America’s Lawyer E20: A whistleblower at Twitter has revealed some startling security problems at the social media network – and these revelations could kill Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk. We’ll explain what’s happening. The Hunter Biden story is all over the news following recent revelations from Mark Zuckerberg. We’ll explain what’s real and what isn’t about the story. And Nancy Pelosi’s office has killed a measure to expand Social Security after promising lawmakers and activists that she’d let it move forward. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. A whistleblower at Twitter has revealed some startling security problems at the social media network and these revelations could kill Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk. We’ll explain the details. And Hunter Biden’s story is all over the news following recent revelations from Mark Zuckerberg. We’ll explain the real story behind the story. And Nancy Pelosi’s office has killed a measure to expand Social Security after promising lawmakers and activists that she would move forward. All that and more, when we come back, don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

A former executive is blowing the whistle on how bad security is at Twitter among other problems. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me now to talk about what’s happening. Farron, I say it all the time, I don’t know anybody in the progressive news business better than you. You’ve followed this story from the very beginning. It’s, it’s, it’s unfolding to be like a Greek tragedy. It’s so crazy.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             So, so now all this new information about coverup, there’s no question, it’s, it’s on the edge of fraud. You can at least suggest that it looks like fraud. Started out where Musk says, well, yeah, I’ll take the, whatever you got. If you’ve got bots in there, I understand that. But then the whistleblower comes back and says it’s a lot worse than what they were telling you.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. There’s, you know, really two major avenues of what this whistleblower has revealed. The first which we touched on last week of course, was the fact that there is basically no security at Twitter. Your account is not secure. Barack Obama’s account has been hacked. Joe Biden’s account has been hacked.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  You’re not safe on Twitter is what this whistleblower is telling us. But then the other part, the one that has real legal ramifications here is that this outlet Twitter is still lying about how many bots and spam accounts are all over this website, which of course directly impacts and, and bolsters Elon Musk’s case that he shouldn’t have to buy it.

Mike Papantonio:             Do you remember, I don’t know if you remember this conversation, when this first came up, both you and I said, be really careful what you ask for Twitter, because when you sue Musk, that means he gets to look at all of your dirty laundry.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             He gets to take all the depositions he wants. He gets to get into your computer and see what’s real and what’s not. That is exactly what’s playing itself out now. And this whistleblower that comes forward, Zatko, his name’s Zatko and I mean, he was at the top of the food chain, man. This guy was the guy, he was in charge of security issues. And he says that he was fired because he went to management and he told them, you have a problem that actually is so serious that it involves national security.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             You have, and obviously they were able to get into Obama’s account. They were able to get into, to Biden’s account. Lord knows how long this has been going on. This is a big problem for Twitter. I don’t know, I don’t know how you run away from this one.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And legally speaking, Twitter had signed, you know, documents, was it with the FTC.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Back in 2011 saying, we will clean up all of our security problems because even 11 years ago, these problems were happening. And they said, okay, we understand it. We acknowledge it. We legally promise to do something with it.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  And they didn’t.

Mike Papantonio:             Here’s where it goes. It was the first time you and I talked about it, we said, be careful what you ask for Twitter. When you go suing Elon Musk, it’s gonna get real ugly. Let me tell you the next thing that’s gonna happen. You have 300 million people who potentially have been at risk. Now we know these tech companies have, have had to pay big billions of dollars for taking that, that material and not protecting it. Same thing is unfolding here. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop against Twitter where somebody says, hey, you know, you, you know, this is class action.

Farron Cousins:                  It, it, it is. I mean, we’ve seen it with, what was it, Equifax. We’ve seen it with Yahoo. We’ve seen it with Facebook. It, it’s eventually going to come to Twitter as well. And, and I think everybody needs to understand too, you and I were not in favor of Musk buying Twitter.

Mike Papantonio:             No, no, no.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, we, we did not want another oligarch buying up this media outlet, but it is funny to see this unfold. And now Twitter, Elon Musk looked like the bad guy to begin with and now we found out, oh God, it’s actually Twitter.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  That was trying to pull a fast one over on Musk and they’re gonna pay the price for it. And I tell, they’re not gonna get their 44 billion outta Musk at all.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh, that ain’t gonna happen.

Farron Cousins:                  Not gonna happen.

Mike Papantonio:             Actually, you might see a reverse lawsuit here. You, you could see something, he could turn this on its head. He could be to say, say the guy, I’m the one that exposed Twitter 300 million people to the type of thing that’s going on here. Now the, the whistleblower says that they did this. They ignored the spam. They ignored the bots. They ignored the numbers because it increased profits. And he could name people where it increased their bonuses. The volume increased the bonuses of leadership there. This case it’s gonna get uglier, it’s gonna get uglier for Twitter than it does Elon Musk.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and you also have the potential of defrauding investors.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Because lying about the number of bots would give you more money from advertisers. So you’re defrauding your advertisers. Advertisers,

Mike Papantonio:             Stockholder derivative suit, stockholder’s derivative suit.

Farron Cousins:                  There’s a lot of liability here for Twitter.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And I think it’s gonna get worse. Sometimes you just gotta move on. Twitter made the mistake saying I’m gonna get this $42 billion. It’s gonna go south on ’em.

Mark Zuckerberg admitted recently that Facebook throttled the Hunter Biden lap story ahead of the 2020 election. He says, we throttled it back. He says that, actually, he didn’t really say that in the interview. You and I talked about this.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             If you look at the Rogan interview, I, I think they’ve taken and, and I agree with what you and I had talked about earlier, it’s almost like they’re putting, they’re adding some words to this whole thing, aren’t they?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, they are. And there’s a lot that’s real with this story. There’s a lot that’s unreal. First and foremost, let’s talk about the big thing, he goes on Joe Rogan and Zuckerberg clearly says, and we, we, we actually do have the clip.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  So Zuckerberg says, I think the FBI may have reached out to some people. There’s so many vague words in there. And then of course, Rogan asked point blank, did they tell you to, to censor the Hunter Biden story? And he said point blank, no.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  No, they didn’t. But they still did make the decision to throttle that particular story. He admits that freely.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, they throttle, they didn’t kill it.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They throttled it back. They said, look, we got, you know, there’s, there’s an edge of a warning here. Somebody is saying that the Russians are coming again and the Russians are gonna put all this propaganda out there. Now here’s what’s developing to me. I, I don’t know whether you’re following this. I think we talked about it earlier. This Timothy Thibault. Now I think this is, this is a big part of the story. The Hill reported that he was the guy that was in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation. And he was the guy that, that made the decisions. Do we go forward? Do we do this? Do we follow the investigation? What do we do? He, he was escorted out of the FBI building a couple of weeks ago. Okay. Now he had been on suspension before then for investigating him to say, did you really do what the media is saying, some media is saying that you did? That you interfered with social media so you could cover up the Hunter Biden story. What’s your, what is your take.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and you had.

Mike Papantonio:             What’s your take?

Farron Cousins:                  Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is basically the one who lobbed all these allegations against Thibault. And they did investigate, suspended while investigating, not suspended, I guess, because there was definite wrongdoing, but saying, because you’re being investigated for these allegations, we need you to step aside. And then of course he quits, retires, you know, differing stories everywhere about why he actually left.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  But, okay, so he’s gone now. This guy who was running it, he obviously didn’t kill the investigation because it was still happening.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  But, I guess the question is, was there damage done? Did you intentionally sabotage anything? Which is a legit question.

Mike Papantonio:             Take, take, take the election out of it. Okay. Take the Trump election and Hunter Biden and people say, well, if we’d have known the story, we wouldn’t have voted for Biden. First of all, I don’t think any of this ties up directly to Biden.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             You and I talked about this. You pointed out that most of this took, 2017, 2018.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. From August, 2017 to October of 2018 is when these deals happened.

Mike Papantonio:             So let’s assume that Hunter Biden is the, the dirtbag that he is. He is a total utter dirtbag. No question about it. But how does that tie up to the president? And I don’t think anybody, nobody’s come forward and said, yeah, this is where it’s very clear. What, what the big problem here is the FBI. The FBI has been so tarnished. I mean, not, not just from this, but for four or five stories before this they’ve been tarnished. I don’t think they’re ultimately, I don’t think they’re gonna be tarnished by the raid that, or that took place down at Mar-a-Lago. I just don’t think that’s gonna be a problem for ’em. But right now they are, they know that they are having to fight this image problem. People are saying, this is starting to look like J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. That’s when the Republicans were in charge of saying to the FBI, go investigate this person, go after this person’s tax issues, go invest. The Republicans were driving the train. The, the FBI was politically a machine for the GOP. Now the question is, has the FBI become a machine for, for the Democrats? I, to me, it kills the FBI if this comes out, if this continues to unfold the way it seems to be unfolding. What’s your take?

Farron Cousins:                  Which could be why Thibault, you know, retired, you know, maybe he, it wasn’t a voluntary decision. Maybe it was, you need to get outta here. We’ve gotta maintain this reputation. We’ve gotta make sure everything is on the level. We clearly have a lot of other things going on as well.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  And if there is any kind of blemish on this investigation, it’s gonna put blemishes on everything else we’re doing. So maybe they forced him out. Again, we, we don’t know, we’re not inside there. But for him to abruptly say, okay, I’m officially retiring right now. You’re handling this massive investigation. It’s bad optics to say the least.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, it’s bad optics. And you know what happened when the GOP was involved with, with J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover was a weapon. That’s all he was.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             He was a little, you know, little weapon that they would send out against their political foes. Now they, and then, and the Democrats moved during the Church hearings and all that process, they moved to start cutting back the funds of the FBI. I, I predict the same thing’s gonna happen here. There’s already cries, defund the FBI. I don’t believe that’s gonna happen, but I think they’re gonna have a hard time getting big funding.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, you know, and I do think when we talk about this Hunter Biden story, because, you know, you mentioned the guy being a scumbag and that’s based on all the photos and everything we’ve seen off the laptop, but when it comes right down to actual criminal activity here, we’re still lacking a lot of evidence. You know, he did some weird things in those pictures.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  A hundred percent. But right now you’ve looked at it, I’ve looked at it. We’re struggling to put anything that looks, unethical, yes.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Criminal, not seeing it yet.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s the appearance, what they would say the appearance of impropriety. But I mean, the guy is a dirtbag. I mean, but he’s a dirtbag that I don’t believe at this point has committed any criminal offense that ties back to his dad.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             And that’s the importance of the story. I mean, I don’t care that, you know, the guy’s a dirtbag. There are plenty of dirtbags around.

Joe Rogan:                             How do you guys handle things when they’re a big news item that’s controversial? Like there was a lot of attention on Twitter during the election because of the Hunter Biden laptop story. The New York Post.

Mark Zuckerberg:              Yeah. We had that too.

Joe Rogan:                             Yeah. So you guys censored that as well?

Mark Zuckerberg:              So we took a different path than Twitter. Um, I mean basically the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us, some, some folks on our team and was like, hey, um, just so you know, like you should be on high alert. There was the, we, we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of, of um, uh, that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant. So our protocol is different from Twitters. What Twitter did is they said you can’t share this at all. Um, we didn’t do that. What we do is we have, um, if something is reported to us as potentially, um, misinformation, important misinformation, we, we also do this third party fact checking program because we don’t wanna be deciding what’s true and false. And for the, I think it was five or seven days when it was basically being, um, being determined, whether it was false, um, the distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it. So you could still share it. You could still consume it. Um.

Joe Rogan:                             When you say the distribution is decreased and.

Mark Zuckerberg:              It, it got shared.

Joe Rogan:                             How does that work?

Mark Zuckerberg:              It basically the ranking and newsfeed was a little bit less. So fewer people saw it than would’ve otherwise. So it definitely.

Joe Rogan:                             By what percentage?

Mark Zuckerberg:              I, I don’t know off the top of my head, but it’s, it’s, it’s meaningful. But I mean, but basically a um, a lot of people were still able to share it. We got a lot of complaints that that was the case. Um, you know, obviously this is a hyper political issue. So depending on what side of the political spectrum, you either think we didn’t censor it enough or censored it way too much, but.

Joe Rogan:                             Right.

Mark Zuckerberg:              But we weren’t sort of as black and white about it as, as Twitter, we just kind of thought, hey look, if, if the FBI, which, you know, I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement. They come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something then I wanna take that seriously.

Joe Rogan:                             Did they specifically say you need to be on guard about that story?

Mark Zuckerberg:              I, I, no. I don’t remember if it was that specifically, but it was, it basically fit the pattern.

Mike Papantonio:             Nancy Pelosi has killed a measure to expand Social Security so she can give tax breaks to the rich. Wow. I don’t get this story. I mean, before I even launch into it, tell me why in the world would Nancy Pelosi, it was almost unanimous support of this. And Nancy Pelosi says, no. One reason is this guy right here. Why don’t you talk about him?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, yeah. This, this little toad looking character here, Wendell, I forget his name, but anyway,

Mike Papantonio:             Wendell, let’s call him Wendell.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. You’ve got, you got Wendell who has been one of Pelosi’s top advisors. He has been with her for many, many years now. And he always gives her very right wing, horrible advice. As in, don’t go with these popular progressive measures.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Instead, why don’t we do something that might lower some taxes for people like you, Nancy Pelosi, who’s worth no less than $114 million.

Mike Papantonio:            Billion. Oh, million. Excuse me, excuse me.

Farron Cousins:                  So, and by the way, that’s the number from four years ago. So it’s likely higher. But he is the guy that is helping pull these strings. And this measure we’re talking about, which would’ve increased Social Security payments by 2%.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  2%.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  200 Democratic co-sponsors of the legislation. She promised them.

Mike Papantonio:             It was great.

Farron Cousins:                  I’m sending it to committee. We’re gonna get this done.

Mike Papantonio:             It was great for the Democrats, man.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And then.

Mike Papantonio:             Democrat.

Farron Cousins:                  As soon as they say, okay,

Mike Papantonio:             He is, his name is Wendell Primus.

Farron Cousins:                  Primus.

Mike Papantonio:             And he is a toad. He’s a bureaucratic toad that is way right wing that everything, every time somebody, something comes up that might cause any controversy, his argument is, you know, Nancy, if we go and mess with this, somebody’s gonna come mess with you. They’re gonna say you’ve done something wrong. That’s the nature of politics. I mean, that’s just what happens with politics. But you’re right. It’s a 2% difference going to, going to people who retire basically, because Social Security allows ’em to retire. But it’s not just about the elderly who have to cut medicine in half so they can, you know, they, they’re living on Social Security. They gotta, can I buy food with that? Do I have to buy medicine with it? Do I cut my pill in half? It’s about children too. People miss that, don’t they?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, absolutely. That’s the part of Social Security everybody forgets about, you know, if you have a, a, a parent death, anything like that, the children can receive Social Security. I believe up until they’re about 18 years old, to help with the cost of that if they have to go live with, with somebody else and again, a 2% increase. But instead what Pelosi decided to go with was this so-called bipartisan legislation that actually expands eligibility.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  For Social Security, which everybody, oh, well that sounds good, right?

Mike Papantonio:             No, it’s not.

Farron Cousins:                  But no, because it’s not paid for, so it ends up reducing benefits.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s right. That’s exactly right. And the problem is the people at the top that don’t, you know, they don’t need Social Security retire, but you got a quarter of, more than a quarter of, of, of Americans that rely on, on, on the income, 90%. That’s 90% of their income.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             In other words, if they don’t have that, they have nothing. And Pelosi had the opportunity to take a shot here, certainly at the midterms and say, look what we’ve done for you.

Farron Cousins:                  But, but this guy told her not to do it because it would slightly raise taxes on people making more than 400,000 a year.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. The Primus toad. Let’s call him that.

The popular weed killer Roundup has now been linked to convulsions in animals. And it’s, we know the harm it’s doing to humans. That’s already been established. It’s killing human beings, but now it’s killing your dogs and your cats. Anything you keep out in the yard. Talk about his story a little bit.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. This is very disturbing obviously, because what they’ve started to know is, notice scientists have, is all of the earthworms in these areas where Roundup is being sprayed, you know, by the barrel, all these earthworms are suffering convulsions because what it does is it exacerbated convulsions in C elegans and concluded that a receptor protein called GABA A.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s right.

Farron Cousins:                  Was the neurological target.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So it gets into the neurological system and causes convulsions and these same receptors, they’re not just in earthworms, they’re in human beings too.

Mike Papantonio:             You know what’s really ugly about it is the company’s known this for 40 years. The early rat studies that were do, that were done, showed exactly the mechanism that we’re talking about here. It showed, they had, they had rat studies, it caused convulsions, it caused death, it caused cancer in rats. They phonied up the studies. They completely phonied ’em up. They got ’em to the EPA. The EPA saw that the company had phonied up the studies and allowed it to happen anyway, because they said, if we don’t have Roundup, the world is gonna run out of food. Do you remember that pitch?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             If we don’t have Roundup, the world is gonna run out of food.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, people also gotta understand you’ve been through these documents. You’re, you’re not basing this on what you think. You’ve seen the documents. You’ve, you’ve done the lawsuits here. Like, you know more about this than probably anybody else. And, and it’s so much worse than even what these stories tell because it’s not just the cover up. It’s the massive cover up. And right now, even Bayer is saying, because Bayer owns Monsanto that had Roundup, they say, well, that’s just worms. This isn’t, this isn’t any mammals.

Mike Papantonio:             No, no.

Farron Cousins:                  Who cares about worms?

Mike Papantonio:             Farron, the other argument in the documents when I was taking depositions, that the argument was it’s only rats. It’s only beagles. We can’t extrapolate that to human beings. Well, in order to be able to say that they had to commit fraud.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             So the Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court looked at this and said, is there, can we go forward with this case? When the Supreme Court says, yes, this conservative Supreme Court, you know, these folks have done some bad things.

Social media sites recently shut down a number of pro America, fake news accounts. This is such a crazy, attacking Russia and China. Okay. I guess I love this story because the irony is just so thick. The irony is that the US government created fake news media. That, and they, they’d make a, they’d make up a name for something that didn’t exist. This is the American media or Johnson media. They would then with AI, artificial intelligence, create a reporter that would make up the story. And the story was attacking China and attacking Russia through propaganda.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And they were, you know, posting it in Chinese. They were posting it in Russia. They even did it in, in Iran. And what they did, they didn’t just create the fake name. They created fake people to share it on social media. So what they did was they went through Russian dating sites online. They went through Chinese dating sites. They pulled pictures of people that they thought this is a very attractive person. We put them, this is now our, our writer and our sharer online. Totally fake. But because people saw, oh, well it’s a pretty face. I, I like what this story is saying. And that’s how the propaganda works. And this is exactly, of course what we said, not we said, but everybody said, well, that’s what Russia did in 2016. We’ve been doing it over there since 2012 this report says.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, actually the report says that. You know, these, this, this has been coming up for a long time.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             This has been coming up for a very long time. We are the masters of propaganda. And so, but when we now, you know, what I love about the story is it, it’s a good, it’s a good sign that social media, that the tech industry says, hey, you know, we’re gonna do the same thing to the US government when they do bad. I love that part of this.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Because it surprised me. You know, the, the, the tech industry is so beholden to the government.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             And when the tech industry says, no, this is so bad where you’ve created jus, it, you know, I don’t, it’s, it’s not a fake news issue. It’s a fake source issue. They’re making up newspapers, they’re making up TV stations, they’re making up reporters, they’re taking celebrities and then taking AI, messing with their face and making ’em look like they’re a real reporter. And then sending that all over China and Russia.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and what they did and I gotta tell you from a propaganda standpoint, it’s actually kind of genius.

Mike Papantonio:             It is. I think it’s brilliant.

Farron Cousins:                  So they took, they would take articles like from the BBC or actual reputable news sites.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They copy the entire article and they put it in a new document. They change a couple things to be more propaganda ish.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  In there.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And then they post it as their own. So if somebody were to take a snippet of that article and search for it to verify it, they’re gonna see it also pop up on BBC and these other sites and think it’s legitimate, not noticing the subtle changes in there.

Mike Papantonio:             Farron, didn’t you do an article one time, and I’m reaching here. I may have this wrong. But didn’t you do an article one time where we found out the Obama administration had put in place the pro, the propaganda arm of the government.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Yeah, they did.

Mike Papantonio:             Is that my imagination?

Farron Cousins:                  Right. They did. That was with one of the military, the military defense authorizations of, it may have been 2015 or 2016.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Okay. So what he did is to say, let’s make it official.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             We have, we have a propaganda department and that’s what this is. But the irony is when we say, oh my God, Russia is changing or China’s changing our lives with propaganda. And we know this now. I mean, come on, man.

The Federal Reserve might plunge us into a recession just to ease inflation. It’s a move that’s going to devastate the American working class. I don’t know why no, can I tell you something? This is the kind of story that nobody pays attention to. When we post this on our site it’s gonna be this much traffic compared to, you know, like we say, all the time, let’s do a story on I hate the GOP. There’s no comparison. This, this is a vitally important story.

Farron Cousins:                  It is.

Mike Papantonio:             This, you know what this reminds me of, it reminds me of the Greenspan who just completely ignored what was going on with, with the housing market and was trying to say, to solve the inflation. Well, you pick it up from here.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Well, what we’ve got now is we got Fed reserve chair, Jerome Powell, who warned us explicitly he said, listen, the pain is coming. You, there’s gotta be some suffering here for working class families.

Mike Papantonio:             He said this in, he said this at Jackson Hole just a couple weeks ago.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             That this, American family’s gonna suffer from what I do.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. But, but don’t worry. Well, I mean, a lot of you’re gonna lose your jobs because we’re raising interest rates, but it’s gonna bring inflation down. Maybe a little probably. But the, the only thing definite from this, as he points out is the suffering.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Suffering is definitely gonna happen. And you’ve got Larry Summers that’s been pushing this same thing for three months who is from the Obama administration.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  But that’s all they know how to do is, well, I guess when things are rough, let’s punish the working class.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. And the way they punish ’em is they keep increasing interest rates at such a high margin that it causes unemployment. It, it’s not only that you can’t buy a house. It’s not that you can’t buy a car. It is that it causes unemployment because the corporation that’s having to pay those rates, they can’t hire enough people.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. They, they can’t borrow as much money anymore. So they have less operating capital. When they lay people off, then those people have less money. That’s the trickle down.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  That’s the real trickle down economics is that there’s less money flowing around and those at the lower end of that totem pole, they’re the first ones to feel that pain.

Mike Papantonio:             We saw it with Volcker in the seventies and the eighties. We see it, we saw it with Greenspan. Now we’re seeing it with this cat. And really the problem is that he’s doing this when we have a falling GDP, a year of falling GDP. Doing it while we have a falling disposable income for Americans. We have a falling real wages because those real wages are being eaten up by inflation. And, and it’s just exactly like Volcker and Greenspan did. And it’s like he never took a look at the book. He never looked at the history book. It’s the same thing happening. Now, even though people, they won’t read this story, they won’t watch this story. They’ll only say, well, God, I wonder why I can’t get a job. Wonder why I can’t buy a house? Wonder why I can’t buy a car?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and you know, to, to make it worse too, this is exactly, one, what they’ve done like you’ve said in the past, they’re creating a recession to hurt people.

Mike Papantonio:             Correct.

Farron Cousins:                  But we’re also not addressing the real big cause of inflation.

Mike Papantonio:             Good point, good point.

Farron Cousins:                  Which is the corporate greed that you and I have stood here and talked about half a dozen times in the last three months, these ridiculous markups from corporations just because they can, if you don’t address that, you’re not fixing anything.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. You hit a really good point here, Farron, and I, I don’t think we outta leave the story without talking about it. First of all, your, your argument is that the real problem is too much corporate power and too much corporate influence. There’s, add to that, we got a, a supply chain disaster. I’ve never, I don’t, maybe Buttigieg someday will explain what the hell happened here, but it’s a disaster. We’ve got a war in Ukraine. You have all those things converging. But the most important thing is that we’ve given corporations too much power over what the Fed does.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s what happened the last burn down on the mortgage, they had, the corporation had too much power. And it’s a simple analysis, used to be that for example, doctors used to own hospitals, right? And we didn’t have the kind of problem, problem we have with, with medical health inflation. Corporations came in, they bought out the doctor hospitals. You don’t find doctor run hospitals anymore. And so it’s corporations. This is the same thing here. The corporations have so much power over what the Fed is doing that it, it’s a train wreck.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, it really is. And also just to go with that too, when you have these prices that corporations are already artificially inflating, you know, 300%, 400%, when inflation finally does go down and people see those price tags drop, that 300% increase stays. That becomes the new base price.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  But it did drop because inflation went down and people become, I guess, normalized.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  To paying $1,500 for a TV instead of a thousand dollars,

Mike Papantonio:             It becomes a new normal.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Okay. You know, gas, well, we’ve never paid $5, but we might have to get used to it or whatever it is.

Farron Cousins:                  Exactly.

Mike Papantonio:             Rising energy costs have put 20 million Americans at risk of losing electricity because they can’t pay their bills. Now again, just like the story we just talked about, what’s happening? Used to be that you would have small individual energy companies, you would have a co-ops. Maybe you’d have a co-op that’s run by a county or a city. And everybody in that area would, would get their energy from that co-op. And then you had people like Xcel Energy, NextEra energy. We know what thugs they are. And we know all these people, PG&E.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Those, those types of, those types of corporate control types came in and have bought the industry. So now you’ve got what, 20 million households, one in six homes that are as much as $3,000 behind in their ability to pay their electricity. And they’re simply being shutoff.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, we have seen already this summer where you have had areas that have experienced these power outages due to grid failures and people have died from heatstroke. We saw at this past winter, when the power grids went out, people lost their electricity and froze to death in their homes.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  And now we’re creating a system where the energy grid doesn’t have to fail because so many people are behind on their bills, they’re gonna lose electricity, that people will die from this. We see this up north every year, every year for a couple of decades now, elderly people, they couldn’t pay their bills. So they let their gas bill expire and they go without heat and they die by freezing in their own home.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, right now you have, you have the American public they’re maxed out on their credit cards. That’s clear, evidence shows that. There’s, they’ve depleted their savings just because of things like inflation. And their wage gains have really been erased because of inflation. But so, so in comes corporate America. Anytime you let corporate America in that door, whether it’s the hospital corporation, name it, when you let corporations make decisions like this, it, it’s gonna end badly. And this is exactly what’s happening here. You’ve got people that, that they, natural gas for example, I think I saw a number where it was, it’s increased 40% just over this last year. So Europe is getting killed by it. America’s getting ready to really feel it this winter.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and there’s no shortage by the way, let’s point that out with these artificial price inflations. We don’t have a shortage of coal. We’re still drilling that out of the ground at record pace. Fracking is taking place all over the country. We’re getting more natural gas than we know what to do with.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  So much that they wanna ship it overseas. We have enough energy. They’re inflating these prices for the one simple reason because they can.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And as long as we let corporations continue, it’s just, we, we’ve seen it. I mean, his, history has repeated itself thousand times, my God, the railroad industry, the, the fuel industry, you name it. We’ve seen it repeat itself. The banking industry. I could go on forever. Now, now they’re even trying to overtake the, the, the legal industry. So unless somebody says, we, like a Bernie Sanders type says, look, let’s go to the heart of the problem. You can dress this up any way that you want. But at the end of the day, it’s corporations that are hammering the rights of the American consumer. That’s what’s happening. Farron, thank you. As usual, great material.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available this coming week, right here on this channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media is afraid to tell you. They can’t tell you because their advertisers won’t let ’em or their political connections are just so deep rooted that their political connections don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.