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  • Burman weighs in on Biden's coronavirus relief package in AP, Politico

    President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan largely relies on existing health care and tax credits, rather than new programs, but it expands them in ambitious new ways that are designed to reach more people who are suffering in an unprecedented time. "We haven’t done this before,” says Professor Len Burman. "If it actually does work the way it does in theory and the economy is back at full employment in a year, that would be amazing. It would save a lot of hardship and suffering." Read more in the Associated Press article, "$1.9T Biden relief package a bet government can help cure US." Burman was also quoted in the Politico article, "Biden's 'Morning in America' moment carries risks."


    Michelmore quoted in MarketWatch article on the American Rescue Plan

    Alongside $1,400 stimulus checks and more unemployment benefits, the $1.9 trillion financial stimulus package passed Saturday in the Senate broadens the Child Tax Credit’s eligibility and makes the credit’s payouts more generous. Undoing the earned income threshold is a particular benefit to Black and Latino children who disproportionately live in households falling underneath the earned income threshold, says Katherine Michelmore. "What this reform is doing is it’s completely taking earning out of the equation," she says. Michelmore was quoted in the MarketWatch article, "‘One of the largest anti-poverty bills in recent history’ — what the $1.9 trillion COVID bill means for families with kids."


    Gadarian speaks to the Telegraph about Hunter Biden's memoir

    Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has a memoir coming out April 6, 2021, that will center on his well publicized struggles with substance abuse. "He’s a person who’s been in the public eye for a long time. He was at the center of President Trump’s first impeachment, and his public image has been framed to some extent by the political opposition, so his aim may be to establish a public record in his own words," says Shana Gadarian. "It would not be surprising if he wanted to run for some sort of office at some point and is putting this out in anticipation of that," she adds. Read more in the Telegraph article, "Sober reflection: will a memoir rescue the reputation of President Biden's black sheep son?"


    Barkun comments on QAnon's March 4 failure in Insider article

    QAnon followers believed that Donald Trump would be reinstated as president on March 4 but that date turned out to be fruitless for believers of the conspiracy theory. "QAnon is dealing with a very difficult cognitive-dissonance situation," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science. "Whether it's some date in March or whether ultimately it will be a second Trump term after an election in 2024," he says, "there will be some further set of explanations and a further set of dates." Barkun was quoted in the Insider article, "Trump's fake inauguration on March 4 was QAnon's latest vision that flopped. A new date is now being peddled to perpetuate the mind games."


    Coffel discusses his thermal power and climate research in ESA journal

    With electricity demand set to soar—thanks to the transition to an all‐electric future and the rising use of air conditioning globally—the climate vulnerability of thermal plants is a major risk that needs to be accounted for, says Ethan Coffel, assistant professor of geography and the environment. He discusses his recent study on thermal power and climate change in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a journal of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).


    Reeher quoted in The Hill article on Biden's COVID-19 vaccine plan

    President Biden announced on Tuesday that there will be enough vaccinations for every American adult by the end of May, much sooner that his previous projection of July. "He has been careful to make clear that he is not saying the whole thing will be behind us by the end of May," says Professor Grant Reeher. "While it is possible to be too optimistic, it is also possible to be too pessimistic," he adds. "I mean, the president does need to give the American public reasons for hope—we have seen that since FDR. I think [Biden] is beginning to do that, and I think now is the time for it." Read more in The Hill article, "The Memo: Biden's COVID-19 bet comes with deep risks."


    Jok weighs in on Sudan's new cabinet in the Africa Report

    Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has named a new cabinet in keeping with the Juba Agreement. "The new cabinet is definitely an attempt to rein in on the multiple challenges of insecurity in the various regions, the pressing issues of economic recovery and the restless population about reforms," says Jok Madut Jok, professor of anthropology. "It may not be a mere band-aid [solution] but it will fall quite short of the popular expectations, especially in view of the fact that the military and the entire defense system remains in the hands of the former regime’s stalwarts," he says. Read more in the Africa Report article, "Sudan: Is the new cabinet a step forward or hollow promises?"


    Gueorguiev discusses legacy of China's Xi Jinping in NY Times

    China's leader Xi Jinping, is seeking to balance confidence and caution as China strides ahead while other countries continue to grapple with the pandemic. "Xi Jinping strikes me as ruthless but cautious in erecting a durable personal legacy," says Dimitar Gueorguiev, assistant professor of political science. In the eyes of China’s leaders, he says, "the response to the coronavirus was really a textbook example to the party of how you could bring things together in a short amount of time and force through a program." Gueorgueiv was quoted in the New York Times article, "'The East Is Rising': Xi Maps Out China’s Post-Covid Ascent."


    Harrington Meyer talks to AARP about grandparenting special needs kids

    Being the grandparent of a child with special needs can bring incredible joy but is also complicated. About 17 percent of children are diagnosed with some kind of disability, says University Professor Madonna Harrington Meyer, co-author of the book "Grandparenting Children With Disabilities." "Sometimes the grandparents are actually out in front," says Harrington Meyer. "But then they learn what it is. They learn what it means. And then they hit the ground running." Read more in the AARP article, "How to Grandparent a Child With Special Needs."


    Barkun quoted in Insider piece on QAnon's Trump conspiracy theory

    QAnon followers, unable to cope with Joe Biden's elevation to president in January, have now coopted a new belief to argue that the next legitimate inauguration date will be on March 4, 2021. The belief is rooted in theories promoted by the obscure sovereign citizen movement, a highly-fragmented grouping of Americans who believe taxes, U.S. currency, and even the U.S. government to be illegitimate. "You really feel like you're in an Alice in Wonderland world when you start going through the ideas of the sovereign citizens," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science. Read more in the Insider article, "Why QAnon are pinning their last desperate hopes on Trump emerging as president on March 4."


    Banks weighs in on Trump's legal problems in Newsday article

    Former President Trump is facing many legal battles including possible tax evasion charges. "There are various possibilities here for hiding assets or overvaluing or undervaluing assets," says Professor Emeritus William C. Banks. He says Trump and his supporters would call for an exaggeration of the prosecution and some officials may decide not to take some cases any further. "The lawsuits in New York City or New York State or wherever is, ultimately, a judgment call," Banks says. "You don’t have to lay charges. Even if you lay charges, you don’t have to go to trial." Banks was quoted in the Newsday article, "Trump’s legal problems escalate even though he’s not in power."


    Five Maxwell scholars contribute to aging studies handbook

    Four professors and a doctoral student from the Maxwell School’s Department of Sociology and Department of Public Administration and International Affairs have contributed to the completely revised ninth edition of the “Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences” (Elsevier Academic Press). In three chapters, Maxwell scholars explore a range of issues related to aging and the life course, including: the link between education and adult health, the life-course consequences of women’s direct and indirect ties to the military, and how intergenerational family ties shape well-being over the life course.


    Schwartz talks to Research Minutes about impact of special education

    Amy Ellen Schwartz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs, recently co-authored a study on the impact of special education on students with learning disabilities. On this episode of Research Minutes, "Does Special Education Improve Student Outcomes," she discusses her team's findings—including new evidence on student outcomes, special education classification and impacts for various student groups—and some potential national implications for special education policy, practice and future research.


    Michelmore discusses the child tax credit on Marketplace

    Currently, eligible families already get a tax credit for every child 16 and under once a year when they file their taxes, but some families with the lowest incomes miss out on some of the benefit. "The kids who don’t receive the full credit right now are predominantly kids who are lower income, many who are living in poverty, and many who are either Black or Latino," says Katherine Michelmore, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs. She was interviewed for the Marketplace piece, "Relief bill could lift millions of kids out of poverty by expanding tax credit."


    Sultana talks to MIT Technology Review about what progress means

    Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography and the environment, was interviewed for the MIT Technology Review article, "What does progress mean to you?" "Progress is often measured as economic growth only. But real progress would involve growth that doesn't externalize social or environmental costs," says Sultana. "Progress must be measured by how well those at the bottom are doing, not only those at the top," she says.


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