Show cover of The Lean to the Left Podcast

The Lean to the Left Podcast

No-holds-barred progressive commentary and newsmaker interviews with journalist Bob Gatty and guests. Insight into today's news plus analysis, with focus on social issues and just a little lean to the left.Become a supporter of this podcast:


Combatting Ageism: A Conversation with Dr. Gail C. Christopher
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, we delve into ageism and its impacts on society, especially in the context of the criticism faced by President Joe Biden due to his age.Host Bob interviews Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, who highlights the prevalence and dangers of ageism. Dr. Christopher discusses her work against various forms of discrimination, including ageism, and emphasizes the need for a cultural shift to respect and value the elderly.She also touches on how media, politics, and societal norms contribute to youth idolatry and disrespect for older individuals. The conversation further explores the economic and social challenges faced by the aging population, with insights into Dr. Christopher’s book, 'Rx Racial Healing,' and her advocacy for a national strategy to address these crucial issues.00:00 Introduction to Lean to the Left Podcast00:08 Ageism in Politics: Biden vs. Trump01:01 Introducing Dr. Gail C. Christopher01:58 The Impact of Ageism04:36 Cultural Perspectives on Aging06:46 Strategies to Combat Ageism08:22 Personal Experiences with Discrimination09:14 Media's Role in Perpetuating Ageism10:34 The Importance of Respect and Empathy17:50 Economic and Policy Issues for the Elderly31:00 Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation34:04 Conclusion and Final ThoughtsBecome a supporter of this podcast:
37:18 6/24/24
Protecting America's Most Endangered Rivers: Critical Insights and Actions
Join us as we discuss critical threats facing America's rivers, from the recent Supreme Court decision impacting the Clean Water Act to ongoing pressures like climate change and development.Representatives from American Rivers Organization, Winyah Rivers Alliance, Idle No More South Carolina, and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League delve into the 10 most endangered rivers of 2023 and emphasize the importance of protecting the Little Pee Dee River.Learn about the significance of these rivers, the impacts of highway development, and what individuals can do to help. Also, discover ways to advocate for stronger environmental protections and get involved in conservation efforts.00:00 Supreme Court Ruling and Its Impact on Wetlands00:51 Introduction to the Podcast and Guests02:06 National Perspective on Water Protection03:24 Overview of the Most Endangered Rivers Program06:38 The Importance of the Little Pee Dee River11:46 Threats from Development and Interstate 7315:52 How Individuals Can Protect Our Rivers22:32 The Role of Elections in Environmental Protection34:38 Waccamaw Indian People's Connection to the River39:49 How to Support River Conservation Efforts44:46 Closing Remarks and ResourcesBecome a supporter of this podcast:
47:22 6/19/24
Peter Sacks on Libertyland: Is America's Democracy Under Attack?
Welcome to the 'Lean to the Left' podcast! In this episode, host Bob Gatty interviews Peter Sacks, author of 'Libertyland', a gripping thriller that explores themes of individualism and political conspiracy reminiscent of January 6th.Sacks discusses his inspiration, his background in economics and journalism, and his transition from nonfiction to fiction writing. They delve into current political issues, the influence of Ayn Rand's ideology, and the potential future of American democracy.Peter also talks about his previous award-winning works and his views on the intersection of politics, economics, and education in the United States. An engaging conversation about literature, politics, and society.Bonus: In this episode, at about 8:00 minutes in, an uninvited guest appears. Can you tell me who/what makes his appearance? 00:00 Welcome to Lean to the Left Podcast00:08 Introducing Peter Sacks and Libertyland01:58 Peter Sacks' Background and Career03:48 The Inspiration Behind Libertyland08:05 Themes and Philosophical Insights in Libertyland11:38 From Nonfiction to Fiction: Peter's Journey15:20 Political Reflections and Current Events18:05 The State of American Politics20:02 The Threat of Trump and MAGA Movement30:07 Concluding Thoughts and Where to Find LibertylandBecome a supporter of this podcast:
32:59 6/15/24
Life After Diagnosis: Sarah Cart's Guide for Caregivers
In this powerful and touching episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, Sarah Cart, a journalist, wife, and mother of four, shares her heartfelt journey of becoming her husband's caregiver when he needed a heart transplant.Sarah reflects on the emotional and physical challenges, the support from her community, and the importance of faith, grit, and grace.She provides valuable advice for other caregivers and emphasizes the significance of organ donation. Through her story, listeners are offered a glimpse of love, resilience, and the miracles that arise from the darkest times.00:00 Introduction to Caregiving00:20 Sarah's Story: Becoming a Caregiver00::39 The Memoir: On My Way Back to You02:16 The First Signs of Illness05:16 The Impact of COVID-1907:36 Ben's Career and Forced Retirement08:54 Coping Mechanisms and Meditation10:25 The Heart Transplant Journey14:36 Post-Transplant Challenges19:20 Advice for Caregivers20:10 Community Support and Gratitude28:43 Final Thoughts and Organ DonationBecome a supporter of this podcast:
31:02 6/9/24
Mal Hyman's Congressional Bid: Beacon of Hope for South Carolina
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, Democratic candidate Mel Hyman outlines his campaign for South Carolina's solidly Republican 7th congressional district.With a focus on Common Sense for the Common Good, Hyman aims to unseat one-term incumbent Russell Frye. The discussion spans a wide range of topics, including jobs, healthcare, education, reproductive rights, and the environment.Hyman shares his history as a public school and university teacher, his blue-collar work experience, and his critical views on Donald Trump, especially in light of recent criminal charges.The conversation also delves into immigration reform, gun control, campaign finance reform, social security, Medicare, and climate change. Hyman emphasizes the need for significant legislative efforts to protect democracy and improve the lives of working families.He ends the interview by advocating for a children's bill of rights and making education more affordable while highlighting the importance of returning to civility in political discourse.00:00 Introduction to Mel Hyman's Campaign 00:38 Mel Hyman's Background and Values01:27 Thoughts on Donald Trump and His Legal Issues04:31 The Threat of Another Trump Administration06:05 Economic Improvements Under Biden 09:06 Abortion and Reproductive Rights11:53 Gun Control and School Safety14:45 Immigration Policy and Challenges18:47 Campaign Finance Reform21:11 Social Security and Medicare26:32 Environmental Protection and Climate Change29:56 Children's Bill of Rights and Education33:40 Conclusion and Final Thoughts Become a supporter of this podcast:
36:02 6/5/24
Veteran Diplomat Stuart E. Eizenstat Says US Must Continue Supporting Efforts to End Wars in Ukraine & Gaza
Explore the insightful analysis of veteran diplomat Stuart E. Eizenstat on ending Wars in Gaza & Ukraine as he shares the keys to peace and diplomacy from his long experience as an international negotiator. In this episode, we speak with Ambassador Eisenstadt about his latest book, which includes interviews with dozens of U.S. and global leaders such as Presidents Clinton, Carter, and others. Eisenstat offers reflections on key diplomatic skills, current geopolitical issues like the Ukraine War and Gaza conflict, and provides advice for U.S. military strategy. He also shares personal anecdotes and insights from his extensive negotiations experience, including his work on Holocaust issues and economic peace processes. Eizenstat said the eventual resolution of the Ukraine conflict will hinge on a strategic stalemate on the battlefield. "This war in Ukraine will ultimately end when both sides believe they can't get anything further on the battlefield in terms of their political goals," he said. Eizenstat advocated for the U.S. to continue providing critical military aid to Ukraine, comparing the potential outcomes to the armistice that concluded the Korean War, rather than a direct peace agreement. The long time diplomat said the US. must "give Israel the means to defeat and disable Hamas as a governing and military structure, But, we have to also, as the administration is trying to do, combine diplomacy with military force." Eizenstat cautioned that Hamas will not be defeated alone by military force. and that the US. must "look at Gaza as part of a broader conflict. And that broader regional conflict involves Iran on the one hand, which has been the military supplier for Hamas, with its so called, and they call it this, their axis of resistance with Hamas, with Hezbollah, with the Houthis, with Syria." 00:00 Introduction and Guest Welcome 00:32 Purpose of the Book 01:40 Key Skills for Successful Diplomacy 03:01 Stamina in Diplomacy 04:36 Lessons from Past Negotiations 04:58 Ukraine Conflict and U.S. Military Role 10:26 Gaza Conflict and Diplomatic Strategies 15:51 Holocaust Negotiations and Personal Reflections 16:42 Trump's Foreign Policy and Biden's Age 21:28 Importance of U.S. International Engagement 22:27 Personal Anecdotes and ConclusionBecome a supporter of this podcast:
37:28 6/3/24
Dixie Dems: Political Controversies & Upcoming Elections
Join the Dixie Dams—Arthur Hill, Robert Thompson, and the host from South Carolina—as they dive into current political issues on the Lean to the Left podcast.The episode covers a range of hot topics including Trump's New York hush money trial, a new initiative to energize young voters called TOGETHER!, Supreme Court decisions on gerrymandering and other impactful rulings, and heated debates over DEI funding.Discussions also address the controversies surrounding political figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene and analyze the changing political landscapes in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.Whether it's local legislation on masks and development or national electoral implications, this episode provides an in-depth look at America's political atmosphere.00:00 Welcome to the Lean to the Left Podcast01:29 Diving into the Trump Hush Money Trial04:09 Political Climate and Voter Sentiments09:00 Nationwide Initiative to Unite and Mobilize Young Voters10:47 The Curious Case of RFK Jr.'s Brain Worm12:54 Supreme Court's Controversial Decision on Gerrymandering16:46 State Politics: Mask Laws and DEI Funding32:35 Election Integrity and the Fulton County Court Clerk RaceBecome a supporter of this podcast:
38:18 5/30/24
Fighting Teen Depression with Purpose
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, we delve into the critical issue of teenage depression and the alarming rates of youth suicide.Host Bob Gatty welcomes Dr. Scott Kolbaba, an Internal Medicine Physician from Chicago, who shares his poignant experiences and insights. Dr. Kolbaba, an Amazon bestselling author, highlights his children's book 'Clara's Magic Garden,' which addresses themes of depression and self-worth.Through powerful anecdotes and a deep understanding of mental health, Dr. Kolbaba explores the importance of finding purpose as a potential solution to combating teenage depression.He also discusses the role of parents and significant others in identifying and nurturing the passions of young people to help them overcome depression.Don't miss this compelling conversation that offers hope and actionable advice for parents and caregivers.00:00 Introduction to Teenage Depression and Suicide Rates00:31 Dr. Kolbaba's Journey and Insights on Teenage Depression02:53 The Power of Purpose: Dr. Kolbaba's Approach to Battling Depression07:49 Personal Stories and the Impact of Finding Purpose14:39 Adoption Stories and Addressing Bullying19:12 Advice for Parents on Recognizing and Addressing Depression22:14 The Role of Schools and Society in Supporting Mental Health25:55 Exploring Miraculous Experiences: Physicians Untold Stories28:48 Closing Thoughts and the Importance of Purpo Become a supporter of this podcast:
30:53 5/26/24
The Birth of TOGETHER!, Movement for Political Change
Bringing Civility and Innovation to Politics: Together's Vision for the FutureLean to the Left podcast hosts an insightful discussion with Jason Palmer, Debra Perry Piscione, and Kwame Jackson, co-founders of Together, a new organization aimed at reducing political polarization by mobilizing young voters and endorsing a new generation of leaders.Aiming for inclusivity, civility, and entrepreneurship, Together seeks to transform American politics by endorsing candidates who represent common sense and bipartisan values.The podcast delves into the founders' backgrounds, the mission and structure of Together, and their plans to engage and rally young Americans for a profound political impact.The Timeline: 00:00 Introduction to Lean to the Left Podcast and Jason Palmer's Political Journey01:05 Launching 'Together': A New Organization for Political Change01:47 Meet the Co-Founders: Their Roles and Visions for 'Together'07:29 Jason Palmer's Reflections on His Presidential Run and Future Plans08:57 'Together's' Strategy: Endorsing Candidates and Mobilizing Young Voters14:11 Addressing Political Divisions and Fostering Civility20:45 'Together's' Approach to Political Issues and Candidate EndorsementsBecome a supporter of this podcast:
33:28 5/23/24
The Lean to the Left Podcast: A Forum to Consider, Then Decide
On the Lean to the Left podcast, author Matthew Stevenson credits our show with providing a forum for meaningful intellectual discussion about the key political and social issues of our time. Stevenson made his comments at the close of an interview for our show during which he discussed the conundrum faced by many voters who must choose between President Biden and Donald Trump in November. That episode is now streaming.Become a supporter of this podcast:
02:43 5/19/24
The Trump-Biden Conundrum: A Deep Dive With Matthew Stevenson
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, host Bob Gatty is joined by author Matthew Stevenson, who discusses his book 'Donald Trump's Circus Maximus and Joe Biden's Excellent Adventure,' detailing his firsthand experiences following the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections.Stevenson shares insights into the personalities of key political figures like Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton, and the political carnival atmosphere of campaigns.The discussion explores the broader implications of these elections on American democracy, Trump's impact on the Republican Party, and the potential future of political parties in the U.S. Stevenson also delves into the impeachment trials following the January 6th insurrection, Trump's legal troubles, and offers a critique of the current state and direction of both the Republican and Democratic parties.Finally, Stevenson provides his personal perspective on the future of American politics and the significance of political engagement and advocacy. Trump, he says, is virtually ruining the Republican Party.00:00 Introduction to the Podcast and Guest Matthew Stevenson02:00 Matthew Stevenson's Background and Political Insights04:53 Deep Dive into Trump's and Biden's Political Campaigns08:18 Reflections on Trump's Impeachment Trials and Political Consequences12:44 Trump's Legal Battles and Supreme Court Dynamics22:29 The Future of American Politics and the Republican Party32:12 Where to Find Matthew Stevenson's Work33:48 Closing Thoughts and AppreciationBecome a supporter of this podcast:
36:31 5/17/24
Challenging the Bankers Blub: The Fight for an Equitable Financial System
In this episode of the Lean to the Left Podcast, host Bob Gatty interviews Gerald Epstein, author of 'Busting the Bankers Club,' and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.Epstein discusses how powerful interests within the 'Bankers Club,' including big banks like JP Morgan and Bank of America, federal institutions like the Federal Reserve, financial regulators, and others, have maintained a financial system that benefits the wealthy at the expense of the majority.He explores the dualities of the financial system, its manipulation by powerful interests, the adverse impact of current banking practices on the average person, and the potential for reform.Epstein argues for the break-up of the Bankers Club to create a more equitable and functional financial system that serves broader societal needs, including those of marginalized communities and the push for a greener economy.He also addresses the challenges of making such transformations and highlights the efforts of activists, public officials, and reform-minded groups working towards these goals.The conversation delves into specifics such as the destructive influence of credit card interest rates, the legacy of economic policies that have exacerbated racial inequalities, and the potential for public banks to fulfill social missions.Epstein emphasizes the importance of democratizing financial institutions, like the Federal Reserve, and the need for wide-ranging reforms to address issues of inequality and to harness finance as a force for good in society.He calls for passage of federal legislation to create public banks that serve marginalized communities, communities of color, small businesses, and funds "green" environmental initiatives.00:00 Introduction: The Cycle of Bank Bailouts01:48 Unveiling the Bankers Club: Allies and Operations04:56 The Dual Faces of Finance: Necessity and Destructiveness11:03 The Federal Reserve's Role and Influence20:25 Addressing Inequality and the Power of Public Banks24:17 Racial Inequality and Financial Systems27:16 The Fight for Financial Reform and Public Banks33:06 The Political Landscape and Economic Implications39:30 Concluding Thoughts and Where to Find the Book Become a supporter of this podcast:
42:13 5/12/24
Lori Alhadeff: A Mother Fights for Safer Schools
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, Lori Alhadeff shares the heartbreaking story of losing her daughter Alyssa in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Valentine's Day, 2018.Lori discusses the founding of the Make Our Schools Safe organization, dedicated to preventing such tragedies through initiatives like Alyssa's Law, which mandates panic buttons in schools. Lori, also a school board member, highlights the importance of community involvement in school safety, detailing her organization's efforts in passing Alyssa's Law in several states and advocating for its national adoption.The podcast dives into the establishment of Make Our Schools Safe clubs (MOSS Clubs) and various fundraising and awareness events aimed at enhancing school security and involving students and parents in the safety dialogue.00:00 Welcome to Lean to the Left: A Story of Tragedy and Action00:42 Remembering Alyssa: A Life Full of Light01:21 From Grief to Action: Founding Make Our Schools Safe03:08 The Mission of Make Our Schools Safe and Alyssa's Law04:39 Lori's Journey: School Board Member and Advocate05:50 Alyssa's Law: A Nationwide Push for Safer Schools09:26 Engaging the Community: MOSS Clubs and Fundraising Efforts15:05 The Challenge of Legislative Action and Continuing the Fight18:08 A Call to Action: Making Schools Safer for EveryoneBecome a supporter of this podcast:
21:22 5/9/24
Biden Should Conduct a Whistlestop Campaign
The script discusses the challenges President Biden faces in his reelection campaign, including concerns over his age and a desire among some Democrats for an alternative candidate.The conversation includes insights from Edward Segal, a political strategist and historian, who suggests that Biden could benefit from conducting a whistle stop campaign tour, a strategy that has historical significance in American politics.Segal, who has recently published a book titled 'Whistle Stop Politics, Campaign Trains and Reporters Who Covered Them', shares his expertise on the impact of whistle stop tours. He draws parallels between Biden and President Harry Truman, who successfully used such tours to connect with voters.The discussion also touches on modern campaign strategies, the potential role of social media in revitalizing whistle stop tours, and Siegel's own experiences in political campaigning. The conversation concludes with details about Segal's book and his plans to propose the idea of a whistle stop tour to the Biden campaign.00:00 Biden's Reelection Challenges and the Potential of a Whistle Stop Campaign00:40 Introducing Edward Siegel: A Political Strategist with a Unique Perspective01:36 Edward's New Book: A Deep Dive into Whistle Stop Politics02:35 The Strategic Advantage of a Biden Whistle Stop Tour04:56 Historical Success Stories of Whistle Stop Campaigning06:51 The Power of Social Media in Modern Campaigning07:19 Biden's Missteps with TikTok and Opportunities for Improvement08:43 Edward's Personal Experience and Insights on Campaign Trains11:49 The Impact of Campaign Trains in American Political History16:06 Final Thoughts and the Future of Whistle Stop Campaigning Become a supporter of this podcast:
19:23 5/4/24
Dick Batchelor: Building Bridges in Toxic Times
In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, host Bob Gatty welcomes Dick Batchelor, a former Florida House Representative and influential business consultant with a 50-year career in public service.The discussion delves into the current divisiveness in American society, touching on political polarization, the impact of Donald Trump's presidency, and the challenges of achieving consensus in such a climate. Batchelor shares his experiences and insights from his long career, including his shift from supporting the Vietnam War to becoming an anti-war activist and his efforts in various civil and human rights commissions.The podcast covers strategies from Batchelor's book 'Building Bridges in Toxic Political Times, a Roadmap for Community Leaders,' aimed at finding common ground and fostering dialogue. Key strategies include prioritizing human aspects over politics, leveraging influence, effective communication, and creativity in addressing complex social issues.Batchelor also comments on contemporary political figures and the effects of pivotal Supreme Court decisions, emphasizing the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the role individuals play in bridging divides.00:00 Welcome to Lean to the Left: Tackling Divisiveness in America00:28 Introducing Dick Batchelor: A Life of Public Service01:54 Exploring the Depths of Political Divisiveness04:09 Finding Common Ground in a Polarized Society08:33 Strategies for Bridging Divides: Dick Batchelor's Insights21:17 The Power of Communication and Creativity in Conflict Resolution29:26 Concluding Thoughts and Where to Find the Book Become a supporter of this podcast:
32:19 4/28/24
Dixie Dems-Sleepy Don, Hush Money & More
In this episode of the 'Lean to the Left' podcast, the Dixie Dems, composed of Arthur Hill, Robert Thompson, and the host, engage in a lively discussion on current political happenings amid Donald Trump's hush money trial and its implications.Topics include the Republicans' challenges, Marjorie Taylor Greene's push against House Speaker Mike Johnson, and the Democrats' prospects in upcoming elections. They explore serious issues like abortion, immigration, and the influence of social media on political narratives.The episode also covers local politics, including controversial statements by political candidates and significant investments in North Carolina. Additionally, there's talk about the effectiveness of campaigning tactics, like stamping money with political messages.The conversation concludes with personal anecdotes and reflections on how these complex political matters impact their lives and communities.00:00 Welcome to the Lean to the Left Podcast!00:40 Turbulent Times in Politics: Trump's Trial and GOP Chaos02:15 Diving into the Hush Money Trial: A Comedic Take04:25 Serious Politics: Upcoming Primaries and Candidate Spotlights05:25 The Border Wall Debate and Immigration Insights07:14 Electric Cars and Environmental Moves19:16 Abortion and Immigration: Election Game Changers?30:09 Wrapping Up: Orioles' Victory and Final ThoughtsBecome a supporter of this podcast:
33:39 4/25/24
UFOs & Big Foot-Explaining the Unexplainable
Uncover the truth behind 'The Kecksburg UFO: The Story of the Century' with UFO investigator Stan Gordon. Explore the mysterious events of 1965 and beyond.It was in the early evening of Thursday, December 9, 1965 that the night editor of the Greensburg, PA, Tribune-Review sent me to the little rural community of Kecksburg, PA, to cover the reported landing of an unidentified flying object in the woods near a farmer’s field.When I arrived, armed soldiers blocked access to what was the reported landing site and I was told that if I ventured into that field, I would be arrested. Yet, the soldier in charge told me that “nothing” had happened.Fast forward to today. We have with us on the Lean to the Left podcast UFO investigator Stan Gordon, a Pennsylvanian who for these past 59 years has been searching for the truth about what really happened that night.Stan has been researching UFO sightings, Bigfoot encounters, and other mysterious events in Pennsylvania since 1959, so when the Kecksburg incident occurred, it was right in his wheelhouse. He is a former Pennsylvania state director for the Mutual UFO Network and produced the UFO video documentary, “Kecksburg the Untold Story.” He’s written four books, including his latest, “Creepy Cryptids and Strange UFO Encounters of Pennsylvania.”Back in 2017, Stan invited me to speak at the annual Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department’s UFO Festival, to recount my experience as a reporter that night. Now, it’s my turn to have him on my show. Here are questions we discussed with Stan: Q. So, Stan, tell us what your investigation into the Kecksburg UFO incident has revealed.Q. What do you believe happened that night?Q. Eye witnesses said the object appeared to be steered – it just didn’t shoot down from the sky. Do you believe those reports? If it was guided somehow, what does that tell you?Q. There have been suggestions that this was some sort of military device that might even have been radioactive. Do you believe that?Q. There’s a replica of the object, which looks like a giant acorn, on display at the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department’s grounds. It’s complete with strange markings that some eyewitnesses said they saw. What do you make of that?Q. Since then, you’ve expanded your research to include other UFO sightings, Bigfoot encounters, and then, of course, you wrote this latest book about “creepy cryptids.” First of all, what is a cryptid?Q. What’s this research produced in terms of solid information?Q. You make a lot of public appearances to discuss Kecksburg and these other unexplained happenings. What’s that experience been like? Have people come forward with more info for you?Q. In fact, you established a UFO hot-line for the public to report UFO sightings so you could investigate them. Is that hotline still in use? What is it? What’s it produced?Q. How did the Kecksburg UFO incident lead you to expand your work from UFOs to Bigfoot and cryptids?Q. How can people find your books? How can they reach out to you to discuss or provide information?Become a supporter of this podcast:
41:05 4/21/24
Michael B. Moore: Carrying the Family Legacy in SC
Businessman Michael B. Moore is seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose MAGA Republican Nancy Mace in the 1st CD in South Carolina.Discover how Moore is carrying the family legacy in South Carolina, seeking to follow in the footsteps of his pioneering great-great-grandfather in Congress 150 years ago.In 2020, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s First Congressional District, edged out Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham…who had been the first Democrat to flip a House seat in South Carolina in 30 years. Mace won by just 5,400 votes, or one percent.Then, two years ago, following redistricting, Mace won reelection by 14 percent.Since then, Mace was critical of Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021 MAGA attack on the U.S. Capitol, but she’s endorsed Trump – despite the many criminal charges against him and his conviction for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.Now, Moore, a forward-thinking business executive, is one of two Democrats running in the June 11 SC primary for the chance to oppose Mace in November. As he focuses on carrying the family legacy, his opponent in the primary is attorney Mac Deford, whose interview on this podcast is now streaming.We’re pleased to have Moore with us on the Lean to the Left podcast, but before we get to that, please visit, where you'll find thumbnails and links to all of our episodes. You can subscribe there too. And don't forget to give us a rating wherever you listen. Five stars would be super cool. Here are some questions we addressed with Moore, who is carrying the family legacy in SC:Q. Michael, you come from a long line of pioneering public servants, including your great-great-grandfather, Civil War hero and Reconstruction Era Congressman Robert Smalls. In 1862, Smalls commandeered a Confederate ship in Charleston harbor, carrying his family and 15 other enslaved people to freedom. He went on to become one of the first African Americans to serve in Congress, and now you’re seeking the same House seat held by your great-great-grandfather almost 150 years ago. That’s quite a legacy, Michael. But can you give us a quick summary of your background and why it qualifies you to serve in Congress?Q. Late last month a federal court ruled that the South Carolina elections will be held under a map already deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory against Black voters by the same three-judge panel that found that the state used race as a proxy for partisan affiliation, a violation of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Your thoughts about that.Q. What are your thoughts about Congresswoman Mace supporting Trump after criticizing him for the Jan. 6 insurrection?Q. What are your top priorities for Congressional action in the next two years?Q. Your district, District 1, is dependent on tourism, sensitive to climate issues, in need of affordable housing. It’s comprised of varied communities with different needs. If elected, how will you deal with those issues and meet those needs?Q. How will you address the challenges of healthcare accessibility and affordability?Q. How do you plan to engage with and represent underrepresented or marginalized groups in our district? Q. Trump and the Republicans are talking about Social Security and Medicare cuts. Your thoughts? Q. Where do you stand on the issue of reproductive rights? Q. What about immigration?Q. Many voters are frustrated by the inability of Congress to pass legislation in recent years. Some members, including numerous Republicans, are leaving Congress because of their frustration. Why do you believe it will be any different for you?Q. Why did you decide to take on this challenge? South Carolina isn’t exactly Democrat friendly! And why are you the best candidate to take on Congresswoman Mace? Become a supporter of this podcast:
32:45 4/17/24
Calling Female Candidates
Women are 51 percent of the U.S. population, but only 33 percent of state legislators across the country are women, and the way things are, it could take more than 200 years to reach parity. That’s where the organization Vote Run Lead comes in. Its goal is to close that gap, and so has launched an initiative called “Charting a Path to Women’s Majority,” to help achieve that.Vote Run Lead offers training and even financial help for female candidates for local and state offices, and even U.S. Congress, who support progressive initiatives like fighting restrictions on abortion and contraception and other liberal causes.The organization's chief political officer, is our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast."It's the fact that when you line up the actual population of this country and pretend that the elected representatives we have are actually fully representing those folks. It feels like a joke, right? How can you say that in a state like ... South Carolina, less than 20 percent women [are] speaking on behalf of policies that impact a population that is 51 percent women, is somehow reflective and representative. It just means that, the policymaking and the decision making in government is not actually taking into account the lived experiences and the needs and the values of the full population adequately," Shulman says.She points out that in Southeastern states that have the fewest women in political, policymaking positions "it is a pocket of some of the most restrictive laws related to women's health care, abortion access, contraceptive access. There's an absolute correlation there of who's making the laws and who those policies are actually serving or not serving."Vote Run Lead provides both on-line and in-person training for female candidates and campaign management personnel, helping them with every aspect of campaigning for public office, according to Shulman."We are a training institute," she explains. "We recruit, we support women once they're running. We are really focusing in on one of our key initiatives is called Run/51. And that has become our largest focus. It is the initiative that is aimed at women's majorities in state legislatures specifically. We're still the political home for any values-aligned woman who is interested in running, but Run/51 is really where we are putting most of our resources to recruit women to run specifically for state legislatures, giving them the training and the confidence and the tools to run a successful campaign and to be with them throughout their political journey."For more info about Vote Run Lead, Run/51, and the many services provided by the organization, please check out this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, "Calling Female Candidates."Become a supporter of this podcast:
28:18 4/14/24
Mac Deford-Bucking the Odds in SC
In 2020, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s First Congressional District, edged out Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham. He was the first Democrat to flip a House seat in South Carolina in 30 years.Mace won by just 5,400 votes, or one percent. Then, two years ago, following redistricting, Mace won reelection by 14 percent. Since then, Mace was critical of Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021 MAGA-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, but she’s endorsed Trump – despite the many criminal charges against him and despite his conviction for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.Now, attorney Mac Deford is one of two Democrats running in the June 11 SC primary for the chance to oppose Mace in November. His opponent in the primary is business executive Michael Moore.We’re pleased to have Deford with us on the Lean to the Left podcast. Here are questions we discussed with Mac:Q. Late last month a federal court ruled that the South Carolina elections will be held under a map already deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory against Black voters by the same three-judge panel that found that the state used race as a proxy for partisan affiliation, a violation of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Your thoughts about that.Q. You’re an attorney, a former Coast Guard Police Officer, and you’ve worked for a software company. You’ve also served as an attorney for Mount Pleasant and Hilton Head Island. If you should win the election, how would this experience inform your service in the House of Representatives?Q. What are your thoughts about Congresswoman Mace supporting Trump after criticizing him for the Jan. 6 insurrection?Q. What are your top priorities for Congressional action in the next two years?Q. Your district, District 1, is dependent on tourism, sensitive to climate issues, in need of affordable housing. It’s comprised of varied communities with different needs. If elected, how will you deal with those issues and meet those needs?Q. How will you address the challenges of healthcare accessibility and affordability?Q. How do you plan to engage with and represent underrepresented or marginalized groups in our district? Q. Trump and the Republicans are talking about Social Security and Medicare cuts. Your thoughts?Q. Where do you stand on the issue of reproductive rights?Q. What about immigration? Q. Many voters are frustrated by the inability of Congress to pass legislation in recent years. Some members, including numerous Republicans, are leaving Congress because of their frustration. Why do you believe it will be any different for you?Q. Why did you decide to take on this challenge? South Carolina isn’t exactly Democrat friendly!Become a supporter of this podcast:
42:16 4/11/24
John Pabon-The Great Greenwashing
Uncover the truth behind 'Greenwashing Lies' and how they mislead consumers. Join the fight against climate change with John Pabon's eye-opening insights. "Greenwashing" lies by governments, businesses, international organizations, and even celebrities mislead consumers and weakens efforts to take meaningful, effective action in the fight against climate change.That's the message from John Pabon, a Melbourne, Australia climate author and business advisor, who has just published a new book, “The Great Greenwashing: How Corporations, Governments, and Influencers Are Lying to You,” in an interview for The Lean to the Left Podcast.In fact, says Pabon, "greenspeak", misdirection, and "green scamming" are now more prevalent than ever as even businesses, organizations, and celebrities, who claim to support efforts to protect our environment actually are taking actions that contribute to the climate crisis that we all face."Those are the three tried and true ways that greenwashing happens," Pabon says. "So the first is all this marketing speak around being eco friendly, being green. So you'll see green packaging. They love to do that as if that means anything or saying, we, we care about the earth, but not backing it up with any real meaningful statistics." That's "greenspeak.""Misdirection is another," he says. "So look over here, not over here. Look at this cute picture of kids on the front of our sustainability report, but not the child labor we have going on in Bangladesh, right? Don't look at that part. So then that's another way they love to do that.""And the final way is green scamming. And this is the most insidious and probably the scariest part of greenwashing that I didn't even know was going on, but big cashed up organizations, usually the big dinosaurs like oil and gas, they'll actually fund front groups that on the surface look like they're doing something good for the planet, but really they're lobbying groups to throw people off the scent."Such groups, he says, discredit climate change, "posing as if they are scientists and expecting nobody to actually do the research and realize these aren't scientists. These are marketing teams pushing out BS statistics," he says.Here are some surprising conclusions shared by Pabon during the interview:The climate crisis is too serious for "kumbaya", "feel-good" claims about progress being made. "Converting people to actual action is the missing piece." He's disappointed in climate efforts of the Biden administration, saying "they've not had a strong a performance as one would assume those from the left hand side of the political spectrum would actually have had."To uncover greenwashing lies, consumers should research "green" claims before purchasing related products or supporting candidates.Consumers can make a big difference in the choices they make. "We're not talking about having to do everything all at once. You don't have to be a perfect environmentalist, just making these actions that move the needle in the right direction. That's good enough. There's plenty, there's billions of other people doing the right thing. You don't have to do it all."Some major car companies, which he declined to identify, are looking to the future and considering how they can diversify so they are not exclusively reliant on selling motor vehicles. Responsible businesses will do more than government to effectively combat global warming. Become a supporter of this podcast:
30:59 4/8/24
Trump vs Biden, McConnell Successor: What Are the Odds?
Get the inside scoop on the race to replace Mitch McConnell and the odds of Trump vs Biden in this intriguing political post. What are the odds? Long-time Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate since 1985, has announced that he’ll step down from his leadership post in November. And so, the race is on to replace him, making for one of the most intriguing political stories of the year – aside from the presidential election and the battle for control of Congress itself.What’s going to happen? Who better to ask than a veteran professional political gambler, oddsmaker and analyst? Check out our interview with Paul Krishnamurty, political oddsmaker and analyst for began betting on politics in the UK in 2001 and in the U.S. in 2008. He’s been an analyst for Betfair, the world’s largest betting exchange, and since 2020 has been the political oddsmaker for the show, Krishnamurty says the odds favor Sen. John Thune (SD) and John Cornyn (TX) each have about a 46 percent chance of succeeding McConnell, depending on what happens between now and the election.On the presidential front, this veteran oddsmaker puts Biden ahead of Trump as of now, saying that the Democrat's chances are improving, although third party candidates could cost him votes. He predicts that the criminal cases against Trump will result in at least one conviction, but that the twice-impeached former President will not serve prison time.What does he have to say about Trump selling $400 sneakers and $60 Bibles to raise money?Who will he pick as his vice presidential running mate?What about Congress? What are the odds that the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and maintain their edge in the Senate? Check out the episode to find out.By the way, here are some questions we discussed with Paul:Q. Since we opened with the tease about Mitch McConnell, let’s talk about that. Looks like we have three Johns – all white guys in their 60s – leading the race to succeed him. What are the odds of that?Q. Now I know you don’t actually lay down bets on such races, but if you WERE to bet on this one, who would you pick – and why?Q. Let’s go to Trump. He lucked out the other day when that judge in New York cut the fraud bond that he must pay from $464 million to $175 million, and gave him an extra 10 days to come up with the cash. Until that happened, there was talk Trump might be forced to declare bankruptcy. Have those odds changed?Q. What about the Georgia case, which has been tainted by the scandal involving Fulton County prosecutor Fani T. Willis hiring her lover to help lead the Georgia election meddling case against Trump. What are the odds that Trump will be convicted there?Q. How about the federal case involving the Jan. 6 insurrection that’s being led by special prosecutor Jack Smith? Will Trump be convicted there? Will he go to prison?Q. OK, let’s turn to the presidential election. How do you see that shaking out? What are the odds that either Trump or Biden – or both – will be replaced as their party’s nominee?Q. If Trump is convicted in any of these cases, will that doom his chances for election?Q. Is Nikki Haley still viable as a candidate to replace Trump? Maybe at the GOP convention?Q. What about Trump VP picks? Who’s really in play?Q. The Supreme Court is considering whether to ban an abortion drug in the latest challenge to women’s rights. Will abortion be a deciding factor in the election?Q. How about age and overall health of the candidates? It’s a problem for Biden, but he’s trying to turn that against Trump as well? Could it be a deciding factor in the election? Who has the edge on this one?Q. What about the House of Representatives? Do the Democrats have a realistic shot at taking control?Q. How about the Senate? Can the Democrats hold on there? What races should we be watching?Q. What’s your overall prediction as to where we’ll stand politically after election day?Q. Tell us about Can people bet on politics there?Become a supporter of this podcast:
39:59 4/3/24
John Boykin: What if the Constitution Expired?
It’s a fact that Thomas Jefferson said the U.S. Constitution should expire when the last Founder died, and it’s also true that George Washington expected the Constitution to last no more than 20 years.What if they were right? What if our Constitution expired? What would happen today with the political upheaval that’s taking place in America, with both sides relying on the Constitution to justify their positions?A new political thriller imagines what might happen if the United States had to hammer out a whole new Constitution today. Who would we entrust to that monumental task? Who is today’s George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, or Thomas Jefferson? What would happen to our country if, indeed, our treasured Constitution was no longer in force?Novelist John Boykin has imagined this in his new political thriller, The Constitution Has Expired, and he's our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast.In fact, something had been troubling Boykin for decades. If the American form of government was the best in the world, why didn’t other countries emulate it? And while the U.S. Constitution was proving nearly impossible to amend, emerging countries were writing their own constitutions from scratch. What if the U.S. had to do that all over again?This became the premise of The Constitution Has Expired. Though the book is fiction, Boykin researched it as carefully as his award-winning nonfiction, down to the smell of the ink used by the calligrapher who prepared the original version on parchment.Boykin's nonfiction book, “One Brief Miracle,” told the inside story of American diplomat Philip Habib’s mission to stop the 1982 Israeli siege of Beirut. Former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote the foreword, and the book won the American Academy of Diplomacy book award under its hardcover title, “Cursed is the Peacemaker.” You can learn more about both books at, what if our Constitution expired?What would happen?Here are some key questions we discussed with Boykin:The Constitution Has Expired starts out with a young woman studying the original of the Constitution at the National Archives and discovering, unbelievably, that Article 5 contained a sentence stating that the Constitution would expire 100 years after its establishment, something that no one had ever noticed before. That would mean that the Constitution, as we know it, is no longer in force, having expired in the mid-1800s. What would be the implications of that?You say there are three key failings of the Constitution. What are they?How has the Constitution been eviscerated by partisanship?Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that no person can serve in political office if they had engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. Do you believe that should prevent Donald Trump from seeking the presidency?The novel is critical of both political parties. Do you believe in the two-party system? What’s your solution? Some say we are a republic, not a democracy—even that the Founders hated democracy. Is that true?Why is "Let the voters decide" heartwarming humbug that ignores the Electoral College? Doesn’t the majority rule?The other day Trump encouraged people to vote and said every vote counts. That’s one Trump statement with which Democrats agree. But you don’t believe that, right? How has your research into the Constitution affected your view of government disfunction?Your subtitle is "A novel. Really. Probably." What is that about?Your day job is designing websites for businesses. How does that relate to writing a novel about the Constitution expiring?Where can people find your book? An audio version was recently released, right?Become a supporter of this podcast:
37:46 3/28/24
America Attacked from Within
Former federal air marshal Russell Jack says Donald Trump's MAGA movement has infiltrated federal law enforcement agencies, with many officers embracing right-wing dogma and openly endorsing such entities as QAnon and Punisher."The MAGA culture has co-opted and taken over the federal government as far as law enforcement (is concerned)," says Jack on the Lean to the Left podcast. "And some of the things I've seen on that is like symbolism, like the QAnon or Punisher. QAnon is like an extreme version of MAGA, and the Punisher symbol is interesting.""It's a Punisher skull," Jack explains. "It's based off the comic book. A lot of people in the military, like special forces would wear that. When law enforcement started wearing it, I questioned my fellow law enforcement officers. I'm like, why are you wearing a Punisher skull? And they're like, it's MAGA. And I'm like you do realize that is saying that it's okay to act outside the law. As a law enforcement officer."Jack is the author of a new. book, "Is MAGA a Terrorist Movement," and he says that from 2016 to 2022 he saw MAGA operating freely inside the U.S. government, both as agents and management.Jack worked for more than two decades as a federal air marshal, and before that as a federal police officer for five years with two different agencies. He began his career in the Army National Guard as a military policeman deployed for Operation Desert Storm.Has MAGA Infiltrated Federal Law Enforcement?"When I was working as an air marshal, they (fellow officers) went from being quiet to saying the quiet part out loud. It went from quietly thinking these things to being empowered and emboldened to talk about them more," he says, and that was due to the election of Trump in 2016."So what I noticed is there started to become incidents like intimidation of LGBTQ community. And also just following a lot of the things were happening with, for lack of a better word, the takeover of the government. So it's very concerning that many people in law enforcement, especially my agency, were openly okay with MAGA, which...does a lot of illegal activity, which as a police officer, you would think, hey, a guy who has over 90 criminal indictments against him allegedly could be a criminal. And why would law enforcement support something like that? Anyone else if it was, a Democrat with 90 plus charges, I'm pretty sure they'd say something negative."Why does Jack describe MAGA as a terrorist movement?"Terrorism is basically, and I'm going to paraphrase it is using coercion, intimidation, violence force to illegally, using those methods, to achieve political goals, especially if it's done against a civilian population," he says."So, when you look at the parameters of terrorism it becomes pretty clear that a lot of the activities that have happened--January 6th, where they violated the 12th Amendment. Ratification of our votes. And by them stopping that, because the vote was stopped, they violated the 12th Amendment. January 6th was violent. They injured over 100 police officers. They killed police officers. And then there's many other examples also, to Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's husband being attacked with a hammer, the man fractured his skull, the surrounding of the Biden bus. Here's an example of civilian intimidation. So they surrounded that to intimidate them and that's terrorism."The "Let's Go Brandon" comment," he says is "a euphemism for F Joe Biden. So that is also intimidation. The purpose to that is to cow liberals or non MAGA people into silence."And then you have the death election officials. They've happened to Democratic members of Congress. They've happened to people who are involved in prosecution of Donald Trump. So those are all examples of how they are a terrorist movement."Has MAGA infiltrated federal law enforcement?There is no doubt, warns Jack, who says this is a danger to our society andcalls on all Americans who care about our country and its freedoms to vote. "The best way to counteract them is voting," says Jack. "I want you to know how important that vote is and what it represents."Become a supporter of this podcast:
20:41 3/21/24
How We Win the Civil War
The 2024 presidential race is set as a rematch of 2020, and even though Donald Trump faces 91 federal and state felony charges, his grip on the Republican Party has never been stronger.Nevertheless, author and political thought leader Steve Phillips believes the new American majority, consisting of people of color plus progressive whites, will prevail.In fact, on the Lean to the Left podcast, Phillips contends that this coalition of people who want to see America become a multiracial democracy should result in Democrats keeping the White House, flipping the House, and holding the Senate, and thus defend the multiracial democracy from attacks by modern-day Confederates. "That's the majority of people in the country, and that majority is growing every day," says Phillips on the Lean to the Left podcast, "and that's the other aspect of what is driving Republican politics, is stoking fears around this changing composition. People can see it and they feel it in their bones that the nature of the country is going to change in terms of its racial composition."Phillips says the presidential elections are the closest thing America has to a national referendum, and "except for the 2004 election of Kerry versus Bush, the Democrats have won the popular vote in every single presidential election since 1992. So that further shows that the raw numbers are on the progressive side, which is why the Republicans on the right are so ferociously determined to try to suppress the vote."So, says Phillips, the author of the new edition of his book, "How We Win the Civil War," Republicans are doing everything they can -- just as they did in the years after the original Civil War -- to prevent people of color coming out to vote because that is the only way for the white power structure to remain intact.America already is in a second civil war, he says, adding that the January 6, 2021 MAGA attack on the U.S. Capitol was part of that. In “How We Win the Civil War,” Phillips analyzes the 2022 midterm elections – including why there was no Red Wave and why Stacey Abrams lost but Rev. Raphael Warnock won in Georgia, a topic he also addresses on the podcast. Democrats, he contends, must recognize that we’re in a contest between democracy and white supremacy left unresolved after the Civil War, and, he says that Trump’s entire agenda is focused on making America white again.His work serves as a roadmap towards securing a multiracial democracy and provides a stepping stone towards ending white supremacy for good, contends Phillips. He is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist, and the author of the New York Times and Washington Post bestselling “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.”Phillips also is the founder of Democracy in Color, a political media organization dedicated to race, politics, and the multicultural progressive New American Majority. He hosts “Democracy in Color with Steve Phillips,” a color-conscious podcast on politics, and is a regular columnist for The Nation and The Guardian.The updated paperback edition of "How We Win the Civil War," published on March 12, is available at Amazon and other major booksellers.Here are some questions we addressed with Phillips:Q. In your new book, you warn that the Confederates never stopped fighting the Civil War, that conservatives are taking full advantage of this reality, and that those in denial imperil our democracy. Is this election more about defending and preserving than anything else?Q. What is the way forward? How can those who want to make America a multiracial democracy prevail over those who cling to the idea that we are a fundamentally white nation?Q. How did Trump manage to become so powerful within the Republican Party, despite his many flaws that often run counter to traditional Republican beliefs?Q. Why would ANY person of color support Trump? We have a Black U.S. Senator – Tim Scott of South Carolina – who is one of his chief sycophants and apparently hopes to be Trump’s vice presidential running-mate.Q. Trump is continuing his tirade against immigrants and even sabotaged what turned out to be a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would have helped end the crisis at the southern border. That’s part of his Make America White Again agenda, right?Q. Do you believe that most Americans want to see a multiracial democracy, or do you believe that’s a pipedream?Q. How is it that Stacy Abrams lost her bid for governor of Georgia, but Rev. Raphael Warnock won his Senate seat there?Q. In your book, you write that modern day conservatives, and many liberals, promote the idea that Black people are poor because they lack the necessary skills, training, or character to get good jobs or run businesses that can generate wealth. Your response to that?Q. Do you believe Democrats have been strong enough in refuting the Republican effort to overthrow the U.S. government? Why? What should they do?Q. What would be the consequence if Trump should defeat Biden and return to the presidency?Q. What should progressives and Democrats do to defeat Trump, hold the Senate majority and regain control of the House of Representatives? Become a supporter of this podcast:
29:22 3/17/24
Racism in the Doctor's Office
Uncover the truth about Racism in the Doctor's Office as Dr. Sanlare Gordon sheds light on systemic discrimination and its impact on healthcare for people of color.A recent national survey indicates that many Black, Hispanic and other minority individuals experience some form of discrimination or racism when they seek health care.Since 63.9% of active physicians identify as white, while only 20.6% are Asian, 6.9% Hispanic, and only 5.7% as Black or African American, could this be a reason they experience racism in the doctor’s office?Dr. Sanlare Gordon, board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, discusses this form of discrimination and racism on the Lean to the Left podcast. She is a staff physician at Pandia Health, the only women-founded and women-led birth control delivery service, and serves as a traveling OBGYN physician, filling in where there is a need -- especially in small and rural communities where doctors are in short supply.Why is it that women of color feel that they are the victims of racism in so many health care settings?"The true answer is systemic racism, and we're still dealing with systemic racism, because there was absolutely a time to where blacks and Hispanics and indigenous people just weren't even allowed into medical schools," she says."And then finally there were medical schools that would allow us to be there, but it wasn't the majority. There will be like, okay, one or two per class. We do now have historically black colleges and universities that do have medical schools."Then, she says, of the medical schools that are out there, "we don't have that many. In my class, we had 160 people. In my class of 160, it was eight black people. And I know that I can name all of them. They're all in my phone. So it's just really and truly not that many of us being actually admitted into the schools."To change that, Dr. Gordon says more emphasis needs to be placed on teaching minority students how to take standardized tests and that more people of color should be hired for administrative positions, including in the medical school admissions process.Dr. Gordon's interview is filled with humor and anecdotes about her experience as she discusses the impact of racism on people of color, particularly women, in the doctor's office or other medical facility. She talks about how Black or Hispanic women often are uncomfortable sharing their private medical concerns with white male doctors, and how often their conditions are misdiagnosed because of racial bias -- and how that can lead to worsening conditions or even death. Become a supporter of this podcast:
33:38 3/13/24
Can Social Security Be Saved?
Unless our political leaders demonstrate both wisdom and political courage, Social Security will run out of money in nine years and beneficiaries will see their checks slashed automatically by 25 percent.  And that will mean an average annual reduction of $17,000 or $18,000 per year, according to James B. Lockhart III, former Principal Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Social Security Administration during the administration of President George W. Bush.  “Either Congress can reform the program or at that point, it would take half a trillion dollars a year to make up for the difference of promised benefits,” says Lockhart on the Lean to the Left podcast. “What happens is, there's a trust fund and the trust fund was built up over the years. In the ‘83 reforms, the Greenspan reforms, they changed the retirement age and did some other things very slowly.“And that trust fund is starting to be eaten into today because effectively the government borrowed the money from Social Security. And so now the government's paying back all of those bonds and in nine years, the bonds will disappear. The trust fund will disappear and there'll be a hole of a half a trillion dollars a year and growing every year thereafter.So, how can Social Security be saved?“The only way to cover that hole is reform," says Lockhart. "Our Congress has to pass a law that says, oh yeah, we're gonna spend another half a trillion dollars a year. Where they're gonna get that half a trillion given the deficits and the debt outstanding is a very big question.”  Because it takes courage for politicians, including the president and members of Congress, to take the tough action needed to preserve Social Security for generations to come, they keep delaying action to avoid losing support from seniors and those nearing retirement age.  A combination of both benefit and tax reform will be necessary to put Social Security on solid ground, says Lockhart, who calls for creation of a special commission to examine and reform federal entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. Resulting recommendations would be put before Congress for an up-or-down vote.But even that takes guts.Currently, President Biden and Donald Trump both promise not to cut benefits or raise the retirement age, and Biden says his tax reform proposals – to increase corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy -- would not affect anyone earning less than $400,000 per year.Both are wrong in their approach, says Lockhart, explaining that less than 2 percent of Americans earn $400, 000 a year, so much more revenue would be needed.About James B. Lockhart IIIAuthor of the award-winning book, "America Underwater and Sinking”, Lockhart, who once served as an officer aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, is a senior fellow of the Bipartisan Policy Center. He served as the director of the federal housing finance agency, regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the federal home loan banks and its predecessor agency, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, as well as the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.During the George W. Bush administration, Lockhart co-chaired the Bipartisan Policy Commission on Retirement Security, which developed recommendations that he says would have put Social Security on solid footing forever. However, most of those recommendations have not been enacted because of the political risks involved.What are Lockhart’s recommendations? What steps should be taken to save Social Security and prevent that automatic 25 percent benefit cut once the Trust Fund dries up?Watch this episode to find out.Become a supporter of this podcast:
36:36 3/10/24
Con-Man Don and the Republicans
Become a supporter of this podcast: out this episode of the Dixie Dems on the Lean to the Left podcast, recorded just prior to Super Tuesday when Con-man Donald Trump delivered a knockout blow to Nikki Haley in the GOP presidential sweepstakes.Despite Haley's defeat and the fact that she's withdrawn from the race, there is talk on this episode of how she could still manage to win the GOP nod if Trump is convicted of at least one of the 91 felony charges against him. Should that happen, would worried Republicans turn to Haley instead?"Let's say that Trump goes into the convention as a convicted felon (and) enough Republicans who they're at the convention say, I can't support a convicted felon, right?", suggests Dixie Dem Arthur Hill of North Carolina."So switching my vote to Nikki Haley and Haley comes out of the convention as the as the candidate. And I think that's bad news for Democrats because I think Nikki Haley has a much better shot at beating Biden than Trump does," he says.And what about Fulton County, GA prosecutor Fani T. Willis? Will she be kicked off the Georgia case involving Con-man Don's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in her state? If so, what happens then?"Not a damn thing," says Dixie Dem Robert Thompson, of Georgia.There's much more.The conversation turns to the fact that Georgia Republican Congressman Barry Loudermilk led a tour of the Capitol basement on Jan. 5, 2020, the day before the MAGA attack on the Capitol -- something that could have aided protestors' efforts to interfere with the official vote count. Meanwhile, Loudermilk voted to impeach Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over immigration issues.Hill talks about the new North Carolina Democratic Party chair, Anderson Clayton, 26, who is determined to generate Democratic support among young and rural voters. And, says Hill, answering voters who say they can't vote for Biden, Clayton responds by saying, "We can push Joe Biden if he's not as progressive as we want him to be, but we cannot push Donald Trump. We can't push a Donald Trump who doesn't want young people to have a right to vote. We can't push a Donald Trump. Who doesn't want young people to have a right to abortion. We can push a president who cares about and believes in young people.""She's full of those kinds of quotes," says Hill. "She's a tremendous orator and and she's she's creating a lot of excitement up here. And I think it's going to bode well for the Democrats in North Carolina in November."Even pop star Taylor Swift finds herself in this episode, as Dixie Dem Bob Gatty, of South Carolina, points out that she's being accused by Republicans of being part of a covert government effort to defeat Con-man Trump.It's another entertaining episode of the Dixie Dems. Check it out.
36:37 3/6/24
David Moskowitz-Will Trump Go to Prison
Since his election defeat to President Biden in November 2020, Donald Trump has put America through virtual hell, claiming Biden stole the election, inciting the attempt by his MAGA mob to prevent certification of that election, and despite 91 criminal charges against him, attempting to win the Republican nomination and return to the White House. Those charges stem from his attempts to overturn the election, interfering with the election results in Georgia, falsifying business records in New York, including hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and mishandling classified records after leaving the presidency.He's been fined hundreds of millions of dollars so far, and his financial empire is jeopardized to the point that he’s hawking a garish line of gold sneakers for $399 a pair – that he says Black people should like because they love sneakers.But what's ahead for Donald Trump?When those court cases are all finished, will he serve even one day in prison? What if he's convicted of a felony? He would be unable to vote for himself, but could serve as President, says David H. Moskowitz, a retired Pennsylvania attorney who’s written a new book, “The Judge and the President: Stealing the 2020 Election.”In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, we get his take on all of these developments and what Moskowitz believes might lie ahead for Trump -- and our nation.Moskowitz analyzes the four major cases against Trump which involved 91 charges stemming from his attempts to overturn the election, interfering with Georgia election results, fraudulently falsifying business records in New York, and mishandling classified records after leaving the presidency.The Bottom LineMoskowitz predicts Trump will be convicted in the federal election interference and estimates that there is a less than 50 percent chance that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would be successful. However, he believes that case will not be resolved until after the November election.In the Georgia case, Moskowitz predicts that the trial will last six to nine months, and that if he is convicted, he will appeal. However, if that case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, he says Trump's chances for success are less than 15 percent.Regarding the classified documents case, Moskowitz predicts that Trump will escape conviction, and that the New York case involving hush money payments to adult porn star Stormy Daniels is likely to end up with a hung jury.He also predicts that Trump will be forced to cough up the $454 million judgements against him in the New York business case involving alleged fraudulent estimates of the value of his properties.Further, Moskowitz predicts that ultimately Trump will be allowed by the Supreme Court to remain on the 2024 presidential election ballot, despite efforts by some states to declare him ineligible.Moreover, Moskowitz suggests that Trump may end up agreeing to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail time but include an agreement that he will no longer seek public office.Moskowitz practiced law for 40-plus years, developed real estate, and was a pharmaceutical CEO. He received degrees from Penn State, Villanova Law School and Oxford University. He served as counsel to municipalities, municipal authorities, civic associations, and represented clients in numerous countries around the world.He writes based on his legal experience and front row seat to the election – his wife was a Pennsylvania elector -- and efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results.What's Ahead for Donald Trump?Here are some key questions we discussed with Moskowitz to answer that question:--What are the key points that you make in your book regarding Trump, the election, and the aftermath?What would be the consequences to our country had Trump succeeded in preventing the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the election?In your book, you describe three heroes from the Jan. 6 insurrection. Who were they and why?Can we walk through the four cases involving Trump and what you think lies ahead? First, the federal election interference case led by special counsel Jack Smith. What are the key charges and what do you believe will happen here?Let’s move to the Georgia election interference case. Give us your analysis of that and what you think the outcome might be.How about the classified documents case. Do you believe this is as serious as the others? Is Trump at risk of being sent to prison over this?What about the hush money case in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records relating to a $130,000 payoff to buy Stormy Daniels’ silence. There are 34 felony counts in this case.Trump is appealing a $454 million judgement against him, which includes being barred from serving as a leadership role in any New York business for three years. What’s the likely outcome here?And then there’s the $83.3 million Trump was ordered to pay to writer E. Jean Carroll for ruining her credibility as an advice columnist when he called her a liar after she accused him of sexual assault. Your thoughts about that one?What do you think of the efforts in some states to kick him off the ballot?What impact will these cases have on Trump’s bid to return to the White House?He says Black Americans should relate to his criminal indictments and so should support him. What do you think about that?Become a supporter of this podcast:
50:41 3/1/24
Patrick Watts-The End of the American Empire
Uncover the truth about America's status as an empire in the insightful interview with British author Patrick Watts. Is America an empire? Find out now.British author Patrick Watts has published a new book called “The End of the American Empire,” in which he warns that unless some of the issues that beset our country are resolved, the “American empire” will collapse.What lies ahead for our country unless changes are made? Is America an empire?Watts writes that “The wounds of the past cannot be healed through ignoring the fact they ever occurred, but neither through an endless cycle of guilt, apology and revenge.“In an increasingly divisive, fraught political climate full of hyperbole, accusation, and online echo chambers, the American people need to remember who they are and why they have ruled the world for almost a century."He says that with the possible return of Donald Trump to the presidency, "the lessons of this book must be learnt now.”Patrick is based in London and joins us from there. With degrees in history and international relations, he is a non-partisan observer eager to help Americans navigate what he believes is a crucial and perilous moment in our nation’s history.Patrick’s book addresses the current climate as the country gears up for the election. Arguing that the United States is best described as an empire, he lays out the historical, political, social and geopolitical reasons why the American empire might collapse sooner rather than later, with huge domestic and global consequences.Some questions we discussed with Watts:· You’re British. Why did focus on the US, and how are you qualified to do so?· Why do you use the term American Empire?· What do you believe is causing the decline of the American Empire?· Why do you believe the American Empire should be prolonged?· How can the fraught political climate in the US be improved?· Do you think the American political model is destined to fail?· Do you believe another American Civil War will occur in your lifetime?· What parallels have you observed with the end of previous Empires with the current situation in the US?· Who do you hope wins the upcoming American presidential election?· Is China the biggest threat to the U.S.?· Which charities will benefit from the sales of your book?· What is the Access Project? How can people get involved?· Where can people learn more about The End of the American Empire and how can they reach out to you?Become a supporter of this podcast:
33:24 2/25/24

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