Midday open thread: Student climate strikers spotlight what's what; planking for RBG on her 86th

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is The Donald Trump Bible:

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:

  • How the college admissions process illuminates the reality of the American caste system   by RebeccaRenner
  • Affirmative Action and the myth of structural reverse racism, by Frank Vyan Walton 
  • Sorry, Trump: Coal is going down, renewables are headed up, by Sher Watts Spooner 
  • The Ohio gerrymandering court case: ‘A map that Speaker Boehner supports’, by David Akadjian
  • Women’s History Month: Reclaiming the herstories of Black women suffragists, by Denise Oliver Velez 
  • Donald Trump’s 10 most pathetically predictable broken promises, by Jon Perr 
  • Preparing for war in Venezuela? I’ve seen this play before, by Egberto Willies 
  • I, for one, welcome our robot overlords—they can’t be any worse than Trump, by Mark E Andersen 
  • Too many Democrats? History shows that a large presidential field bodes well for our chances in 2020, by Ian Reifowitz
  • Sexist campaign coverage can’t be fixed if media won’t admit to 2016 fiasco, by Eric Boehlert

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg turns 86 today: Some impromptu celebrations have sprung up. 500 of her enthusiastic (and well-fit) followers have pledged to plank for RGB in front of the Supreme Court from 5-7 PM ET. Non-planking participants are welcome. From Facebook:

Why the heck are we planking, you ask? In a recent interview, when RBG was asked who the most important person was in her life, she replied, “My trainer.” RBG planks day in and day out so that SHE. CAN. KEEP. DISSENTING. I mean, come on, what would we do without her?! Come join The Outrage as we celebrate one of our favorite icons and the OG feminist.

Security stepped up at U.S. mosques after New Zealand massacre: Across the nation, city officials and law enforcement have assured Americans in general and Muslims in particular that they have increased their vigilance in the wake of the killings of 49 at two Christchurch mosques by at least one white supremacist using semi-automatic firearms easily obtained in New Zealand. In St. Paul, Minnesota, where there is a large Muslim community, the police department tweeted: “We want our Muslim family members, friends and neighbors to know that we’ll do everything possible to keep you safe and secure in the city we share.”

Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, this nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said on Friday that Muslims around the world were in mourning and needed to exercise caution as they attended prayers. He said the attacks were part of a rising incidence of intolerance in the United States and abroad.

MIDDAY TWEET

Sixteen state AGs are preparing a legal challenge over Trump regime’s plan to auction leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:

The Bureau of Land Management’s first review of a program to develop the refuge’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, also known as the 1002 area, flouts the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the state attorneys general wrote Wednesday in their comments on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS).

“In its haste to issue oil leases, the Trump administration has failed to take the legally required ‘hard look’ at the severe environmental impacts of industrializing the coastal plain — the biological heart of the Arctic Refuge,” said David Hayes, executive director of the New York University School of Law State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, which coordinates multistate lawsuits by Democratic attorneys general.

Women still sparse at major engineering conferences:

MORE THAN 15,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors descended upon downtown San Diego last week for the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC), presenting and talking about the latest developments in the field, such as new kinds of integrated circuits for mobile phones and quantum computing technologies. As with many conferences, there was much to see and discuss, but one topic in particular became something of a sore spot with engineers in the field: Nearly all of the high-profile speakers were men. […]

For years, engineers and advocates for women in engineering and science have talked about gender disparities and tried to educate the community in hopes of changing the dynamics and achieving gender parity. “We thought it would happen organically,” said Elizabeth Rogan, chief executive of the OSA, “but it didn’t.”

Students are striking in hundreds of cities today to draw attention to the climate crisis: From Down Under to near the top of the world, strikers have walked out of classes to spotlight the climate crisis they expect will be affecting them all their livesAdrian Horton at The Guardian interviewed Marcela Mulholland, a 21-year-old student organizer at University of Florida in Gainesville, where students have joined the climate strike. One of his questions:

Why now? Why March 2019?

So a few months ago, the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change released a report that essentially sounded the alarm — they released it in 2018 and they said we had 12 years but now we have 11 years to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avoid the most catastrophic global warming.

When that report came out – for me personally – I already believed in climate change and was very involved in the climate movement, but it was still a punch in the gut. To just see it in writing yet again, reiterated by the world’s leading climate scientists that we really are spiraling toward a catastrophic future that could end civilization as we know it if we don’t act within the next few years, that really for me… made me double down on my commitment to this movement.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: We’re once again under the cloud of a mass shooting. Yes, “we.” Trump’s veiled civil war threats. Suit against Bushmaster OKed in CT. How the Rep. Omar flap, plus anti-Semitism resolution vote(s), plus motions to recommit = a Yemen resolution debacle.

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