Hundreds of cars waiting to receive food from the Greater Community Food Bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania on March 30, 2020. Photo: The Mind Unleashed
Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis are warning that if the current rate of U.S. job losses continues, the country’s unemployment rate could reach a staggering 32.1% by the end of June as the coronavirus pandemic-induced downturn sparks mass layoffs across the nation.
Miguel Faria-e-Castro, an economist with the St. Louis Fed, wrote in an analysis last week that 47 million more workers could lose their jobs by the end of the second quarter of 2020, bringing the total number of unemployed people in the U.S. to 52.8 million. As CNBCnoted, that number would be “more than three times worse than the peak of the Great Recession.” Continue reading →
Even as company pharmacists protested, Walmart kept filling suspicious prescriptions, stoking the country’s opioid epidemic. A Republican U.S. Attorney in Texas thought the evidence was damning. Trump’s political appointees? Not so much.
Attorney General William P. Barr, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Department of Justice (Public domain)
On a Tuesday just before Halloween in 2018, a group of federal prosecutors and agents from Texas arrived in Washington. For almost two years, they’d been investigating the opioid dispensing practices of Walmart, the largest company in the world. They had amassed what they viewed as highly damning evidence only to face a major obstacle: top Trump appointees at the Department of Justice.
The prosecution team had come to Washington to try to save its case. Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, led the group, which included Heather Rattan, an over-20-year veteran of the office who had spent much of her career prosecuting members of drug cartels. Continue reading →
Demands for nationwide protections for grocery store workers grew Thursday after officials in Minnesota and Vermont officially designated such employees as emergency workers who are essential to the U.S. population’s wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, added grocery store workers to those protected under the state’s “Care for Children of Families of Emergency Workers” order, requiring schools in the state to provide childcare for the employees. Previously, only hospital staff, nurses, and other public health and disaster workers qualified as emergency personnel under the directive. Continue reading →
Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.
Following the Civil War and the extension of the vote to African Americans, state governments worked to block black people, as well as poor whites, from voting. One way they tried to accomplish this goal was through poll taxes – an amount of money each voter had to pay before being allowed to vote. Continue reading →
The final budget will reflect the input of Congress, including the Democratic House of Representatives, and will look significantly different.
However, budget drafts by presidential administrations are not meaningless pages of paper. They are important policy documents highlighting goals, priorities and visions for the future of the country. Continue reading →
Thousands of members and allies of the Chicago Teachers Union demonstrated in the city’s Union Park during a strike in October 2019. (Photo: CTU/Twitter)
In yet another rebuke to President Donald Trump’s claims that the U.S. economy is “roaring” and his “relentlessly pro-worker” agenda is serving the American public, a report published Tuesday by a progressive think tank revealed that the “number of striking workers surged in 2018 and 2019” after decades of decline.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report, entitled Continued Surge in Strike Activity Signals Worker Dissatisfaction With Wage Growth, noted that the spike marked “a 35-year high for the number of workers involved in a major work stoppage over a two-year period.” Continue reading →
CMS Administrator Seema Verma with President Donald Trump in 2018. Photo: White House
The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a plan allowing states to convert federal Medicaid funding into block grants, a longstanding conservative goal that critics warn could have deadly consequences for millions of vulnerable people who rely on the healthcare program as a major source of income.
Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the so-called “Healthy Adult Opportunity” initiative in a statement claiming the policy will “improve health outcomes and care” for low-income people. Continue reading →
President Donald Trump speaks during an event on kidney health at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on July 10, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Screenshot: YouTube
The Trump administration is reportedly planning to intensify its assault on Medicaid by granting certain states permission to convert federal funding for the program into block grants, a move critics slammed as a cruel and likely illegal attack on vulnerable people.
Officials in Washington State reported Tuesday that a resident was diagnosed with the coronavirus which was first detected in Wuhan, China last month, leading federal public health agencies which have suffered billions of dollars in cuts in recent years to issue warnings and post information about the illness.
“This is an evolving situation and again, we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally,” Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Washington Post.Continue reading →
A detail of the cover image for Toxic Hangover, a new report by Center for Biological Diversity. (Image: Center for Biologicial Diversity)
A new review into the pesticide products the U.S. approved in 2017 and 2018 reveals the Environmental Protection Agency is carrying out an industry-friendly, “broken” regulatory process that included green-lighting over 100 products with ingredients widely deemed extremely dangerous.
Entitled Toxic Hangover: How the EPA Is Approving New Products With Dangerous Pesticides It Committed to Phasing Out, the 11-page analysis was released Tuesday by the Center for Biological Diversity. Continue reading →