Progressive Breakfast for April 18

Morning Message

O Bondage Up Yours! Philanthropy Wakes Up

Part feminist rallying cry, part anti-consumerist manifesto, the title of English punk band X-Ray Spex’s 1977 debut single, O Bondage Up Yours, describes how I feel after reading three compelling recent books on philanthropy. As a longtime participant in GrantWorld myself, I’m agitated and challenged by what I’ve read. And while the change these authors call for may be slow to come, I think that taken together, these books may come to be seen as the beginning of much-needed healing and reform in the world of charitable giving. am a big believer in independent resource generation, particularly through ways that recruit, develop, train and mobilize members to build and run their own organizations. But as a social justice organizer and grantee, I know there can be a temptation to reach for easy money by pitching ideas to foundations which are legally required to give money away to qualified organizations. When did community, worker and electoral organizing turn into a Venn diagram, where all we can aspire to is what lies in the overlap between what’s fundable and what builds power?

AG Barr Releases Redacted Mueller Reports

Justice Dept. to release two versions of redacted Mueller report. CNN: “There will be two versions of the redacted special counsel report, with one being released to the public and one that will eventually go to a limited number of members of Congress with fewer redactions, the Justice Department said Wednesday. Some of the redactions in the Mueller report will be because of the gag order in the case involving Republican activist Roger Stone, they wrote. Prosecutors say they are making these redactions so not to potentially prejudice a jury, since Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces and is headed to trial. In a court filing related to the Stone case, prosecutors outlined a careful plan to prevent leaks of the less-redacted version the Justice Department plans to provide to Congress. First, prosecutors will “secure” the less-redacted version — suggesting it won’t be available immediately. They will also keep it in an “appropriate setting” and limit its access to only some members of Congress and their staff. If Congress wants copies of the less-redacted version, prosecutors may want to ask a federal judge for permission before giving it to them, prosecutors wrote on Wednesday.”

DOJ, WH Coordinate Redacted Releases

White House and Justice Dept. officials discussed Mueller report before release. NYT: “Not all of Robert S. Mueller III’s findings will be news to President Trump when they are released Thursday. Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings. A sense of paranoia was taking hold among some of Mr. Trump’s aides, some of whom fear his backlash more than the findings themselves, the people said. The report might make clear which of Mr. Trump’s current and former advisers spoke to the special counsel, how much they said and how much damage they did to the president — providing a kind of road map for retaliation. The discussions between Justice Department officials and White House lawyers have also added to questions about the propriety of the decisions by Attorney General William P. Barr since he received Mr. Mueller’s findings late last month.”

Bolton Announces “Anti-Socialist” Sanctions

Trump Administration Announces Measures Against Cuba, Venezuela And Nicaragua. NPR: “The Trump administration has announced new sanctions and penalties against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua aimed at both ending the rule of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and weakening Cuba’s communist regime. One of the measures will allow lawsuits against foreign firms operating on property in Cuba that was seized from U.S. citizens during the Cuban revolution — a reversal of more than 20 years of U.S. policy. Announcing the crackdown in Coral Gables, Fla., on Wednesday, national security adviser John Bolton called Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua the ‘troika of tyranny’ and said the new measures would ‘end the glamorization of socialism and communism.'”

Private Health Insurance Stocks Fall

Private Health insurance stocks ‘in free fall’ as Medicare for All gains momentum. Common Dreams: “With comprehensive Medicare for All legislation now introduced in both chambers of Congress and bolstered by surging grassroots support, health insurance stocks are ‘crumbling’ as investors grow increasingly fearful that single-payer could eventually become a reality. ‘Together, the shares of hospitals and insurers lost $28 billion in market value on Tuesday,’ Bloomberg reported. ‘The slide in hospital and insurance stocks continued Wednesday, wiping out billions of dollars more in market value from some of the biggest health companies in the U.S.’ As Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur put it on Twitter, ‘Health insurance stocks are in free fall as Democrats introduce ‘Medicare for All’ legislation in Congress and Bernie Sanders pushes it on Fox News.'”

Trump’s New Interior Chief Faces Ethics Charges After Four Days

Four Days On The Job, Trump’s Interior Sec Already Charged On Ethics. Crooks and Liars: “After only 4 days on the job, the Interior Department’s office of inspector general reports that it has opened a formal investigation into ethical conflicts by a former lobbyist for natural resources industries and newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Bernhardt is being investigated for a number of questionable ethical violations, including pushing a former lobbying client’s policy goal, blocking a science report on the harmful effects of a pesticide, and [prepare yourselves for a shock Gentle Readers!] continuing to act as a lobbyist. Somewhere, former Interior Department Secretary Ryan ‘low heels’ Zinke is smiling.?