Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: "Financial Elder Abuse Charges" Against Trump. Business As Usual in DC.


Richard Eskow
“Financial Elder Abuse Charges” Against Trump. Business As Usual in DC.
As Donald Trump prepares to assume the presidency, Americans must learn to distinguish the ways he is uniquely terrible from the ways in which he is not so terribly unique — except as a matter of degree. His extreme behavior shouldn’t be “normalized,” to use the year’s newest word. But neither should the lies and deceptions of his more “respectable” colleagues. Last week’s Trump University settlement is a case in point...


Trump lays out initial agenda. Roll Call: “On the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the president-elect said he’d issue a ‘a notification of intent to withdraw’ from the agreement. He also plans to ‘cancel’ what he called ‘job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy.’ … The president-elect promised new regulatory rules that would require two old regulations to be dismantled any time a new regulation is created.”
Trump leaves out what would require Congress. CNN: “… left out his biggest campaign promises — including promises to build a wall along the Mexican border, establish a ‘deportation force,’ place new restrictions on immigration from some majority Muslim countries, repeal Obamacare and spend $1 trillion on infrastructure … those measures would require the approval of Congress and are likely to take significantly more work.”
Trump will make key appointment to Fed. Bloomberg: “…the biggest banks are laser-focused on [the] first-ever Federal Reserve vice chairman to oversee Wall Street[, a] post established by the Dodd-Frank Act … Obama never named anyone to the position, because [of] the Republican-controlled Senate. If someone was appointed under President-elect Trump, one of the sharpest thorns in Wall Street’s side would be removed: Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, who has handled supervision unofficially in the six years since Dodd-Frank’s approval.”
“Nominating Mnuchin for Treasury Will Dredge Up Mortgage Meltdown Controversies” notes Bloomberg: “Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner and movie financier with no government experience who spent the past six months working as Donald Trump’s chief fundraiser … If Mnuchin gets the nod, the world will hear more about people like Leslie Parks, who found the locks on her Minneapolis home changed during a blizzard in December 2009 after OneWest foreclosed.”
Incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn supports “global war” says The Nation’s James Carden: “…Flynn stated his belief that the United States is in ‘a global war, facing an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela. Along the way, the alliance picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.’ In other words, we must wage global war for global peace. What could possibly go wrong?”
“GOP debates going big on tax reform” reports The Hill: “Some Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), want to lower individual and corporate tax rates at the same time. They say focusing on corporate rates alone would leave out smaller businesses that are taxed under the individual code … But rewriting the entire tax code … would be a massive and risky undertaking … Ryan voiced worries that waiting for Washington to agree on individual and corporate reform — which would require controversial trade-offs — might take too much time.”
Most Americans expect change for the worse. CNN: “…66% say a Trump presidency will bring change to the country, but just 43% say it will be change for the better, twenty points below the 63% who thought Obama would bring change for the better in November 2008 … 46% approve of his handling of the transition … well below approval ratings for Obama, Bush or Clinton during their transitions to the presidency.”


Dems struggle with whether to work with Trump. Bloomberg: “…giving Trump a big early win would come with a risk: Democrats might help make him more popular … But Democrats … have 25 seats up for re-election in 2018, including five in states Trump won by double digits … and another five in states he won more narrowly … Senator Joe Manchin, who represents Trump-loving West Virginia, has been the Democrat most eager to work with the president-elect…”
“Young, restive Dems want change in House” reports The Hill: “Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D-Ohio) long-shot challenge to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has shone a rare public spotlight on rank-and-file frustrations that have simmered, largely in whispers, for more than half a decade … [But some] Democrats say that experience … is needed now more than ever to counter the incoming Trump administration…”
“De Blasio vows defiance” reports Politico: “…Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed he would fight any policies that negatively impacted city residents, declaring that the election was the start of a new counter-movement against the forces that put Trump in the White House … ‘If all Muslims are required to register, we will take legal action to block it … If federal government wants our police officers to tear immigrant families apart, we will refuse to do it,’…”
TNR’s Jeet Heer says Democrats can exploit Trump’s self-enrichment: “… once he’s sworn in, Trump’s conflicts of interest can be linked to his actual policies. (For example, the way in which Trump’s expanding business ties to countries like Saudi Arabia and India contradict his calls for American businesses to invest in jobs at home.) … What the opposition needs is a strong, ongoing argument that his corruption is integrally linked to policies that go against ordinary people.”


Sanders slams Trump on infrastructure: “…the plan he offered is a scam that gives massive tax breaks to large companies and billionaires on Wall Street who are already doing phenomenally well. Trump would allow corporations that have stashed their profits overseas to pay just a fraction of what the companies owe in federal taxes. And then he would allow the companies to ‘invest’ in infrastructure projects in exchange for even more tax breaks. Trump’s plan is corporate welfare coming and going.”
Jared Bernstein dissects Trump’s plan in Politico oped: “…because the tax credits in the Trump plan would be far more generous than what they’re currently getting, many of these investors would switch over to the Trump plan. And they’d only switch into the profitable parts of the system that have no problem raising funds already (munis and utilities markets are highly liquid).”
NYT’s David Leonhardt spotlights effective policies to help working class: “In the wake of the financial crisis, Delaware’s new governor, Jack Markell, and other officials did obvious things, like using stimulus money to stem the damage … [Then] he began looking for ways both to save old jobs and to create new ones … expanding high-quality pre-K and helping low-income teenagers go to college. And he worked on … the many students who won’t graduate from college but who also need strong skills to find decent jobs … [One high school] reorganized itself into 20 different ‘majors,’ and every student must pick one, be it manufacturing, computer science or agriculture…”


Federal appellate court strikes down Wisconsin gerrymandering. Salon: “…a federal court overturned Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn legislative maps as an ‘unconstitutional gerrymander’ that likely played a major factor in the party’s disproportionate electoral success … In 2004, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said he was open to review a case of gerrymandering if the plaintiffs could develop a reliable test to measure the political maneuver’s intent to squash competition.”
ExxonMobil attacks Rockefellers. NYT: “The company, which has been accused of scheming to pay surrogates to deny the threat of climate change, is trying to turn the tables by calling its opponents the real conspirators … Rockefeller family charities, longtime backers of environmental causes, have supported much of the research and reporting that has called the company to account for its climate policies, and Exxon Mobil is crying foul.”
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