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Striking Coal Miners Are Demanding $1.1 Billion From World’s Largest Asset Firm

History repeated itself as hundreds of miners spilled out of buses in June and July to leaflet the Manhattan offices of asset manager BlackRock, the largest shareholder in the mining company Warrior Met Coal. Some had traveled from the pine woods of Brookwood, Alabama, where 1,100 coal miners have been on strike against Warrior Met since April 1. Others came in solidarity from the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania and the hollows of West Virginia and Ohio. Among them was 90-year-old retired Ohio miner Jay Kolenc, in a wheelchair at the picket line — retracing his own steps from five decades ago. It was 1974 when Kentucky miners and their supporters came to fight Wall Street in the strike behind the film Harlan County USA.

Senator Whitehouse Asks Jan. 6 Commission to Study Role of Dark Money in Breach

Linking the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol with a protracted effort by secretive right-wing groups and wealthy GOP contributors, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Friday called for investigating dark money organizations and influential donors who allegedly organized and funded the deadly attack in a failed bid to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. “The attack on the Capitol on January 6 was the culmination of a monthslong disinformation campaign designed to allow President [Donald] Trump to remain in office,” Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote in a letter (pdf) to Sen. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, also known as the commission. “Public reporting indicates that this campaign was organized and funded by dark money organizations and powerful donors, and aided and abetted by members of Congress and the Trump administration,” he continued.

Florida Jail Faces Threat of Toxic Flooding. It Has No Evacuation Plan.

Jennifer watched pandemonium unfold outside the window of her cell at the Manatee County Jail in Florida on the evening of Sunday, April 4. Drones hovered, dozens of police cars sped back and forth down the road. Jail staff moved their personal vehicles to higher ground and led livestock from the jail’s work farm onto trailers. A wastewater reservoir covering stacks of phosphogypsum — a radioactive byproduct from manufacturing phosphate rock for fertilizer — was leaking at Piney Point, a defunct fertilizer plant nearby. It threatened to inundate nearly eight square miles of land in Manatee County, a sparsely populated area near Tampa Bay. The county jail is in the mandatory evacuation zone for the plant — if the dam holding the water back collapsed, some models predicted up to 10 feet of water on jail property.

The El Paso Attack Was Not Just a Mass Shooting. It Was a Genocidal...

August 3, 2021, marked the second anniversary of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that took place on a Saturday morning in 2019 and resulted in the deaths of 23 people and injury of 26 others, ranging in age from 2 to 82. Twenty-one of the 23 killed were of Mexican origin, and eight were Mexican citizens; another eight Mexican citizens were wounded. The killer was a lone, white gunman, aged 21, named Patrick Crusius, who published an online manifesto immediately prior to the attack where he proclaimed his intent to target those he considered responsible for what he described as the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Average Global Temperature Has Risen Steadily Under 40 Years of Neoliberalism

Since the advent of neoliberalism 40 years ago, societies virtually all over the world have undergone profound economic, social and political transformations. At its most basic function, neoliberalism represents the rise of a market-dominated world economic regime and the concomitant decline of the social state. Yet, the truth of the matter is that neoliberalism cannot survive without the state, as leading progressive economist Robert Pollin argues in the interview that follows. However, what is unclear is whether neoliberalism represents a new stage of capitalism that engenders new forms of politics, and, equally important, what comes after neoliberalism. Pollin tackles both of these questions in light of the political implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, as most governments have implemented a wide range of monetary and fiscal measures in order to address economic hardships and stave off a recession.

Renters Are Calling for Direct Cash Assistance as Evictions Loom

Millions of people fear they are likely to be evicted from their homes within the next two months as a growing housing crisis threatens to explode during the fourth wave of the COVID pandemic. Only a fraction of the emergency rental relief approved by Congress has been distributed. Advocates say relief programs are marred by red tape and bureaucratic delays, raising fears that the aid will not reach struggling renters before an already flimsy federal eviction moratorium expires in October.

Wealth Tax and IRS Funding Could Pay for Entire $3.5T Bill, Warren Writes

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Massachusetts) proposals to raise and enforce taxes on corporations and the rich could raise more than enough to pay for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan, according to a new op-ed by the senator. Warren writes in The Washington Post that, if Congress and the president were to adapt her plans to levy a wealth tax, create a tax on corporate profits and fund the IRS to catch rich tax cheats, they could raise $5 trillion in revenue. That could cover the Democrats’ spending bill and the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which proposes $550 billion in new spending, and still have nearly a trillion left over to expand either plan or put toward a future package.

We Need a Political Solution — Not More Troops — in Afghanistan, Journalist Says

The Taliban claim to have seized 17 provincial capitals across Afghanistan, including Kandahar and Herat, the country’s second- and third-largest cities, as the group continues its sweep through the country. The Taliban now have almost full control of the south, west and north of Afghanistan and are advancing on the capital Kabul, where the United States is preparing to evacuate its embassy in case of a Taliban defeat of the Afghan government. The sudden and dramatic Taliban gains come as the U.S. withdraws its ground troops from Afghanistan after nearly two decades of war, with aid groups warning of a humanitarian crisis unfolding.

Census Shows Unprecedented Diversity — But GOP Is Gearing Up for Gerrymandering

The United States saw unprecedented growth in diversity over the past decade as the white population declined for the first time in history, new census data showed on Thursday. But despite population growth among nonwhite and urban voters, which have been key Democratic voting blocs, Republicans are still expected to hold a decisive edge in the congressional redistricting process. The Census Bureau released data used by states to redraw congressional and legislative districts, showing that while the white non-Hispanic population declined by more than 8% amid the slowest national population growth the country has seen since the 1930s, the Hispanic, Black and Asian-American populations continued to grow. For the first time in U.S. history, the white population has fallen to below 60% of the total.

Infrastructure Bill Includes “Transformational Investment” for Tribal Nations

After weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan for states on Aug. 10. A day later, the Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution sending funding into family, health and environmental programs. All in all, the actions represent delivering a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda. The impact on Indian Country is significant. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. called the bill a “historic, potentially transformational investment for tribes across this country” in a virtual meeting with President Joe Biden and other leaders Wednesday. During another town hall Wednesday hosted by the National Congress of American Indians, Amber Ebarb, Tlingit, deputy staff director for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, said the lawmaker has been working hard over the last few months to garner support from the Republican side of the aisle. Ebarb said, like many, they were excited to see the bill’s passage.

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