Progressive Breakfast for March 26

Morning Message Virginia Meyer

It's Green And It's A New Deal

I’m from Lone Tree, Iowa – a town of about 1,300 in the eastern part of our state. Our Senator, Joni Ernst, has attacked the Green New Deal multiple times. She says it’s “radical,” “It will destroy jobs,” “It will hinder our strong ag industry,” and “It’s a far-left fantasy.” Ernst, sadly is far from alone in her hostility to environmental common sense. We hear similarly overheated remarks from her GOP colleagues, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and even a handful of Democrats. Yikes! That’s why I’m traveling to Washington on March 26 to set the record straight and demand that Senator Ernst, and all Senators, stand up and do the right thing for our planet and for their constituents: vote for the Green New Deal. It’s high time we worked together to address our most pressing problems. America has always benefitted from our spirit of innovation, technical expertise, our energy, optimism, and hard work. The Green New Deal will tap these qualities to tackle climate change. I do not consider these American values a “far-left fantasy.” The Green New Deal lifts us from denial or resignation to action and determination. It is an affirmation of love and concern for our children and all living things on Earth. Fight for our future with individual actions, collective participation in any of the many groups and organizations working for climate justice, and help elect tough and wise leadership to guide us.

Green New Deal Gets First Vote

Green New Deal, backed by Ocasio-Cortez, to get its first vote on Capitol Hill Tuesday. USA Today: “The Green New Deal, liberal Democrats’ sweeping proposal to address climate change, could get its first vote on Capitol Hill Tuesday. The Senate is scheduled to take up a procedural motion on the ambitious plan, which also calls for a broad social remake of the American economy, that could lead to a final vote as early as next week. The irony? It’s Republican opponents, led by GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who are eager to bring the non-binding resolution to a vote because they believe the plan they continually lambaste will turn off voters heading to the polls next year. McConnell said he wants to get Senate Democrats – several of whom are running for president in 2020 – “on record” about the Green New Deal. Spurred by government reports warning of drastic consequences, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., unveiled the proposal in February. It calls not only for combating climate change by eliminating carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels and shifting the economy to one powered by renewable fuels, but also prescribes a broad social justice platform advocating for free housing, medical coverage and higher education for all Americans.

McConnell Blocks Release Of Mueller Report

McConnell blocks resolution to release full Mueller report. Axios: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked a non-binding resolution to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report public. The resolution was passed unanimously in the House, and President Trump himself said earlier Monday that it “wouldn’t bother [him] at all” if the full report was released. McConnell cited national security concerns for his decision to block the resolution, and he argued that Attorney General Bill Barr should have time to decide what’s made public. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who put forth the resolution, said that it does not specify a time frame.”

Trump Wants TO Kill Obamacare, Again

Trump administration asks court to completely invalidate Obama’s ACA. WaPo: “In a significant shift, the Justice Department now says that it backs a full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act, the signature Obama-era health law. It presented its position in a legal filing Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, where an appeal is pending in a case challenging the measure’s constitutionality. A federal judge in Texas ruled in December that the law’s individual mandate “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax power” and further found that the remaining portions of the law are void. He based his judgment on changes to the nation’s tax laws made by congressional Republicans in 2017. At first, the Trump administration had not gone as far, arguing in a brief last June that the penalty for not buying insurance was legally distinct from other provisions of the law, which could still stand. Justice Department officials said there were grounds only to strike down the law’s consumer protections, including those for people with preexisting health conditions. But in the new filing, signed by three Justice Department attorneys, the administration said that the decision of U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor should be affirmed and the entirety of the ACA should be invalidated.”

Pentagon Diverts $1b To Border Wall

Pentagon authorises $1bn transfer for border wall construction. BBC: “The Pentagon has authorised the transfer of $1bn (£758m) to army engineers for new wall construction along the US-Mexico border. The funds are the first under the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump to bypass Congress and build the barrier he pledged during his election campaign. Democrats have protested against the move. The funds will be used to build about 57 miles (91km) of fencing. President Trump has called the situation at the southern border a ‘crisis’ and insists a physical barrier is needed to stop criminals crossing into the US. His critics say he has manufactured the border emergency. A Pentagon statement said acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had ‘authorised the commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1bn in support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol’. As well the 18ft-high (5m) “pedestrian fencing”, the funds will cover road improvements and new lights. Democratic senators complained that the Pentagon had not sought permission from the appropriate committees before notifying Congress of the funds transfer.”

Trump Declares War On The Media

Trump Campaign Goes Full-Blown Joe McCarthy With ‘Request’ To TV Stations. Crooks and Liars: “Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is sending an interesting letter to TV producers. In the letter, after the ritual legal fellatio about the Mueller report that surely has the presidential mushroom blooming, Tim Murtaugh (Director of Communications for the campaign) scolds the TV producers for having allowed a number of duly-elected-without-any-help-from-Russia Democratic members of the United States Congress, including Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-CT) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), and one former CIA Director on their airwaves. Because, get this, they ‘made false claims.’ It gets better. After naming the people on the — can we call it a blacklist, yet? — the letter made the following “request: ‘Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?’ I would fall down on the floor laughing at this if the reality wasn’t so goddamned grim. That letter was sent on the same day the father of a 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim was found dead by apparent suicide. This administration — who trafficked in conspiracy theories, including Alex Jones’ that those babies’ murders did not happen — that this administration’s reelection campaign would DARE to scold TV stations for not employing ‘basic journalistic standards’ is just so beyond galling.”