The Monday Politics Thread Is Digging Out

Ignoring Native American data perpetuates misleading white ‘deaths of despair’ narrative, says study

An increase in mortality among middle-aged Americans—largely attributed to “deaths of despair” from suicide, drug overdoses, and alcoholic liver disease—has been frequently portrayed as a phenomenon affecting white communities. Under a common narrative, these deaths have often been explained by the perceived loss of status felt by many less-educated white Americans as their economic opportunities declined and their social standing diminished.

However, a new analysis in The Lancet led by UCLA researchers shows that Native American people in this midlife age group (45-54 years) actually have had the biggest increases in mortality in recent decades, and are now dying at twice the rate of white people of the same age. Further, Native American communities collectively have the highest rates of mortality from each of the causes of “deaths of despair.”

Medical Xpress

AOC in line to become her party’s No. 2 on Oversight panel

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to step into a larger role on the House Oversight Committee this Congress, perhaps even its No. 2 Democratic spot.

An elevation to the vice ranking member position, while it’s not yet final, would give the well-known third-term progressive Democrat a high-profile perch to tangle with Republicans on a laundry list of controversial investigations they’re planning — on topics ranging from Hunter Biden’s business dealings to the southern border to GOP efforts to probe the “origins” of the coronavirus.


Trump’s Killing Spree: The Inside Story of His Race to Execute Every Prisoner He Could

Before 2020, there had been three federal executions in 60 years. Then Trump put 13 people to death in six months

Rolling Stone

GOP national sales tax talk backfires, as Dems see political gold

“I believe it would cause the next Great Depression if we would impose it,” says Chuck Schumer.


Tyre Nichols case revives calls for change in police culture

Tyre Nichols’ fatal encounter with police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, recorded in video made public Friday night, is a glaring reminder that efforts to reform policing have failed to prevent more flashpoints in an intractable epidemic of brutality.

AP News

The Half Moon Bay shooting was prompted by a $100 repair bill, local prosecutor says

A farmworker charged with killing seven people at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms reportedly told investigators he was spurred to carry out the shootings after his supervisor demanded he pay $100 to repair a forklift damaged at work.


Half Moon Bay farmworkers face ‘deplorable’ conditions – Los Angeles Times

It’s not news to Bernardina Medrano and Margarita Martinez that many migrant farmworkers along the San Mateo County coast live in “deplorable” conditions, as Gov. Gavin Newsom and county Supervisor Ray Mueller have described.

LA Times

Memphis PD Disbands Unit Following Tyre Nichols Footage

Following the release of footage of Tyre Nichols’s death at the hands of the Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION Unit, the department announced in a statement that it would “permanently deactivate” the unit. SCORPION is an acronym for “Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods.”

Teen Vogue

‘We’re tired of being beaten’: protesters across US call for justice for Tyre Nichols

The protests remained largely peaceful throughout the night on Friday, and there were more protests taking place on Saturday and planned for the coming days.

The Guardian

TW for the above article, one of the videos is linked near the end of it.

Panel of right-wing activists claim schools are ‘sexually grooming’ children by teaching gender identity, event at Pewaukee hotel draws protests

Demonstrators organized by grassroots group Trans Advocacy Madison gathered outside the Ingleside Hotel Thursday night to protest a scheduled panel that, they said, was formed to spread harmful propaganda against trans and nonbinary youth.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Critics say Florida aims to rewrite history by rejecting African American studies

Florida’s department of education, under the leadership of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, rejected an Advanced Placement course on African American studies. The decision is leading to a wave of backlash across the country — from other state lawmakers to labor unions and even a potential lawsuit.

“One Governor should not have the power to dictate the facts of U.S. history,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said in letter to the College Board, which develops the AP courses that help high school students across the country earn college credit.


The Earliest LGBTQ+ Films In Hollywood Are Older Than You Realize

One result of the Production Code was the elimination of any hint of LGBTQ+ people in American films, making it seem like no one acknowledged the existence of LGBTQ+ folks until much later in the century. But before the Code, there were plenty of queer characters and themes in films, not to mention films from countries that were never under the thumb of the Code. In fact, the earliest LGBTQ+ films are older than you realize.


The Death Penalty in the US: How It Works and Why We Need to Abolish It

This op-ed argues that the death penalty is a racist, cruel policy that leads to the most vulnerable Americans being executed. 

Teen Vogue

Opinion: A Holocaust remembrance — and lessons we have yet to learn

Teaching students the history of the Holocaust isn’t just for history. It’s to help them recognize crimes against humanity that occur time and again, as in Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and other places, including China’s detention of Muslim Uyghurs today. And it’s to face up to America’s own crimes in slavery and segregation.


German chancellor says he won’t send fighter jets to Ukraine

The German chancellor has ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, just days after committing to supplying tanks.


Nadhim Zahawi sacked as Tory party chair over tax affairs

Rishi Sunak has sacked the Conservative party chair, Nadhim Zahawi, after he was found to have breached the ministerial code by failing to declare the HMRC investigation into his tax affairs.

An investigation by the prime minister’s ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, concluded that Zahawi had made a “serious breach” of the code by not telling officials he was under investigation by the tax body when he was appointed chancellor by Boris Johnson.

The Guardian

Tens of thousands of Israelis continue anti-gov’t protests

Protesters gather against Israel’s right-wing government’s planned changes that will weaken the judicial system.


Can South Korea and Japan repair their strained relationship?

Could chilly ties between Japan and South Korea be headed for a thaw?

Signs are increasingly pointing in that direction, as both sides look to repair a relationship clouded by years of mistrust and a tumultuous past.

Japan Times

LGBTQ+ Holocaust Victims Remembered for the First Time by German Parliament

During this year’s Holocaust commemorations in Berlin, the German parliament, for the first time, dedicated the remembrance to those killed by Nazis because of their gender identity and sexual orientation. The body also acknowledged decades of post-World War II persecution against LGBTQ+ people in Germany.


At least seven dead in Jerusalem synagogue attack, Israeli police say

Tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories remain high after Friday’s shooting, which police chief Yaakov Shabtai described as “one of the worst terror attacks in the past few years.” The shooter in that attack was also later killed by police forces, according to police.