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AZProgressive's Journal
AZProgressive's Journal
March 28, 2021

Metro Phoenix's Asian American community marches in Mesa to protest anti-Asian attacks

Hundreds of people holding signs, toting coolers of snacks and wearing masks marched in Mesa on Saturday to support Asian American communities victimized by harassment and hate.

Some signs had statements like, "Love us like you love our food," "Not your model minority, not your fetish, not another hate crime." Others wore shirts that said, "Stop Asian hate." Children were among the crowd.

Nora Kish, who is half Korean, says the support of people who came here paints a more accurate version of the solidarity of the Asian community. Kish's mother, who immigrated in the 1980s, has been afraid since she was confronted by a group of men a few weeks ago.

“Really, it’s white supremacy that is at the root of it all," she said. "Just like a Black Matter Lives activist said, they will keep pitching us against each other until we get on the same page and unite against hate.”


March 19, 2021

New bill on Puerto Rico status introduced by Reps. AOC, Velzquez, Sen. Menendez

Democrats in Congress introduced legislation Thursday to get the ball rolling on determining Puerto Rico's future status, including possible statehood, and its relationship with the mainland.

The measure, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021, calls for creating a "status convention" made up of delegates elected by Puerto Rican voters. The delegates would be responsible for coming up with long-term solutions for the island's territorial status — statehood, independence, a free association or other options beyond its current territorial arrangement.

Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who introduced the measure in the Senate, said the delegates would hold formal talks "with a bilateral negotiating commission" of several members of Congress and other federal officials. Options would be "put before the people of Puerto Rico to vote in a federally recognized referendum for the first time," Menendez said during a news conference.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who introduced the House version of the bill along with Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., said the measure is as much about allowing Puerto Ricans to assert their political identity as it is "about the identity of the United States."


March 13, 2021

Army reviewing investigation into Michael Flynn's dealings with Russia, foreign firm

The Defense Department’s internal watchdog has concluded a long-delayed investigation into Michael Flynn, defense officials said Friday, sending its findings to the Army in a case that could bring tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties for former president Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.

The investigation focuses on Flynn’s acceptance of money from Russian and Turkish interests before joining the Trump administration, a potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. With few exceptions, U.S. officials, including retired service members like Flynn, are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments. Flynn retired from the Army as a three-star general in 2014.

The inspector general’s investigation, opened in April 2017, was put on hold for more than three years amid a broader scandal that included a criminal investigation of Flynn by the Justice Department — part of what would become the investigation of Trump’s first presidential campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election led by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.


After Trump’s pardon, the Justice Department gave approval for the Defense Department inspector general’s office to resume its investigation, said Dwrena K. Allen, a spokeswoman for acting inspector general Sean O’Donnell. The watchdog’s office closed its investigation one week after the Biden administration took office and forwarded its findings to the Army.


March 4, 2021

Lead Maricopa County prosecutor on protest cases placed on administrative leave

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has placed the lead prosecutor for a collection of protest cases on administrative leave amid an outside investigation into how a group of demonstrators was charged as a criminal street gang.


The "Politically Charged" investigation exposed one case that was especially problematic: a group of protesters arrested on Oct.17 was charged as a criminal street gang based on exaggerations and lies.

ABC15 obtained records and police radio calls that show Sponsel was actively advising officers before the arrests were finalized. The audio further raised concerns about inappropriate coordination between Phoenix police and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel has distanced herself from the gang charges, claiming she was out of the loop due to a traumatic brain injury last year. However, the arrests and charges were finalized before Adel was hospitalized.


March 1, 2021

I'll answer

Biden Can Single-Handedly Run The Reconciliation Process: Parliamentarian Experts (VIDEO)

Two experts in the arcane rules of the Senate said on Monday that, as president of the Senate, Biden has the capacity not just to overrule any ruling that the parliamentarian may make but also to cut off efforts by Republicans to offer unlimited amendments.

“Ultimately it’s the Vice President of the United States [who has the power over the reconciliation process],” Robert Dove, who served as Senate parliamentarian on and off from 1981-2001, told MSNBC this morning. “It is the decision of the Vice President whether or not to play a role here... And I have seen Vice Presidents play that role in other very important situations... The parliamentarian can only advise. It is the vice president who rules.”


The title “Senate parliamentarian” is so distinguished that one might easily assume it dates back to the 18th century. In fact, the post was created in 1935 in revolt against John Nance Garner, the vice president who famously said his office wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm piss” and who apparently worked out his frustrations by rendering as president of the Senate questionable parliamentary rulings. Only three people held the post before Frumin and Dove’s 28-year do-si-do. According to Dove, Vice President Hubert Humphrey routinely ignored his parliamentarian’s advice. Might Vice President Joe Biden do the same with health care? Dove sees it as a “more plausible” prospect with Biden than it might be with other vice presidents because Biden (like Humphrey) is a former senator who can draw on personal familiarity with Senate procedure. He’s also (I would add) kind of a know-it-all, an annoying quality in many contexts but a potentially useful one here.


These articles are from when Biden was VP but the excerpts answers your question.

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