Progressive Breakfast for August 31

Morning Message

What Bernie Sanders Has Already Won

Suddenly the game has shifted. People realized that Sanders is more than a fringe candidate. He could plausibly win the nomination. But as we talk about Sanders “winning,” here is the thing: He HAS won. Nobody expected to be actually talking about him being the nominee and all that. But whether he is or not, the discussion Sanders wanted HAS been triggered, and an amazing list of supporters now exists. Now there is the hope that he and we can build a movement out of it that lasts past this election.

Iran Deal

Obama Gets One More Vote Closer To ‘Yes’ On Iran Deal. NPR: “Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley announced on Sunday that he will support the White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran. Merkley becomes the 31st Senate Democrat to endorse the agreement publicly, leaving the Obama administration just three votes shy of having enough votes to sustain a veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval — that is, of being able to advance the deal over Republican objections.”

Vote tally supporting Iran nuclear deal rises to 31 in Senate. CBS News: “Merkley’s backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. … Republicans are unanimously against the deal. But with an overwhelming number of Senate Democrats in favor, some have now begun aiming to amass 41 yes votes, which would allow them to kill the disapproval resolution outright in the Senate and protect Obama from having to use his veto pen.”

Obama in Alaska

Historic Obama Alaska trip to focus on climate change. CBS News: “President Obama will be in Alaska for three days discussing with Alaska’s Native Americans the effects of climate change on tourism, as well as improvements to fishing conservation, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Plante. … He is also expected to tour one of the state’s shrinking glaciers and visit communities in Alaska’s Arctic region, becoming the first sitting president to do so.”

Mount McKinley’s Alaska name Denali is restored by Obama. BBC News: “After decades of controversy, the name of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, has been changed back to its original native Alaskan, Denali. Denali translates as High One or Great One and is used widely by locals. The 20,237ft (6,168m) peak was named by a gold prospector in 1896 after he heard that William McKinley had been nominated to become the US president. US President Barack Obama announced the change ahead of a three-day visit to Alaska to highlight climate change. … Alaska has been attempting to change the name to Denali for decades. However, its attempts to change it at a federal level have been blocked by Ohio, William McKinley’s home state.”

GOP blasts Obama’s Mt. Denali name change. Politico: “Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama’s decision to rename the tallest mountain in the United States to Denali, after the peak bore the name of former Republican President William McKinley for more than a century. The rebuke was particularly strong in Ohio, McKinley’s former home state.”

Breakfast Sides

Initial Common Core Goals Unfulfilled as Results Trickle In. ABC News: “Full or preliminary scores have been released for Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. They all participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two groups of states awarded $330 million by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop exams to test students on the Common Core state standards in math and English language arts. Scores in four other states that developed their own exams tied to the standards have been released. … Even when all the results are available, it will not be possible to compare student performance across a majority of states, one of Common Core’s fundamental goals.”

Charles M. Blow hears echos of Emmet Till’s killing, sixty years later: “Yes, Emmett’s story is a vital American story, and it feels like an all-too-present one as we see this cycle repeating itself: young lives are lost, the body itself is desecrated or neglected, killers are acquitted or not even brought to trial, and the effects of the feelings of terror and injustice galvanize a generation of young people who have taken as much as they plan to take.”