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Every Friday, Amy Walter brings you the trends in politics long before the national media picks up on them. Known as one of the smartest and most trusted journalists in Washington, D.C., Amy Walter is respected by politicians and pundits on all sides of the aisle. You may know Amy her from her work with Cook Political Report and the PBS NewsHour where she looks beyond the breaking news headlines for a deeper understanding of how Washington works, who's pulling the levers of power, and how it ...
 
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Netanyahu Says No Clear End in Sight for Israel-Palestine Conflict The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been raging for more than a week now. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army has killed close to 200 people, including 58 children. The USMCA Trade Deal Faces a Test The AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and an independent Mexican labor union allege that …
 
A Look at Covid-19 Vaccine Incentives: Will They Work? There's a long history of using incentives to promote public health. Some Republican-led States Plan to End Enhanced Unemployment Benefits Early A look at the growing number of red states opting out of the pandemic era unemployment program. New Deal-Inspired Program Would Pay Writers to Documen…
 
A Look at Covid-19 Vaccine Incentives: Will They Work? There's a long history of using incentives to promote public health. Some Republican-led States Plan to End Enhanced Unemployment Benefits Early A look at the growing number of red states opting out of the pandemic era unemployment program. New Deal-Inspired Program Would Pay Writers to Documen…
 
Earlier this month, Congressman Ted Lieu of California introduced a bill that would create a 21st Century Federal Writers’ Project, inspired by the Federal Writers’ Project of the New Deal. That original writers project began amid the Great Depression in 1935, under the United States Work Progress Administration. It employed writers, historians, an…
 
More than a dozen Republican-led states have announced plans to opt-out of the enhanced unemployment benefits program early. The program started with the CARES Act back in March 2020 and has been extended through the American Rescue Plan until September 6th. The benefits include an extra $300 a week for those collecting unemployment and extended el…
 
The famous song from Mary Poppins, "Spoonful of Sugar" has an interesting connection to the polio vaccine. Back in the ’60s, during the production of Mary Poppins, the songwriter’s son was frightened of the polio vaccine. But when the school placed the vaccine on a sugar cube, he took the vaccine without a problem. This inspired Richard and Robert …
 
Is Legislation the Answer to Removing Extremists from Police Departments? Since George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis last summer, the role of racism and bias in policing has been front and center for many Americans. How Private Sector Can Strengthen Cybersecurity in Wake of Colonial Pipeline Hack Beyond concerns around…
 
Last week, hackers breached the computer networks of Colonial Pipeline, which operates the largest gasoline pipeline on the East Coast. The company says that the hack only impacted its business networks, but that they chose to shut down their pipeline control system as well to make sure the hackers couldn’t access it. On Wednesday, the company anno…
 
The Equality Act is stuck in limbo. Passed in the House this February, not a single Republican in the Senate has yet to sign on to the landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation, which needs 60 votes to pass. One of the reasons cited by opponents to the Equality Act is that it would infringe upon religious freedom. That’s long been a common refrain fr…
 
Since George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis last summer the role of racism and bias in policing has been front and center for many Americans. This week, reporting in The New York Times found that lawmakers in a handful of states are trying to propose legislation that would make it easier to identify and remove officers …
 
This week, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House, was removed from her position as House GOP conference chair. Cheney had drawn the ire of her Republican colleagues and President Donald Trump after she dismissed his attempts to spread lies about the result of the general election. Representative Elise Stefanik, a Repub…
 
In February 2020, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy, after facing a growing number of sex abuse lawsuits. And over the course of the last year, the bankruptcy case has grown to be one of the biggest -- and most expensive -- sexual abuse cases in history. More than 80,000 people have filed claims in this bankruptcy case against the Boy …
 
When the two greatest auction houses in the world - Christie’s and Sotheby’s - vied for the privilege of auctioning off $20 million worth of art in 2004, little did they know that they would be forced to engage in an ancient form of ritualized combat known as... rock paper scissors. Be sure to check out Carol Vogel’s original New York Times article…
 
For two weeks, massive demonstrations in Colombia have continued to escalate. What started as a general strike on April 28 against tax reform, has now evolved to a broader movement challenging widening inequality in the country. According to local observers, at least 40 people are thought to have been killed by state security forces since the movem…
 
What some expected to be a COVID-19 baby boom is now being considered a baby bust. According to new data from the federal government, the birth rate declined by four percent in 2020. That’s the sixth year in a row where the birth rate has decreased. Other countries like China and Italy have also seen birth rates drop this year. But it’s not just bi…
 
The pandemic and more than a year of isolation from friends and family has taken a toll on many people’s mental health. Almost overnight, routines changed. For some, it felt and still feels like living the same day over and over. Some who are lucky enough to work from home had been initially grateful for the flexibility, but as the lines between ho…
 
What Advances in MDMA-assisted Therapy Mean for People with PTSD A new study out this week examines the role that MDMA, which is found in ecstasy or Molly, can play in helping people dealing with PTSD. U.S. Birth Rate Continues to Decline During Pandemic According to new data from the federal government, the birth rate declined by four percent in 2…
 
[[This conversation includes a discussion of suicide]] This week, researchers published a study in the journal, “Nature Medicine” that could have major implications for how post-traumatic stress disorder is treated going forward. Their work examined the role that MDMA, which is found in ecstasy or Molly, can play in helping people dealing with PTSD…
 
President Biden has proposed the American Families Plan. And as part of that plan, he is proposing $200 billion towards free, universal preschool. "Research shows, when a young child goes to school — not daycare — they’re far more likely to graduate from high school and go to college or something after high school," President Biden said, in his fir…
 
It’s been around 30 years since the federal government raised the tipped minimum wage of $2.13. Today, there are advocates who would like to see a $15 minimum wage across the board, including for tipped workers. But, reporting from Planet Money found that organizations like the National Restaurant Association, which have lobbied against raising the…
 
In East Jerusalem, tensions have been rising between Israeli police forces and Palestinian protesters for weeks. Demonstrations initially started taking place in response to possible evictions of multiple Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. On Monday, Israeli police carried out a violent raid against Palestin…
 
The third and final season of Shrill premiered on Hulu this past Friday. Based loosely on the book by Lindy West, the show follows the life of journalist Annie Easton—played by Aidy Bryant—as she tries to change her life without having to change her body. Over the course of its three seasons, Shrill has captured the experience of being fat in the U…
 
What the April Jobs Report Tells Us About the Economy According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate rose from 6 percent in March to 6.1 percent, with employers adding just 266,000 jobs in April. How Barry Jenkins Reimagined Slave Narratives in "The Underground Railroad" Both the book and the series center around Cora, an enslaved wo…
 
Last month, President Biden announced he wanted to boost funding for research on cancer and other diseases. But experts say that the fight against cancer will be tough to win if there isn’t also a focus on preventing the disease by regulating carcinogens. The Environmental Protection Agency has historically been slow to act on known carcinogens and…
 
On Friday, director Barry Jenkins’s mini-series adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel The Underground Railroad premieres on Amazon Prime. Both the book and the series center around Cora, an enslaved woman who escapes from a plantation in Georgia. Like the book, the new show depicts the harsh realities of slavery, but also imagines what it would …
 
The April jobs report was released on Friday, and things aren’t as rosy as many economists were predicting. With vaccinations increasing, and cities and states across the U.S. lifting pandemic-related restrictions, economists expected April to have a hiring surge. But according to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate rose from 6 percent…
 
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