Antarctica’s ice melt, visualized with swimming pools | Vox


The frigid expanse of land at the Earth’s Southern pole is covered by 90 percent of the planet’s ice. If all the ice in Antarctica’s ice sheets were to melt, it would raise sea levels by 190 feet.

Much of this ice is miles thick and still frozen solid. But a hotter atmosphere and a warmer ocean have caused some of it to melt at an increasingly faster rate.

Source: Antarctica’s ice melt, visualized with swimming pools – Vox

A war is a crisis if no one on our side shows up | TheHill


The Army is struggling to meet its enlistment objective of 76,000 recruits for fiscal year 2018; in fact, it has reduced its objective from its original goal of 80,000.

Last year it achieved its objective of 63,000 recruits but had to accept more than 1,000 Category IV recruits to do so.

These “CAT IV” recruits are applicants who score between the 10th and 30th percentile in aptitude tests.

Source: A war is a crisis if no one on our side shows up | TheHill

Meek Mill’s decade-long struggle in the justice system, explained | Vox


The case, which raises questions about both judicial and officer misconduct, concerns a chart-topping rapper, someone who would typically draw a great deal of publicity.

But racial justice advocates and Mill’s celebrity supporters argue that at a time when police violence, mass incarceration, and harsh sentencing continue to disproportionately affect people of color, Mill’s case is an all-too-normal tale of the potential harms of America’s probation system:

A single infraction can affect a person for years after he or she has served time due to an extensive web of supervision and the courts’ ability to put someone back behind bars for even minimal offenses.

Source: Meek Mill’s decade-long struggle in the justice system, explained – Vox

Trump’s Gift To China | Social Europe

Rather than dwell on Trump’s bizarre behavior, we would do well to remember that today’s global developments predate his presidency. The “pivot to Asia,” after all, was inaugurated by former US President Barack Obama. Trump has merely carried it forward, most recently by meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Insofar that Trump’s policies pose serious risks, it is not because they represent a strategic reorientation for the US, which was happening anyway, but rather because they are self-contradictory and unnecessarily destructive.

For example, when Trump calls for a reduction in US military involvement in the Middle East, he is merely echoing Obama.

Yet by reneging on the nuclear deal with Iran, Trump has made war in the region more likely. And by going out of his way to alleviate North Korea’s international isolation, while getting almost nothing in return, he has strengthened China’s position in East Asia.

Source: Trump’s Gift To China • Social Europe

Mitch McConnell’s gamble is about to pay off — big time | TheHill


McConnell drew fire from the media and outrage among pundits and activists on the left, but he held the line knowing the future of the Supreme Court — and the outcome of a number of issues conservatives cared deeply about, such as abortion, guns, and free speech — hung in the balance.

His resolve helped drive incredible turnout among a Republican base that understood the election’s considerably high stakes.

And based on exit polling, it is not an overstatement to say that McConnell’s decision to delay filling Scalia’s seat was a deciding factor in the election of President Trump.

Source: Mitch McConnell’s gamble is about to pay off — big time | TheHill

Is civility in America really dead? | TheHill


In 1838, Congressman Jonathan Cilley was killed by Congressman Williams Graves in a fatal gun duel. The duel was the result of Graves approaching Cilley at the behest James Webb, a newspaper editor, who was furious about with Cilley for accusing him of bribery on the House floor. When Cilley refused to accept the letter, Graves interpreted it as an insult to his character and challenged Cilley to a duel.

During their third round, which was beyond the customary two rounds, Cilley was killed.

One of the more famous incidents occurred in 1856 when Congressman Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the Senate chamber. Brooks was angry about a speech Sumner gave attacking the institution of slavery and those who supported slavery, including Senator Andrew Butler, a relative of Brooks.

As a result of the attack, Sumner had to take leave from his Senate duties to recuperate.

Source: Is civility in America really dead? | TheHill

Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos | TheHill


Republicans are greeting the Supreme Court clash expected to dominate Senate politics in the months leading to Election Day with glee, but it is filling Democrats with anxiety.

The GOP, which has been nervous about turnout, sees the prospect of a summer battle over Trump’s pick to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy as a way to energize the base, and get people to the polls.

Source: Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos | TheHill

Anti-establishment fervor grips Dems | TheHill


Democratic strategist Basil Smikle, however, said the party’s current affinity for anti-establishment candidates is more about the push for new ideas.

“There’s a huge appetite for a candidate that pushes big, aspirational ideas and not someone preoccupied with shaping public policy within the constraints of their office,” said Smikle, who worked for Hillary Clinton. “Radical change over incrementalism.”

Source: Anti-establishment fervor grips Dems | TheHill

The U.S.-Mexico Relationship Is Strong, Despite Pressure | US News

“It’s a very contradictory time. I come down at the end [of the book] making a balance of it and saying the forces pushing us together are going to push harder than what’s pulling us apart,” he says. “But clearly, both are happening.”

In his new book, “Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together,” Selee explores years of cooperation between the two countries, speaking with residents and officials in both Mexico and the U.S. about how their North American relationship has evolved over time.

Source: The U.S.-Mexico Relationship Is Strong, Despite Pressure | The Report | US News

Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Cements Court’s Shift to the Right | US News


In approving President Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, the majority even walked past the high court’s own ugly history of giving the thumbs-up to Japanese internment camps during World War II.

The result is indisputable: The nation’s highest court has apologetically defined itself as a highly conservative institution. And the court’s four liberals — several of whom signaled their displeasure at the rightward shift by reading scathing dissents out loud from the bench — can do nothing about it.

Source: Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Cements Court’s Shift to the Right | The Report | US News