Progressive Breakfast for September 25

Morning Message

Football Unites Against Trump

President Donald Trump has done something no one else could do until now. He has united the National Football League, and much of the nation, around the National Anthem protest of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Will Trump's fumble change the game?

Tell Lawmakers To Vote NO! On Health Care Repeal

Health care repeal is still moving in the Senate! Stop the GOP’s new plan to end health care for millions before it’s too late. Call your senators NOW at 888-981-9704. Tell them to vote NO! on Cassidy-Graham.

GOP Revises Health Bill, Sweetening Pot for Wavering States

GOP health bill revised to include more blatant bribes for likely ‘No’ votes. New York Magazine: “Graham-Cassidy, the GOP’s latest effort to destroy Obamacare, looked pretty dead on Friday after Senator John McCain came out against the bill. Then over the weekend Senator Susan Collins hammered another nail in the coffin when she said it’s “very difficult to envision a scenario” in which she’d vote for it. Even Senator Ted Cruz said he wasn’t on board, and President Trump distanced himself from the repeal effort, saying he’s always been more focused on taxes anyway. But on Sunday night, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy revealed that they’d spent the weekend tinkering with their unholy creation, in the hope that they can get it to lurch across the September 30 finish line… The revised bill makes it even more obvious that Republicans are trying to sweeten the deal for particular lawmakers rather than attempting to craft a better bill. The core of Graham-Cassidy is still the same: it converts federal spending on Medicaid and insurance subsidies to block grants for the states. But according to a summary circulated by Republicans, key states that would have seen their federal dollars decline under Graham-Cassidy compared to the current law, will now see increases between 2020 and 2026: Alaska (3 percent), Arizona (14 percent), Kentucky (4 percent), and Maine (43 percent).”

NFL Unites in Protest to Trump

After Trump blasts N.F.L., players kneel and lock arms in solidarity. NYT: “N.F.L. players across the country demonstrated during the national anthem on Sunday in a show of solidarity against President Trump, who scolded the league and players on Twitter this weekend. With the support of owners, some of whom joined their teams on the field, dozens of players knelt in silent protests, while Tom Brady and others opted to stand and lock arms… The protests were part of a massive show of solidarity in the face of harsh criticism by President Trump, who had called for protesting players to be fired. The day’s slate of games started early, with Baltimore and Jacksonville facing off in London, meaning the protests occurred over a span of 11 hours.”

New Expanded Travel Ban Targets Eight Nations

Revised travel ban to expands beyond Muslim-majority countries. NPR: “The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban. Five countries in the previous ban remain under restriction: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. The latter two are the first nations included in a version of the travel ban that do not have majority-Muslim populations, which has been a key point in litigation challenging the ban as discriminatory based on religion.”

Sessions Takes On Campus Free Speech

Sessions takes culture war to Georgetown. Axios: “Trump isn’t the only member of his administration fighting a culture war this week; his Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make a “free speech on campus address” on Tuesday at Georgetown University law school in D.C. It’s going to get testy… In this hyper-tense political climate, Sessions’ speech could be explosive. The Attorney General is already a lightning rod for progressive protests. As AG, he’s led some of the most controversial aspects of the president’s agenda, including his toughening of sentencing for drug offenders, his crackdown on sanctuary cities, and his announcement that the Trump administration plans to end DACA, the Obama era program that temporarily shields from deportation more than 700,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Tuesday’s speech shows how eager he is to embrace this role.”

Berkeley “Free Speech” Rally Falls Flat

Yiannopoulos flounders at ‘Free Speech’ rally on UC Berkeley campus. HuffPost: “Milo Yiannopoulos didn’t get his ‘Free Speech Week.’ What was supposed to be his four-day Woodstock at the University of California turned out to be his alt-right Fyre Festival. It was canceled before it ever began, and the notorious provocateur was forced to offer refunds to travelers during a very sad press conference on Facebook Live. But Yiannopoulos doesn’t go down without a troll. As he admitted defeat, he promised an ‘unofficial’ rally for his followers on Sunday, effectively mobilizing hordes of counterprotesters, anti-fascists and anyone in his far-right brigade brave enough to face them. ‘We are going to be hosting an event, come hell or high water, tomorrow, he said during his Saturday presser. He got what he wanted. The ‘rally’ at Sproul Plaza on campus brought hundreds of demonstrators out, including Antifa activists and Yiannopoulos supporters. Police set up barriers with metal detectors before letting them into the area. The British media personality showed up around noon to speak to a smattering of supporters and sign autographs. However, thirty minutes into his arrival, Yiannopoulos fled the area as his security detail escorted him to a white SUV.”

CT GOP Repeals Anti-Corruption Rules

CT GOP GOP seeks to repeal public financing of elections. CT Mirror: “Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, says she is grateful that she never ran for state office in the days before Connecticut’s public financing system, when a major portion of fundraising took place in Hartford and was geared to collecting checks from lobbyists and their clients. ‘Luckily for me, I never had that,’ said Somers, who was elected to the Senate last year as a participant in the voluntary Citizens’ Election Program, which provides $95,000 general-election grants to qualifying candidates for state Senate. But that didn’t keep her from voting with every Republican and a handful of Democrats in the Senate and House over the weekend for a budget that would eliminate the major electoral reform to arise from the corruption scandal that forced Gov. John G. Rowland from office… The secretary of the state, Democratic legislators and representatives of Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, the Sierra Club, Environment Connecticut, and the Working Families Party gathered Tuesday to argue that the message sent by repeal would be worse. ‘As voters from across the political spectrum become increasingly angry about the power of big money in our politics, the last thing state lawmakers should do is take us backwards,’ said Carol Reimers, president of the League of Women Voters in Connecticut.”