$1.6 billion — tax free — is going to an entity run by Leonard Leo, who co-chairs the Federalist Society. This would be “the largest known donation to a political advocacy group in U.S. history” according to Propublica. Among other things, the Federalist Society is responsible for the radical tilt of the current Supreme Court. One of the Federalist Society’s star lawyers is John Eastman, who tried to overturn the 2020 election for Trump. You would think a legit legal organization would distance itself from an attorney who led a coup attempt — he insisted that Mike Pence refuse to certify the Electoral College results at Trump’s pre-insurrection rally! But no.
Now, it’s one thing for a show to get canceled. What new CEO David Zaslav is doing is nuking shows — particularly animation series and kids’ programming — from the face of the earth. It’s possible they will never be seen again, or will only become legally viewable in a century or so once the copyright expires. The reason given for these actions is cost-cutting: a tax break available in mergers for writing off incomplete projects (like Batgirl), and savings on residual payments for the cast and creators of series. God forbid the artists make a few crumbs! Meanwhile, Zaslav’s compensation package in 2021 alone was valued at $241 million. This is capitalism at its most absurdly cannibalistic, of profits based on destruction.
Trump could openly threaten to suck us all to our doom and the mainstream media would still treat it like some sort of political parlor game where every move to stave off apocalypse is motivated by “partisanship” and nothing more. The irony of this cynical take is that the Dems — most especially Biden and Merrick Garland — seem to avoid confrontation religiously, until they would be breaking the law themselves if they didn’t do something. If that wet noodle of an Attorney General signed off on the raid, there was almost certainly a good reason for it! In fact, there’s not even that much to discuss beyond what were they looking for, what did they find, and how violent will the right’s response be.
I think there is some value to socializing with your colleagues in person, at least occasionally. But for many workers, there are practical reasons to avoid the expensive and time-wasting schlep to the cubicle farm.
The word “liberal” has been through a lot. Since the ’80s, liberals have been ludicrously demonized by the right. At a certain point, I began using “progressive” instead as it seemed more contemporary and carried less baggage. These days, it seems that the concept of liberalism is often conflated with neoliberalism — which is pretty much its opposite. To the extent that some socially-liberal people are unconcerned with the excesses of capitalism and economic inequality, I would argue that means they are conservative, although that word has also become somewhat meaningless in an era of extremism.