It’s The Fireworks Facto–I Mean, The Monday Politics Thread

A Grand Jury Voted to Indict Donald Trump, Making Him First Ex-President Charged With a Crime

Trump will become the first former president charged with a crime.

Teen Vogue

New York, city of Trump’s dreams, delivers his comeuppance

His name has been plastered on this city’s tabloids, bolted to its buildings and cemented to a special breed of brash New York confidence. Now, with Donald Trump due to return to the place that put him on the map, the city he loved is poised to deliver his comeuppance.

Rejected by its voters, ostracized by its protesters and now rebuked by its jurors, the people of New York have one more thing on which to splash Trump’s name: Indictment No. 71543-23.

AP News

DHS accepting reported gender identity for immigration benefits apps, clarifying policy

The Biden administration will now allow immigrants seeking benefits to mark their gender identity without needing their documentation to match, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The news release, posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday, said the update to the immigration benefits policy is meant to clarify that immigrants do not need to submit proof of their gender identity when requesting to change their gender marker, except for those submitting a Form N-565, which is submitted by those applying for a replacement naturalization certificate or citizenship document. 

The release also states that the only gender markers available on their forms and documents are “Male” and “Female,” but DHS is working to add an additional gender marker of “X” for another or unspecified gender identity.

The Hill

The killing of Americans in a Mexican border city highlights a sinister trend that US policies are making worse

The March 3 abduction of four Americans in the Mexican city of Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, was not the first such crime by Grupo Escorpiones, an armed branch of the Gulf Cartel.

Business Insider

Judge orders books removed from Texas public libraries due to LGBTQ and racial content must be returned within 24 hours

A federal judge in Texas ruled that at least 12 books removed from public libraries by Llano County officials, many because of their LGBTQ and racial content, must be placed back onto shelves within 24 hours, according to an order filed Thursday.

Seven residents sued county officials in April 2022, claiming their First and 14th Amendment rights were violated when books deemed inappropriate by some people in the community and Republican lawmakers were removed from public libraries or access was restricted.


At least 29 dead as tornadoes move across U.S.

The White House announced Sunday that it would provide federal resources, including financial assistance, to support recovery efforts after President Joe Biden declared broad swaths of the country a major disaster.

Chicago Sun-Times

Dan Crenshaw Wants to Solve School Shootings with ‘More Guns’

In the wake of yet another school mass shooting — this time in Nashville, Tenn. — Rep. Dan Crenshaw asserted that putting more guns in schools would prevent these tragedies from occurring. “If we had a minimum of two armed guards or police officers at every single school in America, you would probably prevent these from here on out,” the congressman said, adding, “Yes, more guns, the kind of guns that protect the president.”

Crenshaw also said during his Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union that it’s “very difficult to build a pattern” around these school shootings because they are “anomalous.” Maybe he should start with the fact that 10 of the 17 deadliest shootings in America over the last 11 years — including school shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Uvalde, Tex.; and Parkland, Fla. — were committed with an AR-15.

Rolling Stone

How a Weapon of War Has Worsened the Mass Shootings Epidemic

Semiautomatic pistols used to be the top weapon of choice for mass shooters. But ever since the massacres at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school just over a decade ago, many perpetrators of these crimes have armed themselves with AR-15s and caused growing carnage. The phenomenon accelerated further with five high-profile attacks in 2022, beginning with those in Buffalo and Uvalde. (In the several years prior: the massacres in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, Pittsburgh, Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, Boulder, Indianapolis—the list quickly grows long.) Mass shooters increasingly also use body armor, tactical vests, and other tactical gear, the Nashville perpetrator included.

Mother Jones

John Fetterman speaks publicly for first time since hospitalization, treatment for depression

“You just won the biggest race in the country. And the whole thing about depression is that objectively, you may have won, but depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost. And that’s exactly what happened, and that was the start of a downward spiral,” he said.

ABC News

Member of pro-Nazi group used Molotov cocktails in attempt to burn down Ohio church planning to host a drag event, FBI says.

A member of a neo-Nazi group was arrested Friday after attempting to burn down a church in Ohio that was planning to host a drag show event, according to court documents.


The White House Pivot That Wasn’t

You think this is a pivot? Bill Clinton will show you a pivot.


Why did Biden auction off the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling?

Despite the implications for climate change, the auctioning of oil leases was actually a stipulation of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The lease requirement came from the compromise between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other Senate Democrats in order for the bill to get passed. The auction, called Lease Sale 259, was to be held “no later than March 30, 2023,” and put up for sale an area the size of Italy for the purpose of oil drilling. 

The Week

Activists say wave of anti-LGBTQ bills makes Black trans community especially vulnerable

“Our opponents may claim to not know intersectionality, but they sure do know how to attack our issues and communities intersectionally,” LGBTQ activist Preston Mitchum told theGrio.

The Grio

Assistant HHS Secretary Admiral Rachel Levine on Being Visible

As Transgender Day of Visibility is celebrated, it’s perhaps never been more urgent to have a day like this to honor and recognize the bravery, fortitude, and contributions of the trans community.

Possibly the most visible trans person in 2023 is Dr. Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the highest-ranking transgender person in the history of the federal government.


Queer Community in the South Is Worth Fighting For

“People discredit us and they discredit our state, but this is my home; why should I leave my home?”

Teen Vogue

A long-dormant lake has reappeared in California, bringing havoc along with it

Months of atmospheric river storms have pummeled the area, which is home to crucial farmland. A historic snowpack in the mountains above the basin will make things worse.

NBC News

Activists’ network in Mexico helps U.S. women get abortions

Marcela Castro’s office in Chihuahua is more than 100 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, yet the distance doesn’t prevent her from assisting women in the United States in circumventing recently imposed bans on abortion.

AP News

More Ecuadorians move to U.S., spared many others’ hurdles

Amid economic woes and rising violence, more Ecuadorians are leaving their country and migrating to cross the border into the United States


At Mexico border, anger, tears over migrant-lockup fire deaths – Los Angeles Times

All the dead and the dozens injured were natives of Central and South America, including at least seven Venezuelans. The fatality ledger so far also lists 18 from Guatemala, seven from El Salvador, six from Honduras and one from Colombia. Authorities said they all succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

They were among the thousands of migrants marooned here and in other Mexican border towns hoping for a chance to enter the United States.

LA Times

Russian war blogger killed in St. Petersburg blast

The explosion at a cafe in Russia’s second-largest city also injured more than a dozen other people. The blast reportedly took place during an event organized by a patriotic Russian group.

Deutsche Welle

“It’s The Democracy, Stupid!” What Is Really Turning France Upside Down

Paris is burning, France is reaching a tipping point. One cannot refer to hundreds of thousands of protesters, millions of demonstrators and tens of millions of angry citizens to a simple misunderstanding or a failure of French President Emmanuel Macron and the government to explain their policy choices.

Something has broken. But what exactly?

World Crunch

Israel advances national guard force for right-wing minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Sunday gave preliminary approval for the creation of a national guard overseen by an ultranationalist Cabinet minister with a long record of anti-Arab rhetoric and stunts.

Netanyahu agreed to move ahead on the force last week after he postponed a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary as a way to keep National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir from quitting the coalition.

AP News

Burkina Faso expels correspondents from French newspapers

Burkina Faso has expelled journalists from two leading French newspapers, in the latest move against France by Burkina Faso’s military junta.


Leader Of Spain’s Far-left Launches Election Bid

pain’s labour minister said on Sunday she would stand in a year-end general election as head of the far-left whose support Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will need to stay in office.

International Business Times

‘This is a social emergency’: Thousands protest in Portugal over housing crisis

Thousands of people took to the streets of Lisbon and other cities across Portugal on Saturday in protest against soaring rents and house prices at a time when high inflation is making it even tougher for people to make ends meet.

“There is a huge housing crisis today,” Rita Silva, from the Habita housing group, said at the Lisbon protest. “This is a social emergency.”


Finland: Sanna Marin concedes, Orpo claims win in tight vote

Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has conceded a narrow defeat to the center-right opposition in national elections. The vote came shortly before the country’s NATO accession.

Deutsche Welle

Novice politician Jakov Milatovic wins Montenegro presidency

Economy expert and political novice Jakov Milatovic won the presidential runoff election in Montenegro on Sunday, defeating the pro-Western incumbent who has been in power for more than three decades in the small NATO member nation in Europe, the candidates and polls said.

AP News