Progressive Breakfast for March 20

Morning Message

Indian Country Electorate Ready for Change

A special election in Pennsylvania is a good sign for Native American #NativeVote18 candidates running for office. Why? Because this cycle is already favoring out-of-power Democrats and, quite possibly, independents. It’s hard to peg any constituent group more out-of-power than those who would represent Indian Country in the Congress of the United States

SCOTUS Defends PA District Redraw

SCOTUS denies GOP request to block new Pa. congressional map. The Hill:“The Supreme Court on Monday refused an emergency appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans to block the implementation of a new court-ordered congressional map, a decision that all but assures that new district lines that make several races more competitive for Democrats will be in place for this year’s midterm elections. The new boundaries are a boon for Democrats, who now have a stronger shot in as many as seven Pennsylvania congressional seats as they look to net 24 seats nationwide to win back the House. Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Keith Rothfus, Ryan Costello and Brian Fitzpatrick all face far tougher roads to reelection under the new map. And the seat currently held by Rep. Patrick Meehan, who is retiring amid allegations of sexual harassment, is now seen as a likely Democratic pickup. The boost for Democrats in those four districts — as well as improved numbers in other districts that are still seen as reaches for the party — comes as Democrats are increasingly emboldened that they can take back the House majority in 2018.”

Congress Races Clock To Avoid Shutdown

Congress closes in on massive spending bill. Politico: “Congressional leaders and top White House officials are clearing the way for a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill, scrapping several last-minute attempts to tack on controversial policy riders ahead of a Friday deadline to fund the government. Trump administration and Hill GOP sources say the new spending package is unlikely to include legislation shoring up Obamacare’s insurance markets. One White House official called it a ‘heavy lift’ — even as President Donald Trump made a last-minute push Monday to include the provision in the legislation. The president also asked GOP leaders over the weekend to include a short-term patch shielding Dreamers from deportation for 2.5 years in return for $25 billion in wall funding. But Democrats — whose votes are needed for passage — balked at the idea, and Republicans appear ready to drop it.”

WH Convenes Sanctuary City ‘Roundtable’

Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities. Axios: “The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned. Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don’t comply with federal immigration law enforcement.”

New Study Shows Racial Income Gap Persists

Forget wealth and neighborhood. The racial income gap persists. NPR: “A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, finds that in 99 percent of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. This undermines the widely-held belief that class, not race, is the most fundamental predictor of economic outcomes for children in the U.S. The study looked at racial disparities in income over generations by looking at de-identified data from 20 million U.S. children and their parents. It tracked outcomes for Hispanic, white, Asian, black and Native Americans. Nathaniel Hendren, who co-authored the study, told NPR’s Leah Donnella that black and Native American children have the lowest rates of upward economic mobility. Whites and Asians came out at the top, he said.”

Racial Justice Groups Demand Disclosure Of Surveillance

Racial justice groups sue DHS to release contents of fully fedacted “Race Paper”. Common Dreams: “The redacted ‘Race Paper’ is the newest of a slew of documents the groups have obtained that reveal how DHS and the FBI have both monitored and surveilled the Movement for Black Lives and pushed a state-sanctioned narrative that criminalizes Black protestors. The documents the groups received consist of a number of emails from the DHS sub-agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, each with an attached, fully redacted, version of the ‘Race Paper.’ Another set of DHS and FBI documents revealed in November 2017 show how federal agencies characterized Black protestors as ‘Black Supremacist Extremists’ and portrayed protected First Amendment protest activity as violence-inciting as a justification to surveil activists. The documents were in stark contrast with the agencies’ communications regarding white supremacist groups, whom they deemed as engaging in ‘lawful’ protest activity.”