Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: By Picking Tillerson and Perry, Trump's Pretty Much Just Trolling Us Now


Richard Eskow
By Picking Tillerson and Perry, Trump’s Pretty Much Just Trolling Us Now
Trump isn’t just making “wrong choices” for these jobs. He’s displaying his contempt for the positions themselves. He’s showing himself and his friends just how much he can get away with.

Rates may go up today

Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates today. Politico: “Expectations of more rapid growth, coupled with the threat of inflation, could bring more rate hikes, which could undermine Trump’s plans to fire up the economy … Trump and congressional Republicans are signaling plans for steep tax cuts and massive infrastructure investment. Economists say that would raise the risk of inflation, which the Fed tries to combat to keep the economy from overheating.”
Some companies pause plans to offshore … for now. Bloomberg: “Ross Baldwin, whose San Diego-based firm Tacna helps U.S. companies set up manufacturing operations in Mexico, said three new clients put their plans on hold until they see what Trump does as president … ‘What they did in Indiana has made it clear to every board member in America that there is a clear and present danger in outsourcing’ said Jim Courtovich, managing partner of the Washington public affairs firm Sphere Consulting … Some companies are still moving ahead … Rexnord Corp. is planning to move some 300 manufacturing positions to Mexico … Companies that have cold feet from Trump’s rhetoric have merely put their plans on ‘a pause,’ he said, ‘until we sort out what’s happening.'”
Big banks try to throw out financial crisis lawsuits. NYT: “A handful of banks, including Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, have asked the Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that said the regulators filed their claims on time despite a Depression-era securities law that gave them only a three-year window. The Justice Department is pushing back. In a brief submitted last week, it says the banks’ argument lacks merit and asked the court not to take up the case.”


Bloomberg assesses Big Oil’s influence: “All across the oil patch, they’re figuratively uncorking the champagne bottles … The industry is poised to wield previously unimaginable influence on a global scale in a Trump administration … ‘Donald Trump doesn’t want to drain the swamp, he wants to drill in it,’ said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat …
Dems press for longer Sessions hearings. Politico: “… California Sen. Dianne Feinstein … pointed out that documents sent by Sessions to the committee detailing his work history, public speeches and other items to be scrutinized by senators total more than 150,000 pages … She argued that Sessions left out key documents, even amid 150,000 pages of material … [Sen. Chuck Grassley] indicated that the schedule for Sessions’ confirmation hearing won’t change. The two-day hearing will be held Jan. 10 and Jan. 11.”
California may slow Trump’s deportation plans. Mother Jones: “… Democratic legislators in California—home to about one-fifth of the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants—introduced a series of measures aimed at protecting the state’s immigrants under Trump’s policies. Two of those bills could help immigrants facing deportation in a crucial way: by making sure they have legal representation in court.”
Republicans in Congress face deadlines. The Hill: “The first big one comes on March 16, when the current debt-limit deal expires … The Treasury Department will likely use ‘extraordinary measures’ to push the deadline for raising the ceiling until at least midsummer … Congress also faces an April 28 deadline to fund the government … Republicans face an April 15 deadline for passing a budget … On Sept. 30, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding ends … A law passed by Congress in 2012 to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program also is poised to expire after five years on Sept. 30 … Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization will also expire on Sept. 30 … At the end of the year, a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as Section 702, will expire.”


Politico survey indicates DNC race wide open: “…a POLITICO email survey of the 447 voting DNC members and follow-up interviews with more than two dozen national and state Democratic officials reveal that [Rep. Keith Ellison] faces serious hurdles … the overwhelming majority of the DNC respondents say they have yet to make up their mind … some DNC members view the Minnesota congressman as part of the faction that delivered a mortal wound to Clinton …
Mayor de Blasio backs Ellison. NBC New quotess: “The Democratic Party stands at a crossroads, and needs leadership that will expand our vision to more Americans — while also intensifying our commitment to our core values. Keith Ellison is that leader.”
South Bend, IN mayor may enter race. Politico: “The 34-year-old [Pete] Buttigieg — who was featured in a June New York Times op-ed titled, ‘The First Gay President?’ — is testing the waters for a run…”


First offshore wind farm in operation. NYT: “…the country’s first offshore wind farm, developed by a company called Deepwater Wind and helped along by [Rhode Island’s] political leadership, started spinning its turbines to bring electricity to Block Island … Mr. Trump has expressed skepticism of wind power, saying in an interview with The New York Times that ‘the wind is a very deceiving thing.'”
Arctic in crisis. Time: “The report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that in 2016 the Arctic experienced the warmest land temperatures on record, the lowest snow cover on record and the lowest fall sea-ice cover on record.”

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