Progressive Briefing for Wednesday, September 5

Women's March disrupts Kavanaugh hearing, Senator Jon Kyl replaces McCain, Rahm Emanuel not seeking re-election, and more.

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Women’s March determined to disrupt Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, dozens arrested

Leaders of the Women’s March are determined to disrupt Brett Kavanuagh’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court and, while their presence was seen and heard on Day 1, more than 30 women were arrested yesterday.

Alongside Women’s March co-founders Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland, women from many different backgrounds, including women from 20 different woman’s organizations from across the nation, gathered in Washington, D.C. at Kavanuagh’s confirmation hearing. Their goal: “to look our Senators in the eye and remind them that women across America are watching.” According to a press release, “women were dragged out of the hearing without warning from police officers.”

What you should know about the documents at the heart of the Kavanaugh fight

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday sparred over whether the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should proceed as planned – with the hearing quickly descending into chaos as Democratic senators repeatedly interrupted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

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At the center of the conflict is a trove of documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as president of the White House Counsel’s Office and later as staff secretary to the Bush administration.

Is the government planning to surveil Keystone XL protesters?

In the aftermath of Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock, leaked documents revealed that law enforcement agencies had collaborated with private security contractors to employ counterterrorism tactics against “pipeline insurgencies” and to manufacture a conspiracy lawsuit against indigenous and environmental protesters.

Now, with the State Department greenlighting the new Keystone XL pipeline route (pending a new review ordered by a federal judge), indigenous and environmental activists are wondering: Will the government treat environmental protesters with the same wrath as last time?

Former Sen. Jon Kyl to replace the late John McCain in Senate

Former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl has been tapped to replace the late Sen. John McCain in the Senate.

Kyl, 76, served three terms in the Senate, rising to become the No. 2 Republican before retiring in 2013.

He has been helping guide Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh through the Senate and has been a lobbyist at a Washington law firm. He also previously served in the U.S. House.

In making the announcement, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, said “there is no one in Arizona with the stature of Sen. Jon Kyl” and that he is “prepared to hit the ground running.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel not seeking re-election

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will not be seeking a third term in office in the 2019 election.

Emanuel, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, has come under heavy criticism in recent years for an increase in gun violence in the city and tense police-community relations as a result of police shootings. He has also struggled to get a handle on rising pension debt.

But the announcement that he is walking away from the mayor’s office is a political stunner.

Democrats find their spine at the Kavanaugh Hearings – but will it last?

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley had just begun to politely railroad Brett Kavanaugh’s wildly unpopular Supreme Court nomination through the Judiciary Committee he chairs, when a woman’s steely voice, off camera, interrupted him.

“Mr. Chairman, I would like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed.”

The camera eventually turned to the speaker, California Senator Kamala Harris.

“The committee received just last night – less than 15 hours ago – more than 42,000 pages of documents that we have not had a chance to read or review or analyze,” Harris told the chair. “We cannot possibly move forward.” Harris was referring to an unexpected wave of Kavanaugh documents released by attorneys hired by the George W. Bush library hours before the hearing, late Sunday night.

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