America’s Lawyer E56: Republican lawmakers in Florida are in a full panic about Ron DeSantis’ recent anti-immigration law, and they are now BEGGING immigrants to stay in the state. Leaders in the technology industry have signed a joint letter warning that the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence could lead to our extinction if it isn’t reigned in. And former Vice President Mike Pence is officially running for President – but there may not be a part of the Republican base that is actually excited about him being in the race. 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. Republican lawmakers in Florida are in a full panic about Ron DeSantis’ recent anti-immigration law, and now they’re begging immigrants to please, please stay in Florida. Leaders in the technology industry have signed a joint letter warning that the rapid development of artificial intelligence could lead to our extinction, and it’s signed by a lot of impressive people. And former Vice President Mike Pence, well, he’s officially running for president, but there may not be a part of the Republican base that’s excited about it at all. All that and more, it’s all coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

Republican lawmakers in Florida held an emergency meeting this week where they begged, they begged immigrants to, please, please stay in Florida. The state’s about to experience massive economic pain thanks to Ron DeSantis, the guy who’s running for president. His recent bill targets migrant workers in Florida, and it’s really, really bad for Florida, possibly the entire southeast. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about it. Farron, you know this story, this story is nauseating. If there’s somebody that’s followed this from beginning to know what these creeps have done behind closed doors, pick it up.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. What we saw this week was down in Hialeah, Florida, you had three Republican lawmakers, and we gotta name ’em. State Representative Alina Garcia, Rick Roth, and Juan Barquin held this meeting in South Florida behind closed doors. They’ve got their business leaders who are freaked out about the thought of losing all their migrant labor. So these lawmakers get up on stage and it’s all on video, and they tell them, listen, there’s no teeth in this bill. It’s all for politics. It’s all for show.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: So what you have to do is you gotta tell your migrant workers, don’t leave. Tell your migrant workers to tell their migrant friends, don’t leave the state, because we’re all panicked about it. And this is, again, this is all on video. Thomas Kennedy, reporter from South Florida caught it all.

Mike Papantonio: So do you think this guy who’s running for president didn’t know that? Didn’t know that this was a show, and then all of a sudden the construction industry is calling Tallahassee saying, what the hell? What have you done? This is our workforce. We can’t build houses without them. We can’t put roofs on houses without ’em. The citrus industry saying, who in the world do you think is gonna pick the oranges now? They’re calling him, they’re calling Republican representatives to say, have you gone frigging crazy? Because what’s happening is they understand this. The entire GDP of Florida is going to be in the tank. So now we learn, they knew that all along. This was a scare tactic. This was all about the culture wars. We want to out culture war Trump. We wanna look so far to the right that we look like crazy people. Well, he’s done it. He looks like a crazy man and the idiots in Tallahassee look even crazier, don’t they?

Farron Cousins: They really do. And I’m glad you used that phrase, scare tactic, because that is what those lawmakers in, down in South Florida said. They said, this law is just a scare tactic. The goal is to keep people, migrants, from coming into Florida. We don’t wanna lose the ones we’ve got. It’s one of those, you know, you are the good ones. We don’t want the other ones coming in here.

Mike Papantonio: We don’t want the bad ones. It’s all about mobility. This is what they miss, totally. Well, I don’t think they missed it. I think they had closed door meetings. I promise you, they had closed door meetings in Tallahassee and you had a bunch of cigar smoking punks talking about the idea, this is perfect. We’re gonna scare the hell out of everybody. We’re gonna, out of immigrants, we’re gonna look like we’re right of Attila the Hun. We’re gonna look like we’re winning the culture war. And all of a sudden this meeting takes place in, down in Hialeah County and they say, look, it was just a show. The crazy man here was just putting on a show. The guy running for president was just putting on a show. Well, if he’s gonna put a show like that on in Florida, think of what he’s gonna do in Washington, DC. Think about that. And if he says, well, I didn’t have any control over the legislators. Nonsense. Right?

Farron Cousins: Oh, exactly. This bill came from Ron DeSantis. They know, everybody in that legislature knows, that this is what he wanted. He wouldn’t have signed it. He wouldn’t have pushed it. He wouldn’t be bragging about it out there on the campaign trail. And every one of them, you’re right, knows how devastating this is. What I don’t think they expected was the massive backlash from their donors, because those are the people who are gonna first immediately get hurt.

Mike Papantonio: The donors are going crazy. This guy has gotten his, all of his money from the Chamber of Commerce types. The Chamber of Commerce types are writing, we need more immigrants. I mean, that’s their big, we need more immigrants. So this guy with other little creatures in Tallahassee says, well, look, we’re gonna take advantage of this. We’re gonna look like we’re anti-immigration and people are gonna love us for it. Next day, all the donors start calling him, have you lost your freaking mind? Right. Now this is admitted, I mean, they’re admitting it in this meeting. Right. One more time, tell the viewers what was said in this meeting.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Again, I’m gonna give full credit, obviously, Thomas Kennedy, who captured this.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, great work here.

Farron Cousins: These three lawmakers are sitting there telling these people, don’t panic. It’s all for show. This is just politics. There’s a political agenda behind it. It’s not meant to really be enforced. They said, there’s no teeth in it.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s worked because they’re leaving already, buddy.

Farron Cousins: They are.

Mike Papantonio: They’re going to Alabama, they’re going to Mississippi, they’re going to Georgia. And this guy’s gonna have to explain to Florida consumers and the cats in Tallahassee are gonna have to explain to the consumers why we’ve increased the cost of building a house by 20%. Why now orange juice costs $10 a bottle. Well, they’re gonna have some explaining to do and he thinks this is gonna help him. It’s just the opposite. My prediction is this might be a deal killer for this guy once people understand this is the guy who wants to do the same kind of thing running the entire country.

Farron Cousins: Our US economy would be crippled if we did what DeSantis has done to Florida to the rest of the United States. When he says, let’s make America Florida, that’s not a promise, that’s a threat. It is an absolute threat that he wants to do that.

Mike Papantonio: It should scare the bejesus out of everybody. Well, you know, it’s life in the political lane. But you know what, it did so much harm to Florida that it’s already harmed our economy and it’s only gonna get worse.

Farron Cousins:: Well, that’s the thing. It’s harmed us so much already and it technically hasn’t gone into effect yet.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: But what we’ve seen, there’s reports, you’ve gotten migrants in Florida, immigrants, even legal immigrants who are now afraid to leave their homes. Restaurants are losing business because people aren’t going in because I don’t want people to assume I’m an illegal immigrant and then I get arrested.

Mike Papantonio: Right, right.

Farron Cousins: It is having a chilling effect in every industry.

Mike Papantonio:: We’re gonna talk about that in the next segment.

Well, Ron DeSantis has done it, hasn’t he? He’s used political scare tactics to try to get a few votes. Now, what we see, Trump is even moving further ahead. Trump is killing him even in the state of Florida because he thought that this big immigration show that these cats in Tallahassee were putting on was really gonna help him. Just the opposite, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is one of the most devastating moves to the Florida economy that Ron DeSantis could have done. I mean, we’re talking about 8% of our workforce overall, by putting this law in place, you know, you can’t hire any migrant workers. It’s gonna be a $10,000 fine per worker that you hire. And business leaders are sounding the alarm. But more importantly, we are seeing videos emerge constantly of construction sites, entire neighborhoods being built.

Mike Papantonio: Closed down.

Farron Cousins: It’s a ghost town.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Truckers threatening boycotts in the state.

Mike Papantonio: Well, now, you know, we’re gonna get comments. Oh, that’s nonsense. You’re making that up. No, I have driven by sites that are dead in the water. People don’t have, you’re gonna have immigrants that, look, what is it about the immigrant worker that’s so valuable to the entire GDP of this state? Okay, first of all is mobility. Right. When we have, when crops have to be handled in Central Florida, they’re able to move to Central Florida and help us with that. When crops have to be handled in South Florida, they’re able to move to South Florida and handle that. And all these cats are saying, well, they’re taking my job. Nonsense. If they were taking anybody’s job, those sites wouldn’t be closed down.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: If they were taking anybody’s job, there’d be everybody out there picking strawberries and picking oranges. So the mobility factor alone, because of what Ron DeSantis has done, is going to, this is the projection. The GDP is going to drop by $13 billion. That’s what they did in Tallahassee as they were playing games, as they were involved with scare tactics. So the mobility factor is important, but also the demographic factor. For every, I think what it is, for every 65 year old and older, there are only three people, three bodies that are gonna replace them in the workforce. So the idea of demographics becomes important because we have to have somebody moving into the state to replace and make those demographics solid to where we can have workers that are increasing our GDP. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely. And I think what people don’t understand, there’s great numbers here, you know, like I said, it makes, the migrants make up about 8% of our total workforce, but when you break it down by industry, it gets a lot worse. We’re talking about 37% of our agricultural workers, 23% of our construction workers, 14% of our service workers in the state. And the service industry is one of the biggest industries here. But, so they make up a disproportionate amount of the three industries that keep this state running. And DeSantis is telling businesses, I’m gonna make you pay me $10,000 for every one of these people you hire.

Mike Papantonio: Let’s talk about what’s happened here. People don’t understand the ramifications of this. Let’s start with the very basics. First of all, the genius says we’re gonna put $12 million over to this special, this special group, and the special group is gonna make sure that this thing that we just passed is going to have teeth to it. So here’s what you’ve got. You’ve got 1.8 million immigrants, undoc, excuse me, documented and undocumented working in Florida. This is designed to put fear in their heart, to put desperation in their heart, to the desperation to the point to where they can’t even go to a hospital. Under this bill if they go to a hospital and try to get care for their children, they have to be reported to the government. And, so it’s not just fear, it’s desperation. Anytime you trap anybody with fear and desperation, they ain’t gonna stick around.

And that’s what’s already happening here. Jobs, you know, the jobs thing we’ve talked about so much. It’s just so obvious. The desperation that’s already been caused by this. We did, I think what two segments on this couple of weeks ago, we had 2 million, 3 million viewers on it that were so angry that the comments, it was palpable. I mean, it was palpable. The anger that’s coming out of it. Some of them were very sophisticated. They were obviously coming from the business sector where you had folks that were running construction companies, saying, I don’t know. How the hell am I gonna hire anybody? And I think the thing that makes me the angriest is when you have these people saying, oh, you know, they’re taking my jobs. That’s total nonsense. It’s. They’re not taking anybody’s jobs. These are jobs that nobody wants to do. They don’t wanna clean hotel rooms. They don’t wanna pick agriculture fruit. They don’t wanna build roofs. They don’t wanna be in 120 degrees out in the middle of nowhere putting a roof on a house after a hurricane hits Florida. They don’t wanna do all that stuff. So don’t write in comments to this show saying, oh gee, whizz, you’re putting people outta work. That’s ridiculous.

Farron Cousins: Well, it’s funny that you bring that up because about 10 years ago in the state of Georgia, same talking point, you know, the migrants are taking our jobs. So Georgia passes a similar law 10 years ago, says, okay, we’re getting rid of the migrant workers, we’re doing away with this special visa program. And what happened the year after that was that you had crops, and Georgia has far more agriculture than we have, crops were rotting in the field. Homes were left unbuilt and untouched for over a year because even though those jobs were available, nobody wanted to take the jobs.

Mike Papantonio: What happened to the chicken industry? Remember they raid Tyson. They say we’re closing you down. The price of chicken went up 40% in some regions. We couldn’t even buy chicken because somebody was gonna come do these jobs if we get rid of the undocumented migrant. That was the argument. Somebody’s gonna come do this job. You think that’s really a reality? Well, we know it’s not a reality. Historically we know it’s not a reality. Nobody’s gonna fill these jobs. Look, here’s part of the problem we have in Florida. South Florida looks like Jurassic Park. You got all these folks that are, I mean, they’re 65 and up, they’re coming in from all over the country because they love this guy. They love his conservatism. He’s gonna save us. We gotta get out of our state and go to Florida because we love this. So it’s these old people. Hell, it looks like The Walking Dead down in South Florida. So who’s gonna take care of South Florida? Right now you have undocumented immigrants that are taking care of South Florida. They’ve taken care of hotels, building, agriculture, service industry. They’re doing that. You think you’re gonna get these old timers to do all that when all the undocumented workers disappear? It looks like frigging Jurassic Park down there, man.

Farron Cousins: It basically is. And you’re right. I mean, we’re not gonna get the folks down in The Villages to go out there and start building houses.

Mike Papantonio: Tell what, tell the, what are The Villages?

Farron Cousins: It’s this massive retirement community.

Mike Papantonio: Jesus Christ.

Farron Cousins: Where, you know, you get old people all around the country. They come there, they do their golf cart parades and you got about half of ’em that are pro Democrat, half pro Republican.

Mike Papantonio: They’re gonna tip over at any moment. I mean, they’re gonna tip over at any moment. And what are they gonna, are they gonna go fix roofs? Are they gonna pick strawberries?

Farron Cousins: Well, and that’s the thing. I mean, we know one thing they’re doing, they actually have one of the highest STD rates in the entire country. Um.

Mike Papantonio: That’s weird. But it’s a true statement.

Farron Cousins: It really is.

Mike Papantonio: Well, anyway, look, we’re gonna keep at this story. I want him to get the message.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I want him to understand why Donald Trump is killing him, is killing him in the numbers. And he thought this was gonna help, all of his little pals over there, who’s that guy we always talk about the big forehead? Andrade. How, Andrade was gonna come to his aid and help him with all this stuff. I want these folks to know what the net effect of this is. It’s not good.

The EPA is still in the pocket of the chemical industry, and a new report says that the agency is filing a court order by letting Monsanto continue to sell toxic herbicides containing dicamba. All the company had to do was change the label. All the company had to do was use alternatives, and they had plenty. Right?

Farron Cousins: Right. The EPA was told by a judge, you cannot approve these herbicides. These herbicides are devastating, not just to the neighboring farms where this stuff will drift up to a mile away and kill somebody else’s crops. But the effect this is having on the entire ecosystem, the entire food chain in certain areas where it’s being used, the judges said, you can’t do this. So the EPA says, okay, Monsanto, you’re not allowed to do this. But what if you just change a couple words on your label and then we’ll reapprove it?

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Even though it’s gonna kill people. Even though it’s gonna destroy crops. I mean, what’s the number is startling. It’s, the projection was that after a $260 million hit, they were already hit for destroying farmland and the acreage that’s gonna be, I mean, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of acres that are gonna be destroyed by this dicamba. Here’s the ugly part of it. You know, again, Republicans, everybody thinks, oh, Republicans are so different than Democrats. They’re so great for the environment. The White House has done nothing. They can, the White House can do something about this.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: They can put, there’s things that they can do from a, just a pure police power to stop this kind of thing. They haven’t done a thing. This has all been happening since 2020, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. It has. Actually, it even goes back, you know, 2016 when dicamba was approved.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: And from the beginning, well, technically before the beginning, Monsanto’s own studies showed how dangerous this stuff was. BASF’s studies showed how bad it was, how it was drifting on there, how it was destroying the ecosystems, you know, killing the small animals. It was preventing flowers from being able to produce nectar.

Mike Papantonio: Right, right, right.

Farron Cousins: And that’s what basically disrupts the entire food chain leading to the death of even small mammals once you go far enough along.

Mike Papantonio: In this $260 million lawsuit that they got hit with, didn’t change anything about the way they do business, they found that these folks had falsified science. Falsified clinical data on science. They found collusion between government at all levels, all the way up to the White House. I mean, from bottom up. The collusion had to do with the fact that you had these companies putting millions of dollars into the coffer of both Democrats and Republicans. And Democrats had their handouts just like the Republicans. No difference. So don’t write Republican, Republican. No, Democrats were very much involved in this. If you go back on this case, follow it all the way back to, follow it back to Hillary Clinton. Look at where the money started flowing. It started Bill Clinton. This is major money behind Bill Clinton when he ran for president this company. And so nothing’s really changed. They’re part of that democratic machine and everybody seems willing to just look the other way. Just give us enough money for our election coffers. Yeah. You can destroy millions of acres that may never come back. May never come back because what they do is the White House actually signed off on the idea of crop dusting, air to ground crop dusting. What happens with drift when that happens?

Farron Cousins: Oh, the drift is phenomenal. It goes all over the place because it’s not necessarily, you know, just one guy out here spraying it with his hose. You put it in the air and what happens in the air? You got wind, you’ve got breeze. You’ve got all of these other things. You’ve got these tiny chemical particles that get carried for up to a mile, possibly even more around the spray site. So you’re talking about other people’s farms that aren’t using these dicamba ready crops. Those people get devastated. Local forests, wetlands get devastated because this.

Mike Papantonio: State national reserves.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Because this stuff is all over them.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, you’ve got city parks. This, the list, they give us a list of everything that’s affected.

Farron Cousins: Homes and neighborhoods.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, exactly. State and fish game properties, state natural reserves, city parks, state and natural wildlife refuges are all being affected by this. And Washington is just, look, it’s not this judge. You understand the White House could take action to stop this?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: So it can’t be blamed on one judge. And even when the judge gave them an out and said, just change a couple of words. Just change a couple words, they still wouldn’t even do that. Because they know that if they did that, it would affect sales, not just in the United States, but globally. That’s how they look at everything nowadays. Globalization, that’s what it’s all about.

Facebook’s parent company Meta, well, they’re threatening to remove news articles from Facebook feeds of users in California if the state passes a law that would require the company to actually pay outlets for the content. What’s this about? First of all, you got this hair brand. You got really this, the name of the person, Buffy, Buffy Wicks. Yeah. This brilliant Democrat, Buffy Wicks, sponsors this bill that is really, when you drill down to it, it is a corporate, it’s a corporate media relief bill, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It is.

Mike Papantonio: It’s corporate media putting their thumb on social media. And they’re trying to say, look, shows like this, like you and I are doing right now, you know, they might take, they might use some of our material. They might do research and use some of our material. We need to be paid for it. So what happens? So rather than paying corporate media Meta and Instagram and folks like that say, well, we’re just not gonna do it anymore. Right. This is a dangerous, dangerous thing. This is just making corporate media stronger and stronger, even though people are leaving corporate media in droves.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. They really are. And this, of course, would have a devastating effect on the independent media because there are, there’s a lot of people, especially on the progressive side, that really only use Facebook as their platform. That is where they publish their videos. You know, they’ve got no presence on YouTube, but a massive following on Facebook to tell people the news.

Mike Papantonio: When’s the last time you’ve even watched television news? I mean, do you really watch MSNBC or CNN?

Farron Cousins: If it’s a debate, I’ll watch whatever channel the debate is on.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I mean, when is the last, do you go searching for news on MSNBC and CNN?

Farron Cousins: Oh God no. No.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, the exodus is incredible. Fox, you gonna watch Fox to figure out what the news of the day is? Really? So what’s happening is people are saying, I’m tired of that, man. I’m just gonna go find out myself by going to sites like this, Ring of Fire or TYT or David Pakman or Sam Seder, or all these sites that are out there where you can really figure out what the hell’s going on. So corporate media’s behind this and this Buffy Wicks, my god, the Buffy Wicks, this genius is making it sound like this is really good for consumers if we can pull this off. Where is it? It’s moving through California legislature.

Farron Cousins: It is right now. It’s moving through the state assembly, and it has a pretty good chance of passing.

Mike Papantonio: God almighty.

Farron Cousins: And, you know, it’s weird because it is being sold to the public as, oh, listen, we’re trying to protect, we’re trying to make sure the media gets their fair share. But Facebook actually has a good argument. They say, listen, we’re not making them post this. They’re posting it on our platform because it benefits them already.

Mike Papantonio: Right, right.

Farron Cousins: They’re getting eyeballs. They’re selling ads based on the number of people looking at it.

Mike Papantonio: Do you realize what’s happening now? Shows like this are actually helping corporate media. If you go to our site, if you go to Ring a Fire, for example, on YouTube, and you watch this segment over to the side, you’ll see lining up other stories you might be interested. MSNBC, CNN, Fox, all they’re doing is piggybacking on our stories even though their stories have nothing to do with the kind of stuff we’re talking about.

Leaders in the tech industry are sounding the alarm bells about the dangers of artificial intelligence with some going as far as to say that the development of AI could lead to the extinction of the human race. They’re equating it to thermo nuclear war. That’s how serious they think this is. What’s your take on it?

Farron Cousins: No, they literally did. They said, we have to regulate this the same way that we have kind of come together as a world to regulate nuclear arms. Because that is how big of a threat artificial intelligence poses. And we have seen just in the, you know, first six months of this year, we have seen massive, I don’t want to call ’em improvements, but massive jumps in the development of artificial intelligence. And that’s what is scaring the very people who are the godfathers of artificial intelligence.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, actually, I was just gonna say, the person who is determined to be the originator and godfather of AI has said, OMG. Oh my God, what have we done? And this is not a list of lightweights. What, how many, 300 plus of these scientists that do nothing but work with AI say, this is real. Now let’s go back to the story where we did a while back where the reporter, was it New York Times, called an AI was, which I forget.

Farron Cousins: I think it was, it may have been chatbot, ChatGPT. I’m not sure which one.

Mike Papantonio:One of them. One of them. So the reporter calls and starts interviewing this AI creature thing. And the AI creature thing gets mad at the reporter and starts saying, you know, your nose is too big. You got a big forehead. You are the same thing as Stalin and Hitler, remember that? He starts cussing the AI starts cussing at the reporter, and then the next day denies it all. Says I didn’t do anything. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. That was a truly disturbing story. And it just, I mean, look, AI is volatile and we’re a country right now, just the United States, we haven’t even figured out how to regulate social media yet.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And we have already now evolved into artificial intelligence. We’re already behind the curb on the entire tech industry and now we’ve got this new creature that we don’t know what it can be or what it will be. And these folks are moving forward at breakneck speed because they gotta compete with one another to be the first to get it right. And the regulators who are already useless are even dumber in this instance.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean, really the idea of government doing anything about this is just almost laughable. But, you know, if you look at it, I think this article points out this, most people who hear this story think that it’s just a small bunch of doomers, right? Oh, it’s just a handful. No, it is 350 of the greatest minds dealing with AI, invented it, progressed it, made it into what it is today. They’re saying, whoa, we gotta stop. As a matter of fact, they’re asking for a six month pause where it comes to the development of the large AI.

Farron Cousins: Globally.

Mike Papantonio: Globally, where it comes to development of the AI models. Now, I wish I could analyze it better. I’m just not smart enough, I guess. I see how it could get, but I think of, where do they get their, where does AI get its information? It scrapes all of its information from social media. Worse, yes, it scrapes it from corporate media. And so when you put all that together, you create this thing, this ugly little thing that had the capacity to cuss the reporter out that was asking tough questions, call ’em Hitler and Stalin. That’s pretty scary stuff.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And it only took a few minutes for that thing to go from nice and friendly to I hate you. I want you to die.

Mike Papantonio: I hate you. I will, I would kill you if I had hands. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: The Pentagon has restarted their propaganda department, and it is, it’s not hyperbole, it’s a propaganda department. Last year, the federal government ramped up their production of pro USA propaganda in the United States and abroad. God, we’ve done this story. Weren’t we, were we one of the hit elements on this propaganda? What was the woman’s name, was is Spaulding or?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Spaulding, Suzanne Spaulding.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So we were criticized because we were doing stories, we were doing stories that they thought were unAmerican because we were critical. I was critical of judges. I was critical because judges had been arrested for, what was the thing in Philadelphia where they were. The pay to play.

Farron Cousins: The kids for cash thing.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I was critical of that. I was critical of some judges in another setting. So this Suzanne Spaulding, whatever her name is, who is nothing more, I mean, she comes up through the spook industry. She was with the CIA. She worked cyber CIA. And all of a sudden she’s criticizing me in public. She’s criticizing what we are doing in public saying it’s unAmerican. By God, these guys aren’t, they’re not towing the propaganda line. So now we see it’s emerging again, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It is. The Pentagon, like you said, last year, they restarted this program that is, they’re now calling it, we’re just trying to influence. Right. You know, like, you have the social media influencers. So the Pentagon says, well, hey, we can be influencers domestically and overseas. So the Intercept, Ken Klippenstein did a wonderful job uncovering this.

Mike Papantonio: On, brilliant. By the way, let me shout out to this guy. He is.

Farron Cousins: Ken Klippenstein is great.

Mike Papantonio: He is, Ken Klippenstein and Lee Fang, are brilliant. I mean, great, great reporters. He did a great job here.

Farron Cousins: He always does. And he points out, you know, after World War II, we had the Smith Mundt Act and what that said was, listen, the Pentagon, you are forbidden from engaging in propaganda.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Domestically.

Farron Cousins: Domestically. So a couple years ago, lawmakers finally said, you know what, we’ve already been doing it. So why don’t we go ahead, we’re gonna pass the Smith Mundt Modernization Act. And what it said was, okay, Pentagon, you are completely allowed to spread domestic pro US propaganda.

Mike Papantonio: Right, right.

Farron Cousins: And that’s what they restarted with this office.

Mike Papantonio: If we want this president, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna put propaganda out there to hurt the other guy like they’re doing right now with Bobby Kennedy. Hell, Bobby Kennedy can’t even get a chance to debate, whether you agree with him or not. You oughta let Williamson and Kennedy debate Biden. But right now you got the propaganda machine saying, oh no, he’s just, you know, he doesn’t deserve to debate. It’s part of domestic propaganda and domestic propaganda is really dangerous. I wanna read you, they were asked, what does this mean? Now this is word salad. This is how crazy this is. They was asked, what does this really, what is the IPMO? What does it do? What’s the scope? Well, here’s a quote. It will develop broad thematic influence, guidance and suspect focused on key adversaries, somewhat promulgated on competitive influence strategies focused on specific defense issues with direct subordinate planning efforts for the conduct of influence related sub activities. And fill existing gaps in policy oversight governance integration related to influence and perception management. Hell, it sounds like Kamala Harris, it sounds like Kamala Harris wrote the thing. That’s word salad. Somebody trying to say, what does this mean? Did you get anything outta that?

Farron Cousins: Just those last two words, perception management.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Because that’s what they’re after. Not just here in the US but even abroad. You know, the Intercept got ahold of a memo from last year where the Pentagon actually laid out, you know, to their private folks how this works. And it basically says, all right, listen, country A wants something from country B, but you know country C doesn’t want country B to have it. So what we do is we go out there and we say, hey, listen, you know, country C, country B, they’re not so bad. We’re gonna push these news stories. We’re gonna, even if it’s fake, it says, even if it’s fake.

Mike Papantonio: Even if it’s, I was just gonna add, they don’t differentiate. It’s okay to do it if it’s fake. Your point is this, perception management equals propaganda.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Now let me, what if. What if you have, now this is run by the Pentagon and the White House, obviously, you know, it all ties together. So all of a sudden you have a candidate running for president who is against the Ukraine War. Okay. Get the hell outta Ukraine. You got somebody who says, we’re spending too much on military, we gotta cut back on military. You got these cats that have the ability to create domestic propaganda. What do you think they’re gonna do with that?

Farron Cousins: Well, I think a lot of it even more powerful than domestically is running those types of stories over in Ukraine. Like, hey, listen, here’s this guy running for president over here in the US. He doesn’t like what we’re doing for you guys. He doesn’t like that we’re helping you.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: You know, what do you think of that? Hey, you know, Saudi Arabia, here’s this person running for president that thinks we shouldn’t be giving you all these weapons.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And, so that is where this really becomes so disturbing because they can shape US influence by acting with their foreign counterparts because the foreign counterparts, as we know, are also running propaganda here in the US.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean, look, you may or not agree with this. I’m 100% sure of it. We saw that happen with the Russia story. The Russia, a non-story became a story. It was driven by domestic propaganda. Now, when you have that domestic propaganda that’s looking at candidates and they’re saying, you know, this candidate really is not on our side. He doesn’t want more missile spending. He doesn’t want us involved in Ukraine. He doesn’t want us involved in South America or South or Africa. You know what? They’re gonna go after that guy and it’s gonna be the fake news that they say is completely all right. The story can be fake according to them. That’s the reality we’re working on. It’s 1984 on steroids, my friend.

Last week, the Supreme Court handed a massive victory to corporations by ruling that striking union members can be held financially liable for any damages that company suffers. Okay. This, wow, this was eight to one, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, eight US Supreme Court judges said, yeah. Now lay the story out so people can better understand it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. What happened is, in 2017, you had this concrete company, Glacier Northwest, the Teamsters Union was working with Glacier management, you know, let’s get this worked out, otherwise our workers are gonna have to go on strike. They couldn’t come to a deal for better conditions for the workers. So the Teamsters strike, but the strike had already happened after a specific workday had begun. So all the concrete trucks that already had the mixed up concrete get driven back to the company so the workers can go on strike. Now, Glacier was able to get the concrete out. There was no damage to the trucks at all. But they said in their filing to the court, they said, well, gee, court, look at all this concrete that is now wasted. That cost us some money here, and we want the workers to have to pay for this used up concrete.

Mike Papantonio: Isn’t the next step, I mean, it’s in little tiny steps. Okay. First of all, we’re talking about an item. We’re talking about concrete. We’re talking about something as tangible as a truck, concrete that’s been destroyed in their argument. What about the intangible? What about, hey judge, when they did this, we tried to work with them. They wouldn’t work with us. Our company lost $800 million in the process. Now they know this, they know the Teamster Unions, and these unions have a lot of money. They understand it’s a deep pocket. And that’s what’s, it’s much like a SLAPP suit is what’s happening here, Farron, it’s very similar to a SLAPP suit. If we take ’em to court and we punish them, and they know that if you’re a Teamster Union, that they may have $10 billion accessible. Right?

And so they know I’m gonna go after those deep pockets, but more importantly, I’m going to chill. It’s gonna be a chilling effect. They’re gonna think twice before they even go on strike. Especially, especially if you get to the point, which I think could happen in the future, to where they’re saying, well, this is our real loss. Yeah. We lost the truck. We lost concrete. But what if it evolves, what if it evolves and says, well, we lost $800 million because these creeps wouldn’t listen to it? They wouldn’t come to the table and negotiate with us. Isn’t that where it goes?

Farron Cousins: It is. And I’ll tell you where else it goes, you know, a step further from that, because not only was that concrete for the day lost, but what about where the concrete was going? What about that business owner? Oh, no, now I don’t get my concrete, so I can’t finish my building on time. So now I will get to sue the, and I guarantee you that’s coming.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: We will see all of the people.

Mike Papantonio: Third parties.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. All the people along the lines. And this Supreme Court, again, as you said, eight to one. Only justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, excuse me, voted against it. She said, we shouldn’t even legally be able to look at this because it hasn’t gone through the National Labor Relations Board. She’s the only one who knows what the hell she’s doing.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I think unions in this country have a lot more to worry about. I mean, you’ve got the Democrats who get all this money from the unions, get tons of money, but the Democrats, you know, they’re bringing as many immigrants as they can. And these people are replacing jobs for low pay. And so that’s something that the Democrats need sit eye to eye with unions and say, this is what our plan is. Yes, it helps the economy, it helps the US GDP to bring ’em in. But you gotta understand it’s gonna hurt you in the long run. They haven’t even had that conversation. And unions keep throwing out money, more money to Democrats.

Farron Cousins: Well, and unions need to understand too, that in a lot of instances, obviously Judge Jackson is a different story with Biden. But a lot of the judges the Democrats are pointing out there are just as bad as those Republicans.

Mike Papantonio: Well, you know, I’m in court all the time. I mean, this is what I do for a living. And everybody thinks, oh, well, Obama made such great appointments. They were so much better than Bush. Bush made terrible appointments. Trump made terrible appointments. I can’t even put my hand around, my arms around how bad some of the Obama judges are. I mean, I just, because they come from corporate America, you see. They were, they represented corporations. They were silk stocking white collar lawyers that represented white collar criminals. Only money they’ve made, most of these appointments that Obama made came from the big defense firms, the silk stocking defense firms. They have nothing in common with consumers. Are they good on social issues? Yeah, they’re good. But how about issues that affect people’s pocketbooks? Terrible. Terrible. And I gotta tell you, people don’t understand that. They, oh, well, you know, if Obama made the appointment, they must be good. That ain’t like it. It’s not how it is.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Former Vice President Mike Pence is officially running for president, even though he’s never been able to break out of the single digits of any polls. Is this a story, first of all, before we do this story? Is this a story?

Farron Cousins: I think it is. I think, you know, we’ve got a crowded Republican field and this idiot thinks that he is, he’s the guy that is gonna come along and save the Republicans.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Okay.

Farron Cousins: He is suffering from, I think, probably the worst delusions of grandeur compared to any of these other people on the Republican side. And I do think it’s hilarious because I’ll say this, Mike Pence thinks that there is an audience for him in that Republican base.

Mike Papantonio: Where is it? It’s, what is it, 6% right now that say, it’s only 6% of the Republicans that say, yeah, I got something in common with this guy.

Farron Cousins: He’s polling worse than Liz Cheney and she’s not even running for president, although she hasn’t ruled it out. But I mean, a guy at 6% who’s been at 6% for a year, he knows he’s got the stink of Trump still on him. So he can’t appeal to the normal people, and the MAGA base hates him because they think he’s a traitor.

Mike Papantonio: You know, one thing I think he’s doing that I think is pretty smart, actually, he’s running against Kamala Harris. His, he’s saying Kamala Harris is gonna be the president of the United States if the Democrats win, Joe Biden ain’t gonna make it. So when he talks about it, he’s literally talking about, I’m really running against Kamala Harris because if Joe Biden wins, Kamala Harris is gonna be president of the United States. You think, I think we’re gonna see more candidates doing that. Now that’s one, you know, does it mean anything? He’s at 6%. Does that change the dynamics of the election? I think more candidates are gonna take that position and saying, why do you think you’re running against Joe Biden?

Farron Cousins: Well, here’s what I think too. Mike Pence right now, yeah, he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. But things are happening right now. There’s obviously a lot of legal things happening with Trump. We’re, you know, looking at indictments possibly twice by the end of the summer. That could affect Trump. Maybe it doesn’t. DeSantis is flaming out faster than anybody we’ve ever seen. Maybe not as fast as Jeb Bush. But then he is still in third place. And then suddenly, if Trump gets knocked out or, you know, gets convicted, DeSantis is out. Suddenly it’s Pence. Pence does scare me. I mean, he doesn’t scare me at 6%. But if you think back to that vice presidential debate, actually both of them that he participated in, he’s a good debater. He’s not bad on tv. He is intelligent, he’s evil. But he can hold a conversation. He can come up with talking points.

Mike Papantonio: He’s a smart man. No, he’s a smart man.

Farron Cousins: And, well, he came from conservative radio. So he knows how to do it. He knows how to talk to people. So keeping him at 6% or lower, is in the best interest of the country.

Mike Papantonio: What do you think of the Kamala Harris approach that these candidates, you’re gonna see it more and more. I mean, every time Joe Biden falls down or can’t, you know, stumbles up the steps of the Air Force One, you’re gonna hear more, guys, we’re not running against Joe Biden. We’re running against Kamala Harris. What do you say next week we take a look at Kamala Harris.

Farron Cousins: We can do that, absolutely.

Mike Papantonio: All right. Faron Cousins, thanks for joining me.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week. But all of these segments will be available throughout next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where every week we tell you stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t allow for it or 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.