TCG Weekly Digest – October 2nd, 2015


Week ending October 2, 2015

Weekly roundup about our democracy and The Common Good community

  • Russia’s entry into Syrian conflict creates new complexity; Russian planes targeting anti-ISIS, anti-Assad forces, killing some US allies

  • Jobs report is lackluster

  • Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas abandons Oslo Peace accord

  • Major Afghan city, Kunduz, falls to Taliban- Afghan govt forces launch fight to recapture it

  • Sanders’ campaign posts $26 million raised this quarter.

  • Next Majority Leader? Kevin McCarthy is hit by fellow GOPers for partisan remarks about Benghazi investigation. Boehner defends the ongoing investigation

  • Ukraine and rebels pull back weapons in move that could signal the “end of war”

  • College campus site of mass killing by shooter: President asks for “common sense”gun laws


Republican Nomination: Donald Trump has strengthened his lead at the top. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, have gained ground over rivals with electoral experience. Jeb Bush, who was second to Trump two months ago, has tumbled to single digits and fifth place.

Trump 23   Carson 13   Fiorina 13   Rubio 9   Bush 8   Cruz 6

Kasich 2   Huckabee 2   Christie 1   Paul 2   Jindal 1   Graham 1

USA Today/Suffolk [More]

Democratic Nomination: Clinton now ahead by 18 points, but in a July poll by Suffolk University/USA TODAY, Clinton had been at 59%, followed by Sanders at 14% and Biden at 8%.

Clinton 41   Sanders 23   Biden 20

Chafee 1  Webb 0   O’Malley 0

USA Today/Suffolk [More]

2016 Presidential Campaign

Sanders’s $26 million cash haul is a major problem for Clinton:  Clinton beat Sanders by only $2 million in the chase for campaign cash over the past three months. And the big story is the Sanders’ fundraising bonanza.  Chris Cillizza, Washington Post [More]

Poll finds Clinton support waning: Biden … performs better than does Mrs. Clinton in test match-ups-beating … Bush by 8 % points, for example, whereas Mrs. Clinton is essentially in a tie with him. … Biden would draw support almost entirely from her, rather than from Mr. Sanders.Patrick O’Connor, POLITICO [More]

The ex-president is stepping up his campaign work for Hillary, right on schedule. But his role is expanding faster than expected. Gabe Debenedetti with Glenn Thrush  POLITICO [More]

Ben Carson raised over $20 million in the past three months: “Cason’s “haul of campaign cash … shatters records and sets a new bar for his GOP rivals.” Steve Peoples,  Associated Press [More]

Bush camp in donor angst: “Assessing the state of anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10, one donor puts the panic level at a “6 or 7.”  Eli Stokols, POLITICO [More]

October may be the cruelest month of the 2016 race: “Two debates are coming – one that will likely winnow the GOP field and one that could rearrange the Democratic race. A Benghazi hearing will either be a showcase or a feeding frenzy. And campaign fundraising reports are going to be making a lot of decisions for people.”  Edward-Isaac Dovere, POLITICO [More]

The Economy

Jobs report is lackluster adding concern about the  U.S. economy: “Employers added a mere 142,000 jobs in September, suggesting that the American economy is losing momentum after a similarly lackluster report for the previous month.  The official unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent, but hourly wages for private sector workers actually fell slightly after jumping by a relatively robust 0.4 percent in August.  The employment report for August was revised sharply downward, showing the economy created only 136,000 jobs, well below the 173,000 originally estimated.”  Patricia Cohen, New York Times [More]

Congress must raise debt ceiling as US will start to run out money by Nov. 5:  “The government will run out of money to pay its bills sooner than previously thought, Secretary Jacob Lew and the Treasury Department said Thursday, accelerating the fiscal deadlines that confront Congress amid a leadership scramble on Capitol Hill. Lew called on Congress to i credit rating. The Treasury Department has already started to use emergency measures to avoid breaching the debt.” Nick Timiraos, Wall Street Journal [More]

Consumer lenders under greater scrutiny: Wall Street financiers apparently tightened their terms on high-interest loan makers as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stepped up scrutiny on consumer lending practices that can lead borrowers to believe they are paying far less in interest and fees than they actually are. Peter Eavis, New York Times [More]

Hack of US data on employees:  More than 21 million federal employees and others are being officially notified about the cyber theft of their personal information and of ID protection services. Joe Davidson, Washington Post [More]

Boehner defends House Benghazi probe after an overly candid remark from Majority Leader and presumptive future Speaker Kevin McCarthy caused Democrats to redouble their criticism of the investigation. Elise Viebeck, Washington Post  [More]

Foreign Relations and National Security

Mahmoud Abbas bombshell: Palestinians no longer regard themselves as bound by the Oslo Peace Accords: “Bombshell or not, it is not a speech to be lightly dismissed. Mr. Abbas is among the last of Mr. Arafat’s generation of leaders who led the Palestinians from brutal terrorism to recognition of the state of Israel, and the Oslo Accords represented enormous concessions both by them and by the tough Israeli pioneers Mr. Rabin so nobly represented…But the failure of everyone — Palestinians, Israelis and Americans — to build on the promise of Oslo is a tragedy for all. The Editorial Board, New York Times [More]

Major Afghanistan city, Kunduz,  lost to Taliban – Afghan government forces fight to retake it:  Afghan security forces had advanced to the city center, but the situation appeared to be fluid as fighting continued, officials said.  Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times  [More]

Ukraine and rebels to pull back heavy weapons in move that ‘could signal end of war’: Two sides agree to withdraw remaining tanks, artillery and mortars from front line, ahead of Paris talks on resolving the conflict.  Roland Oliphant, The Telegraph  [More]

What you need to know about the cyberspying deal with China: The US and China reached a deal on commercial espionage in cyberspace. Here are the likely consequences.  Henry Farrell, Washington Post [More]

Russia defends Syrian airstrikes as claims mount of blows to U.S.-backed rebels: Russian officials insisted they were attacking the Islamic State, but U.S. officials said the strikes appeared to target opponents of President Bashar al-Assad and hit units that were trained by the CIA. Andrew Roth, Liz Sly, and Brian Murphy, Washington Post [More]

Domestic Affairs

Another college campus shooting in OR leaves at least 10 dead: “A 26- year old man opened fire on Umpgua Community College’s campus. He is said to have had 3 weapons on him and to been asking people on campus about their religion before he began firing.” Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times [More]

Chuck Schumer in talks with Paul Ryan on major tax, infrastructure deal: The two, along with Sen. Rob Portman, are trying to hash out a sweeping bipartisan package. Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan, POLITICO [More]

Planned Parenthood president forcefully disputes “outrageous accusations”: Cecile Richards testified to Congress that charges by Republicans that her organization profited from the sale of fetal tissue were “offensive and categorically untrue. Michael D. Shear, New York Times  [More]

Top Senate Republicans and Democrats in bipartisan deal on criminal justice reform:  Some of the automatic and harsh punishments Congress passed since it began cracking down on drug use would be reduced—including an end of the federal “three strikes” rule and a limit on the the use of mandatory 10-year sentences for offenders who have not committed violent or major felonies. Ari Melber (TCG speaker), MSNBC [More]

EPA’s puts new limit on pollutant: “Environmental regulators significantly lowered a national limit for a smog-causing pollutant in an attempted compromise that left some businesses relieved and environmental and health leaders upset the initiative wasn’t stronger.” Amy Harder, Wall Street Journal [More]

FBI Chief ‘very concerned’ about apparent rise in crime:James Comey says he doesn’t know why it is happening but wants to find the answer. The FBI released data showing violent crime dropped slightly in 2014, but many big city police departments have reported significant jumps in shootings this year compared with last year.” Devlin Barrett,  Wall Street Journal [More]

Vatican denies that Kim Davis meeting was an endorsement: Pope Francis’ encounter with Kim Davis was part of a series of meetings with dozens of guests, not an “endorsement”, according to Vatican officials. Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times [More]


Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock with co-writer Dan Gardner:  “Tetlock writes in his latest book, Superforecasting, that forecasting about real world events could become much more accurate. Tetlock took volunteers drawn from a wide range of careers, all with an amateur interest in politics and put them in competitive “tournaments.” He found that, using only publicly available information and a basic understanding of probability, a small number were actually “superforecasters” — those who performed in the top 2 percent of participants. They were able to predict future political events 30 percent more accurately than intelligence analysts with access to classified information.” Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal [More]

Archive of Past Digests

TCG Weekly Digest – September 25th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – September 18th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – September 11th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – September 4th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – August 28th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – August 21st, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – August 15th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – August 7th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – July 30th, 2015

TCG Weekly Digest – July 24th, 2015