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Nicole Sandler

Nov 232011

I’d certainly be thankful if President Obama would state, unequivocally, that the peaceful, non-violent protesters have a constitutional right to assemble and speak out about whatever bothers them. And more importantly, he needs to state that the recent pepper spray attacks and other violence perpetrated upon the protesters by law enforcement officers is WRONG, and must stop now.

In the meantime, if you’d like your own military-grade pepper spray, you can get it on  Just check out the hundreds of product reviews like these:

3,702 of 3,764 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 starsAccept no substitutes when casually repressing students, November 21, 2011
This review is from: Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray (Misc.)

Whenever I need to breezily inflict discipline on unruly citizens, I know I can trust Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray to get the job done! The power of reason is no match for Defense Technology’s superior repression power. When I reach for my can of Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray, I know that even the mighty First Amendment doesn’t stand a chance against its many scovil units of civil rights suppression.

When I feel threatened by students, no matter how unarmed, peaceful and seated they may be, I know that Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray has got my back as I casually spray away at point blank range.

It really is the Cadillac of citizen repression technology.

Buy a whole case!

1,129 of 1,159 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Product Warnng: This procuct multiplies protesters
I casually used this product to try to disperse a small band of non-violent campers who had locked their arms together. Although initially it seemed to be effective, it took two applications! The worst part is that the next day they multiplied exponentially! Now what?

One positive outcome, I did receive a paid vacation for my efforts.

Today’s a double-header!  I did my show this morning, and am heading up to West Palm Beach to guest host the Randi Rhodes Show this afternoon!
This morning, I spoke with Huffington Post’s Joshua Hersh who’s in Cairo.  Journalist/broadcaster/activist Davey D joined me from Oakland, and comedian John Fugelsang checked in from Florida where he’s celebrating Thanksgiving with his mom.
This afternoon on Randi’s show, I’ll speak with Hersh and Fugelsang, plus Congressman Ted Deutsch and my friend Robert Lamarche about adoption (he’s one of the first gay men to legally adopt in Florida, and today is Alison’s & my “forever day”!)
We’ll be back with another live show here Monday morning.  In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!


Nov 222011

When even Shepard Fairey, the creator of the 2008 Obama “Hope” poster weighs in to hold President Obama accountable, you know we’re on to something.  This morning, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. is deeply concerned about the violence and is calling for restraint on all sides. He says despite the clashes between security forces and protesters, Egypt must proceed with a timely transition to democracy.

However, searches for any White House comments on the spate of violence from police departments around the country on peaceful, non-violent protesters turned up not a single statement.

It’s time for the president to weigh in on the actions turning the US into a police state.

photo by Josh Trujillo

On November 15, we were introduced to 84-year old Dorli Rainey after she was pepper sprayed by Seattle police for daring to be standing with the Occupy Seattle protesters.  We also heard that a pregnant woman was among the other victims of the spraying rampage of the power-drunk cops.  Today, we learned that 19-year old Jennifer Fox is no longer pregnant.  She suffered a miscarriage on Nov. 20th, five days after being abused by Seattle’s finest.

“I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,” she says. “I was screaming, ‘I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.’” At that point, Fox continues, a Seattle police officer lifted his foot and it hit her in the stomach, and another officer pushed his bicycle into the crowd, again hitting Fox in the stomach. “Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut,” she says.

Fox asked for medical attention—the now-famous photo by Josh Trujillo of her being carried to the ambulance is here (click to the second photo)—and was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, she says, where doctors performed an ultrasound and said that they “didn’t see anything wrong with the baby at the time.” Fox says she had also seen a physician at Harborview for prenatal care about five week before.

“Everything was going okay until yesterday, when I started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out,” Fox says.

A friend called for an ambulance near the community college campus. (Fox says she has been camping with Occupy Seattle since it first began in Westlake Park. She is homeless and says, “I don’t have a place. This is the place I call home.”) When she arrived at Harborview at 11:00 a.m., she says, a doctor told her that “there was no heartbeat” from the baby. “They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage. They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too.”

Sickened yet?  If not, just check out some of the comments after that story.  Of course, Jennifer Fox is being blamed for the miscarriage: “It was totally irresposible of this woman to put her unborn baby at risk in this way.”

And then there’s the ongoing saga at UC Davis, where Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized to the students for Friday’s horrendous actions by the UC Davis Police.  Unfortunately for the students there, it seemed to be too little too late.

The English Dept of UC Davis is quite ballsy. This is a screen-grab of what you’ll see today if you visit

To be continued, I’m sure…

Of course, the so-called Super Committee was not so super after all.  They couldn’t agree on how to cut the deficit.  It’s actually quite easy.  Put Americans back to work so we can pay taxes.  Deficit diminished.

Every Tuesday, the second hour of my show features a visit from GottaLaff of The Political Carnival. Today, we talked about these stories and more…

George W. Bush (the new Marcus?) to Michele Bachmann: “Why are you wearing those gloves?”

Poll-itics: “Fox News lead[s] people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

VIDEO- Rep. Joe Walsh: 99%er war veterans advocate “anti-American… socialist solutions”

Occupy Hope

Police officers in UC Davis pepper spray incident placed on leave, but still, whatever you do, don’t curl up!

Video- Michele Bachmann Pours Water for the Rest of the Male Candidates at Family Forum Debate

Dep’t. of What Took So Long: Rick Perry’s fundraising dries up

Occupy Wall Street’s National Day of Action: Your “librul media” at work

GOP Thanksgiving Family Forum VIDEO- Newt Gingrich to #OWS: “Go get a job right after you take a bath.”

Quotes-O-The-Day: GOP Thanksgiving Family Forum edition

Tomorrow, Joshua Hersh live from Cairo, Egypt and Oakland radio’s DaveyD. Plus, 11 years ago, a judge in Almaty, Kazakhstan approved my adoption of my daughter Alison. Happy Adoption Month!

Nov 212011

Pepper Spraying Pike

There’s a lot of these going around.  By these, I mean Fun with Photoshop™ pictures of Pepper Spraying Pike – the UC Davis cop responsible for this piece of tragedy:

The chicken shit cop with the pepper spray is one UC Davis police Lt. John Pike – who reportedly makes a base salary of $116,454!  And you wonder why your tuition is so high.

Although the coward has been suspended pending an investigation into the matter,  he’s being mocked in quite creative ways by people armed with a peaceful tool known as Photoshop!  Some of my faves…


and many more can be found here and other places on the interwebs.

As embarrassed as Pike and his fellow “peace officers” should be, it’s nothing like what UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi must have felt on Saturday evening.  As Lee Fang (formerly of Think Progress, soon to be of United Republic, now blogging at The Second Alarm) wrote and told us about on the show this morning:

After the outrage of the Friday pepper spray attack by UC Davis police, who were acting on orders from the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, a press conference was called this afternoon. I listened to the call, and heard Katehi claim that she was acting in the best “health” interests of the students. I heard her dismiss the calls by faculty for her resignation as “blog” talk. But then I witnessed the students amassing outside the press conference, demanding a voice in the matter.

What transpired was awe-inspiring. I wrote up an account and you can read it here. I just posted a new extended video, of a young man who was among the kids affected by pepper spray on Friday, and it shows him leading the 1,000-strong Davis students in an incredibly disciplined, surprisingly restrained, collective shaming of the chancellor as she walked to her car. There was no intimidation or ‘hostage taking,’ as I understand some in the Sacramento media are portraying it — not to be cliche, but it was pure nonviolent people power.

Incredible! As someone many years the senior of those disciplined college students, I’m in awe. I don’t know that I could have been so quiet in the face of what I consider to be evil. Chancellor Katehi will speak at this afternoon’s General Assembly. Lee Fang will be there, tweeting about it.  We’ll give you the post-script on tomorrows show.

The OWS protests aren’t the only scenes of unrest in the world.  No doubt inspired by the people who occupied Tahrir Square earlier this year – in what began as a peaceful, non-violent revolution – the occupiers here must be watching the events unfolding in Cairo today with a mix of sadness and fear.

Huffington Post foreign policy journalist Joshua Hersh flew to Cairo on Thursday to cover next week’s elections.  He was at Tahrir Square in February, witnessing the ousting of Hosni Mubarek, and thought he was returning to report on the final chapter of Egypt’s transition to a democracy.  Little did he know that on Friday he’d see the start of police attacks on the people who had once again taken to Tahrir, culminating with the military moving in and the  deathsof 35 protesters.

On today’s show, I mentioned to Joshua Hersh a piece I had seen on gawker - suggesting that the violent police crackdowns were likely at least partially responsible for the tough tactics now being used there:

Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military’s attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.

We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state,” an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

Yeah—it gets harder and harder to maintain a moral high ground when videos like this andpictures like this are unavoidable. But American police haven’t killed anyone! Indeed! That’s definitely something worth bragging about: so far, cops here have only sent a single person to the hospital with brain damage. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Josh replied that he couldn’t say what was going on here at home was the cause of it, but he did note that tear gas canisters with “Made in the USA” on them were everywhere in Tahrir Square, and the police response to Occupy Wall Street encampments were a very frequent topic of discussion.  Follow his twitter feed for up to the minute reports from his balcony overlooking Tahrir Square.

After a news update from TRNS, it was time for our regular Monday morning dissection of the Sunday talking head shows.  Crooks & LiarsNicole Belle watches them so we don’t have to, and much of this week’s discussion was about the weirdness that is Newt Gingrich….

Sometimes, there’s only so much stupidity that one can take before resorts to just writing off the entire GOP field. I suspect that Paul Krugman has reached that point, because in discussing the current crop of presidential hopefuls, he tells the This Week panel—including the pearl-clutching Peggy Noonan– that “only fools and clowns” believe in Republican ideology. I have to give Krugman credit for the single best soundbyte description of Newt Gingrich: He’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

And as if to prove Krugman’s point, Newt Gingrich told an audience at Harvard University that child labors laws are stupid. No, seriously.

Amazingly enough, it’s not this latest insanity that makes the Fox News panel agree that Newt doesn’t have much of a chance of winning the nomination.

However, not all Republicans think that Newt is spouting off nonsense. Sen. Jon Kyl—invited on as a member of the Super Committee on deficit reduction—thinks that Newt’s comments at the evangelical faith debate this past Saturday (that OWS protestors should take a bath and get a job) are absolutely spot on.

Of course, there’s not going to be anything positive said about OWS on Fox News either. In a tangential comment over the Super Committee’s ability to come to some agreement, Juan Williams made the mistake of saying something good about OWS and host Chris Wallace had to jump in and cut him off.

And if we have time, on the subject of the Super Committee, member John Kerry made sure that David Gregory knows that if the committee does fail, it’s entirely because the Republicans absolutely refuse to give up the Bush tax cuts.

Tomorrow – the lastest from UC Davis, Cairo and the Super Committee (!), and a visit from @GottaLaff of The Political Carnival…

Nov 172011

Today’s show began with a simulcast of the ustream live video via TheOther99  from Wall Street.  As I noted Monday morning, Mayor Bloomberg’s fascist tactics of having the NYPD raid the OWS encampment at Zuccotti Park in the dead of night would make the protesters even more determined.  As the sign says, “Screw us and we multiply”.

That was evident this morning for tens of thousands who were watching the live streams – and in this photo tweeted by Michael Moore (@MMFlint)

On today’s show, I spoke with Greg Basta of NYCC about the activities planned in NYC today.  From, here’s the official list of actions:

New York City

BREAKFAST: Shut Down Wall Street – 7:00 a.m.

Enough of this economy that exploits and divides us. It’s time we put an end to Wall Street’s reign of terror and begin building an economy that works for all. We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00 a.m., before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice. There, before the Stock Exchange, we will exchange stories rather than stocks.

LUNCH: Occupy The Subways – 3:00 p.m.

We will start by Occupying Our Blocks! Then throughout the five boroughs, we will gather at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic”.

  • Bronx
    • Fordham Rd
    • 3rd Ave, 138th Street
    • 163rd and Southern Blvd
    • 161st and River – Yankee Stadium
  • Brooklyn
    • Broadway Junction
    • Borough Hall
    • 301 Grove Street
    • St Jose Patron Church,185 Suydam St, Bushwick
  • Queens
    • Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave.
    • Jamaica Center/Parsons/Archer
    • 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights
  • Manhattan
    • 125th St. A,B,C,D
    • Union Sq. (Mass student strike)
    • 23rd St and 8th Ave
  • Staten Island
    • St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal
    • 479 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond

DINNER: Take The Square – 5:00 p.m.

At 5 pm, tens of thousands of people will gather at Foley Square (just across from City Hall) in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy. A gospel choir and a marching band will also be performing.

Afterwards we will march to our bridges. Let’s make it as musical a march as possible – bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our “Musical” on the bridge will culminate in a festival of light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our commitment to shining light into our broken economic and political system.

Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy.

Activities are planned in many of the occupations around the world.  You can watch the goings-on in NY courtesy of the ustream feed from The Other 99 here:


Stream videos at Ustream

The Global Revolution stream via livestream is showing Los Angeles right now, but keeps switching to various cities

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at

We took a break from the #N17 coverage to speak with Mike Cantone, candidate for Mayor of Orlando, FL. I first spoke with Mike a few months ago when he learned his name and photo were being circulation in a document distributed by an Arkansas congressman as a “subversive” who dared to speak out at a town hall meeting in Florida! Yikes.

As someone who supports the occupations and the “Food Not Bombs” group that feeds the hungry in parks, Mike would make an awesome mayor!

We got back to #OWS in the second hour. I spoke with Greg Mitchell who’s been live-blogging the Occupy movement for The Nation.  He just released an e-book called 40 Days That Shook the World: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere!

And we finished the show with a visit from comedian and co-host of Citizen Radio,  Jamie Kilstein.  His wife (and the other Citizen Radio co-host) Allison Kilkenny has been covering OWS for The Nation and In These Times.  She filed this report this morning, “Occupy Protesters Storm Financial District“.

If you haven’t seen Jamie, here he is on Conan

And just because you must see these, two videos from Countdown last night, as Keith spoke with 84-year old activist Dorli Rainly, who was pepper sprayed by Seattle cops at Occupy Seattle

And he also spoke with NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez

It’s bound to be a busy weekend. I’ll be here posting as often as I can.

Nov 162011

Josh Trujillo/SEATTLEPI.COM photo of 84-year old Dorli Rainey, moments after she'd been pepper-sprayed at OccupySeattle

Tomorrow marks two months since the Occupy movement officially began in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.  Since then, the occupations have spread to all 50 states and upwards of 80 counties around the globe.   Although some tactics may have to change in the wake of the NYPD’s brutal eviction and demolition of the original occupation, the toothpaste can’t be put back into the tube!

I’ve been a fan of Matt Taibbi‘s since I began paying attention to serious reporting.  I first interviewed him back on Air America in March of 2009, when he was putting the truly complicated crimes being committed by Wall Street into accessible articles for Rolling Stone that even I could follow and understand.  (Yes, click on the link to hear that interview!)

I’ve been reading his take on the Occupy movement at Rolling Stone, and truly appreciate his struggle with his hopes for its success alongside his feelings that they were making some mistakes.  A month into the occupation, Taibbi penned a piece called “My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters” – in which he suggested five demands they might want to focus on.

His newest piece for RS – “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests” – began with an admission you rarely hear from anyone in the mainstream media:

I have a confession to make. At first, I misunderstood Occupy Wall Street.

It was so good that I asked him to come on the show to talk about it. Then the NYPD raided Liberty Square (Zucotti)…  So,  we had a lot to talk about this morning.

Yesterday, while the protesters were trying to get back into the park  after a judge had issued a temporary restraining order allowing them to do so, lots of people were milling around the perimeter – including Steven Thrasher of the Village Voice.  He witnessed the NY Post’s Andrea Peyser excoriating a man for bringing his son down to the protest.  The man, a Canadian tourist, explained that he’s from Canada, and they bring their kids to protests regularly!.

Another man witnessed the exchange and asked Peyser what her problem was.  After she said “Fuck You” to him, he must have called her an old lady, because she responded with “I’m not as old as I look.”

I think I can attest to that.  I went to elementary school with Peyser, who was known as Edna Peyser then.  I’ve been informed by another classmate show somehow felt compelled to defend Peyser’s nastiness that she has legally changed the unfortunate name as it was a source of much teasing when she was younger. Perhaps that’s what turned her into a bitter old bitch.


I spoke with Steven Thrasher about his encounter, written up for the Village Voice “Andrea Peyser at Zuccotti: ‘I’m Not As Old As I Look.’ (Also ‘Fuck You’)” — of course, I had to have him on the show to tell him of our time together in school. I even have photo proof:

second grade
I’m in the middle with the white headband, “Andrea” Peyser to my right
4th grade – me in the green dress with boots, “Andrea” to the right (appropriately) in red
5th grade – we’re in the second row – me second from left, her on the way right

Just posting these pictures… because I could!

And Jeremy Koulish also joined in today from Main Street Insider, to talk ALEC and voter suppression bills.

Nov 152011

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the cowardly way out and ordered the NYPD to raid and clear out Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Square) at around 1:30 this morning.  Now, 1:30 is not morning – it’s in the middle of night.  Under cover of darkness, and without allowing the media access to witness the eviction, members of the NYPD descended upon Zuccotti and ordered the protesters to leave.  Those who didn’t heed the orders were hit with pepper spray or other acts of brutality, and arrested.

On the show this morning, I read from Alison Kilkenny‘s account of the raid at

Mere days away from the two-month anniversary of the occupation, the NYPD lowered the hammer and completely dismantled the encampment, throwing away every scrap of Occupy gear, including around five thousand books from the group’s library, and arresting around 70 people (note: this is an early report and arrest numbers will almost certainly change).

Hundreds of officers cleared the square under the guise of a “clear and restore” campaign that would eventually permit the demonstrators to return after the cleaning. Occupiers obviously had a difficult time swallowing that line as they watched the camping equipment that had become their homes over the past two months heaped into the back of sanitation trucks. Some protesterschained themselves to trees in Liberty, and some early reports indicate the NYPD cut down the trees in order to remove the demonstrators.

I shared tweets from various journalists, alleging police press suppression at the raid

Around 1:00am on Tuesday, November 15th, the NYPD moved in to clear Zuccotti Park of all protestors and equipment. Members of the press, both independent and mainstream, were systematically prevented from covering the story, and journalists with The New York Times and NPR were arrested.“

The evicted protesters reconvened in other areas around lower Manhattan.  Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference – at which at they allowed something on the magnitude of a dozen reporters!

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s office was served at 7:50am with a restraining order issued by Judge Lucy Billings that said (among other things)

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that, until this matter is heard on the date set forth above [ed note: TODAY - hearing happening at publication time, updates to come as soon as available]. respondents/defendants are prohibited from:

(a) Evicting protesters from Zuccoti Park, a/k/a Liberty Park, exclusive of lawful arrests for criminal offenses

(b) Enforcing the “rules” published after the occupation began or otherwise

preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized.

Again, the hearing is in progress at this time.  Live streaming from Zuccotti Park (currently occupied by NYPD, who seem to be breaking the provisions of the restraining order by not allowing people back in the park) on




At this moment, according to the stream above, the judge has ordered the protesters to be allowed back into the park, with the tents. The story has just been confirmed by ABC news!

On the show this morning, I was joined by Greg Basta of NYCC, who gave the details about Thursday’s planned actions in NYC. Find all the details here ( and here (

BTW, from the Beyond May 12 Facebook page:

Big CHEER as report just comes in that court decided that this morning’s order to allow the Occupiers back in the park MUST be upheld! Step aside, NYPD :)


Also, Jesse LaGreca joined me to talk Occupy Wall Street in general.  Of course, we all know Jesse from this video of his interview with Fox “News” went viral:

We took a break from exclusively talking #OWS for our weekly visit with GottaLaff of The Political Carnival to talk about these stories and more:

UPDATED- VIDEO: Herman Cain blows it again. Watch his latest disaster, this time on Libya.

Quote of the Day- Herman Cain Style

Herman Cain: “I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’”

Wells Fargo to launch new bank for the super rich ($50M minimum) and offer payday loans

VIDEO- Michele Bachmann: “I’d like to beat [the football coach accused of child rape] to a pulp…”

Michele Bachmann: Occupy protesters were “ignorant” and “disrespectful”. She might want to refer to these 2009 videos.

VIDEO: Dyer’s not MY Buddy! Mike Cantone for mayor of Orlando!

A message from Iraq War veteran/Occupy Oakland protester Scott Olsen

Occupy TIME Magazine: Vote for The 99% for Person of the Year

Tomorrow, Matt Taibbi joins in to talk about Occupy Wall Street and his latest piece on the movement for Rolling Stone.

Nov 142011

Photo courtesy of @LucyKafanov

For an hour or so prior to the start of this morning’s show, I was simulcasting the live video stream from Spencer (@OakFoSho) as the Oakland PD and law enforcement from surrounding cities once again raided the Occupy Oakland encampment at Oscar Grant Park.

My friend Joshua Holland (senior writer and editor at AlterNet) lives in San Francisco and was once again on the scene as the raid happened.  He joined me by phone at the end of the first hour to discuss what went on during the pre-dawn hours this morning, and wrote about it: “Thousands of Riot Cops Descend on Occupy Oakland, 32 Arrested”.

Tina Dupuy is the managing editor at Crooks and Liars, and has visited numerous occupations in a few countries.  She’s in the Bay Area now, and last night visited Occupy Oakland.   She also joined me this morning to talk about this morning’s raid, as well as the other weekend raids – all detailed at

I told of the Occupy with Aloha “musical occupation at Saturday night’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) gala in Hawii, attended by President Obama and a number of other world leaders.

During the gala dinner, renowned Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who performed at the White House in 2009, opened his suit jacket to reveal a home-made “Occupy with Aloha” T-shirt. Then, instead of playing the expected instrumental background music, he spent almost 45 minutes repeatedly singing his protest ballad released earlier that day. The ballad, called “We Are the Many,” includes lines such as “The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw…. And until they are purged, we won’t withdraw,” and ends with the refrain: “We’ll occupy the streets, we’ll occupy the courts, we’ll occupy the offices of you, till you do the bidding of the many, not the few.”

Those who could hear Makana’s message included Presidents Barack Obama of the United States of America, Hu Jintao of China, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, and over a dozen other heads of state.

As she does every Monday morning, C&L’s Nicole Belle joined me in the second hour for our “Fools on the Hill” segment, in which we dissect the Sunday talking heads shows. This week, she gave us these clips:

If it’s Sunday, it’s time for more Republican stupidity. And boy, is there a whole lot of stupidity to share.

Michele Bachmann—who advocated turning this country into China at the foreign policy debate—actually crammed so much stupid into a minute and a half that it’s hard to believe that she hasn’t been marginalized completely off the national stage. When David Gregory asks her about her advocating to bring back waterboarding, she sides with Dick Cheney, saying that she—unlike opponents Colin Powell, John McCain and the generals on the ground—is interested in winning. She also re-asserted that Iraqis need to repay GIs for their service. This time she put a price tag on it: several million dollars each.

Meanwhile, Candy Crowley really, really wants her viewers to blame Democrats for all ills in this country. After asking on a reliably Blue Dog bipartisanship fetishist like LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to comment on national politics and the Super Committee –which he does in a storm of Republican memes of “necessary” entitlement cuts and everyone sacrificing—she asks him what he thinks of the environment in Washington DC (the mayor of Los Angeles, mind you, 3,500 miles away) and he makes the entirely non-controversial statement that it’s the most partisan it’s ever been. Crowley follows up inexplicably with the skeptical “Do you think that the Democrats are blameless in this?”

RNC Chair Reince Preibus also spoke with Candy Crowley and assured us that it’s simply “not true” that the Republicans takes the side of the wealthiest. It’s President Obama that is waging the class war…which Crowley thinks is clearly working.

Bill Kristol—who is never, ever correct—spent a little of his regular air time on Fox News Sunday to trash the Occupy Wall Street movement, because you know, it could hurt liberal causes. ‘Cause he cares.

And George Will—who is actually documented to be the least correct person on the Sunday shows—gets something right when he pronounces Herman Cain a test for Republicans, because those four women (actually, I think it’s five) could mean that there are far, far more.

Nov 102011

It was a busy day!  The first hour included a visit from investigative journalist Greg Palast, giving us the juicy details behind his new book Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores. I finally got the time to start reading it just a couple of days ago, and it reads like a spy novel… but it’s all true.

I’ll let you know when I’m done, but  is definitely worth the read, whether the printed version or the Kindle edition with audio & video.  By the way, if you read the printed version and want to see the video, just visit … it’s all there!

As if that wasn’t enough for the first hour, it continued with John Fugelsang.  John usually joins me for the second hour of my Thursday shows, but he had an appointment today at that time, so we had a concentrated segment talking about last night’s debate, Koch-Cain’s harassment problems, the Penn State- Joe Paterno problems, and the occupy movement.

In hour two, we went over the audio/video of the stuff I spoke with Fugelsang about, including:



Nov 092011

For a guy who says he doesn't know her, Mr. Koch-Cain is certainly very close to Sharon Bialek

I don’t know when or where this picture was taken – but it was obviously a few years ago, and is obviously Herman (Koch) Cain standing right next to Sharon Bialek.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive ….

I opened the show this morning with some of Koch-Cain’s more obvious lies and sickening statements…  Then we moved on to some good news.  After hearing today’s  90 Second Summary from Main Street Insider

I spoke with Jeremy Koulish about yesterday’s election results — it turned out to be a pretty good day for progressives.
As Howie Klein recounted at Down With Tyranny in his special election wrap-up, in Ohio – SB5/Issue 2 (the horrible anti-union bill cooked up by the much hated Kasich) went down in a brutal 58-42% drubbing.   And in Columbus,  incumbent mayor Michael Coleman (D) was reelected over Republican Earl Smith 72-28%!

Howie continued:

The other two important ballot measures yesterday were in Maine– to restore same day voter registration that the GOP abolished– and Mississippi’s insane Initiative 26, the so-called “personhood” law that defines a sperm and an egg as a legal human being from the moment of fertilization. Both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor endorsed the controversial and clearly unconstitutional Personhood thing but it lost anyway (58-42%), extremism getting smacked with a rolled up newspaper across the snout even in backward, ignorant, superstitious Mississippi. In Maine, despite big last-minute spending by teabag Gov. Paul LePage supporters (as well as the crazy, inflammatory attacks that are always associated with right-wing extremism), same day voters registration was restored 60-40%.

Constitutional officers were elected in Kentucky and Mississippi. There were no blue to red or red to blue changes in Kentucky– Democrats for Governor (56% for Steve Beshear), Attorney General (55% for Jack Conway), Auditor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer and the Republican was elected Agriculture Commissioner. Mississippi was the mirror image of what happened in Kentucky. Republicans won all the statewide races except that the incumbent Attorney General was reelected.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as well in Virginia.

Virginia, which will be key for Obama next year, went badly. The Democrats lost their bare 22-18 seat control of the state Senate and the Republicans retained their control of the House. A very radical right GOP now has complete control over the state government and will likely make immediate moves against democratic institutions, particularly voting rights. This was really the worst news of the night.

It was a busy show…  My favorite activist, David Swanson, has a new book out.  When the World Outlawed War tells the story of the peace movement in the 1920s that led to the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war!  It’s still on the books, yet no one pays attention.  David joined me to talk about the book, along with the Occupy movement and, and his disagreement with Ted Rall on the way forward (violent revolution vs. non-violent civil resistance).

Jason Benlevi also joined in for a discussion about the internet and digital technology, spurred by his book Too Much Magic: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech.

And my pal Dave Johnson told us about the resurrection of the blog – and the need for it (to expose those corporate and GOP-based lies), and his take on Occupy: “The Occupy Movement is Spreading and Growing“.  I particularly liked these suggestions:

Occupy Everywhere And Everything

Possible new Occupy actions include places that the government is ignoring its responsibilities, and people are sick of just taking it. Some ideas:

  • Occupying polluting companies, until they stop polluting.
  • Occupying privatized public functions — jobs that have been handed to private contractors in order to pay people poverty wages, while making a few at the top very, very rich.
  • Occupying companies that refuse to hire the unemployed.
  • Occupying companies that refuse to hire people over 40.Encouraged by the Occupy Movement, more and more people are finding their voice and speaking out.
  • Tonight, I’ll be live-tweeting the GOP wannabe nominee debate (8pm CNBC)…

    And tomorrow, we’ll finish off the week with Greg Palast (talking about his new book Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores) and John Fugelsang too.

    Nov 082011

    It’s election day! But it’s an off-off year, meaning that many people don’t think they need to vote. However, in Ohio and Mississippi, it’s mandatory today!  Troubles at Occupy Wall Street?  GottaLaff has a new Blunt webisode.  And poor Koch-Cain is in a whole lotta hot water…  All on today’s show…

    Blogger Fritz Tucker has been going to Zuccotti Park to participate in Occupy Wall Street, and made some observations that should be of interest to all concerned about the future of the movement.   He joined me on the show this morning to talk about “A Chill Descends on Occupy Wall Street.”

    My buddy Cliff Schecter lives in Ohio, so I invited him on the show today to tell us what’s at stake with Issue 2... we also took a few minutes to discuss the heinous “Personhood” amendment in Mississippi, and the possibility that Virginia’s evil governor will get a GOP majority in the state senate if Democrats don’t get out and vote.

    Every Tuesday morning, I’m joined by The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff for the second hour of the show…  We talked about and showed these videos, and the following stories:

    The newest Blunt – Occupy Respect!

    And the amazing people of Occupy Chicago as they Mic Check WI Gov Scott Walker

    And these stories:

    PhotOH! Oops! Republican state senator asks voters to thank… a Communist Soviet veteran

    VIDEO- To those who still think Jon Huntsman is a moderate, don’t “confuse a moderate attitude with a moderate record.”

    Gingrich-Cain debate: No Cain (alleged) sexual harassment talk allowed.

    And just because I could…. Koch-Cain…

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