On the evening of March 16, eight people were fatally shot after gunman Robert Aaron Long opened fire at three different spas in the Atlanta area. Among those eight, six of them were Asian women, four of those women of Korean ethnicity. This incident comes amidst an alarming surge of hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the past year, raising concerns among advocates and police that these killings were also racially motivated.
Lyndon B. Johnson, another Democratic President who ascended from the Senate to the Vice Presidency and finally to the Presidency, was arguably one of the most progressive presidents in our country’s history while holding a reputation as a moderate from Texas. His Great Society, a collection of welfare programs including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps (now known as SNAP), school breakfasts, and so much more, was a reinvigoration of working class America in the depths of the tumultuous 60’s. It took every ounce of LBJ’s mastery of Senate politics to get these measures passed, and still today they stand as the greatest role the federal government has in many Americans’ lives.
On his first day in the White House, President Biden put out an executive order that stopped construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would’ve transported tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. As it was set to run through the heart of Oceti Sakowin territory, it sparked many protests among Indigenous Americans and their allies. Biden’s decision to end this project was proof of his commitment to protecting Native communities and the environment, and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Are you tired of Floridians hogging the spotlight with their absurd crimes? Well, now we have a notably weird transgression from our very own state. The forty-year-old Joshua Seguine, known professionally as Aquatic Apex Life LLC, was fined five thousand dollars on March 17th for illegally keeping seven live sandbar sharks in a pool in his basement with the intention of selling them online.
With the recent winter storm in Texas, over 4 million households lost their homes. Homes flooded, pipes burst, and natural gas power plants froze. Texas received less than a foot of snow, however, the whole state seemingly broke down.
One of President Biden’s campaign promises was to “secure our values as a nation of immigrants.” Throughout his campaign, Biden promised to take urgent action to undo President Trump’s border policies, along with reasserting America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, modernizing America’s immigration system, and welcoming immigrants into our communities. “Under a Biden Administration,” he promised, “we will never turn our backs on who we are or that which makes us uniquely and proudly American.” However, many Americans believe that he has already broken this promise, citing the growing number of deportations, arrests, and children being held at the border.
More Americans than ever demonstrate a significant distrust in their federal government, and part of the reason why there is so much tension between citizens and their representatives is it takes weeks for any remotely contentious bill to pass. If you’re remotely familiar with Senate politics in the last decade, you’re likely familiar with the expanded use of the filibuster, which allows for any bill with the support of less than 60 Senators supporting it can enter “infinite debate purgatory”. A bill on universal background checks for firearm purchases, the expansion of voting rights, or anti-discrimination measures to protect transgender individuals can all be filibustered, ending a bill with majority support’s life without holding a single vote. What you may be less familiar with is budget reconciliation, the antithesis of the filibuster. However, budget reconciliation is the cure to the filibuster like chemotherapy is the cure to cancer; the process is slow, arduous, painful, and may still be largely unsuccessful for taking action on urgent issues.
If you yearn for more uncertainty in your life, I highly recommend being a high school senior in the year 2021. A wonderful blend of cancellations, mixed-messages by admissions offices, and confounding variables have left even the most well off students in a state of flux. Entering the endgame of February, March, and April, we finally have some finite data in terms of application numbers and early acceptance rates. These results mirror the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic writ large; elite schools are enjoying a high number of applicants while state schools that serve underrepresented people in the professional world are struggling to maintain a sustainable structure.
Tech entrepreneur and former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang is now running to be New York City’s mayor. But unlike the Democratic primary, Yang is no small fish in the mayoral race. Recent polls show him as the surging frontrunner at 28% support, with his closest competition being Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is trailing behind by double digits at 17%.
Within a few weeks serving as the 46th President of the United States, Biden has already signed several executive orders relating to the immigration system. Among these orders is one that pertains to repairing the damage done by his predecessor’s family separation legacy.