Here’s an interesting one: The JEFF BEZOS-owned Washington Post takes Amazon to task over its lousy record on worker injuries at its notoriously pressure-cooker warehouses. “Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, is also a leader in another category: how often its warehouse workers are injured.
“New work-related injury data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration showed those jobs can be more dangerous than at comparable warehouses. Since 2017, Amazon reported a higher rate of serious injury incidents that caused employees to miss work or be shifted to light-duty tasks than at other warehouse operators in retail.
“‘The pace of work, and the amount of twisting and turning, is enormous,’ said [DEBBIE] BERKOWITZ, who now works at the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. ‘There is a constant pressure to work fast.’”
Also of note: “Amazon declined to make any executives available for interviews on its workplace injury data.”
THE TIMES TAKES ON THE CULTURE WAR OVER SCHOOL CURRICULA — “Disputing Racism’s Reach, Republicans Rattle American Schools,” NYT: “[A]cross the country, Republican-led legislatures have passed bills recently to ban or limit schools from teaching that racism is infused in American institutions. After Oklahoma’s G.O.P. governor signed his state’s version in early May, he was ousted from the centennial commission for the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, which President [JOE] BIDEN will visit on Tuesday to memorialize one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history.
“From school boards to the halls of Congress, Republicans are mounting an energetic campaign aiming to dictate how historical and modern racism in America are taught, meeting pushback from Democrats and educators in a politically thorny clash that has deep ramifications for how children learn about their country.”
NEW RELIGION — Maggie Severns tackles the future of the Falwells — and the religious right — in a big piece this morning for POLITICO Mag: “An Evangelical Battle of the Generations: To Embrace Trump or Not?” “For years, there was an adage around Liberty University that if God split JERRY FALWELL in half, you would have his sons JERRY and JONATHAN. Jerry Jr. inherited his father’s desire to be a force in American politics, and his post as Liberty University president, while Jonathan inherited his father’s gift for evangelical uplift and became pastor of his church.
“Now, 14 years after Jerry Falwell Sr. died and nine months after Jerry Jr. was ousted in a scandal, Liberty is enmeshed in a debate that could have profound implications for the nation’s religious right: Whether it should keep nurturing Jerry Jr.’s focus on politics and maintain its high-flying role in the Republican Party, or begin to change its culture and back away from politics, an approach increasingly favored by younger evangelicals. As part of their discussions, the Liberty trustees are considering naming Jonathan Falwell as the university’s chancellor—an important and highly symbolic post—in order to maintain the Falwell family connection but not their political baggage, according to people familiar with the deliberations.”
Good Tuesday afternoon. WELCOME ABOARD! Raghu Manavalan is joining POLITICO to host and produce our Playbook Daily Briefing podcast. He most recently was senior producer on Adam McKay’s “Death at the Wing” podcast. Subscribe here
ON THE GROUND IN TULSA — “Her great-grandmother survived the Tulsa Race Massacre. She wants Biden to embrace reparations,” by Eugene Daniels in Tulsa: “Like virtually all Americans, [ANNELIESE] BRUNER’S exposure to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 came only recently. Though her ties to the day are more personal than most, she was largely unaware of the worst acts of racist terrorism in American history. …
“Tulsa residents welcome Biden’s trip, knowing that more attention is only good for the movement pushing for reparations for the descendants. Just as important, they know a presidential visit makes the Tulsa Race Massacre harder for the country to forget, hide or ignore. Bruner will watch the president’s speech from her hotel room in Tulsa with her daughter. She’s hoping Biden’s visit and speech not only brings attention but also gives lawmakers ‘space and cover they need to begin the cash reparations conversation in earnest.’”
VP KAMALA HARRIS was selected as the inaugural entry on Forbes’ and Know Your Value’s joint “50 Over 50” list, highlighting women doing work in a variety of fields over the age of 50. MIKA BRZEZINSKI, founder of Know Your Value, writes: “The vice president is only one of many diverse women over the age of 50 we’ll highlight — the full list will be released on Wednesday — who have achieved significant success later in life, often by overcoming formidable odds or barriers. They’re women who work in science, sports, finance, politics and more. …
“First Lady JILL BIDEN actually declined to be on the list because she wanted to make a place on it for another one of her fellow women. Biden, 69, is the most prominent political spouse to continue her own professional career as a community college professor.”
— Harris writes for Forbes: “Kamalanomics: Vice President Harris Outlines Her Vision Of Inclusive Entrepreneurship”: “For women entrepreneurs — and all entrepreneurs — the pandemic has highlighted the importance of our nation’s care infrastructure. For so many, care is the bridge to building a business. …
“In the face of the unimaginable, America’s entrepreneurs made the choice to reimagine their businesses. … Today, our nation must reimagine our economy, so that every American entrepreneur can launch and grow an enterprise. It is in this reimagining that we will remain competitive—and come out of this pandemic stronger than before.” Brzezinski’s interview with Harris
INFRASTRUCTURE YEAR — “A Rural-Urban Broadband Divide, but Not the One You Think Of,” NYT: “Whom should the government help get superfast internet access? The question is not addressed directly in President Biden’s multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan, which devotes tens of billions of dollars to expanding access to broadband but does not provide much detail about how the money will be spent.
“But veterans of the nation’s decade-long efforts to extend the nation’s broadband footprint worry that the new plan carries the same bias of its predecessors: Billions will be spent to extend the internet infrastructure to the farthest reaches of rural America, where few people live, and little will be devoted to connecting millions of urban families who live in areas with high-speed service that they cannot afford.”
BUT HIS EMAILS — “Anthony Fauci’s pandemic emails: ‘All is well despite some crazy people in this world,’” WaPo: “As the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the world last spring, Science magazine quoted a top Chinese health official saying that the United States and other Western nations were making a ‘big mistake’ by not telling people to mask up. The official, GEORGE GAO, worried that the comment might upset his longtime friend ANTHONY S. FAUCI, Washington’s leading expert on infectious diseases. So amid the deepening crisis, Gao reached out to clear the air. …
“The previously unreported exchange was among 866 pages of Fauci’s emails obtained by The Washington Post as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. The correspondence from March and April 2020 opens a window to Fauci’s world during some of the most frantic days of the crisis, when the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was struggling to bring coherence to the Trump administration’s chaotic response to the virus and President DONALD TRUMP was seeking to minimize its severity.”
More email highlights: “At times, Fauci grew bewildered by the public fascination with him, the emails show. On March 31, a colleague at the National Institutes of Health sent Fauci an article from The Post with the headline, ‘Fauci socks, Fauci doughnuts, Fauci fan art: The coronavirus expert attracts a cult following.’ ‘Truly surrealistic. Hopefully, this all stops soon,’ Fauci replied. In another note, he added: ‘It is not at all pleasant, that is for sure.’
“On April 7, Fauci received a Google News alert for his name. One of the articles was titled, ‘“Cuomo Crush and “Fauci Fever” — Sexualization of These Men Is a Real Thing on the Internet.’ Fauci forwarded the note to someone (the name and email address are redacted) and urged the person to click on the link. ‘It will blow your mind,’ the doctor wrote. ‘Our society is really totally nuts.’” Plus others from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Marc Short and more
BARACK OBAMA sits down for Ezra Klein’s NYT podcast: “Obama Explains How America Went From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘MAGA’”: “I think that what we’re seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job. And I think it’ll be an interesting test. Ninety percent of the folks who were there in my administration, they are continuing and building on the policies we talked about, whether it’s the Affordable Care Act, or our climate change agenda, and the Paris [climate accord], and figuring out how do we improve the ladders to mobility through things like community colleges.
“If they’re successful over the next four years, as I think they will be, I think that will have an impact. Does it override that sort of identity politics that has come to dominate Twitter, and the media, and that has seeped into how people think about politics? Probably not completely. But at the margins, if you’re changing 5 percent of the electorate, that makes a difference.” Obama also weighs in on the state of modern politics, Obamacare, aliens, his current book recommendations and more
DATA DRUTHERS — “Why Washington’s big plan to protect Americans’ data is languishing,” by Alexandra Levine: “If one effort to check the power of Silicon Valley was supposed to be easy under the Biden administration, it was passing a national data privacy law. That hope is quickly evaporating. Even amid a surge in Covid-related scams stealing consumer data and a recent Facebook leak that exposed the personal information of half a billion users, privacy legislation shows signs of having stalled.
“Lawmakers have held no hearings on a comprehensive national privacy law and have no plans to hold one anytime soon, while disagreement grows over what such legislation should include. And that doesn’t bode well for Washington’s broader push to take on the tech industry’s titans.”
SCOTUS WATCH — “Supreme Court won’t hear Johnson & Johnson’s appeal of $2 billion talcum powder verdict,” NBC: “The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up Johnson & Johnson’s appeal of a multibillion dollar verdict in favor of women who said they developed ovarian cancer from using the company’s talcum powder products.
“The company argued that it didn’t get a fair trial when a jury in Missouri state court awarded nearly $5 billion to 22 women who used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Shimmer Effects, both made with talcum powder that their lawsuit claimed was contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.”
DEMS DOWN BAD — “‘Past the point of no return’? Iowa Dems feel hopes fading,” AP: “Democrats lost last year’s election for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District by the narrowest margin in a House race in almost 40 years. After the six-vote heartbreaker, some expected Democrat RITA HART to immediately declare a rematch in the southeast district long held by her party.
“So far, no Democrat has stepped up to run. The hesitancy to jump into a district now as competitive as they come is one measure of Democrats’ fatigue in a state viewed for decades as a true battleground. Even as the coronavirus pandemic gradually wanes and President Joe Biden’s job approval remains strong, Iowa Democrats say they can feel their party receding, particularly from the industrial river towns they once claimed as bastions.”
ANOTHER SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE?! — “CNN Ramps Up Streaming Push as Discovery Merger Looms,” WSJ: “The service, known internally by the working title CNN+, is slated to feature new shows from the network’s major anchors, including ANDERSON COOPER and DON LEMON, according to people familiar with the matter. Those shows would be separate from the programs hosted by Messrs. Cooper and Lemon on CNN’s TV channel, some of the people said. …
“CNN has struck new deals over the past year with many of its anchors that encompass their work for CNN+, the people said. Those deals locked in pay increases for anchors but they don’t include bonuses tied to the streaming platform’s eventual subscriber numbers, the people said.”
PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION — “$1 million over asking: D.C. bidding wars escalate as U.S. housing crunch intensifies,” WaPo: “The five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 5,000-square-foot house in sought-after Chevy Chase Village was listed at $3,495,000 on April 16. After receiving seven offers, the sellers accepted a contract for $4,540,000 on April 19. The sale closed on May 3.
“Bidding wars have been occurring and homes routinely have been selling above their list price in the lower half of the D.C.-area housing market. … But lately, this activity is creeping into the upper brackets as frenzied buyers are competing against one another to drive up prices.”
THE LATEST IN ISRAEL — “Netanyahu: Israel would risk ‘friction’ with U.S. over Iran,” AP: “The embattled premier, whose political future is in question just 11 days out from a bruising war, said Israel’s biggest threat remains the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran. He said Israel is prepared to prevent that from happening even if the United States and other nations succeed in reinstating the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.
“‘If we have to choose, I hope it doesn’t happen, between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat — eliminating the existential threat’ wins, [BENJAMIN] NETANYAHU said.”
WHAT WE’RE READING: TARA KANGARLOU’s The Heartbeat of Iran: Real Voices of A Country and Its People, which is out today. Kirkus calls it “a readable narrative that sounds strong notes of compassion about a nation that is often misunderstood.” If you’re covering the Iran debate, working on Iran policy, or just want to understand the country beyond the media cliches, this is an excellent read. Blurbs from foreign policy heavies ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER (“tender, lyrical, colorful stories of an Iran that Americans do not know and have no way of discovering directly”) and BEN RHODES (“an illuminating and powerful portrait of a people who have been so often mischaracterized”).
ENGAGED — Alix Beadle-Ryby, chief of staff at POLITICO, and John Lockett, an MBA candidate at the University of Texas, got engaged this weekend while visiting San Antonio with their yellow lab, Cotton. They met as business development associates for POLITICO Pro over eight years ago, and began dating four years ago. Pic
WEEKEND WEDDING — Janie Blanco, former chief of staff at Invariant, and Chris Joyce, attorney at Sidley Austin LLP, got married Saturday at Casa Ybel Resort in Sanibel, Fla. The couple met in their junior year of college at the University of Florida at a Model U.N. Thanksgiving potluck. Pic … Another pic