Are You There, Avocado? It’s Me, The Monday Politics Thread

Florida principal let go after failing to notify parents about lesson on Michelangelo’s David

“Our school is two and a half years old. Every year we show that picture in the Renaissance Art class taught to our sixth graders,” he added. The problem that arose in this instance was that the procedure for notifying parents of the upcoming lesson was not followed, according to Bishop.

“We aren’t trying to ban the picture,” he said, referring to the statue of David. “We think it’s beautiful, but we are going to make sure the concept of parental rights is supreme in Florida and at our charter school,” he added.


How drag was pushed back into the shadows in Tennessee

“Drag is not inherently sexual,” said Story VanNess, a drag queen and the trans program director at Knox Pride. “It can be a lot of things, but the vast majority of drag, if anything, is comedic.”

She noted there was reams of video from her group’s annual Pride festival in downtown Knoxville over the years with both drag performers and children in attendance, yet no clips had gone viral “because responsible producers put on a responsible show.”


Union of Southern Service Workers Is Organizing Low-Wage Workers Across Industries

If you truly want to understand the history of organized labor in this country, you must look to the South — specifically, to what Black workers and other workers of color have accomplished there despite every conceivable obstacle. Nowadays, states such as Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina are home to antiunion “right to work” legislation that makes it extremely difficult for workers to organize. Corporate-friendly politicians have actively worked to disenfranchise and oppress poor and working-class people, especially the most marginalized. A century ago, things weren’t much different, but like today, those workers fought back. They protested, picketed, formed unions, and went on strike. Many of them were considered “unorganizable” by labor leadership and labor opponents alike, a status pinned to various groups of workers — typically casual, low-income workers of color, recent immigrants, or both — throughout the centuries.

Teen Vogue

LAUSD and union workers who led massive strike reach tentative settlement

A tentative agreement reached Friday between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing support staff won raises of about 30% or more for the lowest-wage workers, one day after the end of a strike that shut down schools for three days.

Los Angeles Times

How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them

Internal documents and former company executives reveal how Cigna doctors reject patients’ claims without opening their files. “We literally click and submit,” one former company doctor said.


‘Toxic mix’: Miami Beach mayor mulls ending spring break after violence

City leaders in Miami Beach are to rethink their approach to the annual student rite of passage known as spring break after successive weekends of violence left two people dead, hundreds arrested and dozens of guns confiscated by law enforcement officers.

The Guardian

Ft. Hood to officially drop its Confederate name and become Ft. Cavazos 

On May 9, the base will adopt the name of Gen. Richard Cavazos, a highly decorated war veteran and first Latino four-star general.

NBC News

100-Year-Old Widow Of Fallen WWII Soldier Speaks Out Against Book Bans At Florida School Board Meeting

A book ban controversy in Florida sparked a heated debate at the Martin County School Board meeting on Tuesday night. Former educators, students, and parents spoke in favor of and against the ban. The controversy arose after the school district removed several books from its library shelves, citing concerns over their content.

While some residents supported the ban, others were strongly opposed, including Grace Linn, a Martin County resident who brought with her 100 years of experience. To show her opposition to the book ban, she made a quilt and brought it with her to the meeting, displaying books that have been either targeted or banned.

Linn cited her late husband’s fight against the Nazis in World War II during a powerful speech in which she railed against banning books as a threat to the freedom her husband fought for.

Comic Sands

Rising seas will cut off many properties before they’re flooded

Along the US coasts, many properties will lose access to essential services.

Ars Technica

Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland victim, arrested during heated House gun law hearing

Manuel Oliver, father of a teenager who was killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, was arrested Thursday during a heated House hearing on gun laws. 

The arrest came around noon after Oliver and his wife, Patricia Oliver, shouted at lawmakers and disrupted the hearing. 

Manuel Oliver received a citation arrest, meaning he was not jailed. Video shows he was pinned to the floor and restrained. 

USA Today

Florida parents of transgender youths sue state over gender-affirming care bans

Four Florida families with transgender children have filed a federal lawsuit challenging new rules set by the state’s medical boards that prevent minors from accessing gender-affirming health care.

The Hill

New Survey Reveals 25 Percent Of Black Women Were Denied Job Interviews Because Of Their Hair

Another disturbing amount of Black women said they were sent home because of their hair.

The Root

House Republicans pass broad education measure on ‘parents rights’

The bill also became a vehicle for other GOP priorities such as ensuring parents know what their schooling options are and policies on transgender students.


Majority of trans adults are happier after transitioning, survey finds

A large majority of transgender adults say that transitioning has made them more satisfied with their life, according to a new survey.

The survey conducted by the Washington Post and KFF, a nonprofit focusing on health issues, is the largest nongovernmental survey of transgender adults that uses random samplings.

It asked more than 500 transgender adults questions around their childhood, family and other life experiences.

The Guardian

Parents of Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley will go to trial, judges rule

Jennifer and James Crumbley are accused of making the gun accessible and failing to recognize warning signs.

ABC News

Guaranteed Income Programs Are Necessary After the End of Federal Abortion Access

This op-ed argues that if states can force people to have children, we must force states to financially provide for them.

Teen Vogue

A Utah parent says the Bible contains porn and should be removed from school libraries. Here’s their full challenge.

The parent writes that the book should be considered indecent under Utah’s new book banning law, after seeing the other titles that have been pulled.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Meet USA TODAY’s Women of the Year

These honorees are women who lift up people in their communities and across the country, making a difference in the lives of many. They show up and speak out for those who may not have a voice, advocating for issues from health to equality and justice to the environment and more.

USA Today

Nebraska Dem with trans son vows to block all bills: “No one in the world holds a grudge like me”

“My son is trans,” Hunt said of her 12-year-old child, who she says has been unable to attain gender-affirming care. “And this bill, colleagues, is such an affront to me personally and would violate my rights to parent my child in Nebraska.”

The bill is one of many anti-trans policies rolled out this year, according to Trans Legislation Tracker.

“If this bill passes, all your bills are on the chopping block, and the bridge is burned,” Hunt warned the chamber. 

The Salon

Florida Challenged Over Gender-Affirming Care Ban for Transgender Youth

Four families in Florida sued the state on Thursday over new rules prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender youth, arguing the bans violate the US Constitution and should be thrown out.


A Brief History Of Drag Queen Story Hour

Right-wing attempts to demonize drag storytime (and all who love it) are deeply mischaracterizing the events.


Kentucky governor vetoes bill targeting transgender youth

Kentucky’s Democratic governor on Friday vetoed a Republican bill to ban transgender youths from gender-affirming healthcare and restrict public toilets they use, bucking a national Republican-led movement.

Governor Andy Beshear, running in November for a second-term in Republican-leaning Kentucky, said the bill would increase youth suicides and permit excessive government interference in personal healthcare decisions.


Black And Latino Children Are Being Diagnosed With Autism At Higher Rates Than White Children

This is the first time this discrepancy has occurred in the U.S.

The Root

The “Unwinding” of Medicaid Coverage Will Be Difficult for Disabled Americans, Leave More People Uninsured

Like the White House’s plan to privatize COVID treatments and vaccines, Medicaid coverage is another public health emergency measure that’s been deemed no longer necessary. In early 2020, Congress enacted a rule that barred states from dropping people from Medicaid, thus ensuring access to health care during the pandemic. But now the government will allow the number of uninsured people to soar in an “unwinding” process that could have major consequences.

Teen Vogue

As flooding increases, these cities are designed to work with – not against – the water. Here’s how they’re doing it

Cities’ relationship with water is a fragile balance. Too little leads to parched landscapes and water shortages; too much can cause deadly flooding, washing away homes, lives and livelihoods.

Last year severe flooding caused devastation around the world, including in Nigeria, Pakistan and Australia. And it’s predicted to get worse. Parts of Asia’s largest cities are projected to be underwater by the end of the century. US coasts are expected to see 10 to 12 inches of sea level rise by 2050.


Honduras breaks diplomatic ties with Taiwan

The Honduran government said it views the island as “an inalienable part of Chinese territory.” Taiwan then announced it would close its embassy in Honduras and withdraw its ambassador there.

Deutsche Welle

Lebanon wakes up in two time zones because of daylight savings spat

Lebanon woke up in two time zones on Sunday amid an escalating dispute between political and religious authorities over a decision to delay the clock change by a month.


WTF: Heinous Uganda Anti-Gay Law Will Criminalize People Who Identify As LGBTQ+

That law would also potentially punish people who are seen supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

The Root

A Ukrainian orphanage tried to hide its children when war began. Then the Russians came

In October, Russian officials informed the orphanage that they were coming for the children.

“They warned us to collect their clothes. The Russians called in the evening and said we should prepare the children for the next morning. The buses arrived at eight,” she said.


Let women speak? Anti-trans activists don’t give a damn about our rights

When your rally is supposed to be about freedom, it must be awkward when actual Nazis show up.

History shows Nazis were never big on freedom, at least not for the millions of people they murdered and the populations they subjugated. But that was precisely the position anti-transgender activists found themselves in this week, when their protest in Melbourne was “hijacked” by neo-Nazis who repeatedly performed the Nazi salute. The anti-trans activists said they were all about freedom of speech.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Macron Loses Voters to Far Right Over Pensions, Poll Shows

Marine Le Pen’s far-right party is the biggest beneficiary of French discontent over President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to push through an increase in the retirement age, according to a survey by pollster Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.


A threat to democracy or much-needed reform? Israel’s judicial overhaul explained

At its core, the judicial overhaul would give the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and therefore the parties in power, more control over Israel’s judiciary.

From how judges are selected, to what laws the Supreme Court can rule on, to even giving parliament power to overturn Supreme Court decisions, the changes would be the most significant shakeups to Israel’s judiciary since its founding in 1948.


A growing list of countries say they will arrest Putin if he goes there, enforcing an international warrant accusing him of war crimes

A growing number of countries in Europe said they would arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever goes there.

Although the threat is largely symbolic, it is nonetheless embarrassing for Putin, who is increasingly being treated in the West as a criminal rather than a national leader.


Chabelo: The Mexico TV legend who became a meme

The squeaky-voiced, short-wearing child character was played by Mexican actor, entertainer and businessman Xavier López Rodriguez, who died on Saturday at the age of 88.

His children’s game show En Familia con Chabelo (Family Time with Chabelo) aired live every Sunday for 45 years and even made the Guinness Book of Records for its unprecedented broadcast run.


Suspect in Haitian president’s assassination accepts plea deal in Florida

A suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was killed in his bedroom in July of 2021, accepted a plea agreement from US federal prosecutors on Friday.

Rodolphe Jaar pleaded guilty in US federal court to three counts involving providing material support including personnel and services in a conspiracy to kidnap and kill Moise, according to the plea agreement.


Violence in Greece over efforts to preserve ancient heritage of Mykonos

Attack on archaeologist in Athens is thought to be linked to developers’ ‘out-of-control’ clamour to exploit island

The Guardian

Women were already unequal in the world of global health. The pandemic made it worse

While 70% of the health care workforce around the world is made up of women, they hold only 25% of senior leadership roles, the report found – a phenomenon dubbed the “XX Factor.”

Women had made some progress in closing the gender gap in leadership — until the pandemic. In 2020, for instance, the executive board of the World Health Organization reached a record 32% women, but then it fell to 6% in 2022.


Netanyahu acted illegally by getting involved in judicial overhaul, says Israel’s attorney general

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acted illegally by announcing Thursday that he would involve himself directly in his government’s moves to change the country’s judicial system, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara told him in an open letter Friday.

“Last night you publicly announced that you intend to violate the ruling of the Supreme Court and act contrary to the opinion of the legal advisor to the government,” she wrote. That statement, she said, “is illegal and contaminated by a conflict of interest.”


Vatican returns Parthenon sculptures to Greece

The Vatican has returned three fragments of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece in a move that has been described as a “gesture of friendship”.