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

The Great Dishwasher Installation Caper of 2013 is over, and so is Rand Paul's sorta-kinda filibuster of the Brennan nomination. We had a shortened visit with Greg Dworkin, but he reviewed a new Q-Poll with national numbers (as compared to CT numbers) on gun policy issues and gave us an update on the "Team 26" ride from Newtown to Washington, DC. After a brief couple of points about the Paul filibuster, Armando took the reins while I managed the household, and from there, the discussion turned to the issues surrounding drone policy, the fatally-flawed AUMF. That encroachment on Congressional power led to discussion of yet another, this time by the courts in the Voting Rights Act case. Rejoining the show (at last!), I revisited the dynamics of the Paul filibuster, took up a listener question about how party leaders are selected and challenged in the Senate, and then had to wrap up with two more rather egregious tales of #GunFAIL that just couldn't wait.

Direct download: March_7_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:04pm EST

It's finally snowing. Therefore, nothing can get done. That's what happened in the Senate today, as the filibuster once again blocks a top judicial nomination. Did you know President Obama hasn't been able to confirm a single judge to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, by most accounts the second highest court in the land? Nothing to see here! Move along! Greg Dworkin joined us with the latest Q-Poll, hitting gun policy issues from new and interesting angles, plus the latest on United Physicians of Newtown and "Team 26," biking from Newtown to DC to raise awareness of gun issues. Of course, we had to add to the #GunFAIL record with the latest news, both the outrageous and yet more items that really crystalize the problems with widespread gun usage, including a recent Dear Abby column on the subject. You know you're penetrating the popular consciousness when you break the Dear Abby barrier. Next, a review of the day in Congress, including a new CR in the House and a judicial filibuster in the Senate. Then, the foolish Republican state legislator in Washington state, forced to admit (!) that bicyclists don't actually create a carbon dioxide emissions problem. Another look at the gap between record high corporate profits and record low household income, plus a note about how tax expenditures (which are the same thing as grants or subsidy payouts) could more than cover the sequestration cuts they're imposing on us instead. Lastly, some observations about how Republicans redefined "balance" in order to try to squeeze out even more cuts, and who the wealthy (on "both sides," admittedly) are paying to make sure nobody notices that you're getting the short end of the stick. Again.

Direct download: March_6_2013_56.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:36pm EST

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