Progressive Breakfast for April 17

Morning Message

GOP “Sadism”: Grayson’s Candid Talk About a Young Mother’s Death

Why did Florida’s Republicans let a hard-working young mother of three die rather than accept federal funding that would’ve provided her with health insurance? “Sadism.” According to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), that – along with extreme ideology and a certain amount of political expediency – explains why Florida Gov. Rick Scott, along with a number of his fellow Republican governors, refused to accept Affordable Care Act funding to expand Medicaid coverage.

Hillary Defended as Warren Prepares Book Tour

Hillary Clinton supporters defend her record on inequality. CNN: “In a research report titled ‘Hillary Clinton: A Lifetime Champion of Income Opportunity,’ the group [Correct The Record] is defending Clinton’s record by highlighting efforts from her career as secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady. Some of those highlights include ‘raising the minimum wage,’ ‘advocating for out-of-work Americans’ and ‘getting equal pay for equal work.’”

AFL-CIO’s Trumka touts Warren for President. National Journal quotes: “…she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them … it don’t get no better.”

Warren set for 6-week book tour. Boston Globe: “… in her new memoir, ‘A Fighting Chance,’ … Warren portrays herself as an idealistic outsider, persistently fighting the excesses and political power of Wall Street … Warren is planning a six-week book tour that, in addition to [Massachusetts] will take her to New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.”

Obama-Cantor Immigration Friction

“Obama and Cantor Spar Over Immigration” reports WSJ: “President Barack Obama issued a statement shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday accusing House Republicans of dropping the ball on immigration reform. Hours later, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) issued his own sharp statementdisclosing that Mr. Obama had called him in the afternoon to make a pitch for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws. ‘You do not attack the very people you hope to engage in a serious dialogue,’ Mr. Cantor complained … A White House official said the White House was surprised by Mr. Cantor’s reaction, saying Mr. Obama had only called the majority leader to wish him a happy Passover – and the topic of immigration came up. The official said the call was ‘pleasant.’”

Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus tweets: “…It is good for Obama that Cantor stages fake tantrum that buys him space…”

GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart urges colleagues to deal with Obama on immigration. W. Post quotes: “I’m convinced that if we don’t get it done by the August break, the president, who is feeling a lot of pressure from having not done anything on immigration reform, will feel that he has to act through executive action…”

Liberals Turn on Cuomo, Rally Behind de Blasio

W. Post’s Harold Meyerson urges liberals to primary NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “The push to diminish economic inequality has become the Democratic Party’s raison d’etre … Cuomo is marching in precisely the opposite direction … Talk off the record about Cuomo with other leading New York Democrats and what you hear is fear and loathing. So why would New York Democrats reelect this guy?”

The Nation’s Jarrett Murphy reviews Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first 100 days: “The good news is that city government is controlled by a progressive mayor who is actually sticking to many of his campaign promises and pushing an agenda of change. The bad news is that all the forces that have stymied progressive officials in the past—establishment pushback, mainstream media suspicion, political rivalries, fiscal realities and fissures in the progressive coalition—are as strong as was previously feared.”

NJ Gov. Chris Christie suffering consequences from killing commuter rail tunnel project. Bloomberg: “…Christie’s cancellation in 2010 of a commuter rail tunnel [scuttled] the creation of at least 200,000 jobs. With the money he diverted to protect the Transportation Trust Fund and avoid increasing the gas tax almost gone, New Jersey’s strangled train and road system is thwarting its recovery … From January 2010, when Christie took office, through December 2013, New Jersey’s number of private-sector jobs increased by 3.5 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. At the same time, New York’s grew 7.7 percent while the nation’s increased by 7.8 percent.”

New York State joins National Popular Vote compact. National Journal: “The law allows New York to award its 29 electoral votes ‘in any manner it deems appropriate,’ under Article II of the Constitution. Cuomo has pledged New York to give those votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote … nine other states and the District of Columbia have signed … this sort of legislation does not actually take effect until enough states—representing a majority of the Electoral College’s 538 votes—pass similar laws … With 165 electoral votes, the National Popular Vote campaign is a little more than halfway to its goal. But it’ll still need 105 more votes…”