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  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Donald Trump conquers the federal judiciary. And top former security officials warn of a full-blown crisis in government.

    Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg has spent a fortune on advertising, but why bother? Reports confirm his plan is to squeeze through at the Democratic National Convention.

    And lastly, the Saudis planted spies inside Twitter. Next, M.B.S. slides in to your D.M.s.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Before the news, this statement, from a noted supporter of President Donald Trump: QUOTE All traitors must die miserable deaths. Those that represent traitors shall meet the same fate. We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are, ENDQUOTE.

    And so on.

    This message was emailed by an unemployed construction worker, Brittan Atkinson, to Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys for a US government whistleblower who helped Democrats make the case for impeachment. Atkinson sent the threat one day after a rally in which Trump held up the attorney’s photo for the cameras to see.

    And now the Trump supporter faces federal charges in Michigan that could put him in prison for up to five years. The news broke yesterday in Politico, which noted that Trump had tweeted about the whistleblower more than five dozen times, calling him a Deep State coup plotter, among other things. Atkinson’s wife told NBC her husband was an unemployed former construction worker and gamer. She was surprised her husband got arrested for sending death threats. She said, QUOTE, Was his email tactful? No, it wasn't. Was it kind of disturbing? Yes, it was. But him along with several other people in this country are fed up with the bullshit. They just want the country to run ENDQUOTE.

    Meanwhile, former Trump adviser Roger Stone got off with a relatively light sentence, despite having issued threats of his own against the judge in his witness tampering trial and obstruction trial. Stone’s prosecutors had asked for a seven to nine year prison sentence. Yesterday, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone to forty months. All the prosecutors resigned over interference from the administration, and Trump himself attacked

    the judge. Shortly after the sentencing, Trump said Stone would be exonerated. Stone’s lawyers have already asked for a new trial.

    Following his Senate acquital, Trump has not only bent the judicial system to his will, he has caused what former C.I.A. director John Brennan yesterday called a QUOTE full-blown national security crisis. ENDQUOTE. Trump’s unqualified nominee to be the new Director of National Intelligence, announced this week, yesterday said he would only be in the role temporarily. Trump reportedly fired the previous director because he supplied information to Congress – another branch of government Trump has effectively conquered. He and Vice President Mike Pence hold another rally today in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to find out who’ll be getting death threats next!

    His terrible debate performance may be irrelevant to the campaign strategy of former Republican billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

    He doesn’t care how people feel about him. Politico reported that Bloomberg’s state-level advisers have a plan to get Bloomberg nominated on the second ballot at the Democratic National Convention in July. To that end, his employees have been targeting supporters of Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg as well as uncommitted D.N.C. members. Politico predicted this undemoratic gambit would result in QUOTE havoc at the convention, raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist ENQUOTE. Sounds about right!

    Although he tried to make light of his bad night in Las Vegas yesterday, Bloomberg also shared a doctored video of the debate. The clip was deceptively edited to turn a brief silence into a very long one, and make it seem like Bloomberg had one-upped the Democratic candidates. The opposite was the case, as even Bloomberg’s supporters admitted. He has already spent nearly half a billion dollars on his own campaign, burning through cash at a rate of seven million dollars per day. As if his image could not get worse, it emerged that Bloomberg’s longtime public relations, Arick Wierson, went to work for Brazil’s fascist ruler, Jair Bolsonaro. Who is great friends with Donald Trump by the way.

    The more Democrats get to know Mike Bloomberg, the more he looks like his old golfing buddy, Trump. Bloomberg capped off the day by saying Democrats could not win the White House by nominating the front-runner, Bernie Senators, whom the hideous billionaire said has a QUOTE small base ENDQUOTE. Tens of thousands of people have been showing up to

    Sanders rallies. Bloomberg has to pay people to say nice things about him. Or, in several dozen cases involving women, to say nothing about him.

    Agents of the Saudi monarchy infiltrated Twitter and stole private information on thousands of users.

    The two Saudi agents, who had obtained jobs at Twitter and were reportedly well-liked, passed on that compromising information to a deputy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The spy game at Twitter was revealed in an F.B.I. indictment, first reported by BuzzFeed.

    The most likely targets of the data breach were Saudi dissidents abroad, who have been targets for assassination by the US-backed monarchy. With the knowledge and blessing of Donald Trump’s son in law and Middle East advisor, Jared Kushner, Crown Prince M.B.S. previously ordered the murder of a Washington Post journalist. He also hacked the phone of Post owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. So, who knows what M.B.S. has in mind for our Twitter D.M.s! Presumably, he sees all of Trump’s texts. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way to Riyadh to negotiate a missile deal. Only the beast deals!

    Separately, Reuters reported that the Defense Information Systems Agency, which handles secure communications for Trump, Pence, the Secret Service, and the Joint Chiefs of staff, was compromised. The extent of the breach was unknown. A Pentagon spokesman said affected individuals were offered advice and QUOTE free credit monitoring ENDQUOTE.

    SAM: And now for some Quicker Quickies.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Trump administration overruled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a matter involving hundreds of US citizens hundreds under quarantine in Asia over the deadly new coronavirus. The Washington Post reported that the CDC had wanted to delay the return flights of fourteen cruise ship passengers infected with the coronavirus, for fear they could spread the deadly new disease, COVID-19. However, Trump appointees in Washington, DC, decided CDC experts were wrong. Dotard knows best!

    An update on the mass shooting reported yesterday in Hanau, Germany: it was a neo- Nazi after all. Police said the forty-three year old killer was an extreme right-winger motivated

    by racist hate. In a manifesto circulated online, the terrorist described himself as an incel, called for the genocide of non-whites, and espoused conspiracy theories that cast Donald Trump as a world-conquering savior. This is of course profoundly disturbing.

    Although international attention has moved on, fighting has escalated in Syria this year. One million people have been made into refugees this year alone. And humanitarian groups reported that more than three hundred people, including children, have died since January. The Syrian government is attempting to recapture a breakaway province, Idlib. United Nations officials made new calls for an immediate cease fire in the conflict, which amounts to a proxy war between the US and Russia. What a week it has been.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report!

    #AMQuickie: Feb 21, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Michael Bloomberg spent millions of dollars to have the Democratic candidates for president mock him on live television. But maybe there’s a strategy there.

    Meanwhile, the Trump family promotes an insane conspiracy theory that says the president will put top Democrats in prison. So, a typical weekday, in that respect.

    And lastly, a mass shooting and neo-Nazi terrorism puts Germany on edge. Which, naturally, puts everyone else a little on edge, too.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    The Democrats running for president had another debate last night in Last Vegas. It did not go well for the late entrant, Michael Bloomberg.

    Before the debate, the Wall Street Journal reported that his campaign was paying $2,500 a month to people willing to spam their contacts with praise for Bloomberg. His campaign manager warned that if more candidates don’t drop out, Bernie Sanders would be QUOTE unstoppable ENDQUOTE. The suggestion was not taken kindly. If there was one thing the other candidates agreed on, it was that the billionaire former Republican Mayor of New York City was not welcome onstage -- and could not beat Donald Trump.

    Warren slammed his workplace abuse of women. Bloomberg quickly got flustered. He would not say how many women he had asked to sign non-disclosure agreements over workplace harrassment. But, he said, those who took his money in exchange for their silence did so QUOTE consensually ENDQUOTE. Warren and others pointed out that he could easily give permission for all those women – however many there are – to speak. He declined.

    Taking aim at the front-runner, Bloomberg suggested Sanders was a communist. Sanders called that a cheap shot and, quoting Martin Luther King, said America already has socialism – but only for the rich. Sanders later asked Bloomberg in which tax haven he keeps his home. Joe Biden was a ghostlike presence during the debate, pleading for attention, and keeping his mouth shut at Bloomberg’s command. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar struggled for relevancy, and argued mostly with each other. After Buttigieg repeated how she could not name the president of Mexico despite serving on foreign trade committees, Klobuchar asked QUOTE Are you trying to say I'm dumb? Or are you mocking me? ENDQUOTE.

    As attention focused on Bloomberg and Sanders, those two candidates made the case for why each is the one to beat Trump. Sanders’ pitch was that billionaires like Bloomberg and Trump are too powerful, that workers need a hand in government and in companies, that healthcare is a human right, and that we must end war to save the planet from climate change. Bloomberg’s pitch was that he is an effective manager who will give away his money, and that some women he harrassed QUOTE didn’t like a joke I made ENDQUOTE. Does that mean we can file a class action over this joke of a campaign?

    President Trump had another surprise for the US intelligence community. Their new overseer is a total Trump lackey with no relevant experience, even by the standards of an administration. The White House announced Richard Grenell as the new Director of National Intelligence. Who is Rick Grenell? Exactly!

    Press reports cast him as another loud-mouthed Trump loyalist. Perhaps his principal qualification is that he is one of only nine people in the world with gold member status in the so-called Trump Card loyalty program. That’s not a joke, that’s from the Washington Post. Because Grenell previously obtained Senate confirmation when Trump appointed him to be Ambassador to Germany, his appointment as D.N.I. dodged Congressional scrutiny.

    Before his rally yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump shared a video on Twitter that featured a supporter wearing a Q-Anon shirt. The Q-Anon guy was shown helping a purported World War Two veteran find his seat at the rally. Warming up the crowd, Don Junior also drew attention to the video.

    Bless you if you don’t know Q-Anon. It is an elaborate whackjob online conspiracy theory. Adherents believe a mysterious government insider is feeding them cryptic information about future events. Q is Nostradamus for racist morons, but extra scary and weird. Q says Trump will put a bunch of top Democrats in prison. And this theory has the Trump seal of approval. In another sign of the bottomless derrangement of the Republican Party, former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka had another Fox News personality on his radio show, who laid out the stakes for Republicans as follows: QUOTE It’s Trump, or the end of the world. ENDQUOTE. Correction: If it’s Trump, then it’s the end of the world.

    All is not well in Germany. At least eight people were killed yesterday in shootings at shisha bars in Hanau, a small city near Frankfurt. Police had taken at least one suspect in custody. No motive was given. Terrorism experts suggested organized crime was a possibility. However, the country also been grappling with a surge of neo-Nazi activity. An investigation published yesterday revealed disturbing new details in a recent political assassination in Germany. The new report revealed that the killer of a center-right politician, Walter Lubcke, had a long history in the neo-Nazi underground. The killer was dormant for many years until being reactivated by a new nationalist party known as A.F.D. Lubcke, the politician murdered by the A.F.D. supporter, welcomed refugees to Europe. That made him a target.

    Last week, German federal police arrested tweleve armed neo-Nazis for planning attacks modeled on the mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least one person arrested was a police officer. The group’s plan was reportedly to kick off a civil war.

    In separate but related news, A.F.D. was criticized for giving away copies of a racist coloring book at a public event. The book depicted black people with bones in their hair harrassing white women at a swimming pool, as well as Muslim men waving assault rifles and other obscene stereotypes. A.F.D. said giving away the book to children was QUOTE an organizational mistake ENDQUOTE. Not the first mistake of its kind by German fascists.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    A lawyer for Julian Assange told a British court today that Donald Trump had offered the Wikileaks journalist a presidential pardon – on one condition. Trump wanted Assange to say that Russia had not hacked the Democrats before the 2016 election. The offer allegedly came through former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Assange is fighting extradition to the US. Meanwhile, psychologists told a judge that the continued imprisonment of military whistleblower Chelsea Manning was QUOTE pointless ENDQUOTE.

    Online therapy apps are leaking personal mental health data to Facebook and other sketchy companies. An investigation by Jezebel found that many popular apps are selling out their users more than they know. Advertisers may be using the data, for example, to target teenagers who are feeling insecure, worthless, overwhelmed, or anxious. If only we had an app to explain why this is still legal.

    The famously sweaty Mark Zuckerberg allegedl blow-dies his armpits for half an hour before appearing in public. The revelation comes in a new book by a veteran tech reporter. A

    Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider that if the allegation is true, it was her department’s idea, and that many people seem to sweat through grey cotton shirts. She did not explain why the billionaire could not buy another shirt. Zuck has reason to sweat. Last week, George Soros said he should resign from Facebook. The financier and Democratic donor said Zuckerberg was conspiring with Donald Trump to secure his reelection. Eff that.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report as we break down last night’s debate -- and Bloomberg’s humiliation -- in great detail.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 20, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

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  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Trump rediscovered the presidential pardon on Tuesday, and promptly used it to lift up some real scumbags from the white collar crime rolls of the last few decades. While it’s not a shock coming from him, it could be a troubling sign of things to come if he decides to apply the same standard to himself.

    Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg gets caught in another awkward situation with a black community, overstating his ties with several black-owned businesses in South Carolina who said that the candidate had simply stopped by.

    And lastly, the war in Syria has created a fresh wave of refugees, around 900,000 of who have fled their homes since December as the Syrian government and its Russian allies have waged indiscriminate war on civilian populations in the rebel-held province of Idlib.

    Want a get out of jail free card? Turns out, all you have to do is be a white collar criminal from the past few decades.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    On Tuesday, President Donald Trump pardoned several prominent white collar criminals including the infamous junk bond scammer Michael Milken, former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik, over half a dozen others. He also commuted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s sentence, for good measure.

    If you’re curious, here’s a lightning fast who’s who of all the lucky crooks.

    Mike Milken, a financier who got rich off selling junk bonds -- pardoned.

    Former NYC Police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who also served as the Interior minister for Iraq during the Bush Junior years but later went to jail for tax fraud -- pardoned.

    NFL owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr, who was accused of sexual assault in the 90s and then got wrapped up in a corruption case involving a former governor of Louisiana later in the decade -- pardoned.

    David Safavian, a federal procurement official under Bush Junior, who lied about his ties to lobbyists and obstructed a federal investigation -- pardoned.

    And for good measure, the president issued clemency to six other people, as well as commuting the sentence for Rod Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois, who was impeached and convicted on corruption charges for soliciting bribes for various political favors.

    All in all, a real stunning group of fellas!

    The New York Times notes that it’s possible Trump was swayed by his favorite TV network when making these decisions, as well as a list of influential Republican backers.

    Most of the listed parties have appeared on Fox or tossed their cases around the right wing media machine, and it certainly paid off. Blagojevich was even a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice about a decade ago!

    It also sets a pretty dangerous precedent. If Donald starts to get trigger happy with the pardons, all bets are off.

    Trump has mentioned giving Roger Stone a pass for his crimes already. If the wealthy backers who encouraged him to dish out Tuesday’s pardons have their way, it’s pretty much a free pass to do crimes for as long as Trump’s in power.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and you might have some job opportunities on Pete Buttigieg’s campaign staff, which has now made multiple gaffes with the black community over the support of celebrities and local leaders alike.

    On Tuesday evening, ABC news reported on a pattern of the Buttigieg campaign mis-identifying people of color as quote “supporters,” when they were not, in fact, supporters. Curious!

    The first instance of this came back in November, when the Buttigieg campaign convinced hundreds of black leaders to sign off on its key plan for investing in and empowering black Americans. But when the campaign promoted the plan, it made it sound like those leaders were endorsing the candidate, not the plan itself.

    And the pattern continues: earlier this week, the Buttigieg campaign touted support from comedian Keegan-Michael Key, and then immediately had to walk it back when Key said he only appeared with Buttigieg to support early voting and voter registration, not make an endorsement.

    In possibly the most comical incident, ABC news reported that the Buttigieg campaign was touting that it had quote “proudly partnered” with several local businesses in South Carolina. But when ABC called one of those businesses, Diane’s Kitchen, the owner, Diane Cole, said she quote “didn’t say I had a partnership.” endquote. ABC reports that after taking that quote back to Buttigieg’s team, the campaign frantically emailed Cole to try to get her in line with their language, misspelling her name in one of the emails. Cole wasn’t buying it, saying quote:

    "It sounds like you're saying that I am your business partner. I'm only going to accept that you all stopped in while you were campaigning in South Carolina and I welcomed you all."

    The campaign insists that these events are all misunderstandings, but then again, this is coming from the people who declared victory in Iowa with precisely zero results counted and again made it sound like they’d won New Hampshire when, in fact, they did not.

    Anyway, if stopping somewhere for lunch makes you partners, then I’m about to pursue an exciting new business relationship with a halal cart later today.

    **The dire humanitarian situation in Syria is once again escalating at a dramatic pace. **

    Since December, close to 900,000 people have fled their homes in the country, which has been ripped apart by war for the better part of a decade.

    Many of the new refugees are fleeing from Idlib province, one of the last sections of the country not under control of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad. In recent weeks, Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have been pounding rebel fighters and civilians alike indiscriminately in the province, attempting to finally win the country’s bloody civil war.

    Civilians fleeing this violence have mostly run north, toward the Turkish border, dramatically increasing the refugee crisis there. The Turkish border has been closed since 2015, although the country hosts more than three million Syrians who fled there early in the war.

    Now, hundreds of thousands are huddled in rapidly-expanding camps at the border, many of them sleeping in the open because they lack adequate shelter. Meanwhile, the front line continues to push more civilians toward the Turkish border as Russian and Syrian government bombardment creeps in.

    And the various heads of state involved aren’t making things any easier. The Turkish government has taken a macho posture against Syrian and Russian advancement, ratcheting up tensions in the region. Trump has backed Turkish president Erdogan, calling him a quote “tough guy.”

    And while this all plays out, civilians continue to suffer, according to the Doctors Without Borders mission in Syria, whose leader told Bloomberg that attacks by Syrian government forces have now spread to areas civilians once thought were safe.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The startup tech industry has one of its first major unions! Employees at Kickstarter voted 46-37 in an NLRB election on Tuesday, solidifying their union after 18 months of negotiations with management.

    A new study published in the peer-reviewed Nature Energy warns that extreme weather caused by climate change could spark a devastating financial recession, as markets have not sufficiently accounted for the risk that our ever-heating world faces.

    Bernie Sanders jumped out to a double-digit lead in a national primary poll released by NBC News on Tuesday, solidifying his status as the Democratic frontrunner.

    Indigenous activists in Canada continue to battle to stop a pipeline running over their traditional territory, sparking protests across the country that closed roadways, shut down railroads, and blockaded ports.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie this morning. Catch the full majority report later this afternoon, wherever you find your podcasts.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 19, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Former Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg set his sights on Bernie Sanders’ extremely online fans, using recent Twitter fights as the basis for a new line of attacks on the Democratic frontrunner.

    Meanwhile, John Bolton may have more of a story to tell. In what pretty much amounts to PR for his suppressed book, Bolton warned on Monday that he had far more dirt on the inner workings of the Trump administration.

    And lastly, Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to address climate change. That’s very nice of him and all, but wouldn’t it be great if he also divested his global empire from the fossil fuel industry?

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    They say that Twitter isn’t real life, but sometimes that just isn’t true.

    Unfortunately for pretty much everyone involved, Bernie Sander’s major rivals are doing their level best to drag trivial fights from the internet into the everyday discourse of the campaign trail.

    On Monday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a direct shot at the Sanders campaign, saying that the Democratic frontrunner must respond to the actions of a small minority of his supporters online.

    Let’s be clear here: Bloomberg is literally a Republican pretending to be a Democrat in order to buy the Presidency, and as such has spent most of the past week getting brutally dunked on by pretty much every leftist with access to Google.

    These “attacks,” if we can call them that, are not particularly hard to do: finding a clip of Bloomberg saying something openly racist or overtly fascist is as easy as pulling up YouTube dot com and typing in his name.

    But because the internet is what it is, some self-described Sanders supporters have been, well, less than polite in their critiques.

    Now, Bloomberg is milking that for all it’s worth, releasing an ad on Monday that is literally just screenshots of people being mean to him on Twitter, including Sanders’ press secretary calling him a quote “racist authoritarian.”

    It’s a pity Bloomberg has to put up with this kind of stuff, for the small crime of -- oh yeah, being a racist authoritarian for his entire career.

    Sanders, for his part, has released several statements dissuading supporters of any campaign from bullying or harassment. Anyone who’s been on the internet more than five minutes could tell you that really, there’s not much more he could do there.

    Could this be the dumbest story of the campaign cycle forced into relevancy by fragile egos and the credulous press? Perhaps, but this morning brings a brand new day of stupidity, so we’ll just have to see.

    John Bolton is back in the news, and guess what? His book still hasn’t come out yet. But during a speaking engagement on Monday, he mentioned that when it does, it may have a whole lot more juicy details. Is all of this a scam to sell books? Most likely!

    The Bolton book, if it ever comes to be, will likely contain many of the items that Bolton could have testified about in front of the Senate Impeachment trial, if he had been called as a witness.

    Republicans blocked that, of course, and now Bolton claims that the White House may try to suppress his book as well. The drama builds! It’s sure to be a bestseller now!

    The frustrating thing about all of this grandstanding is that Bolton could have spilled the beans on Trump whenever he wanted. He doesn’t have to wait for his book to come out. He didn’t even have to wait for a subpoena. If he had actionable information that could have affected impeachment, all he had to do was call a press conference and dish.

    But instead, we’ve got a big book launch to deal with, and Bolton saying stuff like the Ukraine-Impeachment secrets are quote “like the sprinkles on the ice cream sundae in terms of what’s in the book.”

    Look, it’s very likely that Bolton has some pretty damaging first-hand information on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and the general operations of his catastrophic administration. But will progressives get much out of it if it’s only released in the fashion that makes John Bolton the most money? Probably not!

    Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, pledged a whopping $10 billion dollars in grants to fight climate change. Sorry, did we say whopping? Considering Bezos has about 120 other billions, he could probably be doing more.

    The money will be given out to scientists, activists and NGOs through a new program called the Bezos Earth fund. Bezos’s announcement was timed, coincidentally, we’re sure, to the release of a new Frontline documentary investigation of his massive empire.

    It’s not the first time Bezos has capitulated to climate activists to reel in some good PR. In September of last year, he signed a new climate pledge one day before a large group of Amazon employees was due to walk out of work over their boss’s inaction on climate change.

    The September pledge committed Amazon to going carbon neutral by 2040. But then, as now, Bezos’s big conservation efforts fall a little flat, when you consider all of the other entanglements his empire has with the oil and natural gas industry.

    The same employees who threatened to walk out in September are calling him on this B.S. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said it appreciated the sentiment, but followed up with a zinger, saying quote “One hand cannot give what the other is taking away… When is Amazon going to stop helping oil and gas companies ravage Earth with more oil and gas wells?” endquote.

    Amazon provides cloud computing services to BP, Shell, and dozens of other major oil and gas companies. Bezos might want to take a look at that!

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    A new proposed law in Washington state would take the drastic step of banning all bottled water production in the state, in response to an uptick in corporate interest in new bottling facilities in the state.

    Lawmakers in Virginia shot down a proposed ban on military-style rifles, one of the most controversial gun violence prevention bills in a state that has become a flashpoint for the second amendment debate in recent weeks.

    Disastrous flooding continues in Mississippi and Tennessee, as public officials warn more rain may be on the way. River levels in some areas are already the highest in more than 30 years, Al Jazeera reported Monday.

    In a last, absurd Bloomberg headline: the candidate’s own campaign staffers leaked an advance copy of his public education plan to a quote “rival campaign” on Monday night, which then subsequently leaked it to the Intercept.

    Bloomberg’s plan, which will be released in full on Tuesday morning, unsurprisingly falls well short of the public education plans proposed by his progressive rivals.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie today! Make sure to tune in to the full Majority Report this afternoon.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 18, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    More than a thousand former Department of Justice officials asked Attorney General William Barr to resign this weekend, amidst public worry that the a-political nature of the justice department was under threat. Gee, what could give people that idea? Oh that’s right -- it was Barr’s personal intervention to shave a few years off Roger Stone’s recommended sentence. Real subtle.

    Meanwhile, the coronavirus continues to spread, as public health officials warn it may have reached a quote “turning point,” after potentially infected passengers disembarked a cruise ship en mass and headed for airports. Not great!

    And lastly, the Trump administration’s proposed new plans for Medicaid could severely harm rural hospitals, as a push for so-called financial transparency will also result in cuts to the federal fund-matching for some of the most impoverished rural hospitals in the country. For all the love Trump claims to have for rural America, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Over one thousand one hundred former Department of Justice officials came to a shocking revelation this weekend: Attorney General William Barr may not be quite on the level.

    In an open letter, hundreds of DOJ Alumni called out Barr’s close ties to Donald Trump and his decision, in particular, to lower the sentencing recommendation for the president’s lackey Roger Stone.

    Federal prosecutors recommended that Stone be found guilty of bstructing congress and witness tampering and sentenced to seven to nine years in prison. Trump, of course, did not agree, tweeting angrily through the whole thing and prompting Barr to swoop in and announce that he would reduce the sentencing recommendation.

    Barr later tried to claim that Trump’s tweets were making it harder to do his job, which some saw as a sign of resistance, despite the fact that his actual actions have been basically whatever the president wants him to do at any given moment.

    After Barr’s interference in the case, all four of the DOJ career prosecutors trying Stone immediately quit. This appears to have been the last straw for many former agency officials.

    The DOJ, of course, is supposed to be an impartial, apolitical entity that carries out the law. But Trump and Barr have quote “openly and repeatedly flouted this fundamental principle,” endquote, according to the former officials, who called Barr’s conduct “outrageous.”

    And it appears current DOJ officials are reaching the same conclusions. Supervisors in many of the DOJ’s satellite locations in major cities are privately reassuring their staff, and others wonder just how far Barr will go to protect the integrity of the greater organization. Our guess: not very far!

    **The coronavirus is only getting worse. **

    But before we go any further, some non-fear-mongering facts: estimates put the virus’s fatality rate at around 3 percent, much less than SARS. So while it’s contagious and can be deadly, it’s not exactly killing everything it touches.

    That said: it sure is getting hard to contain! On Thursday last week, the cruise ship Westerdam made port in Cambodia with the assurance that it was completely disease free.

    The passengers disembarked and went along their way… until one of them, an American woman, was stopped at an airport and tested positive for the disease.

    One infectious disease expert told the New York Times that quote “this could be a turning point” endquote in containing the disease, as the cruise ship’s potentially infected passengers have now spread out all over the world.

    Previously, local and global public health officials had been doing their best to keep the disease mostly contained in China, quarantining and dealing with sporadic, isolated cases as they popped up in other countries. Now, that part is going to be a whole lot harder.

    The Westerdam had more than 600 Americans on board, including the passenger who eventually tested positive for the disease. Officials recommend finding and quarantining every passenger who left the ship, wherever they area, which sounds like a pretty tall order.

    When you consider that the disease is often difficult to detect in early stages of infection, it all adds up to a giant mess.

    **Another day, another draconian cut to the programs that support some of our country’s most vulnerable people. Today, Medicaid’s on the chopping block for the Trump administration. **

    According to NBC News, Trump’s government is in the final stages of proposing a change to Medicaid that could result in massive cuts to overall spending, which would disproportionately affect states who lean on the program the most to cover rural communities.

    The justification for the change is quote “financial transparency.” Essentially, the change makes hospitals and states share more data about what money they’re getting through Medicaid. But in the fine print, it also redefine what qualifies as public funds.

    Medicaid usually helps state, county or city jurisdictions by matching money raised for healthcare through local taxes with federal funding. But under the new rules, critics of the plan say the government could use vague standards to reduce federal payouts to at-risk hospitals.

    The effects of this would be felt -- surprise! -- in rural communities where hospitals and care centers are already on the edge of going under. The American Hospitals Association said as much to the Trump administration, which -- another surprise! -- isn’t budging.

    The damage after all this? An estimated 39 to 47 billion dollar reduction in Medicaid funding nationwide. But hey, who says a government has to help people anyway?

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Joe Biden called for Bernie Sanders to reign in his online supporters, which is particularly funny because like a week ago Biden himself was encouraging his own supporters to get more involved online on his behalf.

    The New York Times published a massive investigation into former NYC mayor and current Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s bribes, for lack of a better word, toward liberal organizations like Emily’s List and the Center for American Progress, which took his money despite his terrible politics.

    The Trump Administration is sending specially-trained Border-patrol SWAT teams to intimidate residents of sanctuary cities like New York, LA, Chicago and others, edging the country ever closer to the fascist dystopia it now promises to become.

    And finally, after an utterly surreal day online, it turns out that Pete Buttigieg’s number one Nigerian twitter fan is a real person, and not a sock-puppet profile created by Buttigieg’s communications advisor Lis Smith. The strange account, which at first glance appeared to be Smith adopting a bizarre alter-ego of a wine-loving Nigerian man, belongs to a real-life Nigerian man. What’re the odds.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 17, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Nevada Democrats want to use a free app from Google to tally results in the caucuses this month. And a new national poll sizes up the presidential field.

    Meanwhile, The attorney general went on television to tell the president to fall in line and stop Tweeting about Justice Department cases. So Donald Trump started Tweeting about football.

    And lastly, scientists are freaked out by record warm temperatures in Antarctica. Whereas in Africa, climate change has brought about a plague of locusts.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Bernie Sanders expanded his national polling lead among Democratic primary voters. A new Morning Consult survey carried out after the New Hampshire primary and published yesterday put Sanders ten percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Joe Biden. The pollsters found Sanders increased his lead by four points, to twenty-nine percent – a bigger boost than any other candidate got after New Hampshire. Biden’s support fell. Michael Bloomberg polled just behind Biden with eighteen percent support. Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar came in last with eleven, ten and three percent respectively. Klobuchar had near-zero support among black voters. Biden appeared on The View and lost his train of thought. Buttigieg made a statement supporting the health insurance industry. Warren unveiled a plan to create a task force to support Asian-Americans. Michael Bloomberg was again asked to explain past racist comments, and audio resurfaced of the billionaire opposing the very concept of the minimum wage.

    Sanders announced another rally in Tacoma, Washington, to take place Monday. He also addressed a controversy around the Culinary workers union in Nevada, the next state to vote. Union leaders had denounced Sanders supporters over online attacks. Yesterday Sanders said some nasty comments might not have come from his actual supporters. He told PBS Newshour, QUOTE Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of my movement. We don't want them ENDQUOTE.

    After the fiaso over the results in Iowa, there were calls for other states to use paper ballots. Nevada Democrats yesterday said they would not use a special app to tally and report caucus

    results, as planned. Instead, they would rely on iPads and the Google Forms website.

    Donald Trump continued what Democrats called his retribution tour yesterday. The Associated Press said Trump’s interference in the criminal justice system showed his QUOTE determination to assert an iron grip on government ENDQUOTE.

    Both Trump and his media surrogates, including Tucker Carlson and Michael Cernovich, attacked a juror in the case of Trump’s adviser Roger Stone case. All four federal prosecutors in that case just resigned over interference by Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr. Yesterday forty federal prosecutors signed a protesting that interference. But on Fox News, Greg Gutfield said Trump absolutely should interfere in justice whenever it suits him. GOP TV is literally arguing that the president can QUOTE do whatever he wants ENDQUOTE.

    Barr appeared on ABC News to tell the president that his loud mouth was making it harder to cover up the Republican’s organized criminal conspiracy. Barr said QUOTE I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases ENDQUOTE. He said Trump’s statements QUOTE make it impossible for me to do my job ENDQUOTE, and insisted he would not take orders from the president.

    Trump sure does love to talk, though. The president told Geraldo Rivera that, contrary to his past statements, he did in fact send his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to Ukraine in order to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. In short, Trump admitted to the charges he was acquited of during his impeachment trial. The good news is, Trump’s admission may also implicate Barr, who helped tip the scales for Trump’s impeachment defense.

    Temperatures in Antarctica reached a record high: more than sixty-eight degrees Farenheit, or nearly twenty-one degrees Celsius. Shorts weather! Brazilian scientists took the measurement earlier this week at Seymour Island, on the northern tip of Antarctic peninsula, just south of Argentina. Last week, scientists also recorded the highest-ever temperature on the Antarctic continent proper. Climatologists told the Guardian that the balmy temperatures were QUOTE incredible and abnormal ENDQUOTE.

    The melting polar ice threatens hundreds of millions of humans living on coastlines. Rising ocean temperatures are changing global weather patterns, which threatens food supplies for billions more people. Climate change was also blamed for a literal plague of locuts this week.

    Swarms of an estimated two hundred billion insects are destroying crops in Southwest Asia and Eastern Africa. And all of these horrors result from the unchecked burning of fossil fuels. SAM: And now for some Quicker Quickies.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Justice Department announced a racketeering case against the Chinese electronics giant Huawei (HOO-AH-WAY). US, British, and German intelligence agencies have expressed concern over Huawei’s espionage and influence over 5G technology. American agencies wish that only they have back-door access to most internet hardware. A sixteen-count indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn charged Huawei and affiliates with conspiracy to steal trade secrets from American companies, and cited dealings with Iran and North Korea, two countries facing US sanctions. It looks like Barr decided to help Trump with his trade war to extract more bribes for Trump’s family from the Chinese government.

    Trump’s planned visit to India later this month sparked protests in both countries. Four US Senators appealed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the ongoing crackdown and suspension of democracy in Kashmir by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. The Senators’ letter urged an end to curfews, communications blackouts, and extrajudicial detentions in the contested Himalayan border state. Meanwhile, in Modi’s home state of Gujarat (GOO-JAH- ROT), at least two thousand five hundred slum residents were set to be evicted or otherwise disrupted by preparations for Trump’s visit. And thousands of people signed a letter protesting the US consul in Mumbai’s recent visit to the headquarters of the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organization inspired by the German Nazi party, which counts Modi as a member.

    An investigation in The Nation magazine put names and numbers on an epidemic of hunger strikes in immigration lockups around the country. More than sixteen hundred people have starved themselves in protest of their treatment over the past fifteen years. One hunger striker featured in the report fled fascist pogroms led by the BJP party in India, which is led by Trump’s ally Modi. The refugee man’s asylum application was denied after he entered the US in December 2018, and he has been in immigration detention ever since. For the past hundred days the man has been on a hunger strike. He has lost fifty pounds. ICE responded to the report with lies about its practices. It is a rogue agency that must be abolished.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 14, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The Democratic presidential candidates are bragging about their labor union support. And nobody is showing off their Wall Street cash -- except Michael Bloomberg.

    Meanwhile, World health officials released more information about a deadly new contagious disease. Governments all over are beginning to curtail travel.

    And lastly, a case of racist policing that shocked even some jaded activists. In Oregon, a police gang squad set up a black man who complained about Confederate flags at work.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    More and more news outlets are calling Bernie Sanders the front-runner in the Democratic Party presidential primaries, after he won the popular vote in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Yesterday, all the other campaigns began to unveil their strategies to overcome Sanders’ early lead.

    The next vote is a caucus that takes place in Nevada on the twenty-second of February. The South Carolina primary follows one week later. And then on March three, Super Tuesday, fourteen states will hold primaries. Sanders announced he would visit Denver this Sunday for a rally. Early voting is underway in Colorado.

    Yesterday, Sanders faced a challenge over the electoral prize of organized labor endorsements. In Nevada, the leadership of a large and influential Culinary union local made a statement criticizing Sanders supporters. Meanwhile, the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers, with more than a quarter-million members nationwide, endorsed Joe Biden. Biden fell farther than anyone in early voting states. Many union locals are expected to endorse Sanders regardless of national leadership.

    After her fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, Warren launched a new fundraising appeal. Also, her campaign reportedly canceled more than half a million dollars in advertising in South Carolina. Those ads were set to begin this week.

    Michael Bloomberg continued to deploy his wealth to compensate for his long record of racist comments. Honestly, it was hard to keep track of how many things the billionaire businessman apologized to minorities for – just yesterday. A protester stormed the stage of Bloomberg’s rally in Tennessee and shouted, QUOTE this is not democracy, this is plutocracy ENDQUOTE.

    Amy Klobuchar benefited from a wave of television coverage that suggested third place is the new first place, and announced a large ad buy in Nevada. And Pete Buttigieg touted an endorsement from an African-American lawmaker in South Carolina.

    The World Health Organization announced a name for the disease caused by the deadly new coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China: it’s called COVID-19.

    Concern over the spread of the flu-like virus grew as the Chinese government escalated efforts to contain the outbreak, which include expansive quarantines. Other governments in Europe and the Americas took new measures that signaled their growing concern. Diagnoses and fatality numbers continued to rise rapidly in China’s Hubei province, and the top Communist Party official there resigned. The Dalai Lama canceled all of his travel engagements. The government of Singapore reported struggling with public mistrust and rumors spreading online. A large global tech conference in Spain was canceled. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control said some of its test kits for the virus do not work.

    A top university public health official from Hong Kong told the press that if COVID-19 spreads unchecked by governments, the disease could reach sixty percent of the human population. Given the reported low-single digit fatality rate of the dease, that is a frightening prospect – especially in countries where the government is barely functioning.

    The story is shocking even by the standards of racist police abuses in America. Police in a suburban jurisdiction coordinated with a major metropolitan gang squad to stalk and set up for charges a black man who’d blown the whistle about racism on his job.

    The case involved the leadershp of the West Linn, Oregon police, as well as officers from the Portland Police Bureau gang squad. As a favor to a fishing buddy, the former West Linn police chief, Terry Timeus, and his personal posse set up a man for arrest who had no connection their overwhelmingly white suburban jurisidction.

    Police secretly recorded their victim at work, coordinated with their counterparts in the city to arrest him without cause, and seized his cash and property without a warrant. Text messages between the officers confirmed their racist intent. But there was more to it.

    The victim, forty-eight-year-old Michael Fesser, was also a whistleblower. Fesser had angered his former boss at a Portland towing company by raising concerns about racist harrassment,

    such as Confederate flags hanging around the workplace. The towing company owner contacted his friend, the suburban police chief -- and soon enough Fesser was being slandered as a gang member, which provided a pretext for investigation.

    The abuses of power took place in 2017 and went to court the following year. They only came to light this week when The Oregonian newspaper published an investigation, based on a six- hundred thousand dollar settlement paid out by the city. Local news, folks! We need it.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Police in Northern Ireland announced charges against four people including a 52-year- old man in the killing last April of a friend of the show, Lyra (LEE-RA) McKee. Lyra was a lively and determined twenty-nine-year-old investigator, writer, and editor who died because she was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time in Derry. A Catholic and out lesbian, she was engaged to be married. Lyra was covering a protest when members of a small I.R.A. splinter group took some potshots at riot police. The killing was denounced by politicians across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Also this week, the pro-unification party Sinn Fein won a plurality of votes in Irish parliamentary elections after running on a left-wing platform.

    Donald Trump went off yesterday on the four federal prosecutors who resigned over interference into the sentencing of Trump’s adviser, Roger Stone. Trump called the prosecutors QUOTE corrupt people ENDQUOTE who owed Stone an apology for treating him QUOTE very badly ENDQUOTE. Trump also congratulated Attorney General Bill Barr for intervening on Stone’s behalf to secure a lighter sentence, and effectively taking over as Trump’s personal lawyer. On Twitter, Trump suggested he might pardon Stone as well as the admitted perjurer and former top military intelligence chief Michael Flynn.

    Amazon chairman and leading global oligarch Jeff Bezos bought a new house. It was the most expensive property in Los Angeles, at one hundred and sixty-five million dollars. And it cost Bezos one eighth of one percent of his total wealth. It’s not even the first residence Bezos has procured this year. Amazon paid zero dollars in federal income taxes in the year before last. This year, after earning more than thirteen billion dollars in profit, Amazon expects to pay -- well, about what Bezos spent on his new L.A. mansion.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 13, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary. Cable news declares him the Democratic front-runner to beat President Donald Trump.

    Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Barr gives himself a promotion. He is now Trump’s daddy.

    And lastly, human rights advocates are shocked as Trump deports Vietnam War refugees. And so the Republican Party’s racist purges continue.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Bernie Sanders is two for two. Even though the cops shut down his big rally with The Strokes, Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary last night. Voter turnout reportedly approached or exceeded 2008 levels. At last count, with more than ninety percent of precincts reporting, Sanders held a narrow lead over Pete Buttigieg -- twenty-six to twenty- four percentage points -- in the Live Free or Die state.

    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interrupted Buttigieg’s election night speech to announce that the network was calling the race for Sanders. In his victory speech, Sanders pledged to carry on the winning streak through Nevada and South Carolina and on to defeat Trump. CNN’s Jake Tapper declared Sanders the front-runner.

    Both Buttigieg and the third-place finisher, Amy Klobuchar, hit similar notes. Both placed themselves between revolution and the status quo. Klobuchar called herself the candidate for QUOTE the people in the middle. ENDQUOTE

    Elizabeth Warren vowed to stay in the race despite her fourth-place finish -- ten percentage points below Klobuchar. Warren thanked her volunteers, her husband, and her dog Bailey. Fifth-place finisher Joe Biden fled New Hampshire early to give an incoherent speech in South Carolina, where he hopes to salvage his campaign. Michael Bloomberg lied about his record in response to the surfacing of more videos in which he promotes racist policing. Andew Yang dropped out of the campaign, as did Michael Bennet, although it’s not clear how many people actually remembered he was still running. Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard, with results in the low single digits, pledged to stay in the race. Why? You’d have to ask them.

    Attorney General Bill Barr gave himself a promotion yesterday: to Emperor. Or, at least, to janitor-in-chief. NBC News reported that Barr put himself in charge of the president’s presonal legal matters. This puts the experienced and well-connected A.G. in a position of great influence over Trump.

    The attorney general was critical in the offical cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal in the ’80s. Now his power is on par with the notorious J. Edgar Hoover. Barr showed his power over Congress last week by helping to get Trump acquited in his impeachment trial. Now Barr has asserted power over Trump’s fate. The president remains under civil and criminal investigation along with many associates, including former adviser Roger Stone.

    Yesterday four federal prosecutors who had been working to put Stone in prison abruptly quit their jobs. All four prosecutors had wanted to put Stone in prison for up to nine years. Reports made clear Barr intervened to secure a lighter sentence for the Republican dirty trickster.

    In their last – and very bizarre -- filing in the Stone case, the departing prosecutors said their previous sentencing request was excessive. Incredibly, the prosecution punted on Stone’s punishment, and left the question to the judge. Asked about the case, Trump said he had an absolute right to interfere in the course of justice.

    Later, Trump interfered once more by attacking the judge in the case on Twitter. The president complained that his associates had been treated worse than the mobster Al Capone.

    Trump also asserted his power to interfere in what are typically independent military affairs. Speaking from the White House, the president demanded the punishment of an impeachment witness, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman. Military experts described the move as a dictatorial abuse of power.

    Human rights groups denounced the Trump administration for deporting thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia. Many have lived in the US for decades.

    Trump’s latest ethnic cleansing campaign targets people from Laos and an ethnic group called the Hmong (MUNG). Many Hmong assisted the US military during the Vietnam War and were re-settled with their families to spare them from retribution by the communists, who won that war.

    One of the four thousand five hundred Asian-Americans targeted for deportation said, QUOTE The reason we left the country is we’re considered the enemy. ENDQUOTE. Other victims of the new Trump policy said they expected to be persecuted, imprisoned or killed and will

    QUOTE not know how to survive ENDQUOTE upon returning to Laos, a sparsely developed tropical country still littered with American bombs and landmines.

    There are nearly fifty thousand Hmong people in Wisconsin, a swing state, and some xi times that many around the country. Most are US citizens. Most could still lose a family member over this.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    For decades, the Central Intelligence Agency secretly controlled a Swiss corporation that sold spy gear to more than one hundred and twenty countries. This was revealed in a blockbuster Washington Post report on Tuesday. The CIA cooperated with former West German intelligence in the cryptographic ruse, which allowed back-door access to intelligence secrets around the world – with the notable exception of Russia and China.

    According to the Post, the Germans were aghast at how eagerly American spies targeted allies. Just think, all those secrets and more now belong to Donald Trump and Bill Barr.

    A widely reported threat attributed to anti-fascists was an utter fabrication, the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed in new court papers.

    The bogus threat in 2017 supposedly targeted a group of pro-Confederate Civil War reenactors in Virginia. But the FBI determined that threatening messges and a pipe bomb cited in the case had in fact been sent by a member of the group, in order to frame Antifa. The original false story appeared in the National Review, among other places. The correction appeared on the website Quartz.

    The former first daughter of Angola had her bank accounts frozen in Portugal after allegedly stealing more than two billion dollars from taxpayers.

    Angola is a former Portugese colony in Southern Africa, and its former ruler appointed his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, to run the state oil company.

    Angolan and Portugese authorities are cooperating on the corruption case. Dos Santos has been seen frequently in the company of celebrities such as the comedian Chris Tucker. The charges she faces are, of course, no laughing matter.

    #AMQuickie: February 12th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    It’s primary day in New Hampshire, where the Democratic candidates go head to head in the first real election of the primary cycle. Frontrunners Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg will both be looking to put the absolute chaos of the Iowa caucuses behind them, and everyone else is fighting to make up ground.

    Meanwhile, Trump also sweeps into New Hampshire for a last-minute rally intended to quote “shake up the Dems a little bit” unquote, making sure that he stakes his claim to a state his team thinks is winnable in the general election.

    And lastly, Trump’s Justice Department sues local governments in three states to persecute local jurisdictions that have “sanctuary laws” that limit their cooperation with federal immigration forces. The move is part of a significant escalation by the Trump administration in its war on immigrant-friendly governments.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    The first Democratic primary is today, and New Hampshire has already started voting. The three small towns, Dixville Notch, Millsfield, and Hart’s Location hold a midnight vote on primary day each year, casting the first possible ballots.

    And when we say small towns, we mean small: so far, Amy Klobuchar is ahead in the New Hampshire primary, with eight votes.

    Sanders and Warren each have four, Biden and Buttigieg each have two. Andrew Yang has three, and Tulsi Gabbard has one. So does Tom Steyer. Good for him. Democracy in action, folks.

    The rest of the state will get their chance to vote as polls open throughout the morning. A surprise Klobuchar win is probably still a long shot -- the midnight polls aren’t seen as indicative as how the election will go overall.

    Instead, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are currently leading the pack. Sanders fired up supporters on Monday night with a raucous campaign rally and concert at the University of New Hampshire featuring the Strokes and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

    Buttigieg, meanwhile, held a rally in nearby Exeter, where Kevin Coster introduced him, made a Field of Dreams joke, and praised Buttigieg’s civility and thoughtfulness.

    The Strokes, meanwhile, launched into their famous anti-police anthem “New York City Cops” as UNH security and police messed with the stage lighting toward the end of their set. Different strokes for different, uh, candidates!

    Stay tuned for live coverage of the primary tonight with the Majority Report crew, who will be up late as New Hampshire makes the first real decision of the election.

    **The Democrats did not have a monopoly on New Hampshire last night. President Trump swept into Manchester on Air Force One on Monday evening for a rally of his own, bringing out all of his big guns, including Pence and Donald Trump Jr. **

    Ivanka, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Steve Scalise, and more of the Trump-Republican rogues’ gallery is expected to campaign for him across the state.

    On Monday, however, it was one big episode of the Trump show. The president boasted about his crowd numbers, inspired a “lock her up” chant directed at Nancy Pelosi, roasted the Democrats for hopelessly bungling Iowa, and crowed over his recent acquittal by the Senate.

    The Iowa caucuses were a particular pressure point, as Trump attempted to further divide the competitors by pandering to Sanders’s supporters who resent the Democrats’ process in Iowa. Referencing the 2016 primaries, Trump said quote “They are doing it do you again, Bernie, they are doing it to you again.”

    The show of force distracts from the Democratic primary, but was also openly aimed at giving Trump a boost in the general. Hillary Clinton carried New Hampshire by just a few thousand votes in 2016, and the Trump campaign thinks they can compete in the state in 2020.

    Trump, for his part, again referenced the conspiracy theory that he lost New Hampshire in 2016 because of busloads of illegal voters coming in from Massachusetts. There is absolutely no evidence for this theory but hey, if it works it works!

    Trump’s Justice Department sued local and state governments in California, New Jersey and Washington State on Monday over their sanctuary laws, which attempt to protect undocumented immigrants from federal deportation agencies like ICE.

    Sanctuary laws like the ones in California and New Jersey often limit the information, such as immigration status, that local authorities like cops and district attorneys can share with federal agencies. T

    hese laws allow undocumented immigrants to live with slightly less risk of being arbitrarily deported for minor legal infractions.

    Attorney General William Barr has been seeking to strike down sanctuary laws for months, but so far his efforts have been thwarted by various state court systems. Barr’s argument, generally, is that sanctuary laws obstruct the federal government’s ability to enforce its immigration laws. A federal judge in California dismissed this argument the last time it came up, saying that sanctuary laws were quote “permissible exercises of California’s sovereign power.” endquote.

    Barr’s end goal appears to be pushing one of his cases against a state or local government into the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority at the moment.

    In the mean time, though, he’s happy to add to the general chaos and misery of the U.S. immigration system, most recently threatening to end the “global entry” program for frequent travelers from New York State, which has also enacted sanctuary laws.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    If you’re a virgin in Virginia, we have good news: sex may not longer be illegal soon. The Virginia House of Commons passed a law on Monday that repeals a centuries-old statute that criminalized sex between two unmarried people. If it passes the Virginia Senate, well, love may no longer be a crime.

    The coronavirus has taken such a toll on Mainland China that the country’s massive economy is starting to take a hit, as workers are stranded away from their jobs and factories sit silent.

    Prosecutors recommended that President Trump’s former confidant Roger Stone get nine years in prison for lying to Congress and threatening a witness to prevent investigators from looking into the Trump campaign’s use of stolen Democratic documents.

    A new bill set to be introduced to Congress on Tuesday would make companies responsible for the plastic waste they create, not consumers. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act probably won’t get far in the current Congress, but it’s a bold ideological step that signals to environmental groups that at least some Democrats are trying to make a change.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 11th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    President Donald Trump lashed out at public servants Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland, who testified during the House impeachment trial, firing both men from their positions in his administration.

    Meanwhile, Ireland’s leftist Sinn Fein party won big in the country’s national elections this weekend according to preliminary results, giving the progressive left a real voice in Irish politics for the first time in decades.

    And lastly, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg trade jabs while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, as the gap between them narrows in polls and the primary looms just one day away.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    President Donald Trump has never seen a high road he wanted to take. On Friday, the president lashed out at two public servants who were subpoenaed during the course of his impeachment trial, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland.

    Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, was fired from his position on Friday. Vindman was also fired from his place at the National Security Council and was escorted from the White House by Security.

    To add a further level of insult, Vindman’s twin brother Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, was also fired from the NSC. Ironically, he was an ethics lawyer there!

    The firings are plain, open revenge for perceived slights during the president’s impeachment trial.

    Sondland testified under oath that he did think there was quid pro quo involved in the President’s dealings with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and Vindman testified that Trump’s infamous phone call was quote “improper.” This did not go over well with the president.

    According to the New York Times, some Republicans stuck up for Sondland, personally asking the President not to fire him because it would look bad, and because Sondland was on his way out anyway. The President, of course, did not take that route.

    Why would those senators stick their necks out for Sondland, you may ask? Well, the former Ambassador to the E.U. is a wealthy businessman in his own right with a long history of political donations, largely to Republican candidates and causes. Sondland personally donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration shortly before receiving the Ambassador post.

    Republican Senators did not try to rescue the Vindman brothers, who are career military servicemembers and public servants, not independently wealthy political donors. Funny how that works.

    **In an historic election, Ireland’s leftist Sinn Fein party made massive gains this weekend, breaking up the right-wing dominated Irish parliament for the first time in almost a century. **

    Sinn Fein, which today functions as a center-left or leftist party in Ireland’s political system, was for years linked to the Irish Republican Army, which allowed its right-wing opponents to largely ostracize it from electoral power for decades.

    But on Saturday, Irish voters decided to take a chance of Sinn Fein’s modern democratic socialist policies, handing the party an expected 37 seats in Parliament. Sinn Fein campaigned heavily against Ireland’s high rent prices and corporate kickbacks and tax breaks, positioning itself as the party most in touch with Ireland’s working class. Sound familiar?

    For years, control of Ireland’s politics have been passing back and forth between two center-right parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

    Fine Gael is currently in power, but both center-right parties now face a choice of whether to form a coalition government with their rivals or with the left-wing Sinn Fein, giving progressives more leverage in Ireland than they’ve had in years.

    Full results in the election are expected Monday or Tuesday, but it certainly appears Ireland’s left has new life.

    **Here we go again folks: the last day before a major Democratic primary contest. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders traded jabs on the campaign trail in New Hampshire over the weekend, as the two prepare to go head to head in the state’s primary on Tuesday. **

    Buttigieg has surged since his sort-of-not-really victory in Iowa, but Bernie retains a lead in most polls. Buttigieg pivoted hard to, for lack of a better word, fiscal conservatism, hammering Bernie on the same arguments around the price of Medicare for all, saying that voters quote “deserve somebody who can actually deliver math that adds up.”

    Bernie shot right back, pointing out that Buttigieg has taken money from over 40 billionaires and seems intimately comfortable with the political establishment’s financial backers.

    Bernie’s communication’s director Mike Casca told NBC News that Buttigieg’s calls for lowering the national debt were quote “a blatant effort to appease his billionaire donors,” endquote, and claiming that Pete was quote ”parroting the same corporate talking points to justify cuts to Social Security and Medicare that have been used for decades.”

    Buttigieg and Sanders are by far and away the two frontrunners in New Hampshire, but Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Amy Klobuchar will also be in the hunt for a strong finish to bolster their flagging campaigns after poor showings in Iowa.

    All the candidates have events planned across the state for Monday, so be on the lookout for more snipes and jabs flying in between contenders as everyone looks to head into Tuesday with some power.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Trump administration is due to release its 2021 budget request on Monday -- and it’s a far cry from the lofty promises he made in 2016. Hey, remember when Mexico was supposed to pay for his wall?

    Bong Joon Ho’s story of capitalism, class, and social conflict, Parasite, won best picture at the 2020 Academy Awards last night. The director, who has been explicit in his critiques of Hollywood and the ruling classes, also took home awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Language Film.

    Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, which is supposed to ferry humans into space and the ISS for decades to come, is still in dire straights, as a NASA probe found numerous inconsistencies and problems at fault for a dangerously-near miss during a test flight in December, which almost resulted in losing the craft.

    Renowned Malian musician Ballake Sissoko claims that U.S. customs officials broke his kora, a traditional African instrument that resembles a harp. When Sissoko arrived in Paris after a stint in the U.S., he found his instrument in pieces, accompanied by a note from customs saying the case had been inspected.

    And lastly, the Coronavirus hits a devastating new milestone: it has officially killed more people than the SARS virus outbreak in 2002. The Coronavirus is now responsible for at least 908 deaths.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 10, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Democratic Party officials keep sending mixed messages about the Iowa caucus results. Can we please speak to the manager

    Meanwhile, the FBI promises to crack down on white supremacist terrorism. It’s probably better if nobody tells the president.

    And lastly, Donald Trump wants to kick three million Americans off of food stamps. Charities say they won’t have enough food for the hungry.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Many news organizations rely on the Associated Press to make the call on elections. So, many were flustered when the AP finally declared that the winner of Monday’s Iowa Caucuses will forever be a matter of opinion. The AP said it was QUOTE unable to declare a winner ENDQUOTE. Not unwilling -- un-able.

    After that announcement yesterday, the Iowa Democratic Party delivered yet another set of final results – these showing Pete Buttigieg with a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders. Thursday morning, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez declared that he wanted to see a re-canvass in Iowa. Not everyone was sure what that meant. Iowa Democrats complained Perez failed to give them a heads-up. It’s unclear who is calling the shots.

    The campaign manager for Bernie Sanders said a re-canvass was not necessary – especially since the initial tallies had not yet been fullly completed. Pete Buttigieg, who was quick to claim victory this week, was also proclaimed the winner last night by CNN during a town hall interview with the candidate.

    Although the outcome in Iowa was muddled by some measure of shenanigans, corruption and incompetence, the consequences came quickly. The Andrew Yang campaign laid off dozens of staffers. Amy Klobuchar claimed to have come in second place though no figures backed her up. The Intercept caught Mike Bloomberg his policy proposals. Politico reported that several women of color resigned from Elizabeth Warren's Nevada campaign after feeling tokenized. The Washington Post proclaimed Joe Biden himself to be the problem with his

    campaign, as Senate Republicans moved forward with an investigation into the finances of Biden's son Hunter.

    So, a less than stellar week for democracy. A worse week for Bidens.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it is finally getting serious about violent racist gangs – serious, that is, about stopping them. In the Trump era the country has suffered waves of mass shootings fueled by hate -- and even targeted killings by neo-Nazi groups.

    Yesterday FBI director Christopher Wray told Congressional leaders that racially motivated domestic terrorists are a QUOTE national threat priority ENDQUOTE. This designation, Wray said, puts far-right violent extremists on par with Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS, when it comes the bureau’s priorities.

    Wray announced the policy shift in response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee. As of November the FBI said it made one hundred and seven domestic terrorism arrests last year – and several big busts have happened since then, as well.

    Hate group experts attributed the bureau’s sudden interest in far-right white supremacist groups in to the discovery that some of those groups in the United States had foreign support -- for instance, from fascists in Russia and Ukraine. Some experts cautiously embraced the FBI’s stronger stance, but caution about the agency’s specific plans and warned of mission creep. After all, the feds still report to Donald Trump.

    Three million people, including children, could risk hunger and malnourishment in the United States if the Trump administration gets its way with food stamps. That was the message to Congress yesterday in hearings over proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

    Trump's rule change would push people off of SNAP benefits by demanding that states include assets like a car or a house in determining eligibility. Struggling families could be forced to choose between food and shelter.

    Another seven hundred thousand people are expected to lose benefits in April when another Trump rule change takes effect. But Congress has some say.

    The chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy spoke out against the cuts. That’s Raja Krishnamoorthi (RA-JAW KRISH-NA-MOOR-TEE), a Democrat from Illinois. The issue is personal for Krishnamoorthi. He was born in New Delhi and came to America as an infant. His family struggled at first, but thrived thanks to government assistance.

    Hunger relief groups say that Trump's SNAP cuts would require private food banks around the country to serve an additional one billion meals per year. As NBC News reports, the food banks expect this would be impossible.

    Consider this Trump's gift to America upon his impeachment victory.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Two men were shot by ICE agents in New York yesterday morning. Both victimes were unarmed, and one man was hit in the face. The immigration agents were trying to arrest one man when his brother tried to intervene. Some of the incident was captured on video. The Daily News news says agents first used their Tasers and then fired their guns.

    Immigrants rights activists surrounded a hospital where the men were being treated as ICE agents lurked outside. The activists said they feared the agency would try to deport witnesses to the shooting.

    Iraq announced it would be strengthening military ties with Russia. The news comes after the Iraqi government asked the US military to pack up and leave after seventeen years of war and occupation. Recent Iranian strikes in Iraq no doubt sped up this decision – and Iraqi leaders made clear that they blamed Donald Trump’s aggression for those Iranian attacks on US positions in their country.

    A key Iraqi general praised Russia’s help in fighting ISIS and said Iraq intends to not only procure more weapons from Russia, but coordinate more closely on operational matters. If not the end of the Iraq war, it is certainly marks the total failure of US foreign policy.

    With several cities already under total curfew, the Chinese government is setting up QUOTE quarantine camps ENDQUOTE to deal with Wuhan coronavirus.

    World health officials have praised China’s swift and drastic public health measures, at least up to this point. But many American and European officials called China’s response authoritarian.

    Either way, the news has enflamed anti-Asian racism around the country.

    In San Francisco, merchants report a fifty percent drop in foot traffic since local news started covering the virus. News reports blame false rumors spread online and through messaging apps. I blame Mark Zuckerberg.

    #AMQuickie: February 7th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Bernie Sanders leads the total vote in the latest results from Iowa.

    Meanwhile, Trump threatens to rule for eternity after the Senate votes to acquit.

    And finally, the US violates international law by sending reufgees to their deaths.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Last night the Iowa Democratic Party released what it said were the final, corrected results of the caucuses that took place on Monday. But within minutes of those results hiting the internet, people continued to catch reporting errors in various precincts. So, five days after the first big contest in 2020 presidential primary, there is no agreement as to the winner. And there is no good explanation of why the process was handled so poorly this year.

    If nothing else, it is clear the campaigns were wise to keep their own sets of numbers during the caucuses. The latest official results showed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders winning the total vote across ninety-two percent of precincts where results were QUOTE quality controlled ENDQUOTE by party officials. However, the results also showed former McKinsey consultant Pete Buttigieg ahead of Sanders in terms of delegates. Which measure is more important? It depends who you ask. The Des Moines Register called Buttigieg the winner last night, although he reportedly received at least twelve hundred fewer votes than Sanders, who got some forty-two thousand votes -- at last count, anyway.

    Reporters from around the country pressed for answers on the debacle. Who made the buggy smartphone app that was used to report results? Why was that company selected? And who decided the primaries needed to go digital in the first place? What we do know: the tech was sold to state parties by a small new company called Shadow Incorporated. The name just screams transparency. Shadow received investment from a non-profit corporation called Acronym, which is also new and obscure. Acronym was founded in 2017 by a young Democratic operative and former journalist named Tara McGowan, whose is married to a strategic adviser to the Buttigieg campaign. Acronym employed big-hitter board members including former Obama adviser turned Silicon Valley executive David Plouffe.

    The news site ProPublica obtained a copy of Shadow’s elections app and submitted it to independent experts for security testing. Their verdict? QUOTE total amateur hour ENDQUOTE. Experts said the app remains vulnerable to hackers, who could change results. But as of yesterday some states that have yet to hold primaries still planned to use the app.

    No one has yet explained why a company with multiple conflicts of interests was chosen to supply such a critical product. Nor is it clear why an unproven elections app was thought to be somehow better than pencils and paper, which tend not to have so many glitches.

    As expected, the US Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump yesterday, bringing his impeachment trial to a sad and pitiful conclusion.

    The Democrats managed to bring a few unreliable Senators into line, and voted unanimously to convict Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But this meant there were no more than forty-eight of sixty-seven votes needed to secure Trump’s conviction and removal. The president stood accused of abusing his office by pressuring the leader of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

    Among Republicans, only Utah Senator Mitt Romney broke ranks and voted with Democrats to convict. Democratic House impeachment manager Adam Schiff and others praised Romney for becoming the first senator in history to vote against his own party in an impeachment trial. However, critics noted that Romney timed his announcement in such a way as to give cover to other wavering Republicans, who all ultimately sided with the president. Former Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said in The New York Times that some Republicans admitted privately they they sided with Trump out of QUOTE fear UNQUOTE.

    And so Trump stays in office at the cost of his party’s legitimacy. A number of Constitutional law experts accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of violating his oath of office by proclaiming the outcome before the trial began -- and then arranging for evidence and witnesses to be supressed. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts also implicated himself in creating a farce by supporting McConnell. As the trial closed, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren accused Roberts of undermining the authority of the court.

    President Trump celebrated by sharing one of his favorite memes on Twitter: a fake Time magazine cover that shows him getting reelected every four years from 2024 through eternity. The presidency is of course limited to two terms. And, given the state of Trump’s body and brain -- to say nothing of the long trail of civil and criminal cases behind him – the president is still running on borrowed time.

    A new report from Human Rights Watch says more than two hundred people deported to El Salvador by the United States were seriously abused or even killed.

    The group’s investigation covered the period from 2013 to 2019, when asylum applications from the country increased more than one thousand percent, to more than sixty thousand last year. International law clearly forbids any country from returning an asylum-seeker to a place where they could be persecuted, tortured, or killed.

    But the US did just that. Human Rights Watch found one-hundred thirty-eight people were killed after being returned to El Salvador. Another seventy asylum-seekers forced to return there were beaten, sexually assaulted, extorted or tortured.

    The victims of the illegal US deportation policy included Salvadoran military service members targeted by criminal gangs and single mothers with infants who were fleeing domestic abuse.

    A co-author of the report singled out the Trump administration for attempting to effectively end asylum in the US. She also said that while Salvadorans were the focus of the report, because so many are seeking refuge from a dangerous situation, people from many other countries will also suffer as a result of Trump’s unlawful immigration policy.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Once upon a time – five years ago -- ExxonMobil was the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. But since then, the oil giant’s market value has fallen by one hundred and eighty-four billion dollars – more than forty percent of its peak value. The company posted QUOTE dreadful ENDQUOTE results on Tuesday and its stock took a big dive.

    CNN suggested the oil industry’s QUOTE public relations issue ENDQUOTE was an important factor. It turns out that pictures of massive wildfires and melting glaciers are not good for business. Poor Exxon. Should we send a card?

    Surprise! It’s good news. New York regulators banned broker fees for renters in the city yesterday.

    Such fees reportedly amounted to fifteen percent of the cost of housing for many tenants. The new order from the New York Department of State requires landlords to pay broker’s fees, not tenants. The rule change resulted from a rent reform law passed in Albany last year.

    Several sources confirmed the rent remains too damn high, though.

    The actor Kirk Douglas died yesterday at age one-hundred and three. Douglas was best known for his leading role in Spartacus, the story of a slave revolt under the Roman empire.

    Douglas won three Academy Awards as well as an Oscar for lifetime achievement. His parents were working-class Jewish immigrants from Belarus. Douglas served in the US Navy in World War II and was injured onboard a submarine in the Pacific theater. After he became a star, Douglas risked his career and future to help end the anti-communist Hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy era, by supporting blacklisted writers like Dalton Trumbo.

    In short, a mensch.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 6th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    President Trump delivers his third State of the Union Address, to raucous cheers of “four more years,” from Republicans, and awards Rush Limbaugh a presidential medal of freedom in the middle. Nancy Pelosi resists, bravely, by dramatically ripping a copy of his speech from the dias. That’ll show him.

    Meanwhile, the Iowa caucus results still aren’t in! After an utterly ridiculous night of technical failures and party incompetence, the Iowa Democratic party has managed to collect counts from 71 percent of the precincts. Thus far, Bernie Sanders is ahead in the popular vote, with Pete Buttigieg holding a slight lead in delegates. Clearly, it’s a great system.

    And lastly, the Senate will vote today to acquit Donald Trump and end the months long impeachment process and trial. It was never in doubt what would happen, but here we are, at the end at last.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    President Trump delivered his third, and hopefully final State of the Union address in front of Congress this evening, focusing on the alleged results of his so-called “Great American Comeback.”

    In Trumpworld, see, everything is fine and dandy. The economy is strong. The military is strong. Healthcare is strong. Jobs are strong. You get the picture.

    It was as honest a preview of his general pitch to America in 2020 as we’re going to get, so expect to see these themes again and again before November.

    It all came with a surreal dose of spin: early in the speech, Trump bragged that quote “7 million Americans have come off food stamps.” He did not mention that many of those people aren’t on food stamps anymore because his administration kicked them off as it made cuts the program three separate times.

    The saga of lunacy continued. Trump is usually subdued during the State of the Union: it’s one of the very few events in the year where he stays on script. But that didn’t stop him from throwing in a few more ridiculous moments along the way, like when he announced that career racist Rush Limbaugh would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    As Trump finished his speech, Nancy Pelosi delivered another picture-perfect meme-moment, dramatically ripping a copy of the speech in half, capping off a night of empty words with an utterly empty gesture. But at least it’ll make a great reaction GIF!

    Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, Al Green, and three other members of the House skipped the speech entirely, deciding their time was better spent doing pretty much anything else.

    Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar did not return from the campaign trail.

    Sanders responded directly to Trump’s address in a 20-minute livestreamed speech from New Hampshire, joining the two official Democratic rebuttals delivered by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Rep. Veronica Escobar.

    **We are now entering the second day of counting up delegates in the Iowa Caucuses, and still, as of Tuesday night, we do not have a winner. **

    The absolute chaos on Monday spilled over into Tuesday, as the Iowa Democratic Party slowly attempted to make amends for their utter failure on caucus night.

    We did, eventually, get some numbers: with 71 percent of precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg has a slim lead in the total delegates count, almost 27 percent of them.

    Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has 25 percent of delegates but is actually leading in the statewide popular vote.

    There are still a lot more votes to count, of course. It’s entirely possible that Sanders pulls ahead in the delegate count and holds the popular vote. Either way the night seems to be a relative win for both him and Buttigieg, who has wasted no time in seizing his moment in the spotlight.

    Sanders and the other Senators running will be back in Washington today for the Impeachment vote, but then it’s all going to be New Hampshire for the next week or so. The New Hampshire primaries are next Tuesday, February 11 -- and yes, they use a normal direct voting system.

    If for some reason you’re a freak for the chaos of caucuses, you’ll have to wait until Nevada on the 22nd. The only saving grace there is that Nevada finally agreed not to use the faulty app that brought all of Iowa to a screaming halt.

    **The Senate will take its final vote in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial today, acquitting the president of all charges levied against him by House Democrats, who impeached him 49 days ago. **

    It’s a foregone conclusion that the president will be acquitted. The only variables now are how exactly the vote goes down, and how both political parties decide to spin the results.

    Joe Manchin, the beleaguered West Virginia Democrat, called for a motion to censure the president rather than impeach him, a move that would be utterly useless and probably impossible, as it would depend on Mitch McConnell allowing the vote. He won’t.

    Manchin says he’s still “undecided” on whether or not to convict the president, so he’s probably looking for a way to appease his party and not piss off his Trump-friendly constituents at the same time.

    Manchin is a perfect example of how the impeachment trial has become a political farce for both sides. While Trump can and should be convicted of his crimes, the Republican hold over the Senate means actually removing him from power was never really in question.

    Still, it’s given Republicans like Mitt Romney and Democrats like Manchin alike a chance to do performative centrism on a national stage.

    Thankfully, it’ll all be over tomorrow. Not with a result that’s just, of course -- that’s not the country we live in right now. The vote is expected to happen around 4 p.m., as long as it’s not running on what we’ll now call an Iowa schedule.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    An ethics watchdog filed a complaint against Jared Kushner, alleging that the president’s son in law had violated the Hatch Act by advocating for Trump’s campaign during an official government appearance on CNN last week.

    The Safari Club International, a trophy hunting organization, is auctioning off a four-day trip to Alaska to hunt black-tailed deer with Donald Trump Jr.

    A ProPublica investigation found that multiple publicly elected jailers in Kentucky have been making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling e-cigarettes to a literal captive audience of inmates in their custody.

    A new bill introduced by Republican lawmakers in Michigan would force doctors to inform their patients of risky, unproven “abortion reversal” treatments that medical researchers say could cause serious damage.

    Climate change may be increasing gender-based violence, according to a new major report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which suggests that increases in environmental hardship, scarcity, and stress disproportionately affect women and girls.

    #AMQuickie: Feb 5, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The Iowa caucuses devolved into absolute chaos on Monday night, as technical problems completely derailed the process and stopped Democratic officials from announcing ANY official results.

    Meanwhile, Republican hacks online did their level best to sabotage the Caucuses even further, spreading disinformation on Twitter and furthering conspiracies that the process was rigged.

    And lastly, Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union tonight, amidst the final gasp of his impeachment trial.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Oh Iowa. Iowa Iowa Iowa. The Caucuses are never easy, largely because they’re an incredibly stupid and flawed way of doing politics, but last night was a real one for the ages.

    As of Tuesday morning, there is no official data on who won or lost the Iowa caucuses, because the party was simply unable to gather and verify it. This was, as they say, their ONE JOB for the night.

    The Iowa Democratic Party claimed that the hold-up was due to “reporting issues,” and “user error,” but campaign representatives and local caucus leaders all report that the party’s specifically designed smartphone app malfunctioned.

    Attempts to report data by other means, such as calling in or even physically driving caucus data to party headquarters were often unsuccessful.

    The app was developed by a tech company called SHADOW, which is a subsidiary of the Democratic non-profit digital advertising group ACRONYM, which also runs a Super PAC called PACRONYM. [[LINE ABOUT DAVID PLOUFF, SAM NOT SURE IF YOU WANT TO HIT HIM ON THAT]].

    Regardless, according to the Huffington Post, Iowa Democrats paid the tech guys at SHADOW 60,000 dollars for web services in late 2019, and definitely didn’t get their money’s worth.

    To make matters even worse, Nevada also plans to use the app for its similarly chaotic caucuses later this month. Disclosures also show the firm was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for software rights and subscriptions.

    In the absence of official data, chaos reigned. Without any conclusive official or unofficial numbers, Buttigieg VERY publicly declared himself the winner of the caucuses, saying quote “by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.”

    The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, was far more thorough. After midnight, with the official numbers still in the wind, the campaign released unofficial results from nearly 40 percent of precincts in the state.

    Those numbers showed Sanders ahead, with almost 29 percent support. Buttigieg, meanwhile, came second, with about 26 percent, and Elizabeth Warren came third, with about 18 percent.

    The real story of the Sanders numbers, if they are even close to accurate, is that Joe Biden may have gotten absolutely thrashed. The former VP clocked in at only 15 percent by Team Sanders’s estimates, a devastating fourth-place finish in a state he was supposed to be competitive in.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have much more than that. The IDP says it will be releasing official numbers sometime today, but who knows how long it’ll take to gather that. We’ll pick this one back up in the Majority Report this afternoon.

    STORY TWO

    While all of this caucus mess was going on, Republican hacks on Twitter did their level best to muddy the waters even further.

    Immediately after the Iowa Democratic Party announced that the official results were delayed for quote “quality control” reasons, Republican Twitter sprang into action. Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted quote “quality control = rigged?” citing no evidence for the claim.

    The right wing outlet Judicial Watch, most famous for its bodybuilding founder’s thirst traps on Twitter, jumped into the mix with a debunked report that Iowa was engaging in Republicans’ favorite boogie man, voter fraud.

    Turning Point USA founder and noted diaper-wearer Charlie Kirk amplified Judicial Watch’s false claim.

    But Twitter itself found no issue with these tweets. A spokesperson for the company told the Washington Post that cries of “rigged” were quote “not in violation of our election integrity policy” endquote, because it believed that they did not directly suppress voters.

    YouTube, meanwhile, announced on Monday that it would directly remove misleading or false content related to the election. But clearly, that step is just a bit too far for Twitter to take.

    STORY THREE

    While the Democrats still obsess over Iowa and the ongoing Impeachment Trial, Trump will deliver his second State of the Union Address, usually one of the few events a year where he tries on a mask that almost looks like a somewhat normal politician.

    There’s no doubt that Trump’s address will emphasize some of the callous and inhumane policies his administration has pushed, but in past major speeches to Congress the president has managed to keep outright lunacy at bay.

    The New York Times reports that the theme of Trump’s speech is The Great American Comeback, and will focus on health care access, prescription drug costs, immigration policy, and national security, as well as a quote “so-called blue collar boom.”

    This isn’t really out of the ordinary -- the guy is clearly just pandering to his base. What is slightly more surprising is that the Times reports Trump will not go buck wild on his impeachment trial.

    The trial will cast a bit of a pallor over the speech, as an acquittal vote isn’t expected until Wednesday.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    SAM: Rush Limbaugh, the racist reactionary who has been a generational voice in conservative talk radio since 1988, announced on Monday that he has advanced lung cancer. He did not volunteer his prognosis, but he did question the link between smoking and cancer in 2015.

    Amidst a tumultuous, agency-wide overhaul of its healthcare system, Secretary of Veterans affairs Robert Wilkie fired one of his key deputies, James Byrne, citing a quote “lack of confidence” in the deputy’s abilities.

    A new bill proposed in Missouri could fine or imprison public library employees if they expose children to quote “age-inappropriate sexual material” endquote, in an attempt to stop LGBTQ-friendly activites like Drag Queen Story Hour.

    The popular game company Cards Against Humanity purchased satire website Clickhole from the private equity clutches of G/O media in an all cash deal. The game company announced that with their financial backing, the site’s employees will become majority owners of the property with the freedom to quote “do their thing.”

    #AMQuickie: Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    It’s Caucus day in Iowa! The first real contest of the 2020 primary election kicks off tonight across the state, where Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are tied at the top of the polls with Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren trailing behind.

    Meanwhile, the Trump regime has expanded its racist travel ban to six new countries with substantial Muslim populations.

    And lastly, the Senate’s impeachment trial continues today with both sides’ closing arguments, ahead of a planned vote to acquit or convict the president on Wednesday.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    After months of campaigning, we’re finally here: primary season. The Iowa caucuses are the first sort-of election for the Democratic candidates, and could give a major momentum boost to whoever comes out on top.

    Here’s where we stand.

    In the latest CBS News poll, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are tied neck and neck with 25 percent support. Pete Buttigieg comes in third, with 21 percent support, and Elizabeth Warren trails at 16 percent.

    All four of these candidates are positioned to win at least some delegates that will decide the eventual election.

    The unique nature of the Iowa Caucuses mean that who “wins” tonight is completely up in the air, as caucus-goes are free to switch their support from one candidate to another.

    The caucuses are expected to go late, so if you’re hoping for a quick and tidy victory, you’re likely to be disappointed. If you want to be up most of the night watching Iowans mill around while cable news shows churn through panelists at a record pace, you’re in luck!

    The key for Bernie Sanders, the progressive vote’s best shot at carrying Iowa, is all about turnout. The more voters make it to the caucuses, the more things look like they’re going Bernie’s way.

    Reports from the ground suggest that Sanders supporters are fired up, aiming to get as many new voters to the caucuses as possible and hitting the ground game hard. We’ll start to see how that pays off tonight. The caucuses begin at 7 p.m. in Iowa, 8 p.m. Eastern.

    **The Trump administration drastically expanded its fascist, racist travel ban this weekend, severely restricting immigration from six new countries in Africa and Asia. **

    The new ban levies varying degrees of restrictions on immigrants from Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan [KUR-gih-STAN], and will go in effect on February 22.

    In most cases, it blocks immigrant visas, the primary way U.S. citizens and residents bring family members from overseas to the country.

    The ban is uniquely cruel to many residents of these countries: Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, for example, are fleeing genocide in their home country.

    And Nigeria, for instance, is Africa’s most populous country and its biggest economy. In 2018, nearly 8,000 Nigerians got immigrant visas to come to the U.S. Those visas will be denied under the new ban.

    The White House claims the affected countries didn’t comply with America’s quote “identity management practices,” but the real reason is plain at this point.

    Those affected are often vulnerable people in vulnerable countries, and guess what? Many of them happen to be Muslim. Funny how that works out.

    **The Impeachment trial continues, surviving the weekend thanks to a hastily-called recess on Friday, but for the most party all of the action is over. **

    Democrats failed to find the bare minimum of four non-cowardly Republicans to vote in favor of allowing witnesses at the trial, and now the path is clear for Trump to get off scot free for the whole dang thing.

    The Senate will hear closing arguments from the House Impeachment managers and Trump’s legal defense team this week, but is currently set to vote on Wednesday for either a conviction of acquittal... Sorry. I think we can just say acquittal at this point -- there’s no way they vote to convict.

    The Republican defense has coalesced around one stupid, cowardly argument. What Trump did was bad, they say, but not worthy of impeachment. And that’s about it for that.

    The one bright spot is that the Wednesday vote is too late for an acquittal before Trump delivers the State of the Union on Tuesday.

    White House officials were clearly hoping Trump would be able to waltz into the House of Representatives after his acquittal to shove it in Nancy Pelosi’s face, but instead he’ll have to give his speech while technically still on trial.

    In his juvenile, status-obsessed brain, that’s gotta count for something, even though its real-world impact is basically zilch.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Iowa Senator Joni Ernst warned Bloomberg News that if Joe Biden is elected President, Republicans may try to immediately impeach him for his perceived role in the Hunter Biden scandal. And this is the guy who’s supposed to be electable?

    Donald Trump aired a Super Bowl ad focusing on his meagre attempts at criminal justice reform. The First Step Act, his signature achievement in the area, only affects roughly three percent of federal inmates and is structured in a way that shuttles more inmates into facilities owned by private prison corporations.

    Australia’s long, brutal summer of bush fires now threatens the country’s capital. Local officials declared a state of emergency for the entire Canberra region, as a large fire is burning just 30 miles south of the capital city.

    Shortly following the Super Bowl, Trump tweeted his congratulations to the victorious Kansas City Chiefs, saying that they’d quote “represented the great state of Kansas very well.” The Chiefs play in Kansas City, Missouri.

    Infectious disease experts warn that the coronavirus will likely become a “pandemic,” with multiple epidemics on different continents.

    And finally, John Kerry of all people was overheard on the phone in a Des Moines hotel explaining what he’d have to do to run for president in 2020, specifically to stop Bernie Sanders. Kerry vehemently -- with a well-placed F-bomb -- denied that he was running for president.

    #AMQuickie: Monday, Feb 3, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The impeachment trial may be nearing its end, as a key SO CALLED moderate Republican announces that he will vote against calling new witnesses on Friday, paving the way for an acquittal.

    Meanwhile**,** the great British catastrophe of Brexit is really, finally happening. On Friday night, the country will formally leave the European Union, although it’s still bound by that body’s rules and regulations for the next 11 months, while the country’s leadership figures out a new system.

    And lastly, the quick-spreading coronavirus is not slowing down. The U.S. has issued its highest travel alert for trips to China and the World Health Organization declared the disease a global emergency.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Senator Lamar Alexander, long perceived to be a moderate, has taken the measured step of looking at the impeachment trial so far and siding right with all of the other outright fascists LUNATICS in his party.

    Alexander was perhaps the deciding vote that could have opened up the trial to new witnesses and testimony, but on Thursday night he declared that he would vote against those steps.

    In a long-winded, pompous statement laden with references to the Constitution and the Founders, Alexander recognized that Trump’s actions were “inappropriate,” but ultimately not enough to remove him from office.

    Mitt Romney and Susan Collins have both openly supported new witnesses, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski is still on the fence, but without Alexander it appears the best the Democrats can hope for today is a tie.

    If that happens, we’re in for a weird situation. Chief Justice John Roberts could break the tie, but it’s unclear if he will. If he does nothing, the motion doesn’t carry.

    And if the vote for new witnesses is shut down, it’s open season for any Senator introduce a motion that could eventually lead to a vote to convict or acquit Trump. We’ll know by Friday night which way it’s all going to go down.

    The British are leaving, and at this point, it’s tough to say if the EU is sorry to see them go. Over three and a half years after Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, it’s actually finally leaving on Friday night.

    But like all long goodbyes, Brexit is really just getting started. I know.

    As it stands now, Britain will still abide by all of the EU’s rules and regulations for the next 11 months. Come 2021, they should -- should! -- have a new trade deal with the rest of the continent.

    Whether or not that actually happens, however, is going to be a matter of some consternation for the rest of the year -- trade deals often take a long time.

    Brexit, and the subsequent new trade agreement could also have a huge impact on the structure of Britain itself. Scotland’s citizens voted heavily against the Brexit referendum in 2016, and they’re just one referendum of their own away from leaving the UK and going back to the E.U.

    But all those dramatic moments are quite a way down the line. For now, not much will change, except a small sense of closure to a years-long political ordeal.

    The rampantly pro-Brexit crew is planning to throw a party, of course, with a light show in Parliament Square. In typical British fashion, it’s forecasted to rain.

    **With Brexit and Impeachment perhaps out of the headlines in the near future, the eyes of most of the world are now on anything that even looks like a cold. **

    The highly infections and life-threatening coronavirus continues to spread, with a total of almost 10,000 confirmed infections and more than 200 deaths worldwide.

    The U.S. on Thursday issued its highest level travel advisory for China, urging all U.S. residents to avoid visiting the country.

    And after holding off for more than a week, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.

    Fortunately, the disease hasn’t yet made a foothold in the U.S. In Chicago, the country recorded the first case of person-to-person transmission of the disease: the husband of the first patient in Chicago caught it from her.

    So far, CDC Director Robert Redfield doesn’t seem too worried, telling the New York Times that while the virus may be quote “concerning,” “our assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

    In other words, if you were hoping for a biblical plague to free us from the shackles of the impeachment trial, coronavirus probably ain’t it.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Trump administration announced a plan to fulfil a conservative dream of slashing Medicaid on Thursday. The new plan will allow states to convert federal Medicaid funds to block grants, which activists say c(w)ould allow them to divert the money to other programs, crippling the healthcare system hundreds of thousands rely on to survive.

    In a far more openly violent decision, the Trump administration is reportedly set to loosen restrictions on U.S. forces’ use of land mines, rolling back commitments made by the Obama regime (Obama’s was an administration- Trump’s is a regime) to largely abide by the 1997 Ottawa Convention, which banned the use of anti-personnel land mines.

    The House of Representatives, meanwhile, voted 236-166 to repeal the 2002 Authorization for use of Military Force, which has been used to justify nearly two decades of war in Iraq and recently the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

    A new poll shows that 52 percent of voters support decriminalizing sex work.

    After a section of Trump’s border wall fell victim to a stiff wind earlier this week, the Washington Post reports that other sections of the wall will have to be fitted with hundreds of storm gates to prevent it from washing away in monsoon season.

    #AMQuickie: Monday, January 31st, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The first full day of Senate questioning ended after 93 questions and over eight hours, with more of the same to come on Thursday. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer conceded that the Democrats might not get the votes to bring in new witnesses or evidence, paving the way for a quick acquittal from the Republican-led senate.

    Meanwhile, Democratic insiders worry that Joe Biden’s ground game is slipping in Iowa, where chilly temperatures and the average age of Biden’s supporters could forecast a dismal turnout on caucus day.

    And lastly, Bernie Sanders weathers a personal attack ad and comes out even stronger, raising 1.3 million dollars in a single day.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Donald Trump is on trial. Well, at least nominally so.

    After eight hours and 93 questions directed at the House impeachment managers and the president’s legal defense team, the battle lines are drawn.

    Day one was not without fireworks: Trump’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued that quote: “If the president does something that he thinks will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.” endquote.

    Basically, Trump can do whatever he wants to get re-elected, because laws are all made up, society is an illusion, and the President is god.

    The Democrats gave it their best shot, though: repeating that Trump’s legal defense is based on a mountain of lies covering up a second mountain of criminal behavior.

    The one thing that could change this now is a vote to introduce new witnesses and evidence into the trial.

    Minority Leader Chuck Schumer conceded on Wednesday that the Democrats might not be able to get the four Republican votes needed to make that happen, which means key witnesses like John Bolton won’t see the inside of the Senate chambers.

    But who knows? The Senate has eight more hours of questioning planned today. We’ll see if it changes any minds, but don’t hold your breath.

    **Campaigning is hard, particularly when your supporters don’t get out much. **

    The New York Times reports that Democratic insiders are starting to worry about Joe Biden’s ground game in Iowa.

    While Biden’s polling numbers are still strong, a collection of state Democratic officials warn that they may be overselling his actual support on caucus day.

    Biden’s supporters largely come from older demographics, who field organizers say are less likely to physically go to the caucuses in cold weather on February 3rd.

    Entrance polls from the 2016 caucuses say only 28 percent of attendees were over 65. That’s Biden’s strongest demographic, so if those numbers hold, he could under-perform on caucus day.

    His best bet to correct this may come through a potential alliance with Amy Klobuchar. If the latter doesn’t reach 15 percent on caucus night, she may push her supporters in those precincts to defect to Biden.

    The candidate himself, meanwhile, has been dragged into the ongoing impeachment drama in Washington.

    The Times reports that Biden is planning to make a quote “forceful rebuke” of Trump in a speech on Thursday, getting out ahead of the President’s upcoming rally in Des Moines later today.

    **Bernie Sanders faced one of his first personal, directed attack ads of the primary cycle, and parlayed it into a pretty impressive win. **

    The ad, which was sponsored by the Democratic Majority for Israel super PAC and began airing on Wednesday, challenged Sanders’ electability on the basis of his socialist policies, ability to beat Donald Trump, and even his personal health.

    None of the lines were particularly new, but the nearly $700,000 behind it means it will likely reach a lot of Iowa eyeballs.

    The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, made sure they got their money’s worth. The day before the ad aired, Sanders started a fundraising defense which raked in $1.3 million as of Wednesday evening.

    That’s more than enough to outspend the Super PAC at their own game, if they wanted to.

    In a Twitter video posted Tuesday, the day before the ad aired, Sanders said quote: “The billionaire class is getting nervous, and they should.”

    Take it as a sign: the Senator’s opponents are going to have to try just a little bit harder in the future.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    South Dakota’s state legislature is moving forward on a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to give gender-affirming care like hormone treatments to transgender patients under the age of 16.

    A Trump-friendly nonprofit group is handing out envelopes of cash at strange rallies in black communities, dropping tens of thousands of dollars a night to randomly-picked winners while extolling the virtues of the Trump administration.

    Bernie Sanders blasted Trump’s newly-signed NAFTA 2.0 trade deal, calling it a quote “giveaway to the fossil fuel industry,” and vowed to renegotiate the deal immediately if elected president.

    Fifty seven climate scientists spoke out to shoot down a false statement by Joe Biden earlier this week, after the former vice president claimed that there were no climate scientists who thought a Green New Deal plan would work.

    #AMQuickie: Monday, January 30th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Joe Biden wants any online Biden Bros to step up their posting, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which says the former Vice President’s campaign is actively encouraging supporters to duke it out with Bernie Sanders’s extremely online fans.

    Meanwhile, the John Bolton show continues to dominate impeachment proceedings, as all eyes turn to the small core of Republican moderates, led by Mitt Romney, to see if they’ll provide the votes to get Bolton his day in court.

    And lastly, the Trump administration unveils its plan for Israel and Palestine and well, let’s just say calling it a quote “peace” plan is quite a stretch.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Calling all Biden Bros: Uncle Joe needs your good tweets and posts.

    According to Bloomberg News, the Biden campaign is urging its supporters to get active online and defend their gaffe-prone candidate from the terrifying hordes of Bernie Sanders supporters on social media.

    Bloomberg reports that the Biden camp thinks Sanders’ online army is quote “getting ugly.” This makes sense: it can’t be fun for Biden to get confronted by his own terrible voting record every day.

    Sanders isn’t the only candidate with a legion of devoted fans online, but he’s almost certainly got more than Joe, considering he’s polling almost 30 percent higher than Biden in the internet-fluent 18-29 age group.

    Biden may also be losing support among older voters as well, the Intercept reported on Tuesday. His polling numbers among the 45-64 age group have swung 17 points toward Sanders in recent days.

    The Sanders camp, meanwhile, is digging in for an onslaught of attack ads placed by a P-A-C called the Democratic Majority for Israel, which will begin to run on Wednesday. Whatever happens this week, it looks like the tweets will continue to fly.

    We are now entering day number three of the John Bolton impeachment decision, as the Senate continues to deliberate on whether or not to subpoena the former national security advisor to testify.

    Bolton, for those of you catching up, alleged in a draft of his new book that Trump had said he wanted to keep aid for Ukraine on ice until the country agreed to investigate the Bidens. If he says that under oath in front of the Senate, it could shake up the whole impeachment trial.

    On Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers essentially told the Senate to ignore Bolton. In any other context, that’s great advice, but for the precious few moderate-leaning Republicans in the Senate, it may not be good enough.

    As it stands, Democrats need four Republicans to vote their way to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial and subpoena Bolton. The New York Times reports that Mitt Romney seems like a good bet, as does Susan Collins of Maine.

    Of the rest, the Wall Street Journal reports that Senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander are quote “open to the idea,” which basically means they’re waiting to see which way the political winds blow before coming down on one side or the other.

    This indecision, however, has got to be making Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nervous. The Journal reports that he acknowledged Republicans don’t quite have the votes to block Bolton from testifying, likely because of the maybes we just mentioned.

    And everywhere, people are losing patience. On Tuesday night, a twitter hashtag popped up to encourage Romney to, well, Mitt Or Get Off The Pot. You can sort out that pun.

    The Trump Administration released its long-awaited Middle East quote “peace plan” endquote, which does not appear to be particularly peaceful for some of the parties involved.

    The plan, which would annex large swathes of Palestine’s ever-shrinking territory into Israel, is basically a gift to Israel’s hard-right regime under Benjamin Netanyahu, who was at Trump’s side as he made the announcement.

    The plan’s resulting map looks like a heavily gerrymandered Congressional district, as the Trump and Netanyahu administration cut up Palestine to make sure Israel retained control of Jerusalem and its colonialist settlements outside the city.

    Palestinian leadership is largely not on speaking terms with Trump, but their response was swift and decisive. Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the plan a quote “conspiracy deal,” and immediately rejected the proposal, which appears to have been deemed downright insulting.

    Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders immediately denounced the plan as well.

    Jared Kushner, the supposed architect of the plan, wasted no time in blaming the Palestinians for not accepting their lot, saying quote “It’s a big opportunity for the Palestinians, and they have a perfect track record of blowing every opportunity they’ve had in their past,” endquote. Sounds like Jared’s the one who blew this opportunity, but who’s counting besides the entire Middle East anyway?

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    A Maryland police officer who shot and killed a handcuffed, unarmed black man in the back of a police car has been arrested and charged with murder less than 24 hours after the shooting, in a shocking departure from the usual narrative of a police killing.

    The U.S. Air Force dropped more bombs on Afghanistan this year than any other year since they started recording statistics in 2006. With little to show for it, it’s a complete mystery why we continue to inflict such violence on the country after 18 years of war.

    Locust swarms fueled by the climate crisis are decimating crops in East Africa, alarming U.N. officials who fear for the region’s food supply.

    A new poll shows Bernie Sanders with a massive lead in the early-voting state of New Hampshire, clocking in at 28 percent support. His closest rival, Biden, has a meagre 13 percent.

    #AMQuickie: Monday, January 29th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    The thought of a Bernie Sanders presidency is inspiring fear in centrist Democrats and fellow candidates alike -- a New York Times story laments his online army of fans and his rivals for the Democratic nomination step up their fundraising rhetoric.

    Meanwhile, Trump’s impeachment defense team sticks to its original argument, ignoring the fact that John Bolton may have evidence that blows their whole silly farce out of the water. We’ll see how that pays off!

    And lastly, the Supreme Court rules 5-4 to allow the Trump administration to expand the “public charge” rule, making it far easier to prevent poor immigrants from being able to live in the country legally.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    Does the name Bernie Sanders strike fear in your heart? If not, you probably wouldn’t be at home with the establishment Democrats.

    Bernie’s dramatic rise in the polls this weekend has inspired a whole round of pot-stirring by pretty much everyone who doesn’t want to see him win.

    Monday saw a strange New York Times’ article decrying the methods and manners of Bernie’s legion of online fans.

    Sure, being on Twitter can be obnoxious for everyone involved, but Bernie certainly isn’t the only candidate with plenty of idiots who love to yell abuse at people in his name.

    The Times also reports that traditional Iowa Democrats are starting to wonder quote “what are we going to do if Bernie wins?” endquote. The easy answer is support him, but that might be too simple.

    And some candidates, at least, are trying to use the Bernie Bogeyman for personal gain. In a fundraising email on Monday, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign warned that Bernie could become the nominee, something they called “risky.”

    So far, the attacks seem pretty weak, but Bernie’s team is gearing up for anything. Campaign surrogate Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said that in the last few days before the Caucuses, quote “things are going to get crazy.”

    The Trump Administration’s crack trial defense team is staying on its extremely dumb course, despite new revelations that could sink its argument in a fair trial.

    Following John Bolton’s allegations that Trump directly mentioned holding aid to Ukraine in exchange for a Biden investigation, Trump’s lawyers continued to insist that there was no evidence that the president linked aid to investigations. One of these things, then, is clearly not true!

    This strategy essentially rests on Bolton never seeing the inside of a Senate testimony room. If Democrats are unable to call witnesses and subpoena evidence in the trial, Trump’s legal team team of mall food court regulars can continue to insist that the president did nothing wrong.

    It’s up to Mitch McConnell to hold the line for the Republicans. But cracks are beginning to show in the GOP’s defense.

    Senator Mitt Romney, far from a fan of the president, told reporters on Monday that he thinks it’s quote “increasingly likely” endquote that other Republicans flip on McConnell and vote to subpoena Bolton to get his side of the story. A witness on the stand, wow! It sounds almost like an actual trial!

    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday to allow the Trump administration to enforce one of its most ambitious, and most despicable, immigration policies yet.

    The court’s decision allows the Trump administration to drastically expand the definition of a quote “public charge,” which is someone the government deems to be a quote “burden on society,” and use that to justify denying them visas or green card applications.

    It’s very clear who this change will target: poor immigrants, many of whom are black or brown. Under the new changes, the “public charge” label can be applied to anyone who receives assistance like food stamps or government housing, even if they’re employed.

    This creates what many progressive activists are calling a “wealth test” for admission into the country, effectively allowing the Trump administration to screen out poor immigrants. Other activists warn that the changes will heavily impact women, children, and the elderly, making a draconian immigration system just a little bit more hellish.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    Florida sheriffs on Monday arrested Wolfgang Halbig, a notorious conspiracist and former contributor to Infowars for unlawful possession of personal identification. Halbig was infamous for tormenting the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims, insisting that their tragedy was a hoax.

    A group of protestors from the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action marched into Joe Biden’s statewide headquarters in Des Moines on Monday evening to protest the candidate’s ties to the healthcare insurance industry and his opposition to Medicare for All. Biden staffers were not amused, if the videos surfacing online are any indication.

    After a dozen deaths in Mississippi’s state prison system in the past few weeks, activists are calling for a state of emergency to address what they say are inhumane conditions in the state’s penitentiaries.

    And finally, the State Department is booting NPR’s diplomatic correspondent off Mike Pompeo’s government airplane for an upcoming press trip to Ukraine and other nations, likely as part of the spat that kicked off when Pomeo melted down under sharp questioning from NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly. Clearly, Pompeo has decided to take the high road -- in his jet, without NPR on board.

    #AMQuickie: Monday, January 28th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn

  • Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

    TODAY'S HEADLINES:

    Former National Security Advisor John Bolton dropped a bomb on Trump’s impeachment case this weekend, alleging in an unreleased book that the president wanted to keep military aid to Ukraine frozen until the country agreed to investigate the Bidens.

    Meanwhile,​ Bernie Sanders ​surges​ in Iowa. In a new Emerson College poll, Sanders hit a whopping ​_thirty_​ percent support in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. Joe Biden trails, at 21 percent, with a week to go before the vote.

    And lastly, ​the new​ ​coronavirus originating from China continues to spread, as the Chinese government imposes a strict quarantine on a region that 53 million people call home.

    THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    John Bolton had himself quite a weekend!

    No, he didn’t get the war with Iran he always wanted, but Trump’s former National Security Advisor did throw himself into another battle.

    In a draft of an unreleased book obtained by the ​_New York Times_​, Bolton claims that Trump directly told him that he wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine until the country had begun investigating the Bidens.

    This claim could shake up the entire impeachment trial, as it directly contradicts the center of Trump’s defense, which argues that the freeze of military aid was unconnected to Trump’s ask that Ukraine announce investigations into Joe Biden’s son Hunter and other political enemies.

    President Donald Trump denied Bolton’s claims on Twitter Sunday night, saying they were only to quote “sell a book.”

    Sure enough, Bolton’s book popped up for pre-order on Amazon right after the accusations in his manuscript came to light. But that doesn’t mean he’s lying!

    The book is currently in the nebulous “pre-publication review” process at the White House, where the Administration has likely summoned as many actually literate people as it can find to pore over the manuscript and try to squash it before its planned release date of March 17.

    Bolton himself has said he would comply with a Senate subpoena to testify in Trump’s impeachment trial -- assuming it’s allowed.

    The Senate votes this week on whether or not to allow witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed, which given Mitch McConnell’s unholy sway over the Republican majority, isn’t looking good.

    The news just keeps getting better for Bernie Sanders.

    Following a strong week in the polls last week, a new Emerson College poll has the Senator at an honestly impressive 30 percent support in Iowa’s notoriously fickle caucuses.

    The poll, which was taken between January 23 and 26, has Bernie at 30 percent support, Biden at 21 percent, and Amy Klobuchar of all people in third at 13 percent.

    Elizabeth Warren comes in next at 11, and Pete Buttigieg scrapes into double digits with 10.

    The poll is just more evidence that Sanders is a real front runner. But that doesn’t mean Iowa is his to lose yet.

    A Suffolk University poll conducted over the same period still had Biden in the lead, at 25 percent to Bernie’s 19.

    And the nature of the Iowa Caucuses give it all an extra wrinkle: because voters can switch to a second-choice candidate, all kinds of crazy situations could happen.

    All the candidates are looking to hit a 15 percent mark to become viable and lock in at least some delegates from the state. Unlike many other primaries, Iowa isn’t winner-take-all, but whoever takes the most delegates usually considers themselves the victor.

    The fun stuff happens when supporters of the smaller candidates who don’t hit 15 percent start to change their votes, putting a whole lot of variables into the whole process.

    There’s a week left until the Caucuses start, so polling numbers could change again -- but for now, the Sanders campaign looks to be in a pretty good spot.

    The new strain of coronavirus is quickly becoming a global fear, and the Chinese government’s attempts to stop it may just be making things worse.

    The disease, a respiratory virus similar to SARS, has sickened almost 3,000 people around the world, mostly in China, which reported almost a thousand new infections on Monday. At least 80 people have died.

    The virus worries global health officials because of how quickly it spreads, especially in population-dense countries like China. Already, cases have popped up in Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States, among others.

    The Chinese government has taken drastic steps to confront the disease: extending the lunar new year holiday until February 3rd to postpone travel, and even placing a quarantine on the area the disease is most concentrated.

    These measures, however, may not be enough. Five million people left the area before it was locked down, and disease experts warn that the quarantine may make the health crisis inside even worse by getting in the way of distributing food, water and medical supplies to sick residents.

    These conditions could lead to unrest as people realize their government is failing to control and treat the disease.

    AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

    The Washington Post suspended a reporter on Sunday after she tweeted a link to an article about the rape allegations against Kobe Bryant, who died with his daughter and 7 others in a helicopter crash earlier in the day. The Post claims she was suspended not for posting the article, but for posting an unredacted screenshot of her email inbox, which was full of hate messages from Kobe’s fans.

    Tennessee’s Republican Governor signed a bill on Friday that will continue using taxpayer’s money to fund faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that discriminate against LGBTQ families. The Trump administration is reportedly thinking about making this policy a nationwide rule.

    The White House provided press credentials for Trump’s Davos trip to TruNews, a conservative Christian website whose founder has claimed that impeaching the president is a quote “Jew coup” endquote. It’s nice to see the Trump administration finally respecting the first amendment, at least!

    Puerto Rico was hit by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on Saturday after suffering heavy flooding in recent rains as well. The territory has been hit by quakes every day for nearly a month.

    #AMQuickie: Thursday, January 27th, 2020

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn