Progressive politics, news & talk hosted by David Waldman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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