Monday, November 7, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Behind the Job Numbers, Millions Are Being Left Behind

MORNING MESSAGE

A team of political scientists, writing in the Washington Post, concluded that “Trump supporters who are struggling economically perceive U.S. economic performance overall to be much worse than it actually is.” Those voters believed that the unemployment rate is three times higher than the official number, and these new figures aren’t likely to change that ... They may not know the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but they know their own economic reality and those of their peers and their communities. So do the African-Americans, women, manufacturing workers, and other workers who confront economic injustice on a daily basis. These diverse groups of working people could become a new coalition for change. Where are the reports that speak to, and for, them?

Who's VOTING?

Latino turnout seen as surging. NYT: “…Hispanic America has been mobilized like never before in the 2016 election, and is emerging as a formidable force with the power to elect a president. Energized by anger at Mr. Trump and an aggressive Democratic campaign to get them to the polls, Latinos are turning out in record numbers and could make the difference in the outcome in several highly contested states.”
While African-American turnout may be down. Roll Call: “…initial early voting statistics in battleground states like North Carolina and Florida painted a troubling picture … Clinton’s campaign this month has dispatched Obama to eight medium or large U.S. metropolitan areas in swing states that rank among the top 41 regions in terms of African-American populations … Obama let black voters hear his disappointment — and alarm — Wednesday on the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show,’ …”
Mixed signals in early vote. McClatchy: “Nearly 42 million Americans have already voted for president … it’s clear Hispanic turnout among early voters will outpace the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections … Yet registered Democrats in Florida and North Carolina have smaller leads over registered Republicans among early voters in 2016 than they did in 2012 … It’s possible that some registered Democrats could vote for Trump and that some registered Republicans defect to Clinton … The lower turnout could also be due to North Carolina’s process of challenging voters’ registration, a practice one U.S. judge called ‘insane.'”
Trump’s “most extreme supporters say they believe that they have already won,” reports NYT: “[Trump] has also emboldened extremist groups that say he has validated their agendas … ‘Trump has shown that our message is healthy, normal and organic — and millions of Americans agree with us,’ said Matthew M. Heimbach, a co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a white nationalist group that claims to support the interests of working-class whites. It also advocates the separation of the races.”
Minimum wage increases on the ballot in several states. Mother Jones: “Arizona, Colorado, and Maine propose moving toward a $12 minimum wage by 2020, while the state of Washington would raise its minimum wage to $13.50 an hour, also by 2020. Arizona and Washington’s measures would also create mandatory paid sick leave for workers. If these initiatives pass, as many as 2.1 million people could soon earn higher hourly wages.”

WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR?

Politico’s Michael Grunwald assesses the Clinton and Trump platforms: “HHillary Clinton plans to raise taxes on the rich, while Donald Trump plans to cut taxes on the rich … Trump also wants to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care reforms and Wall Street reforms, while Clinton wants to keep them and strengthen them … [But] traditional broadcasts on ABC, NBC and CBS have devoted just 32 minutes to all policy issues this year.”
Immigration “center stage” says The Hill: “Immigration is not on the ballot, but it was Donald Trump’s signature issue from the day he launched his campaign … Much of the 2017 debate will hinge on the results of Tuesday’s elections –– up and down the ballot. If Democrats do retake the Senate, it could put pressure on Speaker Paul Ryan … Pro-reform Republicans believe immigration can become the conservative issue that unifies the party under its core principles –– if GOP leaders ignore the far-right reform opponents.”
Trump’s platform “anti-woman” says American Prospect’s Dorothy Samuels: “If the Republican Party is to ever to reverse the tide of women now fleeing the GOP, its leaders must belatedly disown Trump and Trumpism. More importantly, the party must move away from its obsessive hostility to abortion rights and access.”
The New Yorker’s Alec MacGillis delves into the looming fight over Clinton appointees with Wall Street ties: “It is known that [Sen. Elizabeth Warren] and her allies look favorably on people such as Sarah Bloom Raskin, a Deputy Treasury Secretary, and Tom Perez, President Obama’s Labor Secretary. They have also expressed strong reservations about Laurence Fink, the C.E.O. of BlackRock; Hamilton James, the president of the Blackstone Group; and Blair Effron, the founder of the investment firm Centerview Partners. Lately, critics have focussed on Thomas R. Nides, who is seen as a contender for a prominent position in a Clinton Administration, possibly even chief of staff … he spent most of the past decade as an executive at Morgan Stanley, a bank that helped precipitate the 2007-08 financial crisis, received a ten-billion-dollar bailout from the government, then fought efforts to reform the financial sector.”

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