Supercreator Daily: The For the People Act may have new life

Plus: An update on infrastructure and a special guest for this Sunday’s Supercreator Conversation.

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Welcome back to Supercreator Daily, your go-to guide to what matters at the intersection of politics, culture and creativity — and how it affects you. 

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Programming note: Supercreator Daily will return to its afternoon schedule on Monday, June 21 after a one-week experiment arriving in the morning.

It’s Thursday, June 17. Let’s catch up.

Manchin releases a list of demands on voting rights

Sen. Joe Manchin’s office circulated a three-page memo yesterday supporting at least two weeks of early voting along with provisions to get rid of partisan gerrymandering, an indication to some that the conservative Democrat is open to compromise on the For the People Act. But his memo also backs a photo-ID requirement and would enable local officials to purge voter rolls, two non-starters for several Democratic lawmakers. Manchin also opposes a provision that would curtail the influence of dark money in federal elections. And he reiterated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster, which means any bill would require buy-in from Republicans, who have weirdly branded the bill the “Fund the Politicians Act.” Senate Democrats are expected to discuss whether to consider Manchin’s demands later today. And the Seneate is expected to vote on the bill next week.

Progressives may be outvoted on infrastructure

A group of 21 Democratic and GOP senators endorsed a bipartisan infrastructure plan a day after progressive lawmakers threatened to withhold their support unless the framework includes investments in clean energy and social programs. The current proposal would exclude a tax hike for corporations and wealthy people and revamp transportation, broadband and water. Several Democrats suggested they could support the bill if they received commitments from moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to pass an expanded safety net, climate provisions and corporate tax reform through a process that enables the majority party to quickly advance high-priority fiscal legislation without the threat of a filibuster or delays due to extended debate on amendments. But Manchin rejected this request yesterday. We’re still waiting to see if Congressional leadership or the White House supports the compromise.

The Supercreator Conversation: Father’s Day edition

In this Sunday’s Supercreator Select, I’ll share a conversation with a super-special guest: My Dad! In honor of Father’s Day, Pops and I discuss what fatherhood has meant to him, what it’s like to be a parent to a son who dreams big and feels hard and our lifelong obsession with the Dallas Cowboys.

In addition to the Father’s Day convo, I’ll also share my current creative inspirations in this week’s Ask Michael and take you behind the scenes of my planning process as I focus on the big stories I’ll be following in the week ahead. Subscribe to Supercreator Select to get exclusive access.

And speaking of interviews, give my conversation with digital strategy executive Ryan Sides a read if you missed it. Ryan dropped so many gems and his charisma shines through his words. See you Sunday!

In the Know

  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he expects there should be enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for most world leaders to successfully inoculate their populations against the virus by the end of 2022. [Berkeley Lovelace Jr. / CNBC]

  • Two studies commissioned by the National Association of Realtors concluded the U.S. housing market must build at least 5.5 million new units over the next decade to accommodate demand and keep homeownership affordable for marginalized communities. [Mary Ellen Cagnassola / Newsweek]

  • President Biden’s proposed infrastructure package and his proposal to expand access to health care, college, paid leave and other services remain popular but his job rating has taken a dip as uncertainty if they’ll be passed grows. [Patrick Murray / Monmouth University]

  • Facebook sent an email to creators announcing the launch of a podcast product on June 22 that will enable hosts to link their show’s RSS feed and automatically generate News Feed posts for all episodes published moving forward. [Ashley Carman / The Verge]

  • Spotify launched Greenroom, its Clubhouse competitor that enables people to host or participate in live audio conversations. [Erin Carson / CNET]

Read All About It

Kaitlyn Tiffany at The Atlantic on how memes become money:

Now it seems obvious: Come up with an idea, a thought, a look, a feeling, or a moment, and you’ve got a piece of content that carries the possibility of money changing hands. As an approach to online interactions, this has the great benefit of being accurate. It’s true that Twitter needs people like Chang to keep people like you and me reading it, and it’s better that these facts are understood. But we might also wonder what follows from the understanding that every little thing we do—every second of our time, every funny thought that pops into our mind—is something to be owned or sold.

D. Watkins at Salon on no-knock warrants:

The logic of no knock warrants rests on the belief that cops should be allowed to retain the upper hand via the element of surprise when searching for illegal substances or when looking for suspects. They give police the power to locate their targets at their most vulnerable, and they are supposed to help avoid shootouts between police and armed criminals, along with other dangers. The problem is the power that the element of surprise allows police. When police abuse that power, they're often protected from consequences by the system, even when these searches turn up nothing. 

Lelac Almagor at The New York Times on why remote learning is a failure:

I am still bewildered and horrified that our society walked away from this responsibility, that we called school inessential and left each family to fend for itself. Meanwhile nurses, bus drivers and grocery workers all went to work in person — most of my students’ parents went to work in person — not because it was safe but because their work is essential. Spare me your “the kids are all right” Facebook memes. Some children may have learned to do laundry or enjoy nature during the pandemic. Many others suffered trauma and disconnection that will take years to repair.

Sarah Jones at Intelligencer on Amazon:

The full Times story is worth reading, if only to understand more fully what it’s like to work in an Amazon fulfillment center. But there are unavoidable political implications, too. Cities often court Amazon aggressively in the hopes the company will deliver much-needed jobs. But it’s clear, from the Times story, that Amazon has no interest in developing a stable workforce; it can afford its rate of attrition and indeed even sees turnover as part of its business plan. The idea that Amazon may also become the nation’s second-largest private employer is thus reason for concern. The company’s growth is extreme; its workplace policies, however, are nothing to envy. Maybe Amazon can maintain its priorities for the near future, worker unrest notwithstanding. But its pace isn’t so sustainable for workers. The company’s growth risks monopoly status and has clearly come at the expense of worker well-being. That’s bad news for everyone, not just the workers of JFK8.

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate on the price of no consequences for Trump:

I don’t have any prescription for how to reason with a radicalized GOP, a post-truth electorate, or a conspiracy-addled former president, nor do I harbor any illusions that tackling the problems of minority rule, racial violence, and weaponized law enforcement head on will allay the problems of creeping illiberalism. But gritting your way through it by pretending it’s not happened or happening will continue to open a bigger and bigger chasm between what we know to be true and what we want to believe. With all due respect to those who would like to continue to lecture us about the mathematically correct ratio of concern to destabilizing danger, we’ve actually done a fairly decent job of understanding that ratio intuitively all along. This is a profoundly dangerous moment, and being told to get over it is just as jarring when it comes from inside the guardrails of democracy as it was when it came from the smirking authoritarians that have been replaced. That’s why it doesn’t feel any better. If anything, gaslighting about ongoing threats to democracy might be even scarier when it comes from the very people who were supposed to protect us.

Bernadette Anderson, M.D., M.P.H. at The Grio on making room for men to be vulnerable:

Outside of grief, men receive an explicit message about crying: man up and stop it.

But if we are to create whole communities, we must reframe how we feel about men expressing emotions through tears. We cannot deny men the blessing of crying yet decry toxic masculinity. We cannot complain that men are unable to show emotion or be emotionally supportive if we condition them from childhood to withhold emotion or showcase only certain types of emotion.

If we continue to teach our male children that crying is emasculating, we will continue raising men who are unable to appropriately express themselves, and uncomfortable with displaying anything other than anger.

10. Michael’s Pick

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America by Carol Anderson ($26): I’m not really a guns guy, but this book is a riveting examination of how the Second Amendment has been weaponized to disempower and criminalize Black people.