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The Monday Politics Thread is Finally, Maybe, At The Fireworks Factory

The Modern Electoral History of Transphobia

How trans hatred has been a consistent liability for Republicans, and why the right refuses to give it up

Ettingermentum Newsletter

Biden urged an investigation into how guns are peddled to kids. Will it stop the ads?

Last year the Georgia-based gun manufacturer Daniel Defense tweeted an image of a young child with a rifle – about the same size as the child himself – in his lap. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” the caption read.

The post came just eight days before an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas – using a weapon made by Daniel Defense.

The Guardian

Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate

Soon after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio last month, anonymous pro-Russian accounts started spreading misleading claims and anti-American propaganda about it on Twitter, using Elon Musk’s new verification system to expand their reach while creating the illusion of credibility.

AP News

Audubon faces a backlash after deciding to keep name that evokes a racist enslaver

Famous naturalist John James Audubon “did despicable things” and supported his work by buying and selling enslaved people — and that’s according to the organization that bears his name. But the National Audubon Society’s board of directors rejected the idea of changing its name this week, setting off resignations amid plans from local groups to rename themselves anyway.

This week’s vote focused on whether the nonprofit should decide whether to keep Audubon’s name or change it. No new names were considered as possible alternatives.


A seaweed blob twice the width of the US is heading toward Florida. Here’s what you should know

A giant blob of seaweed twice the width of the continental United States is headed for the shores of Florida and other coastlines throughout the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to dump smelly and possibly harmful piles across beaches and dampening tourism season.

Sargassum — the specific variety of seaweed — has long formed large blooms in the Atlantic Ocean, and scientists have been tracking massive accumulations since 2011. But this year’s bloom could be the largest ever, collectively spanning more than 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers) from the shores of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.


What? A strike? Parents blindsided by looming LAUSD walkout that is closing schools

Like most parents in the nation’s second-largest school district , Marianne Webster was shocked to learn of the massive strike set to shutter public schools across Los Angeles for three days next week.

She was even more shocked to learn about it from her third-grader.

Los Angeles Times

Minnesota GOP Sen. Votes Against Free School Meals Because He’s ‘Yet To Meet’ A Hungry Child

Minnesota state Republican Senator Steve Drazkowski was criticized after he voted against a measure giving free school lunches across the state, ignoring the finding 1 in 6 children in Minnesota face food insecurity.

Although the measure ultimately passed by a vote of 38-26 and is expected to be signed into law by Democratic Governor Tim Walz, Drazkowski’s vote against the legislation is notable for his claim he has “yet to meet” a hungry child.

Drazkowski referred to the proposed program as “pure socialism” in remarks on the floor of the state Senate, calling hunger “a relative term.” His remarks are all the more striking because federal data shows more than 8 percent of children in Wabasha County—the county he represents—lived in poverty in 2021.

Comic Sands

Low-income Americans face a ‘hunger cliff’ as Snap benefits are cut

Gina Melton is facing a dilemma. Like millions of other Americans, Melton and her family relied on food assistance benefits boosted by Congress to help them through the pandemic. Now that extra cash is gone.

The Guardian

It’s Equal Pay Day. Check The Pay Gap In Your State.

Women still make less than men for the same jobs and overall. See if your state is one of the best or worst when it comes to the pay gap.


Trump says he expects to be arrested, calls for protest

Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that his arrest is imminent and issued an extraordinary call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.

Even as Trump’s lawyer and spokesperson said there had been no communication from prosecutors, Trump declared in a post on his social media platform that he expects to be taken into custody on Tuesday.

AP News

You have the right to a lawyer, but public defenders note a lack of resources, respect

Sixty years ago today the Supreme Court ruled that people accused of crimes but without means to pay for a lawyer would be provided with one at public expense.

The promise of that landmark ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright has been frustrated by heavy caseloads for public defenders and tight budgets that prioritize police, prosecutors and prisons over the right to counsel.


Kyrsten Sinema’s name is all over the Silicon Valley Bank collapse

The Arizona senator helped pass bank deregulation seen as a culprit behind SVB’s downfall, and she has accepted thousands of dollars from the bank’s PAC.


Voters of color are a big reason Trump leads the GOP primary

Former President Donald Trump holds an average double-digit advantage over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in national 2024 Republican primary surveys. That, in itself, isn’t notable given Trump, the frontrunner, has been ahead of DeSantis (by far his nearest competitor or potential competitor) since polling began about the race.

But what may surprise is how Trump is ahead. An average of CNN/SSRS and Quinnipiac University polls released this week reveals that Trump’s lead may, in large part, be because of his clear edge among potential Republican primary voters of color.


Reagan Allies Schemed to Delay U.S. Hostages’ Freedom to Sabotage Carter, Alleged Witness Says

Officials passed word to Tehran not to free the hostages before Election Day 1980, according to one politician who says he was witness to the plan

Rolling Stone

9 Republicans pull support from South Carolina bill allowing the death penalty for abortion

The legislation, which had 24 GOP co-sponsors since it was introduced in January, lost support from nine Republicans in recent weeks.

NBC News

Biden administration quietly resumes deportations to Russia

The Biden administration has quietly resumed deportations to Russia, an apparent reversal of the position adopted after Russia invaded Ukraine just over a year ago, when such removals were suspended, the Guardian has learned.

Immigration advocates were taken by surprise when a young Russian man, who came to the US fleeing Vladimir Putin’s efforts to mobilize citizens to fight in Ukraine, was abruptly deported at the weekend from the US back to Russia.

The Guardian

Wyoming governor signs ban on abortion pills

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) signed a bill Friday to ban abortion pills from being used in the state, becoming the first in the country to specifically prohibit that form of abortion outside of a full ban on the procedure. 

The Hill

Why has America never elected a woman president?

For Women’s History Month, theGrio explores the political terrain of why a woman has yet to occupy the Oval Office.

The Grio

What Does it Mean to be an Ally?

Identity is ever-changing, it may be difficult to understand where you stand and that is totally okay! Sexuality and gender are fluid, the most important part is letting yourself explore and learn what you feel the most comfortable with. With that being said even if you don’t find yourself within the LGBTQ+ spectrum there are always ways to be a supporter, better known as an ally.

In this article, we’ll tackle what it means to be an ally and how you can support those in the LGBTQ+ community. 


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Michigan’s LGBTQ+ Protections Into Law

Michigan is now the 22nd U.S. state to ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination through legislation.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, signed a bill to that effect into law Thursday. The action caps decades of effort to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to cover sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The new protections apply to employment, housing, and public accommodations.


Advocates Say Montana Bill Would Erase Trans And Nonbinary Identities

The Republican-backed legislation seeks to legally define sex based solely on reproductive biology.


“I will burn this session to the ground”: Neb. Dem filibusters for 3 weeks to block anti-trans bill

“If you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body,” said Machaela Cavanaugh


Gideon v. Wainwright Was a Landmark Decision, But Women Invented the Idea of the Public Defender

As a public defender — and a person fighting to expand and empower public defense nationwide — March is always a big month for me. March 18 is the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Gideon v. Wainwright decision, when the justices unanimously said that the US Constitution requires states comply with the Sixth Amendment and provide people with a lawyer when they’re criminally accused and unable to afford counsel. 

Teen Vogue

Kosovo, Serbia agree on steps to implement EU normalisation plan

Tentative agreement follows marathon talks between Serbian, Kosovar leaders and EU officials in North Macedonia.


Erdogan and Egypt’s Sisi to meet: Turkish minister

Turkey’s top diplomat said Saturday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would meet to mark the end of a decade of estrangement between the two countries.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking alongside his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry during a visit to Cairo, said Ankara wanted “to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries at the highest level”.


Japan, German leaders agree to strengthen ties, supply chain

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday held the first round of government consultations in Tokyo and agreed to strengthen economic and defense ties to better cope with China’s growing influence and global security concerns.

AP News

Farmer protest party wins ‘monster’ Dutch vote victory

The Netherlands faced a political earthquake Thursday after a farmers’ protest party won key elections, throwing the government’s environmental policies into disarray.

The upstart Farmer-Citizen Movement (BoerBurgerBeweging) or BBB, which was only set up four years ago, is set to be the biggest party in the Dutch upper house of parliament with 16 to 17 seats.

The party rode a wave of protests against plans by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling coalition to cut nitrogen emissions by slashing livestock numbers and possibly closing farms.

The Dutch protests garnered global attention and reaped international support, including from former US president Donald Trump and a host of far-right figures.

Police clash with pension demonstrators for second night in Paris

The protests over pension reform are the gravest challenge to President Macron’s authority since 2018 ‘Yellow Vest’ demonstrations.


Strong earthquake hits Ecuador, at least 15 dead

A strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck Ecuador, causing a number of buildings to collapse and killing at least 15 people, officials and witnesses say. More than 400 people have been injured.

The earthquake, which struck at 12:12 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centered just a few kilometers offshore, about 67 kilometers south of Guayaquil and 94 kilometers west of Cuenca.

BNO News

We might be witnessing the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson’s political career

Next week could mark the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson’s political career. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the man who four years ago won the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher dominated UK politics in the 1980s.


Protests against illegal migration bill held in London, Glasgow and Cardiff

Protesters have marched against the government’s illegal migration bill in cities across the UK on Saturday, with organisers claiming thousands had attended.

Demonstrators carried signs and banners, some reading “no human is illegal”, as they matched towards Downing Street in central London.

The Guardian

What’s the Path Forward for Haiti?

As the international community contemplates another armed intervention, a reckoning with history is long overdue.

New Yorker

An infamous Russian unit that downed a civilian plane in 2014 was active in Ukraine

The 53rd is best known for its role in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014 as it flew over Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 passengers and crew died.


The woman who could be Nigeria’s first elected female governor

Aishatu Dahiru is seeking to make history as the first elected female governor in Africa’s largest democracy.