Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Baltimore's "Big Government" In Blue Uniforms


The lack of convictions in Freddie Gray’s death was not a vindication of Baltimore police. The Department of Justice’s scathing report of its probe of the Baltimore police force laid bare the structural racism that poisoned policing in the city, and ultimately led to Gray’s death ... [Gray's neighborhood of] Sandtown sounds a lot like Milwaukee, Wis., where police shot and killed a black man, reportedly armed, after stopping a car with two African-American men, for “suspicion.” ... Sandtown had help getting that way. About 73 pages into the Justice Department report on Baltimore is a “redlining” map from 1937, in which the government decided which neighborhoods would be subsidized with government funding and which ones wouldn’t.


Trump makes his case to African-Americans. Yahoo! News: “The Republican presidential nominee repeatedly accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of ‘taking for granted’ and ‘taking advantage of’ black voters, calling her the ‘personification of special interest corruption’ who cares only about donors and not struggling Americans.”
… in front of white audience. W. Post: “…the overwhelming majority of his audience was white … During his speech, Trump said that anti-police critics have made police officers’ jobs more difficult and have come at the expense of innocent victims of crime.”
Trump faces “sharp resistance.” W. Post: “At a campaign rally last week in central Pennsylvania, Trump suggested that he would lose in the state only if people in ‘certain areas’ committed rampant voter fraud — a comment widely seen as referring to minority-heavy parts of the state, such as Philadelphia. For many black voters, the comments struck a discordant note.”


Trump “hurting Republicans down the ballot –– but not enough to flip control of the House” says The Hill: “Election analysts emphasize that a wave election delivering power back to the Democrats remains possible. But [Cook Political Report’s David] Wasserman put the odds at only between 10 and 20 percent, and predicts Democrats will pick up between 10 and 20 House seats –– far shy of the 30 needed to win back control.”
But Dems still have a chance. W. Post: “…if he loses to Hillary Clinton by a big enough margin in November, it will be very hard for those 27 House Republicans to outrun him in their own races by a big enough margin. GOP pollster Robert Blizzard drove that point home … ‘I think a GOP’er can run about 5 points higher than Trump … if Trump’s <45% in Nov in a [congressional district], that spells trouble…'”
Senate map expands. The Hill: “The good news for the GOP is that Sen. Rob Portman (R) has solidified his position in Ohio … and Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R) high name identification gives the party a much better chance of holding Florida’s Senate seat … [But] Trump’s recent plunge in the polls in North Carolina, however, has vaulted Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) into the ranks of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents … Republicans are also getting nervous about Missouri, where incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R) faces a difficult challenge from Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander, a former Army captain.”
120 Republicans call on RNC to divert money to down-ballot, away from Trump. W. Post: “Those who signed the letter include current and former staffers and elected officials in the RNC, advisers to the past nine Republican presidential campaigns, former members of Congress and others.”


Aetna largely withdraws from Obamacare exchanges. W. Post: “The company, citing $430 million in losses selling insurance to individuals since January of 2014, will slash its participation from 15 states to four next year … Chief executive Mark Bertolini said in a statement that there are not enough healthy people to financially offset those with major health problems … Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said that these national carriers haven’t traditionally been the biggest part of the exchanges [and] didn’t see this as a death knell for the exchanges.”
“Obamacare Will Survive” says NYT editorial board: “Aetna’s decision will cause problems in some places … But competition is more robust elsewhere … It is clear, however, that Congress should strengthen the marketplaces to ensure sufficient competition. For example, it could encourage more healthy people to buy insurance by extending tax credits to families that now earn too much to qualify.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders sees opening for single-payer. The Hill: “The senator said he will reintroduce his legislation to create a ‘Medicare-for-all’ system in the next session of the Senate … ‘In my view, the provision of healthcare cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible,’ Sanders said…”


“Progressives lament Clinton’s choice of transition chair” reports Politico: “Trade critics and anti-fracking activists expressed dismay Tuesday at Hillary Clinton’s choice of former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar … he has been an outspoken supporter of President Barack Obama’s proposed Asia-Pacific trade deal … he joined industry supporters in criticizing anti-fracking proposals that greens want to place on Colorado’s November ballot …”
Green Party’s Jill Stein gets CNN town hall 9 PM ET tonight: “…set to be Stein’s most high-profile moment in her bid to upset the 2016 election, four years after she first ran and failed to gain enough traction to make it into the general election debates … Sanders was able to make his progressive policies palatable for a national audience and particularly for young people … Can she?”
Strong union buoys working-class women in Vegas. NYT’s Brittany Bronson: “…women — and in particular older, immigrant women — make up a vast majority of Culinary 226’s members … [Nevada] boasts one of the smallest gender pay gaps in the country … Women in unions make 88 percent of what men earn, compared with the 81 percent that women make outside unions.”

Progressive Breakfast is a daily morning email highlighting news stories of interest to activists. Progressive Breakfast is a project of the Campaign for America's Future. more »