The Mark Riley Show Progressive talk radio with a twist

July 19, 2022  

In this episode we talk about the tragic rape and pregnancy of a 10-year-old in Ohio, refused an abortion. Why did so many right-wing commentators and media refuse to believe her story? We also take an honest look at declining Democratic faith in Joe Biden, especially among the young. The young, btw, are also losing faith in both political parties. Wonder why?

October 28, 2015  

- Arrest video fallout: Spring Valley High officer Ben Fields may learn his fate today. Or maybe not. Think about this: If a parent did what he did to their child, at the very least Child Protective Services would be called in. Fields should face assault charges.

- Race and discipline in spotlight after SC officer drags student. Yeah but Fields can’t be racist, he’s got a black girlfriend!!! Disparate treatment based on race is central to this issue.

- Tyrone Howard, suspect in officers’ killing, had string of second chances. When do you decide whether a criminal deserves a second chance? When does a lock’em up mentality become mass incarceration?

- Gun used to kill NYPD cop trafficked through iron pipeline. Don’t get me started!!!

- Nationwide test shows dip in students’ math abilities. Concerns about tests aside, this can’t be ignored.

- Teenager killed in Brooklyn shooting dreamed of becoming a lawyer, his family says. So many kids get killed, and all of them have aspirations, dreams. The dreams are shattered in an instant.

- A humbler Donald Trump pleads with Iowans: I’m not leaving. Not winning is a serious bruise to Trump’s ego, and now Ben Carson beat him in a national poll. That trend continues, he’s out.

- Florida newspaper calls on Marco Rubio to resign for missing Senate votes. This follows his “federal workers who don’t do their job should be fired” thing. It also follows his inability to explain why it shouldn’t pertain to him.

- Republicans head into debate with the lower tier angry and Carson on the rise. I’m cynical about all this, But how did Christie make the cut, and Kasich didn’t. Oh, the unfairness.

- The pay gap will ensure that CEOs enjoy luxurious retirement while workers keep struggling. That’s right, it’s not just a working life anymore.

October 21, 2015  

- New York officer killed after gunfight in East Harlem led to police chase. In addition to condolences to officer Holder, who was doing his job keeping this city safe, we need to know the origins of all the guns used in this incident. The Wisconsin case may have long arms.

- Police leaders join call to cut prison rosters. This is interesting, and includes NYPD Commissioner Bratton and Manhattan DA Cy Vance. More on this later….

- Assad makes unannounced trip to Moscow to discuss Syria with Putin. These two are united against US position that the terror war can be won without Assad. Problem is, anyone who opposes Assad is a terrorist, according to, guess, who?

- Republican voters, in focus group, express rage at career politicians. This is interesting only in that they somehow don’t think the people they support won’t end up being career politicians.

- Potential Speaker Paul Ryan just issued a list of demands to Republicans. The right wing isn’t happy. First question: Is the right wing happy about ANYTHING? Second question. This Freedom Caucus, the spear carrier for the right wing, numbers about 40. So does the Congressional Black Caucus. Has the CBC ever flexed its muscles the way the Freedom Caucus has?

- A big lesson American should learn from Canada’s new Prime Minister. The article says ranked voting is the lesson. Maybe the lesson is that properly focused, organized politics can really win.

- Pay up or go to jail: How a Mississippi town resurrected the debtors prison. While police and Das mentioned in earlier piece are looking at ways to decrease incarceration, maybe they need to get the State of Mississippi to start following the law.

- From Benghazi to Capitol Hill: Three years of accusations and investigations. Hillary’s getting ready to testify, and congressional committee Republicans are trying to figure out what and how they can something on her. Wanna bet they fail?

- House Democrats plot 2016 takeover. Great idea, and here’s hoping there’s some out of the box thinking from all involved.

October 14, 2015  

- A night goes Clinton’s way, after months of difficulties. The media consensus is that she won the evening. Where have I heard this before?

- Who won and lost the Democratic debate? The Web has its say. Of course, who else but self appointed experts?

- Two officers shot: Wisconsin store liable for gun sale. This one could set a serious precedent. Imagine if gun stores all over the country had to deal with this.

- Prosecutor release report calling police shooting of 12 year old “objectively reasonable”. Say what? What the deuce does this mean?

- Just 158 families provided nearly half the early money for efforts to capture the White House. So what do you think these good people want for their money. Is it what you and I want? Or something different.

- Tax plans of GOP favor the rich despite populist talk. How do they manage to convince regular people that helping the rich helps them?

- Obama is rethinking pullout in Afghanistan, officials say. The reason given is to continue to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

- The Supreme Court hears a case today that could give corporations even more immunity from the law. What, they don’t have enough already?

- Schneiderman probes drugmaker over $750 a pop pill. You may have heard of this clown, the guy who jacked up the price of a pill from $13.50 to $750. He may live to regret his greed.

October 8, 2015  

- US to release 6000 inmates from prisons. They’re trying to relieve overcrowding and rollback harsh sentences on non violent drug offenders. Both laudable goals, no matter what naysayers think.

- 2016 presidential contender Ben Carson defends remarks criticizing victims of Oregon shooting. Carson isn’t the first to run this, “victims should have done more” scenario. It should do serious damage to his presidential run.

- Australians are disgusted at the American response to the Oregon gun massacre. And they’re not talking about Ben Carson!

- Scandal erupts in the unregulated world of fantasy sports. I can’t figure out why this isn’t considered gambling I hear people talk about skill, but the fact is, you have to have skill to win at any game, poker, gin rummy, etc. And what are NFL owners doing with a stake in one of these fantasy sports sites now accused of insider trading? Oh yeah, and the NY Attorney General has launched an investigation.

- General thinks Kunduz strike broke rules. Yeah, somebody did when you hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital and kill 22 people.

- Americans make racist assumptions based on names, study finds. This is nothing new, but what does it take to change this? It’s like a lot of other American attitudes that are impervious to change.

- Rally invites fellow patriots, veterans, bikers, rednecks and good ‘ol boys to anti-Islam protest. Ever wonder why all these people don’t protest old fashioned American racism?

- Koch Bros. eyeing Marco Rubio for nearly $1 billion campaign contribution. This isn’t final yet, but it could be the one thing that puts Rubio’s campaign ahead of all others. He’s been trending up lately.

- Escalating Syria attack, Russia fires missiles from warships. And these warships aren’t next door. Some missiles travel 800-900 miles. Russia’s upping the ante, and we can’t say with certainty their not fighting ISIS.

- Mayor de Blasio shoots back at Gov. Cuomo on MTA funding, says city residents pay enough to keep subways running. First, the mayor and the governor need to cut the crap and play like grown ups. Second, the city should up its contribution.

October 1, 2015  

- Trump’s tax plan would raise deficit $12 trillion: analysis, It seems everyone who tries to revise the tax system would add stupid money to the deficit. But that’s Okay, Donald will simply call the people who came up with this number “losers”, and “weak”.

- Visas to import talent help copycats to take US jobs abroad. What, you mean somebody’s gaming the system? Here’s where immigration reform ought to happen, and right away.

- Missouri finds Planned Parenthood didn’t mishandle fetal tissue. Think that will stop the political gasbags that are trying to defund Planned Parenthood? They do this because they think they can get away with it.

- Police killing in Delaware brings calls for inquiry. This guy was in a wheelchair! And of course, he was black. 

- Georgia executes woman on Death Row despite clemency bid and Pope’s plea. Yes Francis did call for the abolition of the death penalty, but in the US, the executions will keep on coming.

- Slavery reparations call overshadows Cameron’s visit to Jamaica. Not quite sure how this happened, but reparations has become a front burner issue outside the US. And it seems, Cameron’s “nothing to see here” attitude isn’t going over well at all.

- Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria. Putin ain’t playin. He says he’s going after Islamic State, but he also says he’s helping Assad, thereby putting Obama in a box.

- House GOP hardliners agitate to have one of their own in a leadership role. These folks at least know what they want. Did progressives in Congress get one of their own in a leadership role? Must have missed that one. 

- Top Republican admits Benghazi committee is all about attacking Hillary Clinton. If that’s the case, Obama should call for its immediate abolition. Wanna take odds he won’t? 

- House Republicans are quietly advancing their next tactic to dismantle Obamacare. And the time, unlike the other 50 times, they’re serious! 

September 24, 2015  

- Rare pageantry as president greets Pope at White House. He spoke of immigrants and climate change, and conservatives are going crazy! My kind of Pope!

- Volkswagen test rigging follows a long auto industry pattern. How widespread is the cheating that VW is now being forced to admit? Boss is out, how many other heads will roll?

- Republican lawmaker says inmates key to defeating Corrine Brown. This story from Florida is fascinating because it shows how racism and gerrymandering can come together. BTW, why can’t inmates in the Sunshine State vote, if they’ve paid their debt to society and are keeping their noses clean?

- Starbucks falls short after pledging better labor practices. Think about this the next time you order a grande latte, or whatever you drink from this coffee emporium.

- Judge strikes down New York City’s ban on foam food containers. Judge says foam can be recycled. Really?

- What the summer of Desnudas taught us about tabloids, de Blasio, and who really runs New York. Village Voice piece lays out what a lot of New Yorkers of color have suspected for a long time. Our priorities are not those of tabs, or the wealthy folks they think read their papers.

- Bratton calls for political ownership of J’ouvert festival. Political ownership? What politicians? This could be the end for J’ouvert.

- Kin of cop shooting victims rage: De Blasio has time for James Blake, but not us. Do they have a point? Sounds a lot like some who criticized Obama for inviting Ahmed Mohamed to the White House.

- Carson blames pc culture for backlash over his anti-Muslim remarks. Who is Ben Carson to say certain religions can’t serve as president? It’s blatantly un-American.

- Michigan city to pay $40,000 in settlement after woman was ticketed for having HIV. How do cops like this get on police forces in the first place? Same is true of Seattle cop who falsely arrested black vet for having golf club, which he used as a crutch.

September 16, 2015  

- James Blake, retired tennis pro, says police pushed him down; inquiry opened. This story just won’t go away. Interesting that Blake made no reference to possible racism being involved. There’s a lot more going on, however.

- Misidentified and tackled by the NY police, but no tennis star treatment. Multiply this story by many, and you have the dimensions of the fissure in police-community relations. This kid wasn’t James Blake. But hold on……..

- How Instagram tricked NYPD into James Blake arrest. Tricked? The NYPD? Never!!! Turns out the guy they were originally looking for is a respected businessman and sunglass designer. How’d that happen?

- ……And finally, Paddy Lynch weighs in with a “cops deserve the benefit of the doubt rant”. Somebody needs to tell him he won re-election already!

- Florida GOP leaders: Candidates who skip Florida should not be on ballot. Seems Florida’s worried about diminishing influence in primary sweepstakes. But would a ballot with only JEB Bush and Marco Rubio be taken seriously. They’re the only ones who’ve agreed to show up for the party’s candidates summit.

- Senate Democrats again block vote to reject Iran deal. What, again? Don’t McConnell and his people have anything better to do, like funding the government?

- Speaking of which…With possible shutdown nearing, Obama looks to take budget fight to GOP. Good idea, but it only works if the other side is sane!

- Census survey: Nearly 9 million Americans gained health insurance in 2014. And Republicans want to kill Obamacare? Good luck with that!

- Muslim teen arrested after teacher mistakes clock for bomb. And they locked him up and suspended him from school for what?

- Cuomo and Christie say states can pay half of Hudson rail tunnel project. So who picks up the other half? The feds, same people Christie’s running for president against. Oh, he’s still running for president?

- Vinyl LP frenzy brings record pressing machines back to life. Young people are buying more than half the vinyl records produced in the country. One man has stuck to his vinyl guns longer than anyone I know.

September 9, 2015  

- Kim Davis is freed from jail in Kentucky gay marriage dispute. Whether this woman stayed in jail wasn’t the issue. Now that she’s out, she needs to stay out of the business of issuing marriages unless she’s prepared to follow the law.

- Oregon judge who refused to perform same sex marriages hung portrait of Hitler in courthouse and bullied veterans: documents. How do people like this get jobs, for God’s sake? Any of these three allegations, if true, should disqualify him.

- As New Mexico scandals grow, Democrats hope to tarnish governor. My experience says that the benefits of scandal to the opposition is limited, and means if the show ever winds up on the other foot, there will be no quarter given.

- Mayor de Blasio says homeless problem is decades old. Well, DUH! Maybe this was reaction to criticism from Giuliani, but why react?

- Baltimore approves $6.4 million dollar settlement with Freddie Gray’s family. It leads me to ask, what exactly is a human life worth?

- Hillary Clinton on e-mails: I’m sorry. What exactly is it that she’s alleged to have done wrong here? Co-mingling personal and State Dept. communications? Sorry, it’s not the worst thing in the world. And yet, people say it won’t go away.

- European official calls for continent to take in 160,000 migrants. What a mess this has turned out to be. Could it be karma?

- Cuomo pledges advice and assistance to Puerto Rico. Nice, but what is substantive?

- Grifters, nutcases, and GOP leaders hold pro war rally. What else would expect from the likes of these people. This is their flavor of the week.

September 3, 2015  

- Upstate groups rally for secession. Yeah, upstate NY and Alabama Good luck with that, both of you. If they were to get their wish, they’d both go under financially in less than 18 months.

- Cop pays for hotel for homeless mom and daughter. So often, we badmouth all police as if there’s no difference among them. This story shows it’s not true.

- From local Kentucky fixture to lightning rod. This woman, Kim Davis, should either be summarily fired or impeached for failing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, as required by law. And this from a woman who has been married four times, twice to the same man. Oh yeah, that all happened before she found God.

- Obama gets votes needed on Iran nuclear deal. Sen. Barbara Mikluski was the 34th vote. Now the Republicans and warhawks can go on to another issue. Wanna bet they won’t?

- After playing down a homeless crisis, de Blasio changes course. He needed to, after the person tasked with fixing the problem quit. 

- Sony altered “Concussion” film to prevent NFL protests, e-mails show. And Sony doesn’t even do direct business with the league. Guess is, they’re backing away from showing any league responsibility in crippling injuries.

- Power failure snarls Long Island Railroad service. Even the NY Times is starting to realize this, and NJ Transit’s similar problems are a function of infrastructure neglect. Question is, who is to be held accountable?

- Hearing starts in Freddie Gray’s police death case. This one may not be as simple as some black activists want it to be or think it will be.

- Man accused of gunning down Texas deputy at gas station had history of mental illness. Story here is that Texas authorities at first blamed Black Lives Matter. They had to back away from that one. Notice, however, the use of race in this case, where there was no mention of whatever demons drove the white guy in Louisiana to kill a state trooper who had stopped to help him.

- Judge in California delivers Uber’s worst nightmare. This has to do with whether drivers are employees or contractors, and it may have national implications. Cute commercials may not get them out of this.

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