Daily Kos presents Daily Kos Radio. Progressive politics, news & talk hosted by Contributing Editor David Waldman

Pundit-centric DC is still insistent that everything is Obama's fault because he's not offering to lead or to compromise, which fact comes into better focus if you ignore all of Obama's efforts to lead or compromise. Greg Dworkin points out the latest to fall into this trap: Bill Keller of the New York Times, who's called out on it by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. All of which just brings us back to the Upton Sinclair observation that it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. And nowhere is that more true than in Congress, where there's an entire party built on the idea of running know-nothings for office & filling in the blanks later, with the old campaign-in-a-box trick. The less your team knows when they get to Washington, the greater the chance they'll eat what you feed them. We also talked a bit about Mark Sanford's comeback bid in South Carolina, and were reminded that we ought to be talking about the leading Democrat in that race, Elizabeth Colbert Busch. So we did! After a little diversion into regional accents and their political implications, we talked about the latest and greatest in Republican Crazy: the theory of the missing "original Thirteenth Amendment." So now they hate science, history, the judicial system, and basically any metric or system of thought by which people might come to conclusions out of keeping with their wish lists. Hello. Upton Sinclair. Thank you. And just to recap the economic discussion from yesterday, and add a fresh approach via The Atlantic today, this applies to the complete failure to produce job growth even after conceding the entire conservative economic wish list, as well. Ta-da!

Direct download: March_5_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

Back from the weekend, filled as usual with plenty of #GunFAIL shootings. Greg Dworkin joined us this morning with news of the punditry's discovery that Republicans aren't particularly serious about governing. Not that it's changed anything. It's all still somehow the President's fault, for failing to lead the un-leadable. We also give a hat tip to friend of the show Twigg, who gave us a nice shout out in a Daily Kos diary! Then, a read through a NYT piece on how the recovery is lifting corporate profits to record levels but not adding jobs. Gee whiz! Why aren't things trickling down? And hey, remember when Mitt Romney tried to make political hay out of the President saying "the private sector is doing fine"? Weird! Yeah, we spent a little time on that one! (Including a brief musical interlude from The Union Electric.) Finally, we wrap up with the outrageous story of the Malaysian government payoffs to conservative bloggers in exchange for positive press (and negative press for their opposition). Time for a blogger ethics panel!

Direct download: March_4_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:54pm EST

It's March! Happy Sequester Day, everyone! The sequester no longer "looms." It's reality, and with the sun rising in the East, it's a little anti-climactic, as well. Greg Dworkin joined us this morning to talk about our current favorite topics. Besides the sequester, those favorites include government-by-stupid, false equivalence fetishism, the death of the Hastert Rule, and conservatives vs. liberals on interrelationships among issues and policies in general. Other topics: NRO does some victim-blaming on rape in the military (where they have guns), even as conservatives suggest guns will solve the same problem on college campuses. E.J. Dionne and Greg Sargent's recent columns on sequester madness and false equivalence memes. A Utah legislator introduces a bill that would give parents the right to find out if their childrens' teachers are exercising their right to carry concealed weapons into the classroom. And gun rights advocates find this offensive and tyrannical. Armando called in to discuss the continuing Bob Woodward madness, and remind us of the time when Woodward didn't seem to mind the administration threatening the livelihood of people like Valerie Plame. We also looked forward, realizing that even if they settle the sequester issue in some way, we'll be looking at a government shutdown at the end of March, absent negotiating our way through yet another hostage situation as the current continuing resolution expires on March 27th! Finally, one more look back at that Utah bill, and what it tells us about the way conservatives approach rights they like versus those they don't.

Direct download: March_1_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43am EST

Today's topics: the sequester, guns and false equivalence. Greg Dworkin joined us to talk about United Physicians of Newtown's recognition in the traditional media, the dynamics of the gun conversation in general, and as regards the sequester, the continuing media penchant for false equivalency. Other hot topics: the Bob Woodward blow-up, today's most outrageous #GunFAIL examples, and an extensive look at false equivalency and the emerging hotness of editorializing against it. Jennifer Rubin "fans" in particular will delight in her roasting by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf.

Direct download: February_28_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:19pm EST

Greg Dworkin joined us this morning to congratulate Tom Tomorrow on his 2013 Herblock Prize! We also had other things to discuss, but that was a great way to start the day! From there, we went on to the sequester, Speaker Boehner's puzzling insistence that the Senate "get off its ass," and the equally puzzling fact that the Senate Republicans' inability to settle on what they'd offer as an alternative is preventing Senate Democrats from being able to present their own alternative. Why would that be? It's our friend, the filibuster. And if you're having trouble seeing the connection, we lay it out for you. Taking a look at the Congressional schedule, we discuss the status of the Violence Against Women Act in the House, and how the Senate comes to find itself facing yet another cloture vote on a motion to proceed. Did you think we'd taken care of that in what passed for filibuster reform earlier in the year? I'll explain why that might not be working in this case. We had to check in on the latest in #GunFAIL, of course, then add a little more data to the cars vs. guns canard, the legislative and lobbying machine behind so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws, the nutter arrested for threatening the life of a pro-gun control legislator, and a look at the way authorities in Asheville, NC went out of their way to accommodate Second Amendment protesters who just sort of felt like breaking local laws to prove how law-abiding they are.

Direct download: February_27_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:47pm EST

Nothing pairs better with technical difficulties than still more technical difficulties. But live streaming or no, you can't keep a podcast down. So here we are! Greg Dworkin joined us to set up the day's discussion of the looming sequester, and the continuing traditional media insistence that the fault lies somewhere other than where the data says people are placing it. This morning's edition of The Fix tells us that far fewer people are closely watching the sequester as compared with the numbers of those who closely watched the Fiscal Thingy, even though they set up pretty much exactly the same way. Why? Perhaps because the Fiscal Thingy included the dreaded "T" word (taxes), whereas the sequester is about spending cuts, and most people like to think the government isn't spending money on them, anyway. That opened the door for a far-ranging discussion of why some people seem to have such difficulty understanding their position in an interconnected world (and therefore tend to become Republicans), whereas for others, the understanding comes much more naturally (and they therefore tend to become Democrats). Where do we see this dichotomy played out? Everywhere, from privatization of government services to how we make policy decisions on financial regulatory reform, to, well, everything else. But the financial regulation story is an easy one to understand, and a Bloomberg editorial we discussed makes that surprisingly clear. What does that portend for the future? And does the crazy story surrounding Jack Lew's contract with former employer Citibank fit in as a piece of this puzzle? A surprisingly coherent show, given the technical circumstances!

Direct download: February_26_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:54am EST

It's Monday of the last week left before sequestration kicks in. Congress has nothing on the schedule about it, but that doesn't always mean they aren't working on things in the background. Only this time, there's a significant part of the Congress dedicated to the proposition that nothing ought to be done, not to mention that the traditional media's pundits often define political bravery (or "Seriousness") in terms of your willingness to do the things people very clearly don't want done. Greg Dworkin talked with us about how different the Senate and House Republicans are in their approaches to crises like the sequester, and how David Brooks was finally called to account by others among the punditariat for continuing to blindly insist that both sides were refusing compromise. He also told us about the new group, United Physicians of Newtown, pushing to restore the ability of government agencies to collect public health data related to guns and gun violence, a reexamination of cultural norms relating to the same, a renewed emphasis on access to mental health care, and endorsing gun safety measures. Afterwards: we read through a fun post on language manipulation from Daily Kos community member jurassicpork, noted the interesting data gathered by the state of Minnesota on gun usage by its concealed carry permit holders, referred to a recent report showing that tax treatment of capital gains is the single biggest contributor to growing income inequality, and rounded up news related to the last-minute sequester scramble.

Direct download: February_25_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm EST

It's Friday, and that's #GunFAIL day. Greg Dworkin told us about yesterday's gun policy forum in Connecticut, including the participation of Vice President Biden, and noting the odd angle taken on it by the press, which emphasized Biden's "pleading" for the passage of the more controversial arms of a proposed gun violence reduction package. That's another symptom of the continuing media obsession with horse race politics, even as so many journalists cry out for a return to substance. Whatever! Next story arch: conservative cognitive dissonance, in the persons of David Brooks and Orrin Hatch. Each has a completely separate and distinct delusion with respect to the looming sequester. Also: a read through a New York Times story on creeping "degree inflation" in the job marketplace, a new angle on problems posed by the brave new world of 3D printing, the FBI raid on The Scooter Store, and some great points from Dave Johnson about the push for postal service privatization.

Direct download: February_22_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:11pm EST

More technical difficulties today, but less delay as a result. This is progress! Greg Dworkin had a new crop of polls for us that say the President's popularity is rising to new highs while that of Republicans is falling to new lows, and to top it all off, Republicans are on the losing end of issues like the sequester, immigration and more. Time to compromise! So what's up with this sequester thing, anyway? David Frum asked yesterday why, if all agree that the sequester is a mistake, why it's being allowed to go forward. And the answer is that in Washington, a mistake that you think you can pin on the other side is a mistake worth making. Sure, the polling says Republicans can't pin this one on Democrats, but that's probably skewed, right? And just like the supposedly wise "business leaders" Republicans think would make such great stewards of the economy, it may turn out that many of them are actually economic kamikazes. So what's in store under the sequester? We review last weekend's New York Times editorial running down the impact, and it's an ugly picture. And of course, we spend some time embellishing that picture by tying in some of our recent discussion threads, just to round things out. We also added a mini #GunFAIL roundup, with the most egregious stories of the past day or two, a short clip from Gideon on the interesting development in the scientific world of "pre-registration" of a prominent neuroscience study, some observations on Senate paralysis (including the endgame on Hagel), and we wrapped up with mention of new polling out of California showing that ousting obstructionist Republicans from state government appears to have convinced more voters there that their government is finally on the right track again. Interesting!

Direct download: February_21_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am EST

Wednesday is Technical Difficulties Day on the show. It's a new tradition I just started. We did get the show underway eventually, however, and Greg Dworkin joined us to talk about the Derp of the Day: NY Daily News' Dan Friedman owning up to having inadvertently started the Hagel "Friends of Hamas" rumor, and Breitbart.com having run with it and defended it as an accurate story. We also revisited the issue of that Florida gag law preventing pediatricians from asking questions about gun safety at home. That became a wider discussion of how gun rights advocates are reading brand new privacy rights into the Second Amendment, even as courts appear to be chipping away at privacy rights elsewhere, demonstrating once again how Second Amendment interpretation left in the hands of lay people is somehow magically moving in the exact opposite direction of the jurisprudence on everything else. Also: skull-jarringly stupid #GunFAIL stories that just can't wait until Friday; an  interesting Wall Street Journal column from a liberal gun owner calling on "gun guys" to make gun safety--real gun safety, like where smaller numbers of people accidentally shoot themselves and others--cool again, and; a look at the claim some states are making that the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform law is unconstitutional. Why not? Isn't everything? Finally, Teh Crazy of Teh Ted Cruz.

Direct download: February_20_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:20pm EST

We're back from the Presidents Day holiday weekend, and wouldn't you know that guns continue to make headlines? As usual, they tie everything together for us, one way or another. Greg Dworkin joined us to talk about the weekend's kerfuffle surrounding the lack of access for White House correspondents to the President's round of golf with Tiger Woods, and also some other Very Important stuff. Like the reemergence of the Simpson-Bowles axis, along with No Labels and Fix the Debt, which, apparently because they wrap themselves in a veneer of "non-partisanship," are now eligible for outright media cheerleading. The No Labels mention led us to mention that the CEO of Panera Bread was among their founders, which led us to a Huffington Post article about labor practices and union busting at Panera. Who would have guessed the two would go hand in hand? Can we tie that to the gun issue? Sure we can! You'll have to listen in to see how, but from there, we get down to the Missouri state house to check in on the craziest piece of gun legislation yet proposed, which would make it illegal to propose gun legislation that the proponent of this bill doesn't like. Because Constitution! From there, some more random gun notes, including the story of elevated lead levels and lead poisoning indications among gun range workers in Washington state and even construction workers doing expansion work there! While we're tying stories together, how about the news that the tobacco industry and anti-smoking groups both think the ACA's provision allowing insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50% more is beyond the pale? What about letting insurers do the work of gun violence control, while we're at it? And just for good measure, another mention of 3D printing and guns, this time related to last week's State of the Union address. A little bit of everything, all tied together by the guns we're all so crazy for.

Direct download: February_19_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:44am EST

It's Friday, so it's time for publication of the next installment in the GunFAIL series. Greg Dworkin tells us about an upcoming PBS Frontline episode on the events of 12/14, including a somewhat more sympathetic portrait of Nancy Lanza, mother of the shooter. Next, the incredible meteorite strike in Russia, and just why there's so much in-car dashboard video of it! And speaking of wide adoption of mobile media technology, it's a factor in stories as different in kind as the recent cruise ship stranding and the Republican Party's (so far failed) attempts to remake itself in modern form. After a run through this week's GunFAIL listings, a round-up of Congressional activity, such as it is, including another granular look at the claims by Republicans that they're not filibustering the Hagel nomination, what such a claim might mean, and whether we're likely to see changes in the way Harry Reid approaches filibusters (and/or reform) in the future. Lastly, brief discussions of Sen. Frank Lautenberg's retirement announcement, and how John McCain's explanations for the Hagel blockade are shifting.

Direct download: February_15_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm EST

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Here's hoping your partner doesn't shoot you. Happy Valentine's Day! Greg Dworkin chimes in with a collection of stories about the post-election efforts of pollsters to recalibrate the machinery, including their likely voter models, plus some speculation on the crack-up of the Republican Party. Guns are, of course, still in the news, with banner headlines about South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a New York Times piece about guns and suicides, and Wayne LaPierre's latest ravings. We also dive into Ari Berman's coverage of the appointment of Ben Ginsburg to President Obama's voting rights commission, and FreeThoughtBlogs.com dissection of the ridiculous claim that there were no gun accidents in the time of the Founders. Lastly, a run-down on just exactly how Congress will be doing their daily ration of nothing.

Direct download: February_14_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

The President delivered his State of the Union address last night. But also, Marco Rubio drank some water in a funny way! And I don't blame anybody for focusing on that. In fact, to prove the point, I focused on it a bit, myself! Greg Dworkin reminded us that the President actually said things worth paying attention to last night, including of course, his insistence that the victims of gun violence in this country deserve a vote on proposals to bring that violence under some control. The newfangled dial-testing showed the President gaining ground, approval-wise, across the board. Then, a further examination of the parallels between the availability of non-lethal weaponry to an increasingly aggressive police force, and the availability of low-risk strike capability to an increasingly aggressive national security complex. Plus more side discussion about the increasing disparity in the way even aggressive police forces treat 2nd Amendment protest versus 1st Amendment protest. Then Armando joined the discussion for a further look into where we've gone on national security since the post-Watergate revolution. Finally, we wrap up with a brief #GunFAIL update, and the absurd notion entertained among gun rights conservatives that somehow, the Founders never experienced such accidents.

Direct download: February_13_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:11pm EST

It's State of the Union day, so everyone's preoccupied with discussing what the President should or shouldn't say, and whether or not it can possibly mean anything, no matter what he ends up saying. Greg Dworkin joined us to remind us that yes, there is polling that can inform us on what should probably be included, and what sort of reaction the President can expect on those issues. And what can he expect? He can expect to be taken to task for not being nice enough to Republicans, who meanwhile have invited Ted Nugent to attend the speech, and give zero indication of any willingness to even cognitively process (much less accept) anything he has to offer. He should also expect that this refusal on the part of Republicans will lead to "reasonable, centrist" calls for him to meet Republicans in the middle. Sigh. How do we know this? In the case of the rank and file, it's what the polling tells us. In the case of the "elites," there's what Jennifer Rubin tells us. Which is that she finds it nauseating and disgusting that President Obama recounted having met the Pope, because that makes his statement on the Pope's decision to step down "all about him." Sure! Why not? Then, we do a procedural fact check on a Politico piece that says Chuck Hagel would be just the third cabinet nominee to have to overcome a filibuster. Is that true? Insert standard answer about Senate rules here: "yes and no." Next, some interesting SOTU meta: aisle-seat-hogging Members of Congress, and how Members get on TV, assembly line-style, after the speech. How about a sports diversion? The International Olympic Committee is set to axe wrestling from the 2020 games, but keep the Modern Pentathlon! Hello? Armando couldn't wait for The 11 Show to get a piece of that conversation! We wrap up with the story of Spring City, Utah's attempt at passing a local ordinance recommending that every home in the community have a firearm, and everyone undergo free, city sponsored gun safety classes. Hey, that's socialism!

Direct download: February_12_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:08pm EST

We're back from the weekend, but the Pope isn't. Greg Dworkin joined us for his regular segment, noting that Republicans still haven't wrapped their heads around the fact that they lost the election. That gave us a chance for a little explainer on what remains of the Senate hold, especially with respect to executive nominations, as Republicans attempt to stand in the way of the Hagel and Brennan appointments. And just for fun, did the weekend blizzard in the Northeast perhaps have implications for the 2016 presidential race? Then, an update on the latest #GunFAIL news, and a nod to the traditional media outlets like the New York Times and NBC news who are picking up the ball and running with it when it comes to giving wider and deeper coverage to the prevalence of gun violence and gun deaths in this country. Armando came in briefly to remind us today's the 7th anniversary of Harry Whittington unconscionably putting his face in the way of Dick Cheney's shotgun. Breaking news of the shooting in the Delaware courthouse broke through into the discussion as well. To wrap up, a look ahead at the week in Congress, through the headlines in Monday's edition of The Hill.

Direct download: February_11_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:07pm EST

We wrap up the week with visits from Greg Dworkin, Armando Llorens and Gideon. The ex-cop in LA now on a revenge-driven shooting spree, and the seemingly insane LAPD response that's hospitalized a few innocent bystanders! Greg updates us on super-early horse race numbers in the primary race jockeying for president in 2016, analysis of recent gun polling, and David Brooks on drones. Thankfully, it isn't Brooks who has the last word on that subject. Armando filled in for a segment outlining his thinking on the legalities of drone policy, previewing his upcoming Sunday Kos piece. Also: a few of my own observations on drones, the wacko smoothie shop guy whose stunt of charging liberals more for their drinks recently made the news, and a preview of the next #GunFAIL installment. Finally, another visit with Gideon, and his salient points on drone warfare, and how we make decisions on it, as well as how we register our protest with those decisions.

Direct download: February_8_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:30pm EST

New issues polling round-up from Greg Dworkin today, including new data on gun policy, with some surprising breakdowns in demographics by age, of all things. Next up, Daily Kos Contributing Editor Steven Andrew, aka DarkSyde, with a review of the science news headlines, plus the fascinating tale of his own recent heart attack and recovery! Then, a few words about Republican drama queen Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his penchant for hyperbole, this time on potential defense spending cuts under sequestration. And finally, another visit with GideonAB, for a wide-ranging discussion touching on grassroots support for progressive leadership, campaign finance reform, and more.

Direct download: February_7_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EST

An informative follow-up with Greg Dworkin today on the complex issues squashed (before being enjoined by the courts, anyway) by the blunt instrument of Florida's NRA-backed docs gag rule on firearms. Yet another opportunity for people on both sides of the debate to recognize the subtleties of the issue. So weird, though, that people so demand deference to the complexities they like, yet seem so eager to bulldoze those that are inconvenient! Next, we returned to Sarah Jaffe's fascinating look at the "emotional labor" demanded of service workers (and increasingly, from everyone). We weren't able to connect with Gideon today, but we did hear from yuriwho, raising the issue of the KeystoneXL pipeline, and this Daily Kos diary connecting it with the Republican blocking of Susan Rice for Secretary of State. We'll have to revisit that one! Also, we discussed Laura Clawson's coverage of the arrest of a construction firm owner in connection with the NY Attorney General's accusations of wage theft, and the vast array of issues that interesting bit of news brings up.

Direct download: February_6_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:02pm EST

Guns N' Meta today. Greg Dworkin joined us as usual, to discuss the curious issue of pediatricians being banned in Florida (and perhaps elsewhere) from "harassing" parents (whatever that may mean) about the presence of guns in the home, and the safety issues associated with them. Then, a Daily Kos meta-fest with special guest Gideon, wherein we reflected on Greg's analysis of the Florida law, threw out a few ideas for filibuster reform, and even got into the ins and outs of the moderation of discussions on Daily Kos! In between Greg and Gideon (and afterwards, as well), we teed up a few issues we'll no doubt revisit in the days to come: revelations about Justice Department memos purporting to establish legal grounds for targeted killings of suspects connected to terrorism, and the strange (though admittedly less dire) demands for "emotional labor," especially from low-wage service workers.

Direct download: February_5_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:54pm EST

Lots of discussion on today's show, first with Greg Dworkin in his regular spot at the top of the show, and then with UK fan Gideon. Very much a guns and "inside baseball" program today, as we discussed some of the latest incidents of gun violence in the news, the state of play for legislative initiatives on gun policy, filibuster reform, etc. And having finally seen Lincoln, lots of talk about how though times may change, political dynamics sometimes stay very much the same. What ought we expect to pass? For what should we be pushing even though it won't, at least right now? And Gideon tells us a little bit about how all this looks from overseas, too.

Direct download: February_4_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:45am EST

Happy February! New (and newly revised) job figures are out, and Meteor Blades joined us during Greg Dworkin's regular morning segment to talk it over, and Greg brought us up to date of the latest polling on gun policy issues. And yes, it turned into a gun-oriented show today. We reviewed some of the stories compiled in the GunFAIL III post, plus some quick Internet research on accidental firearms discharges in schools by the armed police guards, known as School Resource Officers, posted there over the years. Plus one rather amazing story of a University of Florida student shot while sleeping, by a contract security officer whose accidental shot pierced the student's apartment wall! There's a whole lot more crazy out there than we first imagined!

Direct download: February_1_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:19pm EST

Yep, we talked about guns again today. Greg Dworkin took us through the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, which included yesterday's Senate gun policy hearing as well as Newtown's town hall on the subject, plus the "controversy" over whether or not 12/14 parents were heckled in the hearings in the state capital the other day. The crazy stories keep pouring in, too. A hunting accident that ended up shooting a kid on a school bus in the back, for instance. And five people who've dropped or forgotten their guns in bathrooms in the space of a month! We also took a look at TPM's reporting on the movement to nullify federal gun laws, and The New Republic's on how to build better gun policy. Then we checked in on the economy, looking at the connection between government spending cuts and the 4th quarter contraction, and the looming sequestration, and a peek at what's new and coming up later at Daily Kos.

Direct download: January_31_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:39pm EST

A little gun news, a little economic news, and a little pundit #FAIL news. (OK, a lot.) Greg Dworkin had polling for us from NY and PA on proposed gun policies, as well as NY Gov. Cuomo's approval ratings in the wake of policy changes in that state. Armando joined in to discuss the latest numbers on the economy, plus Joe Scarborough's latest offering in Politico. Shockingly, he sides with Mika over Krugman! You don't say! We rounded up the day's crazy gun stories, including the ongoing school shooting/hostage situation in Alabama (taking place in the background of today's Senate gun policy hearing) and read Alex Seitz-Wald's rebuttal of David Mamet's terrible screed, before moving on to the thought-provoking piece by Paul Buchheit, "The Extremist Cult of Capitalism."

Direct download: January_30_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm EST

It's Tuesday, and that's a day of the week. So you know what that means! Greg Dworkin joined us to talk about the Republican efforts to become the non-stupid party, and how they're faring. David Brooks thinks they're doing a lousy job, and he's so upset about the reflexive Republican opposition to Democratic ideas, he's getting ready to start a second Republican Party that will advocate for the same ideas Democrats are pursuing, but will reflexively deny them credit. That'll fix it! Brooks thinks the stupid part of the party is Southern and Western, but Greg reminds us they live in Connecticut, too, where they turned out in force to heckle the parents of children killed on 12/14. Afterwards, we caught up with the latest in crazy gun stories, the remaining possibilities for Senate rules reform, and even some old but still surprising news from Forbes about which of the modern presidents were responsible for the biggest and smallest rates of annual growth in government spending. It's a shocker for people who hate Obama and love Reagan. Know anyone like that?

Direct download: January_29_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:47am EST

The Guns N' Filibusters storyline isn't quite finished, but we used it as an avenue for a little expansion on the subjects today. Greg Dworkin joined us for discussion of his Sunday Kos piece on moving from reference to "Sandy Hook" or "Newtown" toward "12/14" instead, as well as recent Republican attempts at joining the immigration reform debate, and the world of non-stupid parties. Afterwards, more discussion of the week's supply of #GunFAIL, and an invitation to a whole new world of #GunFAIL in the new state law in Florida forbidding localities from restricting gunfire on private property of any size. Also, the DC Circuit court's decision that appears poised to invalidate decades of practice in recess appointments. How does that fit into the current bouts of "constitutional hardball?"

Direct download: January_28_2013_2_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:16pm EST

We took a detour from the Guns N' Filibusters agenda for a while today, bringing in Prof. Ian Reifowitz, author of Obama's America: A Transformative View of Our National Identity, to review the themes of the President's second inaugural address. How has the President done so far in fulfilling the vision? How can we evaluate his progress and our own? And in what ways might the work be continued after he leaves office? But for those of you craving your daily dose of Guns N' Filibusters, we were also joined by Greg Dworkin and Meteor Blades at the top of the show, and you can get your fill of post-deal wrap-up on filibuster reform at the close.

Direct download: January_25_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:32pm EST

Guns N' Filibusters: the Encore! That's still where the big news is for us. Greg Dworkin brought us the latest polling on gun policy proposals. Interest and intensity both remain high, post-Newtown. Armando took over the reins for a few minutes, and stayed with us to discuss the filibuster's state of play. With details emerging about a weakened compromise agreement on filibuster reform, we discussed the likely wins and losses, how the reforms might really work, and what's still left to do. Long time listeners know that filibuster reform has historically been a long, long game, and that concessions (both small and large) are only won when the other side sees that you're poised to do much, more more. Why keep fighting? Is it worth it? And is there really any win here at all? Yes. And you should listen to find out exactly what!

Direct download: January_24_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:02pm EST

Guns N' Filibusters. It's a band name, and you can have it. More on why it can be so difficult to bargain over gun rights. Not only do all gun owners think they're responsible... until they're not, but all gun owners think they're law abiding gun owners... until they're not. And it'd be easy if they'd recognize that circumstances can change, and cause us to view their actions in a new light. But too often, they reject the possibility that they were irresponsible, just as they reject the legitimacy of the laws they might break. But the big focus today was on the state of play in filibuster reform as reported in The Hill, which quoted Sen. Carl Levin as saying he was uncomfortable with the constitutional option, and that he was joined in that view by former Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden. That gave us a chance to dust off the Gold/Gupta history of the 1975 filibuster reform, and reveal that Kennedy actually spoke persuasively in favor of its viability. In fact, he voted consistently for the pro-constitutional option position in all the 1975 maneuvering, as well. (FYI: Biden's record was mixed, though he voted pro-constitutional option at least twice.) A fascinating dive into the weeds if you're a history and/or procedure buff!

Direct download: January_23_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:21pm EST

Our first podcast of the Second Barack Obama administration! Greg Dworkin joined us to take note of the major themes of the President's inaugural address, the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and some mile markers along the arc of history. "Gun Appreciation Day" was marked this past Saturday, and enthusiasts celebrated by shooting themselves and others at three different gun shows around the country. In fact, at least 90 Americans appreciated their guns in ways that killed, injured or just plain scared their fellow Americans to death on Saturday, leaving at least 34 dead and 65 wounded in 34 states and the District of Columbia. We spent our second hour on filibuster reform, recapping reports that Harry Reid may be backing away from the "talking filibuster" or even from the use of the constitutional option. But there may be other reforms just as powerful if not more powerful that are under consideration. We talked with Armando about what they were, how they'd work, which of them might be likely to make it to the floor, and under what circumstances any of them might pass.

Direct download: January_22_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:05pm EST

Greg Dworkin with yet more polling on guns, and evidence of a shift in intensity with which opinions are held on this issue, which may explain how and why Newtown has shifted the ground. Armando joined in to help set up the main event of the day: a follow-up interview with Mike Hummel, aka bluebarnstormer from Daily Kos (and Twitter, as well). Mike is the former Hostess bakery worker who's helped us understand the ground truth of the strike situation and the eventual shuttering of Hostess from the workers' point of view. And I know this will shock some of you, but the traditional media somehow skipped some enormously important details that'll change your mind about what happened there, if all you happened to hear was that a bunch of unreasonable and ornery workers took your Twinkies away. Mike has put out another great explainer, this time in video format, and the more you hear about the situation (and the more dots we connect with him), the clearer things become about just who got away with what in this nonsense.

Direct download: January_18_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

What the hell is everyone talking about the football player's non-existent girlfriend for? Don't know, but it sounds wacky, so that's good enough for us. Greg Dworkin brought us some new polling on gun issues, and we talked about the many, many definitional issues that present problems to all sides in the policy debate. Sticking for the moment with the gun theme: Wayne LaPierre's call at the NRA's 1999 post-Columbine convention for gun-free school zones, which he now actually blames for the Newtown shootings. (Though in '99, he said he could actually prove gun-free schools would make people safer than anything else anyone else was proposing. He really said that!) A follow-up on one of the accidental shooting deaths we covered, this time the 7-year-old boy accidentally shot by his dad's gun while he was buckling himself into his safety seat in dad's truck. The local DA has opted not to charge dad with carrying without a license. Next, we addressed some lingering questions about where Harry Reid is on filibuster reform, thanks to some insightful questioning from listener Doctor Who. Finally, we welcomed David Nir back to the show to talk about the despicable record of Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-05), and why he continues to position himself as a Democratic outlier, despite hailing from a solidly blue district. What's up with this guy?

Direct download: January_17_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:01pm EST

Lots of gun talk today, in anticipation of an announcement from the White House. Greg Dworkin joined us for a discussion of the crazy-ass NRA ad everybody is talking about, the prospects for legislation, and the politics & political coverage of executive action, including the descent into Jay Rosen's "Church of the Savvy," where the gun policy issue becomes one about "perceptions," covered horserace style. Also in today's show: A discussion of the history of debt ceiling votes in Congress, including the now dormant "Gephardt Rule." Firearms Derangement Syndrome, and the asymmetrical ways in which the left and right play "constitutional hardball" on gun issues. Armando returned to the "air" for a discussion of the debt ceiling, the death of The Coin, and Speaker Boehner's loss of control over the House. And a reading of Bush II Treasury official Tony Fratto's Twitter explanation of why simply "prioritizing" payments won't really stave off default.

Direct download: January_16_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:34pm EST

Just had to let you know about the nutters' plan to establish their own walled city in Northern Idaho, in case you were interested in moving there. Greg Dworkin apparently isn't, as he let us know when he joined us to catch us up on the latest polling on the various gun policy proposals being floated. The data, it seems, supports the theory that the Newtown shootings just might be different from all the rest, and we might actually see something happen in the policy arena as a result. The timing is important, given that the Vice President's task force on gun policy is due to submit its work to the President today. In other news, Sandy relief hits the House floor today, and the Republican-dominated Rules Committee is protecting the bill from most of the amendments proposed by Republicans to slash the spending in the bill. That gave us an oportunity to explain the role of the Committee, how and why it's used as an arm of the leadership, and just what amendments they'll be allowing on this bill. Turns out the President's budget will also be delivered late, and we can be pretty sure that will soon result in a round of recriminations and finger pointing, which is always a good time for everyone! Next, a brief roundup of Conservative Crazies, including Michele Bachmann's continued non-payment of presidential campaign staffers, yet another anti-gay crusader exposed, this time caught producing child pornography... involving her own 14-year-old daughter. And herself, of course. Because she's totally against stuff like that. Then, a look at the latest development in the burgeoning Sandy Hook Truther "movement." A wacky story out of North Las Vegas, where a cell tracking glitch is repeatedly identifying one man's house as the supposed location of lost mobile phones. And finally, discussion of a video that shows just what can happen with some of these gunslinging hero fantasies, when just one little unexpected thing goes wrong. Can you guess what happens?

Direct download: January_15_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:54am EST

Back for another Monday, and we're back with Greg Dworkin as well. We're still on the debt ceiling, Chuck Hagel, and guns. But we also threw in the "good old days" of compromise and the flu, just for good measure. The ongoing reality story of guns took no break over the weekend, so it was time to catch up with more of the most regularly predictably "unexpected" stories of flukes, mishaps, and unimaginable coincidences that ended in accidental shootings over the past few weeks. That led us to break our all-time record for mentions of the word "penis," but you knew that was going to happen eventually. You just didn't think it'd happen during a gun rant. (Or maybe you did.) Two other gun-related stories allowed us to parse some of the really tricky political science questions wrapped up in the gun debate. First, the lack of solid data about gun usage outcomes in this country, and the political machinations intended to make sure we lacked them. And second, why it's so difficult to have even an "educational" discussion with a gun ultra, and what it says about their views of society. Or "society," as the case may be. Then finally, speaking of delusional fantasies, a look at Glenn Beck's plan to build a kind of amusement park/social experiment to do... something. Something involving you giving him your money, apparently. For freedom!

Direct download: January_14_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:18pm EST

Once again overwhelmed by the gun stories! But how could I not be? First, though, a little discussion about The Coin and the expansion of executive power, before turning to the guns. And at the top of the gun discussion, the NRA's annoyance at having been asked to discuss gun issues with Vice President Biden. The nerve of some people! Then, a discussion of the couple of examples sent to me of armed citizens actually stopping a mass shooting. There really are some! But, they're a little dated, not to mention considerably fewer in number than either mass shootings or, for that matter, accidental shootings. And the latest on the accident front? A concealed carrier who shot his wife when he reached into his pocket while dining at a restaurant. A young man who shot himself in the head while demonstrating how safe his gun was. From there, it was on to the wild-eyed "Tactical" Response guy, famed for his "I'm gonna start killing people!" video. How's that for tactical? And Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "posse" turns out to have ex-felons and child sex offenders in it. Perfect! Ex-Rep. Joe Walsh joins the call for revolution, over whatever happens to be bothering you just now. Two awesomely patriotic dudes foster educational discussion by scaring the crap out of everyone in Portland. Oh, and look for the buried diversion to report the $1 million settlement against the UC Davis Pepper Spray Cops, and another look at the militarization of police in general. Happy Friday, huh?

Direct download: January_11_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:17pm EST

The gun nuts keep up busy again, today. First, one of the proprietors of one of the most popular online gun marketing outfits in the country is found shot to death in his office. Which is obviously a conspiracy against gun enthusiasts, because if it wasn't, he would have shot his attackers. Or something. Then, the story of how the NRA has vowed to defy God himself, by threatening to sue to block Tuscon, Arizona's effort to beat some swords into ploughshares. And though we didn't have Greg with us today, we reviewed his Abbreviated Pundit Roundup in his absence, touching on guns, Hagel, and the perpetual "both sides" insanity (which, of course, gets "connected" later on in the show). On filibuster reform today: filibusters for profit; a critical look at the idea that filibusters protect "minorities," and; a call for a "listening filibuster" to accompany the "talking" one. Also discussed: welfare for Wal-Mart execs; good grades for sale on states' Rhee-port cards. Crazy, right? But as Greg's roundup told us, it can't be called out lest those calling it out be branded partisans for doing so. Finally, a truly stupid Fox News Channel bit in which Eric Bolling insists a grade school exercise in the distributive property is all part of a hidden liberal agenda because it makes reference to "distributing the wealth." You know, like stock dividend payments do. Ha! Caught you, Wall Street commies!

Direct download: January_10_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

Another dual-guest day, as we were joined in succession by Greg Dworkin and Meteor Blades, who provided the dots for today's connecting. What got connected? Well, are you ready for this? Gun policy, gun safety, platinum coinage, Justice Scalia's constitutional jurisprudence, drug policy, Tea Party identity, Republican identity, campaign finance, political corruption, GOPAC, and ALEC. And if you've been listening closely over the past few weeks, then you know that you can't discuss all of that stuff without raising questions (once again) about the way we decide pretty much everything under the sun in this country. How's that for a full plate for breakfast?

Direct download: January_9_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:10pm EST

Another wide-ranging show today. Greg Dworkin started us off with a round-up that included the Hagel nomination, the debt ceiling, platinum coin seigniorage (the Word of the Day!), Gabby Giffords on guns, the declining popularity of the Tea Party, and increasing partisan polarization along regional lines. We also took a look at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's incredibly insensitive comparison of teachers' unions to the NRA, for which we were joined by Laura Clawson, who reminded us that despite occasional overlap with progressives on narrow issues, Bloomberg is still pretty much a billionaire dick at heart. Next, the story of one Republican legislator's quest to screw with Virginia's voter ID law--the only one to pass muster with the Department of Justice in 2012--in order to make it more burdensome, like all the other ones that the DoJ says are discriminatory. Great idea! That, of course, led to a recap of the incredible danger posed by illegally politicizing the DoJ, as was the practice of the George W. Bush administration. Finally, a tip of the hat to Daily Kos community member LetsGetItDone, whose work on platinum coin seigniorage is garnering praise from some Very Serious People, including the former head of the U.S. Mint! Hope we can get him on the show soon, too!

Direct download: January_8_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EST

We start the week touching on a wide range of topics. Greg Dworkin joined in for a tour through the state of play on gun issues and the coalition politics involved in bringing public opinion around on all related fronts. Armando called in for a discussion on the debt ceiling fight, the platinum coin issue, and to note the difference between the way Senate Dems reacted to Joe Lieberman's apostasy and the way Senate Republicans are reacting to Chuck Hagel's. Other topics of discussion: the (supposedly) attempted coup against Speaker Boehner; the continuing prevalence of gun accidents (including the New Years' rash of "celebratory gunfire" casualties), and; natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania poison the locals with their fracking, then make matters worse by dumping their sick & uninsured workers in the local hospitals. Then, a recap of the state of play with on filibuster reform.

Direct download: January_7_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:58am EST

A nice Friday mix for you today. There's Sandy relief, plus the counting of the electoral vote in Congress. Greg Dworkin joined us as usual to discuss Daily Kos Radio and the future of radio technology, the platinum trillion dollar coin, and the curious Republican habit of obfuscation and denial on anything they oppose, until (and sometimes beyond) the point where it becomes ridiculous. (Think: "no proven link between smoking and health problems," then consider today's stances on climate change, guns, taxes, etc., etc., etc.) Then, another aside about guns, and a brief explanation of the trillion dollar coin proposal. And finally: what happened yesterday with the filibuster reform effort, whether you should be worried about it, what's likely to come out of the fight, and a pat on the back for reform supporters for where we've gotten so far!

Direct download: January_4_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EST

The topic of the day: the first day of the new Congress. Was the 112th the worst ever? Any prospect of it getting better in the 113th? Greg Dworkin joined in for the discussion of the opening day goings on, including the speculation surrounding the election of the Speaker, which almost nobody seriously thinks will yield any real surprises. Will the next round of debt ceiling discussions be a disaster? Will the current fervor for action on gun laws fade? What are the inside baseball political dynamics that will determine the outcome? Then, a mind-bending run-through of the history and mechanics of the "constitutional option," and how changing Senate rules got to be such a complicated undertaking. Does this make the Senate's likely decision to postpone the question more understandable? Does the decision itself hint at what the most likely outcome is? And just how did they come up with this "magic window" idea in the first place?

Direct download: January_3_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:49am EST

Happy New Year! Yes, we went over the Fiscal Thingy, and just like we said, it turns out to have been fixable retroactively all along. Not that the traditional media is giving up on the metaphor, since they're reporting we somehow "averted" turning the calendar over without a deal in place, which we all know was the case. Whatever, Cheeto munchers! Greg Dworkin joined in for the "Republicans in disarray" discussion, noting the abandonment of the "Hastert rule" (which never really was a rule, anyway), not to mention the abandonment of the idea that actually doing something about the defecit is an important issue. Then we took a little look through the news as a way of commenting on the familiar counters in the ongoing gun debate, i.e., that people say they buy guns to protect themselves and their families, and that they are, after all, responsible gun owners. All of which have an element of truth, of course. But if taking a "comprehensive look" at gun issues can be said to necessitate looking at violent video games, then surely a "comprehensive look" must also require acknowledging how often people are shot with their own guns, how often they end up shooting family members or friends with those guns, and how often even responsible gun owners seem to forget that a gun with the magazine out isn't actually a gun that isn't loaded. Finally, we tied up some loose ends with a little technical tour of the mechanics of what made people think there really was a "cliff" involved in the Fiscal Thingy.

Direct download: January_2_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:53am EST

Happy Old Year! It's all about the Fiscal Thingy today, with various people running around pretending things are being "solved." Greg Dworkin joined the show for a chat on the subject, and we had a good laugh/cry at "The Fix" basically blaming "both sides" for winning the election and expecting that to make a difference. Armando chimed in remotely with some comments, and that led us to talk through the mechanics of a last minute deal, which would have to include pre-cleared buy-in from every single Senator, given how long it would take to invoke cloture even by a vote of 99-1. Hmm. Does anyone know where Jim DeMint is, or what leverage there is to prevent him from blowing up a deal just for the hell of it, now that he's on his way out the door? Joining us through the magic of technology: our UK friend, Gideon! He sent us a short recorded segment with a wide range of discussion topics, from the NRA's nuttiness on violent video games, to Mitt Romney's self-depricating humor at the Al Smith dinner, to the lack of progressive policy representation on the Tee-Vee machine. Thanks for chiming in, Gideon! Happy New Year to all!

Direct download: December_31_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:28pm EST

Still more on guns today, starting with a look at Slate's interactive graphic of gun deaths in America since Newtown. One interesting find: the number of guns, often purchased to "protect the family," that end up accidentally killing family members, or being used in murder-suicides. Greg Dworkin joined in, sharing some polling data on guns and the NRA, some poignant photos of the warehousing of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that have been sent in overwhelming numbers to Newtown, and some suggestions about how better to support that community. We were also joined by Twitter sensation @RepJackKimble, discussing his new book, Profiles in Courageousness, his views on the Fiscal Thingy, the NRA, and more. Plus, a little peek behind the scenes at what makes C-SPAN tick, and how your humble host helped "liberate" Congressional video you were always paying for, but somehow could never get to on your own.

Direct download: December_28_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:25pm EST

We're back, for a betwixt-the-holidays show, and unfortunately, guns are still very much on our minds. Greg Dworkin joined us to kick off discussion of one of the more bizarre stories of the past few days: Dick Armey's armed coup at FreedomWorks. And just for fun, he pointed us to Norm Ornstein's article mentioning that the Speaker of the House didn't have to be a member. You learn something new every day! Norm and Greg learned that anybody could be Speaker, and I learened that Norm didn't know that previously! The crazy FreedomWorks incident occupied a lot of time today, as did the analysis of assault weapons maker Bushmaster's ad campaign for its AR-15 product. You know, the one that reads, "Consider your man card reissued." That's what's made it the weapon of choice in the country's most infamous massacres! Finally, a reminder that the Fiscal Thingy hasn't been resolved yet, and isn't very likely to be, either, while the debt ceiling appears to have crept up on us once again.

Direct download: December_27_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:11pm EST

Today, we're witnesses to the unraveling of the conservative coalition, and just maybe the Republican Party itself. Hey, a guy can dream! Greg Dworkin joined us to review the recent polling that reveals a pretty significant brand problem for the Republicans. A message problem, not a messenger problem. He also reminded us of the moment of silence being observed this morning in honor of the victims of Newtown. We also explored the phenomenon of Republican rigidity, noting that elected Republicans were simultaneously refusing to compromise on guns, taxes, the Fiscal Thingy, and pretty much everything under the sun. Which led us to the question of whether what we were dealing with was properly defined as a political party at all. From there, it was back to the topic of "constitutional hardball," and how the Republican practice of it across multiple issues during the George W. Bush administration set things seriously off-kilter for the foreseeable future. A good companion discussion to Thursday's exploration.

Direct download: December_21_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

House Republicans present their "Plan B" position on the Fiscal Thingy, so you'll finally be able to see evidence at home on C-SPAN that something's happening, though the procedure is so convoluted, you'll likely have no idea why you're seeing what you're seeing. Oh, and it won't pass the Senate, either, so nevermind. Greg Dworkin joined us for another update from Newtown, and for an analysis of the latest polling on the issues swirling around the tragedy. Turns out the public is pretty well united behind some of the leading proposals for restrictions on assault-style weapons and accessories. So will we see progress, or not? Then a broad discussion about just why we might not. With all the talk about certain rights favored by conservatives being "God-given" or the like, would anyone give up their guns if the Constitution were somehow magically amended in a way that made such a thing possible? And if not, is what we're engaged in really a "debate" at all? More discussion of "constitutional hardball" ensued, including a number of illustrative examples which, taken together, show just how hard it can be to ever "settle" a game of hardball, without even getting into the extra-constitutional meta-issues surrounding gun rights and where people think they came from. Warning: heads may explode!

Direct download: December_20_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

We talked a little Fiscal Thingy, and we talked a little Eleven Dimensional Chess. We're still a long way from a deal, but some of the elements are beginning to come into focus, and not everybody is all that happy with the picture. Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss the dealmaking and the meta-issues around it. Do Dems cede ground too easily? Do Republicans hold hostages longer knowing this? Is a pattern emerging? Afterwards, we were joined by Evan Macbeth, aka Paradox13, to discuss his experience as a presidential elector in Virginia's Electoral College. We get way down in the weeds of it, from how people get selected for candidacy to the Electoral College in the first place, to just how they do what they do once elected, to who pays for it all to get done. Finally, still more reflection on Newtown, including a look back at the post-Aurora revelation that the NRA and its allies have actively lobbied against and blocked governement efforts to collect accurate data on gun injuries and fatalities, to deny the debate usable science on the issue. Thanks, anti-science! Policy making without basis in reality is working great!

Direct download: December_19_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:02pm EST

Returned from Richmond, today's discussion starts with observations on the mechanics of the Electoral College vote. If it's ever abolished, my ticket to the state House of Delegates gallery to observe the vote will become a collector's item! Armando called in to talk Fiscal Thingy, and the dynamics of finding a deal. And of course, there was much discussion of the aftermath of Newtown, including the acknowledgment that the currently prevailing view of gun rights (at least among legislators and the Supreme Court) is a relatively new invention, and thus a bit of evidence for a "living Constitution" after all. Though conservatives defend against that charge by framing it as the "Constitution in exile." Greg Dworkin joined us in the second hour, for more from on the ground in Newtown, and a discussion of the politics of pushback. That led us to a broader look at "constitutional hardball," and a reminder that at bottom, constitutional rights are what a majority of the Supreme Court says they are. Maybe Gerald Ford was smarter than we all give him credit for, even if the context was different. (And if the precept is true there, it's worth remembering that it's true for the rules of the Senate as well.) Finally, a solid reminder that there's something fundamentally different (if not necessarily inherently wrong) with the way guns are invoked as safeguarding freedom. Sometimes they can "safeguard" your freedoms right out of existence.

Direct download: December_18_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:55am EST

Without Greg Dworkin available on the air, it was a solo effort on today's Pew polling on Presidential job approval and Congressional handling of the "Fiscal Thingy." We also marked the launch of the Daily Kos "War on Christmas Fundraiser," and gave a little peripherally-related background on some of the things that I think make Daily Kos unique as a community and as a forum. We also had another daily dose of filibuster reform discussion, including a look at Jonathan Bernstein's objections to the plan recently circulated by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and a great listener phone call from Mike in Pittsburgh, who pointed out that the "talking filibuster" might also make it easier to crack the 2/3 threshold on changing the rules under "regular order." Plus, a reading of some of the less-often-repeated quotes from Republican Senators in 2005, offered in praise and support of the constitutional option. Finally, a shift in gears: a capitalistic defense of unionism. Why would real small government advocates want to prevent workers from privately ordering their affairs with their employers through unions, when the workers' next most logical solution ends up being voting in a government that will do it for them?

Direct download: December_14_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:30pm EST

The Fiscal Thingy debate is reported to be raging on, though once again there's no evidence of it on C-SPAN, because the House isn't doing a damn thing. They're keeping the lights on with minutiae, while John Boehner negotiates on behalf of a Republican caucus that might not even be on his side, when all is said and done. Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss polling that pretty clearly establishes that, despite (once again) the pronouncements of the pundits, the President really does have a mandate on issues critical to the Fiscal Thingy. At the same time, Republican voters are counseling their elected representatives not to give an inch on a single thing, even as a clear majority of the country demands the exact opposite. Branding problem? Recipe for disaster? Both? And as the fight over the so-called "Right to Work" issue rages in Michigan, the Orwellian naming of the bill brought us back to Newt Gingrich's days as a Republican leader, and his behind-the-scenes work to teach Republicans exactly how to cast issues in the light most favorable to them, right down to prescribing lists of words they should use to describe themselve and their policies, as well as Democrats and their policies, no matter who or what they may be. And as usual, we turn in the end to filibuster reform, this time to discuss an open letter from eminent academics to Senators, clarifying the constitutional grounds and Senate precedents for changing the rules by majority vote.

Direct download: December_13_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43am EST

The Fiscal Thingy is much on our minds today, and Greg Dworkin weighs in with some polling on the issues in play, and who Americans trust to deal with them. Hint for Republicans: your hand is not a strong one. Armando Llorens joined the discussion to note that some commentators are making the case that Republicans actually do best by conceding to the Democratic position on taxes. And we remind ourselves that if it's a "fiscal cliff" to combine even modest tax increases with sequestration that takes government spending out of the economy, then we do no better by replacing sequestration cuts with social safety net cuts in that equation. After all, as Republicans love to remind us (when the subject favors them), "money is fungible!" Finally, a little bit of filibuster reform discussion. Tired of hearing that majority vote rules change is a "slippery slope?" Well, how about some historical data that suggests it's not really all that slippery after all?

Direct download: December_12_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:50pm EST

We kicked off with a shout-out to the #saveMI protests today, then launched into a well-rounded morning, with multiple approaches to an emerging theme: the traditional media's ubiquitous false equivalence story. First, it was Greg Dworkin's turn to discuss the difficulties in finding solutions to the Fiscal Thingy, given new polling that suggests that outside of raising taxes on the wealthy, Americans seem unable to agree on just where to turn for savings or additional revenue. Even so, an awful lot of Republicans seem mostly unwilling to give ground on that one area where everyone else is in agreement, and that's bad news for Republicans in Congress trying to find their way on this. In fact, there's a split between their leadership, which has to have an eye on the bigger picture, and the rank-and-file, who are more necessarily bound up in what their own increasingly insulated constituencies are saying. Could that split result in a real fight over Boehner's Speakership? Well, not if the plot to oust him doesn't pay closer attention to procedural realities, according to UVA Prof. Jeffrey Jenkins! From there, it was time for a daily dose of filibuster reform discussion, this time focused on the strange, mythical view many appear to be taking of the old "Gang of 14" agreement. Contrary to the legend, the Gang's agreement didn't take the "nuclear option" off the table. It very purposefully left it there, in plain and threatening view. And that's what made their agreement work! Finally, a quick look at media narratives on what passes for "bold" solutions to the Fiscal Thingy and other problems, and how that relates to what Dan Froomkin called the mainstream press's "bungling" of "the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign."

Direct download: December_11_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:38am EST

It's "Thinking Out Loud About the Fiscal Thingy" Monday, as we were joined in succession by Greg Dworkin and Armando Llorens to ponder the possibilities as time winds down on the calendar year and the 112th Congress. Might we see a "Grand Bargain" negotiated in stages? How likely is a separate tax deal before the year is out? What about a quickie deal to kick the can down the road on sequestration? Where do Medicare and Social Security fit in all this? And what about the debt ceiling? Does it even belong in these negotiations at all? How roles have reversed in the use of the calendar as leverage in year-end legislative games. And what might the filibuster have to do with it? Finally, a look back at one of the craziest Congressional races (and situations in general) in the country, in Michigan's 11th District, where short-timer Rep. David Curson (D) is filling in for just a few weeks, and Rep-elect (and reindeer farmer and kinda-sorta 9/11 Truther) Kerry Bentivolio (R) is set to take over in January. Yes, Kagro in the Morning brought you that story, thanks to Daily Kos Political Director David Nir, back in August, and we reprise it today.

Direct download: December_10_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:08pm EST

December 7th. The Pearl Harbor Day of remembrance days. And it being Friday, we took a short break from extensive filibuster reform discussion, though it certainly came up in context more than a few times, and instead focused on a round-up of other stories from the Hill and around the country. Joan McCarter was on hand to chat about some of the craziness she's covered in the past few days, including the spectacle of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell filibustering his own request to debate and vote on the President's debt ceiling proposal. Better yet, Joan let us know about today's scheduled Google Hangout with Howard Dean, set for 1:15 pm ET, right on the front page of Daily Kos! Come talk with Joan and the Governor about protecting Social Security and Medicare, especially in the context of the "Fiscal Thingy." Your questions are most welcome! Greg Dworkin also joined in for an abbreviated segment today, chiming in on the various goings on. Then it was a quick tour of the day's news, starting with the latest idiocy from the Dean of the Republican Clown College, Dick Morris, whose latest howler is that Hurricane Sandy is what cost Mitt Romney the election and what caused his predictions to be so horribly, horribly wrong. Also: the passage of so-called "Right to Work" legislation in Michigan, which actually creates no rights regarding work at all, though I think it'd be fun if people started demanding their shiny new jobs as though it did. That might make best make the point about what this Orwellian nonsense is really about. We wrapped with a short discussion of Jim DeMint's resignation and what it means, and something to think about over the weekend: the need for a revival of mutual insurance companies, credit unions, employee-owned pension funds, and the like.

Direct download: December_7_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:02pm EST

Back on our regular schedule today, so we were able to catch up with Greg Dworkin. On today's agenda: the DC kabuki theater surrounding the "Fiscal Thingy," the realpolitik of internal caucus dynamics, and how they create "lag time" in between the public's expression of its prefences and the ability of our elected officials to finally align themselves with them. Armando joined in for an extended discussion on the debt ceiling issue, specifically on the widsom and feasibility of eliminating the necessity for Congress to raise the statutory limit. Then, a wide-ranging news roundup, including: the Senate's rejection of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, thanks to lobbying by Rick Santorum; Rep. Virginia Foxx chewing out a House staffer for having the temerity to ride the "Members Only" elevator (even though it's Members Only during votes, which was apparently not the case); Sen. Rand Paul doesn't know what Kentucky's biggest industry is, and finally; an evaluation of one of the most overlooked (but powerful) provisions of the filibuster reform proposal.

Direct download: December_6_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:10pm EST

Late start today, but we still got our full two hours in. Thanks to Armando for filling in early, and for sticking around for the first hour-plus of the delayed show! On the agenda today: the continuing attacks on Susan Rice; is it too soon to ponder the 2016 presidential race; new PPP poll on Republican nuttery, and of course; more on filibuster reform. In particular, how well do comparisons of the 2005 nuclear option fight and today's filibuster reform effort really hold up? And why do editorial writers, misty-eyed for the days of the "Gang of 14" agreement, always forget that it enshrined the right and ability of the majority to change the rules by majority vote? Finally, a hint at a discussion to come: the NYT investigation into the value and efficacy of state and local government incentives granted to businesses in the hopes of bolstering job creation and retention.

Direct download: December_5_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:02pm EST

The new Washington Post/Pew poll puts Greg Dworkin back in the polling analysis game, this time revealing that Republicans are losing the "Fiscal Thingy" debate, as 53% of respondents indicate they'd place the fault for missing the end-of-the-year deadline on Congressional Republicans, while just 27% would blame the White House. Then, a bit of interconnected background that took us from the current filibuster reform fight, to the origin of the filibuster loophole, to Aaron Burr versus Alexander Hamilton, and back to today's tax cut fight, via House discharge petition procedure and the motion to recommit. And finally, a reminder about just how conniving those ALEC folks actually are, via NHLaborNews.com: ALEC's pre-fabricated package of legislation that allows states to turn its prison population into a profit center. Say, doesn't that sort of upset the whole social compact as it relates to policy decisions to shoulder certain burdens in order to criminalize certain behaviors on its head? Yeah, it sort of does. Oh wells!

Direct download: December_4_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

Merry War on Christmas, everyone! It's December at last, and time to ramp up our continuing series on filibuster reform. Despite numerous technical problems today, we pushed on through, and after a shortened visit with Greg Dworkin, we turned to another extensive look at the filibuster reform fight by reviewing this past weekend's excellent Up with Chris Hayes episode focusing on the issue with a panel of experts that included an actual former Senate Parliamentarian. And still, there was more to add, believe it or not! Armando also joined in the discussion, and we make the case that if there's really something "in the DNA of the Senate," as former parliamentarian Alan Frumin insists, that insists on unfettered debate, then it stands for the proposition that the Senate is empowered to do what it can to guarantee that that debate is real and substantive, and that outsized deference to procedural rules not actually inhibit the debate it supposedly protects.

Direct download: December_3_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:56pm EST

We were joined for an extended Abbreviated APR today by Greg Dworkin, who came prepared to answer the lingering question posed yesterday: how did the Simpson-Bowles non-report treat the savings projections in the Affordable Care Act, and wouldn't we do better to wait a bit on the so-called "fiscall cliff" and see what the scope of Medicare's contribution to the issues really is? We roped in Joan McCarter to join us in talking about that and related issues for the first hour of the show. If reading Daily Kos is like getting the paper two weeks early, then Daily Kos Radio is like getting Daily Kos two hours early. In the second hour, we wondered aloud why the CEOs behind the "Fix the Debt" gang, who ordinarily busy themselves with raiding their companies' pension funds to pay themselves giant bonuses, are suddenly so concerned with curtailing and undermining the biggest pension fund out there, but which because it's public, is currently beyond their reach. Hmm... gee! And finally, as promised, more discussion of the filibuster reform fight: which Senators are still holdouts, and just where did this reform coalition come from, anyway? The answer, if you don't know it already, just might put a little spring in your step today. Listen and find out!

Direct download: November_30_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:21pm EST

In today's Abbreviated APR, Greg Dworkin looks at Medicare in the context of the "fiscal speed bump" negotiations. Wouldn't we be better served by waiting until the picture becomes clearer on the projected savings from Affordable Care Act implementation? Also: the Fast Food Forward strikes in the New York area, and how they relate to the WalMart and Hostess strikes. Finally, a look at all the important stuff that somehow gets left out of newspaper coverage of the filibuster reform fight. You'll only get that here, on Daily Kos Radio!

Direct download: November_29_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:47am EST

Greg Dworkin abbreviated the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, during which we talked exit polling and the new political reality: you can't win with just the conservative base anymore. Another critique of the latest critique of filibuster reform from Jonathan Bernstein. And an extended interview with longtime Daily Kos and Netroots community member and New York State Democratic Committeewoman Debra Cooper, who's running for a newly open seat on the New York City Council. Come and hear what Debra's got to say about the importance of this race. Believe it or not, it's a race that can have national implications. Find out why!

Direct download: November_28_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:55am EST

Greg Dworkin joined us at the top of the show for the Abbreviated Abbreviated Pundit Roundup. We take another dip in the waters of Lake Crazytown, reading the election night liveblogging of the "gay fanboy" nominated by wingnut columnist Charlotte Allen to run the fantasy 2016 Palin presidential campaign. Please do this, guys! Then, more filibuster reform fight previews and complaint debunking. Finally, a peek at the revelation that the Obama administration began attempting to compile a rulebook for drone strikes, just in case Romney won. What does that mean?

Direct download: November_27_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:12pm EST

We're back, post-Thanksgiving Day, which you all know is the Pearl Harbor of the War on Christmas. Greg Dworkin joined us for the Monday Abbreviated Abbreviated Pundit Roundup. Yes, we abbreviate things twice in the mornings. We then turned our eyes back to the upcoming filibuster fight, with a review of the most recent reporting from Politico on the subject, which somehow ignored until the very last sentence of the entire article that leading Democratic proponents and leading Republican opponents of filibuster reform actually agreed on the single most important proposal, the so-called "talking filibuster." So there you have it. Modern politics and political reporting in a nutshell. Partisans are at one another's throats, threatening complete gridlock, because they agree on policy. From there, an equally amazing exploration of Fox News's troll-baiting "War on Men" article, and finally Adam Davidson's New York Times piece asserting that the genius captains of American industry are scratching their heads, wondering why highly-skilled laborers who had invested tens of thousands of dollars in their education and training were not lining up to take the fast food-level wages they were offering. What a puzzler! Maybe a tax cut will help them clear their heads. Someone get these guys some retention bonuses, ASAP!

Direct download: November_26_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:34am EST

Thanksgiving Day! It's a slow news day, of course, but we passed the time pleasantly enough, chatting with Greg Dworkin, Armando and caller David from Asheville. We were thankful for our favorite topics: quants versus guts; pundits versus people; "traditional America" versus the new demographic reality, and; makers versus takers. A nice chat to have on in the background while you're cooking and/or cleaning, or maybe just a decent excuse to plug in the earphones and tell the relatives you can't hear them for the next two hours. Happy Thanksgiving!

Direct download: November_22_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:22pm EST

A special, extended show today! Not what we anticipated doing on the day before Thanksgiving, but if you were driving to a relative's home today for the holiday, maybe the extra hour was appreciated. In fact, if you don't listen to anything else in the show today, make sure it's that bonus 3rd hour, because that's when we talked to Mike Hummell, known to Daily Kos readers as bluebarnstormer. He's the author of the insider's diaries on the Hostess strike, and a member of the Bakers' Union at the center of the drama. And frankly, he's the only one making a lick of common sense in this whole thing. Be sure to listen in and find out why. The standard two hours of the show weren't bad today, either! Greg Dworkin stopped by for what's become an on-air Abbreviated Pundit Roundup more than a polling roundup, now that the election is behind us. And Armando chimed in on the business and bankruptcy laws underlying the Hostess dissolution.

Direct download: November_21_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

Republicans continue to believe they lost the election because they weren't conservative enough, so Marco Rubio declares he has no clue how old the Earth is. And why would he? It's only in the science books! And you know you can't get the Republican nomination for president if you read those! Greg Dworkin stopped by to discuss that very subject today, and the impact of the competing schools of Republican Crazy that threaten to pull their already shrinking coalition apart. That's not the same thing as the demise of the Republican Party, mind you. Just a routine headache of coalition politics, really. But if you don't believe in any kind of science, it's hard to even figure out a way to cure your own headache. We also reviewed a lost gem of the Internet, a 2001 Heritage Foundation analysis of the Bush tax cuts, and guess what? They promised a wonderful future, complete with gigantic job growth and the elimination by 2010 of the national debt! All thanks to "dynamic scoring!" Well, neither of those things appear to have worked out very well. But probably only because they weren't conservative enough, or something like that. Finally, we took a look at the Hostess situation, reading an excellent diary from Daily Kos by bluebarnstormer, describing the givebacks already extracted from the unions during the 2005 bankruptcy as context for the new concessions demanded from management, even as that same management votes themselves enormous rasies. Shocking, but not surprising, since the company has been in the process of being devoured from the inside by Bain-style locust capitalism for the past few years. Close call on that whole Mitt Romney thing, people!

Direct download: November_20_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:44am EST

It's Thanksgiving week, so the news is likely to be slow. We'll take this opportunity, then, to wrap up the discussion of the history, mechanics and procedure behind the "constitutional option" for Senate rules reform. But first, a welcome diversion from Greg Dworkin, who brought us the usual collection of fascinating news clips detailing Republican cluelessness, unskewing, and general fear of reality. Then, the promised filibuster wrap: why it's not quite true when the pundits tell you the "constitutional option" has never been used before, how those who've used it have left a clearly-blazed trail behind them for our use today, and how Senate Democrats actually used it last year and nobody noticed! Added bonus: a critique of Jonathan Bernstein's critique of the "talking filibuster" solution.

Direct download: November_19_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43am EST

We're in luck! Greg Dworkin was able to join us this morning for a roundup light on the polls, but heavy on the punditry. We discuss Mitt's post-election gaffes, Angus King's coy games about caucusing with Democrats, and the coming fight on filibuster reform. And yes, we even took a detour into the 1%-er grifter narrative threatening to burst through the seams of the still-growing Petraus affair. Hour two of the show was about Part 2 of our "deep dive" into filibuster reform history. We picked up from where we left the previous show, describing the apparent conflict between the Constitution's grant to each house of Congress of the right to determine its own rules, and the Senate's own rules purporting both to require a 2/3 vote to end a filibuster of a rules change proposal, and to make that rule (and all the rest) perpetual, from one Congress to the next, unless changed in accordance with those same perpetual rules. We discussed the origin of the conflict, and how three Vice Presidents across both parties have settled the paradox in the past, all of which serve to illustrate why the beginning of a new Congress creates a special opportunity to enact rules changes by simple majority vote, and how it's happened in the past. The remaining piece of the puzzle, i.e., why no one seems to know it's been done in the past, despite knowing that the rules have in fact been changed, we'll settle next week. But you get a hint at it at the very end of today's show!

Direct download: November_15_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:19pm EST

Petraeus? Still in the news. But we mostly stayed away from that, even though there's a rich vein to be mined in the strange similarities emerging as between the players in this drama and the Salahi idiocy. Remember those weirdos? Anyway, Greg Dworkin dropped in to put us on an even keel and talk more about post-election analysis. And then it was the steep climb over the mountain to understanding the stakes and the procedure in the upcoming Senate rules reform fight. What has to happen? How can it be done? What's the history of rules changes in the past? All that and more in today's show, with an exciting cliffhanger conclusion... tomorrow!

Direct download: November_14_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:37am EST

Well, General Petraeus pretty much guaranteed us we'd have stuff to talk about today, but before we got into that nonsense, we had a visit from Greg Dworkin, and an opportunity to talk about the hottest topic among at least some parts of Very Serious circles: "epistemic closure." Yes, the Traditional Media is very concerned that Republicans closed themselves off from reality in insisting Romney was going to win. But didn't they have their own problem in closing themselves off from reality in insisting that the numbers didn't show what they in fact did show? From there, it was on to the craziness of the Petraeus story, the even crazier craziness of the volume of email involved, and the even crazier craziness than that: the shirtless Teabagger FBI agent at the center of it all. Your surveillance state national security team, ladies and gentlemen. And as always, a few of the kind of sidebar discussions that make the show what it is. What do I mean? Tune in and find out!

Direct download: November_13_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:42am EST

Like a car wreck, it's just too difficult to look away from continued Republican expression of shock at having lost the election that all the data said they were likely to lose. But it provides a perfect launching pad for discussing all the things their disconnect from reality means. We spent a good hour or more on the unfortunate Tennessee Republican Beth Cox, profiled in the Washington Post, and what her story might tell us. And we just had to pause to note RedState's boo-hoo-ing about the Romney campaign being a "consultant con job." Dude, the Romney EVERYTHING is a consultant con job! But amazingly enough, even as the traditional media is turning out their torrent of coverage of how out of it Republicans really are, they're still after us to look for "compromise" with the people who hate numbers, science, reason, logic & economics. And to top it all off, they're giving Paul Ryan a waiver on his term-limited chairmanship of the Budget Committee so he can negotiate the undoing of supposedly "automatic" spending cuts. Ever wonder why nothing in Washington ever seems to work quite right? (P.S. Don't worry, we had technical trouble, but the annoying clicking DOES go away!)

Direct download: November_12_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

Republicans continued churning out more Crazy, so we had to keep covering it. Greg Dworkin joined us with exit polling analysis, and to point us to a shining example of everything that's wrong with Republicans: Mary Matalin's disastrous, eye-rolling, head-shaking huffing, snorting whinefest of an appearance on CNN. Armando also chimed in to discuss post-election reactions, and a little bit about the future of Daily Kos Radio. Finally, we wrapped up by tying together some of the more unhinged "conservative" reaction, how gerrymandering left the Republicans with a rump majority in the House, and how filibuster reform in the Senate can help us deal with them both during the lame duck and the next two years.

Direct download: November_9_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:56am EST

Election wrap-up continues, with an evaluation and ranking by performance of the pollsters, aggregators and analysts. And of course, a look back at the most ludicrous pre-election punditry and predictions--with a special focus on everyone's favorite target: Jennifer Rubin.

Looking forward, a hint at what's to come in the lame duck Congressional session, the prospects of a "Grand Bargain," and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Laughing at the Misnomer "Fiscal Cliff."

Direct download: November_8_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:39am EST

We're back with our first post-election morning show, and wow... what a morning it is! Greg Dworkin joined the show in his usual slot, for the post-mortem on the "quants" versus the "guts." And we wrapped the show with a call from Steve Singiser, who brought us up to date on the Congressional races. In between, we got a little weedy on filibuster reform, how it might work, what to look out for in the way of Republican mewling about it, and why it matters even if the House is staying Republican.

Direct download: November_7_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:45am EST

We had a great extended segment today with Greg Dworkin and Tim Lange (aka Meteor Blades) on the air together for most of our first hour today! We talked last minute polling, gut/narrative vs. data, more Nate Silver, the breakthrough Business Week "It's Global Warming, Stupid" cover, the October jobs numbers, and much more. A fun way to wrap up the week, and close out the last live show before the election!

Direct download: November_2_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:54am EST

Our polling and punditry roundups are back online, as Greg Dworkin's Internet servcie has been restored! So we discussed Chris Christie's recent cooperation with President Obama on storm relief, the strange-sounding-but-explainable designation of Ohio as a "toss-up," the latest on the punditry's love affair with "The Narrative," and Republicans' continued attachment to "The Math." But is "The Math" really entirely divorced from reality? Consider that while Republicans accuse Democrats of manipulating polling output, Republicans are using state legislatures (and in some cases, plain old criminality) to manipulate the input in the one poll that really matters: actual voting. From ALEC copycat voter ID laws, to fake voter registration schemes, to their ill-fated attempt to force U.S. Attorneys to pretend they were finding and prosecuting "voter fraud," Republicans have been hard at work on creating this narrative for a long time. Plus, more on the astonishing idiocy of the attacks on Nate Silver, and how Dick Morris has finally written The Dumbest Thing Ever (but still gets paid).

Direct download: November_1_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:33pm EST

We got our regular fix on the polling and punditry today, thanks to our first post-Sandy visit with Greg Dworkin. And though things are winding down and the cleanup is beginning, Sandy still dominated the conversation. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan staged "storm relief" events, and both were panned in the press for it, including detailed coverage of how work was stopped in order to make sure the candidates would arrive in time to be photographed packing donations. Meanwhile, the Red Cross has been pretty clear that money is what's needed, and in-kind donations actually hamper relief efforts. But whatever! At any rate, it gave us the chance to observe that when it comes time to campaign, the Republican mantras about local voices making local choices goes down the drain. Central command says we need soup photos, so you're getting soup! Sounds familiar, eh?

Direct download: October_31_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:44am EST

Our first post-Sandy show, at least from where we're sitting. We rounded up some of the most dramatic stories, discussed the pros and cons of Twitter's ability to spread news from peer-to-peer, noted Mitt Romney's insistence that private relief and state-based emergency management would be preferable to FEMA, and discussed the traditional media's strange obsession with attacking Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight methodologies in the middle of the storm's onslaught. People are weird, man.

Direct download: October_30_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:22am EST

Hurricane Sandy is rolling in, but we made it on the air for our Monday show. And that means a double shot polling update from Greg Dworkin and Steve Singiser. The storm preoccupied us, of course, and there's even a polling impact, since many polling firms are East Coast operations, plus there could be days on end when most of the Northeast is unable to answer their phones. So we may be flying partially blind into Election Day. Also discussed: Suprise! A top Romney advisor really does own a shipyard; the millions of dollars of Romney campaign funds being spent with consulting firms owned by or employing Romney campaign aides; the weirdness that ensues when "outside auditors" are asked to evaluate their own tax advice to their corporate clients; and just a little bit about Matt Stoller's controversial article arguing for progressives to walk away from voting for Barack Obama. (Hint: I'm not doing it.)

Direct download: October_29_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:40am EST

It's Friday again, and that means we're down to one full business week left before election day. We checked in with Greg Dworkin for our daily polling & punditry update, then were joined by Andrew Jones (aka sluggahjells) for a wide-ranging discussion of politics & media, including the effects on both the campaign and governance of living inside one media bubble or another. Finally, we dove into an insidious little trick of accounting that's coming into widespread use in several states that has the effect of letting your boss pocket the taxes he's withholding from your paycheck! Strange but true!

Direct download: October_26_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:53am EST

Hey, did you know that the Navy isn't really smaller now than at any time since 1917? It was actually smaller in 2007, but apparently that's been lost to the mists of time. Oh well, Mitt was only off by 90 years. Cut him a little slack! After that little fact check, we welcomed Greg Dworkin for our regular morning polling check up, and a discussion of the punditry's love for narrative that seems to be driving the Romney "momentum" story that's otherwise totally unsupported by any actual data. We also caught up on the Richard Mourdock meltdown in Indiana (and connected the dots with the "thinking" of Todd Akin). From there, we wandered into gun policy, the recent gun violence, and the challenges of "enforcing the laws we already have" in an era of changing technology. Finally, the acknowledgment that across-the-board sequestration won't happen gave us a chance to talk about how Congress can rewrite its own rules, how that might impact the drive to get the Senate to change its filibuster rules, and why the favored narrative that says the filibuster promotes compromise might really be entirely backwards.

Direct download: October_25_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EST

Today's burning question: How did ABC News write a story that actually totalled the current inventory of Army and Marine bayonets without answering even the admittedly dumb question of whether there are fewer now than there were in the past? Well, I guess that just goes to prove that data isn't smart all by itself. Thankfully, there was some smarter data to be had, when we checked in for our regular regimen of poll watching with Greg Dworkin. In the second hour, Armando joined us to interview author Chuck Thompson about his book Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession. Finally, we wrapped up with a sneak preview of an upcoming issue: the new Washington consensus that automatic, across-the-board sequestration is no longer accepted as a Very Serious tool for Very Serious people. Why? Because as Congressional observers will tell you (and told you at the time) Congress lives by different rules, where there's nothing automatic about "automatic" triggers.

Direct download: October_24_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

Post-debate wrap, of course, with Greg Dworkin & Armando. How nutty was Romney's antiquated view of foreign and military policy? Strange enough to make us raise Smedley Butler's name in casual conversation. Talk about your throwbacks, though some would argue we never really left that era behind. Seriously, though. Path to the sea? And counting ships as the sole metric of naval strength? What's next, counting cans of spinach? Plus we dive back into the world of Republican voter registration criminality and the growing trend of bosses harassing their workers with political coercion. And sadly, there's been another round of multiple shooting incidents, plus one bizarre shooting story, that once again have the NRA folks out hoping that if we all squint just right, we'll see things their way.

Direct download: October_23_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:54am EST

We're pre-gaming the debate once again, and there's no better or more reality-based way to do that than to get your Monday Double Shot of polling roundups, with Greg Dworkin & Steve Singiser. What's up with Gallup? How about those likely voter screens? How do they account for early voting and same day registration? For tonight's debate, will the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis play a role? Which candidate would you rather have had with his finger on the button in 1962? And here's a question: Why so much media interest in the mechanics and methodolgies of polls, which don't count, but so little interest in mechanics and methodologies of voting rights and voter access, which does count? The arrest of a Republican operative in Virginia last week, on charges of dumping completed voter registration forms, matches exactly the m.o. employed in years and years of previous Republican schemes in multiple states. And curiously, they're all traceable to the same Republican consultant: Nathan Sproul. When are they going to get serious and arrest this guy?

Direct download: October_22_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:45am EST

A fine Friday news roundup, with a dash of polling from Greg Dworkin. What's up with that Gallup poll? Should you be freaking out? (Answer: No.) Mitt Romney is 18 days from overturning decades of precedent on financial disclosure. The Republican Ohio Secretary of State apparently thinks the Supreme Court can go screw itself. An arrest is finally made in Virginia on Republican election shenanigans. And in the Wisconsin Senate race, ALEC poster boy Tommy Thompson accuses Tammy Baldwin of being soft on Iran, even while he's underwriting Iranian uranium mining!

Direct download: October_19_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:58am EST

Greg Dworkin returned from a short absence to go over the polls with us, and survey the post-debate landscape, plus answer the lingering question of why national polling still matters, even though we elect our presidents state-by-state, through the Electoral College. And what defines the post-debate landscape today? The binder. Tagg Romney wanting to punch the President. "Five point" jobs plans that have no points in them, and three studies that "support" the plan, but actually don't. And the amazing ability of conservatives to connect poverty and gun violence, but still refuse to see the connection between access to health care and mortality. All this can only exist in a world full of isolated information bubbles, of course. And we can't be sure whether the relentless march of technology is freeing us from that bubble, or just making it easier to build newer, smaller ones. Ah, life!

Direct download: October_18_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:36am EST

Post-debate discussion with Andrew Jones (aka sluggahjells) and our loyal UK listener, Gideon! The format. The moderation. The questions. The curious avoidance of the word "Massachusetts." The Rose Garden transcript. And... THE BINDER. Plus the latest voter suppression scheme at work in Virginia, and the emergence of red flags raised at VMI as the Romney campaign hatched its plans for Mitt's "major foreign policy" address there earlier this month. Multiple topics, multiple voices, from multiple continents! A great post-debate show!

Direct download: October_17_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:34am EST

It's debate day, so it's a big day for pre-gaming. We were without Greg Dworkin today, but the publication of the latest Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll gave us the opportunity to highlight the differences between analyzing an unfavorable poll and "unskewing" one (i.e., cheating). Then a meandering stroll through the news, including the launch of Glenn Beck's line of jeans, the absurdity of Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-SC) complaining about the inappropriateness of President Obama's campaign accusing Mitt Romney of lying, and Rep. Darrell Issa's stretch in comparing the Benghazi attacks to President Bush's "mission accomplished" moment. Finally, we returned to the story of Mitt Romney's time at the head of Bain & Company's consultancy with the Russian government, and wondered why being a top advisor to the Yeltsin administration gets no mention from a campaign that admits it's lacking in foreign policy experience. Is it just that he's reluctant to accept the Cold War-era implications? Or is it that given the chance to construct a free market economy from the ground up, Romney instead opted to reconstruct a much more familiar (and personally profitable) kind of crony capitalism?

Direct download: October_16_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:38am EST

It's debate week again, so it's a great time for a Monday Double Shot of polling & punditry roundups from Greg Dworkin and Steve Singiser. Freakouts always go better with a little inoculation of reality and the long view, right? Hour two today took us on a "Connect the Dots" stroll down Memory Lane. Or as Republicans would have it, down the Memory Hole. What connects today's focus on the latest Bain plunder target, Sensata, with supply-side economics, the 2009 Obama stimulus program, the 1993 Clinton stimulus program, Medicare, Social Security, and the Republican proclivity for betting against America and constantly claiming our country is an unlivable hellhole? Listen in and find out!

Direct download: October_15_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:40am EST

It's VP Debate Night, but we're still untangling the fallout of the last debate. And now that things have calmed down some, we were glad to have Greg Dworkin back with us to take us on a tour of the polling landscape. From there, it was on to an exploration of new frontiers for the show--specifically science and space. This week saw the successful launch and docking of the first private, unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station, pulled off by SpaceX and its Dragon cargo vessel. A great leap forward? A victory for privatization at the expense of a once-inspiring public endeavor? Aaron Oesterle (aka FerrisValyn) joined us for a discussion, and raised some thought-provoking questions and issues about an area that used to border on science fiction, but are going to become part of our everyday reality in the near future. Privatization is everywhere these days, and that led us to wrap up with a detour into prison privatization in particular, and the peculiar dangers of letting hyper capitalists (and future locust capitalists) lead the effort to privatize an entire economy all at once, as with Bain & Co. and the former Soviet Union. Now I have a headache! But what a set of issues to sort out next week!

Direct download: October_11_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:18pm EST

It's a veritable sideshow shooting gallery of Republican jerks today. There's one-time billionaire and now just mega-millionaire David Siegel and his crazy-ass, plagiarized email threatening to fire employees if Obama wins reelection. West Virginia Senate candidate John Raese, who just up and decided a river needed to be diverted and have a waterfall in it because he wanted one, but construction permits were terrorism, so screw it. Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, whose registered no recognition at all when his empty-headed reliance on scripted talking points was lampooned before his very eyes by Soledad O'Brien on CNN. The new just-say-whatever strategy coming out of the Romney campaign. And finally, newly-crowned King of the Sleazebags, Tennessee Congressman and (soon-to-be-former) doctor Rep. Scott DesJarlais, revealed by his own tape recording to have knocked up one of his patients, then pressured her to have an abortion... before later running for office as a pro-life Teabagger.

Direct download: October_10_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:09pm EST

Setting aside the widespread polling panic, we let our eyes wander to stories of the absurd, like those from Arkansas Republicans coming out in favor of slavery, which in turn took us to Tim Griffin, voter caging, Neal Horsley's admissions of bestiality, creationism. But eventually we came around to the polls, starting with Pew's numbers from yesterday, leading into Markos's analysis of the latest PPP polling numbers, illustrating the difference between legitimate analyses of methodology and the crackpot practice of "unskewing" the numbers with magic. Also: Kevin Drum's "Hack Gap" and what it might tell us about liberals vs. conservatives, and the slow creep of "Leadership PACs" into SuperPACs.

Direct download: October_9_2012_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:04pm EST

It's Monday of the Vice Presidential Debate Week, but all the talk is still about last week's Presidential contest. And, strangely, Big Bird. We checked in with our polling experts, Greg Dworkin and Steve Singiser, for updates on the data, and where the races are headed, both at the top of the ticket and downballot around the country. In the second hour, more "dot connecting," in a reading on the "wisdom" of free markets and cost-benefit analyses, plus a roundup of Roll Call's Top 10 most vulnerable Members of Congress.

Direct download: October_8_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:40pm EST

Things always return to the mean, they say. And two days after the debate, the traditional media appear to be catching on to the unsupportable paradox of "winning" a debate on style while losing it on substance. Add to that the latest admission from Romney that he was "completely wrong" in his infamous 47% comments, and it looks like we're right back where we started from. Greg Dworkin joined the show for his regular polling and punditry roundup, and special guest Andrew Jones (aka sluggahjells) sat in for a wide-ranging and fun Friday finale.

Direct download: October_5_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

Well, we're post-debate on meeting number one, and we talked reactions, snap polling, and historical trends with Greg Dworkin. But it wasn't all debate, all the time. We dove into the tax-exempt status of political churches, revisited the below-the-radar problem of "cost-benefit analysis" of agency rules and regulations, and the coming fiasco of their application to regs that stand in the way of the financial services industry bilking even more out of your pockets and the pockets of your neighbors. Oh yeah, and then we went back to the debate!

Direct download: October_4_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm EST

It's debate day, which is to say that it's time for the traditional media to tell you that there might possibly be some news later on, so just stay tuned. And if there isn't any, we'll make some up. Greg Dworkin rounded up the real, already-happened news in today's polling segment. We took calls from Tomtech on his low-cost, grassroots ad campaigns in Texas, and OllieGarkey on the dangers and nuances of mixing politics and religion. And finally, we peeked in on the wingnuts frolicking in fantasy land, with their claims that "abortions" are frequently performed on women who aren't even pregnant, and that an already-circulated 2007 videotape of then-Senator Barack Obama saying non-controversial stuff is somehow, suddenly, the worstest thing ever, not to mention a perfectly valid reason for white dudes to do Amos & Andy impressions on the air.

Direct download: October_3_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am EST

It's a guest hat trick today, with segments featuring Greg Dworkin on the latest polling & punditry news, Meteor Blades (Tim Lange) on Romney's hackneyed foreign policy attacks, and Armando Llorens on the the latest from the Commonwealth Court in the Pennsylvania voter ID case. And of course, we have a good laugh at Scott Brown's deer-in-the-headlights-gets-booed-by-the-audience debate moment, as well!

Direct download: October_2_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:13pm EST

We've got our traditional Monday Double Dose of the polling & punditry roundup with Greg Dworkin and Steve Singiser. And Mitt Romney obliges us once again, by opening his mouth. This time he's upset that President Obama "misunderstands" American values. Like stealing pension funds and telling supporters their hometown pride cookies look like crap! It was all a fine set-up for a reading of Steven Pearlstein's "I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled." Pretty much the elite's whiniest carping in a nutshell!

Direct download: October_1_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:02pm EST