Progressive Breakfast for January 17

Morning Message

Enormously Lucky Man? Or Ultra-Deserving Deep Pocket?

What separates the awesomely affluent from the rest of us? Privilege, opportunity, luck, or all three? And what do they owe the rest of society? The incredibly lucrative career of retiring Google exec Eric Schmidt offers us some clues.

GOP Wants Short-Term Spending Deal, No DACA Fix

Republican leaders offer one-month spending bill. WaPo: “House Republican leaders presented their rank and file with a one-month spending bill Tuesday aimed at keeping the government open ahead of a Friday night deadline, as hopes for a deal on young undocumented immigrants faded. The bill would extend existing spending levels through Feb. 16 and include an extension of a popular children’s health insurance program — aimed at winning Democratic votes — and a new sweetener for conservatives and Democrats alike in delaying several taxes included in the Affordable Care Act. Few lawmakers were enthusiastic about the legislation, but several described it as a necessary evil to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013.”

Dems Flip GOP State Senate Seat In Wisconsin

Democrats flip state Senate seat in Wisconsin. WaPo: “The 2018 election season kicked off Tuesday with an upset in rural Wisconsin, where Democrats flipped a state Senate seat that had been held by Republicans since the start of the century. With every precinct counted in the race for Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District, Democrat Patty Schachtner was the clear victor over Republican Adam Jarchow, a member of the state Assembly. Schachtner, a medical examiner in St. Croix County, won by 9 points — a massive swing in a district that former senator Sheila Harsdorf, a Republican, won in 2016 with 63.2 percent of the vote.”

National Parks Advisors Resign In Protest

Majority of National Parks resign, citing Zinke’s indifference. NPR: “Three-quarters of the seats on the U.S. National Park Service advisory board are vacant following a mass resignation Monday night, citing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s unwillingness to meet with them. Nine of the panel’s 12 members, led by former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, handed in their resignations. The bipartisan panel was appointed by President Barack Obama and the terms of all members who quit were set to expire in May. Knowles, in a letter of resignation to Zinke from himself and the eight other members, said the board had ‘worked closely and productively through 2016 with dedicated National Park Service employees, an inspiring Director and a fully supportive Department.’ Since then, as explained in the letter, the board had repeatedly tried and failed to secure a meeting with the new interior secretary. ‘[Our] requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of the agenda,’ the letter reads.”

DHS Bans Immigration Experts From Speaking To Congress

DHS banned staff from talking to Congress about immigration. Quartz: “Congress is scrambling to put together a bipartisan immigration bill that will allow 700,000 residents who came to the US as children to remain legally in coming weeks, and could impact migration to the country for generations to come. But the top US government experts on the issue have been barred from speaking to members of Congress in recent days, potentially limiting the information lawmakers can get on issues like effectiveness of border walls or links between immigrants and crime. The Department of Homeland Security’s Legislative Affairs office sent an email on Jan. 9 to top officials at the agency, informing them that ‘all operating component meetings on immigration are cancelled,’ according to someone with a copy of the email who read it to Quartz. They were cancelled ‘on behalf of the front office,’ the email said.”

DHS Chief Denies Racism, Threat Of White Supremacy

Kamala Harris Challenges Kirstjen Nielsen On Racism In Open Hearings. Real Clear Politics: “There is a report from the FBI and DHS which outlines white supremacist extremists. And I quote, the report says, ‘will likely continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the course of the next year.’ The report states that ‘white supremacist extremists are responsible for 49 homicides and 26 attacks from the year 2000 to 2016. More than any other domestic extremist movement.’ I am quoting. It is deeply troubling that in your opening comments when you talk about the threats to our nation, our homeland, to national security, that you fail to mention a report that outlined a very specific threat to us as the American people—deeply troubled.”

Detroit Man Deported After 30 Years In U.S.

Detroit man deported to Mexico after 30 years in US. CNN: “Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper and father of two who has lived in the United States for 30 years, said a painful goodbye to his family at the Detroit Metro Airport early Monday morning. Garcia was deported, after having lived in the United States since he was a child, when his family came as undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Garcia had been facing an order of removal since 2009, but had received extensions under the Obama administration. Because of the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, Garcia was ordered to return to Mexico in November.”