Breaking Points: 6/7/22 FULL UNCUT SHOW

Krystal and Saagar talk about the Elon Musk vs Twitter saga, baby formula crisis, trailer park rents, Starbucks escalation against workers, Washington Post scandals and drama, feminism’s decline, solar industry giveaway, & more!

Timestamps: Elon: 0:0021:19

Baby Formula: 21:2038:34 Trailer Park: 38:3547:58 Starbucks: 47:5953:28 WaPo: 53:291:01:58 Saagar: 1:01:591:15:12 Krystal: 1:15:131:28:54 David Dayen: 1:28:551:47:10

6/7 NEWSLETTER: Elon vs Twitter, Baby Formula, Trailer Parks, WaPo Drama, & More!
Welcome to the June 7th, 2022 edition of the Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar premium subscriber newsletter. Once again, anyone with an issue concerning their subscription should email or reply to the full show email blast. We will have any issues fixed as soon as possible thanks to the diligence of the Supercast team.
Now to the contents of the Tuesday 6/7 show that you can watch here:
The saga of Elon Musk and Twitter has taken a new turn after the eccentric businessman continued to express concerns about bot counts causing misleading user data from the company. Now Musk’s lawyers have sent a letter to powerful Twitter general counsel Vijaya Gadde claiming that Musk has a right to back out of the agreed upon acquisition. Elon had been tweeting about the deal being put on hold, and the official legal statement from his team solidifies the claims Elon has been making. The major drop in the stock market as a whole, particularly the tech sector reflected in the NASDAQ index, has led to Musk’s net worth plummeting because of the significant portion of it tied to Tesla’s stock performance. Musk’s agreed upon offer would represent an even greater overpay than initially anticipated, making it more difficult for him to nail down financial backers to assist with the transaction. The company released a statement declaring its intention to enforce the agreement between the two parties, responding to Musk’s claim that Twitter has violated its obligations under the agreement by not sharing data. The legal battle between the two parties over whether Musk has the right to back out will likely get dirty and expensive very quickly.
Musk’s claims about the bot count on Twitter have become the subject of an investigation by the indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who recently won a GOP primary despite also being under FBI investigation. As calls for Paxton to investigate the law enforcement mistakes during the Uvalde shooting mount, his priorities appear to be elsewhere, using the opportunity to take aim at the platform’s censorship of conservative voices. It comes very soon after Musk publicly declared his intention to vote for Republicans moving forward, after being a large Obama donor and outspoken liberal in the past. The long, drawn out battle between Elon Musk and Twitter has been the subject of many segments on this show and we will continue to provide coverage when major moves get made.
The Baby Formula shortage continues to be top of mind for parents across America concerned about getting the formula their child needs. President Biden’s initiative to fill the shortage through the Defense Production Act, flying in European formula, and expediting the process to resume production in the Abbott Labs Michigan plant which was closed down because of contamination. In his meeting with formula manufacturers, Biden admitted to knowing about the shortage in early April in the 52nd minute of the linked CSPAN feed. He made the admission after being pressed by journalists questioning the President after the long meeting, a part cut off of the White House’s meeting feed. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made similar comments when pressed by Jake Tapper on CNN, claiming she knew about it in April and has not been involved in the response to the shortage. The actions by the Biden administration are beginning to see results in some parts of the country affected by the shortage, and now the Abbott Labs plant in Michigan has reopened and production has resumed. The company aims for an initial product release by June 20th, and a return to production by a large plant for America’s largest baby formula manufacturer will potentially bring relief to millions of families soon.
The tackling of the baby formula shortage crisis is not the only food concern for families with children in America. After the expiration of the child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan, and worsening food inflation across the board, nearly half of families with children who received the credit cannot afford food. They have begun tapping into emergency savings and cutting back on basic needs because they cannot afford to make ends meet. It is unclear if the expanded CTC will be reinstated now that Build Back Better has effectively been killed in the Senate, but American families are reeling five months after CTC expiration and demand Congress act now. If not, 10 million children will fall back into poverty during a time of economic distress for much of the country.
Economic difficulties have hit owners of trailer parks as well, typically a leading source of affordable housing in America. Park rents are doubling or tripling caused by high demand, low inventory, and a rise in corporate ownership leading to fears from owners they will be crowded out soon. The proliferation of corporate landlords has become a central issue to the US housing market leading to home prices skyrocketing out of the reach of families looking to settle down. It’s an issue that has been top of mind for trailer park owners over the past few months who have seen more mobile homes get bought up by permanent capital; raising rent and leading to evictions of residents. Mobile home owners are subject to high interest rate loans and an asset that declines in value over time, making it incredibly difficult to handle the spike in rent payments and the possibility of being evicted from their home. The data on rentals for mobile homes is difficult to obtain because of a lack of rules governing increases in rent for trailer parks making it a tough challenge to combat for residents looking for assistance. It points to the contempt held by polite society towards mobile home owners who are hurting in the current economic climate, according to their interviews with the Washington Post, and need to be supported.
The unionization campaign of Starbucks stores across the country has piled up the successful store votes at the behest of the company. The company has been escalating measures to target union workers and now it has closed a cafe in Ithaca, New York in an act described as retaliation by workers. Worker United, the union backing organizing efforts at Starbucks, will file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that the company is violating federal labor law after the workers at the store voted to unionize in April. Workers in the Ithaca cafe originally went on strike for a waste management issue that management is now citing in its justification for closing the cafe, and the company claims regular closing of locations is part of its business model. The union is seeking an injunction to quickly reverse or prevent the store closure, and as a whole the Workers United has filed 175 complaints against the international chain once known for its progressive politics.
The Washington Post is in the midst of scandals and drama shaking the paper to its core, but first Krystal and Saagar are highlighting the role the paper played in the Amber Heard trial. The ACLU ghost wrote a Washington Post op-ed for Heard in exchange for a large future donation at the center of Depp’s defamation claim that awarded him $15 million in damages. The paper claimed when asked by its own media critic for comment that they do not take stances on the opinions shared in their op-eds, despite the defamatory nature of the Heard piece. No editor’s note or retraction has been placed in the Heard op-ed, even though the pieces have to be edited and deeply scrutinized before publication. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Wemple criticized the paper for publishing Heard’s false accusations to begin with in an op-ed that was a low quality piece for a public figure using their own story designed to promote their own career and launder their brand with a banal policy prescription attached. Amber Heard was also made an ambassador by the ACLU, who was not a co-defendant in the lawsuit and neither was the Washington Post. The ACLU, when asked, claimed they write op-eds for external sources for a variety of policy reasons with no specifics on the Heard situation. Nothing has come out about the internal op-ed process by the Washington Post that led to this being published, a defamatory act of journalistic malpractice. Critics have also pointed to the story of how the ACLU, a once storied and principled organization, has lost its way.
In his monologue, Saagar takes viewers through all of the drama at the Washington Post, one of the most influential publications in the world. The Taylor Lorenz smears of creators brought major scrutiny to the paper as was covered on the show yesterday. Today the focus is on personal meltdowns and drama between journalists that began when star reporter Dave Weigel retweeted a strange joke about women. It agitated national political reporter Felicia Sonmez, who complained about working in an environment where jokes like the one Weigel amplified are tolerated. From there things quickly fell apart, with Weigel apologizing publicly after the public criticism and the Post’s executive editor sending a memo demanding journalists to be kind to each other. She essentially asked woke employees to handle the problem like normal people and sort things out in person. The saga did not end there after Weigel’s colleague Jose Del Real responded to Sonmez’s meltdown targeting Weigel and calling for punishment after he made a mistake that he apologized for. Then she went scorched earth, claiming she was not clout chasing or harassing a colleague and instead was fighting sexism and taunting her colleague for blocking her. Then a woke victimhood competition ensured because Del Real is a gay Mexican American and Sonmez is a woman who believes she was harassed by him.
This is not the first time Sonmez has melted down, notably when she called Kobe Bryant a rapist immediately after he died and when she leaked her boss’s emails to the NYT. The Washington Post refused to fire her after she sued the paper unsuccessfully after the WaPo prevented her from covering MeToo stories because of a dubious accusation of her own. Then the drama escalated further when a video technician blasted a colleague for mistaking her name in a quickly deleted tweet with no malice indicated. Now Weigel has been suspended and the paper has chosen not to discipline Taylor Lorenz or those who enabled the Amber Heard op-ed. All of this drama matters because these elite educated journalists shape the agenda at one of the world’s most powerful newspapers, even though they routinely demonstrate unhinged woke insanity showing everyone in the media they could be next on the chopping block.
 After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar offer their interpretation of the drama and how it should have been handled in an adult manner. If you have an issue with a friend, work it out in private if you want to solve the problem. The issue is that these meltdowns are about building your own power and signaling virtue while feigning victimhood. It’s unclear what the objective of these public cancellation campaigns is broadly, aside from one’s own advancement, especially because people end up reacting to vitriol by moving to the right and losing trust in the media.
In her monologue, Krystal laments the generational decline of feminism by elite women using it for their own career, a technique pioneered by Hillary Clinton. A new poll shows how younger men have soured on feminism among younger men on the Democratic ands Republican sides. “While an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that women in the workplace strengthen our economy (82%) and say they would be comfortable with a woman as president (75%), our survey also found that a majority of men under 50 on the right, and a near majority of their Democratic counterparts, say feminism has “done more harm than good.” The sentiment extends to younger females who have more negative views towards it than older women. Compared to older men, younger men have much more negative attitudes, as 62& of younger Republican men are negative on feminism compared to 42% of older ones. And 46% of younger Democratic men are negative on feminism compared to 4% of older Democratic men. The results show younger Democratic men are more negative on feminism than older Republican men. It’s a surprising outcome because younger Americans, Republicans and Democrats, are more progressive on social issues than their elders.
The kind of feminism represented by Hillary Clinton deserves plenty of blame because during the 2016 campaign, accusations of sexism were rampant towards those who chose Bernie and his agenda over Hillary’s personal ambition painted as a larger feminist project. Her own political career was portrayed as good for all women with no regard for how her policy agenda would affect women, and when she lost the sexism claim was put into overdrive instead of pointing out her faults. Feminism from there has bee boiled down to the same destructive status quo with a few more women in positions of power, instead of being about providing material support for women to choose any life they desire through strong public institutions, universal healthcare, union jobs, and other benefits. The symbolic feminism of wealth professional women offers none of those things for women or anybody, emobodied most by Hillary Clinton. In this context, the shift against feminism by young men especially young Democratic men begins to make more sense, who have been told they’re sexist when status quo elite women do not appeal to them. When no compassion is given to young men who are failing in society and lack the identity qualifications for sympathy.
Online male spaces of anti-SJW warriors and edgelords give a glimpse into the pervasive nihilism, depression, suicide, and addiction from those told they are at the height of privlege. The economic and cultural system is destructive for young men who are unable to perform masculinity by being a provider with a good job who then gets the girl and a family. The liberal girlboss feminism has no explanation or political program for these young men, Democrats or Republicans, who are unable to live up to what it has typically been expected of men. The elite identity politics is being rejected by young men, and what’s required next is a political project to rescue them alongside their fellow citizens.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar discuss the gamergate piece of the story and the journey Krystal has taken from being an absolute feminist to understanding why people react negatively to the term that has been cynically weaponized. They discuss how liberal girlboss feminism came to prominence and a populist democratic project to uplift the economic fortunes of everyone including alienated young men.
Krystal and Saagar are joined by journalist and author David Dayen to better understand the Biden plan to boost domestic solar production through invocation of the Defense Production Act and waiving import tariffs for a two year period. The sector is currently dominated by Chinese manufacturing by companies implicated in the usage of Uyghur slave labor to make some components of the panels. Solar industry companies will have to adjust when the law passes preventing imports from goods made in Xinjiang. The companies have also illegally evaded tariffs which was the subject of a Commerce Department investigation blamed by the industry for a “freeze” in solar production they claim harms a green energy transition. Biden appears to be addressing the problem in the way the industry wants and he will be able to claim he’s addressing climate change to the Democratic base. It’s been seen as a gift to Chinese companies who are the subjects of the Commerce Department’s investigation and use plenty of coal in the production of the panel components. Using the Defense Production Act is unlikely to work when a much cheaper product is coming in from China, and the authority Biden is claiming from the Smoot-Hawley tariff is questionable because it is typically used solely for natural disasters. The legal authority is dubious and a domestic solar company might challenge it, but it has larger ramifications because now the government can give special exemptions to companies who pressure them into a more favorable trade regime.
Thank you for reading the June 7th edition of the premium Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar newsletter. If you have any feedback, please email or comment on the YouTube broadcast. The next full show and corresponding newsletter will be on Thursday, and look out for Wednesday content in the meantime.

Categories: Media

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