Progressive Breakfast for May 28

Morning Message

The Populist Agenda: The Fight for a Just Society

The obstacles faced by the progressive movement, especially in a post-Citizens United world, aren’t news to anybody who’s been paying attention. But recent developments may also stir an unfamiliar sensation in the liberally minded observer: optimism ... One of the Populist Platform’s twelve goals is to “Eliminate Institutionalized Racism to Open Opportunity to All,” ... the debate has moved much further than might have been expected a few short years ago ... Another key plank in the populist platform seeks to guarantee economic equality for women ... There have been a string of local-level victories ... The Social Security debate has shifted dramatically in the past few years ... the landscape is changing for these “just society” issues.

Sanders Spooks Clinton

Team Clinton worried about Sanders. Politico: “Insiders familiar with the Clinton campaign’s thinking described it as ‘frightened’ of Sanders — not that he would win the nomination, but that he could damage her with the activist base by challenging her on core progressive positions in debates and make her look like a centrist or corporatist. The source described the campaign as ‘pleased,’ at least, that O’Malley and Sanders will split the anti-Clinton vote.”

Bernie presses Hillary on trade. W. Post: “At an event in downtown Concord Wednesday … Sanders was critical of Clinton: ‘I just don’t know how you don’t have an opinion on this important issue.'”

Clinton knocks GOP on equal pay. The Hill: “Clinton mocked critiques of equal pay legislation by GOP presidential hopefuls like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), but did not address them by name. ‘To that I say: What century are you living in?’ she said, arguing equal pay extends much further than a ‘women’s issue.'”

Likely GOP ’16er John Kasich opposes Ex-Im Bank. The Hill: “The likely Republican presidential candidate joins a growing list of GOP White House aspirants in opposing the 80-year-old bank. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have all come out in opposition to renewing the bank’s charter before it expires next month.”

Blue States Better For Workers

Red and blue states diverging on helping workers, says W. Post’s Harold Meyerson: ” While states under Republican rule are weakening workers’ ability to bargain with employers and reducing the pay of construction workers, states and cities where Democrats dominate are hiking the minimum wage, requiring employers to grant paid sick days and even considering penalizing large employers who don’t pay their workers enough.”

Momentum for bonds over cuts to shore up state pensions. NYT: “Interest in so-called pension obligation bonds is expected to intensify in the wake of a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that rejected the state’s attempt to overhaul its severely depleted pension system … The government will issue the bonds; the pension system will invest the proceeds; and the investments will earn more, on average, than the interest rate on the bonds … [But] it does not take risk into account.”

Breakfast Sides

Immigration court battle won’t be resolved until next year. NYT: “Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs … while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts … Even if the justices had given the green light to begin implementing the program, the continuing legal fight would probably have scared away most of the undocumented immigrants who could apply for it.”

NYT’s Nick Kristof urges Obama to uncover dark money: “President Obama could take one step that would help: an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose all political contributions … [Said] Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law[,] ‘It’s the single most tangible thing anyone could do to expose the dark money that is now polluting politics.'”