Progressive Breakfast for May 5

Morning Message

Five Things Ben Carson Doesn’t Get

Carson pointed out that his mother worked “extraordinarily hard,” often at two or three jobs, “trying to stay off welfare" ... Carson either forgot or neglected to mention that his mother turned to the welfare system to meet family needs her earnings could not ... What Carson doesn’t get about the safety net is that there are plenty of “able-bodied” people who receive some form of government assistance, and it doesn’t make them any more “dependent” than it made his mother.

Reid Moves To Filibuster Fast Track

Sen. Harry Reid pledges to delay consideration of fast track. HuffPost: “Reid said he has spoken with his leadership team and is confident Democratic senators will stick together … ‘We’re not going to lay over … until we have some way to move forward on [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] and the surface transportation bill’ … If the two measures aren’t dealt with before trade, they won’t get dealt with in time. ‘I think trade’s going to have to wait until we come back’ in June, Reid said. FISA expires June 1, while highway funding expires May 31.”

“Pro-trade lawmakers in both parties expressed irritation with Sen. Harry Reid” reports Politico: “…his plans to cause problems on the floor will put more pressure on GOP leaders to finish a busy schedule by Memorial Day, including an Iran review bill, the trade bills, a budget and surveillance legislation … Republicans need to pick off at least six Democrats to break a filibuster, possibly against the wishes of Reid’s whipping operation later this month. ‘That’s not my preference,’ said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) of Reid’s strategy. He added that he will vote to break a filibuster on the fast-track bill.”

Only 37% believe “free trade” helps US, but that’s up. WSJ: “Just 37% of adults polled last month said that free trade with foreign countries had helped the U.S., compared with 31% who said free trade had hurt. But that is a turning point: it marks the first time in more than 15 years that a plurality of Americans said that free trade helped … in September 2010, at the height of the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression … only 17% of Americans said that free trade agreements had helped the U.S., while 53% said that the pacts had hurt.”

Warren Winning

Sen. Warren is successfully thwarting Wall Street’s attempts at rolling back regulations. Bloomberg: “…Warren has helped make modifying Dodd-Frank politically untenable for Democrats, without some of whom Republicans can’t hope to roll back the law … executives from the big banks tell Bloomberg they want the Dodd-Frank wars to be over; they’re digesting the new rules, and the costs, and trying to get back to making money. For Warren, the fight is definitely not over…”

5th anniversary of “flash crash” should be celebrated with a financial speculation tax, says Dean Baker: “…traders now siphon off more than $200 billion (1.3 percent of GDP) a year from the productive economy … A financial transactions tax, effectively a modest sales tax applied to trades, would drastically reduce the amount of short-term trading while raising a huge amount of revenue.”

Hillary Firm on Path to Citizenship

Hillary Clinton embraces immigration reform in Nevada speech today. W. Post: “‘The standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship,’ Clinton’s campaign said in a preview of remarks she is expected to give during a visit to a largely Hispanic high school here. ‘She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hard-working people with merely a second-class status,’ the campaign said … Clinton’s reference to second-class status appears to be an effort to contrast herself most directly with former Florida governor Jeb Bush [who only] supports ‘earned legal status’…”

Sen. Bernie Sanders touts early fundraising haul of $1.5M and 175,000 volunteer signups on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Breakfast Sides

Pending EPA climate regs will save 3500 lives. The Hill: “If the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule is finalized and implemented in a way that combines a shift toward cleaner fuels with energy efficiency and demand reduction, Harvard University and Syracuse University researchers found that it’s likely to prevent 3,500 deaths due to reduced air pollution. It’s the first peer-reviewed scientific research into the proposed regulation, and it could give a big boost to the Obama administration and the rule’s supporters.”

Dems rally around $12 minimum wage. The Hill: “…The Raise the Wage Act introduced by [Sen. Patty] Murray and backed Democratic leadership would increase the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 … President Obama, who floated a $9 minimum wage in 2013 before getting behind the $10.10 effort later that year, … is now ‘enthusiastic’ about the $12 figure, according to Labor Secretary Tom Perez … A recent survey from the left-leaning National Employment Law Project found that 75 percent of people — including a slight majority of Republican voters — support raising the minimum wage to $12.50 by 2020.”