Progressive Breakfast for September 30

Morning Message

Elizabeth Warren Clarifies The Charter Schools Debate

Are charter schools a “progressive” idea for education? Some progressive sources would have you think so, but other progressives have challenged that framing. This week, Massachusetts news outlets reported that the state’s most prominent politician and one of the nation’s most important progressive leaders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, threw the supposedly progressive framing of charter schools into doubt when she announced officially her opposition to a ballot initiative in November to expand the number of charters in the Bay State.

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Break Up Wells Fargo?

Rep. Maxine Waters calls for Wells Fargo to be broken up. AP: “The [House Financial Services Committee] senior Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, was adamant that the alleged abuses show that the second-largest U.S. bank is too big for senior executives to keep track of what’s going on.”

Another settlement for Wells Fargo. The Atlantic: “Wells Fargo has agreed to paid more than $4 million in a settlement after federal investigators found the bank illegally repossessed 413 cars owned by American servicemembers over the last seven years … A federal court must now approve the settlement, which also restores credit to the servicemembers affected.”

“Wells Fargo Crooks Stole From Customers, Reaped Obscene Rewards—and Stuck Us With the Bill” says Robert Borosage, in debut of new weekly “Insurgencies” column for The Nation: “Wells and other big banks, with few exceptions, have been allowed to settle without admitting guilt. And while the banks have paid hundreds of billions in fines, the bankers who profited got off scot-free. So long as those in the top suites are not prosecuted, the scams and the fraud will continue.”

McConnell Ices TPP

Sen. Majority Leader McConnell skeptical on holding TPP vote. Morning Consult: “‘I believe if it were brought up this year it would be defeated anyway,’ said the Kentucky Republican … McConnell made it clear he does not view the likelihood of skipping a lame-duck TPP vote as a white flag … He listed trade legislation, along with comprehensive tax reform and entitlement reforms, as the top issues facing the country that he believes Congress needs to tackle next year.”

Anti-TPP Dems call for renegotiation. Morning Consult: “Twelve senators, including notable anti-TPP voices such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), said in a Thursday letter to Obama that the deal shouldn’t come up for a vote until a renegotiation has resolved some of their key complaints … recommended changes include the removal of the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism … They also want to improve the labor rules placed on countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam and institute an enforceable prohibition of currency manipulation.”

New Focus On Urban Planning

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx focuses on urban renewal. American Prospect: “The ambitious former mayor of Charlotte made repairing the damage caused by decades of urban highway construction a federal priority. By strategically connecting the department’s discretionary funding to its bully pulpit, Foxx has helped refocus transportation policy on issues of equity, accessibility, and justice.”

The Federal Reserve launches poverty study. Bloomberg: “The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced last week the launch of a new research initiative on how poverty affects the economy … they hope to learn about building more good housing near good schools and good jobs.”

Breakfast Sides

Clinton to propose national service program in FL today. McClatchy: “The campaign says the Democratic presidential candidate will announce plans Friday for a new national program designed to help people under 30 engage in public service. She’ll present her proposals in a speech Friday in Port St. Lucie, Florida.”

Obama administration announces new child care regs. Mother Jones: “The new federal standards aim to raise the bar for every center that works with any of the 1.4 million low-income children currently receiving a federal subsidy to cover their child care fees … but the rules cover only a small percentage of the roughly 12 million kids younger than five in the United States … Only 1 in 5 low-income kids receive federal subsidies to cover child care costs.”