The Monday Politics Thread Does Its Taxes

It’s Tax Time, Americados! I did mine Saturday, and wow, was it fun.

For those who don’t live in the US, understand that we, because tax prep companies spent a shit ton of money coercing reps and senators into blocking legislation that would make tax time easier, have a lot of pain to deal with. Especially when they also make it really hard to get them done for free. The IRS has tried to get people shuffled towards free options for quite a while, but one of the major companies involved, TurboTax, said fuck that and dropped out. TaxAct, which I’ve also used, stuck around.

Imagine my surprise when I tried both, and TurboTax is actually completely free, in comparison to TaxAct (through the IRS Free File page), which charges for your state refund. Yeah. This is the bullshit we have to deal with, non-Americados. It is insane.

And the fun just kept on going, since when I tried to file my taxes, TurboTax took two – TWO – pages to try and trick me into using Credit Karma to give me my refund early, instead of letting me direct deposit right off the bat. Not even a lie, I had to click “more refund options” twice to get away from that shit to actually deposit my money in my own account. All of that for the joy of waiting to see when it will actually arrive, as the IRS is…kind of overwhelmed right now.

Here’s how long it will take to get your tax refund in 2022

Treasury Department officials warned on Monday that this year’s tax season will be a challenge with the IRS starting to process returns on January 24. That’s largely due to the IRS’ sizable backlog of returns from 2021. As of December 31, the agency had 6 million unprocessed individual returns — a significant reduction from a backlog of 30 million in May, but far higher than the 1 million unprocessed returns that is more typical around the start of tax season. 

CBS News

On Biden’s Promise to Nominate the First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

This op-ed argues that the president’s promise to nominate “a Black woman” to the Supreme Court comes off as tokenizing and strange. 

Teen Vogue

The Tokyo Olympics set the record for LGBTQ+ visibility. The Beijing Games aren’t likely to break it

Of the 11,000 Olympians competing in Tokyo, at least 186 identified as LGBTQ, according to the SB Nation blog Outsports — a groundbreaking moment in the history of the representation of marginalized sexualities and gender identities in the sporting world.


Americans exposed to toxic BPA at levels far above what EU considers safe – study

Petition urges FDA to strongly limit use of BPA, which is linked to cancer and other health problems

The Guardian

In Puerto Rico, hundreds of teachers leave classrooms, protest for higher wages

“We are tired, tired of not being recognized,” said one teacher. “It’s about time that teachers rise up and explain to the world the value of their profession.”

NBC News

You Can Now See How Much COVID-19 Virus Is In Your Community’s Wastewater

“The data is uniquely powerful because it captures the presence of infections from people with and without symptoms, and not affected by access to healthcare or the availability of clinical testing,” she told reporters on Feb. 4. That data is now available on the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker. It’s standardized so people can compare information across different states or even different counties. Up to this point, those states and counties were collecting and analyzing data on their own.


Wisconsin Is Ground Zero for the MAGA Effort to Steal the Next Election

Republicans, convinced Trump won, are pushing to decertify his 2020 loss — and lay the groundwork to overturn the next election if it doesn’t go their way

Rolling Stone

Trump White House staffers frequently put important documents into ‘burn bags’ and sent them to the Pentagon for incineration, report says

It has been widely reported that former President Donald Trump had a penchant for tearing apart presidential documents, but new details have emerged about how his aides disposed of potentially important papers.

Business Insider

Congressional Workers Union Announce Union Drive, With Speaker Pelosi’s Blessing

While the ‘Dear White Staffers’ Instagram account makes headlines, workers have announced plans to unionize.

Teen Vogue

13 states have backed the Mexican government’s lawsuit against a group of US gun manufacturers

The attorneys general of 13 states and Washington DC this week expressed support for a federal lawsuit by the Mexican government that accuses a group of American gun manufacturers of facilitating the trafficking of weapons to criminals in Mexico, fueling gun violence.


Queen Elizabeth Marks Historic 70 Years on the Throne in a Quiet Way

Sunday marks 70 years since the death of King George VI and the start of Queen Elizabeth‘s historic reign.


Tennessee pastor leads burning of Harry Potter and Twilight novels

The livestreamed event drew large crowds, who cheered as books deemed ‘demonic’ by pastor Greg Locke went up in flames

The Guardian

German anger as Russia shuts international broadcaster Deutsche Welle

All DW’s staff have lost their press accreditations and the channel is barred from broadcasting in Russia.


Spotify Has Convinced Everyone to Debate the Wrong Issue

In 2020, Spotify paid $100 million to become the exclusive home of Joe Rogan’s blockbuster podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Now, Spotify is in an uncomfortable spotlight over Rogan’s history of frequently broadcasting COVID misinformation, under the guise of “just asking questions.”


Whoopi Goldberg’s American Idea of Race

The “racial” distinctions between master and slave may be more familiar to Americans, but they were and are no more real than those between Gentile and Jew.

The Atlantic

Vastly unequal US has world’s highest Covid death toll – it’s no coincidence

As the US passes 900,000 Covid deaths, much of the blame has fallen on individuals despite vast income inequality and vaccine accessibility issues

The Guardian

LGBTQ+ adults more likely to be vaccinated than heterosexuals: CDC

A new CDC study shows that LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to be vaccinated than heterosexual adults.

ABC 11 News

Pandemics Are Expensive. Preventing Them Is Cheap.

New research quantifies the costs associated with pandemic outbreaks and the tools we need to fend off the next one. “Our salvation comes cheap,” the lead author said.


Beijing and Moscow unite in efforts to redefine democracy itself

But there in Beijing, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the games began, was Russian President Vladimir Putin in a grinning show of solidarity and simpatico. As former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor put it on CNN, “here are the [world’s] two largest autocrats, apparently in sync.”


Editor arrested in Kashmir as press crackdown escalates

Journalist Fahad Shah detained on Friday under terrorism and sedition laws in disputed Indian region

The Guardian

‘I don’t want Ukraine to be a new Afghanistan or Vietnam or Cuba’

Relations between Ukrainian and Russian people have “plummeted” since 2014, while polarised opinions have “destabilised multiple families and local communities”, a Russian professor living in Ireland has said.

The Irish Times

Vote on Israel’s African Union ouster deferred for a year

“Algeria and South Africa failed in their attempt to kick Israel out,” a Foreign Ministry source said.

Jerusalem Post

Iceland whaling: Fisheries minister signals end from 2024

Commercial whaling in Iceland could be banned within two years, after a government minister said there was little justification for the practice.


Peru PM confirms departure after four days on job; Castillo faces Cabinet reshuffle

Peruvian Prime Minister Hector Valer confirmed on Saturday that he is departing just four days after being named to the post, following allegations that he beat his daughter and late wife, creating a new leadership vacuum in the Andean nation.


Jimmy Carr Netflix Special Holocaust Remarks Condemned by U.K. Culture Secretary, Anti-Hate Groups

A portion of Carr’s comments in the Dec. 25 special about the deaths of Roma and Sinti gained renewed attention on social media Friday, prompting several politicians and organizations to respond.

Hollywood Reporter

Stalking Remains a Problem for Women and LGBTQ+ People

Experts are worried that the outlook for survivors has still not improved.


‘Mind-blowing tragedy’: deaths of Indian family at US-Canada border put visa sales under scrutiny

Many Indians embark on often treacherous journeys to North America through agents who are now the focus of anti-human trafficking officers

The Guardian