How Politics Are Determining What Stove You Use

Protesters in support of a ban on gas heat and stoves in new buildings, demonstrate outside City Hall in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. (Dieu-Nalio Chéry/The New York Times)

In a nation that is already deeply split along partisan lines over the pandemic response, racial equity and abortion, add this: gas stoves and furnaces.

This week, New York City moved to ban gas hookups in new buildings, joining cities in blue states such as California, Massachusetts and Washington that want to shift homes away from burning natural gas because it releases carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.

Instead, developers in New York City will have to install electric heat pumps and electric kitchen ranges in newly constructed buildings.

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But the growing push to electrify homes has triggered a political backlash: At least 20 mostly red states, including

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Trump Admin. Held Back Covid Response for Political Purposes: Report

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Friday released a 46-page report confirming what was readily apparent to most reasonable, informed Americans: The Trump administration made “deliberate efforts” to undermine America’s response to Covid-19 for political purposes.

Most of the documents cited in the committee’s report have already been made public, including ones that show how the administration played down the importance of testing and even prevented public officials from holding briefings to educate the public on the highly contagious disease. New information released Friday, however, further illustrates how public health officials were put in difficult positions by the administration.

In May 2020, for instance, the administration shelved the Centers for Disease Control’s mask guidance for churchgoers, reportedly because the White House feared a backlash from Trump’s religious supporters. In response, the deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC wrote in an email that he was “very

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Boris Johnson was once a political magician. Now his party fears he’s run out of tricks

The North Shropshire seat flipped from a 23,000 Conservative majority to a 6,000 Liberal Democrat win. In private, Johnson’s lawmakers are talking seriously about how long he can carry on as UK Prime Minister. They are worried this result shows voters are catching onto the idea of tactical voting and that Johnson’s ability to lock down Brexit voters might have waned.

The loss comes in the same week that Johnson’s own MPs openly defied him by voting against new Covid measures in parliament. Some 99 Conservatives defied the PM.

The election in North Shropshire, in central England, only took place because of a catastrophic own goal by the Prime Minister. Last month, Johnson whipped Conservative Members of Parliament to vote on an amendment that would overturn the 30-day suspension of their colleague Owen Paterson.

Paterson had been founding guilty of breaching lobbying rules, personally contacting government ministers on behalf of … Read the rest

Mark Meadows’ political career has been defined by conflict : NPR

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has offered the most stunning revelations in the Congressional inquiry into the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

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Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has offered the most stunning revelations in the Congressional inquiry into the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has offered the most stunning revelations yet in the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Meadows, a former congressman with a reputation as a conservative disrupter, now faces possible prosecution for abruptly cutting off his cooperation with the House committee investigating the attack.

For Meadows, it’s the latest chapter in a career defined by conflict in Washington.

Meadows was first elected to Congress after North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District was redrawn in

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Opinion | Can Politics Save Christianity?

And here I think the analogy to the new progressivism especially fails. What gets called “wokeness” is particularly powerful among elites, yes, but the shift in attitudes on, say, racism is broader than that; if similar numbers of previously secular Americans were suddenly endorsing Christian doctrine we would rightly call it a revival. Well before it began to impose itself on the doubtful and reluctant, the new progressivism ascended — first within the church-like structures of academia, and then in liberal culture more broadly — precisely because it had conviction on its side, as against the more careerist and soulless aspects of liberal meritocracy.

Social justice activists did not triumph, in other words, by first getting an opportunistically woke politician elected president and having her impose their doctrines by fiat. Their cultural advance has had political assistance, but it began with that most ancient power — the power of belief.

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Map by Map, G.O.P. Chips Away at Black Democrats’ Power

Republicans, who have vastly more control over redistricting nationally than Democrats do, defend their maps as legal and fair, giving a range of reasons.

Kirk Smith, the Republican chairman of Lee County’s board of commissioners, said that “to say only a person of a certain racial or ethnic group can represent only a person of the same racial or ethnic group has all the trappings of ethnocentric racism.”

In North Carolina and elsewhere, Republicans say that their new maps are race-blind, meaning officials used no racial data in designing the maps and therefore could not have drawn racially discriminatory districts because they had no idea where communities of color were.

“During the 2011 redistricting process, legislators considered race when drawing districts,” Ralph Hise, a Republican state senator in North Carolina, said in a statement. Through a spokesperson, he declined to answer specific questions, citing pending litigation.

His statement continued: “We

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Why American Politics Is So Stuck — and What New Research Shows About How to Fix It

We call this tendency the partisan trade-off bias, and it applies to both parties. To a Democrat, the purpose of an environmental policy that reduces carbon emissions, for example, is to preserve the environment, and a corresponding loss of coal mining jobs is an unfortunate side effect. But a Republican, our research finds, might look at that same policy and see a plot to eradicate jobs in the fossil fuels industry. Meanwhile, a Democrat might presume a Republican push to lower corporate tax rates is more about helping the wealthy and hurting the poor than fueling economic growth.

Of course, skepticism about motives is sometimes warranted. But, oftentimes, it is misguided, and the deeper it runs, the harder it is to get anything through the policymaking process. Unless politicians find a way to lessen the effects of the partisan trade-off bias, we’re likely to keep seeing stalemates on important policy

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The best politics books of 2021 | Best books of the year

In politics, as in life, there are few more tortured questions than “What if … ?” Defeated parties rake obsessively over the past, bickering over any hint of an opportunity missed. Even ruling parties start looking around as the shine wears off, wondering if they would fare better under someone new. What is perhaps unusual about 2021 is that both seem to be happening at once.

Cue Steve Richards’s The Prime Ministers We Never Had (Hodder), a book stuffed full of roads less travelled. His list of politicians who were once widely tipped for Number 10, only to fall short in the end, ranges from Rab Butler to Neil Kinnock to Jeremy Corbyn (and if the latter seems a surprise inclusion, then half the point of a list is arguing about who should or shouldn’t have been on it). Each gets a potted biography, and thoughtful analysis of

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Quantifying social organization and political polarization in online platforms

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    Politics | The Economist

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    Governments scrambled to limit the transmission of Omicron, the latest strain of covid-19, which initial evidence suggests spreads faster than earlier mutations, including Delta. First identified in South Africa, Omicron has been detected in dozens of countries. The World Health Organisation warned that Omicron poses a “very high” global risk. Joe Biden said it was “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic”. The governments of Israel and Japan stopped foreigners from crossing their borders. Restrictions on travel from southern Africa were imposed by America, Britain, the European Union, South Korea and a host of other countries.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said it was time for all EU member states to discuss whether to make covid-19 vaccines

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