Saturday, August 20, 2022

Reading 24

Jane Mayer, "Goodbye, Columbus," The New Yorker, August 15, 2022

In this article, Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money, about the influence of lobbyist money on politics, uses the state of Ohio as a case study in the radical divergence of political opinion from the general public. Ohio voters poll moderate, and yet the legislature is extremely right-wing, just passing an abortion ban law so draconian that a 10-year-old rape victim had to travel to an obstetrician in Indiana to get the abortion. The girl almost died in the process. Ohio is one example among several states in which statehouses have been taken over by Republican majorities because in 2011, Republican politicians made a concerted effort to take control of redistricting committees so that they could redraw the lines to make this new fiat districts appear more populous in terms of conservative voters. By 2012, Republicans had picked up over 700 seats across the nation as a result of this redistricting laws. While the Democratic Party continues to focus on national elections, policy at the state level continues to move rightward.

Craig Morgan Teicher, "Birthday Poem," The New Yorker, August 15, 2022

Poet's dog is in the backyard on a long leash, and though she's clever, she keeps foolishly getting her leash wrapped around the stake or else other trees and then she can barely move anywhere and doesn't understand why. Poet likens this to his situation being stuck at home and feeling either trapped or tangled up during the pandemic.

Sana Krasikov, "The Muddle," The New Yorker, August 15, 2022

An elderly Ukrainian-Canadian woman named Shura begins to have trouble contacting her friend Alyona who still lives in the Ukraine during the outbreak of the Ukrainian-Russian war. During their Skype calls, Shura begins to realize that despite the damage done by the shelling from the Russian military, the friend Alyona actually wishes for the old days when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. Alyona's son contacts Shura and says he wishes she would help his mother get out of there and get to Canada to get treatment for her diabetes, which is getting worse and worse. Shura says she will see what she can do, but call after call, it seems like Alyona is not going to leave Kyiv. As the damage gets worse and worse, she tends her garden.

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