Episode

5/15 Trump Gag Order Parade; Unionizing The South, & Flint Water Crisis w/ Mindy Isser; Anna Clark

May 15, 2024

It’s Hump Day! Sam speaks with writer and labor organizer Mindy Isser to discuss her recent piece in In These Times entitled “In Labor’s Mission to Organize the South, Another Domino Could Soon Fall.” Then, he speaks with Anna Clark, reporter at ProPublica covering issues in the MidWest, to discuss her recent reporting on the Flint water crisis, 10 years later. First, Sam runs through updates on Biden’s continuing arms sales to Israel, Israel’s goal of settling the Gaza Strip, Michael Cohen’s star turn, US inflation rates, climate change, Maryland’s primaries, Trump’s corruption, Rudy Giuliani, suits against major corporations, and the 2024 Presidential Debates, also diving into appearances from Vivek Ramaswamy and Mike Johnson at the Trump Trials, featuring some live translation during the latter’s speech. Mindy Isser then jumps right into the South’s long history of anti-union sentiment and politics, looking at the statistics behind the South’s union dearth, and the major driving forces of racism and anti-communism that have shaped the elite-driven attack on organized labor from the Congress of Industrial Organizations’ (CIO) “Operation Dixie” in the 1940s through the UAW’s ongoing expansion attempt today. After expanding on the role race has played in the recent union-busting attempts at the Vance, Alabama Mercedes plan, Sam and Mindy discuss the recent NLRB ruling that established a system card check lite, and how southern politicians are pushing back against it, before parsing more specifically through what the UAW’s success organizing the Chattanooga VW plant meant for a union renaissance in the South, and the hope that remains strong heading into the Vance Mercedes plant vote tally. Next, Anna Clark joins, first walking through the now infamous story of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, which began one decade ago this spring with the horrendously executed switch off of Detroit’s Lake Huron water supply, followed by a tremendous display and unaccountability and incompetence from the political leadership of Flint appointed by Governor Snyder. After expanding on the devastating health effects faced by the consumers of Flint’s toxic water supply (including a two-year outbreak of legionnaires disease), and the lack of transparency in the face of crisis, Clark looks to the attempts at finding justice for the people of Flint, tackling the state of an ongoing class action lawsuit before wrapping up with the failure of various criminal proceedings, and how Flint is still holding out hope for accountability.

And in the Fun Half: Sam talks with Kowalski from Nebraska about getting more votes in a 2024 Nebraska Republican primary than Nikki Haley, and why his stance on immigration (among others) worked in his (albeit brief) campaign, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s beef with Mike Johnson continues to stew, and Charlie from the North East has an expansive conversation on gun control. The Biden Administration continues their genocide denial, Tim from Boston has a podcast rec, and Eric Adams has a totally-not-racist idea to solve NYC’s lifeguard shortage. Sam from Baltimore discusses his perspective on Maryland’s David Trone, and Ronald Raygun challenges Sam on the wokification of comedy. Jordan Peterson continues to be a shameless well of content, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Mindy’s piece here: https://inthesetimes.com/article/mercedes-benz-alabama-uaw-volkswagon-tennessee-union-labor

Check out Anna’s piece here: https://www.propublica.org/article/flint-michigan-water-crisis-ten-years-after

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