The Monday Politics Thread Surfs the Blue Wave

Voters Raised the Minimum Wage in Several States With 2022 Midterms Ballot Initiatives

We’re all neck-deep in post-election narratives, but here’s one more to add to the pile: The nation’s working class added some pretty notable ballot wins to the U.S. labor movement’s string of recent successes. Tuesday saw a number of historic firsts at every level of government while making progressive gains at the state and federal levels. The results from some state-level ballot measures are giving us even more reason to count the 2022 midterms as a relative win.

Teen Vogue

A night of ‘hell’: abortion activists on their ‘inhumane’ detention in DC

Three women who peacefully protested against restrictions on abortion rights in the US supreme court were mistreated and detained in “inhumane” conditions after their arrest, they say.

Their experience shows unsettling treatment in a landscape where pregnant people, medical providers and others increasingly face criminalization after the Dobbs decision on reproductive care.

The Guardian

Mexican government uses footage of Philadelphia streets in anti-drug PSA

An anti-drug public service announcement in Mexico is deploying footage of homelessness and drug abuse on the streets of Philadelphia in order to illustrate its message. 

The video, posted to Twitter by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador spokesman Jesús Ramírez, urges viewers to be aware of the “damage caused to health by the consumption of chemical drugs,” Ramírez wrote on Twitter

Just The News

U.S. COVID public health emergency to stay in place

The United States will keep in place the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing millions of Americans to still receive free tests, vaccines and treatments, two Biden administration officials said on Friday.


Southeast US has hit the roof of CDC’s respiratory illness level scale

The US continues to see a dramatic and early surge in respiratory illnesses, which is hitting young children particularly hard and setting records for the decade.

The Southeast region is the most affected by the surge, which is driven by cases of flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus), and other seasonal respiratory viruses. Seven southern states—Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia—have reached the highest level of respiratory-illness activity on the scale from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The states are colored a deep purple on the national map, representing the highest of sub-level of “Very High” activity.

Ars Technica

New Memorial on the National Mall honors Native veterans who served the nation

Harvey Phillip Pratt is an artist from Oklahoma, a Vietnam veteran, and a member of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations. In 2018, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian chose his design for a veterans’ memorial, which will be dedicated on Veterans’ Day.



A new study shows that for all the complaints that mask mandates for in-person schooling caused children to stop learning and turn into furries, school districts in Boston that kept their masking policies in place this year had far fewer COVID infections than districts that stopped requiring masks.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, involved a “natural experiment” that arose when Massachusetts dropped its statewide mask mandates for schools in February. While most school districts in the Boston area quickly rescinded their own masking mandates, the Boston and Chelsea school districts kept theirs in place for 15 weeks longer, until schools let out for summer vacation in June. Big surprise: When the mask mandates were in place statewide, COVID rates were pretty much the same all over the region. But after the state requirement was dropped, schools that lifted their mask mandates saw

an additional 44.9 cases per 1000 students and staff (95% confidence interval, 32.6 to 57.1), which corresponded to an estimated 11,901 cases and to 29.4% of the cases in all districts during that time.


Too Many U.S. Veterans End Up Behind Bars. It’s Time to Break the Cycle

America’s veterans are in trouble—literally. Each year roughly 200,000 service members transition out of the military, and while most reenter civilian life successfully, others struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and homelessness.

For many, this post-service journey leads to a grim destination: the criminal justice system. One in three of the nation’s 19 million veterans report having been arrested and jailed at least once, and more than 181,000 are behind bars. Former service members make up nearly 8% of those in state prisons and 5% of the federal prison population.


Federal Judge Rules That Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Is Unlawful

A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas ruled that President Biden’s student debt relief plan is unlawful, calling it “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power” in the Thursday filing. Within hours, the US Department of Education filed a notice with the court stating its intent to appeal the decision. 

Teen Vogue

Teen Arrested for Synagogue Threats Wanted to ‘Curb Stomp’ LGBTQ People: FBI

Last week FBI issued a warning for all synagogues in New Jersey, and now they say the man arrested in connection claimed he was “larping” as a terrorist.


Only library in Michigan town to close after voters defund it for refusing to ban LGBTQ books

A library in Michigan will close after voters rejected its funding for the second time because library staff refused to remove LGBTQ books.

A tax levy to fund the Patmos Library for the next 10 years failed in Jamestown Charter Township’s August primary, meaning it lost 84% of its funding for operations. The measure appeared on Tuesday’s midterms ballot again in hopes that, with more residents aware of the issue, it would pass.

USA Today

A ‘rainbow wave’ spreads across the U.S. as hundreds of LGBTQ candidates win elections

At least 400 LGBTQ candidates won their midterm races, breaking 2020’s record of 334, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

NBC News

What Americans are getting wrong about veterans

The size of the military veteran population in the U.S. is declining. 

A 2020 report from the U.S. Census Bureau said there were nearly 18 million veterans alive in the U.S. — including over three million veterans each of the Global War on Terror and Gulf War, six million veterans of the Vietnam War, and roughly a million veterans of the Korean War. There are fewer than 200,000 U.S. veterans of World War II alive today.

As of 2018, however, less than 10% of adults in the U.S. were veterans, according to a 2021 report from the Pew Research Center. The number of living veterans is only going to decrease, the same report said; by 2046, “there will be around 12.5 million veterans.” 

Task and Purpose

Abortion Rights Win on Midterm Ballots Across the Country

Abortion rights largely won during the midterm elections, with voters affirming access in three states and voting down an anti-abortion measure in one. The cross-country win showed the importance of abortion rights to voters in the aftermath of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Teen Vogue

Prosecutors in These States Can Review Sentences They Deem Extreme. Few Do.

Five states now allow prosecutors to seek shorter sentences in old cases. Louisiana shows why many DAs haven’t.

The Marshall Project

Flu season already hitting hard across half of the US and children’s hospitals are still feeling the pressure from respiratory illnesses

About half of the US – 22 states, along with Washington, DC, New York City and Puerto Rico – is reporting high or very high respiratory illness activity, as flu season sweeps through the country weeks earlier than usual.

Multiple respiratory viruses are circulating nationwide – including flu, RSV and the virus that causes Covid-19 – and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tweeted Thursday that flu is contributing to a “significant proportion” of that circulation.


You’ve probably never heard of this forefather of the LGBTQ rights movement

Many people think the start of the modern rights gay rights movement began with the 1969 Stonewall Uprising or even the 1950s-era founding of “homophile” groups like The Mattachine Society or the Daughters of Bilitis.

But a recently published book suggests that Henry Gerber, a Chicago post-office worker, actually began laying the foundation of the gay rights movement back in 1925.


Kevin Conroy, Gay Actor & Longtime Voice of Batman, Dies at 66

Conroy’s work in the role is the basis for every iteration of Batman popular culture has seen since. He played Wayne and his superheroic alter ego for years on TV, including on the beloved “Batman: The Animated Series,” and his influence can be heard in the performances of Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson and many more who’ve played the character.


With Tina Kotek Winning in Oregon, the U.S. Will Now Have Two Lesbian Governors

After days of contentious vote counting, the Associated Press has called the Oregon gubernatorial race for Democrat Tina Kotek, who will join Maura Healey in Massachusetts as the country’s first openly lesbian governors.


11 Indigenous Youth Making a Difference in their Communities

November is Native American Heritage Month, which provides an opportunity to platform Indigenous peoples amid a season usually wrought with anti-Native prejudice and cultural appropriation. While Indigenous peoples should be highlighted for the work that they do all year round, youth in particular are often overlooked despite the integral roles they play as the rising generation of language keepers, culture bearers, artists, tribal leaders, educators, and more. Whether through robotics or literary movements, Indigenous youth work tirelessly out of love for their communities, bringing better futures to fruition.

Teen Vogue

Istanbul: Six dead, dozens wounded in Turkey explosion

At least six people have been killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy area of central Istanbul, Turkish authorities have said.


Same-sex couples win in Polish court: The constitution doesn’t ban marriage equality

The Supreme Administrative Court of Poland ruled last week that the country could potentially recognize same-sex marriages of Polish citizens that were performed in other countries, even though the country itself still doesn’t perform marriages between two people of the same sex.

LGBTQ Nation

Slovenia elects first female president

Natasa Pirc Musar, a lawyer, won the second round of Slovenia’s presidential election on Sunday and will become its first female head of state, preliminary results showed.


Israel’s Netanyahu officially tapped to form government

Israel’s president officially tapped former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government on Sunday, opening the door for the likely return to power of the long-serving leader after a one-year hiatus. With Netanyahu comes what’s expected to be Israel’s most right-wing coalition ever.

AP News

‘I can’t stop smiling’: residents welcome Ukrainian troops in the frontline town of Snihurivka

Snihurivka sat firmly on the frontline, just a kilometre away from Ukrainian positions, and was retaken by Ukrainian forces on Thursday. Russia’s ministry of defence announced a tactical withdrawal of its forces in the south after Ukraine repeatedly destroyed their supply lines and ammunition depots.

The Guardian

Iranian refugee who inspired Spielberg’s film ‘The Terminal’ dies inside Paris airport

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the man who had lived inside the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport for years and inspired Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film “The Terminal”, died Saturday at the same airport.

Nasseri was pronounced dead by the airport medical team at Terminal 2F and had died of natural causes, a spokesperson for the airport told CNN.

Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, was en route to England via Belgium and France in 1988 when he lost his papers and could not board a flight nor leave the airport and was stuck in limbo until 2006.


Germany’s Scholz visits Vietnam as manufacturers eye shift from China

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed energy and trade ties with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during a visit to Hanoi on Sunday, the first for a German leader in more than a decade.


Truss? Brexit? Covid? Who is really to blame for the Tories’ ‘fiscal hole’?

The succession of PMs have all spoken out on who or what has caused the state of UK finances. They’re all partly right, but conveniently miss out one or two other key reasons

The Guardian

Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese, president Tsai Ing-wen says in fiery pre-election rebuff to China

In a fiery pre-election rebuff to China, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said her mission in life was to ensure the island continued to belong to its people and that Taiwan’s existence was a provocation to no-one.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Auschwitz hero’s son seeks millions for dad’s 1948 execution

The son of World War II Auschwitz death camp hero Witold Pilecki is seeking millions in compensation from the Polish government for his father’s post-war arrest and 1948 execution by the country’s communist authorities of the time.

AP News

A just transition depends on energy systems that work for everyone

The west’s dash for African gas has become a rallying point at Cop27, with climate justice activists calling out the hypocrisy of rich polluting nations who are scrambling to keep energy prices down by pushing for more fossil fuel projects in Africa.

This short-term fix to the energy price crisis created by Russia’s war on Ukraine will lock some of the poorest, most climate-affected countries in the world in polluting fossil fuel projects with few economic or energy benefits for the communities whose land, water and heritage will be sacrificed.

The Guardian