The Monday Polotics Thread is Waiting for Turkey Day

There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry White man

It’s not the “radical Islamic terrorist” that I fear the most. Nor is it the brown immigrant or the fiery Black Lives Matter protester, or whatever the latest bogeyman is that some politician tells me I should dread.

It’s encountering an armed White man in public who has been inspired by the White men on trial in these three cases.


The Pandemic’s Next Turn Hinges on Three Unknowns

How bad will it get? We are no longer in the most dangerous phase of the pandemic, but we also have not reached the end. So COVID-19’s trajectory over the next few months will depend on three key unknowns: how our immunity holds up, how the virus changes, and how we behave. These unknowns may also play out differently state to state, town to town, but together they will determine what ends up happening this winter.

Defense One

Up to 1.6 Million People in the U.S. Have Long-Term Smell Loss Due to Covid-19

A loss of smell—called anosmia—can be one of the first symptoms of a Covid-19 infection; one study reports that between 30 and 80 percent of diagnosed folks experience some variation of anosmia. Taking a big whiff of perfume, food or wine and not smelling anything at all can be an odd, confusing sensation, but around 90 percent of people recover their sense of smell as soon as two weeks, reports Ed Cara for Gizmodo. However, some people are taking much longer to recover their smell. For others, it may never come back.

Smithsonian Magazine

Army bars vaccine refusers from promotions and reenlistment as deadline approaches

With less than one month until the Army’s deadline to vaccinate its active-duty force, the service will begin barring soldiers who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 without an exemption from reenlistment, promotions, and other “favorable personnel actions.”


Bulgarian President Radev wins second term on anti-corruption ticket

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev won a second term in office by a wide margin on Sunday as voters in the European Union’s poorest country backed his strong anti-corruption message, exit polls showed.


As Georgia grows more Democratic, its members of Congress will not

Republicans in Georgia are set to approve a new congressional map that adds to their representation in the U.S. House even as they voted to trim their own majority in the state legislature.

Monday, the Georgia General Assembly will give final passage to a bill that creates nine congressional districts favoring Republicans and five heavily-Democratic districts. The new map swings a northern Atlanta suburban seat more than 25 points to the right and likely pits two Democratic incumbents into a primary challenge.


Fueled by Trump-inspired grievance, attempts to terrorize public officials escalate

Through public records requests, several previously unreported incidents came to light — while Capitol Police officials say the agency expects to log more than 9,000 threats this year.

NBC News

Democrats’ massive spending bill include‘Heal the past’: first Native American confirmed to oversee national parks

Charles “Chuck” F Sams III made history this week in becoming the first-ever Native American confirmed to lead the National Park Service.

Sams, an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, received unanimous consent by the US Senate on Thursday after being nominated by Joe Biden in August.

Sam’s confirmation comes nearly 150 years after US leaders began the practice of establishing national parks upon ancestral lands that were often violently seized from Indigenous communities.

The Guardian

Covid-19: We’re already forgetting the best lesson from the 1918 pandemic

Now, historians say the biggest lesson we can learn from the 1918 pandemic is how quickly people wanted to forget about it. We’re already repeating the mistake, experts say, and that’s worrisome. There are individual and collective dangers to this forced amnesia. It’s bad for our mental health and it leaves us more vulnerable to future pandemics.


Rural America’s False Sense of Security

People in rural America say things are back to normal, even though rural America is precisely where the pandemic is worst.

The Atlantic

Another voter fraud accusation blows up in Republicans’ faces

The mysterious case of Rosemarie Hartle’s vote in the last presidential election, three years after her death, was trumpeted in November 2020 by the Nevada Republican Party and various prominent conservatives. From then-President Donald Trump on down, Republicans used stories about phony votes cast under the names of dead people as key evidence for their claim that Joe Biden’s victory was marred by major fraud.

The Hartle mystery is now solved. And it turns out that the fraud was committed by a Republican.


Biden urges Americans to express their views on Rittenhouse verdict ‘peacefully’

President Biden urged Americans on Friday to peacefully express their views on the jury’s decision to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse.

The Hill

Sudan military leaders reinstate deposed prime minister

Sudan’s deposed prime minister signed a deal with the military on Sunday that will see him reinstated, almost a month after a military coup put him under house arrest. A key pro-democracy group that has mobilized dozens of protests had dismissed the deal as “a form of betrayal.”

AP News

El Salvador Bitcoin city planned at base of Conchagua volcano

El Salvador plans to build a Bitcoin city at the base of a volcano, with the cryptocurrency used to fund the project, its president has announced.


President Biden Issues Statement Commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance

Although President Biden often voices questionable statements, here’s one we can get behind. This Saturday, Biden honored Transgender Day of Remembrance with an official statement to commemorate the lives of transgender people lost to violence this year within the United States and beyond.

The Root

Jan. 6 committee member: Many of 200+ witnesses are ex-Trump admin staff who voluntarily came forward

A member of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack told CNN Saturday many of the more than 200 witnesses they have interviewed are former officials from the Trump administration who came forward voluntarily.


Biden nominates new chair for Postal Service Board, ousts DeJoy’s allies

President Biden announced Friday the nomination of two new members to the Postal Service Board of Governors, including a new chairman, which could spell the end of Louis DeJoy’s controversial tenure as postmaster general.


Build Back Better Bill Passes U.S. House, Heads to Senate

Though it’s a substantively different bill than the one the House began with, if made into law, the $1.75 trillion package would impact health care, childcare, affordable housing, drug pricing, and investments in the climate change response. In advance of passage in the House, President Biden tweeted that the bill would “lower costs, create jobs, and rebuild our economy.”

Teen Vogue

Latino, AAPI, LGBTQ advocates want to shape congressional maps

Activists are urging the creation of a congressional district that links LGBTQ populations in Long Beach and coastal northern Orange County. Civil-rights groups say a plan to split up a Los Angeles-area district — the most heavily Latino in the nation — violates the Voting Rights Act. Asian Americans warn that a proposal to carve the San Gabriel Valley into pieces would dilute their voice at a time of terrifying violence against their community.

LA Times

Covid: Huge protests across Europe over new restrictions

Tens of thousands of people have been marching in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to protest against anti-Covid measures.


Indigenous community evicted as land clashes over agribusiness rock Paraguay

Police in riot gear tore down a community’s homes and ripped up crops, highlighting the country’s highly unequal land ownership

The Guardian

Migrants from 12 countries among 600 found in two trucks in Mexico

Migrants from 12 countries were among 600 people found hidden in the back of two trucks in eastern Mexico on Friday, most of them from neighboring Guatemala, the government’s National Migration Institute (INM) said on Saturday.


Ethiopia hails return of looted artefacts

Ethiopia on Saturday hailed the return of precious artefacts looted by British soldiers more than 150 years ago, after a long campaign for their restitution.