Friday, March 25, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: How Breaking Government Hurts Children

MORNING MESSAGE

...the story from Flint is just the tip of a big ugly iceberg. New reports reveal that penny pinching on government and lack of response to the needs of ordinary Americans, particularly children, are harming communities everywhere ... Lack of investment in government services hurts children, both in terms of the direct harm of toxic water sources and the long-term less direct injury caused by attending schools that are physically falling apart.

BURNING ISSUES: WHY HONDURAS MATTERS IN THE 2016 CAMPAIGN

Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research discusses the candidate’s the assassination of a Honduras environmental activist and what it says about the Democratic candidates’ foreign policy, in the latest Burning Issues video.

BERNIE EYES SATURDAY WINS

Bernie expected to win all three Saturday caucuses. AP: “Sanders is favored over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in this weekend’s contests in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska. … Yet the numbers remain difficult for Sanders. Clinton enters Saturday’s contests with 1,223 pledged delegates compared to 920 for Sanders … If Sanders hopes to catch up to Clinton in pledged delegates, he must win 58 percent of those remaining. So far, he’s only winning 43 percent.”
Washington biggest Saturday prize. Politico: “With 101 delegates at stake [in Washington], only New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California have more delegates at play after this weekend … Seattle ranks No. 1 among the 50 biggest U.S. cities for per-capita contributions to [the Sanders] campaign … Sanders’ final Seattle event on the eve of the caucuses, designed to make a big impression, is one that few other candidates would even contemplate: a rally set for Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners’ baseball stadium with a capacity of well over 50,000.”
Jane Sanders stumps in Anchorage. KTVA: “She says one of her husband’s priorities is protecting the natural beauty of the state, which is why she says drilling for fossil fuels is not on his agenda … [She] will travel to Dillingham on Friday to meet with tribal leaders and discuss natural resource concerns.”
Sanders wins West Coast union endorsement. The Hill:The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the campaign announced Thursday. The union represents 50,000 people who work in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.”
Sen. Warren doesn’t want Bernie to drop out. AP quotes: “He has put the right issues on the table both for the Democratic Party and for the country in general so I’m still cheering Bernie on.”

GOP ESTABLISHMENT WARMS TO CRUZ

GOP Establishment in sync with Sen. Ted Cruz, notes NYT’s Paul Krugman: ” Establishment Republicans may wince at the candidate’s fondness for talking about ‘carpet bombing’ or his choice of a noted anti-Muslim bigot and conspiracy theorist as an adviser. But both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio chose foreign policy teams dominated by the very people who pushed America into the Iraq debacle … Cruz [supports] the gold standard … [Paul] Ryan got quite specific about his intellectual roots, declaring that he always goes back to ‘Francisco d’Anconia’s speech on money’ … that speech is a paean to the gold standard…”
Gov. John Kasich not always known to be so genial. NYT: “Mr. Kasich’s colleagues in Ohio and Washington … recall a three-decade career in government punctuated by scolding confrontations, intemperate critiques and undiplomatic remarks.”
Kasich staunchly anti-abortion. W. Post: “Kasich signed 17 antiabortion measures into law since he became Ohio governor in 2011. He defunded Planned Parenthood and banned abortions from public hospitals and from receiving public funding.”

GOP WALL AGAINST GARLAND BUCKLES A BIT

Third GOP senator supports hearings for Garland. W. Post: “…Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) told a small group gathered in a Cimarron, Kan., courthouse on Monday that GOP senators ‘should interview Garland and have a hearing on his nomination,’ in the [Garden City Telegram] paper’s words … Moran joins Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in favoring hearings.”
Sen. Ron Johnson squeezed in Wisconsin. NYT: “Mr. Johnson is widely considered one of the Republican Party’s most endangered incumbents in his rematch with Russ Feingold … Mr. Johnson, without any pretense, is boasting that he and his Republican colleagues are preventing Mr. Obama from tilting the ideological balance of the court to the left … Democrats, including Mr. Feingold, say they are confident that Mr. Johnson is making a politically fatal mistake…”

A HOUSE DIVIDED ON THE BUDGET

House Republicans remain divided over budget. The Hill: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will now have just four days to bridge wide gaps within the GOP on a trillion-dollar spending blueprint when members return in mid-April. An agreement on the budget has remained elusive for months, with GOP lawmakers refusing to give up on their own competing proposals … The Freedom Caucus has called for GOP leaders to break last fall’s deal with the White House and revert to the previous spending caps of $1.04 trillion.”
Speaker Ryan may skip appropriations bills. Roll Call: “Asked if the House would move appropriations bills to the floor even if they don’t pass a budget, Ryan said, ‘No, we need to do a budget.'”

BREAKFAST SIDES

AZ seethes about election day debacle. NYT: “… angry and baffled voters are still trying to make sense of how democracy is working in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, where officials cut the number of polling places by 70 percent to save money … many observers saw Arizona as a flashing neon sign pointing toward potential problems nationally at a time that 16 states will have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election…”
Urgent need to increase rental housing credit. Bloomberg: “It’s been more than 15 years since Congress increased funding for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit … Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is to announce a plan that calls for Congress to spend 50 percent more on the program, enough to build as many as 400,000 homes over the next decade. That makes the Democrat’s plan an ambitious attempt to increase the stock of affordable rental housing … It’s also just a drop in the bucket. There are 3.9 million low-income households that lack access to affordable housing…”

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