Morgan Artyukhina, Sputnik news analyst and writer, tells Misfit hosts Bob Schlehuber and Jamarl Thomas that Amtrak was born in crisis, and its financial woes long predate this pandemic. It’s been a punching bag in Congress for politicians who simply hate any kind of public service, like the postal service, for example. Now, COVID-19 is providing a convenient fig leaf for further gutting these services, and mainstream media is abetting this creeping austerity by reporting these cuts uncritically and ignoring the huge bailouts going to other companies.
Teresa Lundy, communications strategist and principle at TML Communications, says despite this difficult economic moment, she’s seeing unity in the efforts to support small businesses like hers. She describes the contrast in attitudes within her city and across US regions regarding worries about a new civil war, and pinned the blame on public education for the fight over statues of slaveholders and their role in “preserving history.” She also has strong words for political climbers trying to trade on what’s trending ‒ in this case, Black Lives Matter ‒ and how to hold them accountable for their commitments.
Kevin Gosztola, journalist, documentary filmmaker, writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, described the recent court victories against “ag-gag” laws, which protect huge factory farms against investigations that publicize their cruelty to animals, employees and the environment. He described the role of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, in creating these business-friendly laws, and how US courts have recognized that these laws target speech illegally. These laws sometimes call for huge fines for people who reveal abuses like blatant violations of environmental or animal cruelty regulations, and while these court victories are a positive trend, the corporations that want them have deep pockets and are very motivated to keep their practices under wraps.
The fellows also broke down the charges against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks, the apparent Atlanta police sick out, Congressman Matt Gaetz’s battle with colleague Cedric Richmond, how the John Bolton renaissance lays bare the hypocrisy of the #resistance, the Supreme Court’s DACA decision, and more.
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