Progressive Breakfast for October 24

Morning Message

The Better Business Bureau Downgraded Wells Fargo. It's Not Enough.

Michael Hiltzik asked a pertinent question in the Los Angeles Times: Why did Wells Fargo’s CEO lose his job while Jamie Dimon, CEO of fraud-ridden JPMorgan Chase, has managed to keep his? ... Wells Fargo’s latest scandal has captured the public’s attention because it’s easier to understand than other, more esoteric forms of bank crime. Those crimes won’t end until banks, and bankers, pay a price for their misdeeds. Banking must be demystified, so that Wall Street institutions and their CEOs can be judged like other business people.

TPP 2.0?

Tim Kaine discusses possibility of a TPP alternative, in NBC “Meet The Press” interview: “Hillary and I haven’t talked about that question directly, Chuck. But look, we aren’t against trade. We want to find export markets for American businesses because they’ll be able to add workers the more they export … whether it’s in Asia or in Europe, if we can find deals that meet those goals, more jobs, higher wages, and good for natural security, and good enforcement provisions, we’re open to them. So no, you never close the door if you can get a deal that’s going to be good for American workers and our economy.”

WSJ speculates on what could be in a renegotiated deal: “Jeffrey Schott, a trade analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he expected a Clinton administration would try to convince TPP nations to add provisions barring the manipulation of currency and drop dispute resolution panels, which critics say give corporations a way to avoid local courts.”

Clinton, Trump React To AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Clinton noncommittal on AT&T-Time Warner merger. Reuters: ” Senator Bernie Sanders …said on Twitter that the administration should ‘kill’ the Time Warner takeover because it would mean higher prices and fewer choices for consumers … Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told reporters on Sunday there were ‘a number of questions and concerns’ about the deal ‘but there’s still a lot of information that needs to come out before any conclusions should be reached.'”

Trump opposes merger. The Hill: “Trump’s senior economic adviser Peter Navarro said in a statement that the media conglomerates have ‘gained enormous control over our information, intrude into our personal lives, and in this election, are attempting to unduly influence America’s political process.’ … ‘Donald Trump would never approve such a deal because it concentrates too much power in the hands of the too and powerful few.'”

Deal suggests “corporate confidence” says NYT: “‘Everyone is expecting a Clinton victory,’ said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. ‘She represents the status quo. They think nothing is going to change, and they’re comfortable with that.’ … there is a growing sense that the combination of slow but steady economic growth, rapid technological innovation and an uncertain geopolitical landscape is here to stay for some time, or what business leaders call ‘the new normal.'”

Gary Johnson opposes net neutrality. Mother Jones: “‘Net neutrality sounds great on paper, but the reality is that it is the start of government control of the internet,’ Johnson said in an interview in 2011 … His campaign’s communications director, Joe Hunter, said in an email that Johnson ‘rejects the assumption that without government regulation the Internet would devolve into fast lanes and paid prioritization of data…'”

Obama Goes Down-Ballot

Obama aims to flip House. Politico: “President Barack Obama is endorsing 30 more House candidates Monday … Democrats remain skeptical at best that there’s any chance of winning the majority … [But] they want to squeeze House Republicans … by slashing their lead and forcing them into the tricky politics of dealing with an empowered Freedom Caucus.”

And state legislatures. NYT: ” President Obama … is stepping in to assist more than 150 state legislative candidates, by far his biggest effort to bolster local Democrats … Republicans effectively control 68 of the nation’s 99 statehouse chambers, compared with 36 at the start of 2010 …”

Senate control hinges on six states. Politico: “The Senate will be won, insiders say, in a half-dozen states that could go either way on Election Day: The traditional swing states of Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, and the newly competitive states of North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana, which historically lean Republican. By virtue of simple math, the outlook favors Democrats because they have far more paths to victory.”

Some Dems “Skittish” About Immigration Reform

Immigration battle on tap for next year. The Hill: “Clinton has promised to send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress within her first 100 days in office if elected, and Hispanic groups plan to make sure she keeps her word … But the prospect of a battle on immigration reform is causing jitters among Senate Democrats … some Democrats would rather see Clinton emphasize [infrastructure] over immigration … Clinton’s campaign staff says she is equally committed to moving an infrastructure investment package and immigration reform in the first few months of the priority, and doesn’t see it as an either/or proposition.”

Clinton doesn’t need a mandate, argues The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman: “…Hillary Clinton doesn’t need much of a mandate to move forward on her agenda, which extremely progressive but hardly revolutionary. What she wants is mostly tweaks, modifications, and reforms to the status quo … what really matters is power: If [Republicans] have the power to stop her, that’s what they’ll do, and if she has the power to roll over them, that’s what she’ll do.”

Breakfast Sides

Wisconsin county enacts moratorium on large scale corporate farms. Citizen Action of Wisconsin: “… the Dunn County Board passed a 6 month moratorium on any new large scale corporate farms of 1,000 animals or more. This vote came at the urging of small farmers and Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative of Western Wisconsin members … Corporate farms, known as ‘Contained Animal Feeding Operations’ (CAFOs), represent a major threat to a local economy composed of family farms, and to water and air quality…”

Slow pace of job growth could portend problems. The Atlantic’s Gillian B. White: “…the jobs that [have been] added were largely restricted to only one portion of the job market, the private sector … hiring of many public-sector workers, such as teachers, has remained sluggish as states try to keep a tight reign on budgets … the conundrum of a job market that continues to grow while American families continue to struggle may mean that the existing means of measuring the health of the labor market aren’t sufficient.”