While we are always going to a primarily Montana politics blog, the current resident in the White House, the mob masquerading as a major political party, and the absence of national political coverage in the state make it more important than ever to share important news about US politics. This will be a periodic effort to keep us all better informed. Please feel free to share any important stories you think we should pass along.
An act of American terror in Trump’s heartland–Kuchibhotla, an engineer at satellite navigation company Garmin, was having an after-work drink with his friend and colleague Alok Madasani at their regular bar in Olathe, a town 20 miles southwest of Kansas City. The duo, both Indian nationals who received master's degrees in the United States, were confronted by 51-year-old Adam Purinton, who hectored them with ethnic slurs. www.washingtonpost.com
What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class–Michèle Lamont, in The Dignity of Working Men, also found resentment of professionals — but not of the rich. “[I] can’t knock anyone for succeeding,” a laborer told her. “There’s a lot of people out there who are wealthy and I’m sure they worked darned hard for every cent they have,” chimed in a receiving clerk. Why the difference? For one thing, most blue-collar workers have little direct contact with the rich outside of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But professionals order them around every day. hbr.org
America last: The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump–There continues to be a gross underestimation, even among politically aware liberals, of what we are really up against, and how to counter it. Increasingly, our fellow citizens are resorting to the concepts of fascism to describe the current situation, but this is not necessarily followed by any cogent reflection on what the political subject under fascism needs to do. Ordinary liberal prescriptions have no chance of success under a regime that has moved into an overt fascist mode; moreover, the unacknowledged continuities from the recent neoliberal past, which led to the fascist overture in the first place, mar any consistency of thought among intellectuals, activists and ordinary citizens. Salon
Utah legislature tries to funnel money to nonprofits for public lands lawsuits–Funding nonprofits with taxpayer money allows anti-public lands politicians to shirk transparency requirements traditionally associated with state government. It is unclear when, or even if, these nonprofits have to report on their activities. medium.com
Husbands Are Deadlier Than Terrorists–Last year Americans were less likely to be killed by Muslim terrorists than for being Muslim, according to Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina. The former is a risk of approximately one in six million; the latter, one in one million.
The bottom line is that most years in the U.S., ladders kill far more Americans than Muslim terrorists do. Same with bathtubs. Ditto for stairs. And lightning.
Above all, fear spouses: Husbands are incomparably more deadly in America than jihadist terrorists. www.nytimes.com
Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System–Olympia’s success in recent years, however, has been linked to another, quite different school five miles away. Last school year, 137 students assigned to Olympia’s attendance zone instead attended Sunshine High, a charter alternative school run by a for-profit company. Sunshine stands a few doors down from a tobacco shop and a liquor store in a strip mall. It offers no sports teams and few extra-curricular activities. www.propublica.org
How you can help protect trans kids right now–Call the superintendent of your local school district to ask about school policies and protections for transgender students. Show up to school committee meetings to demand inclusive policies. Call your state department of education to advocate for statewide protections. Mashable
Leaked Bill Shows How House Republicans Would Dismantle Obamacare–A draft version of a House Republican bill to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act shows how the move would weaken or eliminate coverage for an untold number of people on Medicaid and private health insurance. The Huffington Post
Issa: Trump-Russia probe requires a special prosecutor–A Republican congressman who aligned with President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign called Friday for a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Trump associates' contacts with Russia.Rep. Darrell Issa said on HBO's "Real Time" that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who Trump appointed as the nation's top law enforcement officer — should not handle the problem. POLITICO
Website for disabled kids disappears as DeVos takes office–A U.S. Department of Education website, empowering families of students with disabilities, has disappeared -- and already embattled Trump education chief Betsy DeVos may be to blame.U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell want to know what happened to the vanished website, and have asked Education Secretary DeVos to put it back up. seattlepi.com
Russia Considers Returning Snowden to U.S. to ‘Curry Favor’ With Trump: Official–U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a "gift" to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a "spy" and a "traitor" who deserves to be executed.
That's according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to "curry favor" with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration www.nbcnews.com
A Malignant Attack on American Values–The country is reeling from an ethical cancer that is overtaking the new administration, its cronies, and supporters who are willing to forgo standards of ethics in order to win victories on a slate of issues. This lapse in ethical standards may lead to far greater changes than just a policy platform. The road to a modern-day form of fascism starts with manipulating the media and dismissing election results—just as President Donald Trump has done. Foreign Policy In Focus