Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: As the Trump Train Derails, We Must Keep Up the Pressure


Isaiah J. Poole
As the Trump Train Derails, We Must Keep Up the Pressure
On this second Tuesday of protests, we will make it manifestly clear the Trump agenda is not normal and we will not let it be normalized. Many of these events will focus on our demand that our cities and towns protect immigrants by declaring themselves “sanctuary cities” and refusing to comply with Trump’s executive orders that hurt our families and communities. We are calling on governors in particular to “join the resistance” against the immigration executive order.
TODAY: Join one of the hundreds of local #ResistTrumpTuesdays protests across the country hosted by People’s Action, MoveOn.org and the Working Families Party. The resistance to Trump’s agenda is building momentum and it’s working! Come join us.


LAT’s Jim Puzzanghera reports: “Dems on Senate Finance Committee are boycotting votes today on Mnuchin and Price. It’s unclear if votes will happen later.”
Tillerson cued up for confirmation. The Hill: “Senators voted 56-43 on a procedural hurdle, with only a simple majority needed to move forward … Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Warner (Va.), as well as Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) voted to move forward with Tillerson’s nomination. Manchin, Heitkamp and King are up for reelection in 2018.”


Trump fires acting AG after she resisted executive order. CNN: “President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for ‘refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,’ … ‘(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,’ the White House statement said. Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET … Boente issued a statement rescinding Yates’ order, instructing DOJ lawyers to ‘defend the lawful orders of our President.’ Trump didn’t call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter…”
Dems march against travel ban. Roll Call: “House Democrats continued their protests … marching down the East Front Capitol steps holding candles and singing ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ heading to the Supreme Court to rally against the executive action … The rally followed efforts by Democrats on Monday evening to bring legislation to the House and Senate floors to prohibit federal funds from being used to implement the executive order or to rescind the order outright.”
Travel ban backlash slows confirmation process. Roll Call: “On Monday afternoon, Democrats objected to a request for committees to meet two hours after the Senate convened, a routine unanimous request that typically sails through with nary a whisper of dissent. Blocking the daily procedure showed Democrats were stepping up their slowdown efforts … Democrats will be asking the remaining Cabinet nominees about whether they were involved in, or if they have positions on, Trump’s missive, according to a senior Democratic aide. Democrats are expected to call for delays on confirmation votes until they get answers.”
Republicans offer narrow complaints. The Atlantic: “More Republican lawmakers issued statements critical of Trump’s action on Sunday evening and Monday, even as many said they supported a temporary halt to the refugee program and restrictions on travel from Muslim countries … Republicans were particularly angry that the Trump administration did not initially exempt green-card holders, or those who had served as military or diplomatic interpreters from the ban.”
Trump voters happy. AP: “In their view, Trump is being Trump. They add that Democrats and liberal snowflakes and soft-hearted do-gooders just need to calm down.”
Immigrants told to sign away their rights. NYT: “…immigration agents have wrongly told some travelers arriving legally that they must sign documents forfeiting their right to enter, according to immigration lawyers and migrants … lawyers who flocked to a number of airports to represent migrants said United States Customs and Border Protection agents there repeatedly resorted to coercion and deception to deny entry.”
“Border-district Republicans skeptical about Trump’s wall” reports The Hill: “Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who represents the largest region along the Mexican border of any member of Congress, actively opposes the wall … And Reps. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) have both expressed skepticism about how effective the wall would be … there isn’t a single border-area lawmaker who vocally supports the construction of a wall in their district … Pearce’s southern New Mexico district was the only one along the border that Trump won on Nov. 8.”
“If Trump Goes After ‘Dreamers,’ Republican Loyalty May Be Tested” reports NYT: “Some Republicans have contemplated … potentially searing depictions and worry they could provoke an outcry that would dwarf this weekend’s response to the new restrictions … ‘After this weekend, if they go after Dreamers, they are going to be going after the best-known, most popular and most beloved immigrants in America,’ said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice…”


Progressives sharpen knives for SCOTUS fight. Politico: “‘There is now an urgency to oppose anyone who won’t be a powerful check on the Supreme Court against the executive branch excesses and impulses,’ said Nan Aron, founder and president of the Alliance for Justice … progressives are zeroing in on red-state Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp. Among Republicans, they’re looking at Arizona’s Jeff Flake and Nevada’s Dean Heller, who are both up for reelection in 2018, and the moderate Susan Collins of Maine…”
Sen. Jeff Merkley plans filibuster. The Hill: “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) turned up the temperature on Monday, circulating a petition that argues his colleagues should block any nominee from Trump given the Senate GOP’s decision to not grant a vote or hearing to Merrick Garland…”
Other Dems hesitate on filibuster. CNN: “…a number of Democrats are trying to persuade liberal firebrands to essentially let Republicans confirm Trump’s pick after a vigorous confirmation process [because] Republicans are considering gutting the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if Democrats stay largely united and block Trump’s first pick.”
Left plans broader legal assault. NYT: “…lawyers at liberal advocacy groups have been putting aside institutional rivalries and organizing to work together on litigation. Several leaders of the effort said their hope is that the judiciary may serve as a strong check to a government controlled by Mr. Trump…”


Congress moves on loosening coal regs. The Hill: “Sen. McConnell introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution blocking the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule, days before the House is set to vote on a similar measure … [The rule] protects waterways from the impacts of mountaintop removal mining.”
Trump aims at Dodd-Frank. NYT: “His allies in Congress began their legislative assault on Dodd-Frank on Monday, introducing a measure to repeal a Securities and Exchange Commission regulation that requires oil companies to publicly disclose payments they make to governments when developing resources around the world … House Republicans are also moving bolder legislation that would repeal crucial provisions of Dodd-Frank, including the so-called Volcker rule … Wall Street is hoping that with new leaders at the S.E.C. and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, regulators may allow some leeway for violations of the Volcker rule and other regulations.”


Trump trade aide accuses Germany of currency manipulation. FT: “Germany is using a ‘grossly undervalued’ euro to ‘exploit’ the US and its EU partners, Donald Trump’s top trade adviser has said in comments that are likely to trigger alarm in Europe’s largest economy … [Peter] Navarro also called Germany one of the main hurdles to an American trade deal with the EU and declared talks with the bloc over a US-EU agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, dead … Mr Navarro said one of the administration’s trade priorities was unwinding and repatriating the international supply chains on which many US multinational companies rely, taking aim at one of the pillars of the modern global economy.”
Trump doesn’t deserve credit for cutting cost of F-35s. W. Post: “…Lockheed already had planned cost reductions. In a Dec. 19 briefing … the head of the Defense Department’s F-35 Joint Program Office, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, announced costs would come down ‘significantly.’ … The average price unit price has been decreasing for years, and Bogdan repeatedly has announced his intention to lower the cost of the jets…”
Mexicans turn against NAFTA. Bloomberg: “…Eduardo Avila, on a break from his job as a driver … dug into the pocket of his jeans jacket to show off the lapel pin and ribbon he’d just bought, both emblazoned with a suddenly popular slogan: ‘United For Mexico. Buy Mexican Goods.’ … Alejandro Sanchez, a vendor on the outskirts of the Zocalo [said] ‘They can raise the tallest wall in the world, in fact they should. They can keep their burgers and fast food, their junk culture,’…”

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