For episode 8 we speak with none other than the fabulous Marcy Wheeler, a national security and surveillance policy expert with a most refined bullshit detector. Marcy helps us understand exactly WTF congress has just done by tacking on dangerous warrantless surveillance authorization onto the omnibus budget, under the guise of protecting US “cyber security.” If you’ve been confused about what CISA is or why you should care, don’t miss our interview with Marcy.
Also featured on this episode is a breakdown of what else was hidden away in the 2016 spending package, including financial and drug war related items, as well as some surprises, for example a nifty little clause that says cops can look at porn on their government computers.
That, plus a special edition of Quit Your Job, in which we beg NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan to NOT quit her job.
This episode, we are thrilled to interview Mariame Kaba (@PrisonCulture), an educator and organizer based in Chicago. We discuss the “absolutely quotidian and mundane way” that white supremacy manifests in our society, how we arbitrate terror in the wake of Charleston, how Afro-pessimism describes our current predicament, and how the homes of black Americans have always been fair game for the state—from Batterrams in L.A., to warrantless raids in NYC, to raids that persist in Chicago today.
We also discuss why, even though Chuck Todd should TOTALLY quit his job, unless we shift the media’s allegiances, someone else will just pop in to take his place and replicate the same conversation.
In addition, Alexis discusses one example of how racial prejudice makes its way into policy. We’ll dig into the GOP’s hatred of “disparate impact” theory, and how conservatives have long been fighting, both in the Supreme Court and in Congress, to make racial discrimination in housing even harder to prove than it already is. Here is a good summary of Rep. Scott Garrett’s two amendments, to two different appropriations bills, to try and block disparate impact theory from being used to enforce Fair Housing cases. The vote breakdown of Rep. Garrett’s amendments can be found here and here.
“Housing affects your chances of being robbed and shot as well as your chances of being stopped and frisked. And housing discrimination is as quiet as it is deadly. It can be pursued through violence and terrorism, but it doesn’t need it. Housing discrimination is hard to detect, hard to prove, and hard to prosecute. Even today most people believe that Chicago is the work of organic sorting, as opposed segregationist social engineering. Housing segregation is the weapon that mortally injures, but does not bruise.The historic fumbling of such a formidable weapon could only ever be accomplished by a graceless halfwit—such as the present owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.”
Alexis mentioned the essay by academic Robin DiAngelo “White Fragility,” which states that white people “often confuse comfort with safety and state that we don’t feel safe when what we really mean is that we don’t feel comfortable. ”
Mariame mentioned that “we can’t leave it at those arguments about white fragility. White fragility has as its counterpart black un-humanness. We cannot see black people as human beings that that sentence [Chuck Todd wrote, in response to criticism of the segment, “Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job”] could be uttered by Chuck Todd.” And she discussed a number of Afro-pessimists, who discuss this black un-humanness at greater length, including:
As a general reminder, please RATE US on iTunes, and help Kade with her dream of knocking NPR shows out of the top five News & Politics podcasts on iTunes.
Credit Where Due
The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com. And the font for our logo is by the graphic designer Marisa Passos. And the image at the top of this post is by Emory Douglas, who was the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party.
Kade breaks down what’s going on with the Patriot Act, and why even if it sunsets, more reforms are needed. Alexis discusses the five banks that pled guilty to felony charges…and why the consequences for the felonies these big banks pled guilty to are totally different than felonies that mere mortals face. And Kade gives an in-depth overview of the Tsarnaev trial: It’s finally over—or is it? What we learned in the final weeks, and what’s likely to come.
We discuss news that Citigroup never bothered to mail checks to 23,000 Americans who were wrongfully foreclosed on, despite owing them a combined total of $22 million. We also talk about license plate readers, the NYPD, and a shadowy surveillance corporation called Vigilant Solutions, which has a massive spy database full of photos of license plates. Does the thought that the cops can get a text notification if a car with a certain license plate enters a given area creep you out? Then you need to listen to this segment.
We also give an update on the latest scandals of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Instagram), and tell Fox Business pundit Dagen McDowell to quit her job.
To read more about the failures of the Independent Foreclosure Review, and the regulator overseeing it, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, see Alexis’ article for The Nation, “Foreclosure Review Report Shows That the OCC Continues to Bury Wall Street’s Bodies,” this storify summarizing the MONSTROSITY that was the Office of the Comptroller for the Currency’s “Independent” Foreclosure Review settlement, or Alexis’ “What You Can Buy for Having Your House Stolen” Tumblr.
To read more about Kade’s nemesis, Vigilant Solutions, see PrivacySos.org.
For more on the latest scandals burying Rep. Aaron Schock, see this article by Luke Brinker at Salon. And for more on why Fox Business pundit Dagen McDowell should quit her job, read Alexis’s post on BecauseFinanceIsBoring.com.
And as a general reminder, please RATE US on iTunes, and help Kade with her dream of knocking NPR shows out of the top five News & Politics podcasts on iTunes.
Kade discusses problems with the Tsarnaev trial (United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev), including troubling secrecy and civil liberties violations. And Alexis talks about what we can expect in the realm of Wall Street reform in 2015, especially given the action-packed first week in the House of Representatives.
We also review which news producers really need to quit their jobs, and why the NYTimes editorial board, usually decent on civil liberties, earns a “b*tch, please!” for a December 30 oped on the NYPD.