Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Got Summer Vacation Plans?

I am (perhaps overly) sensitive to the charge that I’m prejudiced towards my personal favorite Senator — and, boilerplate: I will do everything in my power to support the eventual Democratic nominee — but damn, Elizabeth Warren does not get the credit she deserves!

Everything in this proposal is noteworthy, but giving lower-income families more of a chance to enjoy national parks is *not* a small thing, if we want support for those parks to be more than ‘a little perk for white totebaggers’…

Read more

Pulitzer Prizes Awarded Today

Easy to miss, given the destruction of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Here is the full list. Some highlights (my highlights, ymmv)

Public Service:  South Florida Sun Sentinel for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Breaking News Reporting: Staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for immersive, compassionate coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.

Local Reporting: Staff of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., for a damning portrayal of the state’s discriminatory conviction system, including a Jim Crow-era law, that enabled Louisiana courts to send defendants to jail without jury consensus on the accused’s guilt.

Feature Writing: Hannah Dreier of ProPublica for a series of powerful, intimate narratives that followed Salvadoran immigrants on New York’s Long Island whose lives were shattered by a botched federal crackdown on the international criminal gang MS-13.

History: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster) A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.

Special Awards and Citations: Aretha Franklin for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Why We Keep Fighting

(If you click on that second image — that’s a Wonder Woman pillowcase!)


Friday Morning Open Thread: Sometimes Small Things Are Big Enough

Teresa Vargas, in the Washington Post:

When I wrote about Alice’s Kids earlier this month, I did so with the hope of showing what child poverty in this nation looks like on a day-to-day level.

Many of the requests for short-term financial help that come into the Virginia nonprofit are for seemingly small items that make significant differences for children whose families can’t afford them. Among the things asked for are shoes that fit, instruments that soothe and new glasses for children who have relied on broken ones.

The organization has paid for band trips that wouldn’t have been attended otherwise, birthday parties that wouldn’t have been held and, in one case this month, funeral clothes for a teenager who unexpectedly lost her mother.

Most of that financial help, I noted in that column, benefited children in the D.C. region and some as far as California and Texas. But now, because of you, even more children, in states that previously had no connection to the organization, will find help.

After the column was published, so many of you contacted Alice’s Kids, offering donations, and in some cases your time, that the small nonprofit run out of an Alexandria home office is expanding its reach to other cities across the country and anticipates helping more children this year than it has ever had the capacity to do in its eight-year history…
Read more

Monday Morning Open Thread: Selma Sunday

Matt Viser, at the Washington Post:

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls came here to a resonant remembrance of one of the bloodiest moments of the civil rights movement on Sunday, with Sen. Cory Booker talking emotionally about being a descendant of slaves and others urging a renewed defense of voting rights…

Booker hinted at the words of Martin Luther King Jr. to draw attention to what he depicted as a resurgence of racial animosity.

“The dream is under attack. The dreamers are in danger,” Booker said. “And we need each other more than we realize in this country.”

Selma has become an annual pilgrimage site for Democratic politicians, culminating with a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where on March 7, 1965, marchers advocating for voting rights were attacked by police in a day that has become known as Bloody Sunday. The Voting Rights Act was signed the same year. This year, the events marking one of the most searing moments of the civil rights movement took place over four days, including a Jubilee Golf Tournament on Friday and a “battle of the bands” on Saturday.

The main event, Sunday’s march across the bridge with linked arms, call-and-response, and gospel songs, was nearly derailed by thunderstorms. But the weather cleared enough for thousands to make the walk.

A trio of potential presidential candidates — Sanders of Vermont and Booker of New Jersey, who have announced their campaigns, and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who is considering a bid — were here along with Clinton during the day’s events…

Sunday’s events provided a forum for the belief among many African American leaders that the GOP has been launching a renewed fight against voting rights, with such measures as voter ID laws and the curtailment of early voting.

“Make no mistake: We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” Clinton said. “There may not be, thank God, tanks in the streets. But what’s happening goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.”…

Brown, who told reporters that he will decide on a presidential bid by the end of March, also circulated among the mostly African American attendees, asking about their lives.

Asked how he could compete in a diverse field of candidates, and with an increasingly diverse electorate, Brown said he would let his record speak for itself.

“If I run, I’ll be the only Democrat on that stage who voted against the Iraq War. I’ll be the only Democrat on that stage who supported marriage equality 20 years ago. I’ll be the only person on that stage who has a longtime F from the NRA,” Brown said. He pointed to his face. “I can change a lot of things, but I can’t change this part of me, right?”

I don’t think Sherrod Brown will end up as our Democratic nominee (although plenty of people on twitter have suggested he’d be a great vp for Kamala Harris), but I am very interested in seeing what he’ll be saying over the next few months!