The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Journalist, poet, and the executive editor of The Economy Hardship Reporting Project Alissa Quart joins us to discuss her new book, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America, a timely release that explores the shame and anxiety felt by a plurality of Americans who despite being "middle class" are just getting by, what she calls "The Middle-Class Vortex." Quart details the lives of this precarious vortex: the teachers who need to drive Uber on the weekends, homeless adjunct professors, and how formerly prestigious (or at least stable) jobs can no longer provide the stability they once did. Quart also details the new phenomena of "1% TV" and how shows like Billions, Succession, and Downton Abbey have become the opiate of the middle class, a projection of the lives we're made to desire. Quart also details a dystopian reality we're already living in, including GoFundMe school lunch campaigns, 24-hour daycare centers, and crowdsourced baby supplies. Check out Alissa's latest piece, "Do you have student debt? There's a reality TV show for that" in the Guardian.

And in the Fun Half: Matt shares the kink etymology  "unicorn," Texas Civil Rights Project shares an asylum reunification video, the role of capital is mass incarceration and a police state, increasing the numbers of immigration judges, Old Man Racist he just keeps calling to talk,  Sasha Baron Cohen has completely exploited the GOP's hero fantasy complex, woman at Pompeo's Iran speech protests asylum seeking detention, California Congresswoman Karen Bass gives an impassioned immigration speech from Brownsville, can religious arguments swing people to the left? Trump's economic advisor really thinks Trump wrote "Art of the Deal" himself (and/or really likes his ghostwriter), Michelle Wolfe's "ICE is..." sketch is very good, American opposition to ICE is growing rapidly, Mike from PA tells us about the fall of Wilkes-Barre, PA and the rise of the barbell society, and the rest of your wonderful calls and IMs!

 

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Direct download: 7-23-18-Alissa_Quart-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Alex Pareene (@pareene) and Andy Kindler (@AndyKindler) join us for Casual Friday.

On today's show: Journalist Alex Pareene (@pareene) joins us to give his take on Russiagate and more. Michael Cohen taped Trump talking about payment to Playboy model. Is this a warning shot from Cohen's team? The pile up of evidence of widespread corruption touching much of the Republican Party. Andrea Mitchell reveals Putin will be visiting the White House to bewildered DNI director Dan Coats. The hyperfocus on Russia by both the dumb dumb left and brain worm center. Julian Assange might be leaving London for Ecuador. Pareene's take on Republicans who are glad Russia tampered with the election.

Andy Kindler, host of Thought Spiral, joins us for a classic Dennis Miller burn session. Bill O'Reilly says his Irish ancestors were oppressed, ergo white privilege is a lie. Bill's sad web show featuring a sad, defeated Dennis Miller, who may or may not be Skyping from the toilet. Miller and O'Reilly complain about PC culture, lament Mel Brooks comedy. Church bells remind Richard Dawkins how much he hates Muslims. Dave Rubin complains about "demonetization" by Youtube. A new Jimmy Reefercake song is played.

On the fun half: NH governor Chris Sununu signs poll tax law he previously opposed. John from San Antonio analyzes the data on AOC. A Swede warns us about climate change. A caller questions Andy's Venezuela segment. A caller problematizes the liberal adulation of the deep state.

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Direct download: 7-20-18-Alex_Pareene-Andy_Kindler-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

Nick Martin, a staff writer for Splinter and Deadspin, joins us to discuss the first part of his new series State of the Nation, "How Jesse Helms Invented the Republican Party," which focuses on the 5-term North Carolina GOP Senator whose bigoted opposition to any policy he considered "liberal" gave him the nickname "Senator No." Martin's exhaustive account of Helms uses the senator as the figurehead of an increasingly stubborn GOP party that went from policy to dogma in the years following civil rights movement through the accession of the neocons. Helms was the prototype for media scion turned policymaker in North Carolina. His campaign methods became a blueprint for conservatives in the 21st century, edging towards the far-right ideologies all the while. In his 1972 campaign, Helms popularized racist attack ads against his opponent and goes to work on the Senate Rule Book, railing against voice votes and adding absurd amendments which helped him cultivate a national following. Helms was every word you could throw at him, but ultimately he was good at what he needed to do: getting elected. Although Democratic candidates won't be running on white identity politics or aggrievement, they can use ideology and strong conviction to win in a demographically shifting America.

In the Fun Half: A wild Scaramucci sighting in NYC, ICE is terrorizing Americans, K-File strikes again, Jeff Glor gloms onto Trump, F0x & Friends supercuts aren't helping exonerate Trump, Raygun describes how USCIF is weaponizing its immigration policies, Alex Jones calls Tucker Carlson "The King," Michael Tracy: the pathological contrarian, right-wing media parasites and their slush fund, reading 5-star reviews from TMBS iTunes show, MGM bringing a preemptive lawsuit against victims of Las Vegas shooting is peak late-capitalism, and Sam Harris' ego made him a white nationalist.

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Direct download: 7-19-18-Nick_Martin-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EDT

Linda Gordon, Florence Kelly Professor of history at NYU and author of 'The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of The 1920s and the American Political Tradition,' joins us.

On today's show: Trump says he misspoke at the Putin press conference when he said "I don't see any reason why it would be Russia," meant to say "wouldn't."

Linda Gordon, professor of history and the humanities at NYU, joins us to discuss the history of the KKK in America, particularly in the 1920s. The three waves of KKK activity -- the late 1800s, the 1920s, and the 1950s -- and the characteristics of each. The KKK's 1920s expansion from an underground terrorist organization to a mainstream group with a long list of enemies including blacks, Jews, Catholics, and all non-Protestant immigrants. The factors driving the group's 1920's expansion. How the KKK became a hub for networking and social activities for its largely middle class membership. The ignorance and conspiracy theories driving fear of the "other."  The role women like Alma White played in the organization. The KKK's racially and religiously motivated raids on saloons. The parallels with what's happening now and how the 1% uses mass bigotry as a tool to make gains for themselves.

On the fun half: Trump and Tucker Carlson dog whistle white supremacy, claim "mass migration" is "destroying the culture of Europe." Trump defends Russia because of its role in WWII, steals valor from Stalin. Lights go out in White House when Trump says "I have full faith in our intelligence agencies." MSNBC visits Missouri nail factory strangled by tariffs, asks Trump voters if they stand by their decision. Dissident Peasant on race and voting rights. A caller deciphers what Trump crossed out in his Russia speech. Should we abolish the Supreme Court? Jamie makes a case for anarcho-syndicalism, promises not to call it libertarian socialism. A caller tries to deflate the Putin hysteria. Richmond man calls cops after a hard foul in pickup basketball. Chicago man calls cops on black woman for trying to use a coupon at CVS.

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Check out Sam’s sister Betsy’s fundraiser: Make the Wave raises money for Swing Left via sales of fine art prints. She’s almost at 20k. Lets get her there, folks! Buy a print. Go to www.makethewave2018.com

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Direct download: 7-18-18-Linda_Gordon-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

On today's show: Woman named Maria Butina unmasked as Russian spy and arrested! Mary Lou from CT thanks Russians for interfering in US election because Hillary is terrible. Trump tells Hannity Putin denied meddling: he was "very, very strong." Updates on the DoJ's Russia investigation: Butina's ties to GOP leaders, how she may have funneled Russian money through the NRA, her on-video interaction with Trump. Indications the Republicans (Priebus, Nunes) are planning their escape routes. Ajit Pai's efforts to distance himself from Jared Kushner. Signs the Democrats are set to make gains in the House, even in places like Texas.

On the fun half: A fan-edited video of MR's "zero sum game" leitmotif. Tucker Carlson claims Mexico interferes "more successfully" than Russia in our elections. Steve Bannon defends an anti-Islam activist on British TV. Dave Rubin seeks an "objective" news article about Trump's Helsinki summit. Racist old man calls in to argue some more about race, IQ and policy. A caller pretends his opposition to the $15/hour minimum wage is based in concern for workers. Diver in Thailand says Elon Musk can stick his submarine "where it hurts." Alexandria Ocasio Cortez flubs Palestine interview question with GOP operative host Margaret Hoover; a caller says this shows the limitations of socialist participation in government.

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Check out Sam’s sister Betsy’s fundraiser: Make the Wave raises money for Swing Left via sales of fine art prints. She’s almost at 20k. Lets get her there, folks! Buy a print. Go to www.makethewave2018.com

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Direct download: 7-17-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

Onnesha Roychoudhuri, author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in A Post Truth America, joins us.

On today's show: Trump has joint press conference with Putin, says "I want to see the servers."

Onnesha Roychoudhuri, joins us to discuss her book The Marginalized Majority/ Claiming Our Power in A Post Truth America. Roychoudhuri's definition of the "marginalized majority" as anyone who's not a white male voter, a bloc that's been overly pandered to through the years. Her definition of "identity politics" and the idea that how we're acculturated by society is inherently political. Debunking Mark Lilla's assertion that (non-white) identity politics is what's dividing people. How America has drifted away from the truth on these issues and what, if anything, can  be done to fix it.

On the fun half: Trump gives his totally informed take on Brexit. Trump lays out his itinerary to press before private one-on-one with Putin. Is there value in MR getting behind a moderate Republican in the 2020 primary? Raygun on the pee tape. AP reporter asks about kompromat on Trump, Putin issues a delightfully evasive answer. Sasha Barron Cohen's new show 'Who is America' gets GOP officials to endorse arming children in schools. Fox and Friends' Brian Kilmeade rips Trump for 'ridiculous' tweet blaming US for poor relations with Russia. Should activists be pressuring billionaires to fund schools voluntarily? (No.) Bernie doesn't go for Sasha Barron Cohen's harebrained scheme. The limits of MMT?

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Check out Sam’s sister Betsy’s fundraiser: Make the Wave raises money for Swing Left via sales of fine art prints. She’s almost at 20k. Lets get her there, folks! Buy a print. Go to www.makethewave2018.com

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Direct download: 7-16-18-Onnesha_Roychoudhuri-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm EDT

Sam reports live from the American Federation of Teachers Convention in Pittsburgh!

Sam speaks with the head of the Douglas County, CO chapter of AFT about the fight for public education in her state. The funding crisis caused by shrinking property taxes and the Douglas county school board's 2009 takeover by Betsy DeVos types with Koch money behind them. The bad actors' ruthless dedication to charter schools, vouchers, and other privatization methods and how they funneled money to for-profit companies. The negative effects of privatization on students. Grassroots efforts to educate people on what was happening and organize to fight back by taking back the school board and (eventually) going on strike. The absurd concept of "market based pay" for teachers and the ballot initiative to raise money for education.

Sam speaks with Ed Allen, president of OKC AFT, about the teacher strikes in Oklahoma. The WV teacher strikes, #metoo, and the other factors building to the strike. Community support for their two-week-long walkout. The inspiring results of the walkout: a $6k raise, a 15% jump in union membership, and a renewed commitment to public education.

Sam speaks with Fred Albert, head of the AFT in Kanawha County, WV on the mass teacher revolt in all 55 counties of his state a.k.a. #55strong: Their reasons for striking and the state's union tradition. How teachers organized in a right to work state, and how the statewide strike changed union strategy going forward.

Film Guy Matthew joins us to talk white genocide and recommend some movies: "Fort Apache, The Bronx" (1981) and "Wanda" (1970).

Breaking news re: US indictments of Russian agents. Trump goes to England, says the problem with European culture is immigrants, criticizes Theresa May's handling of Brexit. Trump attacks CNN as fake news; Fox reporter does not stick up for them. FBI agent Peter Strzok gets testy with Trey Gowdy during House Judiciary Committee hearing. Rep. Jamie Raskin takes down the "deep state conspiracy" theory in friendly cross-examination. Rep. Gomert accuses Strzok of lying on the stand. CNN's Angela Rye calls out GOP on white nationalist candidates.

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Check out Sam's sister Betsy's fundraiser: Make the Wave raises money for Swing Left via sales of fine art prints. She's almost at 20k. Lets get her there, folks! Buy a print. Go to www.makethewave2018.com

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Direct download: 7-13-18-Sam_AFT-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Journalist and author Meagan Day (@MeaganDay) joins us to discuss her latest article for Jacobin, Capitalism is Ruining Science.

On today's show: Unmasking Antifa Act sponsored by Dan Donovan, the man who let Eric Garner's killer walk free, targets the free speech of protesters. Mike Pence gets protested in Kansas City, MO. Bar trivia host protests Mitch McConnell by playing Public Enemy's "Fight the Power."

Meagan Day joins us to discuss how capitalism has impacted science. The history of the university as locus for knowledge and education, and how capitalism has undermined that mission. The allocation of research grants based on profit, rather than social good. The case study of Peter Higgs, a Nobel prize winning physicist who says his work wouldn't get funding today. Lack of class consciousness, cuts to government funding, and other factors inhibiting unionization in the field. The need for a pro-science socialist movement to keep us from sinking into a new dark age.

On the fun half: The crew drags on Elon Musk. Why Jamie chose DSA over ISO. The need for socialist movements to serve people's spiritual needs as well as their material ones. Piers Morgan gets owned hard by communist blogger Ash Sarkar. Maajid Nawaz tries to credit Trump with falling black unemployment rate. Ronald Raygun on Jordan Peterson's sexual issues. The electoral dynamics of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The crew advises a caller on whether to enter a PhD program. Academic exploitation and the difficulties of organizing grad students. Poll: The majority of Democratic voters want more candidates like Bernie. Gorka clashes with Democratic strategist Joel Payne after Gorka says Trump is compassionate to legal immigrants. Why Jeremy Corbyn is cooperating with Brexit.

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Direct download: 7-12-18-Meagan_Day-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Marcy Wheeler (@emptywheel) joins us to discuss the latest developments around the Mueller investigation.

On today's show: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins a primary in a district she isn't even running in. Mike Pence brushes off the idea that the Kavanaugh pick is about protecting Trump.

Journalist Marcy Wheeler, of emptywheel.net, joins us to discuss the exhausting (but fascinating) ins and outs of the Mueller investigation, including her own involvement in it. The ways Russian hackers may have compromised the 2016 election and what they wanted out of it. Flynn's communication with Russia and the evidence their deal had something to do with Syria. The non-Trump-connected source whose text messages served as a basis for Wheeler's work. The factors that led Wheeler to go to the FBI willingly. The "clean team" Mueller sent to talk to her without revealing anything. The threats Wheeler has received as a result of her participation in the investigation and why she's doing it anyway. The role of Michael Cohen. The Steele Dossier as distraction tactic. What we should watch out for in the coming months.

On the fun half: Trump says Putin is the easiest NATO member to deal with, claims NATO owes the US money. Trump at NATO breakfast in Brussells, projecting wildly: "Germany is totally controlled by Russia." Mike Pence tells Dana Bash he's pro-life, dodges her question on whether he's confident Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v Wade. Jordan Peterson tells Joe Rogan those talking about equality of outcome "should be put in a box," Rogan points out his hypocrisy with regards to enforced monogamy. Rogan goes off on people who support ICE kidnapping babies. Alan Dershowitz goes on 'The View' for some reason, says Cynthia Nixon is bad because she supports BDS. Drunken racist accosts woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt while pig cop does nothing.

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Direct download: 7-11-18-Marcy_Wheeler-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) joins us to discuss Trump's Supreme Court pick and the radical right wing's plans for the Supreme Court.

Trump negotiated his pick with Kennedy for a long time before he retired. Kavanaugh's record of leaking information to the media during the Lewinsky probe. What this pick could mean for abortion rights, the regulatory state and more. The right's mixed record on "freedom of speech." The right's two-pronged assault on the regulatory state. Kavanaugh's nonsensical ruling on the CFPB. How the Democrats should negotiate this and how they are actually dealing with it.

Chuck Schumer says Trump is delivering on his campaign promises. The strategies that would get Collins, Murkowski, et al in line. Jeff Merkley attacks Kavanaugh along lines of accountability.

On the fun half: Dick Durbin  calls out Kavanaugh for contradicting his own testimony. Hannity asks if Never Trumpers are happy now (spoiler alert: yes). Ben Sasse says Trump made a great judge pick. Sad old man calls in to argue more about race and IQ. Do we need ICE to fight child trafficking? A caller on the need for a left-leaning judicial infrastructure.

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Direct download: 7-19-18-Scott_Lemiuex-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT