The Monday Politics Thread Wants a Dragon

Churches played an active role in slavery and segregation. Some want to make amends.

Some churches across denominations are acknowledging that their wealth was often built off of enslaved labor and are committing parts of their endowments to reparations funds.

NBC News

With US student loan payments pause set to end, debtors seek cancellation

A planned demonstration in Washington will bring attention to the issue as Biden is said to be weighing debt forgiveness

The Guardian

‘A year after year disaster:’ The American West could face a ‘brutal’ century under climate change

The West, once a beacon for all that was new and hopeful in America, could become an example of the grim, apocalyptic future the nation faces from climate change.

USA Today

‘I don’t know anybody like me’: Meet Nashville’s transqueer Latinx neurodivergent theologian

Henderson-Espinoza — an ordained Baptist minister who has a Ph.D in philosophy — knew for many years they were transgender, but didn’t explore what that meant to them until 2017 when they moved to Nashville from California.

The Tennessean

COVID Hospitalizations Are the Lowest Since the Start of the Pandemic

The highest peak was in January 2022 during the rise of the omicron variant with 159,000 hospitalizations in a single day


Student loan forgiveness could lure nearly half of Americans in key battleground states to vote in November, survey says

Respondents were polled on how likely they would be to vote in the November general election should Biden implement a range of policy measures related to student debt, and it found that 45% of them would be somewhat or much more likely to vote if Biden cancels $10,000 in student debt for every federal borrower, which he pledged to do on the campaign trail. 

Additionally, 46% of respondents also said they would be likelier to go to the polls if Biden were to cancel $50,000 in student debt for every federal borrower — an amount many progressives lawmakers have been pushing for. Over one-third of respondents said another motivating factor to vote would come from a further extension of the pause on student-loan payments through the end of the year.


US will now offer gender-neutral X option on passports

US citizens will have the option to choose the gender-neutral X marker on passports beginning April 11th, the Department of State announced. The agency said the X option will be available for other forms of documentation next year, according to a statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Verge

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sued by LGBTQ students, parents over new law

The group alleges that newly signed legislation — dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics — would violate their freedom of speech and other constitutional rights.

NBC News

Meet Don’t Mess With Trans Kids: Charitable Merch That Raised $120,000

Don’t Mess With Trans Kids is an effort started by Stephanie Lopez. Launched in 2021, the project gives 100 percent of proceeds to Equality Texas to assist in its efforts which include fighting anti-trans legislation in the state. Through it, Lopez sells items such as shirts, tank tops, stickers, and other merchandise with the phrase “Don’t Mess With Trans Kids” emblazoned on them. 


How many COVID deaths are ‘acceptable’? Answer is key to moving to a post-pandemic world

Implicit in a decision to drop the last remaining safety rules is a willingness to abide the current mortality rate. Over the last week, COVID-19 has claimed an average of 626 lives in the U.S. each day. That’s fewer than the roughly 1,900 who die of heart disease and the 1,650 who die of cancer each day, on average, but well above the 147 lost to influenza and pneumonia combined.

LA Times

Texas Court Denies the Appeal of Amber Guyger, the Ex-cop Who Killed Botham Jean In His Apartment

Botham Jean’s Killer: Amber Guyger will remain in prison after she was denied an appeal by the Texas Court of Appeals.

The Root

The Supreme Court Has Never Been Apolitical

Many today fear the court is becoming just another partisan institution. But, in the past, justices sought elective office and counseled partisan allies. Some even coveted the White House themselves.


Democrats fractured on response to end of Title 42

The Biden administration’s decision to end to Title 42, a Trump-era policy restricting asylum claims, garnered a fractured response from Democratic lawmakers, advocates and the administration itself.  

The Hill

Unpicking of Trump-era asylum curbs primes partisan powder keg

As the Biden administration announced on Friday plans to end Covid-related restrictions for undocumented people arriving at the southern border, it guaranteed that irregular immigration will return as even more of a polarizing, point-scoring, policy debate.

The Guardian

The number of Ukrainians seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border is growing by the day

“Approximately at this moment in Tijuana, there are about 1,500 Ukrainians,” said Enrique Lucero, director of migrant affairs for the city. “We had a surprising influx in the past four days, mainly because after the conflict we started seeing arrivals as of March 11,”and the numbers of people arriving have grown greatly since, Lucero said.


Is the Supreme Court confirmation process irreparably broken? Some senators say yes.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is on track for a narrow confirmation, but her hearings illustrated an ongoing disintegration of the process. Senators fear it will only get worse.

NBC News

Republican judges are waging a bizarre war against the First Amendment right to protest

Doe v. Mckessonis a simply astonishing attack on the First Amendment.


Georgia senate passes bill limiting discussion of race in schools

‘We must teach that America is good’ says top Republican of bill banning teaching that US is ‘fundamentally racist’

The Guardian

Eleanor Roosevelt, Bessie Coleman and others to be featured on U.S. quarters

The latest coins, to be available in 2023, will feature aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman; journalist and suffragist Jovita Idar; composer, chanter, dancer and entertainer Edith Kanaka’ole; first lady, author, reformer and leader Eleanor Roosevelt; and America’s first prima ballerina Maria Tallchief.


How two dozen retired generals are trying to stop an overhaul of the Marines

The roster of personalities includes every living former commandant, along with a slew of other retired four-star generals revered within the Corps. And all of them are bristling at different aspects of foundational changes introduced by Commandant Gen. David Berger, who aims to make the Corps lighter, faster and more capable of doing everything from electronic warfare to sinking ships at sea.


Amazon Labor Union in Staten Island Wins Unionization Vote

An unorthodox worker-led unionization effort just won against the notoriously anti-union company, 2,654-2,131.

Teen Vogue

Pakistan heads for early election amid move to remove PM Imran Khan

Pakistan’s president has dissolved parliament – a step towards early elections – following an attempt to remove PM Imran Khan from office.


French far-right leader Le Pen softens image for election

French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen has softened her rhetoric and her image to broaden her appeal in next week’s presidential election — but is under threat from a provocative rival who has broken her monopoly as the watchdog of the country’s identity that they claim is under threat.

AP News

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier under fire for Russia ties

Ukraine and Polish officials criticized German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for being too close to Russia. Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin boycotted a peace concert with Russian artists organized by Steinmeier.

Deutsche Welle

How They Fled: 7 Ukrainian Refugees on Escaping Russia’s War

Their lives were upended in an instant. Here’s what they were thinking, where they went and what they brought with them.


Putin is making the same mistakes that doomed Hitler when he invaded the Soviet Union

This is the savage irony behind Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine that’s become clear as the war enters its second month: the Russian leader, who portrays himself as a student of history, is floundering because he hasn’t paid enough attention to the lessons of the “Great Patriotic War” he reveres.