Episode 36: The Grim Reaper Fails—For Now

Massive people activism dealt the Grim Reaper of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, a giant middle finger…from his own caucus. But, it ain’t over. I use this moment to talk to health care expert Dean Baker about a couple of critical work-related Obamacare benefits that not many people talk about.

I also take a harrowing look at the 65 million refugees displaced around the world. We wrap up with our Robber Baron of the week: California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat who took it upon himself to kill a statewide single-payer bill.

Episode 35: From The Bench and On-Line, Amazon and The Supreme Court Gear Up To Screw The People

In this week’s podcast, my guests help us understand how Amazon and the Supreme Court have a common mission: to undercut the standard of living of millions of people.

Amazon’s move to buy Whole Foods means a further big-time cutting of wages for thousands of workers, and a new blow to workers in retailing beyond the two companies.

Over at the Supreme Court, the conservative wing—with its majority restored after the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch–is drooling over the prospect of a new case that will cripple public sector unions, and hurt workers everywhere.

Our Robber Baron of the week is, appropriately, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Episode 34: Your iPhone Was Made By A Child Slave…And Wal-Mart Breaks The Law Again

We can’t look away: 168 million children are laboring all around the world, usually in brutal conditions, partly to churn out the piles of consumer goods we lap up. I speak with a leading global organizer trying to stop child labor.

And, surprise, surprise, Wal-Mart is in the thick of that scandal…as well as breaking the law here, as we hear in our other amazing segment. We wrap up by crowning, not for the first time, Wal-Mart as our Robber Baron of the week.

Episode 33: Did Democratic Party Insiders In California Steal An Election…Again?

“Politically speaking, you will be murdered and we will personally take part in murdering you”…that was the message Kimberly Ellis heard from her “sisters” in the California Democratic Party when she began running for the chairmanship of the party. And the “murder” took place—possibly through voter fraud.

In her first extensive interview since the election on May 20th, Ellis tells me the whole story—why she decided to run, how the campaign built a massive, sophisticated operation, and came to the convention with hard numbers showing a comfortable victory in hand and, instead, watched as the election, she believes, was stolen by the establishment candidate Eric Bauman in a razor-thin contest.

You have to wonder: if the election was fair and honest, why is Bauman, who has claimed victory, refusing to have an independent audit of an election in which almost 3,000 ballots were cast with just 62 votes separating the two candidates?

The national party, I point out, better take notice because many progressive activists still do not trust the party establishment, and have not forgotten the unethical behavior of disgraced DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz who undeniably manipulated the 2016 presidential primary process.

Episode 32: Upbeat Stuff…Wage Theft, Election Theft, CEO Theft, War Crimes

It’s an action-packed podcast. I look at the daily stealing of workers’ wages, to the tune of billions of dollars—right in time for an annual deep-dive to look at a big hike in CEO pay in 2016.

There is also breaking news on what could be another chapter in Democratic Party insider shenanigans—was there fraud in the recent California Democratic state party elections? And here is the full statement by Kimberly Ellis on the election challenge.

Lastly, I have a few thoughts about Memorial Day—a day when the nation forgets that leaders like Henry Kissinger ignited the wars that killed so many people, committing war crimes along the way.

Episode 31: Get Good or Get Gone

I kind of love the bottom line message delivered to Democrats by my guest, California progressive leader Karen Bernal: Get Good or Get Gone. In the discussion on this week’s podcast, Bernal was speaking directly about the insider Democrats in California who are trying to hold back the rising wave of progressive activists who came close—and still might do so—to winning the chairperson spot of the state party at a tumultuous convention that I attended this past weekend.

But, it’s a message that could apply across the country.

Our Robber Baron of the week is the CEO of Citigroup who copped a plea on money-laundering charges—but actually didn’t have to say the company was guilty…ain’t America great?

Episode 30: You Can Own A Bank. Really.

Why do we let Wall Street run wild with our money? We don’t have to. With my guest Marc Armstrong, I dig into the idea of a public bank–a bank whose shareholders are we, the people. It’s an idea gaining momentum throughout the country.

I refer to a piece on public banks that I wrote for the Los Angeles Times. Here it is.

Finally, our Robber Baron of the week is hedge fund kingpin William Ackman.

Episode 29: ACA Repeal Waves Goodbye to 3 Million Jobs & $1.5 Trillion

Here is something almost no one is talking about but I take it up in this podcast: the repeal of Obamacare, along with its immoral tossing millions of people off health coverage, will cost the country 3 million jobs and $1.5 trillion in economic activity.

I break this down for all of us in simple terms with my guest Leighton Ku. You also will hear from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

And wrapping it all up is our Robber Baron for the week, Paul Ryan, who takes the crown home for an unprecedented second time.

Episode 28: Die or Organize!

People die at work, and people revolt and organize. All in sharp focus the last few days, I looked at the toll at work of sick, injured and killed workers—and why we mark Workers Memorial Day every April 29th—as well as the May Day mobilization that makes us consider how to change the system.

I had an in-depth chat with Tefere Gebre, the Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO—the first immigrant, political refugee, black man and local labor council leader elected as a national officer of the Federation.

And we go back to Mylan Corporation to find our Robber Baron of the week, the outgoing chairman Robert Coury who has pocketed tens of millions of dollars.

Episode 27: 100 Days of Craziness, Bigotry and Bad Stuff

I dig into the Top 10 really bad things that have happened so far in Donald Trump’s reign, focusing on workers, and the issues we care about in the political revolution. It’s all an easy-to-understand conversation with my expert guest, Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute.

I also talk about American Exceptionalism—as promised in the podcast, I’m linking to the piece I wrote here.

We wrap up with our Robber Baron of the week, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer who was just showered with another $186 million that she will pocket—after failing miserably.

BONUS!!! On a recent obsession of mine, I have a piece just posted today on the Los Angeles Times web site entitled “How a California Public Bank could fix the freeways, send kids to college and ambush Wall Street”.

 

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