Every year, I dig back into the archives of all the audio I gathered for the show – and compile a year-end Rear View Year in Review. On today’s show, we got through January and February…
Forgive me for the brevity of today’s post… all the details can be heard by listening to the show …. as I just realized that Chanukah begins tonight (I thought it was tomorrow), so off shopping I must go. It comes with being a parent!
Our president once again did exactly what John Boehner told him to do. When does this guy stand up for a decision? I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I agreed with Joe Scarborough this morning. (cue in to around the 7:30 mark to hear him actually make sense):
If you just couldn’t bear to watch and listen, I can’t say that I blame you. But here’s the gist of what he said:
Scarborough: “If this were a Republican president, I’d be telling him ‘Be a man’, and deliver the speech wherever you want to deliver the speech, and tell the Republicans to go to hell. And I’d start the speech by saying ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, I come to you tonight because we’re in the middle of a great national crisis… I was hoping to go to the People’s House to deliver this message to you … but unfortunately… partisans in Congress will not let me go to the People’s House to talk to you about what I consider a grave national crisis.’ That is the message a strong president delivers, and he takes… the intransigence and the extremism of this opponents and uses that in his favor. But this president has no sense of how to make people pay for their mistakes.
He also, at some point this morning, exclaimed that Lyndon Johnson would never have stood for the lack of respect that President Obama is somehow accepting.
I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with Morning Joke before, and certainly have never quoted him. Pay attention, as it’ll likely never happen again. But on this one, he was right.
And to all of President Obama’s defenders who are again using the “he was acting like the adult in the room” line: I am an adult with a willful 12 year-old daughter who is constantly making petulant demands on me. The adult thing to do in those situations is to say NO. Not to give in to the spoiled child.
In this case, the Republican leadership is the House of Representatives is showing what spoiled brats they are, and the president is enabling them. What he should do is take away their TV and ground them for a month.
At least Obama’s Justice Department finally did something right. They filed a lawsuit yesterday to stop the proposed AT&T takeover of T-Mobile. Tim Karr of FreePress.net joined me this morning to talk about it.
And in the second hour, actor and comedian Rick Overton visited. He told us of his great experience on The Green Room with Paul Provenza in which he got to make his idol, Jonathan Winters, laugh. He also told us about the Zeitgeist Media Festival, coming up next week…
I’ll be taking Labor Day off, but working doubly hard next week, as I’ll do both my show and Randi Rhodes‘ Show Tuesday through Thursday. Talk to you then, radio or not!
Of course, they’ve already gotten a workout, as you’ve no doubt been calling your House member and two senators, plus the White House, Speaker’s office and Harry Reid’s office too… But tonight’s call should be a bit more fun.
You might remember the story about my congressman. I’m supposedly represented by Allen West – the Iraqi police officer abuser, misogynistic teabagger who stood by approvingly as I was removed from an event billed as a “town hall meeting” and arrested for daring to challenge him with a QUESTION about his stance on privatizing medicare.
Well, Congressman West – stuck in DC due to the default crisis manufactured by his party – will tonight hold his second “Tele-TownHall”. The good news is that they can’t arrest you over the phone, and you actually get to ask your question! But be forewarned: as I learned during the first such event, say everything you want to say while you have the chance because, if you challenge him, they’ll mute your call as soon as you pause for his answer.
But you can get through. Just call early, and have an “acceptable” question ready to tell the screener.
I’m not the only one encouraging you to call this sorry excuse for a representative. Americans United for Change sent out this email last night:
Rep. Allen West has some explaining to do … about, for one thing, the vote to destroy Medicare and Medicaid while refusing to raise taxes on millionaires or have hedge fund managers’ taxes rates at least equal to the rates of those who clean their offices!
You can make him do it. Rep. West is holding a “Teletown Hall” over the phone on Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00 pm. You can participate by calling 877-229-8493 and dialing in the passcode 17808#.
It’s so important that we all pitch in and participate. When they vote for policies that throw us under the bus, we need to stand up. We need to hold them accountable.
Here’s a few questions you deserve to have answered:
Why did you vote to destroy Medicare and replace it with a voucher to buy private insurance that will raise the cost of health care for seniors by more than $6,000 in the first year alone?
Why did you vote to gut elementary schools, Head Start, Pell Grants and health care for seniors instead of saving billions by ending taxpayer-funded subsidies for oil and gas companies?
Will you support sneak attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by supporting arbitrary, mandatory cuts in all federal spending instead of bringing the deficit down by a combination of both cuts where they make sense and revenue raisers like a tax on millionaires?
Will you support President Obama’s plan to rein in Medicare spending in part by lifting the Republican ban that bars the government from using its purchasing power to negotiate with drug companies on the prices of prescriptions?
WHAT: Hold Rep. Allen West accountable at his town hall meeting
WHEN: Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 pm
HOW: Call in at 877-229-8493 and dial in the passcode 17808#
Of course, you can ask him why he carried out a mock execution on an Iraqi civilian police officer; why he’s afraid of strong women; why he associates with the South Florida Outlaws motorcycle gang; and even about his response to Kevin McCarthy’s screening of this scene from Ben Affleck’s film The Town:
The Washington Post reports on the incident:
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party’s vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, “The Town”, trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.One character asks his friend: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later.”
“Whose car are we gonna take,” the character says.
After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.
“I’m ready to drive the car,” West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full -throated support for the plan.
Well, that’s my Congressman! So call tonight, and ask the questions that need to be asked.
This morning on the show, I’ll speak with Franco Ripple of Florida Young Democrats and American’s United for Change about West. Plus, I’ll have him weigh in on the murder of 67 young political activists in Norway (a group whose closest equivalent here is the Young Democrats) by a right wing extremist, and Glenn Beck’s contention that it sounds like the “Hitler youth”…
In the second hour of today’s show, I’ll have a meeting of the minds with Dave Johnson. I’m not really sure what he does for a living, but he certainly collects a lot of fees and you can find his writings at the Campaign for America’s Future….
Last night we watched as President Obama tried to explain to the American people (who mostly don’t pay attention) what’s going on with the “debt crisis” – which you and I know is a fake crisis as the real crisis is the lack of jobs. While Obama was busy playing middle of the road politics and making nice with Speaker Boehner (and echoing the right wing talking points about our “out of control spending” as the cause for this “crisis” and the “both parties are to blame” line), Boehner went on the attack blaming it all on President Obama and the Democrats “spending binge”.
Over at Washington Monthly, Steve Benen detailed the Top 10 most egregious lies from Boehner’s response to the president’s address to the nation last night.
The only good thing about this whole mess is that it’ll be over soon and we can get back to dealing with the real problem in this country of unemployment.
Today on the show
I’ve been saying this for a long time, but thanks to the GOP maneuverings yesterday, it’s clear now for everyone to see. The Republicans in Congress live in an alternate universe.
John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker (taking a croquet mallet instead of the traditional gavel for some strange reason), and said all the right things:
“The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s House. This is their Congress. It’s about them, not us. What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.”
“Our aim will be to give government back to the people. In seeking this goal, we will part with some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike. We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process ‘less efficient’ than our forefathers intended. These misconceptions have been the basis for the rituals of modern Washington. The American people have not been well served by them.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t mean it. Just hours after Boehner delivered that speech, the GOP-led House delivered their rules. The thing that stands out the most deals with the budget committee. This new House has decided that instead of going to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to figure out the cost and the impact of legislation on the deficit, they’ll instead allow the Chair of the Budget Committe – now Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to come up with his own estimate!
The new House rules also gut the Pay-Go rule which required that all legislation be paid for. The new Republican-led House decided that they’ll use something they call “Cut-Go” which is all about cutting spending and, with it, programs! And, by the way, tax cuts don’t count. Seriously! So, the trillions added to the deficit by the huge tax breaks to corporations and the people who make millions per year are not to be considered.
Welcome to the new reality. It is, indeed, opposite world!
On today’s show, I’ll talk about all of that and lots more with (former) Congressman Alan Grayson and comedian John Fugelsang. And I’ll be back this afternoon filling in for Randi Rhodes again too!
In September of 2009 as the contentious “town hall meetings” over health care reform had dominated the news for a month, when violent rhetoric was spewing from right wingers, Nancy Pelosi recounted what happened in her hometown of San Francisco as a result of incendiary talk… and she choked up:
The criticism from the right came fast. “It appears the job of governing is too much for Nancy Pelosi, who may be finally coming apart at the seams,” is just one of many similar statements that shows up in a quick Google search.
And remember what crying did to Ed Muskie’s career? Apparently the Republicans don’t… nor do the Democrats. If an incoming Democratic Speaker had this emotional lack of control, do you think the Republicans would just shrug it off? Not a chance!
Somehow, I don’t think we’ll hear the same criticism of incoming Speaker John Boehner, who apparently has no control over his frequent crying jags, as shown last night on 60 Minutes.
Yes, we have a big Morning Boehner coming up today on the show!
Of course, we can’t do like the Sunday talking head shows did yesterday and ignore Bernie Sanders brilliant and wonderful #Filibernie that took place on the floor of the Senate on Friday, nor would we want to. But I’m not surprised. I am saddened that the mainstream media is so controlled by big money corporate interests that it won’t recognize the one elected official who’s standing strong for the working class and less fortunate among us.
Here’s how Bernie started his 8.5 hours of magnificence:
And click here for a round-up of some of the best moments from our fantastic Friday with Bernie.
We’ll talk about that too today, on a jam-packed show!
My friend Amy Simon gave us a bit of history about women’s role in our nation’s history. She calls herself a Cultural HerStorian. She wrote and performs a one-woman show called “She’s History” … and is visiting from LA, so she joined me in the studio this morning.
And, as she does every Monday morning, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars joined me to dissect the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we call “Fools on the Hill.” Here’s what she sent over this morning:
The Obama/GOP tax cut extension deal was THE topic of discussion on the Sunday shows. But did a single show mention Bernie Sanders’ incredible 8 hour “filibuster”? No way, because to acknowledge that would be to legitimize the progressive problems with this deal and almost to a one, the shows took pains to paint liberals as unyielding, unreasonable fringe players.
David Axelrod appeared on This Week to sell the tax plan. (it’s a long clip, but I’m not sure what the best part would be) Axelrod fearmongers that if nothing is done, we’re looking at a double dip recession. I have to admit to being completely flummoxed by the optics of the White House’s strategy entirely. Axelrod is basically saying that they know this won’t work long term, but that it needs to work in the short term to get people back to work. I simply do not understand why the President would agree to extend this for two years to basically kick this can down to the next election. Is that the right time to have a double dip recession?
Fareed Zakaria said what we’ve all known: President Obama should have gotten a better deal. I don’t think there’s really anyone with a shred of honesty—including the President himself—who can’t admit that. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think part of the reason the left has been so outraged has not been the particulars of the plan, but in the strategy the WH employed. If Obama had not entered into the negotiation already showing his cards and already open to giving in, if he had included Democratic leadership, if he had not immediately followed the meeting with a defensive press conference smacking down anyone who had a problem with the deal and instead came out and said, “We fought hard. The Republican leadership unfortunately seem to think that the very wealthy of this country are more important than the 98% of Americans I’m trying to help through this most difficult economic time and are willing to hold your prosperity hostage to the interests of their big money donors but I’ve gotten them to concede extending the tax rates for the middle class, and ….” and sought the support of his party, then we would be much more inclined to cut him some slack. Again, the optics of how the WH has handled this (including calling in Bill Clinton to sell the program and Obama bugging out of the press conference to attend some function with the First Lady) are just inexplicable to me.
But that was the strategy the WH chose, and so naturally, there’s a lot of anger out there on the left. People are now openly starting to talk about primarying Obama in 2012. But for as much as there is legitimate frustration and anger, history shows that primarying a sitting President is never a good idea for the party. The President is weakened, the party is weakened and it leads to Republican gains. Case in point, look at what happened to Jimmy Carter got primaried by Teddy Kennedy: Ronald Reagan won. As disappointing as Obama has been, no one wants a repeat of that. So Howard Dean went on Face the Nation and reminded viewers that we have to have the right priorities. I think primarying Blue Dogs so that Obama has a party more willing to back progressive ideals is a great idea (and that’s what we try to do with our PAC, Blue America), but we need to remember that this milquetoast programs that we hate are a result of having to get things moved or passed through Congress with the rules being manipulated by the Republicans to keep Obama from being successful.
And then in non-tax cut extension news, I caught this interesting little green room exchange between US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad and George Will on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Will adopts this typical Villager mentality about Assange, calling him “reptilian” and grumbling about how dangerous it is. But Khalilzad says something that you haven’t heard anyone in the American media say: Bob Woodward published far more damaging information given to him by people with much higher clearances in his latest book Obama’s Wars including diplomatic cables written by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry opposing more troops to Afghanistan. Yet no one thought that Woodward (or the NY Times, who has published both Eikenberry’s cables and WikiLeaks’ cables) should be hunted down, prosecuted or most hysterically, executed. So it is that the information is coming out of an uncontrollable source?
George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” hits stores today, and the shrub hits the pr trail to promote it and try to rehabilitate his image. Based on his first interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, it might not be possible. (Video coming up at the end of the post, should you care to watch it.)
Let’s not forget the eight long years this country suffered with W at the helm. Just before he left office, I took us on an alphabetical journey through his reign… Have a listen so you don’t forget!
A quick aside.. some groups on the left, including Democrats.com, have started a book bomb urging us to buy Russ Baker’s explosive book “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the powerful forces that put it in the White House, and what their influence mans for America“ instead of the Bush tome to counter the lies he continues to tell. It seems to be working, as Family of Secrets, published over a year ago, is currently sitting at #10 at Amazon! Russ Baker will join me tomorrow morning on the show, so be sure to tune in!
I’m sure the subject of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama will come up today when I welcome Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post columnist and associate editor Eugene Robinson to the show. He, too, has a new book out: “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America.” We’ll talk about that and his upcoming visit to Miami for the Book Fair– Wed evening Nov. 17, for An Evening with Eugene Robinson! . Plus, I’ll get his take on President Obama, post mid-term shellacking. Robinson has a great op-ed piece up today, “Wanted: Mojo All Around”
And, as we do every Tuesday morning, I’ll be joined by The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff to talk about the big news of the week. Among the stories we’ll discuss:
And, of course, Keith Olbermann’s suspension and then reinstatement by MSNBC chief Phil Griffin. Laffy got right on it and produced a Blunt video so we could all voice our outrage:
(I may have to ask Eugene Robinson about that too.)
Now, as promised, the Bush/Matt Lauer interview…
Sorry to remind you!
Listen live 10-noon ET, or come back later for the podcast.
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…