The Monday Politics Thread Is Here For The Snacks

What Is Purim? 4 Things to Know About the History and Traditions of the Jewish Holiday

Purim celebrates Jewish survival.

Teen Vogue

Pete Buttigieg starts to rethink how he does his job in wake of Ohio train disaster

Pete Buttigieg admits he got it wrong on the Ohio train derailment response.

But while the criticism is fair, he says, the critics are mostly not.

“It’s really rich to see some of these folks – the former president, these Fox hosts – who are literally lifelong card-carrying members of the East Coast elite, whose top economic policy priority has always been tax cuts for the wealthy, and who wouldn’t know their way around a T.J. Maxx if their life depended on it, to be presenting themselves as if they genuinely care about the forgotten middle of the country,” the Transportation Secretary said. “You think Tucker Carlson knows the difference between a T.J. Maxx and a Kohl’s?”


Biden’s Selma visit puts spotlight back on voting rights

President Joe Biden arrived in Alabama to pay tribute to the heroes of “Bloody Sunday,” joining thousands for the annual commemoration of the seminal moment in the civil rights movement that led to passage of landmark voting rights legislation nearly 60 years ago.

AP News

Democratic socialists swept out of power in Nevada

Nevada Democratic Party Chair Judith Whitmer faced heavy criticism from a number of key figures in the state party and lost support from some of her former allies.

NBC News

Trump Promises to Continue Presidential Campaign if Indicted, Then Delivers a Snoozy CPAC Speech

At a press conference ahead of Donald Trump’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Coalition’s annual event, Newsmax’s James Rosen asked whether he would drop out of the presidential race if he is indicted on criminal charges. “I wouldn’t even think of leaving [the race],” Trump responded. “Probably it will enhance my numbers.”

Rolling Stone

Bill Would Require Bloggers Covering Florida Governor To Register With State

Florida lawmakers continued their assault on the First Amendment this week with a bill requiring “bloggers” to register with the state if they planned on writing about the Florida governor, his administration officials or any state legislator.

Florida Senate Bill 1316, filed by GOP state Sen. Jason Brodeur, comes as Brodeur and others have also introduced separate legislation to make it easier to sue the news media for alleged defamation. Weeks earlier, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) lamented how difficult it was to sue journalists in the United States.


Donald Trump seeks to block Mike Pence grand jury testimony, asserting executive privilege

Donald Trump is seeking to block his former vice president, Mike Pence, from testifying before a federal grand jury investigating the former president’s efforts to interfere in the transfer of power following the 2020 election, two people familiar with the matter said Saturday.

Trump’s attorneys are asserting executive privilege in a sealed motion, a tactic the former president has attempted to use to block key witnesses from providing testimony to a House committee that investigated the Capitol attack and the federal investigation led by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith.

USA Today

120 US Jewish leaders call on communities to boycott Smotrich during US visit

120 progressive and mainstream American Jewish leaders signed a petition calling Jewish communities to boycott the visit of Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich while visiting the US later this month.

“Smotrich has long expressed views that are abhorrent to the vast majority of American Jews, from anti-Arab racism, to virulent homophobia,” the petition stated.

Jerusalem Post

Women who seek abortion in South Carolina could face death penalty

A new bill introduced in the South Carolina Statehouse could put the death penalty on the table for women who get an abortion.

House Bill 3549 is an amendment to the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023 and would define “person” to include an unborn child at any stage of development. This would ensure that an unborn child who is a “victim of homicide” or “victim of assault” is given the same protections under state laws — including, up to the death penalty.

ABC15 News

Texas GOP censures Republican congressman for ‘lack of fidelity’ to party principles and priorities

Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas was censured Saturday by the state GOP for “for lack of fidelity to Republican principles and priorities,” the party announced.

The Texas Republican Party took issue with several House votes and stances by the second-term congressman, including his vote for the Respect for Marriage Act, his opposition to a GOP-led border security measure and the fact that he was the lone House Republican to vote against his conference’s rules package earlier this year.


At CPAC, A Call For Trans People To Be ‘Eradicated’ Gets Big Cheers

The conservative movement’s annual confab was creepily obsessed with trans kids and showcased the GOP’s alarming and intensifying anti-trans rhetoric.


Santos was interviewed by Secret Service in 2017 as part of ATM fraud probe: Sources

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., was interviewed by U.S. Secret Service agents in 2017 as part of an ATM fraud investigation that targeted a friend of his, sources familiar with the case told ABC News.

ABC News

Lab-Leak Intelligence Reports Aren’t Scientific Conclusions

Intelligence reports supporting the lab-leak theory for COVID are not based in science

Scientific American

Florida courts could take ’emergency’ custody of kids with trans parents or siblings — even if they live in another state

A proposed bill making its way through the Florida State Senate would allow the state “emergency jurisdiction” over children who receive or are “at risk of” receiving gender-affirming care — or if their parent receives it themselves.

Senate Bill 254, introduced Friday by State Senator Clay Yarborough, would grant the court authority to take emergency custody of kids under the same statute that protects them from domestic violence and abuse.


Water crisis in West has prompted desperate ideas: Drain the Great Lakes, desalinate ocean water

As western water woes continue, some experts and authorities say a national-level problem like this requires an innovative solution. 

The U.S. has plenty of drinking water — it’s simply in the wrong place. That’s a seemingly fixable problem that has inspired a number of creative ideas.  Unfortunately, everything except conserving water has proven to be a longshot proposal riddled with logistical, legal or cost problems.

USA Today

Jimmy Carter embodies the ‘road not taken’ by many White evangelical Christians

Carter is a progressive White evangelical Christian. That may seem like an oxymoron, but it shouldn’t. Progressive White evangelicalism was once what one historian called “the ascendent strain of evangelicalism in America.”


Walgreens will not sell abortion pills in 20 GOP-controlled states

Republican attorneys general in 20 states sent Walgreens a letter saying the company could face legal consequences if it distributed the medication.

NBC News

Voting rights restored to more than 55,000 Minnesota felons under new voting rights law

Minnesota becomes the 25th state to ensure felons have the right to vote.

ABC News

The Iraq War Unleashed an Age of Grift. We’re Still Living in It

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a giant con that heralded a thousand more

Rolling Stone

Barbara Bryant, the first woman to head the U.S. census, has died at 96

Barbara Everitt Bryant, the first woman to ever head the U.S. census, died on Friday at age 96.


Nearly 100,000 women of color went missing in 2020, and now one state wants to do something about it

Despite making up only 13 percent of the female population in the U.S., studies have shown that Black women account for 35 percent of the country’s missing women.

The Grio

US to focus bison restoration on expanding tribal herds

U.S. officials will work to restore more large bison herds to Native American lands under a Friday order from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland that calls for the government to tap into Indigenous knowledge in its efforts to conserve the burly animals that are an icon of the American West.

AP News

Texas property tax bill excludes divorced, LGBTQ couples from getting relief

A new Texas House bill that provides property tax relief based on the size of a family excludes LGBTQ couples and divorced parents with children, among other parties, from getting the tax advantage.

Texas House Bill 2889, introduced this week by state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R), would supply a homestead tax credit to “certain married couples” in the state with either biological or adopted children of any age.

The Hill

Tennessee governor signs first-of-its-kind bill restricting drag shows

The measure will prohibit drag performances on public property or at locations in the state where they can be viewed by minors.

NBC News

A New Rachel Dolezal Spawn Has Been Exposed for Faking Her Race

It was only a matter of time until we witnessed another white woman wearing the wrong foundation shade pretending to be “of color.” The latest is a lady who goes by Raquel Saraswati, a white woman who converted to Islam and had been exposed by the public for posing as a person of color, per an explosive report in The Intercept.

The Root

UK urged to seek release of Tunisian opposition figure jailed in crackdown

Daughter of Said Ferjani, who lived in UK for more than 20 years, says he has been falsely imprisoned and asks MPs to intervene

The Guardian

Scottish independence: US senator Bernie Sanders says Scots should be allowed to ‘go their own way’

US senator Bernie Sanders has aired his thoughts on the question of Scottish independence, saying “if they want to go their own way, they should be allowed to”.

The Scotsman

Polish-German Tensions Expose Crack in Unified Ukraine Front

As NATO allies make a show of unity in support of Ukraine, a rift between Germany and Poland risks undermining a joint effort to supply Kyiv’s forces.


Fight for Bakhmut continues as Russian forces call for more support

Wagner group oligarch warns entire frontline could collapse amid shortages of ammunition in battle for Ukrainian city

The Guardian

Philippine governor and 5 others killed in gun attack

Gunmen in military uniforms fatally shot a governor and five civilians on Saturday while the provincial leader was meeting villagers at his home in the central Philippines, in the latest brazen assault on local politicians in the country, police said.

NBC News

Treasures from new digs reveal that Pompeii is far from ‘frozen in time’

Although the popular image of Pompeii is of a town frozen in time, it has always been in a state of flux. With roughly a third of the town still unexcavated, there is understandable excitement at this week’s news that archaeologists have started to dig a new area of the site. Not least because recent finds in Region 5 (another newly excavated area) have been wonderful: the House of the Dolphins with its gorgeous entrance hall painted with birds as well as the dolphins that named it; brightly painted political graffiti on the façade of a house; and not omitting the fresco of Priapus, weighing his gigantic erection on a set of scales. Once seen, I doubt that’s ever forgotten.

The Guardian