The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Sam is live from the Mass Torts conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Sam speaks with David Pakman (@dpakman), host of the David Pakman Show, live from the Mass Torts Conference in Las Vegas. Sam and David break down the ins and outs of how the Kavanaugh vote could go. Does the left, broadly speaking, need to be more aware of the judiciary branch? And what does that actually mean in practice? Also: The new NAFTA is a real mixed bag for workers.

Sam speaks with lawyer Michael Berg about his work representing victims of gas explosions: How our crumbling infrastructure contributes to the problem, how gas companies are committing malfeasance, and what Berg and his clients are doing to fight back.

Sam speaks with Bobby Kennedy about his work holding Monsanto accountable for exposing people to pesticides that cause cancer, particularly lymphoma. In addition to outlining his current work, Kennedy gives some history of Monsanto's crimes in the name of profit, stretching back to its current parent company IG Farben.

On the fun half: Chuck Grassley and Maria Bartiromo wonder if George Soros is behind the Kavanaugh protests, Trump tweets about it 80 minutes later. Rep. Louis Gohmert goes Nazi on George Soros, the Democratic Party. A sex worker and DACA recipient calls in to give her perspective on SESTA/FOSTA and how these laws will hurt both sex workers and trafficking victims. Trump has toilet paper stuck to his shoe as he boards AF1 for MN rally. Generation Forward poll finds millennials favor socialism over capitalism, especially millennial POC. DCCC ad takes on tax breaks for the wealthy. Another ad encourages young people to vote for Democrats to own the olds. The Yankees cross a hotel strike picket line in Boston.

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Direct download: 10-05-18-Sam_Mass_Torts-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm EDT

Good morning everyone, on today's show, Sam reports from the Torts conference in Las Vegas. For those new to the MR family, a brief explainer: Sam heads twice a year to the Mass Torts Conference in Las Vegas and gives an inside look into the biggest legal battles against America's worst corporate actors.

Sam sits down with attorney Jeff Gaddy from Levin Papantonio to discuss the status of the multi-state Opioid lawsuit and how lawyers are using similar tactics those used in the Big Tobacco lawsuit of the 80s. Sam is then joined by Steve Babin an attorney with Chapin Legal Group who is engaged in an interesting work wage lawsuit defending exotic dancers in Ohio looking to win dancers backpay for years of dubious independent contracting and indefensible wages.  Attorney Becca Timmons explains how SESTA-FOSTA legislation is both trying to hold tech companies accountable for human trafficking but is simultaneously driving sex workers to the dark web. Sam then interviews attorney Daniel Nigh about his lawsuit against Valsartan which has been recalled for having NDNA in it, a compound found in jet fuel, and how corporations too often make the decision that allows tainted products to reach consumers.

And in the Fun Half: demoralizing polling for Democrats in the wake of the Kavanaugh investigation, why we need greater female representation in government, Heidi Heitkamp is a No on Kavanaugh, Devin Nunes' illegal immigrant farmers, Americans in Brazil have the worst of both political worlds.

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Direct download: 10-04-18-Sam_Mass_Torts-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

Meagan Day, staff writer at Jacobin Magazine, joins the Majority Report to discuss her piece, "The Banality of Brett Kavanaugh."

On today's show: Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford: "I don't remember."

Meagan Day, staff writer at Jacobin Magazine, joins us to discuss her piece in Jacobin, "The Banality of Brett Kavanaugh." After his unhinged testimony, casual perjury, and completely unremarkable hearings about his judicial record, Brett Kavanaugh has revealed himself to be the poster boy for Unremarkable White Men. In this piece, Day explores how this nomination fight spotlights the American myth of the meritocracy, and how that idea is used to justify massive inequality. From Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, to the rise of Trump, to incompetence in Democratic Party leadership, recent events reveal the crumbling edifice of American meritocracy and the resultant rise of a populist impulse that could be used for good or ill. Also: in her piece "Austerity By Paperwork," Day explores how conservative politicians are limiting access to social safety net benefits like Medicaid by making it increasingly difficult to qualify, or even apply. The answer: universal programs.

On the fun half: Was DSA being "just like Jimmy Dore" when they released their statement on AOC endorsing Cuomo? Danny Glover films PSA in support of Lula. A caller on what we can learn from Mao Zedong and other flawed communist leaders. Amazon's Alexa schools Stephen Crowder on socialism, shows herself to be a crazy SJW liberal. News report shows DHS was unprepared to deal with family separation policy, resulting in horrible conditions for detainees. Amazon workers celebrate news of new $15/hour minimum wage for all US workers. Is "dum dum" left a bad term? A story from an elite all-boys summer camp. Numerous potential sources say the FBI has not contacted them in Kavanaugh investigation.

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Direct download: 10-03-18-Meagan_Day-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

Journalist Jessica Bruder joins Sam to discuss her book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, on how a generation of Americans has redefined their ambitions.

On today's show: Ben Shapiro caught off guard when guest calls Israel "an Apartheid state."

Journalist Jessica Bruder speaks with Sam about her new book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century. In researching this book, Brider spoke with people all over the country, mostly older Americans, who gave up their homes, moved into RVs, and took on precarious contract work to survive when Social Security and other benefits came up short. From Amazon factories during the holiday season, to campgrounds in eastern California, Bruder's research shows that, for many people, the American Dream of the 20th century has transformed into a roving life of seasonal work at the mercy of whether a car or RV can take you to a job opportunity.

On the fun half: A caller questions whether Elizabeth Warren's left liberal approach is enough to solve the problems of capitalism. Jamie and Michael argue about "flat earth" conspiracy theories. A caller on Brett Kavanaugh and the crisis of white supremacy. Text messages suggest Kav is lying about not knowing Deborah Ramirez. Trump says Kavanaugh's youthful drinking shouldn't disqualify him. Matt reads select passages from Tucker Carlson's latest literary work. Tucker Carlson's racist dog whistle of the night is "white genocide." Carlson stumbles over gender pronoun usage. Is Bernie Sanders the only candidate who can beat Trump? Bernie congratulates Jeff Bezos on paying his employees $15/hour. Alex Trebek goes on weird tangent about not being molested by Catholic priests at PA senatorial debate. Brendan recommends a piece in The New Yorker: "Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and the Things Men Do For Other Men."

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Direct download: 10-02-18-Jessica_Bruder-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT

Nathan Robinson (@NathanJRobinson), Editor-in-Chief of Current Affairs, joins us to discuss his latest essay, "How We Know Kavanaugh Is Lying."

On today's show: Jeff Flake and Chris Coons say Kavanaugh is disqualified if he lied under oath.

Nathan Robinson joins us to discuss how we know Nathan Robinson is lying. According to the legal principle "falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus," a witness who lies about one thing is not credible enough to testify about anything. And Kavanaugh's lies are numerous. From his insistence that he never attended a gathering like the one Christine Blasey Ford says she was attacked at, to his denial of a well-documented drinking habit, to his absurd misrepresentation of "Renate alum," Kavanaugh undermined his credibility (and perjured himself) at every turn. Senate Democrats' lukewarm performance and the limits of an FBI investigation. Jake Tapper defends Kellyanne Conway's baseless assertion that the White House isn't micromanaging the FBI investigation.

On the fun half: Tucker Carlson hyperventilates about the media's "race obsession" w/r/t Kavanaugh, worries it's going to start "some kind of conflict." Elizabeth Warren talks female anger, says she might run for president in 2020. John from San Antonio pushes back on Sam re: whether or not Bernie wants to run. Tucker Carlson can't bait professor Jason Nichols into reverse racism debate. Ben Shapiro calls Norway a "Marxist paradise," says they've got equality due to "social capital," not redistribution. A caller criticizes affirmative action on corporate boards.

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Direct download: 9-28-18-Nathan_Robinson-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EDT

Eddie Glaude, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, joins us.

On today's show: Sen. Dick Durbin asks Kavanaugh to call for FBI investigation; he won't do it.

Professor Eddie Glaude (@esglaude) joins us to break down the Kavanaugh hearings. What the GOP's continued support of Kavanaugh says about how far the US hasn't come as a nation. The indignant rage of patriarchy under threat. Comparisons with the Anita Hill hearings and what, if anything, is different now. The potential for impeachment down the line. The counter-narrative that will give cover to the Senators who vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Donald Trump as symptom of what's wrong with the GOP. The disingenuousness of being outraged by Trump's style, rather than his policies.

Judy Gold (@JewdyGold) joins us for a bit of catharsis. Kav gets belligerent with Sen. Amy Klobuchar when questioned about his drinking.

A new Jimmy Reefercake/Adam Rainstopper jam is played.

On the fun half: CNN's Jeffrey Toobin calls Jeff Flake spineless and pathetic. Sen. Richard Blumenthal probes Kavanaugh's lies about what "Renate Alumnus" means. Kav's Yale classmante Lynn Brookes says he's lying about his drinking. Supercut of Kav raving about "BEER." Why don't the Democrats wield anger and outrage the way the Republicans do? A Jimmy Dore fan calls in to argue with us, calls Jamie a Democratic Party apologist. Kavanaugh and Mitchell discuss July first entry about who was at the party. Liberty University student defends Kavanaugh, says it's okay to assault if it means ending abortion. Coon and Ford discuss when she brought letter to Congressman, during "shortlist" period.

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Direct download: 9-28-18-Eddie_Glaude-Judy_Gold-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Our coverage of Brett Kavanaugh's meltdown testimony. Back as usual tomorrow.

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Direct download: 9-27-18-Brett_Kavanaugh-Testimony-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

Live coverage of Christine Ford's testimony on her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

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Direct download: 9-27-18-Chrstine_Ford_Testimony-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

Murtaza Hussain joins us to discuss his latest piece from the Intercept, "The US Goes to War Against the ICC to Cover Up Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan." Hussain and Michael break down how and why John Bolton and the US are threatening sanctions against global officials at International Criminal Court, who are looking to bring charges against US actors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Murtaza breaks down the United States' relationship to the ICC and why it stands as the great chance to bring war crimes against the US officials from the George W. Bush administration. The crimes levied against US officials in Afghanistan deal specifically with detention policies enacted by American military and government officials and contractors hired to help the war effort beginning in 2003. Michael and Murtaza place these accusations in the context of a Trump administration that is a strange brew of outwardly isolationist rhetoric while maintaining deference to "the Generals" and unfettered military action. Taking a broader focus in the Middle East, Murtaza and Michael discuss the path forward in Syria and what happens at the end of "revolution," and what happens after "people cannot breathe anymore." Now in Syria, Murtaza sees a double down from Assad, a government that employs violence and oppression in the near future.

And in the Fun Half: Trump-worshippers are unenthusiastic about the midterms, why doorknocking works, Michael Moore's covering Flint, MI, could Democrats impeach Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby's publicist says his client and Kavanaugh are victims of a "sex war," Trump says China will keep the GOP from keeping its majority in November, chances of Avenatti in 2020, impeaching Kavanaugh from the DC Circuit court, how voting works in Brasil, engaging with anarcho-syndicalists, personal politics & voting, Trump talks options in Venezuela, Missouri GOP Senate candidate uses his son pre-existing condition to push ACA repeal, Texas State Senator Charles Schwertner is under investigation for sexual misconduct, gaming as recruiting ground for white nationalist groups, plus your calls and IMs!

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Check out The Michael Brooks Show at patreon.com/tmbs, and the new TMBS YouTube channel for all short TMBS clips

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Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at youtube.com/theantifada

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Direct download: 9-26-18-Murtaza_Hussain-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm EDT

Louis Hyman (@louishyman), historian of work and business at the ILR School of Cornell University, joins us to discuss his new book, Temp: How American Work, American Business and the American Dream Became Temporary.

On today's show: UN audience laughs when Trump boasts of achievements.

Louis Hyman joins us to discuss his book, Temp: How American Work, American Business and the American Dream Became Temporary. In this book, Hyman looks at changes in the economy from the 1930s to the 1970s and from the 1970s to today. The New Deal era's efforts to make capitalism work for "everybody" (but mostly for white men).  The cultural shift that occurred in the '60s and '70s with the rise of the conglomerate and the use of efficiency consultants. How the financial crisis of the 1970s enabled this shift. How bosses began to see women and POC as a reserve pool of labor. How the rise of the gig economy corresponds with that of the service economy. The need for new labor formations that are not mere reiterations of what we saw during the New Deal era.

Rep. Kevin Cramer questions whether the accusation against Kavanaugh should disqualify him, even if it's true.

On the fun half: Ronald Raygun on the rape in "Revenge of the Nerds" and how abuse is normalized. Michael Avenatti explains to Rachel Maddow why Mark Judge needs to go before the Senate amid gang rape allegation. Avenatti's questions for Kavanaugh emailed to Mike Davis. Kavanaugh's Yale roommate believes he could have done it; Kav's high school yearbook page full of references to drinking, being a "Renate alum" (Renate being a girl they all held hands with). Kavanaugh says he "never did such a thing," repeats himself explaining away Deborah Ramirez allegations. Kav's defense against gang rape claim: he was a virgin for "many years" after high school. Kav gets emotional defending his record with women law clerks, wants fairness. Mindy on how Republican women are gender traitors. Dave Rubin tries to re-appropriate the term "reactionary right" in total galaxy brain move. Anti-Kav protesters chase Ted Cruz out of DC restaurant, compare his looks unfavorably to those of Beto O'Rourke.

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Get 10% off fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate with coupon code "Majority" at justcoffee.coop

The Sierra Club: You can listen to ‘The Land I Trust’ at BeyondCoal.org/stories or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts

Check out The Michael Brooks Show at patreon.com/tmbs, and the new TMBS YouTube channel for all short TMBS clips

Check out Matt’s podcast, Literary Hangover, at Patreon.com/LiteraryHangover or on iTunes.

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at youtube.com/theantifada

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

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@SamSeder

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Direct download: 9-25-18-Louis_Hyman-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm EDT