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Oct 312011

Policemen in riot gear scuffle with protesters at the 'Occupy Denver' camp on October 29, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Following a march by protesters, police tried to tear down some newly-erected tents at the encampment and and a melee ensued. Police arrested about a half dozen people and pepper-sprayed others before calling for reinforcements. (John Moore/Getty Images)

I’m not nearly as scared of witches, ghosts and goblins as I am of over-zealous police officers following unconstitutional orders to break up peaceful encampments of protesters exercising their constitutional rights of assembly, protest and free speech.

My respect today is reserved for one magistrate in Nashville, TN (Tennessee of all places), where Night Court Magistrate Thomas Nelson keeps letting the arrested protesters out!


However, in Nashville, a few hours after the protesters were taken into custody Thursday night, Night Court Magistrate Thomas Nelson let them all go.

He did the same thing the next night when troopers brought in another group of protesters, telling the officers “your warrant is denied.”

Nelson released the demonstrators and refused to sign the arrest warrants, arguing that authorities had no legal basis for the arrests.

The arrests began less than 24 hours after Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration announced it was going to impose a curfew in the park due to safety concerns. Nelson said that wasn’t enough time for protesters to get the necessary permits and he told troopers he will not approve any warrants for arrest under the new curfew.

“For three weeks they’ve sat up there and protested, under no admonition whatsoever that they are violating state policy with regard to camping out…or that they are committing a crime,” Nelson told a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer, according to ABC News affiliate WKRN-TVin Nashville.

“When the state issued its memorandum imposing a curfew and changing the rules, right in the middle of a protest, they can do that, but they have to give them adequate time to comply with those rules,” he said.

Unfortunately, things are getting worse in Richmond, VA

Early Monday (this) morning, shortly after 1 am, the Richmond Police Department descended on Kanawha Plaza, where Occupy Richmond has been camped since October 15, 2011.

Shortly after arriving, police cruisers blockaded streets and lines of officers and horses were set up around the borders of our camp.

Richmond Police gave protesters at Occupy Richmond 15 minutes to collect their belongings and vacate Kanawha Plaza. Promptly after the 15-minute waiting period, Richmond Police swarmed the park. All of our property still remaining in the park was confiscated, collected, and designated for disposal. As the city’s dump trucks and front-loaders decimated our community, occupiers forced to watch from across the street joined together to sing the Star-Spangled Banner. We remained nonviolent at all times during the police action against us.

We unofficially account for 10 to 12 arrests. The majority were released with citations around 4 am while the remainder wait patiently at Richmond City Jail until the magistrate can see them.

This weekend also saw police abuse protesters in Portland OR, Austin TX, Denver CO and other cities.

Our friends at Crooks and Liars have been raising money and sending OccuPies (aka solidarity pizza) to occupations around the country.  But as Nicole Belle told me this morning (more on her visit in a moment), they’re stepping up the effort to raise money to help the protesters make it through a long, cold winter.  They will also be raising funds to help Scott Olsen, the Iraq war Marine veteran who suffered a fractured skull in the Oakland raid last week, pay his mounting medical bills.

They’ve also just launched a new section of the site for updates on all things Occupy America.

Meanwhile, in Washington DC, the politicians continue to turn blind ears to the suffering of the 99%.  The “Super Committee” (which I believe is wholly unconstitutional – I certainly didn’t vote for ANY of those 12 people to represent us, nor did anyone else in Florida) is spending valuable time coming up with new way to screw the American people who need help the most.

I’m just a mom/radio host and I figured out how to save Social Security and Medicare: Get rid of the damned FICA cap! We poor working schmucks pay FICA taxes on 100% of our income.  Make the 1% (and everyone else who makes over $110,000 a year) also pay FICA on the same percentage of their income.  Problem solved.  I didn’t even need to convene a super committee to figure it out.

OK, I know that’s not all they’re doing.  How about putting the tax rates back to where they were when Richard Nixon was president…. OK, I’ll take the 50% rate the top earners paid under Reagan.  When business owners are taxes at that rate, they tend to put more money back into their businesses (instead of hiding it in an offshore account or socking it away in some other manner).  By being forced to reinvest in their companies, they might actually HIRE some new employees, putting people like me back to work… That’s how you get more of us paying our fair share of taxes (and the wealthy who get even richer by sitting on their asses and collecting capital gains  have to pay the same rate on that money) … VIOLA!  Deficit goes down.

Unfortunately, we get members of the 1% telling us that to bring down the deficit, we have to cut Social Security (which doesn’t add a dime to the deficit) and the rest of the social safety net (Medicare, Medicaid).  They live in opposite world.

This morning, I spoke with Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works about what the committee has proposed so far, and what we can do to stop them (hint: call your congressperson and Senators daily and sound off about it!).

Being Monday, I spent most of the second hour of the show with the afore-mentioned Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars, commenting on some segments from the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we call “Fools on the Hill”.  Here’s what Nicole brings us today:

There is nowhere where the disconnect between the 99% of Americans and the 1% ruling elite is more manifest than on the Sunday shows. Outside the cozy confines of Beltway studios, the 99% are hurting, with high unemployment, record foreclosures, mortgages underwater, crippling debt and yet none of this penetrates that Beltway bubble. Instead, they happily debate their wedge issues, or the bewildering number of flat tax plans—something guaranteed to worsen the situation for 99%ers—instead of anything that helps Americans feel invested in the political process.

Tom Brokaw is a perfect example of the Beltway media insulation. He calls an AARP ad urging politicians to keep their hands off Medicare and Social Security “selfish”. Methinks Tom does not understand the concept of shared sacrifice as well as he thinks he does.

Speaking of unclear on the concept, Michele Bachmann told Christiane Amanpour that her flat tax plan would have “several rates.

And as another example, Bob Schieffer spent time with Herman Cain, asking him about the infamous Mark Block “smoking man” ad, and whether it was responsible to glamorize smoking, something that Schieffer had a personal issue with, having survived cancer. Not that the ad in great taste, but if I got the chance to interview Cain, I’d probably ask whether it was responsible to hire someone as his campaign manager someone who had been banned for three years from running campaigns due to campaign irregularities. However, it looks like Cain has his own campaign issues with which he’ll need to deal very soon.

Cain was also asked to clarify his accusation that Planned Parenthood was carrying out a planned genocide of African American babies. Not surprisingly, he stood by those words, citing PP founder Margaret Sanger’s words advocating decreasing the number of poor black children. But facts are troubling things, since Sanger was advocating community involvement in encouraging the use of birth control

Anti-abortion activists often misquote Sanger as saying, “[W]e want to exterminate the Negro population.”

But in full context, the quote has the opposite meaning. In a 1939 letter to pro-birth control advocate Clarence J. Gamble, Sanger argued that black leaders should be involved in the effort to deliver birth control to the black community.

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs,” she wrote (PDF).

Roger Simon was asked about Rick Perry’s ridiculous embrace of birtherism, which in an honest society, should have laughed him out of contention completely. But the media isn’t ready to give up on Perry yet, even if polls show that Americans have given up on him. But the Politico’s Chief Political Columnist thinks a little bit of racism helps in the GOP primary.

And finally, Pat Buchanan, who deserves no platform—either on MSNBC or here on PBS’s The McLaughlin Group—warned the president off supporting the OWS protests because we know those dirty hippies are going to start fighting with the cops. Hate to break it to Hitler’s apologist, but it looks like the other way around.

And just because he might surge again in the polls (God help us all), here’s Rick Perry speaking at some mega-church this weekend:

Oct 272011

That was the scene in Oakland last night – following two nights of brutal police action that resulted in one 24-year old Marine, two-tour Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen hospitalized, in critical condition, with a skull fracture and swelling of the brain.  The occupiers in Oakland were not to be deterred.  If anything, this police action probably intensified their resolve.

At this meeting, as AlterNet‘s Joshua Holland recounted on this morning’s show, those present voted in favor of a general strike to happen on Wednesday, November 2.


Below is the proposal passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.


We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

The Strike Coordinating Council will begin meeting everyday at 5pm in Oscar Grant Plaza before the daily General Assembly at 7pm. All strike participants are invited. Stay tuned for much more information and see you next Wednesday.

There’s been a huge outpouring of support for Scott Olsen in the wake of his injuries at the hands of the Oakland PD, and much deserved criticism of the way Mayor Jean Quan handled the situation.  Keith Olbermann was quite clear in his criticism, saying “Quan must repent or resign”:

Thankfully, she seems to have repented, releasing the following statement:

We support the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement: we have high levels of unemployment and we have high levels of foreclosure that makes Oakland part of the 99% too. We are a progressive city and tolerant of many opinions. We may not always agree, but we all have a right to be heard.

I want to thank everyone for the peaceful demonstration at Frank Ogawa Park tonight, and thank the city employees who worked hard to clean up the plaza so that all activities can continue including Occupy Wall Street. We have decided to have a minimal police presence at the plaza for the short term and build a community effort to improve communications and dialogue with the demonstrators.

99% of our officers stayed professional during difficult and dangerous circumstances as did some of the demonstrators who dissuaded other protestors from vandalizing downtown and for helping to keep the demonstrations peaceful. For the most part, demonstrations over the past two weeks have been peaceful. We hope they continue to be so.

I want to express our deepest concern for all of those who were injured last night, and we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again. Investigations of certain incidents are underway and I will personally monitor them.

We understand and recognize the impact this event has had on the community and acknowledge what has happened. We cannot change the past, but we are committed to doing better.

Most of us are part of the 99%, and understand the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We are committed to honoring their free speech right.

Finally, we understand the demonstrators want to meet with me and Chief Jordan. We welcome open dialogue with representatives of Occupy Wall Street members, and we are willing to meet with them as soon as possible.

Way to go Occupy Oakland! That is what democracy looks like.

This morning on the show, I was also honored to speak with Jim Hightower.  The commentator, author, radio host and all around amazing person told us about a new effort he has embarked on, along with The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel, and the former publisher of Mother Jones, Jay Harris.  It’s the We The People campaign, and it’s all about getting corporate money out, and people in!

Need more? Watch this:

Today’s show was a busy one, and I truly screwed up. Instead of hitting the button to save today’s ustream video, I hit the delete button. Damn ustream doesn’t seem to realize that we are idiots that I’m an idiot, so doesn’t even ask “are you sure you really want to delete this?” like so many other places do…

Oh well, I promised I’d post this video here, as the ustream audience couldn’t hear it anyway. It’s from yesterday’s public(!) hearing of the Super Committee, figuring out in just how many ways they’ll screw the people in this country who need help the most. Leah Bolger, VP of Veterans for Peace, has been in DC for the past few weeks, taking part in the occupation of Freedom Plaza. She knew she wouldn’t have access to the committee any other way, so showed up yesterday. Here’s what happened:

And finally, because we must ALWAYS call the liars at Fox out for the shit they make up, here’s a whopper. Just yesterday, the fake news channel ran this story: EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Playing Behind the Scenes Role in ‘Occupy’ Movement, and not one single word of it is true.

Greg Basta, deputy director of NYCC (an organization smeared in that piece of fiction) joined me on the show to debunk the bullshit.

That’s it for this week…  talk to you Monday.



Oct 252011
Occupy Oakland 10/25/11

Occupy Oakland 10/25/11 - Your tax dollars at work

As I was preparing for the show this morning, reports started crossing my twitter stream of violent police action against the protesters at Occupy Oakland.   The picture above was taken by someone on the scene… Hundreds of cops in riot gear, including officers from surrounding municipalities as backup… against peaceful protesters.

This video was shot by someone there and posted on the ustream account of punkboyinsf.  At around 16:00 in, you see a citizen journalist thrown to the ground by police;  at around 17:00, tear gas is used;

He was livestreaming via his cellphone (something I’ll have to try one of these days)… but I hope to not get hit by tear gas as he was at around 17:30…  He said the cop tried to tell him it was the occupiers gassing them!   Pretty powerful citizen reporting.

The Occupy Oakland website has lots more on this morning’s pre-dawn raid.

This morning at 5am over 500 police in riot gear from cities all over central California brutally attacked the Occupy Oakland encampment at 14th & Broadway. The police attacked the peaceful protest with flash grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets after moving in with armored vehicles. Apparently the media was not allowed in to document this repression, and the police established barricades as far apart as 11th and 17th. Over 70 people were arrested and the camp gear was destroyed and/or stolen by the riot police.

Contact the mayor and tell her what you think of her actions.

Reconvene today at 4pm at the Oakland Library on 14th & Madison. Occupy Oakland is not finished, it has only begun

If anything, the actions of the police will only make the protesters more resolute in their occupations.

I had already arranged to have Joshua Holland of AlterNet on the show this morning to talk about his coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement.   Joshua happens to live in San Francisco, and was awakened by someone alerting him of the raid at 5am PT…  We talked about the differences of the police response to the occupations between SF and Oakland, and talked about these pieces Joshua wrote in the past week about the movement:

Occupy the Boardroom: 9 Angry, Heart-Breaking Messages to Wall Street’s Elites From the 99%

How Video of Police Behaving Badly Made Occupy Wall Street a Global Phenomenon

Which Bank Is the Worst for America? 5 Behemoths That Hold Our Political System Hostage

We Have a First Amendment Right to Protest — So Why All These Arrests Around Occupy Wall Street?

In hour two, The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff joined in to talk about some of the stories we might otherwise have missed this week, and premiere a new Blunt webisode:

The Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann campaigns are a mess. “Rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel.”

The L.A. Times essentially calls Michele Bachmann a big ol’ liar. TPC provides the bullet points.

Florida teacher could face thousands of dollars in fines for helping students register to vote

Ruh-roh! Romneycare allows free care for some undocumented immigrants!

Chemical bomb tossed into Occupy Maine encampment

Herman Cain the “outsider” was “an ultimate Washington insider: industry lobbyist.”

Eric Cantor: I canceled my speech after learning it was open to the public. University: Um, it always was.

VIDEO and PhotOH! Hey! Eric Cantor!

91-year-old can’t get voter ID because she was too frail to stand in line long enough

And just because everyone MUST see this…Herman Cain’s new TV ad… Warning: This comes from Herman Cain’s campaign; It is not a parody from the Onion, Funny or Die, or even SNL….

Oct 242011

The Sandler Family 1963 (Nicole in the lower left hand corner at age 4)

I finished the show this morning with a brief mention that my mom died 32 years ago today.  She had leukemia, but that’s not what killed her.

The chemo destroyed so much of her insides that the doctor wanted to give her a colostomy bag.  My mom didn’t confide in me about her medical issues (her flawed reasoning was that she didn’t want us to worry), so all these years later, I still struggle with the facts.  But she did tell me that she refused the surgery. She wouldn’t get the bag because she didn’t want to be a freak.  At least, that’s how I remember it.

I remember also thinking “something’s got to give”… she can’t go on like this.  And she didn’t.

No, the leukemia didn’t kill her.  I think it was a brain hemorrhage.

I was away at college when my mom called to tell me she was going into the hospital.  ”Nothing to worry about. They’re just going to run some tests,” she told me on the phone.  The next day, I called the hospital, only to have my dad tell me that my mom couldn’t come to the phone because she was sleeping… but I knew I heard her voice.

The next day, my dad called and told me to come home.  When I got to the hospital, my mom was already in a coma.  My dad explained that he didn’t put her on the phone the day before because she was very frustrated — she couldn’t find the right words to say what she wanted to say.

The doctor told us she was brain dead, but they’d have to wait 24 hours to officially declare her dead.  Just like that.

I knew something had to give… but never thought it would be her life.

That’s how I feel today.  Something’s got to give.  I’m not talking about the life of any one person, but of our country.   At least we have people fighting back.

To be continued…

On today’s show, I spoke with two friends who have been taking part in the occupations in Chicago and Boston.

It was kind of noisy where Aaron Krager was sitting to talk to us about Occupy Chicago, but we got the gist of the fact that 130 people were arrested Saturday night, the nurses are heroes, Rahm Emanuel is as big of a dick as Mayor as he was as White House Chief of Staff, and the protesters are standing all night as opposed to lying down to sleep and getting arrested.

Aaron also told us about the petitions petitioning the Michelle Rhee bogus petitions at and  Click those links and sign those petitions please.

Former Chicagoan Matthew Filipowicz now lives in Boston, and has been hanging with the occupiers there…  he joined in to fill us in on Mayor Menino’s many positions (and I didn’t mispronounce Filipowicz once!) …

I get to spend the second hour of Monday’s shows with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars in a segment we call “Fools on the Hill”…. she watches those Sunday talking head shows so we don’t have to.  Here’s what she brought us today:

So here’s what I don’t understand about support for Republicans: how can you trust someone who tells you that government is the problem to actually be proficient in their role to run the government? Aren’t they pretty much guaranteeing you that they will be awful?

There was a whole lot of Republicans showing just how horrible they are. Andrew Sullivan quite astutely remarked that had with all his foreign policy successes, had Obama been a Republican, they would be clamoring to add his face to Mt. Rushmore. As it stands, however disappointingly centrist we perceive Obama, Republicans are falling all over themselves to spin his foreign policy successes into failures.

Michele Bachmann, whom I presume is only staying in the Republican presidential primary for a few more weeks until all donations dry up, not only doubled down on her recent GOP debate assertion that those ungrateful Iraqis should be reimbursing us for the cost of invading and occupying their country on false pretenses, but that if she was president, Gaddafi would probably still be in power.


Meanwhile, the news that American service members might actually be home for Christmas as the final drawdown of troops in Iraq should be completed by the end of this year has brought out the war cheerleaders in a big way. This drawdown, which incidentally, was negotiated by the Bush administration with the fledging Iraqi government before he left office, indicates to Lindsey Graham that Obama failed. Wannabe GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum says bluntly that Obama ‘lost the war in Iraq.’ Lord protect us from these Republicans with no concept of foreign policy from ever occupying the Oval Office.

Not that they have any good ideas on the domestic front either. Mitch McConnell took a rather cavalier attitude towards our public service workers, telling Candy Crowley that it wasn’t his problem that police and firefighters were facing layoffs.

But the ultimate cluelessness award this week has to go to Ron Paul. He unveiled his economic plan last week, which involves cutting one trillion dollars almost immediately from the budget, mostly by eliminating the Commerce, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development and Interior Department. This would cut 200,000 jobs that Paul calls “non-productive”. But never fear, he’s sure “nobody will be hurt” by these draconian cuts. He also thinks ending all federal student aid will actually be better for the country as well.

And if there’s time, Howard Kurtz decided to ask conservative pundits to weigh in on the media and OWS. Naturally, they celebrated the firing of NPR’s Lisa Simeone and condemned Dylan Ratigan’s campaign to reform campaign financing.




Oct 202011

If you were hoping to see the picture of him dead, you'll have to go somewhere else

Actually, I was planning to use that headline to wrap up my broadcast week… but I guess it also applies to the latest dictator to die.  I’m not sure at whose hands he died, but Gadaffy (or however it is spelled) is dead.

It’s quite interesting that there’s video of the fallen madman after he was captured, bloodied but still obviously very much alive.  Will we ever know exactly what happened? Probably not.  Should we care?  Not really.

After all… we’ve got troubles right here in River City my friend. … with a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for POVERTY.  And that’s what Occupy Wall Street is about… well, and its polar opposite, aka the 1%.

Speaking of Harold Hill (and sorry if you didn’t get those Music Man references… just click here) … it’s World Series time.

Aside from the fact that my significant other is an agent for pro baseball players, I care because I just found out that Major League Baseball is in bed with Glenn Beck.  Well, in business, but in Beck’s case it’s the same thing.

You can find that video and the petition to sign to tell the people behind “America’s pastime” to stop working with one of the most hateful men in the country at  Seriously.

My friend Asher Huey is one of the people who helped launch that program, and he joined me on the show today to talk about it.

I was also joined by another friend, comedian John Fugelsang, to shoot the shit about George Harrison, the GOP debacle debate on Tuesday night, the death of Muhammar Khaddaffi (or however you spell it), and the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour which hits Los Angeles this weekend.

And one last thing… ustream truly sucked today.  While it was fucking with me, I was playing the video from Allen West’s recent ridiculous interview for NewsMax TV… the questioner sounded like he was auditioning for the announcer role on the Geico commercials, and West sounded like he was trying to show how truly insane he really is…  If you absolutely have to hear it, and don’t just want to take my word for it… click here.

Oct 192011

Congresswoman Donna Edwards introduced a bill to do just that… Unfortunately, it’s much easier introduced than passed. And considering it’s Boner’s House, it won’t even come up for debate.

This morning on the show, we started a new weekly feature with my friends at Main Street Insider.  Today, Jeremy Koulish joined me to talk about H. Res. 78 – the bill to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United, which affirms the ridiculous ideas that corporations are entitled to the same right as you and I to protections under the First Amendment.

Each week, Main Street Insider offers up another 90 second summary of a bill that’s already been introduced.



My fellow online radio host – in her case, co-host – Allison Killenny - has been doing an amazing job covering the goings on at Occupy Wall Street in NY, both on Citizen Radio and for The Nation and In These Times.  She was my guest in the second hour to talk about the Occupy movement.

And my SoFloRadio colleague Jorge Rodriguez, whose show follows mine weekdays at noon, visited to tell us what’s happening with Occupy Ft. Lauderdale

And, I couldn’t resist weighing in on last night’s Ultimate Fighting Match-Up in DC between a newly feisty Dickless Perry, the adamant Mittens Romney, the Surly Santorum , the Blasphemous Bachmann, the Gruesome Gingrich, the $9.99 Pizza Man Herb Cain, and the much- ignored Ron Paul.

More tomorrow with John Fugelsang and the American Dream movement’s Van Jones….

Oct 172011

Alison Sandler at Occupy Ft. Lauderdale 10-15-11

I’m headed over to guest host the Randi Rhodes Show today!  (Listen live 3-6pm ET)  In the meantime… here’s what happened on my show this morning:

I recounted my experience on Saturday,  joining in the global day of occupation with my daughter at Occupy Ft. Lauderdale.

Kevin Zeese joined me from Freedom Plaza in Washington DC to talk about the movement and yesterday’s march to the US Supreme Court, where Dr. Cornel West and 18 others were arrested...

Austin Guest of ALIGN and Olivia Leirer of NYCC are two of the people responsible for this weekend’s launch of Occupy the Boardroom, and joined in to talk about all aspects of the action.

And, if it’s Monday, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars chimes in for “Fools on the Hill” in which we dissect the Sunday talking head shows…

So we’re nearing the one month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests, with little indication that the protests are slowing down at all. In fact, over the weekend almost 1,000 rallies were held in three different continents fighting for economic equality. It is truly a worldwide movement now.


So of course, that means that the Sunday shows will avoid talking about the protests at all costs. Can’t let the viewers of corporate media feel that this is a movement with legs and strength of numbers. Crooks and Liar contributers are attending protests near them and reporting back, so check C&L for video and photos from various protests. We’re asking for people to give us more videos and photos and reports from the rallies they attend as well.

One of the subjects that was covered was this Iranian terrorist plot that was allegedly thwarted this past week. Christiane Amanpour spoke to Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers and NY Times journalist David Sanger. Mike Rogers said that such an obvious act of aggression on American soil DEMANDS action and even a military strike is not off the table. The only problem is that as experts like Juan Cole and Col Pat Lang point out, the story that the State Department wants us to believe really reads like a Tom Clancy novel and stretches credibility quite a bit.

Eric Cantor also got a nice uninterrupted platform to lie to the American people again. He actually flashed his 10 page GOP-authored “America’s Job Creators” in front of Chris Wallace, which is (surprise, surprise!) yet another rehash of the same tactics that have put this country in the straits we’ve been in. Hasn’t worked for the last ten…no, the last thirty years, why are we supposed to believe it will work now?

Meanwhile, the current flavor of the month for the Republican presidential race, Herman Cain, decided to prove just how out of step he is with the majority of the country. First, he told David Gregory that he doesn’t believe in women having a right to an abortion, even in the case of incest or rape, but take heart, if a woman’s life is on the line, then that’s a decision the family—not the woman herself, mind you—has to make. Then he told Gregory that his idea of a great Supreme Court nominee is…Clarence Thomas. That alone should make any Democrat angry at Obama remember the stakes of not voting. But that wasn’t enough proof that this is a man who does not belong in the White House. No, no…if that wasn’t enough, Cain reiterated that he absolutely believes that liberals are trying to destroy the country. And this guy is leading in the polls.

Chris Hayes talked about a disturbing new trend in reaction to the Occupy Wall Street protests. Apparently, you can’t be a protester and a customer of Bank of America at the same time. If you try to close your account, you get locked out of the bank and risk arrest.

In the clip, Sam Seder mentions a new online protest that anyone can participate in “Occupy The Boardroom” in which we can explain why we feel the system is so rigged against the 99%. Here is what one of our C&L fans sent:

My parents, Randal Duane and Frances Marie, have worked hard their entire lives to care for my brother and I and to build a life. They own a modest house and two modest cars and have a minor savings account that they had hoped to grow a little more now that they are in their mid-fifties.

Frances lost her job over two years ago in customer service at a national carpet manufacturer because of cut backs related to the depressed housing market.

Randal lost his job a year ago as a manager of an branch of a company that provided temporary workers for construction and local city and county government.

They made modest salaries and never benefited from the boom times. They literally saved their pennies to pay off their home and their cars early and to help my grandmother pay for her medications.

Now they spend nearly $2000 a month out of their 30-year-old Bank of America accounts to maintain their COBRA insurance. The savings they worked for over 40 years falls away moment by moment. They seek out cheaper and cheaper foods, clean their devalued home over and over as “entertainment” because they can’t afford the gas to go anywhere.

My father is applying for progressively more degrading jobs in the hopes of keeping at least their current austere life. So far he’s been virtually ignored because the few available jobs (even at the lowest level) are being given to the younger and equally overqualified applicants.

My parents paid for your inflated salaries, they paid for your speculation, they paid for your bail out, and now they are paying for you to sit on a trillion dollars with their short future. A future that they sweated and saved for now looks like it will be a series of cheap bulk hamburger meat dinners, punctuated by window washing and heat waves with no air conditioning.

They are the 99% I protest for.


Oct 132011

It’s happening all over the county. We the People are finally saying “Enough!” and saying it loudly.  This is the beginning of something new. It may take a while, but the sleeping giant has awoken.

The Occupy movement will continue to be the focus of this program for the foreseeable future.

This morning, about 30 minutes before showtime, I got a call from Leah Bolger, VP of Veterans for Peace.  She was calling from the Rayburn Office Building where today’s House Armed Services Committee was meeting and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was testifying.

Leah told me that a group of the Freedom Plaza occupiers were planning to go to the public meeting, and protest our continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, while in the hallway outside the meeting room, they were told that only seven seats were available for the public.

I recorded an interview with Medea Benjamin – and later learned that all seven of the activists were arrested during that hearing. For more on the occupation of Freedom Plaza and the various protests they’re holding inWashington DC, visit

Artists of every variety are participating in the occupation of our nation.  While marching in DC last Thursday, I thought I saw comedian Lee Camp.  I found out today that it was him when he joined me on the show to talk about his Moment of Clarity about the occupation, and his performances at both Zuccoti Park in NYC, and Freedom Plaza in Washington DC.

As we do most Thursday mornings, we finished my broadcast week with a visit from John Fugelsang, who’s still touring with Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberals Comedy Tour. They play Los Angeles next week….

Don’t forget.. This Saturday is a global occupy action.  One thing you can do on Saturday is to visit and send a message to the 1%…  See you there, and back here on Monday morning!

Oct 122011

I have to spend most of the day on the phone fighting with health insurance companies.

I started today’s show explaining what that’s all about…

I spoke with emptywheel‘s Marcy Wheeler about Occupy Wall Street, the latest bullshit thwarted “terror plot” and our experience in Washington DC at Rep. Dave Camp’s office…

Crooks and Liars‘ founder, and one of the three members behind the Blue America PAC, John Amato joined me to talk about the C&L Occu-Pie pizza deliveries to 25 occupations around the country and lots more.

And I played Ted Rall’s speech calling for a revolution Thursday night from Freedom Plaza in Washington DC.

Now, back to the phones…

Oct 112011

It all began in NYC’s Zucotti Square, aka Liberty Square, where a group of young people decided to Occupy Wall Street.

On 13 Jul 2011, the group Adbusters released this call: Occupy Wall Street!

In Solidarity, and as a response to this call, a planning group was formed [], and an info sharing site established. The participation of every person, and every organization, that has an interest in returning the US back into the hands of it’s individual citizens is required.

Our nation, our species and our world are in crisis. The US has an important role to play in the solution, but we can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies if our nation.

We, the people of the United States of America, considering the crisis at hand, now reassert our sovereign control of our land.

Solidarity Forever!

The first day of action was September 17 and the rest, as they say, is history!

As the occupations spread to other cities around the country, on Sept. 23, a new site was born: Occupy Together!

Welcome to OCCUPY TOGETHER, an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the world. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across the world.

For more information about us, the movement, and answers to questions, please check out our FAQ.

As of this writing, Occupy Together has occupations listed in 1,377 cities, and growing.  This is a real movement, formed by real people… and it’s all about change from the bottom up.

One rule for these occupations is to engage in peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience.  From the Occupy Wall St. website…

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to infiltrate our peaceful movement to engage in violence. Such was the case Friday in Washington DC, where an asst. editor for the American Spectator rag agitated the guards at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum to the point where they began spraying the peaceful protesters with pepper spray.

Noted criminal and bullshit video slanderer James O’Keefe tried to stir things up at OccupyWallStreet yesterday.  Our friend Jesse LaGreca wrote about the scene at Daily Kos (a post I recommend you read!) “James O’Keefe is an Absolute Coward! You got game, Skippy? Find me at #OccupyWallStreet” .

And last night in Boston, after Mayor Merino said that  Occupy Boston‘s welcome had worn out, the police went berserk, and brutally assaulted dozens of protesters, along with members of Veterans for Peace.

My friend Matt Filipowicz, a recent resident of Boston, was there.  He tweeted about it while it was happening, and joined me on the show this morning to give us his first hand account.

I also spoke with Leah Bolger, VP of Veterans for Peace, who remains at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC.  She told us what she know of the Boston incident, and gave us the latest from the Stop the Machine occupation which plans on continuing indefinitely.

I played audio of Chris Hedges’ speech in DC from Thursday night, and finished up the show with our weekly visit with GottaLaff of The Political Carnival.  We played her latest Blunt webisode – on Occupy Wall Street


And we talked about some of these stories too…

This is a revolution, not a reform. This is not a political movement, it’s a social movement.

How much right wing money is being spent to discredit Occupy Wall Street?

VIDEO- Fox’s Chris Wallace: Occupy Wall Street is getting more media coverage than it deserves

VIDEO: Eric Cantor, who must have selective memory, calls Occupy Wall Street protesters a “mob”.

Quickie: Ohio Barber Shot In Butt After Customer Drops Gun

Parolee James O’Keefe at Occupy Wall Street

VIDEO- Value Voters speaker: Major League Baseball prevented another 9/11

John Boehner threatens to withhold funds from Justice to force DOMA enforcement

Tomorrow morning, my guests include Marcy Wheeler of and John Amato of Crooks & Liars.  And, of course, we’ll have the latest on the Occupation of our Nation!

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