Morning Memo: Unified Democrats Vow To Press On After Republicans Shoot Down Voting Rights Bill

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June 23, 2021 8:01 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

Why The Filibuster Needs To Go

The For the People Act was brought to a vote in the Senate last night, and Republicans blocked it through the filibuster, as expected. Democrats, who held together, keeping in play a potential move to blow up the filibuster down the road, are trying to encourage voting rights advocates to keep the faith.

  • Biden slammed the GOP senators’ filibuster as “another attack on voting rights that is sadly not unprecedented” and declared that “this fight is far from over.” “I’ve been engaged in this work my whole career, and we are going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again—for the people, for our very democracy,” the President said in a statement.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) struck a similar note. The vote was “was the starting gun, not the finish line,” he said on the Senate floor.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that the Democrats “will not be deterred.” The Republic “is at a crossroads,” she warned.

New York, New York

The votes are in for yesterday’s NYC mayoral election, but it’ll be weeks before we know who won due to the city’s new ranked-choice voting system.

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  • Eric Adams, the moderate candidate, is holding a commanding lead so far. Maya Wiley, the progressive candidate who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), is coming in second right now, followed by Kathryn Garcia.
  • Andrew Yang conceded Tuesday night. “I am not going to be the mayor of New York City based upon the numbers that have come in tonight,” he told supporters.

Getting To The Bottom Of Jan. 6

After the push to create a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission failed in the Senate, Nancy Pelosi is planning on taking matters into her own hands by appointing a select committee to investigate the Capitol insurrection, according to CNN.

  • Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted a “clarification” of CNN’s report, saying that the Democratic leader plans to announce “WHETHER” she’ll create the commission. Pelosi’s “preference continues to be” an independent commission, Hammill tweeted.

Behind Closed Doors

A Navy counterterrorism training guide labels “socialists” as being part of a “terrorist” group, according to a copy of the guide obtained by the Intercept.

  • One of the questions in the guide’s “Study Questions” section asks: “Anarchists, socialists and neo-nazis represent which terrorist ideological category?” The correct answer is “political terrorists,” a source told the Intercept.
  • The training materials’ apparent conflation of left-wing groups with terrorists doesn’t stop there. They also reportedly feature a “black panthers fist symbol on a slide of terror orgs with al Qaeda.”

Garland Taking It Very Slow

Attorney General Merrick Garland is pouring cold water on Democrats’ call for him to do a sweeping review of how Trump used the Justice Department as his personal law firm.

  • Garland told reporters on Tuesday that he was concerned with the optics of a potential review. “I don’t want the department’s career people to think that a new group comes in and immediately applies a political lens,” the Biden official said.
  • His remarks come after a group of House Democrats sent him a letter saying they were disturbed by the “apparent reluctance to correct the weaponization and politicization of the Department of Justice by the Trump administration.”

Khashoggi’s Killers Trained In U.S.

The Saudi operatives behind the shocking murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi were given paramilitary training in the U.S. with the approval of the State Department, the New York Times reports.

From The Fever Swamp

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) former staffers who blew the whistle on him allegedly using his office for corrupt dealings and now allege they were fired out of retaliation are accusing the official of distorting key testimony on his alleged misconduct.

In Case You Missed It

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is being swarmed with questions about whether he’s a member of an “all-white” beach club in Newport, Rhode Island.

  • It began last week when he seemed to confirm a local reporter’s characterization of the club as “all-white,” telling the reporter that “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that, and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”
  • Now the Democrat is walking back his initial comment. He claimed earlier this week that the club “has had and does have, a membership of color.”

On The Margins

“Chicago’s Black Sex Workers Hold Each Other Up” – Autostraddle

“Disability Group Homes At Risk Of COVID Outbreaks As Staff Falls Behind In Vaccination” – Gothamist

Delete Your Account

Trump Tried To Call The Waaaaambulance

Trump was so mad about SNL and late-night comics like Jimmy Kimmel making fun of him that he asked advisers in 2019 if the Federal Communications Commission, the courts or even the Justice Department could do anything to make the comedy people stop being mean to him, according to the Daily Beast.

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