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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.