Abortion rules everything around me: Repealing Roe v. Wade and promising a national abortion ban has created an immense backlash against the GOP, a fact surprising to old white men across the country. That energy has buoyed Democrats to victories in several bellwether Congressional races, including last night's win for Democrat Pat Ryan in NY's 19th District.
Biden to cancel some student loan debt: With the latest moratorium on student loan debt payments set to expire in a week, officials from the Biden administration tell the The New York Times that the rumors Charles included in yesterday's Slog PM are true. America's grandpa is set to cancel just $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000. People who received Pell Grants would be eligible for another $10,000 in relief. Don't spend it all on one interest payment. In the meantime, the feds will continue to suspend repayments through December.
Perfect tweet, no notes:
Canceling $10,000 of student debt after “considering” it for more than a year and a half is like waiting on hold for 6 hours only to get a 5% refund.— NAACP (@NAACP) August 23, 2022
Grant County Sheriff's Office backtracking: Cops who arrested a man with two loaded pistols outside the Gorge concert venue are now walking back statements that they suspected him of planning a mass shooting. They've downgraded the charges against him from felony harassment (meaning he made threats to kill people) to a lesser dangerous weapons charge.
Speaking of cops making things up: Just think of how many times this happens and it doesn't make national news.
Former Kentucky detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate Breonna Taylor's civil rights by lying on the affidavit used to enter Taylor's home.— The Recount (@therecount) August 23, 2022
She also admitted to covering up the false information on the warrant. She could face up to five years in prison. pic.twitter.com/nbxZ81Xo2Y
Brief detour to my abandoned home state: Florida holds its primary elections in the dead heat of August, when merely stepping outside will make you sweat through your shirt, which, in my view, is a form of voter suppression. Last night, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist (now a Democratic Congressman, because that's how the swamp people roll) won the Democratic nomination for his old job and will face off against Ron DeSantis in November.
Pour one out for the doomed public education system that made me:
Ron DeSantis scored big tonight in swinging local school boards to the far-right; will have big consequences for education policy, the teaching of racism, LGBTQ rights, and more.— Taniel (@Taniel) August 24, 2022
By my count, he endorsed 29 candidates & 24 won, incl. 4 across in populous Miami-Dade & Duval.
For more background on the alarming rise of the far-right's involvement in school board races, we turn to this thorough Mother Jones piece about a "parent's rights" organization called Moms for Liberty that's boosting DeSantis's school board candidates
“Parents’ rights” is Moms for Liberty’s rallying cry. But they don’t mean every right. They’re decidedly unconcerned about a parent’s right to ensure that their gender nonconforming child is safe at school, for instance, or that their immunocompromised child is protected from Covid. Rather, the Moms who are for Liberty have mobilized around parental concerns that are decidedly conservative. They want to excise lessons on systemic racism, LGBTQ-friendly books, accommodations for transgender students, and Covid mitigations like vaccine and mask mandates.
On the bright side: My old hometown will soon be represented by the first member of Gen Z in Congress.
WE WON!!! Thank you so much to all of our supporters, endorsers, volunteers, & staff. We won because of our message: Love. That no matter who you are, you deserve healthcare, a livable wage, and to live free from gun violence. We made history tonight. Thank you so much, Orlando. pic.twitter.com/FwNxadyQtg— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) August 24, 2022
Unqualified good news: The Seattle Times reports that hospital care just became free or much less expensive for roughly half of Washingtonians. An update to the state law that defines eligibility thresholds for our state's "charity care" program now allows people making 300% of the federal poverty level to access free hospital care and gives people making 400% of the FPL access to discounted care. Approximately four million Washingtonians meet those eligibility requirements.
Fuck off to any boss seriously considering this: The LA Times reports that many companies are trying to convince their workers to view working from home as a "benefit" that should be offset by lower wages. I'm just a former employment lawyer, but to me that sounds like a load of bullshit. Allowing employees to avoid contracting the plague while in the office is a benefit to the employer, since it's pretty hard to write code or file TPS reports while battling COVID. If working from home also allows people to be more present in their families and communities, that's an incidental bonus, not a bargained-for benefit.
Wind energy becomes even more renewable: Scientists from Michigan State University have developed a new material to use in constructing wind turbine blades that makes them much more recyclable. The difficulty and expense of recycling the formerly fiberglass blades made wind energy sneakily less sustainable than you'd think, but the new material uses much less fiberglass and combines it with natural and synthetic polymers that can be recycled into everything from laptop charging cords to gummy bears.
All Gold Cloaks are bastards: In case you've avoided the new HBO show House of the Dragon, I highly recommend you give the pilot a shot if you were a fan of the original dragon show. There's just as much graphic ultraviolence, arguably unnecessary nudity, and excellently animated dragons as its predecessor, and the acting has been top notch. But more importantly, someone in the show's writer's room snuck a heavy-handed abolitionist satire into the first 25 minutes. I won't spoil anything further, but let's just say I wish our political leaders were as willing to confront the perpetuators of wanton police brutality as the ruler of King's Landing.
OK, a few spoilers: Setting aside the over-the-top mutilation, I wish this looked less familiar.