Progressive Breakfast for October 1

Morning Message

Republicans Literally Running On Nothing

Republicans hungry to win back the Senate had a strategic choice to make. Should they run on a comprehensive policy platform that detailed their conservative vision for the country? ... Or, since their actual positions on issues are so unpopular, would they just be better off not promoting any of their legislative ideas? Clearly, Republicans have chosen the “running on empty” path to regain control of the Senate.

Goldman Sachs Tapes Reverberate

Sen. Warren speaks to NPR about the Goldman Sachs tapes: “…there were two things that jumped out. The first was just a basic lack of truthful reporting: Supervisors are actually telling examiners not to report accurately the damning things they heard from bank executives during meetings … And the second thing: Look at how the Fed emphasized talk instead of action.”

W. Post’s Nolan McCarty dissects: “The most telling moment in the broadcast was the scene where Segarra’s bosses patted themselves on the back for sending a shot across Goldman’s bow just after the listeners had actually heard them roll over like lap dogs … While the tapes don’t conclusively resolve why the Fed was so soft on Goldman, it does offer several clues that suggest the importance of the complexity of the financial sector.”

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Big Setback For Corporate Tax Avoiders

EU cracks down on Irish tax shelters. Bloomberg: “The European Commission’s crackdown on the deal between Irish tax authorities and Apple Inc. marks an expansion in the growing global war on tax avoidance by multinational companies. Governments that enable it are now a target. Yesterday, the European Commission said the Irish tax authorities failed to conform to international guidelines when they ‘reverse engineered’ an agreement with Apple to determine the company’s bills.”

WH “optimistic” on corporate tax reform. The Hill: “National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients said the proposal for overhauling the corporate code put forward by President Obama is ‘remarkably similar’ to the one put forward last year by Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.), the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee … ‘That makes me optimistic that we can get something done.'”

Solar Can Power The World

New reports show solar can overtake coal. TNR’s Rebecca Leber: “The reports come from the International Energy Agency (IEA). It focuses on two kinds of solar—the kind that’s commonly seen installed on homes and businesses in the U.S. (solar photovoltaic) and the kind that generates heat to power (solar thermal). Within 35 years, according to the reports, they could account (respectively) for 16 and 11 percent of the world’s electricity generation … To hit the levels IEA projects, there would have to be substantial investment upfront.”

35,000 Alaska walruses can’t find sea ice. Time: “Nearly 35,000 walruses were discovered this month on a northwest Alaskan shore as result of being unable to find sea ice to rest upon, a problem aggravated by climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.”

WH Moves To Solve Child Migrant Crisis

Obama approves solution to child migrant influx. NYT: ” President Obama has approved a plan to allow several thousand young children from Central American countries to apply for refugee status in the United States … The spike in migrations raised concerns that the journey across Mexico was often more dangerous than the rough conditions the children were fleeing … Officials have said that the number of children crossing the border has decreased over the last two months, but White House officials said the new program should help to stem that flow even further by providing children a way to determine if they qualify as refugees without leaving their country.”

HHS tries to fund legal representation to child migrants. Politico: “With the 2014 fiscal year literally hours away from ending, HHS said Tuesday it has committed $4.2 million in leftover funds to support the efforts to secure counsel for the children. Republicans in the House have blocked prior efforts by the Justice Department to use its own funds for this purpose … HHS estimated that the funds are sufficient to provide legal representation for about 1222 children, with an initial focus on eight cities including Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix. That’s a fraction of the total number of minors … But the step is significant and comes as migrant rights attorneys are trying to elevate the same issue in federal court in Seattle.”