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Nov 012010
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Yes, you’re in the right place.  If you entered the site, it’s easy to watch and/or listen to the show tonight.  (If you’d rather just listen, click here for the audio stream!)

This show came about when my old Air America colleague Richard Greene contacted me and told me about the Energy Independent Congress idea.  It’s a pretty simple concept:

We ask that you vote for ONLY those candidates, Republican and Democratic, who share the vision of CLEAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE and have the guts to do what is right for our country . . . to create a new, American Energy “Marshall Plan” for a 21st Century America.

We ask you to look past the divisive rhetoric, the billions spent by special interests on dirty campaign ads and VOTE!  We, the People, will elect EVERY member of The House of Representatives and a decisive number of Senators.  We CAN make this a reality . . . with our vote on November 2!

We’ll kick it all off with the wonderful Jason Mraz, who’ll be checking in from London.  He was hanging out with Richard Greene in New Orleans, where he recorded this:

So, we’ll chat with Jason Mraz during the first hour (9pm ET/6pm PT), and various other celebrities throughout the evening. We’ll also have the phone lines open to talk with you.  Call in at 800-795-1159.

The most important thing is to vote tomorrow!

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Nov 012010
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It’s the last full day before America heads to the polls to vote at a very scary time.  And that has nothing to do with the fact that yesterday was Halloween, and that I wore the scariest costume I could think of.  (See the picture above.  Read to the bottom of the post to find out who I was.)

It seems as if there’s more at stake now than ever before-but the Democrats aren’t a whole lot better than the Republicans, so perhaps that’s what’s so scary about it.

I didn’t go to Washington DC this weekend to attend John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Unfortunately, I spent much of the time it was airing on TV at the vet with my dog Pooh.  But I got in the car and tuned into C-Span radio just in time to hear his closing speech, which hit just the right chord.   He said it perfectly…

We’ll check in with Lizz Winstead this morning for a re-cap of the day’s festivities. The co-creator of the Daily Show (and also of Air America Radio) was there Saturday, and performed two post-rally shows in nearby Arlington, VA Saturday night, and will fill us in on what went on.

I’ll also chat with Congressman Ron Klein this morning, who represents Florida’s 22nd District (where I currently live), and is being challenged by one of the scariest of the tea partiers out there – Allen West.

And, since it’s Monday, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars will be here for our weekly “Fools on the Hill” segment.  Here’s her peek at this weeks’ madness:

For the final weekend before the midterm elections, it was a surprisingly subdued Sunday schedule.  Perhaps the thwarted Yemeni explosive/terrorist threat sucked out all the oxygen, maybe the news channels felt chastened by Jon Stewart and the Rally for Sanity (which I seriously doubt, but stranger things have happened), but I was not impressed by the caliber of guests nor the conversation this Sunday.

Not that we’re completely devoid of news of the absurd.  Case in point, Sarah Palin, the ostensible queen of the Tea Party and great GOP hope for 2012 showed up on Fox News Sunday (naturally, she’s won’t appear anywhere else).  Sarah defended herself against charges by Karl Rove and others that she can’t really be a credible candidate in 2012, because she’s doing a reality television show and that doesn’t show the gravitas of a say, George W. Bush.
Karl Rove told the British newspaper Telegraph last week that Palin’s new TLC show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, doesn’t help her 2012 chances.

“With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office,’” Rove said.

“There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say ‘that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world,’” he said.

Palin’s defense? Ronald Reagan was an actor too. That’s right, she compared herself to St. Ronnie of the rightwing.

Then there is Haley Barbour, giving progressives like me the single best reason for us to make sure to vote this year, even with our own frustrations with the Democratic Party.  Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association, promises that if the GOP gets the majority, they will make sure that “you won’t recognize” health care reform when they get done with it.

Now I’m the first one to say that the health care reform passed by Congress is milquetoast-y and far too catering to for-profit health insurance companies, but can you imagine what will happen if the Republicans get hold of it?  Bye bye, pre-existing condition exemption; see you later, extension of coverage to age 26,  The only thing they’ll hold on to is the requirement that you must purchase insurance, just to enrich the bottom line of the health care companies that donate so much to their campaigns.

The other favorite topic of the Villagers is the issue of deficit reduction.  Why?  Maybe because jobs and extending unemployment insurance for those 99ers isn’t nearly as sexy and affects just the little people.  Maybe because it’s the rallying cry of the astroturf organizations behind the tea party groups.  I don’t know why the deficit causes so much concern, especially since economists who have been right about the stimulus and the dangers of this economy keep saying that deficit reduction is the worst thing we could do to the economy.  But Christiane Amanpour has quickly been wrappd up in the DC groupthink and asks John Cornyn and Bob Menendez about the thing that “everyone” is thinking about. (The entire clip is 12 minutes long, but the deficit slash comment is at 7:20 or so of the clip from ABC.)

The irony meter redlined during Bob Schieffer’s concluding commentary on Face the Nation.  Schieffer said he was glad that we don’t decide our elections the same way they pick bowl championship teams, by computer. Um, can you say Diebold?  Maybe Bob should listen to Democracy Now and Mark Crispin Miller’s recounting of the stolen 2004 election. And speaking of stolen elections, the RNC has launched a new site to get out the Republican vote, called No More Frankens.  Their ad basically implies that Franken stole the election from Norm Coleman, either through illegal convict votes or through the courts. The ad itself has no dialog, so it’s not worth grabbing for a radio show, but it’s important to note that they assert this election impropriety with absolutely no proof (and deny it when asked directly), but shows complete and utter hypocrisy in the face of Bush v. Gore.

And then in the face of a lot of indignation on the part of progressives to be lumped in what they see as a false equivalencies of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally for Sanity and/or Fear, the other comedian who tells more truth than most of the news media combined, Bill Maher, points out that most of the violence is coming from the right side of the aisle.

Now for the scary costume… Yes, I was Christine “I’m Not a Witch, I’m You!” O’Donnell. I’ll explain the reaction at the beginning of the show. If you miss it live, come back later for the podcast…

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Oct 282010
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We are coming down to the wire.  I’ll be voting tomorrow. As the following two videos show – one using clever production techniques and scare tactics and the other using that all-too-valuable but becoming ever-scarce and somehow vilified common sense – it’s time to put up or shut up.

First, we look to our friends at MoveOn.org, whose RepubliCorp campaign is nothing short of brilliant.  In fact, it was in keeping with this idea that Lauren Valle had her head stomped on by a Rand Paul campaign worker when she held up a sign proclaiming Paul “RepubliCorp Employee of the Month”.  Take a moment and click on the link for a scary glimpse into the future.  Unfortunately you have to click on this link to watch it, as the embedding feature doesn’t work… but please do it!

The common sense came by way of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment last night. “If the Tea Party Wins, America Loses” pretty much sums it up. But when you listen to him rattle off the laundry list of these uneducated, neanderthal candidates who want to propel us back to the middle ages, you’d be hard pressed not to run screaming to the polls to vote for your Democratic candidate, even if he/she is, at best, ineffective. Ineffective is somehow much better than disastrous.

Last night, President Obama visited John Stewart at The Daily Show to try to talk some sense into Americans.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Earlier in the day, he visited with five progressive bloggers, including Crooks and LiarsJohn Amato, to help get the message out.

Yes, all the stops are being pulled out.  But what if it doesn’t matter?

I keep pointing out that the right wingers live in opposite world…  Another example of that is their recent warnings that Democrats will commit voter fraud. (Seriously?!)  I know we don’t have to worry about that, though we might be wondering what they’re up to in their pot-calling-the-kettle-black world.

BradBlog‘s Brad Friedman will join us in the second hour of today’s show to talk about what we do have to worry about when it comes to election integrity.

At a time when too many of us don’t have any spare change to contribute to the campaigns of the good guys, there’s still a way to help.  Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will join us at the start of the show to fill us in on their Call Out The Vote initiative, and other ways to help insure that the best progressive candidates win on Tuesday.

And, although they say it won’t be political, thousands of people will gather on the Mall in Washington DC on Saturday for John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity (and Stephen Colbert’s Keeping Fear Alive rally).  Say what they will, I think it will energize the sane among us (and if you listen to Keith’s Special Comment from last night, the Tea Party/Republican candidates are anything but same) and be entertaining at the same time.

Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News and author of The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama will join me to discuss his latest piece, “Thousands likely to attend Rally to Restore Sanity, but few know what it’s about”.

Don’t forget, Lizz Winstead will be with us Monday morning for a recap of the weekend’s festivities!

Listen live from 10-noon ET, and come back later today for the podcast!

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Oct 272010
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Election day is less than a week off, and the times they are a-changing.  If we really want to head off the corporatocracy that’s already in place, it’s more important than ever to get out and vote!

With six days left, my conversation with Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny and the Blue America PAC was more important than ever. We discussed the role of Blue Dogs in the House and how we’d probably be better off without most of them (yet how the DCCC keeps funneling money into their campaigns, but not to those of progressives who stand a chance of actually winning!).

We also talked a bit about the madness in Kentucky, where an aide to Rand Paul stomped on the head of a female activist who was attempting to “award” Paul with the “RepubliCorp Employee of the Month”…  It’s a brilliant campaign by MoveOn.

Howie alerted me to this video, shot in Wisconsin where another activist was able to present the same award to Russ Feingold’s challenger, Ron Johnson:

I also spoke with my former Air America colleague Richard Greene about his latest project: Energy Independent Congress.  As opposed to my reasoning that progressives will turn out in droves to vote against the wingnuts on the ballot, Richard is using this site and his celebrity friends to encourage people to turn out next Tuesday to vote for candidates that promise to work toward real energy independence.

We’re also working on putting together a special election-eve show Monday night.  Check back here for more details soon!

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Oct 262010
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That’s what it looks like. Lauren Valle was trying to present Rand Paul with the “Republicorp Employee of the Month Award” as he was getting out of his car last night to enter the studios of Kentucky Education Television for the debate with Jack Conway.  Rand Paul’s thugs tackled her and stomped on her shoulders and head.  See the video for yourself…

What’s even uglier are some of the comments on this right wing blog, who defend the violence!

A quick shout out to KagroX, who this morning tweeted “Freedom of Speech for Juan Williams. Oh, hold on, I have to step on the head of someone with a sign I don’t like.”

This year’s debates are quite ugly too. Last night, CNN held the final Florida gubernatorial debate of the season, between criminal Rick Scott and ConservaDem Alex Sink. I suppose I have to hand it to Sink for trying to stick up for herself in what appeared to be a Scott-favored q and a session, but she came across as a bit catty. That said, she was trying to get the moderators to acknowledge that Rick Scott refused to sit for even one newspaper editorial board, and she garnered the endorsements of every single paper in Florida… something they seemed quite happy to ignore.

The moderators were CNN’s John King and the St. Pete Times’ political editor Adam Smith, who will join me on today’s show.

We’ll also take a look at Amendments 5 and 6 – Fair Districts Florida, with campaign chair Ellen Friedin.  This is not just a Florida issue, by the way.  Gerrymandering and the way districts are drawn affect everyone, and other states would be well advised to mount similar campaigns.

In hour two, after the news from TRNS, it’s time for Gotta Laff from The Political Carnival!  Today, we’ll discuss these stories and more:

Sarah Palin gets underwear (!) from… Sheriff Arpaio

Marco Rubio skips photo op with Sarah Palin

Black GOP Candidates Accuse Party of Ignoring Them

VIDEO- O’Donnell: “We saw a spike in the polls [the] day that some people had a prayer meeting for me”

Sharron Angle dodges the press… again

Joe Miller: I’m you, too. Um, Joe? No, you’re not.

Reporter gets kicked out of Joe Miller “meet and greet”

And yes, by the way, today’s Michele Bachman-Tarryl Clark debate will stream live at 1:30pm ET here (via TheUptake.org ):

Watch live streaming video from theuptake at livestream.com
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Oct 252010
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We have just over a week before election day, and things are getting nastier by the minute. On today’s show, I’ll be joined by one of the few progressive heroes in Congress – Raul Grijalva – who is in serious danger of losing his seat.

On Thursday, Grijalva’s Tucson office was evacuated Thursday when a staffer opened an envelope containing a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them. Nice, huh?  Yes, it’s ugly out there…

But we’ll start the show with Jason Leopold of Truthout, who spent the weekend poring over the 400,000 documents released by wikileaks on Friday.

At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports (‘The Iraq War Logs’), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a ‘SIGACT’ or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the ‘Afghan War Diaries’, previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size.

Please donate to WikiLeaks to defend this information.

Obviously, with 400,000 documents, there’s a lot to digest.  One way is by logging in to the Warlogs site.

The other is to check out what The Bureau of Investigative Journalism site dedicated to them.  From Truthout.org.

And if it’s Monday, it’s “Fools on the Hill” with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars.  Here’s what’s on tap for today:

First up is former Joint Chief of Staff chairman Gen. Hugh Shelton tells Christiane Amanpour where he stands on DADT by using the rather dumbfounding logic that the US has never been defeated in war by an army that included openly gay soldiers.  No, seriously.

I guess that Gen. Shelton got a personal assurance that every member of the Viet Cong was straight.

Pat Toomey, whose lead over Joe Sestak in basically within the margin of error,  took the day off on Saturday presumably to prepare for his appearance on Fox News Sunday.  It might have been a little more productive if Toomey bothered to read the CBO reports on the effects of extending the Bush tax cuts.  Unless, of course, he knew he was lying when he told Chris Wallace that it’s not clear that extending the tax cuts would add trillions to the deficit.  Sometimes, pictures say more than words, so I direct you to graph after graph that show how devastating the Bush tax cuts and Republican policies in general have been to the economy.

And proof #2350 that the media doesn’t want citizens to be focused on real issues comes from The Chris Matthews Show, which spent all of 19 seconds on the issue of rigged electronic voting machines.

And then finally, because I don’t know if we’ll have time, here’s Jon Stewart talking to Larry King about both the strengths and ultimately, the evils of Fox News and CNN.

And here’s the Rick Scott deposition video I promised I’d post.  How anyone can vote for this real-life crook and liar is beyond comprehension…

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Oct 212010
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Thursdays start my weekends, and we got it off to a good start today!  Mix a blogger with a journalist and a couple of comedians and me… and you’ve got today’s show.

My first guest was blogger Zerlina Maxwell, with whom I feel a bit of kinship as we both won DFA Scholarships to last summer’s Netroots Nation in the same round of voting.  Zerlina blogs at This Week in Blackness and The Loop 21, where her latest piece, “Republicans Will Impeach Obama” is posted.

Yesterday marked the 6 month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.  What’s that? You’d forgotten about it?  Well, the mainstream media sure has. As soon as the oil stopped spewing from the well, they turned our attention elsewhere.  But to make sure we remember, the Natural Resources Defense Committee has released a new book, In Deep Water: The anatomy of a disaster, the fate of the Gulf, and how to end our oil addiction, written by NDRC executive director Peter Lehner with journalist Bob Deans.  Bob Deans joined me on the show this morning to talk about it.

We also had some laughs today.  John Fugelsang usually joins me on Thursday mornings, but couldn’t make it today. So I invited two masters of comedy on in his stead.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lizz Winstead in Las Vegas this summer at Netroots Nation.  The co-creator of the Daily Show and co-founder of Air America Radio is on the road with her “My State of the Union” show.  She’s in Asheville, NC tomorrow night, heading toward Washington DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity happening next Saturday.  She’s got two shows that night for post-rally fun (tickets available here).  Lizz will join us back on the show a week from Monday with a recap of all of the fun and festivities.

I was also thrilled to welcome Andy Cobb to the show, who will also be at the Rally next weekend.  We talked comedy and played some of his video humor… check them out below and have a great weekend!

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Oct 202010
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Randi‘s headed to NY to guest on Joy Behar’s TV show tonight, so I’ll be filling in for her today.  And that’s a good thing, as there’s so much to talk about today… I ran out of time this morning on my show!

We’ll start the show with some examples of the opposite world in which the right lives.  In their world, up is down and wrong is right.  I’ll give you a list of some examples, and then ask for your best instances of the right wing hypocrisy…

My guests will include Howie Klein, who blogs at DownWithTyranny.com and runs the Blue America PAC along with Crooks and Liars’ John Amato, and Digby.  We’ll talk about some of the very close Congressional races, thirteen days out from election day.  They’ve set up a special page to help Sen. Russ Feingold. Check it out and give a bit if you can.

Comedian John Fuglesang will help us laugh at some of the insanity in today’s world.  And then we’ll turn to Florida or, should I say, Flori-DUH.

My former radio colleague Jim DeFede, now a political reporter/commentator for CBS4 in Miami, and Daily Beast contributor will check in from Nova Southeastern University, where he was last night for the Florida Senate debate between Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek and thug Marco Rubio, and will be tonight for the Florida Gubernatorial debate between Alex Sink and criminal Rick Scott.

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Oct 192010
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That’s Meghan McCain I’m defending, not her demented father.  I never thought I’d do that, but after seeing her on The Rachel Maddow Show last night, I realized  that -though while she’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier – she does make some good points.

In this day and age of the crazier the better for people of the right-leaning persuasion, it’s refreshing to hear a self-identified Republican say things that make sense.  She’s on the right (left) side when it comes to LGBT rights – including marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  For speaking out on those issues, she should be applauded, not berated.

Although Meghan McCain’s claim to punditry fame comes from the lucky [sic] gene pool, it is refreshing to hear a “moderate” Republican speaking during a time when only the craziest of the wingnuts feel comfortable doing so.

OK, now that I’ve defended her, let me also add in a bit of criticism. (You didn’t think I was that magnanimous, did you?)  Just this weekend, Ms. McCain also spoke out about the “nuttiness” of Christine O’Donnell without once acknowledging that her father, by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, opened the door to the vapid being viewed as credible candidates (in certain circles).

On today’s show, I’ll be joined by Citizen Radio‘s Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny, and The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff! Listen live 10am-noon ET, or check back later for the podcast!

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Oct 182010
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Just when you though politics couldn’t get any weirder, the Aqua Buddha returns, in all his chubby, wet glory.

Actually, we have Jack Conway to thank for bringing back this very strange aspect of the very strange Rand Paul’s past.  First, here’s Conway’s latest ad:

Last night, the topic led off the debate between the two guys hoping to represent Kentucky in the US Senate… it was fireworks from the first word:

And poor, insulted “Dr.” Paul wouldn’t shake Attorney General Jack Conway’s hand at the end of it…

Yikes. Although my favorite line of the evening came from Conway, who said “I’m always amused to get a lesson about the Constitution from a self-certified opthamologist!” Just 15 days to go…

Down here in Florida, we also have our fair share of crazy, and one of the craziest is running for Congress against incumbent Ron Klein in the 22nd District… where I’m currently living! Not only is Allen West certifiable (he’s the one who claims to have a higher security clearance than President Obama), but now he seems to be using the Outlaws for security…

Joy-Ann Reid of The Reid Report will join me in the first hour of today’s show to talk about West and other Florida candidates and issues, as today marks the start of early voting here in the Sunshine state.

As always, we’ll start hour two with a news update from TRNS.  And since it’s Monday, Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars joins in for “Fools on the Hill,” our weekly discussion about the Sunday talking head shows.

Listen live 10-noon ET, or check back later for the podcast!

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