The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for March, 2024

What can we do about a Supreme Court packed with corrupt extremists?

To be fair, some Dems have made an effort to expand the court. In 2023, a group of senators and representatives including Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Tina Smith, Hank Johnson, Jerrold Nadler, Cori Bush, and Adam Schiff reintroduced legislation to increase the number of justices to 13. Schiff made the case eloquently:

Schiff, a congressman from California, said: “This is not a conservative court, not in a legal sense. A conservative court would have some respect for precedent. This is instead a political and partisan court with a reactionary social agenda and the only question, Mitch McConnell having packed the court, is will we do anything about it or will we subject an entire generation of Americans to the loss of their rights?

“Dirtier air and dirtier water and dirtier elections? Is that the fate we would have for the next generation? My kids are both in their early 20s and I am not satisfied that they should have to live under a reactionary supreme court for their entire adult lives and I don’t want anyone else’s kids to have to suffer that fate.

If you’re still not convinced about expanding the court, the nonprofit Demos has an excellent explainer, a key takeaway being that concerns about violating norms need to be weighed against the fact that those norms have already been destroyed.

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What Did We Learn From Covid?

These days, a conventional wisdom has settled in that we somehow overreacted to Covid. That our response went too far, and we are now past those silly times. Here’s the lesson to take away: we didn’t do enough. Trump’s response was idiotic and catastrophic (does anyone remember him saying blue state governors “have to treat us well” if they want coronavirus help?). In the last four years, over 1.1 million Americans have died of the illness. Countless lives have been shattered by Long Covid. The immunocompromised and other vulnerable populations are barely an afterthought. We let the virus be politicized by opportunists, and allowed false narratives about governments “controlling” us to dominate our media. The hard choices that were made to prevent even more death and suffering are now, ludicrously, seen as mistakes. 

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Electric Vehicles Gone Wrong

For a while there, I was somewhat willing to indulge the idea of gigantic EVs as a way to wean Americans off of fossil fuels. But my patience has worn thin.

I appreciate that the new Dodge Charger EV does not have a ten foot-high grille; however, it comes with an obnoxious feature called “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” which creates fake engine-revving sounds through a system of woofers and speakers and acoustic chambers, with a volume up to 126 decibels. According to the CDC, “loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.” We’re not talking about the soft, whirring spaceship sounds that some electric vehicles emit as a safety feature. The last thing we need is more noise pollution, especially totally unnecessary sounds from an EV! 

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This is the second time in fifteen years or so that I’ve gotten stuck in an airport overnight. Passengers were sprawled out in every possible spot. Some were snoring loudly, a feat of sleep unimaginable in those circumstances, especially given the twice-hourly announcements to NOT LEAVE YOUR BAGGAGE UNATTENDED.

I’ve been to Seattle and San Francisco in recent months, but somehow the inequality in DC seemed more pronounced than I was expecting, and greater than I’d seen on previous trips. 

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Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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