News & Politics Podcasts
Doing the deep dive into what it means to be an American today. What is it that divides us? How can we diffuse the hyper-charged state of vitriol?
News & Politics Podcasts
Doing the deep dive into what it means to be an American today. What is it that divides us? How can we diffuse the hyper-charged state of vitriol?
The Georgia Runoff
All eyes are on Georgia once again as yet another runoff to determine who will represent the Peach State in the US Senate for the next six years. The stakes could not be higher. The Democratic incumbent Rev. Raphael Warnock or the Republican candidate, former football star, Herschel Walker. The lines and differences between these two could not be clearer however, when it comes to Georgia politics there are so many deep divisions between red and blue districts. Join Robin and David as they dive into what has been happening on the ground with a massive volunteer effort, along with some numbers from polls which, as we have all learned, aren't worth a hill of....peaches.
Governors races: Some real nailbiters
Midterms aren't just about control of Congress, a majority of states will be electing the person to serve as the Chief Executive of their state government. The people who occupy these positions have the power to halt radical right state legislatures run amok, like those who try to pass statewide bans on abortion (even in the case of rape and incest!). With a stroke of their pen, they can veto and put a stop to the insanity. Robin and David run through some of the states where races are close, where they pose some intriguing matchups, and where you can make a difference, either by donating your time or money, or both. Oh and let's not forget those suddenly exciting Secretary of State elections (what?!), yes indeed, there are people on the ballot in some swing states who believe they should have the power to overturn or reverse the will of the voters by counting the ballots they choose while tossing out the others. It's madness, and it must be stopped now!
Democracy's Destiny Will Be Decided In November
It's not hyperbole to say that the fate of our nation hangs in the balance as voters head to the polls. Either the forces of authoritarianism, minority rule, and violent sedition will grab control of our nation, or we will stave off the darkness and reject those who would discard the Great American Experiment. Across the nation, races offer up options between people of principle and those who embrace the dismantling of our democracy. Republicans, MAGA Nation, Big Lie believers, and Reality Deniers, and people who believe in minority rule will infest our political process and bend it to their will until it no longer represents what our Founding Fathers envisioned. On that cheery note, Robin and David start an Election Countdown, with the first of several podcasts focusing on the November 8th mid-term elections. In this episode, the dynamic duo dives into Senate races. They break down where the races are close and why, look at the poll numbers, the campaign cash situation, and how you can be a part of ensuring that Mitch McConnell does not re-ascend the throne in the Senate chamber, by donating your time, your money (or both) to support key races.
Memorial Day Losses, A Sad Mournful Day in America
The grief and anguish people are feeling throughout our country (and throughout the world) is enough to sour the taste of grandma's apple pie, burn the best BBQ and bring to a screeching halt any festivities because this country is broken. Beyond repair? We shall see. As a nation, we remain in stunned shock and horror at the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde just this week. And yet, even as we tried to comprehend the senseless loss of life of the most innocent of lives due to yet another gun-related mass murder, the GOP gathered under one roof with the NRA to cozy up for favors and of course campaign donations. It's nothing new and anyone surprised by it needs to get their head out of their ass. The GOP is coming for you. Are you a woman? They want control of your womb. Want to love a person they don't approve of? They're watching your room. Speak with an accent, "not in my neighborhood" and on it goes. This is the moment, the GOP is declaring war on both democracy and decency. The only way to fight it is to turn out in numbers never seen before to reject them all at the ballot box in November.
The world rallies around Ukraine while shunning Russia
The horrific and nightmarish scenes playing out in full view of the entire world has brought us to a historic moment. Today we are seeing people and nations around the globe come together to embrace Ukraine and its people while simultaneously condemning Vladimir Putin and Russia. Putin's unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, the killing of civilians, and the destruction of one of Eastern Europe's most beautiful and vibrant countries has unified literally billions of people. While Moscow's Madman directs the destruction and devastation of Ukraine, in clear violation of international law and the Geneva Convention, here at home the American people are at a loss about what to do and how to help. The Biden Administration has taken bold steps to enforce choking sanctions to punish Putin, yet the blowback people are feeling at the gas pump has become a rallying cry for assholes who can't see beyond the hood of their gas-guzzling monster trucks. How are they supposed to drive all the way to Washington with their Trump Won and Q-Anon flags unfurled when gas costs $5 a gallon. It's so hard to be a jackass these days. Robin and David sit down for a wide-ranging discussion on these issues and of course, have some fun at the expense of Marjorie, Lauren, Rand, Matt, Louis, Lindsay, and the rest of the Capital Hill cRazies.
Episode 33 - Looking Out for a Hero
This week, when we remember one of the greatest leaders in our nation's history, serves as a reminder that we once strived for greatness, overcame the most formidable obstacles, and injustice was never a thing we shrank from eradicating. That was then. Another time. When we had heroes occupying the highest offices. Men and women who answered the call to serve for the greater good. As we survey the current political landscape, the vitriol, the intolerance, the rigid adherence to ideology, and the inability to seek or find common ground, it is hard to hang onto hope. That's why this week we invited Rep. Park Cannon of Georgia to join us. A symbol of the next generation of leaders who believe we can once again be a country where the ideas of visionaries like Roosevelt, JFK, and Barack Obama made us believe in the possibility of progress and change for good. To learn more about this dynamic new powerhouse in Georgia politics click here: https://www.gasupreme.us/events/oa-january-20-2022/
All is lost...Not So Fast!
There is a sentiment circulating among Democrats that the end is upon us, that given the historical nature of mid-terms the shift in power in Congress will surely occur and the Great American Experiment will come crashing down. Is there cause for concern? Sure. Is it a foregone conclusion? Not by a long shot. By any stretch of the imagination, these are not normal times. Norms and cycles have been busted wide open. Political pundits are scrambling to make sense of it all during a time when sense is at a premium. Watching the January 6th Committee ramp up their efforts to expose the smarmy traitors who facilitated the insurrection, including the disgraced, twice-impeached ex-president hiding in his gold plated toilet in Florida, should tell us that the full story is yet to be told, and when it is, it is going to be a doozy. Bottom Line? Let's not be so hasty to jump to conclusions. To help us understand why is Davis Han, the political strategist for Grassroots Democratic HQ and a rising star in the ranks of the Democratic Party. He lays it all on the line regarding the races that are in play, where the Dems can not just hold the Senate but actually expand their majority, thus making Mr. Manchin an after-thought.
Election Fallout - Some Good, Some Bad
Democrats were shaken to the core this past Election Day as Republicans turned out in record numbers, driven by a variety of ginned-up tropes about everything from socialism, to the Big Lie, to crime and even to what is being taught in schools. It all got stoked to the boiling point by fearmongering candidates, Republican PAC's and of course Fox News and their ilk. The slap in the face did serve as a wake-up call for Democrats though, as just 48 hours after the stinging rebuke, they passed Part 1 of Joe Biden's Infrastructure Bill. All it took was a good hard dose of ice water and a look in the mirror to recognize that the self-inflicted wounds, caused by political infighting within their own caucus, had put them on the brink of disaster. While Joe Biden's approval numbers sank lower and lower, despite huge economic gains in employment and employee wages, the stock market keeps climbing and, apart from the price of gas, things are pretty darn good considering the fact that we're still dealing with a catastrophic pandemic. So why is America's opinion of Joe so low? Consider the media who fixate on anything that looks like conflict and unrest. Let's see where the numbers go when the trillion dollars start flowing around the nation. Robin and David are joined by a true expert in the field of Democratic communication and messaging, something the Democrats sorely need, Anat Shenker-Osorio. Anat helps us understand how messaging needs to be clear, straightforward, and memorable. You won't want to miss her insights.
Is It Too Late To Salvage Democracy?
The constant assault on reason, logic, facts, science, and reality is taking a toll. The non-stop barrage of nonsense, obfuscation, misdirection, lies, and treachery are undermining the very foundation of the nation we grew up believing in. Are we at a tipping point? Is there a way to put the brakes on this train that is speeding towards the end of the tracks, where democracy goes up in smoke and all that awaits us is autocracy, nihilism, and a country that bears no resemblance to what the Founding Father's envisioned, or what brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for? We'll talk to one of the good guys, a former Republican lawmaker from New Hampshire who said, enough is enough and switched sides! If you are starting to feel that is nothing left to believe in, listen to William Marsh, a brave doctor turned state representative who stood up and said Enough! Let his story and his courage embolden us all to take the fight to those who have abandoned the dream of America and bowed down to the false narrative of Trump and his minions.
Don't Mess With Mah Freedumbs
Pandemic still raging? Check Anti-vaxxers still raving? Check Infrastructure Bill still languishing? Check America on the edge of default? Check Manchin and Sinema.....? Whatever It's been another period of rough and tumble politics with absolutely nothing to show for it. Lots of name-calling, finger-pointing, blame-hurling, and anything else you can think of. The bottom line is that it's been anything but productive. Welcome to Washington or as Mitch McConnell sees it, Nirvana. This week to find some good we turned our eyes and our microphones westward to the Land of Lincoln to talk with a most impressive Illinois General Assemblyman, Will Guzzardi. Will is also co-chair of the Illinois Progressive Caucus. Will serves on the Prescription Drug Affordability Committee, the Economic Opportunity & Equity Committee, the Judiciary Committee, AND on the Mental Health Committee! You won't want to miss this.
Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh
There's no denying the absurdity of the world we live in these days. It feels like each one is filled with intolerance, ignorance, and insanity. It can lead people directly to their local bar, oh wait, it's closed. What's left? Laughter. Over many centuries, humor has diffused tense and fraught situations, which is why we were so delighted to invite the wonderful Wendy Liebman, who has been making people laugh for decades, with her unique style of delightfully disarming and pointedly non-political humor. Wendy shares with us her views about the tightrope many comedians walk when it comes to the hyper-polarized world of politics. If you're concerned that we might have abandoned what you have come to count on, our normal helpings of GOP outrage, Trump-bashing, and of course Marjorie Taylor Greene, never fear, we've got you covered.
A Texas-sized Shit Show
The despicable laws conceived of, passed and signed into law in Texas, are rocking the very foundation of our society. Riding a wave of MINORITY opinion, Greg Abbott signed the most draconian roll-back of women's rights in half a century. Hell, Texas makes the Handmaid's Tale sound like a lighthearted romp. It's all one further example of the fact that our democracy is in crisis. Despite the fact that Democrats control the House, Senate, and the White House, nothing is getting done! With the narrowest of margins in both houses of Congress, President Biden can’t even get the bills that a vast majority of Americans want to his desk to sign. Why? Two words: Manchin and Synema. Haven McVarish, a lawyer, author, and activist who once ran for office but became disenchanted with the prospect of spending all of his campaign time, and what would have been his time in office, fundraising. He then went on to represent the California Teachers Association before becoming its head and has spent a decade in the political arena. In his book, "Last Chance To Save American Democracy", he spells out his agenda for preventing the GOP from forever securing power in the US. The number one item on his list?… Wait for it… Reforming the filibuster. Robin, David and Haven dig deep into the murky waters of the far-right's master plan and search for hope during these increasingly dark times.
End of an Error
It took 20 years, cost the lives of thousands of Americans and Afghans along with countless trillions of dollars, but as of today, it is in the rearview mirror. The Endless War has in fact, come to an end. That end came with a torrent of turmoil, angst, fingerpointing, and even more American lives lost as the final hours were being counted down. Debates over how it was handled and who shoulders the blame for all of the miscalculations and deadly decisions will rage for a long time. While there will be lots of noise in the coming days, ultimately it will be for historians to unravel, decipher, and put into context. There is no denying that the historic Air Bridge that shuttled over 160,000 people out of Afghanistan is a logistical feat never before seen. Robin Biro, an Army Ranger who served two tours in Afghanistan, is joined by Christopher Purdy, a fellow veteran who now serves as Director of Veterans for American Ideals. Together they discuss the frantic final days and the remarkable impact VFAI had in getting well over 500 people into their underground system, through the maze of red tape and security, and onto the tarmac to be flown to safety. Their lives and, potentially, the lives of tens of thousands of others identified by Christopher and the team at VFAI who transmitted the information to officials on the ground, are now free of the terror that grips the land.
Colliding Calamities - Kabul & COVID
It has been yet another rough week for the man sitting in the Oval Office. As you know, there are no corners to hide in, and that's fine with Joe. He boldly proclaims that the buck stops with him. Of course, Biden didn't create the Afghan mess, nor did he extend it, like his predecessors. He was given a lousy hand and he played it...boldly. There's a lot of dust and plenty of blame to go around, but by next week, this ignominious chapter will mercifully come to a close. What comes next for the nation we tried to build, does not look good, but there is no point in looking backward or wringing our hands. In other developments, the FDA gave its formal approval to the Pfizer vaccine. With that announcement, the millions of anti-vaxxers who said they wanted to wait, better start rolling up their sleeves, because this is an Us against the virus thing now and there are no good reasons left to hide behind anymore. For weeks Robin and David have discussed how all politics are local, to that end, they host Alexis Weaver, an anti-hunger, non-discrimination activist who is running for city council and working to make a difference in her suburban Atlanta city.
The torturous end of an era
As a nation, we watched with a mixture of astonishment and horror, as the Taliban raced across the entirety of Afghanistan in a heartbeat. The suddenness with which they rolled over and laid waste to 20 years of "nation-building" was and is hard to comprehend. The end of the conflict, that Trump negotiated with the Taliban and then left for Biden to oversee, has stirred emotions across the spectrum. From those who served to those who live to point fingers and affix blame. One way or the other, within the next 72 hours this two-decade-old war, which was started to satisfy the bloodlust of a nation hell-bent on revenge for 9/11, will come to a close. The conclusion will be anything but satisfying for anyone not a member of the Taliban. The aftershocks will be felt for a long time, or until the next political powderkeg ignites and consumes the talking heads on both the right and left-wing of our media circus. For host Robin Biro, the memories of serving two tours with his Army Ranger brothers, in a country that never fully embraced them or their mission, the emotions remain raw and complicated. He explains all of this in a wide-ranging conversation about what has happened over the past two years, and where we go from here. Oh and did we mention that the pandemic is still raging across the country no matter how hard Gov. Ron #DeathSantis tries to insist that all is rosy in the hottest of COVID hot zones, Florida.
The deadly Republican Governor variant
Remember the days before there was a vaccine? Remember the terrifying death tolls reaching into the hundreds of thousands and showing no signs of ending? Then Sherriff Joe came to town and started getting shots in arms and we thought...this is good...we're saved...it's over. If only. If only there wasn't an entire subset of conspiracy-loving nut jobs who put their faith, their lives, and the lives of their families in to the hands of charlatans. People who choose to believe "facts" they find on the internet to justify not getting the shot. Cue the Delta variant and dust off the Death Count graphic because we're back to the bad old days. Ron DeSantis wants to be president, he thinks the best way to the White House is by embracing the Former Guy, coddling up to the conspiracy kooks, and actually threatening schools who want to have their students wear masks. Florida's hospitals are overwhelmed, cases are doubling every week, ICUs have no room, those are the facts. The DeSantis Delusion is quite different. "Everything is sunny in the sunshine state." The other state where things are actually worse? Texas, where Gov. Abbott doesn't see tents being set up outside hospitals to house new patients, no, his big concern? Too many voting drop boxes! Robin and David try to keep their heads from exploding by hosting a truly inspirational young woman, Mana Shooshtari who, at the ripe old age of 21, serves as the Field and Communications Coordinator for Grassroots Democrats HQ grassrootsdems.org. Mana shares her remarkable journey as well as what can and is being done to reach out to and engage young voters.
Flying through GOP Turbulence
The march towards the truth, shedding light and bringing justice to those responsible for the violent attack on our nation's capital has officially begun. Despite some of the most riveting testimony ever given in a committee chamber, Republicans continue trying to obfuscate, lie, distract and point fingers at everyone but themselves and their Dear Leader. Oh and let's not forget that they are also working their miserable asses to the bone to make sure that voting becomes a thing of the past since they know that winning a fair fight is becoming darn near impossible. Joining Robin and David this week is California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel who brings us up to date on the insane Republican Recall of Governor Newsom as well as efforts in the Golden State to not just secure but, expand voting rights, fight climate change, stop right-wing fringe extremists who actually want to embed chips in immigrants and more. Crazy right? Speaking of crazy, COVID is ravaging our country again but this time it's being very selective, picking off only those who devour conspiracy theories about vaccines and thus make themselves and their loved ones sitting ducks to become sick and possibly die from this nightmarish pandemic. It doesn't matter how much you stick your head in the sand, or watch Tucker Carlson, chances are that the delta variant is going to get you if you don't get the shot or wear a mask. And you know what? If you don't and you get sick, that's on you!
Nancy Is Carrying The Big Stick
Together with former state representative Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo, MI, Robin and David dive into the insane lengths the Party of Trump, and the sycophants who do their master's bidding will go to cling to power. Want us to deny what we saw with our own eyes on January 6th? Do you mean those "loving" tourists? Break rules and pass unconstitutional laws? Sure! Subvert both the will of our constituents and the very foundations of our democracy. Done and done! All this while the Delta-fueled version of COVID sweeps across the country targeting and killing people who willfully disregard science and refuse to get vaccinated. The people and news outlets that are spreading the disinformation should be held accountable but are they? You know the answer to that. The only good news to come out of Washington all week is that the January 6th Committee will convene this week and the truth about the insurrection, and attack on the symbol of our democracy, will be told. Nancy Pelosi would not be outmaneuvered on this. In fact, she ran circles around the badly outmatched Kevin McCarthy who somehow manages to look more and more inept and corrupt with each passing day.
Is the GOP a Death Cult?
Robert Patillo, Civil Rights and Criminal Defense Attorney and Executive Director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition joins Robin and David to discuss how the right-wing message machine seems hell-bent on driving UP the Covid death count! It's clear that they are fine crushing the aspirations and goals of Americans who are desperate to return to normal. And why? Because their worst-case scenario is that Joe Biden gets hailed as the steward who guided us there. So the Dr. Seuss cancel culture line didn't stick, the caravans of criminals flooding the border fell flat, eyes gloss over when anyone mentions Critical Race Theory, heck even the Liberal, Socialist, Marxist label isn't taking hold, mainly because no one spouting it even knows what Marxism is, or for that matter, what Mr. Marx's first name is. Kevin? Chad? Stuart? The perpetuation of the Big Lie, the ridiculous indignation about deficits (that old canard they pulled out of storage), and the unhinged players who are the faces of the Republican Party (aka. Party of Trump) in 2021, are working overtime to ensure that their shrinking base, the clear minority in the country, never releases their grip on power. They will do whatever it takes, and in their playbook, if it means a few un-vaccinated lunatics have to die, so be it.
What the Fox?
Tucker Carlson is desperate to ingratiate himself with the most abhorrent wing of the Republican base but this week he totally went off the rails. The sniveling twit actually called four-star General Mark Milley a pig. Not sure what is worse, that Fox didn't kick him off the air immediately or that his ratings probably rose and Rupert Murdoch most likely gave him a raise. Between right-wing media outrages, the scary rise in the Delta Variant, the botched Infrastructure negotiations, and the continued pushback from anti-vaxxers who now make up over 99% of the hospitalized COVID patients in America, it really does feel like a world gone mad. Robin and David tackle it all and manage to still find a way to leave you with a truly heartwarming feel-good story so that you don't drive off the road, fall off your treadmill or run screaming into the night.