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Vox Sentences: Baby steps toward a general strike

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A general strike with training wheels

A Day Without a Woman demonstrators Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
  • March 8 is International Women's Day; Wednesday, March 8, 2017, was also (in the US) the "Day Without a Woman," as many women attended protests, went on strike from work, boycotted buying things, or simply wore red in solidarity. [Vox / Emily Crockett]
  • The concept of the "Day Without" has its roots in "Day Without an Immigrant" protests, which were introduced in the mid-2000s (after the film A Day Without a Mexican) but reinvigorated after President Trump's inauguration in 2017. In those cases, the intent was to illustrate the impact of mass deportation. [Eater / Whitney Filloon]
  • But A Day Without a Women is more of a straightforward general strike — or, at least, general strike-optional. Many of its organizers saw it as a way to reintroduce the concept of a general strike (something that hasn't been a part of political action in America since the 1940s) to progressives. [Bloomberg / Rebecca Greenfield]
  • In this way, it's in keeping with International Women's Day, which (let's not forget) is in origin a socialist holiday. [Jacobin / Cintia Frencia & Daniel Gaido]
  • But at the individual level, choices can be trickier. Is it a cop-out for women in white-collar jobs to request paid time off for a strike day? Is it unfair to attend a protest while paying a caregiver to look after a child? [Vox / Emily Crockett]
  • Does A Day Without a Woman dramatize the particularly gendered labor that women do, and the ways women are often "hypercompetent sidekicks" to the men who get the spotlight... [Vox / Constance Grady and Javier Zarracina]
  • ...or does it just do misogynists' work for them by shutting women up? [The Verge / Kaitlyn Tiffany]
  • From a socialist perspective, these questions miss the point. The point is to disrupt the oppressive structure that forces these choices to be necessary. But in the meantime, in practice, solidarity can be hard. [Jacobin / Nelson Lichtenstein]

AHCA: Take on me!

 Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Mass., conduct a House Ways and Means Committee markup Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
  • The American Health Care Act (the House Republican bill revising Obamacare) is, as of the writing of this newsletter, being marked up in two House committees, both of which are likely to stay in session until late Wednesday night (and possibly resume on Thursday). As of press time, no amendments have been approved in one committee, and none have even been introduced in the other. [NPR / April Fulton]
  • The outlook for the bill's passage is still very shaky. For one thing, every organization of doctors and hospitals officially opposes the bill. [Bloomberg / Zachary Tracer and Anna Edney]
  • So does the AARP, which cut an ad in which a talking squirrel bashes the GOP plan within 24 hours of the bill's introduction. [Mother Jones / Patrick Caldwell]
  • But Republicans have the world's least-secret secret weapon: President Donald Trump. Trump is doing very conventional (and very un-Trumpian) things to push for the bill's passage, like making nice with opposed senators such as Rand Paul (R-KY) on Twitter... [Politico / Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney]
  • ...and hosting members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus (which opposes the bill because it doesn't fully repeal Obamacare) for pizza and bowling at the White House Wednesday night. [The Hill/ Jordan Fabian and Scott Wong]
  • The administration appears to be winning support by promising critics that this is just the starting point in a negotiation — which is not how House Republican leadership sees it. So when press secretary Sean Spicer said that every member would have the chance to amend the bill on the House floor, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) — who chairs the Rules Committee and is thus in charge of determining how bills get debated — told him, verbatim, to "stay in his lane." [BuzzFeed News / Sarah Mimms]
  • But it's a cardinal rule of Congress: Never underestimate a member's willingness to fold. Especially when the president is involved. [Huffington Post / Ryan Grim, Sam Stein, and Matt Fuller]

Can Indians' fears chill the Trump/Modi bromance?

Hindu nationalist Vishva Hindu Parishad activists pray for Trump's victory last May in Allahabad. Prabhat Kumar Verma/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Let's talk about Indians, and Indian Americans, in the age of Trump. Three violent incidents have targeted Indian immigrants in the US over the past two weeks — all of which show evidence of being xenophobic hate crimes. [Vox / Lindsay Maitland]
  • The father of Alok Madasani, who was injured in one such attack in Kansas City (Madasani's friend Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed) is warning other Indians that the US is not a safe place, and that they should not come to the country. [Hindustan Times / Srinivasa Rao Apparasu]
  • It's a message that Indians might already have received. After decades of preference on the Indian marriage market for would-be grooms in the US, parents of daughters looking to marry are now rejecting inquiries from emigrants in America. [ / Manasa Chennapragada]
  • The Trump administration has assured the Indian government that high-skilled H-1B work visas (which are an important avenue for Indian nationals to enter the US) aren't going to be cut in 2017, though they make no promises for the future. [PTI]
  • And the spouses of H-1B visa holders may no longer be allowed to work in the US, depending on the outcome of a court case — which the Trump administration is considering which side to weigh in on. [PTI]
  • The odd thing about all this is that certain Indian Americans in the US — hardcore Hindu nationalists who support current Prime Minister Narendra Modi — have been among Trump's most stalwart supporters. [NYT / Jeremy W. Peters]
  • Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, sees Modi as a natural ally in his fight for a "transnational nationalism." [The Daily Beast / Asawin Suebsaeng]
  • Modi himself, however, might be sensitive to the concerns of the Indian diaspora, which is an important political asset. [Foreign Policy / Emily Tamkin]
  • In his heart, Modi may be a nationalist. But in office, he's governed a bit more like a technocrat. And that might make him less than willing to overlook the costs of Trumpism for his people. [Foreign Affairs / Andrew North]


  • Debates about how to best crush vermin to death are tearing apart the British mole-catching community. [The Guardian / Brendan Borrell]
  • The racist, Islamophobic Dutch demagogue Geert Wilders stands a good chance of placing first in next Wednesday's national election. But due to the magic of proportional representation, he has basically zero shot of becoming prime minister. [Foreign Affairs / Stan Veuger]
  • Hallways: Are they too quiet? Should they be louder? [Chronicle of Higher Education / Deborah K. Fitzgerald]
  • Currently, hard drives and other computer storage require about 1 million atoms per bit. A team of physicists has now managed to represent a bit using the magnetic states of just one atom. [Nature / Elizabeth Gibney]
  • Self-driving cars (probably) won't reduce traffic. But congestion pricing could. [NYT / Conor Dougherty]


Watch this: The Republican health care bill makes no sense

The bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve. [YouTube / Ezra Klein, Alvin Chang, Liz Scheltens, Gina Barton, Dean Peterson, Joe Posner and Nick Garbaty]

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