Talking Left Episode 2014-30

Elections, Climate, & The Audacity of the Rich!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we tried to cover all the big stories you won't hear in the corporate media - and we had some great guests to help us!

In hour one, we spoke with James Cullum, Capital Hill Reporter for the Talk Radio News Service.  James attended the North Carolina Senate debate and gave us his take on Pizza Guy, Sean Haugh, and the two major candidates.  Hopefully, the Libertarian in this race will make it easier for Kay Hagan to hang on to her seat, an for Democrats to hold on to the Senate.  Regardless of our complaints about the party, we all have to admit that things won't get better if Republicans get control of the upper chamber.  We'll watch this race - and all the others around the country - closely, and we'll keep hoping that we can save the Senate!

Next, we played our interview with Desi Doyen of the Green News Report from filling in for Thom Hartmann on Friday.  Desi explained how much more climate coverage we're seeing in this year's election, and how environmental justice is becoming a movement.  Desi & Brad Friedman always cover many important climate stories in The Green News Report, so be sure to check it out for all the stories we didn't get to.

In hour three, we played another interview from Friday - this one with Andrew Crocker, Legal Fellow for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Andrew explained one of the most recent legal fights over government surveillance, and why we have to keep up the fight to protect our privacy.  Don't forget to support the EFF, and share news of all of their amazing work with yor friends!

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, Progressive Voices on Tune in, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-29

The Red Sunday Spectacular!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we talked Ebola, elections, and perhaps the scariest of all... the Supreme Court.

In hour one, we got in to the news you probably won't hear in the corporate media, and gave you our take on California's "Yes means Yes" law and the pubic freak-out over Ebola.

In the second hour, we continued our yearly Supreme Court "Red Sunday" preview tradition with Ian Millhiser, Constitutional Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress and Justice Editor of the Think Progress Blog.  Ian helped us understand some of the big cases that our nation's highest court has already agreed to hear this year, including partisan and racial gerrymandering, and abortion rights.  He also explained a few cases that the Supreme Court is likely to agree to hear.  Ian always does an amazing job of helping us understand why these cases are important, so be sure to follow his work throughout the term, and pre-order a copy of his upcoming book: "Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted."

And, in hour three, we spoke with David Bender, the political director of Progressive Voices, about the upcoming midterm elections, and why we all need to get out and vote.  As David explained, we can't allow negative ads and deceptive polls keep us from the ballot box, and this election is way too important to sit things out.  Be sure you get out and vote this November, and help your friends and neighbors do their part as well!

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, Progressive Voices on Tune in, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-28

Elections matter.

 

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This week on Talking Left, we wanted to dig in to a few stories that the corporate media has been skipping or glossing over.  

In hour one, we spoke with Justice Putnam of Netroots Radio about police brutality, Ferguson, and the need to change our militarized police forces.  The stories of police violence and brutality seem to be a daily event, but we can't allow them to become the norm.  We must return to community policing and give citizens more power to hold cops accountable.  There are some great suggestions, and details for more events at National Black United Front DC.

In the next hour, we got in to the "war" against ISIS with our great friend Nicole Belle, formerly of Crooks and Liars.  Nicole gave us her take on the ridiculous notion that we can bomb the world in to peace, and the fact that Congress is shirking their responsibility to vote on military action.  And, our "mainstream" media is failing to provide a real debate on whether or not we should be bombing anyone at all.  

And, as if this show could get any better with those first two guests, Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog joined us for the entire third hour!  We got to hear Brad's brilliant take on voting rights around the country, on the wife-beating judge Mark Fuller, and, on the Republican operative who had the audacity to threaten Brad over his reporting. To find out more about the Don Siegleman case, be sure to check out - and share - Free-Don.org!

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, Progressive Voices on Tune in, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-27

The People have the power!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we covered everything from the Senate's vote to authorize arming so-called "moderates" in Syria to the Scotland Independence Vote to the People's Climate Mobilization.  Through it all, one very important message stood out - all around the country, Americans are waking up and speaking out.  Together, we can shape a better nation.

And, we also spoke with Pete Callahan of We Act Radio, before he left to cover the People's Climate Mobilization in New York City! If you're in the area, be sure to swing by and say hello to Pete.  And, if you're not, find an event near you or watch the streams at WeActRadio.com!

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, Progressive Voices on Tune in, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-26

War by any other name is still war.

 

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This week on Talking Left, we played some great interviews from guest hosting for Thom Hartmann, and gave you our take on some of today's top news.  And!! This week is also the debut of Talking Left on the Progressive Voices channel on TuneIn!  

In the first hour, we got in to two different rulings on election laws.  In Ohio, voting rights were protected, but voters in Wisconsin were not so lucky.  In addition, we talked about another court ruling, which considered the question - should lying in political campaigns be illegal?  And, of course we talked about the Senate's votes on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and why it's important that we keep up the fight to get money out of politics.

In hour two, we gave you our take about the United States being "at war" with ISIS, as well as President Obama's take on the Authorization for Use of Military Force from back in 2013.  The biggest question we have is for Congress... if they're not willing to vote on sending our military men and women back in to Iraq, why they heck do they even want to be in Congress?

And, in the second hour, we also played for you an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith, author of "Who Stole The American Dream?".  Hedrick explained how the shift from stakeholder to shareholder capitalism has harmed workers, and how a return to viewing employees and customers as part of the business could repair some damage to our nation.

During the third hour we play two great interviews from sitting in for Thom on Friday.  First up was Cindy Cohn, General Counsel and Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Cindy explained the recent ACLU v. Clapper hearing on NSA surveillance, and what we can do to help declare government spying unconstitutional.  After that, we played Friday's interview with Tim Karr, Senior Director of Strategy at Free Press.  Tim talked about this week's "Internet Slowdown Day" and why we should care about net neutrality.

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, Progressive Voices on Tune in, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-25

It all comes down to the money!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we covered a ton of different topics, but most of them connected in one way: money.  AND - for the first time ever, Talking Left was taking your calls LIVE!  

In hour one, we talked about some of the under-reported news of the week, and got in to Tesla's extortion of the state of Nevada.  At one point in this nation, our strong infrastructure and educated workforce was enough to entice businesses to locate here.  Now, we're not only seeing states compete against each other, we're all competing with overseas workers.  Tesla may be a great company when it comes to ending our addiction to fossil fuels, but that doesn't mean they should get to skip out on paying taxes.

In hour two, we gave you a different spin on Eric Cantor moving to a Wall Street investment bank... courtesy of the fine folks at Crooks and Liars.  It's outrageous that Cantor is permitted to skip out on the end of his term to cash in big as a bankster, but it's even scarier to think about what his staffers may be up to.  Congressional staffers are unelected and unaccountable, and many of these powerful individuals are simply starting a much more lucrative career as K Street Lobbyists.  We need to stop the revolving door in Congress, and it's about time to start thinking about how those laws should also apply to staffers.

And, speaking of corruption - we also spoke with James Cullum, Capital Hill Reporter for the Talk Radio News Service, about the recent conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell. In addition to being an incredible photo journalist - and be sure to check out his work here - James also covered Virginia politics for years.  He gave us his take on the scandal, the conviction, and how the people and the state of Virginia may feel about the whole ordeal.


In the third hour, we spoke with two incredible guests.  First up, we spoke with Kymone Freeman of We Act Radio, about the ongoing effort to find justice for Mike Brown.  Kymone and the amazing people over at the National Black United Front are working to turn Ferguson from a moment into a movement.  Be sure to follow We Act Radio for news of upcoming events, and use the hash tag #DCFerguson to follow along on social media.

Last, but certainly not least, we heard from Ian Millhiser of Think Progress, about two other huge stories this week.  Ian helped us understand the DC Circuit Court's decision to withdraw an earlier ruling on the Affordable Care Act, and put the issue before all the judges on that panel.  To learn more about that case, check out Ian's article, "Federal Appeals Court Withdraws Decision Defunding Obamacare."  As if that news wasn't enough to talk about, Ian also explained exactly why the Louisiana Judge who upheld that state's same-sex marriage ban was wrong, wrong, wrong - and not simply in a moral way.  As usual, Ian made it easy to understand some very complex cases, and we can hardly wait until the release of his upcoming book: "Injustices: The Supreme Court's Nearly Unbroken History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted."

As this was also the first week we started taking your calls live, we wanted to give a special shout out to our first callers.  Big thanks to Marty and Snorky for helping us break the ice, and here's the link that Snorky mentioned, as promised:  www.islandconnect.com/partner/IIC

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-24

Thank a Union!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we gave you our take on some of this week's big news, and we cut loose a bit without any guests!

In hour one, we talking about Mitch McConnell getting busted sucking up to the Koch brothers, and explained the FEC gridlock that's effectively giving Republicans a free pass on some creative campaign donations.  We also touched on McConnell's newest opponent in Kentucky - the Libertarian police officer David Patterson.  

In the second hour, we finally got to the most important Constitutional Amendment of our summer series - money in politics.  Although we may have frustrated a few of our listeners by saying that spending money is speech and corporations sometimes need to be "people" - we hope that you stay listening through out explanation.  

Also in hour two, we got in sexism and the so-called "Rape Culture," and how puritanical beliefs allow anti-women views to be perpetuated in our society.

And, of course, in hour three we talked Labor Day, and the many reasons why we should thank a union on this - and every - Labor Day!  Unions have helped fight for many of the rights, protections, regulations, and holidays that we often take for granted, and it's important that we keep fighting for our right to organize.  

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-23

"Hands Up! Don't Shoot!" - Ferguson & the Fight for the Four Freedoms!

 

Photo courtesy of Justin Duckham, Talk Radio News Service.

 

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This week on Talking Left, we spoke at length about civil rights, police brutality, and the fight for justice for Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.

In hour one, we spoke with our friend and scholar Mr. Copaulicus about the latest attacks on affirmative action and the ongoing fight for civil rights for people of color.  We may see the rights of the LGBT community expanding, but at the same time the rights of minorities are slipping away.  Whether it's the right to protest and assemble, or it's the right to get a fair chance at an education and employment, we must remain vigilant to ensure that these rights are protected.

In the second hour, we gave your our take about the militarization of our police force, and the gutting of community policing programs.  The United States has a dark history of arming both sides of conflicts, and allowing our military industrial complex to profit off of the fall out.  Just as we've seen with conflicts between Iraq and Iran, Syria and ISIS, and Iran and Saudi Arabia, it appears "both sides" are being armed on our streets so that police can attempt to justify their need for military weaponry.  If we've got money to give our cops tanks and machine guns, why can't we spend more money on community policing programs that actually help?

Also in hour two, we spoke with Professor Harvey J. Kaye, author of The Fight for the Four Freedoms, What made FDR and the Greatest Generation truly Great.  Professor Kaye explained how the progressive movement started in the 1930s, and how our parents and grandparents fought for a better future for the rest of us.  Right now, the economic and political situation in our nation is calling for another Great Generation, and the events in Ferguson, MO prove how badly we need a new nation-wide progressive movement.  As they say, those who do not understand history are damned to repeat it.  By learning about the history of the Greatest Generation from brilliant people like Professor Kaye, we'll be better prepared to become great ourselves.

During the last hour, we talked about how FDR's Second Bill of Rights could equalize communities and prevent more of our young people from being murdered because of the color of their skin.  When our police no longer view people of color as "the other" - they will be less likely to take their lives without a second thought.  If we get the chance to amend our Constitution, why not go "big" and enact a this Second Bill of Rights.

Also in hour three, we spoke with Pete Callahan of We Act Radio.  Pete has been on the ground in Ferguson this week livestreaming for Credo Action, covering the protests and events that have unfolded.  He explained the feeling of unity and determination he's seen from protesters and community leaders, and the reaction to the military tactics used by police.  Pete is doing important, incredible work, and we'll keep you updated as long as he's in Ferguson.  Be sure to support the cause by sharing the livestream feed and signing Credo's petition calling for justice for Mike Brown.


Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-22

Elections, The NSA, & The Real History of Gun Rights

 

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This week on Talking Left, we gave you our take on the news you won't hear in the Sunday morning corporate media!

In the first hour, we continued our summer series on amending the Constitution, and got in to the real history of the Second Amendment.  This week, Washington, D.C.'s ban on handguns was struck down as a violation of the individual right to keep and bear arms.  However, you may be surprised to learn that this wasn't even considered an individual right until about 1960.  For nearly 200 years in our nation, gun rights were only protected for members of a "well-regulated militia" - but the NRA got involved, and today many courts refuse to place any limitations on gun rights.  We know that 90 percent of Americans agree with background checks and other gun regulations, so perhaps we need to update the Second Amendment to protect our right to regulate weapons of war.

In hour two, we gave you our take on CIA Director John Brennan finally admitting that the CIA spied on Senate staffers.  While Brennan apologized for the CIA spying, we must ensure that he - and anyone else involved - is held accountable.  Forty years after President Richard Nixon resigned over Watergate, we're still learning about ways he broke the law.  However, because President Ford pardoned Nixon, we were never able to hold him responsible for his crimes.  The same thing happened with Scooter Libby and the Bush Administration, and with President Obama's refusal to hold Bush and Cheney responsible for war crimes.   We can't allow this to happen again.  Our nation can't act like a moral leader when we refuse to hold officials accountable for their crimes.  Brennan should be criminally charged, along with every current and former official who is guilty of a crime.  

In the third hour we talked about Darrell Issa, the House Rules Committee, and the 2014 elections.  And, we had the opportunity to speak with Becky Bond of CREDO Action and CREDO Super PAC about their efforts to save the Senate.  In addition to fighting for progressive issues like immigration, women's rights, and more, CREDO is setting up shop in five states to help the Democrats maintain the majority in the upper chamber.  You can help their efforts by getting involved at their local offices in one of these states, or by phone banking from home where ever you are.  

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

Talking Left Episode 2014-21

Some rights transcend political parties!

 

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This week on Talking Left, we talked about health care, voting rights, and basic human protections.  These are issues that we should support, regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum.

In hour one, we gave you our take on this week's conflicting Obamacare rulings, and on Paul Ryan's so-called "Opportunity Plan."  Although many "left-wing" media outlets have dismissed the DC Circuit's ruling, and claimed that the health care law is safe, there is reason to be concerned, and there is a simple way to fix the issue.  We can cry "Judicial Activism," but the real problem is the right-wingers in Congress who refuse to fix a drafting error in the law.  Hopefully, the full DC Circuit agrees that the subsidies were intended in the federal exchanges, and prevents this lawsuit from making its way to the Right-wing members of the Supreme Court.  

Although Paul Ryan calls his "Opportunity Plan" a new way to help the poor, it really consists of a bunch of old Republican ideas wrapped up in a new package.  However, rather than dismissing his plan as the political maneuver that it is, we should take a page out of the GOP's playbook, and call on Congress to pass the parts of his plan that we agree on.  Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and reforming mandatory minimum prison sentences are actually good ideas - so, let's get those done and send Republicans back to the drawing board with the rest of their block grant clap trap.

In the second hour, we kicked off our summer series on Constitutional amendments.  Although most Progressives would start off with getting money out of politics, we thought that we'd start with something even more fundamental - the right to vote.  According to many experts, including Congressman Marc Pocan, there is no explicit right to vote in the Constitution.  There is an implied right, as our democracy is based on self-governance, but we think it needs to be even stronger.  There is nothing more important than participating in our political system, and we need a higher bar to prevent right-wing state lawmakers from trying to take away our right to do so.

As we discussed voting rights, we wanted to speak with someone who lives and breaths this issue.  We were joined by Elisabeth MacNamara, the President and Chair of The League of Women Voters of the U.S.  The LWV fights to protect our right to vote in states all around our nation, and they help voters understand the issues in both national and state elections.  President MacNamara had a different take on the constitutional right to vote, and she is - after all - the real expert.  Regardless of whether you think we should pass an amendment, renew the Voting Rights Act, or simply vote out lawmakers who want to disenfranchise voters, the League of Women Voters is an excellent resource to get involved.  You can check out their site Vote411.org for information about upcoming elections, and you can join their fight at LWV.org.

In hour three, we continued our discussion of rights that need to be protected - and this time talked about how prisoners in our nation are being denied those rights.  After the second botched execution in recent months, it's clear that states are experimenting on prisoners - and that's a violation of the Geneva Convention.  Groups like the ACLU are working on a Prisoner's Bill of Rights, but perhaps we need to take it a step further, and first enact law to affirm that these are human beings.  Perhaps it's time for a Prisoner's Magna Carta!

Also in hour three, we circled back to the health care discussion, and spoke with Mayor Adam O'Neal of Bellhaven, North Carolina.  Mayor O'Neal walked from his state all the way to D.C. to bring attention to the closure of a rural hospital is his town.  Consolidation and the state legislature's refusal to expand Medicaid brought about that closure, and left residents dangerously far from the closest emergency room.  You can help his cause at SaveOurHospital.org, and you can meet Mayor O'Neal on Monday morning in Washington, D.C.!

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Mike for writing and producing our incredible theme music! Please check out his amazing Sound CloudThanks to We Act Radio - 1480AM WPWC, Netroots Radio, SoFlo Radio, and Radio or Not,- for helping to ensure all listeners have corporate-free, independent radio!  You can also follow all of the news about upcoming topics and guests on our Facebook page and on Twitter @TalkingLeft.  And you can subscribe to Talking Left free on iTunes!

As always, thanks for listening!

 

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