America’s Lawyer E61: A new poll shows that Kamala Harris is now the least popular Vice President at this point in her career, and that could be a major problem for Biden in next year’s election. The federal government is covered in agencies that are supposed to monitor misinformation and propaganda, but all they appear to be doing is creating a massive surveillance state. And Bernie Sanders is taking on the Pentagon’s massive budget with legislation that would force them to disclose all of their expenses. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio, and this is America’s Lawyer. A new poll shows that Kamala Harris is now the least popular vice president at this point in her career, and that could be a major problem for Biden in next year’s election. The federal government, well, it’s covered in agencies that are supposed to monitor misinformation and monitor propaganda, but all they appear to be doing is creating a massive, massive surveillance state against you. And Bernie Sanders, well, he’s taking on the Pentagon’s massive budget with legislation that would force ’em to disclose all of their expenses and it’s a lot, we’re talking about trillions that they don’t even know where it is. All that more, it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

President Biden has a lot of issues weighing down on his reelection campaign, but one of his biggest problems is actually his own vice president. A new poll shows that Kamala Harris is the least popular vice president in the history of these types of polls and Biden’s opponents, well, they’re making a lot of that. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening. Farron, you know, as we talked about before, what’s happening with Harris is they’re running against Harris. Now, think about that. They’re running, the Republicans are running against the vice president for Biden because they’re pretty sure Biden is gonna tip over, either metaphorically or really before the election kicks around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. I really haven’t. Maybe, maybe with Cheney, maybe I saw them run against Cheney as a gutless warhawk.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I saw that a little bit, but I’ve never seen it where they’re attacking her for her competence.

Farron Cousins: No. It really is remarkable. And as you mentioned, you know, you’ve got these polls out now that show that up to this point in her vice presidency, she’s less popular than Dick Cheney was. Even after Dick Cheney started the Iraq War, based on lies, millions of people in the street protesting him. He still was not as unpopular as Kamala Harris. Dan Quayle, you know, one of the dumbest we’ve ever seen.

Mike Papantonio: I don’t speak Latin. Remember that?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I’m sorry. No Latin.

Farron Cousins: He was more popular. And so, and of course in Clinton’s campaign, they made Dan Quayle a huge issue. And it worked well for them. This inexperienced child almost is how they painted him. And now with Harris, what they’ve got is a vice president who this administration, the staffers inside, have said she’s impossible. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. She doesn’t want to do anything because she’s terrified that she can’t do it.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, why? You’re such a great progressive. You’re always, always out there on behalf of progressive issues, as I am 99% of the time. But we talk about this all the time. What is it that won’t allow a progressive to say, this is bad? What is this delusional issue that kicks up in their brain when we talk about this and they say, oh no, this is not real. It’s delusional. What, what is that?

Farron Cousins: It really is. And I think if we weren’t looking at such terrifying prospects on the other side, I think people would be more rational and be like, okay, let’s look at this from the standpoint of not we have to defeat Trump, but what the hell is going on? And they won’t do that because they fear that any criticism of Biden, any criticism of Harris, it all helps Trump. I mean, look, I get it every day. People make those comments to me. Like, you did it in 2016. No, we called out Hillary Clinton when she needed to be called out. We praised her when she needed to be praised. Because that’s our job. I’m not here to be a cheerleader for anybody. She’s dragging down the ticket.

Mike Papantonio: But they think we are. They think we are here to cheerlead for the Democrats and we’re not. I’m not. And I don’t think you are either. I’m not here to, sure not here to cheerlead for the Republicans. But at least I can look at the facts and look analytically at this woman and look at this president and say, this is not good. Let’s move on. Let’s do it before it’s too late. There’s some candidates still out there. Why do we ignore candidates like Katie Porter? Why do we do that? Why is it that we can’t say, yeah, we can try something fresh, something new?

Farron Cousins: Well, I think a lot of it has to do with if Biden were to do that, it’s admitting, I messed up guys. I know, but sometimes you gotta do that and that’s actually a good show of leadership when you know to stand up and be like, listen, Harris, you did great for four years. We’re gonna go in a new direction. I wish you nothing but the best. I mean, Katie Porter, as you said would be great. Elizabeth Warren would be great. Stacey Abrams.

Mike Papantonio: Stacey Abrams, of course.

Farron Cousins: Is widely popular across the country.

Mike Papantonio: You’ve got a lot of good candidates out there. The truth is the poll, now you’ve got the White House spending a lot of money trying to rehab her. And what I wanna say is, you can’t take a mule and make it into a show horse. You just can’t do that. And, you know, they’ve gotta be able to do that themselves. They have to be able to speak eloquently. They have to be able to look like they’re engaged in the job. And I don’t know how you rehabilitate her.

Farron Cousins: And there’s no chemistry between ’em either. I mean, if you look back at Obama and Biden, they were buddies, they were pals. These are just two people that work in the same office. It’s super weird.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I’m still predicting Gavin versus DeSantis. That’s where we’re, that’s where all this is headed.

The federal government keeps creating new offices to allegedly combat misinformation in the US and abroad. But are any of these agencies actually doing any good? The answer to that question is obvious. They’re spying on us. This is, you scare the hell out of everybody. The Russians are coming. The Chinese are coming. We have to do this to protect you. It’s so Orwellian. And I guess, you know, it’s not required reading kind of the old classics about this very kind of thing. It’s right on point. But right now this is, this is like a, this is speeding up like a fast train, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It is. We’ve got five or six, I think at this point that we know of, federal agencies whose only purpose is to go out and allegedly identify misinformation. But each one has a little bit different mission because some of them say, well, we also have to, uh, you know, combat the negative image of the United States, which means we spread propaganda abroad saying how great the US is.

Mike Papantonio: You and I, you know this story, you and I, what was it, Suzanne? I forget.

Farron Cousins: Spaulding, Spaulding was her last name.

Mike Papantonio: Spaulding, Suzanne Spaulding. We were attacked. Now think about it. We were attacked for talking about judges, talking about the DOJ, talking about the military complex. And we were called Un-American for doing that. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I can, you know, walk through an airport without being that person who is, oh sir, you’re random, you’re a random choice. Come over here and let us frisk you. The point is this. Let’s name ’em. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI. The other thing is the Homeland Security DHS has its Foreign Interference branch. You’ve got the Influence Perception Management Office.

Farron Cousins: Perception Management, is such a.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, perception. That’s the key word, isn’t it? You’ve got the US intelligence community that has all these sub-parts to it. And it just seems to be fine with everybody. I mean, hell, I don’t care. I mean, if they, you know, the point is I’m not doing anything wrong, but that’s not what it’s really about. That’s what, you know, we have a Constitution and the Constitution gave us some unique independence as individuals. And the problem is, if you’ve never taken a civics class, you don’t understand that. So this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Right?

Farron Cousins: Right. And the bigger, not bigger, but another big problem with this is that we’re also funneling tens of million, if not hundreds of millions of dollars into these agencies every single year. And none of them that we know of, none of them that anybody can point to have actually been able to say, hey, look, we did a good thing. Look at this victory we have. No, because they’re operating in the shadows and their mission statements of identifying misinformation, that’s not what they’re about.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean.

Farron Cousins:This is surveillance. Plain and simple.

Mike Papantonio: This is well, this article is well done. It’s.

Farron Cousins: It’s former representative Hoekstra.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Okay. Hoekstra says, the American government is based on the First Amendment, should not be anywhere near regulating protected speech. And the American government should not be deciding what speech should be regulated according to their own taste. That’s where we are. I mean, call it what you want. That’s where we are. You pointed out one time, it’s become such a cash cow, we don’t even know where the money’s going.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, agency makes a claim. It’s like this big money grab. Yeah, scare the hell out of everybody. Make everybody believe there’s a boogieman under the bed. Whether it’s a Russian boogeyman or a Chinese boogeyman. Somebody’s coming to get you. And if we don’t do this, you’re in peril. That’s the pitch, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Well, and think of this too. You know, because we had talked about this during the Bush administration when they were working with the cell phone companies to turn over your data, they don’t even have to do that anymore. Because now back then we didn’t have a YouTube or a Twitter or a Facebook. Now we’re all putting our data out there in real time, every day. And that’s what makes it so much easier for these groups to spy on us.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And they’re scraping everything. And they’re saying, well, we’re getting only public information. That’s ridiculous.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. It’s a lie.

Mike Papantonio: They’re not only getting public information when your phone, if you talk about I want to buy a new car, your phone blows up with new cars. That’s what’s really going on.

States and cities across the country continue to give massive handouts to wealthy corporations. These handouts come in many different forms, but politicians on both the left and the right are willing to fork over cash by the billions to end industry. Please come to our town, we’re gonna give you jobs. Give us this break and that break and we’re gonna give you jobs. Now we know, as we’ve known for two decades, it’s a lie. How many stories have we done pointing out that this big pitch, let us, Boeing, let us come to your town and we’re gonna make a bunch of new jobs? Nonsense. We have years of experience to show it’s a argument.

Farron Cousins: Amazon, Boeing, Foxconn, the Carrier, you know, air conditioning company, they all make these big promises and what they do, and this is explained at length. You interviewed the author of this book probably 15 years ago. I don’t remember the author, but I remember the name, “The Great American Jobs Scam.”

Mike Papantonio: Yes. Yes. A smart guy.

Farron Cousins: And it is a book that lays all of this out. And I wish I remembered his name. But what they do is these companies will approach multiple different cities and say, all right, listen, I gotta build a factory. Town A, town B, town C, what are y’all gonna give me? And they pit the cities against each other on who’s gonna give me more tax breaks? Who’s gonna give me subsidies? Who’s gonna let me dump my toxins into your waterway? And then they go with the highest bidder and never deliver the number of jobs that they say.

Mike Papantonio: The case I just finished, a $12.5 billion settlement that I made with the folks that make PFAS, everywhere that company would go, they would say, well, let us build here and let us dump into your river or your waterways because you need the jobs. And nobody ever asked, well, is this gonna kill people? And now we know, yeah, it will kill people. But this is the kind of thing we’re willing to do. So some boneheaded politician with a depth of this much can stand up in front of his constituents and say, I really did something for you. But here’s the truth, Wisconsin, they offered Foxconn 4.8, almost $5 billion and they, Foxconn said, well, we’re gonna give you 13,000 jobs. It was one 10th. And that’s not even still solid. You go down the, Washington state, Boeing, 8, almost $9 billion is what is what they offered Boeing. Come here, we’re gonna give you these tax breaks and all this good stuff. And Boeing said, well, gee, we’re gonna give you 24,000, almost 25,000 jobs. It wasn’t even close. Wasn’t even close. Not only that, they’re laying people off. And the entity, the governmental entity doesn’t have the right to go back and say, hey, we want our money back because it’s already spent. And so this, I mean, there’s tons of these stories and all you gotta do is take a look at it. Any intelligent politician could find all this information in 10 minutes.

Farron Cousins: Well, and remember AOC, when she actually fought the Amazon plant.

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

Farron Cousins: On these grounds saying that they’re lying to us. She got dragged, you know, through the ringer on that because everybody said, oh, you’re costing us jobs. Well, it turns out no, Amazon was lying. Just like we see every time. But the local politicians, the mayors, the local reps.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, we’re bringing new jobs.

Farron Cousins: They stand up there, they stand there at the ribbon cutting, and they take all the credit, left and right.

Mike Papantonio: Same thing with the stadiums, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: They’re gonna come and build a big stadium and our football team’s gonna bring in all this. And the community gets hammered financially most of the time. So what you have, I mean, it’s kind of a perfect storm. You got unsophisticated, woefully uneducated politicians that in a knee-jerk kind of way are saying, this is, wow, this is a good talking point. I brought you 13,000 jobs. They don’t even follow the rest of the sentence. It doesn’t work. And so they’re easy prey. It’s their low, it’s their low information. These politicians that jump on this, low information. They’re easy prey because corporate America knows they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

Farron Cousins: Corporate America loves stupid local politicians.

Mike Papantonio: Yes. Yes. Exactly. I guess that’s the headline, isn’t it?

Bernie Sanders has taken on the military industrial complex with new legislation that would require audits of the Pentagon on a regular basis. And the Pentagon will have to return billions of dollars for what they have completely wasted. They’ve lost it. It’s been fraud. Government contractors are stealing from ’em. Government contractors are marking up what they’re selling by 4000%. And Bernie Sanders says, what the hell? We left 2 billion dollars worth of military equipment in Afghanistan. That’s the low end of it. We have, we’re unable to account, the government says we’re unable to account for $1.5 trillion. Okay. And Bernie says, you know, shouldn’t we look at this?

Farron Cousins: It is, I mean, it’s laughable because it’s just so extreme, the fraud and corruption taking place. And of course it always comes down to Bernie Sanders gotta be the one to go out there and do it for us. Along with Ed Markey. Ed Markey is a good guy.

Mike Papantonio: Markey is very good on this issue.

Farron Cousins: He is. Also a name we might wanna start throwing out a little more for other things.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: But Bernie Sanders points out the fact that, listen, the Pentagon itself has failed their last five audits in a row. They’re telling us every year, yeah, you gave us $800 billion, $900 billion. We know where like $400 billion of it went. But that other $400, pfft, that’s.

Mike Papantonio: Literally, that is what you just said is exactly what they had to admit. We don’t know three, what is it, $3.5 trillion? We don’t know where 60% of that went. Okay. Right now, every day we’re seeing stories about Ukraine. I mean, the graft and the fraud in Ukraine. But we just keep writing checks and sending them money. And, you know, at the same time, I thought this was interesting, I dunno if you followed this story. Zelensky has called off democratic elections indefinitely. Okay. Did you know that?

Farron Cousins: I hadn’t seen that.

Mike Papantonio: Yes. He’s called off democratic elections indefinitely. Now, I can see in a war zone, it’s tough to have an election, but you don’t call ’em off indefinitely. So we’re trying to pump up democracy by sending him this money. The money’s disappearing. The generals are saying, we don’t even know where the hell the money’s going. We saw it in Afghanistan, in Iraq. Good lord. I mean, the money we left in Iraq based on a lie that Cheney and Bush and Democrats and Republicans started. Right?

Farron Cousins: And we’re not just talking about, oh, it was allocated in a budget. We’re talking about, remember the pallets of cash?

Mike Papantonio: Yes. Yes.

Farron Cousins: Actual money dropped out of the airplane and nobody knows. We don’t know where any of the cash went.

Mike Papantonio: That was like, was it the number 5 billion? It was something really crazy.

Farron Cousins: It was in the billions, definitely.

Mike Papantonio: It was in the billions where we flew in the cash. They had pictures of it. They had stacks of bills and cash and they’re driving them off in trucks. They said, we asked, where is it? Nobody knows.

Farron Cousins: We’re just the delivery guys. Whatever happens once we drop it off, that’s on you.

Mike Papantonio: So we have an infrastructure in America falling apart. We’re sending money all over the world. The Pentagon doesn’t know where it is. The only people making money on this really are the contractors. Right? People building weapons and people who are governmental contractors that are selling us toilet seats, ashtrays, weapons, coffee makers with a 4000% increase.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, you know, we’re also within a year or two of watching that Pentagon budget because what is the latest one, $886 billion?

Mike Papantonio: It’s almost $900 billion. Well, actually the argument is it’s $900 billion because they have all this hidden.

Farron Cousins: And they throw a lot more on right before it passes. But we’re a year or two away of it being a trillion dollars a year. And military spending already accounts for more than 50% of total US spending. We spend more on this Pentagon that is wasting and and losing it to fraud than we do on every other program combined in this country.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And we got people who can’t get medical care. People who are struggling to eat. We have bridges falling apart. We have roadways falling apart. We have a president, again, ready to tip over, but still talks about what he’s done for the infrastructure. No, he hasn’t. There’s been nothing done. But what has been done for the military is $900 billion that we’re giving them. And even they admit, we don’t know, this is their words, we don’t know where 60% of it went. Scares the bejesus outta me.

Farron Cousins: Yes.

Mike Papantonio: Thanks for joining me, Farron.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s off for this week, but all these segments are gonna be available throughout the next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where we tell you the stories every week that corporate media won’t tell you. They can’t tell it because their advertisers don’t allow ’em to do it or their political connections are so strong Republican or Democrat that they can’t go out and tell the rest of the story. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.