Attendees at the Tuesday and Wednesday White House meetings, according to a White House official:
Mary Kay Henry, SEIU
Lee Saunders, AFSCME
Dennis Van Roekel, NEA
Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO
Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress
John Podesta, Center for American Progress
Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project
Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Justin Ruben, MoveOn
Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change
Mark Bertolini, president, Chairman and CEO, Aetna
Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO, Xerox
Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO, American Express Co.
David Cote, chairman and CEO, Honeywell
Mike Duke, president and CEO, Walmart
Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric
Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO, Dow
Robert McDonald, president and CEO, Proctor & Gamble
Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford
Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo.
Ginni Rometty, president, chairman and CEO, IBM
John Watson, chairman and CEO, Chevron
Presumably both meetings will focus on the phony "fiscal cliff", or fiscal curb, or fiscal slope, as supporters of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have also termed it.
The early outlines [of budget negotiations] came to focus in the last week, when top congressional Democrats announced (in a not-so-subtle bit of line-drawing for the White House) what they won't stomach in a debt-reduction negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) started the cascade when he told reporters that Social Security reform should not be included in any deal that solves the expiring Bush tax cuts and the spending reductions included in the end-year sequester. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly followed by saying Social Security must be considered apart from Medicare and Medicaid.
Union leadership was even more direct. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told The Huffington Post last week that his group would oppose any deal that cuts the three big entitlement programs.
"Yes. Yes. Yes. The voters yesterday rejected that notion soundly," Trumka said at a briefing on Nov. 7. "The answer is, if it includes benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, we'll oppose it."
Van Jones, co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, went further, noting that none of the progressive political institutions have "demobilized" since the election.
"We are still on a complete fighting posture because we knew we had to win the politics in November and then on the economy in December," Jones said. "For the progressives who threw ourselves on hand grenades for the president over the past 24 months and especially the past six months, we are not going to be happy at all if he turns around and takes a chainsaw to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in pursuit of some misguided so-called grand bargain."
I would say that the first week of all out Grand Bargain dealing, which I date from the day after the election, has generally been a good one for opponents of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Obama and the Republicans were successful in getting the mainstream media, MSNBC included, to focus on the issue of tax increases and largely bury the most problematic aspect of the negotiations, the drive to cut benefits on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Stein cites the group Third Way, which he inaccurately calls a "centrist-Democratic think tank." It's neither centrist nor a think tank, and whether it can be accurately said to be "Democratic" is questionable. William Black explains why in Wall Street uses the Third Way to lead its assault on Social SecurityNew Economic Perspectives 11/13/2012. Check the list of its governing board he includes. One of them is Bill Daley, a certified One Percenter and Obama's onetime chief of staff, so that's kinda-sorta Democratic. It also includes Jonathan Cowan, who Black describes this way brackets in original):
Prior to co-founding Third Way, Mr. Cowan founded and ran Americans for Gun Safety…. In 1992, he co-founded Lead…or Leave, which became the nation's leading Generation X advocacy group. [He lobbied to protect "second amendment rights" to bear arms and led a Pete Peterson inspired group urging "Gen X" members to unravel the safety net.]
David Dayen reports sceptically on the Wednesday meeting in Obama Meets With Labor, Progressive Groups TodayFDL News 11/13/2012. He notes there that one of the supposedly progressive participant groups, the Common Purpose Project, is "the ultimate veal pen coalition," i.e., effective a kept group of the President's.