Anti-War Protest Vote 'Massively' Exceeds Expectations in Michigan - The Wednesday AM Quickie 2/28/24

I've got an elderly relative who's been in and out of the hospital these past couple of months, so your good vibes are appreciated. - Corey

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Are You Listening Now, Joe? The 'Uncommitted' Vote Will Be Following You to All the Way to Chicago

After nearly all of the local votes were counted last night, 56 percent of Democratic primary voters in the heavily Arab American city of Dearborn, Michigan, voted "uncommitted," while only 40 percent voted for President Joe Biden. Across the vital swing state, with most votes counted, more than 100,000 people – over 13 percent in all – voted "uncommitted," far above the total in previous elections, in a sign of outrage over Biden's handling of Israel's assault on Gaza. The "uncommitted" vote more than doubled the low-single-digit totals of also-rans Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson (who suspended her campaign after ballots were printed). It is also, as organizers of the push to vote "uncommitted" repeatedly made clear, far more than Donald Trump's 11,000-vote margin of victory in the state in the 2016 general election, and a large share of Biden's 154,000-vote victory margin in 2020. The upshot: "Biden's path to the presidency would be far more difficult, if not impossible, if he loses [Michigan] in November," the Washington Post says, echoing Jacob's story yesterday.

"'Our movement emerged victorious tonight and massively surpassed our expectations,' Layla Elabed, 'Listen to Michigan' campaign manager and sister of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), said in a statement Tuesday. 'Tens of thousands of Michigan Democrats, many of whom who voted for Biden in 2020, are uncommitted to his re-election due to the war in Gaza.'
"She added: 'We don't want a Trump presidency, but Biden has put [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu ahead of American democracy. We cannot afford to pay the bill for disregarding Palestinian lives should it come due in November.'"

The Michigan primary result is a clear indication that Biden's refusal to reign in Netanyahu's slaughter of civilians in Gaza could cost him reelection and put Trump back in the White House, with catastrophic global consequences. And the "Listen to Michigan" movement, which placed more than a million phone calls and texts, is likely to follow Biden to the Democratic National Convention, the New York Times reports, being on track to surpass the 15 percent threshhold needed to send at least one delegate to Chicago in August. (The Sick F*ck, by the way, claimed more than 68 percent of the Republican vote in Michigan last night, far less than he won in 2020; his last primary opponent standing, Nikki Haley, predicted that with Trump topping their ticket, "Republicans will keep losing to the socialist left.")

Meanwhile in the Middle East, both Israeli and Hamas leaders are downplaying Biden's claim that a cease-fire is imminent. Biden said in an interview taped Monday that the Israelis "have made a commitment to me that they're going to see to it that there's an ability to evacuate significant portions of Rafah before they go and take out the remainder Hamas. But it's a process." Huh? After Tuesday, maybe he will wise up that passively participating in this horrifying "process" isn't doing him any favors.

Labor Roundup: Let Them Eat Cereal, Kellog CEO Says

  • Starbucks Agrees to Contract Talks with Workers United "'If Starbucks genuinely intends to respect workers' right to organize, stop its intimidation and harassment of pro-union workers, and engage in real good-faith bargaining, this is a huge step forward,' John Logan, a professor at San Francisco State University who is an expert on how companies respond to union campaigns, said." via the New York Times and the Associated Press.
  • UAW Wins Card Check at Alabama Mercedes Plant "If a company has to tell a worker how good their job is, that definitely points to something being wrong," Jeremy Kimbrell, lead United Auto Workers organizer at the Tuscaloosa plant, says of employee meetings called by management ahead of the union election. via HuffPost.
  • Seeking Endorsement, Biden Will Visit Teamsters HQ on March 12 In addition to meeting General President Sean O'Brien and other leadership, Biden will join "a roundtable with rank-and-file members" at the union's Washington, DC headquarters. via NBC News.
  • Missouri Bus Drivers Stage Sick-Out After Noose Left for Black Mechanic Who Argued with Manager Over Safety At least 100 drivers participated in the protest days after Amin "Mitchell, who is Black and has worked for Missouri Central [School Bus company] for two months, said a supervisor asked him to make 'Band-Aid' fixes to bus brake systems so they could pass inspection last Friday, despite Mitchell's concerns that some brakes weren't fully serviced." via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the AP.
  • National Faculty Union Sanctions New College of Florida Over 'Unprecedented' Republican Takeover The American Association of University Professors says the new regime appointed by floundering fascist Gov. Ron DeSantis has "'thoroughly restructured' academic programs 'without meaningful faculty involvement and denied academic due process to multiple faculty members.'" via the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Immigrant Dairy Workers Endure 'Squalid' Employer-Provided Housing in Unheated Barns and Garages Across the U.S. Federal laws establishing basic housing standards for ag workers "don't generally apply to dairy workers because cows are milked year-round, unlike other agricultural jobs such as picking apples, which are temporary or seasonal." via ProPublica.
  • South Korean Authorities Threaten to Suspend Licenses and Even Prosecute Thousands of Striking Young Doctors "Some critics say the striking junior doctors simply oppose the government plan [to increase medical school enrollment] because they worry adding more doctors would result in a lower income." via the AP and the Washington Post.
  • Argentina's General Strike Last Month Succeeded in Derailing Milei's Shock Therapy The strike achieved key goals because many private organizations heeded the union federation's call to action, including football clubs, arts and culture organizations, piquetero organizations of unemployed people, neighborhood assemblies, feminist and environmental groups, and the families of people disappeared during the last dictatorship. via Labor Notes.


  • European Leaders Pop Trial Ballon from France's Macron: Sending NATO Troops to Fight Russians in Ukraine Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, is increasingly calling out Trump by name, calling it "unbelievable" that he's "on the side of Putin." via the Associated Press and the Guardian.
  • Star Witness in Bid to Disqualify Trump's Georgia Prosecutor Admits He 'Speculated' and Maybe Even Lied "Have I told lies about my friends? I could have, I don't know," lawyer and witness Terrence Bradley testified regarding his earlier statements about a relationship between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and a subordinate, Nathan Wade. via Politico and the Washington Post.
  • Oklahoma Cops Backtrack, Say Bathroom Fight Could Have Caused Nex Benedict's Death After All Meanwhile in Chicago, a federal appeals court panel ruled that Indiana's ban on gender-affirming care for youth can go into effect, which the ACLU calls "a heartbreaking development." via NBC News and the New York Times.
  • Jury Convicts 2 in 2002 Murder of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay The pioneering hip-hop DJ, born Jason Mizell, allegedly cut his killers, godson Karl Jordan Jr. and friend Ronald Washington, out of a $100,000 coke deal. via the Times and Rolling Stone.


100 percent

That's how many human placentas and arteries in two new studies, one conducted in the U.S. and the other in China, were found to contain microplastics. "If we are seeing effects on placentas, then all mammalian life on this planet could be impacted," University of New Mexico professor and lead researcher Matthew Campen tells the Guardian. "That's not good."


2/28: It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Michelle Eisen, organizing member of Starbucks Workers United (SWU), to discuss the breaking news that Starbucks may be willing to return to the negotiating table with SWU. Then, Sam is joined by Melissa Gira Grant, staff writer at the New Republic, to discuss her recent reporting on Project 2025.


Israeli Lawmaker on Failed Effort to Expel Him from Knesset

Sam and Emma speak to Ofer Cassif, member of the Israeli Knesset representing the Hadash coalition, about the recent failed effort to expel him over his expressed support for South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

AOC Shreds Republicans Over IVF Madness

"They're going after IVF. They're going after contraception. ... They also want to control what they call 'recreational sex.' This is so clearly a patriarchal theocracy. ... They must be defeated."


"We have been asking ourselves for many, many years how one succeeds in living underground for 30 years. Of course we are hoping for answers when we can get talking to Ms. Klette."

-- German police official Friedo de Vries, speaking to reporters yesterday about the arrest of 65-year-old Daniela Klette, a member of the Red Army Faction, originally known as the Baader-Meinhof group, a defunct left-wing militant group linked to 34 killings, hundreds of injuries, and at least 13 robberies across the country. Klette was living in a Kreuzberg, Berlin apartment with an Italian passport under a different name, kept a big white dog, and worked as a tutor to children.

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