Progressive Breakfast for October 14

Morning Message Dave Johnson

The First Democratic Presidential Debate Had Adults On The Stage

The first Democratic debate showed the country what it is like to have adults on a stage. It doesn't matter who "won." The candidates showed they all are concerned about governing the country and proposing actual policies that will help actual people have better lives. And they showed that we have a serious and lively Democratic primary race in front of us. The country will be the winner.

Debate Sharpens Contrasts

Clinton, Sander spar over Wall Street reform. The Hill: “‘Going to Wall Street and saying “please stop” is very naive,’ Sanders told Clinton during a heated exchange about their regulatory policies … Clinton, in contrast, argued that Glass-Steagall is the wrong policy prescription and wouldn’t have prevented the 2008 economic collapse. ‘If only you look at the big banks, you may be missing the forest for the trees. We’ve got to look at all the other financial institutions,’ Clinton said during the debate.”

And capitalism. Time: “‘Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little? … No I don’t.’ … Clinton jumped in, saying: ‘When I think about capitalism I think about all the business that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families.'”

Bernie raises coin off debate. W. Post: “Sanders appears to have successfully parlayed his most-talked about moment during the debate — telling Hillary Rodham Clinton that ‘the American people are sick and tired of talking about your damn e-mail’ — into a sharp uptick in donations.”

Contrast between Dem and GOP debates stark. Politico’s Mike Grunwald: “…the basic stakes of the election are already clear. It will pit a Democrat who will try to expand on Obama’s policies, veto Republican legislation, and appoint progressive Supreme Court justices against a Republican who will try to dismantle Obama’s policies, sign Republican legislation and appoint conservative Supreme Court justices. Most of the rest will just be chatter.”

Republican Dysfunction Threats Debt Limit

House chaos could thwart debt limit hike. The Hill: “‘They are starting to get more nervous … because of this void in leadership that no one really knows whether and how it’s going to get filled,’ one lobbyist said of colleagues on K Street and Wall Street. ‘They’re worried not about an intentional decision to default, but just the mess of trying to figure out who’s going to lead and running out of time.'”

Paul Ryan doesn’t want to sing for his supper. Bloomberg: “Republicans imploring Paul Ryan to become U.S. House speaker are dangling a pledge that he can skip the job’s frantic fundraising duties. But it’ll cost them upwards of $35 million per election cycle … [And] Ryan, 45, would find himself a weaker speaker if he didn’t put his star quality to work for lawmakers desperate for campaign cash.”

“Angry GOP Senate freezes out Obama nominees” reports Politico: “Right now, eight ambassadorial nominees are waiting on the Senate floor to be confirmed, and more than 100 other nominations are languishing in committee … Among the most egregious examples of unnecessary holds, Democrats say, has been Cruz’s work to stymie confirmation of Gayle Smith, nominated as director of the U.S. Agency for International Development … The vacancy is drawing more scrutiny as the United States faces pressure to act on the Syrian refugee crisis.”

Might some Republicans move on climate change? NYT’s Eduardo Porter: “Last month, 11 Republicans in the House introduced a resolution that — tortuously worded though it may have been — acknowledged the need to ‘address the causes and effects’ of a changing climate. ‘I can count eight, 10, maybe 12 Republicans in the Senate who are waiting for the jailbreak,’ said Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island.”

How much would GOP tax plans give the rich? NYT’s John Harwood: “…the conservative Tax Foundation estimates that Mr. Rubio’s plan would cut taxes an average of 17.8 percent for all taxpayers — but 27.9 percent for the top 1 percent of earners … Mr. Bush’s plan would raise the after-tax incomes of top earners 16.4 percent, more than any other group … Trump, who leads Republican polls, would raise incomes of the top 1 percent of earners 27 percent — also the most of any group.”