It’s Amazon Prime Day, or Prime Week, whatever big sale event the ecommerce empire is driving this year, and guess what that means: more workers getting churned up through workplace safety and coronavirus exposure.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration and allows the census to be cut short, a move which will likely sabotage Democratic voting power in the future and give the GOP more time to add in provisions that omit undocumented immigrants from the count even if they lose the White House in November.
And lastly, Minnesota officials have linked at least two dozen cases of coronavirus to people who attended campaign events in the past month. And you’ll never guess who’s campaign was responsible for the vast majority of them.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
By now AM Quickie and Majority Report listeners know what Amazon is. If you use it, you use it -- there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism and all that, but we shouldn’t harbor any illusions about what the country’s ecommerce monopoly means at this point.
Every year, Amazon does a Prime Day, which often stretches into a week, where it offers new products at hefty discounts for its subscribers. As always, the burden of this falls on its workers.
In past years, this has contributed to Amazon’s already atrocious injury rate. A recent report by the investigative outlet Reveal showed that the company has downplayed and obscured rising injury numbers that go way past industry averages.
This year, however, all that is compounded by the risk of coronavirus. In Minnesota, home to the company’s massive Shakope [shock oh pee] warehouse, the situation is particularly dire. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that at that facility alone, more than 200 employees have fallen ill over the course of the pandemic.
Amazon’s response, of course, has been barbaric throughout. They fired a warehouse worker, Chris Smalls, early on in the pandemic for speaking out about working conditions. And in Shakopee, The Star Tribune reports that some staff members recently walked off the job after a worker who tested positive was fired for quote “time off task” violations.
The company claims it has all the high-tech solutions in place to protect workers, but we know what all of that’s worth: they’re there to protect the company’s bottom line and its public image, the most important things it owns.
Supreme Court Shuts Down Census
The Supreme Court, now with a 5-3 conservative majority, sided unsurprisingly with the Trump administration on Tuesday, allowing the administration to shut down the 2020 census count early while court proceedings continue.
The Court’s decision is a bit complicated procedurally, so we’ll sketch this out in broad strokes. The Trump administration is using some arbitrary deadlines to say that it needs to shut the census count down ASAP. The work is behind, of course, because of the pressures of the pandemic.
Trump, or more accurately Stephen Miller, wants to shut things down as quickly as possible because doing so would allow them to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population totals submitted in the results.
This would effectively make the census inaccurate, but more importantly to Republicans, it would mean that the population totals that govern the next ten years of House seat and federal funding appropriations wouldn’t include undocumented immigrants, who live disproportionately in Democratic districts.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying that quote “the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable.” endquote. But there’s not much she can do with such a strong conservative Majority, which could get even worse if the GOP manages to confirm Amy Coney Barrett.
Typhoid Trump Strikes in Minnesota Spike
Health officials in Minnesota have connected two dozen virus cases to people who attended presidential campaign events in the past month, and almost all of them come from Trump’s big dumb airport barnburners.
Let’s get a disclaimer out of the way first though: it’s not _all_ Trump. Two people who attended Biden events are part of that list. Health officials can’t pinpoint exactly where any person contracted the virus, so the Biden fans could easily have caught it somewhere else. Granted, so could the Trump supporters, but come on. Come on. Massive maskless rallies? What did you think was going to happen.
Also of note, four of the cases aren’t from Trump supporters, but of protesters who went to one of his rallies to demonstrate.
And some of the cases in general are pretty severe. The Duluth News Tribune reported that 9 cases have been linked to Trump’s rally in Bemidji [BE MIJ EE]. Of those, two have required hospitalization, and one required intensive care. Cases across the state are rising as well, with average new daily case counts topping 1,000 for more than a week.
Meanwhile, on a call with press on Monday, the president openly endorsed the anti-scientific view that herd immunity will halt the virus without a massive wave of deaths.
This should go without saying, but if Trump comes to town, maybe give it a pass.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
A new report by the New York Times visual investigations team found that Michael Reinoehl, the anti-fascist protester who shot a right wing milita member in Portland, may not have brandished a weapon at police before he was shot to death, as authorities previously claimed.
The State of Virginia’s online voter registration portal abruptly crashed late on Monday night, after a fiber optic cable was severed the night before the deadline to register to vote. The same service also crashed shortly before the deadline in 2016.
A quick check in on the Amy Coney Barrett hearings: during day two, ACB refused to say she would recuse herself if the legitimacy of the election came before the court, and downplayed her hard-line stances on Abortion, healthcare, and gay marriage. She’s certainly going through the motions to make herself palatable, but it’s pretty easy to see who she’s really looking out for.
The Trump administration’s weird political sham investigation into whether Obama-era officials quote “unmasked” confidential identities improperly has concluded as a wet, limp flop. The prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review the case completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, something that will surely give Trump more to scream about on Twitter.
That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam this afternoon.
OCT 14, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn