Coping with stress during the election and the pandemic (e83)

Election week is finally here, and if you’re like us, you’re probably freaking out. We have all already been stressed, experiencing a sort of collective trauma as the nation has lost 220,000 people and counting to the pandemic. This episode, Alexis talks to social worker and researcher Leah Goldstein (her sister) about what the pandemic has done both those she works with in clinical practice, but also to all of us broadly.

This episode is full of tips for how to cope in a healthy way with our stress and anxiety — be it community, being kind to ourselves, pausing and breathing, checking the facts, or, giving our inner negative voice a name (like “Denise”), and telling them to shut up.

Defund the Police with Tracey Corder (e82)

We speak to Tracey Corder, a Campaign Coordinator for Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), organizer and political strategist, about the ongoing work to defund the police. We also talk to Tracey about ACRE’s police brutality bonds report, and discuss the power of protest and lessons from the 2020 primary. And Kade highlights the recent 13-0 vote in the Boston city council to ban facial surveillance.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

Police Brutality Bonds: How Wall Street Profits  from Police Violence (ACRE)

Bloc: Black leaders organizing for communities (Twitter: @blocbyblocMKE)

BLOC conducts year round door knocking to ask “what would it look like for your neighborhood to thrive?”

Continue reading Defund the Police with Tracey Corder (e82)

Fighting Inequality with Dr. Arati Kreibich (e81)

We talk with Dr. Arati Kreibich who is running in NJ-5th’s Democratic primary on July 7th. She supports Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and against the influence of corporate money on government. She critiques some of inequities inherent in our response to the pandemic thus far, from bailing out corporate actors but only giving a one-time payment to individuals.

We also discuss how her primary opponent has asked that one of the Fed rescue programs be expanded to purchase assets from predatory installment lenders backed by a private equity giant.

On the second half of the show, we discuss how inequality is a policy decision: Canada, the UK, Europe are all choosing to put conditions on the bailouts and keep workers on payroll. We talk through all the ways structural inequality is further exacerbated with the unequal pandemic response. We also review how House Democratic Leadership narrowed the student debt cancellation in the Heroes Act, and speculate what it would take for the markets’ equity asset bubble to burst.

Finally, we make some recommendations for films and even video games.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

​Dr. Arati Kreibich for Congress

Wall Street-Friendly Lawmakers Sought Bailout For Shady Lenders (Huff Post)

Private Equity, Lobbying the U.S. for Help, Is Mostly Hearing ‘No’ (NYTimes)

What’s up with oil? (e80)

We explain how oil prices went negative. Along the way, we explain what a commodity is, how futures work, and why Russia may have started a price war in order to bankrupt U.S. oil producers.

The specifics of how futures for light sweet crude oil work led to the dramatic price collapse, as those holding the futures contract for physical delivery of crude oil in May became increasingly desperate to sell it.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

A Big Oil Bailout Would Be the Opposite of the Green New Deal We Need – Alexis for Truthout

“The ongoing economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has caused oil demand to plunge worldwide. On March 6, Russia withdrew from its pact with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and began producing more oil, driving the price of oil down even further. Russia may have been motivated, at least in part, by a desire to hurt U.S. shale oil producers. And while some, like Mexico, took steps to protect themselves against just such a price collapse, U.S. oil producers were loaded up with debt and totally vulnerable to a sudden drop in oil prices. By April 1, Whiting Petroleum Corp. became the first major U.S. fracking company to file for bankruptcy since the pandemic began, with many analysts predicting more bankruptcies to come.

…Energy companies make up a whopping 13 percent of the lowest-rated, riskiest kind of corporate debt. And for 10 out of the last 11 years, energy companies accounted for the majority of the junk bond debt. Why should the Fed reward a decade of bad bets by oil companies?

Pandemic Crisis, Systemic Decline: Why Exploiting the COVID-19 Crisis Will Not Save the Oil, Gas, and Plastic Industries (April 2020) – the Center for International Environmental Law

The Big Oil Money Pit – Friends of the Earth

Russia Takes Aim at U.S. Shale Oil Producers – WSJ

What are junk bonds

FREE THEM ALL (e79)

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Existing health and economic disparities are crushing. The virus is making things a million times worse.

Who has to work right now? Who can work from home? Who has lost their jobs? Massive overlap between people of color and service workers. Massive overlap in NYC between neighborhoods with lots of people of color, COVID-19 infected people, and people who work in the service industry.

We start off with the EARN IT Act, legislation that would give the government a backdoor to kill encryption.  We also discuss how Congress picked winners and losers in their student debt relief in the third coronavirus package. And we put out a call to action to free people from cages during the pandemic. And Alexis discusses Trump manipulating the stock market with lies about oil production cut “deals” between Russia and Saudi Arabia that…didn’t exist.

Continue reading FREE THEM ALL (e79)

WTF just happened with the Senate COVID19 vote? (E78)

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We discuss the McConnell 3.0 corporate bailout bonanza bill that failed in the Senate thanks to Democratic opposition. We talk about what happens next on the COVID19 response in the House. And we look at the way support for Cancelling Student Debt as an economic stimulus has been quickly gaining steam.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

Maxine Waters: Proposed Legislative Responses to COVID-19

There are 16 Senate Dems on the record in favor of cancelling student debt as a part of any stimulus, INCLUDING Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The list is:
  • Warren, Brown, Durbin, Sanders, Duckworth, Reed, Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Van Hollen, Merkley, Baldwin, Harris, Markey, Booker, Shaheen, Menendez. (These are the folks who signed a Warren/Brown letter)
There are 30 House Dems on the record in favor, INCLUDING House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters:
  • Chair Waters including cancelling a minimum of $10,000 in federal student loans are a part of her proposal
  • A Rep Ayanna Pressley/Ilhan Omar letter supporting cancelling student debt in the stimulus got 27 signers (29 total).
You can send your lawmakers (House and Senate) an email using Student Debt Crisis’ petition: https://studentdebtcrisis.org/cancel-student-debt-stimulate-economy/

Cancel Student Debt, Stimulate the Economy (e77)

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The markets are crashing. The Federal Reserve is giving loans to big banks and big companies–what about small and medium business? Why cancelling student debt would boost the economy. Surveillance proposals in the coronavirus pandemic, including facial surveillance ripe for abuse. Righteous anger from Senator Sherrod Brown. And good stimulus proposals from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Maxine Waters.

(apologies for a bit of static in the recording at a few points!)

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

List of mutual aid efforts across the nation

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s stimulus plan

Rep. Maxine Waters stimulus plan

Mitch McConnell’s Senate page

Humorless Panic (e76)

Coronavirus, Trump’s malfeasance, the market crash, Trump’s Europe travel ban, and what a REAL response to COVID-19 would look like, from a health perspective and an economic one.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

Demands from Grassroots Organizers Concerning COVID-19

To Cancel Student Debt, You Don’t Need Congress

 

Benajmin Dixon on Michael Bloomberg (e75)

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Benjamin Dixon joins Alexis to discuss the audio he discovered of Michael Bloomberg saying “you can just Xerox” the description of male, minorities 16-25 and hand to cops. Dixon’s clip went viral, but led to criticism of Dixon himself by the media. One CNN correspondent, Cristina Alesci, tried to downplay his discovery by saying he is “very anti-Bloomberg,” rather than engaging with the substance of Bloomberg’s remarks. And how we’ve never before seen a person this wealthy try to buy the U.S. presidency.

“The reason Mike Bloomberg is in this race in the first place is because we are nipping at his feet. And he had to get off his throne himself, and come down and do it.” –Benjamin Dixon

Also discussed: Bloomberg’s wealth and how it is seen by some as a strength, despite the danger it poses to Democracy. The role pod casters can play as the mainstream media treats Bloomberg with kid gloves. Bloomberg buying validators. And how people are rewarded for defending our existing systems of oppression. Why the status quo needs Wall Street and wealth to be idolized in order to maintain power. And the myth of money equaling merit.

Continue reading Benajmin Dixon on Michael Bloomberg (e75)

Teaser – Mayor Pete sacrificed himself; he will sacrifice anyone (e74)

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We discuss former Mayor Pete’s horrific record in South Bend, how he’s decided to stop reading LGBTQIA media entirely because it criticized him, and what it means for someone to know they’re queer, but stay in the closet in order to pursue political power. Kade asks, poignantly, “someone who will sacrifice something that is that intimate to their personhood in pursuit of their political ambitions will sacrifice anyone.” And we discuss the meme LGBTQ: Let’s Get Buttigieg to Quit.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

QueersAgainstPete:

Continue reading Teaser – Mayor Pete sacrificed himself; he will sacrifice anyone (e74)