The Monday Politics Thread Celebrates The World Wide Web’s Dirty Thirty

The World Wide Web turns 30

Thirty years ago, the internet was made available to the public for the very first time. Little behind the technology has changed since but artificial intelligence could have a major impact.

Deutsche Welle

Border detention facilities reach capacity amid spike in migrants

Detention facilities along the US-Mexico border have surpassed capacity as a growing number of migrants cross into the United States leading up to the May 11 expiration of a Covid-era border restriction known as Title 42, according to a Department of Homeland Security official.


3 states pass major gun control reform packages

Governors in two states passed major gun control legislation this week and a third is poised to do the same soon.

ABC News

Sanders brushes aside concerns about Biden’s age: ‘Age is one thing. I think experience is another’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday brushed aside concerns about President Joe Biden’s age following the president’s reelection bid announcement, saying “Age is one thing. I think experience is another.”

The independent senator, who, at 81, is a year older than Biden, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that “if you believe in democracy – you want to see more people vote, not fewer people vote, I think the choice is pretty clear. And that choice is Biden.”


This Fun Guy Is Turning Fungi Into Meat

Mycelium can be a fibrous, high-protein ingredient for lots of edible things.

Mother Jones

Days after House GOP bill is approved, debt ceiling deadlock continues

Tensions continued to simmer on between Democrats and Republicans over plans to raise the debt ceiling.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘not planning’ to run for Senate seat in 2024

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will not run for a seat in the US Senate next year, according to her office, clearing the way for incumbent New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, to run for re-election unopposed by the progressive congresswoman.

The Guardian

Fort Lee renamed Fort Gregg-Adams to honor two pioneering Black officers

After more than a century as Fort Lee, the Army officially renamed the post Fort Gregg-Adams on Thursday, honoring two Black officers who helped pave the way for an integrated military.

Stars and Stripes

Joe Biden issues Presidential proclamation for the 70th anniversary of the Lavender Scare

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation acknowledging the 70th anniversary of the Lavender Scare – a 1950’s firing spree which took place after President Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) signed an executive order banning LGBTQ+ people from working for the U.S. government, accusing gay and lesbian employees of working with the Soviet Russian Communist Party to compromise the country’s national security.

LGBTQ Nation

A century of newspaper ads shed light on Indigenous slavery in colonial America

Since the beginning of journalism in America, newspapers have been funded by advertising. In the 18th century, alongside advertisements for shoe repair, corduroys, and cutlery, colonial newspapers sold and ran ads for enslaved and unfree men, women, and children, usually in the form of “runaway” and “to be sold” ads.

These advertisements show something that scholarship on early American slavery has not always fully acknowledged, says Anjali DasSarma, doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication. Along with Linford Fisher at Brown University, the two show that the presence of enslaved and unfree Indigenous people was ubiquitous in the American colonies as late as the 19th century, long after the peak of the African slave trade.

Republicans ramp up attacks on transgender people, in statehouses and on the campaign trail

From statehouses to the presidential campaign trail, Republicans are escalating their political attacks on transgender people – a reflection of what they see as a cultural fight their base is eager to wage.


Whistleblower or Traitor? The Thorny Politics of Leaking.

Jack Teixeira’s arrest underscores how partisanship does — and doesn’t — explain the fallout of leaks.


Feinstein has vowed to return to Washington, but what happens if she doesn’t?

The race to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein is well underway, but as California’s senior senator has missed nearly 60 votes over the past two months, some liberal Democrats are calling for her to resign.

Feinstein, who is recovering from shingles, said she plans to serve out her term and has received the support of party leadership. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said this week that he hoped she would return soon. Feinstein released a statement saying she plans to return to Washington when her doctors say it is safe for her to travel.

With a narrowly divided Senate, questions have arisen about the options for Democrats if Feinstein does not return to the U.S. Capitol but does not resign.

LA Times

The Rich Queer History of American Drag Queens

“Drag is the theatrical exaggeration of gender,” said Joe E. Jeffreys, a drag historian and adjunct instructor at New York University, who noted that the artform constantly subverts “what people think they know about gender.”

At its core, drag is an art form that for over a century has affirmed and uplifted LGBTQ people who perform and enjoy it. But this year in particular, some US states have attempted to impose legislative measures that would impact where and when drag can be performed. In Tennessee, where the most restrictive measures to date were passed in March, people who perform in drag in an area where children could see them could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. (The ban was temporarily blocked hours before it was expected to be implemented.)


On party-line vote, Minnesota House approves new gun control measures

The Minnesota Legislature moved one step closer to passing new gun control laws when the House advanced a bill Wednesday evening with expanded background checks and a red flag law to take weapons from people deemed dangerous.

American Military News

What is the US debt ceiling and what will happen if it is not raised?

The White House and Republicans in Congress are currently in a standoff over how much the government can borrow

The Guardian

Analysis: Whether it’s Trump or Biden, some in Europe see the US as an unreliable ally

When Joe Biden confirmed he will run for reelection this week, America’s European allies knew exactly what that meant for the future of the transatlantic relationship.

It’s no secret that as news broke that Biden won the presidency in 2020, leaders across the pond were relieved that a more conventional democratic leader would be in the White House.

But they also knew that Biden would not be able to undo all the damage done in Donald Trump’s four years.

Trump was a chaotic leader who repeatedly criticized America’s European allies. He threatened trade wars on everything from cheese to airplanes. He questioned the principles of the NATO alliance and sniped at the European Union, at one point saying that if he ran the UK he simply wouldn’t pay the £50 billion ($62 billion) Brexit bill that Britain legally owed the EU.

There are two main reasons why Europeans haven’t entirely moved on from the Trump years. First, if Trump could happen once, there is no reason he or someone in his mold won’t happen again. Second, Biden, Europeans believe, has continued much of Trump’s foreign policy of protectionism on trade and maximum pressure on China.


Anti-Blackness of Older White Lawmakers in Tennessee, Mississippi vs. Youth Political Power

The Tennessee state legislature’s recent attempt to expel two Black leaders from its ranks is the latest round of mind-boggling political gamesmanship driven by racism. One of those lawmakers, Justin Jones, tells Teen Vogue the attempted censorship is a backlash from old-guard politicians against the power of young voters. It’s also an obvious display of anti-Blackness. We can see the same elements playing out in the mostly white and male Mississippi legislature’s push for more state control of the legal, water, and police systems of Jackson — a majority-Black city. 

Teen Vogue

Lesbians Who’ve Made American Political History

Lesbians have been making political history in the U.S. for 50 years, with many of them being among the groundbreakers of the LGBTQ+ community — first out LGBTQ+ person elected to any political office, first out U.S. senator, and more. For Lesbian Visibility Week, we present 12 who’ve contributed significantly to visibility in elected and appointed offices.


NC Supreme Court Rolls Back Voting Rights: Voter ID Reinstated, People With Felonies Can’t Vote And Partisan Gerrymandering Is Back

In a series of rulings issued Friday, the North Carolina Supreme Court has made it harder for Democratic constituencies, particularly Black voters, to have their votes counted in the state. The decisions, which contradict earlier rulings from the court, come after Republicans gained a 5-2 majority in the state’s highest court after the 2022 election.


Texas border city struggles with large arrival of migrants

Shelters in a Texas city struggled to find space Saturday for migrants who authorities say have abruptly begun crossing by the thousands from Mexico, testing a stretch of the U.S. border that is typically equipped to handle large groups of people fleeing poverty and violence.

The pace of arrivals in Brownsville appeared to catch the city on the southernmost tip of Texas off guard, stretching social services and putting an overnight shelter in an uncommon position of turning people away. Officials say more than 15,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have illegally crossed the river near Brownsville since last week.

That is a sharp rise from the 1,700 migrants that Border Patrol agents encountered in the first two weeks of April, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

AP News

Rice’s departure brings relief to immigration advocates

The departure of Biden adviser Susan Rice has prompted relief among immigration advocates, who hope her exit signals a shift on the approach to the border.

Rice, the head of the Domestic Policy Council, announced Monday she would step down from the post, a broad portfolio and one where she frequently gave input on immigration matters.

That influence often caused frustration among lawmakers and immigration groups, many of whom saw Rice as a primary force behind some of the Biden administration’s more hard-line immigration policies, including the continued use of Trump-era deterrent policies at the border.

The Hill

Lilly Wachowski’s Latest Project Is Mentoring Up-and-Coming Trans Filmmakers of Color

Over the last 25 years, few filmmakers have rebelled against Hollywood’s stodgy, at-best-neoliberal sensibilities with more gleeful rage than Lilly Wachowski. Alongside her sister and creative partner Lana, Wachowski has offered us everything from the latently trans-coded Matrix trilogy to the stridently anti-fascist thriller V for Vendetta to the kaleidoscopically queer Sense8. Since 2019, the Chicago-born artist has also written, directed, and produced on two seasons of Work in Progress, a searing and hilarious portrait of a self-identified fat dyke working through depression, isolation, and more. 


Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’ Becomes Law in North Dakota

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has signed an anti-transgender “bathroom bill” into law, the eighth anti-LGBTQ+ measure he has signed this year.

The legislation, House Bill 1473, bars trans people from using the restrooms, showers, and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity in domestic violence shelters, correctional facilities, and dormitories at public colleges and universities, although dorm administrators can make “reasonable accommodation” upon request, the bill states.

Burgum, a Republican, signed it Tuesday and announced the action Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. He declined further comment on the legislation.

The bill passed largely along party lines. Rep. Eric Murphy, one of just three House Republicans who voted against it, said he thought it was unnecessary. “I don’t try to be polarizing. I just don’t think there was a need for the legislation,” he said, according to the AP.


What You Need to Know About Laws Restricting Abortion Access in the United States

After Roe v. Wade was overturned in the summer of 2022, states across the country have taken severe measures to restrict or ban the access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. From court rulings on whether or not to restrict access to Mifepristone, known as the abortion pill, to laws banning abortions as early as six weeks, it can seem like something new is happening every day and we’re tracking it for you. 

Here’s the latest on abortion laws across the United States. 

Teen Vogue

It Doesn’t Matter If Tucker Carlson Pretended To Be A White Supremacist, The Damage Remains The Same

Some say Carlson didn’t believe the hate he spewed on Fox News, but that point is irrelevant.

The Root

Washington, Minnesota become trans refuges, shield abortions

Washington and Minnesota won’t cooperate with attempts to prosecute out-of-state patients seeking reproductive or gender-affirming procedures and treatment, under new laws signed Thursday by the two states’ Democratic governors.

AP News

Minnesota governor signs conversion therapy ban & law protecting trans healthcare rights

Minnesota is now the 22nd state to ban conversion therapy and the 5th to provide sanctuary for gender-affirming care.

LGBTQ Nation

Cuba cancels May Day parade because of fuel shortages

Cuba’s communist government has cancelled Monday’s traditional May Day parade because of acute fuel shortages.


Sudan updates: Army, RSF extend cease-fire again

Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces have agreed to extend their cease-fire by 72 hours. Meanwhile, the UN is sending its top humanitarian envoy amid the “unprecedented” situation. DW has the latest.

Deutsche Welle

Field of fresh cow pats welcomes first dung beetles to be rewilded in France

In a forest clearing filled with cowpats, French history is being made: the country’s first translocation of dung beetles in a nature reserve near Bordeaux.

With the same pomp and ceremony afforded to the release of an Iberian lynx or a European bison, about 60 “ball rolling” insects were brought to the marshy forests of Étang de Cousseau in south-west France on Wednesday to restore a vital ecosystem function on the Atlantic coast.

The Guardian

Marcos Jr flies to US promising a stronger partnership to ‘address the concerns of our times’

The Philippines president will meet Joe Biden to discuss ‘very important alliance’ amid growing tensions with China

The Telegraph

Turkey’s President Erdogan back on campaign trail after illness

The president spoke for almost 40 minutes, in a strong voice, mocking the opposition, raising the spectre of “terrorism”, and saying only he could deliver growth for Turkey. It was a combative performance which will have reassured his supporters and may have worried his detractors.


Netanyahu tells CNN Israel will remain a ‘robust democracy’ despite judiciary plans

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN Sunday his country would remain a “robust democracy” despite controversial plans to overhaul the country’s judicial system.

Amid widespread protests, a historic nationwide strike and mounting international pressure last month Netayahu delayed votes on the changes, which would have amounted to the most sweeping overhaul of the Israeli legal system since the country’s founding.


‘Robin Hood’ hacker steals rich Russian crypto funds, gives to poor Ukraine

A hacker has gained access to hundreds of cryptocurrency wallets belonging to Russia’s FSB, GRU, and Foreign Intelligence Service, news site CoinDesk reported on April 27, citing Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency monitoring company that works with the U.S. government.

The New Voice of Ukraine

How a scientific approach to urban greening could cool Japan’s concrete jungles

Cities are naturally hotter than rural areas. The phenomenon, called the urban heat island effect, is caused as heat from the sun gets trapped by buildings and pavement, and is exacerbated by heat generated from human activity, such as driving and, ironically, running air conditioners. Increased urbanization and a warming world can make heat islands — which are known to also contribute to sudden, intense “guerrilla” rainstorms — worse.

Japan Times

Brazil’s Lula recognises six new indigenous reserves

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has decreed six new indigenous reserves, banning mining and restricting commercial farming there.