Progressive Breakfast for October 20

Morning Message

Our Long National Debate Nightmare is Over

Clinton and Trump had three ninety-minute debates. That’s four and half hours altogether. Four and a half hours with no detailed discussion of economic inequality. Four and a half hours with no in-depth talk about long-term unemployment, under-employment, or stagnant wages. Four and half hours without exploring the generation-crushing burden of student debt, or the retirement crisis faced by millions of aging Americans.

Trump Undermines Democracy at Final Debate

GOP senators rip Trump for refusing to accept Election Day results. The Hill: “‘.@realDonaldTrump saying that he might not accept election results is beyond the pale,’ tweeted [Sen. Jeff] Flake. And [Sen. Lindsey] Graham tweeted a statement saying that if Trump loses, he will have no one to blame but himself.”

Republicans fear Trump is destroying down-ballot candidates. Politico: “While many candidates have taken a hit since the release of the bombshell ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, party operatives maintain that the bottom hasn’t completely fallen out and that a down-ballot landslide isn’t necessarily in the cards. Yet many Republicans were eager to see Trump deliver a steady performance …”

Is Trump trying to win? Politico: “Donald Trump is ready to undermine American democracy to protest a loss even his own team now privately predicts … To the Clinton campaign, Trump doesn’t look like he’s trying to win anymore. And its frightening them … Is the next step protests, or even riots, her team worries. Or is it an extended resistance to Clinton if she’s sworn in as president?”

Republican voters pick Trump over Paul Ryan, in Bloomberg poll: “When asked which leader better represents their view what the Republican Party should stand for, 51 percent of likely voters who are or lean Republican picked Trump, while 33 percent picked Ryan … Likely voters who are Democrats or lean that way were also split on the future leader of their party if their nominee loses, dividing between Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Senator Elizabeth Warren.”

Wallace Knocked For Conservative Questions

Media Matters criticizes Chris Wallace’s slap at the stimulus: “…Wallace alleged that Clinton’s economic agenda closely resembles ‘the Obama stimulus plan in 2009,’ which he falsely claimed was responsible for ‘the slowest GDP [gross domestic product] growth since 1949’ … 36 of 37 economists surveyed by the University of Chicago’s Initiative on Global Markets agreed that the stimulus was directly responsible for lowering the unemployment rate, and 25 agreed that the economic benefits of the law exceeded its costs.”

Media Matters also challenges Wallace’s debt questioning: “Fox News host and 2016 presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace used the last question of the presidential debate to push both the Democratic and Republican nominees into accepting a past GOP proposal — harmful cuts to vital entitlement programs as part of a national debt-reducing ‘grand bargain.'”

ThinkProgress’ Joe Romm slams debate moderators for ignoring climate change: “Thus the 2016 election continues the inexplicable tradition begun in the 2012 election in which presidential and vice presidential debate moderators remained silent on the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

Trump TV?

“Seriously, It Looks Like TrumpTV Just Launched” reports Mother Jones: “There’s a ‘news crawl,’ broadcast graphics, pretty decent audio, campaign ads, and a 200,000-plus audience. As the candidates prepared for a monumental political tussle on-stage in Las Vegas for the third and final presidential debate, Donald Trump posted this Facebook Live video, with the accompanying comment: ‘If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast.'”

The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel blames the media for the rise of Trump, in WWD interview: “He’s a creature of a media age in which the lines between media and news have been slowly blurred, if not obliterated … A lot of the media thrives on the concept of division…”

Obama to Defend Obamacare

Obama delivers health care speech today. The Hill: “…Obama’s highly anticipated speech in Miami will also serve a broader purpose – soothing the rising anxiety within his own party about the fate of the healthcare law … He is likely to speak at length about [public option] on Thursday…”

Enrollment expected to increase next year. AP: “Some 13.8 million people are expected to sign up for 2017 coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. That would be an increase of a bit less than 9 percent … Premiums are going up by double digits in many communities, and some major insurers have left the program, leaving consumers with fewer choices next year. The administration says taxpayer-provided subsidies designed to rise alongside premiums will cushion most of the pocketbook impact.”

Breakfast Sides

Clean drinking water advocate George McGraw alerts America to problems of access, in NYT oped: “Nearly 24,000 Native American and Alaska Native households somehow manage without access to running water or basic sanitation, according to 2015 figures from the Indian Health Service … About a half a million American households lack basic plumbing amenities … low-income and undocumented farm workers living in trailer parks endure open sewage ditches and contaminated drinking water … Pockets of water poverty exist in nearly every state…”

Wells Fargo facing criminal investigation in CA, reports AP: “California’s attorney general is leading a criminal investigation into the sales practices scandal that has rocked San Francisco-based Wells Fargo bank. A search warrant released Wednesday by the state Department of Justice shows that agents sought evidence related to allegations that bank employees created up to 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ approval in order to meet sales goals.”

Chamber of Commerce turns on Evan Bayh. NYT: “…the nation’s leading business lobby is going all out to defeat Mr. Bayh, the former Democratic senator from Indiana trying to reclaim his old seat. The chamber is doing so despite the fact that Mr. Bayh, considered a business-friendly centrist, was on the chamber payroll as recently as June…”