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10 Things to Ask About the News- Mar. 21st

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Women’s History Month Fact: A well-known English novelist, Jane Austen is known for her six major novels, including Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility. She is known for her critique on the British gentry that explores the experiences of womanhood in the late 18th century. Her work centers around struggles and experiences for women on the topics of marriage, social standing, and economic security.

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden on February 25th to be a  Supreme Court Justice. She will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 21st, beginning a 4-day hearing process. On the issue, CNN reports an emphasis on what Jackson’s installment could mean for a majority conservative court currently on the path to restricting abortions and other reproductive rights across the country. Fox News reports concerns brought forth by Senator Josh Hawley on Twitter of her legal record, claiming that she has a history of “letting child porn offenders off the hook.”

Engagement Questions

  • Here, we see an obvious divergence of focus between these two news outlets, possibly representative of different party opinions. On the issue of Jackson’s confirmation, Democrats may be more concerned with Court advantages though Republicans may be more concerned with Jackson’s credibility and judgment. Where do these concerns come from? Which is more important, and who is to judge? 
  • We often do see arguments over candidacy for important government roles to center over and focus on character (ie. a candidate’s history, personality, and family) and position (ie. what it would mean for the future of America). Why is this so? What can we make from this pattern? What does it reveal about party values?
    • How might we get people to understand one another’s different values in political candidates? 

Disney and Parental Rights Bill

As mentioned last week, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill is on its way to be passed by Congress. Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has entered the picture as, although the company has previously taken a stance of neutrality on politics, the company has donated around $300,000 to supporters of the bill for the past two years. Upon protests from employees, Chapek issued an apology to LGBTQ+ employees, though refused to give an official statement on the issue. Last week, employees staged walkouts with a full day walkout planned for this coming Tuesday.

Engagement Questions

  • What are the motivations behind supporters and opposers of the bill? What is at stake for each side?
  • The topic of children, their wellbeing, and their education is often an extremely sensitive topic for many and the path of their future is often highly debated. How can we bridge that gap and communicate a mutual understanding of consideration for our children’s health and wellbeing? 
  • What role do private companies, specifically those working in youth entertainment, have in social movements pertaining to youth? Is there really a position of neutrality? What does it mean to not be engaged in politics? 

Gas Tax and Inflation

With the sudden rise of gas prices, largely due to the conflicts in Russia and Ukraine, some states are temporarily suspending their tax on gas. California, currently with the highest gas tax in the country, has proposed a rebate while Georgia and Maryland have already fully put on a gas tax pause.

Engagement Questions

  • Inflation in prices of commodities, like gas prices, often create environments of monetary stress for families in America. What might we speculate about divisions in America as a result of increased financial stress? How might possibilities and consequences of war affect American families in the microscale?
  • What is the role of the government in times like these and why might people disagree on this?

Editor’s Note: Every week, BA Media intern Janus Kwong compiles a briefing document for our national media staff’s reference, a guide for thinking through the major news items we and our fellow Americans might have at top of mind. These documents don’t assert a party-line or standard; they lay out some themes and guide us through key questions, and like the best of our work, they bring us a little closer to understanding things with a spirit of goodwill, through a commitment to process. They shouldn’t be seen as fact-sheets or strategic assessments, but as reflective little guides to help us cultivate the Braver Angels Way as we approach any issue at all. We in the media team are reflecting on these questions ourselves, and we invite interested BA members to do so too, and share your thoughts with us at media@braverangels.org or in the comments. -LNP

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1 thought on “10 Things to Ask About the News- Mar. 21st”

  1. Yes I’ve listened to multiple news sources & opinions on all of these issues, but our opinions don’t seem to matter, it concerns me on nominating Ms Brownnon a number of answers to define a woman, Answer- I’m not a biologist & about the 18 year old she defended even now about his youth & the pictures weee sent without his consent, I heard went on a little later to offend so where does that lead us? I get so worried about what direction this country is being driven to & feeling totally like we have no say! Is it just because I’m a conservative woman or do answers like that seem unimportant? I get so angry & frustrated because only one sides opinion is heard & acted on! It’s like a car out of control & we can see the crash coming but unable to stop it from happening!!

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