Show Notes for Monday, September 30, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the GOP’s lack of compromise in the government shutdown standoff

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about media coverage of the possible GOP government shutdown

Penn• Actor and activist Kal Penn calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to tell us about his new CBS comedy series “We Are Men”

Lee Fang of “The Nation” calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to tell us about the GOP’s hypocritical ObamaCare fans

• House Republicans pushed through a spending plan early Sunday morning that would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its tax on medical devices. The vote makes the chances of a government shutdown tomorrow increasingly likely.

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet today, and the two leaders are set to discuss negotiations with the Palestinians, developments in Syria, and Iran. The topic of Iran is likely to be contentious with the recent thaw in relations between Iran and the US.

Americans remain deeply divided on the Affordable Health Care Act, with half confused about how it works or worried about how much it will cost them, a new NBC News / Kaiser poll shows. Just 24 percent said they were enthusiastic.

Show Notes for Friday, September 27, 2013

• Actor-vist Melissa Fitzgerald joins Steph in the New York Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the news of the day

Wright2• Out country singer Chely Wright joins Steph in the New York Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to tell us what she’s been up to lately

President Obama yesterday accused Republicans of political extortion, saying they are trying to “blackmail a president” by threatening to shut down the government or refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless he agrees to gut his signature health care law.

• The five permanent members of the deeply divided U.N. Security Council reached agreement Thursday on a resolution to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, a major step in taking the most controversial weapon off the battlefield of the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict.

The Navy ordered an investigation into the deadly Washington Navy Yard shooting on Thursday, and the D.C. medical examiner released the gunman’s remains. The investigation will also look into the shooter’s mental health background as well as his military record.

• Sen. Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who gained national attention for a filibuster against statewide abortion restrictions, is planning to run for governor of the state in 2014.

Show Notes for Thursday, September 26, 2013

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Sen. Ted Cruz’ pointless talkathon on the floor of the Senate

• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about right wing attacks on his documentary “The Muslims Are Coming”

JoAnne Worley• The legendary Jo Anne Worley calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about Actors & Others For Animals’ benefit “Best In Show”

Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about what Sen. Ted Cruz was trying to accomplish with his day-long speech

• According new a new CBS News / NY Times poll, if the government shuts down, the GOP in Congress may take more of the blame: 44 percent of Americans say they would blame the GOP while fewer – 35 percent – would put more of the blame on President Obama and the Dems in Congress.

• President Obama will deliver a speech in Maryland today, according to the White House, “to lay out one of the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America: having access to affordable health care that you can count on.”

Video footage released by the FBI yesterday shows D.C. Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis in the moments before his deadly rampage, entering the facility in his car and stalking through hallways and staircases armed with a shotgun.

Show Notes for Wednesday, September 25, 2013

GraysonRep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the latest on Syria, the situation in Kenya, and the GOP efforts to shut down the Government

Hal Sparks calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for a Hal Sparks Birthday edition of Humpdays With Hal

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the Senate floor just after 2:41 p.m. on Tuesday, vowing to speak in opposition to the Affordable Care Act “until [he] is no longer able to stand.” Cruz read Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” as he wished his children goodnight from the Capitol.

• When open enrollment begins on the online, state-based marketplaces established under Obamacare, premiums nationwide are expected to be around 16 percent lower than originally predicted, Health and Human Services said in a new report released today.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his nation is prepared to resume negotiations over its disputed nuclear program – but only under certain conditions. Rouhani told the U.N. that he is also open to talks with the United States “to manage differences.”

Kenya’s president proclaimed victory Tuesday over the al Qaeda-linked terrorists who stormed a Nairobi mall, saying security forces had “ashamed and defeated our attackers” following a bloody four-day siege in which dozens of civilians were killed.

Show Notes for Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about John Boehner vs GOP Exremists

Pierce2Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about events at the shopping mall in Kenya

Kenyan security forces battled al Qaeda-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day Tuesday in what they said was a final push to rescue the last few hostages in a siege that has left at least 62 people dead.

President Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, will be at the United Nations together today. The White House has said no meetings are planned, but hasn’t ruled out at least a handshake, which would be historic between leaders of the two nations.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has announced he won’t oppose moving forward with the House-passed legislation to fund the government, breaking with Ted Cruz and tea party conservatives on a key procedural issue.

• In an unguarded moment at the United Nations on Monday, President Barack Obama joked that he was able to successfully quit smoking six years ago “because I’m scared of my wife.”

• Former President George W. Bush, who quit playing golf shortly after the Iraq war began in 2003, said critics of President Obama’s zeal for the sport are off-base.

Show Notes for Monday, September 23, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about what’s next in the GOP’s threat to shut down the government

BoehlertEric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about why the discussion of Syria is making the Beltway Media crack up

• Sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard Monday from the shopping mall in Kenya’s capital where Somali terrorists remained holed-up with an unknown number of hostages. At least 69 people had been killed and another 175 injured according to the Kenya Red Cross, which said another 63 people were still listed as missing.

• Lamenting “once more” a deadly mass shooting, President Barack Obama assured families of the Navy Yard massacre victims at a memorial service on Sunday there was “nothing routine about this tragedy, there’s nothing routine about your loss.”

President Barack Obama excoriated Congress for being “focused on trying to mess with me,” hours after the Republican House approved a stopgap spending measure to continue government operations, but also eliminate funding for “Obamacare.”

“Breaking Bad” won best drama series, “Modern Family” won best comedy series, Jeff Daniels won best actor for “The Newsroom” and Claire Danes won best actress for “Homeland” at last night’s Emmy Awards.

Show Notes for Friday, September 20, 2013

DupuyTina Dupuy of The Contributor calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the Congressional fight over Food Stamps

Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Navy Yard shooting and the need for gun legislation

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

The House has voted to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5 percent reduction to the nation’s main feeding program used by more than 1 in 7 Americans. The 217-210 vote was a win for conservatives after Dems united in opposition and some GOP moderates said the cut was too high.

• USIS, a private security firm that conducted the background check of ex-N.S.A. contractor Edward Snowden, acknowledged yesterday it also conducted the 2007 background check of Aaron Alexis that allowed the Washington Navy Yard shooter to get a security clearance.

• Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the West have been “very positive” but sounded a note of caution. “Everything needs to be put to the test,” Kerry said.

Show Notes for Thursday, September 19, 2013

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the politics behind Syria and the Navy Yard shooting

CescaBob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about what could have been done to stop the Navy Yard shooter

Sources say Aaron Alexis left behind two short phrases on the side of the shotgun used in the Washington Navy Yard massacre. One of the messages scratched into the gun’s metal reads, “Better off this way.” The other is more cryptic: “My ELF weapon.” Investigators don’t know what the etchings mean.

• Syrian President Bashar Assad said yesterday that a United Nations report finding “clear and convincing evidence” sarin nerve gas was used in Syria painted an “unrealistic” account, and he denied his government orchestrated the attack.

• After watching the cost of food stamp assistance soar during the recession, the Republican-led House of Representatives today plans to vote on a bill to cut the food stamp program by a whopping $40 billion over 10 years.

One Powerball ticket has matched all six numbers in the latest drawing for the estimated $400 million jackpot. The winning numbers selected Wednesday night were purchased at a gas station in Lexington, S.C.

Show Notes for Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MoranRep. Jim Moran (D-VA) calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT with his thoughts on the situation in Syria

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

• The Navy was told by authorities in Rhode Island last month of an incident in which Aaron Alexis complained that he was hearing voices, according to a police report on the incident. It is unclear whether the Navy followed up.

President Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of government contractor and employee protections. The move comes in the wake of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, which raised concerns about security procedures at U.S. military installations.

• A day after a mass shooting left 13 dead in DC, federal gun legislation is in the same place as it’s been for months: stalled in Congress. Still stung by an April defeat in the Senate, discouraged proponents of gun control legislation say that the chances for change are still dim.

President Barack Obama said the world would still be better off if Bashar Assad left power, but on Tuesday stressed that his top priority was removing chemical weapons from the Syrian president’s arsenal.

Show Notes for Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP spin of the Syria Resolution

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about gun control in the wake of yesterday’s Navy Yard shootings

JulieBrown• Comedian Julie Brown joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about her new musical “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun”

• An employee at a defense contractor used his pass to get into the Washington Navy Yard and went on a deadly shooting rampage Monday, spraying bullets in the hallways and firing from a balcony on workers in an atrium below. Twelve people were killed plus the gunman.

• The man believed responsible for 12 deaths in the DC Navy Yard Monday has had at least two violent, angry encounters that lead to his arrests in Texas and Washington state. In both cases he was arrested, but there was no prosecution by the local jurisdictions.

President Obama appealed to more moderate Republicans on Monday, pleading with them to break with the party’s conservative flank and help avoid a government shutdown over ObamaCare at the end of this month

U.N. weapons inspectors returned “overwhelming and indisputable” evidence of the use of nerve gas in Syria, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday, calling the findings “beyond doubt and beyond the pale.”

Show Notes for Monday, September 16, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the next outrageous thing Ann Coulter has said

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to fill us in on media coverage of President Obama and the Syria crisis

SchechnerJackie Schechner calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Jackie’s Healthcare Corner

• Over the weekend, the U.S. and Russia hashed out a new plan to get Syria to give up control of its chemical weapons. Syria says it welcomes the plan. Syria has until next week to provide a full list of all its chemical weapons, and where it’s storing them.

• Lawrence Summers, who was considered the leading candidate to replace current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, has withdrawn his name from consideration, the White House said Sunday. In a statement, President Obama said he had accepted Summers’ decision.

• Helicopter rescue teams were on standby early Monday after bad weather prevented them from reaching more than 1,000 people still trapped across Colorado, five days into record flooding which has killed five people and wrecked 17,500 homes.

Forty-four percent of respondents call ObamaCare a bad idea, while 31 percent believe it’s a good idea — virtually unchanged from July’s NBC/WSJ survey.

Show Notes for Friday, September 13, 2013

Ross MatthewsRoss Matthews of the new E! show “Hello Ross” calls in at 10:20am ET / 7:20am PT to tell us about his new pop culture show

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang will be calling in periodically through the morning from his movie set for “Fridays With Fugelsang”

• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that the prospects for a resumption in the Syria peace process are riding on the outcome of their chemical weapons talks.

• Congressional leaders in both parties made clear there is no clear path forward in avoiding a government shutdown in just over 18 days, after which all but the most essential government services would cease for lack of money.

Many civilians were killed when Taliban insurgents launched a major attack on a U.S. Consulate in western Afghanistan early Friday, the American envoy to the country said. Civilians and contractors who worked for the consulate in Herat were among the victims.

• With rain still falling and flooding and the threat of more still real, rescuers are struggling to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in Colorado mountain communities, while residents in the Denver area and other downstream communities were warned to stay off flooded streets.

Show Notes for Thursday, September 12, 2013

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Syria, and about this past Tuesday’s elections in NYC and Colorado

Fitzgerald• Actor-vist Melissa Fitzgerald joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to give us her insight on the President’s decisions with Syria

Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to tell us why President Obama is doing the right thing on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva today for talks about Moscow’s plan for international inspectors to seize Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, the first major effort in over a year to get both sides of the civil war onto the same page.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he warned that a potential strike by the United States in Syria could unleash a new wave of terrorism, increase violence and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa.

• The House Ethics Committee on Wednesday announced it will continue its review of Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann over allegation that she violated campaign finance law during her 2012 presidential run.

Show Notes for Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GraysonRep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to give us his impressions of President Obama’s address regarding Syria last night

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

President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to explore a diplomatic plan from Russia to take away Syria’s chemical weapons, but voiced skepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force if needed.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio completed his surge from seemingly nowhere in New York City’s mayoral primary Tuesday by taking a commanding lead on his Dem opponents, hovering near the threshold needed to avoid a runoff. The night also marked the end of political comebacks for Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.

Voters ousted two Colorado Democratic lawmakers Tuesday in the state’s first ever legislative recall, launched over their support for stricter gun laws after last year’s mass shootings.

• House Republican leaders are moving forward with a bill that would extend government funding until mid-December, averting a government shutdown but forcing the Democratically-controlled Senate into a vote on defunding the 2010 health care reform law.

Show Notes for Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in from Washington, DC at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about how events in Syria are playing there

Lapides• Comedian Beth Lapides calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the book “No Kidding,” a collection of essays from Women who have decided not to have children

• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about his documentary “The Muslims Are Coming!”

• President Obama will meet with Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans behind closed doors during their respective weekly policy luncheons today to discuss his proposals on Syria. Tonight, he will deliver a televised address to make his case to the nation.

• If Syrian President Assad gives up his chemical weapons, a military strike would “absolutely” be on pause, President Obama said yesterday. Obama’s comments came after Russia suggested Syria could avoid a U.S. attack by turning its chemical weapons over to international control and destroying them, a proposal the Syrian government “welcomed.”

George Zimmerman was released without charges yesterday after his wife called 911 to say Zimmerman punched his father-in-law in the nose and threatened to shoot him and his wife.

Show Notes for Monday, September 9, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about President Obama’s push for action in Syria

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the media’s reaction to the Syria debate

wallisRev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to tell us about his Huffington Post piece on Syria intervention

President Obama will address the nation tomorrow as Congress prepares to vote on a resolution authorizing limited military strikes against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

• A CNN poll released this morning shows that even though eight in 10 Americans believe that the Bashar al-Assad regime gassed its own people, a strong majority doesn’t want Congress to pass a resolution authorizing a military strike against the regime.

President Bashar Assad warned Sunday that if President Obama decides to launch military strikes on Syria, the U.S. and its allies should “expect every action” in retaliation.

A football fan fell to his death from an elevated pedestrian walkway Sunday at Candlestick Park during the 49ers’ final season opener at the San Francisco stadium, police said.