The Monday Politics Thread is in the Year of the Rabbit

Faucets in McCarthy’s district are running dry after years of drought. Constituents want him to do more

One local nonprofit told CNN that about 8,000 people in the San Joaquin Valley need thousands of gallons of hauled water just to keep their taps flowing – and that number is growing.


It’s mid-January and the Great Lakes are virtually ice-free. That’s a problem.

Ice has been slow to form this year, with only 3.2% of the lakes covered as of Jan. 19. That’s a near-record low, and roughly 18% below average for this time of year. 

And while it’s still unclear how things will shake out for the rest of the season, no ice isn’t a good thing for the lakes’ ecosystem. It can even stir up dangerous waves and lake-effect snowstorms. 

USA Today

It’s been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

How did the world’s largest economy get stuck with retro measurement?

The Register

Ron DeSantis moves to permanently ban Covid mandates in Florida

In a press release issued earlier this week, DeSantis said that he has proposed legislation to “make permanent Covid freedoms in Florida”, adding that the “strong pro-freedom, anti-mandate action will permanently protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to Covid vaccine mandates, protects parents’ rights, and institutes additional protections that prevent discrimination based on Covid vaccine status”.

The Guardian

Storm flooding compounds misery for California farms and workers

The flooding is just the latest in a continuing series of environmental crises that have affected farmworkers in recent years, including laboring in extreme heat, inhaling harmful wildfire smoke or losing work due to drought. Last year, approximately 12,000 agricultural jobs were lost when California’s irrigated farmland shrank by 752,000 acres, or nearly 10%.

LA Times

Gun rights supporters win temporary restraining order against Illinois’ gun ban

Exempted from the law were active and retired police officers and others in the security and law enforcement industry. DeVore argued during an emergency hearing Wednesday that the law violates equal protections of rights. Judge Joshua Morrison agreed Friday.

“[T]his court cannot find it logical that a warden or a person (included in the exempted persons category) is necessarily better trained or more experienced in the handling of weapons than a retired military personnel (not included in the exempted person category),” Morrison wrote in a ruling Friday.

Just The News

Three active-duty Marines are charged in the Jan. 6 riot

A Marine who said he was waiting for “Civil war 2” and two other active-duty members of the military have been charged with participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said in newly filed court papers.


This prominent pastor says Christian nationalism is ‘a form of heresy’

Barber, a MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, says a coalition of the “rejected stones” of America—the poor, immigrants, working-class whites, religious minorities, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community can transform the country because they share a common enemy.

“The same forces demonizing immigrants are also attacking low-wage workers,” the North Carolina pastor said in an interview several years ago. “The same politicians denying living wages are also suppressing the vote; the same people who want less of us to vote are also denying the evidence of the climate crisis and refusing to act now; the same people who are willing to destroy the Earth are willing to deny tens of millions of Americans access to health care.”


Tennessee says it’s cutting federal HIV funding. Will other states follow?

In an email reviewed by NBC News, the Department of Health told certain nonprofit organizations that provide these services that the state would turn down the federal funding as of June, relying only on state funds afterward. “It is in the best interest of Tennesseans for the State to assume direct financial and managerial response for these services,” the email read.

NBC News

Exclusive: AWOL Navy SEAL Killed Fighting In Ukraine

The Navy confirmed that Swift has been in “an active deserter status since March 11, 2019,” but did not provide any additional information. It wasn’t yet known how long Swift was in Ukraine and why he was fighting there.


Gas stoves became part of the culture war in less than a week. Here’s why

At the beginning of January, the health and climate effects of gas cooking stoves in homes was an issue policy makers and academics were studying.

Then, on Jan. 9, Bloomberg News published an interview with Richard Trumka, Jr., a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, who suggested that the government might consider stricter regulation of new gas stoves in response to health concerns about indoor air quality.

Within days, those stoves had become fodder for partisan influencers and campaign merchandise.


North Dakota GOP Bill Would Send Librarians To Jail If They Don’t Remove ‘Sexually Explicit’ Books From Shelves

North Dakota house committee considered a Republican bill that would allow up to 30 days of prison for librarians who refuse to remove ‘sexually explicit’ material from public libraries.

Second Nexus

US pilot shot down four Soviet MiGs in 30 minutes – and kept it a secret for 50 years

On a cold November day in 1952, Williams shot down four Soviet fighter jets – and became a legend no one would hear about for more than 50 years.


“Prophet of Discontent” Looks at MLK’s Criticism of Capitalism and Militarism 

Over the past decade, revelations about King’s more radical history have seeped into the mainstream discourse. King wasn’t just a dreamer, although his imaginative capacity is so crucial to his legacy; he spent his career being on the ground with working-class poor people across the country, fighting structural racism and economic inequality. He was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War, and he called militarism “the final phase of our national sickness.”

Teen Vogue

First Native American woman in space steps out on spacewalk

The first Native American woman in space ventured out on a spacewalk today to prep the International Space Station for more solar panels.

Honolulu Star Advisor

Ron DeSantis Ordered Florida Universities to Submit Data on Trans People

The Florida governor is seeking information about all transition-related medical care administered since 2018.


‘They just vanish’: whistleblowers met by wall of complacency over missing migrant children

As scores of youngsters are disappearing from hotels run by the Home Office and being trafficked across the country, sources claims warnings over their safety were ignored

The Guardian

UK teachers announce strike, adding to wave of industrial action

Teachers in England and Wales on Monday announced they would take strike action, joining nurses, rail workers and others in staging industrial action in a further headache for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government.


Peru protests: Machu Picchu closed indefinitely and tourists stranded

The government said it closed the site, and the Inca trail hike leading up to it, to protect tourists and citizens.

Hundreds of people who were stuck for hours at the foot of the 15th Century Inca citadel have now been rescued.


Explainer: What is behind the recent protests in Israel?

Some 100,000 protesters turned up on Saturday in Tel Aviv, the largest demonstration so far since Netanyahu’s return to power.


Economic crisis: Is Egypt the ‘new Lebanon?’

Egypt’s currency has devalued by around one-third since late October and inflation currently stands at over 20%. Some economists suspect it’s even worse than that. They put the unofficial rate — which includes Egypt’s huge informal economy — as high as 101%.

Food prices doubled, salaries halved and banks that restrict how much cash you can take out of your accounts: The financial freefall that many ordinary people in Egypt are experiencing today sounds very similar to the catastrophic economic crisis citizens in nearby Lebanon have been dealing with since 2019.

Deutsche Welle

Lula accuses Bolsonaro of genocide against Yanomami in Amazon

Brazilian president says predecessor emboldened wildcat miners which led to wrecked forests and disease and death among Indigenous people

The Guardian

Singapore’s young ponder Lunar New Year’s hongbao custom: ‘financial strain is painful’

t’s traditional for cash-filled hongbao, or ang pow, to be given by married couples to parents, single adults, children at Lunar New Year

South China Morning Post

In Mexico, a reporter published a story. The next day he was shot dead

Lopez was one of 13 Mexican journalists killed in 2022, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based rights group. It was the deadliest year on record for journalists in Mexico, now the most dangerous country for reporters in the world outside the war in Ukraine, where CPJ says 15 reporters were killed last year.


Japan was the future but it’s stuck in the past

For decades Japan has been struggling with a sluggish economy, held back by a deep resistance to change and a stubborn attachment to the past. Now, its population is both ageing and shrinking.


Chris Hipkins set to become next prime minister of New Zealand

Minister selected by Labour party to succeed Jacinda Ardern after her shock resignation on Thursday

The Guardian