Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catnip 11/29/12: Happy Now?


Not yet....

‘Fiscal cliff’ talks bogged down by dispute over cost of retirement programs: "Democrats complained that Republicans have yet to name their price for enacting legislation that would preserve tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans next year while raising revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent. Republicans, meanwhile, insisted that it is up to President Obama to offer a plan to restrain the cost of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — the government’s biggest and fastest-growing programs — in exchange for GOP concessions on taxes."

Dem leaders: Cuts to Medicare benefits off the table in deficit negotiations: "Democratic party leaders on Wednesday argued that they had already put Medicare cuts on the table in deficit talks, but they ruled out any reduction to benefits... "We're willing to talk and to put everything on the table for discussion — at least this Democrat is," Becerra said. "But the moment you want to privatize Social Security, or voucherize Medicare, or block-grant Medicaid — that's where you lose us. Because we want to strengthen those programs, not let them die on the vine."

CBO: Extending unemployment benefits could save 300,000 jobs next year. “It would cost $30 billion to extend the program for another year. But doing so could save 300,000 jobs by the end of 2013, compared with what would happen under current law…The two programs that are soon set to shrink are the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides up to 47 weeks of additional benefits (depending on a state's jobless rate) and the Extended Benefits program, which provides another 20 weeks to certain eligible workers.”

Medicaid expansion would benefit Hispanics. “Hispanics — one of Democrats’ key voting blocs — will be the biggest beneficiaries if President Obama’s healthcare law is fully implemented, the law’s supporters said Wednesday. Jennifer Ng'andu, director of the Health and Civil Rights Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza, said Hispanics would see the biggest gains in healthcare coverage if the law is fully implemented, meaning every state opts in to the optional Medicaid expansion.”

Senate Committee Considers Requiring Warrants For Access To Cloud Data: "Today the Senate Judiciary Committee debates major changes to federal agencies’ and law enforcement’s ability to access the content of digital communications by updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require warrants for the first time for cloud data over 180 days old. Somewhat ironically, the ECPA changes are tied to legislation lobbied for by Netflix that would reduce the privacy of video viewing habits by requiring only one-time consent to share viewing history."

THE WAY TO WIN-"Obama's e-mail fundraising team tested hundreds of grabby subject lines: "The most successful-'Hey'- brought in millions of dollars," Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Josh Green reports. "The campaign would test multiple drafts and subject lines-often as many as 18 variations-before picking a winner to blast out to tens of millions of subscribers. 'When we saw something that really moved the dial, we would adopt it,' says Toby Fallsgraff, the campaign's e-mail director, who oversaw a staff of 20 writers ...It quickly became clear that a casual tone was usually most effective...A blockbuster in June simply read, 'I will be outspent.' According to testing data...that outperformed 17 other variants and raised more than $2.6 million. Another unexpected hit: profanity."

GALLUP-Ds, Rs DIVERGE ON CAPITALISM, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: "Democrats react significantly more positively to the term 'federal government' than they do to the term 'capitalism,' while the opposite is true for Republicans. But both Democrats and Republicans are highly positive about the terms 'small business,' 'free enterprise,' and 'entrepreneurs.' Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and Democrats and Democratic leaners also differ in how they react to the terms 'big business' and 'socialism.' Republicans are more positive about the former; Democrats are more positive about the latter."

Senate passes amendment keeping biofuel investments in defense bill: “The Senate approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill Wednesday that would restore the military's ability to invest in biofuels. Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) amendment, 2985, strikes Section 313 of the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, which bars the military from purchasing biofuels that cost more than petroleum and from spending money to scale up biofuel refineries. Those supporting the amendment, which passed on a 62-37 vote, said it would save lives and money.”

DISTRIBUTED WIND LOBBIES ON HILL: Several members of the Distributed Wind Energy Association were on the Hill yesterday to push for an extension of a 30 percent of investment tax credit available to wind power that is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. The credit was included in a tax extenders package passed by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year.

DAVID AXELROD will shave off his mustache on Dec. 7 on "Morning Joe" after the hosts helped him raise $1 million for his epilepsy charity.

Congrats to Axe, very cool thing he did. On with the day...