The Monday Politics Thread is Pro-PT Writers Union

Heat waves, poor air quality and severe storms: US experiencing acute weather conditions from coast to coast

More than 80 million Americans across 14 states from Washington to Florida are currently under heat alerts.

The temperature at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California, may reach 130 degrees for the first time since 2021, forecasts show. On Saturday, temperatures were measured at 126 degrees.

ABC News

‘At Some Point, the Jig Is Up’: SAG-AFTRA Officially Announce Strike Alongside WGA Writers

The AMPTP has since responded to the strike, likening SAG-AFTRA’s decision as a “regrettable path that will lead to financial hardship.”

The Root

Pipestone carvers preserve revered Native spiritual tradition in Minnesota prairie

Only a dozen Dakota carvers remain in the predominantly agricultural area bordering South Dakota. While tensions have flared periodically over how broadly to produce and share the rare artifacts, many Dakota today are focusing on how to pass on to future generations a difficult skillset that’s inextricably linked to spiritual practice.

AP News

To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick, by Alden Wicker, Explores Public Health and Fast Fashion

She found that fashion is rife with toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde and chromium, which are both carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting polyfluoroalkyl substances (also known as PFAS, or “forever chemicals”), linked to infertility and other health issues. And despite the potential harm, she discovered that the U.S. has done little to protect consumers from the clothes they wear.

Teen Vogue

Ocasio-Cortez Rallies With Teamsters and Rips UPS Greed as Historic Strike Looms

With hundreds of thousands of UPS workers preparing to strike as soon as August 1, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined other New York lawmakers at a rally with members of the Teamsters union on Saturday to push the ultra-profitable shipping giant to agree to a just contract.

Common Dreams

As climate changes, farms in US ‘Peach State’ Georgia suffer

This year, around 90 percent of the peach harvest in the state has been lost, experts say. They warn that this will happen more often due to climate change.


‘Abhorrent’: Groups call Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s COVID theory antisemitic and racist

Kennedy during a dinner in New York last week said there is an “argument” that COVID-19 is “ethnically targeted,” falsely saying COVID-19 is “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people” while sparing Ashkenazi Jewish people and Chinese people.

USA Today

Male GOP Senator Smears Pentagon Reimbursement Policy as ‘Abortion Tourism’

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-NE) on Sunday shrugged off questions about his opposition to the Pentagon paying for service members to travel to receive an abortion, smearing the policy as unlawful “abortion tourism” and insisting that women should just use some their allotted time off.

Rolling Stone

Progressives press Chicago mayor over pledge to end controversial policing tool

Progressives have vowed to hold the new Chicago mayor, Brandon Johnson, to his campaign pledge that as part of crime-control efforts in the city he will break with the controversial gunshot detection contractor ShotSpotter.

The Guardian

A year after the launch of 988, advocates say it’s saving lives

One year after the launch of the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, nearly 5 million contacts have been answered — and advocates say that, despite lingering challenges, the service is saving lives.

ABC News

DeSantis lays off staffers as his campaign burns through nearly half its funds for the Republican primary

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is burning through cash, campaign finance documents reveal, forcing his team to lay off staffers.


DeSantis fundraising slowed after initial campaign launch, filing shows

DeSantis, whose campaign posted a strong second-quarter haul of $20 million, saw his fundraising surge after launching his White House bid on May 24, but it quickly fell off in the weeks that followed, a CNN review shows. Among individuals giving more than $200, DeSantis raised more than $5 million in the opening days of his campaign – roughly 30% of the total he raised from those donors in the quarter.


GOP-backed defense bill won’t pass, national security adviser says

By a vote of 219-210, the House voted Friday to approve an $886 billion NDAA bill that included measures to block Pentagon policies that reimburse travel costs for troops seeking abortions, to end coverage of transition surgeries and hormone treatments for transgender troops, to gut diversity and inclusion programs, and to limit the specific flags that can be flown at military installations.


The Last WGA/SAG Strike Started In 1960 – And Was Won By A Young Ronald Reagan

To put this in perspective, 1980 was the last time SAG (not yet merged with the AFTRA) staged a full-scale strike — there was a quickly resolved, 14-hour-long strike in 1986 as well. The last time that both writers’ and actors’ Guilds staged a strike together? 1960. 

During this strike, the WGA was led by President Curtis Kenyon, writer of a few forgotten Western films and several episodes of early TV hits — “The Long Ranger,” “The Untouchables,” and more. SAG’s President is a name you might recognize though: Ronald Reagan. 

Slash Film

Joe Lieberman, Doug Jones face-off over No Labels’ chances with a ‘unity’ ticket in 2024

“We’re in this to give the majority of the American people who feel that the major two parties are failing them a third choice, both in policies, such as we’re going to release in New Hampshire [on Monday], but also possibly in a third candidate,” Lieberman told “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos. “And we’ve been very explicit … If the polling next year shows, after the two parties have chosen their nominees, that, in fact, we will help elect one or another candidate, we’re not going to get involved.”

ABC News

President Biden praises Rev. Jesse Jackson, retiring Rainbow PUSH chief, as ‘extraordinary’ leader

On the day Rev. Jesse Jackson is officially stepping down as the leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, President Joe Biden on Sunday praised the founder of the Chicago based civil rights organization as “unafraid of the work to redeem the soul of the nation.”

Chicago Sun Times

Trump campaigns on bringing back Muslim ban, raising concerns for refugee programme

“What Trump did was that he really dismantled the refugee and asylum programme,” Wa’el Alzayat, CEO of the advocacy group Emgage Action, told The New Arab

“They obviously rejected applications, and then that created a huge backlog. Now, there are people reapplying and applying for the first time. It’s taking time to re-establish, restaff and re-source the programme. This is causing major delays, with some people waiting for years” he said.

New Arab

Christie says he wouldn’t join No Labels third-party movement: ‘I think it’s a fool’s errand’

“I’m not in this for showtime. I’m not in this for making a point. I’m in this to get elected president of the United States, and there are only two people who will get elected president of the United States: the Republican nominee for president and the Democratic nominee for president,” Christie said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

The Hill

Federal judge rules Oregon’s tough new gun law is constitutional

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut ruled that banning large capacity magazines and requiring a permit to purchase a gun falls in line with “the nation’s history and tradition of regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

AP News

How Liz Cheney Is Taking Aim At Donald Trump From The Political Sidelines

In an interview with journalist Lester Holt at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Cheney shared, “The way that I’m thinking about where we are and what has to be done is much less about, you know, what should I do in terms of am I going to be a candidate or not, and much more about stopping Donald Trump, whatever that takes.” And the former US representative is putting her money where her mouth is.

The List

No-Show Republicans Shun NGA

After more than a century of bringing together the nation’s governors, the NGA — long a wellspring of ideas, forum for best practices and platform for innovating policymaking — is at grave risk of falling victim to the silos plaguing most every other element of American politics.


US climate envoy John Kerry arrives in China as rival nations restart global warming talks

‘In-depth’ talks with Chinese officials will start on Monday and cover cooperation in addressing climate change, state broadcaster CCTV says

South China Morning Post

Blinken to press Senate to move forward on dozens of blocked State Department nominees

Blinken’s push for the nominees to move forward comes as Republicans in the Senate have been obstructing key national security posts across multiple agencies, and amid a partisan fight over the annual military spending budget.


SAG-AFTRA Is Officially Going on Strike. Here’s What That Means.

After four weeks of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), members of SAG-AFTRA—a union representing more than 160,000 television and movie actors, voice artists, and other entertainment professionals—officially go on strike at midnight, marking the first time since 1960 that Hollywood actors and writers (now two months into their own strike) have both stopped work. “The studios and streamers have implemented massive unilateral changes in our industry’s business model, while at the same time insisting on keeping our contracts frozen in amber,” Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA, has said. “Their refusal to meaningfully engage with our key proposals and the fundamental disrespect shown to our members is what has brought us to this point.”

Teen Vogue

Moms for Liberty Outnumbered by LGBTQ+ Supporters Outside Youth Center

In Pennsylvania, extremists from Moms for Liberty protested outside a youth community center and were met with overwhelming support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Over 200 people rallied to support Doylestown’s LGBTQ+ youth center after about a dozen protestors demonstrated against it, reports.


Biden Thumps Nose At Supreme Court, Still Plans to Forgive Student Debt— In a Big Way

On Friday, it was announced that the Biden administration would automatically forgive $39 billion in student debt for 804,000 borrowers. This aid is due to adjustments to the student loan system’s income-driven repayment plans. According to those plans, after 20-25 years of repayment borrowers will have the rest of the debt canceled by the government.

The Root

Asian American lawmakers split over end to affirmative action

While some are warning Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students will face additional challenges in applying to elite institutions, others are celebrating the end of what they say were discriminatory practices.

The Hill

Sinema outraised by Gallego again, further clouding her future

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who shook up the 2024 landscape last year when she became an independent, was outraised by her chief Democratic challenger for the second consecutive quarter — again by a nearly two-to-one margin.


The bad samaritans: How a lack of empathy among Republicans is a threat to us all

Empathy is the life force of our humanity, and ultimately it is the key to our recovery during the current crisis in our country.

LGBTQ Nation

‘It’s my Florida too’: Pulse shooting survivor Brandon Wolf on being Black, gay and the anti-Ron DeSantis

“I have not looked over my shoulder this much since the days after Pulse,” Wolf says via Zoom from a neatly furnished apartment in Orlando. “It’s because you never know if the person who’s calling you a paedophile in the Twitter mentions is now wandering the aisles of Publix with a gun they learned how to use on YouTube. You never know if the people hopped up on that transphobic hysteria that the governor keeps pumping out are the same ones that are going to show up to an event that you’re at.”

The Guardian

US Rep. George Santos repays himself $85K raised from lackluster reelection fundraising

Embattled freshman U.S. Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York charged with a host of financial crimes, including embezzling money from his campaign, withdrew $85,000 from his campaign to help repay hundreds of thousands of dollars he loaned himself to get elected in 2022.

AP News

California still has an anti-gay marriage law on the books. Voters could remove it next year

The California Senate has approved a proposal to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in the state constitution

The Independent

FDA Approves the First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill in the United States

The Associated Press reported Thursday, July 13, that the US Food and Drug Administration approved the once-daily birth control pill Opill to be sold at pharmacies and online retailers without a prescription. There are no age restrictions for sales. Perrigo, the company that manufactures Opill, will begin shipping the drug early next year. 

Teen Vogue

Oregon mayor resigns after offensive Facebook posts targeted LGBTQ+ community, women, immigrants

The mayor of a city on the Oregon coast has resigned and apologized for offensive comments he had been posting for years about the LGTBQ+ community and other marginalized groups in a private Facebook group.

USA Today

First Transgender NFL Cheerleader Stands Proud in Face of Hateful Trolls

The first transgender cheerleader in the National Football League opened up about her life in a new essay. Justine Lindsay says that in the wake of the anti-trans sentiment around the country, it’s essential to stand up and take pride in who one is.


“Our best days are ahead”: Trans congressional candidate Sarah McBride still believes in America

McBride spoke with LGBTQ Nation about her friendship with Joe Biden, her groundbreaking career, and the contents of her high school LinkedIn profile.

LGBTQ Nation

Germany’s AfD uses Nazi symbol to campaign against gender-inclusive language

Alternative for Germany party condemned as ‘disgusting and homophobic’ for photo showing a downwards-facing rainbow triangle in a campaign

The Telegraph

Europe heatwave: No respite in sight for heat-stricken southern Europe

Southern Europe will continue to swelter next week as an intense heatwave shows no sign of abating.


Iran: Morality police return to enforce dress code in cities

Many women in Iran stopped covering their heads after the protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. But police now say morality patrols are back.

Deutsche Welle

In Vilnius, NATO Got Two Wins and One Big Loss

At last, NATO has a plan. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include admitting Ukraine.

The Atlantic

Iraqi premier makes rare visit to Syria amid Arab normalization

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on Sunday visited neighbouring Syria, marking a growing Arab normalization with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Comfort women: Last of Japan’s WW2 sex slaves sing ‘forget us not’

There were nearly 200,000 of them, mostly Koreans. In South Korea, their numbers have now dwindled to nine. The last known survivor in Taiwan died in May. Japan’s refusal to confront its wartime past and pay reparations has been a source of tension with its neighbours.


Azerbaijan says Russia, Armenia not fulfilling Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire deal

Azerbaijan has accused Armenia and Russia of not implementing a ceasefire deal reached in 2020 following a war over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

The New Arab

Poland has eye on Wagner threat as mercenaries gather across the border

Lithuania also concerned and asks Nato to boost its forces following soldiers’ arrival in neighbouring Belarus


Mexican crime journalist shot dead in Acapulo

Data from Reporters Without Borders shows that 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000. In 2022 alone, 13 members of the press were killed there.

Deutsche Welle

Transgender Russians Scramble for Healthcare as Draconian Ban Looms

Transgender people in Russia are rushing to procure gender-affirming surgeries and hormones before legislation banning the critical healthcare and stripping trans people of marriage and parental rights is signed into law—an outcome American LGBTQ+ rights advocates warn is Republicans’ ideal endgame in the United States.

Common Dreams

Peruvian actor comes out live on popular Mexican TV show

Actor and former pro soccer player Nicola Porcella came out as pansexual on a reality show – and got nothing but support from his housemates.

LGBTQ Nation

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu declares state of emergency over food

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has declared a state of emergency to tackle rising food prices and shortages.