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Apr 042012

This morning, we explored President Obama’s address at an AP luncheon yesterday.  Honestly, I think it’s one of the best he’s given; I just wish he’d listen to what he says.

If you missed it, see the whole thing here:

Or just listen to today’s show, as I played most of the highlights….  including his dire predictions of the end of Medicare should Paul Ryan’s budget be adopted.

I welcomed Wendell Potter back to the show this morning.  We became acquainted with Wendell a few years ago as he emerged from the darkness the is the for-profit health insurance industry to tell the rest of us the truth about what goes on there.  He wrote the book Deadly Spin: An insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate PR is killing health care and deceiving Americans – a painful look at our dysfunctional system of for-profit health care.

A few days ago, I shared with you a petition started by Kenneth Chamberlain Jr, calling for an investigation (and more) into the police shooting of his father -  a 68-year old former Marine whose medic-alert alarm went off accidentally.  The White Plains (NY) police responded, ostensibly to help him, but wound up killing him instead.

For more information, this is article I read  from the NY Daily News this morning.  The media is finally starting to take notice, as NY Magazine also published a piece today.

This morning, I was joined by Kenneth and his attorney Wali Muhammed to tell us what has happened since the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr FOUR MONTHS AGO, and what they want to happen.

Please sign the petition here and, as Wali said on the show this morning, feel free to call him at 914-589-6937 if you know of similar cases that demand attention.

Apr 032012

This morning, I shared an email I received the other day from a man who started a petition on  His father was killed by police, and no one seemed to care….

On November 19, 2011, my father, 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., was shot and killed in his home in White Plains, New York.

My father was a 20-year veteran of the Westchester County Department of Corrections and proudly served the United States of America as a Marine. He stood about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and he suffered from a heart condition.

The events that led to his killing began around 5 a.m., when his medical alert device was accidentally set off, sending a call to the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety. Everything that happened after that was recorded by an audio device installed in my father’s home as part of his medical alert system.

When the police arrived at my father’s home, he and the staff for his medical alert service told them that there was no medical emergency and asked them to leave. And yet they insisted that my father let them into his home, banging loudly on my father’s door for over an hour. On the recording, the police can be heard calling my father a “nigger.”

Ultimately they broke through his apartment door and first shot him with a Taser. He was wearing nothing but boxer shorts when the police began their assault against him. Shortly after that, he was shot with two 40-caliber rounds and killed.

My family is asking the Westchester County District Attorney to bring a criminal indictment, and we call on the United States Department of Justice or the New York State Attorney General to prosecute this as a hate crime.

Will you sign our petition? Click here to sign and please share with your friends:

Unbelievable, huh? But the bullets keep on coming.

My pal Cliff Schecter – pundit, author, columnist, pr and media maven (WeActRadio)  joined me to discuss the sad trend.  We talked about Trayvon Martin and yesterday’s tragic shooting spree near Oakland, in which seven people were shot dead by a disgruntled former student.  Cliff wrote about the horrific tragedies in his latest piece for Al Jazeera English, “Unarmed and Dangerous?”

If it’s Tuesday, it’s GottaLaff from The Political Carnival.  Today, she brought us these gems…

VIDEO- Trayvon Martin BLUNT: Noyz in the Hood

That’s what SHE said: Ann Romney re: Mitt Romney being “stiff”, “We better unzip him…”

VIDEO- WRONG, Rick Santorum: “Seven or eight of the CA system of universities don’t even teach an American history course.”

VIDEO: Justice Scalia reciting GOP talking points during “Obamacare” argument

Reaction to Current TV’s firing of Keith Olbermann

Federal authorities open investigation into Wisconsin activities of Herman Cain’s chain-smoking pal, Mark Block

GOP Rep. Aaron “hottest congressman” Schock accused of using campaign funds on workout DVDs

Dire predictions of ‘rampant signature fraud’ and ‘floods’ of phony signatures have been proven false” in Wisconsin recall

New Low- Deadbeat Dad Rep. Joe Walsh insults veteran Tammy Duckworth: “Female, wounded veteran … ehhh.”

Apr 022012

Want Medicare for All? Vote Progressive.  Want to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? (Yes, we’re still in Iraq.) Vote Progressive.  Want to end the big oil subsidies?  Vote Progressive. Want to encourage the development of clean energy? Vote Progressive.  Want our kids to have access to quality, public education? Vote progressive?  Want fair labor laws?  Vote Progressive.  Want gender and race equality?  Vote Progressive.  Want respect for teachers?  Vote Progressive.  And on and on and on we could go.

Honestly.  If you wonder why we had to settle for shitty health care “reform” instead of single payer Medicare for All, it’s because the Democrats in charge are not Progressive.  As for those  progressives in DC, we don’t have enough of them.  If you want to take this country back to a more sane place,  fill Congress with Progressives for a change!

One place to start is in Illinois 13th Congressional district with Dr. David Gill.  A Blue America PAC endorsee, Gill won the primary two weeks ago, and is poised to win the whole thing!  Check him out – on his website, and tomorrow afternoon, 2pm ET, in a live chat at Crooks and Liars.

Another solution to our problem is protest. Get off your ass and take to the streets.  Occupy Wall Street has been regrouping over the winter, and is planning on a big American spring.  This morning I spoke with Robert Hill, a regular listener of the show, who told us about “Spring Training” happening every week in New York.  Visit and get the whole schedule.  One example of the type of action they’re learning is the flash mob.  Check out this video of a training exercise recorded last Friday…

And finally, you need to stay informed. Crooks and Liars Nicole Belle joins us every Monday morning for a segment we call Fools on the Hill, in which we recap what happened on those insufferable Sunday morning talking heads shows…

Welcome to Republicanland! That’s the world in which the Beltway Media lives that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the rest of us.

For example, George Will thinks that there’s no evidence that Bush v Gore harmed the Supreme Court’s prestige in any way. Riiiiiggghhhhttt. That’s why 75 percent of people polled think that the Supreme Court factor in politics in their decisions, rather than the merits of the case.

And Haley Barbour tells Chris Wallace that the Affordable Care Act is really unnecessary because 35 states already have risk pools. Bottom line: if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, all their zeal for “repeal and replace” Obamacare will replace it with nothing. Nada. Zip. Leaving millions of Americans out of luck.

And Paul Ryan—who the right holds up as some economic genius—tells George Stephanopoulos that the idea of releasing oil from our strategic reserves to lower prices is no more than ‘pixie dust’—but tar sands…that’s a winner idea. Just because the Keystone pipeline won’t create as many jobs as they claim nor is it likely to lower prices is as stupid as the fact that it’s an export for another country. Unless it’s part of the Republican plan to annex Canada.

Rick Santorum is fighting a losing battle in his fight for the Republican nomination got frustrated with guest host Savannah Guthrie’s repeated questions as to when he’ll drop out by saying that GOP is trying to shove Mitt Romney down voters’ throat. That may be true, but it’s also true that voters are not that taken with the crazy talk of uber-conservative Santorum either.

And because I like to leave the segment back in reality, I want to bring up a great spokesman of the left, who just doesn’t get enough airtime: Van Jones. While the privileged white men bring up black-on-black crime and dance around the real issues of this case, Jones cuts through all the crap with a simple statement: As a black parent, I don’t know how to protect my sons.

Mar 292012

The Ramones (Tommy, anyway) on Morning Joe this morning, the Supreme Court likely overturning the closest thing we’ve had to health care for all in this country, people protesting against “Obamacare” even though they love what it does, candidates buying elections and union support.  I could go on and on, but we’ll let the show do the rest.

On today’s show, I’ll speak with John Fugelsang, a political comedian who turned the Romney campaign on its ear last week, Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and the Blue America PAC who’ll tell us why we need to vote against some “Democrats”, and congressional candidate Darcy Burner – a great example of a true progressive who we need in Congress!

By the way, read Glenn Greenwald’s Salon column today, as he joins in to suggest you support three Blue America-endorsed congressional candidates!

Mar 272012

Who can forget that image? That’s the gunman, whose name I don’t care to remember, who gunned down 33 people in cold blood. He was mentally unstable, and he was able to buy a gun and ammunition.

In Texas, in 2007, shortly after the Stand Your Ground or Kill at Will bill was passed, a shotgun-armed man decided to shoot and kill two men who broke into his neighbor’s house, even though the cop on the 911 call with him told him, explicitly, not to.  Hear it for yourself:

Quite chilling. You can hear the guy firing the shotgun that killed those two men, even after the 911 operator on the phone with him repeatedly said to stay in his house and put down the gun. The guy was never prosecuted.

This morning on the show, I spoke with Lisa Graves, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief at the Center for Media and Democracy ( and, and was the Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, among other posts.  We talked about the spread of this “stand your ground” law around the country, pushed by ALEC, the NRA and Wal-Mart!

GottaLaff joined in the second hour.  She brought us the stories below, but our conversation soon degenerated into something else entirely!

VIDEO ADDED: Santorum watches his own outburst + Tuh-weet! “Family Values” Rick Santorum curses? I retort, you deride.

Newt Gingrich loses his last embedded print reporters

Video- Zimmerman’s friend says Zimmerman’s life has been taken away

VIDEO: Per Zimmerman’s friend, Trayvon Martin’s killer didn’t use a racial slur, see, it was a “term of endearment”

In Florida, apparently an email is more threatening than a loaded pistol

Ruh roh! Sarah and Bristol Palin hoodies for sale

Lawsuit alleges financial fraud at Trinity Broadcasting Network ministry

VIDEO- Grover Norquist: “Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle.”

And please take a minute to watch “A Song for Trayvon” by Jasiri X

And click here to listen to today’s Supreme Court arguments on the individual mandate.

Mar 262012

Hate is what got us here. Hate is what killed Trayvon Martin. Hate for anything doesn’t conform to certain beliefs is what’s motivating the war on women, and the war on health care.  Hate is what is responsible for wars.  If we could get rid of the hatred and encourage compassion for people who are different then we might have hope for the future.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem very likely.

This morning, I played this video, brought to my attention by Nicole Belle. What kind of hatred on the part of self-righteous lawmakers would make this woman, Lauren Zuniga, have to say these things?

This morning, I spoke with Blue America PAC-endorsed former and future Congressman Carol Shea-Porter. Read her articles and share them widely, participate in her live chat at Crooks and Liars tomorrow (2pm ET, 11am PT) and contribute to her campaign, if you can!

The Supreme Court began hearing arguments today about the Affordable Care Act.  I spoke with David Lyle, Director & Senior Counsel of Courts Matter, Media Matters for America about what to expect over the next three days.

Randi Rhodes has a great explanation here about what’s being argued.

In the second hour, as we do every Monday, I chatted with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars in our “Fools on the Hill” segment…

There Is a truism that I don’t think ever gets paid enough attention to in DC circles: Beware of the unintended consequences. It’s one thing to say you want people to be able to defend themselves, but the unintended consequences are that we have an upsurge in senseless vigilante killings. You can wish that abortions were not legal, but that ignores that there is an unwanted baby that result from taking away that choice. A baby morelikely to be a burden on society because it is unwanted. You can say that your faith dictates that you not practice birth control, but to take away contraceptives may mean women actually losing their lives due to gynecological health issues.

Unfortunately, the media rarely if ever brings up these unintended consequences. They apparently do not think it’s their job to bring this up to a politician eager to foist his/her values upon their constituents.

For example, Paul Ryan gets to tout his unworkable budget with its unrealistic numbers that will add to the deficit he claims to want to fix. And instead of pointing this out, Chris Wallace really wants to know if Ryan would consider the VP slot.

Perhaps a positive unintended consequences (at least for those of us on the other side of the aisle) is that every time the media gives Michele Bachmann a platform, she reminds people that Romney designed the ACA mandate.

George Will tells the This Week panel that there’s no politics involved with the Supreme Court’s hearing on the constitutionality of the ACA. Yeah, right. Tell that to Clarence Thomas who claims his wife’s work to defeat the health care law doesn’t constitute a conflict, despite how it’s enriched his bank account.

Matthew Dowd notices that the same conservatives championing ‘Christian values’ are also pushing dangerous gun laws that run counter to Christian teachings. Funny, that.

And finally, this is not part of the Sunday shows, but it is powerful, deserves a larger audience and it speaks exactly to the unintended consequences of legislation. Moreover, I think it lends itself to a post that goes up right after your show ends. This is not a war just on women, although it’s our bodies that is the battleground. This is a war on all of us, because the consequences affect us all.


Mar 222012

That picture is just one of many screens you’ll see at It all started yesterday morning when our pal John Fugelsang asked Mitt Romney’s communications director a question on Soledad O’Brien’s morning show on CNN:

My buddy John Fugelsang, who happens to be a brand new dad (see below) took time out between a return appearance on CNN- he’s there all next week too, and filming a role in a movie, to chat with us about all that’s happened recently, including the arrival of  Henry Jack Fugelsang…

The show started with an update from Truthout‘s Jason Leopold about the treasure trove of documents that landed in his inbox yesterday, courtesty of the DHS response to his FOIA requests for Occupy Wall Street-related material.  Although there’s more coming next month, and contrary to what he had read at the time we spoke yesterday, this batch did confirm that DHS had been keeping tabs on the OWS encampments and activities all along!  Read the files for yourself right here, and stay tuned….

We also checked in with the Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher, who has the cover story this week with a sickening “The Non Profit 1%”.  Definitely worth a read, then a trip to the porcelain throne to puke.  Steven also wrote and told us about last night’s Million Hoodies March in support of justice for Trayvon Martin.

And finally, we closed out the show with a fun conversation with comedian Paul Provenza – the guy behind the filthiest, funniest movie ever, The Aristocrats, and one of the best comedy TV shows ever- The Green Room.  He’s in DC to take part in this weekend’s Reason Rally, billed as the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history!  Enough to make right wingers heads explode!

Mar 212012

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in the fall. But with spring blossoming yesterday, it seems certain that the uprising will bloom in bigger ways.

Alison Kilkenny is a NYC based reporter, covering the movement for In These Times and The Nation, as well as Citizen Radio, which she co-hosts with her brilliantly funny husband, Jamie Kilstein.  She joins us in the first hour today to bring us up to date on #OWS at six months.

It’s still March – which means it’s Women’s History Month.  Time for a visit from my dear friend Amy Simon, cultural HERstorian and writer& performer of the wonderful one-woman show, She’s History: The Most Dangerous Women in America, Now and Then.

For a taste of the show, watch:

***UPDATE*** Just as the show hit the air, my friend Jason Leopold of began tweeting about receiving the first set of documents from his FOIA request of the Dept of Homeland Security for documents pertaining to Occupy Wall Street. I got Jason on the phone at the end of the first hour for a bit of background, as the documents were being uploaded to truthout’s servers.

Mar 202012

A 17-year old black man named Trayvon Martin was the victim of a racist murderer who is standing behind the law, know as “Stand Your Ground.”  The only thing more heinous is that the police in Sanford, Florida have let him do it.

Not only is the murderer a racist, but Trayvon Martin is the victim of a hate crime.  The evidence is right there in George Zimmerman’s 911 call.  Here’s the whole thing:

If you listen closely, right around the 2:22 mark, you’ll hear Mr. Zimmerman, under his breath, mutter “Fucking coons”. Listen here:

The news broke this morning that not only has the DOJ launched an investigation into the killing with the help of the FBI, but the Florida States Attorney will impanel a Grand Jury to hear the case. Fuck the Grand Jury, Zimmerman should be behind bars. Stay tuned….

This morning on the show, I was joined by BradBlog‘s Brad Friedman to talk about the sickening hypocrisy on the right. They cry voter fraud while they’re the only ones guilty of it!

And, if it’s Tuesday, it’s GottaLaff time… Laffy brings us these stories today from The Political Carnival:

Mitt Romney’s campaign is making terrible, horrible, no good, very bad deals

Bill Maher is no Rush Limbaugh + Bill Maher is no Rush Limbaugh, the sequel

VIDEO: “How does FORCING women to have ultrasounds create jobs?”

“Kony 2012? Filmmaker Jason Russell Detained for Masturbating in Public, Drunken Vandalism

VIDEO: Missouri GOP Senate Candidates Don’t Know Minimum Wage

VIDEO: Hypocritical GOP freshmen hobnob at fancy resort with wealthy donors

VIDEO: Website selling “BastardBlasters” with Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, Sarah Palin faces as targets

Video files…..  from today’s show:

Streaming Live by Ustream

Mar 192012

Today’s pre-show music was all about change, and I usually close the show with a clip of Clapton’s “Change the World.”  In 2008, Barack Obama ran on a theme of Hope & Change.  We can still hope, but are left waiting for the change.

Instead of waiting, we can make change…  In the first hour of today’s show, we explore a couple of ways.

One is to get involved.  Democracy for America grew out of Dean for America and has become a great progressive force for change.  Arshad Hasan, DFA’s executive director, is in Miami where he led a training this weekend.  He joins in at the top of the show to talk about the organization, their training programs, their Netroots Nation scholarship contest currently underway (vote for Shane-O, Kenny Pick and Danielle the Left-Neck Chick!), and more.

Another way is to vote for true progressive candidates for local and congressional office.  Our friends at the Blue America PAC do a great jof vetting.  We’re presenting some of their endorsed candidates each Monday morning.  Today, it’s Patsy Keever from North Carolina’s 10th district.  Listen to her this morning (or on the podcast), join in a live chat with her tomorrow at Crooks and Liars, and donate to her campaign here!

In hour two, it’s Fools on the Hill with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars.  Today:

Welcome to John McCain-land. No, really. John McCain made his eighth appearance in twelve weeks on a Sunday show and was congratulated by host David Gregory for surpassing Bob Dole as the most frequent guest on Meet the Press with his 64th visit. Now, I’ve had conversations with producers and bookers on these Sunday shows and when I bring up the ridiculousness of having the guy who lost the presidential election on far more than any member of the actual president’s staff, they always bring up the fact that he’s the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Fine. So Gregory asks him about Syria, where McCain is cheering for another military action. What’s the next question? Afghanistan? Bringing home traumatized troops after multiple tours of duty? Nah…it’s about the Republicans’ war on women, naturally. Despite co-sponsoring the Blunt Amendment, McCain now tells Gregory that the GOP needs to ‘get off’ of the issue.

Speaking of having issues…Rick Santorum was on several shows, trying to drum up support to take his surprisingly successful (in all ways except in the delegate count). On This Week, Santorum took up the curious and uniquely Republican mantle of wanting desperately to debate Romney, to prove his presidential mettle. It’s almost as if the Republicans think that we choose the highest office in the land the same way we pick Student Body President in high school. I’m not sure where this notion comes from, but I like to believe that even Republicans know that there’s more to being president being able to argue a point, especially when there are so little actual facts involved in their debates.

Need proof that Santorum’s grasp of facts are a little shaky? He’s decided to double down on the social conservative platform of saying that as President, he’s going to go after pornography. Because that is a pressing issue for the Commander in Chief. And obviously, Obama is failing to protect our children from porn now.

But he’s not the only one suffering from “It’s all Obama’s fault.” Haley Barbour—who does not get introduced on the This Week panel as a lobbyist, but only as a former governor—suffers from one of the most severe case of Bush-nesia I’ve ever seen. It’s almost as if the country wasn’t careening towards a catastrophic collapse before January 2009.

And if we have time, Romney insists that Obama WANTS high gas prices.



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