Progressive Breakfast for August 31

Morning Message

Trump’s Immigration ‘Pivot’ and the Effort to Expose It For What It Is

[Trump] is trying to have it both ways: Reassure his anti-immigrant, nationalist base that he is the same candidate who promised a “deportation force” ... while covering his xenophobia and racism in what sounds like more rational, realistic policy ... At a news conference in Arizona ... Alejandra Gomez, executive director of Living United Change in Arizona (LUCHA), said, “We will not be fooled by Trump’s rhetoric.” ... LUCHA, an affiliate of People’s Action, plans to stage a “cultural block party” outside Trump’s immigration speech...

Trump To Visit Mexico

Trump to visit Mexico before AZ immigration speech today. NYT: “Donald J. Trump will visit Mexico on Wednesday for a private meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto … ‘They are not our friend, believe me,’ Mr. Trump said in a speech last year in which he accused Mexico of treating the United States unfairly … In March, [Peña Nieto] compared Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini … But for all the risk it poses, [the visit] offers an image Mr. Trump relishes: of a wily negotiator willing to do the unexpected…”

“Stop getting played by Trump’s scam job on immigration” writes W. Post’s Greg Sargent: “Trump is now edging away from proactive, souped-up mass deportations. But he has not backed away from his core position in the fundamental underlying dispute, which is that all the 11 million will still be targeted for removal, and cannot be legalized or assimilated.”

Deportations drop to 10-year low. The Hill: “Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) figures from June suggest 230,000 people could be removed or returned from the country by the end of the fiscal year next month, slightly fewer than the 235,413 deported in 2015. That was the lowest number since 2006 … After [reform] legislation failed, Obama shifted his strategy, pursuing executive actions that allowed some groups of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.”

Obama Heads To Asia to Tout TPP

Obama heads to Asia for G20 summit. NYT: “President Obama leaves [for] China and Laos after a brief stop on a spit of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean … the president will spend two days highlighting his commitment to combating climate change …”

TPP top of Obama agenda. VOA: “White House officials said that while in Asia he will repeatedly make ‘a forceful case’ for ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership … Obama is expected to make a final push for ratification after presidential elections in November.”

Former WH economist Jared Bernstein unimpressed with TPP pitch, in W. Post oped: “…they’ve largely punted on the economic case for the deal. I and many others have written that such a case was always shaky … Instead, the administration has shifted its emphasis to the geopolitical advantages … Yes, it is in America’s interests to try to reduce China’s global influence. But passing the TPP will be ineffectual in that regard…”

ISDS system buoys bankers, according to Buzzfeed investigation: “…financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.”

Pro-TPP Dems escape primaries unscathed. Politico: “…of the 28 House Democrats who were targeted by organized labor and the progressive base for supporting fast-track, [Rep. Debbie] Wasserman Schultz is now the 28th who either skated through a primary challenge or didn’t get one at all.”

AZ, FL Senate Races Set

Sen. Marco Rubio to face Patrick Murphy. Orlando Sentinel: “Murphy immediately took on Rubio in his victory speech … ‘Just yesterday, he said no one can make a commitment to a six-year term. Well, guess what, senator, I’ve got two words for you: I can.’ … ‘I’m not going to be endorsing Patrick Murphy for sure,’ [Rep. Alan] Grayson said. ‘He’s a Republican.’ … [Rubio] told his supporters that … ‘Patrick Murphy is nothing more than an old-fashioned liberal, and the ideas he stands for are wrong for Florida.'”

Sen. John McCain dispatches conservative challenger. AZ Republic: ” … McCain will face U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., who was unopposed … [Kelli] Ward remained defiant, chastising McCain for running a negative campaign against her … Asked if she would vote for McCain in the general election, Ward told The Arizona Republic, ‘we’ll see.'”

McCain faces a tricky general election. The Atlantic: “…McCain has to keep Trump at arms length to appeal to anti-Trump Republicans, but not do so in a way that alienates those supporting the nominee …”

Apple Defiant

Apple fights EU tax ruling. NYT: “By turns outraged and scolding, [CEO Timothy] Cook pushed back on the findings by Europe’s competition commission … While Mr. Cook was technically truthful, he omitted some context and shifted the spotlight from the thrust of the European Commission’s case: whether Apple took advantage of loopholes in Irish tax laws.”

“Apple Ruling Puts Emphasis on Need to End ‘Deferral’” writes FACT Coalition’s Clark Gascoigne: “… the European Union signaled that it is engaged in a serious conversation and is willing to take steps to address aggressive tax avoidance … current proposals from both the Administration and Congress to address the problem are more a giveaway to companies than a serious attempt to collect what companies owe … They should eliminate the practice of ‘deferral.’ Tax deferral allows multinational companies to book their profits offshore and avoid paying tax on those profits indefinitely…”