Friday, November 4, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Why Is Washington Still Pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership?


Robert Borosage
Why Is Washington Still Pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Both Clinton and Trump oppose the TPP. It was exhibit one in the populist argument made by Bernie Sanders. Leading environmental, consumer, labor, citizen-action, and human-rights groups are organized against it. The white working-class voters who flocked to Trump’s banner loathe it. Yet, bizarrely, first thing after this election is over, President Obama, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate and the business lobby are planning to launch a full-court press to drive the TPP through a lame-duck session of Congress.


Both campaigns look to motivate base vote in final weekend. NYT: “…Clinton is moving to reinforce her position among crucial constituencies, including black communities in North Carolina and Florida, and Hispanic strongholds in Nevada and Arizona … Where Mrs. Clinton has homed in on minority turnout in early-voting states, Mr. Trump has delivered a broad-brush message denouncing Mrs. Clinton as corrupt … Trump has tested his strength in unconventional places — one day in tossup states, another in Democratic-leaning states like Michigan and New Mexico, still another in states that Mrs. Clinton seemed to have locked up long ago, like Virginia and Colorado.”
AP reviews the early voting numbers:Hillary Clinton … continues to maintain an apparent edge over Donald Trump, with more than one-quarter of all expected ballots cast … the tens of millions of early votes cast also point to strength from Democratic-leaning Latino voters, potentially giving Clinton a significant advantage in Nevada and Colorado … In North Carolina and Florida, Democrats did better with mail balloting than they had in previous elections … But the big turnout — especially among black voters — hasn’t yet happened…”
Wages rise in final pre-election jobs report. Bloomberg: “Payrolls climbed by 161,000 last month following a 191,000 gain in September that was larger than previously estimated … The jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent … The figures are likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise borrowing costs next month for the first time in 2016 … Wage gains picked up, with average hourly earnings rising 0.4 percent from a month earlier to $25.92. The year-over-year increase was 2.8 percent…”


Corporations spend heavily on secretary of state elections. NYT: “The targeting of secretaries of state with campaign donations, corporate-funded weekend outings and secret meetings with industry lobbyists reflects an intense focus on often overlooked ballot questions, which the secretaries frequently help write … a difference of even a few words on a ballot measure can have an enormous impact on the outcome.”
Deceptive enviro measures on state ballots. The Nation: “… what do you do if you’re a big utility company that fears competition from alternative-energy sources? In Florida, apparently, you perform a ‘little bit of political jiu-jitsu’ to make an anti-solar measure sound like its opposite … California voters are considering two ballot measures related to plastic bags, which can harm fish and other wildlife. Like the solar-power amendment in Florida, both measures are sponsored by industry groups—plastics manufacturers, who’ve funded a front group called the American Progressive Bag Alliance—and they’re written in ways that may confuse voters.”
Left split on Washington state carbon tax ballot measure. The Hill: “Proponents say it will help reduce the prime driver of climate change and reform a regressive tax code … But it’s facing surprising opposition from many greens … Any new revenue from the carbon tax will go toward lowering other taxes in the state rather than raising money for potential carbon-cutting investments … Opponents also point to projections that the tax will lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue.”
Paris agreement takes effect today. The Hill: “…John Morton, director for climate and energy at the White House National Security Council … said the agreement is taking effect ‘much, much faster, years faster, than most people expected. And with that entry into force, that puts us on a much accelerated path toward implementation of that goals that we laid out in Paris a year ago.'”


“Liberals push Kara Stein to lead SEC” reports Politico: “When Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month demanded that President Barack Obama immediately replace SEC Chair Mary Jo White, she said the president could easily fill the position without Senate confirmation. That was a tacit endorsement of Kara Stein, the agency’s lone Democratic commissioner, who could move into the top job without Senate involvement … Other names that have been circulated by progressives for top jobs: Labor Secretary Tom Perez; former CFTC Commissioner Gary Gensler; Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Heather Boushey, the chief economist on the Clinton transition team.”
Huge network of Clinton allies competing for administration posts. The Hill: “this transition is expected to be brutal given the number of people in the vast orbit of Bill and Hillary Clinton who have been waiting for years to have a shot at a job in a future administration.”
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