Today's Liberal News

Marissa Higgins

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.

Gay preacher dressed in drag for children’s sermon about joy. Guess how the congregation reacted?

Here at Daily Kos, we recently covered the frustrating story of a preacher being pushed out of his church in Evansville, Indiana, after participating in an uplifting, inclusive drag program as part of the HBO series We’re Here. As part of the show, Pastor Craig Duke performed in drag and described himself as an ally to LGBTQ+ people and thought the outreach and inclusion could be meaningful for the congregation, including his child, who he said is pansexual. All lovely.

This holiday season, I’m grateful for antidepressants

In many ways, I’m extremely privileged when it comes to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic—I work remotely, have excellent employer-provided health insurance, and I don’t live with any chronic health conditions. From the time people started staying home and staying safe, I was socializing less, sure, but in many ways, my life was the same: work, read, get a (solo) walk in, cook, bake, write, repeat. One thing that didn’t stay the same, however, was my mental health.

Leaked audio reveals even more reasons we can’t let Oz win in Pennsylvania

Leaked audio that was reportedly made on Dec. 16 during a private lunch in New York City reveals that Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican, has some, uh, thoughts on trans rights he apparently didn’t feel he could share on his syndicated talk show, The Dr. Oz Show. Oz reportedly defended J.K.

Former student from Missouri awarded $4M in damages after being denied access to boys’ bathroom

As Republicans continue to find fresh energy to push discriminatory anti-trans legislation, following the news can feel pretty frustrating and depressing. With that in mind, it’s important to celebrate every win we can. A recent example comes to us from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, where an openly trans former student was awarded more than $4 million in damages on sex discrimination charges, as reported by The Los Angeles Blade.

We deserve better than this, Joe

In one of President Joe Biden’s most disappointing moves, it’s been yet again confirmed that the Biden administration is not extending federal student loan relief during an ongoing global pandemic, as reported by Forbes. Per a White House press briefing, payments will apparently resume on Feb.

Reddit and TikTok users clog job postings after Kellogg readies to replace striking union workers

Kellogg workers began striking outside of production plants in four cities (Battle Creek, Michigan.; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee) back in early October. About 1,400 employees initially walked out of work after Kellogg and the union that represents them—The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)—didn’t reach an agreement regarding a new work contract.

California resort turns into long-term housing option for unhoused veterans and families

When it comes to supporting our unhoused neighbors, people can turn a cold shoulder very, very quickly. No matter the reason (or, most likely, reasons) someone is experiencing homelessness, they always deserve dignity, respect, and a safe space to live. Unfortunately in the United States, we know unhoused people are routinely excluded and left on the (sometimes literal) outskirts.

This holiday season, don’t contribute to an MLM—even if a loved one begs you to

Depending on your age and where you live, multilevel marketing schemes (also known as MLMs) might be ubiquitous in your life. Or you might be thinking: Wait, those still exist? They do exist, although companies get away with not being pyramid schemes largely thanks to legal technicalities. Some of the older brands in the MLM game include companies like Amway and Tupperware (yes, really), and those fancy knives people used to sell at parties out of their living rooms (Cutco).

A Republican celebrated after a library canceled its inclusive event for kids, but hate didn’t win

As Daily Kos has covered many times, there are few things mobilizing conservatives during the pandemic like children’s events at libraries. Yes, it’s true—we’re still surviving a global pandemic, and all the while, folks are more than happy to make sure that queer folks aren’t able to do children’s programming—much less have queer books available—at local libraries. Drag Queen story hour? Nope. Trans magician? Not a chance, apparently.

Black high schooler attacked by students in KKK costumes on Halloween, says lawyer

In an absolutely disturbing nightmare scenario, a Black teenager in Woodsboro, Texas, says he was attacked by three fellow teens wearing costumes resembling Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robes. The high schooler, whose identity has not been revealed as he is a minor, was out for Halloween when he was allegedly attacked by the teens with a taser gun, as reported by The Independent.

School board member files criminal report with sheriff’s office over book by queer, Black writer

Eager as ever to jump backward in time, conservatives have used their time amid a global pandemic to push anti-queer legislation and try to ban books. As Daily Kos has covered, we’ve seen librarians face potential obscenity charges over stocking books with LGBTQ+ and sexual education themes. We’ve heard Texas school administrators suggest teachers need to include an “opposing” view of the Holocaust when they stock their classroom libraries.

Navy launches ship named in honor of LGBTQ civil rights icon Harvey Milk

The United States has a long, long way to go when it comes to protecting, honoring, and respecting LGBTQ+ people. There have been significant wins in relatively recent years—marriage equality, for example, and the growing number of openly LGBTQ+ elected officials—but we’ve also seen hateful legislation signed into law and violence against vulnerable queer groups continue year after year.

Trans teen sues Tennessee over discriminatory anti-trans sports bill that’s keeping him on sidelines

As Daily Kos has continued to cover, Republicans have been more than happy to jump into anti-trans hate as a way to distract people from their failures in office. While some state-level legislation has died in committee, some has made its way through both the statehouse and senate and made it all the way to the governor—and some, sadly, has even been signed into law by Republicans.

Wyoming librarians won’t face obscenity charges over stocking sex ed, LGBTQ books for youth

As Daily Kos previously covered, a large-scale controversy has targeted a small library in Campbell County, Wyoming. Why? Anti-LGBTQ+ hysteria, of course. As you might remember, several community members were upset to realize that children’s and young adult books about LGBTQ+ issues and sexual education were available for check out at the library. These complaints resulted in 27 books being challenged, a process that any library patron can initiate for any book.

Instead of screeching about critical race theory, Republicans should probably be worried about this

Between the global pandemic, the Trump era, and the stuff Republicans spew on a regular basis, the bar is high for describing anything as “surreal” or “bizarre.” With that in mind, an incident at a high school in Hazard, Kentucky, certainly fits the bill. What happened? As reported by Insider, Hazard High School was celebrating its homecoming week and included a “man pageant.

If you’ve been thinking about donating to your local diaper bank, take this as a sign to do it today

As the nation has faced the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a crucial conversation about food insecurity. As Daily Kos has covered, we’ve seen unusually long lines at food banks and schools scrambling to get enough food into cafeterias to feed hungry children. One topic that gets less coverage, but is just as is essential, is diapers. 

Even before the pandemic, surveys have shown that about one-third of families struggle to afford diapers.

October 20th is International Pronouns Day! Here’s what you need to know

This Wednesday, Oct. 20, many folks around the world are recognizing International Pronouns Day (IPD). Started in 2018, this is a day for people to raise awareness about the importance of using the correct pronouns for people, to share educational resources for people who want to learn more, and to remind folks about the serious dangers people who exist outside of the traditional gender binary face. The end goal is for sharing pronouns to be a common practice.