On a Saturday afternoon in August 2019, South Dakota Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch sent an email to 18 anti-trans activists, doctors, and lawyers withthe text of a bill he planned to introduce that would make it a felony for doctors to give transgender children under 16 gender-affirming medical care. “I have no doubt this will be an uphill battle when we get to the session,” Deutsch warned the group. “As always, please do not share this with the media. The longer we can fly under the radar the better.”
The emails demonstrate close collaboration between groups working behind the scenes to push bills banning transgender health care, including ADF—which has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people in Europe—and the ACPeds—which has opposed adoption by gay couples and supported conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth. In recent years, ADF has drafted legislation banning trans children from using school restrooms or playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity. (Both groups are also staunchly anti-abortion; ADF, which drafted the Mississippi abortion ban at the heart of the case that overturned Roe v. Wade, is currently representing ACPeds in a closely-watched lawsuit to ban an abortion pill, mifepristone, nationally.)
“These are groups who we know are not interested in the best-practice care for trans kids,” says Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. “These bills are coming from national organizations whose purpose is to harm LGBTQ people.”
Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters. On a Saturday afternoon in August 2019, South Dakota Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch sent an email to 18 anti-trans activists, doctors, and lawyers withthe text of a bill he planned to introduce that would make it a felony for doctors to give transgender children under 16 gender-affirming medical care.
Online abortion resources can pose risks to privacy. But there are lots of ways to access them more safely. Here are some resources we recommend.
There’s been a quiet shift in the abortion fight in the US. Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade last June, laws that make most abortions illegal have passed in 13 states. Efforts to restrict abortion care have, so far, focused mostly on criminalizing medical providers. But increasingly, the battleground is moving online.
Texas is currently in the process of trying to limit access to abortion pills by cracking down on internet service providers and credit card processing companies. Earlier this month, Republicans in the state legislature introduced two bills to that effect.
These tactics reflect the reality that, post-Roe, the internet is a critical channel for people seeking information about abortion or trying to buy pills to terminate a pregnancy—especially in states where they can no longer access these things in physical pharmacies or medical centers.
Skip to Content Proposed laws would punish ISPs, online publishers, and credit card companies for providing information about or direct access to pills. This article is from The Technocrat, MIT Technology Review’s weekly tech policy newsletter about power, politics, and Silicon Valley. To receive it in your inbox every Friday, sign up here .
Using lobbying, the revolving door, and “dark pattern” customer tricks, Intuit fended off the government’s attempts to make tax filing free and easy and created its multi-billion-dollar franchise.
An internal Intuit analysis of customer calls this year shows widespread customer confusion about ads for “free” TurboTax. (Highlights added by ProPublica.)
By 2019, nearly 40% of U.S. taxpayers filed online and some 40 million of them did so with TurboTax, far more than with any other product.
But the success of TurboTax rests on a shaky foundation, one that could collapse overnight if the U.S. government did what most wealthy countries did long ago and made tax filing simple and free for most citizens.
For more than 20 years, Intuit has waged a sophisticated, sometimes covert war to prevent the government from doing just that, according to internal company and IRS documents and interviews with insiders. The company unleashed a battalion of lobbyists and hired top officials from the agency that regulates it. From the beginning, Intuit recognized that its success depended on two parallel missions: stoking innovation in Silicon Valley while stifling it in Washington. Indeed, employees ruefully joke that the company’s motto should actually be “compromise without integrity.”
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published. Last fall, Intuit’s longtime CEO Brad Smith embarked on a farewell tour of the company’s offices around the world.
So far, 74 percent of schools that submitted samples found at least one faucet or drinking fountain with high lead levels. Many of those schools are still trying to trace the source of the problem and find the money for long-term fixes.
In his Feb. 7 State of the Union address, President Joe Biden said the infrastructure bill he championed in 2021 will help fund the replacement of lead pipes that serve “400,000 schools and child care centers, so every child in America can drink clean water.”
However, as of mid-February, states were still waiting to hear how much infrastructure money they’ll receive, and when. And schools are trying to figure out how to respond to toxic levels of lead now. The federal government hasn’t required schools and child care centers to test for lead, though it has awarded grants to states for voluntary testing.
O n a recent day in Philipsburg, Montana, a 19th-century mining town turned tourist hot spot, students made their way into the Granite High School lobby and past a new filtered water bottle fill station.
The anti-woke crusade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and worldviews that negatively impact the Black community. However, many White people now use the term as a derogative slur, a cowardly way of spilling the beans while denying any beans were spilled.
What will grow in the place of “woke” if principles like diversity, equity, and inclusion are pulled out of the white rose garden by their roots? We’ll be left with a society where diversity will be viewed as problematic, where companies and schools no longer attempt to provide equitable opportunities to their employees and students, and where exclusionary tactics replace inclusion.
We know what anti-woke really means The anti-woke cruscade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and…
Michigan Democrats are showing what’s possible when Democrats win control of a government. After the party got a trifecta in Michigan for the first time in decades, lawmakers have not wasted time. The Michigan House voted to repeal the right to work and to reinstate the prevailing wage law, and on Wednesday, the House voted to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The state Senate passed those bills last week, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she plans to sign them. The state Supreme Court had ruled that the existing law covers sexual orientation and gender identity, but as we know, putting things into law is more permanent than relying on the courts.
But those were just the latest moves by Michigan Democratic lawmakers:
Michigan Democrats are showing what’s possible when Democrats win control of a government. After the party got a trifecta in Michigan for the first time in decades, lawmakers have not wasted time. On Wednesday, the Michigan House voted to expand the…
Hassan Ahmad, an immigration lawyer running a small law firm in Virginia, was familiar with Kobach’s longtime efforts to curb immigration. Kobach had championed the infamous “show me your papers” law in Arizona that encouraged racial profiling by instructing law enforcement to request proof of citizenship or legal status from people suspected of being undocumented during routine traffic stops or other police interactions. He was also the mastermind behind 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s dubious “self-deportation” platform, which was premised on the idea that making work and living conditions in the United States worse for unauthorized immigrants would lead them to leave the country voluntarily. For Ahmad, a Pakistani-American, the photo of Trump and Kobach presaged the “kinds of people,” as he put it, who would be calling the shots on immigration at the White House.
Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters. In the days following the 2016 presidential election, then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and President-elect Donald Trump posed for photographs at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
Walgreens is facing a public relations crisis after announcing it would not dispense abortion medication in several states where abortion remains legal. Walgreens’ decision came in response to threatening letters from Republican Attorneys General and anti-abortion activists. The decision has provoked outrage from many customers who object to a major corporation placing additional restrictions on abortion access.
Walgreens attempted to stem the damage with a tweet purporting to “make very clear what our position always has been” on Mifepristone, a drug used in combination with Misoprostol to induce abortion. The company says it will “dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible.”
Walgreens’ statement, however, does not clarify in which states it will dispense Mifepristone. And that is the question central to the entire controversy.
Walgreens is facing a public relations crisis after announcing it would not dispense abortion medication in several states where abortion remains legal. Walgreens’ decision came in response to threatening letters from Republican Attorneys General and anti-abortion activists. The decisionhas provoked outrage from many customers who object to a major corporation placing additional restrictions on abortion access.
Hate is a strong claim, and yet it’s easy enough to see, or at least it should be, that in the manifold attacks on basic freedoms above, isn’t just the subtext of hate… But the real thing. Open calls for “eradication,” speaking about those of who are just pleading for decency as if we’re a “virus.” If all this isn’t hate, then what is? Surely hate doesn’t have only to be the next step, which is genuine material annihilation. It begins here.
There’s a question which I keep asking these days. Maybe you do, too. It’s simple enough, and yet it’s surprisingly complicated, strange, and…ugly. Why do they hate us? You know what I mean already. Just think of the state of the nation or the world. It’s being rocked by fascist tides again.
The Railway Safety Act of 2023—introduced earlier this week by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)—is meant to “prevent future train disasters like the derailment that devastated East Palestine.”
If the language is not precise, the Class 1 railroad will avoid the scope of the law without violating the law, yet again putting the safety of our members and American communities into harm’s way,” said one union leader.