The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Sam broadcasts live from the Mass Torts conference in Las Vegas, NV!

On today's show: Jimmy Kimmel takes down Paul Ryan.

Sam speaks with Jared Johnson of SueTheCollector.com about consumers' rights when dealing with debt collectors. The many ways debt collectors can break the rules, rendering your debts null and void. How to deal with student loan collectors. How the laws are expanding to be more consumer-friendly but how the Santander ruling set it back.

Sam speaks with Mike Papantonio about his work suing opiate distributors on behalf of communities. Distributors' little known role in creating the opioid crisis and how the law can hold them accountable. How this is different from the Big Tobacco settlement of 1998. How aware were doctors in the '90s of the dangers of opiate addiction? How funds from settlements can be distributed to under-funded communities hit hard by the opioid crisis.

Judicial nominee Wendy Vitter refuses to say whether she agrees with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Cynthia Nixon wants to legalize recreational marijuana in New York. Jeffrey Sachs says it's time to get out of Syria.

Sam speaks with Kimberley Dougherty, the torts lawyer representing the gymnasts in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, about how the Safe Sport Act could keep young athletes safe from abuse in the future.

Sam speaks with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks about the latest in US electoral politics. The real reasons Paul Ryan is not running for re-election. Why he thinks Trump will be impeached sooner than later. The likelihood that the Democrats will win the Senate and the need for new, progressive faces. Why you should support Alison Hartson in her primary campaign against Dianne Feinstein. (More: justicedemocrats.com/alison) Cenk's opinion on the situation in Syria.

Sean Hannity has a meltdown over the upcoming George Stephanopoulos interview with James Comey.

The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project continues to do amazing work, but thanks to Jeff Sessions they’re poised to lose a major source of funding. Please considering donating what you can. Donate here!

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Direct download: 4-12-18-Sam_Seder-Mass_Torts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:05pm EDT

Alex Hochuli (@Alex_1789), writer and host of the Aufhebungabunga podcast, joins us to discuss the slow motion coup against former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

On today's show: Paul Ryan will not seek re-election, is a grotesque person.

Alex Hochuli joins us to discuss the slow motion coup against Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula's background as a labor leader. The deals Lula struck during his time as president (2003-2011) that left him vulnerable to corruption charges. Lula's limited social reforms that reduced hunger and poverty. How the right turned spontaneous protests to their advantage and redirected them against Lula's Workers' Party. The three factors that led to Lula successor Dilma Rousseff's impeachment and Lula's criminal charges. The substance of the charge against Lula (or lack thereof) and quirks of the Brazilian legal system. The rise of right-wing militias and the assassination of human rights activist and Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco. The dangers Lula faces in prison. What it means that even a center-left politician like Lula can face a right-wing coup at any time. Where does the Brazilian left go from here?

On the fun half: Senators give Mark Zuckerberg a metaphorical swirlie in Congressional hearing. Trump has a normal time with kids at the White House. Melania scores minor points for humanity. Tammy in Texas discusses her viral confrontation with Ted Cruz. Sean Hannity's halfhearted list of people waiting to be raided by the FBI. How much of the military's de facto economic draft is the result of a conscious conspiracy? Actor Jeffrey Wright doesn't pay the workers in his gold mine. A caller discusses how many of his Bible belt classmates grew up to be liberals.

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Direct download: 4-11-18-Alex_Hochuli-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

Professor Elizabeth Anderson joins the show to discuss why our workplaces are authoritarian private governments—and why we can't see it. In her new book, Private Government How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It), Anderson breaks down how Americans continue to talk as if early advocates of market society—from John Locke and Adam Smith to Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln—were right when they argued that it would free workers from oppressive authorities. What does 'government' mean, and why do we only ever hear about the problems of public governance when corporations can be the primary autocratic and dictatorial force in people's lives? Why 'exit rights,' or quitting your job, is insufficient for freeing people from dictatorial private governance. How non-compete agreements and monopolization make the problem of private dictatorship. How moving from an election to a card-check system while facilitate unionization.

On the fun half: Brazil's deep state takes aim at Lula, what to make of claims of anti-semitism in UK's Labour party, Tony Blair says non-intervention has consequences, Madeline Albright laments Obama's failure of imposing his 'red line,' plus your calls an IMs!

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Direct download: 4-10-18-Elizabeth_Anderson-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

On today's show: Scott Walker claims to support a suspiciously ACA-like healthcare program. What's Trump about to do in Syria? Bernie Sanders calls Israel's killing of non-violent Palestinian protesters an "overreaction." Updates from the OK teacher strike: The other jobs teachers do to survive, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder expresses support, Teamsters walk off the job in solidarity (with pizza!), students keep everyone's spirits up with Rihanna. ICE deports a mother on her daughter's prom night.

On the fun half: John from San Antonio on the role of state courts in enforcing the funding of schools (or not). Ronald Raygun gives background on ICE's latest deportation tactics. Turning Point USA guy thinks socialism leads to "extreme poverty and eventually death." Trump talks military action in Syria. Ted Nugent and Alex Jones rail against liberals in a small kitchen. Sinclair media makes all its local news anchors spout the same "fake news" propaganda, may soon reach as much as 70% of the country via monopoly waiver. Dissident Peasant mocks Jordan Peterson. Sam challenges Steven Crowder to a debate, will provide fog machine. Brenda on talking to right wingers. Greg in OK on conservative attempts to demonize striking teachers.

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Direct download: 4-9-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

Julie Wilson is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She joins us today to discuss her new textbook, 'Neoliberalism.'

What "neoliberalism" is and how it differs from classical liberalism. The role of the state in promoting neoliberalism via policy that privileges "free markets." The different versions of neoliberalism advanced by Democrats and Republicans. The rise of neoliberalism in the late '70s and early '80s and how every president since Reagan has advanced it. The four D's: dispossession, dis-imagination, de-democratization, and disposability. How social media and austerity train kids to think of themselves as market commodities who must compete with one other. How neoliberalism used the individualistic 1960s counter-culture for its own nefarious ends. How neoliberalism seeps into every aspect of our lives while simultaneously rendering itself invisible. The privatization of politics and what it means to be a neoliberal citizen. What we can do to resist neoliberalism in our everyday lives and become more communal and less alienated.

For members, Eugene Mirman and Jon Benjamin join Sam in studio. 12/14/05

Direct download: Friday_Julie_Wilson_Neoliberalism_public.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Patrick J. Deneen (@PatrickDeneen), political science professor at Notre Dame, joins us to discuss his book, 'Why Liberalism Failed.' What "liberalism" means in the context of Deneen's book. How liberalism protects individual liberty, but also dissolves social bonds like family, religion, and community. How the U.S. was founded on the liberal ideas of John Locke.  How progressives and conservatives debate the "means" without disputing the "ends" of liberalism. How both socialism and libertarianism de-personalize our obligations to one another. How liberalism justifies itself as the natural outgrowth of human nature. How we could better organize society to combat atomization and create a sense of personal obligation to one another. 
 
For members, Jack Hitt talks to Sam and Janeane about a branch of science attempting to prove 'white people' were on North America first.
 
Direct download: Thursday_Deneen_Why_Liberalism_Failed_Public.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Today we present two interviews taken from Sam's nationally syndicated radio program, Ring of Fire.

Alana Massey (@AlanaMassey), journalist and author, joins us to discuss the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, the controversial "anti sex trafficking" bill that recently passed the Senate. While SESTA sounds like a good idea on its surface, sex workers' rights advocates and many who work with trafficking victims say it will hurt the victims of trafficking more than it helps. The misguided notion that shutting down online advertising will stop sex trafficking rather than driving it further underground. How amending the Communications Decency Act will damage online freedom. The challenges of identifying trafficking victims in the US. Why those involved in the sex trade themselves are in the best position to identify and help trafficking victims, and why the police do more harm than good. The kinds of services that would actually help trafficking victims and why a "harm reduction" approach is preferable to an "abolitionist" approach.

For more, check out Massey's piece in Allure Magazine, 'If You Care About Sex Trafficking, Trust People in the Sex Trades — Not Celebrities.'

Khalil Gibran Mohammed (@KhalilGMuhammad), professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, joins us to discuss his piece in The Nation, 'How the Alt-Right Uses Social Science to Make Racism Respectable.' How Derek Black, son of prominent white nationalist and Stormfront.org founder Don Black, renounced his father's teachings and what scholars have learned from him. The common misconceptions of racism in the US as aberrational, isolated, and historical, rather than widespread and foundational. The misconception of white nationalists as uneducated yokels, rather than professionals and small business owners. The through lines from the alt-right to the alt-lite. How white nationalists use respectability politics, cherrypicked facts, and "the free exchange of ideas" to give their beliefs a veneer of scientific rigor. How the racist right uses the current movement against police violence to their rhetorical advantage with those who lack a systemic critique of state violence.

For members, Sam and Janeane talk to Arundhati Roy.

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Direct download: Wednesday_ROF_Shows.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Journalist Brian Alexander (@BrianRAlexander) joins us to discuss his book, 'Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town.' The history of Alexander's hometown of Lancaster, Ohio and how it came to be a glass-making center where one fifth of the population worked at the Anchor Hocking Company. The policy changes during the Reagan years that incentivized the transition to a less production-oriented, more financialized, and more sociopathic version of capitalism. How leveraged buyouts and other mercenary business moves ripped Anchor Hocking from the social fabric of Lancaster and decimated its economy. How the private equity industry uses pension investments as false justification for their actions. Why the people of Lancaster ended up voting 60-40 for Trump in 2016 and how economic factors interacted with racism.

For members: Sam and Janeane talk with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

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Direct download: Brian_Alexander_Tuesday_April_3_Public.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Author Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) joins us today to talk about her book, 'So You Want To Talk About Race.' How Ijeoma's mixed-race and class background informed and motivated the writing of this book. How class and race intersected in her life. How 'racism' is different when it reinforces a racial power structure. Separating intention from impact in conversations of race. Where America's history with slavery and racial segregation intersect with economic class oppression. How awareness around race can lead to better choices.

Then for members Mark Crispin Miller appears on Majority Report on Air America on June 3rd, 2004, 'Boxed In: The Culture of TV'

 

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Direct download: Ijeoma_Oluo_Public.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) and H. Jon Benjamin (@HJBenjamin) join us for Casual Friday.

On today's show: Sam recalls meeting Carter Page and hearing him say "dodgy dossier." Trump congratulates Roseanne Barr on her high ratings.

Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) joins us to talk about the latest from the Trump White House. Fired VA head David Shulkin and efforts to privatize the VA. Trump's unqualified celebrity appointees. Laura Ingraham's unwise attack on David Hogg and subsequent backhanded apology. Sam takes Cliff to task for giving a platform to David Frum, a man who wrote speeches for a war criminal, and a lively debate ensues.

Voice actor H. Jon Benjamin (@HJBenjamin), author of Failure Is An Option, joins us to talk about his book, his short career in academia, his terrible jazz album, and more. Sam and Jon recall their time as roommates. Long simmering rivalries are brought to the surface. Bill O'Reilly babbles drunkenly about race.

On the fun half: Jeb Bush accidentally makes a good joke at Trump's expense. Trump compares US infrastructure to that of "a third world country." Mad Dog Mattis gives John Bolton a warm welcome. The crew discusses religion as a force in the world. A caller gives insight into the minds of two Mexican-American MAGA guys he used to live with. The ins and outs of automatic voter registration. Boris Johnson gets taken to task for sexist comments. A caller tells us about Lindsay Shepherd, a grad student who went full alt-right via the "free speech" Jordan Peterson route. Do we hate Pod Save America?

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Direct download: 3-30-18-Cliff_schecter-Jon_Benjamin-mem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT