Happy New Year!

In our first new package of 2023, new People for the American Way president Svante Myrick says we need to learn the right lessons from history this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Svante, a Black former leader of Ithaca, New York who grew up experiencing homelessness before becoming the youngest mayor in the state’s history, knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. It’s not something done by “Great Men” (or women) alone, he says — it’s done by the countless ordinary people who stand up for what’s right.

We can’t wait on saviors to right the ship of history, he warns — that’s up to all of us.

Also this week, our contributors make sense of the muddle as Republicans take over the House of Representatives. Mitchell Zimmerman highlights the GOP leaders threatening to take the economy hostage to cut Social Security and Medicare, while cartoonist Khalil Bendib images new Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a puppet for the far right faction that nearly derailed his bid.

Finally, we look at some encouraging developments on the educational front. My colleague Olivia Alperstein reports on a new law that will make sure more kids learn media literacy, while Jim Hightower says Americans are getting rightly fed up with far-right campaigns to ban books.

Hope you had a great holiday season and your New Year is off to a good start!

New This Week… 

This MLK Day, Let’s Learn the Right Lessons from History | Svante Myrick
Dr. King was a giant, but history is also made by ordinary people standing up for what’s right. That takes all of us.

Republicans Turn to Mugging Social Security | Mitchell Zimmerman
With their Speaker circus over, the party now threatens to crash the economy unless they can slash your benefits.

Helping Students Sort Fact from Fiction | Olivia Alperstein
More schools need to teach kids how to recognize BS when they see it.

Americans Hate Book Bans | Jim Hightower
More than 7 in 10 Americans oppose these ideological efforts to put blinders on young people.

Cartoon: My Kevin | Khalil Bendib
Ladies and gentleman, the new Speaker of the House.

In Case You Missed It….

A Year of Global Displacement | Farrah Hassen
This year’s record-breaking global displacement crisis calls for immigration policies that reflect our humanity, not cruelty.

No, State Legislatures Can’t Shred Constitutional Rights | Mitchell Zimmerman
Far-right state lawmakers say the Constitution gives them the right to stiff voters. Legal experts say that’s bogus.

Elon Musk May Not Be So Brilliant After All | Sam Pizzigati
As Twitter implodes under Musk’s rule, a lawsuit argues Tesla is vastly overpaying the world’s richest man.

The Defrocking of Saint Ron DeSantis | Jim Hightower
A critical look at the “godly” Florida governor’s nasty, dishonest war on the Sunshine State’s voters.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.

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