The Monday Politics Thread is Here Again

Senator Who Once Voted Against Making Juneteenth a National Holiday Gets Booed at Juneteenth Event

If you solely look at Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s tweets about his appearances at local Juneteenth events, you’d probably get the impression that he showed up and just had a good ol’ time mixing, mingling and celebrating the newly-minted national holiday with his constituents.

But, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, that wasn’t the case.

Johnson told reporters that his experience interacting with attendees had been generally positive, except for “one nasty comment.”

However, as more people recognized him, he was drowned out by a chorus of boos. Members of a growing crowd swore at him and said, “We don’t want you here.”

That’s right. Sen. Generic Stock Photo of a Grandfather that Comes with a New Picture Frame thought he was just going to show up to the function and kick it after voting against the legislation to make Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday in 2020–which he said he objected to because it would be expensive.

The Root

They lost their loved ones to Covid. Then they heard from them again

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 600,000 Americans. Many of us never had a chance to hug or say farewell to loved ones who died alone and isolated in hospital wards due to fears of spreading the virus.

But there is another group of pandemic survivors who say they have been granted a second chance to say goodbye. They are people like Horne who believe they’ve been contacted by a loved one who died from coronavirus.

These experiences can be subtle: relatives appearing in hyper-real dreams, a sudden whiff of fragrance worn by a departed loved one, or unusual behavior by animals. Other encounters are more dramatic: feeling a touch on your shoulder at night, hearing a sudden warning from a loved one, or seeing the full-bodied form of a recently departed relative appear at the foot of your bed.

These stories may sound implausible, but they are in fact part of a historical pattern. There is something in us — or in our lost loved ones — that won’t accept not being able to say goodbye.And whenever there is a massive tragedy such as a pandemic, a war or a natural disaster, there is a corresponding surge in reports of people seeing the dead or trying to contact them.

CNN

How COVID-19 vaccine policies have triggered lawsuits and workplace showdowns

Tens of millions of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and with that, workplaces around the country are opening up once again.

But the rules that some employers and others have put into place mandating vaccines that are still not fully authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, have sparked showdowns with employees.

Lawsuits have been filed against a Texas hospital, a Los Angeles school district, a North Carolina sheriff and a New Mexico detention center, to name a few.

And with a portion of the population hesitant to get vaccinated, including some who outright refuse, there may be more showdowns down the line. A May report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit that conducts research on key health policy issues, found nearly a third — 32% — of unvaccinated adults are waiting for full FDA approval of a vaccine before getting it.

ABC News

‘Two Americas’ may emerge as Delta variant spreads and vaccination rates drop

With Covid vaccination penetration in the US likely to fall short of Joe Biden’s 70% by Fourth of July target, pandemic analysts are warning that vaccine incentives are losing traction and that “two Americas” may emerge as the aggressive Delta variant becomes the dominant US strain.

Efforts to boost vaccination rates have come through a variety of incentives, from free hamburgers to free beer, college scholarships and even million-dollar lottery prizes. But of the efforts to entice people to get their shots have lost their initial impact, or failed to land effectively at all.

“It’s just not working,” Irwin Redlener at the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative at Columbia University, told Politico. “People aren’t buying it. The incentives don’t seem to be working – whether it’s a doughnut, a car or a million dollars.”

The Guardian

Both sides in Peru’s contested election double down in weekend rallies

Supporters of socialist Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori took to the streets by the thousands in Peru on Saturday, as tensions rose over the result of the June 6 presidential election.

Castillo was leading the official count while Fujimori sought to get votes annulled, although pollster Ipsos Peru said it had done a statistical analysis of the ballots and found no evidence of abnormal voting patterns that would have benefited one candidate over the other.

Reuters

Juneeteenth Is a Celebration of Liberation, But Mass Incarceration Lives On

This op-ed argues that the liberation promised by Juneteenth hasn’t been realized for many Black Americans.

Teen Vogue

Democrats’ domestic agenda faces setbacks by Republican obstructionism

Joe Biden’s far-reaching domestic agenda in the US is facing serious setbacks on a range of issues as the political quagmire of a tightly contested Senate is seeing Democratic ambitions sharply curtailed in the face of Republican obstruction.

On a number of key fronts such as pushing election reform and voting rights, efforts to curb gun control and to moving forwards on LGBTQ civil rights, there has been an effective push back by Republicans – and a handful of conservative Democrats – that is forcing Biden and the wider Democratic party on to the back foot.

The Senate, whom critics deride as an increasingly unrepresentative body that gives undue influence to smaller, less diverse Republican-run states, is scheduled to vote Tuesday on For the People Act, the voting rights bill that’s certain to be defeated having won no support from Republicans.

Republicans are expected to run down the clock – a controversial tactical rule known as a filibuster – on the package that requires lawmakers to reach a 60-vote threshold.

The Guardian

Voters supported progressive policies on ballot initiatives. Republicans are pushing back.

Progressive policies like pot legalization and Medicaid expansion became law through ballot initiatives. Now some Republican-led states are working to limit that process.

NBC News