Progressive Breakfast for October 5

Morning Message

Don’t Put Privatizer And Payday Lender Lobbyist On The USPS Board

With corporate-conservative calls for full or partial privatization of the United States Postal Service (USPS) escalating, groups are sounding the alarm about new nominees to the USPS Board of Governors. The Senate is scheduled soon to consider the nominations of Mickey D. Barnett, James C. Miller III and two other nominees. Miller is a notorious privatization advocate and Barnett is a payday lender lobbyist ... This should be a big public issue. Please take a minute and contact your state’s senators and ask them to oppose the nominees for the USPS Board.

TPP Deal Struck

Pacific rim nations agree to TPP trade deal. NYT: “The accord for the first time would require state-owned businesses like those in Vietnam and Malaysia to comply with commercial trade rules and labor and environmental standards … Unions and human rights groups have been skeptical at best that Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei will improve labor conditions … In a concession likely to be problematic with leading Republicans, the United States agreed that brand-name pharmaceutical companies would have a period shorter than the current 12 years to keep secret their data on producing so-called biologics…”

Final text not available yet. Politico: “A vote [in Congress] is likely months away, next February at the earliest – and perhaps later if Obama waits for the last details to be ironed out before he gives Congress the legally mandated 90-days notice that he intends to sign it.”

New Zealand trade minister describes final deal to New Zealand Herald: “… on the hardest core issues, there are some ugly compromises out there. And when we say ugly, we mean ugly from each perspective – it doesn’t mean ‘I’ve got to swallow a dead rat and you’re swallowing foie gras.’ It means both of us are swallowing dead rats on three or four issues to get this deal across the line.”

Hillary, Bernie Jockey On Gun Control

Hillary tries to squeeze Bernie on gun control. Bloomberg: “…Clinton planned to call for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which gives legal protection to gun manufacturers and dealers whose guns are used for criminal activity … As a senator from New York, Clinton voted against the law in 2005 … Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who served in the U.S. House at the time, voted in favor of it.”

Clinton may also propose executive action on guns. NYT: “The proposal most likely to generate controversy is using executive action to close the so-called gun show loophole, if efforts to pass new measures in Congress do not succeed…”

Sanders pushes gun control measures at Boston rally. W. Post: “…Sanders called for several additional gun-control measures, including the closing of the ‘gun-show loophole’ on background checks. He also stressed the need to improve mental health services to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

Bernie winning over some WV Dems. W. Post: “West Virginia has rejected the Obama-era Democratic Party more dramatically than any state outside the South … But if you think it’s in places like this that the insurgent Sanders campaign faces its most formidable test, here’s what he thinks: It is also one of his greatest opportunities.”

The New Yorker publishes Bernie profile: “…even if he fails to secure the Democratic nomination, he has exposed a deep indignation about the distribution of wealth which other candidates cannot ignore.”

Chaffetz Scrambles Speaker Race

Rep. Jason Chaffetz challenges Rep. Kevin McCarthy for Speaker. Fox News quotes: “You just don’t give a promotion to the existing leadership team. That doesn’t signal change.”

Chaffetz roils House leadership races. Politico: “…Chaffetz says McCarthy can’t get the 218 votes on the floor needed to become speaker, while McCarthy allies privately bash the Utah Republican as woefully unprepared … meanwhile, in a nod to the ongoing war for control of the House GOP, Speaker John Boehner is considering delaying the election for majority leader and whip, a blow to Reps. Steve Scalise (La.) and Tom Price (Ga.), but a boon to conservatives who are looking to run a candidate against the pair…”

Community Banks Thriving Under Dodd-Frank

Dodd-Frank did not crush community banks. WSJ: “Loan balances at community banks grew 8.8% in the second quarter from a year earlier—almost twice the rate of bigger banks … In the second quarter, the profitability of small banks—which earned a 0.95% return on assets—barely lagged behind the 1.08% return of the big banks, according to the FDIC. That’s a big change from the margin when Dodd-Frank passed, when the gap was more than three times as wide.”

Bank regulators don’t think they can prevent another crisis. NYT: “The Fed has publicly committed itself to a strategy of so-called macroprudential regulation, meaning it is now focused on maintaining the stability of the financial system as well as the health of individual firms. But senior Fed officials at the Boston conference described that as more of a goal than an achievement. Crises remain hard to anticipate and prevent, and the available tools could cause significant economic damage.”