Progressive Breakfast for July 7

Morning Message

Greeks Seek Hope; European Central Bank and Berlin Say No Basis for Deal

Democracy spoke in the Greek referendum, calling on Europe to offer new hope. To date, Europe refuses to listen. Greece will suffer, of course. But the Eurozone may find it hard to overcome this disgrace. President Obama and the Treasury Department should be putting maximum pressure on our European allies and on the IMF to change course. Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, should be warning her counterparts at the European Central Bank of the risks involved in forcing Greece out of the Euro. It may be too late to stop this fast-moving crackup, but it is not too late to try.

Europe Presses Greece

Greek PM and new finance minister meet with European counterparts today. AP: “As the Greek leader readied proposals to restart bailout talks, the situation was complicated by the European Central Bank’s refusal late Monday to increase assistance for Greek banks desperately needing cash and facing imminent collapse unless a rescue deal is reached.”

No sign of budging from Germany. NYT: “Senior German officials dug in their heels on Monday, saying a vote by Greeks to reject further austerity in a referendum last weekend did not oblige other countries in the eurozone to change their positions.”

Bernie Rocks Portland

Another huge Bernie rally in Portland, ME. W. Post: “Sen. Bernie Sanders offered his own answer Monday as to why he’s become such a draw on the presidential campaign trail … ‘From Maine to California … the American people understand that establishment politics and establishment economics are not working for the middle class.'”

Clinton campaign openly expressing worry over Sanders surge. NYT: “‘We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,’ Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.'”

No Child Left Behind May Get Overhauled

Senate to consider revamp of No Child Left Behind law this week. USA Today: “The bipartisan proposal would do away with the No Child Left Behind law and reduce — but not end — the federal government’s role in public elementary and secondary education … House Republicans have their own version … But only the [Senate] legislation has a chance to avoid a veto … [It] would maintain the current federal regimen of reading, math and science tests in grades 3 through 12, but states would decide how to use those test scores for accountability purposes.”

WH not supporting Senate bill yet. The Hill: “[Education Secretary Arne] Duncan and Muñoz urged lawmakers to pass legislation giving more power to state and local officials to measure progress and improve schools. But they said those reforms should ensure that federal resources go to communities implementing proven reforms.”

Senate Dems to move on universal pre-K. W. Post: “…Senate Democrats in coming days will roll out a new universal pre-kindergarten proposal that would be funded by the closing of corporate tax breaks … [Sen. Bob] Casey plans to introduce it as an amendment to a measure reauthorizing and overhauling No Child Left Behind…”

Home Stretch For TPP Talks

Final TPP talks later this month. NYT: “Outstanding controversies include access to Canada’s agriculture market, Australian concerns over American pharmaceutical patent rules, Peru’s rain forest management, Chinese components in Vietnamese textile exports and labor organizing rights in Vietnam and Mexico … a July 31 agreement could not be signed until Oct. 31 or more likely the beginning of November. Congress cannot begin considering it until December.”

MIT prof shows how companies make pay living wages and be profitable. NYT’s Joe Nocera: “Getting there requires companies to adopt what [Zeynep] Ton calls ‘human-centered operations strategies,’ … Paying employees middle-class wages allows the company to get the most out of them … They can solve problems by themselves. They make merchandising decisions for their own stores … costs everywhere else in the operation go down.”

Sen. Warren tries to block WH pick for SEC. Politico: “President Barack Obama was planning to nominate corporate attorney Keir Gumbs … But now that’s on hold at least until August after activist groups aligned with Warren raised an outcry over Gumbs’ work, including his advice to companies on how to dodge scrutiny from shareholder activists.”

WH to announce program for low-income families to get solar power. NYT: “The administration will announce that it intends to triple the capacity of solar and other renewable energy systems it installs in federally subsidized housing by 2020, make it easier for homeowners to borrow money for solar improvements and start a nationwide program to help renters gain access to solar energy…”