Majority Villain

The American Health Care Act is finally here!

Music via the the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons licensing. Today’s music by Broke For Free, Evil Bear Boris, Blue Dot Sessions, Shake That Little Foot, The Joy Drops, and Darksunn. Show image via Flickr under Creative Commons licensing. This modified image by Don...The UpNorth Memories Guy...

Senate Republicans have released their amendment to the already passed House bill - also known as TRUMPCARE. The bill is part of the “repeal and replace” campaign promise made by Donald Trump to eliminate the Affordable Care Act also referred to as Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office or CBO is the independent group charged with scoring the bill to see what kind of collateral damage we are looking at. Their score is expected to be released in the final week of June, but things already don’t look very good. The CBO had already warned that the House version of the bill which Donald “nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated” Trump creamed his jeans f0r, would potentially throw 23 million Americans off of insurance.

While the Affordable Care Act actually expanded Medicaid to most states, the Republican bill all but eliminates it while giving massive tax breaks to corporations and billionaires. The bill is so unpopular that 4 Republicans have already come out in opposition to its passing. This act of GOP mutiny is being led by Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, and Texas’ very own Ted Cruz.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but if Ted Cruz thinks it’s bad for America then it must be reaaaallly fucked up. Because that’s like the shadiest car salesman ever telling you that all the cars on the lot are real lemons. Go. Run.

A quick comment about Obamacare - when surveyed, a vast majority of people were in favor of the “Affordable Care Act” but when referred to as “Obamacare” many were adamantly opposed - EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE SAME LAW. Which leads me to believe that humans be FICKLE WITH THE DETAILS.

While Obamacare was never perfect. I mean far, far from perfect, it is the best thing to happen to American’s health care since the invention of diet and exercise. Good things like not kicking a person off of insurance for being sick with a pre-existing condition. Fortunately, though perhaps too little, too late, many American’s are keen to this as promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act have resulted in overflowing town halls of angry people in motion - democracy in action - to Republican members of congress letting them know they are “displeased” with their representatives.

And why wouldn’t they be? The new measure would not allow insurance companies to boot recipients off of insurance for pre-existing conditions, but if there is EVER a gap in coverage… oh boy, oh boy - to charge those same unfortunate souls seeking coverage astronomical amounts of money to punish them into better health, like luring a starving animal with a loaf of stale bread, only to beat it with it upon arrival.

Of course the bill doesn’t eliminate Medicaid - it just guts it from the inside like a child told on Christmas morning that they were an unwanted pregnancy. NOBODY WANTS YOU BILLY! WHY DON’T YOU RUN AWAY AND JOIN A PETTING ZOO! Politicians can’t simply come out and say, “To the wonderfully average people of the great state of (fill in state name here) - my billionaire friends who fund my campaign each election have asked me to kill Medicaid. They said this so-called entitlement is rather inconvenient during this time of immense profitability for the most opulent and affluent among thee.”

What they do instead is de-fund, de-fund, de-fund, mismanage and de-fund until citizens come and beg them to kill it off. This is essentially the Republican’s mantra. Step one: Place clowns in administrative positions. Step two: gut funding. Step three: Pop popcorn. Step four: Prepare lotion and Kleenex. Step five: Roll cameras. Ewww.. sounds sticky.

But it is always darkest before the dawn. The California Senate just passed SB- 562, a single-payer health care bill called the Healthy California Act. Sometimes called “Medicare for all” a single-payer system is what is used in most other developed countries. SOCIALISTS! It means, there is one bill - and it goes directly to the government. If it sounds expensive, it’s because it is. Remember, “nobody knew healthcare would be so complicated” - or expensive!

So we must ask the question - how the hell does California plan to pay for this cost saving measure? And how dare they? WAIT, WHAT??? That’s right, California plans to SAVE 8% on overall costs with a 2.3% tax on businesses. “The tyrannical government at it again - coming after small businesses!” Well, hold on there, Paul Revere. The first $2 million of every business is exempt, so my guess is this wouldn’t apply to you. California guesses it would apply to only 20% of you. So the richest and biggest businesses. “Oh, that poor Wal-Mart. How will they ever afford it with their low, low prices? And Mr. Mc-a-Donald? How is a dollar menu to remain a dollar menu in such times?” California will also set a 2.3% sales tax, offset by a 2% tax credit for the poorest families.

So as California is actually ramping up its plan to save its taxpayers BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, we need to drop the façade that somehow having a single-payer, government ran healthcare system would be more expensive, because the numbers do not reflect this truth. These must be the same mathematicians hired by Creationists. “Hmmm let’s see, 5000 years ago for the bronze age (Jesus’ favorite metal btw)… 12,000 for natives in the Americas… 33,000 for cave art… 40o,ooo for stone spear hunting… weird plants, dinosaur bones - 120 million.. 240 million… 440 million, … Hallelujah! Earth is 6000 years old.”

And just when you thought this message didn’t apply to Democrats, think again! Senator Cory Booker, a man of the people, a David to Goliath, a Sonny to our Cher - just sided with Republicans to stop a measure allowing the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. Why? I don’t know, but I can tell you it’s probably part of his interview process for his next job: pharmaceutical lobbyist. Classy bastard.

So people are worried American health care is going to get more expensive? Well, not only do the numbers not pan out, but American health care per capita is already the MOST EXPENSIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD. And not by a little bit. By a lot. Like Usain Bolt 100 meter sprint competitions against Stephen Hawking - lot. But not forever. Professor Hawking has you exactly where he wants you, Bolt. So if American spends the most, it’s care should be the best, right? WRONG! Because, it’s also consistently rated as ONE OF THE WORST HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD. And I mean that from the most objective place in my cold, lifeless, snow-flaky, libtard heart.

The US consistently ranks as one of the worst systems in terms of efficiency when comparing life expectancy vs cost of care. We spend a whopping 18% of GDP on health care. While it’s true, the average American life span, though not the best at all, is still high 70s - this does you no good if every time you come back from the hospital you have a heart attack when you open your bill. So the good news? We are doing better than Russia. The bad news? According to Bloomberg, we rank 50 out of 55 in efficiency. Now, that doesn’t exactly mean life expectancy, even though maybe that’s how we should measure it. Let’s just keep with the status quo for arguments sake and treat every human like a number.

One reason costs are so much more affordable in places like France and Germany is because the government will aggressively bargain with hospitals, medical providers, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals. Remember that human turd, Martin Skrelli? He’s the guy that bought the Epipen and jacked up the price by a billion percent, because “fuck you”. That shit doesn’t happen in other countries? Why not? Because they have laws against that type of crap.

So here’s a poem to help you remember which countries are better than us:

Hong Kong and Singapore, man you know they’re first on the list,
but them little shits is city states - and so I think you get the gist.

Spain, South Korea, and Japan all made it to the top 5,
One has massive unemployment but still manages to keep you alive.

Mazel Tov in Israel even though we pay their military bills
But it’s Emirates in the Middle East that’s healthcare really kills.

Greece is in depression, a recession - but still livin' nice and old.
Hell even Canada’s better, maple syrup mofos must be always cold.

Mexico is filled with dead journalists run by gangs, murderers and drugs,
but even they make our pharmacist lobbyists look like a flock of 3rd world thugs.

For those keeping score at home, that means the US is stuck in a rut,
between our Northern and Southern friends who no longer give a fuuuuu.

Maybe they’ll get sessions wall-building lesson commies over in China,
where you have better luck to find a doctor to examine your lady’s vagina.

Former soviet Romania has more than bandaids in this rap,
Apparently Malaysia too, but I can’t even find them mother fuckers on a map.

Turkey is on its way to dictatorship but still better than Peru,
even those terrorist-lovers in Iran have a working ICU.

SAUDI ARABIA can cut off your neighbor’s head,
and still give him a doctor when he’s clearly dead!

Libya had great health care before the US screwed with it,
bread is now harder to find anywhere, but the healthcare is still legit.

In Ecuador, Belarus, or Serbia, you can find a nurse who plays the tuba,
but the country with the most doctors are the sons of bitches down in Cuba.

There’s a list of countries with healthcare better than the US of A,
just remember that the next time you got medical bills to pay.



Net Neutrality Day July 12th, mo-fers. Graphs and visual aids and shit are all available for this shit online. Google at it, dog.

The United States is the most expensive country on the list, and also one of the worst upon delivery. Spending 18% of GDP, the second most spent by a country is a very distant Sweden at 12%. And in third place, Germany - where I just happen to have lived for the last 4 years. So I may be able to provide some insight on this topic.

I pay about 25-30% of my paycheck in taxes. Is that a lot? Hell yes it’s a lot! But in reality it really ain’t much more than you pay right now in the states. Go look at your tax return. I’ll wait. I’m not gonna wait for you - this is a podcast. And what does that effectively mean in a country that spends over 10% of its GDP on healthcare? Well, instead of me telling you what a typical doctor’s visit is like. Let me instead offer you a reenactment of it. Forewarning, my German isn’t perfect so the grammar will not be the best. Deal with it.

AND NOW…

Gregory goes to the German Dr.’s office





GREGORY: Hallo, Guten Tag. Ich habe mein Bein gebrochen. Es tut echt weh, und jetzt gibst Blut überall eure Boden. Es tut mir leid.

Hello, good day. I have broken my leg. It really hurts, and now there is blood everywhere on your floor. I’m sorry.

FRONT DESK: Grüß Gott. So es ist kein Notfall. Super. Haben Sie eine Versicherungskarte dabei?

Greetings. So it is not an emergency. Super. Do you have an insurance card with you?

GREGORY: Ja, natürlich! Was bin ich? Eine dumme Ami? Hier ist es.

Of course! What am I? A dumb American? Here it is.

FRONT DESK: Toll. Sitzen Sie bitte in unser Wartezimmer.

Great. Have a seat in the waiting room.

Fünf Minuten Später

Five Minutes Later

FRONT DESK: Herr Haddock, der Arzt wird Sie jetzt in Zimmer eins sehen.
Mr. Haddock, the doctor will now see you in room #1.

GREGORY: Boah! Das war richtig schnell!
Wow! That was really fast!

FRONT DESK: Ach! Ja Klar! Was denken Sie? Dass sind wir jetzt in Amerika?
Ach! Of course! What do you think? That we’re in America?

ARZT: Hallo, Herr Haddock - was ist genau der Problem?
Hello Mr. Haddock - what is the problem exactly?

GREGORY: Ich habe mein Bein gebrochen. Können Sie es reparieren?
I broke my leg. Can you fix it?

ARZT: Gott im Himmel nicht! Des ist ein Arzt Büro, kein Unfallstation! Sie sind nicht nur Depp aber dämlich. Sie müssen direkt ins Krankenhaus gehen. Ich rufe Ihnen ein Krankenwagen sofort an.
God in heaven no! This is a doctor’s office, not an emergency room. You are not only stupid, but also dumb. You need to go directly to the hospital. I will call you an ambulance immediately.

GREGORY: Oh, dass weiß ich nicht. Es klingt echt teuer…
Oh, I don’t know. That sounds expensive.

ARZT: Ach, Quatsch! Wir sind in Deutschland, nicht ein Drecksloch wie Amerika.
Nonsense! We’re in Germany, not some shithole like America.

GREGORY: Hoppla! Ha ha - Sie haben Drecksloch gesagt!
Whoa! Ha ha, You said shithole!

ARZT: Wie Amerika!
Like America!

GREGORY: Hoppla!! LOLZ
Whoa! LOLZ

ARZT: Hier ist auch ein Rezept für Schmerz Tabletten. Sie werden die brauchen.
Here is also a prescription for pain pills. You will need them.

GREGORY: Oh, ist das teuer?
Oh, is that expensive?

ARZT: Nein, ist kostenlos!
No, it’s free!

GREGORY: Mein Besuch ist aber teuer, ja?
But my visit is expensive right?

ARZT: Nein, was ist los mit dir, du total bescheuerte außerordentliche dumme Mensch.
No, what’s wrong with you? You totally, stupid, inordinately dumb person.

GREGORY: OK! Danke, Dr!
Ok, thank you, doctor!

ARZT: Bitte! Schönen Tag noch!
Your welcome! Have a nice day!

END SCENE



I have one more anecdote for you. I know an older German couple here quite well, and am very familiar with their medical situations. Last year, the older man had a heart attack. He had chest pains in the morning, and decided to go to the hospital. Being a tough SOB he first showered before going, because - have some self-respect for yourself. In fact, his wife was angry with him for not shaving too. When we visited him in the hospital the thing that really struck me as odd about the situation was how calm he was about it all. And then it hit me - he had already surgery, and I found that the doctor was unusually helpful and friendly. The first and only question this sweet old man had was this: “When can I mow the lawn again.”

Can you believe that shit? The entire mood of the setting was nothing but jubilant over the prospect that this man needed urgent care - and RECEIVED IT IN A TIMELY MANNER. No more than he had received his needed care, had he begun to forget the situation altogether. It was a shining example of how a society ought to treat the people they claim are part of the national family. No concerns about bills, about the next time - no what ifs, buts, or regrets. You have pain, you come in. Finished.

He’s got a list of prescriptions and a collection of drugs that would put Charlie Sheen to shame. Eat shit, Charlie Sheen! And when I asked him how much he pays for his medication he told me next to nothing. Sometimes he has to pay a 5 Euro co-pay, but that’s it. That’s like $6. Otherwise, he doesn’t lose a wink of sleep over the whole ordeal, and he gets the care he needs when he needs it. A stark contrast to a country that constantly reminds its citizens that they don’t work hard enough, can’t help but sell guns and drop bombs, and healthcare is a privilege, not a right. That somehow there is nothing immoral about asking Americans to pay significantly more for good insurance by treating access to healthcare the same as being able to afford healthcare. There is no greater shame than this.

This wonderful old man is alive and well today, and yes, still mowing the lawn as often as humanly possible - and boy does the grass look sharp. He is not plagued with anxiety about the future to come, because he lives in a country that gives a shit.


So while what little healthcare Americans do have is under attack, I urge you in a CALL TO ACTION.

If you are a female senior citizen who is struggling with drug addiction to cope with depression while simultaneously concerned about family planning or you are concerned about HUMANS dealing with any or all of these issues  — you need to run, not walk - or perhaps get the neighbor boy to drive you to your elected representative’s office and tell him or her to drop this Trumpcare nonsense, and move to support a single-payer or medicare-for-all bill - because all that you hold near and dear is in the hands of a group of seedy politicians desperately eager to please their financiers by selling your healthcare to the god damn devil.

Direct download: TrumpCarez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm CEST

Music by Damiano Baldoni via the Free Music Archive and show image via Flickr by DonkeyHotey under Creative Commons licensing. Mixed by Gregory Haddock.

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Direct download: Minority_Hero_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am CEST

“Even the noblest god-king does us no good if his first born son is an asshole.”

A Video of this speech is available on Youtube, Facebook and of course at www.majorityvillain.com.

It's no longer enough to simply be on the "right team". We need to democratize every aspect of our lives, locally, nationally and beyond. If it sounds a little funny, it’s because it was recorded live: This is my June 2017 talk with Democrats Abroad - Stuttgart, Germany.
Music by Evil Bear Boris, Damiano Baldoni and by SK via the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons licensing.

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Direct download: Democratize_Democracy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm CEST

Chomsky:

there are two solutions to the 'problem' of democracy. Reduce inequality or reduce democracy.

There are a number of ways to view politics. One avenue says its too bad things are the way they are, but thank god somebody is doing something about it. The other avenue is to do something about it. We could democratize our democracies, or.... we can all hail the minority hero.

Music via www.freemusicarchive.org under Creative Commons licencsing - today by Evil Bear Boris, The Joy Drops, J-K, and Damiano Baldoni. Show image via Flickr by Guille Mendia.

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Direct download: Minority_Hero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm CEST

Listen to Richard Wolff say “shit”, like, a half-dozen times. Seriously, it’s amazing.

Professor Wolff gets open about his formative years growing up with immigrant parents who escaped Germany during WWII and shares how their experiences helped shape his criticism of American politics and Capitalism. While Wolff begins by telling us the key for knowing if the economy is improving or not, he finishes this extremely humanist discussion by reflecting on how the Vietnam War shaped him more than anything else.

Richard Wolff is the host of Economic Update, a radio show airing nationwide discussing all the way economics affects our lives, and has written several books including Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and Capitalism Hits the Fan. A visiting professor of economics at the New School University in New York City, Richard Wolff is the founder of Democracy at Work, “a non-profit 501(c)3 that advocates for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system.” Jackpot.

Visit their website at www.democracyatwork.info

Special audio from the March for Science from Tübingen, Germany with audio from Mayor Boris Palmer and Eberhard Karls Tübingen University professor, Nicholas Conard.

Majority Villain is a show dedicated to democratic movements, big and small. Learn more at www.majorityvillain.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @majorityvillain. Email Gregory at greg@majorityvillain.com. Rate and review the show at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2.

Today’s music is from Evil Bear Boris, Komiku and Learning Music via www.freemusicarchive.org under Creative Commons licensing.

Direct download: Prof_Wolff_Cuts_the_Sh_t.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm CEST

For every review left for the show, a Pokémon will be released into the wild.
SAVE THE POKéMEN HERE!!!

Today’s music by Evil Bear Boris and Blue Dot Sessions via the Free Music Archive and show art from Flickr by Satragon, all under Creative Commons Licensing.

Majority Villain is produced by Gregory Haddock with production assistance from Barbara Percival and Mathieu Fournier. Kris Shapar heads our social media.

#NoMoreWar
It’s no secret I don’t like or trust Donald Trump. But you should know I never trusted Hillary. You should also know that I have a thousand problems with Obama. You should know that I don’t trust anybody in authority blindly and I don’t think you should either.

That being said, it’s irrelevant who began these wars in the Middle East. It doesn’t matter who is in charge now, because here is the truth: Most of our elected officials in DC get reelected year after year as a result of the defense industry spending millions of dollars to buy these corrupt politicians in a country where blatant legal bribery exists every day. This is not an issue isolated to Republicans. It does not exclude Democrats. The people who are meant to represent us make money every time a bomb is dropped by one of the big arms manufacturers. These firms are spread out all over the United States so as to keep pressure on all senators and representatives and keep the illusion that this is simply a “jobs program” and “just the way things are”. However, when Gallup did an international poll asking what the gravest danger world-wide was, our brothers and sisters around the globe stated plainly that it was the United States.

We know Martin Luther King, Jr. for being the “dreamer”. We know he was named for the brave and deeply hated in his time, Martin Luther, the great reformer of the church (500 years this year!). A year to the day before he died he stated he was afraid that his own government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Was he wrong then? 50 years ago this month - what have we learned? Have we grown from this place? He also said with great earnest, "Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love.” In other words, we do not challenge our country from any other place than sincere pride and the deepest affection. Political commentator, Tavis Smiley, said this was the speech that put a target on his back. I wonder why.

Our elected officials are profiting through the destruction of human lives. We should be furious.

War is being waged all over the world in your name. Children are being murdered with your tax dollars, and truly awful groups like ISIS are benefiting from every single attack as each bomb radicalizes the next human who has had everything that mattered taken from them. The best thing we can do to fight terrorism is stop our outlandish bombing campaigns in the name of democracy, freedom, and peace.

Obama dropped over 26,000 bombs in 2016 alone - that’s three per hour. Meanwhile, Trump just dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb available to him in Afghanistan. Most of the news is focused on Syria and Iraq, but we are also creating terror in Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. These are majority-Muslim countries where we are actively creating refugees and then giving them the middle finger when they try to leave. We are totally unaware of the consequence of these actions in our comfortable lives: 17 million people are starving in Yemen due to US-backed war efforts, and over half of the refugees from Syria are still in Syria.

We can do better, because we must do better. Our country deserves that much. The world deserves that much. I know and I agree, it feels so much more satisfying to hate and avenge those that hurt us, but as Jesus said, real or symbolic - however you feel about religion, who died on this day so many years ago so that we may know love, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Love your enemies, dine with sinners, and cause no harm where it needn’t be.

Direct download: NoMoreWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am CEST

Welcome to part II of II with Jose Olivas on what it's like to be a Mexican-American living in the United States under a Trump presidency.

Please please please take the time to tell a friend and rate and review the show on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2 - it helps people to find the show and is the best way for you to help us grow!

"New You May Have Missed" - check it out on YouTube! https://youtu.be/FU8ESSIbic8

Special thanks to Mathieu Fournier, Kris Shapar, Jose Olivas and the good people at the www.freemusicarhive.org

Who is Neil Gorsuch in 2 minutes? https://youtu.be/wScxhy7WTlg

Republicans have gone with the “Nuclear Option” doing away with the 60-vote threshold needed to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The tactical move eliminates the awkward process of filibustering nominees which has historically been an excuse for politicians desperate for attention to read children’s books aloud and urinate in public. The move came just in time for Gorsuch, a professional corporation-ass-jockey and Antonin Scalia-enthusiast, who has now been confirmed with a simple majority vote. Gorsuch’s confirmation was funded to the tune of $17 million in dark money - meaning nobody knows or is allowed to know where it came from.

Today’s show is brought to you by the word “Corruption”. Buying democracy in America since go fuck yourself.

In related news, congress voted at the end of March to eliminate Federal Communications Commission rules, now allowing internet companies to sell your browser history to advertisers. No big deal. None at all. You have nothing to hide right? Just good luck explaining to your kids what a “cuckold” is when your Facebook banner ads are littered with male enhancement “solutions”.

And that’s the neeeeeews you may have missed.

For the whole audio podcast check out MajorityVillain.com/thepodcast or just search “Majority Villain” on the podcast app you already use.


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/republicans-nuke-the-filibuster-to-save-neil-gorsuch/522156/

https://news.vice.com/story/trump-is-deporting-more-people-than-obama-but-just-barely

http://www.voanews.com/a/comparing-immigration-raids-under-trump-and-obama/3727706.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-privacy-cards-against-humanity-congress-internet-history-federal-communications-a7659146.html

Direct download: Part_II_with_Jose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm CEST

Part I with guest co-host Jose Olivas on what it's like to be a Mexican-American in 2017.

Leave a review for the show and you will be visited by an angel who will grant you 3 wishes, and if you leave 5 stars Bill Gates will write you a check for a bajillion dollars.
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News you may have missed:
-Salute a conservative. Tomi Lahren, show host of the conservative news and entertainment network “The Blaze” part of the Glenn Beck antichrist empire, has been suspended for comments she made on “The View” stating that she was pro-choice, as a part of her small-government world-view. MV salutes you, Tomi Lahren, for your courage to stick to rational arguments. (Washington Times, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/21/tomi-lahrens-show-suspended-by-glenn-becks-the-bla/)
-Senate confirmation hearings have begun for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court this week. The appointment would give a 5-4 edge to conservatives on future rulings. Gorsuch, a rigid originalist in Constitution interpretation, ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s religious right to refuse birth control to employees under Obamacare - Thou shall not fuck without thine own prophylactics - He also ruled against a truck driver who sued his former company after they fired him for abandoning his trailer and its goods when the man believed that he would freeze to death otherwise. His mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, also had a short stint with the US government as President Reagan’s Environmental Protection Agency or EPA administrator where she tried to cut up to 30% of the staff which would have resulted in $17.6M for severance pay alone (Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/01/neil-gorsuchs-mother-once-ran-the-epa-it-was-a-disaster/?utm_term=.d6f55e53613b) and stopped filing new court cases going after big polluters. Her scandalous mismanagement of the EPA eventually led to her premature resignation. You may be wondering, “Why does this story sound so familiar?” That’s because the current administration is doing the exact same thing again today (Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-budget-clean-air-water-attack-global-warming-epa-warning-a7639181.html).

-In all of the chaos over the last 6 months, probably the smartest thing I have heard is this: Politicians strategically use distractions to keep us from looking at the core issues. Case in point. When Donald Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping him, it probably has more to do with keeping the rest of us occupied with his circus than in looking at the finer details of whatever god-forsaken thing he is pushing in Washington. Like his hair - an unnatural distraction from his mouth. So you may have heard of his disastrous budget proposal - a proposal which would give the military a 10% increase - an increase that is equal to the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom alone.. and a budget that would slash the before mentioned EPA, Small Business Administration, Department of Justice, Meals on Wheels, NASA, National Endowment for the Arts, after school programs and basically any other agency with a vowel in their name. That’s the equivalent of taking away little Tommy’s books, food and video games - and then giving him a taser to play with.

Democrats are not much better. After squeezing Bernie Sanders out of the primaries by doing everything in their power to silence him, they have learned nothing from the loss of Hillary Clinton. Yes, she received more votes, but she still lost - voter suppression be damned. And did any of the Democratic party lose their leadership positions? No. In fact, with the recent election of former labor secretary Tom Perez to DNC chair, it appears they’re not even concerned about it. So what do they do? They claim Russia interfered with the election - a claim which finally is and should be investigated properly - but to this point remains a claim without certifiable proof. That’s because the longer the media train keeps us going down this modern DNC-led McCarthyism rabbit hole, the less today the Democratic leadership looks like a group of lemurs playing with a smart phone.


Music provided by the Free Music Archive via Creative Commons licensing; Evil Bear Boris and Gillicuddy. Additional short clips under Fair Use from YungBlu and King Lil G.

https://theconversation.com/immigration-and-crime-what-does-the-research-say-72176

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-06/crops-rot-while-trump-led-immigration-backlash-idles-farm-lobby

Show image via Flickr by Thomas Hawk.

Direct download: Donald_and_a_Mexican_walk_into_a_bar....mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 12:50pm CEST

“Washington is nowhere as slick, or as manipulative, or as Machiavellian, or even often as competent as people in the Middle East or in Europe think. I think that, you know, there’s just a lot of cock-ups happening here all the time.” -brian dooley

This month marks the 6th anniversary since the world held their breath and watched on as the fire of revolution began to sweep across the Middle East. Today, we take a close look at Bahrain, and with the help of some excellent experts, analyze its democracy story.

A very special thanks to today’s guests; Former Bahrain Prime Minister Matar Ebrahim Ali Matar @Matar_Matar, Director at Human Rights First Brian Dooley @dooley_dooley, Exeter research fellow and key member of Bahrain Watch Marc Owen Jones @marcowenjones, and the great PM “himself” - @SheikhKhalifaPM. You guys are awesome.

Show image by Mahmood Al-Yousif @malyousif via Flickr. Music provided via www.freemusicarchive.com through Creative Commons licensing. This show’s music by Evil Bear Boris, Daizy, Sequoia, Steve Combs, Ketsa, Blue Dot Sessions, and The Owl.

Show Notes

Al Jazeera. “Bahrain: Shouting in the dark”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaTKDMYOBOU. Uploaded on Aug 4, 2011.

Al Jazeera. “Bahrain strips Sheikh Isa Qassim of nationality”. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/bahrain-strips-religious-leader-nationality-160620122338238.html. 21 June 2016.

Bassiouni, Mahmoud Cherif, Chair, et al. Report
of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. Manama, Bahrain. 23 November 2011.

Dooley, Brian. Interview by Gregory Haddock. Majority Villain. July 2016. Podcast.

Jones, Marc Owen. Interview by Gregory Haddock. Majority Villain. February 2017. Podcast.

Matar Ibrahim Matar. Interview by Gregory Haddock. Majority Villain. July 2016. Podcast.

Seeker Daily. “Why Do Saudi Arabia and Iran Hate Each Other”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-dMM3HRnhY. Published on Apr 5, 2015.

http://www.slow-journalism.com/sj-site/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Arab-Spring-timeline.jpg

Vice News. “The Revolt That Never Went Away — Bahrain: An Inconvenient Uprising”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fVF0qQU3kc&t=1055s. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

In the spring of 2011 it was almost impossible to turn on a TV and not see the scene taking place seemingly everywhere in the Arab world. Beginning in late 2010, a fruit merchant by the name of Muhammad al-Bouazizi set himself on fire in the streets of Tunisia after having his product once again arbitrarily confiscated by police. Although the protest of self-immolation was not new to the region, the act became a wildfire for wide spread unrest, and within a short amount of time thousands were out in the street protesting and rioting against corruption, unemployment and high food prices. Soon thereafter, in January of 2011 riots broke out in Algiers. Amidst demands, Tunisian president Ben Ali promised to step down by 2014, and then the very next day fled the country to Saudi Arabia. A few days go by and soon massive protests break out in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya. Dozens are killed when security forces come to qualm rising tensions, only to add to the unrest. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan dismiss their governments and promise reform. Demonstrations erupt in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Palestine. Morocco, Oman and Syria add their names to the list and just as if it had slipped as silently out of our conscience as it had abruptly entered - it appeared to be over. The majority of countries appeared to go back to business as usual. Tunisia was one of the lucky ones as experts deemed it a revolutionary success in Democratic reform. Unfortunately, not all could make that claim. Syria spun into total disarray and civil war that is the mess we see today. Similarly Yemen has spiraled into civil war and has been largely forgotten in the media as its people are squeezed between two powerhouses of the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Iran, as the two engage in an indirect form of conflict called a proxy war.

Millions around the world watched on televisions, newspapers and social media with warm regards of the promise of Democracy for millions. Perhaps I should only speak for myself in saying that I truly believed a great thing was in the making, and despite awful tragedies of the price being paid its citizens, I reveled in the idea that we were witnessing a sincere rebirth for many nations - a fresh start. I was wrong.

There pervades a mythology in American society that the path to Democracy is inevitable, and that one need only to get the ball rolling in the right direction. The spirit of Lady Liberty and the ghosts of our forefathers will do the rest, as if the rest of the world somehow secretly wanted (or was even ready for that matter) for a heavy dose of export ed US Democracy. If we have learned anything in this time, it is this: Democracy takes an immeasurable amount of patience, diligence, commitment, heart and courage - and in no way it is ever guaranteed.

Today on Majority Villain we look at one country’s engagement in the Arab Spring: Bahrain.

The small island nation of Bahrain lies just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, and it has like many other nations of the Persian Gulf, more humble beginnings. It was known for most of its history for its pearl fisheries, and Great Britain had long been a presence in the region before the 1931 discovery of petroleum. Rapid modernization and a series of flirtations with parliamentary politics followed thereafter.

Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, meaning it has both a royal family and a constitution. Matar was a member of the political party Al-Wefaq, and even though the government has three separate legislatures of 40 seats each the relative strength of checks and balances is largely overpowered by the will of the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The Al-Khalifa royal family has maintained considerable control over the nation, and it wasn’t until 2006 that opposition party Al-Wefaq won a majority of seats in parliament. Matar was a member of this party.

The Bahrain Uprising: On February 4th protests erupt outside the Egyptian embassy in Manama. The 14th became dubbed the “Day of Rage” as thousands of people got out to protest in rallies. Security forces immediately began to crack down on demonstrators. That evening, one protestor by the name of Ali Mushaima is shot in the back and killed. The next days of mourning brought only more sympathizers to rally around the Pearl Roundabout, a massive monument to the country’s humble beginnings in the pearl fisheries in the days long before the discovery of petroleum.

The early hours of February 17th would come to be known as “Bloody Thursday” when nearly 1000 police came to break up the meager 1500 or so protestors who had begun camping in the area. Over 200 were hospitalized and 3 were killed. That evening, 18 members of parliament from the opposition group Al-Wefaq resigned. Matar was among them.

A vast amount of tension in the middle east stems from conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iran is a Shia Majority nation that has become increasingly fundamentalist since their revolution in 1979. Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni country that has an understanding of shared power between the Saudi family (literally where the country gets its name. How about that for a birthday present) and Wahhabism - an extremely fundamentalist and conservative branch of state-sponsored Sunni Islam. While Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are politically intertwined, Iran and Bahrain that are both majority Shia. This places the Bahraini movement for democracy in a peculiar place.

Direct download: Bahrain.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 6:11pm CEST

Betsy DeVos of the billionaire DeVos family has donated millions of dollars to Republicans over the years. Her family donated $49,800 alone to Colorado Senator Cory Gardner.

I'm gonna remember that, Cory...

Direct download: Call_Cory.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 8:06pm CEST

Women's March - Heidelberg, Germany

*CALL TO ACTIVISM* A decision to use “State of Emergency” powers to undo the first state-wide “Anti-Corruption Act” in the South Dakota legislature have been postponed until February 1st following public outcry. Check out this link - and call South Dakota Senator Blake Curd and tell him you demand he protect the will of voters. www.represent.us 1-605-773-3821

Special thanks to all of the organizers of the January 21st Women’s March: Democrats Abroad in Heidelberg, in Washington DC, and everyone who stands for human rights across our pale blue dot. #HDWomensMarch #Heidelberg @WomensMarchHD

More thanks to DA Stuttgart, Tracy, Jessica, Veronica, Fletcher, Sally Grayson of Blackswift for amazing music, and of course White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

All music today provided by Creative Commons licensing via Youtube and www.FreeMusicArchive.com. Music today from Kevin Macleod and intro by Evil Bear Boris.

Show artwork CC via Flickr by @alans1948.


I’ve seen many comments on social media about people saying that we should accept the results of this election, come together, hope for the best, support our president and give him a chance. I do believe that when President Trump gets it right, we ought to let him know it. When that day comes, I will be the first to say what a tremendously huge thing is, whatever that thing is.

Until then, the question I seem to receive over and over again is “He won. It’s over. So why are you continuing to protest President Trump?” I suppose the question is fair, so let’s have at it then, shall we?

However, before we do let’s address this concern of Russian interference in the election. While there certainly remains an awful lot of accusations about it, actual “election fraud” and proof thereof remains an arduous task not yet completed. What’s more, the United States must love calling the kettle black as the USA’s own history of open election tampering in other countries, including Russia, is as colorful as the baboon ass Donald Trump calls his face. Even if it were true - it has become an extremely convenient scapegoat for the Democratic Party’s total failure during the election.

So, where does that leave us with President Donald J. Trump? For a moment set aside all talk of racism, sexism, and elitism.

And set aside brash disregard for the Emoluments clause of the constitution concerning foreign gifts and the Logan Act regarding family ties in the oval office.

Pay no attention to political gaffes regarding foreign countries and the diplomatic norms set in stone for decades, or that he dislikes reading, multiculturalism, security briefings, big gloves, and .

Ignore for a moment the handicapped impersonations, proclamations of love for the poorly educated, and endorsements of mob violence.

Take no notice of fake news’ citations and his citing that the news is fake.

Repudiate yourself about his tweeting.

Suppress your imagination of what he’s doing at 3am when he is tweeting.

Pardon the major announcements made by tweeting.

FORGIVE the TWEETING.

Overlook this one time the White House cabinet with more money than 1/3 of Americans.

Nullify your opinions on executive orders suppressing a woman’s right to choose, legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ - Just brush off the oil pipelines through native lands as nothing more than business as usual, and DO look the other way as he will on climate change.

Discount Donald’s delusions of grandeur, self-embodied as glorified savior. Neglect his smart brain full of the best words, and omit the psychologists whose public announcement prop-up the public’s sentiment the new president suffers from “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder.”

In fact, you could tune out the millions turned off during the inauguration. Let it go that three times more people protested his day one than joined in on it. Pass over the nearly 5 million people worldwide who joined one of planet Earth’s largest organized movements of our species history.

Yes, it’s true - forget all of these things and our 45th president isn’t half bad. Sticking your head in the sand is one way to move forward. Watch and wait to “see what happens”. Pay no mind the lowest approval rating in decades, avoid the number of people he’s managed to piss off in his first 72 hours, look the other way as the rich guy vows to save you from rich guys by surrounding himself with other rich guys…

OR

Do NOT ignore his frail ego -

BE AWARE of his alt-right, alt-facts, alt-universe.

RECOGNIZE a dictator-in-the-making.

RECALL your high school civics class and

REMINISCE and RESPOND First they came for the Muslims - and we said “Not this time mother fucker”.

When Andi and I went to the Heidelberg Women’s March - some people here asked us “What do you expect to change” and implied that driving 2 hours to a march in another city on the other side of the world was hardly revolutionary, hardly effective, hardly meaningful. Imagine if worldwide all 4.6 million participants thought the same thing. Don’t let anybody tell you that your actions are meaningless. We are all part of the revolution!

Special thanks to all of the organizers of the January 21st Women’s March: Democrats Abroad in Heidelberg, in Washington DC, and everyone who stands for human rights across our pale blue dot. #HDWomensMarch #Heidelberg @WomensMarchHD

More thanks to DA Stuttgart, Tracy, Jessica, Veronica, Fletcher, Sally Grayson of Blackswift for amazing music, and of course White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

All music today provided by Creative Commons licensing via Youtube and www.FreeMusicArchive.com. Music today from Kevin Macleod and intro by Evil Bear Boris.

Show artwork CC via Flickr by @alans1948.

Direct download: Womens_March_Heidelberg.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 5:22pm CEST

The Electoral College, Part II: EC Self-Destruction

OThanks Al, but no thanks.

Part II of II of the Electoral College's impending doom as the EC exposes its true impotence to do the only thing it was ever intended to do - keep the USA safe from corruption and appearance of.

Get Involved!!! www.nationalpopularvote.com

emolument
ɪˈmɒljʊm(ə)nt,ɛˈmɒljʊm(ə)nt/
nounformal
plural noun: emoluments
    a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.
    "the directors' emoluments"
    synonyms: payment, fee, charge, consideration

Trump's Taiwan phone call preceded by hotel development inquiry

How Trump is navigating the Emoluments Clause

Music provided by www.freemusicarchive.com via Creative Commons. Today's show comes from Phemale, Evil Bear Boris, and Bacalao.

Show thumbnail by Eli Christman @gammaman on www.flickr.com via Creative Commons.

Direct download: Electoral_College_Part_II.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 8:51am CEST

#34 - Part I of II

Created to protect the nation against both incompetence and foreign manipulation, the Electoral College is exploding on the national scene right now as a troublesome invention of the US, and this could very well be the beginning of the end of it. Setting aside for the moment any discussion of (delusional) accusations of voter fraud, (valid) concerns over election fraud (uncounted/missing ballots, voter suppression, tampered machines, etc.), or (yet-to-be-substantiated) Russian electoral intervention, the argument stands strong enough alone on Trump himself and the decisions he has made to-date. That is more than enough to end Trump before he can begin.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/09/donald-trump-administration-cabinet-picks-so-far

http://qz.com/862412/trumps-16-cabinet-level-picks-have-more-money-than-a-third-of-american-households-combined/

Direct download: 34_-_Trumps_Cabinet_and_Oligarchy.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 6:21pm CEST


Happy Thanksgiving to our protectors at Standing Rock.

In North Dakota, right now is the largest gathering of Native American tribes since 1876 at the Battle of Little Bighorn - also known as Custer’s Last Stand. If you don’t know that story, spoiler alert - it doesn’t end well for Custer. As these land and water protectors brave the cold, give mind to them as we enjoy all that has been given to us.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, I love the family and the friends, I love the atmosphere. I love the feeling about how proud I am to be American. It’s true, it’s not hokey. Family. Friends. Warm food, warm feelings. Nothing in this moment can stir that. Except in realizing that we risk continuing to bastardize this day in not acknowledging the great sacrifice American Indians have paid for us. Dakota means “ally” or “friend”. Give thanks for the land you stand on, because as the good Lord makes us stewards of the earth, it is the land of the original natives that we give thanks for. And somehow this fight continues on and on.

Support Standing Rock at www.standwithstandingrock.net. Make a phone call, sign the petition, write a check.

Music provided by the Free Music Archive with Creative Commons Licensing. Today’s music is from The Daizy Factory.

Direct download: Standing_Rock_-_Thanksgiving.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 11:55am CEST

This is my real, raw, unedited reaction from the election from Donald Trump to the United States of America.

I still cannot believe it, but it is very, very real. Get involved.

Do something.

BE THE CHANGE.

email me greg@majorityvillain.com if you are like many who KNOW they need to be a part of that change, but do not know where to start. Welcome to the family.

Direct download: President_Elect_Donald_J_Trump.mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 8:25pm CEST