Teacup Reads: Everyone Loves a Party Edition

It was great meeting so many of you at the annual Democratic Auction last night! Way more fun than doing my taxes, which was the other option for my Saturday night. (I would blame this on getting old, but I’ve always just been supremely boring, lol.)

We have had our first week of both the Legislative Session and the Trump presidency, and there was so much great political content put out. I say content instead of writing, because I’ve got links to podcasts and videos as well as articles this week.

State and National Politics
First up, the Alaska Senate Dems put out some fantastic short videos – great job leveraging your press conference, Senators! If you watch these, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on, especially with the budget. For example, this one explains one of the major reasons we have such a deficit right now, but they’re all worth a watch.

The always on-point Hullabaloo breaks down the Trump plan for infrastructure “infestments” [that typo stays!]: toll roads, white elephants, and private profits at public expense. Oh, and foreign companies are likely to end up with the ownership rights.

“No amount of tax break will encourage investment in an asset that doesn’t produce revenue,” Moser wrote. “No one will invest in the replacement of defective bridges that have no tolls, regardless of the tax abatement, unless a revenue stream is attached to those assets.”

Here’s the latest installation from Politics and Reality: “How Fragile Is Democracy? | Life Under Authoritarian Gov Can Be Dull & Tolerable.”

To kick off this week’s show, Joshua Holland lays out an entirely plausible scenario in which Trump — and unified GOP control of government — results in only manageable damage to the republic. It’s not a prediction, which would be pollyannish, but it could work out this way if decent people stand up against what’s coming.

The only winning Democratic strategy is for disparate groups to see their common ground. For example, Labor and Environmental groups should see themselves as natural allies, but even now the Trump administration is trying to set them against each other over the Keystone XL pipeline. Never let anyone tell you that it’s either breathable air or jobs; civil rights or jobs; healthcare or jobs. Jobs are created to keep our air breathable, our civil rights assured, and our access to healthcare.

Indian Country Today has a piece by U.S. Rep. Grijalva that brought this home to me this week. The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Just 35 Permanent Jobs. Don’t Believe the Lies:

Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Other things
And here are some non-political links. I provide these every week to honor all of us as complete human beings who deserve the freedom to enjoy our diverse lives.

Have you ever hated yourself for buying junk you don’t need? Well, don’t, because there is an entire industry devoted to using brain research to part you from your money. Content note: this article has dirty words in it.

I cannot wait until Hidden Figures comes out on Netflix.

The inspiring story of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan has reenergized the ongoing conversation about the importance of inclusivity in STEM. Though we’ve long done away with the Jim Crow laws depicted in Hidden Figures, black women in are still notoriously underrepresented in mathematical sciences, including physics. A quick look at the numbers proves it: between 1973 and 2012, 22,172 white men received PhDs in physics. Only 66 black women did.

Speaking of education, it is extremely hard for adults to find useful programs that support them through finishing a high school diploma. Goodwill Industries has one in Indiana that sounds like it does a good job.

Zenpencils is a website I visit regularly. He takes inspirational quotes and draws cartoons about them. This one David Bowie: Go a Little Further really spoke to me when I saw it this week: be sure to read to the end.

Happy Sunday, my friends; I hope you have a wonderful week coming up!
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