Progressive Breakfast for August 18

Morning Message

As Trump Hits a New Low, Here’s How We Go High

Donald Trump has unapologetically poured fuel on the fires of racial hate. What this moment calls for is a resistance that is as morally principled and politically strategic as it is fierce.

Dems Call for Impeachment, Censure of Trump

Dems launch full assault on Trump over Charlottesville. The Hill: “Democrats are throwing the kitchen sink at President Trump to protest his ongoing equivocation about a white nationalist rally and put increasing pressure on Republican leaders to denounce their party’s standard-bearer in the White House. No tool has been overlooked. The Democrats have sent letters, called for hearings, launched campaign ads and promised resolutions of censure and impeachment designed to highlight the firestorm set off by the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va. — and the president’s equivocal response.”

Boston Braces for ‘Free Speech’ Rally

After Charlottesville, thousands expected to attend Boston counter-protests to right-wing rally. NBC: “Interest in two major protests opposed to Saturday’s right-wing “free speech” assembly in a Boston park has grown exponentially in the aftermath of the deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia last weekend. The so-called ‘Boston Free Speech Rally’ — organized by a coalition of groups calling themselves ‘libertarian’ and ‘conservative’ — has been on the books since late July and the counter-protests were organized not long thereafter by ANSWER Coalition Boston and the local chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM). But since a group of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members took to the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia — ostensibly to protest of the removal of a Confederate statue — the two Boston counter-protest groups’ attendance expectations propagated substantially.”

Trump Infrastructure Panel Impodes

Trump abandons plan for council on infrastructure. Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump will not move forward with a planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. The infrastructure council, which was still being formed, would have advised Trump on his plan to spend as much as $1 trillion upgrading roads, bridges and other public works. Its cancellation follows Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was disbanding two other business advisory panels. Corporate chief executive officers this week had started to quit both the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum in protest over Trump’s remarks that appeared to confer legitimacy on white supremacists following a violent rally Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.”

Evangelical Leaders Mum on Trump

Conservative faith leaders stand by Trump despite his defense of white supremacist rally. ThinkProgress: “With pressure mounting, some evangelical observers began to wonder if Trump’s band of faith advisers would also try and distance themselves from the president, especially since clergy members were among those who stood against racists in Charlottesville. While Trump does not currently have a formal faith council as he did during his campaign for president, many of those who advised him during his rise to power continue to meet with the White House, and could hypothetically renounce their ties to the president. But as of Thursday morning, none of Trump’s religious counselors appear to have cut ties with the president or even renounced his remarks. Instead, most have condemned white supremacy while also publicly defending the president, with many saying his words are being misconstrued — although Trump’s latest series of tweets regarding statues may be testing some.”

WH Redirected Anti-Nazi Funds

White House revoked grants to help fight hate. NYT: “Days before leaving office in January, the Obama administration announced that it had awarded $400,000 to a Chicago-based organization dedicated to combating right-wing domestic extremists. Jeh Johnson, then the homeland security secretary, singled out the work of the group, Life After Hate, when the announcement was made. But days later, the incoming Trump administration reversed course, stopping the grant pending a review. In June, when the administration announced its own grants to fight extremism, Life After Hate was not on the list.”

Durham Solidarity

In a show of solidarity, hundreds lined up to turn themselves in for toppling a Confederate statue. DailyKOS: “Activists in North Carolina took matters into their own hands and removed a Confederate statue in front of the old Durham County courthouse. Four people were quickly arrested after video went viral of them participating. In a show of solidarity with the arrestees, hundreds of activists showed up at the Durham County sheriff’s office to turn themselves in as well.”

EPA to Weaken Toxic Metals Rules at Industry’s Request

EPA to rewrite rules on toxic metals discharge. ThinkProgress: “After utilities complain, Pruitt will rewrite rule limiting toxic metals discharged into water. ThinkProgress: “The Environmental Protection Agency told a federal court this week that, after reviewing industry complaints, the agency plans to rewrite rules imposing federal limits on toxic metals in wastewater discharged from power plants… the agency said it will review the rule at the behest of the Utility Water Act Group, an organization composed of power plant-owning electric utilities and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The wastewater released from coal-fired power plants into rivers and lakes typically contains highly toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and selenium.”

Consequences of Deregulation

Trump’s war on regulation comes with big tradeoffs. CNN: “Since he took office on January 20, Trump has swiftly moved to eliminate hundreds of regulations, often exerting his presidential powers to unwind or delay rules that watchdog groups argue weaken oversight of behemoth Wall Street banks, strip safety measures for workers and cause long-term harm to the environment.
The effort has gone on largely in the background, even as Trump has struggled to push a legislative agenda. He has also attacked CEOs and firms he feels don’t get in line. And on Wednesday Trump suffered a stunning rebuke from business: Two White House advisory councils collapsed as CEOs raced to distance themselves from his remarks about violent white nationalists. But the administration’s deregulation drive is likely to barrel along.”

More from OurFuture.org:

No More Trickle-Down Trade Deals. Leo Gerard: “A renegotiated NAFTA that subordinates the needs of workers will meet the fate of the now-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal. The humans in the United States, Canada and Mexico won’t be tricked or trickled down on again.”