Progressive Breakfast for July 29

Morning Message

Hillary Clinton and the Choice

Expanded shared security, lifting the floor under workers, public investment to create jobs, a new global trade strategy, progressive taxes, a crackdown on corporate and Wall Street excesses – Clinton chose to present herself as a populist reformer, not simply as Obama’s third term ... But there was no indication that this deck was stacked by those who made out like bandits ... No need for a movement, much less a political revolution ... The modesty of the means contrasts with the boldness of the promises.

Hillary Hugs Bernie, Eyes Republicans

Clinton embraces Sanders in acceptance speech. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy: “…Clinton reached out to Sanders’s supporters, pointing to the Party platform … ‘We wrote it together,’ Clinton said. ‘Now let’s go out and make it happen together … Emphasizing the redistributionist tint of her agenda, Clinton said that to pay for her policy commitments … ‘Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. Not because we resent success. Because, when more than ninety per cent of the gains have gone to the top one per cent, that’s where the money is.'”

Convention also reaches out to Republicans. NYT: “…they presented Mr. Trump to Republican voters as a dangerous rogue, offering adherents of the party of Lincoln a ‘home for you right here in the Democratic Party,’ as Tim Kaine [said] … For some Republicans, the two weeks of back-to-back party conventions presented a head-spinning inversion of iconography and professed values …”

Rev. Dr. William Barber ignites crowd. W. Post: “What he delivered — eight years after this brand of liberation theology took a beating from uninformed corners of the conservative commentariat — was evidence of a long tradition of liberal, religious patriotism … ‘We are being called like our forefathers and foremothers to be the moral defibrillators of our time,’ Barber said.”

Is Clinton’s coalition too big? TNR’s Jeet Heer: “Beyond the challenge of keeping such a coalition together, the ungainly nature of the anti-Trump popular front means that Clinton and the Democrats didn’t offer a coherent message in Philadelphia … ‘We are the party of workers,’ Clinton said. If that’s true, how can the Democrats also be the party of Michael Bloomberg and the well-heeled suburban Republicans whose votes are being so strenuously chased?”

Sen. Chuck Schumer sees a fundamental Democratic realignment. Politico : “‘We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.’ … Schumer doesn’t want to get into his agenda now, whether it’s guns, immigration, filling a still-vacant Supreme Court seat or the chamber’s rules. But he is talking to his caucus and to Clinton about how to govern.”

Sanders delegates pledge to keep up progressive pressure. The Hill: “‘Hillary Clinton does not deserve a nanosecond of a political honeymoon, and I think that’s been part of the subtext … of so many Bernie delegates here,’ [Norman Solomon of the Bernie Delegates Network] said. Chuck Pennacchio, a delegate from Pennsylvania [said] ‘She’s going to be challenged … It’s going to be a perpetual campaign to hold her feet to the pledges she’s made to Bernie — and beyond.’ … delegates signaled they are hopeful they will be able to keep the disparate groups who united behind Sanders together…”

Former Sanders volunteers promote “Brand New Congress” campaign. Roll Call: “The group plans to organize more than 400 congressional candidates who run on Sanders’ progressive platform … Since launching in April, the group has amassed an email list of 20,000 … They plan to publicly announce their first 50 candidates by March 2017, and announce more than 400 candidates by July of that year.”

Limp 2nd Quarter Growth

Second quarter GDP grows 1.2%. NYT: “Besides the drop in corporate investment, weaker government spending also held back growth, reinforcing a trend that has hobbled the recovery in recent years. The number was well below the 2 percent pace of expansion that economists had been looking for … The low number came despite remarkably resilient consumer behavior in the spring…”

“Slow income growth” notes WSJ: “The employment-cost index, a broad measure of workers’ wages and benefits, grew a seasonally adjusted 0.6% during the second quarter of 2016 … From a year earlier, total compensation increased 2.3%, a slight acceleration from the 1.9% annual gain recorded in the prior quarter. The latest advance stays ahead of inflation. Consumer prices rose 1% from a year earlier in June…”