A coalition of 15 states agreed to a deal with drug maker Purdue Pharma, which could soon lead to a $4.5 billion settlement over the company’s role in the U.S. opioid epidemic.
The states agreed to no longer oppose Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan while the pharmaceutical company agreed to publicly release a trove of millions of documents, according to a court filing late Wednesday night. The Sackler family, which owns the company, would pay an additional $50 million under the settlement.
The agreement will be tacked onto a broader proposal that is set to be voted on by more than 3,000 plaintiffs, The New York Times reported. In addition to the states, plaintiffs include cities, counties and tribes that sued the company over its role in boosting its painkiller OxyContin, the cause of thousands of opioid deaths. Read More
In an insightful Independence Day Twitter thread, Emily Zanotti expressed her partiality for this provision of the Declaration of Independence:
[T]his is my favorite part: ‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Can you imagine writing that? Signing your name to that? Acknowledging that this document means you will come out of this broke, dead, and remembered as a traitor if you do not win. Signing your own death warrant. Man, that took balls . . .
In recognizing and celebrating the signatories’ fortitude, Zanotti illuminated the stark contrast between the visions of America’s founding elite and its current elite. Read More
Less than one-fifth of Americans say that they are still “completely or mostly” practicing social distancing, a new Gallup poll shows.
Approximately 18% of Americans are still strictly following social distancing guidelines, the lowest amount since the pandemic began last March, the Gallup survey shows. Social distancing participation peaked at 75% last April but has steadily declined since December, when coronavirus vaccines began to be distributed and administered nationwide.
Almost half of all Americans, 47%, said they have made “no attempt whatsoever” to isolate themselves, which is a pandemic high. But while 62% said that their lives were “somewhat back to normal,” only 15% said that their lives were “completely back to normal.” Read More
President Joe Biden has pushed for beefing up IRS audits of corporations to raise revenue for his new spending proposals, but Republicans are raising the alarm about the potential consequences of the plan.
Biden unveiled his “Made in America Tax Plan” earlier this year as a strategy to help fund his trillions of dollars in proposed new federal spending that includes several tax hikes. Despite this, a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. House and Senate have agreed to a basic framework for Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, but one element has been the theme of the negotiations among Republicans: no new taxes.
The GOP pushback against raising taxes, though, puts more pressure on the Biden administration to find ways to fund his agenda. Aside from Biden’s controversial tax hike proposals, the president also has proposed adding $80 billion in funding to the IRS so it can increase audits of corporations. Read More
Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.
Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?
Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today. Read More
While the tech giant Amazon has publicly endorsed proposals to raise the corporate tax rate in the United States, the company has been secretly lobbying to keep its own tax rates low, Politico reports.
Last year, during the 2020 presidential election, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos openly supported then-candidate Joe Biden’s proposals to raise taxes on American corporations. Those proposals have re-emerged in recent weeks as a possible means of funding a possible infrastructure bill, and Biden has been advocating for other countries around the world to adopt higher corporate tax rates as well.
But recently, Amazon has been stepping up its lobbying efforts to try to convince Congress and the White House to allow the company to keep using certain tax breaks in order to keep its own rates low. The retail giant hired a tax lobbyist named Joshua Odintz, who formerly worked as a Democratic aide on Capitol Hill and then as an official in the Obama Administration. In addition to Amazon’s own efforts, similar lobbying has been undertaken by a group known as the “R&D Coalition,” which consists of several companies and organizations including Amazon, Intel, and the National Association of Manufacturers. Read More
Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marie Curie. Gaia. The first person came up with the general theory of relativity. The second is regarded as perhaps the greatest classical composer of all time. The third is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. The fourth isn’t a person at all; it’s a dog.
All might be considered geniuses.
Some individuals are supremely gifted, with abilities that the vast majority of people cannot hope to replicate even after years of dedicated practice – the adolescents who are chess grandmasters, the musicians with perfect pitch, the professional athletes who make their colleagues look like amateurs. Scientists have been studying these people for decades, hoping to uncover genetic, environmental, or social underpinnings for their talents. Researchers have yet to find satisfactory answers.
Which brings us to dogs. Read More
Charlottesville, Virginia – The City of Charlottesville removed two famous Confederate statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on Saturday. Workers began removing Lee shortly after 7 a.m. to a moderately sized crowd, but more people arrived later in the morning to see Jackson lifted off his pedestal and driven to storage. In a special meeting afterwards, the city council also approved removing Charlottesville’s Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea statue; workers removed that statue after the meeting.
“Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said in a speech before the monuments came down, according to The Associated Press. Read More
A petition urging officials in a North Dakota county to ban sanctuary cities, illegal immigrants, and refugees gained around 5,000 signatures as of Tuesday, the Minot Daily News reported.
The Ward County Commission said they would uphold laws prohibiting illegal immigration and those supporting Second Amendment rights, though they asked petitioners to provide more specific language to be considered, according to the Minot Daily News. The petition asked the commission to ban illegal immigration and refugees from the county and to establish the region as a “gun sanctuary.”
Residents in Ward County started the petition “to ban sanctuary cities, illegal immigrants, aliens, refugees in Ward County, North Dakota, and add Ward County, North Dakota, as a Second Amendment gun sanctuary county,” the Minot Daily News reported. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced grants totaling more than $15.6 million to help get Michigan back to work.
The government awarded Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) grants to 10 groups who will help support individuals who are dislocated, underemployed, essential workers, living in distressed rural and urban communities, or economically disadvantaged.
“My administration is committed to uplifting Michiganders whose economic security has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By providing grants to help people make the move from education or training programs to good-paying, high-skill jobs, we can ensure all Michiganders thrive as we continue our economic jumpstart. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and their Regional Consortia partners will help people get back on their feet and take the next step on their path to financial security.” Read More