Thursday, December 1, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Betsy DeVos May Complete The Big Money Takeover Of Our Nation's Schools


Jeff Bryant
Betsy DeVos May Complete The Big Money Takeover Of Our Nation's Schools
...what DeVos represents in a very great sense is how rich people's grip on the nation's public education system has reached a choking point. No doubt, education policy led by Trump and DeVos will differ from the previous administration, but what's staying the same is how wealthy private interests will strongly influence policies. Grasping this essential truth matters a lot in the "nasty" politics of education today, where the real debate is not so much about charters and choice as it is about who is in control.


Trump to tout Carrier deal in Indiana today. NYT: “…Trump is scheduled to visit a Carrier plant in Indianapolis after the company announced it would keep 1,000 jobs there, shelving plans to move them to Mexico. The details of what exactly Mr. Trump agreed to in the negotiations with the manufacturer remained unclear. “
Sen. Sanders slams deal in W. Post oped: “Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut. Wow! How’s that for standing up to corporate greed? How’s that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad? In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country.”
Carrier’s ties to Mexico haven’t changed. AP: “At a news conference, the mayor of Santa Catarina, the Monterrey suburb where the Carrier plant is, said he had not heard from the company. ‘We haven’t received any formal notification from the company. In fact, we are working normally with them,’ Mayor Hector Castillo said, adding that Carrier has already constructed the shell of the new factory building.”
Conservatives may criticize Carrier deal. The Hill: “…if it turns out that Trump and Pence have offered any special concessions to Carrier — either at the federal level or the state level, given that the vice president-elect is still the governor of Indiana — then those free-market groups are likely to cry foul. ‘The particulars of this agreement haven’t been released, but our position on corporate welfare is well-known and that has not changed,’ said Brent Gardner, chief government affairs officer at Americans for Prosperity. The group is the major grassroots organization within the network of conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch.”
Trump to target NAFTA. The Hill: “‘We’re working out the fine-point details, but NAFTA is logical starting point,’ [Commerce nominee] Wilbur Ross told host Erin Burnett on CNN’s ‘OutFront’ Wednesday.”


Goldman Sachs dominates Trump cabinet. Politico: “…Wall Street’s most powerful firm, Goldman Sachs, is dominating the early days of the incoming Trump administration. The newly picked Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, spent 17 years at Goldman. Trump’s top incoming White House adviser, Steve Bannon, spent his early career at the bank. So did Anthony Scaramucci, one of Trump’s top transition advisers. Goldman’s president, Gary Cohn, spent an hour schmoozing with President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday and could be up for an administration job, possibly as director of the Office of Management and Budget…”
Bloomberg adds: “Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson was feeling happy Wednesday morning … ‘I can take glee in that — I think Donald Trump conned them,’ said Tilson, who runs Kase Capital Management … Shares of all the big Wall Street firms climbed Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs rising 3.6 percent, the best performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.”
“Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners” reports Politico: “[Steve Mnuchin’s] company foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo singled out the lender for squeezing superstorm Sandy victims. This month, the company’s successor, CIT Bank, was accused of discriminating against minority borrowers.”
NYT explores Trump’s challenge on the economy: “The middle class will see a big tax cut, but the wealthy will not. American businesses will pay much lower taxes, and as a consequence bring back billions of dollars from overseas. All this will create sustained growth of 3 to 4 percent a year and prevent the budget deficit from exploding … [Trump’s team has] promised economic growth targets that will be difficult to achieve given modern demographics, and committed to plans that even sympathetic analysts project will vastly widen the budget deficit … Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Ross suggested that the plans would not widen the budget deficit thanks to ‘dynamic scoring,’…”


“GOP may stall Obamacare replacement for years” reports Politico: “…GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years. They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance.”
Few want Obamacare repeal, in Kaiser poll: “… one-fourth of Americans (26 percent) wanting to see President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress repeal the entire law … many of the law’s major provisions continue to be quite popular, even across party lines…”
Trump pledge on Medicare in doubt. The Hill: “His campaign promoted the article’s headline — ‘Why Donald Trump Won’t Touch Your Entitlements’ — on its website. But [his HHS pick Tom] Price does want to touch entitlements … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, tweeted an image of Trump’s promise last year not to touch entitlements, including Medicare. Sanders asked if Trump ‘has any intention of keeping the promise that he made, or has he played the American people for suckers?'”
Dems poised to fight on Medicare. NYT: “Senate Democrats intend to press Mr. Price on this subject during his confirmation hearings. They see a wide opening for political gain, given the 57 million older Americans who rely on Medicare — including many white Midwesterners with financial worries who voted for Mr. Trump … A Medicare fight is also a potential political lifeline for Democrats in red states who could be in very tough contests in 2018.”


Ivanka Trump may tackle climate. Politico: “[A] source said Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue.”
States and cities should embrace “revenue-positive” carbon taxes, argues Heather McGee and Robert Reich in The Nation: “[We] need a Plan B that the Republicans cannot obstruct … a ‘revenue-positive’ approach, whereby polluters pay for carbon reduction either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, and the revenue generated is directly invested in disadvantaged communities.”
Fuel efficiency requirements will stay in place. AP: “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said that based on the agency’s technical analysis, automakers can meet emissions standards and fuel economy requirements for model years 2022 to 2025. The standards will nearly double new-car gas mileage, dramatically cut carbon pollution, maintain regulatory certainty for the auto industry and save U.S. drivers billions in gasoline costs … the agency plans to finalize the decision before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated in January.”


Incoming Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was an awful Labor Secretary. The Nation: ” Chao’s DOL … took an excessively deferential approach to businesses that were found to be mistreating employees, issued low fines for safety lapses, and ignored complaints from low-wage workers … criticisms of Chao’s management were confirmed and extended upon in a series of scathing reports by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office …”
House clears “Cures” bill while Warren fights in Senate. The Atlantic: “….the Republican-controlled Congress is likely to approve legislation that will invest more than $6 billion in public health and medical research over the next decade … But to Senator Elizabeth Warren, the bill is an enormous giveaway to pharmaceutical companies … the lower chamber overwhelmingly passed a new version late Wednesday afternoon, 392-26 … Biden won money for his cancer moonshot, and a coalition of lawmakers secured funding to send as grants to states fighting opioid addiction … The White House gave the final compromise its strong support … Public Citizen … said the bill still went too far in relaxing approval standards for drugs and devices…”
Pelosi wins leadership election. Politico: “Even after 63 House Democrats — almost a third of the Democratic Caucus — voted Wednesday against keeping her on as minority leader, Pelosi declared her political position is better than ever … [But] a sizable faction of her members have lost faith that Pelosi has the strategic vision needed to lead them back into power.

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