Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Shareholders Showdown: Will Disney Break From The Beast?


Jacob Swenson-Lengyel
Shareholders Showdown: Will Disney Break From The Beast?
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger ... has said serving on the economic advisory council is a “great opportunity for me to have a direct pipeline to the president.” But many of Disney’s customers, workers and shareholders disagree, and that disagreement will be on prominent display Wednesday at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting in Denver. Members of People’s Action and our local member organization, Colorado People’s Alliance, will be making the case on International Women’s Day that Disney should stand with women, children and families, not an administration that’s bent on attacking them at every turn.

Women Strike

Day Without a Woman launches. AP: “‘A Day Without a Woman’ is the first national action by organizers since the nationwide marches held the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration … School districts including Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools in North Carolina, have canceled classes in anticipation of employee participation. Some businesses have said they will either close or give female employees the day off.”
Organizers hope to bring back the general strike. Bloomberg: “A general work stoppage suggests that, at least in theory, the strikers could grind the economy to a halt by refusing to participate in it, or at least make enough noise to get attention. But the March 8 strike has a more modest and potentially subversive goal: ‘We want to reintroduce the notion of strike in the political lexicon of this country,’ said Lamis Deek, a human-rights attorney and one of the organizers of the Day Without Women.”

ACA Repeal In Big Trouble

Speaker Ryan guarantees House passage, while conservatives offer competing bill. The Hill: “‘We’ll have 218 when this thing comes to the floor. I can guarantee you that,’ Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said … Freedom Caucus members said leadership doesn’t have enough support … The conservatives vowed to reintroduce the same ­ObamaCare legislation that passed Congress in 2015 but was vetoed by then-President Obama. That bill would repeal all of ­ObamaCare’s taxes and mandates and eliminate its Medicaid expansion.”
Senate outlook no brighter. The Hill: “…at least eight Republican senators have voiced concerns with aspects of the legislation … Three conservatives, Sens. Mike Lee(R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), are unhappy … two influential Republican senators, Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), have objected to including language in the bill defunding Planned Parenthood … Three other Republican senators — Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.) — along with Murkowski sent a letter to McConnell Monday warning him that a draft House healthcare plan that leaked last month failed to ensure stability for [the] newly enrolled in Medicaid…”
Everybody hates the GOP health bill. The Nation’s David Dayen: “…the subsidies for insurance coverage are stingier, the coverage itself is worse, and the penalty for non-coverage is actually higher … the average American will be more likely to be uninsured, or insured with higher co-pays and deductibles, or ‘covered’ with a plan worth as much as the plastic insurance card it’s issued on.”
Is the bill DOA? TNR’s Alex Shephard: “The AHCA is most notable for being mealymouthed. It dismantles aspects of Obamacare, but halfheartedly and in such a way that is clumsy and hurts poor, old people. Even the repeal of the dreaded individual mandate—the most demonized aspect of Obamacare—is undermined by a proposed fine for those who don’t have continuous health care coverage. The AHCA will punish you when you’re sick and need health care, not when you’re healthy and free-riding the system.”
GOP bill would ration care, notes Ezekiel J. Emanuel in NYT oped: “This would be even worse than going back to the days before the Affordable Care Act. It would force states to ration care and deny some Americans lifesaving treatments or nursing home care. Cruel only begins to describe the Republican plan.”
Republicans attack CBO. Politico: “Anticipating that their plan will leave fewer Americans insured than Obamacare and potentially cost the federal government more, Republican leaders on Tuesday launched a preemptory strike against forthcoming predictions from Congress’s independent scorekeeper … The Office of Management and Budget, part of the Trump White House, is expected to issue its own estimates of the plan…”

Climate Science Deniers Take Charge

Climate science deniers infiltrate EPA. NYT: “[EPA Administration Scott] Pruitt has drawn heavily from the staff … Senator James Inhofe, long known as Congress’s most prominent skeptic … A former Inhofe chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, will be Mr. Pruitt’s chief of staff. Another former Inhofe staff member, Byron Brown, will serve as Mr. Jackson’s deputy … Another transition official under consideration by Mr. Pruitt for a permanent position is David Kreutzer, a senior research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation who has publicly praised the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
“Eight Fossil Fuel Majors Seen Polluting as Much as the U.S.” reports Bloomberg: “Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil Corp., OAO Gazprom, the National Iranian Oil Co., BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc were among the eight companies whose fuel was responsible for a third of emissions from oil and gas, according to the non-profit group CDP. The companies released a fifth of all greenhouse gases outside of farming and forestry since 1988…”
Republicans killed a bipartisan plan to boost coal country. Politico: “As part of the 2016 budget, the Obama White House created something called the POWER Plus plan specifically to help Appalachian communities that were getting left behind because of the rapidly changing energy market … it proposed converting $1 billion from the Abandoned Mine Lands fund … into economic development grants to the states with the most abandoned mines … [Rep. Hal] Rogers [R-Ky.] saw a good idea in the Obama administration’s POWER Plus plan. He introduced it as the RECLAIM Act … Who could be against such bipartisan legislating? Wyoming, apparently.”

Breakfast Sides

City Councilor Helen Gym details how Philadelphia rebuffed Betsy DeVos’ agenda, in The Nation: “…in 2013, thanks to a GOP-led state austerity budget that cut almost a billion dollars from public education, Philadelphia’s state-controlled school system closed down 24 public schools … then expanded thousands of new charter spots at nearly the same cost. In response, Philadelphians took to the streets and organized…”
New GOP attack on federal unions. W. Post: “Official time, which allows labor leaders a limited range of activities while being paid by the government, has been a favorite target. Rather than trying to outlaw it directly, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday will consider a new tactic — legislation that would provide a strong deterrent by hitting the retirement benefits of many who use official time.”

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