Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Trump made the trek across great big water for a four-hour meet-and-greet and photo op with civic leaders and storm victims. The man is an embarrassment on a good day, but this trip was gruesome even by Trumpian standards. Here are ten moments that could boggle the mind of even the most jaded Trump observer.
Rebecca Schmitt, Rashema Mason, Griffin Furlong, and Crystal Tarbell are incredible young people — they endured homelessness and incredible emotional hardship to become valedictorian at their high school and earn college scholarships. Their stories make for inspirational, heartwarming reads — unless you pause long enough to ask, “In what world should a girl and her family end up homeless because they can’t afford her mother’s cancer treatment?”
If you are a leftist, a feminist, or an enthusiastic lover of NYC history, the 1909 Shirtwaist Strike is or should be an event of major importance on your historical radar. If, like me, you’re all three, it’s practically one…
Edited because, I’m sorry, I forgot TW: medical racism and exploitation, child abuse. I just want to make sure that we’re all aware that twenty years ago, decades after the Tuskegee syphilis “experiment,” scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins partnered with…
Hope you all celebrated and had a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog — December was a big month of travel for me, often without great internet. One of those trips was to Malawi, which is a fantastic country in East Africa, small and extremely poor but the locus of some really innovative development efforts. I met a lot of bright, interesting girls doing fantastic advocacy and activism work in their communities. Unfortunately, they’re looking at being defunded: Endemic corruption in Malawi is a national scandal, with millions in donor aid plundered by politicians. Now, many Western governments are suspending funds. I wrote about it for the Guardian, so click over and read the whole thing. I’m happy to start 2014 with a reminder that there are some pretty amazing young women advocating for their own futures all over the world.
This long-form feature and photo essay on Dasani, a homeless girl in New York City, is a phenomenal piece of journalism. And it sheds important light on the many dysfunctions of this grossly economically unjust city.
For U.S. readers who had a long weekend, welcome back to the grind. For everyone else — those who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, those who don’t get holidays off — welcome back as well. To start your Monday, here’s a piece on raising the minimum wage, which we absolutely need to do.
The ACLU released a report on life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the shocking numbers of inmates who are incarcerated for the rest of their lives with no hope of getting out — for committing non-violent crimes, usually drug-related. There are money interests in keeping people incarcerated, but there are also cultural and psychological ones. Long sentences are entrenched in the law through mandatory minimums, but they’re also seeded in our national psyche as “normal”:
Today’s must-read by Tressie MC (if you aren’t reading her blog regularly, get to it) is about the logic of poor people buying designer clothing and expensive goods. A bit:
The current Republican temper tantrum over health care — you know, the one where they forced a shut-down of the entire government because they don’t want the American public to have health care coverage — is just the logical conclusion of a long line of GOP healthcare shenanigans. But usually, they’re targeting poor people, and poor women in particular. In my Guardian column this week, I’m writing about how this all goes back to the Hyde Amendment:
Republicans are pushing college students to opt out of Obamacare, and they’re doing it by invading that most sacred of college institutions: the tailgate party.
Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group […] will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to “opt-out” of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America that are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges.