Retiring Bill Russell's No. 6 ensures his legacy of equality and justice endures | Opinion
Bill Russell joins Jackie Robinson and Wayne Gretzksy as the only players in American professional sports to have their numbers retired leaguewide.Whoever brought him or her to the game will explain that some are to commemorate the titles the team has won while others are to honor the team’s best players. And that No. 6? That, the child will be told, is to honor the great Bill Russell, who won more championships than anybody else and who stood taller than his 6-foot-10 frame in fighting racism and other social injustices.
The most ambitious Democratic legislation since the Affordable Care Act is now officially on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk.
On Friday afternoon, the U.S. House passed a $430 billion bill focused on climate change, health care, and tax reform by a margin of 220 to 207, with all Democrats voting for the bill and all Republicans voting against it.
With the U.S. Senate having approved the bill on a party-line margin on Sunday, Democrats are heading into the August recess—and the heart of the 2022 campaign season—invigorated, having finally notched a legislative win that had escaped them for over a year.
NBA to retire Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey league-wide, paying homage to Boston Celtics' legend
Bill Russell is the first NBA player to have his number retired across the league. Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in Major League Baseball and Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 in the NHL are also retired across their respective leagues. “Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.
The bill with the midterm-focused name of the “Inflation Reduction Act” is the culmination of Democrats’ tortured quest to see how much of their agenda they could stuff into a bill without losing a single vote in the Senate and more than a handful of votes in the House.
The legislation heading to the White House now does not, contrary to its name, do much to directly fight inflation. Instead, it addresses three key priorities that are broadly held by Democrats. Most crucially for many in the party, it contains $300 billion in investments to fight climate change with a goal of slashing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030—the most significant climate reforms ever.
In addition, Democrats will at long last fulfill their campaign promise to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The IRA allows Medicare to directly negotiate lower prices on 100 medications—a change projected to save consumers and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It also marks a major defeat for the pharmaceutical lobby, which has fought for years against this reform.
Here’s what’s in the Inflation Reduction Act, the sweeping bill impacting health, climate and taxes
The House on Friday afternoon is expected to approve the Inflation Reduction Act, sending a top Democratic legislative priority to the White House in a significant victory for President Biden. The includes measures to address energy and climate as well as major changes to the tax code and to health care. Here’s a look at…The includes measures to address energy and climate as well as major changes to the tax code and to health care.
The legislation is projected to, on net, reduce the federal deficit by including new tax hikes on corporations. The 15 percent corporate minimum tax, for one, is designed to stop huge corporations like Amazon from collecting tax breaks to soften their federal tax burden.
Video: Senate passes Inflation Reduction Act, Biden's sweeping health care and climate bill (CNBC)
For Democrats, the legislation represents the missing piece of what they believe could be a compelling midterm case. In the last year, Biden and Democratic majorities in Congress have enacted a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, a historic high-tech manufacturing bill, and the first significant gun safety reforms in decades, among other things.
Republicans, however, are ready to use the bill as a cudgel. In particular, they have homed in on its provisions to increase IRS enforcement of tax law, conjuring images of an army of bureaucrats who will be knocking on doors nationwide for invasive audits.
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More problematically for Democrats, the GOP is highlighting ambiguity about whether the legislation would break Biden’s repeated promise not to raise taxes on people making under $400,000 per year. Biden may have directly kept his promise when it comes to direct tax rates, but analyses have been mixed around whether taxpayers will feel an additional burden in other ways.
The legislation heading to the White House today is far less sweeping than the plans Democrats pushed last year after winning the presidency and both chambers of Congress. Initially, they outlined a multi-trillion dollar package that would have significantly expanded the U.S. social safety net by instituting paid leave and universal pre-K, along with historic funding for fighting climate change.
But Democrats’ two key centrists—Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)—objected to a number of aspects of the so-called Build Back Better Act. In December 2021, as Democrats seriously considered a $3 trillion version of the plan, Manchin announced he couldn’t support the bill on principle, killing it.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden ended his COVID-19 isolation on Wednesday, telling Americans they can “live without fear” of the pandemic if they take advantage of booster shots and treatments, the protections he credited with his swift recovery. “You don’t need to be president to get these tools to be used for your defense,” he said in the Rose Garden. “In fact, the same booster shots, the same at-home test, the same treatment that I got is available to you.”The pandemic has killed more than 1 million people in the U.S. and it continues to disrupt daily life more than two years after it began.
However, talks over using the fast-track process known as reconciliation to pass something never died in 2022. In July, Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced they’d struck a deal and outlined the package. After some small changes forced by some members—notably, Sinema—the process of passage had barely taken more than a week.
There was never any serious doubt that House Democrats would swallow whatever deal that Manchin and Sinema could agree to. A clutch of lawmakers who had previously threatened to tank the package unless it had tax reforms that benefited upper-class earners in high-tax states reneged on those demands once it became clear Democrats had a shot to pass something.
While many were disappointed with the missed possibilities, Democrats are emphasizing that something is far better than nothing. Already, leaders like Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are outlining areas—like capping the cost of insulin further—where they could make progress through reconciliation if they retain control of Congress next year.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Trump 'endorses' Dan Goldman, the lawyer who led his impeachment, amid a confounding string of Truth Social posts praising Democrats .
Trump also made apparently sarcastic endorsements of Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler.But there may be a light at the end of tunnel for more than 40 million Americans with federal student loans.