Today's Liberal News

Marissa Higgins

Utah school district removes more than 50 books from public school libraries, thanks to new law

As Daily Kos has continued to cover, Republicans are going after books. Attempts to ban books are so outrageous, that they sound like satire, but they’re sadly extremely real, and so are the ramifications of young people (and adults) losing access to stories by and about marginalized people. As covered by the Salt Lake Tribune, more than fifty books by several dozen authors are set to be removed from public school libraries in the biggest school district in Utah.

This skydiving video is all we could talk about today, so we had to share it with you

If there’s one thing social media is good for, it’s recirculating events that have slightly faded from collective memory—or simply happened before viewers were around to see them. While this phenomenon can sometimes (unfortunately) mean folks are spreading misinformation by presenting photos or videos as though they’re current events, other times it’s just a way for people to react to and bond over moments that were, well, viral-worthy.

Josh Hawley tries to mock law professor on abortion—she teaches him a lesson in under two minutes

During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on abortion access and the law, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri attempted to derail the otherwise incredibly important conversation by trying to trip up expert Khiara Bridges. Bridges, a law professor at the University of California-Berkeley, had used inclusive language when referring to people who seek abortions. And Hawley couldn’t handle it.

For the love of books

Writing about a love of reading can feel like preaching to the choir. After all, most people who sit down to read such a thing (probably) like reading enough as a baseline to bother … Well, reading. But I still feel there is no solace quite like a book. It feels trite to say we’re in difficult times, but again, it feels true to say that books have been helping me keep a sense of stability and relief while so many of us are under so much stress.

My journey to getting a book deal

So much about making a career as a writer is opaque and exclusionary. There’s also a lot that, frankly, simply depends on your specific situation. It’s hard to give advice that will work for everyone, much less most people.

Along with inflation and supply chain issues, parents and schools now need to worry about lunches

Here in the United States, we have a truly unwieldy number of issues to tackle at any given time, especially if you’re not a white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied person. Those people face real issues and barriers, too, of course, but marginalized folks face all of those and then some. Extra sadly but not surprisingly, low-income youth in the nation also face barriers, including access to school lunch.

One way to keep books by and about LGBTQ people on the shelves? Hide them from the GOP

We’re still trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, gun violence and police brutality continue to endanger everyone (especially people of color and Black men in particular), and Republicans are gearing up for the midterm elections by … banning books. Ah yes, the Republican way: distract and enrage. 

As Daily Kos has covered at length, we know conservatives are trying to attack marginalized folks on all fronts.

Republicans hate George M. Johnson’s memoir ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue.’ Johnson saw the book bans coming

Republicans at all levels of government have made book bans a recent rallying cry. Under the guise of fighting critical race theory (CRT), conservatives have lit hysteria under their voting base by convincing them that “inappropriate” books are going to invade their child’s brain. In reality, these books are more often than not by or about LGBTQ+ and/or people of color, with a handful of white, cisgender, heterosexual writers thrown in too.

High school association now requires youth to compete on sports teams that match birth certificate

Thanks to Republican hate and queerphobia, trans youth are already suffering. As Daily Kos has covered, trans and nonbinary youth are uniquely ill-protected when it comes to basic rights and dignities, including everyday things like having access to bathrooms that align with their gender identity. We’ve also seen efforts to ban already difficult to access safe, age-appropriate, gender-affirming health care.

Openly queer teacher fired after allowing students to paint LGBTQ flags in art class

As Daily Kos has covered at length, Republicans are making it exceptionally difficult for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, families, and frankly, people in general. This sad fact is unfortunately especially true in the state of Florida, with a special thanks to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the discriminatory Don’t Say Gay bill into law. In short, the legislation bars public school staff, including teachers, from discussing LGBTQ+ topics or identities in the classroom.

Beloved singer and humanitarian Dolly Parton voted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

In a sea of absolutely brutal, exhausting news, it can be truly refreshing to focus on something good—or at least, something that doesn’t involve literal human rights and freedoms. As Daily Kos covered at the time, beloved country music star (and humanitarian) Dolly Parton politely declined a nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in March, and the Hall rather hilariously rejected her rejection.

South Dakota teens say they received letter from beloved teacher filled with anti-trans rhetoric

Being a young person today is far from easy—students are navigating life amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, considering higher education at a time when it’s devastatingly expensive, and watching rents and the housing market skyrocket. While LGBTQ+ youth are certainly not the only students experiencing hardships, research shows they do face disproportionate levels of bullying and harassment from their peers and are more likely to leave high school without a diploma.

Kentucky teacher resigns after writing supportive statement for LGBTQ students on board

As Daily Kos continues to cover, the heinous, hateful “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida is dangerous for LGBTQ+ students, plus those who are questioning and allies. Queer youth already face structural and systemic barriers and obstacles when it comes to mental health, in addition to being at higher risk for becoming homeless, leaving high school without a diploma, and facing verbal and physical harassment and abuse.

Deaf LGBTQ youth with family support are half as likely to contemplate suicide, says new study

Here at Daily Kos, we’re making an ongoing effort to cover the Republican assault on trans rights.  Conservatives are doing their best to try various routes to isolate and discriminate against trans folks, whether it comes down to denying them safe, gender-affirming health care, getting accurate gender markers on government IDs, or playing on sports teams. Republicans spend a lot of time talking about LGBTQ+ people in general, but nothing about mental health.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame just issued a public statement in response to Dolly Parton’s rejection

Earlier this week, Daily Kos covered Dolly Parton’s endearing, humble statement in which she said she respectfully declined the opportunity to be considered for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Turns out it’s too late for Parton’s withdrawal. Thursday, the organization responded by telling the general public that about 1,200 ballots have already gone out to voters—and her name is on them, according to The Washington Post.

Mom didn’t want her child’s face to be national news, but anti-mask hysteria has a life of its own

At this point in the pandemic, everyone should be in agreement that face masks need to be worn when inside (at minimum) and that they need to fit well. Obviously depending on the age and needs of the person involved, that’s sometimes easier said than done. One Pennsylvania community is lashing out from both sides of the political aisle after a photo of a teacher and minor student was posted to a Facebook page called “North Penn Stronger Together.

Did you read more books than the average American adult in 2021? Let’s find out

Unfortunately, here in the United States, we tend to be inundated with wellness advice that basically sums up to: Do more, try harder, and be better. There’s much to be said about how capitalism ingrains itself so deeply into our personal lives that we experience, say, a difficult period or traumatic event and turn to self-improvement (as opposed to widely accessible mental health care, for example).

Guess which group of people is about to get free access to national parks—for life?

Since the novel coronavirus pandemic became part of daily life, many people are (understandably) interested in getting outside, whether that’s in their own neighborhood or at a state or national park. Access to the outdoors is a complex issue when we consider transportation, barriers for disabled folks, and the sheer privilege of having time off of work to get outside. It can also, perhaps paradoxically, come at a cost.