Winamp Logo
Lever Time Cover
Lever Time Profile

Lever Time

English, News, 1 season, 113 episodes, 3 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes
About
From LeverNews.com — Lever Time is the flagship podcast from the investigative news outlet The Lever. It’s a political commentary show done in the classic style of morning radio — but, like, better. And smarter. And hopefully funnier. Hosted by award-winning journalist, Oscar-nominated writer, and Bernie Sanders' 2020 speechwriter David Sirota, Lever Time features exclusive reporting from The Lever’s newsroom, high-profile guest interviews, expert analysis from the sharpest minds in media, and biting political comedy. Stop — Lever Time.
Episode Artwork

What Will It Take For Israel To End Its War?

Today on Lever Time, David Sirota sits down with Jerusalem-based journalist Nathan Thrall to discuss what life has been like in both Gaza and the West Bank since the Oct. 7 attack in Israel. The pair also explores what is motivating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue the war, and why Netanyahu’s iron-fisted approach to the Palestinian territories may be the norm, not an outlier, in Israeli politics. 
5/17/202432 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Does America Provide So Much Support To Israel?

For months, Joe Biden has struck a defiant tone in his support of Israel despite the concerns of allies and nationwide protests. Biden has been a fervent supporter of Israel throughout his political career, but his current moves appear to be driven by three close advisors who have consolidated control over the administration’s Israel policy. Today on Lever Time, David Sirota and Arjun Singh look at the people shaping Biden’s Israel decisions and get an on-the-ground report on how the war has played out in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. The Lever is subscriber supported. To become a subscriber, and get access to exclusive bonus content, head here: https://www.levernews.com/
5/10/202431 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

What A Fracking CEO’s Text Messages Tell Us About Inflation

Since 2021, economists and pundits have tried to blame inflation on workers and rising wages. But a new bombshell exposé spotlights a different cause: oil companies engaging in an alleged price-fixing scheme with Saudi Arabia and other countries that may have fueled roughly one-third of all U.S. inflation in 2021. A recent Federal Trade Commission case uncovered text messages and documents suggesting the founder of a big oil company colluded with the Saudi government and other oil-producing countries to keep energy prices high. Another lawsuit alleges multiple American oil companies were engaged in a price-fixing scheme. Today on Lever Time, Matt Stoller of the American Economic Liberties Project discusses his groundbreaking reporting on the matter — and explains how this alleged collusion could have played a major role in the country’s inflation crisis. 
5/9/202427 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Big Brother Is Watching The Protesters, Sponsored By Corporate America

As colleges and police departments crack down on campus protests, law enforcement are using tools borrowed from corporate America’s ballooning surveillance regime to spy on students — and anyone else they deem a threat. When New York City police raided Columbia University on Tuesday to remove student protesters from a building they’d occupied, Mayor Eric Adams justified the move by claiming “outside agitators” had infiltrated the group. If the claim was even true, how did authorities get that information? What sort of technologies are authorities using to monitor the protesters — and where did these spy tools come from?This week on Lever Time, David Sirota and producer Arjun Singh look at college protests in the age of total surveillance. They talk with Alistair Kitchen, a student journalist who’s been reporting from Columbia’s campus, and explore how corporate America has taught the intelligence community new ways to use consumer data to spy on people everywhereIf you’d like to follow Alistair Kitchen’s reporting, subscribe to his newsletter here: https://substack.com/@alistair Our work is subscriber supported. If you want to support us, and hear exclusive podcast content, head to levernews.com
5/3/202426 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Congress Wants To Make Sure Flying Still Sucks

After years of pressure, the Department of Transportation announced it would require airlines to automatically refund flyers the cost of canceled or significantly delayed flights. Days later, a bipartisan group of senators — who also happen to be some of the largest recipients of campaign cash from the airline industry — unveiled new legislation that could undermine that rule. In this episode of Lever Time, Lever reporter Katya Schwenk unpacks how a small line in a massive bill could quietly kill a consumer protection rule that was years in the making. Our work is subscriber supported. If you want to become a subscriber, and get access to exclusive podcast content and articles, sign up here at levernews.com 
5/1/202423 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amazon is Eating the Economy

Thirty years ago, Amazon was a quirky internet bookseller. But even back then, founder Jeff Bezos wanted to build an empire. Today, Amazon has inserted itself into almost every facet of daily life, and it’s done so by ruthlessly muscling out competition — likely using illegal market tactics.For years, regulators watched Amazon’s growth and failed to investigate claims that the company violated federal law by engaging in predatory pricing. That changed last year when Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan announced she and 17 state attorneys general were suing Amazon and charging it with being an illegal monopoly. The thing is, Amazon probably could have been sued a long time ago. On this week’s Lever Time, David Sirota and Arjun Singh unpack how an ideological movement successfully suppressed efforts to challenge corporate monopolies in the United States for nearly half a century and enabled Amazon’s unprecedented rise. To become a Lever premium member and get access to exclusive bonus podcast content and more, head to levernews.com to subscribe. 
4/26/202429 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dissent Will Not Be Tolerated in the Democratic Party

Today, we’re excited to announce the relaunch of The Lever’s flagship podcast Lever Time. In this week’s episode, David Sirota and Senior Podcast Producer Arjun Singh discuss the 2024 presidential election and the Democratic Party’s efforts to prevent a real primary challenge to President Joe Biden.Since 2008, the Democratic Party leadership has worked to suppress primary challengers and support incumbent politicians. That approach was on full display during the 2024 Democratic primaries, where the DNC worked with state affiliates to ensure that, in some cases, Biden’s two primary challengers didn’t even appear on the ballot.Given Biden’s consistently low approval ratings and palpable anger over his handling of the war on Gaza, the matter raises troubling questions: Did the party prevent a proper primary because they were afraid of what it could do to Biden? And if so, could their plan to suppress a primary contest backfire and end up hurting Biden in November?This week on Lever Time, David Sirota and Senior Podcast Producer Arjun Singh unpack Biden’s popularity and look to the 1980 Democratic primary, when Democratic senator Ted Kennedy challenged incumbent president Jimmy Carter.Our work is subscriber supported. If you'd like to become a Lever subscriber, and get access to our original reporting and bonus podcast episodes, head here: https://www.levernews.com/ 
4/19/202433 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Future Of Lever Podcasts

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota introduces the Lever’s brand new podcast, Master Plan, which tells the gripping inside story of how extremists and tycoons orchestrated a system of legalized corruption in America. Hosted by David Sirota, the first season of this investigative series traces the untold history of how a small group of operatives and oligarchs used vast wealth to manipulate key U.S. government policies for personal gain at the expense of everyone else. A transcript of this episode is available here. Master Plan will be released in the summer of 2024. The Lever’s paid supporters will get first, exclusive access to the entire series. Click here to become a paid supporter.If you’d like to subscribe to the free version of Master Plan, click here to find it on your preferred podcast player. Or simply search for “Master Plan” in your podcast app and hit subscribe.Additionally, Lever Time will be taking a short hiatus to accommodate production needs. But stay tuned to this feed for more exciting Lever podcasts coming soon!
2/22/20247 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amazon Is Afraid Of Its New Union Organizers

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, producer Frank Cappello and reporter Amos Barshad are joined by union organizers Griffin Ritze and Fatou Souare, who are both involved in a current union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Kentucky. Griffin, an Amazon employee who was recently fired as alleged retaliation, and Fatou, a local community leader with the Kentucky African Women’s Association, speak to The Lever about the unique challenges of organizing a large, diverse workforce in one of Amazon’s largest locations — and what their efforts mean for the larger fight ahead against Amazon.In 2022, workers at Amazon’s KCVG air hub kicked off their union drive, seeking increased pay, inclusionary policies for non-Native English speakers, and stronger workplace protections. Due to the size and diversity of KCVG’s workforce, local community groups have also gotten involved. In response, Amazon is apparently doing everything in their power to crush the union effort, including hiring union-busting law firms to hold “captive audience” meetings. In today’s interview, Frank and Amos speak with Griffin and Fatou about the unique challenges of organizing the Amazon hub, the different union-busting tactics the company employs, and how groups like the Kentucky African Women’s Association are working to educate and empower the community.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:Amazon Labor Union, Northern Kentucky KCVGBONUS: Last week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured David Sirota’s conversation with media strategist Jason Kint about how Facebook’s parent company Meta is trying to protect the money it makes from harvesting kids’ user data.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
2/15/202433 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Anxious Generation, Brought To You By Smartphones

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by scientist Zach Rausch, lead researcher for social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of the new book The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness.According to new research, children in the U.S. are producing lower test scores, becoming more easily distracted, growing less sociable, and are generally feeling more anxious than they were several years ago. Now, researchers are drawing a connection between these detrimental effects on childhood development and modern technology like smartphones. In today’s interview, David and Zach discuss the modern trend of parents “overprotecting kids in the real world, while under-protecting them online.” Zach also explains the unique technological challenges facing young girls in particular, as well as what schools and parents can do to mitigate some of the damage. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness (Penguin Press, 2024)BONUS: Last week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured David Sirota’s conversation with media strategist Jason Kint about how Facebook’s parent company Meta is trying to protect the money it makes from harvesting kids’ user data.If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
2/8/202448 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Wonk Attempting To Change Republican Economics

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Oren Cass, executive director of the conservative economics think tank American Compass, for a long-form discussion about Oren’s new brand of conservative economic policy — one that calls for empowering workers and labor unions, rather than crushing them into dust. According to American Compass’ website, their work focuses on “developing the conservative economic agenda to supplant blind faith in free markets with a focus on workers.”In today’s episode, David interviews Oren about his new vision for Republican economics, which includes the idea that the labor movement is one of the best mechanisms for delivering material gains to working families. They also get into a friendly debate over the effectiveness of the social safety net, the best policy prescriptions to combat climate change, and the culture war around identity politics.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:American CompassBONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we shared David Sirota’s conversation with media strategist Jason Kint about how Facebook’s parent company Meta is trying to protect the money it makes from harvesting kids’ user data.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
2/1/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

The State That Could Cost Biden The Election

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota sits down with Hill Harper, a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s open senate seat, to discuss how the state could swing the 2024 presidential election.Michigan, which proved to be a key battleground in 2016 and 2020, is currently heavily leaning towards Donald Trump. That could spell trouble for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign — not to mention down-ballot races in a state that, until recently, appeared to be increasingly shifting blue. In today’s interview, David and Hill discuss the political stakes in Michigan, and how issues in the state such as the auto strikes, the Israel-Hamas War, the Enbridge pipeline, and abortion rights are influencing the electorate. Hill, a well-known actor, also talks about the challenges of running as a progressive candidate against the Democratic establishment’s chosen candidate, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, and the influence of big money in American politics. The two discuss the phone call Hill  received last November from a wealthy donor who offered him $20 million to drop out of the senate race and instead mount a primary challenge against Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:Biden Has a Michigan Problem, Endangering His Re-ElectionHillHarper.comBONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing David Sirota’s conversation with media strategist Jason Kint about Facebook’s parent company Meta, which is currently suing the Federal Trade Commission to prevent regulators from reinforcing a 2020 privacy settlement regarding the company’s monetization of user data from children. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
1/24/202452 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Trump Won Iowa – Can He Beat The Supreme Court?

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota speaks with Denver Post columnist and longtime Republican Krista Kafer, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark Colorado lawsuit that resulted in the state’s Supreme Court removing Donald Trump from the presidential ballot. On Dec. 19, the Colorado Supreme Court decided in a 4-to-3 ruling that former president Donald Trump would not be allowed to appear on the state’s primary ballot because of the Constitution’s “Insurrection Clause,” which bars anyone from running for public office if they’ve engaged in insurrection against the United States. The lawsuit alleged that Trump had engaged in insurrection during the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case, which will determine whether Trump can be disqualified in Colorado. Now that Trump has won the Iowa caucus with a record 51 percent of the vote, it’s looking increasingly likely that Trump will become the Republican nominee for president, making the Supreme Court’s decision even more pivotal for the 2024 election, as it could have far-reaching implications for lawsuits in other states seeking to prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot. The high court is expected to reach a decision shortly after arguments are heard on February 8th.In today’s interview, David speaks with Krista about why she decided to join the Colorado lawsuit and why she believes a Trump re-election needs to be stopped. They also question if legal challenges against Trump may have the unintentional side effect of empowering him within his base and whether defeating him legally is enough to defeat Trumpism for the long term. A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: Last week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, features our interview with journalist and sports writer Matt Brown, about how the private equity industry could soon be getting its claws into college football. If you’re a fan of college football who cares about the integrity of your favorite team, this interview goes into detail about how Wall Street could fundamentally change how college football works, for both players and fans.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
1/17/202441 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amid Boeing Crisis, Is It Still Safe To Fly?

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Bill McGee, a Senior Fellow for Aviation and Travel at the American Economic Liberties Project, and investigative journalist Maureen “Moe” Tkacik to discuss how the air travel industry has been transformed from the paragon of engineering and innovation into cost-cutting, regulation-dodging piggy banks for Wall Street investors. Last Friday, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 experienced what could have been a deadly disaster when a plug door was ripped from the plane mid-flight. Luckily, no one was killed and there were only a few minor injuries. But this incident spotlights what critics say is a systemic problem in airline manufacturing and oversight: years of cutting costs, spurred by the Wall Street-ification of companies like aircraft manufacturer Boeing. This past week, The Lever reported that employees at Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing’s main subcontractor for plug doors and other parts of the frame, allegedly warned the company about safety issues but were instructed to falsify documents instead. Incidents like these may have resulted from companies like Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems chasing higher profit margins at the expense of quality manufacturing and service.In today’s interview, David, Bill, and Moe discuss how airlines' demands to cram passengers into planes may have resulted in this past week’s Alaska Airlines technical malfunction. Bill and Moe also explain how the airline regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration have been asleep at the wheel for decades when it comes to oversight, and how the profit-driven corporate governance at companies like Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems has contributed to this sprawling crisis.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:Boeing Supplier Ignored Warnings Of “Excessive Amount Of Defects,” Former Employees Allege (The Lever, 2023)BONUS: This past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, features our interview with journalist and sports writer Matt Brown, about how the private equity industry could soon be getting its claws into college football. If you’re a fan of college football who cares about the integrity of your favorite team, this interview goes into detail about how Wall Street could fundamentally change how college football works, for both players and fans.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
1/11/20241 hour, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

DECONSTRUCTED: “The Squad,” Part 2: From Obama to Bernie, a Crisis and a Crossroads

Today, we’re sharing another episode of the podcast Deconstructed, from our friends over at The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization.The 2008 economic crisis changed the world. In the United States, the meager response by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party produced a recovery that was far too slow, drove an eviction crisis, and fueled a populist backlash. On the left, that backlash took the form of Occupy Wall Street, which put the problem of wealth and income inequality — the 99 percent versus the 1 percent — into the national political conversation for the first time since the Great Depression. Followed a few years later by the Movement for Black Lives and an upsurge of climate activism, the new radical energy among young people prepped the ground for the first Bernie Sanders campaign. In 2016, the Vermont senator came shockingly close to the presidential nomination. In the wake of Sanders’ campaign, a chunk of his staff that focused on organizing grassroots supporters decided to quit and try something new: They would recruit and support Bernie-style populists and take over the House.On this episode of Deconstructed, Ryan Grim brings us another audio documentary, adapted from an excerpt of his newest book, The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution. This episode chronicles the 2008 economic crisis, Obama’s election, and zeroes in on how individual members of the Squad became politicized.If you like Lever Time, be sure to check out Deconstructed on all podcast platforms and subscribe.Links: The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution (Macmillan, 2023)A transcript of this episode is available here. To claim your discounted subscription before New Years Eve, go to LeverNews.com/discount
1/4/202441 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

DECONSTRUCTED: “The Squad,” Part 1: The Rise and (First) Fall of Bernie

Today, we’re sharing an episode of the podcast Deconstructed, from our friends over at The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization.When Bernie Sanders launched his first presidential campaign in 2015, the political world could not have been more different than how it is today. His run set in motion a movement — or, really, a series of movements that clashed and blended over the ensuing years, reshaping both the Democratic Party and the country.In this episode of Deconstructed, host Ryan Grim narrates an excerpt of his new book, The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution. Throughout the narrative, the team at Deconstructed has spliced in with interviews, speeches, and newscasts, turning it into an audio documentary. The first episode takes you inside the first Sanders campaign, and explores the tension between the right wing of the Democratic Party and Sanders’s “political revolution.” Part two, which will be published next week, looks back at the historical forces that pushed members of the Squad into politics — and the spotlight.If you like Lever Time, be sure to check out Deconstructed on all podcast platforms and subscribe.Links: The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution (Macmillan, 2023)A transcript of this episode is available here. To claim your discounted subscription before New Years Eve, go to LeverNews.com/discount
12/28/202332 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

We Need To Talk About Zionism

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp, who recently authored a provocative article about how Israel’s mass violence against Palestinians in Gaza could prompt a backlash to right-wing Zionism and a resurgence of the “Liberal Zionist” political tradition. The modern debate surrounding Zionism tends to be fraught, accompanied by decades of historical baggage and confusion over the term’s many meanings. In a literal sense, Zionism is defined as, “the belief that there should be an independent Jewish state.” Today, the dominant concept of Zionism is embodied by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is using the term to justify the mass murder and displacement of Palestinians. But historically, Zionism also encapsulated the concept of liberal Zionism, which imagines an independent, democratic Jewish state that could offer equal rights to all of its citizens, including Palestinians. In today’s discussion, David and Zack explore whether the war in Gaza will ultimately result in the return of the liberal Zionist tradition. They also break down the definition of liberal Zionism and how it’s differentiated from other forms of Zionism. And they discuss the collapse of the liberal Zionist movement within Israel, and the inherent tension between liberal Zionists’ desire for a Jewish homeland and their stated support for creating a real democracy. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Return Of Liberal Zionism? (Vox, 2023)BONUS: This past Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, features David Sirota’s interview with Princeton history professor D. Graham Burnett, who recently co-authored an op-ed in The New York Times about the detrimental effects of our ever-diminishing attention spans. This is due to what Graham and his co-authors have dubbed “attention fracking” —  Big Tech’s profit-driven strategy to keep your eyes glued to the screen for as long as possible. To claim your discounted subscription before New Years Eve, go to LeverNews.com/discount
12/21/20231 hour, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Big Oil Buys The News

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by award-winning climate journalist Amy Westervelt to discuss her recent bombshell report on how news outlets are raking in millions from the fossil fuel industry to produce greenwashed sponsored content. Amy’s report reveals how outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, and Politico work directly with the oil and gas industry to produce branded “advertorials,” which straddle the line between advertisements and editorial content. While this financial arrangement raises questions about journalistic biases and conflicts of interest, what’s more troubling is that the majority of readers can’t tell the difference between sponsored content and genuine reporting. In today’s interview, David speaks with Amy about the history of branded partnerships between fossil fuel interests and the media industry, how actual climate journalists feel about this type of sponsored content, and how advertorials promoting carbon capture and clean hydrogen technology provide a smoke screen for expanding oil production. The two also discussed the annual United Nations climate summit, the latest being COP28, which has been slowly infiltrated and co-opted by the oil and gas industry in order to hamper any meaningful organization against climate change.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Leading News Outlets Are Doing The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Greenwashing (The Intercept, 2023) Drilled Media BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing David Sirota’s interview with Princeton professor D. Graham Burnett, who recently co-authored an op-ed for The New York Times about our ever-diminishing attention spans. Graham calls this  the “attention fracking” economy, when social media giants use manipulative algorithms to keep users’ eyes glued to the screen.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
12/14/202342 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sound And Fury Over Israel-Palestine

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by author and Washington Post Editorial board member Shadi Hamid to discuss the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza, specifically how this current iteration of the decades-long hostilities is being debated, protested, perceived, and exacerbated by people in America and across the globe.In what has already been a bitterly polarizing decade in American history, the deadly conflict unfolding in Israel and Gaza has somehow managed to intensify that division. While there has been some progress, like the growing number of elected officials who support a permanent ceasefire agreement, the majority of our public discourse surrounding this crisis is heated and unconstructive. But an issue like this requires patience, humility, and a lot of listening. That’s true from the holiday dinner table to the White House.In today’s discussion, David speaks with Shadi about why this particular conflict has drawn more global attention and instigated more public debate than other global conflicts. They also discuss reconciling the right to exist for both Israelis and Palestinians, how to construct a practical path forward that can meaningfully address genuine grievances, and what the changing politics of Israel-Palestine inside the Democratic Party might mean for the 2024 election.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Problem Of Democracy: America, The Middle East, And The Rise And Fall Of An Idea (Brookings, 2022)BONUS: Last week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured our interview with journalist and author Cole Stangler about his new book Paris Is Not Dead: Surviving Hypergentrification in the City of Light. Cole’s book explores how gentrification has affected the cultural makeup of Paris, and the public housing policies that have helped maintain the city’s diverse, working-class character.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
12/7/202348 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Artificial Intelligence Is Denying Americans Health Care

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, producer Frank Cappello and senior editor and reporter Andrew Perez are joined by health care journalist Bob Herman, who recently co-authored a report for health care industry news organization STAT detailing how the country’s largest health insurer  has used artificial intelligence to deny rehabilitation services for older and disabled Americans.The insurer, UnitedHealth Group, has claimed that its algorithm, which predicts how long patients will require rehab services, is used solely as a recommendation. But its subsidiary’s case managers allege the company pressures them to adhere to the algorithm’s suggestions in order to cut off payments as quickly as possible. This issue is affecting Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage health insurance plans — the privatized version of Medicare operated by private insurers as an alternative to traditional Medicare.In today’s interview, Frank and Andrew speak with Bob about the growing use of artificial intelligence in the health care industry, how insurance companies like UnitedHealth are effectively being run like automobile assembly lines, and how the federal government has largely failed to ensure that the private insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans follow Medicare coverage rules.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: UnitedHealth Pushed Employees To Follow An Algorithm To Cut Off Medicare Patients’ Rehab Care (STAT, 2023)BONUS: This past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured our interview with journalist and author Cole Stangler about his new book Paris Is Not Dead: Surviving Hypergentrification in the City of Light. Cole’s book explores how gentrification has affected the cultural makeup of Paris, and the public housing policies that have helped maintain the city’s diverse, working-class character.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/30/202329 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Shareholder Advocates Transform Corporations

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, news editor Lucy Dean Stockton is joined by researcher Rosanna Landis Weaver and Andrew Behar, CEO of the non-profit shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow, to discuss how they’re using stock ownership in publicly-traded companies to promote corporate change from within. 50 years ago, economist Milton Friedman argued that a corporation’s “greatest responsibility lies in the satisfaction of the shareholders.” In other words, the primary goal of every business is to increase its profits and maximize returns to investors. But in hindsight, even Fortune magazine acknowledges that the ideology of “shareholder primacy” has extensively damaged society. That’s where shareholder advocates come in, since they use their ownership in publicly traded companies to influence company decision-making. Whether it's pushing for transparency, addressing ethical concerns, advocating for sustainable practices, or curtailing CEO pay, shareholders have the ability to shape the companies in which they own stock. In today’s interview, Rosanna and Andrew explain how their organization As You Sow practices shareholder advocacy, including a recent win at Starbucks to reduce their plastic waste. They break down their annual list of “The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs,” which details how some of the highest paid CEOs actually underperform for their companies. And they discuss how the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee recently opened an investigation into As You Sow along with other organizations, as part of their culture war against ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) investments. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: As You Sow The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs (As You Sow, 2023) BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be publishing our interview with journalist and author Cole Stangler about his new book Paris Is Not Dead: Surviving Hypergentrification in the City of Light, which explores how gentrification has affected the cultural makeup of Paris, and the public housing policies that have helped maintain the city’s diverse, working-class character.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/21/202337 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

What The Sam Bankman-Fried Verdict Means For Crypto

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, producer Frank Cappello is joined by researcher, software engineer, and cryptocurrency critic Molly White, who helps break down everything you need to know about the trial of former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.On Nov. 2, a New York federal jury found Bankman-Fried guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the Nov. 2022 collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried stole as much as $10 billion from its customers and investors, according to prosecutors. One prominent cryptocurrency proponent described the verdict as a “new beginning” for the industry — though critics are skeptical that anything has fundamentally changed.In today’s interview, Molly unpacks Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial and verdict, as well as the implications for the broader crypto industry. Molly also explains how the crypto market, despite being decentralized, is more or less tethered to traditional financial markets, and why regulating the “Wild West” of cryptocurrency is more crucial than ever. A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: The Lever’s supporting subscribers get access to Lever Premium Podcasts, a private podcast feed which includes bonus episodes of Lever Time. If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/16/202323 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Pennsylvania Matters In 2024 (w/ Gov. Josh Shapiro)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) to examine his first year in office as well as President Joe Biden’s poor poll numbers in the state. According to a recent poll, former president Donald Trump leads Biden in five of six swing states, including Pennsylvania. Yet even with Biden’s waning popularity, Josh Shapiro remains one of the most popular Democratic governors in the country right now. With the second most electoral votes among the swing states, what happens in Pennsylvania could end up spelling victory or defeat for Biden’s re-election campaign in 2024.In today’s interview, Sirota and Shapiro discuss this unique dynamic and what Biden can do to reverse course. They also unpack the election results from this past week’s race for a Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat and what it means for key issues like abortion access and union protections. Shapiro also responds to questions about his new initiative to clean up his state’s natural gas industry, and the effects of those initiatives in the fight against climate change. A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: On Monday’s bonus episode we published David Sirota’s interview with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) about the House’s Israel-Palestine ceasefire resolution as well as American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group that  has been lambasting the ceasefire effort as well as some progressive House members. If you’d like regular access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/9/202319 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Lobbyists Who Don’t Want A Ceasefire

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota sits down with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) to discuss the House’s Israel-Palestine ceasefire resolution as well as the public pushback from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has been lambasting the ceasefire resolution as well as some progressive House members. Recent polling shows a majority of Americans support a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and yet only 18 members of the U.S. House of Representatives officially support a ceasefire resolution. This is explained in part because America’s political discourse has been dominated by conservative groups such as AIPAC that equate opposition to Israel’s right-wing government to rising anti-semitism. In today’s interview, David speaks with Pocan, who has been publicly calling for a ceasefire. Pocan was recently criticized by AIPAC after he called out the organization for polarizing the national conversation and demonizing Democrats who question Israel’s policies. A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: Last week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium featured an interview with music writer Robin James and musician Greg Saunier about the the state of the music industry after the online music platform Bandcamp, which was recently sold to the licensing company Songtradr, laid off 50 percent of Bandcamp’s employees amid union contract negotiations.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/6/202328 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Conservatives Won The Courts

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by lawyer Caroline Fredrickson, who recently penned an op-ed for The Atlantic titled, “What I Most Regret About My Decades of Legal Activism.” As the former head of the American Constitution Society — the liberal counterweight to the conservative legal network The Federalist Society — Caroline speaks with David about the strengths and weaknesses of liberal legal activism over the last two decades.Caroline’s piece explores the past errors of the liberal legal movement, specifically how focusing on social issues like abortion rights ultimately stacked federal courts with judges who are lax on antitrust enforcement and corporate power. The result gave the conservative legal movement more money and power to pursue their own goals on social issues, such as the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated federal abortion rights.In today’s interview, David and Caroline discuss how this dynamic created a negative feedback loop that bolstered the conservative legal movement, how think tanks like the Federalist Society have indoctrinated a generation of law students, and how the Democratic Party’s focus on identity politics have obscured the federal judiciary’s expansion of corporate power.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: What I Most Regret About My Decades of Legal Activism (The Atlantic, 2023)BONUS: This past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium featured an interview with music writer Robin James and musician Greg Saunier about the the state of the music industry after the online music platform Bandcamp, which was recently sold to the licensing company Songtradr, laid off fifty percent of Bandcamp’s employees amid union contract negotiations.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/2/202331 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

BONUS: The Corporate Takeover of Music (Lessons From Bandcamp)

On this week’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, The Lever’s Nick Campbell speaks with music writer Robin James and drummer Greg Saunier from the band Deerhoof to discuss the shifting corporate landscape of the music industry, and the larger dynamics of our economy.The three zero in on a worrisome development: The online music platform Bandcamp was recently sold to the multinational music conglomerate Songtradr, leading to layoffs of 50 percent of Bandcamp’s employees amid union contract negotiations, an ominous sign for the future of the last major independent music sales platform.In today’s discussion, Nick, Robin, and Greg explore the exploitative practices making the industry harder for working-class musicians — and what an equitable music industry could actually look like.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Future of Rock and Roll: 97X WOXY and the Fight for True Independence by Robin James (The University of North Carolina Press, 2023) Miracle–Level by Deerhoof (Joyful Noise Recordings, 2023) What 90s Alt Rock Radio, Woodstock 99, And The Telecome Act Have To Do With Contemporary Right-Wing Media (Robin James, 2022) If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
10/30/202337 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

How To Talk About Gaza (w/ Naomi Klein & Omar Baddar)

On Wednesday, October 18, The Lever’s David Sirota hosted a live event with Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein and Palestinian-American political analyst Omar Baddar to discuss the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas and the mounting humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. David, Naomi, and Omar spoke about the historical and political context that led to this moment, the double standard being applied by corporate media outlets in their coverage of Israel and Palestine, and recent responses from members of Congress. They also took questions live on-air from the audience.A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing our interview with music writer Robin James and musician Greg Saunier about the the state of the music industry after the online music platform Bandcamp, which was recently sold to the licensing company Songtradr, laid off fifty percent of its employees amid unionization efforts. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
10/26/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

The King Of The ‘Self-Help’ Grift

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by journalist and Citations Needed podcast co-host Adam H. Johnson to discuss the contradictions and hypocrisies of the multibillion-dollar self-help industry — an industry that has long convinced people that unhappiness is an attitude problem, and not a societal issue that needs to be addressed at a systemic level.Adam’s recent story for The Lever exposed how one of the industry’s leading authors, Arthur Brooks, spent decades advocating for economic policies that have immiserated working Americans. As the former head of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the country’s most prominent conservative think tanks, Brooks was paid nearly $3 million a year to help lead campaigns against Medicaid expansion, free college, rent control, and universal health care.In today’s interview, David and Adam unpack how large parts of the self-help industry grifts its customers, the history of AEI and its toxic influence on American politics, and Brooks’ career transition from sower of despair to peddler of happiness.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Happiness Guru Who Immiserated America (The Lever, 2023)BONUS: This past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured David’s interview with Media Matters’ Allison Fisher about Rupert Murdoch’s lasting impact on climate change, since the recently retired media mogul used his control of Fox News and hundreds of other media outlets to spread misinformation and climate denialism.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
10/19/202339 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Fog Of War In Israel And Palestine

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Matt Duss, executive vice president at the Center for International Policy think tank, and Daniel Bessner, an international studies professor at the University of Washington, both of whom served as foreign policy advisors to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, to discuss the deadly conflict unfolding in Israel-Palestine.In today’s media landscape, discourse surrounding war often falls along disparate ideological lines, polluted with instantaneous reactions and hot takes. More often than not, these practices often dehumanize the extraordinary destruction and loss of human life these conflicts produce, as well as those with personal connections to the people and places experiencing that conflict. At their core, wars are terrible and devastating events that shake the foundations of civilization and should always be treated as such.During today’s interview, David, Matt, and Daniel provide a thoughtful discussion of the events of the past week, including Hamas’ surprise attack on Israeli citizens and the Israeli government's violent response. They also discuss the historical rise of Hamas in the wake of failing peace negotiations, the internal dynamics within the Israeli government and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ideological framework, and the response from the U.S. government.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Center For International Policy American Prestige Standing Together BONUS: Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will feature David’s interview with Allison Fisher from the watchdog group Media Matters about Rupert Murdoch’s lasting impact on climate change, since the recently retired media mogul used his control of Fox News and hundreds of other media outlets to spread misinformation and climate denialism.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
10/12/20231 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Hidden Flaws Of ‘Bidenomics’

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Matt Stoller, the director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, who explains the failures and successes of President Joe Biden’s economic policies, also known as “Bidenomics.” In the past several months, unemployment has dropped and the rate of inflation has begun to slow, while consumer spending and manufacturing is on the rise. In a macro sense, the economy is doing well. But according to a recent NBC poll, 59 percent of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy. During today’s interview, Stoller explains the disparity between the economic numbers and how working people are feeling, citing missing inflation data and a host of counteracting economic policies. The two also dig into the current antitrust case against tech giant Google — the biggest antitrust lawsuit in several decades — and what it portends for the future of the tech industry and the economy as a whole.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Missing Inflation Data (The Lever, 2023) BIG by Matt Stoller BONUS: Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will feature our interview with former Senior Advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders, Nikhil Goyal, about his new book Live to See the Day: Coming Of Age In American Poverty, which chronicles the lives of three Puerto Rican teenagers growing up in one of Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods as they navigate America’s broken education and welfare system. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
10/5/202356 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

American Intervention And Its Blowback

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Brendan James and Noah Kulwin, producers and hosts of the wildly popular historical narrative podcast Blowback. Their new season covers the history of foreign intervention in Afghanistan and both the intentional and unintentional blowback from those efforts. “Blowback” refers to an old CIA term meaning, “the unforeseen and unwanted effects, or repercussions to one’s actions.” In Blowback, Brendan and Noah report on the history of America’s foreign policy and interventions — including its efforts related to the various wars in Iraq, the Cuban Revolution, and the Korean War. David speaks with Brendan and Noah about their new season, which goes into painstaking detail about Afghanistan, a country that has arguably suffered more modern foreign interventions than any other place on Earth. They cover Soviet interventions in the country in the 1970s and ’80s, the U.S.-backed rise of the Mujahideen, the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, and the subsequent U.S. invasion and war, which lasted over two decades. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:BlowbackBONUS: On this past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we shared our interview with attorney Jeffrey Simon, who is part of the legal team suing 17 fossil fuel companies for their contribution to a 2021 heatwave that killed 69 people in Oregon’s Multnomah County. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
9/28/202342 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Serious Science Of Extraterrestrial Research

On this week’s Lever Time, David Sirota and journalist Laura Krantz are joined by Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb to discuss his research into extraterrestrial life.In 2017, a Maui telescope discovered an interstellar object that astronomers named Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”) that had an elongated shape and an unusual acceleration not explained by gravity alone. That’s when Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb suggested a controversial hypothesis: The object might be an extraterrestrial “light sail” — a thin metallic sheet that could harness sunlight for propulsion. Loeb continued to advocate for scientists to investigate astronomical anomalies, and in 2021, he co-founded the Galileo Project, which seeks to apply scientific rigor to eyewitness testimonies and other evidence related to potential alien technology on Earth.Loeb's outspoken views have made him a prominent and controversial figure. Some people champion his approach, while others accuse him of distracting from legitimate astronomical discoveries and misleading the public. In today’s interview, David and Laura speak with Avi about his scientific approach. They also discuss the recent alien hearings in Mexico’s Congress, how NASA’s own technology for space monitoring and exploration hasn’t been modernized, and how the stigma attached to extraterrestrial study hampers meaningful progress.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Galileo Project How A Harvard Professor Became The World’s Leading Alien Hunter (New York Times Magazine, 2023) Mexican Congress Shown ‘Non-Human’ Corpses In UFO Hearing (The Hill, 2023) Is There Anybody Out There? (A Wild Thing Book) by Laura Krantz BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing our interview with attorney Jeffrey Simon, who is part of the legal team suing 17 fossil fuel companies for their contribution to a 2021 heatwave that killed 69 people in Oregon’s Multnomah County. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
9/21/202345 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Inside The U.S.-China War Over Clean Energy

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota and Peter Goodman, The New York Times’ global economics correspondent, explore the pivotal role of Indonesia’s vast nickel reserve in the global electric vehicle (EV) revolution and the high-stakes geopolitical chess game the mineral has ignited. The strategic tug-of-war between the U.S. and China over nickel — a crucial component for electric vehicle batteries — has implications for global trade dynamics and international alliances. If China dominates the EV supply chain, what does that mean for the U.S.’ electric vehicle ambitions? The conversation serves as a reminder of how formerly mundane resources like nickel will become embroiled in increasingly complicated geopolitical issues as part of a future reliant on clean energy. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links:Peter Goodman’s article on the subject, “How Geopolitics Is Complicating the Move to Clean Energy.”BONUS EPISODE RECOMMENDATION: From July 2023, “LEVER TIME PREMIUM: Norman Solomon On America’s Invisible Wars.”If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
9/14/202337 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The American Masculinity Crisis

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota talks with author Richard Reeves about the growing evidence that men are struggling in modern America. In his latest book, Reeves delves into recent economic and social shifts that have negatively impacted men's lives. They discuss empirical data showing that men are falling behind in both college attendance and graduation rates, and how they are three times more likely than women to perish from “deaths of despair” related to suicide, alcohol, or drugs. The two also explore how the shifting nature of masculinity is being manipulated by the likes of Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and used as a recruiting tool for alt-right groups. Through it all, Reeves emphasizes the importance of addressing these issues without sidelining marginalized groups. “Problems that are not addressed become grievances,” says Reeves. “And grievances are exploited.”LinksReeves’ book: Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It A transcript of this episode is available here.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
9/7/202353 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Autoworkers Are Ready To Strike

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, producer Frank Cappello speaks with Labor Notes staff writer Luis Feliz Leon about why a potential autoworkers strike could be transformational for younger union members struggling under depressed wages and limited benefits.Luis has been reporting on the ground about the ongoing contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and the “Big Three” automakers — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (formerly known as Chrysler). Last Friday, 150,000 autoworkers voted overwhelmingly to strike if a deal isn’t reached by the time their current contract expires on September 14. Under the new leadership of reformist president Shawn Fain, the union is ready to take action if their bold demands aren’t met. In today’s interview, Frank and Luis break down everything you need to know about the ongoing negotiations. Luis offers his perspective on the union’s current strategy for exacting the best possible deal, and what a potential strike would mean for workers and the auto industry. He also breaks down how the union’s former leadership gave away major concessions during the Great Recession, and why a new union dynamic is long overdue. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Fired-Up Auto Workers Are Ready to Battle the Big 3 (Labor Notes, 2023) UAW Reformers Just Won Control of the Union. They Want to Turn It Into A Fighting Union. (Jacobin, 2023) Will The Clean Energy Auto Economy Be Built On Factory Floors Riddled With Toxic Chemicals And Safety Hazards? (In These Times, 2023) BONUS: On Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing David Sirota’s interview with economist Isabella Weber about monetary policy, inflation, and how we can use strategic price controls to rein in corporate profiteering. If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
8/31/202337 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Deadliest Wildfire In 100 Years

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, Lever news editor Lucy Dean Stockton speaks with former Hawaii state representative and national director of the Green New Deal Network Kaniela Ing about the recent wildfires in Maui.On August 8th, a wildfire swept through the historic city of Lahaina, reducing almost every building to ash and killing more than 100 people. Scores of Lahaina residents have lost their homes, and more than 800 people are still missing as emergency responders address the crisis. As the community reels from the tragedy, people are examining the complicated roles that colonialism, climate change, and private equity played in the disaster.In today’s interview, Lucy speaks with Kaniela, a seventh-generation indigenous Hawaiian, about current conditions in Maui, how the island’s underserviced electrical infrastructure contributed to the disaster, and how the Lahaina community is looking to rebuild. They also discuss Maui County’s landmark climate lawsuit against Big Oil, which alleges that oil companies knowingly made the climate crisis worse by selling and burning fossil fuels.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Green New Deal Network Maui Just Recovery Fund BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing our interview with historian Harvey Kaye and progressive activist Alan Minsky about the unfinished business of FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
8/24/202337 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Montana’s Monumental Climate Win

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, Julia Rock and Frank Cappello speak with environmental lawyer Julia Olson to discuss a recent historic win for young climate activists who she represents in Montana. This past Monday, a judge in Montana ruled that young people are entitled to a “clean and healthful” environment. The case, known as Held v. Montana, included 16 plaintiffs ages 5 to 22, who testified that the state government’s pro-fossil fuel policies were unconstitutional. Held v. Montana was the first of several youth-led U.S. climate lawsuits to make it to trial. Olson is the executive director and lead counsel for Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit public interest law firm that represents plaintiffs in a number of these youth-led state climate cases as well as in a federal lawsuit, Juliana v. United States. Julia and Frank spoke with Julia Olson about this historic win, how the case’s legal strategy can be applied across the country, and why the Biden administration is attempting to prevent other youth-led climate lawsuits from going to trial. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Our Children’s Trust ‘Gamechanger’: Judge Rules In Favor Of Young Activists In US Climate Trial (The Guardian, 2023) Biden DOJ: “No Constitutional Right To A Stable Climate” (The Lever, 2023) BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing our interview with historian Harvey Kaye and progressive activist Alan Minsky about the unfinished business of FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
8/17/202329 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

How PragerU’s Propaganda Machine Infiltrated Florida’s Schools

On this week’s Lever Time, Audit hosts and friends of the show Josh Olson and Dave Anthony are joined by journalist and media expert John Knefel to discuss how the conservative propaganda operation PragerU landed a major new partnership with Florida’s public schools.PragerU produces short-form video content on politics, social issues, and history. The media organization’s stated goal is to “promote American values through the creative use of educational videos” and “[offer] a free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education.” In 2021 PragerU launched PragerU Kids, focused on “educational content for children.” Now PragerU has raised the stakes, as it was recently announced that PragerU Kids content has been approved as supplemental teaching material in Florida public schools — even though PragerU is not an accredited educational institution. Prager isn’t planning to stop there: They recently published an online petition to get their content into schools across the country. Hosts Josh and Dave, who examined the rise of PragerU in the latest season of The Audit, sit down with John to discuss PragerU’s official entry into the American education system. They break down how PragerU managed to get approved in Florida, how their work plays into the larger conservative movement to capture public education and siphon taxpayer money to fund charter schools, and what parents can do to stop PragerU from indoctrinating children.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The lessons Florida public school students will learn from PragerU Kids (Media Matters, 2023) Florida’s conservative PragerU teaching texts labeled ‘indoctrination’ (Tampa Bay Times, 2023) What It Means That Florida Will Allow Conservative PragerU Content in Schools (Time, 2023) BONUS: On Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we published our recent live chat with Yale law professor Samuel Moyn where we examined whether or not Congress has the authority to regulate the Supreme Court and the troubling legacy of Chief Justice John Roberts.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
8/10/202353 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Heat Is The Deadliest Type Of Weather

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Jeff Goodell, author of the new book The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet, to discuss recent deadly heat waves and how they’re a prelude to dangers to come.This past July was the hottest single month in recorded history. In the United States, temperatures rose above 120 degrees in several regions of the country, and ocean temperatures in parts of Florida reached 101 degrees, potentially shattering the world record for ocean heat.It’s not just the temperature that’s rising. Over the past few months, there has also been an increase in heat-related deaths and hospitalizations, including for life-threatening burns people have suffered from falling onto scorching concrete. Heat is the deadliest type of weather, each year killing on average more than twice as many people as tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Of course, the groups that most acutely suffer from extreme heat events tend to be the most vulnerable, like unhoused people, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions. To examine these problems, Sirota sits down with Goodell, a climate journalist and bestselling author. Together they break down which regions of the country will experience the most severe heat in the future, the limitations of air conditioning as a potential solution, our new geologic era, and how our concept of summer is set to drastically change from fun to survival. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet (Hachette Books, 2023) The Anthropocene began in 1950s, scientists say (NPR, 2023) BONUS: This past Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured David’s interview with political economist and economic geographer Brett Christophers, author of the new book Our Lives In Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own The World. If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
8/3/202352 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Great Bank Robbery Of 2023

On today’s Lever Time, David Sirota sits down with law professor and policy advocate Robert Hockett and former FDIC attorney Todd Phillips, to explain “The Great Bank Robbery of 2023” — a financial grift that very well could be impacting you. The three explore  how this complicated bank swindle has become so prevalent, what federal regulators could do to stop it, and how consumers like you can protect yourself from the scam. The grift goes like this: When you deposit your money at a bank, they should pay you interest for your money. That’s because they make money off of it: Banks lend out your deposits for mortgages and small business loans, or deposit money with the Federal Reserve — all of which generate a much higher interest rate return for the banks. The difference is profit.Until recently, banks would pass along increased interest on these efforts to its customers. But over the last two years, as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates to combat inflation, banks haven’t been sharing the wealth. Today, the gap between the profit banks generate by lending out those deposits and what they pay their customers is the largest it’s ever been: On average, banks are paying its depositors 0.4% interest, while reaping anywhere from 5 to 7 percent interest via lending. This has resulted in one of the largest upward wealth transfers in the modern economy, from customers to bank executives.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Great Bank Robbery of 2023 (The Lever, 2023) BofA profit surges on interest income, surprise investment banking gain (Reuters, 2023) BONUS: Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured our interview with climate scientist Dr. Andrew Pershing about “attribution science” — a new technique that can pinpoint how manmade climate change influences extreme weather events.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
7/27/202343 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Do-Or-Die Stakes Of The Hollywood Strikes

On this week’s Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by The Bear writer and Writers Guild of America (WGA) union member Alex O’Keefe to discuss the stakes of the current Hollywood strike. The WGA has been on strike since early May after failing to secure a contract with the country’s major film and television producers. This past week, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing film and TV actors, joined the strike after failing to secure their own contract, putting Hollywood on standstill for the first time since 1960.Over the last decade, the economy of Hollywood has been completely upended by the advent of streaming services like Netflix, as well as the consolidation of major entertainment companies such as the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery. This has led to a “content arms race” as companies have competed to amass their own libraries of movies and TV shows. The result has been a shift to faster and cheaper film productions, which have adversely affected almost all of Hollywood’s workers.In the face of such rapid changes, David speaks with Alex about what the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are demanding from the studios. This includes increased pay for shorter production schedules, residual payments for content on streaming platforms, and protections against AI programs taking over their jobs. The two discuss what’s at stake if workers’ demands aren’t met, and whether or not the unions are being “unrealistic,” as Disney CEO Bob Iger recently put it.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: LEVER WEEKLY: What Workers Are Up Against (The Lever, 2023) SAG actors', writers' strikes bring revolution to Hollywood (LA Times, 2023) Hollywood Studios’ WGA Strike Endgame Is To Let Writers Go Broke Before Resuming Talks In Fall (Deadline, 2023) If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
7/20/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Deconstructed Podcast: An Inflation Solution That Doesn’t Screw Workers

Today, we’re sharing an episode of the podcast Deconstructed from our friends over at The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization. Centrist and right-wing economists continue to advocate for laying off workers and engineering a recession to address inflation. But why not set price controls instead? This week on Deconstructed, host Ryan Grim is joined by James K. Galbraith, a professor of government and business relations at the University of Texas at Austin. Galbraith has an extensive history of working in government, including as executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and an economist for the House Banking Committee. Galbraith and Grim discuss the implementation of price controls by the U.S. government and how such measures bring down prices. They also explore how the Biden administration could expand its price control efforts, and how Galbraith’s father — economist and politician John Kenneth Galbraith — was instrumental in setting price controls during World War II.If you like Lever Time with David Sirota, be sure to check out Deconstructed on all podcast platforms and subscribe.A transcript of this episode is available here.
7/18/202345 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Stealth Supreme Court Rulings No One Is Talking About

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by law professor Stephen Vladeck, author of the new book, The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic. The Supreme Court has received a lot of attention in the last several years for its extreme rulings on matters such as abortion rights, environmental regulations, and affirmative action. But there’s another very important court procedure that doesn’t receive nearly as much attention: the aptly named “shadow docket.”These are the cases that occur outside of the court’s regular docket and usually involve urgent matters, such as requests for emergency stays, injunctions, and other types of temporary relief. These cases are often decided through brief orders, meaning without oral arguments, full written opinions, or even disclosing how the justices voted. But in recent years, the court has increasingly used the shadow docket to effectively leapfrog over the appeals court system on major decisions, sometimes with devastating effects.David and Stephen dive deep into the shadow docket’s history, how it continues to undermine the Supreme Court’s credibility, and how most of these decisions are not based on any kind of legal rationale or precedent. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic (Hachette Book Group, 2023) Supreme Court “Shadow Docket” Under Review by U.S. House of Representatives (American Bar Association, 2021) BONUS: This past Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured David’s interview with media critic Norman Solomon about his new book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine.If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
7/13/202346 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Deconstructed Podcast: Inside Joe Manchin's Rise, Alliances, and Potential Presidential Ambitions

Today, we’re sharing an episode of the podcast Deconstructed from our friends over at The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization. In this episode, Daniel Boguslaw, a politics reporter for The Intercept, interviews Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) former political advisor Scott Sears. Boguslaw tells the story of Manchin’s rise in West Virginia politics, his strategic alliance with powerful business interests, and explains how the Senator ended up with such power over the Democratic legislative agenda.In recent months, Manchin has been noncommittal when asked about a presidential run. Meanwhile, No Labels, a centrist political organization funded by dark money donors, is looking to run a split ticket featuring one Republican and one Democrat — and Manchin is considered one of the likely candidates. Sears helped Manchin secure political wins across the state before switching parties and throwing his support behind Donald Trump.If you like Lever Time with David Sirota, be sure to check out Deconstructed on all podcast platforms and subscribe.A transcript of this episode is available here.
7/6/202334 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Supreme Court Has A Billionaire Problem

On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota and Andrew Perez are joined by ProPublica’s Justin Elliott, who recently co-authored an exposédetailing how Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito failed to disclose luxury gifts provided by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer. This story follows ProPublica’s reporting from earlier this year about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who also failed to disclose gifts he received from his own billionaire benefactor, Harlan Crow. David, Andrew and Justin discuss how these new revelations raise questions about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, why a lack of judicial oversight contributes to the problem, and how powerful GOP  operative Leonard Leo ties all of these stories together. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Justice Samuel Alito Took Luxury Fishing Vacation With GOP Billionaire Who Later Had Cases Before the Court (ProPublica, 2023) Alito Could Deliver Another Ruling For Billionaire Benefactor (The Lever, 2023) Clarence Thomas And The Billionaire (ProPublica, 2023) BONUS: This past Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, featured our interview with Brandon Tizol, a New York-based organizer who was part of the campaign that helped pass a transformative renewable energy bill in the state.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
6/29/202341 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Deconstructed Presents: Why Dems Must Play “Chess, Not Checkers” With Political Messaging

Today, we’re sharing an episode of the podcast Deconstructed with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief of The Intercept, an award-winning investigative news organization.  In this episode, Grim,  speaks with communications consultant Anat Shenker-Osorio, host of the podcast Words to Win, and whose company ASO Communications works with progressive think tanks like the Voting Rights Lab. Grim and Shenker-Osorio discuss why progressive messages often succeed while moderate messages typically fail, and how strategists can meaningfully reframe an ideological conversation to craft a message that resonates and wins. They also revisit Ryan’s conversation with tech executive and political strategist Dmitri Mehlhorn, who made news last May for helping finance E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against former president Donald Trump. Grim and Shenker-Osorio unpack why messaging that gravitates toward the center is less effective than messages that challenge entrenched power. Links:The May 6, 2023 Deconstructed episode with Dmitri MehlhornIf you like Lever Time with David Sirota, be sure to check out Deconstructed on all podcast platforms and subscribe.A transcript of this episode is available here.
6/27/202356 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Boots Riley On The Writers Strike, Organized Labor, And His New TV Show

As the Writers Guild of America strike enters its eighth week, David Sirota sits down with writer, director, musician, and activist Boots Riley to discuss the ongoing labor struggle, as well as his radical new TV show. In all of Boots’ work runs a deep commitment to social justice and organized labor. In 2018, Boots released the celebrated film Sorry to Bother You, an absurdist dark comedy about race and class politics set in the world of telemarketing. Now, Boots speaks with David about his fantastical new TV series I’m A Virgo, which is garnering rave reviews.Boots also discusses his roots in political activism and the importance of the writers strike and how its visibility is crucial to the resurgent U.S. labor movement.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: ‘Sorry To Bother You’ Director Boots Riley On WGA Strike, Struggle, Solidarity, Sacrifice & AI – Guest Column (Deadline, 2023) I’m A Virgo (Prime Video, 2023) BONUS: On next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing our interview with Brandon Tizol, a New York-based organizer who was part of the campaign to pass the Build Public Renewables Act in the state.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
6/22/202356 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Pentagon Whistleblower: The Government Is Hiding “Non-Human” Technology

David sits down with prominent investigative journalist Leslie Kean, who earlier this month published a blockbuster report about a potential secret government UFO effort. According to Kean and her co-author, a former U.S. intelligence official-turned-whistleblower recently gave Congress classified information about covert programs that he says possess intact and partially intact aircraft of non-human origin.Kean has become known for her diligent reporting on UFOs (they’re now officially called “unidentified anomalous phenomena,” or UAP) and how the government is hiding information about them from the public. David and Leslie dig into her new story as well as the long history of UFO sightings and official obfuscation: What does the government know? How long have they known it? And why aren’t they telling us? A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Intelligence Officials Say U.S. Has Retrieved Craft Of Non-Human Origin (The Debrief, 2023) Why The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico Didn’t Publish a Seemingly Bombshell Report About UFOs (Vanity Fair, 2023) Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program (The New York Times, 2017) BONUS: Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will explore the Build Public Renewables Act — a landmark piece of climate legislation recently passed in New York state — and include an interview with one of the organizers involved in the campaign.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
6/15/202353 minutes
Episode Artwork

The Fix Was In With Biden’s Debt Ceiling Deal

The country may have narrowly avoided a debt default catastrophe by passing a debt ceiling deal on June 3, but that doesn’t mean we should allow the fiasco to fall into the memory hole. David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, joins host David Sirota to dissect the event, discuss the political misuse of the debt limit, and explore what was traded away in this crisis. While the Biden administration is literally advertising the deal as a bipartisan triumph, the two scrutinize its controversial implications: slashed budgets, renewed student debt payments, and major fossil fuel concessions. Dayen, who covers the intersection of politics and economics, questions the acceptance of such outcomes by the Democrats: Are these political tradeoffs, or do they represent the party’s true goals? Links: California Passes Law To Divest Pensions From Fossil Fuels  Supreme Court Won’t Review Ruling Barring Offshore Fracking In California  The Leonard Leo Dark Money Behind Kansas’ Misleading Anti-Abortion Campaign  Democrats’ Resounding Vote for Debt Ceiling Concessions Won’t Age Well  A transcript of this episode is available here.BONUS: Next Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, is a deep dive on the climate crisis in the American West, and how new fights over climate legislation there could determine climate policy for years to come.If you’d like access to this and other episodes of Lever Time Premium, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
6/8/202352 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Social Media Is Killing Our Kids — Sen. Chris Murphy Has a Plan

David Sirota sits down with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) for a wide-ranging interview. They discuss the proposed debt ceiling deal and whether Democrats could have done more to stop Republicans from holding the U.S. economy hostage. They also discuss Murphy’s key legislative focus: social media’s harmful effects on Americans, particularly children, and what can be done to stop it. According to a survey by Common Sense Media, teenagers report spending nearly nine hours every day in front of screens, 38 percent of kids ages eight to twelve say they use social media, and more than 60 percent report trying and failing to quit social media. All of these findings are possible signs of dependency and addiction. Social media companies won’t address this problem on their own, since their business model is predicated on keeping users scrolling as long as possible. That’s why Sen. Murphy, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, recently proposed the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, legislation that would limit some of the most harmful aspects of social media from endangering America’s children. David speaks with Sen. Murphy about his proposal, and the larger issues of social isolation and depression plaguing Americans. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: We are senators from both parties. It’s time to protect kids on social media. (Washington Post, 2023) This Democratic Senator Is Making an Unusual Enemy (The New Republic, 2023) BONUS: Last Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, included David’s interview with political theorist Adolph Reed Jr. about his new book No Politics But Class Politics. To get access to Lever Time Premium, click here.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar Thanks to our sponsor Sheets & Giggles. To get 20% off your order, head over to SheetsGiggles.com/lever. Make sure to use the discount code LEVER at checkout. 
5/31/202350 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

What Succession Taught Us About Corporate Media (w/ Frank Rich)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota sits down with writer and executive producer Frank Rich to discuss the series finale of HBO’s Succession. As the award-winning series comes to an end this Sunday, David and Frank take a look at Succession’s role in popular culture over the last five years, particularly its satire of the media industrial-complex and the American political system. Frank explains how the show offers a larger commentary on power and influence but above all, tells a story about a broken family. David also asks whether it’s plausible for an “intellectual fascist” like the character Jeryd Mencken to succeed in the Republican primary system. A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: Frank Rich Bids Farewell to Succession (Vanity Fair 2023)BONUS: Next Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will include David’s interview with political theorist Adolph Reed Jr. about his new book No Politics But Class Politics. To get access to Lever Time Premium, click here.If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar Thanks to our sponsor Sheets & Giggles. To get 20% off your order, head over to SheetsGiggles.com/lever. Make sure to use the discount code LEVER at checkout. 
5/25/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meet The Pundits Who Falsely Blamed Inflation on Workers

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: After corporate pundits spent the last year gaslighting the American public into believing that rising corporate profits were definitely not driving inflation, now economists and financial institutions are arriving at consensus that rising corporate profits are in fact driving inflation.David Sirota sits down with Lindsay Owens, the Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, and Hal Singer, the Managing Director of Econ One, who have both been sounding the alarm for over a year about corporate price gouging and profiteering which have been driving inflation. The group digs into the origins of the false inflation narrative, which corporate pundits and beltway economists are most responsible, and how policymakers can push back.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: How Pundits’ Inflation Myth Crushed The Working Class (The Lever, 2023) The Real Inflation Problem: Corporate Profiteering (Groundwork Collaborative, 2022) With the New Consensus on How Profits Are Driving Inflation, We Must Pivot to New Policies (The Sling, 2023) BONUS: Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will include our interview with Tara Raghuveer, the campaign director for the People’s Action Home Guarantee campaign, to discuss the skyrocketing rent prices across the U.S. Tara explains who’s profiting off rising rents and what policies can be put in place to help renters.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar Thanks to our sponsor Sheets & Giggles. To get 20% off your order, head over to SheetsGiggles.com/lever. Make sure to use the discount code LEVER at checkout. 
5/18/202357 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

This Right-Wing “University” Is Coming For Your Kids

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by Josh Olson and Dave Anthony, hosts of The Audit podcast, to discuss the dangerous influence of the conservative media network Prager University (also known as PragerU). PragerU has become one of the most successful peddlers of right-wing propaganda, as their professionally produced short-form videos often go viral on YouTube and Facebook. Though they originally made videos for adults, PragerU’s “educational content” has pivoted towards children and their parents in recent years. Now, shockingly, PragerU videos are finding their way into the American education system, as teachers across the country use PragerU content in their classrooms, with or without the consent of students and their parents. This season of The Audit focuses specifically on PragerU, digging into how this propaganda organization got its start, where it gets its money from, and how it's attempting to indoctrinate America’s children.A transcript of this episode is available here.Links: The Right Curriculum? How PragerU Infiltrates Schools. (The American Prospect, 2021) Right-wing propaganda organization PragerU begins targeting children (The Hawk Talk, 2022) Inside the Right-Wing YouTube Empire That’s Quietly Turning Millennials Into Conservatives (Mother Jones, 2018) BONUS: Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will include David’s dual interviews with with Brendan Ballou, author of the new book Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America, and Josh Rosner, co-author of These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs – And Wrecks – America. Brendan and Josh break down everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the private equity industry, which is arguably one of the most destructive industries within the American economy. If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar Thanks to our sponsor Sheets & Giggles. To get 20% off your order, head over to SheetsGiggles.com/lever. Make sure to use the discount code LEVER at checkout. 
5/11/202354 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Will Artificial Intelligence Destroy Us or Set Us Free?

David Sirota sits down with Dr. Max Tegmark, president of the Future of Life Institute and one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence, to dive into the growing debate around AI. In this deep-dive conversation, Dr. Tegmark breaks down recent breakthroughs in generative AI technology like ChatGPT and explains how it could replace most forms of human labor — for better or worse. They unpack why private interests are barreling forward with commercial AI development and why the Future of Life Institute has publicly called for an immediate pause on all AI experimentation. Dr. Tegmark also explains how AI could be the most transformative technology in human history — and the (small!) probability it becomes the Terminator. Next Monday's bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, will include David’s extended conversation with Dr. Tegmark. In this special bonus segment, Dr. Tegmark describes the safety measures that could prevent the emergence of the most dangerous forms of AI. If those precautions are put in place, he argues, AI could cure disease, stop climate change, end poverty, and just maybe set us free. Links: Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter (Future of Life Institute, 2023) EU lawmakers' challenge to rein in ChatGPT and generative AI (Reuters, 2023) If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here. Thanks to our sponsor Sheets & Giggles. To get 20% off your order, head over to SheetsGiggles.com/lever. Make sure to use the discount code LEVER at checkout. 
5/4/202347 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Did AstroTurf's "Forever Chemicals" Cause The Deaths Of Pro Athletes?

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota speaks with Philadelphia Inquirer journalists Barbara Laker and David Gambacorta about their recent blockbuster investigation, which details how chemicals found in the AstroTurf at Veterans Stadium may be linked to the deaths of six Philadelphia Phillies baseball players. The three discuss how hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” are now being discovered in a variety of different products. They also unpack why the conditions at Veterans Stadium may have been uniquely hazardous — and what, if anything, is being done to regulate PFAS.Links:  Field Of Dread (The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2023) Toxic PFAS Chemicals Found In Artificial Turf (The Intercept, October 2019) If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here.
4/27/202333 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Clarence Thomas Secret Money Trail

In this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota and Andrew Perez talk with ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott, who helped break open the explosive story about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failing to disclose luxury gifts and business deals with billionaire real estate magnate Harlan Crow. The three discuss how Propublica uncovered these groundbreaking details, the ethical questions emerging from the revelations, and what we know about Crow's interest in the Supreme Court. Links:  Billionaire Harlan Crow Bought Property From Clarence Thomas. (ProPublica, April 6)  Thomas Pushed To Kill Disclosure Laws While Getting Secret Billionaire Gifts (The Lever, April 12) If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here.
4/20/202335 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Biden’s First Primary Challenger

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota talks with author and political activist Marianne Williamson. They discuss her repeat candidacy for the Democratic party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential election, the political media industrial complex, universal healthcare, economic reform, science denialism, and facing down neo fascists.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here.
4/12/202351 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

AOC Sounds the Alarm About Biden 2024

On this week’s special episode of Lever Time, progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sits down for an extended interview with David Sirota. The two discuss the breaking news of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepting luxury trips from a billionaire Republican donor, which AOC says is grounds for impeachment (00:00), as well as the Biden administration’s "extremely risky and very perilous" swing to the right. They also tackle the railroad labor dispute, President Joe Biden’s support for a disastrous fossil fuel project in Alaska, how to pass Medicare for All, and the recent indictment of former President Donald Trump. What’s more, Sirota presses AOC on why she and other progressives haven’t withheld their votes more often to pressure Democratic leaders.Finally, in a special Lever Time Premium bonus segment for paid Lever subscribers, AOC reveals what it’s like trying to function in Washington amid the culture of money, power and pressure of massive corporate spending.If you'd like access to this bonus content and other Lever Time Premium episodes, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here.
4/7/202350 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who Created America’s Free Market Mythology?

This week, David Sirota speaks with Naomi Oreskes about the mythology of “market fundamentalism” that exists deep within the American psyche. A Harvard Professor of history, Oreskes explains how the total belief in the wisdom of the free-markets (in opposition to the ‘evil’ big government), went from being on the fringes of public debate to a dogmatic ideology that is unique to the United States. It’s a fascinating history involving key figures of the 20th century, including Herbert Hoover, industry groups, and a massively popular show called “General Electric Theater that starred a Hollywood actor named Ronald Reagan. (02:49)If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarRead a transcript of this episode here.
3/29/202327 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Bank Regulator Who Was Blocked for Being Right

This week, David Sirota delves into the bank panic of 2023 with Saule Omarova, a Cornell Law School professor whose nomination to be one of the government's top bank regulators was blocked due to her opposition to deregulation. She was right about everything, as it turns out. Also, Matt Stoller joins David to explore alternative methods for securing deposits and advocate for policy-makers to rethink their relationship to the Federal Reserve. (09:12)Links:  Brian Stelter’s profile of David Sirota and The Lever in Airmail. Last Friday’s live discussion with U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on the SVB collapse.  Sign The Lever’s open letter to fire Jay Powell right now www.firepowell.com. Find a transcript of this episode here.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
3/22/202348 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Regulatory Rollbacks and The Bank Panic of 2023

This week’s episode of Lever Time explores the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and its impact on the U.S. financial system. Lever reporter Julia Rock joins David Sirota to discuss banking CEOs’ lobbying efforts to roll back key regulations in the lead-up to the implosion, and Cornell University Law Professor Robert C. Hockett provides expert insight on whether uninsured deposits should be protected from such disasters. (08:25) Also discussed: The recent conviction of former Ohio House speaker Larry Householder, a Republican, on racketeering conspiracy charges in connection with a bribery scheme involving FirstEnergy Corp.If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which features international whistleblower expert Stephen Kohn on how to blow the whistle on corporate and government malfeasance while protecting yourself, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA transcript of this episode is available here.
3/15/202345 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Have Dems Lost Working Class Voters? (w/ Nina Turner)

David Sirota is joined by progressive icon Nina Turner to talk about Ohio politics and why Democrats like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg completely fumbled the political response to the train derailment in East Palestine. A former Ohio State Senator, Nina has a keen sense of why Trump’s messaging appeals so much more to working-class residents and why Democrats must avoid the “neo-liberal cult of self-righteousness” if they want to win back voters. Also discussed: recent organizing efforts by Starbucks and Amazon workers and the 2024 presidential election.(16:42)If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
3/8/202356 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

How to Derail the Anti-Safety Train Lobby

David Sirota talks with U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Penn.) about the fear, anger, and mistrust felt by many of his constituents in the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment disaster. The freshman congressman talks about the latest efforts to hold these giant railroad companies accountable, the runaway deregulation that has put communities at risk, and his hopes for bipartisan movement toward fixing the real problems. In fact, just after taping this interview, Deluzio and Congressman Ro Khanna introduced a bill to tighten safety regulations for “high-hazard” flammable materials on trains (09:11).If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
3/1/202340 minutes
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Private Equity’s Senator Gets Big Payout

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Andrew Perez who details their new story published by The Lever:“For years, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) led the fight to protect one of the most controversial provisions in the entire tax code — a loophole criticized by presidents of both parties that allows a handful of private equity executives to pay a lower tax rate than other high earners.Now, Toomey is being rewarded with a seat on the board of a private equity giant that has lobbied to preserve that tax loophole.”To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
2/27/20235 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

How The Lever Forced Buttigieg To Do His Job

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: Producer Frank sits down with journalists Julia Rock, Rebecca Burns, and Matthew Cunningham-Cook for an in-depth conversation about The Lever’s groundbreaking reporting on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The group explores how an environmental disaster like this can occur, including examining the influence of the railroad and chemical lobbies, as well as detailing the regulatory capture of three separate presidential administrations. The group also details how The Lever’s reporting gained national coverage, triggered a public pressure campaign, and helped lead to a response from Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (1:50).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
2/22/202347 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

The JFK Files And The CIA

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by investigative journalist Jefferson Morley, one of the foremost experts on the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. David and Jeff discuss the trove of classified documents pertaining to the assassination that were recently released by the Biden administration, what we learned from the materials, and the potential reasons why the CIA is still withholding an estimated 4,000 additional documents (8:49).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
2/15/202336 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Rail Companies Blocked Safety Rules Before Ohio Derailment

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Julia Rock and Rebecca Burns who detail their new story published by The Lever:“Before this weekend’s fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment prompted emergency evacuations in Ohio, the company helped kill a federal safety rule aimed at upgrading the rail industry’s Civil War-era braking systems, according to documents reviewed by The Lever.Though the company’s 150-car train in Ohio reportedly burst into 100-foot flames upon derailing — and was transporting materials that triggered a fireball when they were released and incinerated — it was not being regulated as a “high-hazard flammable train,” federal officials told The Lever.”To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
2/9/20238 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meet Alaska’s First Democratic Rep. In Almost 50 Years (w/ Rep. Mary Peltola)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota sits down with freshman Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), who recently made history as the first woman elected to represent Alaska in the House of Representatives, and the first Democrat to represent the state in the lower chamber in almost 50 years. David speaks with Mary about how she pulled off her historic win, why she opposed forcing the railroad unions to accept the contract brokered by the Biden administration, and Alaska’s economic dependency on the oil and gas industry in the face of climate change (12:40).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
2/8/202335 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Where Spirituality Meets Politics (w/ Russell Brand)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota breaks down The Lever’s recent reporting on the defamation lawsuit against Beto O’Rourke that could set a dangerous precedent when it comes to criticizing billionaires (4:45).Then, David is joined by comedian, actor, and author Russell Brand for a long-form conversation about Russell’s evolution from comedian to political content creator. In the last few years, Russell has built a significant online following, where his brand of anti-establishment, pro-spirituality intellectualism has garnered him more than six million subscribers on YouTube. David asks Russell about his ideological development, as well as some of the criticisms that have been levied against him, including how some of his content could be construed as “conspiracy theories” (11:50). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
2/1/202349 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Fear And Loathing Among The Union Busters

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Julia Rock who details their new story published by The Lever:“The restaurant industry has long coordinated efforts to suppress labor costs through the NRA, a multimillion-dollar lobbying machine funded both by its restaurant members and by the fees workers pay for required food-safety classes. The group has spent its war chest on lobbying campaigns to preserve a subminimum wage for tipped workers — who are disproportionately young, women, and people of color, and far more likely to live in poverty than regular minimum wage workers — and to help block state and federal sick leave proposals and minimum wage increases.”To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
1/31/20238 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Republicans Want To Defund The IRS

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: A few weeks ago, House Republicans passed a bill to cancel new Internal Revenue Service funding. David Sirota sits down with journalist and tax policy expert Jesse Eisinger, who provides much-needed context on the GOP’s push to defund one of our most integral government agencies. (Yes, the IRS really is necessary.) Jesse explains how the modest investments passed by Democrats would help the beleaguered IRS hold accountable our worst tax cheats and create billions of dollars in new revenue, and how Republican efforts to defund the agency would lead to even more of its chronically lax oversight (12:08).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here. To learn more about advertising on The Lever's podcasts, email us at [email protected].
1/25/202342 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: The Lawsuit That Could Freeze Speech Against Billionaires

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Jordan Uhl who details their new story published by The Lever:“Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, the national debate over free speech has narrowly focused on tech companies’ social media censorship. But offline in a Texas court, a lawsuit could send an intimidating message to political candidates across the country: If you suggest billionaire donors buy political influence, you could face severe punishment.”To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
1/20/20239 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Pfizer Pays To Change The Story

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Andrew Perez who details their new story published by The Lever:“Pfizer recently made headlines for hiking prices on roughly 100 drugs in the United States, shortly after the company announced plans to quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine. Now, the pharmaceutical giant is paying news outlets to tell a different story — a fawning tale about how the company has been altruistically working to expand access to its products overseas.”To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
1/19/20237 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The State Of Congress (w/ Rep. Ro Khanna)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time Premium: David Sirota sits down with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) for a substantive conversation on the latest congressional developments. First, they discuss Ro’s ongoing House Oversight Committee investigation into fossil-fueled disinformation campaigns. The two also cover the U.S. airline industry debacle, the debate around banning gas stoves, and the recent votes for House Speaker — and why progressives have yet to wield the same power as right-wing Republicans (9:16). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
1/18/202343 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Insurers Are Fighting To Protect Their Medicare Fraud

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Andrew Perez who details their new story published by The Lever:"This year, for the first time, a majority of seniors eligible for Medicare will be on privatized Medicare Advantage plans. Now, the insurance companies raking in giant profits from these for-profit plans are mounting a pressure campaign and planning to sue the government to protect years of overpayments they’ve extracted from Medicare."To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
1/13/20236 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Corporate Merger No One’s Talking About

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: Last October, grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons announced they planned to merge and become one of the largest grocery monopolies in the country. To learn what’s at stake, David Sirota is joined by journalist Moe Tkacik, who has been covering the story for months, and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who recently launched a multistate antitrust investigation into the potential merger (10:00). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here. To learn more about advertising on The Lever's podcasts, email us at [email protected].
1/11/202336 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: How Big Pharma Actually Spends Its Massive Profits

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Julia Rock, who details their new story published by The Lever:Pharmaceutical giants rang in the new year by quietly announcing price hikes in the United States on more than 350 drugs — and they continue to insist these price hikes are necessary for innovation. But new research shows that the business model of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies involves far more spending on enriching shareholders and executives than on research and development.To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
1/6/20236 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

How The Airline Industry Became A Living Nightmare

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: After the Southwest Airlines debacle that saw over 2,500 flights canceled and up to a million travelers stranded over the holidays, David Sirota explores how the U.S. airline industry became one of the most concentrated and despised industries in the country with the help of William J. McGee, a senior fellow for aviation and travel at the American Economic Liberties Project. William explains to David the history of airline deregulation and the federal preemption that left oversight of the industry solely in the questionable hands of the Secretary of Transportation (10:50).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.To sign our open letter, go to LeverNews.com/Airlines. To learn more about advertising on The Lever's podcasts, email us at [email protected].
1/4/202345 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: The Battle Over The Side-Letter Scam

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Matthew Cunningham-Cook who details their new story published by The Lever:For years, the retirement savings of teachers, firefighters, and other government workers have been funneled by public officials to secretive Wall Street firms that charge high fees in exchange for the false promise of outsized returns. But as the stock market plummets and asset values drop, there are new fears that pensioners will be unable to access their cash, while insiders will be allowed to pull their money out before things get worse.Now, Wall Street firms and their political allies — including a U.S. Senator with substantial private equity holdings — are trying to stop federal regulators from intervening to protect retirees by banning firms from giving some investors preferential treatment. And there are no rules requiring lawmakers with investments in private equity to disclose whether they are being given special investment preferences while they lobby to protect those asset managers.To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
12/23/202210 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Banks’ Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Rebecca Burns who details their new story published by The Lever:Amid a financial crime spree and spate of corporate convictions, federal regulators recently floated a proposed fix: strengthening an existing rule designed to bar criminal banks from managing — and profiting off — trillions of dollars of retirement funds.To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
12/22/20228 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Elon Musk’s Twitter Is The Opposite Of Free Speech

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: In light of Elon Musk’s Twitter flippantly banning journalists last week, David Sirota chats with Producer Frank and Jordan Uhl about the broader implications. Is this just another culture war sideshow, or is it the most forward-facing example of what happens when oligarchs control the public discourse (1:50)?  Then, David is joined by Evan Greer, the director of the digital rights advocacy group Fight For The Future, who helps unpack the significance of Twitter’s implosion. Unlike other social media websites, Twitter is both a news source and a town square, which makes Elon’s unilateral control of the company all the more concerning. They also dig into the practicalities of content moderation and why freedom of expression is so crucial in the digital age (21:02).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.https://www.fightforthefuture.org/
12/21/202246 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: BlackRock’s Stealth Anti-Climate Agenda

This mini-episode is part of our Inside The Story series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Rebecca Burns who details her new story published by The Lever:BlackRock, the world’s largest investment company, has become a top target of the right’s crusade against so-called “woke capitalism” because of its rhetoric around climate change and sustainable investing. But when it comes to climate action, the giant asset manager isn’t presently all that far apart from its GOP detractors. Both BlackRock and congressional Republicans are fighting — albeit through different strategies — to defang a forthcoming regulation that would force companies to disclose their carbon emissions and the risks that climate change pose to their business models.To read the full story, click here.If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
12/16/202210 minutes
Episode Artwork

INSIDE THE STORY: Leonard Leo’s Latest Supreme Court Play

This mini-episode is part of our Lever News series, where we highlight some of The Lever’s original reporting and speak with the journalists who wrote the story. Frank Cappello speaks with Andrew Perez who details his new story published by The Lever. Flush with money after receiving the largest-known political advocacy donation in U.S. history, conservative activist Leonard Leo and his associates are spending millions of dollars to influence some of the Supreme Court’s most consequential recent cases, newly released tax documents obtained by ProPublica and The Lever show. (This story was reported in partnership between The Lever and ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.)To read the full story, click here. If you enjoyed this story and want to support independent journalism, you can go to LeverNews.com to subscribe to our free newsletter or become a paid supporter. 
12/15/202210 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Scientific Breakthrough That Could End Climate Change

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: In light of the recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology, David Sirota sits down with UK plasma physicist Dr. Arthur Turrell to learn about this “holy grail” of scientific research. Could nuclear fusion be deployed to combat the climate crisis, and how long would it take to do so (8:37)? If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
12/14/202231 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Biden Betrayed Railroad Workers

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by New York Times global economics correspondent Peter S. Goodman to explore why President Biden and the Democrats chose to side with railroad barons by forcing rail workers to accept a contract they had already rejected. They also dig into why the rail workers’ demand for additional paid sick days became such a sticking point in negotiations, and what a potential rail strike could mean for the U.S. economy (6:24).Then, The Lever’s Julia Rock sits down with journalist and filmmaker Blake Zeff to discuss his new documentary Loan Wolves, which details the history of America’s student debt crisis, which politicians are to blame, and how student debt has impacted Americans across the country (30:24). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
12/7/202251 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

How To Be Funny In 2022 (w/ David Cross)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: Andrew Perez sits down with Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive think tank Groundwork Collaborative, to talk about why the upcoming fight in Congress over the debt ceiling is so pivotal. Owens explains how inflation will play a role in the negotiations, and discusses whether or not President Joe Biden will allow the conflict to be used as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits (7:32). Then, David Sirota is joined by comedy legend David Cross, known for his roles in Mr. Show and Arrested Development and one of the most subversive comedians of the modern era. The two Davids discuss the state of modern comedy, the debate around cancel culture and free speech, and what is the most constructive way to make fun of people you disagree with (25:46). Finally, for this week’s bonus segment, David speaks with journalist and author Geoff Dembicki about his new book The Petroleum Papers: Inside the Far-Right Conspiracy to Cover Up Climate Change, which details the how the fossil fuel industry has spent the last several decades spreading disinformation about climate science (1:05:09). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.groundworkcollaborative.orgofficialdavidcross.com
11/30/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ticketmaster’s Monopoly vs. Taylor Swift Fans

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota discusses one of the country’s first-ever dark money disclosure laws passed during the recent midterms — Arizona Proposition 211 — and speaks with former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who has spent the better part of the last decade fighting to get the law passed (4:37). Then, David is joined by Jordan Uhl, who has been covering last week’s Ticketmaster debacle in which thousands of Taylor Swift fans learned the hard way what happens when antitrust law isn’t enforced. The two were also joined by Max Collins, frontman for the rock band Eve 6, who has firsthand experience with the abusive practices of the giant corporations that now control the music industry (25:46).Finally, for this week’s bonus segment, David sits down with former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart for a long-form conversation about the evolution of American politics since the late 1980s, and his new book about saving American democracy (52:11). A rough transcript of this episode is available here.If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjar
11/23/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tales From The Crypto

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: Progressive candidates win big! First, Producer Frank chats with The Lever’s Jordan Uhl about his takeaways from attending a recent Congressional Progressive Caucus event welcoming eleven new members of the House Democrats’ progressive wing (6:49). Then, David Sirota discusses the recent implosion of the cryptocurrency market following the collapse of the FTX exchange and resignation of its CEO. David is joined by journalist and crypto policy expert Jacob Silverman, as well as director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project Matt Stoller, who explain the crypto debacle, why regulators were asleep at the wheel, and what should be done to fix the problem (26:09).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
11/16/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Midterm Shellacking That Never Was (w/ Krystal Ball)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: It’s the day after the midterm elections! David Sirota and The Lever’s entire reporting staff break down all the key takeaways, including the big progressive wins, the stunning MAGA losses, the victories for abortion rights, the surprising exit poll data, and the important ballot measures that passed (4:57). Then, David is joined by Krystal Ball, co-host of Breaking Points, for a big-picture conversation about the election results. David and Krystal discuss shifting electoral trends, what the next two years of Biden’s presidency might look like, and what it all could mean for the 2024 presidential election (34:24). If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
11/10/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

BONUS: Live From Pennsylvania — It’s The 2022 Midterms!

On this bonus episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is on the campaign trail tracking key Pennsylvania races in the lead-up to next week’s midterms. First, David interviews Summer Lee, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district. David speaks with Summer about the flood of money that has been spent against her, first in the Democratic primary and now in the general election (:47).Then, David sits down with Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor of Pennsylvania. David asks Josh about the future of fracking in the state, his running mate Austin Davis, his history as corporate prosecutor, and the pressure he feels running against Republican Doug Mastriano, who is a full-blown election denier (11:21). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.https://summerforpa.com/https://joshshapiro.org/
11/3/202238 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Battle To End Dark Money (w/ Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who also serves as the chair of the Democratic Secretaries of State Association. David and Jena discuss the slate of election-denying Republican candidates who are running to oversee their state’s elections, and why the results of this year’s secretaries of state races are so vital (7:46). Then, David and Andrew Perez sit down with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to talk about his new book, The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court, and what’s next in the battle to end dark money — like the $1.6 billion secret donation we exposed — in politics (30:10).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
11/2/20221 hour, 1 minute, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Midterm Breakdown (w/ Chris Hayes)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by MSNBC host Chris Hayes for a deep-dive discussion on this year’s midterm elections, the responsibility of the media in covering unprecedented threats to democracy, and what it’s like being the lead anchor of one of the country’s largest cable news networks (6:27). Then, David sits down with journalist and author Anand Giridharadas to talk about his new book, The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy, and how the art of persuasion is one of the most powerful — yet neglected — tools for overcoming the extreme polarization of modern politics (50:57).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
10/26/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meet Wall Street’s Most Corrupt Senate Candidate

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by The Lever’s reporters Julia Rock and Rebecca Burns to discuss recent news, including a climate protest that made international headlines for dousing a Van Gogh painting in tomato soup (4:38), and a sketchy financial bait-and-switch by Microchip giant Intel (9:00). Julia and Rebecca also break down their massive stories on Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd, who during his terms as a Congressman has helped his donors bypass predatory lending laws, and helped facilitate the merger of two giant banks, all while collecting mountains of cash from the financial industry (12:56). Then, David sits down with Melissa Jacoby, one of the foremost experts on bankruptcy law, for a deep dive on how corporations abuse the bankruptcy system to shield themselves from liability, while real people are afforded none of the same protections (27:41).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
10/19/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Biden's Marijuana Plan: The Good, The Bad, And The Corporate Interests

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: On this week’s episode of Lever Time Premium: Joel Warner speaks with attorney and drug policy expert Shaleen Title about Joe Biden’s recent announcement on marijuana decriminalization and reform. Joel and Shaleen break down every aspect of Biden’s plan, as well as the corporate interests hoping to turn a profit from marijuana legalization (6:03). Then, David Sirota interviews Gary Chambers, a progressive Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana. David talks with Gary about his roots as a community organizer, the resistance he’s met from the Democratic establishment, and how he hopes to become the state’s first Black senator (34:06). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.ParabolaCenter.comChambersForLouisiana.com
10/12/202254 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Billionaires Are Preparing For The Apocalypse — And You’re Not Invited (w/ Douglas Rushkoff)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David is joined by comedian Dave Anthony and screenwriter Josh Olson, hosts of the Lever’s new “educational” podcast, The Audit. David, Dave, and Josh break down the news of the week, including shocking revelations about Herschel Walker and Dr. Oz, new GOP Facebook ads attempting to monetize their cruelty towards migrants, and the new slate of high-profile Supreme Court cases this session (3:58). Then, David is joined by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff to discuss his new book, Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires, which details how the ultra-wealthy are currently preparing for a “world-ending” event (33:08). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
10/5/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dems' Broken Pipe(line) Dreams (w/ Sen. Brian Schatz)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by Andrew Perez and Jacobin staff writer Luke Savage to analyze a moment of open corruption during a House committee meeting (1:57), discuss how Joe Manchin’s dirty pipeline bill is getting “greenwashed” (12:46), and score an inside look at Savage’s new book, The Dead Center, about the failures of modern Liberalism (23:03). Then, David and Julia Rock press Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on his support for Manchin’s permitting reform deal (30:54).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
9/28/20221 hour, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ron DeSantis' Worst Nightmare (w/ Charlie Crist)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David is joined by New York Times’ global economics correspondent Peter S. Goodman and Labor Notes reporter Jonah Furman to break down the looming railroad workers strike, which could potentially bring the U.S. economy to a screeching halt (7:03). Then, David interviews Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee running for governor of Florida against Ron DeSantis. David and Charlie discuss DeSantis’ recent horrible political stunt, plus what it would take to unseat him this November (35:24).https://charliecrist.com/If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
9/21/202256 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

The NFL Is A Political Weapon (w/ Dave Zirin)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by The Lever’s Andrew Perez and ProPublica’s Andy Kroll, who break down their follow-up reporting on Barre Seid, the secretive Chicago billionaire responsible for the single largest political advocacy donation in U.S. history (3:25). Then, David sits down with political sportswriter Dave Zirin to discuss his new documentary about the history of the NFL’s political influence on American culture (24:16). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.Head over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order! Head over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order!
9/14/20221 hour, 1 minute, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Amazon And Starbucks Finally Feel The Heat

On this week’s episode of Lever Time Premium: David Sirota discusses Joe Biden’s recent comments on what he considers the biggest threat to American democracy (2:35); Julia Rock breaks down her reporting on the dark side of Biden’s student debt policy, including how his Justice Department is fighting debtors in bankruptcy court (9:38); and Matthew Cunningham-Cook updates us on how a corporate Democrat’s big bet on pumping workers’ retirement funds into private equity is now paying off in his Rhode Island congressional race (17:00). Then, Producer Frank and Julia share their on-the-ground coverage from this past Monday’s Labor Day march which was co-organized by the Amazon Labor Union and Starbucks Workers United, including their interview with ALU President Chris Smalls (24:15). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
9/7/202249 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

“Let Them Eat Student Debt” (w/ Astra Taylor & Marshall Steinbaum)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota is joined by The Lever’s Andrew Perez and Matthew Cunningham-Cook to discuss Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan and dissect the internet’s obsession with ‘Dark Brandon' (3:15). Then, David sits down with author, filmmaker, and co-founder of the Debt Collective, Astra Taylor, and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah, Marshall Steinbaum, for an in-depth analysis of Biden’s student debt relief plan (37:55). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
8/31/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Exposing The Biggest Political Donation In U.S. History

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota breaks down The Lever’s blockbuster story detailing the largest political donation in U.S. history — $1.6 billion — and how that money found its way into the hands of Leonard Leo, the man responsible for packing the Supreme Court with right-wing extremists. David is joined by The Lever’s Andrew Perez, who uncovered the donation, as well as ProPublica’s Andy Kroll and Justin Elliott, who co-wrote the resulting story with Andrew (3:34). Then, David interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert about how Republicans became the party of climate denial and obstruction (47:47). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.Head over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order!
8/24/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who Fact Checks The Fact Checkers?

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David Sirota and Andrew Perez discuss Andrew’s recent investigative reporting on the Washington Post’s fact checker, which led WaPo to issue a correction (2:10). Then, Julia Rock interviews technology procurement expert Hassan Khan about the recently passed CHIPS Act and what it means for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and the tech giants who will benefit from it (17:25). Finally, David sits down with Stacey Walker, the first African-American elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors in Iowa, to discuss Walker’s experience governing as a progressive Democrat in a red state during the Trump era (40:45).If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
8/17/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who Do Democrats Actually Work For?

On this week’s episode of Lever Time Premium: The Lever’s staff discuss the Democratic party’s favorite constituents: the Private Equity industry (3:16). Then, Julia Rock and Producer Frank sit down with journalist Alex Pareene to explore the history of centrist Democrats’ “Never-Ending War on the Woke” (24:13). Finally, Matthew Cunningham-Cook and Julia Rock interview economist Jason Furman, who was one of the top economic advisers for President Obama and one of the biggest proponents of The Federal Reserve’s controversial interest rate hikes (48:41). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
8/10/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

This One Election Could End Democracy (also, Susan Sarandon On Being Liberals' Scapegoat)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David speaks with New York Times columnist David Wallace-Wells about the strengths and weaknesses of Democrats’ surprise climate deal (10:20). He then talks to Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, who’s running against a right-wing extremist in arguably the most important race of 2022 (42:15). Finally, David sits down with actor and activist Susan Sarandon to discuss how she became liberals’ favorite scapegoat to blame for the Democratic Party’s glaring failures (1:10:54). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.JoshShapiro.orgSheetsGiggles.com/Lever
8/3/20221 hour, 36 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Corporations Can Put You In Jail (w/ Steven Donziger)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time Premium: In the midst of a global heatwave, David discusses Biden’s pattern of inaction (2:20). Next, David speaks with journalist Laura Krantz about her new narrative podcast series, Wild Thing: Going Nuclear, which explores the history and potential future of nuclear energy (14:00). Then, David interviews human rights attorney Steven Donziger, the man who successfully sued Chevron for polluting the Ecuadorian rainforest, and as a result was placed under house arrest for nearly 1,000 days (34:58). If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism: levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.freedonziger.com
7/27/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chris Smalls Is Having A #HotLaborSummer (w/ Chris Smalls)

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David speaks with historian Harvey Kaye and journalist Robert Kuttner about how Joe Biden will need to “go big” with his policy proposals in order to salvage his presidency and stave off rising fascism in the United States, in the same way as FDR (9:10). Next, David sits down with Lucas Kunce, who’s running in a Democratic primary for Senate in Missouri, and whose working class politics are the driving force behind his campaign (29:53). Then, The Lever interviews Amazon Labor Union (ALU) president Chris Smalls, who helped organize the first-ever union at an Amazon warehouse in the U.S. David and the team spoke to Chris about his experience testifying before Congress, his #HotLaborSummer tour, and the future of the ALU (52:51).LucasKunce.comAmazonLaborUnion.orgIf you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.Head over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order!
7/13/20221 hour, 28 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

How America Legalized Corruption

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David speaks with Democratic strategist Mark Longabaugh about what a potential Biden 2024 presidential run could mean for the future of the Democratic Party (7:46). Then, he’s joined by the hosts of 5-4 Pod for an in-depth conversation about how the Supreme Court methodically legalized corruption, culminating in the recent decision in FEC v. Ted Cruz For Senate (32:24). Finally, David chats with president of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, to discuss the overturning of Roe and the organization’s plan for dealing with the fallout (1:02:25). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. It helps us do this kind of independent journalism. levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.PlannedParenthood.orgAbortionFinder.org
7/6/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Man Who Bought The Supreme Court

After this past week’s barrage of devastating Supreme Court decisions, we’re doing a SCOTUS deep-dive. First, David is joined by The Lever’s Andrew Perez to discuss his recent piece about the conservative dark money network that has been bankrolling judicial nominees for the past twenty years. Then, David speaks with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Colorado State Senator Julie Gonzales about what the Dobbs ruling means for millions of women in the country, and what authority cities and states have to protect abortion access. Finally, David interviews award-winning journalist Amy Westervelt about the upcoming Supreme Court case West Virginia v. EPA, in which a group of Republican Attorneys General are suing the EPA over its ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.If you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever, click the following link. We really appreciate your support :) levernews.com/tipjarA rough transcript of this episode is available here.
6/29/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Social Security Chopping Block

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David speaks with Alex Lawson, the executive director of Social Security Works, to discuss Lindsey Graham’s recent comments on entitlement reform and whether the Biden administration will capitulate to Republicans (5:07). He’s then joined by Andrew Perez, whose recent Lever story explored a free medical clinic filling critical health care gaps in Sen. Manchin’s home state of West Virginia, after the corporate Democrat blocked Medicare expansion (27:40). Finally, Julia Rock interviews climate organizer Pete Sikora, a campaign director for New York Communities for Change, about New York Dems’ recent efforts to kill a renewable energy bill (45:50).If you'd like to support the independent journalism we're doing, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. We really appreciate your support :) levernews.com/tipjarHead over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order!
6/22/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Fed Hates You

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David exposes the major problem with the January 6 hearings and how they may result in a better outcome for Republicans than Democrats (2:42). Then he’s joined by economics professor Joshua William Mason and The Lever’s Julia Rock to discuss Julia’s recent piece about how the Federal Reserve is planning to curb inflation… by lowering workers’ wages (16:10). After that, due to the cataclysmic failures of the two-party system, David discusses the reality of third parties in the US. To do so, he interviews Philadelphia City Councilmember Kendra Brooks (40:15) and former Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman (1:00:35), both of whom have run successful campaigns as third party candidates.kendraforphilly.comzuckermanforvt.comIf you’d like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. We really appreciate your support :) levernews.com/tipjar
6/15/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

America’s Top Gun Problem

On this week’s episode of Lever Time: David is joined by author and professor Roger Stahl to discuss the “military-entertainment complex” as it relates to the recent success of Top Gun: Maverick (3:10). Then The Lever’s Matthew Cunningham-Cook stops by to talk through his recent piece about how the Biden administration is hiking the price of Medicare premiums and funneling the money to private insurers (35:58). Finally, in light of the national trend of corporate interests flooding Democratic primaries with campaign cash, David sits down with Elisabeth Epps — a progressive candidate running for a house seat in the Colorado state legislature — to talk about the monied interests attempting to crush her campaign (50:58). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber.If you’d like to leave a tip for The Lever click the following link. We really appreciate your support :) levernews.com/tipjarElisabeth Epps’ campaign website: https://www.elisabethepps.com/
6/8/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

There's No Duty To Protect (also, Judd Apatow on George Carlin)

On the inaugural episode of Lever Time, David speaks with civil rights lawyer and founder of Civil Rights Corps, Alec Karakatsanis, about how police in the US are not legally obligated to protect its citizens (10:10). Next, The Lever's Julia Rock discusses her reporting on the landmark climate justice lawsuit Juliana v. United States in which a group of teenagers are suing the federal government for the right to a livable planet (35:40). Then, renowned comedian and filmmaker Judd Apatow joins us to talk about his new HBO documentary, George Carlin's American Dream (55.40). If you'd like access to Lever Time Premium, which includes extended interviews and bonus content, head over to LeverNews.com to become a supporting subscriber. Head over to SheetsGiggles.com/LEVER to get 15% off your order!
6/1/20221 hour, 19 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Introducing... Lever Time

Coming soon — it's Lever Time! Hosted by award-winning journalist David Sirota, Lever Time is the flagship podcast from the investigative news outlet The Lever. This is the trailer for that podcast. Just listen to it. It'll explain everything. 
5/13/20221 minute, 42 seconds