Thursday, October 13, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: The Republicans' Civil War – And Everyone Else's


As for the GOP, how did it wind up in a civil war? ... Republican House members, safely ensconced in right-leaning white districts, have become increasingly extremist ... GOP Senate members face a more diverse electorate. ... What should Democrats do? Should she win the presidency, there is the very real risk that Hillary Clinton and her party will view it as a mandate to govern from the political “center” – that is to say, from the consensus viewpoint of elites from both parties. That would be a mistake.


Trump bombarded with sexual assault allegations. The Atlantic: “…five women have come forward to say that Trump sexually assaulted them, including a People magazine reporter who published a first-person account of an alleged assault. In a story published early Wednesday evening, The New York Times reported the stories of two women who say that Trump assaulted them, one in the 1970s and one in 2005.”
Some Republicans scurry back to Trump. NYT: “They said that if Mr. Trump would not make way for his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, to lead the party after the release of a recording on Friday showing Mr. Trump bragging about groping women, they had little choice but to vote for their embattled nominee. But the collective about-face owed less to his refusal to exit a race in which ballots are already being cast than to the fury his supporters unleashed at the defectors at rallies and on social media.”


NYT’s Thomas Edsall asks “Can the Democrats Resurrect the Middle Class?”: “With the likelihood of major gains on Election Day rising, the most important task facing Democrats is the development of a coherent economic agenda that addresses issues that were central in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. There are preliminary signs that Democrats and their allies are willing to put together just such an agenda … including some that would be risky for Democrats, particularly those that call for the redistribution of resources from the party’s upscale wing to downscale voters.”
The Nation’s Robert Borosage reminds “Inequality Is Still the Defining Issue of Our Time”: “…Jason Furman, chair of the Council on Economic Advisors, argues that Obama ‘narrowed the inequality gap’ more than any president in 50 years … [But d]on’t take down the barricades. Inequality remains extreme and continues to widen. And the populist uprisings that have roiled American politics have clear opportunities to tackle the core problem after the election.”


Stumpf out at Wells Fargo. CNN: “…Stumpf made the decision to retire, which was welcomed by the board … he agreed to forfeit much of his 2016 salary, including his bonus and $41 million in stock awards … Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo’s president, will take over as chief executive … activist group Public Citizen urged the Department of Justice to continue probing the Wells Fargo scandal …”
NYT’s James Stewart celebrates accountability: “Why did Mr. Stumpf’s head roll when so many other chief executives emerged from other scandals and the financial crisis unscathed? Unlike, say, the London Whale scandal that engulfed JPMorgan Chase, the misconduct at Wells Fargo couldn’t be ascribed to one or a few ‘rogue’ actors … the buck should stop with the chief executive — a simple truth that many boards often ignore.”


“U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit New 25-Year Low” reports WSJ: “U.S. carbon dioxide emissions fell to a new 25-year low during the first six months of 2016, helped in large part by power plants switching from coal to natural gas and renewable sources of electricity … Revamped federal standards have reduced energy consumption for everything from lightbulbs and refrigerators to industrial motors. State-level carbon-reduction goals are also pushing companies to make products that consume less energy, especially when in standby mode … The U.S. Congress recently extended federal tax incentives that encourage the development of wind and solar power, so experts predict continued gains in renewable output for the next few years.”
The New Yorker’s Sierra Crane-Murdoch declares Standing Rock as “New Moment for Native-American Rights”: “When people compare Standing Rock with Wounded Knee, they note that, at the height of the 1973 occupation, there were several hundred protesters; now there are several thousand, owing in part to social media. But there is another important distinction, which is that the movement has largely committed itself to nonviolence.”
Wind farm proposal in Searsburg divides Vermont. NYT: “Critics of commercial wind power consider themselves every bit as environmentally conscious as the governor [who supports. They say he is doing more harm than good by promoting developments on the state’s ridgelines, among Vermont’s most important assets … increasing flood risks and scarring the landscape … They also complain about noise, lower property values and blighted views … [Gov. Peter Shumlin says] they have to go on ridgelines because that is where the wind is. The state’s environmental groups are with him.”
Protests flare in Portland, OR over new police rules. Oregonian: “Tumult ensued on the steps of Portland City Hall as police pepper-sprayed and arrested protesters in the aftermath of an unruly demonstration Wednesday over a newly approved contract for rank-and-file officers … The contract … ends a contentious rule that let officers wait 48 hours to speak with internal investigators after using deadly force … But that hasn’t satisfied opponents, who also wanted expanded civilian oversight powers.”
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