It’s been a tumultuous week of news, as details of Donald Trump’s transition team and agenda trickle out.

A key item on the chopping block is the Affordable Care Act. Among many other things, its repeal could leave millions of women without access to affordable birth control. That’s why, Olivia Alperstein explains this week, many are rushing to get IUDs before the law can be repealed.

Also this week, Jim Hightower reports on the Koch brothers’ “grassroots” education program for pro-corporate activists, Nia Nyamweya wonders why black girls are getting left out of the national debate over mass incarceration, and Khalil Bendib imagines authoritarian world leaders celebrating Trump’s victory.

But if you know where to look, there are still some encouraging signs.

My colleague Sarah Anderson, for example, reports on an inspiring left-right coalition that took on the predatory payday loan industry in deep red South Dakota — and won. And columnist Jill Richardson takes Mike Pence’s recent trip to the theater as an opportunity to reflect on the surprisingly liberal-sounding legacy of Alexander Hamilton.

Elsewhere, Sam Pizzigati shows what the cost of pet care can teach us about the cost of caring for humans. Anyone who’s ever paid a vet bill will relate.

Finally, some business: We’ll be skipping a package next week (Nov. 30) so we can enjoy Thanksgiving with our families this week. We’ll be back with another newsletter on Dec. 7.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us.

an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

  1. Bipartisan Unity in a Deep Red State / Sarah Anderson
    A politically diverse coalition fighting predatory lenders in South Dakota offers hope for all of us in a divisive time.
  2. Get an IUD While You Can / Olivia Alperstein
    With a new Congress threatening birth control access, millions of women are looking at long-term solutions.
  3. Self-Defense for Whom? / Nia Nyamweya
    Our legal system fails young girls when they need help the most, and then punishes them for the result.
  4. Why Does Pet Care Cost So Much? / Sam Pizzigati
    What the cost of caring for our pets can teach us about the cost of caring for humans.
  5. What Trump Could Learn from Alexander Hamilton / Jill Richar
    America’s first treasury secretary was no liberal, but he almost sounds like one today.
  6. Koch Kollege for Right-Wing Social Engineers / Jim Hightower
    The billionaire Koch brothers are funding a school to promote their views, but the message is hard to swallow.
  7. Tyrants of the World, Unite! / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of 

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