Some people might be discouraged by the results from the Wisconsin recall elections last night. But today I’m taking the optimistic route.
The Democrats picked up two senate seats; the people of Wisconsin recalled two Republican state senators, truly changing the balance of power, and fighting back against the big corporate dollars and the heinous Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
Of course, the returns came in with a bit of controversy. What else would you expect from the county that brought us 14,000 extra votes “discovered” on the pc of the supervisor of elections days after the last Supreme Court race?
Brad Friedman (BradBlog.com) has been the go-to guy on election fraud for years. Although he was up very late last night covering the Wisconsin recall elections and the late returns from Waukesha County and the Katherine Harris of Wisconsin, Kathy Nicklaus, he agreed to get up early and go over what happened with us this morning.
Yesterday, Harry Reid announced his appointees to the “Super Committee”: Senators John Kerry, Patty Murray and Max Baucus. I called on FDL’s David Dayen to explain the significance of those choices.
Of course, after our conversation, the GOP announced the names of all six of their committee members. On the House side, Boehner appointed Jeb Hensarling (TX), Dave Camp (MI), and Fred Upton (MI too). From the Senate, Mitch McConnell named John Kyl (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA), and Rob Portman (OH). We’ll deal with those tomorrow. Perhaps by then, Nancy Pelosi will make her picks too… then we can move on to fight the austerity measures they’re sure to try to enact.
And in case you hadn’t heard it yet… Dylan Ratigan was on a tear yesterday. You have to wonder how long it’ll be before the powers that be in MSNBC call him in to tell him to watch his tone!
History is being made today in Wisconsin. Whether or not the Democrats are successful in recalling enough Republicans to take back control of the Wisconsin state Senate, the fact that today’s votes are happening is a moment that we should all cherish.
It’s people power. And the government here in the US is supposed to be of, for and by the people. It’s Democracy in action!
Even though the corporate media isn’t reporting on it, more than 45,000 Verizon workers are on strike!
I believe we are at a seminal moment for our generation. We can either embrace the spirit of the ’60′s and stand up for our rights, or allow the corporations to take over and become a fascist oligarchy.
I choose the former.
Today on the show, I’ll speak with Norwood Orrick, a Verizon telephone worker and member of IBEW 824 in Tampa. Although his local is not on strike, he’s written about the strike for Daily Kos... and also editor of Labor News for Progressive Congress News.
That’s the outlook as the market opened this morning… Down 200 points at the opening bell. Thank you Tea Party for the S&P credit downgrade. For the first time in history, the US credit rating has been downgraded.
Today’s recommended reading comes from Dr. Drew Westen… His awesome op-ed in the Sunday NY Times: “What Happened to Obama?” Howie also recommends Paul Krugman’s Sunday NY Times piece “Credibility, Chutzpah and Debt” as a companion…
Today’s Fools on the Hill stories, courtesy of Nicole Belle:
The country really had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week last week between the 11th hour raise of the debt ceiling and the subsequent S&P downgrade of the country’s creditworthiness. All that madel the traditional media and the conservative politicians spin mightily to find ways to rationalize their roles in driving the country over the economic cliff: lots of finger pointing, false equivalencies and wide-eyed questions about why the S&P could possibly downgrade us.
Paul “Ayn Rand’s Poster Boy” Ryan actually had the huevos to claim that the S&P downgrade vindicates the GOP. Excuse me? While I have my own issues with the S&P trying to dictate government policy, especially in the light of their own ignoring of toxic assets before the housing crash, but c’mon. S&P specifically mentioned the intransigence of considering revenue (which ONLY came from the GOP) as the rationalization for the downgrade.
Rachel Maddow had to make that exact point to fellow Meet the Press panel member Alex Castellanos, eager to use this bad news as an opportunity to take cheap (and frankly, not all that accurate) partisan shots.
Meanwhile, UT Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz shows why coming up with any kind of real solution is so difficult when investment strategist Mellody Hobson offers some really cogent and outside the box solutions for our economic woes. His immediate response? To dismiss it immediately as something she didn’t suggest for a result she never promised. Of course, Chaffetz also felt that the tea party *did* do a lot of compromising, so clearly, that S&P comment on intransigence was referring to someone else.
Fareed Zakaria makes a lot of good points in his “Fareed’s Take” segment in saying that we downgraded ourselves, although his insistence that we have to include entitlement cuts smacks of Villager wisdom and not sound economic understanding.
And finally, it’s not part of the Sunday shows, but it’s so disgusting and it’s so indicative of the toxic political environment, I can’t let it go unmentioned Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips appearance at a rally in Wisconsin for Alberta Darling. Phillips told the fairly sparse crowd that he couldn’t imagine being proud to be a liberal, since liberal ideology was “responsible for a billion deaths.” Facts are so 20th century.
That’s one of the songs that was performed by the Doobie Brothers and the other artists who gathered together at Madison Square Garden in 1979 for the No Nukes concerts that spawned the film and album, and opened millions of eyes to the dangers of nuclear power.
Many of those same artists – Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Doobie Brothers, John Hall and others – will gather again this Sunday at the Shoreline Amphitheater in California for MUSE2 (Musicians United for Safe Energy).
Harvey Wasserman, author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, who helped coin the phrase No Nukes in 1973, wrote about this Sunday’s gathering “Green Music Returns to Confront Atomic Energy” at NukeFree.org – and he’ll join me at the end of today’s show to give us the scoop on this great event (which we can all watch online even if we can’t be there in person!)
Last month, we learned about the organization ALEC that is responsible for so much of the union-busting, voter intimidation, school privatization, anti-woman and other oppressive legislation that’s worming its way through state legislatures. The Center for Media and Democracy blew the whistle on ALEC with their website ALECexposed.org. ALEC is having their big gathering right now in New Orleans, so we’ll check in with CMD Executive Director Lisa Graves to find out what’s happening there.
And hopefully you saw VP Al Gore on Countdown with Keith Olbermann the other night calling for an “American Spring: – a non-violent uprising here demanding change…
Well, that’s already being planned! David Swanson will join in today as well to talk about October2011.org. All that and more today on Radio Or Not!
I have one rule for my show and my blog – honesty. And I’d by lying if I said I’m not feeling sadness over what’s happening in our country today. So many of us are experiencing the gamut of emotions. Many of us who are on the same side of the political spectrum are fighting. It seems, these days, that we’re all taking politics quite personally.
My friend Aaron Krager brought up this idea on his podcast… In an email to me, he said
“I feel like a lot of every day people – as well as activists – can fall into the trap of anger, despair, confusion and apathy. It’s something we all need to keep in mind and be able to find a way through that fog.”
We had been discussing his latest DailyKos diary, “Struggling With Depression – Not Saying GBCW” in which he implored
“As the economy continues to struggle more people will find themselves delving into despair. As politicians continue to ignore us activists might find the anger and hopelessness a little too much to bear.
It is tough out there but I am not saying GBCW and I hope others don’t as well.”
If you’re like me and didn’t know, GBCW stands for Good-bye cruel world.
More on this topic comes from Mike Lux at Crooks and Liars… “Progressive? Depressed? Here’s What’s Next”
And for those of us who suffer from depression (yes, that includes me), we have to figure out a way to not let the politics get us down.
As detailed in my last post, the House voted yesterday to pass the Satan Sandwich (aka the debt ceiling bill). We already knew the Tea Partiers were ignorant fools. Now they’re also proven hypocrites, as 59 GOP freshmen voted for the bill (2/3 of the rookie class) with only 28 voting against.
Based on Michele Bachmann’s official list of members of her Tea Party Caucus, 32 of them declared their hypocrisy and voted for the deal! (Should you care to see the list, scroll down to the bottom of the post.)
I must point out that my sorry excuse for a representative – the alleged Tea Party darling – Allen West voted FOR it. I hope his minions ride him out of town on a rail.
Today, the Senate votes. But all accounts say this ransom will be easily paid by at least 60 members. Manufactured crisis averted, but at what cost?
Arthur Delaney of Huffington Post points out that the unemployed were ignored in this deal. The cynic in me asks “what else is new?” But the compassionate human being that I am is truly disgusted. Perhaps if all of the long-term unemployed in this country decided to pitch tents and start an Obamaville in Washington DC they might take notice that these people are not invisible!
While I have Arthur on the line talking about that, we’ll also discuss another story he’s been covering: that of the Pre-Existing Insurance Plan, in which he asks if you’d go without insurance for six months to qualify for affordable coverage? Talk about a big gamble – on your life!
I’m trying to find the good in this
Satan Sandwich debt ceiling bill. I listened to my dear friend Randi Rhodes who thinks President Obama won this fight, but she still didn’t convince me. The best I could come up with were some journalists whom I respect pointing out that it’s not as bad as it could have been.
Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly did a bit of a round-up of the not-so-bad points in “The Contrarian Defense“. He’ll join me this morning as well to go over the good, the bad and the ugly in this bill.
Quick ones: PhotOh! Your “librul media” at work
There are a couple of other things I have to mention — Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords return to the floor of the House to cast her vote was truly a wonderful moment!
And if you only watch one video today, you should make it Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment from last night:
**Now for that list of Teabaggers who voted FOR the debt ceiling bill:
Sandy Adams (FL-24)
Robert Aderholt (AL-04)
Rodney Alexander (LA-05)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06)
Joe Barton (TX-06)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-09)
Diane Black (TN-06)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
John Carter (TX-31)
Bill Cassidy (LA-06)
Howard Coble (NC-06)
Mike Coffman (CO-06)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-04)
John Culberson (TX-07)
Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Stephen Lee Fincher (TN-08)
Wally Herger (CA-02)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-09)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
David McKinley (WV-01)
Gary Miller (CA-42)
Rich Nugent (FL-05)
Steven Palazzo (MS-04)
Mike Pence (IN-06)
Tom Price (GA-06)
David Roe (TN-01)
Edward Royce (CA-40)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Tim Walberg (MI-07)
Allen West (FL-22)
Go get ‘em!
The House passed the Debt Ceiling deal 269-161.
In the end, Republicans voted 174 for – 66 against. The Democratic Party was split down the middle, with 95 votes for the bill, 95 against.
Democrats voting NO:
Sánchez, Linda T.
Republicans voting NO:
And both groups of NO votes did so for entirely different reasons.
Now for the YES votes. We’ll do this one differently. All of the yes votes appear in this chart. The Democrats are bolded and italicized for your perusing ease.
Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson, E. B.
Lungren, Daniel E.
Tomorrow, the Senate….
Paul Simon’s American Tune aptly sums up my feelings this morning…
And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it’s all right, it’s all right
We’ve lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we’re traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what went wrong
We’ve been seriously misused. We elected a president who we thought would at least stand up for the bedrock of Democratic values, our social safety net. Instead we got someone who is, at best, a corporatist and lousy negotiator and, at worst, a Republican in disguise.
It’s now up to the the Congressional Democratic Caucus to stand up for those of us who cannot afford lobbyists — or just about anything else these days.
Congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of said CPC, posted this petition last night, ready for your signature:
I will not support the debt deal
Stand with Raúl and America’s working families and show your opposition to the debt deal by signing the petition below.
I oppose any debt deal that trades Americans’ livelihoods to appease the most radical wing of the GOP.
I stand firmly behind successful government programs that guarantee the health and economic well being of the American people.
We must ensure that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are off the chopping block as we work to balance our budget.
I will not stand by idly as millions of working Americans lose out as the GOP gives yet another handout to the wealthy and big corporations.
Nancy Pelosi said last night that she could not commit to this deal; she’d first have to meet with her caucus. Meetings are going on this morning. Now is the time to reach out and tell your representatives to do the right thing by the American people.
We’ll obviously deal with this issue on the show this morning. I’ll be joined by Congressman Raul Grijalva, pundit/author/consultant Cliff Schecter, and The Nation’s Ari Berman on his latest piece, “The Rise of the Austerity Hawk Democrats” and how it fits in with this whole mess.
Today’s essential reading courtesy of Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman at the NY Times: The President Surrenders.
***Update*** Links for The White House Fact Sheet on the “Bipartisan Debt Deal” and from Time‘s Swampland blog, “Five Things for Liberals to Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal“.
My good friend Jason Leopold continues to astound with his latest piece for Truthout . Just when I thought I’d heard it all regarding the insanity and barbarity of waging war, here comes “Air Force Cites New Testament, Ex-Nazi, to Train Officers on Ethics of Launching Nuclear Weapons.” Seriously?!?!
I don’t do a new show on Fridays, so I try to end each Thursday morning with some laughs courtesy of John Fugelsang.
Back with more insanity, I’m sure, Monday morning…. radio or not!