Progressive Breakfast for April 28

Morning Message

Are Fair Trade Policies “Extreme? Is Clinton Ready For Trump On Trade?

The New York Times on Tuesday published a story by Nelson D. Schwartz and Quoctrung Bui, “Where Jobs Are Squeezed by Chinese Trade, Voters Seek Extremes,” reporting that, “research to be unveiled this week by four leading academic economists suggests that the damage to manufacturing jobs from a sharp acceleration in globalization since the turn of the century has contributed heavily to the nation’s bitter political divide.” ... So Sanders, who basically advocates returning to policies that are not even as “left” as those that were dominant in the Eisenhower era, is now considered by these reporters to be “extreme” and “the far left”? In some minds, apparently, the answer is yes.

Sanders Moves To Shape Platform

The Hill explains “How Sanders is actually winning”: “…the Vermont senator has surpassed all expectations in the presidential race, creating a movement of impassioned supporters that is likely to shape politics for years to come … He has inspired young and progressive voters. He has raised huge sums of money, without the help of a super-PAC. And he has forced his key issues of income inequality and campaign finance to the center of the race.”

Sanders sets sights on party platform. Politico: “[He has] identified a carbon tax and opposition to ‘disastrous trade policies,’ as well as support for a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, breaking up big banks, banning fracking and implementing tuition-free college … as policies the party should adopt … He has added complaints about closed primaries … Those changes — as well as a conversation about the role of super delegates in the nominating process — could come in a rules discussion in Philadelphia.”

Sanders elaborates in W. Post interview: “We’re in this race to win. We understand the arithmetic. We understand that our path toward victory is narrow … If we do not win [we want] the most progressive platform in the history of this country … open primaries in 50 states in this country … I’m not against the idea of superdelegates [but] one-fourth of [Clinton’s] entire delegate count is superdelegates. That’s too much…”

Cruz Bets On Fiorina

Cruz taps Carly Fiorina to be his VP. NYT: “He cast her as a consummate outsider who had ‘shattered glass ceilings’ in business and beyond in her ascent to chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. And he positioned Mrs. Fiorina as the antidote to Donald J. Trump … She echoed a Cruz campaign staple of late, tying Mr. Trump to Hillary Clinton (‘they’re not going to challenge the system, they are the system.’)”

Cruz-Kasich deal may be backfiring in Indiana. Bloomberg: “‘People who were supporting Kasich have been coming into the office to pick up Trump signs,’ said Laura Campbell, Republican chairwoman of Hamilton County … ‘People are not happy here with that alliance.'”

John Boehner rips Cruz in Stanford U. appearance. Stanford Daily quotes: “Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Trump foreign policy speech fails to impress. Politico: “…across the ideological spectrum, and even among natural allies, Trump’s speech received a failing grade for coherence and drew snickering and scorn from foreign policy insiders who remain unconvinced that Trump is up to the job.”

Breakfast Sides

Big gap between top 20% and bottom 80%, says NYT’s Tom Edsall: “…the percentage of families with children living in very affluent neighborhoods more than doubled between 1970 and 2012, from 6.6 percent to 15.7 percent … The top quintile is, in effect, disengaging from everyone with lower incomes … it represents about 30 percent of the electorate, in part because of high turnout levels … This has changed the economic makeup of the Democratic Party and is certain to intensify [internal] tensions…”

Well-paying public sector jobs disappearing. NYT: “The public sector’s slow decimation is one of the unheralded reasons that the middle class has shrunk as the ranks of the poor and the rich have swollen in the post-recession years … when public-sector workers lose their jobs, the burden disproportionately falls on black workers, and particularly women…”

Latino voter registration up significantly. The Hill: “Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008 … Many of the newly registered Hispanic voters are in California and Texas, relatively safe states for Democrats and Republicans … Still, rising registration rates among Hispanics in Colorado, Florida and Nevada could make it easier for the Democratic candidate to retain those swing states. Even Arizona could be in play, say some poll watchers.”

WH pursues student debt relief. WSJ: “The Obama administration announced plans to ramp up efforts to reach Americans who have defaulted on their student loans and enroll them in debt-relief programs … Education Secretary John B. King Jr. says the agency hopes to enroll at least two million more borrowers into the plans, which set a borrower’s monthly payment as a share of income. Payments typically fall by hundreds of dollars under the plans…”