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.

DeSantis and Abbott Count on Reelection Despite Letting Tens of Thousands Die

Hospitals are filling up and children are near death across a swath of Red states from Texas to Florida. The governors of those two states are leading a movement. Republican Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas have gone all-in on a high-stakes bet, and the example of Donald Trump suggests they may just win it. Win or lose, though, they’re both tenaciously hanging onto their bans on mandated masks in schools. Their bet is that they’ll get away with letting tens of thousands of their citizens — and thousands of their citizens’ children — die or get “long Covid” and the people of their states will simply forget and move on.

Trump Politicized Basic COVID Safety Measures. It’s Still Killing Us.

The school board for Williamson County, Tennessee, held a meeting on Tuesday night about taking steps to deal with the terrifying Delta COVID infection surge. After four hours of debate, the board voted to implement a temporary mask mandate for grammar school students and staff, said mandate being set to expire on September 21. Almost immediately, all hell broke loose. A clutch of infuriated parents mobbed mask advocates to their cars, where they bellowed through the driver’s side of one car window, “You can leave freely, but we will find you and we know who you are.” One mask advocate, a doctor named Britt Maxwell with children who attend school in the district, was called a “traitor” as he left the gathering. “I don’t see how anyone can say that when I’ve been on the frontlines of this pandemic since the beginning, treating patients in rooms, unvaccinated for the vast majority of it, hoping I wouldn’t take it home to my family. For someone to say that is mind blowing,” Maxwell told CNN.

US Could Fund Vaccines for Whole World by Taxing Billionaires’ COVID-Era Profits

A one-time 99% tax on billionaires’ massive pandemic wealth gains would raise enough revenue to pay for coronavirus vaccines for every adult on Earth — and provide each of the hundreds of millions of unemployed workers around the world with a $20,000 cash grant. So finds an analysis released late Wednesday by Oxfam International, the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Patriotic Millionaires, progressive advocacy organizations that are pushing governments to tax billionaires to help fund critical pandemic relief measures.

Rand Paul Just Disclosed That His Wife Bought COVID Drug Stock in February 2020

n February of 2020, before the public knew the full extent of the coming pandemic but after senators were secretly briefed about the threat, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) wife bought stock in a company that manufactures an antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19. Now, 16 months after the stock reporting deadline for the buy has passed, Paul has disclosed the purchase. Under the Stock Act, lawmakers have 45 days to disclose a stock transaction after it’s made. Paul’s disclosure on Wednesday came incredibly late, raising suspicions, experts say, over the already questionable stock trade first reported by The Washington Post. Paul’s wife bought stock in Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the antiviral drug remdesivir shortly before the public was made aware of the pandemic in March and before the stock market crashed in March. The purchase was relatively small, between $1,000 and $15,000, and a spokesperson for the senator said that she actually lost money on the stock.

Antiwar Group Blocks Entry to Raytheon Facility to Protest Killing of Civilians

A group of anti-war activists blockaded the entrances to a Raytheon facility in Portsmouth, Rhode Island on Thursday morning to protest the role the weapons-maker plays in the killing of civilians in Yemen, the occupied Palestinian territories, and elsewhere around the world. The demonstration was organized and live-streamed on Facebook by Resist and Abolish the Military Industrial Complex (RAM INC) and The FANG Collective, a direct-action organization based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. (Watch the stream here.) In a statement, The FANG Collective pointed to a 2018 CNN report revealing that Raytheon — the second-largest military contractor in the world and the largest producer of guided missiles — manufactured bombs and other munitions that the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition used to kill dozens of women, children, and other civilians in Yemen.

Chomsky: Biden’s “Radical” Proposals Are Minimum Measures to Avoid Catastrophe

Looking at the state of the world, one is struck by the stark contradiction of progress being made on some fronts even as we are facing massive disruptions, tremendous inequalities and existential threats to humanity and nature. In this context, how do we evaluate the qualities of progress and decline? How significant is political activism to progress? In this exclusive interview, Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s greatest scholars and leading activists, shares his insights on the state of the world and the conundrum of activism and change, including the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the movement for Palestinian rights, the urgency of the climate crisis and the threat of nuclear weapons.