Make Alaska Great Again!
Plus, how visiting abroad has become a glitchy, government nightmare.
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SARAH LONGWELL writes: Make Alaska Great Again!
It may seem like an idea from a bygone era, but voters from small states still tend to care a lot about which candidate they feel will advocate for their state’s interests in Washington. That’s because small states—with little industry and even less economic throw-weight—are especially dependent on the federal government. Texas and Ohio can choose senators based purely on macro-political trends. Voters in Maine and Alaska don’t have that luxury.
Collins believed that Mainers were more interested in keeping the pork coming than in registering disapproval about Brett Kavanaugh. And she was right: She got 51 percent of the vote.
Murkowski has to hope that Alaskans will care more about her ability to deliver for the state than they do impeachment.
On our weekend omnibus podcast, Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes to vent about it all.
Peter Wehner joins the group, which includes Bill Kristol this week, to discuss the Whoopi Goldberg and other cancel controversies as well as Trump's acknowledgement of attempting a coup, and who's really abandoning democracy, Republicans or Democrats.
The Bulwark's newest writer, Will Saletan, joins JVL, Tim Miller, and Ben Parker to discuss Chuck Schumer, Omicron, China and the Olympics. If you’ve never tuned into TNB, now’s your chance. We unlocked this episode for non-members.
SAM PEAK writes: Visiting Family Abroad Has Become a Glitchy Government Nightmare for Some Immigrants.
According to one work visa holder, Ashkhen Kazaryan, the U.S. embassy in Armenia told her that her father’s death wasn’t an emergency because it was her choice to leave the United States to be with her family.
Kazaryan has lived in the United States for seven years, arriving on a student visa, then switching to a status for skilled guest workers. In 2020, she successfully adjusted her status again, this time to a worker with “extraordinary ability.” Though she received new documents to work and stay in the country, the pandemic prevented her from traveling to the embassy and receiving the corresponding visa that allowed her to legally re-enter the United States. Then, her father unexpectedly died. “I was very well aware that I might not be able to come back—ever,” she said, recounting her decision to return home to mourn her father’s passing.
After the funeral, Kazaryan attempted to get an appointment from ten different embassies. Though she is from Russia, it became common practice during the pandemic to seek appointments from third-country embassies if your home country’s was unavailable. The embassies had different responses to Kazaryan’s request for an appointment. While some denied her because she wasn’t from the corresponding country, the U.S. embassy in Croatia took $200 from her before revoking her appointment for not being Croatian. The U.S. embassy in Kazakhstan also forced her to pay $200 before delivering the news that it had no slots available.
After finally receiving an appointment in Mexico, Kazaryan booked a flight. Because all available flights to Mexico were connected to Europe, she was forced to quarantine for two weeks due to the EU travel ban. Throughout her stay, she feared that the embassy would cancel the appointment. Thankfully, she successfully received her new visa and returned to the United States after three months. “I didn’t have time to grieve or process,” she said. “I had to make sure that the seven years, a graduate degree, and the career I’ve built didn’t all disappear.”
Happy Friday! It’s rainy here in Washington, and thankfully no snow for us. Though, apparently up in Cleveland, people are driving around snowmobiles, my sister reports.
Justice comes for Avenatti… One of the most self-obsessed figures of the Trump era is found guilty. Will there be more? #basta.
The COVID orphans… Over 200,000 American children are missing a parent because of COVID-19.
FOX gets the job numbers… Turns out the job numbers weren’t as bad as ADP predicted.
The DeSantis-Thomas connection… What else will we find out?
Michael Flynn is still at war… A #longread in The New York Times.
Politics and public health… How Missouri’s far right kooks scared away a nominee to run the state’s health department. A very frustrating read.
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