Friday, September 9, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Time For Obama and Clinton To Oppose The Dakota Access Pipeline


This confrontation over the Dakota Access Pipeline challenges President Obama, the Democratic candidate who is seeking to succeed him, Hillary Clinton, and Congress to be clear whose side they are on – Native and non-Native Americans seeking to protect vital waterways and land from the risks of oil spills (and to stop global warming by leaving oil in the ground and using renewables instead) or the fossil fuel industry and its pursuit of profits at the expense of people and the planet.


Dakota Access Pipeline ruling expected today. AP: “U.S. District Judge James Boasberg says he’ll rule by the end of Friday on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to block the $3.8 billion project, which will carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The tribe argues the project threatens water supplies and has already disrupted sacred sites. The developer, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, says modern technology allows quick detection of leaks.”
Fight will continue after ruling. AP: “… stopping a major project like the Dakota Access pipeline after construction has begun is difficult, and even if the Standing Rock Sioux win in federal court, the end result might simply be an altered route … As a sovereign nation, the tribe is entitled to a formal process for airing any concerns. That process does not apply to a nearby rancher … The fight over the Keystone XL lasted seven years. Forcing a significant delay in the Dakota Access project might be considered a victory in itself.”


Trump backs school choice plan. NYT: “…he promised to direct $20 billion in federal grants for poor children to attend a school of their family’s choice … students [would] be able to attend a magnet school, a charter school, or a public or a private school … the $20 billion in grants for poor students would come from existing federal spending … Trump proposed giving block grants to states … Critics fear that portability, which Congress rejected in its latest overhaul of the nation’s chief education law last year, will bleed dollars from traditional public schools.”
Trump announces education plan at troubled charter school. W. Post: “Donald Trump made a renewed pitch here Thursday for the school choice movement — at a charter school that has received failing grades from the Ohio Department of Education for its students’ performance and progress on state math and reading tests … ‘Ohio’s charter schools are nationally ridiculed, and they should be. But Cleveland actually has some good ones,’ [ProgressOhio’s Sandy] Theis said. ‘He goes to this lousy one and uses African American kids as props.'”
Clinton and Trump don’t focus on the economy, says NYT’s John Harwood: “…neither Donald J. Trump nor Hillary Clinton has established a clear advantage when it comes to the economy. So while voters tell pollsters that the economy remains their most important issue, the candidates focus on other subjects …”


House prepares another attack on Dodd-Frank. NYT: “On Friday, the House is scheduled to vote on the Investment Advisers Modernization Act of 2016, a bill championed by the private equity industry’s trade group … The bill has drawn support from Republicans and Democrats alike, along with a sharp rebuke from Representative Maxine Waters of California … One of the nation’s largest public pension funds also opposes the bill, as does Sen. Elizabeth Warren … the opponents have raised concerns about a provision that would reduce the amount of information that large private equity fund managers report to regulators…”
While regulators seek tighter rules on banks. NYT: “If the new rules proceed, banks will be prohibited from buying and selling commodities, like copper, and would have to shut down what remains of their in-house private equity operations … Most of the recommendations are unlikely to take effect soon because they would need to be passed by Congress. But the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is moving to immediately prohibit banks from buying and selling copper.”


Citizen Action of Wisconsin launches “Outsourced Wisconsin” tour: “Following last week’s revelation that over 11,000 Wisconsin jobs have been outsourced in the past five years, advocates for good jobs launched a statewide tour on Thursday of corporations who are outsourcing while taking public job creation dollars. The first stop on the tour is the Rexnord Corporation in Milwaukee. At a news event today community leaders detailed how Rexnord outsourced Wisconsin jobs at the same time it took millions in public job creation dollars from Governor Walker’s scandal plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).”
CA Gov. Jerry Brown signs climate bill. The Hill: “The legislation would require California to cut its emissions by at least 40 percent, from 1990 levels, by 2030 and make new investments in climate change mitigation efforts … The law does little to change the state’s cap-and-trade emissions trading system. That program is facing legal challenges and hasn’t raised nearly as much money as the state had previously expected it to. Lawmakers didn’t touch the program this year, and Brown has said he might try putting the matter before voters in 2018 if progress isn’t made soon.”
Koch-owned paper mill accused of “poisoning” Crossett, Arkansas. The New Yorker: “…as far back as the nineteen-nineties, people living near the plant have described noxious odors and corrosive effluents that have forced them to stay indoors, as well as what seems to them unusually high rates of illness and death. Speaking by phone from his home, in Sterlington, Louisiana, [former plant safety coordinator Dickie] Guice pointed the finger directly at the mill’s owners, and described a corporate coverup of air and water pollution that he says is ‘poisoning’ the predominantly African-American community.”
Sen. McConnell moves to keep government open until December. W. Post: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday that he is prepared next week to move a stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that would keep the government open through Dec. 9. House conservatives have generally rejected that idea, arguing that negotiating a final year-end funding package during the post-election ‘lame-duck’ session will lead to a massive package filled with higher spending and special interests handouts.”

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