Torr Leonard Profile picture
Housing, transit, unions, gun control, police reform, healthcare reform, civil rights, voting rights, education, taxation, climate, alt energy. Opinions = mine
Apr 18 12 tweets 2 min read
“The GOP brands itself, through dog whistles, as the party of White parents.

But it is ignoring or bolstering the principal racial threat facing White youth today.

Not #CRT in schools.

White supremacist grooming online.”… “GOP crusade against anti-racist education has left impressionable white kids unprotected from threat of white supremacists sliding into their feeds, games, DMs—into their minds.

& Republican politicians are doing all of this while insisting that they care about white children”
Apr 18 6 tweets 2 min read
“norms & institutions of political participation that developed during long era of mass communication are not going to work well now that tech has made everything so much faster & more multidirectional & when bypassing professional gatekeepers is so easy”… “And yet American democracy is now operating outside the bounds of sustainability.

If we do not make major changes soon, then our institutions, our political system, and our society may collapse during the next major war, pandemic, financial meltdown, or constitutional crisis.”
Apr 18 14 tweets 3 min read
“Capt. Kevin Larson was one of the best drone pilots in the US Air Force.

Yet as the job weighed on him and untold others, the military failed to recognize its full impact.

After a drug arrest and court martial, he fled into the California wilderness.”… “More than 2,300 service members are currently assigned to drone crews.

Early in the program, they said, missions seemed well run.

Officials carefully chose their targets and took steps to minimize civilian deaths.”
Apr 18 14 tweets 3 min read
“Cities Try to Turn the Tide on Police Traffic Stops -

Chiefs, prosecutors and lawmakers are rethinking the value, and the harm, of minor traffic stops like the one that ended in a man’s death in Grand Rapids.”… “LA is overhauling its traffic policing, aiming to stop pulling over cars — frequently with Black drivers — for trivial infractions like broken taillights or expired tags as a pretext to search for drugs or guns.

“We want to fish with a hook, not a net,” Police Chief Moore said
Apr 18 4 tweets 2 min read
“And Americans bought a record number of guns in recent years.”

…… “Murder rates are still 30 percent lower than they were during the previous peaks between the 1970s and ’90s.

“I don’t think the Wild West days of the ’70s and ’80s are coming back,” said John Roman, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago.
Apr 17 4 tweets 2 min read
"Voters could be shocked by sudden end to women’s constitutional right to abortion & be motivated to turn out in Nov.

This will be particularly critical for the party’s Senate candidates; by maintaining control of Senate, Dems would have the power to..."… "The kind of elections occurring in Nov—that is, everything but presidential—may also be a factor.

“Probably the politician that people associate most with abortion restrictions is the president, even though senators vote to confirm judges. So it’s a little harder to predict"
Apr 17 5 tweets 1 min read
“what makes them reliable — they’re stories audiences are already interested in, because they’ve been told before — makes it hard for them to be more than digestible versions of things that already exist, the video equivalent of audiobooks.”… “Truth may be buzzier than fiction right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s as interesting.”
Apr 17 6 tweets 2 min read
When Russia invaded Ukraine that was first time since WWII that a powerful nation set out to expand its regional dominance by taking over a neighboring country in Europe.

I’ll now start an ongoing 🧵 of “first since WWII” and “worst since WWII” things that Russia is causing.

⬇️ “When the Russian army invaded its neighbor on February 24, it ignited Europe’s largest movement of refugees since World War II.”…
Apr 17 5 tweets 1 min read
“Syrians & Ukrainians have been laid waste to by Putin bombs, cities razed to ground by Russian artillery.

Syrian civil war started in 2011, but it was Russia’s 2015 escalation that ignited mass exodus, mostly into neighboring countries, but also Europe”… “362,800 Syrians applied for asylum in EU member states in 2015 w/ about 158,700 of those in Germany.

While about 6.6 million Syrians have been forcefully displaced from their country since the start of the civil war, the situation in Ukraine is escalating at a much quicker pace
Apr 17 6 tweets 2 min read
“How the FDA’s food division fails to regulate health and safety hazards -

A POLITICO investigation based on more than 50 interviews finds the ⁦@US_FDA⁩ is failing to meet American consumers' expectations on food safety and nutrition.”… “It’s been more than 11 years since Congress passed a sweeping food safety law designed to prevent this type of health risk.”
Apr 16 5 tweets 1 min read
“A Reckoning With How Slavery Ended -

Kris Manjapra’s new book, “Black Ghost of Empire,” examines the ways white slaveholders were compensated,

while formerly enslaved people were not.”… “To make the case for reparations in its broadest sense—not just for monetary compensation but also for a genuine repair of the relationship between Black and white people—Manjapra examines not slavery itself but the inequalities that arose during emancipation.”
Apr 16 9 tweets 2 min read
“Ukrainians Face New Hurdle at U.S. Border: No Dogs -

Federal health guidelines limit the entry of pets from countries like Ukraine with a high incidence of rabies.

For some refugees, the rule has been devastating.”… “The sisters made it as far as Tijuana before they heard the news that stopped them short:

Dogs from Ukraine were in most cases not being allowed into the United States.

A number of people had already had to leave their pets behind in Mexico under federal health regulations.”
Apr 16 5 tweets 1 min read
“Google, JPMorgan, Other U.S. Firms Flee Russia for Dubai -

UAE, which hasn’t imposed sanctions, is one of a few U.S. partners willing to give visas to Russians”… “U.S. companies, tapping one of the few flight corridors out of Moscow, are moving employees from Russia to the United Arab Emirates, a boon for the Gulf nation as it seeks to cement its place as a global commercial hub.”
Apr 16 15 tweets 3 min read
“How George W. Bush became the villain in a GOP crusade against affirmative action -

Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board is a testament to just how much Republicans have radicalized on race.”… “A new case just arrived on the Supreme Court’s “shadow docket” that could upend a quarter-century of higher education policy and end diversity programs that were once on the cutting edge of conservative thinking.”
Apr 16 5 tweets 2 min read
“U.K. Plans to Send Some Asylum Seekers to Rwanda -

Britain says it will fly many refugees thousands of miles to the central African country for processing and resettlement, a significant hardening of migration policy.”… “Under the plan, the British government will pay the East African country about $160 million to process and resettle migrants who don’t meet the criteria for staying in the UK.”…
Apr 16 4 tweets 1 min read
“The People Who Decide What Becomes History -

However fastidious they may be about facts, historians are engaged in storytelling, not science.”… “In a new book, Richard Cohen explores how historians, eye witnesses, novelists, political propagandists and others influence what becomes the accepted record.

“A very good thing about 'Making History' is that, despite the book’s premise, it is not reductive or debunking,"
Apr 16 12 tweets 3 min read
.⁦⁦@newrepublic⁩ Poll:

Americans Agree Democracy Is Doomed, but Not About Why -

Our exclusive survey reveals that a majority of Republicans believe the January 6 insurrection was an “act of patriotism.”… “Never let it be forgotten that the world’s oldest democracy was one man’s wobbly conscience away from losing that claim in 2021.

Vice President Mike Pence did the right thing in the end on January 6 of last year…”…
Apr 16 5 tweets 2 min read
“part of a 10,000-member workforce taking care of 6,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents in their homes, paid by the state Department of Social Services (DSS) and state Department of Developmental Services (DDS) through Medicaid funding.”… “They are mostly women—predominantly women of color—w/ no health care benefits, no paid time off, no paid sick days & no path to retirement even as the pandemic has worn on into a third year, said Diedre Murch, director of home care for the New England Healthcare Employees Union”
Apr 15 12 tweets 2 min read
“The Western assistance, while never secret, wasn’t trumpeted to avoid riling Russia.

It also remained low-key because it was a valuable source of intelligence for the U.S. and its allies.”… “Ukraine has been fighting a shooting war with Russian-backed separatists in parts of its east for years, meaning Kyiv fields some of Europe’s most battle-hardened soldiers.”
Mar 17 4 tweets 1 min read
“Drive Slow for America -

The key to coping with “Putin’s price hike” is better driving habits.”

How to Spend Less on Gas.”… “Never mind that it kills people—more than 1/4 of traffic fatalities in 2020 were related to speeding.

Or that it wrecks the climate—data show that lowering the national speed limit to 60 mph) would reduce the country’s carbon emissions more than taking 1M cars off the road.”
Mar 16 7 tweets 2 min read
“An India Family’s Fatal Crossing on the U.S. Border -

A family from India froze to death just yards away from crossing into the United States from Canada.

Desperate migrants are trying their luck on the northern border.”… “Patel, 39, and his wife, Vaishali, 37, had been teachers in the Indian state of Gujarat until Covid-19 shuttered schools.

With few options in their home village, they had paid to be smuggled, along with their 11-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, into the United States.”