surrender' on his priorities."
Effective response to Sandy due to President Obama's governing philosophy. NYT's Paul Krugman: "...the difference is summed up in two images. One is the nightmare at the New Orleans convention center, where thousands were stranded for days amid inconceivable squalor, an outrage that all of America watched live on TV, but to which top officials seemed oblivious. The other is the scene in flooded Hoboken, with the National Guard moving in the day after the storm struck to deliver food and water and rescue stranded residents. The point is that after Katrina the government seemed to have no idea what it was doing; this time it did. And that’s no accident..."
NYT edit board reminds, Republicans would cut taxes for rich, raise taxes on poor: "If Congressional Republicans get their way, expiring cuts in the estate tax for America’s wealthiest families will be extended in 2013. But under their cruel plan, enhancements to tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families, which are also set to expire at the end of the year, would end."
"Gasoline prices post biggest fall in nearly 4 years" reports Reuters.
Chaos As Florida Restricts Early Voting
"Florida early voting fiasco," reports HuffPost: "Early voting is supposed to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right. Tuesdays are notoriously inconvenient to take off work, so many states have given voters the option of turning out on weekends or other weekdays in the run-up to Election Day. But in Florida this year, it has been a nightmare for voters, who have faced record wait times, long lines in the sun and a Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has refused to budge and extend early voting hours..."
Dems file lawsuit, one county extends hours. AP: " The judge ruled on a lawsuit filed late Saturday in Orange County after an early voting site was shut down for several hours. The Winter Park library was evacuated when a suspicious package — a cooler — was found outside. It was later detonated by a local bomb squad ... The Miami-Dade elections office reopened to accept absentee ballots Sunday after shutting down temporarily ... Voters banged on the front doors and demanded to vote, prompting staff to reopen the office about an hour later."
Unions getting out the vote. NYT: "With labor’s political influence having fallen short in the 2010 elections and with membership declining, unions are hoping that two new strategies will strengthen their efforts this time around. They have welcomed members of outside groups like MoveOn.org, the N.A.A.C.P. and Planned Parenthood to join their canvasses and phone banks. And for the first time, union members — as a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision — can call and visit not just union households, but nonunion ones too."
"Don't Just Vote" say Van Jones and Billy Wimsatt: "Here are eight cool, interesting (and useful) things to do in the next 36 hours in addition to voting..."
Money May Not Be Enough To Take Senate
"Last-minute money" could impact Senate races. NYT: "In Ohio, Arizona, Indiana and even Missouri, once thought to be an uneven contest, a last-minute rush of money on both sides suggests that neither party believes that the balance of power in the next Senate is set ... In the past two weeks, $22 million has poured into the Senate race in Virginia. Outside groups have dumped $17.2 million into Wisconsin, $12.7 million into Arizona, $11.3 million into Indiana, $8.6 million into Montana and $8.5 million into Nevada."
But Republicans not expected to take over Senate. Politico: "...the GOP is still widely expected to fall short Tuesday night. The three- or four-seat gain it needs to make Harry Reid minority leader no longer looks to be in the cards."
Money may stall Dems in House races. Politico: "...there’s little question that the GOP cash edge made a difference. Republican groups spent big on defense in races in Indiana, New Hampshire and suburban Orlando, Fla., allowing the NRCC to focus heavily on offense."
Budget Jockeying in Congress Before Election Day
Speaker Boehner wants to scrap deadline for budget deal. CNN: "...he said he expected 'some kind temporary push back of the sequester. I would think that would be the best you can hope for, and even that is going to be very difficult to do.'"
Missing deadline would not cause immediate impact. Politico: "...a new report by OMB Watch, which says the White House has the authority to effectively delay the effects of the across-the-board budget cuts by several weeks to allow time for Congress to cut a deal ... lawmakers have a powerful incentive to wait until January — after the 113th Congress is sworn in — to resolve the issue. In addition, he said, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of the year could greatly increase the odds of a deficit-cutting grand bargain in January — but not December."
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