What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Trump to Make Banker Steve Mnuchin Treasury Boss; SCOTUS Weighs Immigrant Detention

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Trump to Make Banker Steve Mnuchin Treasury Boss

Eli Miller, chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, and Steve Mnuchin, national finance chairman for the Trump campaign, arrive at Trump Tower, November 29, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Mnuchin –> Donald Trump, the man who attacked Hillary Clinton for her ties to Goldman Sachs, is expected to announce this morning that banker Steve Mnuchin will be his treasury secretary. Critics of Wall Street are none too pleased. Take it away, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “Steve Mnuchin is the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis — he managed to participate in all the worst practices on Wall Street. He spent two decades at Goldman Sachs helping the bank peddle the same kind of mortgage products that blew up the economy and sucked down billions in taxpayer bailout money before he moved on to run a bank that was infamous for aggressively foreclosing on families. His selection as Treasury Secretary should send shivers down the spine of every American who got hit hard by the financial crisis, and is the latest sign that Donald Trump has no intention of draining the swamp and every intention of running Washington to benefit himself and his rich buddies.”

Immigrant detention before the Court –> Christie Thompson for The Marshall Project: “The US Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a case that could determine whether immigrants stuck in long-term detention are guaranteed bail hearings. With President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge for mass deportations, the timing is crucial for immigration advocates who hope to secure this right for noncitizens before more of them end up behind bars while fighting deportation.”

Leadership fight –> Democrats will vote today on whether to keep California’s Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader, or replace her with Rep. Tim Ryan, an insurgent from Youngstown, Ohio, who says he’s frustrated with the party’s direction and worried it no longer represents working-class voters. The election will be held by secret ballot, and it’s difficult to gauge Ryan’s support — but few Democrats openly have endorsed him.

Deregulation begins? –> An enormous rollback of financial regulations is feared under Donald Trump. The question is, during its current lame-duck session, will the GOP Congress get a head start? “As early as Wednesday, the House will take up H.R. 6392, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act,” David Dayen writes at The Fiscal Times. The bill would lift post-crisis regulations from some of America’s biggest banks. “This is really a moment of truth…” Dayen reports. “If Republicans put up a big bipartisan vote in the House for this, the Senate will be more inclined to try to pass it down the road. And it will serve as a test case for Democratic resolve more generally. Will they submit to donors and lobbyists and play ball with the Trump deregulatory agenda, or will they recognize the harms that would cause?”

Republicans suddenly less interested in hearings and investigations –> Michael McAuliffe at The Huffington Post: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) declined to express an opinion Tuesday about whether President-elect Donald Trump’s talks with world leaders about his business interests violate the Constitution. But McCarthy did have some advice for Democrats, telling reporters they should back off calls for Congress to investigate how Trump and his transition team are separating the president-elect’s business interests from the demands of the nation. Trump has reportedly spoken with a number of foreign leaders about various projects around the world. A part of the Constitution known as the Emoluments Clause bars presidents from getting anything of value from a foreign government unless Congress approves.”

“Like driving into hell” –> Those drought-fueled wildfires are devastating parts of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. The New York Times: “More than 14,000 people left Gatlinburg, and others were evacuated from nearby Pigeon Forge as well as other parts of Sevier County, in the eastern part of the state, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. More than 10,000 people had been left without power in Sevier County. ‘This is the largest fire in the last hundred years of the state of Tennessee,’ Gov. Bill Haslam said on Tuesday afternoon.

“… Wildfires, once a seasonal phenomenon, have become a consistent threat, partly because climate change has resulted in drier winters and warmer springs, which combine to pull moisture off the ground and into the air.”

World’s largest solar plant –> The big reveal is in India today. Al Jazeera reports: “At full capacity, [the plant] is estimated to produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes… As solar power increases, India is expected to become the world’s third-biggest solar market from next year onwards, after China and the US. Despite the fast-growing solar power industry, India will still need to increase its take-up of solar panels if it is to achieve the ambitious targets set by the government. By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the government’s goal to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.”

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

 


 

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.