Monday, December 12, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Through the GOP, the Wealthy Are Waging War on the Old

MORNING MESSAGE

Richard Eskow
Through the GOP, the Wealthy Are Waging War on the Old
Republicans are pushing proposals that protect and expand the wealth of the wealthy at the expense of the elderly ... Trump nominated rabidly anti-Medicare partisan Tom Price to become Secretary of Health and Human Services ... Nor have Republicans forgotten about Social Security. Last week a senior Republican in Congress, Rep. Sam Johnson, unveiled the most ambitious anti-Social Security program since the GOP’s 2005 privatization attempt.

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

Incoming EPA chief Scott Pruitt threatens your water. American Prospect’s Sam Ross-Brown: “…Pruitt led a multi-state lawsuit against Obama’s Clean Water Rule, a regulation aimed at protecting source water for one in three Americans. As with his Clean Power Plan suit, Pruitt and his allies succeeded in blocking the rule’s implementation … All of this is happening at a time when much of the nation’s water infrastructure desperately needs an overhaul.”
And incoming AG Jeff Sessions threatens your civil rights. American Prospect’s Samuel R. Bagenstos: “I expect the efforts to attack voter suppression to end in the Trump administration and the division instead to bring new lawsuits that will themselves be designed to suppress the vote … [Obama’s Justice Dept.] entered into major consent decrees to transform law enforcement agencies … [Sessions] will likely allow police departments to get out from under the decrees … don’t expect the Trump administration to bring systemic fair-housing cases, like the one against Trump in the 1970s…”
Republicans look to abolish the estate tax. Roll Call:South Dakota Sen. John Thune and other top Republicans will launch a new drive to repeal the estate tax next year, while pulling back on efforts to force a year-end vote aimed at blocking a proposed Treasury Department rule that would tighten levies on inheritances … [Thune] has voiced confidence that there would be consensus support for his proposal to repeal the estate tax as part of a broad tax overhaul…”
Larry Cohen tells Trump to back off unions in Guardian oped: “Trump is like a Goliath of great wealth and political power. At times, he might toss gifts to the masses like a 19th-century monarch, but his strategy of attacking and dividing working families will clearly lead to net losses for them and big gains for corporate management at multinationals like UT. Working-class unity is the ammo Chuck Jones and workers across this nation need for their sling shots.”
37 sanctuary cities resist. Politico: “…officials in at least 37 cities … have doubled down since Trump’s election, reaffirming their current policies or practices in public statements, despite the threat of pushback from the incoming administration, and at least four cities have newly declared themselves sanctuary cities since Trump’s win.”

BIG OIL IN CHARGE?

“Corporate oil sovereign” Rex Tillerson may be named Secretary of State. New Yorker’s Steve Coll: “Tillerson joined ExxonMobil in 1975. He has never worked anywhere else … Tillerson once listed his favorite book as ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ … Trump is handing the State Department to a man who has worked his whole life running a parallel quasi-state, for the benefit of shareholders, fashioning relationships with foreign leaders that may or may not conform to the interests of the United States government.”
SEC currently investigating ExxonMobil: “The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating whether Exxon and other oil companies appropriately account for climate change as a business risk … [Tillerson would] obviously have direct access to the president, who appoints SEC commissioners in line with his viewpoint.”
Tillerson may have difficulty being confirmed. WSJ: “‘It’s a matter of concern to me that he has such a close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin,’ [said] Sen. John McCain … Sen. Marco Rubio [tweeted] ‘being a “friend of Vladimir” is not an attribute I am hoping for’ in the next secretary of state…”
Rick Perry considered for Energy Secretary. CBS: “Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been summoned to Trump Tower for a meeting today … Perry will now be the third contender against Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. VA, and Ray Washburne [who is an] investor in oil and gas operations. Perry sits on two corporate boards – one of them Energy Transfer Partners [which] is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Billionaires invest in clean energy. Bloomberg: “Bill Gates and more than a dozen of the world’s wealthiest individuals revealed a new $1 billion investment fund late Sunday to foster major advances in clean energy production. Dubbed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the 20-year fund [will] pump money into risky, long-term energy technology that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions…”
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