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Aug 302010
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I’m still waiting for the miracle we were promised, but all I saw was a guy preaching Jesus.  Sorry, but that’s no miracle in my book.

On today’s show, we’ll look at what Glenn Beck delivered, and what he didn’t, with a guy who’s been studying the would-be messiah and his ilk for a while now.  Will Bunch, a senior write at the Philadelphia Daily News (also the man behind their Attytood blog), and a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, has spent the last couple of years visiting the strongholds of the RWNJs in America, trying to figure out what they’re all about.

The outcome is in his new book, “The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama.”  And yes, he did attend Saturday’s gathering of Whitestock.  We’ll have lots to talk about.

To get it all started, here’s Will talking about his new book:

In our second hour, Victoria Jones will give us the latest news courtesy of the Talk Radio News Service.  I’m sure we’ll have time to talk about her latest piece for Huffington Post, “I Have a Nightmare: Glenn Beck as Phony Messiah (Politics and Religion Don’t Mix)

And we’ll wrap it up with our regular Monday night “Fools on the Hill” segment with Crooks & LiarsNicole Belle, recapping the Sunday talking head shows.  Here’s what Nicole wrote:

It was a fairly mixed bag for the Sunday shows.  Fox News obviously focused on the Beckapalooza event in DC over the weekend, but Meet the Press (sans David Gregory) looked at the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and This Week opted to take themselves out of the news memes altogether to look at education in the US.

One of the things that I think was notable from the Sunday discussions is how many of our politicos—Democrats too—get locked into the same old thinking, even when that thinking has not helped us up to that point.  It’s discouraging to see them not look towards more progressive solutions but to ape Republican memes.

First up in the “old school solutions” is Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/rebuilding-nola-contrast-between-new- (our video person recording MTP had a problem with the recording so it’s the MSNBC embeds)

Before Landrieu appeared, Brian Williams talked to Brad Pitt, who has a foundation that builds safe, sustainable and green homes for lower-income people.  Think about that—homes that invest in a green economy, that supersede building standards so that Ninth Ward residents aren’t left homeless again, and whose energy bills will be significantly lowered, thereby giving residents more disposable income to reinvest into the economy.  That’s a smart, forward thinking holistic approach to the issue.  And then comes Mary Landrieu.

Landrieu appeared with her brother, who is now the mayor of New Orleans, and one of the things that she advocated for is the lifting of the drilling moratorium—not for the oil companies, but for the “little guys” like “Big Al’s Sandwich Shop”.  Well, I’m sorry, but that’s just crap.  The Gulf Coast is not yet recovered from the Deep Horizon spill and certainly couldn’t cope with another one—and there is little indication that the issues that led to the disaster (strong federal oversight, safety precautions, redundancies, etc.) have been resolved and she leaves out that it isn’t little “mom and pop” energy companies that can afford deep water drilling.   Plus, despite the way Landrieu characterizes it, there is no guarantee that oil BP was getting would go to the US at all, but instead be sold on the open market to the highest bidder.  Landrieu’s whole pitch sounded like nothing more than the obscene greenwashing ads by the American Petroleum Institute saying that now is not the time to raise taxes on energy companies, because “people” are struggling.

As I see it, New Orleans is at a do-over moment.  They can go back to the old way of doing business and cross their fingers that they can weather the next storm, or they can charge to the front of the green economy: bring green manufacturing to the Gulf Coast.  Invest in rebuilding using this technology and employ people of the Gulf Coast.  Training people to manufacture, install and maintain technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, etc. brings jobs that can only be done in the US to the Gulf Coast and all those support businesses will still have industry to support.    The Gulf Coast could be the model for the rest of the country to divest themselves from a petroleum-based economy.   But Landrieu, heavily dependent on campaign donations from Big Oil, is still advocating for the same wrong answers.

And then on This Week, we had Education Secretary Arne Duncan, American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten and DC public school Chancellor Michelle Rhee discussing the state of education in the US.

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/week-arne-duncan-pushes-teachers-perf

Here’s the thing: there’s no arguing that things need to be fixed.  In comparison to other countries, the US is abysmal in education.  We are matriculating barely literate kids who have little ability to think critically.  But the frustration lies in the same Republican framing where we focus on the teachers and discuss merit-based pay.

Personally, I think this focus is part and parcel of the Republican desire to union bust, including the teachers’ union.    Here in California, we’ve got the 8th or 9th largest economy in the world, and almost half of our state budget goes to education.  Yet I’m here to tell you that very, very little actually gets down to the classroom.  I had over $200 for each kid in basic supplies I had to purchase this year.  There is some bloated bureaucracy above the teachers that I do think needs to be focused on, but making this about teacher pay ignores the problem.

And if all other things were equal, perhaps merit-based evaluations would make sense.  But how do you tell the teacher who is in an inner-city school with kids whose parents aren’t involved or are too busy with multiple jobs to survive, whose students often come to school with an empty stomach (in many impoverished areas, the free school lunch is the only meal these kids regularly get), who live in dangerous neighborhoods (or may even be homeless) that he or she deserves less pay because the students don’t score as well on tests?  How do make allowances for that?  How do you give children whose circumstance of birth is not their choice an equal opportunity?

And sadly, there’s no push back on this.  There’s no discussion about how to get more parental involvement (which every teacher will tell you is critical for student success).  There’s no discussion about valuing education (something we almost sneer at here now; being smart is “elitist”) or giving teachers more free reign, rather that forcing them to “teach to the test”.   So once again, Democrats adopt Republican framing and ignore the big picture solutions.

But with all the sadly blind stuff from Republicans being co-opted by Democrats, that means Republicans need to go even more crazy right to distinguish themselves from the Democrats.  Which brings us to Joe Miller, Republican/Tea Party senate candidate from Alaska.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/joe-miller-social-security-and-medicare-are-

Joe tells Bob Schieffer that he thinks that Social Security and Medicare are un-Constitutional.

Oy.  What do you say to this level of idiocy?  Actually, my hope is that no one says anything to him and he keeps saying stupid stuff like this all the way to the election.  The majority of self-identified tea party members are over 50 years old.  Go ahead and tell them they shouldn’t have Medicare and Social Security and should pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take care of their own retirement and health care costs.  Go ahead.  Let’s see how many votes he gets with that.

And then my personal bugaboo, the thing that gets my teeth on edge every time:  the willful misunderstanding of the First Amendment.  SE Cupp appeared on Fox to defend those protesting the Cordoba House by saying the “liberal media thought police” (who?) are telling people they can’t have certain opinions.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/se-cupp-liberal-thought-police-are-out-ful

And this goes for Sarah Palin, Dr. Laura and all these other right wing whiners who invoke the First Amendment:  the First Amendment guarantees that the GOVERNMENT will not shut you up.  It does not guarantee that other citizens won’t criticize you for your words.  It also does not guarantee you a national platform from which to speak.  And frankly, I think if you are so thin-skinned as to not be able to stand someone criticizing your words, maybe you should consider how wise your words are.  If you don’t like being called a racist, then look at what you’ve said that would make them call you that.  It’s not the liberal “thought police” telling you to do that, it’s living in polite society.  If you don’t want to be called a sexist, don’t refer to women as “bitches” , if you don’t want to sound intolerant of others, don’t act as if all Muslims are America-hating terrorists.  And if you don’t want to modify your manner of speaking, don’t get upset if people call you on it.  That’s just them exercising their First Amendment rights.

Check back after the show for the podcast link!

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Aug 262010
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This weekend, we’ll see the media reporting on two disasters. I wonder which one will get more coverage?

Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The devastation to New Orleans could have been avoided, yet apparently not much has been done to make sure there’s not a repeat.

On Saturday, some of the nation’s most ignorant and intolerant will gather in Washington DC to desecrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the place he delivered, and on the 47th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech.

Glenn Beck is a fear monger of the worst kind.  Like a televangelist who preys on the weak and the elderly, Beck rewrites history and gets the lemmings how follow him to believe his manic lies.  He says of his “Restoring Honor” rally, “it will be a “historic” day that will mark a “turning point in America” that your “children will remember.”

Yes, two disasters converging in one weekend.

We dealt with the disaster that is Glenn Beck on yesterday’s show, with Eric Boehlert of Media Matters. (Scroll down to yesterday’s entry to hear that interview.)

Today, we’ll talk about Katrina and New Orleans five years later with Mother JonesMac McClelland, who’s back where she was when the hurricane hit.  Today, she’s already posted two stories that we’ll discuss:  “Sticking a Happy Face on Katrina” and “Found: BP’s Missing Oil.”

And while we’re on the topic of BP, we’ll make it a Mother Jones double-header today, as Kate Sheppard will also join in to talk about her latest piece in the Sept/Oct issue, “BP’s Bad Breakup: How Toxic is Corexit?” and, if time permits, I’ll ask about “What Does the Alaska Senaet Race Mean for Climate?” too.

As always, we’ll check in for a report from the Talk Radio News Service at the top of hour two.

And we’ll close out the week with a visit from comedian John Fugelsang.  There’s no shortage of stuff to talk about today, as this week has given us Ken Mehlman coming out, the Beck disaster mentioned above, Alan Simpson’s “310 million tits” comment, the primary elections that gave us Rick Scott,Ben Quayle, John McCain (again) and probably Joe Miller as candidates, and so much more….

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Aug 252010
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OK, so I was wrong with a couple of my predictions.  Florida’s loathsome Attorney General, Bill McCollum, will not be running for Governor after all. Perhaps it was his decision to take Florida’s taxpayers money to spearhead a misguided attempt by a group of AGs to sue  the federal government over the health care law.  But whatever the reason, the Republicans of Florida decided that the sleazy billionaire Rick Scott–who didn’t bother to show up at any debates with his opponent, including one just four days ago where he sent his mother in his stead– would make a better candidate! Yikes.

On the Senate side, my predictions came true.  Marco Rubio is the teabagger Republican candidate, Kendrick Meek the Democrat, and Charlie Crist will likely be our next US Senator from Florida.

There were a few more surprises in the hot & cold primaries of yesterday, and we’ll run them down with Cliff Schecter,  president and founder of the PR firm Libertas LLC, author of the 2008 bestseller “The Real McCain,” and contributor to Huffington Post and The Guardian.

And Jeanne Devon (aka AKMuckraker) of The Mudflats will fill us in on what happened in Alaska, where incumbent Lisa Murkowski seems to have gone down to defeat at the hands of teabagger Joe Miller. And what about the Democratic candidate Scott McAdamsHer account of what happened is in Huffington Post today too.

But we’ll start the show with a visit across the pond…to Sweden, the home of wikileaks!  Yes, Julian Assange & co posted another document today.  This time, a  CIA Red Cell Memorandum on United States “exporting terrorism”, 2 Feb 2010.

Although it was classified as “secret,” it was deemed by most to be inconsequential.  But wikileaks is also sitting on many more documents that are likely more ominous.  Perhaps that’s the reason Assange was charged with rape earlier this week?  And then, of course, those charges were dropped.

Tonight, we’ll start the show with a call to Anna Troberg, the Deputy Party Leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, who are housing wikileaks’ new servers.

According to Germany’s DW-World,

At a pub in downtown Stockholm last weekend, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge signed an agreement under which the Swedish political party would now host Wikileaks’ servers under party protection. The two groups announced the partnership online Tuesday.

The Pirate Party of Sweden, according to its website, stands for reform of copyright law, abolishing the patent system and the right to privacy.

In recent weeks, the website Wikileaks has come under fire from governments around the world, most notably the United States, after publishing thousands of leaked government and military documents to its website. But given that the organization’s servers are physically distributed amongst a number of countries, shutting the site down has proven to be nearly impossible.

“[Wikileaks] will place these servers together with the Pirate Party’s servers,” said Anna Troberg, the Swedish Pirate Party’s deputy party leader, “And the Pirate Party’s IT technicians will maintain and take care of these servers and we will make sure that they are always connected to the Internet.”

She added that she expected the party to begin hosting Wikileaks “within a few days.

I’ll also speak with Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert about Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally taking place Saturday near the Lincoln Memorial, on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Heinous.

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Aug 242010
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Behold the egg… or not.

If you’re like me, you thought the egg couldn’t be bad.  Of course the yolk is full of fat, but the egg whites? The perfect protein!  Or not.

It seems that the rise of the factory farm, which has grossed us out on every meat imaginable, has now also destroyed the previously incredible, edible egg.

We’ll delve into the disgusting places our food comes from with Jill Richardson, the woman behind La Vida Locavore and author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

Today is also primary day in a couple of hot states (Florida & Arizona) and a couple of cold ones (Alaska & Vermont)… We’ll check in with Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America and find out what they’re up to.

After a news report from Talk Radio News, we’ll hang with Gotta Laff from The Political Carnival and talk about all the crazy shit in the news.  And we’ll delve into her latest Blunt webisode.  You can see it for yourself here too…

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Aug 232010
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I’m a bit misty eyed today, as I sent my daughter off to her first day of middle school this morning.  I remember her first day of kindergarten as if it was yesterday. Where does the time go?

One of her subjects is World History.  I look forward to reading the text book to see how it’s presented.  In this political climate, I worry about how our kids are taught, and a whole lot more…

This blog will be short today, as I waited at home until she arrived home from school to see how it went (Fine Mom).  And then rushed to the studio.  And I’ll rush home to spend some time with her before her bedtime… all 15 minutes.

On today’s show, I’ll speak with Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and the Blue America PAC… they endorsed just one Florida candidate in tomorrow’s primary: Doug Tudor, who will also join me this evening.

Yes, Blue America also endorsed Alan Grayson, who participated in an online chat today at Crooks & Liars, but he’s not being challenged in the primary.  He is, however, being targeted in the general election!

***Update*** Congressman Grayson called into the show too.  He told us about the crazy cadre of Republicans who are vying to challenge him for his seat in November.  Unfortunately, the DCCC is not helping him out, so it’s up to us to make sure he has enough in his campaign coffers to stay in Congress.  He has a moneybomb going on today at www.congressmanwithguts.com.  Go and throw in a few bucks if you’re in the position to do so.

Victoria Jones checked in with a news report from the Talk Radio News Service.  Her latest piece for Huffington Post is “Hey First Amendment This — Cruel Entitles Dr. Laura and Narcissistic Saint Sarah.”

And in hour two, Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars returns for our weekly Fools on the Hill segment, discussing the Sunday talking head shows.  Here’s her take on the Sunday shows:

So I think today’s theme is cluelessness:

Chris Matthews asks his panel if the Tea Party will have veto power over the 2012 GOP nominee.  First and foremost, they are using Sarah Palin as some benchmark of influence, which is ludicrous.  Her endorsement is by no means a shoo-in for any candidate right now, and there’s nothing that says her influence will strengthen in the intervening years.  If anything, if she opts to pursue a national candidacy herself, I suspect that the media scrutiny will result in her having even less credibility.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/39178

It also gives the tea party itself far more credit than they deserve.  I think we’ve seen middling electoral success from them in primary races, but they have yet to show themselves successful in full elections and given the polls for Angle, Paul and others, I don’t think they should crow just yet.

Which segues nicely into Howard Dean.  He points out to Candy Crowley that although the conventional wisdom is that the party in power suffers electorally in mid-terms, when your alternative is the Party of No, conventional wisdom may be wrong.

http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/howard-dean-name-one-thing-republican

And then we have Dick Armey, the corporate head of the Tea Party, spouting off some truly unbelievable stuff:

http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/dick-armey-medicare-trashes-constitution

He says that Medicare trashes the Constitution.  Huh?   What does he think those lazy, entitled senior citizens should do?  Work to pay for their Alzheimer’s treatment?  For proof, he brings up the example of “the” Christian Scientist, whom we apparently should feel bad is being forced to sign up for a doctor to get Social Security.  Of course, no one says he has to GO to the doctors, just sign up for Medicare.   But again, David Gregory falls down on the job of calling out this crap, and lets Armey filibuster through the segment and not allow Granholm to respond.

And then, in light of the protests on the Cordoba House in NYC over the weekend, Fareed Zakaria wants to remind Americans that we are not in a war with Islam and that al Qaeda hates factions of Islam as bad as they hate us.

http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/fareed-zakaria-gps-al-qaeda-vs-islam

By the way, a commenter made this video of the NYC protests when the haters went after a passerby, who happened to be a construction worker at Ground Zero and not a Muslim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwaNRWMN-F4&feature=player_embedded

George Will thinks that the Mideast peace process is the biggest obstacle to Mideast peace.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/39185

Amazingly, I actually agree with him if only for this story:

http://crooksandliars.com/ian-welsh/israeli-pm-natanyahu-america-easily-move

I think if we really want to see Mideast peace, then the US needs to come to grips with the dichotomy between what Israel officially tells us and what they say behind closed doors.

And then Fox chooses to use Judith Miller of all people to discuss the study that American people have lost faith in broadcast news

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/39175

Really, what can you say about them using the person the Bush White House used to feed propaganda about invading Iraq to?

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Aug 192010
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Now that I have power back on again, I’m sitting in my studio preparing for tonight’s show. The phone just rang, and on the other end, yet another robo call for the guy trying to buy the Democratic nomination for the US Senate from Florida, Jeff Greene.

Greene is a former Republican (I think), and a fairly recent Florida resident who made his fortune by betting against its homeowners.  While the values of our homes fell, he got filthy rich.  Heidi Fleiss was a long-term house guest of his, and Mike Tyson was his maid of honor.

Yes, welcome to FloriDUH, the home of the hanging chad, no recounts, Marco Rubio and Jeff Greene.  But we have more electoral lunacy.  Joy-Ann Reid (of The Reid Report) will join me in the first half-hour of the show to talk about politics in this strange state which will be voting in the primary elections on Tuesday.

If you think TV’s influence over our politics and sensibilities just turned sour with the rise of Faux News, you might be surprised to hear what my second guest has to say.  Anna McCarthy, an associate professor in the department of Cinema Studies at NYU, is author of “The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America.”

After a report from the Talk Radio News Service, comedian John Fuglesang will check in with us from San Francisco (where he’s performing tonight), and weigh in on the religious intolerance in our nation, “Dr.” Laura’s announcement that she’s leaving her radio show, the “end of combat operations in Iraq” and whatever else he feels like talking about!

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Aug 162010
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But the Republicans are at it again, this time with the help of the media.  Instead of calling it an Islamic community center (which it is), the name “Ground Zero Mosque” has stuck.

Brian Beutler writes today at Talking Points Memo, “Is the Term ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ This Year’s ‘Death Panel’?” The answer is a very sad yes.  Brian will join me in the first hour of tonight’s show to talk about the fallacy of the label, and how it came to be.  And yes, employees of Rupert Murchoch were the ones who got it going, and the rest of the media continued.

But again, it’s neither a mosque nor is at at Ground Zero.

Victoria Jones, who will join us at the top of the second hour with a report from the Talk Radio News Service, has a terrific piece up today on Huffington Post, “Obama and the Mosque — Cool Logic Spawns Heated Inanity,” in which she makes the same points I’ve been attempting to impart:

“…

moving Cordoba House makes 19 dead losers larger than life, it says we’re still impacted by you. This is New York we’re talking about. The city stands up for itself.

This is about demonizing all Muslims because some of the worst men we can imagine defiled Islam by calling themselves Muslims, murdered 3,000 human beings, and devastated their families. It ignores the fact that Muslims died as victims on September 11, it ignores the fact that Muslims serve in the US military, it ignores the fact that Muslims contribute to the good of our country, it ignores the fact that al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than anyone else.

This isn’t who we are. This is sad.”

It is sad.  What’s really sad is that the important issues are swept under the rug while we “debate” nonsense like Freedom of Religion, something that should be a given in the USA. Or the 14th Amendment.

The Republicans continue throwing our false memes to take our eye off the ball and get their lemmings without the ability of critical thought to parrot them. Seriously. If you wonder why they want to gut public education, wonder no longer. They want an dumbed-down electorate who will do as they’re told and believe the bullshit they’re spoon fed.

And it’s working.  How else can you explain the unemployed among them fighting against unemployment benefits; the uninsured fighting against health care reform;  poor people fighting against the repeal of Republican tax cuts for the wealthy, etc… The list goes on and on.

Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.

And they have the better copywriters.

Of course, the “Ground Zero Mosque” came up on the Sunday talking head shows, so we’ll revisit it with Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars when she joins in for our regular Fools on the Hill segment.  (** We didn’t have time to get into this story, but you should definitely check out who the top Right Wing bloggers consider the 25 worst figures in America. Wow.

And we’ll also check in with Carrie Stone, a listener from West Virginia who attended a rally last week to counter an anti-marriage equality rally.  The fight goes on…

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Aug 122010
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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.

After a report from the Talk Radio News Service, I look forward to the return of John Fugelsang.

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Aug 102010
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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…

We’ll also delve into FireDogLake’s Just Say Now campaign (with Students for Sensible Drug Policy) to legalize marijuana with Jon Walker, and get a news update from Talk Radio News.

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.

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Aug 092010
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**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.

The Daily Beast can try to paint this as nothing to worry about:

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.”

But I’m more inclined to believe my friends over at FreePress:

“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!***

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