• Whoops: At least 3 Chinese balloons passed over US during Trump administration

    The precise nature of the Chinese balloon that drifted through the high atmosphere above the United States before being shot down by the American military off the coast of South Carolina is still not known, though the military seems confident it was a "surveillance" balloon and seemingly every conservative pundit put in front of a microphone believes it was carrying either some sort of zombie-producing spores or, worse, thousands of green M&M's to be scattered through the American landscape,...

  • Ukraine Update: Let's look at the state of the front lines, as Russia launches its winter offensive

    The last time I took stock of the current front lines was November 25. It’s a testament to how static the lines have been (despite tens of thousands killed in that time) that it wasn’t until now, nearly two and a half months later, that an update was merited.  Here’s the map from November, which still works for today:  Related, here’s the latest map of Russian defenses:  This has been a pretty flat front line for a while. That is finally starting to change. Let’s go clockwise,...

  • Reflections of a former cop

    I was a young child when I called the police over an incident with someone close to the family. I remember the feeling of safety I had when the officers arrived, and that put into motion my strong desire to make sure others felt the same way. I decided at a young age to have a career in law enforcement, and everything I did carried me to that goal.  I studied law, interned with a district attorney, and attained my degree in criminal justice. I worked with the sheriff’s department. I also became...

  • Will Republicans learn from Liz Truss' loss to a head of lettuce? Ha ha ha—no

    This column by Alexander Burns pondering former British prime minister Liz Truss' pilgrimage to Republican halls of power has been getting some attention, given its twin central questions. Question number one is whether anti-tax crusader Liz Truss, who resigned after a mere 49 days of conservative idea-implementing that so cratered the British economy as to require emergency repair measures that continue even now, sincerely believes there is utility in getting new talking points from the...

  • Can someone who's never been poor ever truly understand the scars that poverty creates?

    I haven’t been poor, or even lived paycheck-to-paycheck, for a long time. Even the hardest days of struggle that I’ve faced as an adult don’t hold a candle to the nearly constant trials of my childhood—hunger that went far beyond anything a sandwich could solve. The trauma of poverty is real, and as this glorious comic from The Washington Post’s Sage Coffey illustrates, it seems to have a half-life that may just exceed that of the element tellurium. The literal scars of my difficult formative...

  • There's a good reason restaurants are struggling to find workers

    A Mexican restaurant in Oakland, California, is closing because it can't find enough workers. A Las Vegas restaurant needs 12 people to be fully staffed but is struggling to get by with just three or four. Some restaurants are "getting creative" to attract workers—if you count better pay and benefits as creativity. There’s a reason for all of this, and, despite what you may have been told, it’s not that no one wants to work anymore. The leisure and hospitality industry remains 500,000 workers...

  • Black Music Sunday: Teaching Black history is being banned. Will Black music be next?

    When I listen to Gov. Ron “DeKlantis” of Florida spewing hate out of both sides of his neck in his (successful) attacks on an Advanced Placement African American Studies course, I think about the fact that Black music is a key part of American history. But there was also a time in our racist history when Black music, and musicians, were banned from the airwaves. I’ve been very angry about the attacks on Black history curricula, which took me back to my days fighting for Black and Puerto Rican...

  • Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The economy, disinformation, and that Chinese spy balloon

    We begin today with Jim Tankersley of The New York Times writing about the internal debate among President Joe Biden’s economic aides whether to use this coming Tuesday’s State of the Union address to emphasize some of the unfulfilled items on Biden’s economic agenda. President Biden’s top economic aides have battled for weeks over a key decision for his State of the Union address on Tuesday: how much to talk about child care, prekindergarten, paid leave and other new spending proposals that...

  • Illegal union-busting is outrageously common, this week in the war on workers

    Tens of millions of people who would like to be in a union aren’t. So what gives? This: Management is alleged to break the law (labor law, so it’s treated as if it really doesn’t count) in 39% of union elections, according to an Economic Policy Institute analysis of National Labor Relations Board election data from 2019 to 2022. How so? Depending if you use a narrow or a broad definition of illegal firings conducted during union drives, they happen in anywhere from 14% to 24% of union...

  • Connect! Unite! Act! HBO's 'Last of Us' offers a poignant look at love

    Connect! Unite! Act! is a weekly series encouraging the creation of face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups meet to socialize, support candidates, get out the vote, and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert maximum influence on the powers that be. Visit us every week to see how you can get involved! I’ve played the game Last of Us repeatedly over the years. When HBO announced the TV series, my excitement was...

  • Sign the petition: Investigate the congresswoman who helped get George Santos elected

    The only thing we know for certain when it comes to George Santos is that he is an unrepentant liar and grifter. From fabrications about his job, to his illustrious volleyball career, to his religion, to his mother dying in 9/11, the list of his deceit just keeps growing. However, no one gets to Congress on their own—especially an unknown like Santos. Campaign Action Enter House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. According to reports, Santos’ lies were an open secret among...

  • Fundraising tea leaves give Chuck Schumer reason to be optimistic that Joe Manchin will run again

    Fundraising reports covering the fourth quarter of 2022 were recently due at the FEC, offering us some clues about which Senate incumbents are raising the kinds of money that signal that they plan to run for re-election and which ones aren’t. We've gathered all that data in a new chart, along with figures for five members of the House who've already announced Senate bids. (Note that for this quintet, the reporting period ran from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31; because the lower chamber was up for election...