Progressive Breakfast for July 23

Morning Message

Hillary’s Sister Souljah Moment

Hillary Clinton remains the prohibitive favorite for the presidency in polls that measure little beyond name recognition. That doesn’t stop pundits from talking about a “troubled” candidacy before it has even been declared, and before voters have tuned into the 2014 congressional elections, much less the 2016 contest. In Politico, ever eager to hype the latest pothole into a precipice, Ben White and Maggie Haberman summoned up an anonymous “Democratic strategist” to suggest that Hillary needs to “have her Sister Souljah moment; where she basically says, ‘There are things that happened when he (Bill Clinton) was president that I didn’t agree with,’ or, ‘I’m not him?’” But this distorts both the Sister Souljah myth and Hillary’s challenge.

Dueling Rulings On Obamacare

Wild day for Obamacare: Appeals court rulings conflict. Politico: “First, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a 2-1 decision said the insurance subsidies can’t be awarded through the 36 federal-run exchanges, that they can only flow through the state-run markets. Hours later, the Fourth Circuit court ruled 3-0 that people can draw on the subsidies in both kinds of exchanges. The divergent opinions set up a clash that could eventually end up at the Supreme Court — and reverberate through the fall campaign.”

Judges in Health Care Rulings Vote Party Line. ABC News: “In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama’s health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the latest illustration that presidents help shape their legacies by stocking the federal bench with judges whose views are more likely to align with their own. The legal drama played out Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, on two appeals courts that Obama has transformed through 10 appointments in 5½ years.”

DailyKos’ Ian Reifowitz says it’s time for Reid to blow up the filibuster and confirm all nominees now: “The time for us to recognize that the Republicans have completely politicized the courts has long passed. Too many Republican judges see their role as nothing more than standing in the way of duly passed legislation that they and their masters don’t like. There is no other possible explanation for a decision as mind-numbing as the one issued today by a 2-1 margin (one that will almost certainly be overturned by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals). Given that, Harry Reid should do what he should have done long ago: Declare the filibuster dead for all judicial nominations. No more debates. No more quorum calls. No more cloture. “

Border Crisis Continues

Plan for Young Migrants at Impasse in Congress. The New York Times: “Lawmakers are deadlocked on a plan to deal with the surge in migrant children who are filling detention centers along the Mexican border… Senate Democrats’ plan, which they will formally introduce Wednesday, calls for roughly $2.7 billion to stem the crisis — nearly $1 billion less than President Obama requested but enough, they said, to get through the end of the year. Republicans in the House and Senate rejected it out of hand, saying that it amounted to giving the president a blank check because it did not include any changes to immigration law to address the overall problem.”

Pre-Teens Account for Sharpest Spike in Unaccompanied Child Migrants: ABC News: “Children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without parents are increasingly younger, according to newly released figures by the Pew Research Center.
Sixteen percent of the minors who’ve crossed illegally and unaccompanied in fiscal year 2014, ending Sept. 30, were 12 and younger, compared with 9 percent in the same nine-month period for the previous year, Pew found. The remaining 84 percent of unaccompanied minors who’ve crossed this year were teenagers. The change from last year so far represents a 117 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied kids 12 and younger making the dangerous trek.”

Fusion Anchor Jorge Ramos says, “No government should be in the business of deporting children”: “So here we are, with thousands and thousands of Central American children arriving alone. What do we do? First, we treat children like children, as if they were our own. We protect them and put politics aside. No government should be in the business of deporting children. This is America.”

Election Updates

Black Leaders Worry About Low Turnout in November. ABC News: “Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that community to vote in subsequent contests… Polls have shown that Democrats, including black voters, are far less enthusiastic about the coming midterm elections than Republicans, who could win control of the U.S. Senate.”

Perdue Defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate Runoff. ABC News: “Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a nationally significant general election matchup against Democrat Michelle Nunn. Tuesday night’s primary runoff win validates the former corporate CEO’s campaign as an outsider. The former CEO of Reebok, Dollar General and the failed textile firm Pillowtex, Perdue offered his private sector record and tremendous wealth as proof that he can help solve the nation’s ills in a Congress largely devoid of experience business titans. “

CAF’s Isaiah J. Poole reports on a poll that suggests Democrats need a populist message to keep the Senate: “‘Unmarried women are, perhaps, the most important target for Democrats across this Senate battleground,’ says a new Democracy Corp memo, which is based on a survey of 1,000 likely 2014 voters in 12 battleground states. In these states – Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and West Virginia – Democrats are being held back by “a serious underperformance with unmarried women” during this cycle when compared to their support for President Obama and Democrats in 2012. “But engaging in a populist economic debate and attacks with a strong emphasis on women’s issues brings these critical voters back in the fold,” the report says.”

Breakfast Sides

Americans Hate Congress More Than Jar Jar Binks. Huffington Post: “We already knew Americans rank Congress below cockroaches and Nickelback, but a new poll provides further evidence of just how little love the public has for the legislative branch: its ratings are worse than Jar Jar Binks’. FiveThirtyEight asked an online SurveyMonkey poll of Star Wars watchers to rate the films’ characters. The least popular, reviled Gungan representative Jar Jar Binks, had a 29 percent favorable rating, with 37 percent viewing him unfavorably, for a net -8 (the rest were neutral or undecided). By contrast, public polling gives Congress an average net rating of about -57.”