Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: The Last Debate: How Low Will It Go?


What’s worse than a political debate that fails to give voters the information they need? One that misinforms them, while at the same time demeaning the democratic process. The final 2016 presidential debate takes place Wednesday night, and expectations are low.

Final Debate TOnight

Time previews Trump’s “last stand”: “Trump faces a important tactical decision on Wednesday night: use his largest remaining audience before Nov. 8 to amplify this ‘rigged election’ argument, or seize the moment to make a sober case that he is prepared to be president. “
NYT’s David Leonhardt questions whether tonight’s debate topic of “debt and entitlements” will be based on “reality”: “Much of the public discussion of the national debt isn’t based on reality. It instead relies on facts that are badly outdated. The clichéd way to talk about the debt is in alarmist terms…”
Big lead prompts Clinton to target House seats. The Hill: “The Democrats’ campaign arm has launched a new coordinated effort with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign that will shift millions of dollars to traditionally red states, where party leaders are hoping to upset House GOP incumbents.”


Sanders aims to turn Arizona blue. Arizona Republic: “The crowd was dominated by Millennials … but also included professors and older residents from nearby towns and the Navajo Nation … ‘Arizona is one of the battleground states and we can win here if voter turnout is high,’ he said … He advocated for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and plugged Clinton’s plan to make public universities tuition-free for working families. “
Clinton up in AZ poll. Arizona Republic: “When including ‘leaners’ in the sample … Clinton’s support rises to 43.3 percent while Trump’s support increases to 37.8 percent. Johnson gets 6.5 percent while Stein gets 4.3 percent.”
Jeff Weaver tells Roll Call revolution will continue after Election Day: “Members of Congress now can rely on an organized grass-roots network that goes from one end of the country to the other to help them push forward the progressive initiatives that need to be done … we can obviously have people calling into members’ offices, and educating people at the grass roots about what’s going on in Washington in a way that, I think, was not possible before.”
TNR’s David Dayen highlights Sanders’ stumping for a California health care initiative: “Bernie’s crusade is known as Prop 61, and it manages to be both modest and earth-shaking, a minor element in reforming drug-purchasing that would set a critical precedent to stop price-gouging by Big Pharma … Sanders recognizes that, when the status quo leaves Americans exposed, change can only come from the bottom up.”


Sen. Chuck Schumer previews congressional agenda in CNBC interview: “The two things that come, that pop to mind — because Schumer, Clinton, and [Speaker Paul] Ryan have all said they support these — are immigration and some kind of international tax reform tied to a large infrastructure program. If you can get overseas money to come back here, even if it’s [permanently] at a lower rate than the 35 percent it now comes back at, and you can use that money for a major constructive purpose such as infrastructure — if you did an infrastructure bank, for instance, you could get $100 billion in equity in the bank and get a trillion dollars of infrastructure.”
Schumer rules out retirement security cuts: “In terms of cutting those benefits, I am not interested a bit.”
Schumer also assesses TPP prospects: “There’s only one person who will decide that. Just one: Mitch McConnell. If he puts it on the floor, it could get done. If he puts it on the floor, it may well get its 51 votes in the Senate even if some Democrats change their views. But it’s an iffy question for the House to get a majority.”


Teachers unions eye charter schools. American Prospect: “One window of opportunity that teacher unions are exploring is charter authorizing—the process of opening, closing, and monitoring charter schools … teachers unions representing educators at traditional public schools have started to explore how they might use their leverage at the bargaining table to make union organizing easier for their charter brethren.”
Ford not leaving Michigan. NYT: “In a move that has drawn fire from Donald J. Trump and other critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Ford is giving up on making small cars in the United States and plans to move production of its Focus compact cars from the Wayne factory to a new plant under construction in Mexico … [But t]he Wayne factory will remain fully staffed, with 3,700 workers, to build what Ford really needs now: more trucks and S.U.V.s.”
Inflation ticks up. AP: “Consumer prices in the United States recorded their biggest gain in five months in September as the cost of gasoline and rents surged, pointing to a steady buildup of inflation that could keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in December … But underlying inflation showed signs of moderating against the backdrop of a slowdown in the pace of increases in health care costs after recent robust gains.”

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