Rethink the week talkers: our conversations:
Dean Spiliotes, civic and presidential scholar at Southern NH University, regular commentator at NHPR.
Stephen Pimpare is founder and director of the UNH Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership Program and a Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy
Lincoln Mitchell is a political analyst, pundit, and writer based in New York
Harold Meyerson, Editor at Large at the American Prospect
We discuss the states' actions in support of the Big Lie, and the efforts to suppress votes. That leaves the the possibilities of not certifying future elections. Republicans are opposing democracy, and have become the party of white grievance.
We talk about the NYC mayoral primary. NY now has rank voting, and this will likely produce a Democratic candidate who will not satisfy everyone. The American Jewish vote will be important, especially that of younger voters.
political poetry by
In New York they’re convening a grand jury,
Which is sure to cause Trump so much fury.
His past business dealings
Are bound to bring squealings.
Oh Donald, are you sleeping soundly and securely?
We talk with Scott Braddock, the Editor of the Quorum Report, the Voice of Texas
One of the important topics still being discussed is the Freeze. No substantive changes in laws or regulations have been made. Instead, internal Republican wrangling is taking place. The energy companies are safe. The “red meat buffet” is intact for the various elections to come soon.
We talk with Bill Curry, former democratic nominee for Governor of CT, advisor to Bill Clinton, former ED of Freeze Voters (PAC for the nuclear freeze movement)
We also talk with David Atkins a writer and activist from California. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal, elected DNC Member, and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.
We discuss the various laws being passed in Texas, and other states, to allow “constitutional carry” of weapons without permits. This implies that everyone is assumed to be armed. Despite police being against this, Republicans are eager to make this a fact.
We talk about Trump's crimes, and the likelihood of real change and holding him and other rich people accountable for economic crimes. The “slow moving Fascist coup” of vote “audits” continues.
more mass murder Gunman who killed eight co-workers at California transit facility knew victims well, mayor says
Jan 6 commission https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mother-and-partner-of-fallen-capitol-police-officer-brian-sicknick-request-meetings-with-all-republican-senators-urging-them-to-back-jan-6-commission/2021/05/26/c8109f28-be3b-11eb-b26e-53663e6be6ff_story.html
GOP "audits" are spreading https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/24/politics/arizona-georgia-election-audits/index.html
Marjorie Taylor Greene and yet another line crossed: from Skip Tenczar
She likened mask requirements to the holocaust.
That got her a late rebuke
From her party’s archduke.
What does she have to do to get her butt tossed?
Part one: Another way to murder, state style: We talk with Prof. Alexandra Klein about executions, their methods, and motivations behind them. In Utah, for example, executioners are police officers who volunteer. Some have characterized executions as a form of lynching because of the racial bias shown in verdicts and in death sentences.
W&L Law’s Klein and Hasbrouck on Firing Squads. In a commentary in The Nation, Alex Klein and Brandon Hasbrouck discuss South Carolina's newest execution method.
Bio: Professor Alexandra Klein researches and teaches in the area of criminal law, criminal procedure constitutional law, and the death penalty. Her scholarship has been published in, or is forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal, the Florida Law Review, and the Washington and Lee Law Review. Before joining Washington and Lee University School of Law, Klein served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Sally D. Adkins of the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Klein received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Washington and Lee University School of Law. She served as a Senior Articles Editor on the Washington and Lee Law Review and received the Washington and Lee Law Council Law Review Award, the Clinical Legal Education Association Award, the Barry W. Sullivan Constitutional Law Award, and the John W. Davis Prize for Law. Professor Klein graduated Order of the Coif and was inducted into Phi Delta Phi and Omnicron Delta Kappa. Klein served in the United States Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova from 2008 to 2010 and received her B.F.A., cum laude, from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Part two: How to respond to grief and loss: How theater can help communities heal from the losses and trauma of the pandemic. We discuss with Prof. Joel Christensen the rituals of ancient Greece – especially public performances of tragic plays – that have remarkable resonance with the current moment. We talk about how our plays communicate common memories, and how they help a population process traumatic events.
Bio: Joel Christensen is Professor and Chair in the Department of Classical Studies at Brandeis University. He taught previously at the University of Texas at San Antonio (2007-2016). He received his BA and MA from Brandeis (’01) in Classics and English and his PhD in Classics from New York University (2007) where he also received an Advanced Certificate in Poetics and Theory.
Professor Christensen has been a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies (2013) and has received the Society for Classical Studies’ Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Collegiate Level (2013). In addition to articles on language, myth and literature in the Homeric epics, he has published a "Beginner’s Guide to Homer" (One World, 2013) and also a "Homer’s Thebes" (CHS, 2019) with Elton T. E. Barker as well as "A Commentary on the Homeric Battle of Frogs and Mice" (Bloomsbury, 2018) with Erik Robinson. In 2020, he published "The Many-Minded Man: the Odyssey, Psychology, and the Therapy of Epic" with Cornell University Press.
limerick for the politics of the moment
We reach a big milestone today,
50% fully vaccinated they say.
The US has done well,
Quelling potential unwell.
Let’s send vaccine to places beyond Monterey!
It’s Time for the end of “Whiteness as Usual” to End: a conversation with George Yancy.
We discuss the connotations of being white and being black in America. Being white is making a choice of deliberate ignorance of what appear to be innate racist beliefs and the “right” to act on those beliefs. How do we overcome this?
Bio: George Yancy is the Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery fellow at Dartmouth College. He is also the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural fellow in the Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Program (2019-2020 academic year). He is the author, editor and co-editor of over 20 books, including Black Bodies, White Gazes; Look, A White; Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America; and Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020.
Dear White America
What if the Unorthodox Arizona Audit Declares Trump Won? That outcome is looking more and more likely. We discuss with Jeremy Slate his reporting about the “audit” of the Maricopa County vote, and the various odd happenings there. We talk about the people involved and the “procedures” being used.
Bio: Jeremy Stahl is a Slate.com senior editor.
Limerick for the politics of the moment, by Skip Tenczar
Liz Cheney constantly lets Trump have it
Calling out his big lie – wreaking havoc.
She lets Trumplicans know,
Along with Donald she won’t go
He stoked a bloody insurrection, dagnabbit!
Part One: Going back to work????
We chat with Kimberly Merriman , Professor of management U. Mass. about the reluctance of employees to return to work in their offices. There are many reasons for this, and we look at how jobs may have changed this year.
bio: Dr. Merriman is a widely published scholar and recognized authority by sources such as the Wall Street Journal and The Conference Board. She formerly served on the faculty of Penn State University and Wichita State University. Her research focuses on workforce issues and human capital. She has extensive involvement in the real estate industry and in analyzing real estate trends pertaining to the workforce. Topics currently under study include remote work, gig work, skilled freelancers, how communities and cities like Miami attract talent that can work from anywhere, and how finding community resonance bolsters self-actualizing creativity.
Part two: We discuss PPP loans, and the proliferation of non-traditional lending organizations. The result has been that hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places. For example, an online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies (mostly farms) with names like “Deely Nuts” and “Beefy King.” We look at how this happened, and what the implications are for https://www.propublica.org/article/ppp-farms
The Federal Government Will Now Give PPP Loans to Borrowers in Bankruptcy https://www.propublica.org/article/ppp-loans-bankruptcybio: Lydia DePillis joined ProPublica in 2019. Before that, she covered national economics issues for CNN Business, Texas’ economy for the Houston Chronicle, labor and the workplace for The Washington Post, and the business, culture and politics of the technology industry for The New Republic. DePillis was also previously a real estate columnist for the Washington City Paper, where she authored its award-winning Housing Complex blog. Her work has appeared in the New York Observer, Pacific Standard, Slate and various trade publications. She’s from Seattle, and is based in New York.
Limerick for the politics of the moment from Skip Tenczar
Some worry about the future of our democracy,
They say there are signs of growing autocracy.
And down in the Southern plains,
Over Texas Governor Abbott reigns.
Many would say his way is Christian Theocracy.
Rethink the week guests:
Professor Russ Muirhead Dartmouth College
Professor Robert Hockett Cornell Law
Professor Dean Spiliotes SNHU
Labor Reporter Robert Hennelly
The January 6 Commission 'negotiations' ended with the Republicans getting all their demands met with respect to conditions, but still refused to vote to approve. This sets many precedents. Next steps will likely include law enforcement path.
The infrastructure fight continues.
Qualified immunity considered. The militarization of police is examined.
Part !: Scott Braddock talks with us about developments in Texas, where the Texas Legislature is currently in session. New laws, the Texas 2-year budget, and speculation about candidates for governor in Texas.
Part 2: Lincoln Mitchell and Bill Curry discuss the NYC mayoral candidates. We also talk about the possibility (remote) of bipartisanship in Congress. We also discuss the January 6 Commission, approved by the House.
A limerick for the insanity we are living, from Skip Tenczar
A man is accused of killing his dear spouse,
It’s a sordid tale that rivals Doctor Faust.
After his wife went unaccounted,
Her ballot was then strangely counted
With a vote for Donald Trump signed by the dirty louse.
Part one: a conversation with Justice reporter at slate.com Mark Stern
We discuss the Supreme Court's decision to accept a case from Mississippi , set up as a “lose fast in the appellate courts so we can get to the Supreme Court” kind of case. This case could reverse the Roe v. Wade decision. If so, it would signal a very aggressive move to change 'watershed' rules from the past. The likely decision would come just before the 2022 elections.
Elena Kagan Has Had Enough of Brett Kavanaugh’s Judicial “Scorekeeping” and The Supreme Court's savviest liberal justice is done pulling punches. Bio: Mark Stern is a justice writer for Slate.com
The Supreme Court Is Taking Direct Aim at Roe v. Wade
Part two: a conversation with Editor at large, Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect
The wealthiest people in the US saw a rise in their wealth of 55% over the last year. Corporations are flush with cash. Rather than reinvest in their capital assets, or even pay more to the workers, they have chosen to buy back stock, thus providing more cash to stock holders, and to pay their executives more.
We also discuss the situation in Israel/Palestine, and how public opinion is reacting to this here in the US and in Israel. The status quo will not be sustainable in the future.
Links: The Return of the Buyback—and Mississippi Rules
nugget: For all Americans eager for a return to economic normality, here’s some welcome news: Buybacks are back!As The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, “after a year of hoarding cash, American corporations are ready to reward investors again.”And how! Citing a survey from Goldman Sachs, the Journal said that so far this year, American companies have bought back a tidy $504 billion of their own shares, which is the highest level of repurchases in at least the past 22 years. After watching their cash pile up during the past year of underinvestment, “we’re buying back stock because our cup runneth over,” said JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon.
Failed State (Israel) vs. Failed Non-Sovereign State (Palestine) https://prospect.org/blogs/tap/failed-state-israel-vs-failed-non-sovereign-state-palestine/
We offer you a bit of political poetry by Skip Tenczar
The election was the crime of the century,
Says the man whose lying is rudimentary.
Trump knows the heat is near,
So he spews myth and fear
As a tactic to avoid the penitentiary.
Part One: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict echoes BLM
We have a conversation with James Gelvin about the current conflict in Israel-Palestine.
As the Palestinian minority takes to the streets, Israel is having its own Black Lives
Matter moment. There are many parallels between the US and Israel in this respect. Human rights are being violated. Israel has declared itself a Jewish state, though many Palestinians live there, and are being marginalized and poorly treated.
bio: James L. Gelvin is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Master's in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has taught at Boston College, Harvard University, MIT, and the American University in Beirut. A specialist in the modern and contemporary social and cultural history of the Arab East, he is author of five books: The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017); The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012, 2014); The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2021); The Modern Middle East: A History (Oxford University Press, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2020); and Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (University of California Press, 1998); along with numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes. He is also editor of The Contemporary Middle East in an Age of Upheaval (Stanford University Press, 2021), and co-editor of Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930 (University of California Press, 2013). His books have been translated into Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, and Polish. In 2015, Gelvin received the Middle East Studies Association’s Undergraduate Education Award.
part two: A conversation with Dr. Terry Thompson: National cyber defense ...think The Colonial Pipeline hack
There are no easy solutions to shoring up U.S. national cyber defenses.
· Software supply chains and private sector infrastructure companies are vulnerable to hackers.
· Many U.S. companies outsource software development because of a talent shortage, and some of that outsourcing goes to companies in Eastern Europe that are vulnerable to Russian operatives.
· U.S. national cyber defense is split between the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, which leaves gaps in authority.
The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the SolarWinds hack were all but inevitable – why national cyber defense is a ‘wicked’ problem https://theconversation.com/the-colonial-pipeline-ransomware-attack-and-the-solarwinds-hack-were-all-but-inevitable-why-national-cyber-defense-is-a-wicked-problem-160661
bio: Dr. Terry Thompson has been a member of UMBC’s adjunct faculty since 2002. He has developed and taught courses in cybersecurity, national security, and contemporary Russian politics at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has over 40 years of professional experience in security and intelligence including 30 years with the U.S. Government, most of which was at the National Security Agency. He served for 12 years at Booz Allen Hamilton, retiring as a Vice President in 2014. During his Booz Allen career, Dr. Thompson led or participated in cybersecurity engagements with clients in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom and with the U.S. Government. He helped Middle Eastern clients establish and evolve national cybersecurity programs, and contributed to their national strategies, resilience programs, and cyber human capital development. In his initial Booz Allen assignment in 2003, Terry was part of the Government-Contractor team that designed the organizational structure and defined the initial roles and mission for the National Cybersecurity Division at the Department of Homeland Security.
Dr. Thompson completed his B.A and M.A at Wayne State University and his Ph.D. in Russian Studies from Georgetown University. He has presented at cybersecurity conferences in Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates and published in Network Middle East. Dr. Thompson is a member of the Advisory Board for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy at New York University, Abu Dhabi.
Our deadline poet delivers: from Skip Tenczar
As we look at what Liz Cheney now says,
Giving interviews often like Octazio Cortez.
The GOP took away her power,
But she refuses to cower.
It looks like she will be running for prez.
Part one: a conversation with Sarah Anderson director of the Global Economy Project
How Corporations Pumped Up CEO Pay While Their Low-Wage Workers Suffered in the Pandemic More than half of the country’s 100 largest low-wage employers rigged pay rules in 2020 to give CEOs 29 percent average raises while their frontline employees made 2 percent less.This was despite the poor performance of the executives. We also talk about the “philantrophy washing” that many corporations engage in.
bio: Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and is a co-editor of the IPS web site Inequality.org. Sarah’s research covers a wide range of international and domestic economic issues, including inequality, Wall Street reform, CEO pay, taxes, labor, and international trade and investment. Sarah is a well-known expert on executive compensation, as the lead author of more than 20 annual “Executive Excess” reports that have received extensive media coverage.
During the Obama administration, she served on the Investment Subcommittee of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP). In 2009, this subcommittee carried out a review of the U.S. model bilateral investment treaty. In 2000, she served on the staff of the bipartisan International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission (“Meltzer Commission”), commissioned by the U.S. Congress to evaluate the World Bank and IMF. Sarah is a co-author of the books Field Guide to the Global Economy (New Press, 2nd edition, 2005) and Alternatives to Economic Globalization (Berrett-Koehler, 2nd edition, 2004).
Prior to coming to IPS in 1992, Sarah was a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development and an editor for the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from The American University and a BA in Journalism from Northwestern University.
From Injury to Insult: America’s CEOs and the Great Pandemic Plunder https://ips-dc.org/events/from-injury-to-insult-americas-ceos-and-the-great-pandemic-plunder/?emci=45640a53-f7ac-eb11-85aa-0050f237abef&emdi=cb5009f8-feac-eb11-85aa-0050f237abef&ceid=3903204
part two: a conversation with Professor Garrett Epps
We discuss the concept of slavery, and how it applies currently within our penal system.
The War Over the 13th Amendment and Modern Day Slavery Its “servitude” clause allows prisoners to be put to work and underpaid—i.e. unpaid. How Senator Jeff Merkley and a band of activists are fighting back.
bio: Garret Epps is the Legal Affairs Editor of the Washington Monthly and a professor of law emeritus at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution and four other books about the Constitution. s