Progressive Breakfast for September 4

Morning Message

Jobs and the Action We Need

Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics job report – 173,000 jobs created in August with headline unemployment edging down to 5.1 percent – is strong enough to stoke the noisy debate over whether the Federal Reserve should begin to raise interest rates ... Far more telling than the monthly jobs report is a study released this week by the National Employment Law Project. It detailed the inflation-adjusted decline in hourly wages across the economy during the so-called “recovery” ... Hourly wages have declined at every income level, with the lowest-wage workers getting hit the worst ... All this is testament to how distorted our economic debate is.

Republicans Roiled By Controversies

“Republican Presidential Contenders Largely Back Kentucky Clerk” reports Time: “Most of the candidates have strongly backed Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed Thursday after defying a U.S. District judge’s order to issue the licenses … South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina were the only two candidates to say that she was in the wrong.”

Trump flunks foreign policy quiz. W. Post: “The conservative radio host [Hugh Hewitt] peppered Trump with a host of foreign policy questions in a Thursday interview that produced some uncomfortable moments for the real estate mogul, who appeared upset at the line of questioning … Trump hasn’t seen the last of Hewitt. He is slated to ask questions at the second Republican debate later this month.”

Trump security guard punches Latino protestor in the face. NYT: “The member of Mr. Trump’s security team had ripped a large blue sign reading ‘Trump: Make America Racist Again’ away from protesters gathered outside Trump Plaza … The protester, identified by NY1 as Efraín Galicia, chased and grabbed the security guard. The guard then turned and swung.”

Charter school scandal may damage Gov. John Kasich’s presidential bid. Cincinnati Enquirer: “…on Thursday night, after more than six weeks of waiting, The Enquirer received records that may clarify who was involved in the charter-school misconduct … What we know now: David Hansen, Ohio’s school-choice director, resigned in July … Hansen admitted he intentionally had scrubbed data … to make the charter-school sponsors look better overall. Hansen is the husband of Beth Hansen, who served as Kasich’s chief of staff until he launched his presidential campaign, which she now manages.”

Bernie, Hillary Aim for Diverse Coalitions

Sen. Bernie Sanders optimistic about earning African-American support, in Des Moines Register interview: “…Sanders said he has an agenda that he believes will be popular with black voters, who are disproportionately affected by criminal justice issues, low wages, difficulty in affording college tuition, and other issues. He added: ‘I will not deny for a moment that we have a lot of work to do. We are going to do that work.'”

Hillary Clinton looks to integrate women’s issues across campaign. USA Today: “For instance, Clinton will make expanding paid leave for new mothers part of her economic platform by emphasizing its cost to families. And she’ll carry over the global women’s agenda she began at the State Department to incorporate women’s rights into her foreign policy platform.”

Breakfast Sides

Republican-proposed budget cuts would actually increase deficit, says W. Post’s Catherine Rampell: “…amid their attempts to hack away at spending across the board, penny-wise-pound-foolish Republicans have not exactly protected programs that provide good returns on their investment. In fact, in some cases, Republicans have explicitly targeted these programs for elimination.”

White House says it wants a currency manipulation bill. Roll Call: “…Press Secretary Josh Earnest called on Congress to reconcile differences between House- and Senate-passed currency bills … The White House has backed currency enforcement language offered by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., but the White House threatened to veto a much tougher provision authored by Sen.Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and has had qualms about provisions authored by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.”