Most people say they’ve had COVID, DeSantis signs “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DOJ says tech companies shouldn’t favor their own products
Plus: Must-reads on inflation, why teachers are afraid to teach history and the progressive movement’s TikTok army.
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First Things First
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote next Monday to advance the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the full Senate. A final vote is likely to occur next Friday, April 8. (@JudiciaryDems / Twitter)
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law. The legislation bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and enable parents to be able to sue districts over violations. DeSantis said that parents, not teachers, should be discussing these issues with their children, ignoring the reality that not all parents are affirming of LGBTQ kids. (Anthony Izaguirre / AP News)
Related: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said his department will be monitoring the law upon implementation to evaluate whether it violates federal civil rights law. “Make no mistake: this is a part of a disturbing and dangerous trend across the country of legislation targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals,” Cardona said in a statement. “This comes at a time when we know lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students are three to four times more likely than non-LGBTQI+ students to report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and even self harm — not because of who they are but because of the hostility directed at them.”
A federal judge confirmed what people have been saying for over a year: Donald Trump most likely committed felony crimes in his attempts to overthrow the 2020 election. Trump hasn’t been charged and the judge’s declaration has no immediate, practical legal effect on him, but supports a theory by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection that the former president’s actions could rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy. (Luke Broadwater, Alan Feuer and Maggie Haberman / NYT)
52 percent of Americans say they’ve contracted COVID-19, according to a new survey. This includes almost six in 10 Republicans and four in ten Democrats. (Aaron Blake / WaPo)
The Justice Department endorsed legislation that would forbid tech companies like Amazon and Google from favoring their own products and services over competitors. Opponents of the bill say it would make it harder for the companies to offer popular services, while supporters say that the companies’ dominant position gives them unchecked power to influence the fate of other businesses. (Ryan Tracy / WSJ)
Instagram is testing a new feature to help people find and support social movements on the app. The initial experiment will focus on a handful of hashtags that are focused on popular and long-standing movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #womensrights and #climatecrisis.
Spotify introduced a content advisory tab on podcasts and other content that mentions the coronavirus. The feature, a small blue tab that directs to its COVID-19 information hub, fulfills a promise the company made in response to a controversy around the spread of misinformation by podcaster Joe Rogan. (Jessica Bursztynsky / CNBC)
President Biden this morning will receive his daily intelligence briefing. Then he will host a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. The two leaders will make a joint statement after the meeting. Later, Biden will travel to the Capitol to pay his respects to Congressman Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican in history, as he lies in state. Finally, the president will sign into law the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. He and Vice President Kamala Harris will speak. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoffwill attend.
Vice President Harris will also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Lee this afternoon.
The House is in and will consider retirement savings legislation as well as bill to reauthorize funding for the Coast Guard, named after the late Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young.
The Senate is in and will consider several of President Biden’s executive and judicial nominees, including Nani Coloretti to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Read All About It
Emily Stewart on inflation:
Among economists and experts, there’s no strict consensus about what exactly is to blame. There are certain factors widely agreed upon that we’ve been hearing about for months: supply chain woes, rising oil prices, shifting consumer demands. These concerns have hardly subsided. But there are other arenas where there’s more disagreement, such as the role government stimulus has played in increasing prices, and the possibility that corporate greed is an important factor.
There’s also no clear agreement on what the solution is. The Federal Reserve is starting to make moves to try to tamp down inflation, but it’s going to take time for that to have an impact. It’s still uncertain how aggressive the Fed will be or what risks those fixes could pose for the broader economy. The White House is trying to combat price increases, but there’s not really a ton it can do.
Derek Thompson on US population:
A country grows or shrinks in three ways: immigration, deaths, and births. America’s declining fertility rate often gets the headline treatment. Journalists are obsessed with the question of why Americans aren’t having more babies. And because I’m a journalist, be assured that we’ll do the baby thing in a moment. But it’s the other two factors—death and immigration—that are overwhelmingly responsible for the collapse in U.S. population growth.
Rachel M. Cohen on why teachers are afraid to teach history:
Parents’ fears notwithstanding, administrators stress that critical race theory is not taught in public schools; they are technically correct. As an academic field, CRT is a relatively obscure discipline that examines how laws and institutions harm or benefit people according to their race and relative power; its study is largely reserved to graduate programs. Yet parents who sense that change is afoot are also not wrong. Certain longstanding assumptions about identity and opportunity are being contested in K-12 classrooms around the nation—the same assumptions contested today in workplaces, in media organizations, and in the halls of Congress. The way these struggles shake out will have everything to do with how much control certain parents are able to exert in school districts and how well teachers can protect their autonomy.
Cara Buckley on the climate advocates who say it’s not too late:
If awareness about the climate crisis has never been greater, so, too, has been a mounting sense of dread about its unfolding effects, particularly among the young. Two-thirds of Americans thought the government was doing too little to fight climate change, according to a 2020 Pew study, while a survey last year of 10,000 teens and young adults in 10 countries found that three-quarters were frightened of the future.
There is also growing consensus that depression and eco-anxiety are perfectly natural responses to the steady barrage of scary environmental news. Stalled climate legislation in Congress along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and its implications for the environmental crisis, has done little to help.
Yet people like Ms. Wood, and her thriving community of climate communicators, believe that staying stuck in climate doom only helps preserve a status quo reliant on consumerism and fossil fuels. Via social media, she and her fellow “eco-creators” present alternative narratives that highlight positive climate news as well as ways people can fight the crisis in their everyday lives.
Ian Ward on the progressive movement’s TikTok army:
In reality, it is difficult to fit the work of these progressive influencers into any pre-existing category of political communication. Policy advocacy? Well, sort of. Journalism? Not really — but if you squint, maybe. Activism? Yes — but also no. Perhaps the most accurate thing that can be said about these influencers is that they exist in the gray area between activism, citizen journalism and old-fashioned political messaging, serving as harbingers of a paradigm shift in political communications that has yet to be fully realized — or understood.
Mike Colias on car wait lists:
Auto makers increasingly are deploying reservation systems for their most buzzed-about new models, a tactic popularized over the past decade by Tesla Inc.
Auto executives say wait lists can give them a rough idea of the consumer interest in a new entry, which they say is especially important for electric cars, given the uncertainty around Americans’ appetite for EVs. For consumers, an online reservation offers an easier way than calling up a local dealer to secure a spot in line.
Car companies also use their reservation tallies to signal to Wall Street that there is strong appetite for future EVs, executives say.
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