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  • July 15, 2020: More Trump Checks Coming?
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    06:30

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The White House may be ready to reauthorize enhanced unemployment benefits during the pandemic. It may be a reprieve, but it’s a long way from economic justice.

    Meanwhile, Joe Biden launches an ambitious new climate plan. Is this the influence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party?

    And lastly, another policy walk-back from Donald Trump’s White House. International students may not get deported during the pandemic after all.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    More than thirty million Americans are claiming unemployment benefits. Those benefits are the only things preventing them from going hungry or homeless. The benefits effectively filled a $70 billion hole in the economy created by the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the financial sector panic. And they’re scheduled to run out in two weeks, along with the special federal program that permits a six-hundred-dollar-per-week increase to those benefits on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans from Donald Trump on down have complained about those benefits, saying they discourage people from returning to work. As though work itself weren’t a discouragement from returning to work – let’s be real. But now, according to the Washington Post, there are signs that the White House may be willing to extend the benefit.

    Some Republicans favor a compromise that would involve cutting the six-hundred dollar weekly benefit to somewhere between two and four hundred dollars. Then they’d send another round of twelve hundred dollar stimulus checks – presumably signed by Trump, as with the last batch. But Congressional Republicans haven’t reached agreement among themselves what their position should be during the worst economic crisis in generations. They don’t have a lot of time to figure it out, either. The enhanced unemployment benefit expires in forty-nine states on July 25, and in New York state on July 26. And the Senate session resumes on next Monday, July 20. Clock’s a tickin’! If the benefits don’t come through then take our advice: invest in pitchforks and torches.

    Biden's Climate Plan Praised

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders put out a video statement yesterday calling on progressives to think and act strategically in the months ahead. Sanders, who remains on the ballot in most states, said that he understood that many of his supporters have differences with the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden. However, Sanders said, his supporters who went on to advise Biden’s team after Sanders suspended his campaign did succeed in pushing Biden to adopt better policies. As if to supply the evidence, Biden yesterday announced a $2 trillion climate plan that went far beyond what he had previously proposed on energy or the environment.

    The plan calls for substantial spending on upgrading buildings, vehicles, and electrical plants, over four years. Additionally, the Biden climate proposal calls for the US to be using one- hundred percent renewable energy within fifteen years. Biden said, When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is hoax. When I think about climate change, the word I think of is jobs. Also among those praising Biden’s proposal was Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who said, it was not a status quo plan. According to the New York Times, the plan also calls for establishing an office of environmental and climate justice at the Justice Department, to address the country’s long record of dumping pollution on and around communities of color.

    Reprieve For international Students

    In Australia, international students are reportedly turning to food banks and getting by on one meal per day, the Guardian reported. As temporary visa holders, they are not covered by government benefit programs during the pandemic. But there was good news for thousands of international students in the US yesterday. The Trump administration is backing away from a policy announced last week that would have forced foreign students to leave the country if their universities moved classes online in the fall. Two days after the policy was announced, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the government to stop the policy, soon joined companies that rely on a pipeline of educated workers. A separate lawsuit including seventeen states and hundreds of universities was also filed.

    The Trump policy was so ill-considered that the US Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agreed to rescind it five minutes into the first court hearing on Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit. That’s according to the Verge, which also reported that ICE will revert to the policy it adopted for this past spring semester. That is, students on temporary visas whose classes have moved online will be allowed to remain in the US.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The eighty-seven-year-old liberal US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to the hospital yesterday, according to the Associated Press. Apparently she has an unspecified infection. A statement from the Court says Ginsburg is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.

    Ghislaine Maxwell, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan yesterday to charges of abetting serial sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. US District Judge Alison Nathan also denied Maxwell’s request for bail, agreeing with prosecutors that she might try to flee and go back into hiding. This week the Mail on Sunday, a British tabloid, reported that Maxwell was being moved from cell to cell to avoid potential assassins.

    New research published in the journal Nature Communications blames car tires for microplastic pollution that is chocking the world’s oceans. More than half a million tons of particles smaller than one-tenth of a millimeter fall onto roads from car tires and brakes. Those particles then get blown around by the wind. Roughly half make their way to the oceans. They also contaminate the food supply, yum yum.

    An unnamed European rich person purchased a private island off the south coast of Ireland for eight point five million dollars, and never once set foot on it. The wealthy buyer relied on online video to make their decision. That’s according to the Guardian, which says the island comes with seven houses, a pier, a tennis court, and a helipad. And no guillotines.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.

    July 15, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 14, 2020: Uninsured In The USA
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    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    A new study finds that 5.4 million Americans have lost their employer-provided health insurance as the pandemic sweeps through the country.

    Meanwhile, a federal court struck down Georgia’s puritanical 6-week abortion ban, ruling that the law preventing abortions anytime after the first 6 weeks of pregnancy was unconstitutional.

    And lastly, Rep. Joaquin Castro is making a big move toward a key committee chair seat, as pressure mounts for Nancy Pelosi to nominate someone more progressive to the warhawk Democrat Eliott Engel’s seat at the top of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    The fact that healthcare is tied to full time employment is an almost uniquely American disgrace, and one that continues to harm everyday people at shocking rates.

    Case in point, a distressing new study shows that 5.4 million Americans have lost their employer-provided health insurance over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The study comes out today, but some news organizations got an early look at the data, which tells a brutal story: the jump in uninsured workers is 40 percent higher than it was in the 2008 recession.

    And bear in mind, we’re nowhere near the end of the recession caused by the virus. Just today, the U.S. recorded its second highest ever day of new cases, logging more than 61,000 cases of the virus.

    The new wave is so bad that many states are starting to shut back down again. Amidst a frankly insane debate about re-opening schools, some states have realized they may need to enact full lockdowns again to keep people safe. But those measures are sure to be inconsistently applied, and all of this makes the economic fallout even worse.

    All of this is going to continue leaving more people uninsured, evicted, homeless, or unemployed. Joe Biden is campaigning on extending the Affordable Care Act, which provides opportunities for some people to get some modicum of care, but falls far short of universal healthcare. The hope is that at some point, elected officials will wake up to the fact that an employer-tied system is no longer feasible, and we’ll get some long-awaited change.

    Courts Shoot Down Abortion Laws

    Abortion rights activists and human beings in general scored a couple of huge court wins on Monday, as a federal district court shot down a draconian Georgia law that restricted abortions to only being performed in the first six weeks of pregnancy.

    Almost simultaneously, a separate federal court in Tennessee blocked similar sweeping abortion restrictions just hours before Republican Governor Bill Lee would have signed them into law.

    Both decisions are huge wins. Georgia’s decision is the final word, as well: the state is permanently blocked from enforcing the law, not just temporarily prevented from doing it. However, the case will now move up in the court system, so there’s a chance it could get overturned, but the district court was pretty explicit: the law, known as a “heartbeat bill,” was unconstitutional.

    As the Huffington Post noted, many of these puritanical laws are part of an organized campaign by religious conservatives to erode the landmark Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision with constant legislation that they know will go to court battles.

    These bills inevitably affect already-persecuted communities first: Georgia has the worst maternal mortality rate in the country, and in the state black women are 3.3 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white women.

    So far, the courts seem to be tossing out harmful laws that would worsen these circumstances, but it’s going to take a lot more concerted action to protect a woman’s right to choose.

    Castro Hunts for House Committee Chair

    The House of Representatives’ many, many committees don’t usually get a ton of attention in everyday politics, but they wield tremendous power over how the country is run. According to the Washington Post, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro is expected to throw his hat in the ring for one of the most powerful on Monday.

    In late June, Jamaal Bowman unseated Eliot Engel, a bajillion-term congressman who has spent his last term at the top of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, an extremely powerful body inside the House. That means Engel’s chair will be open assuming the Democrats hold the House in 2020, and Castro represents the more progressive wing of the party’s best shot at keeping another warhawk out of the seat.

    Engel was for decades one of the biggest congressional supporters of Israel, and supported the war in Iraq.

    Castro isn’t just going to walk into the seat, however. He’s up against two more senior Representatives: Brad Sherman of California and Gregory Meeks of New York.

    What this comes down to is Pelosi, basically. Sherman and Meeks have a much better shot at the chair position, but more than 60 liberal groups signed an open letter recently urging Pelosi to replace Engel with someone more progressive. It appears that Castro is stepping up as the challenger. Sherman is almost as hawkish and Engle was, and while Meeks didn’t vote for the Iraq war, he doesn’t really have a stellar legislative record or strong background for the job.

    Castro, meanwhile, is coming on strong, saying quote “Our foreign affairs committee needs to catch up with where Democrats are in terms of foreign policy,” endquote. We’ll see if Pelosi’s listening.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Tucker Carlson is probably frantically packing fishing gear in his car tonight, after he announced that he’d be going on a quote “long-planned” vacation. Surely this doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that one of his lead writers was forced to resign over the weekend after his old extremely racist message board posts got surfaced. Totally normal vacation here, nothing to see!

    The Supreme Court cleared the way for federal inmate Daniel Lewis Lee to be executed by the state, overturning a D.C. district court judge’s injunction that stayed Lewis Lee’s execution just hours before it would have been performed on Monday. There are two more federal executions scheduled for this week, besides Lewis Lee.

    California’s Orange County made the near-unanimous decision to send kids back to school in the fall, as the school board voted 4-1 in favor of in-person instruction with no masks or social distancing requirements. The only saving grace is that the board left the decision to re-open up to individual school districts, so if individual districts are wiser than their bosses, they could keep their kids safe.

    And finally, Hong Kong’s citizens are still pushing back against the Chinese government’s crackdown on civil rights in the semi-autonomous territory, voting in massive numbers for primary election candidates that oppose the pro-mainland incumbents in power.

    July 14, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 13, 2020: Florida Covid Cases Skyrocket
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    07:33

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The coronavirus is running almost unchecked through Florida, in what has become the country’s fastest-growing outbreak to date. On Sunday, the state recorded 15,300 new cases of the disease in the prior 24 hours, the largest single-day increase in any state since the pandemic began.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, his long-time friend and advisor who was convicted of numerous felonies, in one of the most shocking acts of open corruption to date. He hasn’t shot anyone on fifth avenue yet, but we’re not far off at this point.

    And lastly, the oil and natural gas industry is starting to go down in flames -- but they might just take the world with them. The New York Times has a new report on how bankrupt gas companies are leaving taxpayers to clean up their mess.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Florida Covid Cases Skyrocket

    The coronavirus pandemic has set in in Florida, and there’s almost no telling how bad it’s going to be. On Sunday, the state recorded 15,300 new cases of COVID-19, shattering the single-day record for any other state.

    Governor Ron De Santis, meanwhile, is knowingly dooming his constituents. He’s ordered schools to re-open five days a week in the fall and allowed theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios to start taking in guests again. Hospitals in his state are already starting to fill up, so it’s unclear what could possibly cause him to take more drastic measures to control the virus at this point.

    In Washington, the current fight is over whether or not schools should open in the fall. Trump has been pressing hard to get classrooms open, despite the fact that experts say it’s not safe.

    According to a report by CommonDreams dot com, the American Academy of Pediatrics has joined several teachers groups in proposing a massive investment plan that would allow schools to make themselves safe to re-open. The changes, like cleaning equipment, ventilation, and lower class sizes to allow for social distancing, would represent a huge jump in quality of life for students even outside of a pandemic.

    The Trump administration doesn’t have any plan to do these things, of course. In an interview with CNN, Education Secretary Betsy De Vos couldn’t even say how bad an outbreak would have to be to get a school to close down. There’s no safety plan in place, which means kids in the fall could get fed right into petri dishes of disease with no ways to mitigate their risk.

    Trump Pardons Stone

    And now, to check in once again with the Donald Trump corruption meter: today’s reading: off the charts! That’s because on Friday, as you may have heard, Trump commuted Roger Stone’s 40-month sentence.

    That’s right, Stone is scot free after being convicted of seven different felonies. A fun fact: Stone has a back tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face. At this point, Stone should be Nixon’s hero, not the other way around.

    If you remember, Trump had already pressured his justice department to slash Stone’s sentence from the seven to nine years prosecutors recommended to just 40 months. On Friday, he decided even that was too long, and announced that Stone wouldn’t even be reporting to prison after all. Trump fired off a tweet to mark the occasion, claiming that Stone was the victim of a quote “witch hunt.”

    So that’s where we’re at! It’s become increasingly clear that with Trump in office the Department of Justice will be explicitly serving the interests of the president, and isn’t accountable to the people in any way.

    It’s possible, I suppose, that if Biden wins he could rekindle some of the many criminal investigations into Trump’s activities in office, but while the president is in power, the absolute best we can hope for is that he won’t contest the results of the election if he happens to lose. If he does, we’re in for a lot worse than a free Roger Stone.

    Gas Companies Make Stink on Way Out

    In an ideal world, oil and natural gas companies going bankrupt would be a good thing. But a new report by the New York Times suggests that instead of quietly drying up, the amoral industry is spilling its trash into the environment while executives run off with the money.

    According to the Times, the coronavirus pandemic and a global price war has destroyed the profit margins for most oil and natural gas companies. If the global response to this was to double down on renewable energy, that’d be a great thing. But the unfortunately reality is that the vultures at the top of these companies are just using bankruptcy as an excuse to get out with a golden parachute, and leaving everyone else to clean up their mess.

    Here’s how it works: an oil company goes bankrupt, and claims that because it’s in debt for so much money, it can’t possibly pay the fees in order to safely close its wells, fracking sites, and refineries. One Texas company, for instance, has a well that is as you listen to this most likely still leaking tons of methane into the atmosphere. But guess what -- its ceo made $8.5 million in consulting fees during the bankruptcy proceedings.

    It’s pretty clear what’s going on here: the execs at the top are looting their own companies and letting the horrific machinery they’ve torn up the earth with for decades to rot. In many cases, it’s going to continue spreading poison into the environment until taxpayers front the bill to clean it up.

    And we can’t look to Joe Biden to save us either, as he’s essentially promised that fracking jobs won’t be on the chopping block in his administration. Seems unlikely he’ll want to go after the executives either. That means it’s our job to remember what they did and make sure that they face consequences in the administration after Biden, or the one after that, or however long it.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The NFL Team in Washington, D.C. will retire its name, a racial slur for a Native American, on Monday. The team has yet to announce a new name, but any change is probably going to be an improvement on the former one.

    Elsewhere in the world of sports, ESPN suspended perhaps the best-known basketball reporter in the world, Adrian Wojnarowsky, after he replied “F- you” in an email to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. In a just world, he’d have been commended for telling Hawley to stuff it, which everyone should do pretty much every time they have the opportunity.

    the first federal inmate in 17 years is expected to be executed on Monday. The inmate, Daniel Lewis Lee, has been on death row for decades after being convicted of killing a family of 3 in the 90s. His family is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, which has until 4pm Monday to stop the execution.

    And lastly, remember Robert Mueller? Well heeeee’s back! Sen. Lindsey Graham is expected to call the former special counsel before his bad-faith panel aimed to discredit Mueller’s original investigation. We’re sure this appearance will be productive for everyone involved, especially the American public.

    July 13, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 10, 2020: Oklahoma Is Native Land
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    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The Supreme Court rules that much of the state of Oklahoma rightly belongs to Native American tribes. Republicans, predictably, freak out.

    Meanwhile, Joe Biden unveiled a new campaign slogan in Pennsylvania. It’s union-made and wrapped lovingly in Old Glory.

    And lastly, do not mess with the TikTok teens. Repeat: Do Not. Mess. With. The TikTok. Teens. Or they will mess with you.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    A large swath of Oklahoma including the state’s second largest city, Tulsa, belong to Native American tribes, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday. In a five-to-four decision, the Court sided with the Muscogee (MUSK-OH-GI), also known as the Creek Nation. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who usually votes with the conservatives, here sided with the majority.

    The case concerned a tribal member named Jimcy McGirt who was convicted of sex crimes. His defense argued that only the federal government, not state authorities, could prosecute him. They argued that was the case because the crime took place on land that had not been ceded by the tribe to the state of Oklahoma, and Congress had never clarified the matter. The court found this convincing. Justice Gorsuch wrote, QUOTE, “On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise... Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word ENDQUOTE. There’s a first time for everything, huh?

    Native groups hailed the ruling. But Republicans freaked out. Ted Cruz, the Senator from the neighboring state of Texas, had a juvenile freak-out, and Tweeted that Neil Gorsuch and the four liberal Justices just gave away half of Oklahoma, literally. Manhattan is next, Cruz said. On Fox News, Lou Dobbs said the Supreme Court was compromised by the Deep State, was out of control, and acting like squirrels. What does that even mean? Squirrels? Is that a Q- Anon thing? Or did he just coin a slur?

    The areas affected by the ruling also affect other tribes: the Cherokee, the Choctaw (CHOCK- TAUGH), the Chickasaw (CHICKA-SAW), and the Seminole. The nations also promised to coordinate law enforcement with state and federal officials, since Oklahoma state courts have lost jurisdiction over much of the eastern half of the state. The ruling means hundreds of convictions could be overturned. It also means that McGirt, the alleged sex criminal who prompted the fight over jurisdiction, may be tried federally. But ultimately, as the Cherokee writer Rebecca Nagle put it, the decision affirms that it’s been Indian country all along.

    Biden: "Build Back Better"

    Joe Biden’s presidential campaign rolled out a new slogan yesterday. Are you ready? It’s Build Back Better. Biden called his new slogan both bold and practical. The former vice president spoke yesterday at a metal works in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Advisers told reporters the new campaign focus takes aim at what they call Trump’s two main issues: the economy and nationalism. If Trump’s slogan is America First, Biden’s new message might be called, America, Seconded.

    In Pennsylvania Biden talked about rebuilding the country’s manufacturing base, and announced two new spending programs: $300 billion for high-tech research and development and $400 billion for new federal procurement of products made inside the US. He praised the middle class and working families. He attacked Wall Street bankers, CEOs, the wealthy investor class, and shareholder capitalism. Aside from the flag-waving stuff, he sounded a lot like Bernie Sanders. Biden said, QUOTE You know who built the middle class? Unions built the middle class ENDQUOTE.

    Trump campaign aides were both surprised and annoyed by Biden’s new focus on American- made products. According to the Washington Post, Trump’s people were preparing to roll out their own Buy American campaign before Biden beat them to the punch. And they point out that Biden supported free-trade agreements that are now widely unpopular among members of both major parties, both during his time in Congress in the 90s and as vice president in the Obama administration. But with record unemployment, a looming wave of evictions, and all the other signs of economic disaster, who besides members of the Trump cult can believe that he will really turn things around with another four years in office?

    TikTok Teens Target Trump

    The TikTok kids mean business. And they’ve claimed another victory. This time, users of the short-video social network flooded the Trump 2020 campaign’s official campaign app with negative reviews. Allow us to quote some of them here: Disgusting – don’t download. Total trash. Scarred for life. Do not download – dog held hostage. Thanks for killing grandma, Trump. This app ruined my life. Absolutely horrible. Worst app ever in history. You get the idea.

    As Bloomberg News reported, TikTok fans left the bad reviews as a means of retaliation. Trump threatened to ban the app. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, and hugely popular with American teens. One 19-year-old user in California told Bloomberg, QUOTE If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you ENDQUOTE. Okay then!

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    In another ruling yesterday, the US Supreme Court decided that Trump’s tax returns must be released to prosecutors in New York. However, the Court decided that Congress, which also wanted access to Trump’s financial records, will have to wait. Some political observers called it a win for Trump, however, bottom line, the Court rejected Trump’s claim of blanket immunity during his tenure as president.

    According to the Associated Press, federal authorities feared that Ghislaine (GILL- AYNE) Maxwell might kill herself while in custody, in much the same manner as her alleged accomplice, the late Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell was arrested last week in New Hampshire. Per the AP, she is now confined at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, with federal guards from outside the Bureau of Prisons.

    One in seven state lawmakers in Mississippi has the coronavirus, according to PBS Newshour. It’s the largest outbreak in any elected body in the US. Although many Republicans with a national profile, like Mike Pence, have taken to wearing masks, it has reportedly been rare to see a Mississippi legislator from either party wearing a mask. Now at least twenty-six members have tested positive, though none have yet been hospitalized.

    Palantir (PAL-ANN-TEER), the super-creepy surveillance startup founded by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel (TEEL), wants to go public. The Wall Street Journal says the company has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process of selling shares publicly. The company is deeply involved with Trump’s deportation machine. And it’s worth pointing out that for many Silicon Valley companies, an initial public offering is not a sign of success, but rather, the final toss of a hot potato.

    July 10, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 9, 2020: Trump Threatens School Funding
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    07:25

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Donald Trump is a menace to public health and also to school district budgets. Federal funding could be at stake for districts that don’t hold in-person classes in the fall, pandemic be damned.

    Meanwhile, a Supreme Court ruling revokes birth control coverage for thousands of women. Employers can now claim a religious exemption under the Affordable Care Act.

    And lastly, Washington, DC, is set to restore voting rights for incarcerated citizens. In forty- eight states, people who are or have been in prison for a felony still can’t vote.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Trump threatened yesterday to cut off federal funding for school districts that don’t fully reopen with in-person classes in the fall. Luckily, in the US, most school districts don’t rely completely on federal funding, instead raising money through local property taxes. But Trump’s threats do unfortunately put emergency pandemic funds at risk everywhere. Many if school districts started rolling out their reopening plans this week, and many are on course to defy Trump’s wishes. The country’s largest school district, New York City Public Schools, plans as of yesterday to send students back for in-person classes only two or three days each week, in order to maintain social distancing. At more crowded schools, the New York Times reports, students might receive only one day per week of in-person instruction. And there is still no plan to provide families with childcare on days when the kids are doing their lessons online. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the plan will influence how the rest of the city reopens. As in many states, the governor also has authority over when and how schools reopen. Andrew Cuomo has yet to comment on de Blasio’s plan. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom wants to leave many details of reopening up to local districts. But in a leaked recording obtained by the Los Angeles Times, LA County’s top public health official told district superintendents that they needed to be ready to hold all classes online come fall. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the superintendants it would be irresponsible not to have a backup plan that included all distance learning, all the time.

    If that’s irresponsible, what can one say about Trump’s threats? That they’re outrageously reckless? Borderline homicidal? Mike Pence announced yesterday that the Centers for Disease Control would be release new guidance for schools next week. He made it clear the new guidelines will favor in-person classes, just like Trump wants. Sure seems like health experts have different ideas. But when is the last time this government listened to them?

    The public health director in Tusla, Oklahoma, said a surge in coronavirus cases followed Trump’s rally there two and a half weeks ago. Separately, Johns Hopkins University reported that US coronavirus cases passed the three million mark. That’s one case for every a hundred people in the country. The virus is out of control, and it seems like the White House is determined to make sure every American gets exposed. It’s just nuts.

    Supreme Court Upholds Patriarchy

    More than a hundred thousand women, and millions more in the future, stand to lose their health insurance coverage for birth control, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling yesterday. With a seven-to-two vote, the Court upheld a Trump administration regulation that grants employers a religious exemption to providing birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Justice Elena Kagan voted with the patriarchy, I mean the majority. Which is technically a patriarchy. But still.

    The case stemmed from a challenge by the states to the Trump rule creating a religious exemption for birth control. Pennsylvania and New Jersey argued that the state treasuries would be left to pick up the tab for health care that should fall to employers. A federal appeals judge granted an injunction last year that preserved health care for many women – but the Supreme Court’s word is now final. I guess we’ll just need to find a better Supreme Court.

    DC Enfranchises 4,000 Voters

    City leaders in the District of Columbia are preparing to end voter disenfranchisement for felons, at least locally. If Mayor Muriel Bowser signs an emergency bill put forward by Councilmember Charles Allen, more than four thousand people will regain their right to vote. The emergency measure is expected to pass. And Councilmember Allen told The Appeal, a news website covering justice issues, that the Council could make the measure permanent as

    part of its budgeting process later this month. The emergency bill will let convicts and incarcerated felons vote in the November election, by request. Beginning next January, DC will be obliged to provide voter information and ballot access to people in prison. The bill also includes some limited police reform, including bans on chokeholds, tear gas, and rubber bullets. DC will join Maine and Vermont in allowing all incarcerated people to vote. According to The Appeal, DC has a higher incarceration rate than any state – and over ninety percent of its incarcerated population are Black. It’s nice to see a win for voting rights, for a change.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Newly released transcripts based on body camera footage show that George Floyd told Minneapolis cops more than twenty times that he couldn’t breathe, before he finally died under Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee. The transcripts were contained in court filings. According to the New York Times, which reviewed the texts, Chauvin told Floyd to stop talking after Floyd said officers were going to kill him. He added, QUOTE it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk ENDQUOTE. Chauvin faces second-degree murder charges and up to forty years in prison.

    A new study by a former Google worker revealed thousands of previously unreported contracts between Silicon Valley companies and the US military. The researcher, Jack Poulson, protested Google’s work with Chinese censors and the US security state, before quitting the company in 2018. Per NBC News, he analyzed thirty million government contracts and subcontracts from the Defense Department and federal law enforcement going back five years. He found that Amazon had more than three-hundred fifty subcontracts since 2016, and Google had two-hundred fifty. Microsoft had more than five thousand, most of which, I’m guessing, involve asking the feds if rebooting their computers solves the problem.

    Torrential rains and severe flooding in Japan have killed at least fifty-eight people, according to the Washington Post. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on lawmakers to declare an extreme disaster. Landslides are also reportedly wreaking havoc in affected areas, mostly southern and central Japan. Those parts of the country still face another foot of rainfall in the forecast this week.

    A new DNA study claims to have proven once and for all that people from the Polynesian islands share an ancestral connection to Native Americans from Mexico down to Chile. The study appeared in the Journal Nature. The findings confirm that Polynesian sailors traversed more than forty-two hundred miles of open ocean to travel to South America some eight hundred years ago. That’s several hundred years before that enormous poseur, Colombus. And not only did the Polynesians bring sweet potatoes to the New World, they managed to avoid waging a murderous religious crusade across two continents. Give them a statue, for chrissake.

    July 9, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 8, 2020: Corona Cases Pass 3,000,000
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    06:59

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    U.S. coronavirus cases passed 3 million on Tuesday, a grim milestone that we flew past a breakneck speed, as Florida’s ICU’s start to hit capacity all at once and the president uses his time to officially withdraw the country from the World Health Organization and push to reopen schools.

    Meanwhile, a new report by the Intercept shows that oxycodone death-dealer Purdue made political contributions even after it went bankrupt, showing that there are no depths too low for the Sackler family of murderers.

    And lastly, Tucker Carlson launched a wave of aggressive, racist attacks against Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Ilhan Omar, who dared to suggest that the U.S. supports a quote “system of oppression.”

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    The coronavirus hit a grim new milestone on Tuesday: 3 million cases in the United States alone.

    According to CNN, the country averaged almost 50,000 new cases per day last week, more than double the rate of a month ago. Texas alone reported more than 10,000 cases on Tuesday.

    Trump’s head of the coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, noted that the Administration hadn’t expected the massive community spread among young people, who had generally been pretty diligent about social distancing.

    Put this all together, and we’ve got a horrifying summer ahead. The Trump administration, meanwhile, is following through on its flailing attempts to pass the buck to the WHO, formally announcing on Tuesday that the U.S. will leave the international organization. It’s still a mostly empty threat: the U.S. won’t back out until April of 2021, so if Trump loses in November, Biden or whoever ends up in the Oval could just keep us in.

    But Trump’s not content to just sabotage U.S. participation in international organizations -- he’s actively making the crisis worse at home. The new benchmark the Trump admin wants is for schools to reopen in the fall, which is a step that many schools do not want to do.

    Yesterday we talked about the completely absurd student visa rule, which the New York Times reports could be part of Trump’s plan to exert pressure on schools to offer in-person classes.

    In other words, he’s holding schools’ students hostage in deportation purgatory to try to force them to reopen in a pandemic. Just so we’re clear about what’s going on here.

    Bankrupt Purdue Bankrolls Politicians

    Purdue Pharma, the drug company owned for years by the Sackler family, is one of the most evil corporations in the world.

    That much is not really up for debate at this point: for decades, Purdue almost singlehandedly created the modern U.S. opioid crisis by aggressively marketing their deadly narcotic oxycodone to any patient who had so much as a toothache.

    Last September, Purdue filed for bankruptcy, the product of a mountain of lawsuits filed by cities seeking some sort of justice for the addiction epidemic it unleashed on their streets. But the Sacklers pulled a fast one on the plaintiffs, making off with over 10 billion in company funds.

    According to a new report by the Intercept, the drug giant still had enough left over to make political donations.

    The Intercept reports that Purdue gave $50,000 to both the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association in December of 2019, months after filing for bankruptcy, and right on time to sway politicians as states debate whether or not to put more taxes on opioids.

    To date, only 5 states have implemented a tax on opioids. The 50 grand to Dems and Republicans might not seem like much, but remember that Purdue was donating much larger sums to parties involved in these decisions before it got sued into oblivion. The company itself may be bankrupt, but the Sacklers are doing just fine, and their billions will surely keep growing, fed by the blood of the American working class.

    Tucker Carlson Does Racism Again

    Tucker Carlson is at it again. And by “it,” we mean racism and general bigotry. Imagine that!

    The latest controversy swept up both Rep. Ilhan Omar, a favorite target of the ruling racists in the country, as well as Sen. Tammy Duckworth. It all culminated in an unforgettable Tucker moment in which he put up photos of Omar and Duckworth side by side with a full-screen chyron stating quote “We have to fight to preserve our nation and heritage.” Endquote. That’s only ten words, but it’s pretty close to white nationalist America’s favorite 14-word slogan.

    It started on Monday night, when Carlson mocked Duckworth for saying that we needed to have a national conversation over the removal of racist Confederate monuments. Carlson acknowledged Duckworth’s military service, but then called her a quote “deeply silly,” “unimpressive person,” and suggested that she hates America. Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in Iraq, shot back on Twitter, asking Carlson to quote “walk a mile in my legs.”

    Carlson wasn’t cowed, and dragged Ilhan Omar into the already-stupid hating American controversy on Tuesday night, after the congresswoman said in a press conference that America had a quote “system of oppression.”

    All of this led to the unforgettable chyron during Tucker’s show on Tuesday night. There’s some context to this: Duckworth is reportedly on the long or maybe short list for Biden’s VP slot, and Omar is one of the racist Conservative press’s favorite targets. Linking the two of them is probably advantageous to everyone, like Tucker, who wants to see Trump get a second term. Let’s uh... make sure that doesn’t happen, especially to see the look on Carlson’s face.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    July 8, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 7, 2020: Courts Slap Down Dakota, Keystone Pipelines
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    06:44

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Another day, another pipeline bites the dust. A district court ordered that the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was fought for years by indigenous activists, must be shut down and emptied of oil by August 5, pending a fresh environmental review.

    Meanwhile, Trump passed down one of his most spiteful and pointless immigration orders yet today, ruling that students in the U.S. whose universities were switching to online classes would have to return to their home countries until their schools resumed in-person learning.

    And lastly, new data that the New York Times had to sue the government to get shows the horrifying racial inequalities in the coronavirus pandemic, and all the while, states are still struggling to perform adequate testing.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Courts Slap Down Dakota, Keystone Pipelines

    It’s only Tuesday, and it’s already been a massive week for environmental and indigenous activists fighting the big oil and gas companies trying to skewer their lands with destructive pipelines. On Sunday, two energy giants canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and on Monday, a district court struck a massive blow against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    The Dakota victory is huge. Here’s how it went down. A D.C. district court essentially struck down a prior federal permit that allowed the pipeline to continue flowing while the Army Corps of Engineers did an extensive environmental review. The new ruling is that the pipeline has to shut down and drain itself of oil by August 5, following early court decisions that said the government hadn’t done its full due diligence in figuring out how destructive the pipeline would be.

    For the indigenous activists who put their bodies on the line for years at Standing Rock, this is a much needed reprieve. The Texas energy company that owns the pipeline said it would file a motion to stay the decision and keep the oil flowing, and potentially appeal the case to a higher court.

    But even further up in the courts, activists can’t stop winning. In another huge decision yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s request to go ahead with construction on parts of the Keystone XL pipeline that had been blocked by a federal judge in Montana.

    The Keystone pipeline got held up when a Federal judge deemed that the government had violated the endangered species act.

    It’s pretty clear that these pipelines wreak havoc on the land they go through. But it’s also clear that oil companies are willing to spill as much blood and oil as they need to to get their payday. But if activists keep winning the battles in court, there may be some way to stop them.

    Trump Kicks Out Foreign Students

    The Trump administration added yet another ridiculous, destructive immigration policy to it’s long list on Monday. The policy was a subtle one that flew under the radar of a lot of major media coverage, but is going to have a profound effect on thousands of students around the country.

    On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it would no longer honor visas for non-immigrant students whose universities are only offering online classes in the fall semester. ICE says that those students either have to go back to their home country and take online classes, or transfer to a university that offers in-person classes.

    For students who have physically moved to a new city or country to study, this is clearly a ridiculous proposition. It’s ICE literally turfing students out of their homes and saying that because their classes are online, they have no reason to be in the country.

    If students don’t comply, ICE’s announcement threatened to start deportation proceedings.

    This is obviously going to cause havoc on universities, particularly research institutions with a large number of foreign students who contribute to laboratories that have already been disrupted by the coronavirus. It also serves no practical purpose: kicking out students who have already been here isn’t going to make our already-out-of-control domestic pandemic any better.

    It’s just pure vindictive spite from the Trump administration, on a level that we should expect by now but that isn’t any easier to swallow.

    NYT Sues CDC for Corona Data

    We’ve known for some time that the coronavirus pandemic was hitting some communities harder than others, but for months, the largest and most important source of data was absent.

    The CDC was being tight lipped about their data -- so quiet, in fact, that it took a lawsuit for them to cough it up. The New York Times sued the CDC for a full accounting of the pandemic, and the data they got back shows that Black and Latino people have been disproportionately ravaged by the disease, despite their location in the country or age groups.

    In other words, it’s not about urban versus rural: the disease is hitting communities that are already underserved by health care systems, impoverished, or otherwise isolated from the care and resources they need. In America’s racist system, those communities are black and brown.

    According to the Times, federal data showed that Black and Latino americans are three times as likely to get the disease as white people.

    All of this comes as testing remains a struggle in many metropolitan areas. The fresh wave of cases across the country has left even increased testing resources stretched thin, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

    Texas topped 200,000 cases, just 17 days after topping 100,000 cases. Many other places in the country don’t look much better. Unless we get realistic about who’s being hurt by this disease and what we have to do to help them, the country is resigning itself to thousands upon thousands more deaths.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    New data shows that while most of the government’s small business loans went to restaurants and car dealerships, President Trump’s personal lawyer and multiple high-profile lobbying firms also all took a cut of the federal pie.

    The Supreme Court ruled that states can abolish faithless electors, or electoral college voters who decide not to cast their ballots for the candidate their state selects. A better system would be abolishing the whole electoral college, but sure, we’re getting there.

    Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, declared a second, six-week lockdown on Tuesday, citing “unsustainably high numbers of new cases” of coronavirus. The city had previously started to reopen, only to see cases start to skyrocket again. And their outbreak was nowhere near as bad as the one here, for the record.

    Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro is once again displaying symptoms of coronavirus, and was tested for the disease on Monday. He’s presided over one of the worst outbreaks anywhere in the world (outside of the U.S.), and multiple members of his inner circle have already had the disease. His administration said they should have the results back on Tuesday, so we’ll see how they decide to play it from here.

    That’s it for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Sam’s out on vacation, but the Majority Report team will have more live-to-tape content lined up later this afternoon.

    July 7, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 6, 2020: Trump Grasps for Nationalism
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    06:47

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Trump leaned into nationalism and the culture wars in events across Fourth of July weekend, although he appeared to flounder in front of lackluster crowds and a strange, sad party at the White House.

    Meanwhile, the ongoing protests in Seattle suffered yet another tragedy on Saturday, when a driver plowed through protesters on a closed section of Interstate 5, killing one person and seriously injuring another.

    And lastly, two of the nation’s largest utility companies announced that they would be canceling the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a destructive natural gas line that would have hacked its way through the Appalachian trail. It’s a huge win for environmentalists, who have been suing the project into oblivion for years.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Trump Grasps for Nationalism

    We’ll start today with a quick wrap-up of Donald Trump’s weird, sad weekend, which kicked off on Friday night with a jingoistic rally in front of Mount Rushmore aimed almost entirely at stoking racial and cultural resentment among his white base before election day.

    In other words, business as usual. But let’s pull a quick snippet from the Rushmore Rally to illustrate just where he’s coming from. During the rally, he said quote “this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution,” endquote. He then continued, saying that the left’s goal was to quote “end America.” endquote.

    The rest of the speech leaned into similar themes: the end of western civilization, calling on the American people to stop their history being taken away from them, all that kind of stuff. You can see how that directly ties into the bigoted arguments like “heritage not hate” that racists use to try to justify monuments to the confederacy.

    Trump followed the Rushmore speech with a strange party on the White House grounds, complete with fireworks, a military flyover, and a Navy band singing songs from the Lion King. Pretty surreal stuff, in other words.

    It’s worth putting all this stuff in context: Trump is absolutely floundering right now. His poll numbers compared to Biden are circling the drain, per a new Monmouth poll that came out last Thursday Even his most stable age groups, like the 50-64 demographic, are starting to slip away -- He’s down 5 points in that group. He’s clearly hoping that by ralling the fires of white

    nationalism he can scare people into re-electing him. And in the mean time, he seems to be distracting himself pretty well with golf -- visiting one of his courses for the 273rd time on Friday.

    Protester Killed By Car in Seattle

    Seattle’s protest movement suffered another violent tragedy this weekend, after a protester was killed and one other seriously wounded after a driver plowed through a demonstration on Interstate 5.

    The murdered protester was identified as 24-year-old Summer Taylor. Another protester, 32-year-old Diaz Love, is in serious condition. The driver was identified as Dawit Kelete, 27. The authorities don’t have any guess as to motive at the moment, but regardless, it’s another tragic loss that’s part of a frightening trend of protesters being killed while participating in the broader social movement against police brutality.

    In Louisville, for instance, on protester at a vigil for Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in late June. Throughout the protests, multiple people have been killed by police; in the same city, cops shot a local barbecue owner while enforcing a curfew in the early nights of the protests.

    Seattle has also suffered more than its share, as shootings plagued the autonomous zone set up by protesters in the city center.

    Seattle police announced that they would no longer let protesters march on Interstate 5 as a response to the deaths.

    Conservative media, unsurprisingly, has focused almost entirely on vandalism, like burning Wendy’s, and overlooked the fact that Americans are literally dying for the cause on the streets.

    Environmentals Smack Down Pipeline

    To close out our main stories today, we’ve got a huge environmental victory to share. A few months back we talked about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a major natural gas line that was poised to slash through the Appalachian trail and numerous communities along the way.

    On Sunday, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, the two power companies trying to build the pipeline, announced that they were canceling the project, saying that it was taking too long and costing too much to build.

    These delays and price spikes are the direct result of lawsuits filed by environmental activists and dedicated protesting against the pipeline. The energy companies themselves admitted that the lawsuits had driven the pipeline’s expected costs from around four and a half billion dollars when it was announced in 2015, to a whopping 8 billion dollars.

    The environmental lawyers did not mince words: they’re definitely rubbing this one in. Gillian Giannetti, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council said QUOTE

    “As they abandon this dirty pipe dream, Dominion and Duke should now pivot to investing more in energy efficiency, wind and solar — that’s how to provide jobs and a better future for all.”

    The victory was so crushing that Dominion Energy is getting out of the industry altogether, selling its gas transmission and storage assets to a firm linked to Berkshire Hathaway. So the rich are probably still getting richer, but today, it’s environmentalists that get the win.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Aurora Police Department fired three officers who took mocking chokehold selfies outside of a memorial for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old slain by police. Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson called their actions quote “a crime against humanity and decency.”

    Donald Trump’s favored Senate Candidate to take on Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama used to be a hedge fund manager -- and it turns out he wasn’t very good at it. A New York Times report on Sunday found that Tommy Tuberville was sued by his investors for fraud, and his business partner was sentenced to ten years in prison for various shady financial crimes. Sounds like Trump’s kind of guy!

    Iran acknowledged a destructive fire at one of its major nuclear fuel plants, which it says will set its nuclear program back months. Iran and some unnamed intelligence officials say that Israel planted a bomb in the facility. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Israel or the U.S. for that matter had attacked the Iranian nuclear program.

    While the rest of the country was celebrating July 4th, the U.S. military was once again on the move: Two aircraft carriers are on their way to the South China Sea in a significant show of force, ostensibly to stage a rival boat party to China’s planned military exercises in the region. Because sure, we might as well throw more armed tension on top of a global pandemic. Why not!

    That’s all for the AM Quickie today. Sam’s on vacation this week, but keep tuning in to the Quickie -- we’ll keep you posted on what’s going on in the world every morning.

    July 6, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 3, 2020: Trump Rally Insults Sioux
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    07:45

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Confirmed cases of coronavirus are rising in forty states, according to the Associated Press. Trump will speak at Mount Rushmore today, once again, we expect, without a mask.

    Meanwhile, a new study finds that up to sixty percent of fish face extinction due to climate change, if nothing is done. The consequences to the ecosystem would be catastrophic.

    And lastly, federal prosecutors in New York arrest Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplish. She was in hiding in New Hampshire, in a luxury home.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Trump Rally Insults Sioux

    Donald Trump will be holding another of his hate rallies tonight, this time at Mount Rushmore. Masks will be optional. South Dakota’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem (NOAM), says wearing a mask – or not – is a personal choice. Public health officials fear another surge in cases as a result of the rally. There will also be a large pyrotechnics display. About that: the former superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, who retired last year, told PBS that it is not a good idea to light fireworks in the middle of a forest! Native American groups are not pleased about Trump’s decision to come and spread a deadly disease on their sacred lands. Tribal members from the area plan to protest Trump’s rally. In a statement this week, Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux (SOOH), said the faces on Mount Rushmore serve as a constant reminder of deceit and oppression. He said QUOTE We are now being forced to witness the lashing of our land with pomp, arrogance, and fire, hoping our sacred lands will survive... Visitors look upon the faces of those presidents and extoll the virtues that they believe make America the country it is today. Lakota see the faces of the men who lied, cheated, and murdered innocent people, whose only crime was living on the land they wanted to steal ENDQUOTE. Frazier volunteered to take down the monument by himself, if necessary. Honestly I don’t see why anyone should stop him.

    Vice President Mike Pence made a personal choice to wear a mask at a rally yesterday. More and more Republican officials, minus Trump, are wearing masks in public as coronavirus case numbers spiral out of control. Pence was visiting Florida just as state health officials confirmed ten thousand new cases in a single day. Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain also made a personal choice to not wear a mask at Trump’s rally two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yesterday Cain confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19. Cain was hospitalized with serious symptoms but, per his statement, remains confident that with god’s help he will soon resume hosting duties for the two talk shows he hosts, one on his personal website and another on Newsmax TV.

    Ocean Life in Peril

    A new study published in the journal Science suggests sixty percent of fish species will die off by the end of the century. The reason? Climate change. The researchers examined how warming water temperatures affected seven hundred different fish species, both those freshwater and seawater varities. The expected rates of exctinction are so dire because higher water temperatures interfere with fish embyos, as well as with the development of young fish. Sixty percent was a worst-case scenario in the study, based on global temperatures that are seven to nine degrees Farenheit higher than pre-industrial levels. But it’s also a conservative measure of how fish might be effected by climate change, because it doesn’t take into account several other related problems, such as ocean acidification and overfishing. In the best-case scenario in the study, only ten percent of fish species went extinct by the end of the century. However, scientists told the Guardian that best-case scenarios was especially difficult to model. That’s because losing one species can throw the whole ecosystem out of whack – not just underwater but on land, as well. Some of the at-risk species are commercially harvested, including Atlantic cod, swordfish, Pacific salmon, and Pacific cod, which, as the Guardian notes, is used to produce frozen fish sticks.

    Separately, Gizmodo reported that ongoing wildfires in Siberia have released record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. So maybe don’t sweat the best-case scenario too much.

    SDNY Charges Ghislaine Maxwell

    Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been in hiding since before the late sex trafficker died in prison last year. But today, she is in federal custody. Maxwell was arrested yesterday by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at the direction of Audrey Strauss, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

    Her case is a sordid tale of conspiracy and corruption. Maxwell allegedly helped Esptein recruit, groom, and abuse girls as young as fourteen for his elite sex trafficking ring. Dozens of girls were abused by Epstein, Maxwell, and their associates at properties in New York City; Palm Beach, Flordia; Santa Fe, New Mexico; London, England and elsewhere. Maxwell herself has been photographed with an astonishingly long list of the wealthy, powerful, and famous. She is the daughter of a British media tycoon, Robert Maxwell.

    Prosecutors also provided some insight as to how Maxwell has been living this past year since Epstein’s death. Using shell companies and cash transfers, she purchased a luxury home on a large property in small-town Bradford, New Hampshire. She was reportedly arrested there without incident yesterday morning. Later in the day, a judge reportedly remanded her to the custody of the US Marshals service. During the telephonic hearing, a woman with a British accent, whom several reporters said could be Maxwell, was heard pleading and sobbing. Before the line was muted, the woman said, QUOTE, I don’t understand, I don’t understand ENDQUOTE, according to the Miami Herald.

    Epstein’s victims praised Maxwell’s arrest. One attorney representing more than twenty victims told the Herald that her arrest was a long time coming, and that his clients feel relieved that justice is being served.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Several countries – notably the US, Britain, Taiwan, Australia – are making preparations to take in refugees from Hong Kong as China arrests hundreds of dissidents there. Thousands more await trial. Advocates told the Washington Post that they don’t know what to expect with China’s new security law in Hong Kong, and they’re advising protesters who catch serious charges to leave the country if they can.

    The German government this week disbanded a special forces unit riddled with Nazi ties. The parliamentary commissioner for defense said urgent action was needed to not only disband the KSK but to root out the extent of fascist influence in the armed forces. Twenty KSK commandos from the force of fourteen-hundred are being investigated for far-right ties. But the scandal goes deeper, as large quantities of explosives and ammunition are missing...

    The US government is attempting to seize four gasoline tankers en route from Iran to Venezuela, in an escalation of sanctions, lawfare, and other destabilizing measures by the right-wing superpower against the left-leaning oil state. US prosecutors filed a lawsuit seeking court permission to seize the tankers on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal first reported. Yesterday that suit was followed by allowing US forces to seize more than a million gallons of gas onboard the four ships. Next, expect a US court to order Venezuela to stop hitting itself_._

    Police in Fort Lauderdale, Flordia, released body camera footage this week showing cops laughing and celebrating after shooting protesters with rubber bullets, NBC reported. Among other outrageous remarks, an officer can be heard bragging, did you see me eff up up those mother-effers? No, missed that – but can’t wait to see you lose your job!

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.

    July 3, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • July 2, 2020: Seattle Police Clear CHOP
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    07:01

    Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The uprisings against police brutality are holding strong even if much of the media has moved on. And elected officials are increasingly making common cause with protesters.

    Meanwhile, an analysis by the Washington Post finds that at least six hundred thousand Americans have voted for candidates who support the Q-Anon conspiracy theory. The analysis assumed that Donald Trump does not himself go for the Q stuff, which, frankly seems rather generous.

    And lastly, pharmaceutical researchers in the United States and Germany reported promising results in a small coronavirus vaccine trial. Now, if regulators approve, thirty thousand people might be selected for participation in a larger vaccine study.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Seattle Police Clear CHOP

    Police in arrested hundreds of people on suspicion of promoting independence for Hong Kong as a new security law emposed by Beijing took effect. Across the Pacific, in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and many other cities uprisings continued to defy authorities at all levels of government. In Seattle, the so-called autonomous zone in Capitol Hill was cleared with force by police on the order of the mayor, Jenny Durkin. One day before making the order, Durkin accused socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant of contemptuous behavior for letting protesters into City Hall. Today, Sawant shamed Durkin in turn, and expressed solidarity with organizers at the autonomous zone, Black Lives Matter, and QUOTE everyone fighting for a society free of oppression ENDQUOTE. Protesters were gathering at another police precinct in Seattle last night. In Oregon, state House Speaker Tina Kotek criticized a fellow Democrat, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, for allowing police to violate a state judge’s order that they stop using tear gas. Police the other night deployed tear gas indiscriminately in a neighborhood in a futile attempt to disperse protests that, as elsewhere, have held their momentum for over a month.

    Two people were arrested in Provo, Utah, on charges including attempted aggravated murder after driving through and then shooting a gun into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. In

    Houston, Texas, six police officers were charged with fifteen felonies related to shooting deaths in a no-knock raid, according to a Houston Chronicle reporter. In California, the Los Angeles City Council voted to cut the police budget by $150 million. Only two of fourteen Council members opposed the move to defund the police. In Richmond, Virginia, a statue of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson was removed – with a crane – to cheers from an approving crowd. And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a statue of the late serial sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein appeared overnight on city property. The statue – actually a mannequin painted bronze – was removed yesterday. A plaque explained, in part, that Epstein had a home in New Mexico and QUOTE was also a rapist who died in prison ENDQUOTE.

    Congressional QAnon Caucus Feared

    Earlier this year, Media Matters identified fifty-nine candidates for the US Congress who expressed support for the Q-Anon conspiracy theory. Now, with most of their primaries out of the way, the Washington Post assessed how they’ve fared in this year’s elections. Elevent of the Q candidates have won, including one Democrat. Thirteen are in races that have yet to be determined. And all together, those pro-Q candidates candidates have won more than six hundred thousand votes.

    The Post notes that the vote totals don’t mean all those voters were conspiracy-obsessed loonies. However, they do indicate that belief in Q-Anon theories is not disqualifying for Republican candidates. It’s hard to see those results as anything but disturbing. The good news is that many of the Q Republicans who won their primaries are in heavily Democratic districts. Most probably won’t join Congress next year, because they’ll likely lose to Democrats in the November general election. However, there is the possibility of a small Q Conspiracy Caucus forming in Congress, no matter what happens to Trump.

    Promising Coronavirus Vaccine Study

    It’s far from a sure thing, but scientists in the US and Germany yesterday reported encouraging results in a small coronavirus vaccine trial. Forty-five people received a series of doses of the experimental vaccine. After the second dose, scientists noted a boost to antibodies in subjects’ blood, meaning their immune systems were better prepared to fight off the virus. The results were encouraging, according to the Washington Post. Scientists who

    weren’t involved in the study said the told that Post that the vaccine deserves a larger clinical trial. And it may get one at the end of this month, pending regulatory approval.

    The vaccine study has not been peer reviewed. However, the data was published online, which outside scientists commended as a mark of transparency. A German company called Biontech sponsored the study, and the Big Pharma giant Pfizer managed the trial. There were a few caveats. First, the test subjects were mostly young and not in the top COVID-19 risk groups. Second, most people who got moderate doses of the experimental vaccine developed fevers, chills and other unpleasant symptoms. But those symptoms only lasted a day, and most people would consider some temporary discomfort a small price to pay for a drug that could bring an end to this pandemic.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The US government will be thirty percent owner of one of the largest trucking firms with a union contract, under a bailout deal announced yesterday by the Treasury Department. The company, YRC Worldwide, is valued at $70 million, but the Treasury loan is valued at $700 million. Two years ago the Justice Department accused the company of defrauding the government by falsifying records in a Defense Department contract. Seems legit!

    Food delivery drivers were on strike in Brazil yesterday. Online videos showed masses of cyclist gig workers filling the streets in Sao Paolo, and one left-wing journalist declared it could be a historic strike for the international labour movement. Delivery drivers in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala also reportedly participated.

    Russians yesterday voted in favor of constitutional changes that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power through 2036. The parliament already approved the changes favoring Putin, although he wanted the referendum to heighten the appearance of legitimacy. Congratulations!

    Police in Southern Italy claimed a world record shipment of amphetamines, allegedly sourced from ISIS militants in Syria and destined for the mafia organization known as the Camorra. The drugs were allegedly hidden in large paper and metal cylinders. Police found

    fourteen tons of Captagon tablets in the shipment, valued at $1 billion. You know... give or take...

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.

    June 17, 2020 - AM Quickie

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn