The Majority Report with Sam Seder (general)

Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) of New York Magazine joins us to discuss his latest piece, "Unions Are Not a Special Interest Group."

On today's show: Trump says he'll "have a little fun today" visiting shooting victims' families.

Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) of New York Magazine joins us to discuss unions, Jordan Peterson, Puerto Rico, and more.

The correlation of unionization rates and the wages of all workers, not just the ones in unions. The myth that higher unionization rates hinder economic growth, especially when you look at the share of that growth that goes to the working class. Anti-union propaganda and the shifting perception of unions, even among the Democratic Party. The 1970s roots of backlash against unions. Why so many Senators consistently vote against labor. The contradictory politics of people in red states and the rising respect for unions among even (some) Republican voters. Levitz's take on Jordan Peterson and the myth that Marxists want everyone to be perfectly equal. The policy changes that would have to take place for us to actually have equality of opportunity.

The survey that found 4,581 Puerto Ricans, not 64, have died as the result of Hurricane Maria. The failings of the Trump administration and the manmade nature of this catastrophe.

The corporate malfeasance by which Purdue Pharmaceuticals knowingly profited off of, and contributed to, opiate addiction in the US. The false dichotomy between rule of law and economic inequality in framing problems like the opiate epidemic.

On the fun half: The broader implications of the coup against Lula in Brazil. Police beat up drunk woman on New Jersey beach. Jim Acosta cries about MAGA people calling him a scumbag. Bacon's rebellion, miscegenation laws, and the history of the ruling class using racism to divide workers. Tucker Carlson says that MSNBC, Tim Wise are the real racists. A caller in Nigeria talks about the state of LGBT rights in Africa and what we can do about it. Alex Jones defends Roseanne by saying he's "gorilla-like" himself. Mike Pompeo shakes hands with Kim Yong Chol, Vice Chairman of North Korea. China releases video of awesome aqua drones. What to say to someone who thinks progressive politics don't go far enough? Jamie and Michael debate tactics and where to draw the line. Should the MR crew go harder on people like David Brooks?

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Direct download: 5-31-18-Eric-Levitz-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of 'The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean' joins us.

On today's show: Virginia is set to expand Medicaid; Utah to vote on Medicaid expansion and medical marijuana. Trump tells voters in TN that Nancy Pelosi "loves MS-13." ICE is separating more kids from their parents.

Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, joins us to discuss his latest book, 'The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Seventeenth Century North America and the Caribbean.' How England's rise to power in the 1600s was fueled by the slave trade. What "apocalypse" means in this context: The mass deaths of Native Americans and Africans. The construction of whiteness as a "new identity politics" and the purposes it served in Europe and the New World. Could European integration be reversed? Which came first, slavery or white supremacy? The role played by the Crusades and Enlightenment-era "science," and how these ideas got yoked to capitalism. The high profit margins of the slave business. Horne's perspective on Trump, the NFL controversy and modern day politics.

On the fun half: John from San Antonio on Bernie 2020 and the latest primary polls. Alex Jones gives stay-at-home-son Michael Rotondo a pep talk on Infowars. Dave Rubin tries to defend Bill Maher. Tucker Carlson compares Roseanne cancellation to book burning, re-education. ABC began its recent upfronts with jokes about Roseanne's Twitter activity. A caller on the opposition journalist who faked his own death in Kiev. Asad Haider's book on how identity politics have divided the left. Rush Limbaugh asks if NFL protests are worse than Roseanne's racist tweets. Geraldo Rivera, who likes to drink, jokes that Greg Gutfeld is a "pervert on the playground."

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Direct download: 5-30-18-Gerald-Horne-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm EDT

On today's show: Giuliani gets booed at Yankee stadium on his birthday. ICE lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year; some of them wound up trafficked. PBS Frontline documents Guatemalan teens forced to work on Ohio egg farm. Is it bad that people are conflating Obama's immigration policy with Trump's? GEO Group private prison contractor creates a prison transport bus for babies. Jonathan Chait's latest sloppy, red-baiting piece on how "the left" doesn't care about democracy.

On the fun half: GOP candidate John Ward doesn't want PuertoRonald  Ricans voting in Florida races. New Harvard study finds death toll in Puerto Rico is at least 4,600 (official government figure: 64). Ireland overturns its abortion ban by referendum, granting human rights to millions. Sam was right about birth control and conservative commentator Peter Schiff was wrong. Ronald Raygun on ICE removal proceedings, the lack of a left alternative on immigration policy. Roseanne's show canceled over racist tweet. GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher won't apologize for supporting housing discrimination against gay people. KY Catholic diocese banned a valedictorian's speech for being too political, so the teen found a megaphone. Maggie Haberman and the NYT don't want to lose their White House access. A plug for Chardo Richardson, the Justice Democrat running against Blue Dog Stephanie Murphy in Florida. Mindy on Haberman's connections to the Kushner family. A caller recommends the manga version of Marx's Capital. (This one is good too, says Jamie.) How dependent is MMT on the US as global hegemonic power?

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Direct download: 5-29-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law, joins us to discuss his new book "We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights." What exactly is a corporation? The corporations seizing of their first rates as 1809, and how corportions are extensions of property rights. How "Corporate Personhood has become problematic. How corporations shed their public obligations and piggybacked on the 14th amendment to give corporations more rights. How the Supreme Court has been consistently pro-corporate whether it leaned liberal or conservative. The counter-intuitive role of Ralph Nader in expanding corporate rights. Citizen's United and the "money=speech" equation.

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Direct download: MR_Adam_Winkler_May_28_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Good morning on everyone on today's show, Benjamin  Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon)  and Ben Mankiewicz. We are live at 12:00 ET.

First, ICE has lost 1475 children they ripped from parents they've detained. It must go.

Then, Ben Dixon joins us to break down Nancy Pelosi's lame response to the NFL telling players they can't kneel, Trump's erratic diplomacy with North Korea, and how much will the Democrats squander their "blue wave."

The Ben Mankiewicz joins us to discuss his love for Los Angeles driving routes, The Americans and Deadwood, Fleetwood Mac as the third greatest band of all-time, and Steve Kerr's response to the NFL's kneel rule.

On the fun half - The NRA's Dan Bongino calls NFL players snowflakes and blocks Matt, Trump continues making NK talks pettier than you can imagine, is a fascist board game indoctrinating children, LGBT  rights still need defending, and your calls and IMs!

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Read Jamie’s op-ed on Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of Andrew Cuomo here.

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Direct download: 5-25-18-Ben_Dixon-Mankiewicz-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

Anthropologist David Graeber (@davidgraeber) joins us to discuss his book, "Bullshit Jobs: A Theory."

On today's show: Trump says NFL protesters shouldn't be in the country. Milwaukee police tase NBA player Sterling Brown over parking infraction.

Anthropologist and activist David Graeber joins us to discuss his book, "Bullshit Jobs: A Theory." How Graeber gathered stories from people about their experiences of work. The five categories of bullshit jobs: goon, duct taper, flunkie, box ticker, task master. The high percentage of UK survey respondents who think their jobs add nothing to the world. The psychological effects of knowing your job is bullshit. The link (or lack thereof) between GDP, employment rates and indicators of well being. What the growing number of useless jobs says about how capitalism actually works. How whole industries are moving to a system of managerial feudalism. How the financialization of the economy drives the bullshit job phenomenon and the role the government plays in extracting profits. The benefits of replacing means-tested programs with UBI. Why right-wing populists resent the cultural elite.

On the fun half: Josh from Chicago praises Jamie's op-ed on Cynthia Nixon, points out the white supremacy of Trump's NFL statement. Bari Weiss's hot NFL take. Richard Spencer admits the alt-right is not pro- free speech. Elon Musk complains about the press, Peter Daou invites him to fund Verrit (hell yeah). A caller inducts more people into the Yacubian left. Is Trump's NFL meddling a first amendment issue? Jim Bakker knows "in his spirit" than 100 hit men have been hired to assassinate Trump. Mike Pence says North Korea must adhere to Libya model in negotiations. An early plug for International Whores Day (donate at IWD18.org). What kind of statement is 'The Handmaid's Tale' making about politics? Michael from Miami calls in to contextualize Bill Clinton's '90s-era politics.

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Read Jamie's op-ed on Hillary Clinton's endorsement of Andrew Cuomo here.

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Direct download: 5-24-18-David_Graeber-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm EDT

Journalist Marcy Wheeler (@emptywheel) joins us to discuss the latest on the Mueller investigation.

On today's show: Trump tells anecdote about young girl coming home from "schloogp." Congress passes "right to try" bill that will undercut FDA's ability to regulate potentially dangerous new drugs. An update on primary results from around the country.

Journalist Marcy Wheeler, of EmptyWheel.net, helps us unravel the many threads of the Mueller investigation. The DOJ's interest in Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Jared Kushner and how it works when people agree to flip. Giuliani's theory that the FBI had an informant in the Trump campaign. The trading of foreign policy favors for dirt on Hillary and the deal between Mike Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The role played by informant Stefan Halper. The White House's efforts to limit the investigation to pre-election promises ("quid") and exclude post-election follow-through ("pro quo"). The imminent sentencing of Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, who lied to the FBI to cover up treason. How Don Jr. and Eric Prince fielded offers from oligarchs and spies from around the world. How the "crime fraud exception" could invalidate Cohen's attorney-client privilege. How this tracks with the rest of Trump's shady career. Manafort's many charges and the likelihood he will flip. What's next?

On the fun half: Jake Tapper calls out Matt Gaetz's far right collusion interference. Journalist Lesley Stahl says Trump told her he attacks the media so people won't believe negative stories about him. Trump touts his pro-life bona fides at Susan B. Anthony dinner. Why do Democrats run on tickets with Republicans? More un-published Jordan Peterson books. Dr. Gorka's dissertation. Dave from Jamaica asks how we get to a post-capitalist future; Jamie responds. Steve Bannon says MLK would be proud of Trump's black unemployment rate. Racist lawyer Aaron Schlossberg's crap apology. Trump goes off script, says 2018 is less important than 2016. NFL owners vote to penalize players for kneeling during national anthem; players' union responds.

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Direct download: 5-23-18-Marcy_Wheeler-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

Journalist Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) joins us to discuss his new book, Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of Silicon Valley, and Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) joins us to talk about his new project, Ohioans for Economic Opportunity.

On today's show: Betsy Devos says she has "heard that opined" that there are $15 billion in cuts to student aid in the plan she approved.

Yasha Levine joins us to discuss the history of the internet as a surveillance tool. The birth of the internet in the 1950s as a Cold War national security network and the development of ARPANET in the 1960s as a way to gather and analyze data. The internet's history as a tool for spying on US citizens and how that undercuts the techno-libertarian ethos. The National Science Foundation's successful efforts to privatize the internet once it caught on with consumers. The web's concentration of private entities that will share info with the government. The internet's domination by private monopolies and government spies as a reflection of neoliberalism, not a natural inevitability. How TOR is presented as a privacy solution, but is actually funded by government contractors and used to spy on people. The impossibility of true internet privacy and the political nature of the problem.

Cliff Schecter joins us to talk about his new project, Ohioans for Economic Opportunity. Through a website and media buys, Cliff hopes to spread the word about how Republican lawmakers are screwing over the middle class on "kitchen table" issues like taxes and healthcare. His hopes of replacing Rep. Steve Shabot with Democratic challenger Aftab Pureval. Why, in Cliff's opinion, Democrats can win in Ohio by appealing to POC voters and moderates who don't like Trump. For more, visit OHeconomicopportunity.org.

On the fun half: Betsy Devos explains (deflects) why school performance reviews don't need to include "sub-performance groups." Is she evil, stupid, or some combo of both? The NRA's absurd commercial for "National School Shield," their plan to "mitigate" the number of kids who are murdered with guns. Mike Pompeo vows U.S., middle east allies will "crush" Iranian operatives around the world. KY Governor Matt Bevin talks about cutting "red tape" when he's really cutting the safety net. Trump says NASCAR fans are good because they "stand for our flag." Woman calls cops on people in Oakland for BBQing while black; community responds with even more BBQs. Vic Berger shares threatening visit from Proud Boys in retaliation for making fun of them. A caller breaks down the Supreme Court's recent anti-labor decision, recommends subscriptlaw.com for info on Supreme Court rulings. Dissident Peasant fills us in on the governor's race in GA (vote for Stacy Abrams!).

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Direct download: 5-22-18-Yasha_Levine-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

On today's show: Trump is having second thoughts on his negotiations with North Korea. The Supreme Court issues an anti-labor ruling. Home Depot tycoon Ken Langone tells millennials they, too, can love capitalism if only they give it a try. Border patrol agent detains two women for speaking Spanish in Montana. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says schools need to limit the number of entrances to prevent shootings. Sean Hannity wants the government to monitor every student's social media account. Lt. Gov. Patrick thinks abortion led to Santa Fe shooting. Oliver North throws stone from glass house, says "culture of violence" is to blame for mass shootings (also Ritalin).

On the fun half: John from San Antonio updates us on how Berniecrats are doing in primaries. Caller Mariana on the complex web of factors driving the incel movement. (It might be fun to mock these people, but is it politically helpful?) A fedora-adorned Jordan Peterson thinks "good men" are going away because boys aren't allowed to throw snowballs anymore. A list of JP's un-published works. The connection between many mass shootings and far right ideology. A severely abbreviated summary of how capitalism (and its helpers patriarchy and white supremacy) provides the basis for toxic incel culture.

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Direct download: 5-21-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Digby (@digby56) and Larry Murphy join us.

On today's show: Bill Gates reveals that Trump asked him the difference between HIV and HPV, twice. Racist lawyer Aaron Schlossberg once harassed vlogger Willie Morris on the street, calling him an "ugly foreigner."

Heather Parton a.k.a Digby, of Salon.com and Hullabaloo, joins us to break down the news. The latest on Trump's shady business deals and the degree to which we've become a kleptocracy. Digby's critique of the Democrats' midterm electoral strategy: They should be attacking Trump and the GOP more. Six Democrats voted to confirm Gina Haspel. What's up with all this capitulation? Is Chuck Schumer just bad at his job? The GOP's failed attack on SNAP by way of the Farm Bill. The history of tying SNAP to agricultural subsidies as a compromise between urban and rural areas. How the Republican Party has gone from appealing to the crazies to being them. How Americans can exert pressure on elected officials from the bottom.

Voice actor and comedian Larry Murphy (@LarryMurphyJr) joins us. Rudy Giuliani melts down over a Clinton-era clip of himself contradicting his own assertion re: whether or not the president can be subpoenaed. Trump's shady associate Felix Sater and comparisons to crime boss Whitey Bulger. An update on the "Bob's Burgers" universe. A new Jimmy Reefercake song is played.

On the fun half: Footage from the scene of the school shooting in Sante Fe, TX. Woman who brought gun to graduation was paid right-wing operative. Charlie Kirk praises black conservative Candace Owens; Vic Berger remixes her with Kanye. Racist lawyer yells "you are not a Jew!" at Rabbi who supports Linda Sarsour. ICE director cries at WH summit because everyone hates ICE officers. Oochie Wally on black conservatism. (Book rec: 'Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others,' by James Gilligan.) Listener Tammy emotionally blackmails her fellow Texans into voting. Jordan Peterson's modest proposal for a fascist rape state.

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Direct download: 5-18-18-Digby_Larry_Murphy-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT