"Supreme Court Allows Extreme Texas Abortion Ban To Go Into Effect: S.B. 8 offers private citizens a $10,000 bounty if they successfully sue anyone 'aiding or abetting' abortion-seeking patients in Texas The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a restrictive Texas law to go into effect that criminalizes abortion at six weeks and deputizes citizens to enforce the ban. S.B. 8 effectively bans abortion at six weeks, a time at which many people don't yet realize they're pregnant. The bill is more extreme than laws in states such as Alabama and Ohio due to a clause that financially incentivizes private citizens to sue anyone 'aiding or abetting' abortion-seeking patients in Texas. If someone successfully sues a person aiding and abetting the medical procedure, they could receive a bounty of $10,000 and have all of their legal fees paid for by the opposing side." Gosh, it's like the Fugitive Slave Act all over again. (Lawyers, Guns, and Money has more details with Sotomayer's dissent.) Pelosi responded by scheduling a bill codifying Roe v. Wade in law.
"Prop. 22, the gig worker exemption for Uber and Lyft, is ruled unconstitutional; Proposition 22, which exempts gig work companies like Uber and Lyft from treating drivers as employees, is unconstitutional, a judge ruled Friday. The measure, which 59% of state voters supported last fall, illegally 'limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers' compensation law,' Alameda County Superior Court Frank Roesch ruled. The judge's order found that Section 7451 of the measure is unconstitutional because it 'defines unrelated legislation an 'amendment'' to the measure, making the entire measure unenforceable. The section states that any future laws related to collective bargaining for app drivers must comply with the rest of Prop. 22, which violated the requirement that ballot measures focus on a single subject, Roesch ruled. 'It appears only to protect the economic interest of the network companies in having a divided, ununionized workforce, which is not a stated goal of the legislation,' he wrote." There's a fuller version of the judge's statement here: "A prohibition on legislation authorizing collective bargaining by app-based drivers does not promote the right to work as an independent contractor, nor does it protect work flexibility, nor does it provide minimum workplace safety & pay standards for those workers. It appears only to protect the economic interests of the network companies in having a divided, ununionized workforce which is not the stated goal of the legislation."
"The Supreme Court launches a 'political torpedo' right at the Biden administration On Tuesday night, the Supreme Court announced a consequential decision that amounted to an aggressive assertion of judicial authority against President Joe Biden. In a four-sentence order, the justices left in place a lower court's injunction preventing the Biden administration from ending Donald Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy, which left many asylum-seekers unable to enter the United States as their cases proceed through the long and arduous process. Essentially, the court is saying Biden has to continue to Trump's policy because he didn't end it in the right way. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Trump, had previously ordered Biden to continue the policy on the grounds that the decision to reverse it was 'arbitrary and capricious.' The Supreme Court has upheld that procedural move, which is now expected to stay in place as the litigation proceeds. The initial ruling and the injunction were highly criticized when they came down, with many critics arguing that they represented extreme overreach by a conservative judge trying to undermine a politically opposed administration. Vox's Ian Millhiser said Judge Kacsmaryk didn't even understand the law he referenced [...] Now, the Supreme Court's conservatives have said that the judge's injunction will remain in place, fulfilling Milhiser's fears. All three liberal justices on the court dissented from the decision, though there was no written opinion of the court nor any dissents. 'Absolute insanity. SCOTUS' conservative majority repeatedly cleared away lower court injunctions so that Trump could implement his immigration agenda. Now it lets a single district court judge dictate foreign policy for the Biden administration. This is beyond outrageous,' said Slate's Mark Joseph stern. Many critics echoed the point that the court was generally deferential to the Trump administration on immigration and foreign policy. It left in place Trump's ban on migrants from Muslim countries, despite clear evidence that it was inspired by racist animus."
Vox: "The decision upends the balance of power between the elected branches and the judiciary. It gives a right-wing judge extraordinary power to supervise sensitive diplomatic negotiations. And it most likely forces the administration to open negotiations with Mexico, while the Mexican government knows full well that the administration can't walk away from those negotiations without risking a contempt order. With this order, Republican-appointed judges are claiming the power to direct US foreign policy — and don't even feel obligated to explain themselves.
"Black police groups call for ex-Black Panther jailed for 48 years to be released: Officers' groups say 84-year-old Sundiata Acoli, convicted of murder of New Jersey state trooper, poses no threat to public safety [...] The intervention of the Black groups underscores a rift within police officer organizations. Powerful white-dominated law enforcement associations have been at the forefront of the battle to keep former Black Panthers incarcerated for decades. [...] Acoli, who was born Clark Edward Squire, was given a life sentence in 1974 for the murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster the previous year. Acoli had been driving along the New Jersey Turnpike together with two other members of the Black Liberation Army, Assata Shakur (born JoAnne Chesimard) and Zayd Malik Shakur (James Costan) when they were stopped by a state trooper, James Harper, over a defective taillight. In the ensuing melee, shots were fired. Foerster was struck with four bullets and died, and Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed. Harper was wounded, and both Acoli and Assata Shakur were arrested after a police chase. Shakur escaped and fled to Cuba, where she was granted asylum by the Cuban government. In 2013 she became the first woman to be put on the FBI's 'most wanted terrorists' list, and at age 74 she faces a $2m reward for information leading to her capture." Wait, did I read that right? They decided to put her on the "most wanted" list when she was 74?
"Amazon installs huge lockers on a Chicago park's sidewalk, confusing and frustrating neighbors, annoying residents not just with their obstruction and unsightliness, but with the outrage of public land being given over to this use. Then they were even angrier when they found out that the "Amazon Lockers Will Net Park District $137,600 At Most For First Year, Contract Shows," a remarkably paltry sum for the city.
"Private Equity's Potential Payday From Build Back Better: Hundreds of billions of dollars are scheduled for industries private equity dominates. Advocates want to make sure workers and families benefit, not financiers. Legislation with the size and scope of the $4 trillion 'Build Back Better' agenda is like a Bat-Signal for lobbyists, urging them to swarm Capitol Hill without delay. Literally thousands of companies, organizations, and trade groups have lobbied on one or more of the bills in this package. But one industry's representatives keep showing up over and over again, whether in formal lobbying sessions in Congress or more informal meetings: private equity. 'At every point, private equity lines up at the trough,' said one observer close to the discussions. 'There's just somebody in every fucking meeting.' [...] Given that the private equity model involves extracting as much value from portfolio companies as possible, regardless of the quality or success of that underlying business, critics fear that we could end up with a situation where a large amount of money is sent out by the government as a sitting target for fund managers to pilfer. This could end up making these services even worse for the families that use them and the workers who perform the tasks, despite the large federal investment."
RIP: "Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant in two hit shows, dies aged 91: [...] The part brought three best supporting actor Emmys and two best actor awards. He also won Emmys for his roles in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1975-76) and Roots (1976-77). He had more than 300 credits and remained active throughout his 70s and 80s. In 2003, he played Santa Claus in Will Ferrell's hit film Elf. He was John Goodman's father in the short-lived 2004 CBS comedy Center of the Universe and the voice of the elderly hero in the hit 2009 Pixar release, Up. More recently, he was in such TV series as Forgive Me and Dead to Me. [...] Asner remained politically active for the rest of his life and in 2017 published the book The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs." The Guardian's fuller obituary is here. "As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, he remained outspoken in a very conservative industry. 'Socialist means a thing that will curb the excesses of capitalism: the increasing wealth of the rich and decreasing wealth of the poor,' he said. 'I'd like to see a national guarantee of health, a national guarantee of education (through college), fair housing, and sufficient food.'" Ronald Bergen, who wrote the on-file obit for them, died last year.
"The Ed Asner 90th Birthday Tribute"
RIP: "US music star Don Everly dies aged 84 [...] Considered one of pop music's greatest vocal partnerships, Phil and Don Everly had worldwide hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream". Their unique vocal harmonies, coupled with ingenious guitar arrangements and timeless material, had a revolutionary impact on the Beatles, the Hollies, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash." I think I've seen or heard quotes from every one of them saying so, too. They were much loved.
RIP: "Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80: Musician's publicist says he died peacefully in a London hospital surrounded by his family" The confirmation was necessary because there was actually a Charlie Watts death hoax on the net just a few days earlier.
"Charlie Watts: Jazz man who became rock superstar: Drummer Charlie Watts, who has died at 80, provided the foundation which underpinned the music of the Rolling Stones. The band became a by-word for rock and roll excess but for Watts, playing with the Stones did not become the ego trip that drove Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. A jazz aficionado, Watts vied with Bill Wyman for the title of least charismatic member of the band; he eschewed the limelight and rarely gave interviews And he famously described life with the Stones as five years of playing, 20 years of hanging around."
bmaz also had a nice little appreciation which includes a nice live version of "Gimme Shelter" you oughta hear, too.
"TOP 10 CHARLIE WATTS ROLLING STONES SONGS"
And a little tribute by The Rolling Stones.
RIP: "Carol Carr (1938-2021): Author Carol Carr, 82, died September 1, 2021 of lung cancer. Carr was the author of several short stories, widow of author and editor Terry Carr, and wife of author Robert Lichtman, who survives her. Carr began publishing short fiction with 'Look, You Think You've Got Troubles' in Orbit 5 (1969), and her work also appeared in F&SF and Omni. She collaborated with Terry Carr on 'Some Are Born Cats' (1973) and with Karen Haber on 'First Contact, Sort Of' (1995). Her stories and some non-fiction were collected in Carol Carr: The Collected Writings (2013)." I was closer to Terry than to Carol, but she was someone special.
"A few photos over at File 770.
RIP: "Stanley Aronowitz, Labor Scholar and Activist, Dies at 88: As a self-described 'working-class intellectual,' he declared that direct action was more potent than collective bargaining or conventional politics. [...] 'We've been relying for so long on politicians to solve problems,' he told the magazine In These Times in 2014, 'that the union membership no longer really relies on its own power.' [...] Complaining that 'almost nobody in the social sciences deals with the question of power,' he said: 'What we do not have is an organized left. If you do not have an organized left, you do not have an organized political public intellectual.'"
40 years ago Ronald Reagan was undermining the foundations of our country. Watch "When Reagan Declared War on Working People — Max Alvarez". (32 minutes)
"The Great American Science Heist: How the Bayh-Dole Act Wrested Public Science From the People's Hands ON THE MORNING of June 6, 1979, Navy Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the longest-serving officer in the history of the U.S. armed services, sat down before a Senate subcommittee on the Constitution. Famous as the father of the nuclear submarine program, Rickover had recently emerged as that rarest of Washington breeds: a top-brass crusader against waste and corruption in defense contracting. On this day, he deployed his reputation and characteristic bluntness to stop a bill called the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act. At stake was the government's long-standing proprietorship of patents on inventions resulting from the research it underwrote. The proposed legislation would hand patents over to the private contractors that conducted research at government expense, essentially gutting the government's ownership stake and paving the way for monopolization. The bill's supporters — those in favor of removing this block — included drug companies, venture capital firms, university patent offices, and the nascent biotech industry. Those opposed to this sweeping change in federal patent policy were led by a fading Democratic coalition committed to New Deal ideas about antitrust regulation, patents, and public science controlled in the public interest. Rickover was a lone but strong military voice for this coalition: a war hero with the authority of having overseen the construction of the first nuclear propulsion systems, one of the most complex government science programs since the Manhattan Project. Speaking before the subcommittee, Rickover railed against the proposed policy changes. 'Government contractors should not be given title to inventions developed at government expense,' he said. 'These inventions are paid for by the public and therefore should be available for any citizen to use or not as he sees fit.'
"Clintonism's Zombie: Making sense of Josh Gottheimer's attempts to sabotage the Democratic agenda [...] It would be one thing if Gottheimer were a rogue, independent political outsider, but he's a nightmare of the Democratic Party's own making, a creation of the Clinton White House from his days as a college undergraduate. Gottheimer joined up ahead of the 1996 re-election campaign on the rapid-response team, the same year that Clinton's signature welfare reform package was signed into law, setting in motion a process that increased poverty, lowered income for single mothers, ballooned the number of people in homeless shelters, and empowered states to eliminate welfare entirely. After Clinton rode that welfare reform, signed just three months before Election Day, into a second term, Gottheimer went to work as the president's youngest speechwriter, serving in the White House alongside Terry Edmonds and Michael Waldman until Clinton termed out in 2001. [...] Gottheimer seems to be the most zealous holdover of a bygone era of the Democratic Party, one that opposes expanding the welfare state, celebrates high-dollar fundraising through close proximity to Wall Street, and cares little for the overall well-being of the party as a whole. While Bidenism struggles to renew New Deal democracy, Gottheimer is working to reinstate a version of Clintonism that many presumed to have passed. That has been richly rewarding for Gottheimer himself, but it remains a lonely campaign. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a substantial voting edge over Gottheimer and his eight disciples, and Pelosi has given no indication she'll cave to his demands. But it's a rough reminder of the persistence of Clintonism's sway over some Democratic politics and some Democratic pols—largely gone, but not forgotten."
"The Ides of August [...] I was there. Afghans did not reject us. They looked to us as exemplars of democracy and the rule of law. They thought that's what we stood for. And what did we stand for? What flourished on our watch? Cronyism, rampant corruption, a Ponzi scheme disguised as a banking system, designed by U.S. finance specialists during the very years that other U.S. finance specialists were incubating the crash of 2008. A government system where billionaires get to write the rules."
What's amazing about this is not so much what it says as that it's being said by Jonathan Chait, someone who normally acts like nothing in the world is better than "moderate" Democrats. "9 Moderate Democrats Threaten to Tank Entire Biden Presidency: The party has managed to work together, until now. Joe Biden's success to date has owed itself to many factors, the largest of which is the willingness of congressional Democrats to compromise with each other. The narrow margins of the party's majority means almost any member in either chamber can blow up any bill, and just as the dynamic of mutually assured destruction prevented the Soviets and the United States from obliterating each other, it has muted the traditionally fractious Democratic caucus. That dynamic is beginning to change, and the instigators are easy to identity: a handful of moderate House Democrats who have been issuing increasingly aggressive demands, culminating in a new letter threatening to withhold their votes from a budget resolution that will contain Biden's signature domestic legislation and the basis of the party's campaign." And then he actually makes it clear that they are being destructive to the party and their strategy stinks anyway. So Chait's favorite politicians seem to be losing Chait.
From 2015 in The Nation, "This Long-Lost Constitutional Clause Could Save the Right to Vote: This Long-Lost Constitutional Clause Could Save the Right to Vote [...] But an important tool remains unused, all but forgotten in a dark and dusty corner of the shed. Dating back to Reconstruction, it has the great merit of being already enshrined in the Constitution. According to Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, any state that denies or abridges the right to vote for any reason must have its congressional representation reduced in proportion to the number of citizens it disenfranchises. Arguably the most radical clause in the Constitution, it was designed to remake the government and the country. It has never been enforced."
"The Problems Solved by Debutantes: On class, power, whiteness — plus Pride & Prejudice and the Kardashians as "one giant Lydia" [...] So, yes! The original problem the Reformation created was a glut of daughters. Fathers had always married off their daughters to the best possible suitors to keep their wealth as concentrated as possible and to create powerful strategic alliances. Until the Reformation, many rich European families would invest all their money in their 'best' daughter and send the daughters they deemed less valuable to convents to avoid having to dilute their fortunes by providing each one with a dowry. The family would pay a nominal fee for the daughter to live in respectable seclusion, which some young women preferred given that they were not choosing their husbands. When Henry VIII separated from Rome and dissolved all the Catholic institutions in England, these fathers were no longer able to cloister their unmarriageable girls and had to find ways to pair them off. Because marriage was the only remaining respectable path for women, a daughter's failure to marry could embarrass her family and keeping her at home was more expensive than the convent. So, by the time Mr. Bennet throws up his hands in exhaustion about 'what's to be done with all these girls?' in the early pages of Pride and Prejudice, the daughter problem had already been brewing for several hundred years. "
A couple of primers:
George Monbiot in 2016, "Neoliberalism — the ideology at the root of all our problems: Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump — neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?"
Stephen Metcalf in 2017, "Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world: The word has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names the reigning ideology of our era — one that venerates the logic of the market and strips away the things that make us human."
"Melt the Crown: How the myth of the genius director has erased the careers of some very talented women, and why it's time for the 'auteur' to be tossed out entirely." Isn't it interesting how many "auteurs" lost their spark as directors as soon as they got rid of the wives who helped them make the films that made them famous?
WSWS has a tribute on their website to commemorate "100 years since the birth of Jean Brust", who became a socialist activist back in 1937 and is why our friend Steve gets to call himself a red-diaper baby.
This is one of the more fun ads I've seen in a while, for DirectTV Stream.
"Elvis Costello Plays Penny Lane for Sir Paul at the White House" is kinda sweet.
The Everly Brothers, "Wake Up Little Susie"