PositionPolitics and other issues

Elections Have (Deadly) Consequences

An analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins University found that the sixteen states with the highest COVID-19 death rates since last summer were all run by Republicans. Leading the pack was West Virginia at about 204 deaths per 100,000 people. The states with the lowest rates, including California at fiftyeight deaths per 100,000, all had either Democratic governors or moderate Republican governors, with heavily Democratic legislatures.

Spoken Like a True Grifter

A Florida event to raise money for foster children touted by former First Lady Melania Trump as "a once-in-a-lifetime experience" with "lush floral gardens designed to inspire giving, hope, possibility, and dreams"--and costing up to $50,000 per table--was canceled after state regulators learned that the organizers were not registered to solicit charitable contributions. Trump refused to say whether she was being paid to participate and accused the media of "trying to cancel me."

Frontiers of Credulity

Nebraska state Senator Bruce Bostelman fell for an Internet hoax that schools are placing litter boxes in classrooms for students known as "furries" who identify as cats and dogs.

"They meow and they bark and they interact with their teachers in that fashion," he falsely declared during a televised discussion of a bill meant to help schoolchildren with behavioral problems.

Lessons to Learn

Black students at J.S. Waters School in Goldston, North Carolina, were made to participate in a mock "slave auction" conducted by their white middle-school classmates. One student "sold" for $350. Local schools superintendent Anthony Jackson, who is Black, apologized, saying, "In Chatham County schools, we proudly boast that diversity is our strength."

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