American Discourse

American Discourse

Doing the deep dive into what it means to be an American today. What is it that divides us? How can we diffuse the hyper-charged state of vitriol?

Episodes

December 5, 2022 31 mins

All eyes are on Georgia once again as yet another runoff to determine who will represent the Peach State in the US Senate for the next six years. The stakes could not be higher.

The Democratic incumbent Rev. Raphael Warnock or the Republican candidate, former football star, Herschel Walker.  

The lines and differences between these two could not be clearer however, when it comes to Georgia politics there are so ma...

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Midterms aren't just about control of Congress, a majority of states will be electing the person to serve as the Chief Executive of their state government.  The people who occupy these positions have the power to halt radical right state legislatures run amok, like those who try to pass statewide bans on abortion (even in the case of rape and incest!).  With a stroke of their pen, they can veto and put a stop to the insanity.<...

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It's not hyperbole to say that the fate of our nation hangs in the balance as voters head to the polls.  Either the forces of authoritarianism, minority rule, and violent sedition will grab control of our nation, or we will stave off the darkness and reject those who would discard the Great American Experiment.

Across the nation, races offer up options between people of principle and those who embrace the dismantling ...

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The grief and anguish people are feeling throughout our country (and throughout the world) is enough to sour the taste of grandma's apple pie, burn the best BBQ and bring to a screeching halt any festivities because this country is broken. Beyond repair? We shall see.

As a nation, we remain in stunned shock and horror at the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde just this week. And yet, even as we tried to comprehend the se...

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The horrific and nightmarish scenes playing out in full view of the entire world has brought us to a historic moment. Today we are seeing people and nations around the globe come together to embrace Ukraine and its people while simultaneously condemning Vladimir Putin and Russia. Putin's unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, the killing of civilians, and the destruction of one of Eastern Europe's most beautiful and v...

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January 17, 2022 37 mins

This week, when we remember one of the greatest leaders in our nation's history, serves as a reminder that we once strived for greatness, overcame the most formidable obstacles, and injustice was never a thing we shrank from eradicating.

That was then. Another time. When we had heroes occupying the highest offices. Men and women who answered the call to serve for the greater good.

As we survey the current po...

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December 14, 2021 40 mins

There is a sentiment circulating among Democrats that the end is upon us, that given the historical nature of mid-terms the shift in power in Congress will surely occur and the Great American Experiment will come crashing down.  Is there cause for concern? Sure. Is it a foregone conclusion? Not by a long shot.

By any stretch of the imagination, these are not normal times.   Norms and cycles have been busted wide open. Poli...

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November 8, 2021 47 mins

Democrats were shaken to the core this past Election Day as Republicans turned out in record numbers, driven by a variety of ginned-up tropes about everything from socialism, to the Big Lie, to crime  and even to what is being taught in schools. It all got stoked to the boiling point by fearmongering candidates, Republican PAC's and of course Fox News and their ilk.

The slap in the face did serve as a wake-up call for...

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October 11, 2021 33 mins

The constant assault on reason, logic, facts, science, and reality is taking a toll. The non-stop barrage of nonsense, obfuscation, misdirection, lies, and treachery are undermining the very foundation of the nation we grew up believing in.

Are we at a tipping point? Is there a way to put the brakes on this train that is speeding towards the end of the tracks, where democracy goes up in smoke and all that awaits us is auto...

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October 4, 2021 36 mins

Pandemic still raging? Check
Anti-vaxxers still raving? Check
Infrastructure Bill still languishing? Check
America on the edge of default? Check
Manchin and Sinema.....? Whatever

It's been another period of rough and tumble politics with absolutely nothing to show for it. Lots of name-calling, finger-pointing, blame-hurling, and anything else you can think of. The bottom line is that it's been any...

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September 21, 2021 34 mins

There's no denying the absurdity of the world we live in these days. It feels like each one is filled with intolerance, ignorance, and insanity.  It can lead people directly to their local bar, oh wait, it's closed. What's left? Laughter. 

Over many centuries, humor has diffused tense and fraught situations, which is why we were so delighted to invite the wonderful Wendy Liebman, who has been making people l...

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September 6, 2021 40 mins

The despicable laws conceived of, passed and signed into law in Texas, are rocking the very foundation of our society. Riding a wave of MINORITY opinion, Greg Abbott signed the most draconian roll-back of women's rights in half a century. Hell, Texas makes the Handmaid's Tale sound like a lighthearted romp. 

It's all one further example of the fact that our democracy is in crisis. Despite the fact that Democ...

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August 30, 2021 42 mins

It took 20 years, cost the lives of thousands of Americans and Afghans along with countless trillions of dollars, but as of today, it is in the rearview mirror.  The Endless War has in fact, come to an end. That end came with a torrent of turmoil, angst, fingerpointing, and even more American lives lost as the final hours were being counted down. 

Debates over how it was handled and who shoulders the blame for all of the m...

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August 24, 2021 36 mins

It has been yet another rough week for the man sitting in the Oval Office. As you know, there are no corners to hide in, and that's fine with Joe. He boldly proclaims that the buck stops with him.  Of course, Biden didn't create the Afghan mess, nor did he extend it, like his predecessors. He was given a lousy hand and he played it...boldly. There's a lot of dust and plenty of blame to go around, but by next week, th...

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August 16, 2021 34 mins

As a nation, we watched with a mixture of astonishment and horror, as the Taliban raced across the entirety of Afghanistan in a heartbeat. The suddenness with which they rolled over and laid waste to 20 years of "nation-building" was and is hard to comprehend. The end of the conflict, that Trump negotiated with the Taliban and then left for Biden to oversee, has stirred emotions across the spectrum.  From those who served...

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August 9, 2021 38 mins

Remember the days before there was a vaccine? Remember the terrifying death tolls reaching into the hundreds of thousands and showing no signs of ending? Then Sherriff Joe came to town and started getting shots in arms and we thought...this is good...we're saved...it's over.  If only. If only there wasn't an entire subset of conspiracy-loving nut jobs who put their faith, their lives, and the lives of their families ...

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August 2, 2021 43 mins

The march towards the truth, shedding light and bringing justice to those responsible for the violent attack on our nation's capital has officially begun. Despite some of the most riveting testimony ever given in a committee chamber, Republicans continue trying to obfuscate, lie, distract and point fingers at everyone but themselves and their Dear Leader.

Oh and let's not forget that they are also working their m...

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July 26, 2021 37 mins

Together with former state representative Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo, MI, Robin and David dive into the insane lengths the Party of Trump, and the sycophants who do their master's bidding will go to cling to power. 
Want us to deny what we saw with our own eyes on January 6th? Do you mean those "loving" tourists? 
Break rules and pass unconstitutional laws? Sure! 
Subvert both the will of our constituents a...

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July 19, 2021 39 mins

Robert Patillo, Civil Rights and Criminal Defense Attorney and Executive Director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition joins Robin and David to discuss how the right-wing message machine seems hell-bent on driving UP the Covid death count! It's clear that they are fine crushing the aspirations and goals of Americans who are desperate to return to normal. And why? Because their worst-case scenario is that Joe Biden gets hailed as the ...

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June 28, 2021 28 mins

Tucker Carlson is desperate to ingratiate himself with the most abhorrent wing of the Republican base but this week he totally went off the rails.  The sniveling twit actually called four-star General Mark Milley a pig. Not sure what is worse, that Fox didn't kick him off the air immediately or that his ratings probably rose and Rupert Murdoch most likely gave him a raise.

Between right-wing media outrages, the scary ...

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