The economist Lisa Cook was confirmed Tuesday as the first Black woman on the Federal Reserve Board in a historic moment for the central bank as it tries to stabilize a recovery that serves all Americans.
Cook was confirmed by a 51-to-50 vote in the Senate, with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. No Republicans voted for Cook, and Democrats, who hold a razor-thin majority, had delayed moving forward on her nomination until they could assemble all 50 of their members to back her.
Cook is among the country’s preeminent economists and teaches at Michigan State University. Her research has focused on macroeconomics, economic history, international finance and innovation, particularly on how hate-related violence has harmed U.S. economic growth. Her work has analyzed how patent records show that the riots, lynchings and Jim Crow laws that targeted African American communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s hurt Black people’s ability to pursue inventions and discoveries at the time.
“If there is something that impedes the rate of arrival of ideas, you’re going to slow down the economy,” Cook said on the “Planet Money” podcast in 2020. “It’s not just for that period. And it’s not just for Black people. This is a cautionary tale for all economies.”
Cook also worked on the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration and has held visiting appointments at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the University of Michigan and the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.
President Biden has sought to assemble the most diverse Fed board in the agency’s 108-year history. And Fed experts say the package of nominees the White House recently named goes a long way toward fulfilling Biden’s promise to make the Fed more reflective of the country it serves.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
A group of Republican senators is calling for the country's television ratings system to warn parents about "sexual orientation and gender identity content" on children's TV shows.
In a two-page letter dated May 4, Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., made the request to the chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board.
The TV Parental Guidelines is a television and film content rating system that Congress, the broadcast industry and the Federal Communications Commission created in 1996 “to give parents more information about the content and age-appropriateness of TV program.” The rating icons — including TV-G, TV-PG and TV-MA — are typically displayed at the top of a screen as a program begins.
“In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria,” the letter reads. "To this end, we strongly urge you to update the TV Parental Guidelines and ensure they are up-to-date on best practices that help inform parents on this disturbing content."
The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board confirmed to NBC News that it had received the senators' letter, but it declined to comment further.
The senators' request comes amid a nationwide discussion over how and when children should learn about LGBTQ issues or identities, as well as an uptick in charged rhetoric surrounding the lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
Because we can't for a second have anyone under 18 see any positive image of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, aromatic, asexual, queer, non-binary or any non heterosexual person at all.
Republicans are going to take power and regulate all non-white non-Christian, and non-straight people out of existence, especially in media. They've been playing the long game on this all my life, and they are absolutely winning.
Unless we stop them.
I'm thinking about it in connection with something else I'm reading that wouldn't seem to be related at all -- the 2010 memoir by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He was a junkie for years, and he makes the point that he began using heroin at a time when the Stones were hugely successful and hobnobbing with swells. He writes:
And the reason I'm here is probably that we only ever took, as much as possible, the real suff, the top-quality stuff. Cocaine I only got into because it was pure pharmaceutical -- boom. When I was introduced to dope, it was all pure, pure, pure. You didn't have to worry about what's it cut with and go through all that street shit.
This was also a time when Britain registered heroin addicts and provided them the drugs. Richards says junkies claimed they needed twice as much as they were actually using, then sold the rest. Users like Richards bought it -- but it was unadulterated.
For abortion, I'm imagining a future when the medical procedure will be very difficult to obtain -- pursuing doctors who perform abortions will be a moral crusade, conducted with more righteous zeal than it was in the immediate pre-Roe era. And the same will be true for anyone who provides abortion drugs. And I think eventually abortion will be banned nationwide, by a Republican Party with full control in D.C.
Most recreational drugs are illegal in America, yet we get them. How? Thanks to organized crime. Organized crime is also how gay bars managed to stay in business before the gay liberation movement -- the Stonewall Inn was a Mob bar.
I'm imagining a future in which obtaining abortion drugs will be like buying cocaine or meth -- you'll be able to make the purchase because shady characters make it possible. If you have the money and the right connection, you'll get the pure abortion pills imported from Europe or Canada; if not, well, good luck. Probably you'll get something that's not (or not very) adulterated, but it'll come with no guarantees. It'll be "street shit."
Doctors who perform abortions might need organized crime protections, too. When a group of pre-Roe feminists known as the Janes began providing abortions in Chicago in the late 1960s, "it was rumored that many Chicago abortion services paid for Mob protection," according to Chicago magazine. One history of the group says that "Mike, the man who taught the first Jane volunteers how to perform abortions, had learned from a Mafia doctor." All this could be our future.