The unmarked federal agents arresting people in Portland, explained

Oregon’s governor doesn’t want them. Oregon’s senators don’t want them. Portland’s mayor and city commissioners don’t want them. And Portland’s residents don’t want them.

And yet, at the urging of President Donald Trump, federal officers are roaming the streets of Oregon’s biggest city in unmarked vehicles, detaining protesters without identifying themselves.

Multiple reports and videos clearly show heavily armed federal law enforcement officers dressed in camouflage stepping out of unmarked civilian vans and forcibly detaining anti-racism and anti-police brutality demonstrators on the streets of Portland, often far away from any federal property (where federal officials have jurisdiction). In many …

Why America’s public health system can’t withstand Trump

Rather than engineer a robust federal response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has instead tried to exploit the decentralized nature of the US public health system to abdicate all responsibility for the virus’s toll on America’s health and economy.

The New York Times delved deep over the weekend on the decision by the Trump administration to delegate as much responsibility for the Covid-19 response (and, by proxy, blame) as possible from the federal government to the states:

Their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They …

Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal

What would it take for America to heal? To be the country it claims to be?

This is the question that animates Bryan Stevenson’s career. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a clinical professor at the New York University School of Law, a MacArthur “genius,” and the author of the remarkable book Just Mercy — which was recently turned into a feature film where Stevenson was played by Michael B. Jordan.

I admire Stevenson tremendously. He has lived a life dedicated to justice — justice for individuals (some of whom he has rescued from …

How Biden is winning 

Last week, Joe Biden held a 45-minute call with a small group of reporters, including myself. The main subject of the conversation was Biden’s new plan, Build Back Better: a new, post-Covid framework for his proposals to build clean energy infrastructure, revitalize American manufacturing, make care work pay for those who do it and affordable for those who need it, and address racial inequalities.

My question was simple. Democrats don’t have a path to 60 seats in the Senate. So how will Biden keep his agenda from dying at the hands of the filibuster? Would he support filibuster reform, …

We are sleepwalking toward economic catastrophe

The country is ambling toward a cliff, putting millions of Americans’ lives and livelihoods in danger and all but ensuring prolonged economic distress nationwide. It didn’t have to be this way. Yet here we are, unable to shake out of it.

The Covid-19 pandemic tossed much of the US economy into disarray earlier this year. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and businesses across the country closed their doors as part of a planned shutdown. In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, an ambitious $2 trillion stimulus package to try to stop the bleeding. The plan was to buy …

Across the country, essential workers are on strike for Black lives

Before she got sick with Covid-19, Deatric Edie typically left her house at 5:30 in the morning every day and wouldn’t get home until 1:30 or 2 in the morning, long after her family was asleep. She has worked in fast food her whole life to support her four children and now a grandchild, and even after the pandemic hit she worked several jobs: one at McDonald’s, another at Papa John’s, and a third at Wendy’s.

She’s a shift leader at McDonald’s but still makes just $9 an hour, even though she says some of her peers make $11. “Working …