Progressive politics, news & talk hosted by David Waldman

Morning wingnut outrage: Someone said "spooning" on CNN, and that's Teh Sex! Morning meta-debate: does criticism of the NYT's Benghazi story require on-the-ground reporting? Greg Dworkin focuses the morning madness with a round of ACA stories. Charles Gaba (aka Brainwrap) gets front page WaPo notice for his signup calculations. Greg's next story becomes the first hour obsession, the NBC coverage of how ACA implementation was impacting employees of a Michigan car dealership. But not before distracting us with the very wonkish notion of carving time up into infinitely small slices, to see if we can defeat federal health care policy. Or something. Then we double back to dissect that NBC News story, and it doesn't look like it holds up. The NSA is in the news again, and we read Cory Doctorow's treatment of the big Der Spiegel story. Also: Bloomberg reveals the new American Caymans, in South Dakota.

Direct download: December_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:25pm EDT

We're (briefly) back from the holiday break, having been captivated by the post-Christmas tweeting of photos of people displaying the new guns they got as gifts. Particularly those shown with their fingers on the trigger! Greg Dworkin wraps up his picks from the week's news, including Brainwrap's data on ACA sign-ups (over 5.75 million), Christopher Flavelle's "Somebody Has to Be Wrong About Obamacare," private sector Christmas package delivery problems, the NYT's "With Health Law Cemented, G.O.P. Debates Next Move," WaPo's "Hey Dems: the only way out on health care is through," and Susan Demas' "I know who the next president will be!" We reviewed the early returns on post-Christmas #GunFAIL. Kenzo Shibata's "Why the Left Must Embrace Affluenza." Dartagnan's top-recommended diary, "Why No Wall Street CEOs Were Prosecuted For Causing the Financial Crisis." Josh Tauberer notes 50% of the U.S. population lives in 1% of the land area. Think about that when looking at red/blue Congressional district maps. Lastly, we start looking at Jen Dziura's "When 'Life Hacking' Is Really White Privilege."

Direct download: December_27_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

Not everything in the world has been said about Duck Dynasty yet, apparently. So we talk about how we don't understand why we're still talking about it. Greg Dworkin notes the arrival of Festivus, and airs his grievances against the media. In particular, this from WaPo's The Fix column: "Joe Manchin's Obamacare fears -- and why they matter." Better example of how to talk about health care cost disruptions: NYT's "Health Care's Road to Ruin." Yes, things are complex. Even the no-brainer of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. And in a closing holiday note, "Nordic Quack," Sweden's bizarre tradition of watching Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas Eve. And how about our own rise of redneck TV? Great opportunity for easy grassroots activism (and local stardom!) in foresterbob's diary, "I signed up for health insurance, told my GOP Congressman about it, and made the local news." Then, an interview with bunnygirl60, aka Arliss Bunny, author of The Smart Bunny's Guide to Debt, Deficit and Austerity.

Direct download: December_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

Well, I guess we're at the stage where we have to endure Duck Dynasty "think pieces." It's also time for duelling essays by Washington journalists about why Washington journalism does or doesn't suck. Next, a reading (with accompanying patented KITM-style tangent discussions) of Gawker's "The Second Class Citizens of the Google Cafeteria." Somehow, we end up fomenting security guard-led revolution. Roll Call's round-up of recent House retirements, and their taxonomy of "The 4 Types of House Retirements to Come," then a little historical context/Hill insider anecdote to accompany their report the House's newest Member has hired a 25-year-old Chief of Staff. Finally, another shot at that crazy EPA/fake-CIA guy story.

Direct download: December_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

Greg Dworkin was back today, and he brought a new NYT/CBS poll with him. "Uninsured Skeptical of Health Care Law in Poll," we're told. And Greg takes that apart. He also points us to "The GOP Repeal Trap" as well as Alex Pareene's 2013 "Hack List." Then, we hold up National Memo's "America's Greediest" profile of Sheldon Adelson and yesterday's report on the "accidental" $100 billion tax loophole for the rich next to Slate's look at the original "Welfare Queen," and ask who's stealing more here? A quick detour to Speaker Boehner renting his DC apartment from a tanning industry lobbyist, and then a call from Armando, to move us to Politico's effort to let us know that they held a panel concluding that the media is full of filthy liberals. Of course, we think it's just full of derp. Finally, an attempt to get to the completely bonkers story of the EPA official who pretended to be in the CIA!
Direct download: December_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT

"Happy Holidays!" POW! Arizona woman allegedly punches a Salvation Army bell ringer for using the "wrong" greeting. A clip from the David Pakman show (another Netroots Radio fave) informs us that $4,000 of the taxes paid on a $50,000 annual salary end up paying for corporate subsidies! Joan McCarter joins the show for a roundup that includes the non-budget "budget deal" and renewed threats of debt ceiling brinkmanship, the lack (so far) of serious post-nuclear Senate drama, the expiration of unemployment insurance, the NSA lawsuits, Dan Drezner's "Tone-Deaf at the Listening Post," and, somewhere in the middle of it all... historical changes in human sleep patterns! Also: "Accidental Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion," which Alec MacGillis points out is more than half the latest cut in food stamps. But that's the good kind of redistribution, right?

Direct download: December_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

Another federal court says NSA surveillance is likely unconsitutional. The post-nuclear Senate has apparently cleared more than a dozen judicial and executive nominations in the past week. What happened to the promised meltdown from Republicans? Is it too early to declare it MIA? Greg Dworkin discusses this, notes the 99 44/100% pure Crazy among Michigan Republicans, Aaron Carroll's Incidental Economist post, "Reducing the number of uninsured is a good thing, not a bad thing," and Boston Globe reporter Billy Baker's Twitter discussion of his "Bus 19" success story. Picking up where he left off, we did a critical read-through of a recent Ezra Klein piece, "Pick your problem: Unemployment or income inequality." Something different: the burgeoning Shia LeBeouf plagiarism scandal/performance art piece. Returning to politics, Senate Republicans have yet to decide how to react to the nuclear option. RWNJ NH state legislator threatens "armed resistance," because of course he does.

Direct download: December_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Ron Fournier's upset again, tweeting that "the Obama White House is no better than past administrations about shading the truth," and that "Obama's apologists will say that every president plays politics with policy in elections years." He's got an article behind it, but I'm pretty sure that last week the problem was "both sides." The first tweet says yes, but the second one says no. I just wish someone would lead! George Washington Bridge scandal continues to roil, sort of, for Chris Christie. An extended look at the year-end review of the collected GunFAIL stories, particularly accidental shootings of kids. Reports out of Florida say 4 in 10 people treated at hospitals for gunshot wounds were the victims of GunFAIL episodes, about double the national rate. And fatal GunFAILs there quadrupled in 2012! And an expansive reading of Joan Walsh's "Poverty nation: How America created a low-wage work swamp."

Direct download: December_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

Here's how we wove together a themed show today: We started with National Journal magazine's "The Return of the Welfare Queen," positing that Republicans were reviving the 1980s Reaganite rhetorical relic, and held that up against the "Affluenza" story out of Texas. Which one of these crazy items is the worse "entitlement" anecdotal horror story? Armando joins in to link the discussion to Hobby Lobby, the Bain economy, tax breaks for passive income, the 1% versus the rest, etc. And from there, the Swiss proposal to adopt a national policy of a minimum guaranteed income. Is it contemptible socialism? Or an ultra-conservative "block granting" of all welfare programs into one? At least one conservative says that's just what it looks like. But of course if you bring it up as a liberal, conservative support will disappear, as it has with everything else. About which, see today's Jonathans Report: Chait on the "The Heritage Uncertainty Principle." Also: the NYT smuggles Snowden documents, but is awesome when it does it, unlike Glenn Greenwald, who was clearly so communist-y.

Direct download: December_13_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

Fresh outrage of the day: Fox News is upset that someone wondered whether we couldn't make Santa imagery more inclusive! Greg Dworkin notes the latest ACA figures according to Brainwrap, who's basically "FiveThirtyEight-ing" (or maybe "@Redistrict-ing") the numbers at Also: the budget deal and the continuing Gop civil war; movement on Guantanamo closure; Katie Couric to revisit the HPV vaccine issue, this time with science? Other stories: The fake (and possibly dangerous) sign language interpreter from the Mandela memorial! Megyn Kelly's derpy Santa Claus grousing. But while we're on the subject, how about an anthropological look at where Santa's wacky red suit comes from? Would you believe psychedelic mushrooms? TPM reports "GOPer Who'd Only Lower Flags For Americans Was OK With Pope Tributes." Third party pipe dreams. Eric Cantor finds a way to be a dick about funding pediatric cancer research. David Dayen analyzes in Salon how the budget deal takes yet another piece out of federal workers' hides. Another tech startup dude-bro reveals himself as a giant assbag.
Direct download: December_12_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:40pm EDT

Enjoy today's extended segment with Greg Dworkin & Armando! Weather-related school delays in the region of KITM World Headquarters meant we were depending on them to step in, and they delivered! We covered a little bit of everything. The Mandela memorial. The ACA website is working & enrollment is up. The Ryan-Murray budget deal inches forward, taking flak along the way. Is OH Gov. Kasich the last Compassionate Conservative? Armando joins in a long discussion of the Hobby Lobby case, safe harbor provisions, and the concept of conscientious objection. Plus: the Time Person of the Year selection, and rebounding in the polls for the Obama administration. Returning to the conscientious objection issue, we read the fantastic blog post, "Get Your Fake Conscience Objections Off My Lawn." Related: another look at the continuing Twitter exchange between Amanda Carpenter and Brian Beutler. Lastly: NSA discussion. They're monitoring online video games, now. Plus Juan Cole, riffing off of President Obama's speech at the Mandela memorial, notes that even healthy dissent just isn't possible in a surveillance state.

Direct download: December_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

An extended kickoff segment with Greg Dworkin and Armando this morning. Greg follows up on the "enhanced medical care" story, highlighting some of the potential problems. In today's Jonathans Report: Chait's "Congressional Republicans Reveal Secret Love for Obamacare." Also noted: approval of the new "Volcker rule." Armando calls in to put some fine points on the issues raised by Chait, and by Brian Beutler's Twitter exchange with Ted Cruz staffer Amanda Carpenter. Armando stuck around for additional discussion of Beutler's report on the wingnut position on the emerging budget deal, and how it might impact a Dem push on unemployment insurance extensions. Next up, discussion of the Republican "reversal" on the sequester. Remember when the reason the "Super Committee" was going to work was because everyone thought sequestration was irresponsible and stupid? Now the wingnuts say it's not just genius, but sacrosanct. Further reading of the Beutler/Carpenter exchange reveals Republicans "fight" the war on Obamacare the same way they did in Iraq: ordering others to do the fighting for them, while they type up complaints online. A brief #GunFAIL update, including the Army's new private gun ownership mentoring program. Newt Gingrich's defense of Mandela praise. And predictably enough, with a Dem in the White House, Republicans consider NSA lies to Congress to be criminal acts. Frivolous wrap-ups: Hipster civil war; Hilton vs. Lohan, in "Celebrity Warlords."

Direct download: December_10_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

The traditional media's favorite game, "Both Sides" forces its way to the fore again, this time with Cokie Roberts telling NPR audiences that yes, conservative critics disgraced themselves by denouncing Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his death, but that she was pretty sure Obama was probably getting some flak from Dems upset that he was including President Bush in the delegation headed to South Africa, too. So, both sides! Greg Dworkin helps us decode it, as he always does, and leads us into discussion of the nature of advocacy journalism, and Third Way-ism. He also notes that alongside the big NYT "Invisible Child" story, there's also their story on "enhanced medical care" for New York's wealthy elite. Huzzah! Plus, for today's poll fix, a summary of the latest McClatchy/Marist survey. Armando calls in for an exchange on the "enhanced medical care" story. And that sets us up with a theme for the rest of the day, neo-libertarianism versus reality, by way of a reading of David Simon's recounting of his speech to the "Festival of Dangerous Ideas," and weekend TV news (and Daily Show) segments featuring conservative "arguments" against addressing inequality and raising the minimum wage.

Direct download: December_9_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

The first hour-plus of the show today was given over to reactions to the death of Nelson Mandela, mostly spent gawking with Armando at unearthed relics of conservative opposition. George Will provides the bulk of the entertainment. The review included Joan Walsh's "Fight the right-washing of Nelson Mandela's legacy,"'s "Remembering The Religious Right's Attacks On Nelson Mandela," and their review of the curious coincidence of the intimate involvement of both Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist in resisting the American anti-apartheid movement (because Freedom). Wacky! Then, we turned back to the Detroit issue, finishing up with the Demos backgrounder, and supplementing its weediness with an explainer from David Sirota, an interview from Josh Eidelson, and an AP report on the next round of the city's screwing.

Direct download: December_6_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Everybody wants a part of the Ron Fournier millennials game! Except millennials, I guess, because they don't care about anything. Greg Dworkin actually knows what he's talking about, so we let him put the Harvard poll in perspective. He also updated us on the new curveball Chuck Grassley's stupid ACA amendment has thrown lawmakers, the gun-on-campus situation at the University of New Haven, and on Katie Couric's alarming HPV anti-vax segment. In other surprising TV commentary news: Martin Bashir! That pulls Armando into the conversation, as he points us to Egberto Willies' post on the subject, and later segues us into more discussion of how terrible Third Way is. Chuck Schumer pays a visit to Daily Kos. Further explanation of how the Grassley amendment has given Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) a sad, and how Smith's own bill (had it passed) would have made him sadder, still. Brian Beutler adds to our hedging on whether there'll be another government shutdown. Blackwater's founder wants you to know it's a mistake to think they always used excessive force. The proof? One guy once reholstered his gun rather than start taking potshots when in the room with President Bush. Finally, another installment from the Demos explainer on Detroit's fiscal crisis.

Direct download: December_5_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:27pm EDT

Third Way is terrible. I say so. Greg Dworkin says so. And Joan McCarter says so. So that's three ways, right there. Greg tells us about the numbers, how Obama is running away from Obamacare by giving a speech about Obamacare, (Why won't this guy lead?), how the journamalisms on the ACA is awful, and about Tom Edsall's NYT piece "The Center Cannot Hold." Then he tried to reassure us there wouldn't be another government shutdown, but we hung up on him. So, we asked Joan about that instead! And also about the Republicans' stealthy non-i-word impeachment hearing, why Third Way is so terrible, what's up with the Detroit bankruptcy, and how Republicans are dusting off the same "$717 billion in Medicare cuts" talking point all over again. Later: the Virginia special election to fill Mark Herring's seat, and some critical background from Demos on the Detroit bankruptcy situation.

Direct download: December_4_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:47pm EDT

A grab bag of topics and headlines for today's show. "Cyber" Monday. Fox News tries to inject the impeachment meme again, this time over! says "At Least 1 in 4 Dark Money Dollars in 2012 Had Koch Links." Congressional negotiators are said to be close to a mini budget deal to replace at least part of sequestration's cuts. The NY train derailment's cause: the engineer fell asleep. Spotless, years-long performance record, no drugs, no alcohol, no texting. Just a bad moment. A Wisconsin voucher school is found to be in mid-collapse. By the numbers, this is one of the least productive Congresses ever. (But you knew that.) Gun control advocates are targeted by gun nuts with misogynistic, violent threats, because freedom. RWNJs of the future will one day insist the Constitution requires Republican Party membership. David Pakman's report on a horrible story out of New Mexico, in which police strip-searched a drug suspect and sprayed her vagina with mace! Fox News says swim classes for Muslim girls is Creeping Sharia! A wrap-up on the NSA sex snooping stories.

Direct download: December_3_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

Waking from our post-Thanksgiving slumber to find out the ACA website user interface appears to be working, and that Amazon says they're experimenting with the idea of delivering via drone. Greg Dworkin updates us on the state of the website-turning-the-corner narrative, noting Timothy Egan's op-ed, "Rooting for Failure," new sign-up numbers, and where the storyline is likely to go from here. Also: claims that support for gun control helped Mark Herring win the AG race in Virginia, and Gabby Giffords and Eric Schneiderman write on a new model for background checks at gun shows. Then, a discussion of one reason Sunday shows suck: they're full of pundits who all live the same cloistered lifestyle, and whose job is to sound jaded when they read The Hotline to you, then insist they're geniuses for doing it. No Labels turns out to be a flop. Former Sen. Bob Smith says he's a Republican again, and from New Hampshire again. And last week's Snowden document dump said the NSA is spying on the online web surfing habits of Muslim "radicalizers," but it's OK because none of their stuff ever gets out of control and none of their definitions ever get expanded. Or start out as completely stupid in the first place. Or whatever. Look, just shop. OK?

Direct download: December_2_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Pre-Thanksgiving with Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter and Armando. Greg rounded up the day's ACA news & polling. Twitter's been buzzing with discussion of the latest attempt by conservatives to overturn Obamacare and block access to contraception along the way. Armando and Joan both weigh in on this one, and wrap up on the story of netroots involvement in the filibuster reform fight, including the role the Daily Kos Campaigns team in converting the "outside" game into metrics the "insiders" could understand and absorb, a critical element in making the "inside/outside" game work. Joan previews the upcoming holiday period on the Daily Kos front page, including coverage of significant Thanksgiving and Black Friday labor actions. Wrapping up on the nuts & bolts of the nuclear option, we take a look back at a forgotten, late 2005 proposal by the then-majority Republicans in the Senate to set off a sort of "mini-nuke" that actually purported to erase its own tracks after it was used. And how was it to be used? To force through an ANWR drilling amendment, believe it or not. But can that sort of thing really be erased? Depends who you ask, and when!

Direct download: November_27_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up NRO's "Collateral Damage in a GOP Civil War," Politico Magazine's "Which Side of the Barricade Are You On?", coverage of the Iran deal and the latest ACA rollout commentary, too. Just in time for the holidays: Kentucky-scented candles. What does Kentucky smell like? Listen and find out IF YOU DARE. Rep. Trey Radel's staff begins jumping ship. Preparing for Thanksgiving Obamacare debates (with a minor diversion on the "Thanksgivakah" confluence). Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism "tyranny!" Liz Cheney gets a "book deal." Media Matters covers Newsweek's look at whether 60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan's husband may have had any professional influence on the botched Benghazi story, and that leads us to a discussion of the borderline unethical practice of producing "video news releases."

Direct download: November_26_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

It's post-nuclear Monday! Greg Dworkin rounds up some of the fallout, points us to the WaPo's fantastic coverage of ACA enrollment stories from Kentucky, Peter Beinart's column on the weekend's Iran deal, and alerts us to the upcoming issuance of the prosecutor's report on the events of 12/14 in Newtown. WalMart's CEO retires. CNN's nuclear option coverage gives the grassroots/netroots (and me) some credit for pushing things through. Revisiting the possibility of contesting the Virginia AG election in the state legislature. More discussion of the Kentucky ACA article. Sarah Palin attempts to address the nuclear option news. Why didn't Harry Reid use this opportunity to push through the "talking filibuster"? And how long before we might see something like this on legislative filibusters? The 2005 fight offers us some insight.

Direct download: November_25_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

It's our first post-nuclear show! Once again, we give you a look way, way deep under the hood, with all the information you'll need to shut up just about anybody you're likely to run into at any Thanksgiving dinner, anywhere. You might especially enjoy the "time machine paradox" that once allowed the Senate to use the nuclear option, and then erase its tracks, such that everybody spent the next 35 years thinking it had never been used. And yes, that's available to the Senate today, and always has been. Because time machine! Next, the amazing and infuriating story of police misconduct in Miami Gardens, FL. But we don't leave you hanging with that downer for the weekend. Oh, no! First, "Right-Wing Author Abandons Cultural Populism, Decries 'White Trash,'" and then the positively uplifiting story of Rolling Jubilee and Strike Debt. Thanks, Occupy!

Direct download: November_22_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

Looks like it's nuclear option day! Greg Dworkin also had some other stuff, too, about that whole health care thing. Some especially good stuff on cost-contol market forces, how they work, and how we sometimes maybe kind of wish they wouldn't. Or maybe just wish that we could have our cake and eat it, too. Building on that, we discussed "The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoring," and reminded ourselves that there actually are some Republicans looking to eliminate that subsidy... but only if you buy a plan that covers abortion. Which would only be about 87% of private plans on the market. And, "English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet." Lastly a wrap-up on the nuclear option outlook, and one last attempt to clarify just what'll likely happen, what it means, and what it doesn't.

Direct download: November_21_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Lots of filibuster reform discussion today, right off the bat, and right through our discussions with Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter, as well. Greg rounded up the day's health care news, punditry and polling, and told us about the "forbidden words" in ACA reporting: wait and see. Joan covered the state of play on filibuster reform, what we were likely to see and when. And yes, we hedged a little bit when it came to the bottom line question of whether or not it would really happen, or whether we'd see another deal. Then, an extensive check-in on the show comments from jimstaro on "keeping your plan," enemy of the people on filibuster reform & the House's "Hastert rule," and Doctor Who on his evolving position on Senate rules reform. Lastly, David Dayen's "JPMorgan's bait-and-switch: The ballyhooed settlement is just a scam!"

Direct download: November_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

New polling fans the Obamacare website flames, and outrage is manufactured over the Gettysburg anniversary. Greg Dworkin rounds up those headlines, plus news about the surge in ACA enrollment, the history of hyperbolic declarations of the end of Democratic presidencies, and Jonathan Cohn's "Six Things the Media Doesn't Understand About Obamacare." Then Institute for Policy Studies supports its "Platinum Plated Pensions" report with some salient facts about the people pushing hardest to cut your Social Security benefits. Surprise! They're super rich and don't need Social Security. One of those people, by the way, is the CEO of WalMart, where low-paid workers are now holding food drives for their fellow low-paid employees! Talk about corporate welfare! Now they're pocketing the margins on food purchased for donation to their own workers! Speaking of WalMart: more amazing GunFAIL. And Norway joins the parade of allies finding NSA prying into their communications.

Direct download: November_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

It's Monday, and that means unwinding the credit default swap disaster that is weekend political coverage. We all go off to enjoy a few days off, maybe some sports, time with the family, etc., and what happens? The health care web site becomes Watergate, Katrina and New Coke all in one. And if you don't buy that, how about calling it a "political Katrina"? An interesting dodge, but outside of the weather itself (and maybe not even excepting that), what was non-political about Katrina? Greg Dworkin notes the different definitions for everyday words that the political punditry tend to use in describing events, perhaps as part of their toolkit for reducing policy to TV-ready political stories. Adam Serwer raises a flag: "The victor in Virginia's attorney general race stands a chance of losing." How? In a reversal decided by the Republican-dominated state legislature. Yes, such things happen. We provide some additional context. In the wake of the super-typhoon, an LA Times op-ed asks who's a looter? Words have meaning, of course. And words like that, improperly used, can actually make a gigantic disaster even worse. The Cheney sisters have words over marriage rights (and the world was already done talking about it by the time Drudge wrote it up). And whaddya know, Tim Geithner has landed a job with a private equity firm!

Direct download: November_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Turns out the Friday grab bag mostly just had one thing in it: a really interesting interview by the Washington Post's Dylan Matthews with Joel Berg, a former Clinton administration Agriculture Department official, and executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Yes, we filled in the cracks with a few other items, like the strange fascination with Janet Yellin's wardrobe (like we haven't seen that before), reactions to the problems from Dems who lost seats in Congress in the 2010 elections allegedly over the ACA, Michele Bachmann's claims of having "lost [her] health insurance under Obamacare," and Rush Limbaugh's latest attacks on birth control coverage. (But yeah, that ad was kind of dumb.)

Direct download: November_15_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT

Greg Dworkin's roundup reminds us of the ephemeral nature of too-early generic ballot mid-term election polling, updates the spin game on ACA "enrollment" numbers, and notes the divide between the political versus policy angles on the issue. And continuing with a favorite theme, he points to Rick Perlstein's latest, "The Grand Old Tea Party." From the wide world of weird news, the story that had Twitter all agog, "The Nanny Recipes: Skip the Microwave." Armando couldn't resist this one, but also previews his upcoming Sunday Kos piece on the relative wisdom of a hypothetical contested Democratic primary in 2016, with the even more hypothetical possibility of Elizabeth Warren contesting it against Hillary Clinton. After still more ranting about nanny training, we picked up this crazy story from former Kos-er Kaili Joy Gray, running under the title, "Idaho Republican Rapist Real Unhappy His Concealed Carry Permit is Revoked Just Because He Lied About Being a Rapist," and then Jonathan Chait's, "Rand Paul Fights Imaginary Doughnut Ban." Why doughnut and not donut? Because magazine. Finally, leading contenders for GunFAIL Derp of the Week: two stories about the latest hotness: accidentally firing your gun while out shopping.

Idaho Republican Rapist Real Unhappy His Concealed Carry Permit Is Revoked Just Because He Lied About Being A Rapist
Idaho Republican Rapist Real Unhappy His Concealed Carry Permit Is Revoked Just Because He Lied About Being A Rapist
Direct download: November_14_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

We take our turn grousing about Richard Cohen's nonsense, and wondering what would ever make anyone think it was "brillian" or "brave." Joan McCarter joins us to score a few points of her own, update us on the state of the latest filibuster showdown, and explain the differences between Sen. Mary Landrieu's "you can keep your insurance" bill, and Rep. Fred Upton's. Second hour: a roundup of assorted political (and tangential) items of interest. Chris Christie's abrasive style wasn't always a winning strategy. (And why is it that high-ranking men get to "win" with this stuff, anyway?) The woman in the photo on the original web site gets "cyberbullied." (Remember the SCHIP granite counter tops?) A revival of the bizarro 1995 NYT story, "That time Harvard and Yale took Naked Photos of all their Freshman Students." Yes, hello there, "Best and Brightest!"

Direct download: November_13_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

Today's media (and conservative) gripes about Obamacare boil down to this: we want to be able to criticize this complex socio-economic policy in the same way that we do horse race political contests. That is to say, poorly and without regard to reality. Greg Dworkin helps us wrap up the news and expectations (both realistic and not), the latest round of Twitter-bashing from journalists, and developments in the Virginia AG count. Following Greg's lead, discussion of the effects of Drudge and Twitter on political journalism. Then, the next filibuster showdown looms in the Senate, and the latest Richard Arenberg dispatch provides ample fodder for picking away at some standard arguments against reform: the Senate's history, the "slippery slope," etc. Follow-ups on the confrontation between Texas open carry advocates and Moms Demand Action, and the pol who won local election in an African-American district of Houston, purportedly by hiding the fact that he was white. More from "Breathless and Burdened."

Direct download: November_12_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

Greg Dworkin updates us on the counting in the Virginia Attorney General race, noting the transparency with the canvassing and the maneuvering around it is taking place. Nonetheless, there's controversy surrounding the interpretation of rules governing the counting of provisional ballots in Fairfax County. Also covered: reactions to the inadequate 60 Minutes response to the collapse of their Benghazi story. A little more discussion of Threshold Editions, the spin-off imprint that was apparently meant to discreetly vacuum up Right-Wing Nutjob cash for the otherwise respectable execs at Simon & Schuster. Gun nuts are at it again, showing up with weapons to protest even the smallest gatherings of gun safety advocates, this time four members of the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action who had gathered for lunch at a local restaurant. Political News of the Weird: Philadelphia elects its first Whig in 150+ years. Think Progress: "White Anti-Gay Activist Wins Election After Pretending To Be Black." More from the Center for Public Integrity's series, "Breathless and Burdened."

Direct download: November_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:33pm EDT

Big story of the day seems to be the unraveling of the 60 Minutes Benghazi "story." Although they'll correct & apologize, it's a bit too late once you've given the wingnuts more crack. Sure, correct the record, but what do we do about judges and others who were filibustered over this? Greg Dworkin brings us the "quants vs. guts" debunking of the Double Down drama; the recount news from the Virginia AG race; what demographics lessons from VA results; the backlash against Guns & Ammo for daring to print something about gun safety, and a new (to me) bit of info on the 60 Minutes situation: CBS owns the publisher of the book at the center of the story. That led to a lengthy discussion of the wingnut welfare scheme of bulk book sales, etc. Switching gears, more from the Center for Public Integrity's amazing investigation into the world of the high-priced lawyers who help coal barons stomp on miners seeking compensation for black lung.

Direct download: November_8_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up more of the elections fallout, and the unlikeliness of the sometimes-predicted Obamacare "death spiral." And using Jonathan Cohn's latest for TNR, we debate the question of "winners" and "losers" among insurance consumers under the ACA. Developments in two #GunFAIL stories, one brand-new, the other wrapping up the trial stage, illustrate the reality of the old "an armed society is a polite society" claptrap. Charlie Savage turns our attention back to surveillance issues, this time via an alleged CIA/AT&T partnership. You don't need a warrant if they're willing to sell you the data!

Direct download: November_7_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Back on the air after a brief elections break, and on the air for real with We Act Radio, 1480 AM in Washington, DC, and! We rounded up the election results and read the tea leaves with Greg Dworkin, including the important reminder from Virginia that "moderates" are not the same thing as "independents." Joan McCarter joined us to wrap up the election analysis, news from on the Hill, and to preview what's coming up at Daily Kos. We covered the Senate's Obamacare hearings, whether the Virginia results will result in a change in ACA implemention there, the President taking his ACA show on the road to red states, the continuing debunking of the horror stories, and the lower-profile election day results on minimum wage, marijuana laws, and environmental issues, plus legislative news from Illinois on marriage equality. Also discussed: another filibuster fight looms in the Senate, increased scrutiny on coal barons screwing their workers out of black lung compensation (and Mike Stark getting sued by them, too), and a special GunFAIL story from out of Waco, TX, where armed prosecutors admiring each others' guns accidentally shot out the office window. For freedom.

Direct download: November_6_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Kos nailed it on Huntsman a year ago! Greg Dworkin brought us a great Friday roundup, including the revealing Q&A with two contestants in an Alabama Congressional special election primary, the bonkers Hallmark move to take the word "gay" out of "Deck the Halls," and the latest on ACA "winners & losers." Crazy stories from all corners today. How about the gun-wielding Tennessean who shot a teenager TP-ing a house down the street. Hey, stand any ol' ground you happen to see! Right? The mysterious "Google barges," and the weird position they've put the Coast Guard in. Ron Fournier sees that Republicans are twice as unpopular as the President, so they're both the same, and those supporting either one are crazy. Chuck Grassley makes his ACA amendment look even dumber and more convoluted. Plus, Republican Senators who voted in favor of allowing the President to raise the debt ceiling subject, then voted to disapprove of their own votes. And an interesting story from out of a Tennessee courtroom, where the government (i.e., prosecutors) formally object to being called "the government."

Direct download: November_1_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

Greg Dworkin recaps the Sebelius appearance on the Hill, the continued debunking of ACA "horror" stories, and the latest polling. We were joined by Joan McCarter, discussing the "can you keep" your crappy insurance flap, the next Senate nominations standoff, NSA snooping (including brain-shattering statements from House Intel chair Mike Rogers), and the Food Stamp Cliff. A Halloween story: Tired of "sexy" everything costumes (including "Sexy Hamburger")? Tired enough to say a website dedicated to better costumes for women and girls should get $10,000+? Hmm. And from Joshua Holland at, "The High Cost of Low Taxes."

Direct download: October_31_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

Reminder: CREDO Mobile's special offer for our listeners ends at the end of the month! Greg Dworkin rounds up the latest news on ACA implementation, Kathleen Sebelius' appearance on the Hill, the Virginia elections, and the retreat from the Republican and Tea Party brands continues. Ryan Grim and Jason Linkins at HuffPo offer up "The Definitive Guide to Decoding Washington's Anonymous Sources." Ryan Cooper's "The Filibuster Must Die." Think Progress' "How Sequestration Gets Even Worse Next Year." And the Center for Public Integrity's shocking series on how coal giants use their high-powered lawyers and in-house medical "experts" to keep killing their miners with black lung.

Direct download: October_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up the day's ACA implementation news, and today that centers on questions of whether premiums are headed up or down. And where you stand on the ACA at large has a lot to do with how you'll describe what's happening. Especially if you're Suzanne Somers. And a reminder of the state of the upcoming elections in Virginia. The hot ACA debate of the day is over the meaning of the President's promise that "if you like your insurance, you can keep it." What does it mean to say you "like your insurance?" Does anyone really like it? Or do they just dislike change even more? And if you do like it, it's probably just because the CEO of your carrier hasn't figured out a way to make you pay more for it without making you hate it enough to switch. Next, "Chris Christie: America's most overrated governor." And Think Progress says the House is prepared to pass a Citigroup-written law "gutting a Dodd-Frank financial reform provision that forced federally-insured banks to cease trading in derivatives."

Direct download: October_29_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Greg Dworkin sets the theme for the morning. And basically, it's this: political science says most political arguments aren't working. An update on the ACA website issues. And a tour of the weekend's most interesting long reads: Keller/Greenwald, and Posner. The NSA turns out, probably to no one's genuine surprise, is monitoring pretty much everybody in the world. Lindsey Graham threatens to block all appointments in the Senate, because Benghazi. Your Gang of 14, ladies and gentlemen. And just as a vote on the general counself for the NLRB comes up, too. Meanwhile, the House insists it wants to hold a vote disapproving of the debt ceiling hike. So, do you think this is a healthy time to be discussing the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius from HHS? The Hill reminds us of the existence of the "Food Stamp Cliff." Why is it a cliff? What's going to happen? And what does it tell us about the basic nature of the Republicans we're dealing with today? Well, pretty much the same thing that Brian Beutler (and Digby) said. Armando weighs in on the basic illogic of it all, plus the insanity of the attempted Benghazi revival.

Direct download: October_28_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Brought to you once again by CREDO Mobile! Greg Dworkin wraps up the week in freak-outs, and suggests that maybe we're coming to the end of the effective life of that issue. But despite that, expect more partisan heckling. Meanwhile, WaPo-ABC polling data shows Gop favorability cratering among key demographics. We discuss the Michael Hayden/Tom Matzzie Amtrak encounter. How Fox News set up a fellow reporter for attacks (because fair & balanced). Follow-up on the question of whether the Koch brothers did or didn't bankroll the shutdown strategy. Christine O'Donnell elbows her way back into the news (and let's face it, I let her). Let her example be a lesson to campaing-in-a-box-ers. Revisiting the complex issue of prison privatization, via a HuffPost investigation of privatized juvenile facilities.

Direct download: October_25_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Greg Dworkin recaps the ACA website news, including Norm Ornstein's latest on where the buck ultimately stops, and his predictions about how the traditional media are likely to cover the continuing story. Also: Chris Christie's weakness in the 2016 contest. A reminder that the water resources authorization bill under consideration in the House this week is the proper place for that Kentucky dam project to have been handled. Why did they rush it through in the CR to reopen the government when the proper bill was moving the next week? Jon Perr's "How Democrats helped Republicans save BushCare." Ari Berman's coverage of how the Texas voter ID law is discriminating against women! A conversation with CREDO political director Becky Bond, about how CREDO works, what moves them to action, and what they're up to right now. Alex Pareene takes a shot at the JPMorgan Chase settlement. And just to expand horizons a bit, a critique of Jeremy Paxman's interview with Russell Brand  on the UK's Newsnight program.

Direct download: October_24_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

Greg Dworkin recaps post-shutdown polling. There's still more confirming the disastrous results for Republicans, and they're so bad, it's starting to bring the future of party control of the House into question. Only Clive Crook hasn't heard the news yet, apparently. And Tea Party supporters simply refuse to hear it. Also: a rare cookie for Ron Fournier, and the firings at AP over the story-that-wasn't-about-Terry McAuliffe. The extraordinary derpitude of Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC). We closely parse her terrible dodges on health care, but remember, she's had a terrible month, scoring brain-shattering hits on shutdown derp & even gun safety derp, as well. Which reminds me, people are still accidentally shooting themselves. A lot. And if there's a way to top GunFAIL, it's gotta be NukeFAIL. Finally, we check in with loyal overseas listener GideonAB, whose eye has been on the role of HHS Sec. Sebelius in the launch, and on continued pressure to bring punishment down on Edward Snowden.

Direct download: October_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT

Greg Dworkin updates us on the latest polling buzz: CNN's survey basically showing that everybody thinks it's a bad idea for Republicans to be in control of the House. There's actually much more to it, of course. And Greg breaks it down. Plus, a reminder that the ACA website problems will be much in the news today. Conservative blind squirrel: "Tea Party needs to recognize that it's playing with live ammo." Random notes: Max Blumenthal's tweet on Adolph Reed's observation about an early-career Barack Obama; the Sunday NY Daily News' surprising (maybe) take on the JPMorgan Chase settlement news, and; the Star-Ledger's incoherent endorsement of Chris Christie, right alongside their questions about his politicization of the state's judicial system. Finally, a look at the decision to include a conference on the FY2014 budget in the agreement ending the shutdown. How does voting in conference work? And why have a conference at all? Is it to try to give a platform to Grand Bargain talks?

Direct download: October_21_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

Another show brought to you by our fine friends at CREDO Mobile! Greg Dworkin rounds up the CW from the shutdown fallout, analysis pointing the finger at Gop "moderates," as opposed to the Tea Party, "The Truthiness of Rand Paul," the Gop donor class versus Tea Party, Virginia's bluing trend, and continuing ACA website woes. The political dynamics of earmarks and "pork." Is the Republican ban on earmarks in the House undermining leadership control? And speaking of earmarks, we dig a little deeper into that mysterious provision of the CR dealing with the dam project on the Illinois/Kentucky border. Conflicting stories, here! Plus, a guided tour of how to figure out the intentionally obscure methodologies used in earmarking. This, by the way, is the second "flavor" of transparency, without which simple data transparency is really useless. Also, Kevin Drum's "The Conservative Fundraising Racket, Part 674." And, witnessing the birth of a conservative Twitter freakout!

Direct download: October_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

Begin the countdown to the next shutdown! This one is over, and Greg Dworkin helps us wrap up the politics, including the vote count, the emergence of "big whoop" journalism from the what had been the "both sides" camp, and the real meaning of the "why won't Obama lead?" code: it really means, "why haven't you cut entitlements?" Unscathed in all the drama: the conservative article of faith which states that they only lose because they're not conservative enough. More Gop fault lines: Grover Norquist claims to be mad at defunders. Recapping the elements of the deal. How you paid for Ted Cruz's $24 billion mailing list. And just how did that number get decided on, anyway? The Atlantic names "32 Republicans Who Caused the Government Shutdown." What Cruz's fake filibuster should have taught us about predicting yesterday's cave. That reinsurance fee, explained. Interesting Tea Party insight from the New York Review of Books, of all places. And finally, a frightening and abusive FBI practice comes to light. Targeting American Muslims, of course.

Direct download: October_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

Direct download: October_16_2013_64_take_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all th ecattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding story of GunFAIL unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head!

Direct download: October_16_2013_64_take_2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all th ecattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding story of GunFAIL unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head!

Direct download: October_16_2013_64_take_2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all the cattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding GunFAIL story unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head.

Direct download: October_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:36pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all the cattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding GunFAIL story unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head.

Direct download: October_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all the cattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding GunFAIL story unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head.

Direct download: October_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Looks like we're coming to the end of this round of the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis. Greg Dworkin helps us catch up on the latest developments, predict the day's events, and explain the most likely procedural path leading to the endgame. Joan McCarter offers her take on the morning's drama, and clears up questions around the medical device tax, the reinsurance fee, income verification, etc. We tour some of the off-year election action in Virginia and New Jersey, the continuing ACA web site problems, some of the finer procedural points (including one from the filibuster reform fights) woven into the shutdown crisis, and just because it's important and we haven't mentioned it: the gigantic, freak blizzard that killed all the cattle in South Dakota. In non-shutdown news: Daily Kos joins in the fundraising fight in the Virginia state legislative races. Plus, a story you'll want to take with you to Thanksgiving dinner, to deflate any Teabagger talk about the so-called "special deal": the Office of the Attending Physician. And finally, another astounding GunFAIL story unfolds in court: the police firearms trainer with an "unhealthy attachment" to his gun... even after he accidentally shot a recruit in the head.

Direct download: October_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

Still in shutdown, but inching towards a place where a rejectable compromise is proposed! And the gun wackos have decided to move their "Guns Save Lives Day" to 12/15. Because sensitive! Greg Dworkin explores the NBC/Esquire poll on "the new American center" (whatever that is), Bruce Bartlett's article recounting the history of the 14th amendment and the modern conservatives' goal of triggering default. Rounding up some of the procedural developments, we run down the list of the seven Democrats who actually voted for that Republican rule that handed over to Eric Cantor the sole power to bring the Senate's clean CR to the floor. And, since Republicans are still considering this, Matt Yglesias' take down of the Vitter amendment. More observations on Bruce McF's premium bonds idea. An entertaining musical interlude from Lauren Mayer. WaPo: "How the Tea Party broke the Constitution." Jonathan Chait's "Senators Near Deal on GOP Surrender." Then, yet another good point from Bruce McF (it's his week, I guess!), this time connecting Republican "fungibility" theory with labor boycotts. Interesting!

Direct download: October_15_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Our second Monday in shutdown, and just a few days until the Treasury's "X Date" for default. First, a quick GunFAIL story from the termination hearing of Gilberton, PA gun nut police chief Mark Kessler: one of the Totally Awesome Tactical Ninja Patriots who showed up to stand behind him looking menacing with his guns actually turned out to be a Butterfingered Moron, and dropped his gun on the floor with a loud crash right in the middle of the proceedings. And Kessler's lawyer called for a suspension of the hearing until they could reconvene in safety somewhere else. Greg Dworkin brought us up to speed on the current state of play on the shutdown and debt ceiling, including the observation that the Tea Party is best understood as just the modern incarnation of the John Birch Society. Recapping the weekend's "protests," we realize once again that right wing protesters are treated with kid gloves, while left wing protesters get pepper sprayed and beaten. Next, we read Bruce McF's diaries outlining an interesting alternative to "The Coin," premium bonds that bring in cash for government operations without adding to the debt ceiling totals. Magic? No! It's the law. Then, the outrageous and entirely tone-deaf gun nut ploy to hijack the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook school massacre. Perhaps the most disgusting thing you'll ever see in real life politics. Finally, an explanation of how Republicans altered the standing House Rules to give Eric Cantor the sole power to block Senate proposals for clean CRs from the floor, plus how they're now moving to pull the rug out from under the Democratic discharge petition.

Direct download: October_14_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

Welcome to October, brought to you by CREDO Mobile, our newest sponsor! Greg Dworkin reviews the devastating NBC/WSJ shutdown polling, the strongest evidence yet of the destruction of the Republican brand, and recaps the state of play. Does brand implosion threaten their control of the House? Ruin chances of winning the Senate? Then comedian, cartoonist, and radio personality Matt Filipowicz joins us to chime in on the day's news, and tells us about his latest project: his MST3K style “live-riffing” of Atlas Shrugged Part One! We finish out the week with a peek in on the 1% of the 1% (including an actual person named "Muffy") as they hold a whine & cheese send-off for Michael Bloomberg's girlfriend; The Hill's coverage of a little-noticed additional Republican demand regarding Obamacare; how Crazy Ted Yoho bullshits his constituents about his position on paying furloughed federal workers, and; a Seattle #GunFAIL case's outcome is much better than those from SC and MD yesterday.

Direct download: October_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

The shutdown continues, with perhaps some indications of movement on the Republican side on the debt ceiling. Greg Dworkin updates us on the crazy AP story that wasn't about Terry McAuliffe, and the state of that VA-GOV race. On the shutdown/debt ceiling front, Republicans are getting serious backlash from their constituents. Ted Cruz commissioned his own poll, found the same thing everyone else has found, and somehow divined a win. Republicans fracture between those trying to pivot away from Obamacare as the focus and those who remain dug in. Then, two surprising stories of court outcomes in #GunFAIL cases. From South Carolina, the "stand your ground" defense succeeds (for now, anyway) for a man who says he was shooting at a threatening gang of teens, but instead killed an innocent bystander. And from Maryland, a not guilty verdict in the bench trial of a man who decided to use live shotgun ammo as part of his costume in a Halloween event, and ended up shooting a 16-year-old kid. Finally, more on the right wing coordination on the shutdown fight. David Weigel in Slate argues that the Kochs have less to do with it than other stories have alleged. And Lee Fang in The Nation says there are bigger and badder gangs driving things.

Direct download: October_10_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

Still in shutdown. And worse, the "default might be awesome" infection is spreading. Yohopublicanism is the new hotness! Greg Dworkin joins us in rolling our eyes at the craziness, but he brings AP-GfK and Gallup data, so he's allowed. Random intermission note: local gun shops are closing for lack of ammunition inventory. Next up: Joan McCarter joins us to round up the day's news and Daily Kos front page coverage to come. Default truthers, "debt prioritization," the possibility of going "nuclear" over a debt ceiling filibuster, Paul Ryan tries to pivot Republicans to entitlement and tax code reforms, discharge petition rules, the status of the private House and Senate gyms, the nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Fed, and the gigantic, melting NSA data center. We finished up with Josh Eidelson's Salon story describing what amounts to a human trafficking scam that's the modern day version of the old coal mining company towns that gamed the system to keep workers trapped in indentured servitude. Yay, modernity!

Direct download: October_9_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

First Monday of the shutdown. The weekend chatter was about the NYT's coverage of the long-standing right wing planning and coordination leading up to this point. Well, that and just how batty Justice Scalia reveals himself to be. So, congratulations! Greg Dworkin rounded up shutdown and default punditry, the continuing epidemic of false equivalence, crazy right wing shutdown rumors that people actually believed, and more. We also examine the wonkish writing on discharge petitions, some discharge reform history, and some discharge voting dynamics, just for "fun." Next, a read through the NYT's "A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning." And while we're on the Koch subject, Frederick Clarkson's summary of Mark Ames's "Charles Koch's Brain Shuts Down the Holocaust," plus some excerpts from Ames' original. Scary!

Direct download: October_7_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:38pm EDT

Greg Dworkin joins us for an extended segment diving into the Democracy Corps report, "Inside the GOP: Report on focus groups with evangelical, Tea Party and moderate Republicans." Oh. Em. Gee. Welcome to the Republican Matrix. That takes us right into a roundup of shutdown coverage, predictions for the endgame, and analysis of the fallout. CBS Radio White House Reporter Mark Knoller kicked up some dust today with his comments on the debt ceiling, and Armando calls in to clarify the issues. We watch in horror as Chuck Todd grills Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) over his spin on the blown Grassley amendment to the ACA, and how it was resurrected during the shutdown fight. Even a decent effort at pushback can't undo all the nonsense and talking point regurgitation.

Direct download: October_4_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Day Three of the Republican shutdown. The crazy-pants quote from back-bencher Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) tops the day's narrative. Greg Dworkin fills in all the background to make what "sense" can be made of saying, "We're not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is." With an unexpected assist from Robert Costa's insider coverage at NRO, we explain the state of play, the parliamentary maneuvering, and the crumbling road ahead (because paving is socialism). We're joined by Daily Kos Featured Writer Ian Reifowitz to talk about the role extreme Gerrymandering plays in driving crises like this. And as seems to happen every time, our discussion ends up leading us to connections between seemingly far-flung issues of policy, governance and society that reveal key differences between liberals and... whatever it is that "conservatives" have become.

Direct download: October_3_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

Day Two of the Republcian Shutdown. Greg Dworkin rounds up Dana Perino's nativist nonsense, the collapse of institutional Gop leadership, shutdown polling, online ACA sign-ups, and more. Joan McCarter joined us for discussion of procedural developments in Congress and the scramble to come up with mini-bills to re-open bits and pieces of the government that make good press copy. And that means in-depth explanations of the "suspension of the rules" procedure, motions to recommit, and discharge petitions. Woohoo! We also discuss gerrymandering, the importance of state and local elections and party-building, and how even a "clean" CR enshrines sequestration. Lastly, Charles Pierce's "The Reign of Morons Is Here."

Direct download: October_2_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT

Republicans kept us off the live stream this morning. Somehow. Right? I mean, why not just say so? But we went right ahead and discussed the now-realized government shutdown. Greg Dworkin helped round up the headlines, the polls, the stories outlining the role of the Gop civil war in provoking the latest crisis, and how the ACA's exchanges are marching forward regardless, just as everyone knew they would. Of course, we also had a generous helping of "both sides are equally to blame" thinking to deal with. Hungry for a detailed explanation of the House's 11th hour appeal for a conference and why it was ridiculous from the get-go? We've got you covered! Key point to remember: Ted Cruz objects to conference committees on "principle." And by the way, Ted Cruz's dad is nuts. "The House GOP's Legislative Strike." Georgia's ALEC front man, Sen. Don Balfour, gets himself indicted. "CR Blues: Constant Brinkmanship Brings Fatigue."

Direct download: October_1_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

Last day before the latest government shutdown deadline. We round up the stories, and explain the process and procedure. Greg Dworkin reports on the shutdown polling (where the questions are getting quite pointed!), and the rollout of the expected "both sides are equally to blame" meme, despite the whole thing being driven by the Gop's own civil war. Later: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's blistering editorial, taking Missouri's Congressional Republicans to task for their callous politics and reckless hostage taking. The NYT's in-depth look at "Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll." How much impact has #GunFAIL had? Armando asks whether mandatory gun insurance holds any promise. "Lazy Beltway media infuriatingly blows debt limit 'coverage.'" Almost, but not quite: one blog argues Obama will be telling the Gop their debt ceiling demands are unconstitutional. "Is Newt Fronting for a Dubious PAC?" asks Mother Jones. The answer, as always, is yes. It's. What. He. Does.

Direct download: September_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear lays out why his state needs Obamacare in a NYT opinion column. Basically, Republicans prefer that the poor camp out at racetrack parking lots for a week at a time in the hopes that someone will pull a tooth for them for free. Democrats have given people a fair shot at being able to pay for the privilege of receiving their medical care indoors and at regular intervals, but Republicans say repeal it or they'll destroy the world economy. Yet our country is supposedly "closely divided" on the issue? Hmm. OK. Greg Dworkin rounds up more news from the ACA rollout front, the looming shutdown, local coverage of these events, and more. Doctor Who asks for (and gets) a run-down of the mechanics of this morning's Senate votes, plus a look at what might be rattling around in Boehner's head. Today's reads: "GOP's incompetence is a godsend for America." More on the 401(k) disaster, followed by listener Bruce McF's Tweeted observations on the subject (which, luckily for me, he clarifies in comments). "The House's debt-ceiling bill" "No, the Navy Yard Mass Shooter Did Not Target a 'Gun-Free Zone." "Wall St. to GOP: Are you nuts?" "Hundreds of U.S. security clearances seen falsified." Colorado apartment complex bans guns, then reverses itself. And, for your edification: "Inside The Crooked 'Courthouse Gang' Of Coal Country."

Direct download: September_27_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

A KITM filibuster today! (And it was great.) We unraveled the non-filibuster Cruzapalooza situation, then went right from Greg Dworkin's round-up (ACA polling, Gop civil war skirmishing, WaPo's "How eight lives would be affected by the health law") to Armando's exploration of a possible "Grand Bargain" on the ACA & the sequester, to GideonAB's thoughts linking campaign finance reform, obesity & national security! (Seriously, it worked!)

Direct download: September_26_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

It's all Cruzapalooza in DC today. Greg Dworkin rounds up the chatter on Ted, polling on the shutdown scenario, and the new rates coming out and looking lower than expected. Joan McCarter joined us, and we discussed the very big differences between U.S. Senate filibuster rules, and those Wendy Davis faced in the Texas Senate, plus procedural strategery on the CR and the debt ceiling from this point forward. Other stories: Senate ethics committee dismisses Vitter's complaint. The launch of the ACA exchanges. The stalling of all other legislative business. The ultimate Congressional health care perk: the Office of the Attending Physician. The Church Committee versus the modern NSA. Movement, and another looming crisis, on judicial nominations. Starbucks & guns. The 401(k) train wreck. Fuzz2347's comment on gun insurance.

Direct download: September_25_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

It was pretty much all about shutdown strategery, today. Last week, traditional media reporting on the Cruz-sade was all about "He can't! He won't!" And this week? He can and will. Daily Kos, including our radio programming, is still like getting (a correct) newspaper early. For a change of pace, Greg Dworkin kicked off his round-up with the much-discussed retelling of the H-bomb near-accident over North Carolina in the 1960s, but we ended up back on the continuing Gop civil war (and the fantasy that it will lead to a 3rd party movement). Markos shines a light on Hillary Clinton's nod to the old "common ground"-finding exercise & rolls his eyes. A WSJ editorial laments the state of Ted's Cruz-sade (but gets the terminology wrong--remember when that disqualified you for debate?). Armando calls in and helps game out the various possible outcomes. The Hill notes that the Cruz-sade robs the House of time to respond to the Senate. Helpless Gop Senators don't know what to do about Cruz being a vice chair of the NRSC while undermining incumbents! Will Republicans "win" on spending issues no matter what happens to Obamacare? Jonathan Bernstein's "The Day after Shutdown."

Direct download: September_24_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Greg Dworkin puts us on track with his Monday roundup. On the international side: Samantha Powers' debut at the UN, Syria, Germany's lessons for American conservatives, and the ongoing terrorist attack in Kenya. Domestically: shutdown strategery, Gop governors making Medicaid expansion decisions as the ACA looms, WaPo's Fred Hiatt counsels patience on gun policy (and to approach it as a public health issue), and Sarah Binder explains the hurdles facing Ted's Cruz-sade to defund Obamacare. We took a close look at Binder's road map, and explained where events may deviate from it, plus where others may have taken a wrong turn in reading it. Jonathan Capehart demonstrates Gop lunacy in four discrete examples. Daily Kos pal We Won points me to Ole Texan's "The Rise and Fall of ALEC Nation," giving us a chance to catch up on their chicanery.

Direct download: September_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:03pm EDT

House Republicans voted to pass their ACA-defunding CR while we were on the air. Greg Dworkin rounds up Villager attitude, Rand Paul insists Gop is "winning" like Charlie Sheen, and the cratering of Republican self-identification. Today's GunFAIL roundup: open carrier robbed at gunpoint & has his gun stolen; Gilberton, PA gun nut/police chief Mark Kessler is suspended; double-murder road rage shooting by concealed carriers; Arkansas town mayor accidentally shoots out police chief's office window; Idaho gun show that had an accidental shooting earlier in the year is cancelled when insurance costs skyrocket; Longwood U. student accidentally shoots another; Savannah State's armed guards are trained on the job. "How Detroit went broke." Doctor Who asks a procedural question about the CR voting. Outrageous foreclosure story out of Altadena, CA. Made all the payments, but mortgage holder says they sold the house, anyway.

Direct download: September_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

Big story of the day: Republicans in disarray! House and Senate Republicans at one another's throats over shutdown strategery. Greg Dworkin reminded us that the Obamacare rollout is nearly at hand. That also means it's peak money-grubbing time for the billion-dollar industry of bilking donations out of grassroots opponents. Note, too, that better access to coverage for mental health care--a topic much in the news just now--is also included. But not so much with dental care. Armando joined us for discussion of the latest controversy swirling around Chuck Todd and his view of a reporter's role in the political arena, and the 3rd Circuit's rejection of New Jersey's bid to open up the legalized sports gambling market. Gilberton, PA gun nut/police chief Mark Kessler faces a disciplinary hearing today. Polk Co., IA settles a suit over a 2009 #GunFAIL incident involving armed cops at a kiddies' event. Are you watching, Lodi, CA? We note the lengthy and enlightening list of corrections made to Radley Balko's "Rise of the Warrior Cop" piece in the WSJ. The astounding Forbes article, "Give Back? Yes, It's Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%." Slate's "9 Things Wrong With BuzzFeed's Article About 9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped by Someone With a Personally Owned Firearm."

Direct download: September_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

Post-Navy Yard shooting, day two. Seems we've at least made progress on squashing the counter-productive reflex to insist that it's "too soon" to talk about mass shootings. I wonder if Keith Olbermann ever came around on that? Brian Beutler's "How to silence the NRA." Eric Boehlert's "The Growing Myth of Mass Shootings and 'Gun-Free Zones.'" Joan McCarter called in to help us round up other "hell in a hand basket" news. Simpson and Bowles are attempting to elbow their way back into the headlines. Speaker Boehner has once again lost control of House Republicans, and has had to cave to Teapublicans on the CR. And that chaos has now spread into the Senate, with David Vitter joining Ted Cruz at the head of the crazy parade. Joan lays out how we got here, step-by-step. Republicans claim to have (finally) come up with the "replace" part of "repeal & replace." But it's a secret. My Tom Friedman moment: the guy who came to measure for my new kitchen counters is a Sarah Palin fan who thinks Obama's decision not to immediately attack Syria was terrific. News breaks that the House Republican CR will briefly raise the debt ceiling. The NYT editorial, "The money behind the shutdown crisis." Gin and Tacos blog critiques The Corner, lest anyone think they're making sense on the CR machinations. Jonathan Bernstein's "Five biggest worries heading into the budget showdown." Matthew Cooper's "Navy Yard Shows Fallacy of NRA's 'More Guns' Solution."

Direct download: September_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

It's the day after the Navy Yard shootings, which means it's too soon to discuss it. But the frequency of these shootings is eroding the old sensibilities about them. Greg Dworkin rounded up the day's news, including the 2nd anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Larry Summers' withdrawal from consideration as Fed Chair, new polling on Syria, gun issues following the shooting, and the Johns Hopkins NSA blogging story that Armando & I dispensed with afterward. Armando stays on for discussion on the Navy Yard shooting, a brief GunFAIL update, and then on to some more clarification of The Mysterious Case of Jake Tapper's Twitter Hate. Next, a look at a bizarre take on Syria, "America's Middle East Policy Collapses," the even more bizarre saga of fake Syria expert Elizabeth O'Bagy, and finally the most bizarre story of the day: Michelle Obama promotes drinking more water, so conservatives come out as anti-water.

Direct download: September_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

Another brief encounter with technical difficulties today, as we move to a new (and permanent) server. But the show went on, though we missed out on having Greg Dworkin's round-up today. As we went on the air, news was breaking of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, which will no doubt be redefined as a "gun free zone" by the end of the day. More college campus #GunFAIL. Guess what? Fox News claims of 950+ "dead voters" in South Carolina turn out to be... zero. States that got the most natural disaster aid sent Congress the most climate science deniers. Update on the Lodi, CA SWAT team #GunFAIL incident at the "Little Buckaroos Reading Roundup." Open AR-15 carriers detained on their way to the Appleton, WI Farmers' Market. "Taxpayers Cover Up to 80 Percent of Hospital Gun Violence Costs." "Rise of 401(k)s Hurt More Americans than It Helped." C|Net: "NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports." A weekend kerfuffle wherein we find out Jake Tapper hates me. Oh wells!

Direct download: September_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

After a little multiculturalism chit-chat, Greg Dworkin gave us his round-up, including the Putin op-ed in the NYT, the CO recalls, and Republican shutdown strategery & the Hastert Rule. A brief look at this intriguing find, "Marissa Mayer: 'It's Treason' For Yahoo To Disobey The NSA." Hmm! Salon's "The 1 percent's Ivy League loophole." And a return to and longer look at "How the cult of shareholder value wrecked American business." We tried to squeeze Armando in there for a bit, but the NSA wasn't having it.

Direct download: September_12_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

9/11 remembrances today. Which for Republicans means Benghazi. Greg Dworkin rounds up the election results in Colorado and NYC, the President's speech, and the polling around the Syria issues. Joan McCarter joined us for more, including the latest on the health care rollout (including the Trader Joe's story), the House Republicans' Obamacare repeal charade & the issues they'll hold hostage to get it, the NSA's nutso approach to intel & evidence gathering, and Scott Brown's new gig (at Evil, Inc., apparently). Also: NSA Director Keith Alexander's wacko Star Trek playroom; "How the cult of shareholder value wrecked American business."

Direct download: September_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up an astounding eight polls on Syria, David C.W. Parker's "Why Democrats Are in Trouble in 2014," the balancing act between governance and politics inside the White House, and the NYC elections. Ken Cuccinelli's conflict of interest in remaining AG during the Virginia governor's race. A clever Republican grifting scheme is uncovered in Wisconsin. Notes from the class war: the two Americas, and even a split within one of the two, as Goldman Sachs pits its ultra-wealthy against the merely well-off. A quick mention of the Pax Dickinson news. A new Van Gogh is discovered. From Think Progress, "Study Suggests Southern Slavery Turns White People Into Republicans 150 Years Later." And (just couldn't help it), that article I was reminded of about Sarah Palin and her "grabby" entourage visiting the Oscars' "gifting suite" back in 2010.

Direct download: September_10_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

Syria still very much on all our minds today, and as usual we differ from the framing we're being offered by the punditry. Greg Dworkin rounds up the home stretch of the NYC primary elections, the choosing up of sides on Syria among columnists and commentators, how Marco Rubio has written himself out of the script for 2016, and a special call-out for David Jarman's "Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: No, Republicans can't win with white voters alone." After a run-down of headlines of the stories waiting in the wings (including the very intriguing WaPo entry, "Hiding in N. Virginia, a daughter of Auschwitz"), a look at a CNN piece on the new hotness in recreational shooting: exploding targets. From the world of #GunFAIL: a 3-year-old girl accidentally shoots & kills herself with her parents' gun while camping in Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to Sen. Tom Coburn for enabling that. An exploration of the meme that a failure of a Syria vote in Congress dooms Obama's second term agenda. Discussions of Nicholas Kristof's "Pulling the Curtain Back on Syria," and David Cay Johnston's "Failed Policy -- The 401(k) Shrinks In A Growing Economy."

Direct download: September_9_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:36pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up the punditry, to make the point that the public no longer trusts that intervention will yield positive results, burying a central neocon tenet. On the domestic front: another illustration of the inability to win general elections with just base Gop support. Armando foists Michael Tomasky's Daily Beast piece on Syria on us. He didn't mean for us to seriously dissect it, but we did anyway, and thus did Syria end up occupying the bulk of the show once again. Other subjects of interest: Armando's weekend sports show (12 noon ET on, "McConnell's Anti-Obamacare Juggernaut Turns Against Him," and the NRA joins the ACLU's anti-spying lawsuit.

Direct download: September_6_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

Greg Dworkin starts us off with the morning roundup. Everyone had their eyes on Syria today, both from the substantive side, as well as the sideshow atmosphere among the American punditry. Just for good measure, he throws a little NYC elections news into the mix, plus the kefuffle of the day: President Obama pictured with a foot on his desk in the Oval Office. Syria elbowed its way back into focus, however, with Armando joining in to parse the questions about who trusts whom on which of the many questions surrounding the issue. Joan McCarter jumps into the mix, adding her observations on the refugee crisis, pointing us to William Polk's widely-circulated and eye-opening primer on Syria, which she noted Meteor Blades had secured permission to reprint in full on our virtual "pages." Moving on to the rest of the world, as viewed through the Daily Kos lens, Joan previewed her story of continuing Republican efforts to sabotage the rollout of the ACA. We closed things out with a look at procedural issues surrounding the authorization for military intervention in Syria, and Brian Beutler's Salon article on how Ted Cruz is breaking politics.

Direct download: September_4_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

Summer's over, and with it, summer hours. Greg Dworkin rounded up the local news from the Newtown, CT Labor Day parade, national news of the cramped Congressional calendar, and the international news on Syria. Amazingly, even in the midst of the Syrian situation, Richard Cohen has somehow become the Twitter talk of the morning, for... well, it was too annoying to really talk about. One note from the GunFAIL world: the amazing "non-story" of an accidental shooting that ended in a minor wound for a Lodi, CA police officer, but which represents a chain of such picayune and yet unbelievable FAIL that it can't go without mention. Armando joined in for an extended discussion of the many aspects of the Syria story that'll no doubt occupy us for the balance of the week. We took a short break from that topic for a brief visit with NYC City Council candidate and longtime netroots friend Debra Cooper, updating us on the state of the race, and with some surprising background on another Dem candidate's previous support for Rudy Giuliani -- in his brief bid for the Senate against Hillary Clinton, no less!

Direct download: September_3_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

Greg Dworkin's back again, and rounding up news on flu vaccinations, the NYC mayoral race, Syria, and... hummingbirds. Charles Pierce catches eyes with yet more "Snowden Effect," this time sparking debate on the size and scope of intelligence operations funded by the so-called "black budget." We had to retrace Pierce's steps a little by reading the WaPo's reporting on the budget documents "obtained" (note the language) from Snowden. We also looked at Jack Goldsmith's latest at Lawfare, on the question of intervention in Syria, especially now that the British Parliament has registered its disapproval. Next, an extended visit with NYC City Council candidate and fellow netroots traveler Debra Cooper. Reminder: that Dem primary is coming up fast! September 10th, to be exact. Finally, a quick note to point to the coverage from TPM Muckracker for fuller (and even nuanced) coverage of the revelation that Arkansas state senator Jeremy Hutchinson (R) did indeed mistakenly "shoot" a "teacher" during a controlled active-shooter drill.

Direct download: August_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

Fascinating historical background for today's 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, from Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed: "The Idea For A March On Washington Began in December 1940." A great lesson in FDR's "make me do it" style, as well as a reminder that, yes, things can take time. We explore that theme, along with listener comments, in the context of other reform fights, including the considerably more insidery game of filibuster reform. Paul Buchheit's "Eight Ways Privatization Has Failed America." And TNR reports "Finally, a Dictator Does Something Lanny Davis Cannot Tolerate." That thing, of course, is failing to pay him.

Direct download: August_28_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:18pm EDT

"Kinetic military action" looms in Syria, and something happened with Miley Cyrus. A collection of six stories about sitting and/or former Members of Congress killed in accidental shootings. A standoff between an Arizona Minutemen militia and Joe Arpaio deputies. No one could ever have predicted this. The Washington Times finds a new angle on the guy who sneezed & shot himself. Baffled by the seizure of the weapon in question, their intrepid journalist is forced to throw up her hands in despair. There is no way to get to the bottom of this one! Not even for a former Robert Novak journalism fellow at the Phillips Foundation. What's that, you ask? Well, let's talk about the right wing political/financial/anti-government panic machine and how it makes its money. Hunter fills us in about the anti-vaccination church in Texas that mysteriously suffered from an outbreak of measles. Despite Antoinette Tuff's unarmed heroics in Atlanta (and the counter-examples of the TWO accidental discharges by school security officers in the last week), that school's principal still thinks the answer is armed guards. NY's AG sues to end the fraud of "Trump University." Phyllis Schlafly accidentally owns up to the voter suppression goal of shutting down early voting. Tom Coburn rediscovers his crazybones, hitching the Obamacare defunding wagon to the debt ceiling star.

Direct download: August_27_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up the overwhelming number of underwhelming primary challengers Lindsey Graham has drawn, EJ Dionne's "Armageddon Caucus," and the addition of Newtown's leading names to the effort to get Starbucks to change its gun policy. Greg's segment raised the question of where to draw the line between stubborn obstructionism and patient movement building. Today's unbelievably wacky GunFAIL story: an elderly man who sneezed so hard he shot himself. The abstract of a 1998 research paper tells us the relative odds of unintended (and bad) outcomes from keeping a gun at home, versus the intended, self-defense outcome. And it's not good. Which is probably why the NRA worked so hard to ban such research. Speaking, as we were earlier, of long-term fights, Justice Ginsburg opens up about conservative judicial activism on the Supreme Court. A whole bunch of new top level domains are scheduled to come online soon, and totally ruin the Internet. The Guardian reports that the NSA paid millions to tech companies to cover the costs of PRISM compliance. And a WSJ blog reports that NSA operatives were spying on ex-wives, love interests and the like. Great! And FDL says Jeffrey Toobin's a bit of a hypocrite in his screeching about Snowden.

Direct download: August_26_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

It's Friday in August, which makes it a slow news day. Luckily, we can squeeze a conversation out of anything. Greg Dworkin found what news there was, noting that once again Republican-driven headlines are about trainwreck Obamacare/shutdown politics. He also tapped the Wayback Machine for poignant reminders from the "old days" of the fights we once had over pseudonymity (versus the actual content of what people were saying). Did ESPN drop a partnership with Frontline to investigate head injuries in the NFL? Was journalism being committed here? And would ESPN be any more guilty in playing games with it than the "news" side of the company, over at ABC? Or anywhere else in the "traditional media," for that matter? Other stories: TX LG David Dewhurst tries to strong arm a local police department to release a relative allegedly caught shoplifting. An Arkansas private school arms its staff, and taunts would-be attackers with signage. Las Vegas police bust a "sovereign citizens" plot to kidnap & kill local cops. Horace Boothroyd III's diary on the judge suing the NYPD over an assault to prevent him from intervening in a beating delivered to a handcuffed homeless man. Lawsuit. Murder. See? Both sides are the same! Speaking of which, we close it out with Alex Seitz-Wald's Salon piece on that very subject.

Direct download: August_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:37pm EDT

Right out of the box with a GunFAIL note this morning: the safety instructor who accidentally shot a student the other day has another accidental shooting in his past. Greg Dworkin gives us his round-up on Maureen Dowd's latest screw-up, a doc's perspective on "the best health care system in the world," and Atlanta school hero Antoinette Tuff. A new documentary is out about Lizz Winstead's heroic (really) national comedy tour in support of Planned Parenthood. Leave it to Republicans to simultaneously concern troll about "government intrusion" even as they insist on drug-testing food stamp recipients. Lynn Cheney steps in it with the Wyoming authorities & gets busted for her bogus fishing license application. Louisiana Republicans tell pollsters they blame Obama for Katrina response. Emptywheel follows up on yesterday's news that Qwest actually did cooperate with NSA spying after all. RH Reality Check rounds up the actual facts about state regulation of abortion, and--surprise!--the reality doesn't fit the Republican narrative. Cayman Islands agrees to help the U.S. hunt down tax cheats, closing the window on our privateering project.

Direct download: August_22_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

Why not start the day by ribbing Ted Cruz & his base with birtherism and conspiracy theory? Because liberty! Joan McCarter joins in the fun, and reminds us that Cruz is still going full steam ahead on his government shutdown scheme. Also: Rick Perry negotiating for federal health care funds; filibuster nonsense and the nuclear option; WSJ's report that the government's capturing about 75% of web traffic; a heads-up on the return of zombie SOPA/PIPA. Next, a double dose of BuzzFeed, first on the NRA's massive database of gun owners, and then on No Labels as a whitewash operation. Finally, a very clever WalMart protest hits Walton heir & CEO for what's essentially his taxpayer-funded hobby: racing his collection of sports cars.

Direct download: August_21_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:03pm EDT

Greg Dworkin's abbreviated round-up focused on the continuing march into the Republican civil war, and how it's playing in 2014 Senate and gubernatorial races, and of course, 2016. A little news of the weird to kick things off: fellow Kossack and KITM listener RobertRBest tips us off to the CNN story about an EMT who treated a heart attack victim, while having a heart attack himself! Next, the story of the shutdown of the legal analysis blog Groklaw. Or more specifically, the difference between the way The Guardian treated it and the way Business Insider treated it. Way weird. Then, Jeffrey Toobin's latest litany of complaints about Snowden. There are no winners here, folks. I've never wanted out of the debate more. Kevin Drum's getting fed up with it, too. After that, we meander through what amounts (in hindsight) to a political/historical justification of my television watching habits. And later, with observations from GideonAB, we throw Harry Reid and the Congressional Democratic leadership into the mix. But I hope it's actually more interesting than it sounds on "paper"! At least there's a hat tip to College Humor in it, anyway. Next, a tip via Daily Kos message center from oSivan on an unreported GunFAIL incident out of Iowa, and the very much reported story of an AR-15 owner in Tennessee who somehow burned his house down and killed himself and his son with an accidental discharge. Wrapping up: PPP polling on background check popularity in AR, TN & GA.

Direct download: August_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

Another day of summer hours, with a slightly delayed start today. But that won't matter to you, the podcast listener! Except insofar as we all lose out on 15 minutes of show time. Aww! Anyway, we came straight out of the gate with the David Miranda/Glenn Greenwald story, about which we got a few comments in from Armando, as his connection permitted. Lots to talk about in this story, and we'll no doubt return to it in the week to come. Then a quick diversion to the story of Yelp! joining ALEC, and the origins (to which I'll lay partial claim) of the campaign to review ALEC on Yelp! (Exclamation point!) The coolest part, though, is that this thing really took off behind a push from fellow Kossack and Maine State Representative Diane Russell (aka MissWrite). We then return once again to gun talk, thanks to Brian Beutler's Salon fascinating and very personal piece at Salon, "What I learned from getting shot." Which turns out to be quite a lot, which gives us a lot of directions to explore coming out of the reading. Next, some of the hidden costs and long-term impacts of #GunFAIL, especially as illustrated by the story of a man injured in a gun-cleaning accident that ended up leading in a roundabout but traceable way to his arraignment on child abuse charges. Chris Christie reverses himself and vetoes a sniper rifle ban he himself suggested be passed. A not-exactly-GunFAIL story out of the world of Canadian rodeo that falls into the sarcastic "no one could have predicted it" category. And a look ahead at stories we'll forget to cover in the week ahead!

Direct download: August_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:57am EDT

Top talk of the day: new(-ish) revelations about NSA overreach. And that figures into Greg Dworkin's round-up, along with the hilarious Jennifer Rubin story and Chris Christie's continued tip-toe toward his 2016 bid. We're then joined by Monte Frank of Team 26 for an update on the activities of the coalition of gun responsibility activists, the post-12/14 spike in permitting and gun sales, legal challenges to Connecticut's new gun laws, international views of gun issues, and plans to follow up with an investment group that had once promised to divest from gun-makers. Armando joined in later for discussion of the NSA stories of the day, we look under the hood from several different angles, sharpen his points about the need for stricter scrutiny and particularization by the FISC, and look back at the history of similar revelations over the years.

Direct download: August_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT

Greg Dworkin's round-up: Larry Sabato's early presidential bid rankings vs. Richard Viguerie's straw poll; Rubio's apparent collapse; Obama addresses Egypt. And despite Greg's prediciton on his comments being correct, Republicans busied themselves on Twitter pretending it wasn't. A brief GunFAIL update. Armando joined in for more discussion, albeit a little too late, of Cory Booker's relationship with his tech startup, the Washington Post sale, our interview of former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and our planned expansion into video, and some rambling on Egypt, foreign policy, and the projection of military power. A weird story about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (and founder) firing an employee during a conference call. Just a brief mention of the story about the CIA having spied on Noam Chomsky back in the day, and Snowden's claims that the NSA similarly monitored journalists post-9/11. Finally, Gizmodo's story on Google's court filing insisting that e-mail users have no reasonable expectation of privacy in it. And they're probably right.

Direct download: August_15_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

We're back up on the live stream, though not all the live listening platforms have caught up with our new URL just yet. That'll all get straightened out in the next day or so, but there's always the podcast! Greg Dworkin's round-up included the new Q-Poll on the NYC mayoral race, Richard Cohen's Hillary complaining, early 2016 polling issues, CJR on false equivalency reporting, Starbucks & guns, and Obamacare implementation delays. Speaking of which, we turn to Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog for an explanation of the Republican-manufactured "Congress is 'exempt' from Obamacare" failed stunt and talking point. And that led nicely into our weekly visit with Joan McCarter, during which we covered the multiple ways in which Republicans continue to spew nonsense about everything. Joan's round-up included the delay of the out-of-pocket costs cap rule, Heritage Action's poll insisting that an Obamacare-inspired government shutdown is a winning issue, Mitch McConnell's brave stance taking no position on that possible shutdown, abortion protesters want clinics shut down because they attract crazy abortion protesters with guns, Republicans target their own with food stamps cuts, and more outrageous compensation for yet another consultant working the Detroit bankruptcy. Then, Yelp! joins ALEC! (!) And finally, my quest for the worst article ever written is over., the outfit that tried to "unskew" 2012 polling, has published a piece trying to unskew coverage of that gun-safety-instructor-who-accidentally-shot-a-student story. Caution: your brain might try to escape and possibly kill itself while reading this article.

Direct download: August_14_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT

Seems the data center that handles the live stream is being moved, so it's podcast-only once again. And too bad, too, because we got a glowing tribute from Bill in Portland Maine in his morning Cheers & Jeers post, marking the two-year anniversary of Daily Kos Radio! Without Greg on hand this morning, we read through Georgia's Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, noting today's top headlines, with particular emphasis on the NSA oversight and reform story. Next, excessive levels of Teh Crazee necessitated an extended GunFAIL roundup. Also: should we stop feeding Gop trolls on birtherism? NYT's Q&A with Snowden. Finally, an Investing Daily piece from back in June that once again raises questions about the privatization of national security, once considered a "core function" of government, which leads to a surprise (to me) conclusion about the involvement of private equity in the already too-convoluted picture.

Direct download: August_13_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

Technical difficulties kept us off the live stream today, but you can't stop the podcast! Our delayed start meant we jumped right into the morning roundup with Greg Dworkin, who brought us stories about partisan divides in dating, Anthony Weiner's poll numbers bottoming out, a slight dip in alignment with the Tea Party among Republicans, and special note about the award of a Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing to the Connecticut Post's Hugh Bailey. Other top news of the day: NYC's stop-and-frisk policies take a hit in court; Attorney General Holder's anticipated announcement of DOJ actions to rein in the impact of inflexible mandatory minimum sentencing in drug cases; the internal divide on spending cut mania among House Republicans; Harry Reid hints at another filibuster showdown, this time over judges; Cory Booker loses an interesting and, let's say, unusual advisor to his tech start-up; Forbes coverage of the closure of privacy-oriented e-mail provider (and Edward Snowden favorite) Lavabit; Jack Goldsmith predicts the expansion of NSA surveillance, but also a parallel expansion of checks and oversight. Will it matter?

Direct download: August_12_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

Is it Festivus yet? Because it was time for the airing of the grievances, apparently. A Glenn Greenwald tweet points to yesterday's NYT editorial "Breaking Through Limits on Spying," noting that it should be read by "the 'NSA-reveres-the-law' crowd," which reminds me to revisit his often-mentioned (by me) "cartoon super villain" post from July 2006. Ah! I feel better now. Carry on, everyone! Following up on some of the tangential points mentioned in that discussion (and yesterday, by Armando), McClatchy's reporting from last month on the former CIA employee who actually did get prosecuted in Italy on an "extraordinary rendition" case. We also revisit an unexplored tangent from the Louisiana sinkhole disaster, namely Desmogblog's reporting on alleged EPA election time "censorship" of its own fracking water contamination report. Finally, acting on a tip from @gnarlytrombone, we read noise of rain's May 12th diary, "WI's Overpass Light Brigade, the Law and Building a Movement," as a counterexample to the gun rights movement's seeming monopoly on the ability to conduct and win street-level litigation of civil rights directly with the cops.

Direct download: August_9_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

A little bit of #GunFAIL news to start the morning, beginning with this summer's fourth child accidentally shot by a family member in East Centeral Indiana. Why East Central Indiana? No particular reason, other than that they seem to have the guns around. But that's just one of the patters that's emerged in the reporting. Since mid-June, four kids ages 13 and under have been accidentally shot by family members, three of whom have died. The most recent of them, it was reported, came from a family that "practiced gun safety." Which led to a discussion of other recent cases of kids accidentally shot and killed whose families likewise "practiced gun safety." It happens. The bulk of the show, however--in fact, the entirety of the rest of the show--was given over to continuing discussion of the Snowden/NSA saga. Armando joins in for a bit as we finished up the reading of Jay Rosen's "Toobin principle" piece, and relied on other concurrent discussions, including a NYT piece on a super-cheap surveillance device built by a security researcher that basically erases whatever's left of your "reasonable expectation of privacy" in your electronic communications, to take a deep dive into some of what's wrong with our surveillance regime and what might be our misplaced faith in the system's ability to address abuses.

Direct download: August_8_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

Greg Dworkin's round-up: WaPo sale, Twitter expands the conversation, "The Tea Party's Path to Irrelevance," National Geographic on "daylighting" of urban rivers. That reminds me to take a look at Tim Murphy's MoJo piece, "Meet the Town That's Being Swallowed by a Sinkhole." Next, Joan McCarter joins us for a look at what's happening and what's to come on the Daily Kos front page, and we talked about Idaho's wildfire season (and the plight of the "Smokejumpers"), upcoming coverage of the Romney speech, the possibility of a government shutdown showdown, Obama's Leno appearance, Liz Cheney's carpetbagging, the latest terrorist threats and how they were uncovered. Also: the latest on crazy cop Mark Kessler. Finally, the start of what'll be a continuing discussion of what Jay Rosen called "The Toobin principle," the web of precepts, principles and contradictions inherent in the national security versus free society debate.

Direct download: August_7_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Everybody's talking about the purchase of The Washington Post by founder Jeff Bezos. Greg Dworkin's round-up included several angles on that story, 3D key printing, polling on the GA-SEN race, and latter day discoveries and/or rejections of Twitter and the power of social media by traditional media reporters. Here we go, again! More on the sale of the WaPo: the Wall Street Journal notes that it comes with an overfunded pension fund. Well! Wouldn't that make for some interesting reporting on the subject of pension theft, if their pensions were stolen? Doubling back to yesterday's "secret hold" discussion, the missing piece of the background to that: the story that explains why we needed to talk about the continuing existence of secret holds. Specifically, a hold placed by a Republican Senator on a bill that would require getting a warrant before accessing email communications. Jason Stanford's post, "Kafka in Texas," and Gavin Aronsen's MoJo piece noting certain disparities in the way local law enforcement defines "threats" posed by non-violent political speech and activism. And in the case of the latter article, trumps those threats up for cash and toys. Then, a return to Reuters' story on law enforcement's routine use and covering up of tips from the DEA's "Special Operations Division."

Direct download: August_6_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:33pm EDT

We just had to give some attention to the hot chatter of the morning, what we'll call Slampiece Ventures, the hedge fund by and for Dude Bros. Want to destroy your work ethic? These gents can do it. Greg Dworkin's round-up included the new "Thermometer" Q Poll, measuring the political "hotness" of major national figures. This may be your first and last chance to say that Chris Christie is the hottest politician in American. Also: early reads on the 2016 Gop field, the all-too-focused-and-therefore-mostly-unknown campaign of Bill De Blasio for NYC Mayor, and a gentle reminder that yes, Mitch McConnell really is still favored to retain that KY-SEN seat. Afterwards, a brief discussion of something someone nutty said on Twitter over the weekend! In this case, one "GOPBlackChick," insisting that you never hear white people talking about "white pride." Don't Google that, ma'am! You're going to be so disappointed by what you see. Armando joins in on this one, and moves the conversation over to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz along the way. Hunter takes on Ken Cuccinelli's corruption. Josh Horwitz's HuffPo piece on gun nut police chief Mark Kessler, "The Town the Militia Took Over." The growing problem of "forgotten" guns seized by the TSA. Remember when the Senate "got rid of" anonymous holds? Finally, the emerging bombshell of how the intelligence community has allegedly been laundering intercepted communications for non-terrorism/national security-related prosecutions.

Direct download: August_5_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:49pm EDT

Oh boy, I'll bet the kids just can't wait to burn fake Obamacare cards! It's way better than video games! Greg Dworkin gave us his headline round-up, and previewed his upcoming Sunday Kos piece, "Libertarian populism and the battle for the Perot vote." So, what stories did we discuss today? Sahil Kapur's entry at TPMDC, "GOP Telegraphs Mass Filibuster Of Obama's Top Judges." The AP's report that an opinion of the Arkansas Attorney General will block Clarksville, AR's plan to arm teachers and staff. Norm Ornstein's latest on Gop intransigence, "Boehner's Passive-Aggressive Style Heightens Risk of Government Shutdown." John Aravosis' coverage at Americablog of the craziness of anti-gay sentiment in Russia and how it's coming to impact their hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Catching up on the partially-debunked but still unsettling "pressure cooker & backpack" Googling story. And finally, Henry Blodget's provocatively-titled, "Hate To Say It, But If Companies Don't Start Paying People Better, We May Need Unions."

Direct download: August_2_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT