Monday, December 9, 2019

Democrats have united around a plan to dramatically cut child poverty

Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Wednesday unveiled the latest version of their American Family Act — in my view, likely to be the single most important bill of 116th Congress for the country’s poorest residents. The bill, whose House counterpart is sponsored by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), almost certainly won’t pass this session. It comes from the Democratic Senate minority and might not get any Republican support. But if enacted, the bill would slash child poverty in the United States by over a third in a single stroke. Passing it would enact...

Vox Sentences: The London Patient

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. A potential new HIV treatment; Algerians protest an aging president seeking a fifth term. The gene mutation that causes HIV resistance T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images A cure for HIV has been a long-sought dream — and scientists might be a step closer now, according to a new paper. A patient in London...

Helen Oyeyemi says her new novel Gingerbread is not about Hansel...

Helen Oyeyemi writes some of the loveliest and oddest books I’ve ever read, filled with shivery, evocative sentences and fairy tale tropes turned slantwise. Her first novel, 2005’s The Icarus Girl — written by Oyeyemi when she was in high school in the UK and published when she was 20 — was about a little girl plagued by her nightmarish doppelgänger. Her 2014 novel Boy, Snow, Bird, reimagined Snow White as an allegory of race in America. Her 2016 short story collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, featured puppets with their strings slashed like a cut throat...

A second person may be “cured” of HIV

In the history of HIV/AIDS, only a single person is believed to have been cured of the virus. Timothy Ray Brown, an American known as the “Berlin patient,” had HIV for more than a decade, until two stem-cell transplants in 2007 and 2008 cleared it from his body. Now, according to a paper published in Nature on Tuesday, there might finally be a second such patient. Like Brown, the new patient had cancer and received a cancer treatment involving chemotherapy to wipe out the immune system and replace it, via a stem-cell transplant, with non-malignant donor cells. In both...

A single-payer advocate answers the big question: How do we pay...

Matt Bruenig has thought a lot about some of the tough policy choices to get to Medicare-for-all. I recently spoke with Bruenig, who founded the People’s Policy Project and is one of the young left’s leading wonks, about one of the biggest outstanding questions on the debate: how to finance a single-payer health care system. We also talked about his biggest worry for such a system: Can health care supply meet the demand? And finally, we touched on one of the less discussed challenges of a single-payer system: what the government could do for rural hospitals that feel a pinch...

The bogus “Momo challenge” internet hoax, explained

Images of a demonic chicken lady are stoking panic across the globe, with warnings of a dangerous “suicide game” that targets children on social media. But behind the hysteria linked to the so-called “Momo challenge” is an issue far more revealing: This urban legend is likely little more than a hoax fueled by media reports and parents’ fears about their kids’ online activity. It’s no wonder why the Momo challenge has been able to capture the fears of adults with a mythical force that’s persisted for months. The headlining image for the “challenge” is undeniably creepy — the stuff of...

Senate Democrats have enough Republican support to terminate Trump’s national emergency

It looks like Senate Democrats now have the votes they need to pass a resolution that would block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund his border wall. Four Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins, Thom Tillis, Lisa Murkowksi and Rand Paul — have said they plan to vote in favor of terminating the national emergency, giving Democrats the 51-vote majority they need to approve the resolution in the upper chamber. Republicans hold a bare three-seat majority in the Senate, which means Democrats must stay united and peel off at least four Republicans (Vice President Mike Pence could come in...

The 7 most bizarre moments from Trump’s long-winded CPAC rant

The off-script, expletive-dropping Donald Trump that we first met on the campaign trail in 2015 is back in front of cameras. Trump took to the stage at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference this weekend for a long-winded and very quotable rant against the many perceived villains weighing down his presidency: namely the media, federal investigators and “socialist” challengers in the 2020 election. He started off the event by bear-hugging a staff with the American flag, setting the tone for the rest of his appearance — reportedly the longest speech of his presidency. It was his first public address since...

Trump first suggested North Korea wasn’t responsible for Otto Warmbier’s death....

President Donald Trump can be shamed into (kind of) walking back comments that reflect kindly on known tyrants — all it takes is resounding criticism that overshadows any of his related accomplishments. After receiving widespread negative coverage of comments he made earlier this week appearing to absolve North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the death of Otto Warmbier, a US student who died after being imprisoned in North Korea for over a year, Trump said Friday he was “misinterpreted.” At a summit between the US and North Korea earlier this week, Trump was asked by reporters if he had...

Vox Sentences: Kushner’s security clearance secrets

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Jared Kushner’s clearance level raises questions; Canada’s prime minister faces an ill-timed accusation. Trump reportedly gave his son-in-law top clearance Alex Wong/Getty Images Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, got a top-secret security clearance despite objections from key White House officials because the president himself ordered it, according to a report Thursday...