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

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