Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: The Second Presidential Debate: Gutter-Ball Edition

MORNING MESSAGE

It began with the two contenders refusing to shake hands. And spiraled down from there ... The brief and rare exchanges on ideas were revealing ... But the clash of ideas was a sideshow. This “debate” was an exchange of insults, egged on by the moderators. The only redeeming feature is that it will be hard to get lower than that.

GOP CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT

Speaker Paul Ryan could still un-endorse Trump. Politico: “…Ryan has personally been on the edge of pulling the plug but has held out because his decision is about more than just his personal feelings: It’s about saving his massive 60-seat majority … Many of his closest allies say left to his own devices, he’d dump Trump … [But] the base could revolt or stay home on Election Day, damaging GOP House candidates.”
Trump’s sexual assault comments put Senate at risk for GOP. USA Today: “Among the GOP senators and candidates in competitive races who have rescinded their endorsements of Trump: Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, John McCain of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio. Rep. Joe Heck, who is running for the open Senate seat in Nevada that is being vacated by retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid, also took back his support of Trump [and] was booed by some Trump loyalists. ‘They called him traitor,’ [U. of NV’s Eric] Herzik said. ‘That’s the risk you take.'”
More from NYT: “Paula Barche Rupnik, a Republican from Scottsdale, Ariz., was planning to vote for Senator John McCain in his re-election campaign this year. But she changed her mind this weekend, after he rescinded his support for Donald J. Trump … She has never voted for a Democrat before. ‘I want to send a message to John McCain,’ said Ms. Rupnik…”
Clinton Super PAC turns to Senate. CNN: “The fact that they may use their resources to also promote Democratic candidates in down-ballot races suggests how increasingly confident they are in a Clinton victory … Priorities USA is currently producing television ads to potentially air in Senate contests in North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.”

ECONOMY MIA IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

Almost no questions about the economy. The Hill: “The economy was nearly missing in action during the second presidential debate Sunday night, when just one of 23 questions touched on the economy by covering tax policy [even though the] CBS News/New York Times poll found the economy and jobs to be the top issue for most voters …”
Clinton proposes expanded child tax credit. Roll Call: “The Democratic presidential candidate is set to outline a new proposal Tuesday that would eliminate a $3,000 earned income threshold before parents can get money through a refundable child tax credit … Clinton wants to double the credit available to $2,000 per child through the age of four. In addition, her campaign pointed to a push to expanded child tax credits for people whose children are older, as well.”

BREAKFAST SIDES

Dakota Access Pipeline opponents lose court case. NBC: “…the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the tribe’s request for a permanent injunction … The ruling allows Energy Transfer Partners — the Dallas-based company funding the project — to move forward with construction of the pipeline on all privately owned land up to the Missouri River … The court’s ruling acknowledged that it was ‘not the final word,’ noting that the final decision lies with the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers … That decision, the court said, ‘is likely weeks away.'”
Power shift inside Wells Fargo. NYT: “The changes, to take effect on Nov. 1, will place a number of top executives directly under the purview of [Timothy] Sloan, a 29-year company veteran who was promoted last November to Wells Fargo’s No. 2 spot, becoming the bank’s president and chief operating officer. Mr. Sloan, who has been head of Wells Fargo’s wholesale banking division — which does business with companies and organizations, not personal account holders — has been largely insulated from the scandal engulfing the company’s retail banking group.”
Climate change is worsening wildfires. NYT: “In a new study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the University of Idaho and Columbia University … state that, since 1979, climate change is responsible for more than half of the dryness of Western forests and the increased length of the fire season. Since 1984, those factors have enlarged the cumulative forest fire area by 16,000 square miles, about the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined … Every degree that temperatures warm has a much bigger effect on the fire area than the previous degree did.”

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