Dispatch from the Front: The Week of December 1

By December 1, 2008General

The Detroit automakers are in the news again this week, making their case to Congress. Top Administration officials head to Beijing for the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, Wednesday and Thursday.

President-elect Obama adds to his cabinet today with the naming of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, with the attendant drama and speculation and speculative drama. The President-elect then travels to Philadelphia Tuesday to meet with governors and governors-elect to discuss economic issues; some states are asking to be rescued from the consequences of budget decisions. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania is chairman of the National Governors Association, hence the Independence Hall location.

Also Tuesday, the runoff election in Georgia for U.S. Senate between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin, a Democrat. Voters, remember to bring a voter ID.

Executive Branch: President Bush and First Lady Bush participate today at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health at the Newseum, Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, President Bush is in Greensboro, N.C., to visit Youth Focus, Inc.

Treasury Secretary Paulson speaks this afternoon, Monday, on the economy and markets at the Fortune 500 Forum in Washington. On Tuesday, Paulson speaks on the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at a luncheon of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. The delegation to Beijing is puissant:  Paulson will be joined by Ag Secretary Ed Schafer, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle, U.S. Trade Rep Susan Schwab, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, and others.

Legislative Branch: The Detroit-based automakers are due to submit their plans to Congress on use of federal financial aid by Tuesday. Congressional committee hearings follow: On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on the state of the domestic auto industry. On Friday, the House Financial Services Committee gathers for “Review of Industry Plans to Stabilize the Financial Condition of the American Automobile Industry.”

Judicial Branch: The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today through Wednesday. Two cases the NAM is following: Entergy Corp. v. River Keepers, which also includes PSEG Fossil LLC v. Riverkeeper, Inc., a case over use of cost-benefit analysis in cooling water intake regulation; and Philip Morris USA v. Williams, a case concerning punitive damages/smoking and the Oregon Supreme Court’s rejection of U.S. Supreme Court instructions.

Economic Reports: Today is the release of the ISM’s manufacturing index for November. Tuesday the Fed releases the Beige Book, updating key economic indicators in the 12 regions. Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the employment data for November. More on the week ahead here and here.

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