94 episodes

I describe the concepts behind the news of the day and give my verdicts on the issues making news.

Jonathans Verdicts Jonathan Simeone

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I describe the concepts behind the news of the day and give my verdicts on the issues making news.

    More Debt Ceiling Nonsense

    More Debt Ceiling Nonsense

    The title of this episode is: More Debt Ceiling Nonsense. The verdict for this episode is: talk of the mythical debt means the American people will lose again.

    Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy are meeting Wednesday to discuss the debt ceiling and spending cuts. While Biden and White House staff are talking tough, the ending here is so predictable. Biden and the Democrats will cave. Republicans will raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts that hurt the American people. As always, those spending cuts will be deliberately targeted to hurt people with disabilities, people of color, people living in poverty, and the future of our planet.

    Ukraine will soon have its tanks. Later, it will get long range missiles. The Pentagon will continue getting record breaking budgets even though it can't account for huge sums it previously got. Police will keep getting more money. Corporations will keep making record profits. The rest of us will get even more screwed than we are already being screwed.

    This outcome is predictable not because similar things have happened regularly over the last several decades. This is predictable because the politicians and their corporate masters created the debt ceiling to ensure the wealthy could keep getting rich off of government debt and then the debt could be used to scare the uninformed into believing that a looming fiscal crisis necessitates sacrifice. Meanwhile, the same people will continue getting richer and more powerful. The same people will continue being hurt. And the same people will be comfortable enough and scared enough to hide from the truth of what America has always been.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan's Verdicts. I appreciate your support.

    • 2 min
    The Senate Should be Abolished

    The Senate Should be Abolished

    In this episode, I make the case for abolishing the Senate.


    The Title of this episode is: the Senate should be abolished. The verdict for this episode is: the Senate's purpose is to prevent progress and maintain systems of oppression.

    I do not call for the abolishment of the Senate lightly. I realize limiting political processes will result, when the right has power, in terrible consequences. But the Senate still must be abolished in order for their to be any chancce at real progress.

    The Senate, as people who know American history understand, , was designed to prevent politics from actually reflecting the will of the people and to ensure the wealthy maintained all of the real power. Under the Constitution, tmembers of the Senate were chosen by individual state legislatures, not the people.. Each state was given two senators specifically to ensure the small slave states had more power than their populations should have allowed. This problem still plagues American politics today.

    How often in recent times have issues supported by a majority of Americans been stopped by the undemocratic Senate and its rules, especially the filibuster, designed to prevent the majority from governing. That shameful reality leads to what should be an obvious conclusion: as long as America has a senate progress will be incremental and never sufficient.

    As long as small, white states can dominate what becomes law in America, their agenda will continue being the American agenda. Even when they lack the power, because they Don't have the House, Senate, and/or the presidency, they can use the Senate and its undemocratic rules and nature to ensure the will of the majority is thwarted and progress dies. It's true that majority rule will not always be a good thing. But Constant minority rule is a terrible thing that is only supported by those who want to prevent progress and uphold systems of oppression.

    Again, I understand abolishing the Senate will sometimes lead to negative results. But if the lack of a Senate enabled the House and the president to actually govern more for the benefit of the people, fewer people would be inclined to vote for the right because they would see actual benefits in their lives from a government that sometimes worked for their benefit.

    Abolishing the Senate would not be a political cure-all, but it would be a step in the right direction. Yes, we need campaign finance reform, true voting rights, and more, but abolishing the Senate would be an important part of making America a more democratic country.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan's Verdicts. I appreciate your support.

    • 4 min
    Democrats Never do Anything

    Democrats Never do Anything

    Show Notes

    In this episode, I give examples and highlight how continuing to vote for Democrats will never result in meaningful change.


    The title of this episode is: Democrats never do anything. The verdict for this episode is: Nothing will fundamentally change until people stop voting for Democrats.

    As someone who supported Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020, it hurts me to say this: but no Democrat actually fights for workers, people of color, people with disabilities, seniors, or all the people historically and continuously oppressed to make wealthy white people more wealthy.

    I want to walk through some examples to highlight this point:

    * Democrats stabbed railroad workers in the back forcing them to take a contract with no actual sick days.

    * Democrats never tried to raise the minimum wage.

    * During the campaign, Biden talked about the weak public option for health insurance but has never raised it as president.

    * Democrats talked about raising the minimum wage but never have tried.

    * Almost every Democrat talked about some kind of student loan relief but pretended to do it n a way that would be struck down in a court.

    Sadly, I could continue. The unfortunate truth is that voting for Democrats never results in any kind of fundamental change; in fact, the only campaign promise Biden has fought hard to deliver on is the idea that nothing would fundamentally change.

    All of this means that if you continue voting for Democrats, you are unfortunately part of the problem. As long as Democrats can maintain some degree of power by talking a lot about change and continuing to harm people for the benefit of their corporate masters, the rest of us will continue suffering.

    Sure, the Republican Party is worse. But the Democratic Party isn't meaningful opposition. The Democratic Party has never been meaningful opposition.

    Even if you believe the Democratic Party can be reformed, your best course of action is to stop voting for Democrats until Democrats start doing something for you.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan's Verdicts. I appreciate your support.

    • 3 min
    Demand Our Access Episode One

    Demand Our Access Episode One

    This is the first episode of a new podcast I have started to teach people with disabilities about their legal rights and how to access them. I'm posting this here to share what I have been up to recently. Future episodes will be published to the Demand Our Access website.

    • 23 min
    Congressional Progressives are Usless

    Congressional Progressives are Usless

    The verdict for this episode is: Joe Manchin is worth all 100 progressives.

    Rough Transcript

    Hello, and welcome to Jonathan's Verdicts. I'm Jonathan Simeone.

    The title of this episode is: Congressional Progressives are Useless.

    The verdict for this episode :is Joe Manchin is worth all 100 congressional progressives.

    As always, I don't edit these podcast episodes, and I don't have a script. They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.

    I decided to record this episode after reading about the latest iteration of the build back agenda plan that Biden has put forth.

    And the reason I want to record this is

    it shows us how useless congressional progressives really are.

    There are 100 or so people in the House who come to the Progressive Caucus, who say they are progressives and we know there are a few in the Senate, who also say they are progressives.

    And none of these people accomplish very much.

    And as a collective, they accomplish way less than Joe Manchin and Kiersten Sinema.

    I want to give some examples.

    When progressives first started talking about their goals for this Congress, they had a $10 trillion package.

    Then it went down to 6 trillion.

    Then with Biden they had a 3.5 trillion dollar package.

    Now, reports are the final cost will be somewhere around $1.75 trillion.

    That cost is over 10 years, and it is divided between priorities like climate change, family medical leave, health insurance, and all kinds of things that benefit most, if not all Americans.

    But I want to put the cost in comparison. Recently, the Congress adopted a one year defense budget of $778 billion.

    That means that since the Pentagon gets an increase basically every year Over the next 10 years we will be spending roughly $8 trillion dollars on the Pentagon.

    If this bill passes,

    we will be spending 1.75 trillion over 10 years on all of these things from climate change, to family medical leave, to health care, prescription drug coverage, all of these things.

    And we will be spending less than a quarter on all of those things

    than we will be spending on bombs, missiles, and killing people.

    Less than a quarter.

    So the priorities of this country are totally screwed up.

    But here's the point.

    The point is we have come from 10 trillion to 3.5 trillion to 1.75 trillion, because the progressives in Congress are useless.

    Biden did a town hall last night and acknowledged that the original 12 weeks of family medical leave would be cut to four.

    There's another report that says that won't even begin until 2024.

    The child tax credit the democrats gave themselves so much credit for, they were lifting half the children out of poverty and all that will be extended by one year in this bill.

    According to the report, one year.

    And we went, during the campaign, from

    some people saying we

    'll forgive all of your student loan debt.

    Some people were saying $50,000.

    Some people were saying $10,000.

    Some people were saying free college. Some were saying free community college. Now, we're getting a few more Pell Grants.

    A few more Pell Grants. Why, because Manchin and Sinema don't want to pay for these programs.

    Bernie Sanders went on and on about, we're gonna get

    dental and vision coverage into Medicare.

    Know they're not


    When Biden told us during the campaign that we couldn't have Medicare for All, he said we're going to have a public option.

    No we're not.

    Then they talked about maybe we're going to lower the Medicare age to 60 or 55.

    No they're not.

    all of this stuff has come out of the bill entirely or has been dramatically reduced because Manchin a...

    • 11 min
    Capitalism Needs Brutal Policing

    Capitalism Needs Brutal Policing

    The verdict for this episode is: we must strike at capitalism first.

    Loose Transcript

    Hello, and welcome to Jonathan's Verdicts. I'm Jonathan Simeone


    The title of this episode is: capitalism needs brutal policing.

    The verdict for this episode is:

    wee must strike at capitalism first.

    As always, I don't edit these podcast episodes, and I don't have a script.

    They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.

    We will soon, or already do have more police on the streets than we did the day George Floyd was murdered.

    The months of nationwide protests did not result in the defunding of police.

    They did not result in abolishing police.

    They did not even result in any meaningful police reform. Sadly, they accomplished nothing.

    And now we are at a point where in response to the protesting

    and in response to escalated violence

    many communities have more police on the streets than they did the day Mr Floyd was murdered.

    And the sad part of this is it was all very predictable.

    And the reason is very simple:

    the biggest driver of crime,

    as anyone who thinks about this stuff

    honestly and intelligently knows, is desperation and lack of opportunity.

    People are desperate.

    People are hungry.

    People are being evicted. Record numbers of people are relying on food banks for meals.

    Sure, there will always be crime legitimate, horrific crime.

    But the truth is that most crime would be eliminated if every person had a decent place to live, a decent income, felt like they truly had opportunity to advance in life, and that their children had fair, equitable opportunity to advance in life.

    But capitalism is diametrically opposed to equity and equality. Capitalism cannot survive without people to exploit. Capitalism cannot survive without cultural division. So capitalism needs brutal policing.

    Because the truth is capitalism can only deter and punish.

    It cannot provide.

    And so, when some communities did remove a fraction of money from the police,

    without a real effort to invest in community,

    without an effort to provide the American people the basic necessities of life,

    there was always going to be an increase in crime.

    The capitalist class was always going to use that increase in crime to scare people, to foment division,

    and to further indoctrinate racism.

    And yes, to hire more police


    You see, we can't defund police, we can't abolish the current form of policing without actually investing in communities and providing opportunities. Capitalism will not allow for those things. This country will never do those things.

    Capitalism needs brutal policing.

    As a result, America now has more police and nothing has been done to rein in the racism and the brutality that are hallmarks of policing.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan's Verdicts. I very much appreciate your support.

    • 6 min

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