Progressive Breakfast for May 24

Morning Message

Will Teacher Uprisings Change Democrats?

Teacher uprisings are starting to impact elections, as in Kentucky, where math teacher R. Travis Brenda just knocked off the state's House Republican Majority Leader. If the Democratic wave that's anticipated for November "won’t crest without progressive insurgents," as some have observed, then maybe it also won't crest without a change in how the party addresses education.

Trump Stokes Anti-Immigrant Fervor

Trump on MS-13: ‘These are not people, these are animals’. The Hill: “President Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his use of the term ‘animals’ to describe some immigrants living illegally in the U.S. Speaking at an event in New York about the MS-13 gang, Trump rebuked critics who said the term was inappropriate and reiterated that he used it to refer to gang members only. ‘I called them animals the other day and I was met with rebuke,’ Trump said. ‘They said, ‘These are people.’ These are not people, these are animals and we have to be very, very tough.’… The president said afterward that he was only referring to violent gang members, but critics questioned whether he was talking about immigrants more broadly. Trump has previously used the term ‘animals’ to refer to members of MS-13. He has also labeled larger groups of immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally as criminals.”

Sessions Moves To End Domestic Abuse Asylum

Sessions intervenes In Salvadoran woman’s asylum case. NPR: “The Trump administration is moving to limit who can get asylum in the United States. This has stirred panic in many immigrant communities. And perhaps no one is more alarmed than one Salvadoran woman who’s living in the Carolinas. This is because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has personally intervened in her case. He’s questioning whether she and other crime victims deserve protection and a path to American citizenship.”

Senate Finance Committee Prepares Opioid Bills

Senate Finance Committee releases 22 opioid bills to mark up. The Hill: Senate Finance Committee releases 22 opioid bills to mark up in ‘coming weeks’. The Hill: “The Senate Finance Committee released 22 bipartisan bills aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic, with plans to mark up the legislation in the “coming weeks,” the panel announced Wednesday. The legislation is aimed at tackling the epidemic through the committee’s jurisdiction, mainly in Medicare, Medicaid and human services. The Finance Committee is one of several panels working on legislation aimed at stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic, which is contributing to an estimated 115 American deaths per day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Federal Judge Rules For Transgender Student

A federal judge just ruled in favor of a transgender student. Vox: “A federal court just revived a “bathroom” case that could wind up making lasting changes to transgender rights in America — far beyond which bathroom schools allow students to use. US Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Virginia refused the Gloucester County School Board’s request to dismiss Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit against the school board on Tuesday. But Wright Allen went further — suggesting that Grimm is likely to win. Grimm, a trans teenager, sued his former school board after in 2014 he tried to use the boys’ bathroom in the school and the Gloucester County School Board told him he could only use the girls’ or unisex bathroom. Grimm claims that the school board’s decision violated the equal protection clause of the US Constitution and Title IX of federal civil rights law. Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools, and advocates argue that since trans discrimination is rooted in beliefs about what people assigned certain sexes at birth should be like, sex discrimination bans also prohibit trans discrimination. Under this rationale, stopping trans students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity singles out trans people for discriminatory treatment.”

Pardoned Sheriff May Have Broken Law Again

Pardoned ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio may have broken the law again. ThinkProgress: “Joe Arpaio boasts on his campaign website that during his tenture as “chief law enforcement officer” for Maricopa County, Arizona, he “continued to reduce crime with hard-hitting enforcement methods.” But since his failed November 2016 sheriff re-election campaign, the Republican senate hopeful may have repeatedly violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and Facebook’s policy by accepting tens of thousands of dollars to share stories from a right-wing click-bait site without disclosing that they were paid ads. According to his mandatory personal financial disclosure statement, filed last week, Arpaio received $57,948 last year from LIftable Media, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona for ‘royalties.’ That amounted to more than a quarter of his income for the year. He noted on the form that, under the agreement he signed in February 2017 with the company, he ‘receives a royalty payment for internet/media clicks on his name search and website.'”