The Majority Report with Sam Seder

On today's show: Mitt Romney will announce his Senate run on social media. Democratic gains in VA and FL state houses. Trump ignores questions about Rob Porter. Trey Gowdy says the House Oversight Committee has opened an investigation into Porter's security clearance, but former FBI director Chris Wray contradicts his timeline. More stories of ICE terrorism. Jimmy Dore walks back his Seth Rich conspiracy theories but insists Hillary "was not the lesser of two evils" and even Jamie gets annoyed.

On the fun half: Kristen Gillibrand bends the knee, takes corporate PAC money out of her fundraising. Queer and trans POC activists arrested at Columbus Pride for protesting police violence. Mindy tells tales from the racist suburb she's moving out of. Alex Jones thinks Kehinde Wiley painted Obama with sperm on his face for Satanic reasons. Fox attacks a high school for opposing the national anthem's pro-slavery verse. A caller educates the MR crew on how to protect online privacy. Sam gives a caller tips on running for state office. A caller has obscure left-criticism of the push for Medicare-for-all. Confronting ICE agents in public about what they are doing to people. How to push the concept of debt resistance in the mainstream media.

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Direct download: 2-14-18-Sam_Seder-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

Eric Levitz from New York joins the Majority Report to talk about his latest report on why canceling the country's $1.4T student debt would increase the purchasing power of a broad, and growing, part of the American labor force.

First, Maria Bartiromo and Paul Ryan choreograph concern about the national debt in order to gut social benefits. 

Then, Eric Levitz on the depressive economic impact of student debt. Navigating the resentments that a student debt jubilee could engender. What sort of students would debt relief help most? How student debt exacerbates the racial wealth gap. The interaction between the declining middle class and need for a college degree to avoid economic precariousness. How does a student debt jubilee become politically feasible.

On the fun half - Megan McArdle has a new job, Gregg Popovich is America's wisest basketball coach, NRATV impresses with a tv smashing commercial, Trump is mentally ill-equipped to care, Jeff Sessions gives a shout out to America's white sheriffs, the perils of calling state constitutions for money in politics.

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Direct download: 2-13-18-Eric_Levitz-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

Aziz Rana, constitutional law professor at Cornell, joins us to discuss his latest piece in n+1 Magazine, Goodbye, Cold War.

On today's show: The Boston PD does a most Boston thing and honors a white guy for Black History Month. Aziz Rana joins us to talk about the end of the Cold War era in politics, which he places in 2016. Prior to the Cold War, U.S. politics were marked by class conflict, union power within the Democratic Party, and open white nationalism among Republicans. Both the rise of the USSR and World War II ushered in a new era where both major parties held up an increasing commitment to racial equality, just institutions, national identity, and middle class prosperity as reasons American capitalism was better than Soviet communism. During this time, unions went from true organs of class power to special interest groups defending the narrow interests of their members, and social goods began to to get privatized and tied to employment. Taft Hartley didn't help. The fall of the USSR further ensconced the triumph of neoliberalism. As the Obama era showed, legal equality was a step forward but did little to solve deeper economic problems. From growing class consciousness to grassroots movements, Rana draws parallels from the 1930s to the present and warns us against the mistakes of the past.

Good news: The Teamsters become a sanctuary union, and a California court rules against ICE for detaining people without probable cause.

On the fun half: Meghan McCain is sick of hearing Republicans are racist. John from San Antonio wants Democratic candidates to adopt a progressive program. WV state house candidate Lissa Lucas gets dragged off the house floor for reading a list of oil and gas donors. (Go here to donate to her campaign.) Kellyanne Conway claims Donald Trump helps women "privately." Judge Jeanine blames Obama for the Rob Porter scandal and Sebastian Gorka blames the CIA. Is Jimmy Dorr the Jeanine Pirro of the left? A call from Ronald Raygun. Andy Ternay wears "fuck Trump" shirt to Home Depot. Former Reagan advisor Lee Atwater explains the evolution of the southern strategy on his deathbed. The role of imperialism in U.S.-Taiwan relations. The left-criticism of student debt forgiveness is garbage. How Obama should have handled the Supreme Court. Is Pelosi the right messenger for the Democrats' "crumbs" message? Josh from [redacted] calls Jamie "Hymie."

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Direct download: 2-12-18-Aziz_Rana-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

On today's show: Mike Pence won't comment on Rob Porter, says "it's a great honor to serve." Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) joins us to discuss the latest news from the Trump administration. Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis and John "not a general" Kelly might seem like the adults in the room, but they're guilty of atrocities and shouldn't be glorified. Nobody is surprised the Trump administration harbored a known abuser. Did Trump and Pence know about Porter? Some good news from Ohio. John Kasich 2020?

Rand Paul's shutdown speech elicits tough talk from Charlie Dent (R-PA) re: the time he got beaten up by his neighbor, which in turn elicits movie ideas from the MR crew. Omarosa says she regrets everything on Celebrity Big Brother and the White House is forced to respond. Corey Pein (@coreypein), host of News From Nowhere and author of the forthcoming Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley, joins us to talk tech and movies. Silicon Valley is no longer being valorized in our culture. Why superhero franchises are tiresome. Corey recommends Werner Herzog's 1972 film "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," a fictional story about a doomed Spanish conquistador expedition starring Klaus Kinski. More fun with Jordan Peterson.

On the fun half: Gabe in Chicago talks ADHD, Justice Democrats, and the IL governor's race. Trump sticks up for Rob Porter. Porter's ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby details the abuse she suffered. A ribald joke about Meghan McCain. More on why Jimmy Dorr is the worst. Brenda has the best idea yet for a Rand Paul beatdown flick. Fox News gets upset that writer Jesse Farrar wants to waterboard conservative students, never mind giving them bad grades. The other problem with campus culture. How do we fix the opiate epidemic? Trump blames Hope Hicks for the Rob Porter scandal.

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Direct download: 2-9-18-Cliff_Schecter-Corey_Pein-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

David Golumbia (@dgolumbia), English professor and faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University joins us to discuss his book Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right Wing Extremism.

On today's show: Scott Dworkin's scammy #resistance PAC, and a literal Nazi is running for Congress in Illinois. David Golumbia (@dgolumbia) joins us to discuss crypto-currencies: What a crypto-currency is, how Bitcoin is "mined," and the economic principles at play. Golumbia breaks down some of the criticisms of Bitcoin, from the contradictions embedded within it to its association with far-right politics. Could anything created by libertarians really be that good? He explains why we might want to have some centralized regulations on our currency and makes a case for a democratic economy, rather than one created by a shady hacker class.

Nancy Pelosi says she won't whip the House to vote against the DACA-free budget deal. Look up your representative here and do it for her.

On the fun half: Kyle Shank provides further info on crypto-currencies and Sam makes a plan to start one of his own. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis tries to explain why we need low yield nuclear missiles to keep us safe. Jordan Peterson defends "daddy daughter" dances from cultural Marxists and claims men and women can't work together. Pastor Paul Begley claims Melania ordered the White House exorcised before she'd move in. Man quits Department of Labor in protest of its collaboration with ICE (donate to him here). A caller's personal take on NATO, Putin, and Latvia. Mike Pence rebuffed by gay Olympic figure skater. Jeff Sessions promotes aspirin as opiate alternative. Never Trumper Patrick Ruffini misses the cultural cachet (and war crimes) of the Bush II administration. Josh in Chicago breaks down the IL governor's race, encourages support of Daniel Bliss. The crew re-watches the Trump scalp reduction video. Sam offers encouragement to an aspiring academic.

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Direct download: 2-8-18-David_Golumbia-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

On today's show: Trump "would love to see a shutdown" if border security isn't strengthened, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly thinks people who didn't sign up for DACA are lazy, a Kansas professor was seized by ICE for minor infractions, Disney will save $1.2 billion/year in taxes and spend just $125 million on one-time bonuses for workers, and partisan gerrymandering could be declared unconstitutional in WI.

On the fun half: Josh in Chicago thinks Jeff Merkley would make a good Senate leader, Addison in Ohio fills us in on why Laci Green is bad, former Evergreen State College professor Bret Weinstein says he was "ejected from the left" by student protests, a caller shares his experience with Medicaid work requirements, the smoking gun on Trump's scalp reduction, Jeff Sessions' nonsensical insistence that marijuana leads to opiate addiction, Gorka still totally in touch with Trump, racist asshole harasses Korean-American woman on camera, a caller on how Ursula K. Le Guin's work helps people envision a world without capitalism, progressive MI gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed is getting smeared by his primary opponents, should Cenk Uygur be purged from the left, Jeff in GA tells a parable about how everyone deserves cornbread, Philly city council votes to end cash bail, and a caller asks how to deal with sexual assault on campus.

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Direct download: 2-7-18-Sam_Seder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

On today's show: The stock market is down but it matters not, Trump tells factory workers the Democrats have "bad energy" and are committing "treason," and the secretary referenced in Paul Ryan's infamous "$1.50" tweet responds.

The Intercept's Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) joins us to discuss how Democrats get picked to run for office. As Grim explains, the DCCC is the House campaign arm of the DNC, ostensibly tasked with helping Democrats win nationwide. But faced with an unprecedented array of viable left-populist candidates, the DCCC has been endorsing establishment candidates in primaries even when they have a poor track record, like Angie Craig, the medical device executive who underperformed every Democrat including Hillary Clinton when she ran for Congress in MN in 2016. Grim breaks down the reasons for this, including reliance on big donors, tactical misunderstandings of the political terrain, the nepotistic way contracts are awarded to consultants, and of course, ideology (which is shaped by all the aforementioned things). Despite all this, Grim sees hope in a new generation of progressive Democrats who are raising money from small donors, creating their own grassroots institutions, and abandoning the goal of the "permanent majority" in favor of bold, popular programs that actually improve people's lives. Read his piece on the subject here.

On the fun half: Joe Rogan shouts out MR and says we're "close minded" because we don't give a platform to racists like Steven Crowder, John from San Antonio criticizes Our Revolution's treatment of progressive candidates in TX, Trump responds to Nancy Pelosi's "crumbs" comment with "she's a rich lady who wants to give all of your money away," Donald Trump Jr. says his dad can't be racist because he's friends with rappers, Carter Page tries to explain why it's okay that he advised both the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and does such a bad job that Jamie starts caring about #Russiagate, and a caller un-ironically bitches about "social justice warriors."

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Direct download: 2-6-18-Ryan_Grim-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

On today's show Alyona Minkovski, (@AlyonaMink) of Salon.com joins us. What we can learn from the transparently propagandistic motivations for the Nunes memo. The democrats unsurprisingly cozying up to the national security state and what's troubling about that. What is actually worrying about domestic spying policies that have bipartisan support.

On the fun half - Paul Ryan wants you to be happy with $1.50 more a week, IQ and the sociologists that promote it, Gorka challenges warnings of white supremacy on CSPAN, PA loses its gerrymandered districts, Dodge Ram Trucks are the modern MLK, Trudeau loses his cool at a town hall protested by pipeline opponents, plus your calls and IMs.

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Direct download: 2-5-18-Alyona_Minkovski-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

Michael Shure, of i24NEWS and TYT, and Matt Binder (subscribe to Matt's new show here), join us for Casual Friday.

On today's show: Jesse Waters compares FBI agents investigating Russia-gate to racist cops patrolling black neighborhoods. Journalist Michael Shure joins us to discuss his latest report from Trump country. As it turns out, Trump's supporters in Florida still think he's doing a great job, from protecting their "first amendment rights" to his quixotic quest to "lock her up." What are we supposed to do with these people? What impact did Trump's SOTU have? Should we kick Pelosi and Schumer out of the Democratic Party because they're bad at strategy? Plus, Shure breaks down the potential repercussions of the de-classified Nunes memo. Will it prove the deep state is out to get Trump & co., or backfire spectacularly? Stay tuned!

Former MR crew member Matt "old Matt" Binder makes his triumphant return. Fresh off predicting the rise of Mike Cernovich, Binder breaks down QAnon, a new vector for right-wing conspiracy theories birthed in the bowels of 4chan. While the faithful believe those who post as "QAnon" have inside intel on the government, anyone can take up the mantle and spread breadcrumbs for #Pizzagate rubes to eagerly gobble up (and for Alex Jones to cover on Infowars). Some of this may be the result of late capitalist dissatisfaction, but there have always been charlatans seeking to profit off of offering simple answers in a complex world. It would be funnier were it not actually influencing policy at the highest levels of our current administration.

Check out Matt's debate with "men's rights activist" Paul Elam.

On the fun half: John from San Antonio talks Bernie's potential presidential run and urges him to start early, ICE continues to terrorize immigrants by asking to see people's papers on an Amtrak train, Jimmy Kimmel makes MAGA chuds confront a family that could get broken up by the DACA repeal, Jesse Waters has thoughts on the piss tape, Don Shooter makes a defiant, Michael Scott-like speech upon being expelled from the Arizona House of Representatives for sexual harassment, a caller takes Judy Gold to task for spreading ableism and fatphobia, Ronald Raygun talks ICE's dirty immigration court tactics and suggests picketing their offices, and Jeff from Georgia (Dissident Peasant) has an incrementalist awakening.

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Direct download: 2-2-18-Michael_Shure-Matt_Binder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

Ari Berman (@AriBerman) joins us to discuss his latest piece in Rolling Stone about how a combination of gerrymandering, voter-ID laws, and dark money, Republicans have tipped the political scales in their favor. Court decisions on racial and partisan gerrymandering. Why Justice Kennedy is an important bellwether. The response to "If voting mattered wouldn't they make it illegal?" is: they are. Why photo ID laws are designed and implemented in ways to disenfranchise voters. Wisconsin as anti-democratic testing ground.

On the fun half - Why do people flock to centrists? Do consumers have a role in fixing american healthcare? Tomi Lahren freaks out about Joe Kennedy, Alex Jones thinks They may nuke DC, a DACA recipient calls in and talks about being an American, the irritation of Pod Save America, and Michael Wolff defends his Nikki Haley rumor mongering.

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Direct download: 2-1-18-Ari_Berman-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT