Lunch Break: Thursday 9/29 (Union layoffs; ObamaCare; and more)

Here is your lunch-time version of our daily morning report (because sometimes, everyone just has one of those crazy mornings). Without further delay…

Driving the day, Part 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been on a hot streak lately – much unlike the Red Sox (more on that later in this post). So it was inevitable that he was eventually going to get a setback. Well, that setback came on Tuesday evening, just after his announcement that five major tech companies would be investing $4.4 billion in local R&D and manufacturing facilities. On Tuesday, the Public Employees Federation, which is the state’s second-largest public employee union with 56,000 members, rejected its proposed 5-year contract with the state that would have guaranteed members protection from layoffs in exchange for three years of no raises plus paying a higher percentage of healthcare costs. Whether or not you agree with the union’s vote, 3,500 pink slips went out yesterday. This is exactly when we CANNOT afford to cut jobs – particularly at the government level when so many are already being lost.

Driving the day, Part 2: On Wednesday, the Justice Department asked that the Supreme Court –  SCOTUS for short (don’t you love acronyms) – rules on “ObamaCare” ASAP. In other words, look for a ruling in early 2012, which, as all of the networks have hammered home, comes smack in the middle of the campaign. Health care affects jobs, and with small businesses hurting, the consensus is that ObamaCare will add to the pain. Jobs in turn affect the economy, and well, folks, 99.9 percent of the time that is exactly what an election hinges on. So yes, this is a “big f****** deal” (quoting our friend Joe Biden) for the president.

They Said It: “We’ve had close to 10% unemployment now for a number of years, and of the people who are unemployed, about 45% have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of,” said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in Cleveland yesterday, calling the unemployment levels a “national crisis.”

By the Numbers: 1.3%, as in the level of GDP growth in the second quarter of this year, up from a previous estimate of one percent growth.

Headlines:

> Federal mortgage-aid program to shut its doors with $500 million unspent…(New York Times)

>Web searches cut unemployment duration by 25%…(Wall Street Journal)

>Bloomberg consumer confidence index at second-lowest record ever…(Bloomberg)

>SEQRA, environmental laws hurt New York businesses, developers…(Westchester County Business Journal)

Sports Blink: Last night, the Boston Red Sox completed the biggest regular-season collapse in MLB history for team in playoff contention. The Sox led the AL Wild Card race by 9 games on Sept. 3, but from there they went 7-20 in the month of September. They now have several months to work on their golf games and their excuses between now and spring training.

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