College Athletes Will No Longer Work for Free - The Friday AM Quickie 5/24/24

Elon Musk's frivolous lawsuit against Media Matters over its investigation into neo-Nazi propaganda on X is probably doomed to fail on the merits, but it nevertheless cost the liberal research outfit so much to defend against that it had to lay off a dozen people. I never want to hear another billionaire quoted on the subject of free speech again. - Corey

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$2.8 Billion Antitrust Settlement Means College Athletes Will Finally Get Paid

The details have yet to be worked out, but the legal system took a long-overdue step yesterday toward bringing some rudimentary economic justice to the exploitative, multibillion-dollar college athletics industry. The Associated Press reports:

The NCAA and the nation's five biggest conferences announced Thursday night that they have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims, a monumental decision that sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start steering millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester. ...
In the new compensation model, each school will be permitted but not required to set aside up to $21 million in revenue to share with athletes per year, though as revenues rise so could the cap.
Athletes in all sports would be eligible for payments and schools would be given the freedom to decide how that money is divvied up among sports programs.

A federal judge still needs to sign off on the settlement plan. "I'm hugely proud," Steve Berman, co-lead counsel in the student athletes' case against NCAA, tells ESPN. "This is a revolutionary change I never thought would happen when I started this. I'm thrilled for the student-athletes because this will be life-changing for all of them."

The grudging recognition that student athletes are workers who generate profits for their employers, while putting their bodies on the line, is obviously many decades overdue. Let's hope it also speeds up the spread of college athletics unions – the first of which formed at Dartmouth College just two months ago.

Elections Watch: Ohio's Republican Gov. Calls Special Session Over 'Ridiculous' Biden Ballot Access Issue

  • Supreme Court Resurrects Racist South Carolina Voting Map in Gift to GOP The South Carolina legislature moved 30,000 Black voters in the Charleston-area district held by white Republican Rep. Nancy Mace into another district held by Black Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn after a Democrat won in Charleston in 2018; according to the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, this had nothing to do with race. via the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press.
  • Trump Promises 'Immediate Approvals' for Planet-Killing Big Oil Projects at $250,000-Per-Head Houston Fundraiser Meanwhile, Senate Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon have opened "a slew of investigations" into Trump's "obvious policies-for-money transaction." via the Washington Post and Politico.
  • Biden's Centrist Advisors Gloat Over Progressive Defeats in This Week's Democratic Primaries Meanwhile, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal said of her sister Susheela's defeat in an Oregon House race: "She ran a great campaign. But when you have $7 million that comes in in outside spending, the third most expensive outside spending amount in this cycle in the country, it's pretty tough." via Politico and HuffPost.
  • Strip Clubs, Limos, Luxury Hotels and Cash Withdrawals: Minnesota GOP Candidate's Campaign Finance Reports Are 'an Incredibly Long List of Illegal Expenditures' Retired NBA player and antisemitic conspiracy theorist Royce White's campaign spending reports for his failed 2022 House bid are so damning that experts say they could land him in jail; this year he's running for Senate, naturally. via the Daily Beast.

UCLA and UC Davis to Join Rolling Strike Over Gaza Protest Crackdown as Labor Board Denies Injunction

United Auto Workers Local 4811, which represents 48,000 academic workers in the University of California system, launched a rolling strike Monday over the violent crackdown administrators enabled and invited against students, faculty, and staff protesting Israel's assault on Gaza. UC administrators immediately asked the state Public Employment Relations Board to step in and block the "illegal" strike. Yesterday, siding with the workers, the board denied that request. "UC has allowed members of the academic community to be brutalized by violent agitators, and called in police to trample on our members' rights in direct contradiction to UC's own policies. Our workers have walked off the job to demand resolution of these brazen unfair labor practices. PERB's decision to deny their request for an injunction proves that no employer gets to make up its own rules," UAW 4811 president Rafael Jaime tells the Los Angeles Times. The next phase in the strike begins Tuesday. Meanwhile at The Hague, the International Court of Justice is expected to rule today on South Africa's emergency request to order a halt to Israel's invasion of Rafah.


  • Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom 'Quietly' Signs Bill Allowing Arizona Doctors to Perform Abortions in California "To Arizona people of child-bearing age, and those who love and support them, we have your back, at least until you get the chance to reverse this attack on your rights on the Arizona ballot this November," says California Democratic Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, an author of the bill. via Politico and the Los Angeles Times.
  • Georgia Prosecutor Appeals Decision Throwing Out 6 Charges Against Trump and Co-Defendants in Racketeering Case Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis's "decision to file the appeal was yet another indication that the closely watched election interference case was unlikely to go to trial before the upcoming presidential election." via the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Fascist Message Discipline: Far-Right EU Parliamentary Group Expels Germany's AfD Party Over Open Nazi Apologia "One million soldiers wore the SS uniform," AfD candidate Maximilian Krah said last week. "Can you really say that because someone was an officer in the Waffen-SS they were a criminal?" via the Guardian and Deutsche Welle.
  • Macron Says He'll Delay Voting Changes That Sparked New Caledonia Riots, But Troops 'Will Stay as Long as Necessary' Voting in the French Pacific territory is currently limited to indigenous Kanaks and French nationals who arrived before 1998, but Macron wants to expand the franchise to newer arrivals, diluting the indigenous vote. via BBC News and Le Monde.



That's how much Veterans Guardian, a for-profit company that scams US military veterans by charging them thousands of dollars to apply for VA benefits that are intended to be free, spent on lobbying last year, according to the Washington Post. Led by former Trump administration Acting VA Secretary Peter O'Rourke, the scam lobby persuaded a majority of House and Senate Republican committee members to oppose a bill allowing the Justice Department to pursue charges against such companies.


5/24: It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Jeet Heer, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, to round up the week in news.


Trump Bragging About His Criminal Behavior

He's back to his stand-up shtick.

'Moderate' Democrat Claims Black People 'Skew Results' When They Turn Out to Vote

George Latimer's Wikipedia page boasts that he's "has never lost an election in three decades in public office." First time for everything!


"He's not going to resign, he's not going to recuse himself, and I don't think Justice Roberts is going to be able to influence him in that regard. So the best we can do is to kind of put a scarlet letter on him."

-- Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen, speaking to the New York Times about the resolution he introduced this week to censure Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito over the pro-insurrection "Stop the Steal" flags he flew outside his homes in Virginia and New Jersey.

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