The Monday Politics Thread: President’s Day Special, $7.99 For Avocado Green

Jimmy Carter, the 39th U.S. president, is in hospice care

Former President Jimmy Carter, who at 98 years old is the longest-lived American president, has entered home hospice care in Plains, Georgia, a statement from The Carter Center confirmed Saturday.


Mississippi legislature creates all-White court system in Jackson

The Mississippi House of Representatives voted to create a new court system in Jackson that includes judges appointed by an all-White group of state officials. Eighty percent of Jackson, Mississippi residents are Black. 

Jackson, Mississippi, has the second-highest percentage of Black citizens in the entire United States. Only Detroit, Michigan, has a higher percentage of Black residents.

The Black Wall Street Times

An activist group is spreading misinformation to stop solar projects in rural America

Citizens for Responsible Solar is part of a growing backlash against renewable energy in rural communities across the United States. The group, which was started in 2019 and appears to use strategies honed by other activists in campaigns against the wind industry,has helpedlocal groups fighting solar projects in at least 10 states including Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, according to its website.


Biden administration releases data breaking down student loan relief applications by congressional district

The Department of Education released a breakdown of federal student loan forgiveness applications by congressional district on Friday, providing a new window into the demographics of borrowers seeking relief across both Republican and Democratic-represented districts.


40 years of debt: Student loan borrowers’ struggles expose flaws in system

There are nearly 47,000 people like Hamilton who have been in repayment on their federal student loans for at least 40 years, according to data obtained from the Education Department through a Freedom of Information Act request. About 82 percent of them are in default on their loans, meaning they haven’t made a voluntary payment in at least 270 days.

Washington Post

What we know about the 25M Americans who signed up for Biden’s student debt relief

The POLITICO analysis provides most detailed portrait yet of which neighborhoods across the country may benefit from the program.


I Coined The Term ‘Cisgender’ 29 Years Ago. Here’s What This Controversial Word Really Means.

“Before now, I have not spoken publicly, or even disclosed my role in the origin of the word cisgender to anyone beyond a few close friends and colleagues.”


The New York Times Ran a Defense of J.K. Rowling One Day After Being Called Out for Anti-Trans Bias

On Wednesday, two separate open letters were delivered to the New York Times condemning its history of biased coverage of trans people and transition-related healthcare. Each was signed by hundreds of people, including Times contributors, celebrities, journalists, authors, and supporters.

One was spearheaded by a coalition of eight media workers, and has been signed by over 1,000 Times contributors and over 23,000 supporters as of the time of writing. The other was led by the advocacy organization GLAAD, and presents three demands to the paper: to stop publishing anti-trans pieces, to hold a meeting with trans community members, and to hire trans writers and editors.

Teen Vogue

‘The wound hasn’t healed’: Activists recount 1898 Wilmington coup that terrorized Black residents

Athalia Howe was just 12 years old when she, her sister and mother were forced to seek refuge in a cemetery as armed white supremacists terrorized Wilmington, North Carolina, in the fall of 1898. Separated from her father, they were unsure if he was still alive until days later when they reunited.

Decades after the incident, Howe had a flashback to that time. She grabbed the wrist of her great-granddaughter, Cynthia Brown, and screamed, “If it ever happens again, run! Don’t let it happen to you!”

“She had a very stark, distant look in her eyes,” Brown told ABC News, remembering the encounter. “I was very thrown. I didn’t know what to make of it. After that, no one talked about it, no one explained it.”

It would be years before she finally learned from family members what her great-grandmother was referencing: the Wilmington Coup of 1898, the only successful coup d’état in American history.

ABC News

‘We just need answers’: distrust grows in Ohio town after toxic train derailment

During his Thursday visit to the site of a fiery train derailment that may have poisoned a small eastern Ohio town with a range of highly toxic chemicals, the Environmental Protection Agency chief, Michael Regan, told residents: “All families need to know that they are safe.”

But Regan’s words, along with those from the Ohio governor Mike DeWine’s administration and Norfolk Southern officials, have been of little comfort to Jami Cozza.

The Guardian

Texas 3rd Grader Finds Gun Superintendent Left in School Bathroom, Police Open Investigation

A third-grader at Rising Star Elementary School found a gun left by the school’s superintendent in a restroom stall last month, and now a police investigation is underway, per Texas news station KTAB-TV.

The incident happened in the small town of Rising Star, Texas. The school’s superintendent Robby Stuteville — who openly carries a firearm at the school, along with the principal — told the news station that he had taken off the gun while using the restroom and put it on the stall.

He said he had forgotten his gun and left the stall for about 15 minutes before the student found it. The student didn’t touch the gun and instead went to notify a teacher of the weapon, according to the news station.

“There was never a danger other than the obvious,” Stuteville told KTAB-TV, adding that he was “proud” of the student for how he handled the situation.


Why is Homosexuality Still Considered a Sin?

It’s 2023. Why is America still grappling with the issue of homosexuality?

Homosexuality is not an action. It’s a sexual orientation. It’s the attraction between two people who are of the same sex. What’s wrong about that? As long as it’s consensual, does it matter?

By calling it a sin, it’s vilified like there’s something wrong with it.


A lesbian lost her son to his sperm donor. Should other gay parents be concerned?

The ruling surprised legal experts, who say same-sex parents may need to adopt their children to protect their parental rights.

NBC News

A Wisconsin Supreme Court race holds high stakes for abortion rights and the 2024 election

What’s typically an under-the-radar judicial election in Wisconsin has turned into a high-stakes and expensive fight for control of the state’s Supreme Court – with the future of abortion, voting rights and redistricting in this battleground state hanging in the balance.


Nikki Haley kicks off campaign with hate pastor & calls for harsher anti-LGBTQ+ policy

Former Trump administration official and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) kicked off the first rally for her new presidential campaign on Wednesday in South Carolina with an invocation by John Hagee, an evangelical pastor who opposes same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination ordinances. Hagee has also said that the Antichrist is gay, that God sent Hitler to push Jews into Israel, and that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for holding a Pride parade.

LGBTQ Nation

Congressional Republicans introduce ban on military service by trans Americans

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced a proposal on Thursday to ban Americans who have a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The lawmakers’ “Ensuring Military Readiness Act” would go further than the transgender military ban enacted in 2017 under former President Donald Trump that was revoked by President Joe Biden just five days after his inauguration in January 2021.

Washington Blade

Barbara Jordan was one of the first Black and LGBTQ women in Congress, but her relationship was kept secret until her death

While not a secret among her friends, she kept her 20-year relationship with Nancy Earl out of the public eye.


Jeffree Star Accused of ‘Throwing LGBTQ+ Community Under the Bus’ After Non-Binary Comments

This isn’t the first time Jeffree has called gender pronouns “stupid,” as he starred on the Impaulsive podcast in 2022 and said that that “half of” the terms were “stupid.” Star also said he hated the term “pansexual,” but that is how he would identify if he had to label himself.

Game Revolution

Cancer Alley in Louisiana: What Is It, and How Can Legislation Address Environmental Injustice?

Naively, I believed water was only ever polluted through the use of dated pipes, so I was taken aback upon being introduced to the chemical waste that pollutes Louisiana’s bodies of water in St. James Parish. I was even more alarmed when I learned that these issues have been festering since the plants first arrived in the 1960s, with little intervention by the local Louisiana government.

Teen Vogue

Erdoğan faces backlash over building standards in city wrecked by quake

The Turkish president’s role in allowing lax regulation to flourish is coming under scrutiny in the wake of the disaster that struck Adıyaman

The Guardian

Exclusive: Daughter of Thaksin banking on nostalgia to win Thailand election

Touting her billionaire family’s legacy of populism and massive election victories, Thailand’s Paetongtarn Shinawatra is emerging as the candidate to beat in upcoming polls, betting that nostalgia can win millions of working class votes.


Spanish lawmakers approve landmark transgender rights bill

Anyone over 16-years-old can legally change gender without medical intervention

Washington Blade

How Erdoğan’s Obsession With Power Got in the Way of Turkey’s Earthquake Response

As Turkey begins to reckon with a death toll nearing 36,000, competing narratives are being told about the country’s deadliest earthquake ever. Although President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has admitted “shortcomings,” he claimed that “it’s not possible to be ready for a disaster like this” and called those criticizing the government response “dishonorable.” State prosecutors have opened investigations against journalists and social media users who disagreed with his handling of the crisis.


Wave of ‘Israeli spring’ protests leaves Palestinian citizens out in the cold

Arab minority has been alienated by united opposition against judicial reforms by Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition

The Guardian

Senior Israeli diplomat ejected from African Union summit as row escalates

A senior Israeli diplomat on Saturday was removed from the African Union’s annual summit in Ethiopia, as a dispute over Israel’s accreditation to the bloc escalated.


The war in Ukraine begins its second year at a standstill

Armed with billions of dollars’ worth of American weapons, Ukraine has fought the Russians to a standstill. But U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says that’s not good enough. “The Ukrainians feel – and I agree with this – that they need to conduct an offensive to change the dynamics on the battlefield,” he said. “I think we can expect an offensive in the spring.”

CBS News

Munich Security Conference: Anti-war protests as world leaders discuss stepping up military aid

Munich was not just the host of a security conference on Saturday, it was also the focus of multiple anti-war demonstrations. 

 Around 10,000 protesters gathered at the southern German city’s  Königsplatz – one of more than a dozen demonstrations across the city which drew together anti-NATO protestors, pacifists and pro-Kurdish activists. 

Meanwhile, on the Odeon Plaza, a pro-Ukraine rally was held, calling for more military aid and international support for the war-torn country.


Tunisia unions protest against economic woes, official’s arrest

Thousands protest against president’s policies, accusing him of trying to stifle basic freedoms including union rights.


Peruvian loggers given 28 years in jail for murder of four Indigenous leaders

Victims – among them environmental defender Edwin Chota – were tortured before their deaths in Peruvian Amazon in 2014

The Guardian

‘Better than nothing’: Outgunned Ukrainian pilots take the fight to Russia in ancient Soviet-era helicopters

Ukraine’s military is making do. It gets more equipment by capturing it from Russian troops than it gets donated by allies.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has begged NATO and other allies for, among other things, jets and other aircraft. The response so far has been close to nil.