The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (@rdunbaro) joins us to discuss her new book, Loaded, A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.

On today's show: Sam remembers Barry Crimmins, a pioneer of political comedy who died on Wednesday at the age of 64.

Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (@rdunbaro), author of Loaded, A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, joins us to discuss the history of gun rights in America. How Dunbar Ortiz first discovered the addictive power of guns when living in 1970s New Orleans. The connection between our militaristic culture and violence at home. How gun rights made it into the constitution. The history of gun rights in America as a means of killing Native Americans and enslaving Africans. Guns as currency of U.S. expansion. How the NRA was taken over by right-wing groups in the 1970s. How minorities and communists scared the right into becoming gun nuts. Reagan's connection to the reactionary John Birch society. How arming themselves backfired on the Black Panthers.

On the fun half: Trump tells senators they're afraid of the NRA, says he wants to seize guns without due process. John from San Antonio on what early voting results in Texas mean for the Democrats. Jeff in Georgia ties gun culture to evangelical Christianity's worship of power. Nobel peace prize committee receives not one but two forged nominations for Donald Trump. John Kelly misses his reign of terror at the DHS. The Mooch takes Kelly to task for Porter abuse scandal. Mnuchin gets heckled at UCLA speaking engagement, reportedly doesn't want anyone to see the video. Josh tells a gun story from his childhood, talks Jumaane D. Williams' chances at beating Cuomo's lt. governor in the primary. Bernie Sanders pushes to end U.S. involvement in Yemen war. Trump advisor Sam Numberg says he thinks Russia offered Don Jr. dirt on Clinton. Ajit Pai is still the worst. The absurdity of thinking guns will protect us from the government.

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Direct download: 3-01-18-Rosanne_Dunbar_Ortiz-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Murtaza Hussain joins us to discuss his latest piece from The Intercept where he details the skyrocketing civilian death toll in the U.S.-led war against ISIS and whether our political changes may be influencing the conduct of this war.

First, Gorka wants teachers to lay down suppressing fire in event of shootings while Hannity wants guards on every floor.

What is the contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations regarding rhetoric, policy, and personnel? Understanding how counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies have worked and not worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. The defeat of ISIS and remaining conditions for insurgency. What the left positions should be on the Assad government and foreign interventionism.

On the fun half - Ben Carson is spending $30k on dining sets for HUD, where the Left should focus gun control efforts, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have to apologize for spreading lies about the CNN gun town hall, Laura Ingraham wants kids to shut up and stop playing victims, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are concerned about the DSA.

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Direct download: 2-28-18-Murtaza_Hussain-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

Ann Hodges, a Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, joins us to discuss the implications of the Janus case.

On today's show: The NLRB throws out an anti-labor ruling due to a Trump appointee's conflict of interest. Donald Trump won't share his umbrella with his wife and child. A brief introduction to the Janus case.

Ann Hodges, a Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, joins us to discuss the Janus case and what it could mean for public sector unions. As per the Abood decision of 1977, it's legal to have a union shop in the public sector, which means every worker whose interests a union represents is required to pay dues whether or not they want to join the union. However, the union may not use objectors' dues for political purposes. The argument currently being made in the Janus case is that money is political speech, and all union activity is political. Hence, requiring dues of union-averse workers infringes on their first amendment rights. Hodges goes over the basics, the politics, the response of unions, and the effect of the 2016 election. She also goes over some of the absurd suits that could be brought based on Janus' legal precedent.

On the fun half: North Korea point man Joseph Yun resigns from the state department. Trump talks tough about China. PA gets a better district map. The leftist potential of billboards and video games. MAGA fan paints portrait of Trump respecting the flag. Paul Ryan claims tax cuts are helping small businesses, but they're actually going to stock buybacks. Democratic lawmaker/former Verizon exec Mark Keam flashes hammer and sickle behind DSA State Senate rep. Lee Carter while Carter is talking about poverty. Trump claims he would have rushed the Parkland shooter. Ben Carson on having a gun pulled on him. Vice roundtable of current and former NRA members sound off on gun control. GORKA RETURNS. More black bloc talk. Are conservatives under-represented in academia? Ronald Raygun fills in on the Rodriguez case, which will deny detained immigrants the right to bond hearings.

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Direct download: 2-27-18-Ann_Hodges-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

On today's show: Gorka menaces Mediaite reporter at CPAC, public sector unions under attack, judge blocks part of Trump's efforts to end DACA, Dianne Feinstein loses the support of the California Democratic Party, CNN's Erick Erickson says Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg is a "bully." Spotlight on James Dabney, the Smith and Wesson CEO making piles of money off gun sales.

On the fun half: John from San Antonio talks gun control's potential effect on elections. Dana Loesch says "many in legacy media love mass shootings," lies about being attacked by a mob at town hall. Trump says a school is "no different" than a military base and we need to arm teachers. The iron pipeline that brings guns from the U.S. to Canada. Former Trump U professor "Fat Tony" calls in to clear his name. Eric Trump emits word salad about Russiagate, blames Obama for...something? Former CIA head James Woolsey admits to tampering with other countries' elections. CPAC comms director says RNC elected Michael Steele because he's black, Michael Steele responds. How much of the Bernie bros' antipathy towards Hillary was a psy op by Russia?

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Direct download: 2-26-18-Sam_Seder-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Aviva Chomsky joins us to talk about immigration and her book "Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal." The myth that there are a finite number of jobs in the US and immigrants take away opportunities from natural-born citizens. Our history of settler colonialism and slavery. How the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 opened up immigration from Asia but restricted it from Mexico for the first time, creating the concept of the Mexican "illegal" immigrant. The history of "chain migration." How the militarization of the border contributed to the professionalization of smuggling and the takeover of drug traffickers. How nativist immigration policies have hurt workers and helped bosses. How Democratic lawmakers fail to fight for the big picture.

For members, Naomi Klein on The Majority Report on September 21, 2005 talking about the Argentine workers struggle.

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

Shane Burley (@shane_burley1) joins us to talk about his book, 'Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It.' The fascist reverence for "natural" hierarchies as justified by racial pseudoscience and gender essentialism. The attractive-to-some notion that white men aren't doing well because the system supports the wrong people. The taxonomy of the modern right and how people with a variety of passions come together under "alt-right" and "alt-lite" banners. How the alt-right coopts left concerns like colonial struggles, "identity politics" and foreign interventionism. The alt-right's critique of capitalism. How to fight fascism using a diversity of tactics, from electoral politics to direct action.

Then, Matt Taibbi on The Majority Report on February 3, 2006

Direct download: Shane_Burley_Show_Feb_22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Sam Rosenfeld joins us to talk about his new book, 'The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era.' The New Deal and when American politics lacked polarization. What are the problems of too much bipartisanship? The problem posed by the conservative/white supremacist southern democrats. How patronage and historical legacies were more important than ideological and material concerns. The decline of party machines and emergence of an important national government. The assymetry of polarization with Goldwater-type Republicans in the 1960s. The response of conservative/market-based democras to the GOP's partisan success. The dangers and opportunities that emerge when polarization intensifies.

And for members, Saddam Hussain/Fred Armisen calls into the Majority Report on October 12, 2004

Direct download: Sam_Rosenfeld_Show_Feb_21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Famed whistelblower Daniel Ellsberg joins us to discuss his new book on the 'omnicidal' dangers of nuclear weapons, 'The Doomsday Machine.' Ellsberg's personal history, including his father's connection to the US military-industrial complex and Daniel's time at RAND. How Ellsberg took more classified material than the Pentagon Papers as insurance. The Strangelovian reality of 'Dead Hand' mechanisms and how they could spell global apocalypse. The shocking casualness Ellsberg noticed in his time as a nuclear war planner. What Ellsberg would say to Trump or any president could he brief them. The change needed in our collective consciousness in addressing the proliferation of nukes and decommissioning of doomsday machines.

For members: Journalist James Risen on The Majority Report on Feb 22, 2006.

Direct download: Daniel_Ellsberg_Show_Feb_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Authors and academics Daniel Ziblatt & Stephen Levitsky join us today to discuss their new book, 'How Democracies Die.' The pre-Cold War coup-centric deaths of democraceis, and how elections ended democracies during the cold war. The importance of institutions to making democracies last long. The gatekeeping capacity of political parties. How the GOP has abdicated responsibility for maintaining democracy and became a white identity party. What happens when it's one side breaking the norms? Does the GOP need to be met with its own tactics? Why the GOP becoming more diverse is the simplest available option.

Direct download: Levitsky_Ziblatt_Friday_16_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

On today's show: Sam addresses the horrific school shooting in Florida. Teenage survivors of the massacre speak to local news about the need to take action on gun control. Ted Cruz claims Democrats are trying are trying to "politicize" a tragedy. Chris Murphy speaks on Senate floor: "this happens nowhere else." Marco Rubio claims "we need to know all the facts" before we can formulate a political response to the eighth shooting to have resulted in death or injury during the first seven weeks of 2018.

Daniel Marans (@danielmarans) of The Huffington Post joins us to discuss his latest article, What A Battle Over Virginia’s Most Powerful Monopoly Can Teach Democrats Everywhere. Fueled by massive donations, Virginia Democrats have long tolerated the monopolistic business practices of Dominion Energy, "a longtime foe of state consumer advocates, anti-corruption activists and environmentalists." Recently elected Governor Ralph Northam did not make the company an issue in his campaign. But an up-and-coming group of progressive Democrats like Sam Rasoul have pledged not to take any money from the company and fight back against predatory practices, like double-charging customers for the same service, and winning state-level elections. Marans breaks down what this shift in local politics can teach the Democratic Party going forward.

On the fun half: Josh in Chicago shares his experience of living in London where guns are banned, ICE issues a fascistic statement on a preliminary version of an immigration bill a group of Senators are working on, students in Austin protest to free their classmate from ICE, Trump says he's "totally opposed" to domestic violence, Jeff in GA on Meghan McCardle and the capitalist roots of the gun problem, Ben Shapiro triggered by the "identity politics" of Black Panther, Bari Weiss gets in trouble for a tweet, basketball coach Steve Kerr says "nothing has been done" to protect us from gun violence, Ronald Raygun on ICE's terrorism, some callers from Florida lend their perspective on the tragedy, and a Kansas politician is doing an AR-15 giveaway.

Direct download: 2-15-18-Daniel_Marans-PUB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT