The partial government shutdown reaches five weeks today, after two bills to reopen the government – one favored by Democrats, one by Republicans – failed to clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate yesterday. Vox details hidden costs of the government shutdown, including “disrupted scientific research by NOAA on climate change [that] will likely impact long-term results… wildfire recovery efforts in California could soon stall… residents who live near [Superfund] sites have no way of contacting response units if a nuclear accident were to occur. The [EPA] also had to cancel a pending public hearing on a $2.5 million plan to clean up contaminated soil… More than 40,000 immigration hearings (and counting) have been canceled due to the shutdown, according to a report by the Transactional Records Access Clearing House at Syracuse University. For these people who legally applied for asylum, there was already a backlog, according to a CNN report. More than 300 judges have been furloughed as well as workers hiring new judges. Rescheduling each canceled hearing could take years, and the true number of people from around the world who are impacted won’t be known until the shutdown is over… The Bureau of Indian Affairs didn’t meet this month to settle check amounts that Native American tribes receive for basic food, health care, and maintenance services, according to NPR. The per capita checks from the US government were initially designed as reparations for land treaties that took property from tribes and now help sustain these critical services for nearly 2 million Native Americans… The same Washington Post report found that housing for domestic violence victims is also subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and furloughed HUD staffers can’t access money for the nonprofits and shelters that support these victims because computer systems are down.”
Even as overall spending on TV ads for junk foods dropped from 2013 to 2017, spending on ads targeting black youth increased by more than 50 percent to $333 million, according to a new report from the Rudd Center at the University of Connecticut. In 2017, black children between the ages of two and 11 viewed 86 percent more food ads than their white peers. Among teenagers, the disparity was even wider. “Once you hook people,” Rafael Perez-Escamilla, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, told her, “especially starting with young children, which is very upsetting ― essentially you start training them not only on your brand but on how sweet, how salty, how caloric they’re going to like [their food] as they grow.”
A strike by Los Angeles teachers ended this week, with a deal that would limit class sizes; hire more nurses, librarians, counselors, and other support staff; limit charter school expansion; re-evaluate testing requirements; and raise teachers’ salaries.
New research published in the journal SSM – Population Health links greater representation of women in government to improved population health outcomes, based on a study of women’s representation in government and population health across Canada’s 10 provinces. The study’s authors explain: “We first dug into the research literature to see how male and female politicians might differ from each other. Compared to their male counterparts, female politicians are more likely to hold left-wing attitudes (with regard to issues such as civil rights, social equality and egalitarianism) and substantively advance women’s rights in areas such as pay equity, violence against women, health care and family policy… Using data from provincial election offices and Statistics Canada, we found that as the average percentage of women in government has historically risen, total mortality rates have declined… We also found a pathway that connects women in government, population health and the potential role of partisan politics. In an earlier study, we found that four types of provincial government spending are predictive of lower mortality rates: medical care, preventive care, other social services and post-secondary education. When we tested government spending as a mediating factor, we found that women in government in Canada have reduced mortality rates by triggering these specific types of health-promoting expenditures.