The Mark Riley Show Progressive talk radio with a twist

June 11, 2015  

Top Stories

Ex-South Carolina officer is indicted in shooting death of black man. This is the Walter Scott murder, and you have to wonder how a southern justice system manages to charge a cop when so many northern ones can’t seem to do so.

Plenty of cop stories today…..

McKinney, Texas police officer resigns after incident caught on video. Okay, so the brutal cop is out, and that’s a good thing, but will there be criminal charges? Should there be?

NYPD detective shoots alleged gunman in Eastr Harlem. This sounds righteous, but in today’s climate there may well be questions. Transparency is the key.

Cleveland rabble rousers charge cop for murdering Tamir Rice, since no one else will. Our friends at the Wonkette may lay on the snark, but this is a very interesting an d potentially innovative way to seek justice.

Driver sues city after video shows cops admitting they don’t know why they pulled him over. Methinks this happens more often than some might believe. And the obstructed windshield thing?

NYPD Commissioner Bratton says it’s hard to hire black cops because too many have criminal histories. SAY WHAT??? This gives his enemies not just fuel, but a full gas tanks. How stupid is Mr. Broken Windows?

Manhunt for escaped inmates expands to small upstate NY town, as its revealed prison supervisor Joyce Mitchell was supposed to be getaway driver: report. The world of prisons and jails is a separate one from the one we live in, and we really don’t want to know anything about it. That is, until something like this happens.

US embracing a new approach on battling ISIS in Iraq, There’s something new that needs to be done. Question is, is it the right thing?

Amtrak engineer not on phone at time of derailment, investigators say. What, it wasn’t human error? Guess that means they’re going to have to dig deeper. 

Jeb Bush, citing Magnitude of Journey, details staff reshuffle. What, and he hasn’t even announced yet? Is it that the field has gotten so crowded? 

De Blasio gets tough on sodium. Again? Really? It didn’t work before, it won’t work now.

May 21, 2015  

Top Stories

Los Angeles raises minimum wage to $15. Proof yet again that New York City is way behind the times. NYC should have had this done some time ago.

Police investigating Waco biker melee remain on guard. Notice they call it a melee, not a riot, which has a very different connotation. Nine are dead, and it’s not conveyed as any kind of systemic problem, like Baltimore was.

Why don’t blacks have normal names like Asian students, Duke professor asks. How in the world do people like this end up teaching students of any age? Yeah, the guy is 80, but c’mon!!!

Low US rail spending leads to poor safety, experts say. This is exactly what we were talking about last week. Other countries have built out their rail systems, but America? Not even a little.

Lead Story…..

Narcotics cops ordered to stop arresting suspects over 40. What?

Guest: Professor Eugene O’Donnell, Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

More Stories

US says it disrupted major heroin importing operation in the Bronx. Word is, there was enough heroin to get every single New Yorker high. There’s an interesting trend going on in discussing heroin abuse and addiction. Back in the day, addicts were called junkies, and abuse was framed as a pathology. Now that it’s in the suburbs, it’s called a sickness, and nobody calls the kids strung out junkies. Interesting.

House approves short term financing for highways. Why does everything have to be short term? Doesn’t anyone ever learn?

The MTA hopes these tweaks will make trains less crowded. I don’t know, I’m not sure that anything less than running more trains will make a serious difference. 

White House hit with racist slur N---- House on Google Maps. Here we go again. Will the Obama hating ever end? In 100 years?

Too big to fail banks sorry for trying to steal all the money in the world. Wanna guess which six banks were talking about here? So they paid $5.8 billion, so what?


May 18, 2015  

Top Stories….


Warren vs. Obama on free trade. Score one for the Senator from Massachusetts! Senate passes on fast tracking TPA, Obama calls Warren a politician, without recognizing his role in making her one. Yet this has implications beyond just a one on one spat. One is we haven’t heard the last of it.


At least 6 killed after train derails in Philadelphia. This is a true tragedy which, among other things, will disrupt Northeast Corridor service for days to come, and lead at least one member of congress to suggest de-funding Amtrak. First thought…..could this be an infrastructure problem? And oh yeah, a House panel voted to cut $260 million dollars from Amtrak’s budget.


For Verizon and AOL, Mobile is a Magic Word. Sure, people are getting more and more of their news and entertainment from their phones, so from a corporate standpoint, the buy makes sense. The operative word is corporate. The real question is whether this will benefit consumers in any way at all. The answer, sadly, is no when it comes to how much consumers have to pay.


Bill de Blasio leaves New York City to push his progressive agenda as crime at home appears to get worse. He doesn’t really need to go to DC to do this, but other mayors have traveled to push one agenda or another without a media outlet jumping all over them. That said, being out of town while crime seems to be spiking is bad optics, at best.


Chris Christie’s Expense account: Drinks were on him. It does our friend across the water no good on any level to have it revealed he’s spent $360,000 on entertainment over the past five years, even if it’s legal.


Lead Story


Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader, vacates post. What, after all your GOP colleagues united in a show of support?


Guest: Ken Lovett, Albany Bureau Chief, NY Daily News


No money, no vote: Ohio Republicans’ diabolical plan for a poll tax. That’s right, it’s back to the ‘30s in the Buckeye State. No matter poll taxes are unconstitutional.


Facebook expands employee benefits to janitors, cooks, and staff. Good news, obviously, but the question is, why aren’t more companies do this without being pressured (like Wal Mart).


 Ferry service to Havana could take time, Cuban official cautions. Saw something on CNBC the other day where a ferry service operator said he planned on starting next year. Maybe not so much or so early.


House is expected to pass a revised abortion bill. This relaxes, ever so slightly, some of the regulations in a previous, ultra-draconian bill. This one is expected to pass. Still sucks.


To the Ridiculous….


Obamacare-hating idiot super pissed Obama won’t pay his doctor bills now that he needs it. Didn’t we just talk about a similar case a few weeks ago? We’ll hear more and more as time goes on….

April 30, 2015  

Crowds scatter as Baltimore curfew takes hold. It’s time to take a look at what actually works in trying to curb police violence against unarmed citizens. Violence in the streets isn’t new, yet it hasn’t worked. Peaceful protest has been around for decades, While it worked during the civil rights era, it doesn’t seem to be working any better than violence now.

So what works?

Guest:  Les Payne, Pulitzer prize winning former Newsday editor 

Top Stories

Loretta Lynch is sworn in as Attorney General. She’s got a big issue on her plate. That being federal probes of police killings. How will she handle it? Baltimore may be first on her plate. 

Bernie Sanders to announce presidential bid. Now here’s somebody progressive ought to be able to get behind. Does he pose a threat to Hillary’s left flank? He sure does. Can he win? Only if the people asking the question come out and vote for him.

Justices appear deeply divided over right to gay marriage. Call me an optimist, but I think the court will rule in favor of gay marriage. Too much water has gone under the bridge. It will likely be 5-4. 

Questioning of Garner protestors in New York renews concerns about police practices. Those concerns ought to have been ongoing. The NYPD is violating the law, pure and simple.

A squatter's last stand at a condemned Bronx barn. Garland Roberts, the “squatter”, has been an activist for as long as I can remember. He seems to have a valid beef.

Cash strapped MTA threatens 15% fare hike. What, again? Why are they so cash strapped?

Nigerian army rescues 200 abducted girls, 93 women. About time the army did something! Nevertheless, this is good news, and hopefully it continues.

To the Ridiculous 

Heroic Texas Ag Commissioner will save children from spending a few hours without fried foods. Local control folks, local control. If a school wants to give kids fried foods to children, that’s up to them.

April 23, 2015  
It’s Earth Day!!! How about shrinking your environmental footprint just a little, OK??? 
Top Stories…..
Federal inquiry in Baltimore man’s death after arrest. Six officers have been suspended in the death of Freddie Gray. His spinal cord was severed, and people in Baltimore have taken to the streets as they have in Ferguson, Staten Island, and several other places where apparent police violence have cost black men their lives. Baltimore’s elected moved fairly quickly to release information, and seem top be taking a “let the chips fall where they may” attitude. Now the feds are involved. Let’s see if charges result.
NJ trooper fatally shot suspect in Union as he drove toward officer, authorities say. Operative words: authorities say. There is at times a reflexive validation of police conduct in these types of cases. However, it seems that public outrage over police killings may be reaching critical mass. Or is this just me?
At Supreme Court, Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. routinely officer’s use of force. This may come as a surprise to some, given Holder’s public statements about policing, but numbers don’t lie. And BTW, don’t expect much different from Loretta Lynch.
….And lest anyone say we focus on police shootings to the exclusion of “black on black” crime…..
Paterson slaying suspect was once a promising athlete, too. Two standout athletes, one dead, one accused. One was 15, the victim, and the accused is 20. What a waste!
Supreme Court limits drug sniffing dog use in traffic stops. That’s limits, not eliminates. This one is about how long a person can be detained until a dog is produced. Still, a victory for civil liberties.
Lead Story…..
Senate deal on sex trafficking clears way for Lynch vote. How did the Senate get to this place, where culture issues stalled a vote on a nominee for Attorney general?
Guest: Chris Frates, reporter, CNN
Police union boss says flooding NYPD cadets with obvious info makes their job harder. This is the head of the Captain’s Endowment Assn., not the PBA. The obvious info? Don’t be a racist, don’t make sexist jokes, you know, stuff like that. The real question is whether or not it’s needed and the answer to that appears to be yes. 
City eyes cabbies’  hours in bid to solve rush hour crunch. This has been a problem forever, so it’s nice to see them taking a look.  And they even included cabbies in their deliberations.
Police report capture of coyote following Norwood attack. That’s Norwood, NJ, folks. And they’ve got similar coyote problems in Manhattan as well. What’s going on here?
To the Ridiculous
No one liked my White History Month celebration, please send bigot bucks now. This story, courtesy of the Wonkette, reaffirms my faith in the good people of the Garden State. It just goes to show, grime doesn’t pay. 
April 16, 2015  

Top Stories

Hillary Clinton starts to detail rationale for run as campaign begins. Of course, while she may be working on explaining why she’s running, her aides are plotting revenge against NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who pointedly refused to endorse her on Meet the Press this past weekend. Is there someone else I’ve missed, or is she the lone declared Democratic candidate?

Ex-Blackwater guards given long terms for killing Iraqis. And at their sentencing, they seemed unrepentant, saying sorry, but the loss of innocent Iraqi lives couldn’t be helped. Next question is, will the US ever do business with companies like this again? Or are we? 

Black Lives Matter protest takes the Brooklyn Bridge. At least a dozen people were arrested. Traffic was stopped at several intersections for “die-ins” protesting police brutality. It was the first major protest since two NYPD officers were murdered. Is the fact that non black people are participating in protests mean anything significant? 

East New York residents demand NYPD reforms. In that part of Brooklyn, it’s simple. Police Park Place like you do Park Ave. Is that possible? If not, why not? 

Lead Story: After years of declining real wages in New York since the Great Recession, things may finally start to be looking up. Also, can the city find healthcare savings to pay for union wage hikes? 

Guest: James Parrott, Deputy Director, Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute 

Top Stories cont’d

Ron Kuby to cops: Give the artists back their Snowden bust, please.

Guest: Ron Kuby, activist attorney, radio host 

$15 minimum wage would benefit everyone, except corporate overlords. The trick here is this. Why do so many people think the city would fall apart with a $15 minimum wage? And why do people think companies will simply cease to operate? 

9 ex-educators get jail time in Atlanta cheating scandal. Who exactly did these people think they were helping, kids? Their parents should sue the system for malpractice. After all, their kids were the ones being undereducated.

Obama allows Congress a say on Iran accord. How much of a say? He didn’t say. Desire to have congressional input was bi-partisan. Hope they don’t render it moot. 

Cuba to be removed from US list of nations that sponsor terrorism. About time. Cuba never, ever posed a terror threat to the US. Better to look at ex-senator Bob Graham’s efforts to track Saudi complicity in 9/11 attacks. 

To the Ridiculous

Iowa lotto employee rigged $14.3 million dollar win for himself on ticket. And this guy was the security director. Anyone wanna buy a lotto ticket?

April 9, 2015  

Top Stories 

South Carolina officer charged with murder in man’s death. This one’s on video for all to see. And in this case, the judicial system acted swiftly in arresting and charging the cop. So many questions….why shoot the man 8 times in the back? Why did system in North Charleston work so differently than on Staten Island and in Ferguson? 

Israel lists changes it wants in final Iran nuclear deal. So, after all this time claiming no deal was better than this one, they want right of first refusal on changes? Wonder how Euro countries will react to this. 

Boston Marathon bombing trial wraps up with clashing portraits of naiveté and extremism. Assuming the kid is convicted, the real question is whether he should get the death penalty or not. Should he??? 

Emanuel wins 2nd term as Chicago mayor in runoff. It wasn’t close, 56-44, but it does give progressive residents of the Windy City something to build on, maybe. In Ferguson, two blacks were elected to the City Council, bringing the number to three. Interestingly, candidates backed by protestors lost. What does this tell us? 

Barneys says they did not violate civil rights of shopper who claims he was victim of racial profiling. They say just because they called the cops on the guy who bought a $300 belt doesn’t mean they did anything wrong? Something to keep in mind the next time you go shopping.

Lead Story….

WFP founder slams de Blasio, City Hall for lack of contracts for minority businesses.

Guest: (6:30) Bertha Lewis, Founder and President, the Black Institute, Founder, Working Families Party.

Fraternity to go after Rolling Stone for rape article. Just goes to show….be careful how you report a story. At the very least, it’s going to cost Roll Stone attorney fees.

Anemic report on California water conservation adds to crisis. We told you about this California drought last summer. Seems things aren’t getting any better.

Illicit Edward Snowden statue replaced by illicit Edward Snowden hologram. I always thought there should be a statue of Snowden somewhere. As much as he was vilified by some, he opened a window on government spying that can’t be closed.

Rand Paul taking an untested route to the Republican nomination. He’s going populist, and seeking to appeal to minority and young voters. Can he pull it off? Probably not.

To the Ridiculous

TSA pocketed $60K in forgotten change at LGA and JFK last year. How hard did they try to get the money back to those who forgot it? If $60k was reported, how much wasn’t?


April 2, 2015  


Prof. Arthur Leonard, Professor of Law, NY Law School
Andrew Rosario, sports reporter, Arise TV

Top Stories


Daily News said to get bids from Cablevision and billionaire grocer. What, Zuckerman wants out? What would Dolan do with NYDN. Isn’t Newsday enough?


Furious Bratton sounds off at City Hall for cop funding. Perhaps people would be more inclined to support more cops if the bad apples act so entitled. See next story.


Civilian Complaint Review Board takes leading role in investigation into NYPD detective’s xenophobic rant at Uber driver. He should be fired for being dumb enough to think there’s way it would be taped, which is was.


Report: NYPD watchdogs only probed 7 our of 150 complaints. And you want more cops? Not done yet…..


NYPD accused of giving points to Staten Island cops for making arrests to hit quota. Take all these stories together. Am I missing something, or does something need to be done?


Lead Story…..


Religious bills upset capitols in Arkansas and Indiana. Both states are now scrambling to explain and amend laws they allowed to become law. Is this because of public outrage, or because business communities in both states got upset. It’s an important distinction.


It’s a done deal. State pols adopt New York’s $150 billion dollar budget after Assembly drags past deadline. Devil is in the details, folks. Who is happy, who isn‘t? One thing’s for sure. There’s talk of cracking down on corruption. Not gonna happen!


Republican hopefuls pocketed hundreds of millions in Obamacare funding, while working to repeal it. Just another hypocritical contradiction for GOP to explain away.


Phil Jackson’s plan for Knicks is hard sell. What’s surprising is that Jackson would feed the NY media a taped laughline for a sports cycle and a half. And that’s just about the music!  


To the Ridiculous…


Nevada’s Bunny Ranch brothel seeking paid “quality “ control testors. Where do I sign up?

March 26, 2015  

RIP Danny Schechter, the News Dissector….dead at 72. A brilliant journalist who I was privileged to know.

Top Stories……

Why Congress is having trouble governing. Squabbling, why else? Whether it’s bi partisan or intra partisan, those DC lawmakers can’t seem to get their game correct. It’s got more drama than a reality TV show. Fund the military, or maybe not so much? Take another run at Obamacare, or not? And that’s just the feuding among Republicans.

Democrats aren’t exempt….Pelosi and Boehner cut a rare deal on Medicare and children’s healthcare, but Democrats don’t like possible restrictions on abortion. The impediment is none other than Sen. Harry Reid.

George Zimmerman blasts Obama for racial tension after shooting. What, and the shooting itself had nothing to do with it? George Zimmerman is now officially part of the Rudy Giuliani School of Irrelevance. He says the Justice Dept. was ordered by the president to pursue a baseless prosecution. Really?

Atlanta police shooting victim tried to live a life that mattered. This is, above all else, a picture of mental health failure as well as law enforcement failure.

As oil prices fall, airfares still stay high. Anyone who’s tried to book a reasonably priced trip involving air travel knows this already. Why haven’t they dropped airfares just a little to correspond to the drop in oil prices? Because they don’t have to, that’s why. 

Lead Story….. 

Despite woeful service, MTA fare hikes take effect to cover raises. For the first time since the 1940s, people have to wait for trains because the ones in front of their faces are full. And the MTA says this woeful service shows what a great job they’re doing! As Cindy Adams says, Only in New York, kids! The idea that straphangers have to pay more for service that doesn’t improve is a sucker’s bet. When will New Yorkers stop being suckers? Here’s an idea….stop paying for all city vehicles used by elected officials so they have to use public transit like everyone else. Same for NYC members of the State Senate and Assembly.

Ted Cruz becomes first major candidate to announce presidential bid. Ted Cruz, major? No matter, I’m one who prays he wins, even though I know he won’t. Oh yeah, and where’s the birth certificate, Ted? More on him to come.

Texas burglars swipe 15 assault rifles, 30 other guns from collectors. I have friends who are gun collectors, but think about this. Suppose some of the weapons stolen from this Texas guy are used in crimes? After all, they didn’t steal to collect ‘em.

Manhattan area codes multiply, but the original 212 is still coveted. Why oh why do people attach status to an area code? And where can I get my 212?

To the Ridiculous…..

Ted Cruz, who wants to abolish Obamacare, plans to register for Obamacare. He’s making it sound like he has to, but does he?

March 19, 2015  

Top Stories…..


Commutes in New York are the longest among major cities, report finds. What, longer than LA??? Is there any way to fix this? And BTW, how much pollution is spewed into the atmosphere by vehicles stuck in traffic? Just asking.


Air Force veteran from New Jersey tried to aid ISIS, US charges. What would cause a military man to help ISIS, apparently with his plane expertise? What should happen to him, if convicted?


Starbucks race together campaign draws widespread mockery on Twitter inspiring #newstarbucksdrinks hashtag. So who’s exactly afraid of what people say on Twitter? The execution was awkward, but the intent was cool. Just another example of people being scared to discuss race.


Diet sodas could be linked to bulging bellies in older adults. What, you mean I should down regular soda instead? Yep, guess so.


Michelle Obama’s mom was worried Barack’s mixed race background could present problems for her daughter. What, like she could become First Lady of the United States??? Seriously, people harbor these fears all the time. Anybody want to argue that a white mother might have fears about their daughter marrying a black man?


Lead Story….


House Republicans propose budget with deep cuts. So what else is new? Get rid of ACA, privatize Medicare, food stamps, the usual “suspects”. And how do they plan on balancing the budget in 10 years? By using the same trickery they accuse Democrats of using.


Swastikas painted inside Jewish fraternity house at Vanderbilt University during party: Cops. It’s not good enough for blacks to be outraged at racism at the University of Oklahoma, and for Jews to be outraged at Anti Semitism at Vanderbilt. We should all be outrage at all shows of intolerance and bigotry, no matter where and to whom they happen.


Holey Crap! Streets are full of massive craters due to lack of highway workers. Have you noticed this is a problem in many areas of American life? How about those waits to talk to a live body for almost anything.


The girls behind the bloody McDonald’s beatdown. I don’t know who to be angrier at…the attackers, or those who stood around and watched. And the ringleader’s got quite a history too. What should happen to her if she’s convicted?


To the Ridiculous….


Professor is your new Thoreau, by being a dick on an airplane. Shouting about the US invading Venezuela? Really? Smoking on the plane. Really? I guess so.


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