UAW Workers Seal the Deal - The AM Quickie Monday 11/20/23

Today is Joe Biden's 81st birthday. Don't tell voters! - Jacob

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Auto Workers Ratify New Contracts, Solidifying Gains

Over the weekend, auto workers at Ford and Stellantis ratified their new contracts negotiated by the United Auto Workers Union. GM workers approved their contract earlier in the week. The hard-fought deals, which followed a six-week labor strike, will bring a 25 percent increase in pay, although workers had demanded 40 percent pay increases along with a four-day workweek. President Joe Biden, a vocal supporter of the UAW, has called the contracts "game changers" and a model for blue-collar workers everywhere.

Far Right Libertarian Milei Wins Argentine Presidential Race

Javier Milei, the strangely coiffed anarcho-capitalist economist who would like to take an axe to the Argentine state, won the final round of Argentina's presidential election Sunday. With Trumpian bombast and a libertarian's political passions – close the central bank, dollarize the economy, embrace Bitcoin – the former television personality managed to defeat Sergio Massa, the country's finance minister. Milei has promised to "exterminate" Argentina's runaway inflation and ban abortion. He has also downplayed atrocities committed by the country's military dictatorship in the 1980s.

Oligarch Alert: Musk Embraces Anti-Semitism, Explodes Spacecraft

  • Advertisers Abandon Antisemitic Twitter After Elon Musk called a baldly antisemitic post "the actual truth" last week, major advertisers began to flee X/Twitter, adding to an ongoing exodus that has decimated company revenues. via Washington Post.
  • Musk Threatens "Thermonuclear Lawsuit" Amidst posts claiming he is not, in fact, an antisemite, Elon Musk announced that he was going to file a lawsuit against Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog group. Musk blames Media Matters for highlighting instances of bigotry and driving away advertisers. via Reuters.
  • SpaceX Test Craft Successfully Blows Up Elon Musk's space venture performed a second test launch of its massive Starship vehicle. As with April's test, the craft eventually exploded, this time after separating from its booster rockets. “An incredibly successful day, even though we did have a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly,’" said a company engineer. via CNBC.
  • US Government Uniquely Dependent on Musk's Empire Despite his erratic, objectionable behavior, Elon Musk has proved essential to the US government, from Starlink in Ukraine to rockets for satellite launches. "Rarely has the U.S. government so depended on the technology provided by a single, if petulant, technologist with views that it has so publicly declared repugnant," says one report. via New York Times.


  • First Lady Rosalynn Carter Dies Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, died at age 96 in Plains, Georgia. Her husband, who's 99, is in hospice care at their home. via The New York Times.
  • CEO of Driverless Car Company Resigns Kyle Vogt, the CEO and co-founder of Cruise, a driverless car company owned by General Motors, announced his resignation Sunday on Twitter. Cruise's cars were removed from public roadways after repeated incidents, including clogged intersections and the dragging of a pedestrian. via CNBC.
  • Hamas and Israel Nearing Hostage Deal The government of Qatar has been mediating hostage talks between Hamas and Israel. Hamas and other militant groups are believed to be holding at least 230 hostages, though an unknown number have been killed. An initial deal is expected to call for the release of about 50 women and children in exchange for a five-day "pause" in fighting and passage of fuel and other necessities into Gaza. via Axios and Politico.
  • Does Sam Altman Have a Job? The CEO of booming artificial intelligence company OpenAI was suddenly fired on Friday, allegedly for not being "candid" with OpenAI's board. On Sunday, Altman was engineering a countercoup, so by the time you read this, he may be back in OpenAI's captain's chair, once again pursuing AI technology that, if it doesn't destroy the world, may simply take all of our jobs. via Bloomberg and The New York Times.



That's how many Palestinians have been killed in Gaza during Israel's latest military campaign, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. But the scale of the destruction and the lack of telecom services mean that officials are behind in assessing the actual toll, which includes many people missing and buried under rubble. "The official number has been frozen for 10 days," according to the Washington Post. "Counting the dead is no longer possible, officials say."


11/20: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Jonathan Graubart, professor of political science at San Diego State University, to discuss his recent book Jewish Self-Determination beyond Zionism: Lessons from Hannah Arendt and other Pariahs.


Portland Teachers Strike for Rights

Sam talked to Brittany Dorris about Portland's first-ever teachers strike, which has been ongoing for three weeks.

McCarthyism Returns As Free Speech Crackdowns Punish Pro-Palestinian Voices

US critics of Israel's war against Hamas have found themselves targeted at their jobs and on college campuses.


"Protecting the freedom of speech could not be more urgent and important. Now, more than ever!"

-- X CEO Linda Yaccarino, quoting a post in which Elon Musk promises to file a "thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company." The lawsuit, Yaccarino and Musk promise, is essential for preserving free speech on the social network formerly known as Twitter. There's no evidence that Media Matters engaged in fraud.

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