Progressive Breakfast for August 26

Morning Message

Clinton Reminds Us That Silence Never Defeats Hatred

Trump stooped low enough to call Clinton a “bigot.” ... Clinton could have simply ignored Trump’s baseless accusation. ... Instead, Clinton took Trump’s accusation of bigotry and turned it back on him. Clinton said that Trump “has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia” and is “taking hate groups mainstream.”

Clinton Takes On Trump and the ‘Alt-Right’

Jamelle Bouie at Slate explains why “Hillary Clinton’s Alt-Right Speech Was Shrewd Strategy”:
“As analysis, Clinton’s argument about Trump’s distance from the rest of the GOP is wrong. … As strategy, however, Clinton’s approach is shrewd. … By distancing Trump from the Republican mainstream, she offers those voters another choice: You can vote for me, or if that’s too much, you can just not vote at all. Either way, Trump’s margin shrinks.”

New York Times says “the Alt-Right Is Thrilled” by Clinton’s speech.
“For the leaders of the alt-right, the attention from the Democratic presidential nominee was a moment in the political spotlight that offered a new level of credibility. It also provided a valuable opportunity for fund-raising and recruiting.”

Here’s “A Guided Tour of the ‘Alt-Right,’ by the Trump Campaign Chief’s Website.”
From Jim Naureckas at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): “We’re the platform for the alt-right,” Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, told Mother Jones‘ David Corn — ”we” meaning Breitbart News, the online news outlet that Bannon headed until he was picked to run the turbulent Trump campaign.”

How the Party of John McCain Became the Party of Donald Trump
From Mother Jones: “More than perhaps any other state in America, Arizona was an early adopter of Trump’s nativist brand of politics. McCain was not a passive actor in this drama. Republicans won election after election by channeling a style of grievance politics embodied by his former running mate, Sarah Palin, and fueled by an immigration fight McCain sometimes inflamed. Now McCain is just trying to hold on.”

A Flip Trump’s Immigration Flop

Dara Lind at Vox’s take on “what the hell is going on with Trump and immigration.”
“As we near the end of Trump’s “immigration week,” here is where Donald Trump currently stands on immigration, as far as I can tell: build a wall (and make Mexico pay for it); “extreme vetting” for people who come into the US; unauthorized immigrants who commit crimes should be deported. When it comes to what to do with the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US, in other words, Donald Trump is about as vague as he is on other policy issues to which he hasn’t given much thought.”

Most Americans don’t share Donald Trump’s pre-“pivot” views on undocumented immigrants, a Pew poll finds.
“A large majority (76%) says that undocumented immigrants are as hard-working and honest as U.S. citizens, while 67% say they are no more likely than citizens to commit serious crimes. The survey also finds continued public opposition to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: 61% oppose this proposal, which is little changed from earlier this year.”

‘Fed Up’ With Slow Growth

Activists “Fed Up” with the Fed confront officials at Jackson Hole conference.
From NPR: “The hour-long meeting was organized by Fed Up, a coalition of some two dozen community groups, labor unions and liberal policy groups that have sought to influence Fed policy. An unusually large number of Fed officials attended the meeting … While the meeting, which was billed as a “listening session,” was mostly cordial, some of the activists made their unhappiness over Fed policy clear.”

U.S. economy is growing slower than originally reported.
“The biggest drivers of the updated estimate in second-quarter GDP were downward revisions in state and local government construction spending, and to inventory investment; and an upward revision to imports. … Economists project a third-quarter rebound driven by household purchases and more stockpiling, and the report showed wages and salaries were revised sharply higher, indicating consumers have the wherewithal to continue spending.”

Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens says the 1990s, not the 1970s, should serve as the guidepost for monetary policy.
“The old school of central banking that demanded comparatively hair-trigger responses to inflation is based on the experiences of the 1970s. … But it’s not the 1970s anymore. Specifically, the institutions and the economic environment that empowered workers to respond to price increases with enforceable demands for real (inflation-adjusted) wage increases and led to wage/price spirals are just not here anymore.”

Reaction To The EpiPen Price Scandal

EpiPen Crisis Hitting Senators Close to Home
Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia both have adult daughters who rely on the drug injector. … A Klobuchar aide said that in addition to pushing for investigations of EpiPen manufacturer Mylan, there will be yet another push on drug reimportation. … “It’s this simple — if you have a life-threatening illness, then you should have affordable access to the lifesaving medication you need.”

CNBC says the $600 EpiPen only costs “several dollars to make.”
“…[J]ust $1 or so worth of epinephrine is used in the auto-injection device. That device itself is believed to cost just several more dollars to make. People who have created workarounds for EpiPens have spent just $15 or so on the syringes. That gap between cost and price have delivered some very nice revenue for Mylan … $9.45 billion in revenue for 2015 — up from $7.7 billion the year before — and $1.46 billion in income.”

Breakfast Sides

New York Times: Democrats’ Weak Bench Undermines Hope of Taking Back Senate
“The Democrats’ problem stems from a depletion of their ranks in state legislatures and governors’ mansions over recent years and a lack of institutional support for grass-roots-level politicians who represent a changing base.”

Americans are embracing transgender rights, according to a new poll.
“[T]he Public Religion Research Institute found 72 percent of Americans now favor passing laws to protect lesbian, gay and transgender people from discrimination, including three-quarters of Democrats and two-thirds of Republicans. A majority of Americans also oppose so-called “bathroom bills,” which require transgender people to use the restrooms that correspond to their sex at birth. The poll found Americans are so supportive of federal non-discrimination legislation that most think it already exists. … (It doesn’t.)”