Friday, November 18, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: What Student Protests Tell Us About America Under Trump


Jeff Bryant
What Student Protests Tell Us About America Under Trump
An outpouring of opposition coming from students in k-12 public schools and college campuses is especially significant. Why? Public schools have long been the frontline of many of the nation’s most important societal battlegrounds.


Trump is going after Medicare, warns NYT’s Paul Krugman: “During the campaign, Donald Trump [said,] ‘I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,’ … It was, of course, a lie. The transition team’s point man on Social Security is a longtime advocate of privatization, and all indications are that the incoming administration is getting ready to kill Medicare, replacing it with vouchers … it’s important not to let this bait-and-switch happen before the public realizes what’s going on…”
Mixed feelings for anti-Dodd-Frank bill on Wall Street. Bloomberg: “There are a lot of things Wall Street likes … It scraps the Volcker Rule … It reins in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau … It eliminates a Dodd-Frank provision that set limits on how much banks can charge retailers when merchants accept debit cards … But passing [Rep. Jeb] Hensarling’s bill wouldn’t necessarily free large banks from the handcuffs Washington put on them after the financial crisis, unless lenders want to take the unappealing step of raising hundreds of billions of dollars in new capital … ‘Wall Street has long believed Hensarling is their obstacle to getting reasonable compromise,’ said [Cato’s] Mark Calabria…”
AP reviews how Dodd-Frank could be gutted: “Beyond the CFPB, other elements of Dodd-Frank that could be vulnerable to a Trump-driven attack are: The Financial Stability Oversight Council [which] monitors the banking system for any risks that could trigger another crisis … Rules that critics say especially hurt regional and community banks that had little to do with the financial crisis … The Volcker Rule, which in most cases bars the biggest banks from trading for their own profit. The idea was to prevent high-risk trading bets that could implode at taxpayer expense.”


“Donald Trump Takes Credit for Helping to Save a Ford Plant That Wasn’t Closing” reports NYT: “President-elect Donald J. Trump claimed credit on Thursday night for persuading Ford to keep an automaking plant in Kentucky rather than moving it to Mexico. The only wrinkle: Ford was not actually planning to move the plant … Ford makes the Lincoln MKC, a sport utility vehicle, at a factory in Louisville. Last week, Ford said it planned to move production of the vehicle elsewhere. On Thursday night, after Mr. Trump’s Twitter messages, the company said that Mexico had been the intended destination and that it would now keep MKC production in Kentucky. But Ford had not planned to close the Louisville factory. Instead, it had planned to expand production of another vehicle made in Louisville, the Ford Escape. And the change had not been expected to result in any job losses.”


Dems press Trump on conflicts. WSJ: “Democrats are … introducing legislation that would force the incoming president to distance himself from his business interests … [The bill] would force the Mr. Trump to put his assets into a blind trust to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.”
Trumps’ national security adviser choice took money from foreign clients while getting security briefings. Yahoo! News: “…two months ago, during the height of the presidential campaign, his consulting firm, the Flynn Intel Group, registered to lobby for a Dutch company owned by a wealthy Turkish businessman close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey …”
“Lobbyists scoff at Trump’s five-year ban” reports Politico: “…Trump’s ban would last longer than any policy hitherto in force. But it’s already become increasingly common for former officials to find ways to use their influence without registering as lobbyists. Trump’s ban will probably intensify that trend … Trump’s ban would last longer [than Obama’s] but apply more narrowly. It also might not be enforceable beyond his time in office.”


Congress may strike short-term spending deal. Politico: “Capitol Hill Republicans and the incoming Trump administration are nearing agreement on a plan to fund the government at current levels through March 31 … Punting to early next year … will give the right more leverage to get its spending priorities and pet policy riders into law … [But] Senate Republicans generally prefer a longer-term spending bill to avoid fouling up their schedule in March or April … shutdown deadlines have a way of seizing the attention of the entire Capitol and distracting from other matters … Yet [Sen. Mitch] McConnell’s top deputy said that Republicans are beginning to accept that’s what the House and Trump’s team want … ‘It’s going to be their headache,’ [Rep. Charlie Dent] said of the Trump administration. ‘They’ll find that out soon enough.'”
Senate Republicans suggest they would scrap filibuster for SCOTUS noms if Dems fight Trump’s pick. Politico: “Republicans won’t come out and say it, but there’s an implicit threat in their confidence: If Democrats play things the wrong way, they might find themselves on the wrong end of a legacy-defining change to Senate rules … McConnell would need at least eight Democrats to clear 60 votes. But even some Democrats representing states that overwhelmingly went for Trump aren’t prepared to say they’ll automatically back his high court nominee.”
Trump voters want action. Politico: “…in one conversation after another, voters revealed meaningful distinctions about what issues they most want solved … that variation—plus the urgency expressed by those who swung so passionately for Trump—suggests less a permanent bloc than an anxious and impatient coalition that could fracture as quickly as it formed … and the clock is ticking.”


Utilities already meeting Clean Power Plant goals. Politico: “Even though President Obama’s historic Clean Power Plan was stayed by the Supreme Court and appears doomed in the Trump Administration, the electric sector is getting so green so fast that it has already met the plan’s 2024 goal for slashing carbon emissions and its 2030 target for reducing coal use … Utilities are rapidly abandoning coal for cleaner-burning natural gas and zero-emission renewables … independently of Obama’s controversial climate rules …”
Bill O’Reilly urges Trump to keep Paris agreement. Mother Jones: “O’Reilly is no fan of climate action. He said in 2011 that ‘nobody can control the climate but God.’ But on Wednesday, O’Reilly said staying in the Paris agreement would ‘buy some goodwill overseas’ for the incoming president.”


Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio challenges Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Hill: “…the 43-year-old Ryan said last week’s disastrous election results … show the party needs a new direction that can be accomplished only with new leaders.”
Politico explores Ryan’s background: “Ryan, 43, just won election to an eighth term in his heavily Democratic district, which includes hurting industrial centers like Youngstown and Akron … [His run for Leader] a chance for Ryan to cajole the caucus back toward his more moderate brand of politics … in 2003 [he won a] bruising primary in which he hammered his opponent for supporting international trade deals ,,, Ryan opposed abortion rights his entire political career until 2015 …”

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