Show Notes for Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Humpdays With Hal

President Obama challenged Republicans yesterday to help him craft a “grand bargain” for the middle class, unveiling a corporate tax reform proposal intended to put the GOP on the spot ahead of the budget battles he faces with Congress this fall.

The sentencing hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning begins today, and in the coming days, the famed leaker will find out how much time he will serve behind bars. It could be years or up to 136 years. He was found guilty of 20 charges, but acquitted of aiding the enemy.

• The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to deny Mayor Bob Filner’s request for taxpayers to pay his legal fees associated with a sexual harassment lawsuit against him, a spokesman said.

• New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has released a new campaign video saying he won’t quit the race. The 1 minute video was posted on his campaign’s website Tuesday evening. “’Quit’ isn’t the way we roll in New York City,” he says in the video.

A bagged salad mix is being investigated as a source of the cyclospora stomach bug outbreak that has caused hundreds of cases of diarrhea.

Show Notes for Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the non-scandal that was the IRS targeting

Fitzgerald• Actor/activist Melissa Fitzgerald (“The West Wing”) joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau for the 11am ET / 8am PT to introduce a new project

A judge is due to announce her verdict today in the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history after he handed hundreds of thousands of documents to the Wikileaks website.

Bill and Hillary Clinton increasingly see Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability, and are signaling through associates that they are eager to see him exit the race, several former Clinton aides and advisers say.

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill tomorrow to huddle in separate meetings with Democrats in the Senate and the House— strategy sessions ahead of the August recess, when lawmakers are likely to face riled up voters in their home districts.

Dozens of explosions rocked a propane tank servicing plant in central Florida near Orlando late on Monday, injuring seven workers, at least three critically, and prompting the evacuation of nearby homes, authorities said.

Show Notes for Monday, July 29, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Rep. Steve King’s comments about immigrants having “cantaloupe calves”

Boehlert2Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the GOP’s new tactic of denying that racism exists

Anthony Weiner’s campaign manager has quit in the wake of new revelations about the New York City mayoral candidate’s online communications with women, according to a spokeswoman.

There are “zero privacy violations” in the NSA’s collection of phone records, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said yesterday, just days after the chamber narrowly rejected a measure that would have stripped the agency of its authority to collect records in bulk.

• Heading into another budget battle this fall, the number of Americans who say they have been negatively affected by the sequester budget cuts is on the rise, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

• Amanda Berry, one of three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, appeared at a public event for the first time since her rescue, a day after her abductor Ariel Castro pleaded guilty in the case.

Show Notes for Friday, July 26, 2013

Obeidallah• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the differences between Dem and GOP sex scandals

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the NYC Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Fridays With Fugelsang

• President Barack Obama used the Port of Jacksonville as a backdrop for his latest economic policy speech, using an infrastructure project there to illustrate his call for greater investment in similar projects.

• A member of the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman said Thursday she thinks Zimmerman “got away with murder” but that jurors had no choice in finding him not guilty under the law.

• Sydney Leathers, the 23-year-old woman who says she exchanged steamy online messages and phone calls with Anthony Weiner, alias “Carlos Danger,” told Inside Edition in an exclusive interview that she believes the New York City mayoral candidate is “responsible for his downfall.”

• The U.S. Justice Department will seek a federal court order forcing Texas to resume “preclearing” any changes to its voting laws, the first enforcement action by the Obama administration since the Supreme Court tossed out a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

Show Notes for Thursday, July 25, 2013

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Anthony Weiner and the politics of sexting

TomaskyMichael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about why we need to repeal John Boehner

• President Obama vowed yesterday to focus his energy for the rest of his presidency on the core tenet of his election victories — equal opportunity for all Americans — starting with speeches on the economy that appeared to launch this year’s budget battle with the GOP.

• After a series of delays, the Senate passed legislation Wednesday to fundamentally restructure government student loans and reverse the sharp hikes in interest rates that went into effect on July 1.

• After a fierce public debate over balancing national security interests with the privacy of Americans, the House narrowly voted Wednesday to continue a sweeping NSA program that collects phone record data on all American citizens.

Baby Cambridge now has a name: George Alexander Louis. The name of Prince William and Kate’s son was announced Wednesday by Kensington Palace, two days after he was born.

Show Notes for Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Humpdays With Hal

• With his wife Huma Abedin by his side, NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner acknowledged that he sent previously undisclosed inappropriate photos to a woman during summer of 2012, a year after he publicly resigned from Congress amid a scandal for similar behavior.

The Obama administration squared off with skeptical lawmakers Tuesday over efforts to terminate the government’s authority to collect phone records of millions of Americans, a proposition that exposed sharp divisions among members of Congress.

• Seeking to focus public attention on the problem he was sent to the White House to solve, President Obama is making a renewed push for policies to expand the middle class, helping people he says are still treading water years after the financial meltdown.

An out-of-control natural gas well off the Louisiana coast has caught fire, hours after a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers.

• Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate kept the world guessing about the name of their first child as they left hospital to start family life with the future king.

Show Notes for Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s politics blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the latest thing to give Lindsey Graham the vapors

Fugelsang2• Current TV’s John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau for an hour of Fridays With Fugelsang

• President Obama told supporters on Monday that he plans to focus his agenda clearly on the economic challenges of the middle class, a theme he will lay out in a speech on Wednesday and follow up with detailed proposals in the coming months.

The world was awaiting the first glimpse of Britain’s new prince on Tuesday, with camera crews poised to photograph Prince William and his wife, Kate, leaving a London hospital with their baby son.

The front landing gear of a Southwest Airlines flight arriving at New York’s LaGuardia Airport collapsed Monday right after the plane touched down on the runway, officials said, sending the aircraft skidding before it came to a halt.

• George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle on a Sanford, FL highway, police said yesterday.

Show Notes for Monday, July 22, 2013

rudepundit2The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the president’s remarks about the Zimmerman case

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP’s use of race in discussions of the Zimmerman case

• President Obama, making his first public remarks on the George Zimmerman acquittal, said on Friday that many African-Americans believe that “both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different” if Trayvon Martin had been white.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joined President Barack Obama’s call to review so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin.

• Amid record-low productivity on Capitol Hill this year, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Sunday that Congress should be judged on how many laws it repeals, rather than how many new laws lawmakers enact.

• With her husband, Prince William, at her side, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, 31, was admitted to a London hospital at 6 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) Monday in the early stages of labor.

• Famed and pioneering White House journalist Helen Thomas has died at the age of 92 after a long illness.

Show Notes for Friday, July 19, 2013

alazraqui• Actor and comedian Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for an hour of Coffee With Carlos

Detroit, saddled with more than $18 billion in debt, became the biggest U.S. city in history to file for bankruptcy on Thursday. “This is a difficult step, but the only viable option to address a problem that has been six decades in the making,” Michigan governor Rick Snyder said.

• More than three years after signing a massive health care system reform into law, President Barack Obama on Thursday worked to sell the legislation’s benefits to an American public still largely skeptical about the overhaul.

Lawmakers kept bickering Thursday over the origin of the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status, as Republicans sought to refocus public outrage toward a controversy that has diminished in recent weeks.

Protesters who set up camp in the Florida Capitol building earlier this week finally got to meet with Gov. Rick Scott late Thursday, and they urged him to push for the repeal of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law. Scott ultimately said the law will remain.

Most residents have evacuated Idyllwild, CA as the massive Mountain fire roars in rugged terrain south of Palm Springs; six homes are lost in the early stages.

Show Notes for Thursday, July 18, 2013

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Liz Cheney running for Senate from Wyoming

MoulitsasMarkos Moulitsas of DailyKos calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the humiliation of Mitch McConnell by Harry Reid

• A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday reached a deal that, if passed, would fix the big jump in interest rates for federally backed student loans. Under the proposed deal, undergraduates this fall would be able access loans at a projected rate of 3.86 percent.

Liz Cheney struck a no-compromises tone Wednesday as she launched her campaign to unseat Wyoming’s senior U.S. senator, Mike Enzi. Speaking in Cheyenne, Cheney said it’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop “cutting deals” with Democrats.

• In a symbolic vote meant to highlight the Obama administration’s decision to delay the implementation of a key part of its health care law, the GOP-led House passed bills Wednesday to stall parts of “Obamacare” despised by the GOP.

• Rolling Stone magazine sparked a heated social media debate Wednesday after releasing a cover image promoting an upcoming profile of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Show Notes for Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Linda SanchezRep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about GOP opposition in the House to real immigration reform

• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Humpdays With Hal

Four of the jurors at the George Zimmerman trial distanced themselves from statements that another juror made in a televised interview. “The opinions of Juror B37, expressed … were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below,” said a statement signed by Jurors B51, B76, E6 and E40.

• Stand-your-ground laws that allow a person who believes he is in danger to use deadly force in self-defense “sow dangerous conflict” and need to be reassessed, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday in assailing the statutes that exist in many states.

• President Obama said Tuesday that an immigration bill without a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is “not who we are as Americans,” arguing that the House should move comprehensive immigration legislation rather than the step-by-step approach favored by most House Republicans.

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will challenge veteran Sen. Mike Enzi in a blockbuster battle for the Republican Senate nomination in Wyoming next year.

Show Notes for Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about his strong reaction to the Zimmerman verdict

DupuyTina Dupuy of TheContributor.com calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the GOP’s continuing war on women

A juror in the George Zimmerman trial made her first public appearances since the trial reached its verdict on Saturday, saying race did not play a role in the jury’s decision but admitted she believes Zimmerman went “above and beyond” his role as a neighborhood watch member.

Protesters ran through Los Angeles streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks, while others blocked a major freeway in the San Francisco Area in the third night of demonstrations in California over George Zimmerman’s Florida acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

U.S. senators failed to reach a deal on Monday to avert a showdown over President Obama’s executive-branch nominees and threats by Democrats to strip Republicans of their power to block such nominations with procedural hurdles known as filibusters.

Blazing temperatures left thousands of people sweltering without power in New York as forecasters warned Tuesday that the worst might be yet to come across the Northeast.

Show Notes for Monday, July 15, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the Zimmerman verdict, and about the fight for women’s rights in Texas

BoehlertEric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about race and the Zimmerman verdict

• Thousands of demonstrators from across the country — chanting, praying and even fighting tears — protested a jury’s decision to clear neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting death of an unarmed Trayvon Martin while the Justice Department considered whether to file criminal civil rights charges.

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking “ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence.”

Edward Snowden has very sensitive “blueprints” detailing how the National Security Agency operates that would allow someone who read them to evade or even duplicate NSA surveillance, a journalist close to the intelligence leaker said Sunday.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday that Dems needed to change Senate rules in order to give President Obama executive branch officials whom he wanted to carry out his agenda. “Whoever is president should be able to have the people on their team that they want,” Reid said.

Show Notes for Friday, July 12, 2013

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the dysfunctional and chaotic House GOP

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us in from the NYC Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

Clark• Former prosecutor Marcia Clark calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the Zimmerman trial and her new book, KILLER AMBITION

• When jurors begin deliberating in the racially charged murder trial of George Zimmerman, they will also be able to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.

• House approval of a scaled-back farm bill is setting up what could be an even bigger fight over food stamps and the role of domestic food aid in the United States.

Pilots twice called to abort the landing of Asiana Flight 214 in the last few seconds before it crashed at the San Francisco airport last weekend, federal investigators said Thursday.

• Incensed by what they call unfair blocking of executive branch nominees, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday dared Republicans to keep up their objections and warning that he could change Senate rules to prohibit future nominee filibusters if necessary.

Show Notes for Thursday, July 11, 2013

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Sarah Palin possibly running for Senate

Gold• Comedian Judy Gold joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about her new stage show, “The Judy Show”

• Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings got little satisfaction from suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s first public appearance since the deadly attacks. “Not guilty” was all he said, over and over.

• Defense lawyers for George Zimmerman, charged with the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, rested their case on Wednesday, on a day when Zimmerman told the judge he did not want to testify on his own behalf.

• Six of the 12 flight attendants aboard the South Korean flight that crashed on landing last weekend in San Francisco still haven’t been interviewed and could help explain why the pilots initially told them not to evacuate the plane, federal investigators said Wednesday.

• The White House pushed back Wednesday on critics of its move to delay the implementation of a key part of the Obama-backed health care law, saying that skeptics of the postponement are “willfully ignorant” about how such laws have worked in the past.

Show Notes for Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Humpdays With Hal

George Zimmerman’s attorneys are finishing up their defense of the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Trayvon Martin, though the judge first must rule on two requests by defense attorneys.

Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing will watch as Dzkokhar Tsarnaev, who could face the death penalty for the attack, appears in court for the first time since he was found bleeding and hiding in a boat in a suburb days after the April 15 explosion.

Investigators are trying to understand whether automated cockpit equipment Asiana flight 214’s pilots say they were relying on to control the airliner’s speed may have contributed to the plane’s dangerously low and slow approach just before it crashed.

The White House is trying to turn up the pressure on Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass sweeping immigration reform in coming weeks, making the argument that modernizing the outdated system would boost the economy and cut the deficit.

• U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is grounded in Moscow’s airport, but his future is up in the air. A tweet by a Russian lawmaker Tuesday announced that Snowden had accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum, giving the impression that the American had evaded U.S. authorities again.

Show Notes For Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about his new series on TNT, “Perception”

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the GOP’s new shenanigans with the debt ceiling

Kirkman• Comedian Jen Kirkman (“I Can Barely Take Care Of Myself”) joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT

• Investigators trying to understand why Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed focused Monday on the actions of an experienced pilot learning his way around a new aircraft, fellow pilots who were supposed to be monitoring him and why no one noticed that the plane was coming in too slow.

Texas Republicans pushed ahead Monday with aggressive efforts to pass tough new abortion restrictions they failed to approve last month, scheduling a House vote as thousands flocked to the Capitol for an anti-abortion rally and a marathon public hearing about the legislation.

• Washington’s top elected Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, expressed his support Monday for the Egyptian military’s effort last week to topple the elected government of President Mohammed Morsi.

• Governor Rick Perry – the longest-serving governor in Texas history and a former GOP presidential candidate – will not run for re-election in 2014, he announced Monday.

Show Notes for Monday, July 8, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Edward Snowden and Independence Day

Schechner• Current TV’s Jacki Schechner calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to update us on the implementation of health care reform

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the GOP’s fight against Sen. Wendy Davis in Texas

The pilot at the controls of an Asiana plane that crash landed was guiding a Boeing 777 into the San Francisco airport for the first time, and tried but failed to abort the landing after coming in too slow to set down safely, aviation and airline officials said Sunday.

The political battle in Texas over proposed restrictions on abortion resumes today with a rally by abortion opponents and a public hearing in the state Senate, where Dem Wendy Davis staged a filibuster last month to stall the GOP-backed measure.

A solemn procession of 19 white hearses carrying the remains of firefighters killed battling an AZ wildfire left Phoenix accompanied by police motorcycle outriders on Sunday on a final journey passing through the crew’s hometown.

Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, has been flown to Boston for further medical treatment after being taken by ambulance from the couple’s Nantucket home to a hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Show Notes for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Humpdays With Hal

• The requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance or face fines – a key provision contained in President Obama’s sweeping health care law – will be delayed by one year, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

• Bolivia said President Evo Morales’ plane was diverted on a flight from Russia and forced to land in Austria over suspicions that Edward Snowden might be on board, as several countries spurned the former U.S. spy agency contractor’s asylum requests.

Egypt braced for a showdown today after embattled President Mohammed Morsi insisted he will not step down in the face of demands by millions of protesters, vowing to protect his “constitutional legitimacy” with his life.

• The lone survivor of a 20-member elite crew deployed to fight a wildfire in Arizona was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing, officials said Tuesday as the blaze was partly contained for the first time.

• The lead investigator for George Zimmerman’s case testified on Tuesday that he believes Zimmerman may have exaggerated the manner in which he was injured during the confrontation that resulted in Trayvon Martin’s death last year.

Show Notes for Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about what is happening to Edward Snowden

Obeidallah• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about why America needs to forgive Paula Deen

• In a heartbreaking sight, a long line of vans from a coroner’s office carried the bodies of 19 elite firefighters out of the tiny mountain town of Yarnell, Arizona on Monday, as the wind-driven wildfire that claimed the men’s lives burned out of control.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s attempts to seek refuge outside the U.S. hit hurdles Tuesday, after Russian media reported he canceled his asylum bid in Russia and several European countries said such applications wouldn’t be considered if they were made from abroad.

Texas lawmakers returned for a second special session on Monday to reconsider anti-abortion legislation derailed initially by a one-woman filibuster and a raucous crowd at the state Capitol that drowned out a final effort to push it through.

Dem President Barack Obama and GOP predecessor President George W. Bush found common ground in Tanzania, Africa on Tuesday, honoring the victims of a terrorist attack in an unprecedented chance encounter a world away from home.

Show Notes for Monday, July 1, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Paula Deen, SCOTUS’ marriage equality rulings, and TX Gov. Rick Perry sucking on things

BoutrousTed Boutrous, attorney arguing against Prop. 8 at the Supreme Court, calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about last week’s marriage equality victories

• An elite crew of firefighters trained to battle the nation’s fiercest wildfires was overtaken by an out-of-control blaze in Arizona, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has denied a request from Proposition 8 supporters in California to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in the nation’s most populous state. Kennedy turned away the request on Sunday with no additional comment.

• In a speech in Cape Town, South Africa, President Obama saluted the progress that has “rippled across the African continent” in recent decades and encouraged Africa’s young people to continue pushing forward in pursuit of a brighter future.

The second week of testimony in the trial of suspected murderer George Zimmerman is scheduled to launch today in a Florida courtroom. Several key witnesses testified last week, one of whom said he believes Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman moments before the fatal gunshot.