The Monday Politics Thread Didn’t Need to Negotiate For the Job

Lawsuits Seeking To Overturn State-Wide Abortion Bans Are Now Using ‘Religious Freedom’ Argument Against Them

Non-Christian women in red states are using ‘religious freedom’ argument in lawsuits to overturn abortion bans.

Second Nexus

Despite infighting, it’s been a surprisingly productive 2 years for Democrats

“The problem is that they oversold and underdelivered, even though what they delivered by any normal metric would have been pretty impressive,” NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson said on a recent episode of the NPR Politics Podcast.


A pregnant mom crossed the Rio Grande decades ago to give her unborn child a better life. Now her daughter is becoming a member of Congress

“I am the wife of a DACA recipient. I am the daughter of Guatemalan working immigrants. I know firsthand the challenges and constant fear our families live every single day,” Ramirez tells reporters. “We have to end this.”


‘To Hell with It’: A GOP Congressman Reflects on His One Term in Trump’s Party

Michigan’s Peter Meijer torches Trump, Democratic ‘cynicism’ and won’t rule out another run.


Illinois Supreme Court puts SAFE-T Act on hold, leaving cash bail in effect

In a late afternoon ruling Saturday, the Illinois Supreme Court put the SAFE-T Act on hold for the entire state just hours before it was set to go into effect. 

CBS News

The Year In Joe Biden Had A Pretty Good Year!

Nobody in January of 2022 would have expected that by December we’d be writing headlines about the darn good year President Joe Biden had. His big domestic agenda bill, Build Back Better, seemed dead in the water after a senator from West Virginia demonstrated the power of one guy and a massive snit. That same senator and another Democrat from Arizona withheld the two votes that could have sent the filibuster to the dustbin of history, which also meant that there’d be no bill protecting voting rights — the very bill that the senator from West Virginia had insisted would for sure get 10 GOP votes. Funny how the unicorns never showed up.


Here Are Some of the Biggest SCOTUS Cases Coming in 2023 That Have Fallen Under the Radar

From a multi-billion money laundering case involving a Turkish state-run bank to a securities lawsuit involving a popular office collaboration act, the Supreme Court will decide a number of controversies of global significance in 2023.

Law and Crime

READ: House January 6 committee releases more transcripts, including Jared Kushner and Ginni Thomas

The House January 6 committee released over 20 new transcripts on Friday, including interviews with key members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle and others.

The transcripts include testimony from Rudy Giuliani, Jared Kushner, Mick Mulvaney, Cassidy Hutchinson and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas.


Scrutiny turns to George Santos’s campaign funding

As new revelations about the falsehoods Rep.-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) has told about his background continue to emerge, several peculiarities in the incoming congressman’s finances are facing heavy scrutiny — and could prove to be his greatest liability.

The Hill

Orphaned Afghan child still in custody of U.S. Marine accused of abducting her

“We thought within one week she’d be back to us,” the woman told The Associated Press.

Yet two months after an AP report on the high-stakes legal fight over the child raised alarms at the highest levels of government, from the White House to the Taliban, the baby remains with U.S. Marine Corps Major Joshua Mast and his family. The Masts claim in court documents that they legally adopted the child and that the Afghan couple’s accusations are “outrageous” and “unmerited.”


2022: President Joe Biden’s LGBTQ-History-Making Year

If I ever get married, I’m going to ask President Joe Biden to perform the ceremony.  The chances of that happening are about as likely as having a lesbian press secretary delivering the presidential daily briefing or a gay cabinet secretary in charge of allocating nearly a trillion dollars of funding for an infrastructure deal or appointing an out, proud, and sex-positive doctor to help lead the U.S. efforts against a raging virus.

Wait, that all has happened, hasn’t it? Therefore, Joe, if you’re reading this, I’ve pretty much cornered you into officiating duties.


What Took So Long? Statue of Henrietta Lacks Will Replace Robert E. Lee Monument

The city of Roanoke, Virginia, is honoring a Black woman who made tremendous contributions to modern medical research without her knowledge or consent.

The Root

Nancy Pelosi raises maximum pay for House staffers to $212K

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday ordered that the maximum cap on the rate of pay for staffers in the lower chamber be raised to $212,000 per year.

The move now puts the maximum salary for House aides at $38,000 more than what lawmakers on Capitol Hill make themselves. 

New York Post

Texas Supreme Court sends Zimmerman lawsuit against Austin over abortion funds back to trial court

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday vacated all previous rulings on a lawsuit over the city of Austin’s abortion access funds and sent the case back to the trial court.

The opinion indicates that because the lower court rulings were issued before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the trial court needs to reconsider the case under the new circumstances, in which abortion is now illegal in Texas. 

Austin American Statesman

In US, sharply contrasting views on Benedict XVI’s legacy

In the United States, admirers of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI remembered him warmly for his theological prowess and devotion to traditional doctrine. However, some U.S. Catholics, on learning of his death Saturday, recalled him as an obstacle to progress in combating clergy sex abuse and expanding the role of women in the church.

AP News

Misery in El Paso: Hundreds of homeless migrants live in squalor amid deportation fears

Brenda and her parents are some of the hundreds of migrants living in squalor in the streets of downtown El Paso around Sacred Heart Parish. The makeshift camp – with its piles of blankets, strollers and tents lining both sides of a busy street – has city officials expressing concerns about safety and public health given the area is packed with migrants who have no running water or proper shelter.

The surge of migrants aggregating here started a few weeks ago, when anxiety about the scheduled end of the Trump-era pandemic public health rule known as Title 42 prompted thousands of migrants to turn themselves in to border authorities or to cross into the United States illegally in a very short period of time.

Title 42 allows immigration authorities to swiftly return some migrants to Mexico. The policy was scheduled to lift last week, but a Supreme Court ruling kept the rule in place while legal challenges play out in court.


Biden signs $1.7 trillion spending bill

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress,” Biden said on his Twitter account. “It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, [Violence Against Women Act] funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine. Looking forward to more in 2023.”


Colorado becomes first state to introduce alert system for missing Indigenous people

Colorado becomes one of the first states to roll out an alert system for missing Indigenous people. 

The alerts went live on Dec. 30 and are part of the same legislation that created a statewide office and liaison for missing or murdered Indigenous relatives. 

CBS News

Court: Abortion doctors can’t be charged under Arizona law

An Arizona court has ruled that abortion doctors cannot be prosecuted under a pre-statehood law that criminalizes nearly all abortions yet was barred from being enforced for decades.


U.S. appeals court upholds Florida high school’s transgender bathroom ban

A sharply divided federal appeals court on Friday upheld a Florida high school’s policy forbidding transgender students from using bathrooms that accord with their chosen identities.


Lula sworn in as Brazil president as predecessor Bolsonaro flies to US

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the new president of Brazil – the third time he has held the country’s highest office.


Taiwan willing to offer help to China to deal with Covid-19 surge

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the self-ruled democratic island is willing to provide assistance to help China deal with its Covid surge after Beijing eased its hardline approach last month.


Brexit poll: Two-thirds of Britons now support future referendum on rejoining the EU

Exclusive: Results suggest Leave voters disillusioned with the ‘taking back of control they were promised’


Croatia joins the Euro and enters Schengen area

Croatia has switched to the Euro and entered Europe’s passport-free zone – two major milestones for the country after joining the European Union nearly a decade ago.


What the United States Owes Afghan Women

To justify its 20-year war, the U.S. said it cared about the Afghan people. Now Congress is abandoning those seeking to escape Taliban rule.

The Intercept

Two tombs containing 60 mummies discovered by Spanish archaeologists

The two tombs discovered went down six meters deep, according to the director of the archaeology mission Francisco J. Martín.

Jerusalem Post

Pope Benedict’s Legacy Is Inextricably Bound to His Resignation—And Not Just Because It Was Unprecedented

He announced it in Latin, which was like him. Because of that choice, and because the event on the morning of Feb. 11, 2013, had been scheduled as a routine piece of Vatican business, several of the Cardinals present didn’t immediately realize what they had just heard. Benedict XVI, the great traditionalist, had announced his intent to do something no pope had in more than 600 years: “I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter.”


‘God’s Rottweiler’: Benedict shaped Catholic doctrine but faced criticism for handling of sexual abuse crisis

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose death at 95 was announced Saturday, was a powerful intellectual force who shaped the Catholic Church’s theology for more than a quarter century before shocking the world by resigning in 2013.


Czechoslovakia: Czechs and Slovaks mark 30 years since Velvet Divorce

31 December marked the 30th anniversary of the break-up of Czechoslovakia; one of the few cases in history when a state has been divided up without a single life being lost. Today the Czech Republic and Slovakia enjoy a harmonious, friction-free friendship – tinged with a touch of regret for what was once a happy marriage.


Ireland at 50: Where we stand in the EU firmament

As the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the European Union dawns, a glance at the State’s share of the EU’s top jobs should be cause for quiet satisfaction, if not celebration.


This was my thread for last week, so if there’s any news that’s now old….not going to worry about it. Blame WordPress for being stupid.