Progressive Breakfast for August 3

Morning Message

Will Black Lives Matter At the Republican Presidential Debate?

The Republican mind seems incapable of embracing “black lives matter,” for to embrace that phrase means to embrace the idea that racism is not a mindset displayed by an errant handful of people but is, to use a phrase that President Obama used in a June podcast interview, a system that is “part of our DNA” as a country. Defining racism as something that is episodic and individual means that society at large bears no responsibility to change ... acknowledging, as the Black Lives Matter movement insists, that we live and operate within the framework of institutional racism means that changes must come first in the country’s social, economic and political institutions.

Landmark Rule To Save Climate

Obama to announce final EPA climate regs on power plants today. WSJ: “…the EPA sets the first-ever limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, requiring a 32% cut in emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels. The target is ambitious, requiring deeper cuts than the 30% proposed in a draft rule released last year.”

Less reliant on natural gas as initially planned. WSJ: “The draft rule, proposed in June 2014, relied on a large and early shift from coal power generation to natural gas. The final regulations would remove that assumption and instead create a new program that encourages states to deploy more renewable energy and energy efficiency…”

Deadlines on states pushed back. Politico: “…it will also delay the initial compliance deadline for states by two years to 2022. And it will reduce mandates that would force utilities to employ new, largely untested carbon capture and storage technology for new coal power plants…”

States to take lead, but can’t prevent rules. The Hill: “If the states do not submit plans — as multiple conservative states have threatened — the EPA will write and impose its own strategies upon them … The new plan also includes incentives for states to comply early, with matching grants for reductions before the deadlines.”

Utilities expected to implement plan despite court challenges. WSJ: “Utility companies and state regulators will need to rewire the electric grid to accommodate more renewable power, much of it generated by customers … Utilities, which expect to spend more than $100 billion next year on capital projects, will adjust their spending programs to reflect the new rules even as court challenges proceed, experts said.”

Climate debate could dominate 2016. NYT: “Most of those changes … would unfold under the next president … That means that the 2016 field faces a much more specific question on climate change policy than any of their predecessors have: What would they do to Mr. Obama’s climate change legacy?”

Trump v. Koch

Koch brothers bring presidential candidates to meet donors. W. Post: “Charles Koch on Sunday compared the efforts of his political network to the fight for civil rights and other ‘freedom movements,’ urging his fellow conservative donors to follow the lead of figures such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. … During his comments at the donor retreat, Koch repeatedly cited the effect of big government on the lower class.”

Jeb Bush flip-flops on taxes when facing Kochs. Tampa Bay Times: “Jeb Bush says as president he would not accept any tax increases as part of a deal to slash government spending, going back on what he had to say few years ago … ‘If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we’re going to have $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement — put me in, coach,’ Bush told the House Budget Committee in June [2012]. ‘This will prove I’m not running for anything.'”

Scott Walker pressed at Koch event on subsidizing Milwaukee Bucks basketball stadium. Washington Examiner quotes exchange with Politico’s Mike Allen: “[ALLEN:] what a number of your fellow small government conservatives are saying to me is, how in the hell could you support using taxpayer money for a stadium for an NBA team co-owned by a billionaire raising money for Hillary Clinton? GOVERNOR WALKER: Yeah, because in the end it’s like any business person. My state gets $6.5 million a year…”

Trump mocks. NYT: “‘I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers,’ Mr. Trump, who leads in many national polls, wrote in a Sunday morning Twitter post. ‘Puppets?'”

Biden v. Clinton?

VP Biden considers running to Hillary’s left. NYT: “One Democratic donor with direct knowledge of the overtures from the Biden camp said Mr. Biden had already thought about how he would position himself in the race, delivering an economic message to the left of Mrs. Clinton’s while embracing Obama administration policies, like health care reform, that are widely popular among Democrats.”

Friends of the Earth endorses Bernie. W. Post: “This was the first formal endorsement by a national group of Sanders’s bid for the Democratic nomination … Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth[,] pointed to the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline as an issue emblematic of the differences his group sees between Sanders and Clinton.”