Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The good news that Gov. Kay Ivey didn’t share

  Gov. Kay Ivey did something good last year. And as far as I can tell, she never told anyone about it.

  As Alander Rocha recently reported, the governor’s office used a plan submitted to the federal government to increase the monthly benefit paid to recipients of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) in Alabama from $215 a month to $344.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Trump’s rhetoric after his felony conviction is designed to distract, stoke fear and ease the way for an anti-democratic strongman

  After a jury convicted Donald Trump of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a politically damaging relationship, he responded by warning viewers of his post-verdict news conference: “If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone.”

  That statement simultaneously invokes the ideal of an independent judiciary and attempts to delegitimize it.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Fixing toxic relationships

  Are there people in your life who regularly cause you to feel bad about yourself?

  Most of us care what others think of us, so knowing that someone doesn’t like or approve of the judgments we’ve made or how we look can be hurtful. And when we’re judged by someone whose approval we crave, such as a parent, spouse, teacher or boss, the criticism can cause intense distress and damage self-esteem.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, and screening could save many lives − if more people could access it

  Many medical organizations have been recommending lung cancer screening for decades for those at high risk of developing the disease.

  But in 2022, less than 6% of people in the U.S. eligible for screening actually got screened. Compared with other common cancer screenings, lung cancer screening rates fall terribly behind. For comparison, the screening rate in 2021 for colon cancer was 72%, and the rate for breast cancer was 76%. Why are lung cancer screening rates so poor?

Saturday, June 8, 2024

How I survived nine minutes of Dick Cheney

Monday, July 22, 2002

3:07 pm:

  I tried to get out of it. Given that my employer, The Montgomery Independent, had published a lengthy prelude to this event last week, I don't see why I am baking in the mid-summer Alabama heat waiting for the man they call Dick Cheney. I've been told this man runs the great nation we live in but still only gets second billing for it. Poor guy.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Mary McLeod Bethune, known as the ‘First Lady of Negro America,’ also sought to unify the African diaspora

  When I first landed an internship as an archives technician at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House-National Historic Site – the D.C. home of the woman who founded Bethune-Cookman University – I didn’t see a strong connection between the college founder’s life and the rest of the African diaspora.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

The hollow malevolence of Jefferson Davis

  Even Jim Crow Alabama couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for Jefferson Davis.

  When an Alabama House representative filed a bill in 1900 to make his birthday a holiday, the Birmingham Post-Herald called it “an event which the general public does not remember and has no wish to be reminded of.”

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Voting in unconstitutional districts: US Supreme Court upended decades of precedent in 2022 by allowing voters to vote with gerrymandered maps instead of fixing the congressional districts first

  For the 2022 midterm elections, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Alabama to use congressional districts that violated the law and diluted the voting power of Black citizens.

  A 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court in February 2022 let Alabama use these illegal districts during the election while the court heard the state’s appeal on the case known as Allen v. Milligan. In that case, voters had sued Alabama, arguing that its new congressional district map violated the Voting Rights Act by unfairly reducing Black voting power. Only one of seven congressional districts on Alabama’s new map had a majority Black population despite Black residents making up a quarter of the state’s population.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds − even with programs designed to benefit poor communities

  If you live in one of the most economically deprived neighborhoods in your city, you might think the government is directing a smaller share of public funds to your community. And you would typically be right.

  This is the case even with programs that have been specifically designed to benefit low-income communities. Over the long run, federal funds tend to flow toward areas that are relatively better off.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Removing PFAS from public water will cost billions and take time – here are ways to filter out some harmful ‘forever chemicals’ at home

  Chemists invented PFAS in the 1930s to make life easier: Nonstick pans, waterproof clothing, grease-resistant food packaging, and stain-resistant carpet were all made possible by PFAS. But in recent years, the growing number of health risks found to be connected to these chemicals has become increasingly alarming.

  PFAS – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are now either suspected or known to contribute to thyroid disease, elevated cholesterol, liver damage, and cancer, among other health issues.