The Monday Politics Thread is Rated A for Awesome

Stop Talking to Each Other and Start Buying Things: Three Decades of Survival in the Desert of Social Media

I bet you’re wondering how we got here…

Welcome to Garbagetown

Before The Current War On Drag Queens, There Was ‘To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar’

Republicans would have you believe that drag queens are some new phenomenon, a radical escalation in the culture wars thanks to an overly permissive society. (Thanks, Obama!) This is obviously nonsense, and a social media post reminded me that back in 1995, the camp classic To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar was released with little to no backlash, certainly no bomb threats targeting theaters showing the film.


IRS delays $600 income reporting rule for U.S. gig workers

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Friday it would delay a new rule requiring more extensive reporting by gig workers and others who are paid through third party apps, after complaints the rule was too onerous.


For the Holidays, Chosen Family Can Be Better Than the Real Thing

Although pop culture depictions of holidays include gatherings featuring a nuclear (and ideally sprawling) family, that isn’t the reality for many people. Instead, holidays for some can feature a chosen family – people related not by blood, but tied together by something altogether different – who pick each other and the traditions they want to keep.

Teen Vogue

US judge denies diplomatic immunity for Maduro ally Alex Saab

Saab, a close ally of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, claims he was on a diplomatic mission to Iran when arrested.


11 Organizations and Fundraisers to Support Right Now

From debt relief to letter exchanges with queer and trans folks impacted by incarceration, these are the places to send your extra coins this holiday season. 


America’s Adult Education System Is Broken. Here’s How Experts Say We Can Fix It.

Experts say that more money is critical to improving the national system. Many states have developed creative solutions in spite of their limited funding.


Arizona mulls piping in water from Mexico as Colorado River continues decline

Arizona’s top water authority is mulling a plan to pump water from a desalination plant by the Sea of Cortez, in a bid to lessen the state’s reliance on the Colorado River.

The Hill

Twitter is on Life Support: What Do Black People Lose If It Dies?

As a young Black woman in journalism, Twitter defined my story-telling. What happens if Elon Musk succeeds in killing it?

The Root

West Point will remove Confederate symbols from its campus

The moves are part of a Department of Defense directive issued in October ordering the academy to address racial injustice and do away with installations that “commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy.”


Two Alabama seniors, convicted after feeding stray cats, file appeal and prepare to sue their city

After two Alabama women were arrested, fined and sentenced to jail as well as probation in connection to feeding stray cats in their neighborhood near Montgomery, their attorneys filed a formal appeal seeking a jury trial and are preparing to sue the city.

CBS News

Biden Administration investigating Texas schools for pulling LGBTQ+ books from libraries

The Biden Administration is investigating a Texas school district for removing 130 titles from library shelves, mostly books with LGBTQ+ content.


Guaranteed income recipients praise poverty program outcome

Recipients of guaranteed income pilot programs share their stories.

ABC News

Jeopardy! Champion Amy Schneider Interview: Trans Rights, Education, More

The recent Tournament of Champions winner shared why she feels optimistic about trans rights in a Q&A with Teen Vogue.

Teen Vogue

TikTok admits to spying on U.S. users as effort to ban the app heats up

But would banning TikTok mean your data is any safer?


Next Year We’ll Finally Get Gender Neutral TSA Screening

Gender-neutral screening is finally coming to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The updated screening technology is aiming to be implemented in January 2023, nearly a year after the plan was first outlined.

The “new standards for screening transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming airline passengers” were originally announced in March. The TSA received $18.6 million to develop new imaging technology as part of the Biden administration’s wider reforms coinciding with 2022’s Trans Day of Visibility, including the introduction of the “X” gender marker on passports.


McClellan wins Democratic primary in special election to succeed McEachin

State senator would be first Black Va. congresswoman if she wins

Washington Blade

Ukraine passes bill banning LGBTQ+ hate speech in media

The bill bans hate speech and incitement based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBTQ Nation

Leaked notes from Chinese health officials estimate 250 million Covid-19 infections in December: reports

Almost 250 million people in China may have caught Covid-19 in the first 20 days of December, according to an internal estimate from the nation’s top health officials, Bloomberg News and the Financial Times reported Friday.


The Sun apologises over Jeremy Clarkson’s column about Meghan

The column became the most complained about ever, with the Independent Press Standards Organisation receiving more than 20,800 complaints as of 5pm on Tuesday.

Sky News

Netanyahu’s Back: Israel Goes Extreme Right

The country’s longest-serving prime minister is returning to power—and bringing radicalism with him.

The Atlantic

Spain’s parliament passes bill allowing trans children to legally change their gender

The bill allows people older than 16 to legally change their gender without medical supervision or a judge’s approval. It removes the previous requirements that applicants provide a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria and additional proof that they have lived as their gender identity and undergone hormone treatment for the past two years.

The bill requires minors below the age of 13 to still get a judge’s authorization before legally changing their gender. Minors below the age of 16 will still need parental or legal guardian approval before being allowed to change their gender.

LGBTQ Nation

Canadian doctors raise alarm as Iranian healthcare workers targeted by regime

Iranian hospitals and clinics have become the latest battleground in ongoing protests against the regime.

Global News

Cubans search for holiday food amid deepening crisis

In October, the Cuban government reported that inflation had risen 40% over the past year and had a significant impact on the purchasing power for many on the island.

AP News

Exclusive: Iranian footballer is among dozens facing execution while the West is distracted by Christmas, supporters fear

Terrified Iranian families believe that while the Western world is preoccupied with Christmas celebrations, a wave of executions in the country is imminent following the recent protests that have swept the country following the death in September of Mahsa Amini, a young woman detained by Iran’s notorious morality police for being accused of improperly wearing her hijab.


Enormous Maya Civilization Discovered, Complete With Roads, Reservoirs, And Ballcourts

A previously unidentified Maya civilization made up of 964 interconnected settlements has been discovered in northern Guatemala. Dated to the Preclassic Maya period – which lasted from around 1000 BCE until 150 CE – the scattered sites cover an area of approximately 1,685 square kilometers (650 square miles) and are linked by 177 kilometers (110 miles) of ancient roads.

IFL Science