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  • April 20, 2021: Chauvin Jury Deliberates; Warren Wants Accountability for Israel Aid; Coal Miners Union Signals Support for Green Future

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    The Derek Chauvin trial hears closing arguments, and the jury begins to deliberate on the legal case which will undoubtedly set the tone for protests throughout this summer.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren suggests that military aid to Israel should be restricted so it can’t be used against Palestinians.

    And lastly, the largest mine workers union in America said that it supports a switch to renewable energy, provided the Biden administration works with them to protect their jobs and ease the transition away from coal and natural gas.


    The trial of Derek Chauvin is almost over. Judge and jury heard closing arguments today from both Chauvin’s defense and the prosecution, which is seeking to hold the former Minneapolis cop responsible for killing George Floyd last May.

    Chauvin’s defense leaned heavily on their plan all along: to sow doubt that it was Chauvin’s knee that killed George Floyd by suffocating him to death. But prosecutors were relentless in showing just how cynical, cruel, and brutal Chauvin’s conduct at the scene was.

    Prosecutors final words to the jury were: “The reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr. Chauvin’s heart was too small.”

    The jury began deliberations on Monday evening. As they did, the defense lobbed a hail-mary attempt to get a mistrial by complaining that prosecutors suggested they were lying.

    Rep. Maxine Waters also caused a stir this week by telling protestors on the street in nearby Brooklyn Center that if the jury acquits Chauvin, quote:

    “We’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active.”

    The defense is also alleging Waters’ comments may have threatened or intimidated the jury. Per the New York Times, Judge Peter Cahill says Waters quote “may have given the defense something on appeal.” endquote.

    In other words, despite the upcoming verdict, we may be headed for more legal battles in an appeal. This may not be decided today, but one thing is for sure: protests and the police violence against them will continue.

    Warren Wants Accountability for Israel Aid

    At an insider’s conference in Washington D.C. on Monday, Elizabeth Warren had a surprising idea: maybe, it’s not a good thing that Israel uses the billions of dollars it gets in U.S. aid to oppress Palestinians.

    Warren’s quote was hedged a little, of course, such is politics. Here’s what she said in context: Quote.

    “I support military assistance to Israel. But if we’re serious about arresting settlement expansion and helping move the parties toward a two-state solution, then it would be irresponsible not to consider all of the tools we have at our disposal.

    One of those is restricting military aid from being used in the occupied territories. By continuing to provide military aid without restriction, we provide no incentive for Israel to adjust course.”

    This would be a pretty good start! Right now, the U.S. gives Israel a blank check to buy guns, planes, drones, bombs, and basically anything else you can think of, and asks very little questions as to how they use it. More often than not, it gets used on Palestinians.

    The problem with what Warren is suggesting is that it would be pretty hard to enforce. The end goal of course is maybe spending a little bit less on directly funding the military of an apartheid state. Warren’s record doesn’t suggest she’d go that far -- but at least she appears to be thinking about things from a slightly more progressive perspective than many of her peers.

    Coal Miners Union Signals Support for Green Future

    The largest coal-miners union in the country has made a shocking, and promising concession: they’re open to working with the Biden administration on new climate legislation and a gradual shift toward clean energy.

    Leadership for the United Mine Workers of America said in an interview on Monday that they were amenable to a shift towards a greener future provided the government made real steps to preserving their jobs in the short term.

    The decline of the coal industry has ravaged towns and work forces in states like Joe Manchin’s West Virginia, partially explaining some of the rogue Senator’s resistance to core Democratic party goals.

    To try to stem this blood flow, the UMWA has largely fought tooth and nail against vital climate legislation. But in comments today, the union signaled that it was looking for a better way to help the people connected to the industry move toward a greener future -- as long as the Government makes some concessions to them.

    In the short term, they’re asking for government help protecting jobs and collective bargaining agreements, but in the long term, the union said it would need support to help coal employees transition into careers in renewable energy.

    It’s not the coal miners fault that their industry is dying -- but for the good of all of us, it’s got to go. Now it’s the government’s job to make that transition as quick and as painless as possible.


    After the pandemic disrupted routine medical visits for a year, the Washington Post reports that doctors are now seeing the consequences, as patients suffered more damage from untreated heart disease, missed cancer screenings, and put off treatment for lingering illnesses.

    The White House proclaimed on Monday that every adult in the U.S. is now eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine. Some states are still struggling with distribution, but in others there are doses to spare and appointments ready for anyone who has yet to get a jab.

    Elon Musk’s futuristic car company is once again under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after one of its cars caused a fiery crash that killed two people. Musk claimed that the car was not equipped with his so-called “autopilot” feature, though police alleged that there was no one at the wheel when it crashed.

    The RWDSU on Monday formally filed 23 objections against Amazon alleging a range of illegal conduct during the fierce union battle in Bessemer, Alabama. While Amazon’s workers lost their vote to unionize, the RWDSU could strike some blows in legal challenges, as listeners of this program will know that Amazon’s conduct was truly reprehensible.

    APRIL 20, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 19, 2021: Another Week, Another Shooting

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    Another week, another tragic mass shooting in America. This time, a gunman used two newly-purchased semi-automatic rifles to murder eight people at a Fed Ex facility in Indianapolis.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will most likely be back in action on Friday, which is good news for the half of American adults who haven’t gotten a shot yet.

    And lastly, some of the worst Republican ghouls in the House tried to form a so-called Anglo Saxon Caucus, but scrapped their plans after being deluged in the valid criticism that they were acting like massive racists.


    This weekend, it was Indianapolis’s turn to grieve. A 19-year-old gunman murdered eight people at a Fed Ex facility in the city late on Thursday night, the latest mass shooting in an already-bloody spring.

    The shooter, whose name we don’t have to use, was a former employee of the facility. Records show that he was able to legally purchase the two guns used in the shooting even after police removed a shotgun from his possession last year.

    Let’s break that down for a minute. In May 2020, the shooter’s mother contacted the police over concerns for her son’s mental health, and police took a shotgun from him. They did not, however, appear to seek a court order under Indiana’s red flag law, which would have barred him from purchasing subsequent weapons.

    Before the deadly shooting last week, he did just that. Just months after cops took his shotgun, the shooter bought two semi-automatic rifles, both of which were used in the attack. He killed eight people and shot seven others, then took his own life.

    Four of the shooter’s victims were members of the local Sikh community, which has weathered frequent persecution and racism in this country for decades. Community leaders said they did not know whether the attack was targeted or was a coincidence.

    J&J Vax Coming Back

    Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is likely to be back in action on Friday, when the CDC and FDA are expected to have finished their research on its potential to increase the risk of blood clots.

    The J&J vaccine was paused nationwide after it was tentatively linked to blood clots in six women who had received it, a tiny number compared to the 7 million other Americans who got it without serious side effects. Fauci said the government agencies were unlikely to ban the vaccine outright, and would instead issue additional warnings or restrictions on it.

    But once again, we have to stress how small the risk appears to be. Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press, “I think it’ll likely say, ‘Okay, we’re going to use it, but be careful under these certain circumstances.’”

    That seems pretty reasonable. A resumption in the J&J vaccine would also help boost the U.S.’s overall numbers, which are starting to look pretty good. The CDC reported on Sunday that half of all American adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

    Still, that doesn’t mean that the risk is gone. Cases rose by about five percent over the past two weeks, and 750 people are still dying of the disease every day. We’re not out of the woods, but we’re pretty damn close.

    GOP Tries, Fails to Create Anglo Saxon Caucus

    Have you ever looked at the United States Congress and thought: boy, I wish that white people had a little bit more representation here? If so, congratulations -- there’s a good chance you’re a racist. And even better, a group of the worst possible people in Congress would agree with you.

    We’re kidding of course -- AM Quickie knows its audience better than that. And apparently so do Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Louie Gohmertz.

    All four of those names were linked to the formation of a new America First Caucus, enthusiastically promoting the idea on Twitter on Friday. The draft proposal for the new caucus, obtained early by Punchbowl News, included this quote:

    “America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

    This one in particular led to most people just referring to the America First caucus as the Anglo Saxon caucus. And if that quote didn’t make things clear enough, the document also included

    references to, “European architecture,” and other dogwhistles. You can see where this one is going!

    However, it appears that the Anglo caucus overplayed its hand a little. The backlash to the overtly racist announcement was so strong, including from other members of the Republican party, that Taylor-Greene scrapped the plan. She blamed the media for focusing on race, of course, so it’s clear that her actual views haven’t changed, but at least the white nationalist caucus in Congress won’t get official recognition for the time being.


    Closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial are expected on Monday, as ongoing protests for the killing of Daunte Wright can surely be expected to boil over if the jury does not return a guilty verdict. We’ll have more on that story tomorrow once we see those arguments and get a timeline on the jury’s deliberations.

    One COVID wrinkle that in hindsight we should have seen coming: the Washington Post reports that scammers are listing blank Coronavirus vaccination cards on Ebay, opening an avenue for vaccine skeptics to endanger others with bogus records. Land of the free, home of the scams, baby!

    Capitalism has struck a brutal blow in the already ravaged world of international sports, as 12 of Europe’s largest soccer teams agreed on Sunday to form an exclusive so-called Super League designed to make them even richer. What they’re leaving out is that such a move would destroy the sport for smaller teams in their home countries and throw players’ lives into chaos. But hey: money!

    Andrew Yang remains the frontrunner in the New York City mayoral race, leading a poll among Democrats aged 50 or older, a key voting demographic. Make of that what you will! If he wins, he’ll be confronted by an extremely low bar set by Bill De Blasio.

    APRIL 19, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 16, 2021: Video Shows Chicago Cop Killing Boy

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    He had his hands up. Newly released body camera footage shows Chicago police gunning down a child who was not, as originally claimed, armed with a pistol.

    Meanwhile, tensions are rising between the US and Russia. Will a new round of sanctions help or hinder the cause of peace?

    And lastly, some Congressional Democrats are pushing to expand the Supreme Court ahead of the Biden administration’s timetable. They say leadership needs to take a stand over the two seats stolen by Republicans.


    It could’ve been any Black child in this country. A thirteen-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Chicago by a police officer had his hands up when the cop fired his weapon, new videos show, according to BuzzFeed News. The city's Civilian Office of Police Accountability posted the videos online yesterday along with police reports related to the shooting of Adam Toledo, following weeks of protest over the boy's killing and demands to release the body camera footage to the public.

    BuzzFeed reports that Mayor Lori Lightfoot described viewing the footage as "excruciating." She also urged Chicagoans to respond peacefully and cautioned that the videos should not be viewed by children. On March 29, a police officer shot the boy to death in an alley in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood after a foot pursuit. Officers were responding to a call of shots fired when they chased Toledo and twenty one-year-old Ruben Roman, who officials said fired the initial gunshots that brought police to the area. Body camera footage shows the cop running after the boy, yelling, "Stop, stop right fucking now." The boy is then seen with his hands raised as the officer fires one round, causing Toledo to fall backward to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A gun is not visible on the body. Prosecutors initially said the boy had a gun in his right hand.

    The officer who shot Toledo has been placed on administrative duties for thirty days, BuzzFeed reports. Toledo's death has sparked outrage across the city. He had a big imagination and curiosity and loved animals, riding his bike, and zombies, his mother, Elizabeth Toledo, said in a statement. Protests will continue through the weekend.

    Biden Sanctions Russia

    Here’s a clear departure from the foreign policy of the Trump era. The Washington Post reports that the Biden administration yesterday imposed the first significant sanctions targeting the Russian economy in several years in order to punish the Kremlin for a cyberespionage campaign against the United States and efforts to influence the presidential election. The administration also sanctioned six Russian companies that support Russian spy services’ cyberhacking operations and will expel ten intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover in the United States. It formally named the Russian intelligence service SVR as responsible for the hacking operation commonly known as SolarWinds.

    The measures were taken under a new executive order, the Post reports. They are an effort to make good on President Joe Biden’s vow to hold Moscow accountable for a series of operations, including the election influence and the cyberhacks, that compromised nine federal agencies and about one hundred private firms. Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Tuesday that Washington would be taking actions in the coming days to defend US national interests, without specifying the exact timing or measures. Biden also raised the possibility of a summit with Putin in the coming months in a third country.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that Russia viewed any US sanctions as illegal and would retaliate in kind, according to the Post. Peskov said sanctions would not be helpful in the lead-up to the proposed summit. The SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence ageency, dismissed the accusations it was involved in cyberattacks as "nonsense." It’s such a shame when people don’t take pride in their work.

    Democratic Bill Would Expand Supreme Court

    They should call it right-sizing, maybe. A group of congressional Democrats introduced legislation yesterday to add four seats to the Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports. It’s a long-shot bid designed to counter the court’s rightward tilt during the Trump administration. President Biden last week created a commission to spend the next six months examining the politically incendiary issues of expanding the court and instituting term limits for justices.

    But the bill’s introduction had an inauspicious start, according to the AP. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might not bring it up for a vote if it advanced out of committee. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was noncommittal as well. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would wait for the commission’s work to play out, before taking a position on the matter.

    Democratic lawmakers and groups supporting the court expansion bill gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court to make their case, the AP reports. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, New York Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, said "Some people say we’re packing the court. We’re not packing it. We’re unpacking it." He said the GOP had packed the court over the last couple of years and called the proposed expansion a necessary step in the evolution of the court. Senator Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, went right to the anger and frustration that so many Democrats have with the judicial conformation process under GOP stewardship. He said, "The Republicans stole two seats on the Supreme Court and now it is up to us to repair that damage." When you put it like that, doing nothing seems like the worst option. Joe Biden, are you listening?


    The AP reports that former officer Derek Chauvin chose not to take the stand as testimony at his murder trial ended yesterday, passing up the chance to explain to the jury and the public for the first time what he was thinking when he pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday in Minneapolis. To call the atmosphere tense would be an understatement.

    Former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday to implant a pacemaker in his chest after experiencing a slow heart rate, the New York Times reports. Maybe it’s a sign from God telling him to retire.

    House Democrats approved legislation yesterday that they say would help close the gap between what men and women are paid in the workplace, the AP reports. The bill would, among other things, make it easier to sue employers over pay discrimination. It would also ban employers from prohibiting employees from discussing their salaries. Overdue!

    The spring wave of the pandemic has driven hospitalizations above forty seven thousand, the highest since March 4, according to the Washington Post. Thirty-eight states have reported an increase during the past week in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19. Take care on the way to your vaccination appointments, folks. The end is in sight.

    APRIL 16, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 15, 2021: Safety Scare Emboldens Anti-Vaxxers

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    News about very rare issues with blood clots in two coronavirus vaccines has harmed public health efforts and emboldened anti-vaxxers in Africa. And stateside, vaccination efforts in Republican states is lagging behind Democratic states.

    Meanwhile, an unreleased inspector general’s report finds glaring problems throughout the Capitol Police operation that fueled its failures during the January 6th insurrection. The report’s author is supposed to appear before a Congressional committee today.

    And lastly, the Minnesota cop who resigned Tuesday was charged with manslaughter yesterday for the killing of young Daunte Wright. The family expects protests in Brooklyn Center to continue despite the charge.


    The blowback has begun. The New York Times reports that the safety scares engulfing the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have jeopardized campaigns to inoculate the world. With new infections surging on nearly every continent, signs that the vaccination drive is in peril are emerging, most disconcertingly in Africa. In Malawi, people are asking doctors how to expunge the AstraZeneca vaccine from their bodies. In South Africa, health officials have paused giving the Johnson and Johnson shot, the only one they have. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not a single person has been vaccinated.

    In those countries and others, the Times reports, Western colonialism has left a residue of mistrust in vaccines, which could harden if the perception takes hold that rich countries are dumping second-rate shots on the global south. Already, the recent pauses have vindicated vaccine skeptics and made many others feel duped. African health officials have reacted with fury at the breezy reassurances of American and European lawmakers that people denied the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson shots could be given another vaccine. In much of the world, there are no other vaccines.

    Meanwhile, the Associated Press notes an emerging pattern: Americans in blue states are getting vaccinated at more robust rates, while those in red states seem more hesitant. Out in

    front is New Hampshire, where sixty five percent of the adult population has received at least one dose. Following behind are New Mexico, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts at fifty five percent or greater. All tend to vote Democratic. Meanwhile, at the bottom are five states where fewer than forty percent have rolled up their sleeves. Four of them – Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee – lean Republican. The fifth is Georgia, which is red leaning purple. So what’s their excuse? Western colonialism?

    Report Details Capitol Police Failures

    Every new detail is worse than the last. As Congress pushes for a return to normalcy months after the January 6th riot at the Capitol, the AP has obtained a damning internal report about the deadly siege. It includes missed intelligence in which future insurrectionists warned, "We get our president or we die." The report casts serious doubt on whether the police would be able to respond to another large-scale attack.

    The Capitol Police have refused to publicly release the report – prepared in March and marked law enforcement sensitive – despite congressional pressure. Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, who heads the House Administration Committee, said she found the report, " detailed and disturbing." The inspector general who prepared it, Michael Bolton, was scheduled to testify before Lofgren’s committee today. Bolton found that the department’s deficiencies were – and remain – widespread: Equipment was too old to use; officers didn’t complete required training; and there was a lack of direction at the Civil Disturbance Unit, which exists to ensure Congress is not disrupted by protests. The report also focuses on several pieces of missed intelligence, including an FBI memo sent the day before the insurrection. The memo warned of threatening online postings by Trump backers, including one comment that Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in and blood being spilled.

    Separately, the Washington Post reports that a Capitol Police officer has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing for fatally shooting Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt as she attempted to breach a set of doors deep in the Capitol during the January siege. Authorities determined that it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing in self-defense or in defense of members of Congress who were fleeing the House chamber. Prosecutors did not identify the officer.

    Ex-Cop Charged For Daunte Wright Killing

    The search for justice continues in the upper midwest. NBC News reports that the former Minnesota police officer who was captured on camera fatally shooting Daunte Wright during a traffic stop was arrested in connection with Wright's death. Kim Potter, a twenty six- year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was taken into custody about 11:30 AM at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Saint Paul. She will be charged with second- degree manslaughter in connection with Wright's death, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced. The charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years behind bars. Wright, who is Black, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, which classified the manner of death as a homicide.

    NBC reports that Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Wright family, received word about the charges while sitting on a panel discussion alongside the mothers of other young Black males killed by police. Crump told reporters, "the reason why we are getting due process so quickly in the state of Minnesota for the killing of Daunte Wright is because of the blood of their children." Without the attention paid to the slayings of Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Crump speculated that charges in the Wright matter might not have been possible. Wright's older brother told NBC the family was hoping for a more serious charge to be filed against Potter.

    Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, the Washington Post reports that the trial of Derek Chauvin continued, with the defense’s medical expert testifying that the former officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck did not play a critical role in the his death last May. During cross- examination, the defense expert acknowledged that Floyd might have survived if he got emergency help. If only.


    CBS News reports that two House committees took up measures long championed by progressives yesterday. One panel voted to advance a bill to admit Washington, DC, as a state, while the other took up a measure that would create a commission studying reparations for descendants of slaves. Let’s do this!

    More than eighty seven thousand Americans died of drug overdoses over the twelve- month period that ended in September, the New York Times reports, eclipsing the toll from any year since the opioid epidemic began in the 1990s. The biggest jump in overdose deaths took place in April and May, when fear and stress were rampant, job losses were multiplying and the strictest lockdown measures were in effect. Truly saddening statistics.

    According to City and State New York, Andrew Yang’s two campaign managers, his press secretary, his policy director and multiple senior advisers don’t actually work for his New York City mayoral campaign. They’re employed by Tusk Strategies, a lobbying firm. The arrangement raises concerns about what kind of access this lobbying firm – and the private clients that hire it – would have to the mayor if Yang were to win the election. Or, you might say, he’s just making government more efficient by cutting out the middlemen.

    The AP reports that the California Gold Rush town of Placerville will change its logo to remove a noose that stems from its mid-nineteenth century reputation as "Hangtown" following lynchings of criminal suspects by mobs of miners. The city council’s vote on Tuesday was unanimous. Sorry, Placerville, but Parks and Rec already did this bit.

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

    APRIL 15, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 14, 2021: Biden Will End Afghan War on 9/11

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    Joe Biden pledges to withdraw all American combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, giving a concrete endpoint to America’s twenty year old war.

    Meanwhile, protests continue across the twin cities area as the officer who killed Daunte Wright and the Brooklyn Center police chief both resign.

    And lastly, the U.S. pauses rollout of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine after just six reported cases of blood clots.


    We finally have an end date for America’s long, deadly, pointless war in Afghanistan: September 11, almost exactly 20 years after it began.

    Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he would remove all U.S. combat troops from the country by then. That pushes back the deadline of May set by the Trump administration, but at least gives Americans and Afghans a tangible date to look towards.

    Biden appears to be unequivocally rejecting the military and foreign policy establishment that urged him to take a so called conditions-based approach to withdrawing.

    Military leaders fear that without a U.S. presence, the country will soon fall to the Taliban all over again. But the New York Times reported that Biden thought putting any conditions on withdrawal would mean our troops would never leave.

    The tragedy is both sides here are probably right. The Taliban have surged across the country in many years and will undoubtedly be part of Afghanistan’s future. But if the U.S. doesn’t get out for good now, when will we?

    It’s been 20 years, and we’ve wasted 2,400 American lives and over 2 trillion dollars. Intelligence officials say that the Taliban and other terrorist groups active in the country pose little risk to striking the U.S. Enough is enough -- now all that’s left is to make sure Biden sticks to his promise.

    Protests continued in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center and throughout the Twin Cities on Tuesday, as an angry, fed-up populace reacted to the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at the hands of police.

    Wright reportedly spent his last moments on the phone with his mother. He was stopped, he told her, because of the air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror.

    The officer who killed Wright, Kimberly Potter, resigned from the force on Tuesday, as did Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.

    Potter, a 26-year-veteran of the force, was one of the first officers on the scene after another police shooting in 2019, and served as a police union leader.

    She advised the officers involved there to go into separate squad cars, turn off their body cameras, and not speak to one another. No charges were filed in that case.

    As protests continued after Wright’s death, the rest of the officers in the Twin Cities area have not yielded an inch to protestors, responding on Monday night with force, and as of script-time, were reportedly firing more flash bang munitious at crowds on Tuesday evening.

    City officials declared a 10pm curfew for Tuesday night. Meanwhile, just a few miles away, the trial for George Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin continues. As yet, no charges have been filed against Potter.

    The U.S. has called for a pause in the rollout of Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccine after federal health officials discovered a rare blood clot disorder in six people who had recieved it.

    For reference, that’s six people out of an estimated seven million who have gotten the J&J shot thus far. But authorities are clearly tightly wound after Europe’s struggles with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was also tenuously linked to blood clots.

    But again, as sexual health advocates pointed out, the risk for blood clots is 1 in 1000 for some forms of birth control. That’s more than a thousand times more likely than the J&J shot, and those pills are considered extremely low-risk.

    FDA scientists said in a statement:

    “We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.” “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

    That overabundance of caution has thrown the nine million or so doses of the J&J vaccine that were expected to go out to Americans in the coming weeks into limbo. The pause is supposed to last just a matter of days, but it depends what the FDA finds in that time. Let’s hope that the risks stay as low as they appear and we can get back to using that vaccine as soon as possible.


    A new internal report shows that Capitol Police were specifically told not to use aggressive tactics against the January 6 rioters, despite knowing that there was the potential for violence and that Congress itself was the target of the riots.

    The Senate will likely move ahead on a rare bipartisan measure today. The bill is designed to to help investigate and halt hate crimes against Asian Americans, and could be finalized by the end of the week if negotiators from both sides of the aisle can pull it off.

    Also in bipartisanship: a group of Representatives from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to Biden’s secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday, urging him to end U.S. support for the Saudi Blockade and military campaign in Yemen, which is drastically feuling the humanitarian crisis there.

    Nancy Pelosi has invited Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress on April 28, the traditional meeting that isn’t officially a State of the Union address, but serves as one in a president’s first year.

    APRIL 14 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 13, 2021: Protests Erupt after New Police Killing

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    Protests erupted across the Twin Cities area in Minnesota yet again on Sunday and Monday after police officers shot and killed a black man at a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center.

    Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers propose one of the most barbaric and inhumane anti-trans bills yet, which would seek to separate children who identify as trans from their parents.

    And lastly, New Mexico became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana, as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that included recreational use and key social justice provisions around marijuana use that advocates have been seeking for years.


    On Sunday, a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, in a shocking incident that was capture on body camera video.

    Wright’s killing immediately sparked protests, and officials called for a strict 7 p.m. curfew. As of script time, large street protests after that curfew were being met with the now-familiar levels of brute force by several different police departments. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul declared states of emergency, and professional sports games in the state were postponed.

    Remember, this is all happening in the middle of the Derek Chauvin trial, who is being charged with murder for the killing of George Floyd last spring.

    The Brooklyn Center police said that Wright was mistakenly killed, as the officer who shot him once in the chest believed she was reaching for her taser. Regardless of intent, Wright’s death was absurd. The police department’s immediate investigation will surely not satisfy a city and national already on edge.

    Speaking from the oval office, President Biden said:

    “We do know that the anger, pain and trauma amidst the Black community is real.” Endquote. But then he continued quote. “In the meantime, I want to make it clear again: There is absolutely no justification — none — for looting. No justification for violence. Peaceful protest? Understandable.”

    Minnesota Governor Tim Walsh was more direct, saying what Biden apparently wouldn’t:

    “Our time was made clear last May in Minnesota. Our time to get one shot at fixing it was there. And in the midst of this trial that the world’s watching, the situation repeated itself yesterday.”

    Texas lawmakers are attempting to outdo their bigoted colleagues in Georgia and other Republican-led states, proposing one of the most barbaric anti-trans bills yet.

    The bill, designated Senate Bill 1646, would separate trans children from their families for providing them with gender-affirming care, according to Insider. Specifically, the bill’s language criminalizes families who consent to allow their children to begin hormone therapy to match their preferred gender, naming such behavior so-called “child abuse.”

    In other words, simply by trying to care for their children as best they could, sympathetic parents would be named as abusers.

    Adri Perez, a policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas said:

    “Gender-affirming care is essential and life-saving care. Make no mistake, restricting and even criminalizing access to healthcare for transgender people will cost lives."

    Arkansas’s state legislature passed the first similar bill regulating trans healthcare for minors on April 6, and it’s clear that Texas is eager to follow in its footsteps. Several other conservative-led states are considering similar bills, meaning that the GOP’s dominance over state houses is about to get even more dangerous for marginalized groups in the coming months.

    Things are about to get a little more mellow down in New Mexico. After years of work by advocates and months of specific interest by top leadership, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, signed legislation that legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana.

    Lujan Grisham made this issue one of her pet projects, at one point calling a special session of the state’s legislature in late March to reinvigorate legalization efforts.

    Advocates say the bill does a lot more than just legalize taking a toke or two, however. Crucially, it includes sentencing provisions that could release thousands of low-level cannabis offenders from jails and prisons across the state.

    Lujan Grisham said:

    “Legalized adult-use cannabis is going to change the way we think about New Mexico for the better—our workforce, our economy, our future. We're ready to break new ground. We're ready to invest in ourselves and the limitless potential of New Mexicans. And we're ready to get to work in making this industry a successful one."

    The Governor also mentioned that the adult-use cannabis industry could create more than 11,000 jobs over the next few years, and top $318 million in sales in the first year.

    That last point is what likely makes legal weed so attractive for progressive governors: in short, it’s going to make them money. And if it’s also the right thing to do, well, we aren’t complaining.


    Biden’s dog major is headed to the big house. He’s fine of course, but he is headed for a doggie re-education camp in the D.C. area to receive anti-biting training from the professionals. It should last a couple weeks -- if he doesn’t return after then, we’ll have an update on this very important national story.

    A high school student was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with police officers on a school campus in Tennessee, just days after the state’s governor signed a bill allowing adults to carry handguns without a permit.

    Thanks to centrist Democratic spoilers like Joe Manchin, Biden is already being forced to find compromise on his ambitious infrastructure bill, meeting with a bipartisan group of congresspeople on Monday to discuss how to find some middle ground. Doesn’t bode well for the final project!

    Arkansas is poised to finally pass anti-hate crime legislation, and while the bill does enforce some penalties for crimes against certain groups of people, critics say that the bill’s omission of any mention of race, sexuality or gender renders it largely useless.

    APRIL 13 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 12, 2021: Biden War Budget Balloons

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


    In case you missed it, Joe Biden asked for a whopping $715 billion budget for America’s military on Friday, and progressives are already, well, up in arms.

    Meanwhile, informal talks between the U.S. and Iran may be in jeopardy after so-called sabotage wiped out power to Iran’s main nuclear enrichment site.

    And lastly, a key policy delay has as-yet rendered all of Biden’s promises to refugees empty, as a new report shows his administration is currently on pace to accept fewer refugees than any administration before him, including Trump.


    We’ve got a new military budget, the first one under Joe Biden’s new peace-loving Democratic administration. Unfortunately, yep, it looks a whole lot like the old military budgets.

    Biden asked congress for a massive $715 billion for the Pentagon on Friday, as the main chunk of a total $753 billion in military spending. To compare, Trump’s biggest Pentagon budget was $704 billion.

    That change is slight when you account for inflation. And while Biden is crucially asking for the military to use that money in different ways from Trump, it still represents a massive prioritization of the nation’s death-dealing apparatus over domestic investments.

    One thing Biden got right, though: he’s eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations accounts, which the military basically used as a slush fund for war for years.

    Progressives in the House like Pramilla Jayapal, Barbara Lee, Ilhan Omar and Ro Khanna were quick to point out both the good and the bad in Biden’s budget, but came back to the same point: it’s absurd that this country spends so much on war -- and however it’s earmarked, that’s over 700 billion taxpayer dollars that can’t go to other things.

    Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan summed it up, saying, "Increased spending on the Pentagon on fraud, waste, and zero accountability is still just that, and takes away from funding that could be spent on other people-centric policies like healthcare, education, and housing."

    An explosion in Iran rocked the country at a pretty dicey time for its talks with U.S. leadership as the two countries seek a way back into the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal that pleases all parties involved.

    But in the middle of these early notifications, a planned explosion that Iran called sabotage knocked out power to its main nuclear enrichment site, which has been a repeat target of attacks in the past.

    Iran blamed Israel immediately, and Israel denied -- the same old dance. The New York Times reported that American and Israeli intelligence officials said anonymously that the Israelis played a role in it. So you can see where that goes.

    But what it means for the future of Iran’s tenuous negotiations with the U.S. is still unclear. The hope is that Biden’s state department can massively decrease Trump-era tensions with Iran, coming to a new nuclear deal that lets both countries save face.

    The Times reports that sabotage at Iran’s nuclear plant decreases its leverage in talks for the U.S., but it’s unclear how much knowledge U.S. officials had of the strike, particularly as Israeli officials have made it clear that they don’t like the idea of going back to the original Iran deal.

    It’s silly that this kind of brinksmanship is what determines the fate of thousands of Iranians suffering under U.S. sanctions, but that’s where we are.

    The heavy gears of bureaucracy are once again throwing lives into chaos.

    Since taking office, Joe Biden has claimed that he will be a much kinder and gentler president toward refugees seeking shelter in the United States. But a new report shows that he’s dragging his feet on a key policy step that can make that talk a reality.

    In his first weeks in office, Biden signed executive orders to rebuild and enhance federal programs to resettle refugees, increase the harsh caps on the number of refugees the U.S. would take in, and lift bans on refugees from certain countries. These were some of Trump’s most brutal policies, and it’s imperative that Biden fixes them. But so far, despite the orders, he hasn’t.

    According to the Washington Post, Biden has yet to sign what’s called a presidential determination. Without that, Trump’s policies remain in effect.

    The Post reports that presidential determinations are usually signed immediately after a policy announcement, but as yet, it’s been nearly 8 weeks without a peep from the Administration, which didn’t respond to the Posts requests for comment.

    According to a report released Friday by the International Rescue Committee, without that determination the Biden administration is on track to let in fewer refugees than any modern administration before him, including Trump. Thus far he’s let in only 2,050 to date in the current fiscal year. Nazanin Ash, the IRC’s vice president for global policy and advocacy, said,

    “I don’t know the specific reason why [Biden] hasn’t signed, and it’s really unusual that he hasn’t signed. It is typically a standard, automatic last step in the process.”

    This seems like a massive oversight, and one that the Biden Administration needs to step up and correct, soon.


    The Times reports that Biden’s big infrastructure push has had the predictable result: hordes of lobbyists are already swarming to get their piece of the pie. And members of Congress are joining in, trying to cram their pet projects and district-pleasing contracts into any prospective bills. It’s almost like our system of government doesn’t work so well!

    State Coronavirus vaccine efforts are about to hit a major speedbump as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s supply is taking a nosedive. Deliveries are set to fall 86 percent until a Baltimore plant producing the vax gets key federal approval.

    Detroit-based anti-war activists weathered their 14th day of hunger strikes in protest of the U.S.’s ongoing support of the Saudi war in Yemen. The activists are calling for the Biden Administration to end all support for the Saudi’s blockade of the country, which is stopping food, medicine and other key supplies from entering war torn areas.

    Donald Trump tried to summon some of that old school bile on Saturday night, calling Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a quote “dumb son of a bitch” during a speech to Republicans, again repeating his lies that he won the 2020 election. He’s wrong about that, and unfortunately for all of us, he’s wrong about McConnell being dumb. Alas.

    APRIL 12, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 9, 2021: Intel report sees dire future

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


    A forward-looking report released every four years by the US intelligence community notes a number of worrisome global trends. The pandemic is only one of them.

    Meanwhile, we’ve got news on the union election at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Did Amazon break the rules and taint the results by having the Postal Service install a special mailbox for ballots?

    And lastly, the White House rolled out several new gun control measures yesterday. There were also at least two more mass shootings, in South Carolina and Texas.


    The forecast is not sunshine and rainbows, folks. The Associated Press reports that US intelligence officials are painting a dark picture of the world’s future, writing in a report released yesterday that the coronavirus pandemic has deepened economic inequality, strained government resources and fanned nationalist sentiments. Those assessments are included in a Global Trends report by the government’s National Intelligence Council. The reports, produced every four years, are designed to help policymakers and citizens anticipate the economic, environmental, technological and demographic forces likely to shape the world through the next twenty years. This year’s report focuses heavily on the impact of the pandemic, calling it the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II, with health, economic, political, and security implications that will ripple for years to come.

    Nations in different parts of the world set new records yesterday for Covid-19 deaths and new infections, according to the AP. The report says, "Covid-19 has shaken long-held assumptions about resilience and adaptation and created new uncertainties about the economy, governance, geopolitics, and technology."

    The document finds cause for concern in virtually all aspects of life, the AP reports. It warns, for instance, that the effects of climate change are likely to worsen the problem of food and water insecurity in poor countries and hasten global migration. Though health, education and household prosperity have made historic improvements in recent decades, that progress will

    be hard to sustain because of "headwinds," not only from the effects of the pandemic but also aging populations and potentially slower economic growth. The report also warns of eroding trust in government and institutions. Maybe that wouldn’t be a problem if they did a better job of looking after people.

    Here’s what we know about the hottest labor story in the country. The first ballots counted in a closely watched bid to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama were heavily against the effort, according to an unofficial tally of the results by the New York Times. The union seeking to represent workers said there were three thousand two hundred and fifteen ballots cast – or about fifty five percent of the roughly fifty eight hundred workers who were eligible to vote. Hundreds of ballots are being contested, mostly by Amazon, according to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. Responding to the early results, union president Stuart Appelbaum said the system is broken and, "Amazon took full advantage of that."

    As of 7 PM Eastern time yesterday, the Times’ unofficial tally counted four hundred fifty six Yes votes and one thousand and eighty four No votes. Counting resumes today. One thousand six hundred and eight votes are needed for the union to win. Union elections are typically held in person, but the labor board determined that the election should be conducted by mail to minimize risks during the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that emails among US Postal Service employees show that Amazon pressed the agency to install a mailbox outside its Bessemer warehouse, a move the union contends is a violation of labor laws. The union has complained about the mailbox, which the Postal Service installed just before the start of mail-in balloting for the union election in early February. It has argued that the mailbox could lead workers to think Amazon has some role in collecting and counting ballots, which could influence their votes. Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox said the mailbox’s placement was intended to make voting easy. They’re just trying to help! Sure.

    President Joe Biden announced an array of executive actions yesterday intended curb gun violence, following pressure from activists and fellow Democrats in the aftermath of two recent mass shootings, the Washington Post reports. The president announced new rules on firearms that are assembled at home, which lack serial numbers and are harder to track, among other moves designed to make it harder for unqualified people to obtain dangerous weapons. Biden also named David Chipman as his pick to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman is an adviser to a gun control group founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely injured in a mass shooting in 2011.

    Biden’s moves come amid growing impatience from gun control activists that the administration has not acted more quickly, the Post reports. Biden promised he would take action to limit gun violence on the first day of his administration, but that fell by the wayside. The issue of gun violence moved the forefront after the two mass shootings, one in the Atlanta area in which eight people were killed and another in Colorado, where ten were killed.

    It never ends. The AP reports that one person was killed and four wounded yesterday in a shooting at a cabinet-making business in Bryan, Texas. And at least five people are dead, including two children, in what police in York County, South Carolina, yesterday called a mass shooting, according to the Post. The AP and Charlotte Observer reported that the suspect, who was identified as former National Football League player Phillip Adams, killed himself. Adams’s father, Alonzo, told a regional NBC affiliate that his son had been, "a good kid. I think the football messed him up." So, he should’ve never had a gun.


    George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from being pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck, a medical expert testified at former officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial yesterday, according to the AP. The testimony emphatically rejected the defense theory that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health problems were what killed him. If Chauvin walks after all this, expect big protests.

    The Guardian reports that rioters were blasted with a water cannon by police as unrest stirred on the streets of Northern Ireland. After calls for calm this week, violence again flared up on the streets of west Belfast last night. Officers were seen being pelted with missiles before charging youths with dogs in order to drive them off. President Biden yesterday joined British and Irish leaders in calling for peace.

    Transgender rights activist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner and her advisers are gathering at her Malibu home next week to discuss her potential candidacy in the upcoming California gubernatorial recall election, Politico reports. Jenner has brought aboard a team of seasoned GOP strategists including Ryan Erwin, a former top official at the California Republican Party, and Brad Parscale, a former campaign manager to Donald Trump. A poll released last week showed support for removing Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is well short of a majority.

    The New York Times reports that Joel Greenberg, a former local official in Florida who faces an array of federal charges, including a sex trafficking count, is expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks. The news is an indication that the defendant could cooperate as a key witness against Representative Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation.

    APRIL 9 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 8, 2021: Biden moves against Russian pipeline

    April 2, 2021: Matt Gaetz Under investigation

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


    Amid pressure from Congress, the Biden administration is trying to scuttle a Russian gas pipeline through Europe before the project is finished. But Germany wants the pipeline to happen, so it’s very tricky diplomacy.

    Meanwhile, European medical regulators now concede that there is a slight risk of blood clots with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. Although the vaccine is still considered safe and effective, Britain is recommending that people under thirty take another shot, just in case.

    And lastly, many lawmakers and economists are pushing for another round of stimulus checks for Americans – or even recurring payments. Is the White House listening?


    President Joe Biden remains knee deep in sticky European pipeline politics. The White House is in talks to appoint a special envoy to lead negotiations on halting the construction of Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream Two, according to Politico. The Biden administration is grappling with how to stymie a nearly completed energy project that would serve as a major financial and geopolitical boon to Moscow. Amos Hochstein, who served as the coordinator for international energy affairs under President Barack Obama, was informally offered the role late last month. Hochstein, who stepped down from the supervisory board of the Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz late last year, declined to comment.

    Politico reports that senators from both parties have been pushing the Biden administration to cripple the pipeline before it’s too late. Republican Senator Ted Cruz has held up speedy confirmation of Biden’s top State Department nominees as part of that effort. In a recent private meeting, Cruz pressed Victoria Nuland, Biden’s pick to lead the State Department’s political affairs office, about the possibility of appointing an envoy to handle the matter.

    While it is not yet clear what the envoy’s exact mandate would be, Politico reports, the role would at least initially be focused on managing delicate negotiations over how to impede the pipeline without alienating a key US ally in Berlin. The administration wants to impede Moscow’s energy leverage but it also wants to strengthen the US relationship with Germany,

    which has been lobbying Washington for the pipeline’s construction to continue unabated. But US lawmakers from both parties have argued that the pipeline would make some European countries more dependent on Russian energy, while depriving Ukraine of billions of dollars in revenue. Ah, so it’s about money. Who could’ve guessed?

    Here’s the latest vaccine update. Unusual blood clots should be listed as very rare side effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Europe’s main drug regulator said yesterday, according to NBC News. Emer Cooke, the executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said that the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot overall outweigh the risks of side effects. The vaccine has proved to be highly effective, she said at a news briefing, adding that it prevented severe disease and hospitalization and is saving lives. However, Cooke added that after a very in-depth analysis, the regulator had concluded that, "the reported cases of unusual blood clotting following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should be listed as possible side effects of the vaccine."

    NBC reports that because of a very small number of blood clots in younger people reported in the UK, Britain's vaccines advisory body said yesterday that it was recommending that those under the age of thirty should be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine to the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine, where one is available. In a separate statement, the EMA said that blood clots should be listed as very rare side effects of Vaxzevria, the official name of the AstraZeneca vaccine. So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under sixty years of age within two weeks of vaccination, the statement added. Meanwhile, Doctor Sabine Straus, the chair of the EMA's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee, said at yesterday’s briefing that the currently available data, "did not allow us to identify a definite cause for these complications." She added that no specific risk factors could be identified. More research would be conducted, she said. Hopefully this news doesn’t deter anyone from getting vaccinated. Regardless, we’ll keep bringing you the best information we can find.

    Expert opinion says the government could be doing a lot more to help people right now. The IRS has issued one hundred and fifty six million payments in the third round of direct stimulus aid, with twenty five million people this week in line to receive the $1,400 checks, CBS News reports. But some lawmakers are pushing for a fourth round of stimulus aid that would send recurring payments until the pandemic ends. So far, the federal response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has delivered $3,200 to each eligible adult. Despite that financial assistance, millions of Americans remain in financial distress, with about four in ten people saying their income remains below its pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment remains elevated. For many people, in short, the latest round of $1,400 checks may not last long.

    Twenty-one senators – all Democrats – signed a March 30 letter to Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments, CBS reports. While the letter doesn't specify how large the payments the senators are seeking, a separate effort from Democratic lawmakers in January pushed for $2,000 monthly checks until the pandemic ends. Some top economists have called for more direct aid to Americans. More than one hundred and fifty economists, including former Obama administration economist Jason Furman, signed a letter last year that argued for recurring direct stimulus payments, lasting until the economy recovers.

    The economy is expected to rebound this year thanks to rising Covid-19 vaccination rates and as states start to reopen, according to CBS. That could diminish the rationale for the government offering more direct aid, especially if the jobless rate recovers and more workers come off the sidelines. But in the meantime, people are hurting – and Biden’s big infrastructure package doesn’t include the direct aid that so many need. Give us cash!


    The Virginia General Assembly agreed yesterday to make it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on July 1, nearly three years sooner than had been approved by the legislature in February, according to the Washington Post. Indeed, why wait?

    The Post reports that testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin resumed yesterday in Minneapolis. The former officer’s defense team argued that George Floyd saying, I can’t

    breathe, while police attempted to load him into the squad car was a form of resisting arrest. I honestly don’t understand how these people can look at themselves in the mirror.

    The Defense Department announced Tuesday that it would retain the Trump administration’s policy and keep antipersonnel land mines in its arsenal, reserving the right to use them in war, the New York Times reports. The announcement drew swift condemnation from human rights groups. For some reason they don’t respect America’s right to defend itself by maiming children around the world.

    Mike Pence has signed a multimillion-dollar, two-book deal with publisher Simon and Schuster, CNN reports. The former Indiana governor and vice president is making moves to suggest he could run for president in 2024. Yesterday Pence announced he was launching a new political advocacy group called Advancing American Freedom. Larry Kudlow is on board. Bottoms up! And, uh, praise the lord, I guess. It’s mandatory.

    APRIL 8 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • April 7, 2021: Security officials demand 1/6 Commission

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


    Top former national security officials are calling on Congress to establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6th Capitol insurrection. The threat of a repeat performance, they say, is growing.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas becomes the first state to ban many medical procedures for transgender youth. State lawmakers even overrode a governor’s veto in their campaign to take away rights from vulnerable people.

    And lastly, both sides appear pleased with progress so far in talks to re-engage a US nuclear deal with Iran, after Trump trashed it. The original deal was one of the Obama administration’s greatest hits.


    Impeachment wasn’t enough. CBS News reports that precisely three months after the January 6 assault on the Capitol, dozens of former senior national security, military and elected officials from both sides of the aisle urged lawmakers in Congress to establish an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. The letter, signed by one hundred and forty officials, encourages Congress to not only investigate the direct causes of the insurrection, but to make recommendations to prevent future assaults. The long list of officials includes nearly two dozen ambassadors, six former senators, four former secretaries of homeland security and two members of the 9/11 Commission. The letter warned of an exigent and growing threat to the American public.

    Last month, CBS reports, US intelligence agencies issued a joint assessment of the national security threat posed by domestic violent extremism. An unclassified summary of the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said domestic terrorism poses an elevated threat in 2021. It predicted that social and political factors, including the coronavirus pandemic and the emboldening impact of the insurrection, will almost certainly spur domestic extremists to engage in further violence.

    But according to CBS, congressional efforts to create an independent commission have stalled. They hit a snag in February as Democrats and Republicans disagreed over the scope and structure of the review. Unable to find common ground on an independent commission, seven House Committees launched an investigation into the federal government's handling of the attack in late March. The former officials who signed yesterday’s letter warned that failure to establish such a commission would "leave the Capitol, and the nation, vulnerable to future attacks." As if regular mass shootings didn’t make that obvious.

    Bad news for trans youth, their families and friends: Arkansas state legislators voted yesterday to pass the nation’s first law banning gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors, overriding a veto from their governor and intense opposition from major medical organizations across the country, the Washington Post reports. Arkansas legislators voted twenty five to eight in the Senate and seventy one to twenty four in the House to override the veto from Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson. The new legislation would prohibit doctors from providing transgender minors with medical care such as puberty blockers, hormone therapies and transition-related surgeries, and from referring them for such treatments. The bill is part of a Republican-led wave of similar legislation in at least seventeen other states seeking to restrict access to medical treatments for transgender minors.

    A day earlier, the Post reports, Hutchinson had stunned advocates by issuing a veto of the ban, calling it a vast government overreach. He said that if signed into law, the bill would interfere with physicians and parents "as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people." He cited opposition from leading national medical associations that said denying access to such medical care could jeopardize the mental health of an already vulnerable community. But state legislators voted to pass the bill anyway, setting the stage for a potential legal battle.

    Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union vowed to challenge the ban in court, according to the Post. Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, said state legislators are waging a discriminatory crusade against trans youth. She said "This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over – and we’re in it for the long haul." And, hopefully, other states will hold the line.

    Some promising diplomatic news: Iran said initial talks yesterday in Vienna on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal were constructive, according to the Washington Post. Iranian and American envoys are seeking a road map to lift US sanctions and bring Tehran back to its commitments under the accord. Iran's lead negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, characterized the talks as on the right track. However, reiterating the Iranian demand that US sanctions be lifted in one step, he added, "It's too soon to say it has been successful."

    A US team led President Joe Biden's special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was in the Austrian capital for the discussions – which are expected to continue on Friday, the Post reports. But Malley did not meet directly with Iran, setting up camp in a different hotel. For the US, the core issue is having Iran scale back its uranium enrichment to levels outlined in the nuclear deal. Iran wants an end to sanctions placed by the Trump administration after withdrawing from the accord in 2018. But the two sides have been at loggerheads over who takes the first step. European diplomats say they will negotiate a list of moves for each side in parallel, to overcome the arguments over which side acts first.

    Enrique Mora, the European coordinator for the talks, tweeted that he would intensify separate contacts with all relevant parties, including the US, according to the Post. Backers of the pact see an urgency to get it back on track: the dwindling time before Iran is expected to be able to produce enough fissile material for a potential nuclear weapon, alongside approaching elections in Iran. Iran has said for decades it does not want nuclear weapons. Which should simplify this process, if only anyone believed it.


    President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he’s bumping up his deadline by two weeks for states to make all adults in the US eligible for coronavirus vaccines, the Associated Press reports. Now every adult will be eligible by April 19 to get in a virtual line to be vaccinated. Biden also said no one should fear mutations of the coronavirus that are showing

    up in the US. He acknowledged that the new strains are more virulent and dangerous, but said "the vaccines work on all of them." That’s a relief.

    Ukraine’s president has called on Nato to hasten his country’s membership into the western military alliance in response to a growing buildup of Russian forces on his country’s borders, the Guardian reports. Russia has not denied the troop movements but insisted it was "not threatening anyone." Oh, so they’re just sightseeing.

    Embattled National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre feared for his safety after mass shootings in recent years, forcing him to take refuge aboard a friend's luxury yacht, NBC News reports. LaPierre made the admission in a deposition connected to the NRA's bankruptcy case in Dallas. With any luck he’s prone to seasickness.

    Politico reports that Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, mired in an ongoing federal sex trafficking investigation, is headed to Donald Trump’s resort in Doral this Friday, where he will be a featured speaker at a summit hosted by a pro-Trump women’s group. Women For America First says on its website that "We won’t be pushed around by bullies who tell us who we are supposed to like." Their freak flags are flying high, folks.

    APRIL 7, 2021 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw