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December 2015
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Syndication

The captured affluenza fugitive has a predecessor. She was a wealthy 72 year old criminal from a generation before.

- More -

Direct download: Affluenza_-_The_Helmsley_Defense.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EST

Martin Shkreli purchased a drug company for the purpose of gouging those vulnerable to deadly illness.

His arrest has generated a tsunami of Christmas cheer.

Let's add a spoonful of caution to our joy.

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Direct download: Pill_Gouging_and_Justice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33am EST

We have tried substituting business self-interest in place of safety regulation.

We should learn from the result.

- More -

Direct download: Letting_Ill_Enough_Alone.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:11pm EST

We react with degrees of fear and reason to tragic mass shootings.

Some of those reactions carry their own tragedy.

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Direct download: Tragic_Words.mp3
Category:History, News -- posted at: 12:14am EST

The description accidentally made public, how the National Republican Party sees Republicans, is extraordinary.

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Direct download: How_Republicans_Define_Republicans_Now_Documented.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 10:23pm EST

What will we do when Muslims are ordered to register?

A wartime story of occupied Denmark might give us inspiration.

- More -

 

Direct download: Requiring_American_Muslims_to_Register.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 6:33pm EST

The revulsion I feel when bigots speak for Jesus won't tell me what Muslims must feel when zealots kill for Islam.

- More -

Direct download: Empathy_and_the_Religion_of_Bigotry.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 9:10pm EST

There are better reasons to support or oppose Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio than Benghazi, email servers, or credit card debt.

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Direct download: Scandal_and_the_Presidential_Election.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 8:19pm EST

The Alaskan Governor's new wrinkle in the climate debate against science was amusing.

Exxon's contradictions? Not so much.

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Direct download: Exxons_Little_Joke_About_Climate_Damage.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 9:36pm EST

Conservatives could have seen Barack Obama as proof that conservative values work.

Why did they sacrifice those values?

- More -

Direct download: How_Did_Conservatives_Lose_Booker_T_Obama.mp3
Category:History, News -- posted at: 9:26pm EST

It has been an odd reversal.

Those attacking Hillary Clinton's character are angry as their character is examined.

- More -

Direct download: Ugly_By_a_Frog.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 10:47pm EST

Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, and Mario Cuomo have something sad in common. They might have changed America. They never will.

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Direct download: Bidens_Grief_Ryans_Soliloquy.mp3
Category:History, News -- posted at: 10:49pm EST

Restrictions on voting are not new. Arguments that they prevent voter fraud are not new. Nor are the actual motives.

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Direct download: Real_Voter_ID_Fraud.mp3
Category:Election Fraud -- posted at: 10:26pm EST

Pundits and politicians argue about John Boehner's success or failure. Pretty much all of them have it wrong.

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Direct download: Why_John_Boehner_Tripped_and_Fell.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 10:27pm EST

The base is on a journey far down into the blood soaked logic of religious and ethnic division stains too much of human history.

We know they would kill us. We know this because we would kill them. That is why we must get rid of them first.

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Direct download: Base_Hatreds_and_Conservatives.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 11:10pm EST

Mike Huckabee is right that the Dred Scott decision was a moral and legal monstrosity. He is only wrong about Gay Rights, American history, the law, the courts, and every President since Thomas Jefferson.

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Direct download: Mr._Huckabee_Meets_Mr._Lincoln.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 11:33pm EST

Kim Davis is inspired by Martin Luther King. If she knew who inspired Dr. King, she might take on another duty.

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Direct download: Kim_Davis_and_the_Mahatma.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EST

Marvin Mandel led his state into a medical revolution, using helicoptor transport to save those who would have been given up for dead.

He did it with no political benefit to himself, and he did it against a vicious campaign waged by entrenched medical, insurance, and business interests.

He was a hero.

He should have served a longer term in prison.

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Direct download: A_Political_Hero_-_May_He_Rest_in_Peace.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EST

Henry Fonda's film from half a century ago helps explain Donald Trump's popularity in the Republican Party of today.

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Direct download: Donald_Trumps_12_Angry_Men.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 12:01am EST

Policy is the key part of government. Policy determines what works and what doesn't, who benefits and who is left behind, who pays and who doesn't.

My interest in policy tends to vanish when life, death, and punishment matter more.

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Direct download: Begging_Forgiveness_for_Punishing_th.mp3
Category:Capital Punishment -- posted at: 12:18am EST

The outrage from liberals on behalf of Goldwater in 1964 was vocal.

From conservatives in 2015?

Not so much.

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Direct download: Barack_Insane_Obama_Diagnosed_on_Fox.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:29pm EST

On abortion, I understand the position of my conservative friends. I'm fairly sure they don't comprehend mine.

 

Direct download: Why_Cant_Debates_Ever_Settle_Abortion.mp3
Category:Policy, Abortion -- posted at: 9:24pm EST

The umbrella man of Dealey Plaza was never a serious analyst of nuclear limits.

He wasn't in 1963.

He isn't today.

And we should answer conservatives as they try to bring him back.

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Direct download: Nuclear_Limitation_and_Memories_of_t.mp3
Category:Foreign Policy, Political News, Obama -- posted at: 10:12pm EST

How an officious airline counter employee taught me something important about Donald Trump and heroism.

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Direct download: What_Donald_Trump_Can_Teach_Us.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:16pm EST

Calls for assassination are moving from the fringes. Advocates are sharing the stage with mainstream conservatives.

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Direct download: What_to_Do_When_the_People_Let_Conse.mp3
Category:Domestic Terrorism -- posted at: 12:17am EST

In the hearts of some of my brothers and sisters in Christ, freedom of religion must include the freedom to discriminate against those whose practices violate our ethics, the freedom to require employees to follow our religious beliefs, the freedom to preach our version of the gospel to the children of others without their permission.

Even that is not enough. We hear of a new religious freedom. You now violate my freedom if you criticize my religion.

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Direct download: Why_Is_My_Religious_Freedom_Hate_Spe.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 10:14pm EST

The question on Iraq presented Jeb Bush with an opportunity to achieve a balance between family loyalty and thoughtful policy. All he needed was preparation.

Why it did not occur to him to prepare much earlier for an obvious question remains a mystery.

Marco Rubio had a chance to pick up the pieces. But he managed to trip over the shoelace on Jeb's foot.

Instead of finally proving himself to be the one candidate with a policy vision, he proved instead that vaudeville will never die.

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Direct download: Whos_on_First_in_Iraq.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News, War -- posted at: 12:07am EST

Within the last few years, a British spy at a high level within al Qaeda and a secret informant with the North Korean government were compromised by published reports.

If reports are accurate, the existance of an official in the government of Pakistan has been revealed, after he helped Americans know where and how to kill Osama bin laden.

We have to be impressed by the bravery of those reporters who inform us of all the facts, and who courageously accept the consequences of their actions.

Regardless of who suffers those consequences.

Direct download: Press_Freedom_and_Government_Secrets.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EST

Commuters sometimes take traffic delays personally. That is why 4 successive days of 4 hour delays, delays generated deliberately, have hurt Chris Christie more than any comparable scandal.

But the Governor has gone through a period of introspection. He may have discovered within himself a path to recovery.

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Direct download: Chris_Christie_is_Ready_to_Move_On.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:04pm EST

Satire can be a mighty weapon when humor is used to puncture the pretensions of the privileged, the pretentions of the elite.

When it directed at the downtrodden, those who struggle to overcome hardship, satire mutates to something less noble. It becomes simple meanness, petty and cruel.

Free speech includes freedom of malevolence. We can and we must defend the rights of those who bully and hate.

That full and vigorous defense does not obligate us to join them in their hatred.

Direct download: Supporting_the_Rights_of_Pamela.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 9:56pm EST

The Republican definition of religious freedom recently became the freedom of an employer to decide whether employees could get birth control as part of their insurance package.

Then freedom of religion transmuted into the right of an employer to order an insurance company not to provide birth control on its own.

Now freedom of religion has mutated into the right of any boss to require workers to report to management, and ask permission, if they want to go to their local pharmacy on their own time and pay for birth control themselves.

The Republican vote was unanimous.

Direct download: Birth_Control_-_Republicans_Require.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 12:11am EST

We can't trust Iran. 

We need to take a harder stand. 

We are in a simmering war. 

We should not be negotiating. We should be in battle.

 

Where have we heard all this before?

Those of us who have lived long enough might remember word-for-word.

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Direct download: What_the_Iran_Agreement_Borrows_from.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News, War -- posted at: 10:23pm EST

Bobby Kennedy began as a law enforcement official who seemed unable to communicate with those on the other side of the poverty line. In five years, he became noted for his ability to transcend racial, economic, and class tensions.

His journey during those five years began with a program of listening and learning.

Half a century later, what can Hillary Clinton learn from his experience?

Direct download: What_Can_Hillary_Borrow_from_Bobby.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:27pm EST

For decades, her image has intruded into occasional dreams on sometime restless nights. I wonder what life might have been for her and her child had she lived.

Stanley Forman turned his back after taking his photos, one of which would later win a Pulitzer Prize. He could not bear to see the bodies hit the ground.

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Direct download: A_Young_Mother_Killed_by_the_Libertarian_Ideal.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:48pm EST

All Presidents become targets in the modern world

But this Presidency is different. The Secret Service has acknowledged that the level and seriousness of threats has multiplied since Barack Obama assumed office.

The ferocity of rhetoric has also soared to heights previously unimagined. It is not only the quantity and volume of often obscene shouts that have accelerated. The nature itself of the attacks has gone where nobody had walked during my lifetime.

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Direct download: Message_from_Conservatives_to_an_Und.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 11:53pm EST

Republicans have refused to reveal the details of their budget plans.

They have learned from past experience how media analysts will focus on Social Security and medicare cuts.

But Tom Price, who heads the Budget committee, let his guard down a little at a recent conservative conclave.

He used the usual audience tested euphemisms, but the direction Republicans in Congress are taking was clear.

Get ready for a bumpy ride.

- More -

Direct download: How_Will_the_Sinking_Teeth_of_Republ.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:42pm EST

On February 5, 2015, Republicans held a press event. They warned that letting Russia get away with invading the Crimea peninsula would violate a Presidential agreement signed by Bill Clinton in 1994.

America had to keep its word.

"What kind of message are we sending to Iran as they continue their race towards nuclear weapons?" asked Senator Tom Cotton, as others nodded solemnly.

As it turns out, the program of economic sanctions President Obama initiated against Russia has bitten every bit as deep as President Obama predicted. America did keep its word.

Five weeks later, Republicans publicly warned Iran about giving up on nuclear weapons. They instructed Iran not to trust any agreement to be signed by President Obama. America might not keep its word, if that word is given in a Presidential agreement.

"The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen," they said to Iran, "and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time."

- More -

Direct download: The_Budapest_Agreement_and_Iran.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 10:22pm EST

A few years ago, documents and recordings were declassified that confirmed the worst rumors. A private citizen of the United States had secretly contacted foreign governments and sabotaged peace talks in Vietnam. That private citizen was Richard Nixon.

It was hard to imagine anything worse, until a group of conservative Senators tried to sabotage negotiations that might stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Senators are convinced Iran can't be trusted. So they are trying to convince Iran the United States can't be trusted.

- More -

Direct download: Preventing_an_Agreement_for_Preventi.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 12:45am EST

The official tax system in the Roman empire was strikingly similar to the unofficial tax system of Ferguson, Missouri.

The Emperor Diocletian put an end to it.

It is way past time Missouri did the same.

- More -

Direct download: Ferguson_-_Police_as_Tax_Farmers_in.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 10:06pm EST

The political whispering campaign resembled the one from 80 years before. 

Both resulted in death.

Both came from the same cynicism.

Both happened in the same environment of casual bigotry.

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Direct download: Political_Whispers_of_Bigotry_and_a.mp3
Category:Politics and Bigotry -- posted at: 11:55pm EST

Fox News personalities were having a bit of fun with NBC anchor, Brian Williams, over his misleading stories about his wartime reporting experiences.

Then Bill O'Reilly's own inaccuracies came to light. Should O'Reilly resign? Should he take a leave of absence? Should Fox News fire him?

A Fox affiliate in Tampa Florida has a step by step guide ready and waiting to show Bill O'Reilly exactly how to handle the accusations.

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Direct download: What_Bill_OReilly_Ought_to_Do_Now.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:59pm EST

The challenges to President Obama's patriotism is only the latest of startlingly personal vitriol. Everything from attacks on his citizenship to criticism of his children has become increasingly pointed.

Perhaps it is time to put aside political nicety and state the obvious. The hatred is not the result of policy anger or political fury. That anger and that fury don't cause the hatred. They come from it.

That hatred has a source more deeply rooted in a sad tradition.

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Direct download: Conservative_Anger_That_Dares_Not_Sp.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 12:34am EST

Just a short time ago, Republicans filibustered everything, and Democrats protested.

Now, news outlets can report that Republicans want to end the filibuster, while Democrats are willing to use it. It fits nicely into the new journalistic ethic of balance over documented fact. It also fits the pox-on-all-houses sub-narrative that appeals to a cynical public. Everyone is a hypocrite, and balance is maintained.

Do mainstream outlets have it right this time?

Direct download: Should_Obstruction_End_for_Both_Side.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:07pm EST

The dreary pattern is repeated again. In an unguarded moment, bigotry is made public. 

A public official now insists he is not a racist.

We can learn from racism. What we can learn more from that denial, might be a more valuable lesson.

That lesson might be about us.

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Direct download: Can_We_Condemn_Bigotry_With_Humility.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 11:22pm EST

A minister who fled for his life from South Carolina established a church in Buffalo, New York.

That church, the name of a South Carolina Judge, and the loss of a civil rights case, all join to tell us much of America's racial history.

They also intersect to explain the trajectory of today's Republican Party.

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Direct download: Times_Have_Changed_-_Republicans_Hav.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 12:07am EST

Between 700 and 800 Palestinians were massacred by Lebanese Christian militias. Ethnic Tutsi were killed with the active participation of Christian churches.

It would be immoral to blame the Christian faith for these horrible acts.

Why do so many have so much difficulty extending the same basic fairness to members of all faiths?

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Direct download: How_Could_Barack_Obama_Betray_Christ.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:18am EST

Ringleaders of terrorism hope to attract new followers by claiming to represent the only true form of Islam.

Anti-Muslim bigots attack Muslims by claiming that terrorists represent true Islam.

Terrorists provide the propoganda. Bigots provide the echo.

They are unexpected bedfellows, speaking the same words, joining in the same message.

Extremists have become partners in a communion of hatred.

- More -

Direct download: Painting_Islam_with_a_Terrorist_Brus.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 12:22am EST

When Mike Huckabee says that he can be friends with gay people.

Sounds good, enen if it is in the same sense that Jesus was friends with tax collectors who extorted far beyond the taxes they sent on to Rome.

He also groups gay sexuality in with swearing and visiting the corner bar after work. That could be a twenty first century way of restating the way the Apostle Paul grouped gay sexuality in with gossip and kids disobeying parents.

I don't agree that being gay equates with any violation of spiritual law, but I at least understand it.

But God doesn't like classical music? Or ballet? Seriously?

- More -

Direct download: God_Hates_Opera_-_Seriously_-_Huckab.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 1:07am EST

Forget Trickle Down economics.

The Laffer Curve hasn't worked out.

Supply Side has pretty much ruined Kansas.

The newest Republican economic theory comes from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

It has lifted Mississippi from the worst economy in the nation to ... well ... the second worst.

It is now proposed by former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Expect to hear it often as Republicans look for a way to explain the new Obama economic boom.

It's the only way conservatives can look at the economic world and remain conservative.

 

Direct download: You_Wont_Believe_the_Newest_Republi.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:11pm EST

Republicans put into place, as chairman of a Civil Rights subcommittee, a Senator hostile to Civil Rights.

Then they changed the name, and the purpose, of the committee.

It no longer will have anything to do with Civil Rights.

The change is symbolic.

The change is substantive.

The change confirms the new direction of a political party.

- More -

 

Direct download: Todays_Challenge_-_Guess_the_New_GO.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:20pm EST

There was a time, not that long ago, when the primary conservative smear was that opponents possessed no patriotism.

Now a Republican Congress routinely votes to deny American combat troops ammunition and supplies.

Legislative leaders threaten to close down American security from terrorism.

What happened?

The idea of pride in America seemed to fade when the image of the nation came to include President Obama.

- More -

 

Direct download: Has_Fury_Against_America_Gone_Countr.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 10:45pm EST

In every campaign in his political life, Mitt Romney has run on his resume.

In 2016, he will run on philosophical substance.

Mitt Romney can become President Romney. But he needs one more ingredient, the toughest campaign objective to achieve. 

Direct download: Who_Is_the_New_Authentic_Mitt_Romn.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:36pm EST

At Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, Trent Lott gallantly suggested that his old friend would have made a good President. Strom had run for President on a racist platform half a century before.

Conservatives were enraged. They screamed for the scalp of Trent Lott until he was forced to step down as Republican leader in the Senate.

Now Steve Scalise holds a Republican leadership position in the House of Representatives. He participated in a gathering of white supremacists. When the State of Louisiana apologized for the days of slavery, he voted against the apology.

Slavery? Seriously?

The Party of Lincoln was once ... well ... the Party of Lincoln.

What happened?

Direct download: How_Has_Slavery_Come_Back_Into_Mains.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 11:52pm EST

In the days after 9/11, President George W. Bush led Americans away from religious hatred.

For many, it didn't last.

The terrorist attacks in Paris provoked a renewed rage in America against those who follow Islam.

But in France, Muslims were welcomed in a march for unity. Two Muslims were honored for heroism during the attacks.

- More -

Direct download: Why_Do_Many_Americans_Hate_Muslims_a.mp3
Category:Religion -- posted at: 2:07am EST

Over dinner, Arthur Laffer showed off his napkin to Republican leaders.

It became the ultimate free lunch. Cutting taxes would generate more income for government to use on behalf of all of us for bridges, police, natural disasters, and soldiers.

Four decades later, Kansas was the perfect state laboratory in a great experiment that would prove once and for all that Supply Side economics works.

Laffer's napkin had come a long way. Then the economic house tumbled down in Topeka.

- More -

Direct download: How_Did_a_40_Year_Old_Napkin_Cost_Ka.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:20pm EST

In many ways, 2010 was the precursor to 2014. Sharron Angle was the poster child for Republican extremism.

Hidden in the laughter on mainstream news shows was an unexamined self regard, an arrogance that helped add to public resentment.

It was not the main reason mainstream candidates lost that year, and four years later.

But it was a reason.

- More -

 

Direct download: Why_the_Press_Should_Have_Stopped_La.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 12:32am EST

Cannibalism was seen as the ultimate depravity, too horrible to contemplate. But when the story of the Donner Party became known, most survivors were treated with compassionate sympathy. The circumstances seemed to justify the unthinkable.

There is a lesson that applies to the debate on torture.

It may be an unexpected lesson.

- More -

Direct download: Torture_and_the_Lie_of_Effectiveness.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 12:17am EST

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