Progressive American Update

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you are doing well. It has been a while since I wrote on this website since I announced my move to Substack. Admittedly, I have missed the style of this website, but I am staying with Substack since it has started to grow and is at much less risk.

But that said, I want to let you all know that while many of you have moved over to the Substack, I know that many of you are signed up through a WordPress account, not an email. Meaning that I can’t import you into my email list on Substack.

Therefore, I would like to announce that if you are still looking for the newsletter but are subscribed only to the website, I will be happy to send a link via the website so you can check out each article on Substack.

And if it interests you, you can join my newsletter there, where I post most of my content now.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and thank you for your support!




The Progressive American is moving to Substack

By: Conor J. Kelly

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Good morning everyone!

I hope you enjoyed your Superbowl Sunday! I had the pleasure of visiting my family this weekend, so I know I spent this weekend well.

As many of you are likely aware, I have been dealing with some unfortunate issues with the newsletter thanks to a supposedly temporary API issue with Twitter.

While Twitter is not the sole basis for promoting the newsletter, it is a critical part of spreading it. Much of my branding and promotion has come from my Twitter account and the Twitter threads that have boosted my work over the years.

Unfortunately, that is not the only issue that has plagued my move to WordPress. Since the UIS Observer stopped paying student employees, I have had to make difficult financial decisions, and one of those that I have been seriously looking at is the state of the website. While WordPress provides an excellent array of options for promoting my work, and I have come to enjoy the website’s design, the fact remains that a subscription like this is not easy to maintain.

As a result, I am officially moving to Substack. I will wait a week and a half from Today before I end my WordPress subscription so that you can all access my materials. If you are a free subscriber, you don’t have to do a thing; I will add you to the newsletter automatically so you can continue reading. If you are paid, I will cancel your subscriptions so that you are not charged for the material you are not yet receiving, but you can set up your new subscription with the link here.

Unfortunately, Substack requires a minimum of $5 a month, but thankfully, the subscription system does not apply a minimum amount for the yearly subscription, which rests at $35 for the entire year.

I want to also thank all my readers for all the support they have provided me for so long, and I greatly appreciate the suggestions many of you have made. I will be adding more content on Substack for all of you to enjoy, and I look forward to writing more for you all.

Thank you so much,


Urgent Newsletter Update

By: Conor J. Kelly

Hello everyone,

I am writing to you all today just to update you all about a recent development that has come to my attention surrounding Twitter’s API system. Previously, the API allowed third parties to connect to Twitter through automated bots. However, Elon Musk recently announced that API usage will no longer be free, and one of the programs that WordPress uses to automatically share articles to Twitter may be affected.

This means that while I would not have issues getting the articles to you, I would have some difficulty getting these articles to gain the attention needed to spread the newsletter and increase the subscriber base, both paid and free. For the moment, I am going to keep the newsletter here until I know more.

If things don’t go well, then I would highly recommend going to my Substack, where I will be archiving all my articles from this website. That is not the desired outcome, but if I am going to make this program work, I need to be able to consistently reach as many people as possible.

If you are a paid subscriber, I will ensure you are not charged for any months that the newsletter moves and you receive no content. If you want me to move you onto the Substack manually, you can comment under this or reach out to me on the contact form.

Thank you for your time, and I will update you all soon,


GOP Lies and Howls During State of the Union

By: Conor J. Kelly

By House Creative Services –, Public Domain,

There is a saying that I have heard many times in politics, “a hit dog barks.” This old saying is almost always illustrative of individuals who protest too firmly against an accusation against them, signifying that the accusation is almost certainly true. And there is no better phrase to describe the GOP’s response to Biden’s state of the Union earlier this week.

On Tuesday, President Biden addressed the House of Representatives, pushing back on their claims of his supposedly failed presidency. During the speech, the president directly criticized some, not all, of the members of the House GOP for their proposals to let Medicare and Social Security sunset after five years. Sunsetting, of course, would mean that these programs would have to be approved again by congress after the deadline occurs, something that likely would not happen.

Such a position is, of course, unpopular. That unpopularity inevitably forced the GOP-controlled House to respond immediately, screaming at the President in the middle of his speech, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) screaming at the president and calling him a liar.

Republicans should not be so loud in their protests or accusations, as their statements on Social Security and Medicare are all public knowledge. Florida Senator Rick Scott proposed that very plan with his so-called “plan to rescue America.” Under this plan, all legislation would have to be voted on again by Congress after 5 years after its original passage.

While the proposal itself does not mention either Social Security or Medicare, the fact that no exemption exists for either program means that Senator Scott’s proposal would effectively allow for the sunsetting of these two incredibly important programs. Nor was Senator Scott the only Republican to support a similar goal.

The Republican Study Committee released its budget plan titled Blueprint to Save America, which proposed raising the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67, along with recommendations to cut funding for disabled Americans. Not to mention they proposed increasing the age of eligibility for Social Security to 69.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) also feign anger at the idea that he would want to get rid of Social Security, but as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pointed out, Lee himself has been caught on camera saying that his long-term goal is to phase out Social Security, and to “pull it out by its roots.”

This isn’t to say that all Republicans want this to be the direction that the GOP follows. Both of these programs are incredibly popular and would be electorally dangerous for any party to attack, but Biden didn’t claim it was a majority of the GOP—he argued that it was some of the Republican Caucus, and yet, the GOP still threw a fit.

This is not the first time that Republicans have heckled President Biden during his state of the Union address. In 2022, representatives Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Greene both heckled Biden, with Boebert going out of her way to accuse Biden of killing thirteen service members during the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. It is worth noting that she did this while the President was referring to his son’s death and his service to the country.

Some point to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to rip Trump’s speech after his 2020 State of the Union as equally disrespectful as the heckling that Presiden Biden has endured in the last two speeches he gave before Congress. That is an absurd proposition.

Aside from being a distraction from the content of the GOP’s failed policy-making, the comparison is insulting to the public. The GOP’s response to Biden correctly calling out their attempts to rob the American public of services they pay for, which would harm millions of Americans, is far worse than a pointless attempt by Pelosi to appeal to her own base. And it is certainly not comparable to accusing the President of murdering service members while he is referencing his dead son. Millions of people could be harmed by the GOP’s policy-making. Nobody was hurt by Pelosi ripping up a piece of paper.

Biden’s speech and the GOP’s pathetic response to it demonstrate the fundamental dysfunction within the Republican Party. They could have come to Congress with a legitimate proposal for change for Biden to work, but instead, they have embraced conspiracism and austerity politics. Say what you will about Biden, but he hit the GOP where at its core, and they deserved it.

The GOP Ousts Ilhan Omar: A Partisan and Bigoted Move

BY: Conor J. Kelly

By Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photography –, Public Domain,

Nobody should be surprised, and yet nobody should pretend it wasn’t a bigoted and partisan attack. In a brazen act of retaliation against Democrats, the House GOP stripped Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mich) from the Foreign Affairs committee, citing her comments on Israeli foreign policy.

The vote, which went entirely along partisan lines, was supported by GOP leadership by Omar’s alleged “antisemitic and anti-American remarks,” which Republicans argued made her unfit to stand on the foreign affairs committee.

Ironically, anti-semitism has not stopped the GOP from supporting the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene. It didn’t stop them from putting her on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, much less the Committee on Homeland Security. Comments about Jewish Space lasers don’t seem to concern the GOP.

The comments by Omar are far from perfect, but when it came to taking responsibility, Omar was willing and ready to apologize for her remarks, crude and inappropriate as they were. Compare that to the haphazard defense and apology that Marjorie Taylor Greene gave to keep her committee, and the distinction becomes clear.

Omar apologized because her tweet, “it’s all about the Benjamins,” was fundamentally wrong. Greene apologized because she wanted to hold onto power. 

But in the face of newly established, albeit weak, GOP control, the American public should not be surprised at all that antisemitism has been used and will continue to be used as a tool in a larger political game. It should also not be surprising that one of the first members of congress that said the tool was deployed against was a Muslim woman who the GOP loves to hate. 

Biden and Trump’s Classified Document Scandals Are Not the Same



This morning, the FBI searched President Biden’s home in Delaware, prompting a firestorm of media coverage and new attention on the ongoing investigation into the President’s handling of classified material. The search, though consensual and not requiring a warrant, has inevitably created comparisons between how the Justice Department responded to Biden and Trump. Those comparisons are beyond weak and are downright deceptive. 


Already Republicans are falsely claiming equivalence between the search of Mar-A-Lago and the investigation into Biden. House Chair James Comer (R-Kentucky) complained on Fox News that the National Archives and the General Counsel held “a double standard…” for how Trump was treated and how Biden was treated.

Others, however, have attempted to sell the idea of the investigation being far more significant than it actually is, Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson seemingly arguing that Biden had a significant amount of classified material and that perhaps his son, Hunter, had access to those documents.

It is far from surprising that Republicans have capitalized on the investigation into the President’s handling of classified material. It would be political incompetence if they didn’t, as the investigation into Biden serves as a perfect distraction from the still on-going inquiry into Trump and his possession of classified materials.

Such a distraction is perfect for Republicans, as they hope the American public forgets that some of the stolen materials at Mar-A-Lago contained nuclear secrets, as I noted last year. With the new search of Biden’s home, Republicans will wail about the supposed injustice of Trump’s treatment while actively disregarding the actions which put Trump into the position to be raided in the first place. They will rehash all their conspiracy theories and pretend that Hunter Biden’s laptop is somehow connected to the mishandled documents in Delaware, all while attempting to establish a supposed equivalence that doesn’t exist.


While it may be tempting for some of my readers to assume that this defense is meant as a partisan argument, it must be stated that under no circumstances am I attempting to argue that Biden had a right to hold these documents and Trump didn’t. In both cases, classified material was handled improperly. That said, how the documents were found and how two public figures interacted with them couldn’t be more distinct.

Right off the bat, the scope of the documents retrieved is beyond comparison. When the Justice Department searched Mar-A-Lago last year, over 300 documents with classified markings were recovered. The documents retrieved in the Biden investigation doesn’t come close to that number.

Even if the volume of documents retrieved were equivalent, the response by the two men would still justify the difference in treatment by the DOJ. When Biden and his lawyers found out about the documents, they contacted the National Archives and began cooperating with the investigators, actively allowing the DOJ to access multiple locations without resistance. This is why today’s search of Biden’s home didn’t require a warrant.

Trump provided no such cooperation and had been subpoenaed for the documents as far back as May of 2022. Additional reporting by the DOJ showed that some of the documents were moved from a storage area at Mar-A-Lago, seemingly to obstruct the subpoena. As a result of this alleged obstruction, the Justice Department was forced to get a search warrant and seize documents from Trump’s home.

The department is also investigating three potential criminal acts, including an alleged violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. Far from a mere search, the investigation into Trump was a response to the severe disregard by Trump and his team for national security and the federal government’s property. It is an investigation into the theft of government property and secrets by a former president.

This isn’t to say that Biden is off the hook. Holding onto classified material, even unintentionally, is a serious issue and merits a thorough investigation. Worse still is the revelation that former Vice-President Mike Pence also had classified documents at his home. He is also cooperating with investigators.

If anything, the holding of these documents by Biden and Pence demonstrates the inadequacy of the federal government’s policies relating to sensitive materials, but it is far from comparable to the criminal investigation into Trump and those who helped him. Biden may have been negligent, but Trump could be downright criminal.

NEW VIDEO: Interview with Dr. Andrew Schmookler

Hi everyone,

In this recent video, I talk with Dr. Andrew Bard Schmookler, a twice-published author, former radio host, and Democratic congressional candidate. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Schmookler about the nature of America’s broken spiritual and political culture and how that corrupts and weakens our political system.

I hope you enjoy it!

Chris Cuomo Follow-Up Video Upcoming!

By: Conor J. Kelly

Hello everyone,

I hope you are doing well! I mentioned it before, but I wanted to remind you all that I plan to do a video essay to go over just how disgusting it is that News Nation hired Chris Cuomo.

For those unfamiliar with my views on Chris Cuomo, you can find my original commentary in the video linked below.

Please consider checking out the channel itself and turning on the notifications so you can get updated when I release the video.



New Video Upcoming!

By Senator Chris Coons –, Public Domain,

Hello everyone!

A bit of an update for you all! After my recent video on Kanye, I was thinking I would do another video essay going after the bad behavior of high-profile of other media personalities. I made a video a while back responding to CNN’s firing of Chris Cuomo, pointing out that their hesitation to deal with him undermined an already weak public trust in the media.

Unfortunately, some companies have yet to get the memo, and another media company, NewsNation, has hired him as one of their contributors. So, that will be addressed in my next video. Branding and time of release will be released soon!

Cowardly Prejudice: Candace Owens and Lauren Chen’s Pathetic Defense of Kanye West


Hello everyone. It has been a while. I hope you all are doing well. Today’s video, though delayed, is a response to Candace Owens and Lauren Chen, both of whom have played defense for Kanye West’s infamous anti-semitic tweets, all while cowardly hiding behind feigned ignorance. Through their deceptive attempts at playing innocent, Owens and Chen play into West’s racist views of Jewish people while taking none of the responsibility for said comments. 

While most of my audience is likely familiar with Candace Owens, there are some who may not be familiar with Lauren Chen. She’s a Canadian far-right commentator, youtube host, former BlazeTV podcaster, and a self-described Christian nationalist.

She has also been on various different conservative outlets, such as Tim Pool, and has previously interviewed and ran a defense for the infamous Neo-Nazi, Richard Spencer. To say she has a history of extremist politics is a massive understatement.

While Owens has not been so brazen as to interview Richard Spencer, she has previously made videos about slavery that I responded to last year, pointing out the many problems with her presentation of that incredibly sensitive issue. She has also made some horrific comments about black voters within the democratic party, insisting that they are on a so-called plantation.

 So, it is perhaps unsurprising that these two far-right figures have contributed to the defense of Kanye West and his anti-semitism. 

Far from merely defending West, Owens and Chen use evasive and downright deceptive rhetoric to not only provide cover for West, but also protect themselves from criticism and responsibility for their commentary. 

On October 8th, Kanye West posted a now infamous tweet in which he claimed that he was going to “go death con 3 on Jewish people” and that he couldn’t be antisemitic because Black people are the real Jewish people. The comment itself reeks of anti-semitic prejudice and Black Hebrew Israelite propaganda, which falsely asserts that African Americans are the true inheritors of Jewish heritage. 


Such comments would merit condemnation from any decent observing the comments being made. That was not the case with Candace Owens, who released a video several days later where she defended him, arguing that no reasonable person would view West as anti-semitic for this post. She starts this by attempting to argue that talking about Jewish people and money should not be forbidden and that nobody can actively criticize certain business interests because of it.


Moving forward from her initial framing, Owens connects her view of an individual Jewish person in her life being cheap with Kanye West’s tweet by arguing that she herself was misrepresented for her comments about Adolf Hitler and that such misrepresentation presents itself in how the media reacted to his tweet. 

Needless to say, whether or not her comments on Hitler were taken out of context is irrelevant. It is not exculpatory for West and it does absolutely nothing to change the nature and context in which West spoke about Jewish people as a group.

Mind you; West had previously accused fellow rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people, comments which he proudly posted on his Instagram. That context is critical to understanding his comments as well as his previous forms of prejudice.

This was not the first time Owens misrepresented the nature of Kanye’s comments. For example, during her coverage of Kanye’s interview with Tucker Carlson, she deceptively framed Kanye’s commentary on the Kushners as being merely an example of him being harmed by his friends and not as part of a larger pattern of anti-semitism.

{Show clip}

What she did not mention in her review of West’s comments on Tucker Carlson is that West explicitly connected wealth to Jewishness, something that Carlson actively omitted from his work. Granted, this was released a few days after her video, but Owens never updatde her viewers about that information once it was revealed to the public, demonstrating that she was never truly interested in informing her audience. 

{ Clip}

Even worse, Owens follows this absurd framing by attempting to gaslight people by suggesting that, for some strange reason, the presence of genocidal intent somehow is required for something to be anti-semitic. Never mind that Kanye specifically targeted Jewish people in general and not individuals who allegedly wronged him. 


The fact that Owens went through multiple levels of obfuscation and deception to hide the full extent of West’s bigotry should tell you everything you need to know about her commitment to honesty and preserving the dignity of Jewish people, as well as the dignity of her audience. 

Owens dedication to protecting Kanye and her unwillingness to acknowledge the full context of his racist commentary is just another example of how morally bankrupt she is. But when it comes to comparing her commentary to others, Owens does take some semblance of a stance on the issue. The same can’t be said for Lauren Chen.

Not long after Owens released her ridiculous comments, Lauren Chen released her own video, titled Should The Right Cancel Kanye? For some reason, she also needed to have the thumbnail say “The Kanye Question,” which totally isn’t an antisemitic dog whistle. 

Starting off her view, Chen, unlike Owens, evades the issue of whether or not the comments are prejudiced by effectively chalking it up to a difference of opinion, allowing her to protect herself from being labeled an antisemite herself. 

{Clip of Chen defending Kanye}

Such an approach creates a false sense of equivalence between the two sides, which allows  Chen and others like her to establish themselves with a feigned sense of supposed centrism. It’s worth reiterating that Chen is the same woman who gave Richard Spencer a platform and did not push back on a single thing he said or did on her podcast. 

Moreover, Chen also went out of her way to bring Candace Owens back into the limelight, defending her lies about the nature of West’s comments and pretending that Owens’ commentary merely represented a desire to know more.


As I pointed out earlier, the nature of Owens’ commentary is inherently deceptive because it implies a level of ambivalence into the nature of Kanye’s tweets and comments, as if there wasn’t the previous commentary by West that would show he had a prejudiced history against Jewish people. 

In 2013, Kanye West was on the Breakfast Club, where he said, “Let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money, and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people…” This is how he has thought consistently about Jewish people; it is only now that he is no longer holding back that ugly side has become clear as day. Chen could have done a modicum of research into West’s comments or even bothered to consider what Owens’ commentary actually implied. 

Instead, she created an absurd proposition of supposed controversy when the reality was clear as day. Kanye was being anti-semitic and has been anti-semitic for a long time.

What more does a person need to know about a person if they are actively tweeting that they are going to attack an ethnic group? What restraint should a person have when the group in question has an extensive history of subjugation and genocide? The burden is not on the rest of society to wait for West to clarify his absurdity. It is incumbent on him not to tweet antisemitic garbage. 

But I digress. Chen continues her bad-faith approach to this news by bringing in every far-right commentator’s favorite talking point, censorship. Pointing to the removal of the tweet West made, Chen argues that the removal of the antisemitic tweet constituted censorship and by extension, made it impossible for people to get to the truth of the matter about whether or not West is a bigot. 


This moment is just an example of bold-faced lying and blatant gaslighting. Chen read the exact tweet in that same video mere minutes before she said this. She knew exactly what he said and why it was such a problem. 

This intentional obfuscation is nothing more than an attempt to portray West as a victim. Through Chen’s framing, removing or condemning West’s comments is portrayed as being part of some left-wing ploy rather than what it actually is, basic responsibility. People like Chen and Owens, who pretend that the hostile reaction to West is anything but reasonable, are contributing to the legitimization of unmitigated hatred of Jewish people. 

Finishing up, Chen finally argues that to attack Owens for her refusal to condemn West’s comments is nothing more than guilt by association, asserting that the right and, by extension, those who are considered close to it, should avoid such an approach.


 The fact of the matter is that whether Chen or Owens like it, they are responsible for how they conduct themselves online and in their careers. It is not a mob mentality to suggest that two commentators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and supporters should be careful with how they conduct themselves. And Kanye’s descent into anti-semitism should serve as a perfect example. 

Now that Kanye has been outed for praising Hitler, neither Candace Owens nor Lauren Chen should be in any way pretending that their original positions still hold.

And yet, both of them have gone out of their way to avoid discussing Kanye’s conduct or beliefs when it comes to antisemitism.

Going through Chen’s videos, I have found that she has not once uploaded anything since her initial response to the Kanye scandal. Owens, by contrast, has actively asked people to stop asking about Kanye West, not because he praised Hitler but because of a clothing company he associates with. 

If there was ever any doubt that these two commentators have little to no concern about antisemitism, it is gone now. Under no circumstances should their hesitation in condemning West’s positions be taken as anything less than a complete moral failing to defend their fellow human beings from prejudiced thinking.

At a time when antisemitic attacks are getting worse, condemning and fighting back against this disgusting prejudice is critical to ensuring the safety of Jewish people around the world. Through their cowardice, Candace Owens and Lauren Chen have done nothing to assist in that fight, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Though considering who they are, I sincerely doubt they know what shame is.


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Is Kanye West Anti-Semitic? | Ep. 21. 2022. (December 8, 2022).

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Kanye West Is Courageous. 2022. (December 8, 2022).

“Kanye West Praises Hitler on ‘InfoWars’: ‘I Love Jewish People, but I Also Love Nazis.’” The Grio. (January 2, 2023).

Kinery, Emma. “Virulently Antisemitic Comments by Kanye West Spark New GOP Criticism – POLITICO.” (December 21, 2022).

“Lauren Chen.” Wikitubia. (December 21, 2022a).

“———.” Evie Magazine. (December 21, 2022b).

“Lauren Chen on Twitter: “My Journey so Far: Libertarian Atheist Neo-C….” 2020a. (December 21, 2022).

“Lauren Chen on Twitter: “Separation of Church and State, Equality of ….” 2020b. (December 21, 2022).

Please Stop Asking Me To Comment On Kanye And Everything Else | Ep. 53. 2022. (December 8, 2022).

“Post Politics Now: Schumer Downplays Impact of an Independent Sinema on Democratic Powers.” 2022. Washington Post. (December 9, 2022).

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Should The Right CANCEL Kanye West? 2022. (December 8, 2022).

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Zimmerman, Amy. 2018. “Elon Musk Breaks Silence After Twitter Votes for His Resignation.” The Daily Beast. (December 21, 2022).

———. “Meet Candace Owens, Kanye West’s Toxic Far-Right Consigliere.” (December 21, 2022).