Friday, October 14, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Public School Activists Stage Nationwide Rally To Prioritize Education


In an election year calling attention to multiple policy priorities, parents, educators, community organizers and progressive activists are increasingly frustrated that education seems to be a priority that is nowhere near the top, at least in the minds of current government leaders. That frustration was evident at last week’s massive outpouring at over 2,000 schools in over 200 cities where an estimated 100,000-plus people called for attention to widespread problems in public schools and demanded new policy directions that prioritize quality education.


Bernie presses Obama on Dakota Access Pipeline. AP: “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and four other Democratic senators are asking President Barack Obama to halt construction of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline until a full environmental review can be completed … An environmental review would likely delay the pipeline, which Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners hopes to complete by the end of the year.”
Clinton has not taken a position on Dakota Access. Mother Jones: “In an interview with Grist Wednesday, Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, avoided taking a specific stance on the pipeline … Following the release of the [Sanders] letter, Mother Jones once again contacted the Clinton and Trump campaigns to ask if the candidates agreed with Sanders’ position. Once again, neither responded.”


Sen. Warren presses Obama on SEC leadership. Roll Call:Sen. Elizabeth Warren took her long-running feud with the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to a new level Friday, calling on President Barack Obama to remove Mary Jo White from the helm … after ‘years of fruitless efforts’ to prod the agency to move on new disclosure rules, including one that would require corporations to disclose their payments to nonprofit organizations, such as trade associations, that engage in political activities.”
Mother Jones’ Patrick Caldwell questions Warren’s strategy: “She opened her letter noting that the recent government funding bill passed by Congress included a Republican-backed measure restricting the SEC from putting out a final disclosure rule and warned that, with White’s disinterest in the rule, the same measure is likely to be there when Congress must next pass a spending bill in December. Beyond that, there isn’t much to explain the timing of the letter. Maybe it was part of an effort to signal to the next administration that Warren won’t sit back lightly on presidential nominees that she finds troublesome.”


Dems seek money for big Senate wins. The Hill: “Some senior Democratic aides and strategists believe they have a historic opportunity to win as many as nine or 10 Senate seats … It would require winning seats in states like Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Georgia, where the Republican has long been seen as having the advantage … But a big wave in Senate races is less likely to happen if Democrats have funding parity in only the most competitive states: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Nevada, Missouri.”
NYT’s Paul Krugman envisions what Clinton could do with a Dem Congress: “…she would significantly strengthen the social safety net, especially for the very poor and children, with an emphasis on family-related issues like parental leave … she proposes, credibly, to raise that money with higher taxes on top incomes … Democratic control of the House would also open the door for large-scale infrastructure investment.”
Clinton may have a limited window to push progressive proposals, notes American Prospect’s Eliza Newlin Carney: “Clinton’s window for action, moreover, may be limited to two years. Democrats face a daunting Senate map in the 2018 midterms, with five Senate Democrats up for re-election representing red states that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012—Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia. Those senators may resist the more progressive planks of Clinton’s agenda.”
Trump losing working-class white women. Politico: “If you look at the white working class—Americans without a college degree—the majority, 53 percent, are women. Right now the numbers suggest that within that group, women’s interests appear to be diverging so quickly from their male counterparts they could stop whatever momentum Trump has left.”


Treasury finalizes earnings stripping rule. WSJ: “The Treasury Department on Thursday acceded to some corporate requests for leniency as it issued long-awaited final rules to keep businesses from using intercompany debt to avoid U.S. taxes … The final rules … exempt some transactions among foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies and make many banks and insurance companies exempt from the rules. The rules also exempt what is known as cash pooling, a common cash-management technique involving what are effectively short-term loans among subsidiaries.”
Court sides with Disney over layoffs. NYT: “A federal judge in Florida dealt a blow on Thursday to legal claims by American technology workers who were laid off by the Walt Disney Company and forced to train foreign replacements, dismissing lawsuits by two workers who said Disney had conspired with outsourcing companies to violate visa laws … Congress considered bills this year to amend provisions in the H-1B visa laws … but no action was taken … Trump, said early in his campaign that he would seek to change the law to prevent layoffs. But he has not addressed the issue recently.”

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