Progressive Breakfast for September 21

Morning Message

Stop the “Kavanaugh Coup” By Any Means Necessary

The reason Republicans want to rush Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation through, despite credible charges of sexual harassment and perjury, is that his confirmation would complete a slow-moving coup by their oligarchic donor class to turn American law back a hundred years. This must be stopped, by any means necessary.

Trump Cuts Head Start, Cancer Research To Pay for Child Jails

Cuts to cancer research, Head Start, and women’s shelters among $226 Million diverted to pay for dhild detention. Common Dreams: “Along with tens of thousands of children and families, cancer patients, Americans with substance abuse disorders, and victims of domestic violence are among the casualties of President Donald Trump’s detention of young immigrants—according to government documents outlining the administration’s plan to divert millions of dollars away from programs serving those populations. Yahoo News reported that in order to continue detaining more than 13,000 children currently in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is proposing that up to $266 million be taken from other government health programs.”

Miller Forces Through Plan To Freeze Refugees

Haley, other Miller foes excluded from immigration decisions. NBC: “after the meeting of top officials at the White House, Pompeo unveiled plans Monday to scale back the cap for refugees in 2019 to its lowest level since 1980. The secretary gave no explanation as to why he had changed his position, or how that number was arrived at during the closed door ‘principals meeting. Lawmakers from both parties, and some Christian charities, had urged Pompeo to stand firm against yet another reduction in refugee admissions, arguing it would undermine relations with allies, fuel instability in volatile regions and damage America’s image. In a joint statement Wednesday, Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren of Illinois and Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts expressed ‘extreme disappointment at the administration’s proposal,”‘ and added,’We cannot turn our back on the international community in a time of historic need.’ ‘Pompeo got rolled,’ said one former official familiar with the deliberations who served under Republican and Democratic administrations. The secretary ‘got manhandled by a kid who knows nothing about foreign policy,’ said the source, referring to the 33-year-old Miller.”

ICE Exploits Vetting To Arrest Caregivers

ICE arrested undocumented immigrants who came forward to take in undocumented children. CNN: “Federal officers have arrested dozens of undocumented immigrants who came forward to take care of undocumented immigrant children in government custody, and the Trump administration is pledging to go after more. The news will serve as confirmation of the worst fears of immigrants and their advocates: that a recent move by President Donald Trump’s administration to more fully vet people who come forward to care for undocumented immigrant children who are alone in the US has been a way for the administration to track down and arrest more undocumented immigrants. On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement senior official Matthew Albence testified to Congress that, after Health and Human Services and ICE signed a memorandum of agreement to background-check and fingerprint potential ‘sponsors’ of immigrant children, ICE arrested 41 people who came forward. Trump administration admits it lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children Trump administration admits it lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children In response to an inquiry from CNN, an ICE official confirmed that 70% of those arrests were for straightforward immigration violations — meaning they were arrested because ICE discovered they were here illegally. The individuals could have been the children’s parents or family members, and they also could have merely been fellow members of the homes of adults who applied to care for the children as they fight for a legal right to stay in the US.”

 

Dems May Flip Midwest Governors Races

Dems break open GOP hold on Midwest governorships. Politico: “Democrats are surging back in the Midwestern states where President Donald Trump cut deepest into their old coalition in 2016, led by a class of candidates for governor that have Republicans on their heels. The Republican Governors Association cut the size of its ad buys in Minnesota and then in Michigan, according to Advertising Analytics data reviewed by POLITICO. That’s given Democrats increasing confidence that Gretchen Whitmer, their nominee in a state Hillary Clinton lost in stunning fashion, will capture the governor’s mansion. In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has not led a public survey in three months, and the most recent gold-standard poll from Marquette University showed him trailing Democrat Tony Evers by 5 points. And in Ohio, Democrat Richard Cordray has overcome early complaints about his campaign to pull even with Republican Mike DeWine in one of the most competitive races in the country. It’s a sharp turnaround from Trump’s Midwestern triumphs two years ago, when he capped years of state-level Republican dominance in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin by winning their electoral votes and lost Minnesota by just 1 point. The Democratic resurgence is set to give the party a seat at the table in the Midwest on everything from health care and tax policy to redistricting, after nearly a decade on the outside looking in.”

Carson’s HUD Full Of Unqualified Appointees

Ben Carson’s HUD: Political loyalty required, no experience necessary. WaPo: “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded promotions and pay increases to five political operatives with no housing policy experience within their first months on the job, demonstrating what government watchdogs and career staff describe as a premium put on loyalty over expertise. The raises, documented in a Washington Post analysis of HUD political hires, resulted in annual salaries between $98,000 and $155,000 for the five appointees, all of whom had worked on Donald Trump’s or Ben Carson’s presidential campaigns. Three of them did not list bachelor’s degrees on their résumés. The political hires were among at least 24 people without evident housing policy experience who were appointed to the best-paying political positions at HUD, an agency charged with serving the poorest Americans. They account for a third of the 70 HUD appointees at the upper ranks of the federal government, with salaries above $94,000, according to the Post review of agency records. The limited experience at the upper reaches of the agency — HUD Secretary Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has no prior housing, executive or government background — injected confusion into the rollout of policy initiatives and brought delays to even routine functions, according to interviews with 16 current and former career staff members. ‘This administration is different, because the people coming in really don’t know housing at all,’ said Ron Ashford, who retired as director of HUD’s public-housing supportive-service programs in January after 22 years at the agency. ‘As a result, they’re pursuing initiatives that aren’t grounded in reality.'”