Episode

6/21 “Forever Chemicals” & The Republican Juggernaut: Car Dealers w/ Lauren Kirchner & Alex Sammon

June 21, 2023

It’s Hump Day! Sam speaks with Lauren Kirchner, investigative reporter at Consumer Reports, to discuss her recent reporting on the chemicals known as PFAS. Then, Sam’s joined by Alex Sammon, politics writer at Slate, to discuss his recent piece entitled “Want to Stare Into the Republican Soul in 2023?”. Sam kicks off the show and reacts to yet another bombshell piece of reporting from ProPublica on Samuel Alito’s previously undisclosed fishing trip to Alaska with hedge fund billionaire Peter Singer. The only difference is, this one came with a prebuttal Op-Ed from Justice Alito himself in the form of a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed. Then, Lauren joins the show to discuss the multi-district lawsuit involving PFAS, the “forever chemicals” that are used for non-stick purposes like Teflon and ScotchGard, and how the lawsuit is geared towards firefighting foam that has PFAS as its main ingredients, and that it’s ultimately seeped into soil and drinking water. They then go into the origin of the phrase “forever chemicals”, as well as one of the more notable litigation efforts against the usage of PFAS, as was the case in Ohio involving Dupont and the Teflon manufacturer 3M that was ultimately adapted into the film “Dirty Waters.” Sam asks about EPA rule-making when it comes to PFAS, what the history of that has been, and what is being done now by Biden’s EPA to limit the usage of PFAS. After diving into some more of the particulars of the current multi-district lawsuit, they finally dive into the history of the development of PFAS in the 1970’s, and how 3M got involved with mainstreaming it, before 3M ultimately had to reveal to the EPA that a large majority of the population has PFAS within their bloodstream due to air and consumption exposure (even newborn babies are born with PFAS in their bloodstream!). Then, Alex joins the show to discuss his recent visit to a huge car dealer conference in Texas, the insane profit margins that car dealers have experienced especially since COVID started, and how they are underrated in how singular their political influence is in electoral politics, especially in Republican politics. Alex and Sam then discuss the unique campaign finance gambits that Ron DeSantis is engaging in with his presidential campaign and his “Never Back Down” Super PAC, and whether it’s really “legal” or not.

And in the Fun Half, Sam and the MR Crew take a look into the House Judiciary Committee hearing regarding Special Counsel John Durham and his investigation that yielded no convictions, part 2 of Trump’s Fox interview with Bret Baier (a new sound drop emerges from these clips), Chris Christie shocks CNBC with how unlikable he is, and Sam’s former Red Sox legend turned psychopath Curt Schilling really shows how far things have come since the 2004 miracle team by telling Jesse Watters (metaphorically!) that Republicans should take up arms against the left. Plus, your calls & IM’s!

Check out Lauren’s reporting here: https://www.consumerreports.org/toxic-chemicals-substances/case-suggests-forever-chemical-manufacturers-hid-health-risk-a8896667936/

Check out Alex’s reporting here: https://slate.com/author/alexander-sammon

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