The Majority Report with Sam Seder

It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Alex Pareene, contributing editor at The New Republic and author of the AP newsletter on Substack to wrap up the week in news. Alex, Emma, and Sam immediately dive into the state of the Democratic Party now that leadership and media have now fully committed to both dismantling the infrastructure package, the central part of Biden’s agenda, and blaming the progressives for tanking Biden’s agenda. They begin by reflecting on the Dems’ ability to find $1 Billion for Israel’s Iron Dome, exploring the leverage behind AOC’s disheartening vote and why they seem completely unable to level anything against Joe Manchin, no matter the familial controversies or previous statements that are readily available to be cited whenever by whoever. They also discuss the Biden Administration’s devastating immigration policy, particularly with his election as a repudiation of Trump’s xenophobic policy, and how the response to the “images” of abuse of Haitian refugees alongside the gutting of the infrastructure package has simply further emphasized Biden’s staunch commitment to making everyone unhappy with his presidency. After wrapping up the infrastructure talk and covering the incredible levels of incompetence and disappointment at hand, they touch on Alex’s recent piece on the lyme disease vaccine. Emma and Sam wrap up the free half with former Haiti Special Envoy Daniel Foote’s resignation over the Biden Admin’s treatment of Haitian refugees, and Jen Psaki’s just insane response.

In the second half, Sam and Emma are joined by comedian Andy Kindler as they cover his favorite topics, from the nuances of InfoWars production to a valid reason to break out the Italiphobic impressions. In the Fun Half the MR crew also dive into Biden’s pivot to the Pacific as a continuation of a neocon project started decades ago and the first real threat we’ve had for a new cold war, before covering Michael Tracey’s response to everything but Matt Lech’s single question, plus, your IMs!

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sunsetlakecbd is a majority employee owned farm in Vermont, producing 100% pesticide free CBD products. Great company, great product and fans of the show! Use code Leftisbest and get 20% off at http://www.sunsetlakecbd.com. And now Sunset Lake CBD has donated $2500 to the Nurses strike fund, and we encourage MR listeners to help if they can. Here’s a link to where folks can donate: https://forms.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

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Listen to Alex's podcast "The Politics of Everything" here.

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Direct download: 9_24_Casual_Friday_w__Alex_Pareene__Andy_Kindler_-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

Emma hosts Alexandra Brodsky, civil rights attorney at Public Justice, to discuss her recent book Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash, and how the culture around sexual assault and harassment has shifted drastically over the last decade and a half. They jump back to Alexandra’s awakening to the ability of activism in supporting survivors during her years at college, garnering notoriety for filing a complaint with 15 others against her university for failing to enforce Title IX properly. She then touches on how this inspired her path into law and emphasized the importance of promoting general knowledge around the rights survivors have, before they jump into the conflict of finding justice for survivors while also treating any accused fairly and with due process, AND acknowledging that the due process argument is being weaponized against survivors. After reflecting on how the idea of “process” is used to uphold the status quo throughout politics, they dive into how the role of famous cases bolstered the #MeToo movement, why Brodsky wanted to take on how sexual harassment affects everyday people, and briefly touch on how #MeToo’s connection to labor rights is often overlooked, with many occupations, from domestic workers to gig workers, having no protections. They discuss the role of media and its racial biases, particularly in how cases of sexual assault and harassment are handled, drawing contrasts between a variety of cases, from Anita Hill’s testimony to a High School boys locker room, before wrapping up the interview with a discussion on the importance of lifting up voices outside of the power structures that be and what Alexandra’s hopes are moving forward. Emma also touches on the continued insistence by mainstream media that the progressives have to sign on to cuts to the reconciliation bill, despite having no idea of what to cut.

And in the Fun Half: Tucker Carlson gets out his calipers as he talks great replacement theory and can’t help but interject his own worldview into Biden’s mouth, Emma, Brandon, Matt, and Matt talk certain journalists’ obsession with college kids, and Stephen Crowder continues to invite guests on that best highlight his bigotry and trauma. Mike from Rochester gives his own updates on labor organizing, Dave from Jamaica talks culture war, reactionaries, and Black James Bond, and the MR crew discusses Evo Morales’ speech on not compromising with racists and fascists, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Sam and Emma host public sector immigration lawyer Daniel Melo to discuss his recent book Borderlines: The Edges of U.S. Capitalism, Immigration, and Democracy, which contextualizes immigration policy within the history of the US, and exploring what we can do to push back against the unfair designation of the migrant position. Melo begins by stepping back to the early battles between colonies, then states and the federal government on who has say regarding who can come into the country, looking particularly at the fears of negative influences on the early capitalist economy, whether that be anarchists, poor Irish folks, or the spirit of the Haitian revolution. Next, he dives into the first laws in the early 1920s that worked to criminalize immigrants, and how the developing Great Depression and reassertion of white supremacy worked to bolster this rhetoric of scapegoating migrants. Emma, Sam, and Daniel then cover a little theory, addressing the role migrants play within a Marxist view of our economy, providing capitalists with a cheap labor sector to aid the exploitation of the working class, before moving on to the false narrative constructed around immigration, from the ability to simply “get in line” for acceptance into the country to the idea that migrants drive down wages for US citizens, and how the law gets used to reinforce this status quo. They wrap up the interview by discussing the current state of the US immigration system, the importance of unpacking the undemocratic nature of the citizen-migrant dichotomy, and what the role of labor organizing can play in bolstering a progressive immigration agenda. Sam and Emma conclude the free half by touching on the state of the infrastructure and reconciliation package, and CNN’s apparent lack of awareness about what the Democratic platform has been in the fight for this over the last few months.

And in the Fun Half: Emma and Sam dive back into CNN’s miscalculations of the infrastructure package, not quite realizing that $6 trillion is indeed not $3.5 trillion, and its inability not to finger point at progressives who’ve made their stance clear for months. Rudy from Orlando calls in to chat about the importance of taking away the exclusionary regulations around the medical industry that attempt to ensure patient survival, and Stephen Crowder finally gets back into his groove after hospitalization, fully diving back into middle school racism. Lastly, the MR crew basks in the schadenfreude of Bill Gates finally being questioned about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and Kowalski from Nebraska calls in with his farm report, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

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Sam and Emma tackle a huge last week in news, as well as what's coming down the pike in Congress, the courts, and more. They also speak with Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), to discuss NYTWA's new debt forgiveness campaign for Medallion cab drivers. Bhairavi, Sam, and Emma dive into the recent conflict around the NYC taxi company Medallion, and how after decades of the city inflating the price, making hundreds of millions, while capitalizing particularly on immigrants taking out loans, the city helped bolster Uber and Lyft’s unregulated takeover of the market, with some officials even going to work for them following their job in government. Next, they take on how COVID, in particular, created a massive impending problem for Medallion taxi cab drivers, who average $550,000 in debt, which is compounded by the floundering of city policy in effectively handling this, and what the NYTWA’s recent protests have entailed, as well as what they’re fighting for. Emma and Sam also cover developments in a few longstanding strikes, including the St. Vincent nurses, the United Mine Workers of America strike in Alabama, and the IATSE strike among some production unions, before touching on how Biden’s administration has capitalized on pre-existing Trump immigration policy with the use of Title 42. They also look forward to what progression we can see over the next couple of weeks when it comes to the bipartisan infrastructure bill and reconciliation, touching on how Democrats could ensure the raising of the debt ceiling, what Pelosi’s September 27th commitment means for reconciliation, and how the recent double backing by corporate Dems could affect what policy survives the next six days. Lastly, they touch on another democratic cop-out as Chuck Schumer hides behind the parliamentarian and the Democrats’ relationship to immigration policy.

And in the Fun Half: Jacob from Alabama talks unions and Hurricane Ida recovery, Gregory from Oklahoma gives some updates on both his candidacy and his main opponent in his upcoming election, and the MR crew walks through the step by step one-man show that was the blueprint for Pence’s election overturn attempt. They also talk COVID updates, dive into the absurdities of Sam Harris, Joseph from Massachusetts grants Sam the unfortunate knowledge of who Logan Paul is, and Tulsi Gabbard joins Tucker to potentially nobody’s pleasure, plus, your calls and IMs!

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MySolarNerd.comThere are a lot of homeowners that aren't aware of the solar options currently available. It is now possible to retrofit a home with solar panels for no money down. Most homeowners that switch over to solar see significant savings starting in their first year. This is
possible thanks to the Solar Investor Tax Credit (going away soon). My Solar Nerd’s mission is SIMPLE: Help you find the best solar program for your home and make the transition as EASY and SMOOTH as possible. Go to mysolarnerd.com and fill out the inquiry form now. Make sure you select Majority Report Listener for how you heard about My Solar Nerd to receive a $200 gift card upon installation!

Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

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Listen to the episode of Maximilian Alvarez's "Working People" podcast regarding the late Kroger grocery worker Evan Seyfried here.

Read Luiz Feliz Leon's recent report about the Washington State carpenters strike "Washington Carpenter Revolt Swells Picket Lines" in Labor Notes here.

Donate to the UMWA Auxiliary 2245-2397-2368's Charity Registry on Target to support striking mine workers' kids here.

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Sam and Emma host Amanda Montell, linguist and host of the Sounds Like A Cult podcast, to discuss her recent book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, on the social role of cults, how it has changed, and the influence it has on our language today. They start off by looking at the discourse around cults, the vague label it takes in the media, and how that flimsy definition helped push Amanda towards exploring the cult-like elements of all types of social relationships. Montell dives into the problems in the typical view of cults and their members, exploring the relationship between cultural turbulence, faith, and the desire for easy solution through community that birthed both the ages of cults in the 20th century, and the more recent renaissance of cultish languages. Next, they cover the overlap between the protestant capitalist ethic and the spirit of cultish organizations, pushing individualism, ambition, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship, touching on the specific capitalization on the language of female independence, from the use of Tupperware in the 50s to today’s multi-level-marketing and holistic health schemes. Diving into the importance of language, Amanda, Sam, and Emma look at the influence it can have on how we think and how cultish language capitalizes on this, working to psychologically separate, gaslight, and discipline those involved, before they wrap up the interview looking at what this can teach us about our current political moment, with cult-like behavior coming to define elements of our discourse and the para-social relationships that are central to social media. Sam and Emma conclude the free half by discussing the US Military’s lackluster apology for one of countless civilian slaughters by the US drone program, and watch an Iraq Veteran attempt to hold GWB somewhat accountable for his wars.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma chat with Mindy from Ohio about her personal experiences with cult-like coercion, Ronald Raygun discusses the relationships between religion, juice, and cults, and the crew talks about the continued failures with handling COVID, particularly when it comes to GA and Mississippi, as well as the governments’ responses. They also look at the recent abuses at the border with the influx of Haitian refugees, before talking reconciliation and the bipartisan bill, and Josh and the Psychedelic Quaker call in to chat vaccines, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

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Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon!

Subscribe to Matt's other show Literary Hangover on Patreon!

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel!

Subscribe to Brandon's show The Discourse on Patreon!

Check out The Nomiki Show live at 3 pm ET on YouTube at patreon.com/thenomikishow

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Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

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Direct download: 9_20_The_Fanatic_Language_Of_Cults_W__Amanda_Montell-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Astra Taylor, co-founder of the Debt Collective and author of the recent book Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions, to discuss the 10-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Then Sam and Emma are joined by Heather Digby Parton, proprietor of Hullabaloo and contributing writer at Salon.com, to wrap up the week in news. Astra, Sam, and Emma dive into the start of the Occupy movement, ten years ago today, as a response to the call issued by Adbusters and the failure of the US Government to provide any reciprocity or repercussions for the 2008 financial crisis. Astra reflects on the initial general assemblies and working groups that worked to determine why they were there and what their demands should be, as well as the skepticism that they’d last beyond the first night with the mass police presence in NYC. They expand on this discussion, exploring how the role of police brutality served to somewhat bolster the public view around the movement and helped jumpstart the spread of the movement well beyond just NYC or even the US, even serving to turn the political tide against the Clinton neoliberalism. They discuss the diversity of ideology in the movement, even if it was driven by an anti-establishment ethos, and how that served to help create this open and strong picture of the 99%, before wrapping up with how the movement was eventually forced out of Zuccotti Park and looking at the lasting impact on the progressive left Occupy ultimately had.

Then Digby comes on to chat about what we have learned from the CA Recall, particularly in terms of boosting turnout by running against Trump no matter the election, and she, Sam, and Emma also cover the role of the centrist Dems within he general infrastructure shenanigans going on in Congress. Then in the Fun Half, Ronald Raygun calls in to chat about pegging tactics and Sam’s wood, Jake from the Bay Area talks appealing to liberals, Ben Shapiro struggles with California not being Texas, and Clarence Thomas offers some incredibly weird words on the new role of the SCOTUS, plus, your calls and IMs!

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sunsetlakecbd is a majority employee owned farm in Vermont, producing 100% pesticide free CBD products. Great company, great product and fans of the show! Use code Leftisbest and get 20% off at http://www.sunsetlakecbd.com. And now Sunset Lake CBD has donated $2500 to the Nurses strike fund, and we encourage MR listeners to help if they can. Here’s a link to where folks can donate: https://forms.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

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Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere, at https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere

Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon!

Subscribe to Matt's other show Literary Hangover on Patreon!

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel!

Subscribe to Brandon's show The Discourse on Patreon!

Check out The Nomiki Show live at 3 pm ET on YouTube at patreon.com/thenomikishow

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!)

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

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@EmmaVigeland

@MattBinder

@MattLech

@BF1nn

@BradKAlsop

Read Astra and Jonathan Smucker's piece in New York Magazine "Occupy Wall Street Changed Everything" here.

Members can watch here.

Direct download: 9_17_Casual_Friday_w__Astra_Taylor__Heather_Digby_Parton-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

Emma hosts Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation, to discuss his recent book The Kaepernick Effect: Taking A Knee, Changing the World. Emma starts off by weighing in on former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's excoriating testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, where she specifically implicated the FBI and Congressionally established committees in enabling Larry Nassar's vicious abuse of young women and girls on the Olympic team and at Michigan State University.

Then Emma and Dave dive into discussing Colin Kaepernick's seismic effect on social justice demonstrations, a ripple effect from kneeling on the sideline during the national anthem at NFL games all the way to the massive protest movements last summer in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Derek Chauvin. Dave sets the scene by prefacing how Kaepernick came about the act of kneeling, by interfacing with NFL player and veteran Nate Boyer on how to convey the solemnity of the occasion while respectfully dissenting, and how that didn't matter to the people hell bent on vilifying him no matter the context. They then dive into the real juxtaposition of Kaepernick's taking a knee in the name of racial justice in America, contrasted with Officer Derek Chauvin's knee on the neck of George Floyd, and how that symbolism really animated the demonstrations of last summer in Dave's experience. Dave then tackles the civic religion of football and team sports, and how those connections, in the place of other public squares and communal connections, partially due to the atomization of labor, leave sports teams and stadiums as some of the last vestiges of the public square for many communities. Dave specifically notes this in the context of the NFL, especially in terms of the Super Bowl, one of the last events, he believes, that represents any sort of monoculture in the United States in the present day, despite maybe presidential elections. Emma and Dave then unpack some of the demonstrations, from the professional, college, and high school level, that emerged from Kaepernick kneeling, the repercussions it had for the demonstrators, the coaches, and the schools, and what impact he believed that extension of the protests had, both positive and negative. They close out the conversation by discussing some of the watered down efforts the NFL and other leagues have taken to address "inequality" and how those have essentially supplanted supporting legitimate forms of protest, all at the expense of front-liners like Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid, and wide receiver Kenny Stills, who to this day are still unemployed by an NFL team as a result of their sacrifice to the cause, while also outlining the progress that players have made by speaking the only language owners understand: that the NFL is a labor force they need to pacify to some extent, because if they don't the money can run out. This, as Dave ends on, really only lays bare the fallacy of attempting to divorce politics from sports: with these types of labor and social dynamics at play, it simply isn't possible.

In the second half, Emma is joined by Matt and Brandon, and they dive into Joe Biden completely forgetting the Australian Prime Minister's name (it's Scott Morrison, not the "fella from down under") Grant Stinchfield losing his shit on NewsMax when a veteran guest dares to critique Trump, the Daily Wire bros dishing their takes on how Barack Obama ruined rock n' roll music (???), a blast from the past news report the Daily Show dug up about some Michiganders' opposition to a seatbelt ordinance in 1984, and Dave Rubin trying his best to flaunt his comedic chops by pretending to be downing shots of tequila "off-air" to assuage his misery that Larry Elder lost the recall. Plus, your calls and IM's!

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Direct download: 9_16_The_Kaepernick_Effect_W__Dave_Zirin-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EDT

Sam and Emma host Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter at the Washington Post, to discuss his recent book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Sam and Emma first touch upon the resounding victory for Gavin Newsom in the California recall election from last night, and discuss Newsom's nationalizing of the recall/pinning the results to the "shadow president" for the Republicans (Trump) as a telegraph of the political strategy going forward into 2022.

Then Emma and Sam are joined by Craig, who starts out by discussing how him and the Washington Post obtained the Afghanistan Papers, the trove of documents the Post obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that serve as the basis for the book, and how the book timed up perfectly with Biden's announcement of the withdrawal of troops in August, as well as the context behind the "Lessons Learned" project run through a little known federal agency called the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) that was the source of the lion's share of the notes and transcripts that comprised the papers. Craig goes deeper into describing the testimony from the interview transcripts of "Lessons Learned", citing how many past, present, and current military officials considered the war in Afghanistan "much worse than you think", and that "we didn't know what we were doing" in terms of strategic goals in Afghanistan. Craig goes so far as to report that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had no appreciable strategy for the war in Afghanistan beyond "chasing terrorists". Sam and Emma dive deeper into the idea that these transcripts and notes were intentionally hidden by the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, noting that the SIGAR reports that were publicly disclosed were significantly edited and sanitized. Craig then goes back to the early 2000's, stating that there was a pretty clear game plan for the first 60 days of the war, but that there was no recognizable strategy or timetable for what the United States was doing occupying Afghanistan, especially when George W. Bush made it clear that this was not a "nation-building" project to begin with. The emphasis was also very clearly on Iraq over Afghanistan, to the point where Rumsfeld asked Bush to meet with the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan as well as the commander in Iraq. Bush only wanted to meet with the Iraq commander, and didn't even know who the Afghanistan commander was, and didn't want to meet with him anyways. Craig then pivots to the Obama years, where the Administration very clearly wanted to continue the war without calling it a war, so as to not step on the toes of their allies whose presence in Afghanistan would violate some of their own war-making laws and practices if it was called a war by their allies. Not wanting to call it a war, but not being accurate enough to call it a "peacekeeping mission", the Obama administration landed on the clunky "non-conventional war effort" to split the difference. Afterwards, Craig discloses the combustible report that the Bush Administration furiously attempted to cover up, that former Vice President Dick Cheney was almost killed in a suicide bombing at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and how this pattern of attempting to spin every negative outcome into a positive one throughout the war persisted across every presidential administration in the 21st century. They end on the warped and strange arc of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's career, how he was a widely respected military official until his full throated embrace of Trump and QAnon stifled that perception, as well as Craig hoping that previous, current, and future administrations will learn from the mistakes of the past 20 years, but doesn't have too much hope because, well, Bush and Rumsfeld didn't learn from the mistakes of Vietnam outlined in, you guessed it, another trove of documents that made clear how badly we were losing a protracted war: The Pentagon Papers.

In the Fun Half, Sam gives a brief primer on the fight over taxation between the House and the Senate Dems in the reconciliation mockups going around the Hill, the crew checks in on the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings where in the House Ilhan Omar grills Secretary of State Blinken over the drone strike that may have killed a foreign aid worker instead of an ISIS-K operative, and in the Senate Idaho Senator Jim Risch gets to more pressing matters, namely: who the heck is pressing the button that controls when Biden talks? Then the crew check in on Ben Shapiro melting down over Cara Delevingne's "Peg the Patriarchy" look at the Met Gala, to which Ben feels the great need to describe what pegging means to him. And FINALLY the crew has the honor of dissecting Tucker Carlson's fascination with Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's balls after his COVID vaccination (Tucker corrected the record to reflect it was Nicki's cousin's friend, not cousin), Tucker's quest to get him on the show, and we get a real time dispatch from the Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister over whether this dude's balls actually swelled post-vax. Plus, your calls and IM's!

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Direct download: 9_15_The_Secret_History_Of_The_War_On_Terror_W__Craig_Whitlock-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:54pm EDT

Sam and Emma host Adam Tooze, Professor of History at Columbia University and author of the Chartbook newsletter on Substack, to discuss his recent book Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy, tracing the development of the pandemic and its shockwaves from January 2020 to January 2021. Professor Tooze first reflects on the collective difficulty in processing those twelve months, and how he came to write this book, before he, Emma, and Sam jump all the way back to the start of last year and dive into the mistakes in the original response from the Chinese government, and the massive impact their eventual tactics had on their economy. Next, they reflect on the US’s and much of Europe’s near-immediate botching of their response, completely overshadowing any initial failures of Xi Jinping’s regime and clearly expressing lacking elements of cultural consciousness in the US when it came to masks and social responsibility. Sam jumps on this element, exploring the relationship between cultural consciousness and experience when it comes to responding to pandemics, before they move on to discuss the role of minority media circles, driven by conspiracy, and Emma dives into the role of individualism and atomization in driving the individual skepticism that helps this catch fire. They wrap up the interview by looking back to parallels with the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, looking at how the 2010 election saw an attempt to push the US back to normalcy and away from the redistribution and social welfare they had set up over the crisis, as well as the important reminder that aid to big businesses had not and would not stop over that time. Prof. Tooze uses this to emphasize the importance of investment in technology as a key was to move US culture forwards, looping in both climate and pandemic policy, before Sam and Emma conclude the free half with a CA recall discussion.

And in the Fun Half: Nomiki joins Sam and Emma as they dive into the discourse on AOC’s Met Gala appearance, following a brief but very necessary explanation of what it even is for Sam, taking on the elements of performativity, and where they stand, particularly when the performance, debatably, fell short. Next, they get a free Masterpiece lesson on journalism from karaoke journalist Michael Tracey (both in that he performs mostly for crowd engagement and that he uses a karaoke machine) on Covid regulations at Connecticut College, before Terrell from Conn College, calls in to give his own perspective. They also chat CA recall and what rhetoric Dems should push moving into the midterms, plus, your IMs!

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Direct download: 9_14_Covids_Complete_Shakeup_Of_The_Global_Economy_W__Adam_Tooze-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

Sam and Emma host Samuel Moyn, Professor of History at Yale University, to discuss his recent book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, on how the evolving face of the American Empire has changed the way we perceive war, and what we can do to get the conversation back on track. Starting all the way back in the mid-19th Century, Professor Moyn dives into the first Geneva Convention and the attempt by the Swiss to make war more humane, as well as the response by some like Leo Tolstoy who worried that it might, in fact, further legitimize war. He, Sam, and Emma then situate the role of America in all of this, jumping off of the massacres of the Vietnam War and the changes both in Geneva law – focused around civilians and collateral damage – and in the perspective of the US military, that it inspired, before moving back to how the two World Wars and transatlantic combat put the US at the warfront of the western empires, locking them into brutal wars to “keep the peace” ever since. Next, they look into why the backlash to the brutalities of Vietnam was so much more severe than that of the war on terror, situating the former within a pre-existing anti-war movement, and then jump into the role of Barack Obama in really cementing the ideology of the “humane” war through public declarations of both the need for constant warfare, and the need for humane warfare. They wrap up the interview with a conversation on the role of technology in bolstering the Rumsfeldian light warfare, and summarize the evolution of, and what we could see next from, the American empire. Emma and Sam also touch on Manchin’s mumbling maneuvers to avoid getting too into the numbers of the Infrastructure Package, despite his recent complaints about the numbers.

And in the Fun Half: Gabe from Ontario calls in to get out the vote for the NDP in the upcoming Canadian election, Sandy from Ontario boosts that message before getting a warm thank you for her incredible gift to the MR studio, and Nicholas from St. Louis converses with Sam and Emma on the differences in pushing for individual lifestyle changes (veganism) and pushing for actual policy change. The MR crew also explores the social (rather than immune) boost Joe Rogan got from ivermectin, discusses the recent and growing legitimization of George W. Bush and his administration’s war crimes, and reflects on the disasters of Rudy Giuliani past, present, and future. They wrap up the fun half with Tucker Carlson finally speaking on a topic he has expertise in (lying and using your power to protect the powerful) and the progression of recent anti-Mask Mandates, plus, your calls and IMs!

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It's Casual Friday! Sam hosts Ryan Grim, D.C. Bureau Chief at The Intercept, to discuss his recent bombshell scoop Heather Bresch, Joe Manchin's Daughter, Played Direct Part In EpiPen Price Inflation Scandal and round out the week in news. Ryan and Sam jump into a quick discussion of Biden’s recent vaccine mandate announcement, and speculate on the role it can play in bolstering Biden and Democrats' support going into the midterms with a large majority of Americans both already vaccinated and supportive of a mandate. They dive particularly into the culture war narrative currently driving politics and how that could both help and hurt Democratic midterm success, before touching on what is to be expected with COVID rates. Grim then dives into his scoop on the Manchin family, starting with Joe Manchin’s recent attempt to cut down the infrastructure budget and discussing what the budget actually means when it comes to spending, before moving onto the scandal breaking around Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, and wife, Gayle. Ryan sets up the corruption starting with Heather’s faked diplomas from West Virginia University that helped her reach the office of COO, then President and CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals and her mother’s role as a lobbyist for the association of school boards, before he and Sam dive into Bresch’s makeshift monopoly, of both supplier and distributor, of EpiPens alongside Pfizer, resulting in over a 500% increase in price, and a Mylan scheme to force their consumers to choose between literal death or spending mass amounts of money on multi-EpiPen packages, all while Gayle Manchin helped secure requirements for schools to purchase their own supplies of EpiPens. They round out the interview by exploring how Dem leadership can turn these metaphorical scandal lemons into an infrastructure lemonade, and Sam dives a little deeper into Biden’s new vaccine mandate.

And in the second half of the show, Matthew Film Guy joins Sam as they reminisce on culture and comedy in the wake of 9/11, before they move onto the effect of 9/11 on general American culture, discussing the shift to the Right in mainstream media and pop culture in the early aughts and what direction today’s artists might shift mainstream political culture, and Matt gives his suggestions. Sam also touches on the deplorable laughter at a boy discussing the death of his grandmother in a Tennessee school board meeting, Rep. Katie Porter’s callout of Joe Manchin and centrist Dems, and Ben Shapiro’s commitment to replacement theory, even when it comes to statues. They also cover Crowder’s return to being a horrible person on YouTube, plus, your IMs!

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Direct download: 9_10_Casual_Friday_W__Ryan_Grim__Film_Guy_Matthew-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Sam hosts Russ Feingold, President of the American Constitution Society and former United States Senator from Wisconsin, to discuss the legacy 9/11 has had on the American national security state, and what to expect going forward, to discuss the legacy 9/11 has had on the American national security state, and what to expect going forward. Senator Feingold starts off by jumping back to the first reports of the attacks trickling in nearly twenty years ago, and what his experiences on Capitol Hill were like as flight 93 approached DC. Then, he and Sam get into the political response in each branch of the US government, starting with George W. Bush’s response, developing from what Senator Feingold saw as one of the greatest presidential speeches, immediately following 9/11, to, within days, capitalizing on the horror to progress the conservative agenda around both the Iraq War and with the Patriot Act with his “axis of evil” speech. Sam and Russ explore how the Patriot Act was brought to the floor, recalling why Senator Feingold was the only Senator at that time to vote against the bill, including the elements in the bill that clearly had nothing to do with terrorism alongside the conservative exploitation of the moment to bolster their run to take back the house in 2002. Next, the jump into the similar role played by Democrats in approving the Iraq War – outside of those like Feingold and Wellstone – and what it took for them to come around on it, including how resistance to the war bolstered Obama’s 2008 run. They then jump into the years under Obama, and how his deference to the FBI and military allowed the progression of the Military State to continue to infringe on the liberties of citizens and non-citizens alike, before they wrap up the interview with a conversation on the developments of that we have seen in the role of SCOTUS over the last two decades, moving from the failures of Bush v. Gore in 2000 to the obstructionism of McConnell and the build of the current Court. Sam concludes the free half with a review of the Greg Gutfeld comedy hour hitting all of the key conservative comedy pieces, including wives that hate their husbands, ethnicity jokes, and laughing at whatever Donald Trump says.

And in the Fun Half: Brandon and Matt join as they take on Matt Walsh’s absurd take on the feminization of football, Stephanie from Montgomery calls in to chat social policy as crime reduction, and O’Reilly foreshadows his emergence as the most important whistleblower yet, unfortunately still sticking to blowing Islamophobic dog whistles. Next, the MR crew has an inspired discussion on liberty and freedom, before chatting about Ivermectin and the Left, and the role of Laura Ingraham’s “Biden Bucks,” plus, your calls and IMs!

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Sam hosts Paul Sabin, professor of history at Yale University and director of the Yale Environmental Humanities Program, to discuss his recent book Public Citizens: The Attack On Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism, on how the US went from eras defined by government action under FDR through LBJ, to Reagan and Clinton coming together across the aisle to end the “era of big government.” Professor Sabin starts us off in the Fifties and early Sixties with the government's managerial role in brokering between businesses and the labor industries, and the rise of liberals speaking out against the unaccounted power in politics; they walk through the roles of folks like Ralph Nader, Jane Jacobs, and Rachel Carson and how they turned on government planning, taking on their efficiency particularly when it comes to their relationships with sectors such as the auto industry. After a little background on Nader’s libertarian, albeit, progressive, roots, and how they gave birth to all sorts of NGOs, such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which attempted to keep public interest behind the wheel of government. Next, they look into the jumpstart on the turn against government with the Nixon administration and how it was bolstered by liberal attempts to get the government to buckle down, with procedural interventions such as FOIA, unfortunately, undermining the trust in government, particularly as Nader and co. pushed back against the supposedly successful liberal regime under Carter. Lastly, Paul and Sam turn towards the Reagan and Clinton years, and they debate the role of Clinton in marking the end of big government, as he promised the end of said era, before they wrap up the interview by discussing the rhetorical failures by liberals in attempting to have the government-run “efficiently” rather than run with “good platforms.” Sam concludes the fun half with some updates on Texas’ take on Roe v. Wade, alongside Greg Abbott’s new and improved plan to eliminate rapists.

And in the Fun Half: Sam discusses his internal issues and the problematic nature of procedural hindrances to digestion (he got food poisoning), the MR crew discusses NYC education COVID policy, as well as the fight AND flight conflict of COVID deniers. They also discuss Fox’s Brian Kilmeade objections to giving a horse drug a bad name, Lauren Windsor’s continued brilliance in duping Republican officials into spilling party tea, and expand both on Gov. Abbott’s turn against sexual assault, and Elon Musk’s response to his proclaimed support for Texan social policy. They wrap up the fun half with a conversation on how culture war dominates discourse over material benefit, particularly in the context of discussing Texan abortion law, plus, your IMs!

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The MR Crew are off for Rosh Hashanah today (happy New Year for all who celebrate!), but Sam doesn't leave you hanging-he sits down with Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Berkeley Law School, to discuss his recent book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights, as well as the recent developments at the Supreme Court.

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Today our annual repeat of a compilation of labor speeches from FDR, Mario Savio, John Lewis, & more.

Also, Bernie reading from the speech that sent Debs to jail.

Direct download: Labor_Day_Audio_2021.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EDT

It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Heather Digby Parton, contributing writer at Salon.com, to wrap up the week in news, from the Texas abortion law's overturning of Roe v. Wade and its civil-bounty policy, to the upcoming cut off of federal unemployment benefits. Heather, Sam, and Emma start off by looking at the developments of the Supreme Court as an institution, paying particular attention to the increased use of shadow dockets since the start of the Trump Presidency, and continuing into Biden’s, before generally walking through the anti-democratic and unilateral nature of the Court, and how the Democrats have refused to take on their excesses of power. Next, they explore potential paths to take in restoring and protecting Roe v. Wade, including how SCOTUS could fight back against legislative codification or capitalizing on the foolishness and destructive capacity of the “bounty” civil suits to get the Texas law overturned, before turning to how Democrats have to try to bolster their support going into the 2022 elections. They also discuss the importance of the Trump Presidency in today’s courts, the role of the Manchins and Sinemas moving forwards, as now Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance alongside the infrastructure package, and the incoming unemployment drop-off that will put millions of Americans on the financial brink as the pandemic still rages. They wrap up the interview with some previews for the 2022 election cycle, and Sam and Emma cover their fundraising effort for Afghan refugees, the destruction of Hurricane Ida, and the absurdity of SCOTUS’ procedural argument.

And in the Fun Half: Sam, Emma, and the MR crew celebrate the end of summer with a Sun’s out Guns out fundraiser for Afghan refugees, featuring Sam’s lovely graphic tank from Ronald Raygun and a multitude of double-barreled performances from our host. Ronald Raygun calls in to talk about the classification of Afghan refugees as “parolees,” and how we can still push the government to accept more and more of them. Mike from Winnipeg talks plant-based eating, Josh from KC explores corruption and charter schools, we get a colorful conversation with Hunter Biden, and look at the crashing of the Texas abortionsnitch site, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Direct download: 9_3_Casual_Friday_W__Heather_Digby_Parton-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EDT

Emma hosts James Risen, Senior National Security Correspondent at the Intercept, to discuss his recent piece "A War's Epitaph: For Two Decades, Americans Were Told One Lie After Another About What They Were Doing In Afghanistan", on how bad the “good war” has been since it began. James and Emma walk through the US’s failed twenty-year involvement in what was essentially another country’s civil war, how it began, and the countless mistakes made along the way which were inevitably covered up. They begin with the first involvement in the region with the Bush Administration’s invasion and propping up of the Karzai Presidency, which almost immediately fell to rampant corruption as US funding flowed through a Karzai-backed heroin trade, emphasizing the shell of a government that we had set up. Risen also touches on how the lack of genuine investment from either the local government or their US backing set the stage for the almost immediate collapse following the military exit, before moving onto the Obama years, and what his commitment to his “good war,” through mass investment in the preexisting corruption and the development of his collateral damage drone program, really meant. James and Emma conclude the interview by looking at how the major players in Afghanistan have developed to where they’re at now, before Emma wraps up the first half with a discussion on the countless horrors stemming from last night’s Supreme Court decision, as well as the lacking response from the Biden Administration, and Gov. Kathy Hochul's wonder at the “once in a thousand years” natural disaster that we’ve somehow been seeing with increasing frequency.

And in the Fun Half: Emma, Brandon, and Matt discuss the horrors of Hurricane Ida, Matt’s flooding, and Sam from NoLa gives a bit of the southern perspective after the storm left, and extreme heat came in. They also discuss supposed-naturalist Joe Rogan’s pharmaceutical-heavy solution to catching COVID, Mike from PA’s guest suggestion, and debate the filmmaking legacy of M. Night Shyamalan, before discussing Candace Owens’ COVID skepticism coming back to bite her, and Tucker and Dave Rubin's projection of personal shortcomings onto AOC, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Sam and Emma hosts Tim Higgins, Wall Street Journal reporter and CNBC contributor, to discuss his recent book Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century, on how Elon Musk sells the future, and how much of that vision can actually be guaranteed. They jump off from JB Straubel’s invention that helped Elon popularize high-end electric vehicles (EVs), reflecting on the 20th-century EV attempts by GM and Toyota, and why they fell apart, before touching on why Tesla’s focus on the high-end price points was central to their success. Next, they dive into where Tesla’s production has been lacking, particularly with Elon’s self-driving cars and other fantastical promises, and Tim looks into the validity of Theranos comparisons. He, Sam, and Emma also touch on the biggest threats to Tesla in the EV market, at what age a startup truly matures into a real company, and what it means that such a long-shot investment has a massive financial backing in the industry, before Sam explores what shorting the stock would take, and the crew talks the dangers of letting a single man shape the future of an entire industry. Sam and Emma also touch on SCOTUS letting Roe v. Wade slip through the cracks in Texas with SB-8, setting the road for a massive fight for reproductive rights ahead, as well as the (hopefully) official end of fighting in Afghanistan, and the importance of the Courts moving forwards.

And in the Fun Half: The MR Crew walks through Dave Rubin’s legal expertise (mostly based on big-word usage), D from NYC calls in to defend Elon Musks’ many classic talents, including engineering and following through on his own previous claims, and DJ Cold Case gets Sam into the social security zone on the recent fear-mongering on the well running dry. They also touch on the ever-increasing role the Supreme Court has begun to play in making drastically consequential political decisions. They round it out with some classic Fox out-foxing of other journalists as Jeanine Pirro employs the classic “ignore and walk away” tactic, and they discuss the incredibly racist scandal around a Texas school board, CRT, and a Black principal, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Direct download: 9_1_Elon_Musk__Billionaire_Marketer_W__Tim_Higgins-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EDT

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