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Covid & Cancer: A Toxic Combination

Richard Boxer - January 25, 2021

Covid -19 has caused 400,000 deaths in America disproportionately upon communities of color, poverty, immigrants, and older age. It has exposed the inequities within our health care system. However, the patients at greatest risk of death from Covid are those with cancer. Covid-19 has ravaged patients with cancer. While 1.8 percent of Americans with Covid-19 have died, those in long term care facilities have had a 12 percent mortality, and 26 percent of cancer patients who contracted the disease have died from the virus. Certainly cancer patients should be a priority in getting...

Five Facts on Inaugurations

No Labels - January 25, 2021

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Here are five facts on inaugurations. A president assumes the presidency after taking the oath of office. Enshrined in the Constitution, the oath reads, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The oath has been taken 73 times and by 46 presidents, including Joe Biden. Although not mandated by the Constitution, since John...

What Makes for Good Policing Makes for Good Citizenship

Marc Levin - January 25, 2021

Legitimacy is the currency of policing and democracy. There will never be enough police to be on every corner, but most Americans believe our government is legitimate and our laws are at least mostly just, and hence they follow them even when no one is looking. Most are also inclined to report crime and cooperate as witnesses. Even so, a recent study found that only 30% of Black Americans trust police. Besides being a moral imperative, trust between police and communities is also a public safety one. Consider this: after highly publicized police shootings of Black Americans in Milwaukee,...

The $16 Billion 'SPAC Trap'

Jack Yoest - January 22, 2021

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have made a rapid and dangerous return to the forefront of investing. Once shunned as the successor to blind pools — the investment vehicle used by ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort to defraud thousands of investors — SPAC mergers have grown increasingly popular as an alternative to direct listings and traditional IPOs. While today’s SPACs are subject to stricter regulations and greater investor protections than their 1980s precursors, many operate with the same core premise: convincing retail investors to buy...


'Building Back Better' Means Focusing on the Labor Force & Systems That Support Recovery

The Better Employment and Training Strategies Taskforce - January 22, 2021

The new administration faces labor market challenges not seen before. Prior to the pandemic, there were already significant issues including Black unemployment between 50 and 100 percent higher than white unemployment, low labor force participation, long-term unemployment due to job losses from the Great Recession, and far too many working adults earning too little to meet basic household needs.   But now, the pandemic has heightened these challenges and disparities. Women’s labor force participation has fallen to where it was 30 years ago. People of color have lost their lives and...

Women Must Be Front and Center on Economic Recovery Efforts

Hollie Heikkinen & Patricia McKay - January 22, 2021

Last Thursday, President Biden unveiled his proposal for further addressing COVID-19 and its economic fallout. While the pandemic has throttled the U.S. economy generally, women, who are nearly half the American workforce, have taken the disproportionate brunt of the damage. As a result, COVID-19’s impact on women is a first-order national concern and relief proposals should be judged, in part, on how quickly and forcefully they address this impact. If not, we risk long-term economic consequences not just for women, but for the national economy generally.   The numbers are...

When Scientific Data is Transparent, We All Benefit

Richard Williams - January 21, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized a rule to strengthen transparency in the science underlying regulatory health and safety roles. This transparency refers to making data from epidemiological studies available for evaluation by independent observers, since the studies often serve as the foundation for regulations that address exposure to substances that can affect health. Yet some scientists think this Trump-era rule should be repealed. These critics worry that people’s confidential personal health data may be revealed and as a result, deter people from...

Reform EITC to Support Married Couples & Working-class Families

Angela Rachidi & Robert Cherry - January 20, 2021

Many center-right policymakers have begun to consider how the federal government can better support families with children — especially those in the working class. To this end, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the ideal policy tool because it already reaches millions of hard-working families, and research shows it supports employment and benefits children. An EITC expansion also presents the opportunity to reduce marriage penalties facing lower-income couples, which work against one of the best ways for children to escape poverty — having two married parents. Increasing the...


Removing Confederate Statues from Capitol Will Send a Strong Message to Rioters

Eli Lehrer & Daniel Schuman - January 19, 2021

If it wants to repudiate the violent mob that stormed the Capitol earlier this month, Congress should act quickly to remove eight statues that depict men who, like people in the mob, wanted to overthrow America’s constitutional order. These particular monuments depict those who played leading roles in the confederate states’ decision to wage war against a democratic government in order to defend slavery. And this last point is important to stress: Anyone who claims that monuments to confederate “heroes” are about “heritage,” “history,”...

Three Reasons to be Cautiously Optimistic about Biden Trade Policy

Alice Calder - January 19, 2021

Trade wars raged, deals were broken, and barriers were erected — the last four years have been pretty rough for U.S. trade policy. Now that Biden is officially the president-elect, it remains to be seen: Are things going to get any better?  With Trump at the helm, many trade professionals and scholars found themselves having to re-argue economics that had long been settled — i.e. Tariffs. Don’t. Work. Established economic truths were seemingly tossed aside in favor of rhetoric-driven protectionism. Now — thank heavens — Trump is on the way out, and Biden has...
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Five Facts on Impeachment

No Labels - January 18, 2021

Five Facts on Impeachment On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time. The vote count was 232-197, with 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting in favor. Here are five facts on impeachment. Congress is the final arbiter of what constitutes an “impeachable” offense. According to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and...

Supreme Court Can Prevent Extreme Balkanization of National Climate Policy

Thomas M. Fisher - January 18, 2021

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to pave the way for bringing order and a unified approach to an issue that knows no borders and impacts everyone: climate change. That is why Indiana is leading a coalition of states urging the Supreme Court to rule that only federal common law applies to global climate change claims. BP v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, which the Supreme Court will consider at oral argument this week, is one of more than fifteen common-law public-nuisance lawsuits filed against a few major fossil-fuel energy producers (including BP, Marathon, Chevron, ExxonMobil,...


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Five Facts on the U.S. Capitol Police

No Labels - January 15, 2021

In the wake of last week’s assault on the Capitol, several top officials in the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), including the police chief and the Senate and the House sergeant-at-arms have now submitted their resignations. Here are five facts on the U.S. Capitol Police. The USCP was established in 1828. After several incidents in 1827 with only a single watchman protecting the seat of government, Congress created the USCP. The department was established as a federal law enforcement agency to “Protect the Congress – its Members, employees, visitors, and facilities – so...

I Provide Medical Care at an ICE Processing Center. The Media is Wrong.

Brandi Buendel - January 15, 2021

The call came in the middle of the night. A resident at the Joe Corley Processing Center, where I work, wasn’t breathing. His pulse was weak, and he wouldn’t wake up. A fellow nurse on the night shift and I raced to his dorm. We got him on a stretcher and administered CPR as it rolled down the hallway. By the time the ambulance arrived less than 10 minutes later, we had stabilized him. He was treated at the hospital and released back into our care a week later. It turns out he had an undiagnosed heart condition until we saved his life. Joe Corley, located outside of Houston, is...

What The Story of Grandma's Ham Can Tell Us About Workforce Policies

Maria Flynn - January 15, 2021

In the story of Grandma’s ham, generations of family members dutifully cut the ham in half prior to placing it in the pot, with little consideration of its culinary rationale because, well, that’s the way we were taught to do it. As it turns out, the practice served no purpose in the present day, but was born out of necessity by a grandmother whose ham wouldn’t fit the confines of her tiny pot. It is an allegory that offers an important lesson for an incoming Administration that will have to re-examine old mores and vestigial practices to not just repair the economic damage...

Will Congress Come for Plastic?

Will Coggin - January 14, 2021

Democrats have regained control of the steering wheel in Washington, D.C. and they’re going to turn left with all their might — especially when it comes to environmental policy.  While the Green New Deal is sure to be the star of the show, Democrats have many other environmental proposals on deck. Common plastic products will likely find themselves in the crosshairs of the Biden administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress.  Jon Ossoff, the Georgia politician who secured the Democratic control of the Senate, was a prominent opponent of plastic products on...


Biden's Hidden Mandate

Richard Protzmann - January 13, 2021

Following the presidential election, Former President Obama gave a 60 Minutes interview during which he opined that the results of this year’s national election showed a “very divided” country.  He (and others) have doubled down on that conclusion in the weeks since. The horrifying violence at the United States Capitol offers virtually conclusive evidence of that, particularly when contrasted with the social justice protests and riots of last year. As we move forward into the Biden Administration, many Americans must be feeling hopeless.  I urge my countrymen to...

Numbers Don't Lie: Trump's Drug Pricing Rule Would Squash Innovation

Ravi Mehrotra - January 13, 2021

Days before Thanksgiving, President Trump announced the final details on a long-promised plan to link Medicare payments for certain advanced medicines to the lower prices paid abroad.The effort — called the "most favored nations" model — attempts to address the disparity between the prices paid by Medicare and the prices paid by governments in places like Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. But the approach is profoundly confused.Our peers in the developed world pay lower prices because their healthcare systems employ government-imposed price controls. The...

Survival Checks Forever?

Matt Weidinger - January 12, 2021

Even while $600 stimulus checks are being deposited in tens of millions of bank accounts, congressional Democrats are laying the groundwork for even greater stimulus payments, which some call “survival checks.” As Senate democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently said, “One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families.” With Democrats preparing to take power in Washington, a critical question will be whether such survival checks will be one-time payments or recur each month “for...

A New Year Should Bring a Humane New Deal for Animals

Robin Ganzert - January 11, 2021

As we ring in 2021, we leave behind a year marked by not only grief and isolation, but also hope and solidarity. The origins of the novel coronavirus awoke many Americans to the reality that standards for animals around the world are severely lacking. The lives of animals kept in unhygienic, inhumane conditions endemic to wet markets around the world are inseparably linked to billions of human lives.     Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for people – with two major vaccines for COVID-19 already being administered. As we traverse the long road to...