Progressive politics, news & talk hosted by David Waldman

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

Breaking news for the top of our show today: In a perfect storm of accidental injury statistics, a 7-year-old girl was accidentally shot while swimming! Greg Dworkin gave us his round-up, including the procedural drama surrounding the confirmation (finally!) of an ATF Director, The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful" list triggers a Sports Illustrated curse, the continuing intra-"party" (if you can still call it that) Republican feud, and the search for the origins of Green Lanternism. And in the first of what will become regular weekly appearances, Joan McCarter joined in to discuss yesterday's Senate follies, upcoming filibuster fights, the collapse of the appropriations process (and all Republican conference leadership) in the House, the crappy student loan "fix" bill, and the continuing tensions on NSA policy between Intelligence and Judiciary committee Senators. Also, Tim Murphy's Mother Jones piece, "Fox News' Neil Cavuto Doesn't Know How Inflation Works," and "How Vice Hacked Google Glass To Tell Crisis Stories."

Direct download: August_1_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT

I didn't know you could get injured doing a radio show, but apparently it's happened! I've hurt my shoulder somehow, from this crazy, contorted set-up I've got going on at home. Time to Feng Shui the studio! I mean, "studio." Despite the discomfort, we had ourselves a pretty good time today. We caught up with today's schedule in Congress, and the big picture issues, too, with Greg Dworkin at the top of the show. All in all, a wide-ranging production today, touching on the "fiscal cliff," the likely addition of a marriage equality plank to the Democratic Party platform, the continuing Romneyshambles saga, and the audition of a new voice chip for the Romneybot3000.

Direct download: July_31_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Nothing gets you up and running on a Tuesday morning quite like a Greg Dworkin "death and dying" themed news round-up! There's NPR's Scott Simon's running Twitter commentary from his mother's hospital bedside. Food stamp slashing. The so-called "death panels." Political suicide in the form of Obamacare repeal obsession and another Sarah Palin candidacy. The 500-year-old Inca "Ice Maiden" mummy. But also, the Snowden Effect, and factions in the Fed chair fight. Next, the chief outrage of the day: JPMorgan Chase has apparently decided to fill the energy market gap left behind by Enron. I'm telling you, these white kids are out of control wit the crime these days! Then, maybe a little good news on the mortgage fraud front, as Richmond, CA prepares to deploy a new weapon in the foreclosure crisis, this time on behalf of actual people. Wrapping up, we touch on Sharia crayons, NC's clueless governor signs the voter suppression bill he hasn't read, and Judd Gregg's assertion that the motion to proceed (leaving out the filibuster entirely!) threatens to turn the Senate into the House! Oh well, too late! Finally, in a surprise appearance, Armando drops by to tease an upcoming interview for next week.

Direct download: July_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:47pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounded up the news on the "Snowden Effect," and Republicans in Disarray fronts. So, what does the Snowden Effect get us? Discussion and debate, yes. And that's important. But what are the many and varied hurdles to actually putting a stop to intrusive domestic surveillance? And haven't we been here before? Is it even possible to find a path out that doesn't eventually circle right back around to this same place? Next: the FISC's ruling helping along the effort for open publication of its 2011 opinion finding some NSA surveillance programs unconstitutional. Good news, but still possibly a long, long way from our actually seeing it. And, an unsettling unintended consequence of Snowden's revelations: will the governments of other countries end up gaining as much or even more access to communications data? Foreign fighters arriving in Syria apparently include a growing number of Westerners. What's going to happen when they come home? And are the concerns of those worrying about this eerily familiar? Finally, a roundup of some of the weekend's strangest gun stories, including a "surprise" ending at a training session for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's volunteer school guard "posse."

Direct download: July_29_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

We kicked things off with a quick debunking on today's deliberate conservative misreading: the meme that IRS employees oppose Obamacare. Then, a tour through some of the latest writing on the "Obamacare sabotage" strategy undertaken by Republicans. We knew it was there, and knew it was broader than just Obamacare, but these pieces by Brian Beutler and Norm Ornstein ring true and they're as good a way to head into the weekend as any. Next: David Corn's revelation of the conservative "Groundswell" group, the closed-circuit wingnut circus fighting its self-declared bazillionty front war against everything to the infinity plus infinity power. Special Friday treat: in and out of character, with Twitter fave @RepJackKimble!

Direct download: July_26_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Greg Dworkin's round-up included the "Carlos Danger" name generator, the Amash-Conyers amendment, and how Steve King's racism continues to damage the Republican brand. We read and tried to figure out the background story of Laura Clawson's post about the Ohio woman who had all her belongings stolen by a bank that got the wrong address on an eviction. Then, a deep dive into the moving parts of the Amash-Conyers result. What does it mean? Can we really tell why it got the votes it got, and can it be expected to get a stronger vote next time? Will there even be a next time? Was there really a connection between reining in the NSA and closing Guantanamo? What would have happened had it passed? Lastly, though we attempted to move back to "The Last Days of Big Law" with Armando on hand for the discussion, we wandered instead into the universality of the money chase and the MBA-ization of the "learned professions."

Direct download: July_25_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up the latest Nate Silver discussions: math skills, yes, but it's also the writing. Also, a new NBC/WSJ poll shows views of race relations have taken a serious hit of late. Next, the suddenly exploding story of gonzo gun nut police chief Mark Kessler, with Alex Seitz-Wald, who looks this whackadoodle in today's Salon. Lots to marvel over in that story, and the larger effect of blurring the lines around gun issues across the country. Finally, we start reading & commenting on Noam Scheiber's "The Last Days of Big Law."

Direct download: July_24_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

All the cool kids are doing it, so we engage in some early-morning idle Royal Baby chat. But Greg Dworkin quickly puts us back on track with his roundup discussion of how the right-wing media machine actively misreads Barack Obama's record as a state senator to portray him as a hypocrite on Republican-favored shoot first laws. But misunderstanding "shoot first" does more than just gin up stories for political purposes, it has real world consequences when actual gun owners venture out on the limbs their supposed "thought leaders" told them would support their weight. Greg also brought up Nate Silver's move from the NYT to ABC/ESPN, and the upset he apparently caused in the Times newsroom. Afterwards: that skewed Obamacare premiums claim Indiana Republicans were making, and why it was garbage; Ed Kilgore's "Uh, Yeah, This Is a Different GOP"; Jonathan Chait's "Anarchists of the House"; Greg Sargent's "Republicans' dilemma: how aggressively should they sabotage Obamacare?" and The Hill's "GOP to constituents: Questions of ObamaCare? Call Obama." Then, "how Goldman Sachs is making your beer more expensive" and a WSJ story on the U.S. Marshals losing track of millions of dollars worth of encrypted radios. Finally, a wrap-up moment: how "warrior cops," cheap tech and privatization combine to erase the unwritten checks and balances against the expansion of government power.

Direct download: July_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

Made it through the whole show without the threatened appliance-related interruption! Greg Dworkin rounded up a few choice stories, going in depth with a doc's-eye view of Medicare payment changes on tap under the ACA, and alerting us to his long-awaited interview on American gun safety issues, on Australian "60 Minutes." After some royal baby babbling, we note some amazing stats from a Harvard study on gun violence, especially where it comes to differences in the impact of guns on women in states with high rates of gun ownership, versus those with low rates. Also: is Walterboro, SC the new capital of #GunFAIL-per-capita? Next, discussion of Radley Balko's WSJ article, excerpted from his book, "Rise of the Warrior Cop." Did WSJ not want any discussion of the role of militarized police in suppressing mass political dissent? Finally, the Detroit bankruptcy, starting with a background piece by David Dayen from back in March, "How Deadbeat Banks Pushed Detroit to the Brink."

Direct download: July_22_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

A tab-clearing Friday show, with a nice sampling of headlines. So here's one gigantic run-on sentence about what they were: that Politico list; Snowden; the nuclear option fight, deal, and schisms in the Gop ranks; still more post-nuclear executive nomination threats; more grifting from Bob McDonnell & his wife; some observations on an interesting delayed college tuition plan proposed in Ohio; an underreported incident of #GunFAIL (of a sort) right in front of the White House; Robert Reich on "Why We Should Stop Subsidizing Sky-High CEO Pay"; ACLU on license plate tracking, and how cheap data storage might mean we need to rethink what privacy actually entails; the latest on stalky Utah gun dude Clark Aposhian, and the problem with drawing good guy/bad guy lines; Cate Long at Reuters notes a NYT Dealbook blog post with a remarkable built-in conflict of interest on public-private partnerships, coincidentally, one which siphons off billions from taxpayers leveraging the ability to computerize law enforcement functions, with implications for our earlier discussion on the nature of privacy.

Direct download: July_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

Greg Dworkin brought a full smorgasbord (smörgåsbord!) of Abbreviated Pundit Roundup items, including Tom Edsall's latest, the Republican Senate rift over the nuclear option deal, the Republican rift over Liz Cheney's Senate bid, Lewis Black firing back at Rick Perry, and more. A couple of crazy (but maybe no crazier than usual) gun incidents illustrate yet more Wild West mentality, as opposed to the recitation of the armed society/polite society myth we're usually handed. That took us into the continued reading of the Brookings essay on the Sandy Hook Promise activists. During the second hour of the show, Ian Reifowitz joined us for another wide-ranging discussion, touching on his writing on the evolution of a progressive national identity, fallout from the Zimmerman trial, the prosperity gospel, and just a wee bit more philosophy, psychiatry and theology than you normally hear on morning radio!

Direct download: July_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

Greg Dworkin gives us some analysis of the big morning news on plummeting health care coverage premiums approved for the New York market beginning next year, and rounds up the reactions to "Nuclear Tuesday," Jenny McCarthy, and more. Then, some post-game analysis on the nuclear option game, what it means going forward, and why a Wall Street Journal weep-itorial on the subject is cramped in its thinking and basically completely stupid. Next, the first half of that long-promised Brookings essay on Sandy Hook Promise. And in the last few minutes, a look ahead at what we'll try to get to during the balance of the week. You know, that stuff you've been talking about amongst yourselves!

Direct download: July_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

The nuclear option came and went during the course of today's show, so we set that up, and then explain it away. Greg Dworkin joined in with a round-up of the day's stories, including the nuclear option drama, the thief caught in Michele Bachmann's office, more Zimmerman/Martin fallout (including "Juror B37"), elected Republicans ignoring popular sentiment in favor of doing the bidding of wingnut funders, and Jenny McCarthy's move to ABC's "The View," and a little more about the Brookings essay, "The Promise." Armando joins us again to discuss the fight over whether Florida's shoot first law did or didn't have anything to do with the outcome of the trial, and then to set up the nuclear option story, which actually resolved itself before we even finished the show. Finally, maybe a hint of a discussion to come, on--believe it or not--Jennifer Lopez's habit of putting on private shows for dictators, crooks and oligarchs. We'll try and make it "deep." Promise!

Direct download: July_16_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

A delayed start today, but lots of input today from Greg Dworkin, Armando and Meteor Blades, once the tech kinks were ironed out! Greg tipped us off to the Brookings essay, "The Promise: The Families of Sandy Hook and the Long Road to Gun Safety," which we'll have to give a closer look to. But we ended up giving over most of the day to the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial and the killing of Trayvon Martin, with Tim and Armando, and we went everywhere. The state of the legal system, the nature of these "shoot first" laws, the militarized response to even non-violent mass public reaction, and more. Toward the end of the show, we added a round up of  more "nuclear option" details in advance of tomorrow's expected trigger: cloture votes on blocked executive branch nominees, and set the table for further discussion of the ongoing Snowden/NSA affair.

Direct download: July_15_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

Couldn't avoid starting out with the Sharknado this morning, but we got a little more on-topic, eventually. Monte Frank of Team 26 joined us this morning to update us on their latest activities and their plan heading into the late summer and fall. We also read where4art's e-mail on Eliot Spitzer's bid for Comptroller of NYC. And finally, the moment we've all been waiting for: the big, final installment on the exposition on the nuclear option. All the parliamentary maneuvering that went into perfecting the procedure. How it got derailed over and over before striking paydirt in 1975. Where had Senate reform gone wrong in a way that enabled today's silent filibusters, and how did that make exercising the constitutional option that much more complicated. Which Senator who today says he opposes the procedure actually voted for it (in a big way) in 1975? And which Senator who says he opposes it now voted for it (in a smaller way) in 2011? All this and more in today's show, plus a bonus hour not heard during the live stream, but which contains all the good stuff!

Direct download: July_12_2013_complete.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

Lots of nuclear option background and discussion today. Greg Dworkin called in to discuss Eliot Spitzer's run, Bob McDonnell's problems, Snowden/NSA, and more. Afterwards, a crazy GunFAIL story, a discussion of the provocative BusinessWeek "Hedge Fund Myth" cover and just what that myth might really be. We close out the show with at least some of the promised extensive discussion of the looming "nuclear option," and some #KITM only-level detail about what's going on, and what's driving the internal debate.

Direct download: July_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounds up a sampling of headlines for us: the Canadian train derailment, doctors speaking out against the wave of abortion restrictions being pushed by Republicans in state after state, Adam Kokesh's arrest, and a new Q-Poll reflecting a big shift in public perceptions of Snowden and the liberty/security balance in general. In other news, apparently cloture votes are down in the 113th Congress. But doesn't Senate gridlock seem to be getting worse? Can both be happening at once? Absolutely. How? Listen & find out. Armando jumped in to help out with some interesting stories & talking points, and we get all philosophical about the nature of crime, graft, constitutional rights, and more. A good exercise in knocking the issues of the day slightly off-axis and looking at them from a different angle.

Direct download: July_10_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

Bit of an unusual show this morning. Less obviously political in its focus, though we start out by discussing the spectacle of Eliot Spitzer's attempt to reenter electoral politics, and the strange dynamics of scandal as it applies to Dems versus Republicans, and those who manage to win anyway versus those who don't. Well, history is written by the winners. That's always been true. Greg Dworkin picks up the conversation, and adds news from Oregon's scrapping of its proposed logo (logo? what?) for legalized cannabis products, the Canadian train derailment and explosion, and the conservative push to smother the immigration bill in the House. So, for a change of pace, I continued with the discussion of the wacky uptown vs. downtown Manhattan article, and the weird web of connections I found when I did just a little bit of looking behind the names named in the write-up. Amazing how the other half -- or rather, 1% of the 1% -- lives.

Direct download: July_9_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

We're back on the air live, and scrambling to catch up on events! But not so much that we avoid heading down the unexpected side alleys that make the show... interesting. There's the continuing Snowden/NSA saga, for starters. Greg Dworkin joined in for the discussion of developments in Egypt, the San Francisco airliner crash, Eliot Spitzer's reentry to electoral politics, Wimbledon, insurers rejecting the "arm the teachers" plan and more. After some discussion of the Bolivian president interlude, Armando called in to elicit some vacation talk, which strangely enough led to explorations of the history (and currency, so to speak) of piracy, and its relationship to the lifestyle gaps (both then and now) between the 99% and the 1%. Wait, what? Well, you'll just have to listen in to follow along.

Direct download: July_8_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

The holiday week's last "encore performance" includes coverage of Romney's Hamptons fundraisers, where wacko rich people delighted in screaming from their luxury vehicles about how special they were, and how much they hated poor people. Greg Dworkin discusses polling on the swing state ad wars. We run down the exciting post-July 4th recess Congressional agenda (doomed Obamacare repeal bills in the House & cloture votes on whether or not to end debate on beginning debate on jobs bills in the Senate) and discuss the Supreme Court's then-recent ruling in a prominent labor law case (Knox v SEIU). Finally, some political theory speculation on the origin of voting, and why doing your part in casting your vote is important.

Direct download: July_9_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

Another "encore performance" kicked off with Derp News from Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal's private school voucher program apparently caught legislators by surprise when they found out that funding religious schools also meant funding Muslim schools. Greg Dworkin rounded up jobs report news and presidential election polling. Then, more about Mitt Romney's weird offshore tax shelters. And a shocking story about privatized probation and fine-levying in Alabama. (Remember when we were saying with regard to surveillance that at least private companies can't arrest you? Hmm!) That led to a wider discussion of prison privatization and how it unbalances what might be described as one of the unenumerated checks and balances on state power. Later, Steve Singiser joined in for his first appearance on the air, discussing the June jobs data, and the Tea Party-driven implosion in Republican Senate primaries. Returning to the private probation story, we connected the spread of such schemes, once again, to ALEC. And the proliferation of fees and fines, once again, to the burgeoning rent-seeking culture. And hey, what about these rent-seeking municipal bond hucksters? And why is the South, in particular, so prone to these schemes?

Direct download: July_6_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

Another "encore performance" from this time last year. Greg Dworkin rounds up the early summer presidential polling, and talks about why Rassmussen's so weird. Topics of the day: Romney's vacation (and his review of the local lemonade--remember "lemon, wet, good"?); Romney's response to the ACA ruling; the mental gymnastics of anti-tax activists; Romney's offshore tax havens; conservatives and the prosperity gospel; Romney as gaffe machine; the myth of the wealthy "job creator" and carried interest. Armando called in to talk over some of the long-range plans for Daily Kos Radio (not all of which have come to pass). We wrapped up with stories about super-jerk former Reps. Joe Walsh and Thad McCotter and still super-jerk Rep. Bill Young.

Direct download: _July_5_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

Another "encore performance" from a year ago, our first show back on the air after the late-June Derecho storm. Greg Dworkin brought us the first round of polling following the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, as well as the first of the early summer polling indicating that the strategy of focusing on Bain Capital was in fact resonating with the electorate, even after the Ed Rendells and Cory Bookers of the world had tried to warn Dems off from it. Meteor Blades also makes an appearance, discussing his efforts to boost voter turnout and fight voter suppression in the American Indian community. In the second hour of the show, we turned to the emerging Romney stories regarding Bain Capital and his offshore tax haven accounts. Armando joined in as well, on the Republican governorns then threatening to fight post-ACA Medicare expansion, the historical paradox of the Tea Party being named for anti-corporate activism, Mitt Romney's Lake Winnipesaukee vacation, the upcoming London Olympics and more.

Direct download: July_3_2012_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

An "encore performance" for the one year anniversary of our four hour marathon live coverage of the announcement of the Supreme Court's decision in the Affordable Care Act case! Lots of Daily Kos friends chiming in on this, including Greg Dworkin, Armando, Joan McCarter, brooklynbadboy, winkk, Militarytracy, MKS and more!

Direct download: June_28_2012_whole_show_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Heading into a week-plus break, Greg Dworkin and Armando help round up our discussion of the NSA/Snowden story, the IRS story, the SCOTUS decisions, the Texas filibuster fight, and the revival of CNN's much-maligned Crossfire, and more. The other big topic of today's show: the apparent evolution of Edward Snowden's views on national security leaking. And did Glenn Greenwald undergo an evolution of his own on his views on executive reaction to the Supreme Court's apparent insistence on reigning in of claimes of interent national security powers?

Direct download: June_27_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:39pm EDT

Easy summary today: the Texas filibuster & the SCOTUS DOMA case. Both Greg Dworkin & Armando make appearances to discuss the latest exciting news, and we parse it thin for your enjoyment! I think it's safe to say you're not going to get in-depth discussion of the dynamics of that filibuster like you get from Daily Kos Radio anywhere else in the world. And I mean that literally, as Joe Biden might put it. Come and revel in it! Plus, we got the happy news from the Supreme Court mid-show, and we break that down into bite-sized pieces suitable for water cooler and cocktail discussion. A procedure lover's dream!

Direct download: June_26_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

We started with The Derp from Louie Gohmert, then were joined by Greg Dworkin for an update on The Derp of Politico's Green Lanternism, Obama's (then) upcoming climate speech, the immigration bill, etc. We were also able to sneak in an update on the IRS story, noting that pretty much everything we heard about exclusive targeting of conservatives was entirely wrong. Surprise! And we heard a bit more about how Edward Snowden came to be working at Booz Allen, at least according to some sources. But it wasn't long before everything gave way to the news of the Supreme Court's decision in the voting rights act case. Armando joined in to give his initial reactions, and you can hear him do his best to keep from boiling over. Thinking back a ways, the decision seems to be of a piece with Bush DOJ political appointees pre-clearaning of discriminatory redistricting plans over the objections of their own career attorneys. Hey, who needs to rebrand when you can simply redefine the market, right? That's more than just a metaphor, though. It works in the actual economy, as well. We'll talk about that again in the days to come.

Direct download: June_25_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT

So, you're back from Netroots Nation, eh? Well, lucky you! Greg Dworkin joined right in with the recap of the weekend's developments on the many wormholes winding through the NSA/Snowden story, including David Gregory's insistence on crapping all over everything. Then, a roundup of the more remarkable #GunFAIL stories of recent days. Armando kept us up to date on the pronouncements from out of the Supreme Court, and previewed one to come, on recess appointments. A reading of Bloomberg's reporting (from February, actually) on the unnoticed and unofficial subsidy to banks deemed Too Big To Fail, and how that subsidy just happens to be about equal in value to... their entire profit. So, that got me thinking about amending the plan for launching the Privateers of the Caribbean. And the old Istook Amendment, too. Finally, a look at yet another way the big banks are fleecing people: getting companies to pay their low-wage workers with bank-issued debit cards, complete with fees for withdrawals, etc. Why should those lazy workers be able to force their bosses to shoulder all the costs of paying them, right?

Direct download: June_24_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:09pm EDT

Greg Dworkin rounded up news of the farm bill failure (and Republican majority's attempts to somehow blame this on the Democratic minority), "The Republican War on Data," maneuvering on immigration reform, and Tom Edsall's NYT opinion piece, "Our Broken Social Contract." And that Edsall piece ended up being the basis for most of the rest of the show, so much was there wrapped up in it. Armando called in to join that conversation, plus give us a look at the day's Netroots Nation agenda. So, to borrow a phrase, "Which side are you on?" The side that posits that our economic problems are the result of the disruption of social norms? Or the side that believes economic problems stem from... other economic problems? Which one of those two sounds more reality-based to you? And just for kicks at the end, "If We Can't Stop Corporations from Hiding in Cayman Islands to Avoid Taxes, We All Need to Become Pirates." Where have we heard this idea before? Hint: Here.

Direct download: June_21_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Netroots Nation kicks off in San Jose! Greg Dworkin brings us his roundup, including polling on immigration reform, John Harwood's NYT piece "Dissent Festers in States That Obama Seems to Have Forgotten," reaction to (and reaction to the reactions to) the death of Michael Hastings, and more. We briefly note the pop culture news about Paula Deen and James Gandolfini, and get an on-the-ground update from Armando in San Jose. Then, the strange chain of arrests among the Pima Co., AZ Minutemen border "patrol" crazies, and the rise of armed "community watches" where budget issues have cut back on policing capacity. Slate makes an important update to its disclaimer on their interactive gun deaths since 12/14 feature. Mother Jones reports on waste in border security spending. Are some gun rights protesters going too far in making their presence felt?

Direct download: June_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

It's the run-up to Netroots Nation, and that figures promiently in today's show. Greg Dworkin offered his own observations and remembrances of NN in this morning's roundup, as well as stories on Rick Perry's job poaching junket to Connecticut, new polling from ABC on the NSA surveillance programs, and another round of sparring between DC-centric "gut" journos and "quant" Nate Silver. Greg also notes the passing of reporter Michael Hastings, with a few stories looking back on his fearless style. Armando called in from the road on his way to the big gathering, and to remind everyone that he'll be reporting from San Jose, as will the larger Netroots Radio team. A little exploration of the latest #GunFAIL news yields typically amazing results. Then a response to the latest "threat" from Mitch McConnell over rumors that Senate Dems are considering the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster on judicial and executive nominations. Basically, Republicans are threatening to do exactly the same thing they've always said they were going to do, and have in fact been trying to do, since forever. Scary! Lastly, the free market has spoken on the NRA's terrible "arm the teachers" idea, and it has spoken thus: "Derp."

Direct download: June_19_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

A Republican back-bencher (not a euphemism) broke into the headlines today with his eyebrow-raising claim that fetuses masturbate at 15 weeks. So... that's nice. Greg Dworkin discusses his latest for Politix, his pundit round-up of both-sides-ism, Republican rebranding, and traditional media missing the point(s). Armando called in to discuss the broad topic of trust in government, in the context of the fading IRS story, the NSA revelations, Syria, and the recent polling on all three. We read a David Weigel entry at Slate noting the Republican tactics in conflating IRS accusations behind the confusion made evident in the CNN poll, and the latest derp from Bobby "Volcano Monitoring" Jindal, who's apparently abandoned his effort to un-stupid his party. Next, David Dayen's latest for Salon, "Bank of America whistle-blower's bombshell: 'We were told to lie.'" Finally, a note about the Kansas Sec. of State outraged by a protest targeting his home. Note how quickly he goes to 2nd Amendment rhetoric here. Does it seem to you that a lot of this talk is premised on the assumption that no one will ever shoot back?

Direct download: June_18_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

NSA remains at the top of the charts this week, with things only becoming more confused the more articles are written on the subject. A CNET story relying on reactions from Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to a Congressional briefing stirred the hornet's nest over the weekend, setting off parallel chain reactions of rebuttal, retraction, walk-backs, debunkings, and everything in between. Greg Dworkin rounds up still more polling on the issue, and most of the show is once again given over to exploring some number of the millions of rabbit holes a giant issue like this reveals, via articles from the NYT, WaPo, the AP, and of course, our friend Marcy Wheeler. Just for a change-up, we threw in the Lower Hudson, NY area Daily Journal's follow-up on their publication of names and addresses of area pistol permit holders. Did it in fact result in criminal targeting of those gun owners?

Direct download: June_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

The six month anniversary of the 12/14 Newtown shootings brings us to a new and particularly intriguing episode of #GunFAIL, the recent killing of a 10-year-old Virginia girl by her 13-year-old brother, who was cleaning and repairing his shotgun at home. No charges will be filed, the death is chalked up to "tragic accident," and everyone close to the family insists the boy was fully trained and cautious to a fault. Except he wasn't, and now even though his sister is dead as a result, the official closure to the event will say he was. That must be because of all that "responsibiity" we hear about in "gun culture." We returned to the NSA story during the second half of the show, doing our best to turn things on their heads to give us another look at the intricacies and perplexing nature of all the issues bound up in it.

Direct download: June_14_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:52pm EDT

Greg Dworkin catches us up on non-NSA stories like the MA Senate race, confidence in Congress falling to an all-time low, Bloomberg's plan to hold gun safety policy holdouts to account, and a preview of his planned Sunday Kos essays. Then a discussion about gun violence statistics, the question of whether or not suicides by firearms are properly included in those numbers, and a column from Seattle alt weekly The Stranger, "When Domestic Violence Becomes a Mass Shooting." Finally, we had to find our way back to the NSA story, reading (and critiquing) The Guardian's latest from Thomas Drake, another NSA whistleblower, and Elizabeth Goitein in Time on how "Our Antiquated Laws Can't Cope With National Security Leaks," and exploring the contradictions and expected error types built into the system we've concocted to deal with them.

Direct download: June_13_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

The kitchen appliance saga continues. But of slightly more importantance, so does the NSA story. Greg Dworkin first brings us a few non-NSA happenings, including the continued collapse of Darrell Issa's IRS narrative, the move by NYC Mayor and head of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael Bloomberg to cut off big donor funding for Democratic Senators who voted in opposition to the gun bill last month, and the state of play in the Senate of the immigration reform bill. But the NSA story still dominated today, and in addition to Greg's polling round-up on the subject, Armando weighed in on the broader questions of legality and constitutionality (and "hero" versus "traitor", as well) and what those things even mean in this context. Finally, a quick look at the continuing budget conference impasse. Ted Cruz says he won't allow a conference to go forward unless he receives assurances there will be no debt ceiling increase tucked into the budget resolution conference report. But is that even a thing that can happen? Well, yes and no. So is Ted Cruz off his rocker? Well, yes and no. But really, yes.

Direct download: June_12_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

Guess what? It's all about the NSA story again. And once again, Greg Dworkin and Armando pitch in on the discussion. Greg did bring us the top non-NSA story of the day, though, that being the Justice Department's Plan B reversal, plus some new and longer-term polling data on approval/disapproval of surveillance activity. From there on, though, it's all NSA, and another expansive discussion of the discussion (which might possibly constitute meta-data), including looks at the much-maligned takes of Jennifer Rubin and David Brooks.

Direct download: June_11_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Total media dominance by a single, giant story has its advantages. One, it makes it easy to decide what to discuss that day on the show, and; two, it makes writing the episode synopsis relatively simple. Greg Dworkin and Armando both joined in the early discussion of the exploding NSA story. And in the second half of the show, we read the seemingly-unrelated but still oddly-related story of the internal strife and collapse of Ohio's maverick-y ultra-conservative political consulting firm (described by some detractors as a "cult"), the Strategy Group for Media.

Direct download: June_10_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:58am EDT

Our second show sponsored by Audible, which you can use to find audio books on the national security programs of domestic surveillance to catch up on the subject of the day! Greg Dworkin joined us for his regular abbreviated pundit roundup, including a discussion of previous polling on the liberty versus security issue and what we might look for in upcoming polling on the NSA story. Fans of the show knew that Armando couldn't sit silent through this discussion, and really, it wouldn't be right to complete a show without letting him loose on it. We rounded things out just a little with Lee Fang's article in The Nation on anti-ACA Republicans who nonetheless pursued its grant funds for their states and districts, and one oddly noteworthy #GunFAIL story as well.

Direct download: June_7_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

The NSA phone data collection story dominated the headlines and discussion today. Extended appearances from Greg Dworkin and Armando helped carry the show again. Monte Frank of Team 26 and the Newtown Action Alliance joined the show as well, for an update on developments in Newtown, and their upcoming activities both next week and planned for the fall, to keep public attention focused on the need for gun safety measures.

Direct download: June_6_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

Thanks to Greg Dworkin and Armando for carrying the show today! An extended pundit and polling roundup covered a wide range of topics: flu versus corona virus, patent trolls, NJ Gov. Chris Christie's call for an early special election, NBC/WSJ polling that says "scandals" haven't changed the environment, and more. Then, an extended (but friendly) revival of a long-running Greg versus Armando "cage match" on polling methodologies and analysis. Also discussed: Marco Rubio prepares to pull the immigration bill football away from Charlie Brown, polling performance in the 2012 elections, Keith Olbermann's return to television, the Bradley Manning trial, the switch-up in the White House foreign policy/national security team, judicial nominations and the nuclear option, and the controversy now surrounding 5th Circuit court judge Edith Jones.

Direct download: June_5_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

New roof going in at the World Broadcasting Headquarters, so pardon the background thumping. Josh Barro and Erick Erickson get in a slapfight and we get to watch. Greg Dworkin rounds the day's news up, beginning with a strange exemplar of the Freedom vs. safety debate in the comments section of a Washington Post article about road safety enforcement in DC neighborhoods. Next, polling says basically no move in Obama approval rating, despite wild gyrations from Republicans over the so-called "scandals." The Republicans finally get their culture war, and it's against themselves. Armando called in to discuss Republican rebranding and outreach, patent trolling, and the release of legislative and executive action priorities for dealing with high-tech patent issues. Afterward, by listener request, we looked at the "Moral Monday" protests at the North Carolina state capitol, its implications for social justice, and democracy more broadly. Finally, we read David Cay Johnston's latest, "Inequality Rising--All Thanks to Government Policies," and drew a few parallels between how patent trolls do their rent-seeking and how it's done the "Bain Way," both facilitated by the kind of gaming of the system Johnston points out, and our political and governing processes can't help but encourage.

Direct download: June_4_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:13pm EDT

Congress returns to DC to begin the appropriations season, so we talk a bit about the different moving parts of the budget process and where appropriations fit in, as well as why certain appropriations bills always seem to move first. Greg Dworkin brings us his round-up, including: summer storm prep; "A Simple Way to Reduce Suicides"; Eugene Robinson's "The GOP is too juvenile to govern"; and in a surprise entry, Paul Krugman once again being right on the components and trajectory of the deficit, whereas Simpson & Bowles almost sorta-kinda once were, but went bonkers and ended up not. We also noted the breaking news of the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Armando joined in to remember him, to discuss all the attendant political questions his passing raises, and throw in a note about a "civility in politics" conference he happened to attend up in Vermont. Lastly, a look at a fascinating Washington Post story about one Pentagon advisor's so-far unsuccessful attempt to save taxpayers a billion dollars or more by reforming the military commissary system.

Direct download: June_3_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

We started off this morning with a look at the startling National Journal article, "Gun Deaths Since Newtown Now Surpass Number of Americans Killed in Iraq." But as startling as that is, it's based on Slate's crowd-sourced and "necessarily incomplete" interactive database cataloging gun deaths since 12/14, and CDC statistics tell us that there have been far, far more deaths than that. How many more? Listen and find out. Two recent #GunFAIL episodes illustrate a cultural divide in how we think of the dangers guns can pose. More national press join the gun violence chase, this time watching child shootings. Norm Ornstein on the renewed nuclear option fight. Rep. Bobby Rush swipes at Sen. Mark Kirk's efforts to fund an anti-gang initiative as an "elitist white boy solution." Armando calls in to discuss appointment powers, the "unitary executive" theory, and constitutional hardball, and float some bold theories. Free advice! Just what every president needs! Also: Did John McCain pose with suspected kidnappers during his Syria excursion? ArchPundit sends word to help us clear up the situation with Illinois gun law. And the conservative-leaning Volokh Conspiracy blog dismisses the accusation that AG Eric Holder lied under oath.

Direct download: May_31_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

Fox sees doom in female breadwinners. #GunFAIL update. Armando's roundup, including: 1Q GDP revisions; comments on takes from Garance Franke-Ruta and E.J. Dionne on Clinton versus Obama "scandals"; the latest in the IRS & AP stories; the nomination of James Comey to head the FBI, and; the plight of Beatriz, the 22-year-old Salvadoran woman being denied a medically-necessary abortion. Other topics of interest: fear of terrorism prevents communities from finding out about dangerous chemicals in their midst; another casual "joking" assassination threat from Tea Party activists; more about women as breadwinners, and; the curious contortions of "pro-business" forces in opposition to minimum wage hikes for fast food workers and others.

Direct download: May_30_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

Greg Dworkin was back with us, but only for today. Busy week for him! But he was on hand to discuss the Bachmann retirement, today's somewhat laughable Tom Friedman article, GMU's Center for Media and Public Affairs' analysis of Politifact, and the quarter to one-third of poll respondents who are routinely willing to agree to something crazy. Plus, his collection of "But" stories, which make a great point, but sounds funnier out loud than it reads. Afterwards, a broad gun issue roundup including: the nature of traditional media coverage of gun violence; a #GunFAIL report from Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day; a #GunFAIL alumnus & outspoken pro-gun lobbyist arrested in Utah; a local columnist's reaction to the gun-toting Utah teachers story; and a legal backgrounder on the situation in Illinois, where the state legislature has just days to come up with a replacement for its gun laws struck down by a federal appeals court. Wrapping up, we read what appears to be a real and genuinely-offered selection entitled, "Why Are Liberals So Rude to the Right?" No, seriously!

Direct download: May_29_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Seems like the context of the IRS story is changing bit by bit. The White House tees up a filibuster fight over judicial nominations, preparing up to three appointments to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Since that was the court that stood the last century of recess appointments practice on its head, we discuss the background on that issue. The latest Washington Post entry from Walter Pincus was the jumping off point for a discussion of the Fox News/James Rosen branch of the story that began as a branch of the AP controversy. Armando joins the discussion and explains the differences, and we speculate on reasonable explanations for the Fox branch of the story. Also: have the budget battles impacted NOAA and the National Weather Service, or not? Depends who you ask, and how you ask it. And: the latest and greatest in Conservative Crayzee: Unskewed Polls guy says Obama made Nate Silver buy crack from Hitler during Benghazi, or something.

Direct download: May_28_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Greg Dworkin discusses the lingering controversies, including some interesting variations in polling on the AP phone records. Also: the strange case of Josh Barro. The IRS story moves into a new phase, wherein Republicans insist that President Obama had to have known about what a field office of an independent agency was up to, and if he didn't, then that's evidence of a cover-up, too. Next, the Mother Jones reporting on AK-47 "build parties," where participants build their own unmarked and untraceable assault rifles. John McCain looks to defuse "nuclear option" showdown. Lamar Alexander pretends not to see the difference between the ACA and Iran-Contra. A shocking chart showing how the mix of sources of total federal revenues have changed since the 1950s. The Atlantic on "Why Private Schools Are Dying Out." The Teamsters blog notes that income inequality today actually outpaces income inequality in Renaissance Italy. The Medicis were pikers!

Direct download: May_23_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss Oklahoma's continuing recovery, and some of the factors that stand in the way of more widespread adoption of protective measures like the construction of "safe rooms" and basements in homes in "Tornado Alley." Then we catch up on the day's GunFAIL stories, noting once again the passive voice construction that makes accidental shootings a rootless, causeless consequence of freedom or something. Also, more notes on the gun-toting teachers of Utah story, prompted by a note from alpaca farmer, a former Utah resident. Seems the teachers interviewed left out one of the key arguments they once made against a bill that would mandate alerting parents when there's an armed teacher in their kid's classroom. And one of the folks quoted as supporting armed teachers, whose argument rested on those teachers being deemed trustworthy because they had to go through a permitting process, turns out to have been lobbying to repeal the permitting requirement entirely. And not only that, but the guy's actually been on my GunFAIL list before! Moving on, more facts about tax-exempt political groups, and more discussion of a possible "nuclear option" on nomination filibusters.

Direct download: May_22_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

The day's news was obviously dominated by the Oklahoma tornado situation. In addition to providing our morning news and punditry roundup, of course, Greg Dworkin's an expert in disaster preparation, so we dove into that as well. And once again, disaster response reminds us that teachers are often first responders, and that first responders are unionized, public employees. Also: a peek into the thinking of the conspiracy-minded, and yet another reminder that despite it all, it's still the economy, stupid. We turned back to the gun issue to report another entry in wacky gun news, and to finish up the article about Utah's gun-toting teachers today, with more critique of the strange proclivity for insisting that there's a privacy right bound up in the Second Amendment. From there, an update on the 3D printing issue, a story about "Colorado's deadliest neighborhood," and a somewhat surprising investigation into the disciplinary records and backgrounds of Atlanta area school resource officers. Finally, a listener note seeking clarification in reporting about the "unanimous confirmation" of the new Energy Secretary. Was it unanimous consent, or a unanimous vote. And is there a difference between the two? Answers: yes and yes.

Direct download: May_21_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

Greg Dworkin confirmed for us that the weekend political world was pretty much frozen in place in the middle of last week, so we'd have to look elsewhere for political news not involving Republicans making breathless but unfounded comparisons to Watergate. After a brief detour into the  Umbrellacaust, we moved back to the IRS story, reviewing a few more stories providing context that helps us separate it from shrieking about Watergate. First, Garance Franke-Ruta's piece (and yes, I know I mispronounced archetype!), "There Was No Surge in IRS Tax-Exempt Applications in 2010," then David Cay Johnston's, "Lois Lerner Must Resign," and Stephanie Mencimer's "Actually, Tea Party Groups Gave the IRS Lots of Good Reasons to be Interested." Off on a tangent, but not totally unrelated, was Keenan Steiner's, "How ex-Det. Guy Bowers became the biggest campaign donor of all." Finally, we had to get back to the gun issue, with the tragic story out of Hofstra University making headlines, but also a fascinating look at the concealed carrying teachers of Utah. A very revealing look, I thought, into the minds of folks who feel certain that introducing the presence of guns into the daily lives of our school kids is a decision they feel comfortable making for all of us, pretty much by themselves. Because liberty. Unless you disagree, in which case, their tyranny wins, because it's really liberty.

Direct download: May_20_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:44pm EDT

Wrapping up the week with Greg Dworkin, it seems the embers are dying in the "scandal" fires, one at a time. The Sunday shows always run a few days behind, though, because guests and topics are typically locked in by mid-week. On the radar today: Kevin Drum's "It's Official: Those Bogus Email Leaks Came From Republicans." Turns out that news outlets got burned by Republican sources, who told them they had damning emails, but it turns out the genuine article emails were very different from those "leaked" to the press. Armando joined in to press that point, and urge accountability for ABC News' Jonathan Karl, who indicated in his reporting that he'd actually obtained and reviewed the emails himself, but clearly had not. Also, the bizarre story of a holocaust denier who reinvented himself as a Hollywood conservative player, until he was recently outed. How do these fabulists get away with this stuff? A brief #GunFAIL update. And finally, a bit more exploration of the prospects for mid-session filibuster rules reform, drawing on Joan McCarter's post on Harry Reid's plans to call for a vote on Richard Cordray's nomination next week. And hey, in between, we plug show sponsor Audible, and let you know that listeners can sign up & get a free audio book download at

Direct download: May_17_2013_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT