Watch What’s Happening in Red States
In states where Republicans control the legislature, American life is rapidly changing.
This surge of polarizing legislation is being driven largely by a combination of confidence and fear. Many observers believe that Republican legislators feel emboldened after Democrats in the 2020 election failed to record the state legislative gains they expected. In 2018, as part of the recoil from Trump, Democrats made significant gains in state legislatures, winning control of six legislative chambers and netting more than 300 seats nationwide, many in the white-collar suburbs of major metro areas. But despite unprecedented investment in local races, and Biden’s win at the presidential level, the party did not flip any additional chambers last year; Republicans, on net, gained back about half as many seats as they had lost two years earlier and came out of the election with control of both legislative chambers in 30 states, compared with just 18 for Democrats (with one additional state divided and Nebraska officially nonpartisan).
Charles C.W. Cooke/National Review:
Maggie Haberman Is Right
Two days ago, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reported that Donald Trump “has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August.” In response, many figures on the right inserted their fingers into their ears and started screaming about fake news.
Instead, they should have listened — because Haberman’s reporting was correct. I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this …
Jonathan Chait/New York Magazine:
Trump Believes He Can Regain the Presidency This Summer
He can’t, but the insurrectionist wing of the GOP isn’t going away.
Trump obviously is not going to be reinstalled as president this summer, or any time before 2025. But the neo-insurrection is no joke. Trump and his dead-enders have won the argument, or at least staked a claim to a large enough segment of their party that they can’t be cut off.
The party elite may roll its eyes in private, but its public agenda is to placate the insurrection. The Republican mainstream is refusing to talk about it not because it’s too weak to be taken seriously, but because it’s too strong. In the red states, Republicans are laying the groundwork to make the next insurrection easier. Trump and his diehards are busily rehabilitating the last one.
America’s cruel unemployment experiment
Cutting off unemployment insurance early is all politics, not economics.
Federal unemployment programs that added extra weekly money and extended benefits to those who wouldn’t normally receive them, such as freelancers and people who have been unemployed long-term, were put in place in response to the pandemic. They were supposed to end on Labor Day. Now 25 states — all Republican-led — are cutting them off as early as June, arguing that the extra support is no longer needed. They say that generous benefits are keeping people out of work and causing a labor shortage, even though it’s far from clear that’s what’s going on.
States are about to undertake a reckless and unnecessary experiment in cutting off expanded unemployment in the midst of a rocky recovery, with the lives and livelihoods of an estimated 4 million workers in the balance.
Germany faced its horrible past.
Can we do the same?
Shortly after the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016 on the National Mall, I was speaking to some patrons of a successful nonprofit about the importance of candid racial dialogue in politics and in the places we live, work and worship.
One of the participants had recently toured the museum and had a pointed question. Why, she wondered, were all the exhibits that visitors first encounter dedicated to slavery? Among other things, she was referring to a reconstructed cabin built by former slaves from Maryland and a statue of Thomas Jefferson next to a wall with the names of more than 600 people he owned. “Couldn’t the exhibits begin with more uplift?” the woman asked, arguing that Black achievement was more worthy of the spotlight. She suggested that the museum should instead usher visitors toward more positive stories right from the start, so that if someone were tired or short on time, “slavery could be optional.”
Her question was irksome, but it did not surprise me. I’d heard versions of the “Can’t we skip past slavery” question countless times before. Each time serves as another reminder that America has never had a comprehensive and widely embraced national examination of slavery and its lasting impact. Yes, there are localized efforts. But despite the centrality of slavery in our history, it is not central to the American narrative in our monuments, history books, anthems and folklore.
Israel’s Potential Post-Netanyahu Government, Explained
Six essential insights about what just happened in Israel and what it means for the country’s future
All of which is to say that everything that follows comes with a giant caveat: If.
If this government is sworn in, what will it look like? And what does it mean for Israel and the world? There has been a lot of fervent speculation on these points, often from people with agendas or poor records on prognostication on Israeli politics. Let’s sort out the signal from the noise.
A pandemic upside: The flu virus became less diverse, simplifying the task of making flu shots
But an unexpected upside of the Covid-19 pandemic may have solved this problem for us — or at least made flu’s diversity more manageable.
With Covid suppression measures like mask wearing, school closures, and travel restrictions driving flu transmission rates to historically low levels around the world, it appears that one of the H3N2 clades may have disappeared — gone extinct. The same phenomenon may also have occurred with one of the two lineages of influenza B viruses, known as B/Yamagata.