Editor’s note: if you only want the must-reads of the week, just scroll down below Sirota’s email message. The weekend reading is all right there!
I was on Rolling Stone’s podcast this week with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper — and we got to talking a lot about my book “Back to Our Future.” That book was about how 1980s pop culture deep programmed today’s politics. I encourage you to watch/listen to the podcast here — and you are interested in the book, you can read an excerpt here. Also make sure to check this out, because it is kind of mind blowing:
This coming week, the Supreme Court battle will likely provide us a teachable lesson in how the political process distracts from what the court really does.
We probably won’t hear much about how Barrett has been a reliable shill for corporate interests, and we will instead hear a lot about how she is supposedly a judge who just calls balls and strikes — even though as The Daily Poster reported, just a few weeks ago she twisted an interpretation of the law in order to help corporations avoid paying overtime to workers.
The entire discourse about the Supreme Court is completely dishonest, especially the debate over so-called “court packing.” That’s an Orwellian term designed to denigrate any effort to make the court more representative of popular will. Indeed, if the founders wanted the court to be frozen at 9 justices, the would have written that into the constitution — but they didn’t. That suggests they wanted to give future generations flexibility to make sure the court didn’t become a star chamber wholly divorced from public accountability.
I’m betting none of this will be mentioned in this week’s screamfest on Capitol Hill and on cable TV news — after all, if we’ve learned anything in 2020, it is that the truth is rarely allowed to get in the way of The Narrative.
Of course, that up-is-down, war-is-peace dynamic is part of what we’re trying to challenge and counter here at The Daily Poster. We are part of a growing effort to democratize the media through grassroots funding and make it more focused on the things that actually matter.
This is a long-term project — so it is going to take years. It is a marathon not a sprint, even though I’m sure you can tell that we are sprinting every single day to report out the stories that matter. Thanks as always for being part of the team that makes that possible.
Rock the boat,
The Weekend Reading List — 10/11/20
Stuff The Daily Poster reported this week:
Follow that story:
• U.S. Accused of Violating International Labor Laws — We reported earlier this week on Trump’s Labor Department ignoring workers’ safety complaints during the pandemic — now the Washington Post reports that “leaders representing a large number of U.S. trade unions filed a complaint with the United Nations’ labor agency, arguing that the country under President Trump has violated international labor standards during the coronavirus pandemic.”
• Pennsylvania GOP Retreats and Loses Court Battle — We reported on Pennsylvania Republicans trying to suppress the vote — now the GOP has backed off its plans for a post-election commission and it just lost a big case in court.
• Supreme Court Intervenes In South Carolina Election — We broke the news that if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, the high court would have three justices who worked directly on the Florida 2000 case that threw the election to George Bush. It was a reminder that the court could play a big role in this election — and it already is playing such a role. The court just issued this new ruling that could swing the closely contested Senate race in South Carolina.
Stuff I’m reading:
• Why Liberals Pretend They Have No Power (The Atlantic) — If you read only one article this entire week, make it this one. An absolute must read.
• Donald Trump Got Great Government Health Care. We All Deserve the Same. (Jacobin) — “Trump’s hospitalization at Walter Reed is not the only example. Republican Senators and House members routinely rely on the Attending Physicians Office on Capitol Hill. They are more than willing to avail themselves of high quality “socialized medicine” while they denigrate efforts at providing universal health insurance to ordinary Americans.”
• Chief Justice Roberts: America’s Chief Guardian of Corporate Power (American Prospect) — We’ve done a lot of reporting on John Roberts’ corporate fealty — now AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka writes that while Roberts is somehow viewed as a moderate, he “remains reliably hard-line on the most fundamental issue facing our democracy: the growing imbalance of economic and political power.”
• Exxon’s Plan for Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed (Bloomberg) — A blockbuster report on how the oil giant is planning to increase carbon emissions, despite the climate emergency.
• Trump Team Delaying Work On Major Climate Report (E&E News) — The Trump administration continues to do everything it can to deny the science of climate change.
• Climate Inaction: Delays and Disappointment Mark Two Years Of Colorado’s Clean-Energy Push (Colorado Newsline) — A devastating report on how Colorado elected a Democratic governor promising serious climate action — and how that governor has undermined climate progress.
• Rupert Murdoch's Son Reveals the Climate Change Disinformation Driving his Family's Media Empire (Byline News) — “This is nothing less than an unequivocal admission by James Murdoch, who remains a board member of News Corp, that the family-run news media business is deceiving its readers and viewers by peddling climate change denial and disinformation.”
• There’s No Such Thing As A Self-Made Billionaire (The Correspondent) — “Much of what the super-rich claim as “theirs” is, upon closer inspection, not (fully) attributable to them, but rather to factors beyond their control, including the structures, inventions and institutions created by others.”
Stuff to watch/listen to:
• Rolling Stone’s Useful Idiots — I joined Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper on their weekly podcast, “Useful Idiots.” We talked about my book on how 1980s pop culture influenced the way we think about politics, and about the battle over the Supreme Court.