The Monday Politics Thread Offers You A Cat In These Trying Times

In 2 U.S. cities haunted by race massacres, facing the past is painful and divisive

Warner had co-authored the final report of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission, created by the Oklahoma Legislature to present a historical accounting of the infamous massacre that left upward of 300 African Americans dead and resulted in the destruction of “Black Wall Street,” in the city’s prosperous Greenwood enclave. The box contained all of the research the commission had collected.


Nephew calls Republican who tearfully opposed gay marriage bill a homophobe

Hartzler’s high-profile objection to the bill, which passed the House following assent from the Senate and is now set for Joe Biden’s signature, prompted her own nephew to speak out against her in a TikTok video that has been seen more than 200,000 times.

In the video, Andrew Hartzler said his aunt was crying “because gay people like me can get married”. He added: “So despite coming out to my aunt this past February I guess she’s still just as much as a homophobe.”

The Guardian

Biden called gay marriage ‘inevitable’ and soon it’ll be law

Biden’s signature will burnish his legacy as a champion of equality at a time when the LGBTQ community is anxious to safeguard legal changes from a backlash on the right that has used incendiary rhetoric, particularly against transgender people.

CBS News

Lockerbie bombing suspect is in U.S. custody, authorities say

“The United States has taken custody of alleged Pan Am Flight 103 bombmaker Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi,” a Justice Department spokesperson said.

NBC News

A low for L.A. politics: Council member and activist fight as children watch in horror

On stage, Councilmember Kevin de León, who wore a Santa hat, was handing out gifts to children when a handful of activists entered.

What happened next swept everyone in the room into the maelstrom that is Los Angeles politics in late 2022. Over the next several minutes, five activists chased De León around the auditorium, loudly calling him racist and telling him to resign.

Cornered in a back room, De León shoved one of the activists, Jason Reedy, into a table and pushed him down a hallway, losing his Santa hat in the process. Reedy responded by punching De León at least once.

LA Times

Kansas oil spill the biggest in Keystone pipeline history, data shows

A ruptured pipe dumped enough oil this week into a northeastern Kansas creek to nearly fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, becoming the largest onshore crude pipeline spill in nine years and surpassing all the previous ones on the same pipeline system combined, according to federal data.


Masking could fight the ‘tripledemic’, experts say. Will anyone listen?

Masking can feel like a thing of the past in the US, even in cities such as New York and Los Angeles that once embraced the precaution. But as healthcare facilities grapple with a “tripledemic” of respiratory viruses – with Covid, flu and RSV surging simultaneously – experts are once again urging the public to don face coverings.

The Guardian

Why the Far Right Is Fixated on Drag Queens

The ACLU’s Chase Strangio draws the connection between the global antidemocratic movement and rising anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and violence in the U.S.

The Atlantic

Nearly a million adults became U.S. citizens this past year

About 967,400 adult immigrants took the oath of allegiance and became U.S. citizens this past fiscal year, according to a new report released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Virginia’s Top Court Reinstates Progressive Prosecutor Disqualified by a Judge for Giving Light Plea Deal to 19-Year-Old Serial Burglary Suspect

In June, a Loudoun County judge “removed and disqualified” the Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) from the case of Kevin Valle, a 19-year-old charged with an alleged smash-and-grab rampage. The Washington Post reported that the teen threw rocks through windows and doors of local businesses in order to get inside and then stole merchandise or cash.

Elected among a wave of self-described progressive prosecutors across the United States, Biberaj favors a brand of criminal justice reform that emphasizes alternatives to incarceration. Her case gained national attention as that movement gains steam — and encounters pockets of opposition.

Law and Crime

Lawsuit against doctor who defied Texas’ abortion law is dismissed

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents Dr. Alan Braid, said the decision by a San Antonio court is significant because it rejected that people with no connection to an abortion can sue.

NBC News

Jaylen Smith Becomes Youngest Black Mayor In U.S.

The city of Earle, located in Arkansas, elected Jaylen Smith as mayor in Tuesday night’s runoff. This makes him the youngest Black mayor in the country at just 18 years old. According to election results, Smith managed to receive 218 votes while his opponent, Nemi Matthews Sr., obtained 139 votes.

The Root

Here’s How States Plan to Limit Abortion — Even Where It Is Already Banned

As statehouses across the country prepare for next year’s legislative sessions — most for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned — Republican lawmakers are pushing for further restrictions on reproductive health, even in states where abortion is already banned. 

Teen Vogue

U.S. CDC expands use of bivalent COVID vaccines for kids as young as 6 months

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday expanded the use of COVID-19 vaccines that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants to include children aged 6 months through 5 years.


Texas drag shows become a right-wing target amid rising extremism

LGBTQ Texans say lawmakers and right-wing figures are misrepresenting what happens at all-ages performances to propagate hate and violence against queer people.

Texas Tribune

Kyrsten Sinema Has Withdrawn from the Democratic Party

While this particular brand of Radical Centrism isn’t particularly surprising coming from Sinema, this kind of “bothsidesism” remains disappointing no matter what the source. Republicans just spent a midterm election campaigning (unsuccessfully, we might add) on extremist anti-trans rhetoric. But in addition to passing dozens of anti-trans and generally anti-LGBTQ+ laws in state legislatures across the country over the past few years, Republican rhetoric (i.e. that trans people are “groomers,” that trans girls pose a threat to cis girl athletes, etc.) still impacts trans people on a daily basis, even when those antagonistic bills fail to pass. 


Brittney Griner Lands in the U.S.

Griner was released Thursday in a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Russia, in which the U.S. freed convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner. She had been detained at a Russian airport in February because she had vape cartridges containing a small amount of cannabis oil in her luggage and was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison on drug-smuggling charges. She had recently been taken to a penal colony after losing an appeal of her sentence.


Congress Passed The Respect For Marriage Act, Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage

Just when you think Congress is too dysfunctional to get anything done, they go ahead and pass some major legislation. On Thursday, the House gave final approval for The Respect for Marriage Act, which means the bill will be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.

Biden says he will promptly sign the legislation which gives legal protections to same-sex marriage. He called the bill a “critical step to ensure that Americans have the right to marry the person they love.”

The Root

How senators “defied political gravity” on same-sex marriage

The House was voting that July afternoon on Democratic legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal right to an abortion. And it was suddenly winning more Republican votes than Baldwin — or anyone else — had expected.

Baldwin, who became the first openly gay senator when she was elected a decade ago, said she was “overjoyed” as she saw the votes coming in. She excitedly walked over to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who was also on the Senate floor and had been one of the first Republican senators to come out in favor of same-sex marriage.

CBS News

We Can’t Have Trans Representation Unless We Protect Trans People

As we as marginalized people continue to fight for representation at every level of office, it’s getting more apparent that having a seat at the table isn’t enough to create change or protect our rights. When we get that seat, we need to be supported — or at least not attacked.


Celebrity Chef Throws Out Christian Group. That’s Just What Justice Alito Was Afraid of.

What some are calling a double standard is precisely what Justice Samuel Alito attempted to ask about in his widely lampooned “Black Santa” hypothetical during oral arguments on Monday. As the justices considered in whether a Christian web-designer could legally refuse to create websites for same-sex weddings, Alito asked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson whether a state that prohibits discrimination based on political ideology could legally force a Black mall-Santa to take a photograph with a child wearing Ku Klux Klan garb.

The choice of imagery was a bit of a head-scratcher, but the underlying concept was something about which Alito has spoken many times: namely, the limits of state anti-discrimination laws.

Law and Crime

Why DACA—and Dreamers—are forever in a state of limbo

They were brought to the U.S. as children—and for many, it’s the only home they’ve ever known. Here’s what you need to know about the many roadblocks facing DACA and Dreamers.

For millions of people brought to the United States without documentation as children, simply existing can mean breaking the law. Many don’t have the legal paperwork that allows them to work, drive, or attend school. And even though they may speak fluent English, know no other country, and consider themselves American, the threat of deportation is always present.

National Geographic

Chile volcano: Alert issued after Lascar rumbles to life

Lascar volcano, which sits in the Andes, rumbled into action on Saturday, triggering minor earth tremors.


Ukraine launches missile attack on Russian-occupied Melitopol, explosions reported in Donetsk and Crimea

Multiple explosions have been reported in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol in southern Ukraine, in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and in annexed Crimea – including at a Russian military barracks.

The explosions in Melitopol came amid reports from officials on both sides that Ukraine had launched a missile attack on the city on Saturday, while Russian state media said 20 missiles hit the Donetsk People’s Republic on Sunday morning.

Separately, reports also emerged of multiple explosions in Russian-annexed Crimea, including at a military barracks in Sovietske.


Tensions run high in north Kosovo as Serbs block roads

Tensions were high in northern Kosovo on Sunday, with Serbs blocking roads as shots and explosions rang out and the Serbian president warned that Serbian troops are ready to defend their “homeland” if peace doesn’t prevail.

AP News

The Okinawans helping black kōji to thrive

“The cups were so small because awamori was precious and therefore reserved for royalty,” says Koji Higa, manager of members-only speciality bar Awamori Souko. He pours the spirit into one of the dainty vessels. “These days, many people think of alcohol simply as a means to get drunk, but awamori is a spirit with a rich culture behind it. It is a symbol of pride for Okinawans.”

The Japan Times

Beijing swings from anger over zero-COVID to coping with infections

Beijing’s COVID-19 gloom deepened on Sunday with many shops and other businesses closed, and an expert warned of many thousands of new coronavirus cases as anger over China’s previous COVID policies gave way to worry about coping with infection.


Is China doubling down on assimilation of its ethnic minorities?

Glasserman said China’s ethnic policies had previously been known for respecting ethnic customs, languages and identities, but the “rapid rewriting of the rules may alienate people who have long supported the regime”.

South China Morning Post

Rita Moreno: If I wasn’t Hispanic, I’d have had a different career

Moreno is one of the women featured on the BBC 100 Women list, which each year names 100 inspiring and influential women around the world. This year the list is honouring the progress that has been made since its inception 10 years ago.


Nobel Peace Prize winners slam Putin’s ‘insane’ war

The Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian winners of the Nobel Peace Prize denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine during the award ceremony in Norway.

Deutsche Welle

‘Our mere existence is illegal.’ As Moscow toughens anti-gay law, LGBTQ Russians fear for the future

Young mothers Yana and Yaroslava don’t want to leave Russia with their 6-year-old son. But they fear a harsh new anti-gay law passed by Russian lawmakers will leave them little choice.

“We are citizens, same as everyone else. We pay taxes, support charities. But the government is doing everything to force us to leave the country. Honestly, it is scary to stay,” Yaroslava told CNN.


Xi Jinping’s Trip to Riyadh Is About More Than Saudi-US Relations

China-Saudi Arabia relations are both deeper and more limited than recent coverage suggests.

The Diplomat

Xi Jinping says China supports Palestine with 1967 borders

Chinese leader calls for granting Palestine “full membership” in United Nations and says Beijing “supports the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

TRT World

Ukraine-Russia news – live: Odesa without power as Zelenksy’s forces attack Melitopol

The Ukrainian port of Odesa has been left without power after Russia targeted two energy facilities using Iranian-made drones.

The attack left around 1.5 million people with no power during a brutal winter.

The Independent