Guess How Many People Worked From Home Last Year

About six months ago, a colleague asked me to guess what percentage of Americans were still working from home. I was still spending eight hours a day making calls just a few feet from my fridge. So were most of my friends. Maybe 40 percent? I guessed. I was off by half. Twenty-one percent of Americans were still teleworking as of March 2021; the other 79 percent were leaving their home like the old days. This was a case of beltway bias on my part, and I should have known better. My parents, in Iowa, had gone back to in-person work at that point, and many of my friends in… Read More

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A Democratic House May Depend on Dismantling Minority Districts

Most members of Congress crave political security, and Terri Sewell has it. For more than a decade, she’s represented Alabama’s Seventh District, a 61 percent Black hodgepodge that awkwardly links the bustling cities of Birmingham and Montgomery via the sprawling, agriculturally rich Black Belt (named for the region’s dark topsoil), where more than a quarter of residents still live below the federal poverty line. The Seventh has never given her less than 72 percent of the vote. In 2022, she wants to dismantle it. “If we’re a quarter of the population, we should be a quarter of the seats,” Sewell told me recently. In last year’s census, Black residents accounted… Read More

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France Is Mad

The dining room of the French Ambassador’s residence is one of the most beautiful places in Washington D.C., a confection of frothed plaster overlooking a garden in the poodle-clipped style the French so love. Before COVID, the room was known for the discussion sessions held there and hosted by a gracious series of ambassadors. It’s been a long time since anyone was able to enjoy an in-person event at the residence. So when invitations arrived to celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, at the residence in a lunchtime discussion with a former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and an equally distinguished French judge, well, the RSVPs returned quickly. The timing,… Read More

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Pregnant People?

Last year, a brand-new labor-and-delivery hospital opened on the well-to-do Upper East Side of New York City. Its name, the Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, might strike most people as innocuous or straightforward. But to some people, the suggestion that a hospital where babies are born is for women is offensive, because transgender and nonbinary people who do not identify as women can also get pregnant and deliver babies. Only niche groups tend to care about how Americans discuss gender and pregnancy—including whether it’s better to use the term pregnant people instead of pregnant women. But those groups care a lot. Representative Cori Bush of Missouri used the… Read More

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