Progressive Breakfast for January 16

Morning Message

Our President, the White Supremacist

When the President candidly speaks the vitriolic thoughts that are in his head, the implications are moral, constitutional, and intensely practical. He is not just a defender or apologist for bigots and hatemongers, he is one of them. It’s past time that leaders who have supported or allied themselves with Trump disavow and disengage from him and his harmful policies. It’s also a moment of reckoning for everyday people of good will who’ve continued to support the man or his office while ignoring or explaining away his bigotry.

Government Shutdown Four Days Away

Clock ticking toward shutdown. CNN: “With just four days until a spending deadline, the government could be heading for a shutdown on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. It’s long been thought that the key to unlocking any spending stalemate in Congress was to get closer to an immigration compromise. However, as lawmakers return from the holiday weekend, the mood on Capitol Hill between the two parties — and even between factions within Republican enclaves — has soured after a tumultuous week that included a bipartisan group of senators announcing they had an immigration deal, Trump rejecting it and reports that the President had used vulgar language to describe the African nations affected by such a proposal.”

What You Need To Know About The Standoff

Everything you need to know about the government-shutdown fight. NYM: “In recent years Congress has become accustomed to the constant threat of government shutdown, but no president had openly called for one until President Trump tweeted in May that perhaps ‘our country needs a good shutdown.’ Like so many things that appear on Trump’s Twitter feed, bringing the federal government to a grinding halt did not become official White House policy. Yet thanks in part to the president’s inability to refrain from complaining about the number of people who immigrate to the U.S. from ‘shithole’ countries, we’re now closer to a shutdown than we have been at any point during this administration.”

Immigration Crackdown Aims To Frighten Workers

Workplace raids signal shifting tactics in immigration fight. NYT: “The raids by federal agents on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores last week were the administration’s first big show of force meant to convey the consequences of employing undocumented people… When agents raid workplaces, they often demand to see employees’ immigration documents and make arrests. But after the agents leave, it is difficult for the government to meaningfully penalize businesses that hire unauthorized immigrants. Instead, according to law enforcement officials and experts with differing views of the immigration debate, a primary goal of such raids is to dissuade those working illegally from showing up for their jobs — and to warn prospective migrants that even if they make it across the border, they may end up being captured at work.”

Clinton-Sanders Rift Still Divides DNC

DNC overhaul struggles as Sanders-Clinton rivalries persist. Politico: “Going into a midterm election that should be the Democrats’ to lose, the DNC is still struggling to bring its factions together and assert itself. Throw into the mix powerful super PACs, the much better funded party committees focused on Congress and governors, and more independent voters than ever, and many wonder if the DNC has a place at all anymore. ‘I knew it was a turnaround job when I ran, but I undeniably underestimated the depth of the turnaround job. We had to rebuild almost every facet of the organization, and equally importantly, we had to rebuild trust,’ Perez said in a recent interview at party headquarters. ‘Not just people who had invested in the DNC, but others, they just felt the party had let them down.'”

Race Determines Lawmakers’ Responses To Immigrants

Do lawmakers respond to immigrants’ requests? The answer depends on ethnicity and race. WaPo: “President Trump’s campaign against immigration has made that issue central to U.S. politics — in no small part because of the country’s growing diversity. As immigrants and minorities make up a larger share of the U.S. populace, how will the Republican and Democratic parties respond? Our recent research shows that, at least when it comes to answering emails, politicians aren’t less responsive to immigrants than to native-born constituents. What mattered instead was the constituent’s race. No matter where they were born, or whether they identified as voters, ethnic minorities received fewer responses than whites.”

More from OurFuture.org:

Norway to Trump: Keep Your Gold-Plated Sh*t Hole. Miles Mogulescu: “So the Donald wishes more Norwegians would emigrate to America, instead of people from supposed ‘sh*thole’ countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America. Norwegians are not exactly lining up to escape their democratic socialist country for increasingly neoliberal America. Why? Because Norway, with its robust social safety net, is rated the happiest and most prosperous country in the world.”