Progressive Breakfast for November 22

Morning Message

Native People and Allies Pledge to Stop Keystone XL

I’m in Lower Brule, South Dakota, where elected tribal officials, spiritual leaders, Native grassroots organizations, youth groups, and traditional women’s societies have gathered with non-Native farmers, ranchers and others affected by the Keystone XL pipeline. That project to carry tar sands from shale fields in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico threatens our water, our livelihoods and our sacred sites. But we know it can be stopped, if we stand together protect future generations from destruction and we work strategically. We must lead with love for humanity, for community and for Mother Earth.

Trump Rejects Immigration

How Trump is building a border wall that no one can see. WaPo: “President Trump’s vision of a “big, beautiful” wall along the Mexican border may never be realized, and almost certainly not as a 2,000-mile physical structure spanning sea to sea. But in a systematic and less visible way, his administration is following a blueprint to reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States — those who are undocumented and those here legally — and overhaul the U.S. immigration system for generations to come. Across agencies and programs, federal officials are wielding executive authority to assemble a bureaucratic wall that could be more effective than any concrete and metal one. While some actions have drawn widespread attention, others have been put in place more quietly. The administration has moved to slash the number of refugees, accelerate deportations and terminate the provisional residency of more than a million people, among other measures.”

GOP Tax Plan Full Of Loopholes For Wealthy

The House tax plan conveniently full of “drafting glitches” that benefit the rich. Vanity Fair: “Both the House and the Senate’s plans are, by design, extremely good for both corporate America and the ultra-rich, given that they slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent; repeal the alternative minimum tax; increase the inheritance tax exemption before completely eliminating it; provide a tax break of more than $30,000 per child sent to private school; preserve a deduction for golf course owners; and in the case of the Senate plan, create a tax cut for private jet owners. And those are just the plan’s overt aims—according to Bloomberg, House lawmakers have also included, whether intentionally or not, a number of loopholes that specifically benefit Wall Street investors and wealthy heirs and heiresses. Tax experts have reportedly found an ‘unusual’ number of ‘drafting glitches’ and loopholes that, whether they were ‘intentional or accidental,’ would save the country’s richest a whole lot of money… While Levine admitted that the measure is ‘very welcome for my clients,’ he said that it’s a total scam on the part of lawmakers. “’As a matter of tax policy it’s completely indefensible,’ he told Bloomberg. ‘It permits income that is obviously income, in a constitutional sense, to go entirely untaxed.’

Judge Blocks Transgender Ban In Military

Second judge blocks Trump’s Transgender ban in the military. NYT: “A second federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s proposed ban on transgender troops Tuesday, saying President Trump’s announcement of the ban in a series of tweets this summer was ‘capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified.’ In a preliminary injunction, Judge Marvin J. Garbis of the Federal District Court for Maryland halted a policy that would have discharged all current transgender troops and barred prospective ones from enlisting, saying it likely violated equal protection provisions of the Constitution. Judge Garbis’s 53-page order went further than a similar ruling last month by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, which also said the ban likely violated the Constitution. ‘There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all,’ the ruling said.”

Telecoms, FCC Investigated For Secret Lobbying To End Net Neutrality

Has the Telecom Industry Just Been Busted for a Secret Lobbying Campaign to Kill Net Neutrality? Alternet: “‘The process the FCC has employed to consider potentially sweeping alterations to current net neutrality rules has been corrupted by the fraudulent use of Americans’ identities — and the FCC has been unwilling to assist my office in our efforts to investigate this unlawful activity,’ wrote New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in an open letter posted on Medium.com Tuesday. ‘Specifically, for six months my office has been investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC’s notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers’ and other Americans’ identities,’ he said. ‘Such conduct likely violates state law — yet the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed.’ Put bluntly, not only has the FCC been trolled by a pro-corporate marketing campaign based on identity theft and impersonating citizens, but the FCC is obstructing the New York State attorney general from investigating what is a serious and major crime.”

Thousands Join Pledge To Stop Keystone XL

To Stop Keystone XL, 8,000 People in Just 24 Hours Make ‘Promise to Protect’. Common Dreams: “It’s been less than 48 hours since a panel in Nebraska gave final approval for the Keystone XL pipeline to built in the state, but already more than 8,000 people have vowed to put their bodies on the lines—and in front of the construction path, if needed—to make sure the construction never happens. The vow to stand against the pipeline—dubbed the “Promise to Protect”—was launched Monday during a gathering of Indigenous leaders and their allies in South Dakota who renewed their vows to defend sacred lands, waters, and sites against new pipelines and any expansion of the Canadian tar sands. The petition was then endorsed by other Native tribes, green groups, and high-profile climate activists. Joye Braun, leader of the Wakpa Waste Camp at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, said, ‘It gives me a great sense of hope and community to see nearly 8,000 people who have signed on to the ‘Promise to Protect’ our water, our homelands, our people, and to stand in solidarity with us on the ground. Especially our Indigenous communities, our tribes, and our farmer and rancher friends. This is hope, this is power—people power.’