Show Notes for Friday, June 27, 2014

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Fridays With Fugelsang

• Comedian Whitney Cummings calls in at 9:50am ET / 6:50am PT to talk about her new Comedy Central stand-up special tomorrow night

Rivers Diva• The legendary Joan Rivers calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about her new book, “Diary of a Mad Diva”

• Journalist May Lee joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to hang out for an hour

• President Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to train and arm vetted members of the Syrian opposition, as the U.S. grapples for a way to stem a civil war that has also fueled the al Qaeda inspired insurgency in neighboring Iraq.

• The Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the president’s power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Obama.

• Boston will deploy extra police around the city’s abortion clinics starting on today to prevent potential unrest after the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday knocked down the state’s “buffer law” keeping protesters back 35 feet.

• President Obama says tens of thousands of Central American children flooding into the U.S. along the southern border have created a “humanitarian crisis,” and he appealed to parents to stop sending kids north.

Show Notes for Thursday, June 26, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the marriage equality rulings in Indiana and Utah

Obeidallah• Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about racism and homophobia in the GOP

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Jacki’s Healthcare Corner

• House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Wednesday that he’s pushing the House of Representatives to sue President Obama “in an effort to compel the president to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.”

• Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel, who lost a runoff election to Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary Tuesday night, said his team will be examining “irregularities” in the voting data to determine whether to challenge the results.

• Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants’ positions inside Iraq, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned against the threat and said other nations should stay out.

Show Notes for Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours today

• Political strategist David Bender joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Tea Party’s effect on this year’s elections

• Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that President Obama is fully prepared to use American military might to help the Iraqi government push back Sunni Islamic militants sweeping across the country’s west, but not “in a vacuum” of Iraqi political power.

• In Mississippi, six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran held off tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel, in an ugly race marred by name-calling, mudslinging, allegations of cheating and a break-in at the nursing home where Cochran’s bedridden wife lives.

• In New York, U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel claimed victory in what he says is his last race, looking like he’ll survive a second straight narrow victory against the same opponent he faced two years ago. But Rangel’s challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, wasn’t conceding early Wednesday.

• President Obama and his administration “haven’t done a damn thing to help” the investigations into the inappropriate way the IRS targeted certain political groups, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, complained on Tuesday.

Show Notes for Tuesday, June 24, 2014

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the impending SCOTUS decisions

jim_ward• Voice Deity Jim Ward joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT

• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about someone on Fox News who’s even crazier than O’Reilly and Hannity

• Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Iraq on Tuesday for the second day in a row, again trying to convince one of its political leaders that overhaul of the Shiite-led government is the best way to deflate a raging Sunni insurgency that is pushing the country toward civil war.

• IRS Commissioner John Koskinen brushed aside GOP accusations Monday that the agency has obstructed investigations into the targeting of tea party and other political groups, even as Republican lawmakers questioned his credibility.

• President Obama said Monday that the United States should join the rest of the industrialized world and offer paid leave for mothers of newborns. The president is touting paid maternity in the midst of a midterm election campaign focused on women voters.

• Ukraine’s pro-Russian insurgents have agreed to a temporary ceasefire and talks with the new Western-backed president, as President Obama warned Russia it risks fresh sanctions over its support for the separatists.

Show Notes for Monday, June 23, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Dick Cheney’s continuing Iraq press tour

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton

Overton• Comedian and actor Rick Overton joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to hang with us for the hour

• Confronting the threat of civil war in Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Baghdad on Monday to personally urge the Shiite-led government to give more power to political opponents before a Sunni insurgency seizes more control across the country and sweeps away hopes for lasting peace.

• President Obama, as part of efforts to make the U.S. workplace more accommodating for employees with families, will today direct federal agencies to step up efforts give workers more leeway in determining their schedules.

• Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered some bipartisan backup to President Obama of Iraq Sunday, saying many critics who blame the president for the ferocious Islamist insurgency there, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, should take a look in the mirror.

• The U.S. and Portugal World Cup game last night ended in a 2-2 tie, delivering the U.S. hope for a spot in the second round.

Show Notes for Friday, June 20, 2014

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

• Anti-war Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the President sending military help to Iraq

Lee• Steph’s former Oxygen co-host May Lee joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to hang and talk about the news

• President Obama said Thursday that the United States will not send troops back into combat in Iraq, but said he and his national security team are preparing to take further action, including targeted and precise military action if necessary.

• The Labor Department on Friday will move to clarify that, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal employee is eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse regardless of where he or she lives, according to a White House official.

• House Republicans on Thursday elected Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, succeeding Eric Cantor, who is relinquishing the job after losing his primary election in an upset. McCarthy mainly will focus on using his political skills to help shape the GOP message and strategy.

• Leading Republicans on Thursday insisted that America’s leaders must do more to defend Christian values at home and abroad, blaming President Obama for attacks on religious freedom.

Show Notes for Thursday, June 19, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Obama’s executive action to ban LGBT discrimination

Case Against 8• Kris Perry & Sandy Stier, plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 case, call in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the HBO documentary “The Case Against 8”

• Becky Bond, VP and Political Director at CREDO, calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about Dick Cheney’s op-ed on Iraq

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Jacki’s Healthcare Corner

• Iraqi government forces battled Sunni rebels for control of the country’s biggest refinery on Thursday as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waited for a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad.

• Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz penned an acerbic op-ed on Tuesday accusing President Obama of “abandoning” Iraq and putting Americans at greater risk of terrorist attacks from al Qaeda.

• Emotions ran high Wednesday at a hearing on Capitol Hill to examine the circumstances surrounding Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban in 2009 and the deal that led to his release in late May. Bergdahl’s former roommate said that there was no doubt that he deserted.

Show Notes for Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the bottomless sinkhole that is Iraq

Alazraqui• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Coffee With Carlos

• The U.S. government has captured who it’s calling “a key figure” in the attacks two years ago on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. He’s expected to be questioned by a special team of US investigators within hours.

• President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked congressional leaders to meet with him Wednesday as he considers his options in Iraq. Administration officials tell us the president will make the case for sending a limited number of special forces troops to Iraq.

• Republicans on Tuesday charged that the IRS has lost emails of a half dozen of its employees involved in the tea party targeting controversy, including a top aide to the now-fired acting IRS commissioner.

• Rep. Lou Barletta says the House “probably” has the votes to impeach President Barack Obama. “He’s just absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws and ignoring the checks and balances,” the Pennsylvania Republican said of Obama on the Gary Sutton radio show on Monday.

Show Notes for Tuesday, June 17, 2014

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Sunday shows using the failed architects of the Iraq War as “experts”

jim_ward• Voice Deity Jim Ward joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT

• Nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets as President Barack Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.

• A divided Supreme Court sided with gun control groups and the Obama administration Monday, ruling that the federal ban on “straw” purchases of guns can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun.

• After years of pressure from gay rights groups, President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the White House said Monday.

• General Motors says recall about 3.4 million cars because it needs to change or replace the keys which could cause the ignition switch to move out of position if they’re carrying too much weight.

• After 90 brutal minutes of end-to-end action, the Americans emerged with a thrilling 2-1 win over Ghana in the first round of the World Cup.

Show Notes for Monday, June 16, 2014

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton

leifer• Comedian Carol Leifer joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about her new book, “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Crying”

• The Islamic militants who overran cities and towns in Iraq last week posted graphic photos that appeared to show their gunmen massacring scores of captured Iraqi soldiers, while the prime minister vowed Sunday to “liberate every inch” of captured territory.

• Acknowledging that hard-won American gains in Iraq are at risk, President Barack Obama said on Friday that he won’t be sending U.S. ground troops back there to battle al-Qaida-inspired extremists but warned he could soon unleash military strikes there.

• House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Sunday he has “no regrets” and will “remain focused on the mission that I’m about” after a stunning re-election upset this week at the hands of a primary challenger.

• The San Antonio Spurs finished off a dominant run to their fifth NBA championship Sunday night, ending the Heat’s two-year title reign with a 104-87 victory that wrapped up the series in five games.

• Radio pioneer Casey Kasem, who rose to fame with the music countown show “American Top 40” has died at 82.

Show Notes for Friday, June 13, 2014

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

• Republican strategist Rich Galen calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the stunning defeat of Eric Cantor

Osmond• Entertainment legend Donny Osmond calls in at 10:50am ET / 7:50am PT to talk about his new smartphone app and his new album

• Steph’s former Oxygen co-host May Lee joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to hang for an hour

• Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, has arrived at an Army medical center in Texas where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said on Friday.

• The government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remained in paralysis Friday, unable to form a coherent response after al-Qaida-inspired militants blitzed and captured entire chunks of the nation’s Sunni heartland this week, including major cities, towns, military and police bases as Iraqi forces melted away or fled.

• Hillary Rodham Clinton tersely defended her initial opposition to gay marriage, denying in a radio interview that political reasons were behind her shift last year to supporting same-sex marriage. She accused the host of the show of “playing with my words.”

Show Notes for Thursday, June 12, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the stunning loss by Eric Cantor

• Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to prisoner swaps

Schechner• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Jacki’s Healthcare Corner

• Vowing not to give up on an overhaul of immigration, President Obama said Wednesday that he “fundamentally rejects” the notion that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary election defeat means that tackling immigration legislation is now out of reach.

• Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered an aggressive defense of the secret prisoner exchange of five Taliban detainees for a U.S. soldier, telling Congress that the risks were too great and the situation too uncertain for the administration to tell lawmakers about the plan.

• Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation aimed at letting people refinance their student loans at lower rates, a pre-ordained outcome that gave Democrats a fresh election-year talking point against the GOP.

• The Al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed yesterday to march on to Baghdad.

Show Notes for Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rebecca Coffey, conversion therapy researcher, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Texas GOP calling for mandated gay conversion therapy

Alazraqui• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Coffee With Carlos

• In an upset for the ages, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-most powerful man in the House, was dethroned Tuesday by a little-known, tea party-backed Republican primary challenger carried to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.

• A gunman walked into an Oregon high school gym with a rifle and shot a student to death on Tuesday before he was found dead in a bathroom stall, in the third outbreak of gun violence to shake a U.S. high school or college campus in less than three weeks.

• Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will be front and center at the first public hearing on the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap when he goes before the House Armed Services Committee this morning.

• Islamic militants overran parts of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday, driving security forces from their posts and seizing the provincial government headquarters, security bases and other key buildings. Gunmen cruised through neighborhoods, waving black banners while residents fled.

Show Notes for Tuesday, June 10, 2014

• Mornay Walters, CEO of Seecrypt Group, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about Snowden and keeping your private conversations private

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Las Vegas anti-government shootings

Cesca• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the Far Right’s abysmal treatment of POW’s

• A Las Vegas couple who gunned down two police officers and a civilian before killing themselves apparently looked at law enforcement as oppressors, officials said Monday. Among the clues: a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag the couple placed on one of the police officers they ambushed Sunday.

• Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is withdrawing his support for the sale of his team and is asking his lawyer to go ahead with a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA.

• A political storm over the trade of five Taliban inmates for a captured American soldier intensified on Monday when Obama administration officials told U.S. lawmakers that up to 90 people within the administration – but no members of Congress – were told in advance about the swap.

• Five NATO service members were killed in an apparent friendly fire incident in southern Afghanistan, the international coalition said on Tuesday.

Show Notes for Monday, June 9, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Time Magazine wondering of rescuing Bergdahl was worth it

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about Fox News’ disgusting coverage of Sgt. Bergdahl

• Mornay Walters, CEO of Seecrypt Group, calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about how to protect yourself from NSA spying

jim_ward• Voice Deity Jim Ward joins us in studio at 11am ET / 8am PT

• U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at an American military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.

• Two police officers were “simply having lunch” at a strip mall pizza buffet in Las Vegas when a man and a woman fatally shot them in point-blank ambush, then fled to a nearby Walmart where they killed a third person and then themselves in an apparent suicide pact, authorities said.

• President Obama is prepping new executive steps to help Americans struggling to pay off their student debt, and throwing his support behind Senate Democratic legislation with a similar goal but potentially a much more profound impact.

Show Notes for Friday, June 6, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the GOP’s attacks on Bowe Bergdahl

David Webb of SiriusXM calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about his special broadcast from Normandy on today’s 70th anniversary of D-Day

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

Leguizamo• Actor John Leguizamo calls in at 11:20am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about his new movie “Chef”

• A lone gunman armed with a shotgun and knife opened fire Thursday in a building at Seattle Pacific University, fatally wounding one person before a student subdued him with pepper spray as he tried to reload, police said.

• While Bowe Bergdahl was still in captivity, the United States knew he had tried to escape twice and that after each try his captors increased security around him. Now, Defense Department officials debriefing him in Germany about his five years in captivity are finding out the conditions were harsher than they thought.

• A bipartisan pair of senators, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. John McCain, announced a deal to reform the embattled Veterans Affairs health care system on Thursday, marking the most significant sign of congressional action on a scandal that has roiled Washington in recent weeks.

Show Notes for Thursday, June 5, 2014

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Far Right’s obsession with bashing Bowe Bergdahl

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Jacki’s Healthcare Corner

Tomlin• The legendary Lily Tomlin calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about her work with the Los Angeles LGBT Center

• Bowe Bergdahl remained in a U.S. military hospital in Germany Wednesday night. In the meantime, we’ve learned that an internal military investigation conducted after his 2009 disappearance found that he had wandered off post without permission at least once before.

• Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to sign off on selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for what would be a record $2 billion and will drop his $1 billion against the league, his lawyer said Wednesday.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin waded into US politics Wednesday describing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — and possible 2016 presidential candidate — as “weak” in some sarcastic comments about women.

• 1 in 4 Americans who signed up for insurance through HealthCare.gov could be at risk of losing their coverage or be forced to repay part of all of their subsidy because of discrepancies with their applications.

Show Notes for Wednesday, June 4, 2014

• Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Colbert viewers being smarter than normal news viewers

• Author Lance Simmens calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about his new book, “Evolution of a Revolution”

• Actorvist Melissa Fitzgerald joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about veterans issues including Bowe Bergdahl

Alazraqui• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Coffee With Carlos

• The Army will conduct “a comprehensive, coordinated” review into the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — the recently freed soldier whom some have deemed a hero, others a deserter — the military branch’s civilian leader announced Tuesday.

• President Obama on Tuesday defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier, saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility “for some time.”

• President Barack Obama called on Congress Tuesday to back a $1 billion effort to boost the U.S. military presence across Europe, as he sought to ease anxiety among NATO allies who are wary of Russia’s threatening moves in Ukraine.

Show Notes for Tuesday, June 3, 2014

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Far Right’s freakout over new EPA standards

Cesca• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about Edward Snowden’s worsening credibility problem

• A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.

• President Obama arrived in Poland Tuesday for a four-day, three-country European tour in which the Ukraine crisis will be the main topic of conversation. The visit comes at a time of violent unrest in parts of Southern and Eastern Ukraine as a new western-backed government prepares to take office in Kiev.

• The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a $15 minimum wage ordinance Monday that gives the city the highest minimum wage in the nation. Some critics said the plan doesn’t go far enough, while others said it would lead to layoffs and higher prices for consumers.

• Sloan Gibson, the acting secretary of Veterans Affairs, vowed to act decisively against the mismanagement that led to the agency’s scandal over delays in treatment and cover-ups at VA hospitals across the country.

Show Notes for Monday, June 2, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about whether God is pissed off that it’s LGBT Pride Month

Boehlert2• Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP’s criticism of the POW release

• Voice Deity Jim Ward joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT

• Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan, has been freed by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

• Two Republican lawmakers on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaking the law by approving the release of five Afghan detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for a U.S. soldier believed held by Islamist insurgents for five years.

• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose today a new rule for existing coal-fired power plants across the country that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, sources close to the matter have confirmed.

• Ann B. Davis, best known for being the wise-cracking maid Alice on TV’s “The Brady Bunch,” has died. Davis was 88 and lived in San Antonio, Texas. She died after falling, her friend, Bishop William Frey, has confirmed.