Progressive politics, news & talk hosted by David Waldman
Kagro in the Morning - April 4, 2014

Jobs report day gives us an opportunity to note record corporate profits & CEO pay alongside a drop in average hourly compensation for everyone else. Greg Dworkin joins us for a look at the report landscape, the daily ACA news roundup, and to check in on the Gop 2016 sweepstakes. A closer look at how CEOs are making out while the rest of us lose. Speaking of CEOs, Don Blankenship formerly of the Upper Big Branch mine-exploding Massey Energy Co. has a new "documentary" film out saying he's awesome & its all everybody else's fault. More on McCutcheon, from Dahlia Lithwick and Jeff Toobin. For further study: "Plagued With High Cancer Rates, One Tar Sands Community’s Eight Year Quest For Answers."

Direct download: April_4_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - April 3, 2014

We've had to reset the mass shooting clock, again. And along with the tragedy itself comes the tragedy of watching people "score points" by being among the first to remind people not to try to "score points." Greg Dworkin asks questions about McCutcheon, highlights Sam Baker's ACA-themed Twitter rant, notes the many reasons some might not have paid their premiums, and spots Bobby Jindal trying to deal himself back in with some cribbed health care talking points. There being no such thing as "too soon," we had to address some of the usual memes with respect to the latest Ft. Hood shooting. Some background for and reflection on McCutcheon. MoJo puts an eye on celebs who take big checks to perform for dictators.

Direct download: April_3_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:33pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - April 2, 2014

Greg Dworkin is hot on the trail of this new health care law you might have heard about. A growing number of conservatives urge moving on to the acceptance stage. "Poll Shows Republicans Really Have No Idea What They Want Obama To Do With Russia." Is Obama finally "leading?" After a brief scramble to figure out what happened in the DC elections, MoJo takes us through the other 71 companies suing to block the ACA birth control mandate. A bipartisan Senate group works to rein in executive branch war powers. David Dayen's "How Chase Bank Denying Services to a Condom Shop Is Really About Deregulating Payday Lending." Push-back on Flash Boys from Felix Salmon. Is the market really rigged against everybody?

Direct download: April_2_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:37pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - April 1, 2014

Today's flash news via Twitter: Hobby Lobby's retirement plan invests in contraception manufacturers. Greg Dworkin rounds up Day One of BenghaziCare. More plaudits for Charles Gaba! Douthat is pleased with himself for facing reality. The Senate intelligence committee's report on CIA torture is being leaked/discussed, and it turns out the agency has been "misleading" everyone about it. We already knew the Bush "administration" was using it to try to extract "confessions" of links between Iraq & al Qaeda, and now Cheney says he'd do it all again. One market watcher reminds us that the markets have always been "rigged." TN reporters say they've got documents proving Gov. Haslam tied economic incentives for VW to the outcome of the unionization vote. Why changing fonts might not save the government money after all. And finally, we couldn't completely avoid April Fools' Day.

Direct download: April_1_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:03pm EST

Sheldon Adelson holds his own personal auditions for Republican presidential candidates, where John Nichols notes Chris Christie had to apologize for referring to Israel's "occupied territories," but not for berating teachers. Greg Dworkin joined us for a Last Day of Open Season ACA round-up. But success in getting people covered isn't the same thing as success in getting people to support the new law, for many reasons. After a little chit-chat tour of Iceland, we move on to last night's 60 Minutes story on how high-frequency stock traders rigged the market. Yet another instance in which "economic inequality" isn't just about somebody having more money than you, but rather about having the system tailored to keep it that way, no matter what.

Direct download: March_31_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:39pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 28, 2014

Today's morning Twitter buzz: #CancelColbert; Cheney joins the parade of self-exoneration, the retirement of House intelligence committee chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). Also out of Michigan, a story of corruption charges by Dems against Gov. Rick Snyder (R). But first: a five-alarm chit-chat alert, including basketball, the Mason-Dixon line and Dolly Parton. Then, more on "Chesapeake Energy's $5 Billion Shuffle," the amazing story of how it's possible to make money out of thin air when the system happens to set up just right for you to steal if from people! And if owning the government and the courts doesn't do the trick, what about buying the news, like this story says Chevron did in Richmond, CA?

Direct download: March_28_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:23pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 27, 2014

Greg Dworkin tells us why getting the metrics wonks (and reporters) want on ACA signups isn't so easy. Seems Krugman and Silver are fighting. Here's "what you need to know." Christie exonerates himself as the 2016 Republican field jockeys for position and 2014 red state Senate Dems stake out positions on ACA fixes. Chit-chat alert: fancy NY hotel now offers "social media concierge service" for your wedding. What exactly is "economic inequality," anyway? Well, for starters, it's about how it screws the poor on welfare (and you, too, since this is taxpayer money), as well as the poor who think they're signing up to become "makers."

Direct download: March_27_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:48pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 26, 2014

Greg Dworkin caught us up on Charles Gaba's latest sign-up numbers, ACA "fatigue," and Mitch McConnell's Duke gaffe. Joan McCarter joins in, noting the latest tweak to ACA deadlines, and moving on to the DC Circuit's hearing of the Halbig ACA challenge, which brought us to the pressure for blue slip reform and the troubled Surgeon General nomination. Dems are jumping out in front on Social Security expansion, even as Third Way renews its campaign to do the opposite. Congress is back on the "doc fix," and faces more Ukraine aid wrangling. Plus, the administration is openly floating NSA reform. Gee, I wonder why! Speaking of which, how much snooping is your email provider doing?

Direct download: March_26_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:40pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby is on everyone's mind today, as the Court hears oral argument. Armando joins us for a discussion of what's at stake in the case. Breaking news this morning of a shooting at the naval base in Norfolk, VA. Apparently the suspect arrived unarmed and took a gun from a guard there. Now there's a twist. Then, a little more reflection on the "warrior cop" topic, before turning to how Third Way stepped in it with both feet. First, by thinking they could get away with some easy hippie-punching (and finding out they couldn't). And second, by getting trolled by Sheldon Adelson, who just bought their boss. New Hampshire residents are mobilizing in town meetings to push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. White House wants blue slip reform for judicial nominations.

Direct download: March_25_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:34pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 24, 2014

Greg Dworkin joins us for the morning chatter about Hobby Lobby, Nate Silver, Chris Christie, etc., before turning to Radley Balko's latest on his "warrior cop" theme, E.J. Dionne, Mike Konczal and even Greg himself on the persistent Republican fantasy of "voluntarism." Afterwards, we double back on the "warrior cop" issue, and then back to Hobby Lobby for a look at just how wrong this whole thing really is.

Direct download: March_24_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:59pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 21, 2014

We begin by exploring the topic of how to stop talking about basketball brackets. Ten minutes later, we have come to no conclusion, and move on to McKay Coppins' look at the conservative book publishing racket, a favorite and long-running topic on the show. "Are You There God? It's Me, Hobby Lobby." The exciting conclusion of David Dayen's "Why the Justice Department Inspector General Report on Mortgage Fraud Matters." Justin Wolfers explains that "Most Americans Who Live Hand-to-Mouth Aren't Actually 'Poor.'" And Greg Sargent reminds us of "The real goal of all those anti-Obamacare ads."

Direct download: March_21_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:55pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 20, 2014

Join us for the last hours for filling in your brackets! Greg Dworkin tries to put us back on track with a segue into Nate Silver's bracketology, and from there into the various critiques of his new launch. Charles Gaba gets his day in the WaPo. Jen Sorensen's ACA story, in cartoon form, of course. "Is The CDC Planning For A Walking Dead Zombie Apocalypse?" The New England Journal of Medicine swats at the NRA for its opposition to Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General. Bernie Madoff doesn't like your kind of income redistribution. Armando calls in to talk bracketology, and relate it to politics and social commentary, just for the hell of it. We also make some #GunFAIL-based game predictions, take a look at Sarah Palin's promotional materials for her new TV show promotion. CNN explores a new trend in March Man-ness. NSA says tech companies knew about mass data collection.

Direct download: March_20_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:48pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 19, 2014

Uh-oh. Republicans are doing "outreach" again, and this time it's supposedly millennials they're after. After yet another technical glitch, Greg Dworkin brought us stories of Chris Christie banning Tesla sales in NJ, conservative love for Putin, the Tea Party & Wall St. together again (but it might not matter) and The Hill's screamer headline about ACA rates. Joan McCarter for a chat ranging from coverage of the missing airliner, the CIA/Senate war, S.E. Cupp's advice to Republicans to lie about abortion, fact-checking push-back on the Koch brothers, the Republican healthcare "plan," McConnell gets fundraising help from a conserva-perv, and the NSA wants to classify... it's water bill. Other items: is IRS office politics letting tax cheats go free? David Dayen puts a critical eye on the DoJ IG's report on "mortgage fraud." By which they mean the bad stuff you might be doing. Banks? Well, call the SEC. Not our problem!

Direct download: March_19_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:29pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 18, 2014

Another plutocrat lines up to claim that his enormous privilege is just like Nazi persecution. So, lots of economic inequality talk today. Freedom Industries CEO wants to be paid for "work" in bankruptcy. Greg Dworkin takes the reins and explores nothing less than the origin of the universe, even as sequestration threatens to slash science funding. "Science Deniers Are Freaking Out About Cosmos." ACA enrollment passes the 5 million mark. Christie's still toast. Edwin Edwards is back. "Groucho Marx's Republican Party." GA's legislature considers perhaps the craziest new gun law going. Wells Fargo accused of routinely forging mortgage documents. But aren't you victims the real Hitlers here?

Direct download: March_18_2014_64_take_2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:55pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 14, 2014

Trigger warning: A good deal of morning chit-chat today! Medicare pays $172 million for penis pumps, which John Tyler never needed, and someone's trying to beat Amazon to the punch on drone deliveries. Armando joined in the chit-chat, adding to the mix some discussion of controversial new hire, and an odd bit about Nate Silver, as well. Turning back to the CIA vs. Senate fight, we're reminded by Ari Melber that the heart of this constitutional crisis isn't actually spying, it's torture. But there's still plenty there for those who prefer the spying hook. Next dot in our connecting exercise: "The Case for Corruption." Finally, one of "3 inconvenient facts that make libertarians' heads explode."

Direct download: March_14_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:16pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 13, 2014

The morning's chit-chat topic: Amazon Prime is raising its membership price, though the service has pretty much been a total bust for me, personally. Oh wells! Greg Dworkin poses the "Snowden Effect" question for the Pulitzers, and notes the growing Malaysian airliner mystery, "Americans Stick With Obamacare as Opposition Burns Bright," new research questioning the value of a social media-driven Internet, and a little background on the new proposed overtime regulations. Then it's back to the free-form chit-chat for a bit, analyzing the online information market and... camouflage everything. More on how the overtime pay issue "stuns" the business sector (if you feel you should care), then Joseph Williams' "My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish and Poor."

Direct download: March_13_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 11, 2014

Top Twitter talk of the day: President Obama on Zach Galifiniakis' "Between Two Ferns." Greg Dworkin discusses, and rounds up the New Yorker's profile of Peter Lanza, a big drop in the health care price index, the latest centrism/whatever tract, Boonstra debunked again, and a study showing pols vastly overestimate their constituents' conservatism. (A built-in boost for Tea Partiers?) Then, a little Twitter-watching of Sen. Feinstein's latest complaints against the CIA. And Ian Reifowitz to discuss "Why are so many conservative politicians brandishing guns?", and his entry in the "how do we move Dems left" sweepstakes.

Direct download: March_11_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:20pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 10, 2014

It's Daylight Savings Time, which of course means we wake up in the dark again, because the daylight industry is passing all the savings on to the Cayman Islands. Greg Dworkin is back, and he shines some of that saved daylight on "4 Myths About Daylight Saving Time," and new data on the drop in the numbers of uninsured. Team 26's latest Ride on Washington is underway, a few pieces on CPAC as it wrapped up, and Kevin Drum's "George Bush Lost an Entire Generation for the Republican Party." Zaid Jilani's illuminating piece, "How Working in Washington Taught Me We're All A Little Like RT America." George Zimmerman tries his hand at peddling autographs at gun shows. Ian Millhiser on what a legit "religious liberty" claim really looks like. Galt Lake City? A private SLC neighborhood wants the city to take over maintaining their streets.

Direct download: March_10_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:22pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 7, 2014

Developments in the Oscar Pistorius trial are interesting, in what the reveal about "gun culture" without borders. FAT (Frequently Asserted Trolling) on GunFAIL, including the accidents versus negligence controversy, and what to say to the swimming pool trope. Other topics: Issa vs. Cummings; "Disarmed: How Cities Are Losing the Power to Regulate Guns"; Paul Ryan, brown bag lunches, and poverty tautologies; wacko Alaskan Republican tut-tuts sex havers; McConnell strains under the weight of a rifle; that Oscar "selfie"; and is all this Bitcoin theft a sign that the time is right for Operation Privateers of the Caribbean?

Direct download: March_7_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:43pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 5, 2014

We start with a peek at what's happening on the House floor today, including the latest stupidly-named Republican attempt at repealing Obamacare. Michele Bachmann is very sad that American Jews aren't doing her Christian bidding. The CIA apparently thought it was a good idea to monitor the computers used by Senate staffers conducting an investigation into... the CIA. Next, GunFAIL "Where Are They Now?" featuring a two-time FAIL-er who's made the news again, this time for a pipe bomb. Freedom! Joan McCarter checks in on the CIA story, ACA Medicaid expansion, Lindsey Graham's Beghazi freakout, Harry Reid takes it to the Kochs on the Senate floor, and the ongoing minimum wage and immigration fights. And, a quick look at Dalia Lithwick's "'Stand Your Ground' Nation."

Direct download: March_5_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:14pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 4, 2014

Greg Dworkin's update includes bits on Ukraine; new WaPo polling showing Dem advantages on most issues, but don't expect that to change much for November; another shows the majority of the minority thinks it's the majority; and a little more Bridgegate speculation. Rand Paul moves to lock in at least one government paycheck for himself. The UK official in charge of Internet porn filters is arrested on Internet porn charges. Obamacare gives the economy a boost. Fake TV chef shows if you're wearing the right uniform, Very Serious People will believe anything you say. LA gang members turn up as fighters in Syria. Anti-gay Boy Scout defectors caught in photo of a one-in-a-million coincidence!

Direct download: March_4_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:51pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - March 3, 2014

Greg Dworkin rounds up helpful Ukraine backgrounders, Forbes helps business types understand the value of being a decent human being, one professor's question, "When May I Shoot a Student?" and Ross Douthat's "surrender." Was the GWB lane closure supposed to set up Christie as a hero? Bunnygirl60 discusses her enormously popular diary, "Obamacare Small Business Goldmine."

Direct download: March_3_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:50pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - February 28, 2014

Greg Dworkin starts off today's Reddit chat, rounds up news on Ukraine, and leads us into renewed discussion of the Arizona fallout. Armando joined in to help dissect the conservative whining and nonsense, and then more on the Reddit issue. Lastly, another installment of Cocaine, Inc., this time, about their analog for the department of government relations.

Direct download: February_28_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:16pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - February 27, 2014

Traditional media gets hold of the Jindal-Malloy NGA confrontation. Guess what? "Both sides!" Greg Dworkin gives us reason to hate "fact checking" again. Conservatives attempt to rationalize Arizona. When did conscientious objection become a zero-consequences free pass, anyway? More on the lunatic lobbying for a bill banning gays from the NFL. Ian Millhiser connects the current "religious liberty" objection to racism. HuffPo & TPM on the Brown Univ. student who shut down the RI NRA. Sort of. More corruption too blatant to feel real: a documentary on the judge who took kickbacks from private prison operators for oversentencing kids.

P.S.: Baby poop sausage.

Direct download: February_27_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:10pm EST

Greg Dworkin reports on the latest Kaiser poll data, the DCCC says it's going on the offensive on the ACA, Chait takes a swipe at pediatricians (or the AAP, anyway), and Chris Christie is still toast. Hey, how about a celebrity salami? Armando calls in to catch up on NSA stories, the upcoming election-time health care fight, AZ's anti-gay legislation & ALEC, and ask why Raymond Felton's gun charges aren't a cause célèbre for gun rights advocates. Banning gays from the NFL is apparently a thing people think they can do.

Direct download: February_26_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:19pm EST

Greg Dworkin brings us an entry from the Jonathans' Corner, Chait's "Why Do Appalachians Love Clinton and Hate Obama?" But you've known the answer since early 2008, because you read Daily Kos. Catching up on the morning's news, we stumble into the saga of Ohio's Gay Hitler dentist. You'll just have to listen for yourself. Also: Mother Jones compiles stories of legislative GunFAIL, NJ's Star-Ledger complains "NYPD spies get a pass," and the CEO of Cocaine, Inc. is busted in Mexico. For now.


Direct download: February_25_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:43pm EST

Greg Dworkin helped get us up to speed on the weekend's world events, bringing health care pricing into the open, the minimum wage fight, and the subtleties of how timing and social media platforms can affect news story reactions. NYT takes varied looks at changes at the Heritage Foundation. How Dem procedural maneuvering sets up political problems for Republicans.

Direct download: February_24_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:45pm EST

Greg Dworkin manages to get in a brief roundup of news in the wake of the recent controversial study of mammography and medical outcomes before falling prey to technical difficulties that knocked us off the air for a few minutes. But the show comes back, and we move on to discussion of Kevin Roose's "What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society," and Mike Elk's post-mortem on the Chattenooga VW plant unionization vote.

Direct download: Feburary_19_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:22pm EST

Arkansas open carry advocates feel sure a new law endorses their position. Law enforcement disagrees, which is clearly tyranny. Armando takes the wheel to talk Hillary Clinton and 2016. Obama attacked over expansion of executive power.

Direct download: February_18_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:43pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - February 17, 2014

Greg Dworkin rounds up some wacky news, including the death of a snake handling preacher (by snake bite, of course), and how Donald Trump, unable to fire a reporter he doesn't like, has fired his press aide who set up the interview. Bill Nye "debates" climate change with Marsha Blackburn on MTP. Nick Kristof complains about jargon, but I couldn't understand it. A little discussion of the Michael Dunn trial down in Florida, the vagaries of fire-at-will laws, and the latest GunFAIL stories leads to a wider look at the curious place guns and the gun debate occupy in our politics (and pseudo-politics). Which is not unlike the curious place wealth occupies in the same space. Feudal societies had similar problems. And that's no coincidence.

Direct download: February_17_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:02pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - February 13, 2014

Snow didn't take us out, but server downtime did. Still, the podcast must go on! And it did. Greg Dworkin joined us to note that Christie is still toast, perhaps more so than ever, as reporters fill the investigative lulls with stories mining his bullying past. A new Q Poll runs head-to-heads in NY, Christie vs. Clinton and Cuomo. ACA sign-ups surge. Armando weighs in on Rand Paul's NSA lawsuit, Comcast's proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable, the NJ state police's denial that Chris Christie overflew the George Washington Bridge last September 11th, and the NSA's allegation that Edward Snowden tricked a coworker into giving him his password. Lastly, another look at Tennessee Republicans' senseless threats against VW.

Direct download: February_13_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:07pm EST

Kagro in the Morning - February 12, 2014

Under Snowpocalypse Watch, again. Greg Dworkin rounds up the news on the Republican debt ceiling collapse (and the wacky process used to pass it), and triggers the Political Misrepresentation Early Warning System with the latest study on mammograms and cancer outcomes. Joan McCarter fills us in on pre-recess Congressional hijinx. From the states: the TN legislature hates unions & loves small gov't so much, they'll use the gov't to force companies to hate unions; KS seeks conscience clause for pretty much anybody, and; VA Senate votes to repeal mandatory ultrasound. Ad wars: Kochs vs insurers. And Chris Christie makes a first, furtive play for the Gop's basest base. GunFAIL update: MT & SC. Surprise! 1980s clinic bomber turns up again, as child molester. More on Postal banking: what could President Obama be doing that so far, he's just... not?

Direct download: February_12_2014_64.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:56pm EST