Episode

6/29 Crumbling Wall Of Church & State & The Growing Antitrust Thrust w/ Mark Joseph Stern & Matt Stoller

June 29, 2022

Sam and Emma host Mark Joseph Stern, senior writer at Slate, to discuss the recent bombshell SCOTUS opinions, and what other decisions remain to be issued. Then, they are joined by Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of the BIG newsletter on SubStack, to discuss what’s been going on at the Federal Trade Commission. First, Sam and Emma dive into Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony on Trump’s request to let more armed protesters into the Capitol since “they’re not here to hurt me,” and the Supreme Court allows Louisiana to redistrict around the disenfranchisement of African Americans. Then, they’re joined by Mark Joseph Stern as he dives right into Carson v. Makin and the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a Maine requirement for private schools that received PUBLIC funding (largely due to lack of resources for public education in the area) to maintain a secular education, even though these schools are known to reject Muslim and Jewish students and ostracize children of same-sex couples. He, Emma, and Sam discuss how far Kavanaugh and Roberts could go in dismantling secularism and bolstering the funding for hyper-religious PUBLIC institutions. Next, they look to the Kennedy case in Washington, as the Supreme Court struck down the lemon doctrine in the case of a high school football coach coercing his players into Christian prayer. They first boil it down to the legal dispute, looking at the conservative justices’ rejection of the “endorsement” of religion as a violation of the establishment clause, before they look to the factual dispute, covering the blatant lies that the conservative majority based their decision on, including ignoring student statements that they were ostracized for refusing to join the prayer, the fact that the coach spent over 50 games leading these prayers, despite only being penalized for the last three, and the fact that the coach voluntarily left the job in the wake of being placed on PAID administrative leave. They wrap up their interview by diving into the rapid manner by which the conservative justices’ agenda is being passed, and look at the future of their agenda and the doctrines they’ll look to overturn next. Then, Matt Stoller joins as he walks through the Financial Trade Commission’s declaration to enforce the Robinson-Patman act requiring corporate middlemen to be paid exclusively for services rendered, looking at the role of Pharmaceutical Benefits Managers, how they extort the industry, and what role this might play in hindering future monopsonies, which leads them to a brief discussion on the monopsony of Minor League Baseball, the role MLB’s anti-trust exemption plays in this, and what is being done to push the Majors to provide living wages to the futures of their sport.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma walk through Cassidy Hutchinson’s extended testimony in front of the 1/6 committee, from Trump’s desire to let more armed folks into the Capitol to Mark Meadows taking phone calls in secret on the day of. Tim from Rochester discusses being a High School football player, how coaches sell you a “divine dream,” and the absurdity of the recent SCOTUS ruling around that topic. Next, they look at some early horror stories around trigger laws in Dayton Ohio, and reflect on the Terri Schiavo case some decade and a half later. Emma discusses the anemic Democratic response to Roe, the Dem Leadership’s game of pretend around what the Republicans’ goals for reproductive rights actually are, and the crew covers some of the stupidest arguments about the hope inspired by Dobbs. A log cabin republican is offended as his allies call him abnormal, plus, your calls and IMs!

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