Progressive Breakfast for October 18

Morning Message

How to Profit from the Coming Trump Apocalypse

Somebody ought to write a self-help book for Republican politicians called, “How to Profit from the Coming Trump Apocalypse.” Although, come to think of it, they’re doing pretty well with that already. While we’re distracted by Trump’s theatricality, Republicans in Congress are busy robbing working Americans of their scant remaining resources.

Judge Blocks Trump Travel Ban


Federal judge blocks Trump’s third travel ban. NYT:
“President Trump’s attempts to block travelers from a handful of countries — most of them predominantly Muslim — from coming to the United States hit another legal snag on Tuesday, when a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order freezing most of Mr. Trump’s third travel ban the day before it was to take effect. At least for now, the judge’s order will prevent the Trump administration from stopping almost all travel to the United States indefinitely from most of the countries named in the ban.”

Bipartisan Bid To Stabilize ACA Stalls

Last-ditch effort to tackle Obamacare stalls within hours of its release. WaPo: “Yet another last-ditch effort to tackle the nation’s health-care system stalled within hours of its release by a bipartisan pair of senators Tuesday, with President Trump sending mixed signals and Republicans either declining to endorse the proposal or outright opposing it. The week began on Capitol Hill with a renewed sense of urgency to craft legislation following Trump’s decision last week to end key payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage but that the president argued were illegal under the Affordable Care Act. The compromise offered by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday proposes authorizing those payments for two years in exchange for granting states greater flexibility to regulate health coverage under the ACA.”

Undermining ACA May Be Illegal

Trump admits he’s trying to kill Obamacare. That’s illegal. Vox: “Modern American history has never seen as full-scale an effort to sabotage a valid law as we have with President Trump and the Affordable Care Act — a law whose legality has been upheld twice by the US Supreme Court. The president has a legal obligation, under Article II of the US Constitution, to [take Care that the laws be faithfully executed’” That means he must make sure that our laws are implemented in good faith and that he uses his executive discretion reasonably toward that end. His agencies likewise have a legal obligation, under the Administrative Procedure Act — the statute that sets the rules for our entire federal regulatory apparatus — not to use their power to engage in arbitrary action. The intentional, multi-pronged sabotage of the ACA that we have seen over the past nine months — reaching new heights since attempts by Congress to repeal the law failed — violates both Trump’s constitutional obligations and quite possibly the obligations of his Department of Health and Human Services.”

Challenge To Trump’s Profits In Office

The Court Challenge Begins: Is Trump Taking Unconstitutional Emoluments? NPR: “On Wednesday morning, a federal judge in Manhattan will hear preliminary arguments in a case that claims President Trump is violating the Constitution’s ban on accepting foreign payments, or emoluments. Here is what is at stake: The Founding Fathers wrote a clause into the Constitution saying U.S. officials cannot accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title” from foreign governments without the consent of Congress. Trump’s critics say that by refusing to sell off his global businesses, the president is failing to uphold the Constitution. But before that issue can be debated, the court first has to decide whether the plaintiffs even have standing to bring their Emoluments Clause case. And that first step is what is happening in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.”

AGs Sue DeVos Over Treatment Of For-Profit Colleges

Dem AGs sue DeVos for eliminating protections for students. The Hill: “Eighteen Democratic attorneys general are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for refusing to enforce an Obama-era rule meant to protect students from predatory career college programs, BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday. The attorneys general from 17 states and D.C. filed suit against Tuesday after DeVos blocked and then promised to undo an Obama-era rule called ‘gainful employment.’ It would have stopped federal financial aid funding from going to career college programs at for-profit colleges that leave students with low income and massive debt loads. The lawsuit alleges that DeVos is violating federal law by not enforcing the rule.”