Supremely Corrupt Court Attacks Labor Power Again - The Friday AM Quickie 6/2/23

I was on Left Reckoning the other night talking about billionaires in space. Enjoy! - Corey

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Ketanji Brown Jackson Defends the Right to Strike

The hits keep coming from the high priests of the United States – and it's clear Americans can't count on the Supreme Court's liberal minority on to stand up for their rights. In an 8-1 decision yesterday, the court ruled for a Washington State concrete company that sued the Teamsters union for damages after workers went on strike. As HuffPost reports, the decision opens the door to more corporate lawsuits against unions. As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her lone dissent, the ruling also "risks erosion of the right to strike."

Teamsters General President Sean O'Brien pulled no punches in his statement on the decision:

"The political hacks at the Supreme Court have again voted in favor of corporations over working people. These corruptible justices should be ashamed of themselves for throwing out long-standing precedent and legislating from the bench. The ability to strike has been on the books for nearly 100 years, and it's no coincidence that this ruling is coming at a time when workers across the country are fed up and exercising their rights more and more. Make no mistake — this ruling has everything to do with giving companies more power to hobble workers if any attempt is made to fight back against a growing system of corruption.
"The Supreme Court is not upholding the law, nor is it advancing the American people. Supreme Court justices are ruling on behalf of billionaires alone — the very ones they socialize with at cocktail parties and who they owe their jobs to in the first place. American workers must remember that their right to strike has not been taken away. All workers, union and nonunion alike, will forever have the right to withhold their labor."

In related news, hundreds of journalists employed by the largest newspaper chain in the U.S., Gannett, will walk off the job next week, protesting budget cuts and mismanagement. And ProPublica, which exposed Justice Clarence Thomas's corrupt relationship with a billionaire, offers an interactive guide to the rights most threatened by the current Supreme Court. The list is disturbingly long.

Senate Advances Crappy Bipartisan Debt Limit Bill

Here's where things left off last night, via the Washington Post:

The Senate late Thursday night passed [with 63 votes] a bipartisan bill to suspend the debt ceiling and curb federal spending, sending the legislation to President Biden to sign into law in time to avert an unprecedented U.S. government default.
The deal cleared the House on Wednesday night and is now on track to take effect by Monday, when the government would no longer be able to pay all of its bills without borrowing more money. ...
None of the amendments were adopted.

Not all proposed amendments were terrible. Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, for instance, tried to get approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline removed from the bill; he called it "slimy." It seems the Republican Party's hostage-taking strategy has proven effective once again. Oh, and in case you missed it: this stinker of a deal will cause student loan payments to resume for 34 million Americans. Biden's giving a speech on the economy today; whoop de do.

Mafias Threaten Takeover of Brazilian Amazon

The Guardian reports that the "rapid advance of organised crime groups in the Brazilian Amazon risks turning the region into a vast, conflict-stricken hinterland plagued by heavily armed 'criminal insurgents.'" Before they were killed one year ago, British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira collected data showing that the rate of lethal violent crime in the Brazilian Amazon is more than 50 percent higher than the rest of the country. Brazil's two leading criminal outfits, the First Capital Command of Sao Paolo and the Red Command of Rio de Janeiro, operate in all nine Amazon states, along with some 15 other regional gangs, all drawn by huge profits from illegal logging and gold mining. In a statement, Brazil's leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised an independent investigation into the deaths of Phillips and Pereira, and pledged to protect the precious forest and its people. "In the name of a sovereign Brazil, the planet, and the legacy and memory of Dom and Bruno, we are fighting to revive policies to protect Indigenous peoples and the Amazon rainforest, in the Javari valley where they died and in the whole region," Lula said.


  • Records Offer New Detail on Jeffrey Epstein's Death "Yet, even after a 31-hour stint on suicide watch, Epstein insisted he wasn’t suicidal, telling a jail psychologist he had a 'wonderful life' and 'would be crazy' to end it." via the Associated Press.
  • Oath Keeper Lashes Out at Stewart Rhodes During Sentencing Before getting sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, Roberto Minuta said the "deranged" Oath Keepers leader "misled" him into joining the seditious conspiracy. via Politico.
  • Former George Santos Staffer Says He Paid Bribe to Land Job Derek Myers told House ethics investigators that he sent at least seven $150 payments to the fabulist GOP Rep.'s office before getting hired. via the AP.
  • Airbnb Sues NYC Over 'Oppressive' Ban on Illegal Hotels The company is citing the federal law known as Section 230, which the Supreme Court just declined to review, in arguing against the city's limits on short-term rentals. via the New York Times.
  • The GOP's Voter Turnout Machine Is Busted The party's increased reliance on paid canvassers is producing "suspicious or fraudulent data — such as entries filed from homes that weren't visited or falsified surveys." via NBC News.


70 percent

That's the share of straight Americans who say private companies should support the LGBTQ community through hiring practices, advertising and sponsorships, according to a recent poll by GLAAD covered by NBC News.


6/2: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Alex Pareene, contributing editor at The New Republic and proprietor of The AP newsletter on Substack, to round up the week in news. Then they are joined by comedian and writer Adam Conover to give an update on the WGA writers strike.


Fox News Host Thinks DeSantis Committed War Crimes In Iraq

As much as I despise Jesse Watters, this got my attention.

Impeached Texas AG Claims He Stopped Biden Ballots from Winning Texas

This is a strange thing for a public official to say out loud.


"Russia has devalued its red lines so many times by saying certain things would be unacceptable and then doing nothing when they happen. The problem is that we don't know the actual red line. It's in one person's head, and it can change from one day to the next."

-- Maxim Samorukov, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, speaking to the Washington Post about President Joe Biden's "growing appetite" to cross Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin by providing Ukraine with increasingly advanced weapons systems.

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