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Millennial Review – Daily Review, Tuesday, August 23rd

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MR Daily Review 

Tuesday, August 23rd

1. Biden set to announce $10,000 in student loan forgiveness and an extension of the payment pause.
2. Charges against officers dropped in the killing of Rayshard Brooks.
3. Daria Dugina, the daughter of a significant Putin ally killed in a car explosion.
4. Trump had over 700 classified documents, Judge weighs unsealing affidavit used to secure search warrant.
5. Increase in H-2B Visas linked to $1.8B In Wage Theft

1. Biden set to announce $10,000 in student loan forgiveness and an extension of the payment pause.

Today The Hill and the Washington Post broke that the Biden administration is set to announce $10,000 in loan forgiveness per borrower making under $125,000 a year along with an extension of the payment pause. The announcement is set to end weeks of anxious waiting from the 44+ million Americans whose monthly income was on the line with the decision. Restarting student loans would be political suicide, especially just months before an election. However, $10,000 in forgiveness is hardly a structural solution to the significant problems that lead millions of Americans to significant student debt to begin with. College will still cost far too much and millions of Americans will barely feel the $10,000 in forgiveness in the face of significant debt with significant interest. The continued payment freeze is good but the tone still seems to be that they’ll be turned back on eventually. $10,000 in forgiveness is good for those it helps but again, it’s not nearly enough and is just a drop in the bucket compared to the broad forgiveness and structural change required to actually solve the problem.

2. Charges against officers dropped in the killing of Rayshard Brooks. 

Over two years ago Rayshard Brooks was shot and murdered by two police officers in the parking lot of an Atlanta fast food resturaunt. Today prosecutors announced that charges against the officers would be dropped as “they committed no crimes.” Despite Rayshard Brooks death, the prosecutors framed the event as officers responding to Brooks’ aggression, showing video of Brooks using one of the officer’s tasers to fire at the officers. In response Brooks was shot three times and died as a result. Brooks had fired both the tasers’ possible shots and the weapon was no longer usable. Officers weren’t responding to deadly threat, they were murdering another person in cold blood. The murder happened just weeks after George Floyd was murdered which might have something to do with the fact that charges were pressed at all, because as we know in many cases like this police simply go uncharged. And now this case joins the ranks. 

3. Daria Dugina, the daughter of a significant Putin ally killed in a car explosion.  

Alexander Dugin is a staunch nationalist and Putin ally and on August 22nd his daughter was killed when her car exploded near Moscow. Russia was quick to respond and Dugin himself released a statement claiming, “our hearts yearn for more than just revenge or retribution. It’s too small, not the Russian style. We only need our Victory. My daughter laid her maiden life on its altar so win please!” Dugin went on to claim the attack was “a terrorist attack carried out by the Nazi Ukranian regime.” Ukraine has suggested the killing is in response to internal Russian politics and has not claimed the attack. According to the Washington Post Russian intelligence claimed a Ukrainian special forces agent assassinated Dugina and then fled to Estonia. The claim that the alleged killed fled to Estonia comes as that country battles the Russian threat itself and some worry could serve as justification to invade Estonia next.

4. Trump had over 700 classified documents, Judge weighs unsealing affidavit used to secure search warrant. 

According to a letter sent to Trump’s lawyers from the National Archives, Donald Trump took over 700 pages of highly sensitive classified documents tied to some of what the New York Times has declared are “the nation’s most covert intelligence operations.” The letter itself was released by a Trump ally and in a backwards sort of way shows their attempts to mitigate damage. As discussed on the Millennial Review podcast the root of the investigation flows from the hyper classified nature of information at the highest levels of the United States national security state. That’s not to absolve Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, or others, from any legal responsibility for trading in state secrets, but that’s tenuous as it stands and it’s worth questioning the apparatus as a whole and not the way Donald Trump allegedly threatened it. The investigation could potentially yield in a prosecution just given a lack of executive protections and the alleged sensitive nature of the documents recovered. Obviously any prosecution will be fraught politically speaking and polarize a significant portion of the country. That’s not really a reason not to do it in my opinion, more just pointing out a political fact.

5. Increase in H-2B Visas linked to $1.8B In Wage Theft

Through the H-2B visa program the United States allows employers to hire migrant workers for temporary and seasonal jobs. The number of these visas is expanding and will set a new record in 2022. This was literally hailed as some sort of accomplishment when Biden raised the number of H-2B visas during COVID – all this did was allow for more egregious abuse of these already highly exploited workers. H-2B workers represent the most at risk workers in our society, while they perform the most important work that everyone relies on – agriculture, meat packing and other factory facilities. They are regularly subjected to horrible conditions. Their employers are not required to pay for their medical care so they often go without, not paid enough to even try to access a plan. The H-2B visa program has long been problematic for its abuse, and we have further information about the horrific conditions of these workers. A recent report shows mass violations of wage and hour laws are being committed in the industries that employ H-2B workers. Department of Labor data show that nearly $1.8 billion was stolen from workers employed in the main H-2B industries (which includes both U.S. and migrant workers) between 2000 and 2021. H-2B workers are usually forced to live together on their employer provided land in crowded housing, provided insufficient nutrition and no medical care. They are not allowed freedom of movement since they have no means once they get here and everything is controlled by the employer. This is the type of work that the farm workers modernization act will make further entrenched by forcing those on h2bs to keep performing the work even after deciding their green card or risk losing it – for 8 years.

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