An independent podcast examining what the U.S. Congress is doing with our money and in our names. www.congressionaldish.com Follow @JenBriney on Twitter
info_outline Special Announcement 07/29/2019
Special Announcement In this special announcement, Jen explains a temporary schedule change to the Congressional Dish community, designed to facilitate a renewed focus on increasing the quality of future episodes and the creation of the CD green room. Also, Jen shares an exciting announcement about an upcoming appearance on her favorite channel!
info_outline CD200: How to End Legal Bribes 07/14/2019
CD200: How to End Legal Bribes The currently legal ability of obscenely rich people to bribe lawmakers and law enforcers is the source of many - if not all - of our political problems. In this episode, get an update on the few democracy-enhancing bills that have moved in this Congress and Jen speaks to Sam Fieldman - the National Counsel at Wolf-PAC - who explains how we can constitutionally end the role of money in politics by going around Congress.
info_outline CD199: Surprise Medical Bills 06/30/2019
CD199: Surprise Medical Bills Almost 40% of Americans WITH health insurance reported they had received a surprise medical bill in the past year from a doctor or hospital for a service they thought was covered by their insurance plan. Why is this happening? And what can we do about it?
info_outline CD198: Rationing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund 06/17/2019
CD198: Rationing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is being rationed due to a lack of funding and an approaching end date for the program. In this episode, learn about the shocking, growing number of 9/11 victims, understand why these victims are in danger of having to bear the financial consequences of their injuries on their own, and examine the details and status of H.R. 1327, the bill that would solve this problem for good. Jamie Kilstein joins Jen for the thank you's.
info_outline CD197: Constitutional Crisis 05/31/2019
CD197: Constitutional Crisis The United States system of government depends on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches keeping each other accountable, but what happens when two of the branches refuse to police the third? We might soon find out. In this episode, by examining the Attorney General William Barr's response to the release of the Mueller report, learn about recent events which foreshadow our system of government being tested in ways it hasn't been tested before.
info_outline CD196: The Mueller Report 05/19/2019
CD196: The Mueller Report We finally have the facts. The two year long investigation, lead by Robert Mueller, into whether or not the 2016 Donald Trump for President campaign worked with members of the Russian government to steal and release Democratic Party emails is now complete. In this episode, after reading every word of the 448 page report, Jen breaks what the facts indicate Donald Trump did and did not do so that we can all be "in the know" for the Congressional battles with the President that are sure to come.
info_outline CD195: Yemen 04/29/2019
CD195: Yemen Most of us don't know where that is but we Americans have been participating in a war there since 2015. In a surprise move, the 116th Congress recently put a resolution on President Trump's desk that would LIMIT our participation in that war. In this episode, learn about our recent history in Yemen: Why are we involved? When did our involvement start? What do we want from Yemen? And why is Congress suddenly pursuing a change in policy?
info_outline CD194: Measles Outbreak 04/15/2019
CD194: Measles Outbreak Measles is back in the United States and is currently spreading quickly; the number of cases in the United States in 2019 has already surpassed the number of cases in all of last year. In this episode, get highlights from two Congressional hearings addressing the measles outbreak, which answered a lot of questions about the dangers of the disease, what is causing the outbreak, what is being done about it by the government, and what we can do to help.
info_outline CD193: How to Prevent Death by Chemical Explosion (CFATS) 03/31/2019
CD193: How to Prevent Death by Chemical Explosion (CFATS) Chemical storage facilities exist all over the country and one of them recently caught fire, poisoning the residents Houston, Texas for three days. In this episode, learn about a Department of Homeland Security program - the CFATS program- designed to protect us from terrorist attacks on dangerous chemical storage facilities like the one in Texas and also discover what needs to be done to ensure that CFATS actually protects us from the threats these chemical facilities pose. There is still work to be done.
info_outline CD192: Democracy Upgrade Stalled 03/15/2019
CD192: Democracy Upgrade Stalled Things often don’t go according to plan. In this episode, featuring a feverish and frustrated Jen Briney, learn about the shamefully rushed process employed by the Democrats to pass their top priority bill, H.R. 1, through the House of Representatives.
info_outline CD191: The “Democracies” Of Elliott Abrams 02/23/2019
CD191: The “Democracies” Of Elliott Abrams Elliott Abrams, the new U.S. Special Envoy to Venezuela, along with witnesses from the State Department and USAID, testified to Congress about the Trump administration's efforts to replace Venezuela's President. In this episode, hear highlights from that hearing along and gain some insight into Elliott Abrams' past regime change efforts as a member of the Reagan administration, which will help you to understand why so many people are concerned that he was picked for the Venezuela job.
info_outline CD190: A Coup for Capitalism 02/11/2019
CD190: A Coup for Capitalism We knew it was coming, and now it's here: A coup is in progress in Venezuela. In this follow up episode to CD176 (Target Venezuela: Regime Change in Progress), learn additional backstory and details about the recent events in Venezuela, including the proclamation by Juan Guaido that he is now the President of Venezuela and all of the efforts being made by the Trump administration to get this regime change to stick.
info_outline CD189: "First Step" Prison Reform 01/28/2019
CD189: "First Step" Prison Reform In the final days of the 115th Congress, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which made changes to the operation of the federal prison system. In this episode, learn every detail of this new law, including the big money interests who advocated for its passage and their possible motivations for doing so.
info_outline CD188: Welcome to the 116th Congress 01/14/2019
CD188: Welcome to the 116th Congress We've transitioned! The 115th Congress is finally over and the 116th has begun. In this episode, get the details on the last acts of the 115th Congress, including the play by play of the shutdown drama, and learn about the new rules written by Democrats that will govern the 116th House of Representatives.
info_outline CD187: Combating China 12/23/2018
CD187: Combating China People in power tell us constantly that China is a threat but... Why? In this episode, we explore the big picture reasons why China poses a threat to those in power in the United States and what our Congress is doing to combat that threat. Spoiler alert: There's a another U.S. military build-up involved.
info_outline CD186: National Endowment for Democracy 12/10/2018
CD186: National Endowment for Democracy The National Endowment for Democracy is a private foundation - that receives millions of our tax dollars - that pays groups to work to change the governments of other countries. In this episode, hear highlights from a hearing during which the president of this creepy organization and the presidents of two organizations that it funds will give you some insight into what kind of work they are doing manipulating information and interfering in elections in other countries around the world.
info_outline CD185: Global Energy Outlook 11/26/2018
CD185: Global Energy Outlook It’s impossible to analyze the political calculations of world leaders without factoring in global energy. In this episode, listen along with Jen and Joe Briney as they listen to a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing examining the Global Energy Outlook, which has served to determine the foreign policy decisions of U.S. leaders throughout 2018.
info_outline CD184: Midterm Election 11/13/2018
CD184: Midterm Election The 2018 midterm elections are over and we know what the 116th Congress is going to look like: The Republican Party will continue to control the Senate and the Democratic Party will control the House of Representatives. In this episode, we discuss the likely ramifications of a divided Congress, some of the interesting results of individual Congressional races, and the opportunities available for Republicans to get their last wishes rammed into law before their complete Congressional control ends in January.
info_outline CD183: Tax Cuts... For Some of US 10/29/2018
CD183: Tax Cuts... For Some of US Taxes: We all hate them but we all have to pay them. In December 2017, the Republicans in Congress rushed major changes to our tax policy into law. In this episode, host Jen Briney and her accountant friend, Alexis Claypool, explain the most significant changes to how our tax payments are going to be calculated and how these changes are likely to affect us. You will also learn about a major dingleberry that hitchhiked its way into law attached to this bill. Joe Briney joins Jen for the Thank Yous.
info_outline CD182: Justice Kavanaugh 10/15/2018
CD182: Justice Kavanaugh It's done. Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court Justice. Most of the media coverage of his confirmation centered on the sexual assault allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford but that's only one part of the story. In this episode, learn about the procedural tricks employed by Senate Republicans and the George W. Bush administration to place Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and hear highlights from over 40 hours of Brett Kavanaugh's policy-oriented confirmation hearings that most of the country didn't see.
info_outline CD181: Midterm Election Study Guide 09/29/2018
CD181: Midterm Election Study Guide Our duty as voters is to judge the job performance of our members of Congress and decide whether or not they deserve to be re-hired or fired from their positions as lawmakers. In this episode, Jen summarizes 20 controversial bills and laws that passed during the 115th Congress which you can use to judge whether your Representative and two Senators have voted in your best interest. Links to all of the votes are listed in this episode's show notes on www.congressionaldish.com
info_outline CD180: How Congress Spent Your Taxes in 2018 09/10/2018
CD180: How Congress Spent Your Taxes in 2018 Every year, the President submits a budget request to Congress, but how much attention does Congress pay to those requests? In this episode, we compare the Trump administration requests to the amounts actually provided by Congress for fiscal year 2018.
info_outline CD179: Hearing: Who's Tracking the Immigrant Kids? 08/27/2018
CD179: Hearing: Who's Tracking the Immigrant Kids? In an experimental follow-up episode, listen along with Jen and Joe to the highlights of a Senate hearing examining the progress that has been made towards caring for the immigrant children who have been either taken from their immigrant parents or who arrived in the U.S. alone.
info_outline CD177: Immigrant Family Separations 07/08/2018
CD177: Immigrant Family Separations A new policy change by the Trump administration on May 7th has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their want-to-be-immigrant parents who crossed the U.S. southern border in the wrong location. In this episode, hear from officials in every branch of government involved to learn why this is happening, why it's proving to be so difficult to return the children to their parents, and what we can do to help this situation.
info_outline CD176: Target Venezuela: Regime Change in Progress 06/25/2018
CD176: Target Venezuela: Regime Change in Progress In this episode, learn the recent history of Venezuela and hear the highlights of a March 2017 Congressional hearing (which was not aired on television in the United States) during which strategies for a Venezuelan regime change were discussed, and then learn about the regime change steps that have been taken since that hearing which have unfolded exactly how the witnesses advised. Pat Grogan joins Jen for Thank Yous.
info_outline CD175: State of War 06/11/2018
CD175: State of War The State Department is known as the agency that solves conflicts with words but a closer look reveals that it’s much more connected to war than most of us think. By examining the State Department’s funding for 2018, discover the State Department’s role in regime changes past, current, and future. In this episode, you’ll also get an introduction to the National Endowment for Democracy, a scandalous organization with a noble sounding name. A drunk Mike Glaser joins Jen for the Thank You’s.
info_outline CD174: Bank Lobbyist Act 05/28/2018
CD174: Bank Lobbyist Act The Bank Lobbyist Act was just signed into law and, as the nickname suggests, it is a banker’s wet dream. In this episode, learn the details of this new law including the many favors to banks big and small - which undoubtedly make our entire financial system riskier - along with a few good provisions that can help you protect your identify and maybe even increase your credit score. Joe Briney joins Jen for the thank you’s.
info_outline CD173: War & Prairie Chickens 05/14/2018
CD173: War & Prairie Chickens The law that funded the government for 2018 is 2,232 pages and Jen has finished reading a quarter of it. In this episode, learn about the most interesting provisions she found in the Department of Defense and environmental sections of the quickly passed funding law.
info_outline CD172: The Illegal Bombing of Syria 04/30/2018
CD172: The Illegal Bombing of Syria On Friday the 13th of April, President Trump bombed the government of Syria… Again. In this episode, learn some of the little-discussed history of and reasons for the on-going attempts to overthrow the government of Syria.