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How ‘socialism’ stopped being a dirty word for some voters – and started winning elections across America

The leftist Democratic Socialists of America, which helped congressional star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get elected in 2018, looks to be a big political player again in New York City's 2021 municipal elections.

The group has not yet endorsed anyone for mayor – the top prize in New York's June 22 Democratic primaries. But all 51 city council seats are up for grabs this year, and the DSA has members running for six of them – including Queens public defender Tiffany Cabán and Brooklyn tenant activist Michael Hollingsworth.

With two state senators and five representatives out of 213 lawmakers, the New York State Legislature already has the country's largest DSA legislative caucus. These Democrats share a leftist platform that includes guaranteeing housing as a human right and ending mass incarceration

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American, Swiss hikers die trying to scale Mount Everest

An American man climbing Mount Everest became one of the season’s first casualties when he died Wednesday night. Puwei Liu, identified only as a U.S. national, had reached the climbing feature named the Hillary Step, between South Col and the summit, but had to turn back due to snow blindness and exhaustion, according to Chhang Dawa of the expedition organizer, Seven Summit Treks, in Nepal. Sherpas helped Liu back to South Col, but were unable to save him. A Swiss climber, 41-year-old Abdul Waraich, also died after reaching the peak. “We sent two additional Sherpas with oxygen and food,” Dawa ...

Defense seeks to exclude phone calls made by father and son in Georgia jogger's shooting death

ATLANTA — The defense on Thursday asked a judge to exclude thousands of hours of jailhouse phone calls made by the father and son charged with murder in the 2020 death of Ahmaud Arbery. Prosecutors have made it clear they intend to use select phone calls, including one in which Greg McMichael disputes the any suggestion that race may have played in Arbery's death, calling it "bull----." Arbery was Black; the defendants, including neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, are white. "You've heard the saying that no good deed goes unpunished?" McMichael said in a phone call to his brother. "Yeah, that's ...

Cuomo: Making someone ‘feel uncomfortable’ is not harassment

ALBANY — A defensive Gov. Andrew Cuomo came up with his own definition of sexual harassment on Thursday as he sparred with reporters and again flatly denied any wrongdoing. The scandal-scarred governor, accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by multiple women, attempted to play devil’s advocate when asked how his initial apology for making anyone uncomfortable jives with state laws that clearly say his intent is irrelevant. “Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable. That is not harassment,” he said during an appearance in the Bronx. “If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that ...

More than 40% of US adults can’t name an Asian American

A survey of 2,766 people in the U.S. found that 42% of those asked can not name one single prominent Asian American. Nonprofit group Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change said that “don’t know” was a common answer among those polled and that reply was shared pretty evenly between Black, white and Latino Americans. “The Foreigner” star Jackie Chan, who is from Hong Kong, was the second most common answer, barely edging out fellow martial arts movie star Bruce Lee, who has been dead since 1973. Actress Lucy Liu was the most mentioned female Asian American, being named by 5% or those survey...

'It must end': House Dems blast Israel's assault of Gaza and decades of occupation enabled by the US

Shortly after Israeli Defense Forces announced that its air and ground troops "are currently attacking" the Gaza Strip, progressive U.S. lawmakers took to the House floor Thursday evening to discuss the ongoing violence and decades of Israel's government, military, and settler colonists violating the human rights of Palestinians.

The special order hour was organized by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Marie Newman (D-Ill.)—who, along with 23 other House members, sent a letter Wednesday calling on the Biden administration to pressure the Israeli government to "desist from its plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Al-Bustan and evict Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah," two neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

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Hoaxers Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman hold bogus presser -- are permanently banned from hotel

Blundering right-wing activists and smear merchants Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman held a press conference at the Hyatt Centric in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, where they launched meritless allegations against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Matt Gaetz, the embattled Florida Republican. Since both Gaetz and Giuliani face abundant legal difficulties in the real world, the fact that Wohl and Burkman had nothing to offer but spurious rumors was almost remarkable in itself. But that was not the duo's only largest problem. Now Burkman and Wohl have been banned from holding press events at the Arlington Hyatt, a hotel official told Salon.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Here’s how Allen Weisselberg could flip on Trump over tax fraud in Trump Organization

On CNN Thursday in conversation with Chris Cuomo, former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa broke down the significance of New York prosecutors' investigation of "fringe benefits" for Trump Administration employees — and how it could be used to flip Allen Weisselberg, the longtime Trump CFO who has remained steadfastly loyal to the family.

"The key here is you have potential tax implications," said Rangappa. "What I would say, Chris, is that when you have state tax liability, there is also a likelihood that you may have federal tax liability. Once you get the IRS involved, then that also potentially increases the pressure. Why this is important, because this can create leverage on Weisselberg, and Weisselberg knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak."

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Justice Stephen Breyer risks making a historic blunder

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is facing calls to retire before the 2022 congressional elections so that his successor can be confirmed while the Democrats have control of the United States Senate. The 82-year-old Breyer has signaled he's reluctant to retire because he doesn't want to be perceived as partisan.

But surely the principles that guide a judge on the bench are also relevant. Breyer's career can be defined by the defense of what he calls "active liberty," which boils down to democracy, the constitutional principle that the people should control government.

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Kroger boss got even richer after axing hazard pay for essential workers during pandemic: report

America's largest grocery store chain is once again in the headlines over how the company demonstrated its values during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Kroger Co. Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen found himself in a hailstorm of criticism last spring over hazard pay to frontline workers. In early 2020, as the coronavirus swept across the U.S., McMullen announced a $2 hourly hazard increase, or 'Hero Bonus,' for store and warehouse workers. Two months later, the company ended the raise -- even as critics pointed out that the hazard remained," Bloomberg News reported Thursday. "McMullen, meanwhile, collected a $22.4 million pay package for 2020 -- his largest haul since he became Kroger's boss in 2014."

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Inside the shadow campaign to tar the ‘deep state’ during Trump’s presidency

In their long-running plot to discredit so-called "deep state" actors within the federal government, loyalists of then-President Donald Trump enlisted the help of a British spy and a "network of conservative activists" to root out public officials they believed were insufficiently loyal to Trump, according to a bombshell report in The New York Times published Thursday.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Trump insurrectionist banned from counting ballots at Arizona audit: ‘Not the best optic’

Controversial former GOP state Rep. Anthony Kern is no longer being allowed to participate in Arizona's audit of election results in Maricopa County.

Kern was allowed to count votes even though his own name appeared on the ballot as a Trump elector and he traveled to DC for the "Stop the Steal" rally and posted a photo to social media praising the insurrection.

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'Real Time' suspended after Bill Maher tests positive for COVID-19: report

On Thursday, TMZ reported that comedian and late-night talk show host Bill Maher has tested positive for COVID-19 — and will be suspending his "Real Time" show to allow himself time to clear the virus.

"The 'Real Time' host has little reason to be worried because a rep for HBO says Bill is fully vaccinated, and he's feeling fine. The rep says, "Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID" but says he's totally asymptomatic," said the report. "Remember, the COVID vaccines don't guarantee you won't get infected, but are highly effective in shielding you from serious illness and hospitalization. Bill's a perfect example of that."

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