10 Things in Politics: Progressives fume over Fed

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  • Programming note: We're off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.

Here's what we're talking about:


Sen. Elizabeth Warren questions Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig during a Senate Finance Committee hearing June 8, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CARES Act, at the Hart Senate Office Building on September 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

1. ON YOUR LEFT?: President Joe Biden handed another setback to a group of progressive lawmakers with his decision to renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve. Biden said he made his pick to bolster the Fed's independence and provide certainty to markets. But his decision further rankles many progressives who have begun to criticize the administration as being too centrist in its approach.

Here's what else you need to know:

Progressives tried for months to derail Powell's second term: A group of House Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib wrote to the White House about what they viewed as Powell's failures to address the climate crisis and economic inequality. Sen. Elizabeth Warren deemed Powell a "dangerous man" for his handling of financial-sector regulation.

Powell's renomination is the latest setback for progressives: The White House and congressional leadership forced liberal lawmakers to stomach a $1.75 trillion social-spending bill after promising a $3.5 trillion plan for months. Biden has ignored the progressive push to cancel student debt. And the president has been unable to move Congress to pass a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage or take sweeping action on voting rights.

  • Key quote: "And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don't keep," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times of how "demoralizing" the process of passing Biden's spending plan had been for many. Ocasio-Cortez said if Democrats didn't pass the Build Back Better plan soon, then leaders would struggle to get progressives' votes on other legislation.

2. A look at Democrats' plan to win back rural America: Ahead of crucial midterm elections next year, RuralVote.org, the super PAC run by the former Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten, criticized the three major Democratic campaign arms for their lack of investment in what they argued was a key voting bloc, according to a memo obtained exclusively by Insider. In the memo, Scholten called for "year-round on-the-ground organizing to help with party infrastructure and candidate recruitment" as well as a nationwide rural voter-outreach plan and rural messengers. Read more about how rural Democrats are freaking out following Virginia's elections.


A woman at a vigil for victims of the Waukesha, Wisconsin, parade crash.
Community members mourned during a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park on Monday after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

3. District attorney says suspect in Wisconsin parade deaths was released on "inappropriately low" bail weeks ago: Darrell E. Brooks posted a $1,000 cash bail on November 11, releasing him from custody in connection to a November 2 domestic-related incident. Brooks now faces five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after the police identified him as the SUV driver who plowed through a Christmas parade in the small city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing five people and injuring 48 others, including children. The Milwaukee County district attorney's office said it had launched a review into what happened. Here's what else we're starting to learn about the lead-up to the deadly event.


4. Lawmakers subpoena Roger Stone and Alex Jones: The House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol issued new subpoenas for people including Stone, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump. Stone says he had no prior knowledge that anything illegal was about to take place. More on where the investigation into the insurrection stands.


5. RNC pays more than $121,000 toward Trump's legal bills: The Republican National Committee defended the party's decision to cover some of the former president's legal bills, The Washington Post reports. The RNC said it was "entirely appropriate" for it to defend the "leader of our party." The funding is related to a yearslong investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office into the Trump Organization and the former president's business dealings. More on how the RNC is helping Trump amid New York's criminal investigation.


6. Kyle Rittenhouse lashes out at Biden: "Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement," Rittenhouse told Fox News' Tucker Carlson of Biden calling him a white supremacist. Rittenhouse was referring to a clip Biden tweeted out after a 2020 presidential debate. More on the news.

We watched Tucker Carlson's January 6 documentary so you don't have to.


7. Trial in Ahmaud Arbery's killing is nearing an end: Prosecutors plan to wrap up their closing arguments later this morning before the disproportionately white jury will be handed the closely watched case over Arbery's killing while out for a jog, the Associated Press reports. Travis McMichael, one of the accused, who grabbed guns and pursued Arbery, previously testified that he did so in self-defense. Defense attorneys closed by arguing that McMichael and his father, Greg, were trying to make a legal citizen's arrest. Here's where things stand before the jury begins its deliberations.


8. There's more reported information about China's hypersonic weapons test: The hypersonic weapon China tested this summer, alarming US military leaders, fired something off midflight while inside the atmosphere somewhere over the South China Sea, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the intelligence. China has denied testing a weapon, saying it tested reusable spaceflight technology, but US military leaders have described the test differently in public comments. More on what some leaders have compared to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite during the Cold War.


9. Trump-backed Senate candidate suspends campaign: The Republican Sean Parnell suspended his closely watched run in Pennsylvania after a judge in Butler County awarded Parnell's wife, Laurie Snell, primary custody and sole legal custody of their three children. In recent months, Parnell's candidacy had faced scrutiny over allegations — which he vehemently denied — that he abused his estranged wife and children. More on the news about the now-former front-runner.


LeBron James looks up during a game in 2021.
LeBron James.

10. LeBron James has been suspended for the first time in his NBA career: James will be forced to sit out one game after an ugly altercation during Sunday's Lakers-Pistons game, the Associated Press reports. The league says the Lakers star is being suspended for "recklessly hitting" Detroit's Isaiah Stewart while the pair jostled for position during a free throw. Stewart will be suspended for two games. More on the fallout.


Today's trivia question: The presidential turkey pardon is a beloved and uniquely weird part of our modern Thanksgiving. But which president spared a raccoon from the Thanksgiving table? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

Thank you for reading! That's all until next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

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