The Monday Politics Thread Celebrates Living Near the Birthplace of Flag Day

Seriously, I actually do live near one of the places reputed to have been the birthplace of “Flag Day” in the US, and spent many a school field trip in a cramped little school house in Waubeka, WI. It’s a pretty silly day.

Speaking of stupid things coming from Wisconsin….

YouTube suspends Sen. Ron Johnson’s account for posting video about dubious Covid-19 treatments

YouTube suspended GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s account on Friday after he posted comments regarding dubious treatments for Covid-19.

“We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

Johnson’s spokeswoman Alexa Henning told CNN that Johnson’s account will be suspended for a week and that the video posted on his account was from a virtual event hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club.


Millennials are about to get screwed yet again if Biden doesn’t cancel student-loan debt

Millions of Americans have enjoyed a reprieve from the squeeze of student debt during the pandemic. But, come fall, the student-debt crisis could pick up where it left off — or snowball into an even bigger problem.

The pause on student-loan payments and zero interest accrual that have been in place since March 2020 will lift at the end of September. When it does, borrowers will be paying 1% more in interest than they did in 2019. Although rates are still relatively low compared to previous years, Forbes reported that the new interest rates will cost borrowers as much as an additional $590 per $10,000 borrowed on a 10-year repayment term. 

Business Insider

June 12 Is Loving Day — When Interracial Marriage Finally Became Legal In The U.S.

When Richard and Mildred Loving awoke in the middle of the night a few weeks after their June, 1958 wedding, it wasn’t normal newlywed ardor. There were policemen with flashlights in their bedroom. They’d come to arrest the couple.

“They asked Richard who was that woman he was sleeping with? I say, I’m his wife, and the sheriff said, not here you’re not. And they said, come on, let’s go, Mildred Loving recalled that night in the HBO documentary The Loving Story.

The Lovings had committed what Virginia called unlawful cohabitation. Their marriage was deemed illegal because Mildred was Black and Native American; and Richard was white.

Their case went all the way to the Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the couple won.

Now, each year on this date, “Loving Day” celebrates the historic ruling in Loving v. Virginia, whichdeclared unconstitutional a Virginia law prohibiting mixed-race marriage — and legalized interracial marriage in every state.


Judge rules in favor of a Houston hospital requiring employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Houston Methodist Hospital by employees who opposed a Covid-19 vaccine mandate as a condition of employment.On Saturday, US District Court Judge Lynn Hughes ruled against Jennifer Bridges and 116 of her fellow Houston Methodist coworkers who sued to block the Covid-19 vaccination requirement. Houston Methodist Hospital moved to dismiss the case.Bridges and her co-workers claimed the Covid-19 vaccines used in the US were “experimental and dangerous,” and that it would be “wrongful” to be terminated for refusing the get vaccinated.

The privately run Houston Methodist Hospital countered, saying not only were Bridges’ claims untrue, but that under Texas law, workers are protected from termination only if they refuse to commit a criminal act that carries criminal penalties.

Some employees protest Houston hospital’s policy that staff members must be vaccinatedReceiving a Covid-19 vaccine is not an illegal act, and it carries no criminal penalties.

The judge agreed with Houston Methodist Hospital. Hughes admonished Bridges’ analogy that her threat of termination in this case was like “forced medical experimentation during the Holocaust.”


Hospitals across U.S. are requiring workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Hundreds of thousands of medical workers across the U.S. are being told they must get vaccinated against COVID-19 to stay employed, with New York-Presbyterian — one of the country’s largest hospital systems — the latest to announce the move.

New York-Presbyterian on Friday said its more than 48,000 employees and affiliated physicians need to be immunized against the coronavirus by September 1 as a condition of employment. Leaders of the medical system — 10 hospital campuses and more than 200 clinics — cast the new mandate as part of its mission of protecting patients. 

“We care for sick people – some critically so – every day, and we are responsible for their safety while in our care. The stakes in this matter are high, and the evidence is clear that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important and responsible action we can take as NYP team members for the safety and well-being of our patients and visitors, our communities, and ourselves,” Drs. Steven J. Corwin and Laura L. Forese, its CEO and COO, respectively, wrote in a memo. 

CBS News

How Orlando’s LGBTQ Latino community is healing and mobilizing five years after the Pulse massacre

Morales dedicates his career, now, to Pulse survivors and families of those who died, many of whom were Latino. He helps lead theLGBT+ Center, a nonprofit that operates a support center specifically for people affected by the Pulse massacre.

He and other queer Latino residents of Orlando, once left to find community in clubs, are now the faces of LGBTQ advocacy groups, serve as elected officials, and call attention to the needs of LGBTQ Latinos with platforms they were not afforded before the mass shooting at Pulse — and the city is listening.


Nevada schools reckon with race, triggering polarization

Nevada has become the latest flashpoint in a national debate over how to teach students about racism and its role in U.S. history, with parents clashing over curriculum proposals.

People wore MAGA hats and waved signs outside a packed school board meeting this week in Reno, while trustees considered expanding K-5 curriculum to include more teaching about equity, diversity and racism.

Opponents say the proposal would lead to the teaching of “critical race theory,” which seeks to reframe the narrative of American history. Critics say such lesson plans teach students to hate the United States.

A conservative group even suggested outfitting teachers with body cameras to ensure they aren’t indoctrinating children with such lessons.

“You guys have a serious problem with activist teachers pushing politics in the classroom, and there’s no place for it, especially for our fifth graders,” Karen England, Nevada Family Alliance executive director, told Washoe County School District trustees Tuesday.

AP News

Kamala Harris Becomes First Sitting Vice President to March in a Pride Event

Vice President Kamala Harris has made history once again, becoming the first sitting Vice President to march in a Pride event.

Harris participated in a march with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on Saturday during Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. She wore a “love is love” t-shirt as she walked with other Pride-goers to a rally at Freedom Plaza, telling them, “Happy Pride!”

She spoke briefly at the event, advocating for the passage of the Equality Act while expressing her and President Joe Biden‘s commitment to advancing LGBTQ rights. “We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing,” Harris said, according to NBC Washington. “There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed.”


Laws Targeting Trans Athletes Have Made Roller Derby a Safe Haven

In 2020, the Idaho legislature passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans transgender girls from participating in girls sports and collegiate women’s sports. This was necessary, lawmakers claimed, because of the “biological differences between females and males…[that] have life-long effects, including those most important for success in sport.” This year alone, nearly 70 bills have been introduced in state legislatures from Rhode Island to Texas that would prohibit trans youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

But there is one sport that serves as particularly strong evidence against the very premise of these bills: roller derby.

Teen Vogue

NC Plantation Cancels Juneteenth Event Where ‘Massa’ Would Have Waxed Poetic About the Confederacy

The Historic Latta Plantation in Huntersville, N.C., recently advertised a Juneteenth event that aimed to tell the stories of “white refugees,” Confederate soldiers who were sad about losing the Civil War and freed slaves living “high on the hog”—all from the perspective of an unemployed slave master.

Then, after people swiftly informed the history museum that this was both brazenly racist and a very stupid idea, the event description was deleted Friday.

The Root

Israel swears in new coalition, ending Netanyahu’s long rule

Israel’s parliament on Sunday narrowly approved a new coalition government, ending the historic 12-year rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sending the polarizing leader into the opposition.

Naftali Bennett, a former ally of Netanyahu turned rival, became prime minister after the 60-59 vote. Promising to try to heal a divided nation, Bennett will preside over a diverse and fragile coalition comprised of eight parties with deep ideological differences.

But the 71-year-old Netanyahu made clear he has no intention of exiting the political stage. “If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country,” he said.

AP News

Joe Biden to Name Pulse Nightclub a National Memorial 5 Years After Shooting at Orlando Gay Club

President Joe Biden is honoring the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando by making the establishment a national memorial five years later.

After the House and Senate unanimously passed legislation to designate the establishment a national memorial, President Biden said in a statement on Saturday, the fifth anniversary of the shooting, that he will sign the bill, “enshrining in law what has been true since that terrible day five years ago: Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground.”


The queen meets her 13th U.S. president: Joe from Scranton

President Joe Biden built his political brand on being part of a working-class family from a former coal town in the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania.

On Sunday, Joe from Scranton met the queen.

Biden — alongside his wife, first lady Jill Biden, a community college teacher — had tea at Windsor Castle with Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch who has reigned for more than 60 years, before he was to depart the United Kingdom.

It’s a presidential rite of passage. Queen Elizabeth, 95, has met every American president since World War II, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson. Biden is the first in two decades, though, to come from what he’s described as hardscrabble roots.

“It’s a mighty long ride from being Scranton Joe the Amtrak commuter to dining … with Queen Elizabeth, but they’ll get along fabulously,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said. “The wonderful thing about Biden is that he is comfortable with himself in any setting.”


LGBTQ+ Fans: We’re Here, Queer, and Remaking Fandom in Our Own Image

Fandom is incredibly queer. Its origins as a space for LGBTQ+ people are well-documented, and we see that today, too. Fandom is often an online-offline queer community, supporting fans who may or may not see themselves in actual source material, but who can gather together and feel seen by each other.

Teen Vogue