CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS HOLDS SUMMIT OF LIBERALS AND PROGRESSIVES: The session, organized and co-hosted by the Center for American Progress’ political arm, is ostensibly meant to share best practices with these volunteer-driven groups, on subjects ranging from fundraising to organizing. But it also reflects the effort underway within the Democratic Party, where operatives who have battled Republicans for years are now trying to cooperate with newcomers who have been more successful capturing the energy of anti-Trump Americans than the professional class was during the 2016 campaign. “We’re trying to merge these two worlds, between the institutional left and the energy in the field,” said Emily Tisch Sussman, the Center for American Progress’ senior director of campaigns and advocacy. “I don’t think we should treat them as separate, but we have to be intentional about how we merge them.” It’s a process both sides say needs to go well if Democrats want to turn the so-called anti-Trump “resistance” movement into a force that can win elections.
NEW CENSUS FORM WILL TRACK LIKELY MUSLIMS: The Census Bureau on Feb. 28 for the first time recommended including the new category, which would mostly affect Muslims. The Office of Management and Budget is expected to make the decision later this year. The move is the product of years of research and decades of advocacy for Arab and other groups from the region that pre-date Donald Trump's presidential campaign. In 2016, Trump said the government should investigate mosques in the U.S. in much the same way the New York Police Department's now-shuttered "Demographics Unit" spied on Muslims with help from the CIA. The group assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed, infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques and monitored sermons, The Associated Press reported in 2011. "It's very hard for us now to sort of reject that wholly, because we've been working on it for decades," she adds. "We've been telling our members: We understand why you're concerned, it's a legitimate concern. Let's just proceed with caution."
FORMER GREENVILLE POLICE CHIEF RACIALLY PROFILED, DETAINED BY BORDER CONTROL: Hassan Aden says customs officers detained him for an hour and a half after he landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 13. The former police chief took to Facebook on Saturday to share his story. “I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, ‘Remain seated at all times’ and ‘Use of telephones strictly prohibited’ – my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention,” he writes. A customs officer “explained that my name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list. He stated that he sent my information to another agency to de-conflict and clear me, so that I could gain passage into the United States.... my own country!!!”
TRUMP WIRETAPPING CLAIM DEBUNKED, RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE CONFIRMED: The top two lawmakers on the House intelligence committee said Sunday that documents the Justice Department and FBI delivered late last week offered no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower, but the panel's ranking Democrat says the material offers circumstantial evidence that American citizens colluded with Russians in Moscow's efforts to interfere in the presidential election. "Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No there never was," Nunes said. "The information we received Friday continues to lead us in that direction." Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Susan Collins of Maine also said Sunday they had seen no evidence that the Obama administration had placed Trump under surveillance at Trump Tower, the Manhattan high-rise that houses Trump's residence, business office and campaign office. Collins encouraged Trump to turn whatever evidence he has of the surveillance over to the congressional intelligence panels looking into the matter.
TRUMP'S BUDGET DEVASTATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday proposed a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, as the White House seeks to eliminate climate change programs and trim initiatives to protect air and water quality. The EPA would sustain the biggest cut of any federal agency in the White House 2018 budget, as Trump seeks to clear away regulations he claims are hobbling U.S. oil drillers, coal miners and farmers. The proposed cuts are a starting point, and Congress could temper them in its budget deliberations. The proposal would slash funding for enforcing regulations, fighting water pollution, cleaning up sites contaminated by toxic waste and promoting energy-efficient appliances. It would eliminate 3,200 EPA employees, or 19 percent of the agency's workforce.