Progressive Breakfast for May 22

Morning Message

Real Corruption: Mick “Pay and We’ll Talk” Mulvaney

It’s not just that Mick Mulvaney has no scruples; he has no shame. When it comes to deep corruption, which perverts government’s role for the benefit of the privileged few, Trump's Budget Director is a master of the art. And now that he also helms the CFPB, which is meant to safeguard consumers, his graft will cause deep and lasting harm to millions of Americans.

SCOTUS Rules Against Workers In Arbitration

Supreme Court upholds workplace arbitration contracts barring class actions. NYT: “The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority. The court’s decision could affect some 25 million employment contracts. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch said the court’s conclusion was dictated by a federal law favoring arbitration and the court’s precedents. If workers were allowed to band together to press their claims, he wrote, ‘the virtues Congress originally saw in arbitration, its speed and simplicity and inexpensiveness, would be shorn away and arbitration would wind up looking like the litigation it was meant to displace.’ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, a sign of profound disagreement. In her written dissent, she called the majority opinion ‘egregiously wrong.’ In her oral statement, she said the upshot of the decision ‘will be huge under-enforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well being of vulnerable workers.'”

Majority Of Dems Want Progressive Agenda

72% of Democrats want Congressional candidates to push Progressive agenda. Common Dreams: “Amid congressional primary races and ahead of the November 6 election, new survey results indicate that a large majority of Democratic voters believe that promoting a ‘progressive agenda’ should be the top priority of any Democrat running for Congress. A CBS News/YouGov poll (pdf) asked Democrats, Independents, and those who lean toward voting for Democrats to choose between two options for what Democratic candidates’ “first priority” should be. A full 72 percent said they want to see party candidates prioritize a progressive political agenda. The remaining 28 percent opted for merely opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda.”

Poor People’s Campaign Revives MLK’s Most Radical Idea

Fifty years after MLK’s death, activists revive his most radical project: the Poor People’s Campaign. Salon: “Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. first launched the idea in the last months of his life, this past week saw the kickoff of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, starting with an initial 40-day period of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience. Described as “a moral fusion coalition that is multi-racial, multi-gendered, intergenerational, inter-faith and constitutionally grounded,” it shares King’s commitment to fighting the “Triplets of Evil” — systemic racism, poverty, and the war economy and militarism — but adds the interrelated problem of ecological devastation. Unlike the original, this new campaign is not solely focused on bringing the moral witness of the poor to the nation’s capital. It is simultaneously organizing in dozens of states as well, and building coalitions of poor people’s power in those states is the core of its long-term strategy.”

How Media Falls For Trump’s Racism

NYT explains how media outlets fall for Trump’s racism. Media Matters: “President Donald Trump’s defenders are attacking the media, claiming that his recent comments — in which he called some undocumented immigrants “animals” in response to a question about suspected members of the gang MS-13 — were taken out of context. But The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman explained that attacking the media for reporting on his vague, often racially coded statements has been a core part of Trump’s playbook since at least 2015.”

Trump Is A Symptom, Not The Cause

Corporate power dominates our politics. Truthout: “The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.”