Monday, November 28, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: House Democrats: New Leadership, New Energy


Robert Borosage
House Democrats: New Leadership, New Energy
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) announced he would challenge [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi. Only one problem: Pelosi is virtually irreplaceable ... The obvious course isn’t a futile attempt to dislodge Pelosi, but a concerted challenge to Chief Whip Steny Hoyer, Pelosi’s number 2. Hoyer is everything young people hate about Democrats.


Trump may swap corporate tax cut for keeping Carrier plant in US. WSJ: “Representatives for the incoming administration … have held wide-ranging policy talks with top-ranking executives at Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies Corp. … The discussions include the conglomerate’s plans to shift more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico, but have covered other issues, including the company’s wishes for a tax overhaul … United Technologies … has large reserves of cash overseas—profits that corporations are waiting to repatriate to the U.S. until Congress cuts the level of tax they would pay…”
Union members that backed Trump may get anti-labor laws in return. NYT: “Why, after unions spent more than $100 million to defeat Donald J. Trump, did Mrs. Clinton win only narrowly among voters from union households … With Mr. Trump’s victory and with Republicans now controlling both houses of Congress, unions are expecting a series of stinging blows … many Republicans are eager to repeal an 85-year-old law requiring that contractors pay union-level wages on federal projects [and enact] ‘right-to-work’ legislation … Trump will most likely scrap most of Mr. Obama’s executive orders on labor…”
Trump will struggle to bring back coal jobs. NYT: “…even if Mr. Trump undoes Mr. Obama’s policies, many of those plants … are not coming back. Analysts agree that what Appalachia really needs is a diversified economy, a goal that has eluded Mr. Obama and state and local politicians.”
Education Secretary nominee Betsy Devos has the “worst record” of Trump’s possible choices, says Tulane economics professor Douglas Harris in NYT oped: “As one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system, she is partly responsible for what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country … The situation is so bad that national philanthropists interested in school reform refuse to work in Detroit … The DeVos nomination is a triumph of ideology over evidence…”
Barney Frank argues Trump’s financial deregulation risks another market crash, in Boston Globe oped: “The abolition of the law’s restrictions on granting mortgages to borrowers who are highly unlikely to repay means we will see successors to Countrywide, the mortgage-granting machine that gave us countrywide defaults. The removal of the regulations governing trading in derivatives means Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and others can return to the unrestricted dissemination throughout the economy of securities composed of bad mortgages … It will put Federal officials back to having to choose between letting a company go bankrupt — Lehman — with its disruptive effect, or bailing it out — AIG.”
Trump may revamp Fed. The Hill: “The right has grown increasingly irritated by the central bank’s policies since the financial crisis and may now be poised to finally push through long-stalled changes to overhaul its operations … ranging from tougher oversight to fundamental changes over how the Fed deploys its powerful tools to steer the economy … [And] there are two openings on the seven-member board of governors.”


Steve Bannon may literally be a white supremacist. NYT: “[Former film collaborator Julia] Jones [said] Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners. ‘I said, “That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,”’ Ms. Jones recalled. ‘He said, “Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.”‘”
“In Sotomayor Hearings, Jeff Sessions Was Fixated on Discrimination Against White People” reports Mother Jones: “In that questioning, Sessions focused on two specific incidents in Sotomayor’s 17-year record as a judge. The first was a speech Sotomayor gave at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she said she hoped ‘a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.’ The second was a case in which, as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, she sided with the city of New Haven, Connecticut, which had thrown out a promotion test for firefighters because few minorities did well on it.”


“Cities Vow to Fight Trump on Immigration, Even if They Lose Millions” reports NYT: “…officials in sanctuary cities are gearing up to oppose President-elect Donald J. Trump if he follows through on a campaign promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants. They are promising to maintain their policies of limiting local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents … Trump has vowed to block all federal funding for cities where local law enforcement agencies do not cooperate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents … Some believe Mr. Trump could go further than simply pulling federal funding, perhaps fighting such policies in court or even prosecuting city leaders.”
Dem senators are a different story. The Hill: “While outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) didn’t want Democrats to work with vulnerable Republicans ahead of the 2016 elections, his heir apparent Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is signaling a willingness to let his members do what they need to do to survive in the next Congress.”
Senate Republicans may not scrap filibuster. The Hill: “Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who led a task force to review potential rule changes, said there isn’t ‘very much’ of an appetite to overhaul the filibuster … Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chairman of the Finance Committee, argued the filibuster was one of the few tools within the government to protect the rights of the minority … GOP Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) are [a;so] signaling they aren’t inclined to overhaul Senate rules…”


Rep. Tim Ryan says he has a “shot to win” House Minority Leader. AP: “Pelosi, a 76-year-old liberal from California who is known for her fundraising prowess, says she has the support of two-thirds of her caucus … Tim Ryan said House Democrats’ ‘failure as a caucus has been not to focus on economic issues.'”
TNR’s Kyle Swenson presses Rep. Tim Ryan on his economic vision: “‘I think social issues are always part of a presidential campaign,’ Ryan replies. ‘We don’t have to run from our progressive social agenda because I think most Americans agree with us on most of it, like on gay rights or even the choice issue. But if they see you talking only about social issues, and their main issue is their pocketbook, their job, their economic anxiety, you just look like you don’t understand them.’ Asked for specifics on the economic message he’d like to see, Ryan points back to his own district and other former industrial strongholds. Ohioans have had to get creative about new industries…”


Army Corps of Engineers tries to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline protest. CNN: “Protesters fighting pipeline construction must vacate property near the Cannonball River … by December 5 or face arrest … On Sunday, the Corps issued a new statement saying it wants a ‘peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location, and has no plans for forcible removal.’ But, those who choose to stay ‘do so at their own risk…’…Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II issued a statement blasting the Corps, but didn’t say exactly how the tribe would respond.”
“Rapid” melt of the Arctic. ABC: “‘While some changes, such as warming temperatures, are gradual, others, such as the collapse of ice sheets, have the potential to be not only abrupt, but also irreversible,’ says the Arctic Resilience Report … Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, described the phenomenon to Scientific American as being without a known precedent.”

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