The Monday Politics Thread is Waiting, Again, For Infrastructure Week

At Pittsburgh bridge collapse site, Biden calls state of U.S. infrastructure “mind-boggling”

A Pittsburgh bridge collapsed Friday morning, sending multiple vehicles and a public bus plummeting into a park below, officials said. Ten people suffered minor injuries and four people were taken to area hospitals, but none of the injuries were life-threatening, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

CBS News

The Towers and the Ticking Clock

“In retrospect, you look back at that moment — you search your memory,” McGuinness told me recently. “But I didn’t notice anything unsafe. I would never have stayed up there if I had.”

The New York Times

Northern masks, Southern indifference: How Covid precautions differ widely by region

“At this time, you would not think there is a pandemic. It’s slammed right now,” the owner of a yoga studio outside of Atlanta said.

NBC News

Tennessee school board defends banning ‘Maus,’ insists graphic novel on Holocaust contains ‘unnecessary use of profanity and nudity’

“It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids,” board member Tony Allman said, according to minutes from the meeting. Fellow board member Mike Cochran said author Art Spiegelman’s graphic depiction of the Holocaust was “completely unnecessary.”

Insider

(I think an uncontrollable ten minutes or so of disbelieving laughter at this quote is warranted.)

The End of Affirmative Action Will Impact Black and Latino Students At High Levels

Affirmative action is facing its greatest threat yet, leaving Black and Latino students to grapple with future financial hardships.

The Root

Florida School District Cancels History Professor’s Civil Rights Lecture over CRT Hysteria

Butler’s lecture doesn’t contain any elements of critical race theory, but that doesn’t matter under the Stop WOKE Act. The bill doesn’t even mention “critical race theory” by name, but the press release from Governor DeSantis’ office announcing his support for the bill uses the phrase 15 times.

Second Nexus

The latest Covid variant is 1.5 times more contagious than omicron and already circulating in almost half of U.S. states

Nearly half of U.S. states have confirmed the presence of BA.2 with at least 127 known cases nationwide as of Friday, according to a global data base that tracks Covid variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement Friday, said although BA.2 has increased in proportion to the original omicron strain in some countries, it is currently circulating at a low level in the U.S.

CNBC

A redwood forest in California has been permanently returned to its Indigenous tribes

More than 500 acres of California redwood forestland has been officially returned to a group of Native American tribes whose ancestors were expelled from it generations ago.

CNN

Remarkable photos of Black America 100 years ago

Here’s a look at what many facets of Black American life looked like roughly a century ago.

CBS News

Biden sued by 8 states over program that allows Central American children to legally reunite with parents in the US

Republican attorneys general in eight states on Friday filed a lawsuit requesting a federal judge stop a Biden administration program that allows children of legal immigrants from Central America living in the US to reunite with their parents. 

Business Insider

Georgia county purges Democrats from election board and cancels Sunday voting

The takeover in Spalding county is part of Republican efforts to dominate elections mechanisms nationwide

The Guardian

Native Americans feel overlooked in voting rights push

Native American voters face heightened discrimination at the ballot box like Black Americans and Latino voters, but they’re often left out of the conversation about election reform despite their ability to swing crucial races.

Axios

Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theories Have Forced A Butterfly Sanctuary To Close For Three Days

A Republican congressional candidate allegedly nearly hit someone with a car at a Texas butterfly sanctuary that’s the target of long-running, deep MAGA conspiracies.

Buzzfeed News

You’ll Never Believe It, but Mitch McConnell Is Already Threatening to Block Biden’s SCOTUS Pick

Who could have seen this coming other than literally everyone?

Vanity Fair

The 3 Supreme Court justices to watch after Breyer retires

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor would gain new power, Justice Elena Kagan will likely recalibrate her negotiating style and Chief Justice John Roberts may have less chance for compromise.

CNN

WWII Vet, 95, Says Mail-in Ballot Application Rejected Twice Under Texas Law: ‘I’ve Never Missed a Vote’

Kenneth Thompson of Harris County will vote in person if he has to: “He’s a law-abiding citizen. He doesn’t want to miss voting, and yet, there’s no mechanism [to fix the problem],” his daughter said

People

Trump-aligned Texas candidates shun conservative Latino group on immigration

The LIBRE Initiative’s political arm withdrew its endorsements after the Republican candidates claimed the group supports immigration “amnesty.”

NBC News

Pennsylvania Court Decides Mail-In Voting Is Illegal Now That Democrats Are Doing It

What really happened is that the three Republicans on a five-judge panel struck down Act 77, the 2019 statute which allowed for no-excuse absentee ballots, finding that it violates the Pennsylvania constitution. If they were animated by great patriotic spirit at a level nobody thought possible, they made no mention of it.

Wonkette

This Wisconsin Lawmaker Is Ready to Quit the GOP Over Trump

“He is lying. He did not win Wisconsin. And he has provided no proof otherwise.”

Vice News

Nobody Cares Whether You ‘Believe’ in the Separation of Church and State. That’s the Law, Champ.

Looking around the Republican farm system, it’s hard not to feel an escalating sense of doom for this ball club and the league they play in. Unfortunately, the rest of us are stuck in Major League Batshit with these people, a competition in desperate need of a relegation system.

Esquire

Biden’s legislative problem is threadbare margins, not left-wing overreach

That charge of ideological hubris has gained considerable currency since. But it obscures a more compelling explanation for Democratic woes: It’s hard to act alone on major national problems with threadbare congressional majorities.

CNN

Putin is rewriting history to justify his threats to Ukraine

Specifically, much of Russia’s political positioning to launch an incursion into Ukrainian territory is based on Putin’s claim that Ukraine — like Russia, a former Soviet state — is an extension of Russia, the “little brother” that has been led astray by the West andmust be reincorporated into the family. Thus, he sees Ukraine’s increasing westward turn as a provocation, by both Ukraine and NATO.

Vox

Facing Chinese pressure, Taiwan president pledges to ‘stride’ into the world

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen thanked democratic nations for their support of the island in her Lunar New Year message on Sunday and pledged to “stride out” into the world, sounding a defiant note in the face of unrelenting Chinese pressure.

Reuters

Italian president reelected to second term

Italian President Sergio Mattarella was reelected to a second term in office on Saturday, with the country’s Parliament pulling him away from a planned retirement after it was unable to select a replacement in multiple days of voting.

The Hill

France: Women candidates for presidency highlight politics’ sexism problem

France has never had a woman as president. With a number of female candidates in the election race this time, could that finally change? Challenges range from a #MeToo campaign to an “invisible” barrier to the top job.

Deutsche Welle

How Beijing Is Playing the Olympics

China has long been fascinated with Olympic glory, but the run-up to the Winter Games has been beset by extraordinary pressures from the realms of politics, diplomacy, and public health.

The New Yorker

Portugal’s ruling Socialist party on course to win snap general election

Portugal’s ruling Socialist party is on course to win the country’s snap general election and could even secure a surprise outright majority, according to three exit polls released on Sunday evening.

The Guardian

Joni Mitchell removing music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young

Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is removing her library of music from Spotify in solidarity with fellow artist Neil Young, citing “irresponsible people” sharing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on the streaming platform.

CTV News

Thousands in Ottawa protest COVID mandates, many rebuked

Thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.

AP News

Dominic Cummings Says Boris Johnson Is A ‘Complete F**kwit’

Former top adviser says getting rid of the PM is an “unpleasant but necessary” job like “fixing the drains”.

Huffington Post

Holocaust Survivor Sami Steigmann Wants Young People Not to Lose Hope

Sami Steigmann was one and a half years old when he and his family were deported from Czernowitz, Romania, in present-day Ukraine, to a Nazi labor camp in Mogilev-Podolski. From the time they arrived in 1941 until they were freed in 1944, they endured daily horrors. For Steigmann, that included medical experimentation.

Teen Vogue

Moderna’s HIV Vaccine Has Officially Begun Human Trials

We could be getting even closer to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.

them.