June 23, 2022

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The Headlines

The Edge

Normal Does Not Exist

Dean Starkman Talks Journalistic Collaboration on Pandora Papers

Current Inflation has ‘Everything To Do with Corporate Greed’

Economy and Labor

Progressives Say Windfall Profits Tax a ‘Better Solution’ Than Biden’s Gas Tax Holiday | Common Dreams

Don’t Let Corporations Profit From Our Inflation Pain | Truthout

Gun Violence

Supreme Court Strikes Down New York’s Concealed Carry Restrictions | Mother Jones

Red Flag Laws May Have Helped Prevent Dozens of Mass Shootings, New Research Shows | Mother Jones

The Edge

Normal Does Not Exist

“We are back to normal,” proclaimed Tribeca Festival cofounder Jane Rosenthal on June 8.

The Variety story featured an interview with Rosenthal and cofounding partner Robert De Niro, expounding on the joys of in-person festivals. De Niro declared “The festival is social. … It’s like a cultural convention, people have to get together.”

Patricia Zimmermann, director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, dispenses with the “conservative fantasy” that “normal” represents, offering new ideals for a world enduring COVID-19.

“The concept of normality, favored by so many executives and administrators, is like a mantra attempting to stave off the grieving for the end of our lives as we lived them in 2019. It is chanted repeatedly to reassure us of stability and continuity when COVID slashed through both.”

Read Zimmermann’s full commentary on The Edge.

Dean Starkman Talks Journalistic Collaboration on Pandora Papers

Linda Jue, editor-at-large for 100Reporters, introduced the first recipient of this year’s Izzy Award ceremony: Senior Editor Dean Starkman of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

ICIJ’s Pandora Papers investigation amounted to the largest ever journalism partnership in history. It revealed the secretive system that allows the world’s rich to hide money offshore and dodge taxes. Starkman said the investigation “is the culmination of a decade’s worth of work.”

Starkman spoke to the importance of such journalistic collaborations, saying, “We’ve been witnessing this massive collapse of journalistic infrastructure. … It’s important for all of us to support each other, to work together, and to collaborate. For the good of journalism and for the good of democracy.”

Hear Starkman’s full remarks here.

Economy and Labor

Progressives Say Windfall Profits Tax a ‘Better Solution’ Than Biden’s Gas Tax Holiday

Amid rising gas prices, Joe Biden urged Congress on Wednesday to temporarily halt federal gas and diesel taxes to reduce the cost to consumers by 18 cents per gallon of gasoline. Progressives are instead pushing for the passage of a popular bill from Democratic lawmakers to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

Critics of Biden’s plan argue that corporations will pocket the savings from the tax break. Progressive lawmakers further criticize price gouging from fossil fuel companies amid shortages from the Russia-Ukraine war and fossil fuel investors’ “best quarter ever.”

Disproportionate corporate profits aren’t limited to gas prices. As a recent analysis from the Roosevelt Institute showed, markups “were both the highest level on record and the largest one-year increase” in 2021.

Truthout writes that “Prices are rising faster than wages, and the wages paid by corporations are not keeping up with rising productivity,” nor is the government making public investments to ease hardships on the working class.

Current Inflation has ‘Everything To Do with Corporate Greed’

Rising consumer prices captured headlines late last year, with mainstream outlets warning about expensive commodities like coffee and blaming Joe Biden and Americans for the increases.

But several factors contribute to inflation levels, including interruptions in the supply chain, labor costs, and rising demand for goods. Most of all, mainstream news overlooked the role of the U.S.’s mega-corporations in ballooning costs.

As Popular Information’s Judd Legum explained, “corporations are not being forced to raise prices to stay afloat. They are choosing to raise prices to maintain large profit margins because they have enough market power to do so without losing customers.”

Read more on 2021’s inflation on The Edge.

Gun Violence

Supreme Court Strikes Down New York’s Concealed Carry Restrictions

Just weeks after the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that will make it more difficult for states to pass laws restricting guns.

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, determined that people wanting a license to carry concealed handguns no longer have to demonstrate a special need for self-defense.

Bipartisan gun control legislation is advancing in the U.S. Senate, centering so-called “red flag” laws, which allow law enforcement, family, or others to issue a court order to temporarily prohibit guns for people deemed by a judge to pose significant danger to themselves or others.

Research has demonstrated that such policies can prevent gun violence, but the measure is unlikely to take hold in Republican states that don’t already have red flag laws.

In Other News

1. No Supreme Court decision on abortion as nation prepares for new opinion day tomorrow | The Independent

2. The Next Fight Over Guns in America | The Atlantic

3. Supreme Court Rules Out Suing Police For Miranda Violations | HuffPost

4. Afghanistan quake: Many children feared dead in disaster | BBC

5. Capitol attack panel to show how Trump pressured DoJ to overturn election| The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.