Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: TPP Is Dead. Time For a Progressive Trade Vision.


Tobita Chow
TPP Is Dead. Time For a Progressive Trade Vision.
Expect Trump’s trade deals to be even more damaging for people in the US and abroad than the TPP would be. That would not be a victory for progressives ... The question before us is, what is the progressive alternative, if we reject both the TPP and Trump’s agenda? What we need is what is sometimes called progressive internationalism: an agenda to pursue a progressive agenda across borders to create a more just and sustainable global society.


“What Happens When Trump’s Populism Collides with Ryan’s Austerity?” asks TNR’s Jeet Heer: “[Speaker Paul] Ryan rejects Trump’s agenda on trade, on immigration, and, not least, on infrastructure … Infrastructure will be an early test of their relative strength—and, quite possibly, of just how complicated and ugly it’s going to get.”
Trump and Ryan aligned on slashing aid to poor, says The Nation’s Bob Herbert: “With both houses of Congress under Republican control, big tax cuts (heavily weighted toward the richest among us) are a virtual certainty. As a result, trillions of dollars in revenues will likely be lost and Congress will be on the hunt for spending cuts to offset them. Social programs will be among the first items in their sights … Trump’s approach will likely align with Ryan’s, since his fundamental take on poverty is that people are poor because they are not willing to work.”
Ben Carson may be tapped for HUD Secretary. NYT: “… his last job was as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, and he has little background in housing … Mr. Carson cited his childhood in Detroit and his experience treating inner-city patients as qualifications for the job … Mr. Carson’s remarks were a striking reversal from last week, when a friend of his said he had turned down an offer from Mr. Trump to be secretary of health and human services, citing his lack of experience in running a vast federal bureaucracy.”


“Donald Trump Could Kill The American Union” argues W. Post’s Harold Meyerson
Amazon faces holiday pilot strike. WSJ: “The pilots are employed by Air Transport Services Group Inc., which alongside Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc., was hired by Amazon to fly its packages in 40 dedicated jets by the end of 2018 … the contracts with Amazon, which is beginning to build its own transportation network through these kinds of partnerships, have added more flights and staffing needs at ATSG and Atlas. The increased demand is upsetting pilots as they try to agree on new labor contracts with management.”


Obama aides skeptical of Rep. Keith Ellison as DNC chief. NYT: “…President Obama’s loyalists, uneasy with the progressive Mr. Ellison, have begun casting about for an alternative … [They] have talked about whether Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan would be willing to run for the post … Some Democrats, in Mr. Obama’s orbit and beyond, say that elevating Mr. Ellison would amount to handing the party to Senator Bernie Sanders …”
Ellison defends himself against anti-Semitism charges. Star Tribune: “… op-eds in the Weekly Standard and Tablet, a Jewish news website, touted quiet ties Ellison had with the Nation of Islam … Ellison’s camp sent out a list of clarifications with the op-eds, saying Ellison has condemned the Nation of Islam and other groups that promote anti-Semitic statements. In 2003, Ellison helped prosecute Holocaust deniers in the state legislature…”
The Nation interviews House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about Democratic strategy: “The conversation about ‘engage or oppose’ is going on in the party, throughout the country, and I think 2-1 people say, ‘Just oppose.’ But the fact is, if you’re advocating outside, that’s what you can say, but if you’re inside, you have a responsibility to find common ground. But that doesn’t mean embrace their proposals … Democrats will not, for the aura of finding common ground, succumb to supporting what we don’t believe in.”


Labor Dept. rule expanding overtime pay is blocked. The Hill: “…Texas U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a temporary injunction halting the rule nationwide … The rule would have extended overtime pay to more than 4 million workers starting Dec. 1 … Experts say the litigation and possible appeal process is likely to drag out until the inauguration, which means President-elect Donald Trump could scrap the overtime changes by dropping the defense of the rule.”


Michael Bloomberg delivers optimistic address on climate change to China General Chamber of Commerce: “…I am confident that no matter what happens in Washington … we will meet the pledges that the U.S. made in Paris. The reason is simple: Cities, businesses and citizens will continue reducing emissions, because they have concluded — just as China has — that doing so is in their own self-interest.”
Market forces will bolster renewables, reports Bloomberg: “…Donald Trump will have limited influence on the U.S. utility industry’s push toward renewable energy, according to executives and investors … companies are already planning projects that will commence after Trump leaves office, even if he serves two terms … utilities have announced plans to close 12 gigawatts worth of coal plants, largely because cheap natural gas has made them uneconomical … Even without the Clean Power Plan, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that wind and solar energy will grow 33 percent over the next two years…”
Youth sue Washington State government over climate. AP: “Eight children asked a Seattle judge Tuesday to find Washington state in contempt for failing to adequately protect them and future generations from the harmful effects of climate change … The case is part of a nationwide effort led by the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust to force states and the federal government to take action on climate change. This month, a federal judge in Eugene, Oregon, allowed a similar climate change case against President Barack Obama’s administration to proceed.”


Obama shrinks prison population. NYT: “President Obama is on pace to be the first president in a half-century to leave office with a federal prison population that is smaller than when he was sworn in, a reflection of eight years of liberal criminal justice policies, historically low crime rates and an aggressive use of presidential commutations … Some of Mr. Obama’s criminal justice legacy is easily undone. Justice Department policies that discourage seeking mandatory minimum sentences by default, for instance, can be torn up. But other changes, such as new sentencing guidelines, will have a lasting effect and will be difficult to reverse, regardless of the administration.”
Standing Rock protesters accuse police of “terror.” The Hill: “Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, on Tuesday said President Obama should step in and block the pipeline and help defuse law enforcement actuates there … ‘Blasting these innocent people with concussion grenades, rubber bullets the size of baseballs and a water cannon in freezing weather was a deliberate act of terror sanctioned by the sheriff.'”

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