The political stories and election updates you need to know to start your day- all in five minutes or less. Co Hosted by Sam Seder and Lucie Steiner. Powered by Majority.FM

  • Nov 6, 2020: Election Officials Face Threats

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    Protests are spreading across the country as tensions grow around the counting of ballots in key states. Joe Biden remains confident in his lead over Donald Trump, who finally appeared in public last night to deliver a low-energy, but still unhinged, rant.

    Meanwhile, you might be able to guess that Jared Kushner would make for a bad landlord. But new reporting shows he’s basically a villain from a Charles Dickens story.

    And lastly, Bay Area residents this week elected the youngest state lawmaker California has seen in some eighty years. He’s a former gig worker who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders.


    Joe Biden said yesterday he had QUOTE no doubt ENDQUOTE that he and Kamala Harris would win the White House. He leads Donald Trump in the popular vote by more than 3.8 million votes. According to the New York Times, twenty seven different combinations of the remaining states would give Biden the presidency, while only four different combinations would re-elect Trump. One path would result in an electoral college tie.

    The Times reports that Biden increased his lead in Nevada by about four thousand votes yesterday and was eroding Trump’s leads in Georgia and Pennsylvania, while holding on to his modest lead in Arizona. In Nevada, Biden holds a slim lead; the count is expected to go on for days. In North Carolina, a final count won’t be done until November 12th.

    Trump rambled and ranted from the White House podium last night, telling more lies about QUOTE illegal votes ENDQUOTE and imaginary conspiracies against him.

    Meanwhile, Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer accused Trump’s campaign of filing meritless lawsuits meant to misinform the public and disrupt the vote count, according to the Washington Post. Judges in Georgia and Michigan ruled against Trump’s campaign yesterday. However, a state appellate court in Pennsylvania granted its request to force Philadelphia election officials to let its election observers within six feet of where workers are counting ballots.

    There have been “count every vote” protests in protests in Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York City and Portland, Oregon. There were also pro-Trump scenes in Detroit, where the Trumpies want to “stop the count,” and in Phoenix, where they want the vote count to continue. Some of the Trump supporters were armed. The Associated Press reports that election officials in several states yesterday that they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud. Stay tuned...


    From the Washington Post comes this story of a heartless landlord seeking to evict hundreds of tenants in the middle of a pandemic. His name? Jared Kushner. Yes, I’m talking about Trump’s son-in-law.

    A state eviction moratorium currently bars Maryland courts from removing tenants from their homes, and a federal moratorium offers renters additional protection. But Westminster Management, an apartment company owned in part by Kushner, has been sending letters to tenants threatening legal fees and then filing eviction notices in court. Those notices are now piling up as part of a national backlog of tens of thousands of cases, the Post reports.

    Many of the Westminster tenants facing eviction live on low or middle incomes in modest apartments in the Baltimore area. Some of them told the Post they fell behind on rent after losing jobs or wages due to the pandemic. Those facing eventual eviction proceedings include a nurse, health-care administrators and an unemployed single mother.

    When he joined Trump in the White House, Kushner maintained ownership in Westminster, which paid him $1.65 million in 2019. Last year Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sued the company for its management practices, alleging that the company collects illegitimate fees for applications and evictions, and illegally claims tenants’ security deposits.

    Tashika Booker, a Westminster resident, called the eviction threats heartless. Booker told the Post QUOTE The way they’re treating us is just making us feel like we’re nothing. It feels like we’re disposable ENDQUOTE. With any luck, Kushner is the one who’ll be disposed of soon.


    Progressives didn’t get everything they wanted this week. Far from it. But there were some promising signs. The Los Angeles Times highlighted the story of Alex Lee, who on Tuesday overwhelmingly won a seat in the California Assembly, becoming the youngest state legislator to assume office in more than eighty years.

    The Democrat from San Jose is twenty-five years old, lives with his mom and, up until recently, was working part time for an app-based delivery service to make ends meet, the Times reports. When he is sworn into office, he will also be the first California legislator to have come out as bisexual.

    Lee easily defeated Republican Bob Brunton for the Bay Area district that encompasses San Jose, Santa Clara and Fremont. In the March primary, Lee split the vote with seven other Democrats, allowing Brunton to finish on top, according to the Times.

    Lee said his his politics align with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who endorsed the young Democrat’s bid for the Assembly. Lee said he plans to keep his campaign pledge of not accepting corporate or special interest money while in office.

    Lee told the Times that one of his first bills will be to limit corporate money in state elections, which he says is QUOTE polluting our democracy ENDQUOTE. He opposed Proposition 22, the $200-million campaign led by Uber and Lyft to strip gig workers of labor rights, which passed on Tuesday. He said his opinions on Proposition 22 were solidified while working for an app-based delivery company, which was risky and low-wage work during the pandemic.

    Lee will join a Democrat-dominated Legislature, where fellow lawmakers are, on average, twice his age. Give ’em hell Alex! And remember, folks: you too can run for office.


    Defense Secretary Mark Esper has reportedly prepared a resignation letter. Before he submits it, Esper is helping draft legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases, which Trump opposes. One defense official told NBC News that Esper QUOTE prefers to be remembered as someone who was fired because he stood up to the president, rather than being remembered as 'Yesper,' ENDQUOTE. But it’s such a perfect nickname!

    The former police officers charged with killing George Floyd will be tried together in March, after a judge in Minneapolis denied defense motions for separate trials. The judge ruled that separate trials for the four officers would place an undue burden on prosecutors, the Washington Post reports. He also ruled that jurors in the case will be anonymous to the public and partially sequestered, and that there can be audio and video coverage of the trial.

    The Guardian reports that Bolivia’s exiled former president, Evo Morales, is set to make a triumphant homecoming next week at the head of an eight hundred-vehicle convoy. After setting out from Argentina, Morales plans to arrive in the town of Chimoré on Tuesday, exactly a year after fleeing the same location on a Mexican airforce jet following a military coup backed by the United States. His ultimate political intentions are uncertain but, in the meantime, a big party is expected.

    The Washington State supreme court yesterday ruled that dairy workers are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than forty hours a week, the AP reports. The decision is expected to apply to the rest of the agriculture industry, as justices deemed the state law exempting farmworkers from certain labor rights to be unconstitutional. It’s the first time a state has granted farmworkers overtime protections through the courts.

    ¡Si se puede!

    That's all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report for the latest on the election and more.

    NOV 6, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Nov 5, 2020: Biden Nearer to Victory

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


    Joe Biden expects to win the presidency after claiming victory in two Midwestern states. Pennsylvania is the big question mark, and people were in the streets last night there and around the country calling for every vote to be counted.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to win in the courts, no matter what the voters say. But legal experts say it won’t be a simple matter for him to take his case straight to the Supreme Court.

    And lastly, voters across the country rejected the drug war at every opportunity. Fifteen-plus states will now permit recreational marijuana use.


    Here’s what we know, as of late last night, about the state of presidential race. Joe Biden was declared the winner in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that could prove key to his victory. Yesterday Biden urged supporters to keep faith in the process and said QUOTE we’re on track to win this election. I’m optimistic about this outcome ENDQUOTE.

    And he has reason to be. As more votes were counted through the day, Donald Trump's path to victory in the Electoral College narrowed, while Biden gained leads in at least two states that could give him enough electoral votes to win.

    Trump falsely claimed victory even as Biden pulled ahead, and with millions of votes left to be counted. Twitter placed warnings on a number of Trump tweets spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the vote count. State elections officials around the country defended the integrity of their processes against Trump’s lies.

    Results in the following states were outstanding as of last night, according to the New York Times: Alaska, which will likely go to Trump; Arizona, which the Associated Press has called for Biden; Georgia, where Trump has a slight lead; Nevada, where Biden has the edge; North Carolina, where Trump leads; and Pennsylvania, which remains far from a final count.

    Biden has two hundred and fifty three confirmed electoral votes and would need seventeen more to win. President Trump has two hundred and fourteen confirmed electoral votes and would need fifty-six more to win.

    Five Senate races were uncalled in four states: Alaska, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina. A sixth race, in Maine, was called yesterday afternoon for the Republican incumbent, Senator Susan Collins, the Times reports.

    Remember, like we’ve been saying, this process is going to take a while.


    Forget the will of the people – Trump wants a handful of judges decide this election in his favor. The Washington Post reports that the Trump campaign plans to file lawsuits to halt vote-counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania; seek to initiate a recount in Wisconsin; and intervene in litigation pending before the Supreme Court over Pennsylvania’s extended deadline for mail ballots. The campaign also said it would challenge guidance related to voter identification rules for some voters in Pennsylvania, one of a half dozen legal efforts announced by Republicans in the state.

    Trump said yesterday he wants the Supreme Court to decide which votes count. Legal experts told the Post that Trump cannot simply seek the Supreme Court’s intervention in the election and stop the counting of ballots. The court’s power is constrained, and justices can entertain only specific constitutional questions that have risen from lower courts.

    In Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf called the effort to stop ballot-counting in the state an attempt to subvert the democratic process. In Wisconsin, Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said the counting had gone exceptionally smoothly and that to suggest otherwise was an insult to election workers. In Michigan, Democrats said the lawsuit the Trump campaign filed seeking to halt vote-counting was preposterous.

    Democrats said they were unfazed by Trump’s legal posturing. Bob Bauer, a top attorney for the Biden campaign, told reporters yesterday QUOTE We’re winning the election, we’ve won the election, and we’re going to defend that election ENDQUOTE. Inshallah!


    The drug war lost big this week. The Guardian reports that in every state where the question was on the ballot, Americans voted to abolish criminal penalties for drug possession.

    On Tuesday, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota, voted to decriminalize recreational marijuana. In Mississippi and South Dakota, medical marijuana will legalized. In Washington DC, psychedelic plants will be decriminalized. And in Oregon, all illegal drugs – including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines – will be decriminalized. A separate groundbreaking ballot measure there legalized psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, for therapeutic use.

    Oregon’s decriminalization initiative places an emphasis on treating addiction as a health issue, rather than one of law and order. Instead of jail time, those found in possession of drugs will have the option to either pay a $100 fine, or sign up for addiction services. The initiative also aims to reduce racial disparities in drug arrests and sentencing.

    Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the success of state marijuana measures should spur further development of the industry and possibly bring changes at a federal level whoever wins the White House. Recreational use of marijuana will now be legal in fifteen states plus the District of Columbia. And cannabis sales have surged during the coronavirus pandemic. In California, sales data for August showed a twenty six percent jump over the past year, while sales in Nevada were up thirty four percent. Folks, that’s not bad, but I’m confident that with time and dedication we can get those numbers even higher.


    The United States and the United Nations have issued statements calling for deescalation in Ethiopia, which is approaching civil war, the AP reports. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed yesterday ordered the military to confront the country’s well-armed Tigray regional government, accusing it of a deadly attack on a military base. International experts warned that any conflict in could be protracted and catastrophic for the region.

    Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son Flávio has been charged with graft and money laundering as part of an investigation into the theft of public funds, the New York Times reports. The case remains under seal as the investigation continues, but the charges stem from a series of suspicious financial transactions at his former legislative office in the Rio de Janeiro State Assembly. Long story short, it looks like Flávio was taking kickbacks from his own staff.

    For the first time, astronomers have traced the source of mysterious cosmic energy pulses known as fast radio bursts. Four studies published in the journal Nature explain how scientists tracked a burst in April from inside our own Milky Way galaxy to a strange kind of star known as a magnetar, thirty two thousand light years from earth. So: it wasn’t aliens.

    For the first time yesterday, the US logged more than one hundred thousand new coronavirus cases in a single day. And at least seventeen states reported record-high numbers of current Covid-19 inpatients, according to data tracked by the Washington Post. This is going to be a long and difficult winter. Stay strong and healthy out there.

    That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report for the latest results and election information.

    NOV 5, 2020 - AM QUCKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Nov 4, 2020: No Blowout for Biden

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


    he United States presidential election was, as expected, too close to call last night. The good news for Donald Trump was that Joe Biden did not enjoy a blowout.

    Meanwhile, at least one thing went well: a feared wave of polling-place violence did not take place. But there is a brewing scandal with the United States Postal Service and three hundred thousand ballots that are unaccounted for.

    And lastly, Trump’s lender of last resort, Deutsche Bank, wants to sever ties with him. Which means that however things play out, he’s on the hook for $340 million.


    It will be days or weeks before the full results of this election are tallied. But here’s what we know at the time of this recording [OPTIONAL: SAY THE TIME, Eastern Time].

    Most news outlets are projecting Donald Trump to win in Florida. Exit polls showed Biden winning fewer Latino votes in the state than Clinton did in 2016. In North Carolina, results were delayed because some polls were kept open late, after delays in opening. But Trump held a slight edge over Joe Biden with most precincts reporting; the same was true in Ohio.

    Biden was ahead in Arizona. He held Trump to a virtual tie in Texas, with the lead going to Trump. Pennsylvania will be counting for a while.

    Lower down on the ballot: Control of the US Senate was uncertain. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky kept his seat. Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was projected to unseat Republican Senator Cory Gardner.

    Democrats were projected to hold the US House of Representatives. Islamophobic social media personality Laura Loomer lost her bid for the House in South Florida to the Democratic incumbent, Lois Frankel. Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar kept her seat, as did Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez of New York.

    Sarah McBride will become the first transgender state senator in US history after winning a state senate seat in Delaware. And the Democratic Socialists of America, New York chapter, boasted that it will be sending five winning candidates to the state legislature.

    One hundred and one point one million early votes were cast in person and by mail before the polls even opened yesterday, according to the New York Times. Turnout was projected to be higher than it has been in more than a century.

    Joe Biden visited his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, yesterday, as well as a swimming pool where he worked as a teenager. Donald Trump spent the day behind a wall of fencing erected around the White House, calling in to talk radio.


    The feared wave of clashes at voting sites, happily, failed to materialize yesterday.

    The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law reported no major, systemic problems or attempts to obstruct voting for voters, apart from problems it deemed isolated and sporadic, according to the New York Times. Likewise, the Homeland Security Department reported no significant cyber attacks.

    Long lines were reported in, among other places: New York City, Las Vegas, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Saint Petersburg, Florida, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

    Although some worst-case Election Day scenarios were avoided, there were a number of suspicious, disruptive, and ugly happenings around the country.

    A federal judge ordered US Postal Service inspectors to sweep mail processing facilities in key states and look for misplaced votes. The Postal Service, however, rejected the order and said it would stick to its own inspection schedule. The agency revealed this week that three hundred thousand ballots nationwide could have gone undelivered.

    More flag-waving Trump vehicle caravans were reported near polling places in several cities including Anoka, Minnesota. An armed man in a Trump hat was arrested outside a polling site in Charlotte, North Carolina, and charged with trespassing.

    An estimated ten million dodgy robo-calls went out on and leading up to the day of the election, telling people to QUOTE stay safe and stay home ENDQUOTE. Experts assume it was part of a voter suppression effort; the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into it, as

    is New York’s state Attorney General. Another set of robo-calls targeted voters in Flint, Michigan with false advice to avoid long lines by waiting to vote until today. Which, obviously, isn’t possible.

    A Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was vandalized. Trump and MAGA were spray-painted on tombstones ahead of Trump’s visit there -- his final rally of the campaign and, with luck, for some time.


    Win or lose, Deutsche Bank is looking for ways to end its relationship with Donald Trump after the elections. That’s according to three senior executives who spoke about the matter to the Reuters news agency. Apparently bank leadership is getting tired of bad publicity resulting from their relationship with Trump. Maybe they should’ve thought of that before loaning him some $2 billion.

    Public filings show the bank still has $340 million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization. The loans are against Trump’s golf course in Miami, and hotels in Washington, DC and Chicago. The Trump Organization has only paid interest on them so far, and the entire principal is outstanding. They come due in 2023 and 2024.

    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has previously called for an investigation into Deutsche Bank over money laundering, as well as its deals with Trump and his family. Warren told Reuters she will keep pushing for such a probe in the next administration.

    Bank executives said that if Democrats take power in the election, they expect more scrutiny of their deals with Trump. They also expect that it will be easier for them to end their relationship with Trump if he loses. But if he wins, they expect to extend the due dates until Trump is out of office. Either way, because Trump has personally guaranteed all the loans, Deutsche Bank could seize his assets if he is unable to repay. Sad.


    In nationwide surveys, most voters ranked the coronavirus the most important issue facing the country. Well, everybody should know that White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx directly contradicted Trump in a memo this week. She wrote QUOTE we are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic ... leading to increasing mortality ENDQUOTE. I guess she, like Anthony Fauci, also expects to get fired.

    Police in Austria searched eighteen properties and arrested fourteen people yesterday in the wake of a terror attack in Vienna that killed four and injured twenty-two. The attacker, a twenty year old man who was previously imprisoned for trying to join the Islamic State, opened fire on crowded bars in the nightlife district. The government has announced three days of mourning.

    Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians are protesting in the streets after President Joko Widodo rammed through a new economic law in the dead of night. The law does away with many environmental and labor protections, including mandatory days off for workers. The industry giveaway was done in such a rush that many references in the twelve hundred-page law point to clauses and paragraphs that don’t exist. Talk about looting and lawlessness!

    Ongoing protests in Poland have forced the rightwing government to delay the implementation of a court order banning nearly all abortions in the country. The Guardian reports that the scale of the protests appears to have taken the government by surprise, and even many members of the ruling Law and Justice party oppose the new restrictions. It just goes to show, it ain’t over til the people say it’s over.

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

    NOV 4, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Nov 3, 2020: Election Day

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


    We’ll round up a few of the big stories today, like the Federal Court’s decision on ballots in Texas.

    Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney warns that quote “wannabe fascists” should stay home instead of quote “dressing up like GI joe” to intimidate voters at the polls. But a New York Times investigation shows militias in other states might get a much warmer reception.

    And lastly, the Supreme Court could hear a case that directly challenges Roe v Wade as early as Friday.


    It’s election day. The Majority Report will be with you all day from noon until midnight today, streaming live, so make sure to hop in throughout the day with us.

    Here’s where things stand on the morning of.

    The biggest news of the past 24 hours is again on the GOP’s Texas ballot lawsuits. On Monday, a federal judge ruled against the Republican plaintiffs in their attempt to throw out over 100,000 ballots delivered by drive-through voting in the liberal Harris County. That makes the GOP oh for two on state and federal lawsuits to invalidate ballots, respectively. The plaintiffs have immediately appealed the case, but as the election gets closer it gets slightly less likely they’ll succeed.

    Some other notes to consider: the ​_Times_ ​reports that despite a surge in absentee ballots, the percentage of them being rejected for errors is lower than usual.

    Early voting numbers are also massive. We’re at almost 98 million already.

    Trump has spent his last days on the campaign trail rambling incoherently about the media and calling Democrats criminals. Not really his strongest stuff, but he’s playing the hits I guess.

    His only play has been clear for days: if he takes any kind of lead throughout the night, he’s going to try to declare victory. The big tech companies who will inevitably spread that kind of coup-content say that they’ll add some reminders at the top of their feeds that no victory is certified unless verified by election officials and major news outlets. Biden’s campaign manager,

    for what it’s worth, said quote “Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night.” Endquote. We’ll see how that goes.


    One big storyline outside of the political horserace to keep an eye on today is the presence of militias at polling stations. In Philadelphia, progressive DA Larry Krasner has taken an extremely strong stance at keeping the right-wing stormtroopers away. He told CNN on Friday quote:

    "If you want to dress up like a G.I. Joe and claim you are protecting the polls when we all know what you're really doing is intimidating voters, you're getting locked up. Wannabe fascists stay home. If your idea of how to have a democratic election is to steal it, then I've got something for you. I've got a jail cell, and I've got criminal charges."

    But it’s pretty likely that many jurisdictions won’t be like Krasner’s. In fact, a new investigation by the New York Times shows that cops have been friendly and even openly supportive to armed right-wing groups throughout this summer’s protests. Big surprise, I know.

    The Times reviewed hundreds of incidents from the protests over the summer and found documented video evidence of police and various law enforcement authorities standing by while right wing groups fought with protesters, turning a blind eye to their presence, and, in some cases, directly supporting them on the streets.

    Most of this was pretty obvious at the time. But it’s still notable to see it all laid out for you. What this means is while some DAs or local governments might say they’re going to crack down on militias, the cops responsible for doing the actual cracking down might not be predisposed to do so. We’ll see how this story plays out over the day, and what these armed groups do after results start to come in.


    SAM: We’ll have much more on the election later today. For now, let’s focus on another story that might get missed. The Supreme Court, with Amy Coney Barrett newly on the bench, could see a case with big implications for Roe V Wade as early as Friday.

    The case, filed by the Mississippi Department of Health against the Jackson Women’s Health Organization and other abortion access groups, is a direct challenge to Roe v Wade.

    That decision, if you remember, specifically mandates that states can’t restrict abortion prior to fetal viability, a term that medical experts use that means about 24 weeks.

    Mississippi and other conservative states have been deliberately breaking this precedent in order to set up a court challenge for months, passing restrictive laws that they know will go to court.

    This case in particular was supposed to get considered last week, but got bumped around in the schedule and will now come up on Friday. If the Supreme Court decides to take it, we could get an extremely early test of just how far Coney Barrett is willing to go to overturn Roe v Wade.

    And remember, depending on what happens today, this could be in the first days of Trump’s incredibly destructive lame duck period. After the dust settles from the election, this will be one to watch.


    In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is up to his old tricks: collaborating with Republicans to sabotage his own party. NY1 journalist Errol Lewis reported that Cuomo is believed to be behind a last minute effort and surge of money in order to try to stop Democrats from getting the votes they’d need to override his veto in the state legislature, just so he can make sure not too much progress happens in his firmly centrist state.

    Terrorist attacks struck in Vienna and Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday. Multiple gunmen in Vienna killed two and injured at least 15 in what appears to be a coordinated attack. In an unrelated incident, multiple gunmen also stormed Kabul University in Aghanistan’s capital, killing at least 19.

    Retailers and businesses in many major cities are boarding up windows in preparation for possible protests or violence tomorrow, which is generally not a great sign for a functioning democracy. Fences are also going up around the entire White House complex, which makes sense considering how much the protests this summer scared the big boy in the Oval Office.

    And finally, One polling story that sounds hopeful: Dave Wasserman, a notoriously accurate pollster who had data that suggested Clinton was in trouble in 2016, now says that Biden could be heading for a blowout in the popular vote, possibly one of the biggest upsets for a first term president since Jimmy Carter for Trump. Let’s hope that holds up.

    Oct 3, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Nov 2, 2020: Where We're At on Election Eve

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


    The presidential election is tomorrow. The Texas Supreme Court threw out a GOP plan to invalidate ballots, and new polls show Joe Biden with a decent lead in several battleground states, but there’s still plenty that could go wrong between now and whenever this thing is over.

    Meanwhile, the President’s supporters are ramping up tension by harassing opponents and everyday drivers alike, forming massive truck motorcades in several states, including one in Texas that surrounded a Biden campaign bus and rammed a car into another lane, forcing the campaign to cancel events.

    And lastly, the coronavirus pandemic is once again surging almost everywhere in the country, as many other nations head into new lockdowns. New cases are up 43 percent over the past week compared to the previous period.


    It’s Monday, the last day before the general election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But you knew that already. We all know it. It’s all come to this.

    All right, now that the arbitrary cable-news stakes-setting is out of the way, here’s where we’re at. New polls show Biden ahead in several battleground states. A New York Times/ Siena poll released Sunday has Biden ahead by 6 points in Arizona, 6 in Pennsylvania, 3 in Florida, and a whopping 11 in Wisconsin.

    This isn’t a huge change from what we’ve seen for weeks. Biden is way ahead in all the ways the numbers-nerds at every publication and cable news network can measure. He’s even further ahead by most metrics than Hillary was in 2016.

    So what the GOP is doing now is looking for ways to steal this thing. In Texas, for example, a conservative lawsuit sought to invalidate 120,000 ballots delivered in curbside driver-through voting, all in Harris County, where the Democratic stronghold of Austin is. This would have basically put Texas out of reach, because if Democrats do flip the state it’ll be by the narrowest of margins.

    Fortunately, the State Supreme Court ruled on Sunday against the GOP’s legal team, throwing out the lawsuit without comment. There’s a similar lawsuit at the federal level though, which will be overseen on Monday morning by a notoriously conservative judge appointed by George W. Bush.

    Trump, for his part, has said that he plans to declare victory if he’s ahead at the end of Election night, according to a new report by Axios. He’ll then be doing everything he can to make sure legal challenges stop letting absentee ballots come in, and try to take the election that way. Even if Biden’s on top tomorrow night, we could still be in for a long battle with a hostile court. We’ll have more as the week develops, and of course be with you all night tomorrow.

    Trump Caravan Slams Biden Bus and Car

    Meanwhile, outside of the polls and lawsuits, Trump supporters are taking to the streets, or rather highways, in an attempt to intimidate and project strength across the country.

    In multiple states, Trump supporters have taken the truck caravan tactic popularized by right wing responses to the summer Black Lives Matter protests. Caravans took over highways and bridges in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Minnesota and several others.

    But the most threatening incident happened in Texas on Friday, where a Trump caravan swarmed Joe Biden’s campaign bus on a highway, driving recklessly through traffic. One truck appears to have collided with a car on the road, forcing it into another lane.

    The Biden campaign canceled events in the state on Friday in response.

    Trump, of course, is egging this behavior along. After news broke that the FBI had opened an investigation into the Texas incident, Trump tweeted quote:

    “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!”

    If we were covering this kind of rhetoric in a foreign country, the line would go something like this: head of state encourages supporters and government security services to attack and persecute political opponents. But because this is America, we’re woefully unequipped to really respond to threats like this. Whatever happens on Tuesday, it’s looking less and less likely that a clean break from the Trump administration is in our future.

    COVID Cases Spike All Over

    And while all of this is happening, the U.S. is weathering a massive, nationwide spike in coronavirus cases. According to the New York Times, the past week’s average of 80,755 cases per day, is an increase of 43 percent from the average two weeks ago. In other words, we’re deep in it, and it’s unclear what the government is doing to help get us out.

    If the spike continues, we’re going to easily crack 10 million cases within the next couple weeks. Case numbers are particularly bad in the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Montana, and Iowa, although they’re spiking basically everywhere.

    Some states are considering new lockdowns. Parts of Illinois and New Jersey passed down new rules for businesses. This would match most of Europe, which is starting to slowly shut down again. In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson re-closed most pubs, shops and restaurant to cope with surging numbers.

    Our problem is, we’ve got a chaotic system of state and local jurisdictions and, if Trump does lose the election, probably zero motivation at the Federal level to make things better, considering how hard it is to get things through the GOP-strangled Senate. It’s likely the Biden administration would act fast once it takes office, but that’s not till January. And a lot of people could get sick before then.


    Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines on Sunday as the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record, causing havoc in many communities and killing at least 10. The death toll is a far cry from the immensely destructive Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed thousands, but wild storms are still an all-too-common blow that the island nation has to weather thanks to climate change.

    One bright spot: in the House, Rep. AOC and Rashida Tlaib are showing what a fully-Democratic government might be able to accomplish. The two reps introduced a bill that would set up state and locally administered public banks to offset some of the economic devastation handed down to regular working people when financial crises hit.

    The postal service under Trump lackey Louis DeJoy is at it again, this time saying that mail-in ballots posted in Detroit, Greater Michigan and Central PA -- all places the Democrats need to win in those battleground states -- is delayed due to quote “COVID 19 and employee availability.” Michigan stops counting ballots after election day, and Pennsylvania only has until the 6th.

    And finally, Trump’s overt disdain for his own supporters has reached a strange and cruel endpoint recently: after major rallies in freezing cold Pennsylvania and Nebraska, hundreds of supporters were left stranded with no shuttle buses back to their transit. At a rally in Tampa, the opposite happened, as multiple supporters passed out from heat stroke.

    That’s it for the Majority Repot’s AM Quickie today. Sam will be with you in a few hours.

    NOV 2, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Oct 30, 2020: Democrats Investigate Family Separations

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


    Joe Biden promises to use the powers of the presidency to reunite families separated by Donald Trump’s border policies. And a new report by Congressional Democrats sheds new light on just how cruel those policies have been.

    Meanwhile, an incident database reveals that not a week has gone by through much of this year without a case of police brutality against protesters and journalists in the United States. In that way, the new civil rights movement has a lot in common with the old one.

    And lastly, many first-time voters will arrive at the polls next week as veterans of political protest. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this year’s youth vote is projected to break all records, and is overwhelmingly anti-Trump.


    Campaigning in Florida yesterday, Joe Biden announced he would sign an executive order on the first day of his presidency establishing a task force to find the parents of five hundred and forty five children who remain separated from their families as a result of Trump’s grotesque immigration policies.

    Also yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee released a lengthy report on the matter. The report purports to be the first complete narrative of the Trump administration’s so-called zero tolerance policy that separated thousands of migrant children from their families. The report is the result of a two- year investigation. It found QUOTE reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty ENDQUOTE within the program. And it warns that hundreds of children may never be reunited with their parents.

    Lawyers estimate that as many as five thousand four hundred children were taken from their parents under the separation program, the Post reports. The policy targeted Central American families at the US southern border. The Trump administration ran a pilot program in El Paso in 2017 before expanding it in 2018, despite concerns that there was no orderly way to track the

    children and their families once they were separated. Trump later rescinded the policy after an international outcry.

    The committee also found that more than eight hundred and sixty complaints involving family separations were filed with the Homeland Security Department. The complaints include claims that minors were mistreated while in custody, such as an 8-year-old who was kicked or hit with a shoe by Customs and Border Patrol officers to wake him up.

    Who will pay for this terrible crime? The families must be reunited, and justice done.

    Police brutality cases mapped

    Since the end of May, there has not been a single week without an incidence of police brutality against a civilian or a journalist at a protest in the US, the Guardian reports. According to data collected by Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture and analysed by the Guardian, at least nine hundred and fifty instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists during anti-racism protests have occurred in the past five months.

    The database shows more than one thousand violations, including:

    - more than five hundred of instances of police using less-lethal rounds, pepper spray and teargas;

    - sixty incidents of officers using unlawful assembly to arrest protesters; - five attacks on medics;

    - and eleven instances of kettling.

    The data is probably an undercount as it only contains documented and verified incidents, per the Guardian. Portland had the highest number of recorded instances, at two hundred and nineteen. Seventy-six incidents took place in New York City, sixty in Seattle, fifty-four in Minneapolis and forty-nine in Los Angeles. And no doubt a few in your town, too!

    Another troubling detail from the data is how police have handled rightwing extremists, who have frequently come out to counter-protest anti-racism demonstrations. Nineteen incidents show police being permissive to far-right members and treating white supremacists favorably at protests. One notable instance took place in Washington, DC, where the Ohio National

    Guard deployed a known neo-Nazi to the anti-racism protests taking place in the city. That’s certainly an interesting way to serve and protect...

    Historic youth vote projected

    The Washington Post reports that youth voter turnout is set to reach historic levels this year. Data on early voters and recent polling suggest eligible voters under thirty could break their historic 2008 turnout, when it peaked at forty-eight percent when Barack Obama was elected. A new national poll released this week by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School showed Joe Biden’s lead among young voters has increased in recent months. About sixty-three percent of likely voters ages eighteen to twenty nine say they support Biden, compared to the twenty-five percent supporting Trump.

    Voters under thirty increasingly view voting as a major part of their civic engagement, along with protesting and posting about politics on social media, the Post reports. Many students voting for the first time this year have been politically active since middle and high school. The Harvard poll found that eighty-two percent of respondents cited voting as one of the most effective ways to create societal change, up from seventy-four percent in 2017.

    Biden is seeking to juice youth turnout this week with a new ad airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. That oughtta do it.

    Both Biden and Trump were campaigning in Florida yesterday. Biden told supporters there QUOTE You hold the power. If Florida goes blue, it’s over ENDQUOTE. NBC News reported that medics were being called every few minutes at the Trump rally in Tampa on account of the high heat, and a dozen people were hospitalized. Trump also canceled an event last night in Fayetteville, North Carolina as Tropical Storm Zeta brought strong wind gusts to the area. The weather gods are not on his side lately. Both campaigns have events scheduled today in Minnesota. And on Saturday, Biden will hold a joint rally in Michigan with his old boss, Obama. Meanwhile the Boss, Bruce Sprinsgteen, released a sentimental appeal for his fans to vote out the Republicans on November 3rd. Which is just around the corner of this weekend. Are you nervous? We feel you.


    The journalist Glenn Greenwald announced that he is resigning from the media organization he co-founded, the Intercept, claiming censorship. Intercept management meanwhile says Greenwald threw a tantrum and resented being edited. Such drama! Greenwald self-published the column at issue, which took aim at Joe Biden, and will no doubt air his complaints further on Tucker Carlson’s show very soon.

    Three people were killed in a knife attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice (NEESE) yesterday. French President Emmanuel Macron called it an Islamist terror attack and announced the deployment of seven thousand members of an anti-terror security force throughout the country. The attack comes two weeks after the beheading of a public school teacher and amid another uproar about the publication of Islamophobic cartoons.

    Britain's Labour Party suspended former leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday over his response to a report on antisemitism in the party. In a statement, Corbyn said QUOTE One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome ENDQUOTE.

    Walmart has removed gun and ammunition displays from thousands of US stores ahead of next week’s presidential election. A company spokesman explained that the move was a precaution in the event of QUOTE civil unrest ENDQUOTE. I repeat: Are you nervous?

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

    OCT 30, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Oct 29, 2020: MAGA Crowd Left Freezing

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


    Donald Trump’s campaign appears to be floundering in the final week before the election. And his supporters are being left – literally – out in the cold.

    Meanwhile, federal law enforcement is increasingly tied up investigating threats against people who Trump attacks publicly. Those targeted include AOC and officers of the CIA.

    And lastly, two grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case are speaking out against Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron. They say the evidence warranted murder or manslaughter charges against police, but they never had a chance to consider such charges.


    Donald Trump rallied yesterday in Arizona, as Joe Biden and his wife cast their ballots in Delaware. The other night in Neberaska, Trump’s campaign left thousands of supporters freezing outside in the cold waiting for buses that were delayed for hours by a planning error. Thirty rally-goers needed medical attention, Omaha police told the Washington Post.

    Biden yesterday called the story of the freezing Trump fans emblematic of Trump’s approach to the presidency. Biden said Trump QUOTE leaves everyone else to suffer the consequence of his failure to make a responsible plan ENDQUOTE. [Extreme Trump voice] That’s me being smart.

    Politico reports that Trump is struggling to lay out a narrative. The offensive targeting Hunter Biden over insinuated corruption in Ukraine has flopped. Reporters with the Wall Street Journal and Fox News found no evidence that Joe Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings. Even the most garishly pro-Trump outlets like Breitbart have treaded carefully with allegations based on purported Biden emails.

    With less than a week left to vote, Trump yesterday mused about grappling with Biden in the style of an Ultimate Fighting Championship match. He also made up a story about special face masks in California that can’t be taken off, and lied about a coronavirus vaccine being available QUOTE momentarily ENDQUOTE. This act has worn thin!

    Trump's targets face threats

    Donald Trump’s people claim he was joking, like they always do when he says something insane. But Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer isn’t laughing. At a rally this week in Michigan, with the crowd chanting lock her up, Trump suggested the recently foiled kidnapping plot against Whitmer wasn't a problem. In response, Whitmer told CBS News yesterday that QUOTE anyone who thinks it's funny has a real twisted sense of what humor is ENDQUOTE. She said every time Trump mentions her, she gets more death threats, and accused Trump of stoking a mob mentality against public officials.

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Capitol Police are now routinely engaged in investigations of threats against public officials attacked publicly by the president. According to the Post, the Central Intelligence Agency’s most endangered employee for much of the past year was not some covert operative, but an analyst who faced a torrent of threats after filing a whistleblower report that led to Trump’s impeachment. The analyst spent months living in no-frills hotels under surveillance by CIA security. That and more strict security measures were imposed by the CIA’s Security Protective Service, which monitored thousands of threats online. Over time, a pattern emerged: Violent messages surged each time the analyst was mentioned by the president.

    The same pattern has played out with others targeted by Trump. Anthony Fauci, the pandemic response chief, recently revealed that he requires near-constant security because of threats against him and his family. One of Trump’s favorite targets, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, routinely receives between two and eight serious threats each week. And California Congressman Adam Schiff, who presented the impeachment case against Trump, faced so many threats during the Senate trial that he required round-the-clock security. Schiff told the Post QUOTE the truth is Donald Trump knows exactly what he’s doing with these statements and that some of his supporters will take him seriously and literally. We must not ignore the danger he is creating ENDQUOTE.

    The sooner Trump loses his bully pulpit, the safer we’ll all be.

    Breonna Taylor jurors speak

    Protests continue in Philadelphia in response to the police killing of Walter Wallace Junior, whose family had called 911 to request an ambulance. City officials yesterday announced a 9 pm curfew and said the Pennsylvania National Guard would be deployed.

    Meanwhile, CBS News reports that two members of the grand jury involved in the Breonna Taylor case are accusing Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of falsely representing their position on potential indictments for the officers involved in Taylor's death. The anonymous jurors say they were never presented with the option to consider indicting officers on charges linked to Taylor's death. Juror Number Two said QUOTE it was a betrayal ENDQUOTE.

    Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home during a police raid in March. While police claim they announced themselves at the door, several witnesses said they gave no warning before firing a barrage of bullets into the apartment. No officers were charged in Taylor's death, but one officer at the scene, Brett Hankison, was fired and charged with wanton endangerment for shooting at an apartment next door.

    Juror Number Two told CBS there was an uproar when prosecutors told the grand jury that the wanton endangerment charge was the only one to consider after hours of testimony. The two anonymous jurors say what prompted them ultimately to speak out was a press conference held by AG Cameron, which Juror Number One said was the first time he heard any mention of possible murder charges. The jurors claim they were never given the option to consider different charges, which left them feeling frustrated and disgusted. Asked if they believed there was enough evidence to bring charges of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter, Juror Number One said there was. Kentucky’s AG has a lot to answer for.


    Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen an estimated forty six percent over last month, the New York Times reports. The surge is hitting cities and towns that lack the resources to cope with rising case numbers. Front-line health workers are falling ill faster than they can be replaced in places like Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah. It’s nasty out there, friends; stay home if you can.

    As of today, the Washington Post reports, it will be legal for logging companies to build roads and cut timber throughout nine point three million acres in one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests, the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Conservation groups call this forest the lungs of North America. The looming environmental destruction comes as the Trump administration reverses a protection order put in place during Bill Clinton’s administration. It’s depraved, folks!

    Women in Poland began striking yesterday in response to a court ruling that imposed a near-total abortion ban across the country. The mayor of Warsaw has announced support for the strike and is giving city employees leave to participate. Solidarity, sisters.

    Tanzania held a presidential election yesterday; it isn’t going well. Opposition candidates have made claims of ballot box-stuffing, social media censorship, physical intimidation and violence by the ruling party. According to the Associated Press, Internet services slowed ahead of the vote, and restrictions were placed on foreign news reporters and election monitors. People have been encouraged to take to the streets if results are announced before votes are properly counted. You don’t say?

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

    OCT 29, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Corey Pein

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Oct 28, 2020: Landlords Go on Eviction Spree

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


    Corporate landlords have gone on an eviction spree, exposing the loopholes in the CDC moratorium on turning people out of their homes in the middle of the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, Philadelphia erupts in protests after police shot a black man, Walter Wallace Jr, who they say approached them with a knife on Monday evening.

    And lastly, a Michigan judge sides with second amendment hard liners to allow people to open-carry firearms at polling places on election day.


    Despite a Trump-ordered CDC moratorium on evictions, corporate landlords have found a workaround and are back in the daily business of putting people out on the street.

    A watchdog report by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project shows that corporate management companies have evicted or tried to evict nearly 10,000 tenants since early September. The cases studied in the report are spread across 23 counties in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, most of which have struggled with rampant coronavirus cases in the same time period. And it’s more than likely that landlords are using similar tactics elsewhere.

    The landlords, according to NBC News, are often getting around the CDC’s eviction moratorium by simply not telling their tenants that it exists. The CDC moratorium only applies to people who can affirm they’ve been economically impacted by the coronavirus -- which is pretty much everyone -- but still puts the burden of proof onto the tenant.

    The Trump administration has also lobbied to make it even easier for these massive companies to turn people out, adding a stipulation to the moratorium that allows landlords to challenge tenants declarations that they’re suffering from the pandemic. The watchdog report shows that since that change went through on October 9, new eviction filings have jumped, with one week in mid October seeing over 2,000 in the area surveyed alone.

    This kind of casual barbarism is potentially a good indication of what a true lame-duck period will look like for the Trump administration if he does lose the election next week.

    Philly Protests Police Shooting

    Protests have erupted across Philadelphia and spread to some cities nationwide after police in the city shot and killed a black man on Monday night.

    Philadelphia police shot Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who appears to have been suffering a mental health crisis, after responding to reports of man with a knife. The cops claim Wallace was armed, but video posted on social media of the shooting shows him several feet away from officers, who fire a torrent of shots into him.

    The video immediately sparked protests across the city, which almost immediately led to violent clashes with police. Protesters torched police vehicles and pelted officers with rocks and bricks, while cops continued the brutal suppression tactics they’ve honed over a summer of protests.

    The city has promised an investigation, but it’s unlikely to be sufficient in a system that doesn’t prioritize de-escalation or non-lethal means. In a joint statement, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris offered a few empty platitudes about police violence, but also condemned protesters for looting and other violent actions. Biden and Harris wrote quote:

    “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death.” endquote, but then quickly followed with quote: “No amount of anger at the very real injustices in our society excuses violence, Looting is not a protest, it is a crime. It draws attention away from the real tragedy of a life cut short.” endquote.

    That’s about what we’ve come to expect from them, but it’s still a disheartening sign that nothing will really change for America’s over-policed populations under their administration.

    Michigan Allows Guns at Polls

    Going to the polls in Michigan? Might as well strap up. On Tuesday, a Michigan judge sided with second amendment hard liners to allow open-carry of firearms at polling places.

    The right, of course, is going to use this to further enable the militia presence that already tried to kidnap the state’s governor. We’re definitely going to get images of armed, racist three-percenters intimidating voters on election day because of this.

    Michigan is an open carry state, but secretary of state Jocelyn Benson recently issued a directive to stop the practice at polling stations. Unfortunately, she was overruled by the courts, and now polling places are gun-friendly zones.

    There is one silver lining: places that already have open-carry restrictions, like churches and schools, will still have them. As many of those buildings often serve as polling places, idiots with rifles probably won’t be a presence everywhere in the state.

    Benson, the secretary of state, says she’ll appeal the ruling, but she’s running out of time. It’s October 28. The election is in six days. And you can bet Trump will be using every one of them to ramp up tensions across the state and against Governor Gretchen Whitmer personally, as he has been for months.


    Jon Stewart is coming back to TV, this time for a multiple season, one-hour single issue news issues show on Apple Plus. We’ll see if there’s any of that old Daily Show magic left in him, and how he’ll react to the next president.

    A new report in the Financial Times alleges that Goldman Sachs covered up allegations of sexual misconduct against its top litigator, Darrell Cafasso, going so far as to fire a woman who spoke out against him. The fat cats at the top always protect their own.

    The Lincoln Project, the political action committee and PR shop formed by former Republican con-artists that has fleeced millions of dollars from liberals desperate to end Trump’s reign, is setting up shop as a media empire. Axios reports that the organization plans to develop its media wing after the election, expanding into podcasts and live events like the former Obama staffers behind Crooked Media. Just what we need -- more conservative grifters with a platform.

    In other extremely predictable podcast news, Joe Rogan had Infowars’ Alex Jones on his massively watched and listened-to show. Again. The two morons spent most of their time yukking it up over anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and played banned Infowars videos.

    That’s it for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today! Sam’s on for the full show later today.

    OCT 28, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Oct 27, 2020: ACB Confirmed, Country Condemned

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


    Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barret was confirmed by the Senate on Monday night after the GOP pushed forward a rushed full-floor vote.

    Meanwhile, the coronavirus is surging in multiple states, which could mean new lockdowns are coming.

    And lastly, another huge win for progress in South America, as Chile voted to finally abandon it’s dictator-era constitution that has been in place since a U.S.-backed coup installed right wing mass murderer Augusto Pinochet in power nearly 50 years ago.


    We have a new justice on the Supreme Court. After a blitzkreig confirmation process and a hasty swearing-in ceremony, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump successfully installed Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court on Monday night.

    The Senate voted 52-48. Every Democrat, Independent, and Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted against Barrett, but it did nothing to Mitch McConnell’s ironclad majority. After the vote, the White House put together a slapdash swearing-in ceremony on the South Lawn to get Barrett on the bench as fast as possible.

    It’s hard to fully grasp what this news means. Some of the first cases Barrett sees will be related to elections in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and she could also be part of a ruling if election results next week get challenged. If Trump does try to steal the election with the courts, Brett Kavanaugh and ACB will likely be solid votes in his favor, further bolstering the conservatives’ 6-3 majority even if Chief Justice John Roberts decides to flip and, you know, not do fascism.

    A strong indication that this is exactly what would go down: earlier today the Supreme Court ruled that Wisconsin would not have to continue counting absentee ballots that were postmarked by election day but arrived late, setting up a strong precedent for throwing out votes all over the place.

    And even if Biden does manage to take power, Barrett might be able to rule on a case that pertains to Roe V. Wade before he’s even in office.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats still, STILL seem fully opposed to fighting back in any way or taking steps toward reform. Earlier today, Joe Biden told reporters that he wouldn’t consider term limits

    for SCOTUS members. Quote “It’s a lifetime appointment. I’m not going to attempt to change that at all.” Endquote. There you have it.

    Coronavirus Once Again Surging

    Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic is starting to pick up steam again. Yesterday we mentioned that spikes in cases in Utah were so severe hospital administrators were preparing to ration care.

    Texas’s total cases have now surpassed California, with more than 910,000 total. The number of new cases in those states have increased by 19 percent and 15 percent respectively.

    Cases elsewhere nationwide are also climbing. In Europe, which is seeing similar spikes, many countries are preparing for a second wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions, which are basically the only way left to get a handle on the increases.

    But it’s unlikely that the U.S. will enact policies like that with Trump in power, and if we did, the fact that no new aid is on the way from the government means that people are going to suffer massively either way. Some state governors are doing what they can. Idaho, for instance, is preparing to enact new restrictions to grapple with a spike.

    But if you remember from yesterday, the Trump administration has publicly said it’s not going to try to control the disease anymore, instead focusing on cures and vaccines.

    The problem is those aren’t going so well either: the drug maker Eli Lily said on Monday that it’s antibody treatment does not work on patients with advanced COVID-19, and that its government sponsored trial would not be giving the drug to new patients. That’s just one treatment, of course, but it seems clear that we’re a lot further from a stable cure or vaccine than the President wants us to think.

    Chile Chucks Constitution

    Outside of the country, however, there is some good news. Voters in Chile overwhelmingly rejected the country’s outdated, repressive constitution, which had been in place since a U.S.-backed right-wing coup installed Augusto Pinochet as leader of the country.

    The fact that Pinochet’s constitution was still the binding legal document of the country 50 years later is surreal, and finally, after months of protests, the Chilean people had their voices heard. They voted by a massive 4 to 1 margin to approve the creation of a new constitution.

    Catalina Miranda, a Chilean who was among the crowd of thousands celebrating the result in Santiago’s Plaza Italia, told the Guardian quote:

    “We’ve been living under an illegitimate constitution created by a military regime, that’s only allowed progress to those who have money. There’s been very few times that Chilean people have shared a collective victory like today.”


    Sounds uh... oddly familiar!

    Perhaps, especially given the travesty of governing that we’ve seen out of the Senate GOP and Trump administration, Americans could take a few notes on throwing out their Constitution and making something better.


    In an interview with Fox and Friends on Monday, Jared Kushner gave the racism dial a good old crank by questioning whether or not Black Americans quote “want to be successful,” after claiming that his father in law had done so much for them.

    Also on Monday, Trump imposed a new set of sweeping economic sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, seeking to kneecap any future foreign relations a Biden administration would have with the country and ratchet up tension further before the election.

    Sources told the Washington Post that state and federal antitrust charges against Facebook could come as soon as November, which would be a major step toward breaking the social network’s stranglehold over almost every facet of American life.

    And finally, Charles Beckham III, a candidate for State Senate in Arkansas, was expelled from high school because he wore a KKK outfit on Halloween. He should probably be expelled from politics as well!

    That’s it for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam later this afternoon!

    OCT 27, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw


  • Oct 26, 2020: ACB's Confirmation is Coming

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


    Senate Republicans are expected to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as early as today, after defeating a Democratic filibuster on Sunday evening and setting up a full vote for Monday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to a U.S-brokered ceasefire, after weeks of fierce fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh [na-gor-no kar-ah-bakh]. Previous ceasefires have been... shall we say, temporary, so we’ll see how much good this one does.

    And lastly, a fresh COVID outbreak hits the executive branch, this time running rampant among Vice President Mike Pence’s staff.


    Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s latest pick for the Supreme Court, could see a full confirmation vote in the Senate as early as today. Barring a dramatic switch in personal priorities by multiple Republican members of Congress, she will almost certainly be confirmed.

    Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have been pushing hard for Barrett’s confirmation, overwhelming lackluster Democratic resistance. On Sunday night, Republicans successfully voted to blow past a Democratic filibuster, despite the fact that Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski stood with the Democrats. And that’s as far as Murkowski’s courage went, as she’s expected to vote with her party tomorrow.

    McConnell is expected to keep the Senate in session overnight to hit the minimum 30 hours between votes, and then push for a full Senate confirmation vote on Monday night. He’s got the votes to do it, which means Trump could have sealed off the seat just hours after you hear this.

    As I’m sure you know, that would give the GOP a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. The only way back, of course, is to pack the court with new judges. Nothing in the constitution forbids that, but Democrats are still scared to commit to it, for reasons that are probably only understandable if you have terminal centrist brain.

    But to even get to that point, we’ve got to take the White House and the Senate Back.

    Shaky Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

    Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire brokered by the U.S. that should have begun by the time you’re hearing this.

    The State Department release a statement on Sunday announcing that leaders from both countries had agreed to a quote “humanitarian ceasefire” in the conflict which flared up dramatically at the end of September.

    The two countries have been in conflict over the semi-autonomous, contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan even though most of its inhabitants are Armenian.

    In late September, the Azerbaijani military launched major strikes against Nagorno-Karabakh, prompting the Armenian military to retaliate. The politics of the region are chaotic and ugly, as both parties are backed by various rival regional powers. Azerbaijan, for instance, is heavily supported by Turkey, and has used indiscriminate shelling and banned cluster munitions against civilian populations in the region. Armenian forces have also shelled Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, killing numerous civilians as well.

    Prior ceasfires, however, have been pretty short lived. The conflict has been simmering for decades, with tensions periodically flaring up, but the recent clashes are the most severe in years. It could be that the Trump administration is just looking for a foreign policy feather in its cap right before the election, but any pause in the violence will be a relief for civilians living near the front lines.

    VP Pence's Staff Copies White House and Contracts Corona

    A new outbreak of coronavirus has hit the executive branch: this time, it’s Pence’s team that has it. The VP himself, of course, is going about his day like nothing is wrong, because he is a soulless automaton who knows nothing other than “sit in chair, blink, get oddly-straight haircut.”

    To set the stage here: Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short and at least three other members of his staff have tested positive for the disease. Despite the fact that Short is in close daily contact with Pence, the VP isn’t going to stop campaigning, refusing to quarantine because he claims he’s essential personnel. There really isn’t any other word for that than “grossly negligent,” but hey, it’s Pence.

    It’s also pretty in line with what the rest of the White House is thinking. In a live interview on Sunday, Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said quote “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” endquote. Meadows’s reasoning, as told to CNN’s Jake Tapper, is that the coronavirus is a contagious disease, which, fact check: true! But what he was essentially saying is that the administration was instead going to focus on vaccines and treatments for the disease, rather than try to control its spread.

    This has been de facto White House policy for basically the entire duration of the pandemic, as it’s far easier to hold out hope for miracle cures than it is to actually implement productive public health policy. But it’s still a bit shocking to hear it laid out in such plain terms.


    Axios reports that Trump plans to almost immediately fire the CIA director, FBI director, and Secretary of Defense. While we’re not going to lose sleep over a bunch of spies losing their jobs, it does suggest that he would replace them with even more barbaric sycophants if he wins another term.

    Throughout all this political drama, the pandemic grinds on: Utah’s ICUs are preparing to ration care as new virus cases shatter records and a flood of patients overwhelm existing networks. The state’s doctors see no indications that their spike will slow down, which could set up a grim outlook for many patients in a matter of weeks.

    Some good news from Washington State: the Department of Agriculture successfully vacuumed the first nest of murder hornets out of a tree near the city of Blaine. So that’s one thing we can worry about a little bit less.

    And finally, early voting began in many states over the weekend, and the first numbers coming in are staggering, especially in swing states like Texas. In that state, for instance, 6.4 million people have already voted, which is almost as many as 2012 and 2016 with more than a week to go before the election.

    That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today! Stay tuned for the full show with Sam later today.

    OCT 26, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

    HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

    WRITER - Jack Crosbie

    PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw