Progressive Breakfast for November 15

Morning Message

The Link Between Climate Justice and Police Brutality

Toxic environments, as evidenced by human exposure to dirty water or polluted air, are deadly for everyone. When the police shoot first and fill quotas, they are are also toxic. As an institution with roots in pre-Civil War “slave patrols,” the police are too often driven to serve and protect property before people, a product of the United States' history of the enslavement of African people and the dispossession of land from indigenous communities. And the consequences of putting property before people are often deadly, as in the cases of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Antwon Rose, Kiwi Herring, Chinedu Okobi and Rekia Boyd.

Trump Backs Lame-Duck Criminal Justice Reform

Trump backs package of changes to criminal justice system as lame-duck session begins. NPR: “President Trump is throwing his support behind legislation that could shorten sentences for some drug offenders and help prisoners adjust to life after incarceration. Details of the measure have not been officially released, but Trump said Wednesday the bill will provide incentives for prisoners to participate in training or rehabilitation programs with a goal of reducing recidivism. It will also include measures to address sentencing disparities and inequities. ‘Americans across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime, while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption,’ the president said. Trump added that he is ready to sign the bill into law whenever it reaches his desk. Legislation that passed the House of Representatives in May included measures targeting recidivism after incarceration, but did not include sentencing provisions.”

Andy Kim Beats Tom MacArthur In NJ3

Newcomer Andy Kim beats GOP Rep. MacArthur in New Jersey. ABC: “Democrat Andy Kim, a political newcomer and former national security aide in the Obama administration, defeated Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in a tight race in which the incumbent’s vote to roll back the Affordable Care Act was a hot issue. Kim upset MacArthur in the hotly contested southern New Jersey district, widening the Democrats’ edge in the House. He declared victory last week, but MacArthur did not concede at the time as mail-in and provisional ballots continued to be counted. The Associated Press called the race Wednesday. The U.S. House historian’s database shows he is the first Asian-American elected from New Jersey. Kim has never run for or served in elected office before. ‘This from the very beginning was always about the people,’ Kim told supporters at his office in Mount Laurel when he declared victory. ‘I will be part of that new generation of leaders that will step up and do what’s best for the American people. That’s what we need right now.'”

Palm Beach May Miss FL Recount Deadline

Palm Beach County in danger of missing recount deadline as Democrats sue for extension. CNN “Florida’s deadline to complete a state-mandated election recount arrives Thursday afternoon, and one of the counties at the center of the effort is in danger of missing it. After days of counting, jousting in the press and court hearings, the scope of the recount in three statewide races will be tested by the onrushing deadline and a legal challenge by Democrats arguing that the job must be completed, regardless of the guidelines set by Florida law. Palm Beach County’s top elections official, meanwhile, is warning that her team will not be able to finish its state-mandated machine recount by the looming deadline .Susan Bucher, the county elections supervisor, told reporters a little more than 24 hours before the cut-off, slated for 3 p.m. on Thursday, that she was in ‘prayer mode.’ On Sunday, hours after the recount began, Bucher said that completing the process would be ‘impossible.’ CNN has not called the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and his challenger, Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Before the recount began, Scott led Nelson by around 12,000 votes. The margin in the gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, which is also subject of the recount, is larger, with DeSantis up on Gillum by around 33,000 votes.”

Flake Threatens To Block GOP Judicial Appointments

Republican senator threatens to vote against judges after GOP blocks vote on Mueller protection bill. CNN: “Retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Wednesday that he will not vote to confirm the Trump administration’s judicial nominees on the Senate floor or advance them in the Senate Judiciary Committee if legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller does not receive a Senate floor vote. Flake made the new judicial threat after he and Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, unsuccessfully attempted to force a Senate vote on the special counsel legislation Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to the request for a vote from Flake. But the Arizona Republican’s threats on judicial nominees could complicate matters in the Judiciary Committee, where Republicans have an 11-10 majority. There are currently 21 judicial nominees pending in the committee and 32 who are awaiting a floor vote, Flake said. ‘We have been told that the bill that Sen. Coons and I will move to bring up shortly is not necessary, as there have been no indications that the independence of Mr. Mueller’s investigation is in jeopardy,’ Flake said. ‘That may have been an arguable position before last week. But it is not arguable anymore.'”

How Amazon’s New HQ Will Affect NY Housing

How Amazon’s new headquarters will affect home prices, rents. Cheddar: “Amazon’s planned HQ2s in New York and Virginia will be a boon for homeowners near the complexes ー but for renters and potential home-buyers, it’s a bit of a different story. Home prices and rents in the areas immediately surrounding the new headquarters are expected to rise rapidly, so renters looking to buy near Amazon’s ($AMZN) new HQ2 locations might want to consider rushing their shopping process or just contemplate looking elsewhere, according to Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. ‘If you’re looking, if you haven’t purchased yet, or if you’re a renter it’s going to be challenging to see those prices go up,’ Hale told Cheddar on Wednesday. Amazon confirmed on Tuesday it would split its new headquarters between Long Island City in Queens, N.Y., and the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Va. The backlash flared almost immediately, especially in New York, where reports circulated that speculation was driving condo sales in Queens along the East River. Hale said renters and homebuyers have reason to be concerned. Realtor.com studied the impact of Amazon’s original headquarters expansion on property pricing and rental costs in the city of Seattle, Wash. She said that areas closest to the headquarters ー within a one mile radius ー rose at double the rate as values of properties elsewhere in the county. And those areas within an easy commuting distance will also experience serious gains. In New York, that means Long Island City out to Sunnyside, Queens ー and even across the river to parts of Manhattan. In Virginia, that means Crystal City, Alexandria, and the whole Potomac Yard area.”