Thanks to Kenny Pick and Tom Shafer for holding down the fort last night.
I was actually planning on taking last night off for some fun… Kathy Griffin was in town for a show at the Hard Rock. This is the third time David and I have seen her at Hard Rock Live in the just under two years we’ve been together. Obviously she likes this venue, and it loves her.
The show was sold out, as were the others. In this economy, when many concert tours are either playing to much less than capacity crowds, or canceling due to lack of ticket sales, Kathy Griffin seems to be doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. And she DID thank the crowd, numerous times, for coming out and buying tickets in these very tough times. She is a class act….
Yes, I said a class act. True, that’s an somewhat weird adjective to describe someone who makes her living by dissing and making fun of others… but, really, her targets are just begging to be made fun of!
There was another reason I was out yesterday. One of my four-legged children, Pooh (as in Pooh Bear) needed surgery to remove an odd-looking mass from her leg that produced some suspicious looking cells under the microscope from a needle aspiration. I wasn’t able to pick her up from the doc’s office until 6:30, so would have been absent regardless.
She seems to be doing OK today, though miserable in her cone collar. We’ll have the results from the biopsy, hopefully, by Monday.
In the meantime, the show goes on tonight…
If you look over to the left, you’ll notice the link to SoFloRadio.com, and another link to launch the player directly. Jorge Rodriguez, who spent many years as the producer/sidekick/guest host of the Neil Rogers Show here in South Florida, launched the fledgling network at this time last year, when WQAM-the last home of the afore-mentioned show-decided to cancel it.
My show is now heard on SoFloRadio weekday mornings from 10am-noon… a rebroadcast of the previous days’ program (for now, anyway). I thought it was time to introduce Jorge to my listeners, and vice-versa. So, he’ll hang with me in my studio tonight.. We’ll chat about radio, the internet, South Florida, and whatever else comes up.
We’ll check in with Lance Enderle for an update on his Congressional campaign in Michigan. Lance was on the show the day before the primary in Michigan, when we encouraged voters in the 8th district to write in Lance’s name… Unfortunately, not enough of them did. Fortunately, the guy whose name was on the ballot finally officially withdrew from the race, a move that allows the Michigan Democratic party to name another candidate.
Although they haven’t given Lance the nod yet, they should. Perhaps we can help push them toward doing the right thing tonight.
When will they ever learn?
Today should have been a great day for the Dems. Seriously. The House of Representatives reconvened to help states insure that teachers, firefighters and police will stay on the job, and to make sure funds were available for Medicaid. Of course, the naysayers on the other side of the aisle have no sense of decency and don’t seem to give a shit whether or not their constituents are taken care of… but that whole story has taken a back seat to two other sideshow stories today.
First, Charlie Rangel, he of the 13 ethics violation charges, decided to take TODAY of all days to exercise his right to get up on the House floor to try to defend his reputation. On a day that the Dems should be proudly crowing about doing something good for the people of the country. Instead, Charlie Rangel’s ethics, or lack thereof, would take the spotlight.
Well, the White House could have used that incident to point fingers and blame someone else for their troubles… until White House press secretary Robert Gibbs opened his big fat mouth!
Seriously, Gibbs opened mouth and inserted his foot so far that Linda Lovelace probably gagged.
He gave an interview to The Hill, blasting the “professional left,” by whom I guess he meant the few liberal voices on cable television and, perhaps, radio:
“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.
Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
Seriously Gibbs, you want to go there? I think I might be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president. He would have fought for single payer health care, and certainly wouldn’t be sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan and asking for billions of dollars more to fund these reprehensible wars, especially while our country and its citizens are drowning in debt.
Even Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) took such umbrage at Gibbs’ remarks that he told Huffington Post the Press Secretary should resign!
Ellison said that Gibbs’s resignation would be an appropriate response. “I think that’d be fair, yeah. That’d be fair, because this isn’t the first time. And, again, people of all political shades worked very hard to help the president become the president. Why would he want to go out and deliberately insult the president’s base? And why would he confuse legitimate critique with some sort of lack of loyalty. Isn’t this what the far right does? Punishes people who are not ideologically aligned with President Bush?”
It’s wrong to suggest that progressives want to eliminate the Pentagon, said Ellison, adding that he doesn’t know a single Democrat who has espoused that view. “I know of none. So I think that was an inflammatory remark that is emblematic of his careless use of language and is an example of why he may not be the best person for the job,” he said. “Gibbs crossed the line. His dismissal would be fair.”
Ryan Grim, who wrote that piece for Huffington Post, will join me at the top of tonight’s show to talk about Robert Gibbs’ verbal diarrhea, along with the two other stories that I mentioned at the top of this post: the passage of the bill for which Congress reconvened today, and the untimely speech delivered by Charlie Rangel.
Don’t worry, my show is over at 8pm ET, just in time to hear Keith Olbermann deliver his Special Comment in response to Mr. Gibbs. I can’t wait for that one.
Just in case you missed it, here’s Charlie, in all of his, um, glory…
In hour two, Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars joins in for our weekly “Fools on the Hill” segment in which we dish about the ridiculous things said on the Sunday talking head shows.
**Update… today’s podcast is now available. Just click the player above to listen, or go to the video page to watch. Also, today’s TRNS update came from the wonderful Victoria Jones, who wrote “Sharron Angle — Bill of Rights? On Her Terms Only” for Huffington Post today. Definitely worth reading!***
Depending on what report you’re reading, Google has gone evil (we already know Verizon is!), or they’ve come to their senses. Unfortunately, I’m leaning toward the former.
Google, Verizon Back Net Neutrality
You can turn off the alarms: Google and Verizon have issued a joint statement declaring that last week’s reports that they were teaming up to throw net neutrality under the bus are “false, misleading, and not correct.” According to Google’s Public Policy blog, the company believes that the internet should remain open and “neutral in terms of content, and traffic should not be discriminated nor blocked. In short: net neutrality should be enforced over existing wired networks.” However, Google believes wireless carriers should be exempt from these rules, as they currently are. Verizon apparently agrees with these statements, but says that future services that are not transmitted over the existing “open internet” should be exempt. Gizmodo says, “It’s clear that the product of Google and Verizon’s talks was not doomsday scenario that was outlined last week.”
“Google and Verizon can try all they want to disguise this deal as a reasonable path forward, but the simple fact is this framework, if embraced by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, would transform the free and open Internet into a closed platform like cable television. This is much worse than a business arrangement between two companies. It’s a signed-sealed-and-delivered policy framework with giant loopholes that blesses the carving up of the Internet for a few deep-pocketed Internet companies and carriers.
“If codified, this arrangement will lead to toll booths on the information superhighway. It will lead to outright blocking of applications and content on increasingly popular wireless platforms. It would give companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T the right to decide which content will move fast and which should be slowed down. And it will destroy the open Internet as a platform for small business innovation and job creation, cementing companies’, like Google’s, dominant market power online.
“Still worse, this deal proposes to keep the FCC from making rules at all. Instead of an even playing field for everyone, it proposes taking up complaints on a case-by-case basis, or even leaving it up to third-party industry groups to decide what the rules should be. The only good news is that neither of these companies is actually in charge of writing the rules that govern the future of the Internet. That is supposed to be the job of our leaders in Washington.
“Congress and the FCC should reject Verizon and Google’s plans to carve up the Internet for the private benefit of deep-pocketed special interests, and move forward with policies that preserve the open Internet for all. This begins with the FCC reasserting its authority over broadband to ensure it can protect the open Internet and promote universal access to affordable, world-class quality broadband.
“The Internet is one of our nation’s most important resources, and policymakers everywhere should recognize that the future of our innovation economy is far too important to be decided by a backroom deal between industry giants.”
Read the Free Press fact sheet “How the Google-Verizon Deal Threatens to Destroy the Open Internet”: http://www.freepress.net/files/carving_up_the_internet.pdf
To bring us up to date on what’s going on with these two strange bedfellows, FreePress.net‘s Managing Director Craig Aaron, who wrote this excellent piece on the subject for Huffington Post today, will join me in the second hour of tonight’s show.
Don’t forget to visit www.savetheinternet.com to sign the petition to Google and send your comments to the FCC regarding their jurisdiction over broadband services.
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki. On Friday, it was the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. I recently read a book I hope everyone will pick up. It’s Howard Zinn’s final missive, simply entitled The Bomb. I’ll share a bit of it with you, then talk with Peace Action Organizing, Political and PAC Director Paul Kawika-Martin, who’s in Nagasaki today for this unfortunate anniversary.
This might be a good time to revisit my interview from July 20 with Lawrence Bender- the producer of the new film, Countdown to Zero. At the very least, watch the trailer and imagine a world without nuclear weapons. Please.
And finally, she’s ba-ak. Ok, I know Sarah Palin, unfortunately, never left. But she’s back in Alaska, filming a new TV series for the Discovery channel-owned “TLC” (which used to stand for The Learning Channel, which is quite ironic considering her reaction to the mention of the teaching profession in the following video). She had the temerity to show up to tape a segment in Shannyn Moore‘s hometown of Homer, Alaska, where she was met with more disdain than enthusiasm. Read Shannyn’s account of the encounter, and watch the cell phone video… and listen, as Shannyn joins me at the top of tonight’s show! *** Note: Shannyn and I also spoke about an issue about which she is passionate… that of the Pebble Mine. She’s happy to share information with you, and send you a No Pebble Mine sticker if you send her an email!***
Yes, it’s another busy day in the USA.
The Senate today confirmed Elena Kagan as the 112th Justice of the Supreme Court, but the Republicans (and Ben Nelson) show they just do not want to play ball. The final vote was 63-37, with five Republicans (Snowe and Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of S.C., Lugar of Indiana, and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire) voting for her confirmation (no Scott Brown, hmmm), and one DINO, Ben Nelson, voting against her. Can we just kick Nelson out of the party already?
Net Neutrality is also top of mind today as Sen. Al Franken pens an Op-Ed piece for CNN.com, “Net Neutrality is foremost free speech issue of our time,” on this, the same day that the headlines are screaming that Net Neutrality and the internet are dead…
The New York Times is reporting that Verizon and Google have cut a deal to be announced next week that “could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege. The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users.”
We’ll delve into this issue a bit tonight, and probably in greater detail early next week. But if you haven’t yet signed the petition in favor of Net Neutrality at savetheinternet.com yet, please take a moment and do so now.
The term “anchor babies” is getting bandied about an awful lot these days, as the xenophobes on the right want to repeal the 14th Amendment. The always brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer Connie Schultz (aka Mrs. Sherrod Brown) penned an excellent piece this week called “Blame the Babies.” She’ll join us tonight to talk about it.
We’ll start the show with a conversation with one of the many candidates vying to win Kendrick Meek’s soon-to-be-vacated seat in the House of Representatives (as he’s running for the US Senate). It just so happens to be in my district. We appear to have a very viable PROGRESSIVE running — Marleine Bastien. She’ll try to convince me to vote for her this evening.
Unfortunately, John Fugelsang will not be able to join us this evening for our regular Thursday get-together. His father passed away this week. Our thoughts and love are with him… and he’ll be back with us next Thursday.
Joining us in John’s place tonight is comedian/cartoonist/satirist Matthew Filipowicz, who I had the pleasure of meeting last month at Netroots Nation. I think you’ll enjoy meeting him too, as we discuss the progressive bloggers gathering in Vegas, the confirmation of Elena Kagan, the overturning of Prop 8, the importance of Net Neutrality, and anything else that comes up….
… for now anyway, as an appeal has already been filed, and a stay is already in place. But it’s great news coming out of California as Judge Vaughn Walker (a George H W Bush appointee, no less) ruled that the statute violated a fundamental right of people in love to get married– he found Prop 8 “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.”.
Read the ruling for yourself here:
Prop 8 Ruling FINAL
It’s nice to be able to share good news for a change!
We’ll get into the ruling tonight with FireDogLake’s Teddy Partridge and David Dayen too!
Then, just when the government and BP are spreading the same line of BS along the lines of “75% of the oil has disappeared,” I’ll chat with “Barkway” who’s been blowing the whistle on BP’s heinous practices when it comes to cleaning up the mess they made. She’s also known as “Deepwater Throat” on the Political Carnival.
And in the wake of the Senate wimping out on any climate legislation, The Nation’s Christian Parenti will join me to talk about his latest piece, “The Big Green Buy,” which explains how President Obama can make a dramatic impact on climate change now … without Congress.
Today is Tuesday– primary day in Michigan. If you live in Michigan’s 8th District, I hope you wrote in the name of Lance Enderle for Congress. We’ll know by this time tomorrow whether or not the people of Michigan’s 8th will actually have a Democrat on the ballot.
But I guess it doesn’t matter to Ed Schultz if there are any Democrats on the ballot where he’s registered to vote (is it North Dakota, Minnesota or NY these days?), as he proclaimed on Friday that he won’t be voting in the midterm election. Actually, I hadn’t heard this until a short while ago when I visited Bob Cesca’s awesome blog, and read “No Sir. I Don’t Like It.” Bob will join me for the last segment of the show to talk about the idiocy of this pronouncement.
I remember how dismayed I felt when I heard Keith Olbermann proclaim that he never votes! I can understand journalists being tight-lipped about their political preferences as they’re supposed to be objective. But Keith Olbermann is a commentator who makes no pretense of impartiality. His credibility dropped a couple of notches in my book after hearing that statement (made on “The View” no less!)
I’m no big fan of the Dems these days, and will bemoan the fact that I continue to vote for the lesser of all evils just about every time I enter the voting booth. But voting is, I believe, the responsibility of the intelligent among us. Let the idiots stay home. You can take that as a dig at Ed if you wish…
I live in Flori-DUH, not the best place to be on election day. We have some of the worst candidates vying for office these days. Our primary day is three weeks from today. In the Democratic Primary for the US Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez (who pulled a Palin last year), I can choose between my do-nothing Congressman Kendrick Meek, a Republican turned Democratic carpetbagger who made his fortune from homeowners’ misfortune (and is pulling a Fiorina in trying to buy the election) Jeff Greene, or Maurice Ferre– former 6 term Mayor of Miami who’s been out of politics (and out of touch?) for over 15 years.
Although I may wind up voting for Charlie Crist in the general election (who’s switched from Republican to Independent), I’ll do my homework and vote for the one I think is the least offensive in the primary. In fact, Maurice Ferre will be my first guest on tonight’s show.
I’ll also be joined by the wonderful Howie Klein, aka DownWithTyranny who, along with Digby (Hullabaloo) and John Amato (Crooks and Liars) run the Blue America PAC. And Susie Madrak will weigh in on a couple of posts she wrote for Crooks & Liars… “Study: Employers Used Recession As Excuse For Cutting Even Deeper And Increase Profits. Why Is No One Talking About This?” (we will). And, on the day that BP says it began the “static kill” procedure to finally kill the well in the Gulf, we’ll touch on today’s piece “New Numbers on Gulf Spill: 4.8 Million Barrels of Oil.”
Check back later tonight for the podcast!
We’re now officially in the dog days of August, and things are supposed to be slooow. But nooo. Not in America in 2010. We haven’t had a slow news week in over a year, it seems.
In the car just a few minutes ago, we were listening to Rachel Maddow (on XM channel 120), and she heard about the Target boycott due to the fact that they donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a PAC who used the funds to purchase TV ads for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmers, a staunch opponent of marriage equality. She looked at me and said, “Great. By the time I’m 15 I’ll only be able to shop at thrift stores.”
Yes, my 11 year old daughter bitches that I won’t let her shop at Walmart… and now Target. Oh well, it’s the price we pay, I suppose, to try to do the right thing.
We addressed this latest shit storm on tonight’s show with my friend and former Air America co-worker Jack Rice who’s a Minnesota re-plant. Yes, he and the family recently moved back to Minneapolis after his AAR stint in DC ended.
So he’s quite familiar with the mess in Minne which prompted MoveOn to circulate a petition urging Target to “Stop trying to buy elections” and promise “I won’t shop at Target until it stops spending money on elections. Companies like Target should stay out of elections, period.” (Yes, I signed it.)
But Target’s not the only Minnesota-based company that contributed to said PAC. Best Buy did too. The difference here is that Target has prided itself as a company that was very gay-friendly. I’d say this says “not so much.”
Best Buy, on the other hand, has positioned itself as a “green” company. Apparently, the people at change.org’s Environment page take exception to their contributions to this particular Republican gubernatorial candidate too.
Jess Leber writes (in a piece titled “Tell Best Buy: $100,000 To Minnesota’s Tom Emmer Doesn’t ‘Keep the Planet Healthy’”:
For the record, Best Buy, which is headquartered in Minnesota, is usually a pretty green company. It supports climate legislation, is known as an energy efficiency leader, and already has reached its goal to make an 8 percent cut in its carbon footprint by 2012. Through its “Greener Together” program, Best Buy also has one of the best electronics recycling programs in the industry and has pioneered state and federal programs to reduce landfill waste. It even field tested that program in Minnesota.
Tom Emmer, in addition to cheering on a rock band that advocates killing gays and lesbians, is a one-man bulldozer when it comes to the environment, as the group Alliance For a Better Minnesota points out. (Sign their petition to call out Best Buy.)
On electronics: Emmer voted twice against an electronics recycling program in Minnesota, and now that the program is law, is on a campaign to abolish — get that, abolish — the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which is set to implement the program.
On climate and energy: Emmer calls climate science “Al Gore’s climate porn,” and says green jobs are a “fancy marketing slogan.” He voted against Minnesota’s 25 percent renewable electricity mandate and swears if elected he would repeal it. Instead, he thinks too little is being done to develop the fossil fuels of the future. Want to challenge his retrograde stances? Don’t bet on it, he probably won’t show up, just like he skipped out on a recent “green debate.”
On health: He was a minority even among Republicans when he was one of only five state house legislators to vote against banning toxic BPA from children’s toys and sippy cups. Last year, he also voted against a pilot program to collect and recycle toxic paint.
There’s also a very questionable election situation going on in Michigan, where voters will vote in their primary tomorrow. Apparently, a congressional wannabe named Kande Ngalamulume decided to throw his hat in the race against Republican rubber stamper Mike Rogers. Unfortunately, Mr. Ngalamulume decided to quit the race about a week past filing deadline, and apparently headed back to Pennsylvania- where he had been living before moving back to Michigan to run. Confusing yes, but Karoli at Crooks & Liars spells it out nicely.
Now, the only way to get a Democrat on the ballot in November to run against the incumbent Rogers is via a write in candidacy. Enter Lance Enderle! He’s a progressive Democrat, who sounds like the read deal. Lance was my first guest on tonight’s show… So listen to what he has to say, and then call, text, tweet, email… get in touch with anyone you know in Michigan and help spread the word to write his name in tomorrow! To be continued, I hope…
Victoria Jones checked in with a great report from the Talk Radio News Service.
And we wrapped up the show with Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars, who visits almost every Monday with a look back at the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we may call “Fools on the Hill”…
In addition to our regular talking smack session about who was on and what they said, we took a couple of minutes at the end of the show to talk about what’s really being proposed, but described as a “Mosque at Ground Zero” (it really isn’t). Nicole wrote a great piece about it that you can read at Crooks & Liars, “On Tolerance and Healing.“
It’s my last day of summer vacation. My darling daughter returns home from three weeks away at summer camp tomorrow. Unfortunately, my time without a child in tow was not much fun as I broke my foot the afternoon before depositing her at camp. As much as I’ve enjoyed the respite from parental responsibilities, I can’t wait to see my kid again… at least until she does something that makes me want to strangle her. I give it around an hour…
I get to spend my last night without worrying about what to do with her by seeing one of my favorite bands in concert– Crowded House! They’ll be at the Fillmore in Miami Beach so, after the first hour of tonight’s show, I’ll turn the controls over to Danielle “The Left Neck Chick” and Shane-O “FunkedinDaHead”…. I’ll leave them with the rest of my Netroots Nation -taped interviews to run (with Democracy for America chairman Jim Dean, FreePress.net‘s Tim Karr, and LGBT activist Gloria Nieto), but they’ll still have time to pontificate themselves…
Before I leave to enjoy the amazing music of Neil Finn and Crowded House, I’ll spend most of the first hour of the show speaking with Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst in the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, who’s spent the better part of his career as a whistleblower… beginning with the conditions first responders faced after 9/11 and continuing today with the use of dispersants (Corexit) in the Gulf of Mexico. To get a good idea of the work he’s been doing, check out this Mother Jones profile of him.
What a show we have for you tonight. Unfortunately, I have no time for the rest of the interviews I taped at Netroots Nation… all the more reason to tune in tomorrow night!
Of course, the big story today comes from Arizona, where US District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocked the most controversial sections of SB 1070, which was slated to take effect tomorrow. The law will still go into effect tomorrow, but without the most heinous provisions– including the sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, and the parts that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.
We’ll start the show with an interview with Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, who also co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and get his take on what the judge’s ruling means.
We’ll follow that up with a representative of a group still calling for a boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks and demanding that major league baseball not hold their all-star game in Arizona next year.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the day that Sarah Palin left her job as Governor of Alaska, less than halfway through her one and only term. Upon her resignation, she told her constituents that she couldn’t be effective in working on their behalf as a lame duck governor. So, what has she done for them in the year since leaving office? Jeanne Devon, aka AKMuckraker, editor of The Mudflats blog, will join us to talk about the former half-Governor from Alaska…
After checking in with Talk Radio News Service for a news update, we’ll hear my interview with Washington insider and columnist for The Hill, Brent Budowsky, who’s just about had it with the Democratic party.
It’s a busy show tonight. We’ve got a lot to fit in to our two hours…
Geoff Holtzman from the Talk Radio News Service;
Lawrence Bender, producer of “Countdown to Zero,” a brilliant new documentary about nuclear proliferation and the need to put an end to it; and
Tarryl Clark, congressional candidate, running against Michele Bachmann in Minnesota.