Roundup Reel: Week of Oct. 10

October 14, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

The Senate failed to pass President Obama’s jobs bill this week, despite a high level of pressure from the administration and a great deal of public scrutiny focused on the current employment picture and broad economic realities the country faces. Taxes and spending are still the sticking points on the jobs package. Given all the economic and job focused activity this seems like an appropriate time to give you a few highlights from this week focused on the economy and jobs outlook.

  • Following the defeat of the American Jobs Act, Democratic leaders indicated that they are likely to move some of the proposals contained in the legislation in individual pieces separately. Strategically the party is likely to focus first on elements that are politically challenging for Republicans and have broad public support like payroll tax cuts.
  • Senate Republicans unveiled their own jobs plan on Wednesday. According to Politico, “a draft of the plan refers to it as the ‘Real American Jobs Act,’ a not-so subtle riff on Obama’s $447 billion bill that was defeated by a GOP-led filibuster on Tuesday.”
  • Tavis Smiley spent August of this year conducting “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience” with Dr. Cornel West, his co-host on PRI’s Smiley & West show. The duo visited 18 cities in 11 states talking to people to “put a human face on poverty.” PBS aired five special episodes this week featuring highlights of the tour and conversations between Smiley and leading anti-poverty advocates. If you missed the episodes that aired this week, the site is worth checking out. Many of the interviews Smiley conducted for the series are there. Plus a preview of the series that offers a good summary.
  • The liberal-leaning Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to cities across the U.S. and other countries in the last few weeks — an outpost of Occupy D.C. sprouted recently in the park near FA’s offices. It’s hard to define a single cogent focus for the movement, but “economic inequality” is probably a decent approximation given its “we are the 99 percent” mantra (as in not part of the top 1 percent of wealthy Americans). Protesters are carrying signs with messages about unemployment, housing foreclosures, the distribution of wealth in the U.S. and everything in between. Even the jobs bill has been mentioned. And mainstream media outlets are paying attention, like the Washington Post’s On Leadership section which hosted a roundtable about the Occupy movement this week.
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