Monday, March 28, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Sanders Soars: The Democratic Race Is Closer Than The Republicans'

MORNING MESSAGE

Bernie Sanders routed Hillary Clinton in three Western states on Saturday ... with stunning percentages: Alaska 82-18; Hawaii 70-30; Washington 73-27. He’s taken five of six in the West, and chipped away Clinton’s lead in pledged delegates, trailing in pledged delegates by 1243 to 975. The Clinton campaign, echoed by the talking heads, sought to discount the victories as “expected” from the “largely white and liberal” Pacific northwest. But just as Clinton’s victories in the South should not be dismissed because they were built on loyal African-American voters, Sanders’ victories shouldn’t be dismissed either. Liberals are Democrats, too ... the mainstream media would be well advised to cover the Sanders surge, not dismiss it, and put a bigger spotlight on the Democratic race.

BURNING ISSUES: UNDERSTANDING THE CRISIS IN SYRIA

"WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S" BRINGS MOMENTUM BOOST

Sanders campaign aims for Wisconsin and New York. W. Post: “His advisers, spoiling for a brawl, have commissioned polls to show which contrasts with Clinton — from Wall Street to fracking — could do the most damage to her at home [in New York on April 19] … ‘If we’re going to have a serious shot at the nomination, we’re going to have to defeat her in Wisconsin,’ [chief strategist Tad] Devine said. Sanders then hopes to slingshot into New York, which will award a whopping 247 delegates…”
Sanders campaign presses for NY debate. NYT: “Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, sent a letter on Sunday to his counterpart in the Clinton campaign, Robby Mook, asserting that the two teams had agreed to have a debate in California in May but had not yet come to terms on an April showdown [in New York.] ‘Can you please explain why New York should not host the April debate? Is the Secretary concerned about debating before the people who twice elected her to the U.S. Senate?'”
Politico deems Bernie’s delegate path, “Improbable, not impossible”: “He would have to win slightly fewer than 60 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to surpass Clinton – a huge improvement over the roughly 45 percent of pledged delegates he’s captured so far …a narrow win for Sanders [in Wisconsin] would allow him to maintain his momentum through the rest of the month’s contests. But mathematically, a narrow Sanders victory there would only have a limited impact on the delegate deficit.”

CLINTON TO PRESS GOP ON SCOTUS

Clinton to pressure GOP on Supreme Court. Politico: “In a speech about the Supreme Court that Clinton is scheduled to deliver at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Democratic front-runner is expected to single out Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and challenge him to hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland…”
Senators begin to meet with Garland: “At least five senators are scheduled to return to Capitol Hill for private sessions with the nominee, Judge Merrick B. Garland. Those sessions will include a meeting with Senator Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, who will be the first Republican to sit down with Judge Garland.”

TRUMP NEEDS LOYAL DELEGATES

Trump struggles to master delegate process. Politico: “…he may be lapping Ted Cruz at the ballot box, but Cruz is outmaneuvering him in the quieter — and equally crucial — hunt for loyal delegates … From Louisiana to Georgia to South Carolina — all Trump victories — delegates and delegate candidates are lining up to back Cruz…”
Trump threatens to sue Louisiana GOP. The Hill: “The executive director of Louisiana’s Republican Party says the state GOP is ready for a potential lawsuit from Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump over delegate allocation. ‘[I’m] really confident in the rules,’ Jason Doré said on Sunday, according to The Times-Picayune. ‘[We] are taking it seriously and will be prepared.'”
NAFTA backlash driving Trump support. Bloomberg: “In three particularly hard-hit counties north of Detroit, for example, he took almost 50 percent of this month’s primary vote, more than double the tally for his nearest rival.”
Cruz aims for Wisconsin’s working-class. W. Post: “Cruz has been demoing a new message for a voter bloc that has mostly spurned him. In TV ads and artfully staged rallies, Cruz is talking more about trade and turning his cocktail of economic ideas – ‘repeal Obamacare,’ ‘rein in the EPA,’ ‘end welfare benefits for those here illegally’ – into a ‘morning in America’ vision of growth.”

BREAKFAST SIDES

Labor Dept. rule coming to bring transparency to union-busting efforts. The Hill: “The Labor Department finalized the so-called union ‘persuader’ rule on Wednesday, requiring third-party lawyers and outside consultants to disclose when they are paid to advise businesses on resisting union-organizing campaigns. The rule takes effect on July 1.”
California moves toward $15 minimum wage. NYT: “California lawmakers have reached a tentative deal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 … If approved, California would become the first state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage … [Governor Jerry] Brown’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

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