Progressive Breakfast for March 30

Morning Message Robert Borosage

Roger Wilkins: A Man of Honor for a Tempestuous Time

Roger Wilkins has left us, just after his 85th birthday. A great champion of social justice, proud father and good friend, he will be missed ... As the civil rights movement drove change from the streets, Roger became its advocate and translator on the inside. There he pushed against the arrogance, ignorance and complacency of the powerful ... Few have provided greater insight into how racism has scarred this nation. Few wrestled so fiercely with the contradiction between the nation’s ideals and its flawed reality.

Trump Wants To Deregulate Infrastructure

Trump’s infrastructure plan will be heavy with deregulation. Time: “The strategy, aides say, is to shell out between $100 billion to $200 billion in federal dollars, while overhauling the regulatory process, cutting regulations and offering tax credits to private companies … the White House’s priority has been process reforms, rather than a construction wish list … The plan the White House is pursuing suggests the prospects for bipartisanship are dimming.”

Yet Trump starts wooing Dems on infrastructure. The Hill: “Transportation leaders are expecting Trump to court centrist lawmakers and red state Democrats, some of whom were in attendance at a White House reception for senators on Tuesday evening. Infrastructure investment also came up at a recent White House meeting between Trump and the Congressional Black Caucus.”

Ryan Shuns Dems On Health Care

Speaker Ryan doesn’t want bipartisan health care reform. The Hill: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in an interview to be broadcast early Thursday said he does not want to work with Democrats on healthcare legislation … ‘I don’t want that to happen … I want a patient-centered system, I don’t want government running healthcare.'”

Talks to resurrect ACA repeal sputter. The Hill: “…there are no discernible signs of progress in bridging the differences within the Republican conference … Some centrist GOP lawmakers are pushing back on reviving the House bill [and] want to begin working with Democrats … Conservatives, however, are showing little interest …”

Kansas Gov. expected to veto Medicaid expansion. American Prospect: “… state senators passed legislation approving an expansion … which would cover 150,000 previously ineligible low-income Kansans. The bill had already passed the House by an 81-to-44 margin in February … Still, [Gov. Sam] Brownback, one of the most rigid Obamacare antagonists, is expected to veto [which] is likely to stand.”

Homeland Security Tries To Assure DREAMers

Homeland Security chief claims law-abiding DREAMers are safe. Roll Call: “‘By definition, they’re no longer DACA if they have a violation,’ [DHS Secretary John] Kelly told reporters after the meeting [with Senate Democrats] … ‘We have not picked up — I don’t care what you read or people say — we have not in my time picked up someone who was covered by DACA.’ But roughly 20 Senate Democrats who attended the meeting appeared divided on Kelly’s assurances.”

More from Politico: “[Kelly] told senators that border agents would not separate mothers and children at the border, unless a mother was sick or injured … and that they didn’t even have the manpower to deport all undocumented immigrants in the country … Several Democrats weren’t convinced, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey … ‘I pointed out to him — that his new memo on priorities makes everybody technically eligible for deportation … He didn’t deny that.'”

Travel ban blocked indefinitely. Bloomberg: “In his decision Wednesday in Honolulu, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who on March 15 temporarily blocked the re-worked policy, extended that prohibition on enforcing Trump’s executive order until a decision on a permanent injunction or a higher court overturns his ruling.”

Climate Office Can’t Say “Climate Change”

Energy Department climate office bans phrase “climate change.” Politico: “A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases ‘climate change,’ ’emissions reduction’ or ‘Paris Agreement’ in written memos, briefings or other written communication … A DOE spokeswoman denied there had been a new directive…”

Bill McKibben keeps up the Keystone fight in LAT oped: “…there’s no approved route for the pipeline through Nebraska, where organizers and citizens are hunkering down again for spirited resistance. Dozens of landowners along the route are refusing to let their land be taken, and the state’s public utility commission hasn’t granted a permit … the cost of oil has sent investors scurrying away from the Alberta tar sands [while] the price of a solar panel has plummeted…”

House votes to limit EPA’s use of science. The Hill: “The Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act, or HONEST Act, passed 228-194. It would prohibit the EPA from writing any regulation that uses science that is not publicly available … Democrats, environmentalists and health advocates say the HONEST Act is intended to handcuff the EPA … it often doesn’t own the information and has no right to release it.”

Breakfast Sides

“North Carolina Strikes a Deal to Repeal Restrictive Bathroom Law” reports NYT: “North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature and its Democratic governor announced late Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to repeal the controversial state law … But gay rights advocates raised objections … [It] would also create a moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances through 2020 and leave regulation of ‘multi-occupancy facilities,’ or bathrooms, to state lawmakers.”

Educations Secretary Betsy DeVos pushes school choice at Brookings event. NYT: “Ms. DeVos likened the opposition to the school choice movement to that of taxi companies that opposed ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft … Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers … took to Twitter … ‘Is she equating kids to cab riders & teachers are drivers?’ …”