Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Americans Like the Resistance a Lot More Than They Like Trump

MORNING MESSAGE

Richard Eskow
Americans Like the Resistance a Lot More Than They Like Trump
The numbers are irrefutable. Trump’s approval rating has sunk to a historically low 42 percent, according to Gallup, yet 60 percent of the public approved of the women’s marches ... The marchers were also more than twice as popular as the tea party was when it first appeared ...

"NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED"

Republicans try to silence Warren, fail. W. Post: “…Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech … and said that she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against [Jeff] Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King … In setting up the votes to rebuke Warren, McConnell specifically cited portions of a letter that King … wrote … The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines, to uphold the ruling … Banned from reading King’s letter on the Senate floor, Warren instead went to a nearby room and read it aloud on Facebook Live.”
Warren book drops in April. AP: “Warren’s ‘This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class’ will be published April 18 … It will offer a mini-history of the American middle class…”

Dems PREPARE TO BATTLE ON

Dems plan to battle more nominees. The Hill quotes Schumer: “We’re going to have long debates on Sessions and we’re going to have debates on Price.”
Republicans try to salvage Puzder. Politico: “Republican leaders are intent on pushing the fast-food executive through, and are preparing finally to schedule his confirmation hearing after four delays related to problems with his ethics paperwork. But a number of GOP senators said that before pressing forward, they want to know more about the latest revelation that Puzder for five years employed — he says unknowingly — an undocumented immigrant … a prominent business lobbyist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, ‘Based on past standards, he has a high hill to climb. … How much more can one take and still survive?'”
Schumer unimpressed after meeting Gorsuch. Politico quotes: “When someone doesn’t answer the most obvious of questions, and questions that demand answers, you wonder. You really wonder.”

TRAVEL BAN GRILLED

Tough questioning for travel in appellate court hearing. Bloomberg: “The grilling of both sides was rapid-fire, with August Flentje, representing the Department of Justice, facing harsher questioning than his adversary … A decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco may come this week. The jurists gave no clear sense of how they would rule … Whatever the ruling, it is almost certain to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Republican divide over legal immigration crackdown. Politico: “Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue faced pushback from fellow lawmakers on Tuesday after rolling out legislation to slash legal immigration … Sen. Lindsey Graham … said instead of an ‘arbitrary number of green cards,’ he would prefer to see a system that ‘fluctuates based on the economic needs of our country.’ … ‘I haven’t looked at it,’ McCain said of the new bill. ‘But I’m not interested in that legislation.'”

HOUSE DEMS PLOT STRATEGY

House Dems to assess how much to resist while on retreat. Politico: “The biggest divide within the caucus is whether to jump headfirst into a four-year, fist-to-fist brawl with Donald Trump or stay on the current path of frequently needling the president but holding out for cooperation where possible … Some Democrats are working quietly to set up meetings with the White House on areas where they might share common ground, like bringing down the cost of prescription drugs … House Democrats might yet find some leverage if Republicans fracture as they have so often in the past and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) must rely on Pelosi to deliver the votes at a crucial moment.”
Red state Dems to meet with Trump. Politico: “Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia will meet with Trump … On Wednesday afternoon ahead of the meeting, Trump is scheduled to have a legislative affairs strategy session.”

CONSERVATIVE CARBON TAX?

“Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax” reports NYT: “The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury … would substitute the carbon tax for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan … At an initial price of $40 per ton of carbon dioxide produced, the tax would raise an estimated $200 billion to $300 billion a year, with the rate scheduled to rise over time … the money raised would be returned to consumers … The proposal would also insulate fossil fuel companies against possible lawsuits over the damage their products have caused to the environment.”
Dakota Access Pipeline moves ahead. The Hill: “The Army Corps of Engineers will grant the final approval needed to complete the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline as soon as Wednesday [and] it will no longer complete an intensive environmental impact statement … Energy Transfer told the federal judge Monday that that it could take as little as 60 days to finish the pipeline once it gets the Army Corps easement … The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe outlined its plans … saying it would continue litigation against the project…”

REPATRIATION GETS BOOST

Key Republican embraces repatriation to fund infrastructure. Bloomberg: “‘The dollars are out there, so we get a piece of that,’ [Rep. Bill] Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee … Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, said on Fox Business on Feb. 3 that the president wants to use proceeds from repatriation to help fund the improvements … One thing [Shuster] can’t support: creating a federal infrastructure bank to provide funding for projects…”
Will Trump’s infrastructure plan help schools? American Prospect’s Rachel Cohen: “[In] his inaugural address [Trump] talked again about infrastructure spending, but this time made no mention of school facilities. In fact, Trump actually argued that America’s education system—as opposed to being starved for investments—is ‘flush with cash.’ … Unlike the highway and railway lobbies, school infrastructure advocates don’t have a well-funded institutional presence on K Street.”
Deficit hawks worry about Trump’s budget. Politico: “GOP lawmakers are fretting that Trump’s spending requests, due out in a month or so, will blow a gaping hole in the federal budget — ballooning the debt and undermining the party’s doctrine of fiscal discipline … ‘I don’t think you can do infrastructure, raise defense spending, do a tax cut, keep Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security just as they are, and balance the budget. It’s just not possible,’ said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) … ‘If there is a temporary increase in the deficit to get our economy growing, I think my fellow Republican members are willing to look at the long game,’ said Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a Trump loyalist.”
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