Monday, February 6, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Trump Stands Up for Bad Bankers

MORNING MESSAGE

Richard Eskow
Trump Stands Up for Bad Bankers
The best way to spot a con artist is by paying attention to what you don’t see, as well as to what you see. Donald Trump says he represents working people, but he has already moved aggressively to tilt the scales in favor of Wall Street’s criminal elite. As Trump moved to rob Americans of some basic financial protections, his choice of companions only added insult to injury.
One of Trump’s cabinet nominees is on the ropes. Betsy DeVos has raised bipartisan concerns and is now only one vote away from losing the nomination in the next few days. Act now to Dump DeVos!

RULING EXPECTED TODAY ON TRAVEL BAN RESTRAINING ORDER

Ninth Circuit court could lift restraining order today. Politico: “A three-judge 9th Circuit panel is expected to rule as soon as Monday evening on the Justice Department’s stay request … The states [of Washington and Minnesota] note that temporary restraining orders are not typically considered appealable and that parties are usually supposed to wait until a more durable court order known as a preliminary injunction is entered or turned down by the district court. Many legal experts say the 9th Circuit panel could seize on that argument and its own court’s prior precedents to turn down the stay request without wading into thorny legal questions…”
SCOTUS next? Bloomberg: “…the U.S. Justice Department has until 3 p.m. Monday to make its final argument. A decision could come anytime after that and the losing side may make a quick run to the Supreme Court … [If SCOTUS turns down the stay request, t]hat would leave the merits of the arguments to be debated in a Seattle courtroom, with the case and perhaps others making their way to the top court for review in months or even years — especially if appeals courts issue conflicting rulings on whether it’s legal.”
States warn of “chaos” if ban re-imposed. AP: “In briefs filed early Monday morning with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington state and Minnesota said Trump’s travel ban harmed residents, businesses and universities and was unconstitutional.”
The Atlantic’s Garrett Epps tries to game out the Supreme Court: “Assuming that the order does discriminate by religion, how serious a violation of Equal Protection would that be? Remarkably enough, that is still an open question before the courts. Most religion cases are tried under the First Amendment … The Supreme Court has never addressed the [Equal Protection] kind of religious discrimination … [The] Court has shown some willingness to second-guess the federal government on the exclusion of aliens—but some hesitation as well.”
George Mason U. law Prof. Ilya Somin makes the case why the ban is unconstitutional, in W. Post oped: “When you combine Giuliani’s admission with Trump’s own numerous statements advocating a Muslim ban, it’s hard to find a clearer case of discriminatory motives hiding behind a veneer of neutrality … Nothing in the text or the original meaning of the Constitution indicates that immigration law is an exception to the constitutional rights that constrain every other type of government policy.”
Undocumented sue for right to take out student loans. NYT: “The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, is one of the first to challenge common industry policies that make it difficult for undocumented students to finance higher education. The case was filed in San Francisco federal court, with the California League of United Latin American Citizens participating as a plaintiff.”

DEVOS MAY BE CONFIRMED, PUZDER IN LIMBO

DeVos, Sessions expected to be confirmed this week. CNN: “Senators are expected to vote Tuesday on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary. She is expected to be confirmed, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote … Later in the week, a final confirmation vote could come for attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions … Sessions is still needed in the Senate to vote for DeVos
Puzder in limbo. The Atlantic: “… his testimony has been put off indefinitely. An aide to [Sen. Lamar] Alexander said the chairman would not schedule Puzder’s hearing until the committee received both a signed agreement from the Office of Government Ethics and responses to a standard questionnaire that is also missing from his file … Puzder has now twice taken the awkward step of issuing public statements confirming that, yes, he still wants the job … Alexander came under intense criticism for Democrats for breaking with recent precedent by holding a hearing for DeVos before she had submitted a signed ethics agreement. He has decided not to do the same for Puzder, wanting to avoid a repeat of DeVos’s experience…”
Scott Pruitt develops subtle strategies to hobble EPA. NYT: “[Pruitt] is not likely to start with the kind of shock and awe that Mr. Trump has used to disorient Washington. Instead, he will use the legal tools at his disposal to pare back the agency’s reach and power, and trim its budget selectively … His changes may not have the dramatic flair favored by Mr. Trump, but they could weaken the agency’s authority even long after Mr. Trump has left office … The problem with many of Mr. Trump’s promises for the environmental agency is that they cannot be met quickly without violating the law….”

RESISTANCE RISES

Many of left emulate Tea Party tactics. NYT: “With congressional phone lines overloaded and district offices mobbed across the country, it’s beginning to look a lot like 2009 … Resisters want nothing to do with the uglier elements of the Tea Party — the rallies where politicians were burned in effigy. But they are eager to model its electoral tactics.”
Dems warned not to neglect labor at DNC forum. MLive: “United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones … said from his experience, he’d never seen more enthusiasm from workers for a presidential candidate than Bernie Sanders … ‘When Bernie got put out of the primary, a lot of our folks were starting to drink Trump’s Kool-Aid,’ Jones said. ‘We couldn’t bring them back in.’ … If Democrats want to be successful in the future, Jones said, the party has to pay more attention to the labor community.”

OBAMACARE REPEAL STALLS

Trump taps breaks on Obamacare repeal. NYT: ” President Trump said in an interview that aired on Sunday that a replacement health care law was not likely to be ready until either the end of this year or in 2018 … Trump acknowledged that replacing former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is complicated, though he reiterated his confidence that his administration could devise a plan that would work better than the law — despite having provided few details of how such a plan would work.”
Goldman Sachs has second thoughts on Trump. Bloomberg: “‘Following the election, the positive shift in sentiment among investors, business, and consumers suggested that the probability of tax cuts and easier regulation was seen to be higher than the probability of meaningful restrictions to trade and immigration,’ Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists led by Alec Phillips wrote in note published late last week. ‘One month into the year, the balance of risks is somewhat less positive in our view.'”
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