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Whither Dems Podcast

rightsign2The Trump win Tuesday is the right time to stop these weekly podcasts after 9½ years. Watch this URL for occasional commentary, maybe a little video…later.

Today was my usual half-Vulcan Spock self.

We shall survive as a nation, as we did during and after the George W. Bush time. He ruined the economy even more than the typical Republican. We haven’t climbed all the way out of his debt pit. We’ll never get back the many thousands of lives lost to war and jobs destroyed. I fear more of that from Trump.

I snort as Speaker Ryan and GOP sorts claim mandate. The lost the popular vote, held the House only due to gerrymandering in previous years, and hold a paper-thin Senate majority. Mandate, my bad head!

We don’t yet know what malicious laws Congress will try to enact. We do know that the wave of emotion that brought us President Trump is as irrational and ignorant as he. We need look no farther than comparing the cries of do-nothing Congress and throw the rascal out to right-wing voters keeping nearly all the do-nothings and rascals from the GOP in office. Huge duh.

We’ll surely have at least two years of pettiness and malice. As the economy slides and unemployment climbs, even the loudest Trumpettes will feel shame. Let us look historically to see in the last century that again and again Dems have rescued the nation after the GOP has goofed it up.

It’s going to be a rough, disheartening, anti-American two to four years.

icon for podpress  Whither Dems [18:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Jessica Berson on Exotic Dancing Podcast

jessicaYou likely don’t know much about exotic dancing or dance studies. Reading guest Jessica Berson’s <>The Naked Result: How Exotic Dance Became Big Business will fix that.

She came on to discuss her book, what goes on in private dances as well as on stage, and a lot more. Click below to hear the personal, the business, the history, and surprising (to me) analysis of the meanings of the dancing. We also spoke about how dancers and customers interact and what they get from each other.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at other august institutions. She is professorial type and dancer, one who got the most out of her year on stage and in front of single clients. Her book ended up at once academic and highly readable, concentrated on exotic dancing, but from its many angles. While it has personal vignettes, it is not yet another stripper memoir as Berson is quick to note.

icon for podpress  The Naked Result [31:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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The Naked Results right here

This coming Thursday, April Fool’s Day Eve Day, 3/31, the guest will be Jessica Berson, author of The Naked Result. That’s a definitive study of exotic dancing — the methods, the people, the business.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at Harvard, in the UK and elsewhere. She earned grad-school money as an exotic dancer. Then as an scholar, she studied the industry. She has both the personal and the professional view. Plus, from her book, I learned quite a bit about the methods and meanings of movement.

Her story is not a woe-was-I one. Be prepared to insights, history and the human sides of it all.

If you want to join us live, click here at 11AM EDT, Thursday, 3/31. Afterward the show will be available on demand there, back here at Left Ahead and on our iTunes channel.

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Finding a new Nino, SCOTUS replacement

That suddenly vacated Supreme Court seat could sit for 11 to 13 months before the next President touches the Bible.

The real subject before us is how to bring the SCOTUS up to its 9 justices. However, let us not fall prey to the urge to overly praise Antonin Scalia. Everyone from President Obama to plain old lawyers have tried to outdo each other calling him brilliant and a towering figure.

In reality, he was petty and puerile. His deeply held and often emotionally based dicta on the law and Constitution were skewed by politics and worse. He strongly and anachronistically voted for states-rights interpretations of law from marriage to equal opportunity in education to women’s rights.

Let us not confuse cleverness with brilliance. He was quick to insult without intellect. Disdaining a group such as homosexuals is no excuse for harming them. He clearly did not believe in the editing adage that if you have fallen in love with a phrase, cut it out of the text.

Dems need only 4 Senate seats to take control again. Here’s betting that if GOP Senators refuse to have hearings or vote on a SCOTUS nominee, that could make the difference in the 24 races the GOP faces in the Senate in November. If they have any wit and sense of self-preservation, they’ll deal on one of the tepid centrists Obama would surely nominate.

icon for podpress  SCOTUS Replacement [22:49m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Joy, Not Despair, 2012

Without gloating, or with only a little, we held forth on yesterday’s elections.

Even the almost invariably optimistic Ryan did not see most Republicans rethinking their obstructionism. Mike predicted a deal on the auto-sequester at year’s end, only because that would be political suicide for Congressional Republicans in both houses if they didn’t show a bit of wit.

We talked about the role new Sen. Elizabeth Warren might play, the likelihood of Sen. John Kerry moving to Secretary of State, and other impacts of left-leaning victories in Congress. Mike started with a joyous recap of the four marriage-equality state-level victories.

Both of us were disappointed but not surprised at the vitriolic and graceless post-elections comments from GOP candidates and winger media types. That likely foreshadows their uncooperative futures, willing to hurt all of us for their political shading.

Listen in as we predict what might happen with the re-upped Obama and maybe even filibuster reform.

icon for podpress  Joy or Despair 2012 [35:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Election 2012 Showdown Podcast

Double guests, double insights today. Mat Helman of ProgressMass and Jason Stephany of MassUniting joined us to talk the races for POTUS and US Senate from MA.

There’s no secret that all four of us favor Elizabeth Warren over Scott Brown and Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Helman and Stephany got down into details about why their and their organizations were working for them.

As background, you might also check out ProgressMass’ PDF file on Brown’s rhetoric v. record here.

Listen in as Stephany rips into the myth of Brown’s alleged independence and bipartisanship. Helman goes into depth about how Brown gets away with portraying himself as the concerned middle-of-the-road guy while voting for winger agenda on every important issue. It’s a PR primer.

We deal a bit with Brown running from a fourth and final debate and the effects of Hurricane Sandy on next week’s vote. Click below to listen.

icon for podpress  Election 2012 Showdown [33:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Elephant Leavings Podcast

Ryan and Mike has a good time recapping the GOP doings in Tampa. Rather, the non-doings, as it was all too plain that the Republicans abjectly failed to provide any reason to vote for Romney/Ryan instead of against Obama/Biden. The speakers, including the candidates, gave no details, not specifics, no proposals and no plans to better the country and its economy.

Moreover, even the Missus could not humanize the not-very-human Mitt. We look forward to the contrast with this week’s Dem speakers who are certain to offer a real path and speak without the lies and pretense we heard this past week.

Ryan suggests that the Dems should take the weak attack the Tampa folk left with, the question that worked in another election, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago.” Unfortunately for the Republicans, the vast majority of Americans can only say yes. They’d like more, faster, but yes.

Alas for the elephant herd, the fringe GOP platform suddenly is obvious and real. In lieu of any plans and proposals, voters can only look to the stated objectives of the party. They would scare all but the most extreme.

Teeing off of one of Mike’s friend’s view, they discussed what happens if Romney loses. Ryan backed the friend in predicting an even worse purge of moderates. Mike figures it would immediately lead to another soul (if you pardon that word here) searching by the party.

Listen in as we talk about what was and was not in the week that kind of was.

icon for podpress  RNC Convention [30:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Picking Paul Podcast

It’s not an assured victory for President Obama following Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as VP candidate, but it’s close. There are those unknown issues, such as the couple of billionaires and many millionaires who have pledged to spend whatever it takes in PAC and direct contributions to put the GOP in power.

Perhaps more important, Obama and his crew have to frame the monstrous Ryan budget proposals clearly. Then, they have to make sure the Dems, moderates and independents drag themselves to the polls on November 6th.

Listen in as our Ryan Adams and Mike speak to the Romney/Ryan horror show. Our Ryan has some comparisons and contrasts to Sarah Palin. Mike notes the foreign policy deficits and ignorance of both Romney and Ryan. This is not the time or state of the world for bumblers to try to learn on the job. Those gross shortcomings should reveal themselves in debates and campaign coverage.

Mike again went on about how this election more than any in memory will come to fantasy v. reality. The 40% or more of voters who need to believe in the abject failure trickle-down-economics that forms the core of Ryan’s income stream. Listen in as we scoff.

For this to work for Obama and the Dems, they have to make the effects of the Romney/Ryan proposals plain. Moreover, the media have to pay attention. PACs can suck it.

icon for podpress  Paul Ryan VP Pick [30:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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David Kravitz on ACA Podcast

How ’bout that Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health reform or in the vernacular ObamaCare)? Our particularly savvy guest today was David Kravitz. He is a founder of the BlueMassGroup — as a disclaimer, Ryan, Lynne and Mike have all participated there for many years. Vocationally, he is an accomplished and knowledgeable attorney. Avocationally and coincidentally, he is an opera singer.

We had a few questions, which led David into both background and speculation, in both of which he was comfortable. He walked us through the history and contrasts with the Massachusetts version of health reform. He jumped right into his thoughts first on why the SCOTUS could use Congressional taxing powers to justify the ACA and second why it chose not to (although it could have) used its interstate-commerce authority. Listen in if you had questions about the reasoning.

He dealt with the individual mandate in detail. He spoke to the part of the ACA ruling that muddled the Medicaid expansion…including his thoughts on whether the currently blustering set of conservative governors will really turn down the many federal millions when push comes to shove.

Click below to listen in to his insights on why the SCOTUS rules and what the divisions this term may mean for their collegiality. He also expressed views on what’s next for health care reform and how November’s election will affect that.

icon for podpress  Kravitz on ACA [34:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Sasquatch SCOTUS Podcast

Even without Thursday’s looming health-care reform ruling, the SCOTUS strutted its stuff this week. We dealt with forbidding life without parole for teens, Arizona’s immigrant laws, and dismissing Montana’s version of limiting Citizens-United style campaign spending.

All threads led to November. We discussed what it might mean for Republicans and Romney in particular trying to walk back anti-Latino/anti-immigrant screeds, whether Dems and Obama can rally those groups, women, young voters and more in the face of slow economic recovery and more. Listen i as we try to put current and pending Supreme Court rulings in a progressive context.

icon for podpress  Sasquatch SCOTUS [30:03m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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