Monday, January 23, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Trump's Perverse Populism


Robert Borosage
Trump's Perverse Populism
Donald Trump’s inaugural address stunned Washington elites. The New York Times, Washington Post and others commented on its unbridled populism, its accusatory tone. The Post’s antiquated conservative, George Will, scorned it as “the most dreadful inaugural address in history.” Yet it deserves attention for it reveals how Trump’s right-wing populism distorts America’s populist tradition...
After this weekend’s massive Women’s Marches kicked off the resistance, the next step in tomorrow. Join us Tuesday, January 24, when People’s Action,, and the Working Families Party are hosting rallies across the country. We are sending a clear message to the Senate: Stop Tom Price. Stop the #SwampCabinet. Protect our health care.

Biggest. March. Ever.

Women’s March may have been largest ever. Vox: “According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 500 US cities were attended by at least 3.3 million people. ‘Even using a conservative estimate, it was the single largest day for a demonstration in the US,’ Chenoweth, an expert on political protests and civil resistance, told us.”
Yahoo! News adds: “More than 1 in every 100 people in the U.S. turned out to march against Donald Trump and for women’s rights.”
Democrats ponder next steps. W. Post: “‘The next stop is organization,” [Rep. Gerald E. Connolly] said. ‘We need to correct the cracks in the political structure that didn’t work as well as it should have in the last election and that means organization in every town and every small place and big space in the country.’ … Connolly urged the anti-Trump masses to set their sights on the 2018 midterms … Rep. Jamie B. Raskin [proposed] a program to put the young people who attended their first big march Saturday to work…. ‘We have got to go on a consultant and pollster fast for a while. And we should put that money into organizing.'”


Trump to sign more executive orders. USA Today. NBC: “Expected executive orders in the coming days .. are being designed to reverse Obama-backed restrictions on carbon emissions of energy production, as well as changes in immigration policy … Other possible topics of looming executive action include health care and national security. Trump may hold off on one notable Obama executive order, the previous president’s decision to defer deportations of migrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children.”
Trade moves up today. Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Monday to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership … Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in November that TPP without the U.S. would be ‘meaningless.’ Still, multiple signatory countries including Vietnam and Australia have said they would stick to the deal even without the leading party of the agreement … Trump is [also] widely expected to notify the leaders of Canada and Mexico of his intent to renegotiate Nafta…”
Trump expected to go easy on fast-food CEOs. Salon: “McDonald’s has been facing a labor-relations issue [and] could get some help from fast food industry ally President Donald Trump, if the White House moves quickly to fill vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) … The NLRB is currently deciding whether McDonald’s should be considered a joint employer in labor and wage brought against McDonald’s franchises, a decision that could have a broader impact on the franchise industry.”
Budget tension within GOP. The Hill: “…some of Trump’s [budget] targets have fans in the GOP-controlled Congress, particularly in the Senate … Team Trump is relying on proposals outlined last year by the Heritage Foundation … One likely target is the Legal Services Corporation, a federal agency providing financial support for civil legal aid to low-income people … [Another] is the elimination of the essential air service program, a program that subsidizes rural airports serving sparsely populated communities … some GOP lawmakers are warning that efforts to tackle the nation’s fiscal problems through discretionary spending are short-sighted … Trump has vowed, however, to not make cuts to Medicare or Social Security.”
Trump to push Medicaid block grants. NYT: “President Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will propose giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant … Governors like the idea of having more control over Medicaid, but fear that block grants may be used as a vehicle for federal budget cuts. ‘We are very concerned that a shift to block grants or per capita caps for Medicaid would remove flexibility from states as the result of reduced federal funding,’ Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, a Republican, said this month…”
“Retiring Border Chief Calls Trump’s Wall a Waste of Time, Money” reports ABC: “‘I think that anyone who’s been familiar with the southwest border and the terrain…kind of recognizes that building a wall along the entire southwest border is probably not going to work,’ [said] Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of CBP during the Obama Administration … Kerlikowske said that he didn’t ‘think this was feasible,’ nor ‘the smartest way to use taxpayer money on infrastructure.’ ‘When we look at the cost –– and we have about 600 miles of fencing now –– we look at the maintenance and the upkeep, we know how incredibly difficult it is,’ he said.”


Trump immediately faces lawsuit over foreign income. NYT: “…the lawyers argue that a provision in the Constitution known as the Emoluments Clause bans payments from foreign powers like the ones to Mr. Trump’s companies … The suit, which will not seek any monetary damages, will ask a federal court in New York to order Mr. Trump to stop taking payments from foreign government entities … The legal team filing the lawsuit includes Laurence H. Tribe, a Harvard constitutional scholar … Richard W. Painter, an ethics counsel in the administration of George W. Bush … and Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor … the legal team intended to use the lawsuit to try to get a copy of Mr. Trump’s federal tax returns…”

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