Progressive Breakfast for May 25

Morning Message

Republicans Demand Flint-Like Solution To Puerto Rico Debt

In 2008 Wall Street got in over its head, and the U.S. government and Federal Reserve stepped in with trillions of dollars to bail them out. Now Puerto Rico has debt that it cannot pay. Instead of helping, though, Republicans in Congress are demanding increased austerity and an unelected “oversight board” that sets aside democratic governance – the same way Republicans imposed unelected government on Michigan cities like Flint. (We know how that turned out.)

Burning Issues: Our Failure in Afghanistan

Retired Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who has done two tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan explains in this Burning Issues video his view of what the United States has gotten wrong in Afghanistan.

Warren Launches “Take On Wall Street” Campaign’s Isaiah J. Poole reports on major effort to rein in Wall Street: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) helped kick off the ‘Take On Wall Street’ campaign on Tuesday by detailing the work that remains undone by the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that were signed into law six years ago … Reinstate the Glass-Steagall wall … close the ‘carried interest’ loophole … eliminate the tax deduction for CEO ‘performance’ bonuses, crack down on payday lenders … and [levy] a financial transactions tax … “

Take On Wall Street assembles broad coalition. ThinkProgress: “The group includes lawmakers like Warren, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), labor leaders like the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka and the AFT’s Randi Weingarten, as well as civil rights groups, community groups, and the organizing giant Move On. It aims to put pressure on lawmakers at all levels to pass stricter rules governing the financial system.”

Trump Slammed On Housing

Trump retorts after Clinton hits 2006 endorsement of profiteering on housing troubles. Time: “‘I feel badly for everybody, what am I going to do,’ Trump said. ‘I’m in business.’ Later he said his business success during that turbulent period should serve as a credential. ‘That’s the kind of thing we need in this country,’ he said.”

Warren steps up Trump attack. Mother Jones quotes: “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown, because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap … Donald Trump didn’t get rich on his own … his businesses rely on the roads and bridges the rest of us paid for. His businesses rely on workers the rest of us paid to educate and on police forces and firefighters who protect all of us and the rest of us pay to support.”

RNC tries to quell fears about Trump to corporations. The Hill: “A top Republican National Committee official sought to soothe business leaders worried about Donald Trump’s influence on the party, saying at a private meeting on Tuesday that its presumptive presidential nominee would not dictate the party’s platform … several of those attending the meeting offered knowing smiles in response to the comment.”

Right-wing giddy that Trump is trafficking in Clinton conspiracy theories. NYT: “Trump [Rush Limbaugh said] is ‘doing the job the American media and the Republican Party won’t do.’ The Drudge Report was downright gleeful, running a ‘Vince Foster Lives!’ banner headline on Tuesday.”

Speaker Paul Ryan wants to close rift with Trump. Bloomberg: “…Ryan has begun telling confidants that he wants to end his standoff with Donald Trump in part because he’s worried the split has sharpened divisions in the Republican Party … Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican lawmakers Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse the party’s nominee as early as this week…”

But Ryan spokeperson tells ABC: “we’ve not told the Trump campaign to expect an endorsement.”

Clinton, Sanders Stump In CA

Dems criss-cross California. NYT: “Clinton continued to try out different attacks against the billionaire businessman … ‘You can’t say to the senator from some state, “You’re fired … That’s not the way the government works.”’ … ‘What choice do Californians have in this election?’ Mr. Sanders asks in [a new] ad. ‘The biggest one of all. You have the power to choose a new direction for the Democratic Party.'”

“Sen. Bernie Sanders aims to maximize impact on Democratic platform” reports USA Today: “‘There still are deep differences,’ said Jim Zogby, a Palestinian rights activist and DNC official who will represent Sanders on the drafting committee. ‘I think that they’re all bridgeable.’ .. [Clinton pick Rep. Luis] Gutierrez said[,] ‘I’m sure the party will get better on economic and wage disparity and taking on Wall Street.'”

Sen. Harry Reid defends Sanders. Roll Call quotes: “”I think we should kind of lay off Bernie Sanders a bit, OK? … He has done, I think, some really good things. The party has changed during his tenure here. And we’ll see what happens … I think Bernie’s a good man, he tries to do the right thing, and everything will work out well.”

Dems chatter about switching DNC chairs. The Hill: “Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July … ‘There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,’ said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.”