Monday, August 15, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Workers of the Future, Unite

MORNING MESSAGE

Automation will undoubtedly transform the workforce, the economy, and society as a whole ... But that’s no reason to ignore the problems we’re facing right now ... the rate of productivity growth has slowed in recent years. That’s the opposite of what we would expect to see if automation was already transforming the workplace ... [Trade reform] may not solve the problem of future workers displaced by automation. But a smarter trade policy could bring jobs back to the U.S. in the interim. More could be protected by rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

TPP BATTLE HEATS UP

“Liberals rally to sink Obama trade deal” as Obama moves toward lame duck vote, reports The Hill: “…Obama on Friday sent notice to Congress that he intends to deliver TPP implementing legislation to Capitol Hill later in the year — a maneuver dictated by the fast-track trade resolution Congress passed in 2015 … The move means the administration must wait at least 30 days before sending up the bill … the proposal will likely not arrive before November’s elections … Liberal advocacy groups are poised for a lame-duck fight…”
Progressive groups press Clinton to confront Obama over TPP. W. Post: “The question is whether she’ll continue walking with the progressive wing of her party on the TPP when it requires a much more direct confrontation with Obama — a guy who just happens to be one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party right now.”
OurFuture.org’s Dave Johnson warns Clinton’s credibility is on the line: “Perhaps she is engaged in a balancing act between risking credibility on TPP and not wanting to alienate Obama and his supporters. But after the election, the political game will be about establishing a coalition that supports her, and that means no TPP.”

LEFT UNNERVED BY CLINTON STRATEGY

“Liberals wary” of Clinton’s outreach to GOP. NYT: “She may win by a mandate-level margin, they say. But what, exactly, would the mandate be for? … ‘Secretary Clinton’s decision to aggressively court Mitt Romney’s base has her looking more and more like Mitt Romney every day,’ said Benjamin T. Jealous, a former N.A.A.C.P. president who initially supported Mr. Sanders. ‘That’s not a good thing.'”
But neither candidate is making policy concessions. Bloomberg: “In a speech on Thursday, Clinton again emphasized her progressive stances on economic issues … Meanwhile, Trump has reaffirmed his nativist, ‘America-first’ brand of politics … The policy retrenchment is a change from the ‘pivot’ presidential candidates traditionally have made toward the political center … The change this cycle is partly structural, propelled by party polarization and fewer persuadable voters…”
“Deficits fade as campaign issue” says The Hill: “One reason for the lack of political urgency is the improving deficit picture … The deficit was down to $487 billion over the last 12 months, and it now stands at 2.6 percent of the nation’s economy … interest rates for the U.S. government remain incredibly low, making the cost of borrowing less of a concern. The favorable interest rates indicate that global financial markets are not worried about America’s balance sheet.”

TRUMP TO DELIVER TERRORISM SPEECH

Trump to deliver speech on terrorism today in Ohio. USA Today: “A week after declaring President Obama and Hillary Clinton the virtual ‘founders’ of the Islamic State, Donald Trump is set to deliver a speech Monday on the extremist organization. …Trump will claim that de-stabilization in Syria and Libya have fueled growth of the group also known as ISIS …”
More from AP: “Donald Trump will declare an end to nation building if elected president, replacing it with what aides described as ‘foreign policy realism’ … regardless of other ideological and strategic disagreements[, a]ny country that wants to work with the U.S. to defeat “radical Islamic terrorism” will be a U.S. ally … Trump on Monday is also expected to outline a new immigration policy proposal under which the U.S. would stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings.”

MAP SLIPPING AWAY FROM TRUMP

NBC map puts Clinton over 270 electoral votes: “We’ve moved Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Nebraska’s one electoral vote (Omaha area) from Tossup to Lean Dem … Georgia moves from Lean GOP to Tossup …”
Trump needs Pennsylvania. NYT: “Despite polls showing Hillary Clinton with a comfortable lead, Mr. Trump’s forces insist the state is winnable. ‘We’re drawing much bigger crowds,’ said David Urban, a senior adviser to the [Trump] campaign … That is the case in Monessen and surrounding Westmoreland County. Drive 300 miles east, however, to Montgomery County, the third largest county in the state, and once again Pennsylvania looks like a mirage for Mr. Trump. Once a Republican stronghold, this affluent Philadelphia suburb is palpably anti-Trump.”
Trump bypasses African-American communities. NYT: “…the 70-year-old white self-described billionaire has not just walled himself off from African-American voters where they live. He has also turned down repeated invitations to address gatherings of black leaders, ignored African-American conservatives in states he needs to win and made numerous inflammatory comments about minorities. [It] has infuriated black Republicans…”
GOP may be near “breaking point.” AP: “…GOP leaders in Washington and in the most competitive states have begun openly contemplating turning their backs on their party’s presidential nominee to prevent what they fear will be wide-scale Republican losses on Election Day.”
GOP establishment battles right-wing in congressional primaries. Politico: “Low-profile House candidates from Kansas to Georgia watched in astonishment this summer as hundreds of thousands of super PAC dollars poured into their primaries … The groups hope to show that 2018 primaries could be on the horizon if conservative rebels stand in the way of congressional Republicans’ legislative strategy.”

BREAKFAST SIDES

Housing industry gears up to lobby new president. The Hill: “They are pushing the candidates to shift the focus of housing policy to cutting and clarifying regulations … [supporting] the promotion of home buying, adding incentives for building entry-level housing, improving technology to better manage the mortgage approval process and working to speed up the regulatory process. The industry also is calling on Congress to overhaul Fannie and Freddie and wants the new administration to look at improving qualified mortgage rules and streamlining others to create more liquidity.”
Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver explores subprime auto lending: “Nearly a quarter of all car loans are now of the high-risk, subprime variety … ‘a boom in subprime loans’ [may be] making your eye twitch with flashbacks to the mortgage crisis…”

Progressive Breakfast is a daily morning email highlighting news stories of interest to activists. Progressive Breakfast is a project of the Campaign for America's Future. more »