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    As news broke Wednesday that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of this term, speculation as to who President Joe Biden might nominate to replace him began immediately – bringing pundits to recall a key Biden 2020 campaign pledge. “I’ll appoint the first Black woman to the Court. It’s required that they have representation now — it’s long overdue,” Biden said during a March 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Washington, DC. Biden added, “Secondly if I am elected president my cabinet, my administration would look like the country. And I commit that I’ll pick a woman to be vice president” – a pledge he made good on with Kamala Harris. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden’s remaining competitor at the time, made a similar commitment during the debate, but with one notable difference. “For me it’s not just nominating a woman,” Sanders noted. “It’s making sure we have progressive women … and there are progressive women out there, so my very strong tendency is to move in that direction.” Two leading contenders for Breyer’s seat, according...
    Two young Black conservatives said on Monday that all Black Americans are not progressives. According to Pew Research, 25 percent of Black Democrats consider themselves "conservative" and 43 percent say they are "moderate."  "I think right now, conservatives and Republicans have an opportunity to bridge this gap to make these alliances," Conscious Conservative Movement CEO Felecia Killings told "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt.  Killings said her father raised her to be conservative. She explained further that Black Americans are conservative in their values and that her organization, Conscious Conservative, bids to bridge the education and training gap between Black Americans and American conservatism. It also seeks to engage White conservatives to show that there are commonalities among both racial groups.  "It’s about understanding Black history, it’s about understanding that Black history is on the side of conservatism and if we can espouse these messages in a more empowering way as opposed to a degrading, dehumanizing manner we’ll see more Black Americans, Black millennials, especially among Black male voters, we’ll start to see more of them aligning themselves with conservative politics....
    Milwaukee County's district attorney, who has come under fire in the wake of the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre, "guaranteed" that progressive sentencing reforms he championed would result in someone ending up back on the streets who would kill. In a 2007 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that has subsequently come to light, John Chisholm said the reforms he was pushing to divert perpetrators of nonviolent crimes away from prison time and toward rehabilitation programs would result in someone’s death. "Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who's going to go out and kill somebody? You bet," Chisholm said. "Guaranteed. It's guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach." HUNDREDS GATHER FOR VIGIL IN WAUKESHA AFTER CHRISTMAS PARADE ATTACK Darrell Brooks, who has a lengthy criminal record, is accused of killing five people and injuring more than 40 at the parade on Sunday. He had been released two days before the rampage on only a $1,000 bail. Brooks was in custody because he allegedly ran...
    Last week, Mark Essick, the white sheriff of liberal, bucolic Sonoma County, California, took to his office’s Facebook page to publicly call out a “racist” attack against a high-ranking officer. The post caught many of Essick’s critics by surprise and has them questioning his motives. Sent to over 100,000 followers in the county, the post lambasted a white, former county police watchdog, Jerry Threet, who’d criticized assistant sheriff Eddie Engram, who is Black. Essick, who is retiring next year, screenshotted a post in September that Threet shared on his personal Facebook page, accusing Engram—who is running to replace Essick as sheriff in 2022—of being a pawn to curry favor with liberal residents following the murder of George Floyd and give the appearance of reforms on the horizon. “DON’T FALL FOR THE RUSE. NOT ALL SKIN FOLK ARE KINFOLK,” wrote Threet. Essick, whose tenure as sheriff started in 2019, said Threet’s post came at a moment when the county should be examining “how we can support and encourage people of color to become leaders in Sonoma County, not tear them...
    Things got dicey for Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver real quick. In a recent investigation by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, the longtime reporter interviewed over seventy Suns employees past and present, the vast majority of whom described Sarver as “brutal to work for.” They say Sarver sat at the center of a racist, misogynistic, and domineering atmosphere where toxicity stretched across almost every department. Former coaches Earl Watson and Corliss Williamson spoke on the record about several social interactions that set their racist alarms off—from something as prickly as, “They can say n****r, why can’t I?” arguments to Watson allegedly being fired because he’s a Klutch Sports client. The article further details wild allegations like Sarver passing around scantily-clad photos of his own wife to his employees who bounced it around “like a hot potato,” and his decision to hire Lindsey Hunter, the obviously under-experienced developmental coach, as head coach over Dan Majerle in 2013 because, according to the report, “These n*****s need n*****s.” He offered a similar racial rationale when hiring Earl Watson in 2017: “A young Black coach could...
    When she was elected lieutenant governor on Tuesday, Republican Winsome Sears became the first woman and first Black candidate elected to statewide office in Virginia. Her victory has been touted by some conservatives as evidence that racism is not a factor in the Virginia elections, which saw Republicans take the governorship and the House of Delegates. On Thursday night, Joy Reid said Virginia’s Republican voters shouldn’t get credit for electing a person of color because her opponent is also a person of color. Democrat Hala Ayala is a Latina with African roots and is also part Lebanese . “What Republicans are now doing is they basically demand credit any time any of them ever voted for anybody Black or if there’s a Black guy on the Supreme Court that’s conservative,” said Reid. “Any Black conservative is supposedly or the Black president having ever been elected, right? The fact that he was elected, period, means there’s no racism.” She continued, “The two choices voters had in Virginia were a Black woman who shares my daughter’s name and Jamaican heritage, and an...
    On Monday, Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle announced his plans to retire after more than 25 years in office, and on Tuesday, state Rep. Summer Lee, a progressive Democrat from southwest Pennsylvania, announced her run for Congress. Notably, Lee makes it clear that she was intending to run whether Doyle announced his retirement or not. If Lee’s name sounds familiar, it might be because you remember her excellent interview with Daily Kos from a few years ago while at Netroots Nation, where she gave us advice for millennials running for office, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, and shared the touching advice she would give her younger self. If our Making Progress series doesn’t ring a bell, it’s likely because Lee has garnered some well-deserved love on the national scale thanks to her authentic, powerful progressive politics. Lee, like other members of the “Squad”—including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar—wants to push moderate Democrats to the left. For example, Lee supports student debt cancellation, Medicare for All, workers’ rights, the Green New Deal, defunding the police, universal child care, lowering drug prices, and more affordable...
    On his first day in office, the white premier of Nova Scotia chose a fellow white man to serve as a representative for thousands of African Nova Scotians and as head of the Canadian province’s anti-racism efforts, enraging members of his community. “I understand the emotions of it but [the decision] shouldn’t be interpreted as not being concerned about listening to the community,” Tim Houston, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, said in a statement Tuesday night. He picked Pat Dunn, a member of the Canadian Legislative Assembly, as the minister for African Nova Scotian Affairs and the Office of Anti-Racism Initiatives. There are roughly 21,000 people of African descent in the province distributed among 50 African Nova Scotia communities. Replies to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tweets about the decision as well as Facebook comments on Houston’s announcement denounced the decision as “tone deaf.” Among the Progressive Conservative Party’s 31 members elected to office in August, there were no Black members. Three Black Progressive Conservative candidates had run and lost. Houston said, rather than choose a Black candidate from outside...
                      by William Haupt III  “Ya know, reality has a way of intruding. Reality eventually intrudes on everything.” – Joe Biden During last year’s Democratic primaries when everyone fumbled the ball, the leftist voters turned to socialist Bernie Sanders. Although the DNC figured Sanders would fizzle with baseline Democrats, they misread their comrades. When Sanders won California and Nevada, they hurriedly regrouped. Their strategy was to pair Joe Biden with a babysitter VP, and use them as their progressive shills. When President Joe Biden speaks, it’s hard not to recall President Abraham Lincoln’s famous refrain, “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” As we watch our nation continue to implode, it’s critical we solve the mystery: who is in charge in Washington? Since the DNC obviously won’t let Biden appear in public without his shadow Vice President Kamala Harris, Americans should be deeply concerned who is running their republic? In 2006 when the DNC needed to revitalize their electorate, John Kerry came up with a plan to...
    It’s rare that a special election in August carries as much weight as Tuesday’s race in Ohio pitting Nina Turner, a hero to progressives and a fierce promoter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal, against Shontel Brown, a local office holder with an undistinguished record but with the firepower of the Congressional Black Caucus behind her, along with the endorsement of Hillary Clinton and other national Democrats. Turner entered the race as the frontrunner who, if she won, could affect the delicate balance among congressional Democrats and its two wings. She speaks her mind sometimes in offensive language and she readily turns her fury on Democrats who don’t embrace her wing of the party. A furious backlash sparked by the CBC put an end to Turner’s aspirations. Brown won with 50.4 percent of the vote to Turner’s 44 percent. Turner’s potential win had sounded alarm bells for the Biden agenda and for the ability of the Democratic Party to maintain the unity needed to squeeze legislation out of a closely divided Congress. Mainstream...
    It’s their hill to defund on. Progressive Democrats are irked by talk from President Biden and national Democrats looking to move the party away from the anti-police rhetoric of 2020. "Since the last election the moderates have been moving away from it," state Sen. Jabari Brisport told The Post. Brisport — a socialist — warned that embracing cops would bring consequences from his perennially restive comrades. "I think hiring more cops after we just saw the largest protest our nation has ever seen against police violence is extremely tone deaf and does not build the base and will probably hurt us in the 2022 elections," Brisport said. During a summer of violence in 2020, defund the police became a battle cry for Democrats from coast to coast. In New York, the City Council passed a budget slashing a billion dollars from the NYPD. Its undercover anti-crime unit was disbanded. Lefty Minneapolis lawmakers moved to completely defund their department and (promptly backed down in the wake of a crime surge). AOC, ‘SQUAD’ MEMBERS PROMOTE ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’ BUT SPEND THOUSANDS ON PRIVATE...
    Charles Booker, the Black former state lawmaker in Kentucky who one year ago came close to winning the 2020 Democratic Senate nomination, on Thursday launched a 2022 progressive campaign to challenge Republican Sen. Rand Paul. "Let’s make freedom ring. Real freedom, from the hood to the holler. We can start by taking our seat back from Rand Paul. I’m running," Booker said as he announced his candidacy on social media. A couple of hours later, Booker formally kicked off his campaign with a noontime rally in the majority-Black west side of Louisville, part of the district that he represented for a term in Kentucky’s House of Representatives. PUSHING A KENTUCKY ‘GREEN NEW DEAL,' BOOKER MOVES TOWARD CHALLENGING PAUL Booker, once a long shot for the 2020 nomination against Democratic establishment favorite and eventual nominee Amy McGrath, saw his campaign surge last spring amid protests in Kentucky and over police brutality against minorities and systemic racism nationwide. The demonstrations were sparked by the murder of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minnesota – as well as the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical...
    A coalition of progressive organizations on Monday announced the launch of a $1.5 million television ad campaign targeting centrist Democratic Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (Ariz.) over her opposition to filibuster reform and a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  Twenty Arizona groups joined Just Democracy, a coalition of over 40 “Black and Brown-led organizations” promoting Democracy reform, in unveiling two hard-hitting ads targeting Sinema. In one spot, titled “Words,” an indigenous activist, a Black community activist and a Black pastor face the camera and ask why Sinema is “standing by” and “allowing Republican leaders to threaten our rights,” while footage of Sinema’s recent press conference with Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBlack lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory The Senate is where dreams go to die Federal government to observe Juneteenth holiday on Friday MORE (R-Texas) in Tucson, where Sinema reiterated her opposition to getting rid of the filibuster, flashes on the screen.  The ad’s...
    Del. Jay Jones (left) is running for attorney general of Virginia. This is the final installment in a series of interviews with Democratic candidates for statewide office in Virginia. If you ever have the chance to meet Virginia Del. Jay Jones in person, you'll come away with the impression that he's an affable and passionate public servant. He knows how to hold your gaze when he speaks, with an uncanny sense for both the physical (a hug, a chest bump, a handshake) and the intellectual (being able to seamlessly move between policy wonk and personal connection) when connecting with people. With an unapologetic focus on discussing the "kitchen table" problems that matter to working Virginia families, Jones, 32, is a modern progressive straight out of the proverbial “central casting.” If you don’t know where Jones comes from, you might miss the weight pressing down on him as the gravity of the past looms omnipresent. His grandfather fought Harry Byrd's "Massive Resistance" and was played a key role in integrating public schools in Virginia. His grandmother raised a family alone after her husband’s untimely death and still managed to...
    The activists spoke from behind their computer screens, convening from multiple corners of the world to convey a singular message on the need for continued solidarity among Black organizers and their Palestinian counterparts. “I know that Palestinian people have felt alone for so long, and I know that because Black people have felt alone for so long,” said Janaya “Future” Khan, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist. “We have to be together in this.” The Zoom panel, co-hosted by the Dream Defenders — a Florida-based group that was launched in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death — and titled “What does Palestine mean for Black America,” included well-known Black and Palestinian voices, including Angela Davis and Mohammed El-Kurd. Black and Palestinian Americans, as well as Palestinians in the Middle East, share a common cause, Khan said. “My freedom is bound up with Palestinian people, and Palestinian people’s freedom is bound up with me.” The world witnessed agonizing scenes of death and destruction in 11 days of fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas, which controls the...
    Rep.-elect Troy Carter. The all-Democratic special election runoff for Louisiana's vacant 2nd Congressional District saw state Sen. Troy Carter defeat fellow state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson 55-45 on Saturday. Carter will succeed Cedric Richmond, who resigned from this New Orleans area district in January to take a post in the Biden White House. Many national observers saw the contest between Carter and Peterson (who are not related) as a battle between moderates and progressives. Both New Orleans-based legislators campaigned as ardent Democrats, but Peterson, who would have been the first Black woman to represent Louisiana in Congress, argued she was the more liberal of the two. Notably, while Peterson emphatically backed the Green New Deal, Carter would only call it "a good blueprint" and said he didn't support the plan. Carter, in turn, insisted he’d have an easier time working with Republicans in Congress than Peterson. Carter did in fact earn the support of some prominent Republicans, including Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng, but he also had endorsements from Richmond himself and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black...
    A progressive group that has successfully backed primary challenges to a number of Democratic members of Congress has a new target in its sights: Rep. Jim CooperJim CooperGOP leader to try to force Swalwell off panel DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes Colorado presses Biden to reverse Trump Space Command move MORE (D-Tenn.). Justice Democrats said Monday that it will support Cooper's primary challenger Odessa Kelly, a Black organizer and founder of Stand Up Nashville!, a nonprofit focused on fighting for racial and economic justice in Tennessee's largest city. Kelly launched her campaign Monday morning with an ad produced in the same style as previously widely-seen ads made for the winning campaigns of progressive firebrands Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Biden's bet on taxes Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? MORE (D-N.Y.). The ad does not mention Cooper by name and instead focuses on Kelly's background as an organizer and the economic problems facing the Black community in Nashville. ...
    (CNN)Karen Carter Peterson wants to make history.The longtime Louisiana state senator is vying for the open seat once held by Cedric Richmond -- one that would propel her to become the first Black woman to represent the state in Congress."When women are not at the table and seated, we are typically on the menu," Peterson, 51, told CNN in an interview. "I don't like that we've never had an African American woman serve from Louisiana in our congressional delegation. That needs to end."Peterson is one of 15 candidates running to succeed Richmond in the 2nd Congressional District, a solidly blue seat that represents an area stretching from inland Baton Rouge to waterside New Orleans and snaking through the River Parishes. Richmond, who was easily reelected in November, was tapped by President Joe Biden to join the White House as senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Engagement. Early voting started March 6 in the special election and the final day to cast a ballot is Saturday. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters advance to...
    "We're proud to be Americans again," Norma Luna told a New York Times reporter on Inauguration Day. For some progressives—in particular but not only those who are Americans of color—it’s easier to feel proud of being American and feel a connection to the country than it has been for the last four years. Having President Joe Biden instead of President Charlottesville sitting in the Oval Office makes a big difference. Part of that change flows from concrete shifts in policy. These include matters ranging from how the previous administration treated undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers (treatment that appears in some instances to be continuing, at least for now, in the “rogue agency” that is Immigration and Customs Enforcement), to its unilateralism in foreign affairs—seen most egregiously in the areas of climate and the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal—to its racist, anti-democratic approach to voting rights. It also helps that instead of a president who played footsie with white nationalists, called neo-Nazis “very fine people,” ran a presidential campaign essentially on a message of “white power,” and falsely characterized the...