Episode

3/29 The Tears Of A Billionaire & The Willow Project Betrayal w/ Hannah Story Brown & Michelle Eisen

March 29, 2023

It’s Hump Day! Sam hosts Hannah Story Brown, writer and researcher at The Revolving Door Project, to discuss her recent piece on Biden’s approval of The Willow Project. Then, Sam speaks with Michelle Eisen, organizing member of Starbucks Workers United, on her experience organizing Starbucks stores all across the country. First, Sam runs through updates on Biden labeling Bibi Netanyahu persona non grata in the wake of severe authoritarian shifts in Israel, the NY Grand Jury announcing no announcement of charges against Trump this week, Pence to appear before the January 6th Grand Jury, how the Nashville shooter was able to acquire guns, a Credit Suisse whistleblower, the FDA approving Narcan for over-the-counter sale, and Tucker’s upcoming testimony in court, before parsing through the highlights from Howard Schultz testimony during this morning’s HELP Committee. Hannah Story Brown then walks Sam through the long-term process to pass the Willow Project, with ConocoPhillips, a Texas-based oil company, proposing a drilling project in the arctic wilderness of the Alaskan North Slope that was swiftly approved by the Trump administration, only for Environmental groups to successfully challenge it in court, and force the issue onto Biden’s table. Looking at this next phase in Willow’s development, Story Brown tackles the minimally updated environmental reviews done by the Biden administration, not only refusing to consider not-drilling as an option, but only cutting the project back by 8%, despite both acute local risks, and the grander global issue of climate change. Wrapping up, Sam and Hannah discuss the role of corporate interest in moving this environmental fiasco along, and dive into the impact of Biden’s new Chief of Staff, Jeff Zients. Michelle Eisen then joins, diving into her background as a Starbucks worker, working part-time up until the pandemic shut down her primary trade, and what it was like to see the company’s commitment to their workers dwindle further and further, until the public health crisis of COVID-19 became the final straw, with the company asking workers to break the law and put their own safety at risk with little compensation, all while touting record-breaking profits. Next, Eisen and Sam parse through the unionization process with Starbucks Workers United, both as a single workplace and as the first of hundreds to be unionized in the US, and the necessity of maintaining active in the face of militant union-busting, before they wrap up by covering the union’s major asks, and why legislation such as the PROAct can help make it happen.

And in the Fun Half: Sam basks in the public evisceration of Howard Schultz, as Ed Markey and Bob Casey take him to task while he whines about being labeled a “Billionaire,” despite once not having a billion dollars. Sam responds to Joe Rogan’s recent spineless callout, “Matt Taibbi” calls in to discuss the unfair treatment of journalists, and KJ from Wisconsin dives into the upcoming election. Asanti from Jersey talks AI art, Bruce from Florida discusses the heel turns of Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, and Tim Pool once again forgets to read the article he’s citing ahead of time. Plus, your calls and IMs!

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Check out Starbucks Workers United here: https://sbworkersunited.org/

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