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Jan 312012
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Today, Republicans are voting here in Florida. I couldn’t vote as I’m most certainly not a Republican!
But I did talk with two occupy protesters today – one in DC and one in Oakland – both of whom seemed to understand the need to occupy the ballot box.

First up, I spoke with Eric Loetke, a PTA dad and Occupy DC protester.  Although the DC Parks Police issued a deadline of noon yesterday for both encampments at McPherson Sqaure and Freedom Plaza to be cleared, the police have yet to take any action.  Eric joined with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee to ask people to sign a petition urging  the National Park Service that First Amendment rights trump camping rules.

Then I spoke with Kevin Seal of Occupy Oakland, who gave his account of the events that happened there on Saturday night.

During the show, my buddy Brad Friedman of BradBlog tweeted about a story he had just broken.  I got him on the phone before he went back to bed to talk about the fact that Virginia is now officially investigating the Gingrich campaign for election fraud!

In the second hour of the show, as she does every Tuesday, I was joined by The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff to talk about these stories and more:

VIDEO- BLUNT: Newt Gingrich, in a word (about 3 mins)

Why Newt Gingrich will lose the primary

VIDEO: RNC chair Reince Priebus compares President Obama to cruise ship captain accused of manslaughter

Video- Allen West To Liberals: Get the Hell Out Of The U.S.

A Gingrich presidency “would touch off crises — one constitutional, the other diplomatic”… on Day One.

Three-fer:

NBC News Asks Romney Campaign to Remove Ad

Note to Gingrich from The Heavy: Cease and desist. How you like them now, Newt?

And from June: Oops! Tom Petty sends Michele Bachmann a cease-and-desist letter.

VIDEO- Real Time with Bill Maher: “Who the f*** is Saul Alinsky?”

North Carolina lawmaker: “Abortionists” should be hanged

The Romneys converted Mitt’s dead atheist father-in-law to Mormonism

Former Ron Paul secretary/supporter: Newsletters were “under his name…always got to see final product… He would proof it.”

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Jan 302012
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The hate-spewing war criminal from South Florida was at it again this weekend, claiming exclusive rights to this country for his right-wing intolerant, selfish, racist, violent bretheren.

I hadn’t yet seen it when some mentally challenged friend of a right-wing email buddy of David’s hit “reply all” and sent the email to him, complete with this brilliant subject line:

Allen West, Congrassman from Fla blasts the commi’s

If that doesn’t tell you enough about West’s constituency, here’s how the body of the message read:

Rep. Allen West – “Obama, Reid, Pelosi, get the hell out of the USA” – 28 January 2012. You guys have to watch this video. 2 minutes. I getting goose bumps. And this on the eve of Obama being denied running in Georgia due to citizenship status. Holy moly.

He’s getting goose bumps. I’m getting nauseous.

Allen West says Bring it on?  OK, we will.  First of all, West isn’t going to win re-election in Florida’s 22nd district.  Not because he has such great competition (he doesn’t).  But with the 2010 Census came two more congressional districts for Florida, and the district he’s in right now will most likely become an even more democratic one (that’s democratic Allen, with an IC on the end).

Second, West is attracting lots of attention from people like me who want him out of office because of the things he says and does…  Cue Credo’s SuperPAC who today launched Take Down the Tea Party Ten! This morning, I spoke with Matthew Arnold, campaign manager of the Credo SuperPAC, who explained what it’s all about.

There are still four slots open, so if you think your Tea Party nut can hang with West and the other five, get on over there now!

West and his fellow thugs on the GOP side of the aisle have been railing against the Occupy movement.  Darrell Issa held hearings last week to pressure the DC Parks Police into enforcing no camping rules.  Today at noon was the deadline to remove all camping equipment from both Occupy encampments at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza.  I called Kevin Zeese on the show this morning, one of the organizers of the Freedom Plaza camp, to get his take on what was happening today.

This weekend brought more violent clashes between police and protesters in NY and Oakland.  Joshua Holland wrote about the Oakland march that brought out riot police and 400 arrests for AlterNet. And videographer Tim Poole explained what went on last night in NYC as OWS held a solidarity march for Occupy Oakland:

Video streaming by Ustream

Another disheartening development of the police actions against the Occupy protesters is that they’re arresting journalists!  The group Reporters Without Borders keeps tabs on the freedom of the press in nations around the world.  The 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index was  just released, and the US fell 27 places – from number 20 to 47.

The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

And as we do every Monday morning in the second hour of the show, I was joined by Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars for a review of the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we call Fools on the Hill.

If it’s Sunday, it’s time for Republicans on the Sunday news shows. And they are determined to show us that they are playing in an entirely different reality, a entirely different set of rules and an entirely different idea of how government works.

For example, Newt Gingrich thinks the reason that he did so badly in the Florida debates didn’t have to do with his own grandiose ideas of his debating abilities flying in the face of reality but because how could he expect to deal with such massive lies from Mitt Romney?

The Newster isn’t done complaining yet. The man who has Sheldon Adelson financing his own attack ads complains that Mitt Romney has a “policy of carpet bombing’ opponents. Poor widdle Newtie doesn’t like the rough and tumble of presidential politics? He should try having to convince a third of this congenitally stupid country that he wasn’t born in Kenya.

But I tire of Newt and his complaining (there are more clips on the site), so let’s move to another complainer: Ron Paul. Ron Paul says that the TSA searches violate our Fourth Amendment rights. He may have a point, but I think I’d find it more compelling if his answer wasn’t to allow airport security be privatized. Because a private company patting you down is less of a violation?

Ayn Rand’s pin up boy, Paul Ryan, is bothered by the attacks of capitalism by the GOP candidates. It has to be Barack Obama’s fault. No, really. And it’s up to the GOP to defend the morality of the free enterprise system.

And RNC Chair Reince Preibus adds his own bit of Barack Obama is to blame for everything to the national dialogue by likening the President of the United States to Captain Schettino, the cruise line captain who ran the ship aground and abandoned it, leaving passengers to die. Can you imagine the pearl clutching if some Democrat has spoken of Bush like that?

And because I want to end with a good guffaw, the irrelevant Michele Bachman told Bob Schieffer that the tea party ‘has only been a force for good.’ Riiiiigggghhhhttt.

And I brought this clip from the wonderful Up with Chris Hayes!  NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was on, talking about the new bank fraud task force he’ll be co-chairing

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Jan 262012
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I know that Dylan Ratigan can be a bit polarizing. But today was the second time I’ve interviewed him, and I find him refreshingly honest and one of the few people who’s not afraid to speak the truth.

He joined me this morning to talk about his new book, Greedy Bastards, the need for real campaign finance reform and getting money out of politics entirely, and his Get Money Out organization merging with United Republic to effect real change.

In case you need a reminder of the fire in Ratigan, remember back to August of last year:

As if that conversation wasn’t enough the last me until Monday, we wrapped up the week with a visit from John Fugelsang.

In addition to Jan Brewer’s wagging her finger at President Obama, we talked a lot of music, including the forthcoming Bruce Springsteen tour. Have you heard the first release from his soon-to-be-released album Wrecking Ball yet?

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Jan 232012
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Rick Santorum -the man with the Google problem so big that when you google his name you get this definition

Santorum 1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum.

either has an incredibly stupid staff or a staff that’s laughing like hyenas behind his back.

Conservatives Unite Moneybomb?  CUM! Wow!

Excuse the brief and tardy post, but I’m experiencing terrible computer problems.  While I have a moment where it’s actually working, I though I’d write a quick post and get the podcast up…

On the show today, after laughing at Santorum’s expense…

I spoke with Susan Saladoff, the producer/director of the film Hot Coffee. Your homework is to see this movie – lots of info about it on its official website- hotcoffeethemovie.com

And as we do every Monday morning, I commiserated with Crooks and LiarsNicole Belle about all the madness, including the Sunday shows, in our Fools on the Hill segment.  Here’s what she brought us this week:

What I think the South Carolina primary showed beyond a reasonable doubt is that the media will do whatever it has to do to create and foster a horse race for their own benefit, their ratings and ad sales.  And Saturday, John Heilemann doing the post-primary analysis admitted as such directly.

In order to keep the horse race going, the media goes after whoever is in the lead, giving the others a chance to catch up or overtake them.  After a bewildering amount of discussion of Mitt Romney’s tax returns—leading Mitt to tell Chris Wallace that he’ll release his 2010 returns and his 2011 estimates and that it was a mistake to withhold them earlier—not to mention tax havens in the Cayman Islands and showing his prickly responses to those who asked him about those tax returns, Romney went from a two digit lead a week before the South Carolina primary to losing by two digits to Newt Gingrich.  As Joe Scarborough said on Meet the Press, the GOP “base is revolting” against Romney.

But now, Newt is in the lead.  So now the media is setting their sights on him, and boy, is he a target rich environment.   Chris Christie takes a shot off his starboard plank and tells David Gregory that Gingrich “has embarrassed the party”.

Meanwhile, James Clyburn—the sole Democrat booked on the Sunday shows this week—also had some things to say about Newt Gingrich’s campaign strategy as well. Clyburn accused Gingrich of practicing the Southern Strategy of using racist code words.

 

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Jan 172012
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The always funny Ralphie May joined me on the show this morning.  I’d been a fan since I first saw him on Last Comic Standing, and learned he was on my side of the political aisle after seeing him down here at the Improv last year (and watched all the right wingers squirm while he told them the truth!).

This morning, he was on a roll, going off on each of the GOP presidential hopefuls.  When I asked him what he thought of President Obama’s performance, he admitted to being a big fan.  He praised the president’s prowess for going after terrorists, though he did admit that our “war on terrorism” is a bit like Global Whack-a-Mole.

I don’t think he was praising that aspect, and I am most certainly not … but I thought the name for our offensive military actions is quite an apt description … unfortunately.

I began the show by recapping last night’s GOP South Carolina debate.  Yes, I watched it so you didn’t have to.

And I played the latest ad from Americans for a Better Tomorrow Tomorrow (The Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC) – something that works better on video than radio. So watch it for yourself:

Wow. I wish I lived in South Caroline – but only to be able to vote for Herman Cain on Saturday!

As we do every Tuesday morning, I spent most of the second hour of the show talking with GottaLaff of The Political Carnival… We touched on some of these stories, and more:

VIDEO- Jon Huntsman’s history of attacks on Romney: “Gov. Romney enjoys firing people,” “detached,” can’t win.

Gasp! Rick Santorum’s hard-core, anti-choice wife dated, lived with an abortion provider

Video- Mitt Romney to dying wheelchair-bound medical marijuana patient: “I don’t support medical marijuana. Bye.”(2007)

Two more reasons to vote for President Obama

Michele Bachmann accuses Santorum staffer of sexism; he questioned whether a woman could be president

Michele Bachmann: Hey Newt, I haven’t endorsed you, so pull the ad!

Mitt Romney to financially struggling woman- Here’s a couple bucks

Banks flood Mitt Romney’s campaign with donations, 3 times more than to Pres. Obama, most skewed to one party in decades

Oops! James O’Keefe’s “voter fraud” sting glitch: Confusing a 23-year-old for a dead 84-year-old.

 

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Jan 122012
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Somewhere around the age of 10, I watched my first soap opera. It was a pre-pre-Twilight vampire story known as Dark Shadows.  If I remember correctly, it was around the same time that, while home sick from school one day, I tuned in to that station a little earlier than usual and saw General Hospital for the first time and, perhaps, even One Life to Live.

I didn’t really understand anything about those shows until a few years later… perhaps junior high, but definitely high school.

General Hospital was the hot show while I was in college. Kids would schedule classes so as to be in a student lounge or near a TV at 3:00.  The height of its popularity came in 1981, the year I graduated, with the wedding of Luke and Laura.

Although I was never that obsessive about it, I would watch when I was around a TV… but I always enjoyed the show that came on before GH a little more.  It was One Life To Live.

My career in radio has given me a very strange schedule.  I worked on many morning shows which required a 4-4:30am awakening. After a  6am show that ended at 10, I was usually home by 2.  I got into a bad habit of taking an afternoon nap, and I always fall asleep with the TV on.  That’s how I got re-introduced to One Life to Live and, to a lesser extent, General Hospital.

The beautiful thing about soaps is that, although people’s faces change and they can even come back from the dead, you can miss a week, a month, or even a year, and pick right back up quite easily.  Often times you’ll find that a key character has found a long-lost sister or brother, that the person they thought was his parent actually wasn’t- but that some other person (usually one they despise) actually is.

These days, as I immerse myself in a world gone mad, and I try to stop thinking that the awful situation enveloping this world can never be turned around, I know I need an escape.  Actually, we all do.  Sometimes I escape into music. Last summer, I read the entire Harry Potter series of books.  Sometimes I go to a movie or stare into the ocean at the beach.  But I always knew that I could escape to a truly crazy, non-existent place called Llanview, PA, where death is never final and love is just around the corner, and money is never an issue. Between the Buchanans, Lords and Cramers, there’s enough money to buy and sell Bain Capital and put all of those crooks out on the street.

That is, I knew I could always escape there… until tomorrow.

Tomorrow, ABC pulls the final plug on One Life to Live, as it did to All My Children just a few months ago. (I never did get in to AMC, although I do remember the Z Morning Zoo in NY- when I worked across the street at WPLJ- did a daily All My Children update…)

Instead of the campy humor and escapism of OLTL, on Monday ABC will run The Revolution in its place.  (Tim Gunn, I’ll never forgive you for this!) I will not be watching. Instead, I’ll pick up a book.

On Today’s Show

To share in my sorrow, and to prove that I’m not the only smart, sassy, progressive woman alive who watches OLTL, I invited my friend Susie Madrak to commiserate with me this morning.  I know that some people did tune out, but I was surprised by the tweets and emails I got from others just like us who will feel the gaping hole in our day on Monday.  Of course we did spend some time talking about Mitt and Newt- the GOP race is almost as entertaining as a fun, campy soap opera.

I didn’t talk about that topic with my other two guests this morning.  Amanda Terkel of Huffington Post joined me (for the first time) to talk about the Republicans eating their own – a soap opera of its own!

And, as he does on most Thursday mornings, John Fugelsang made me laugh. There are lots of places to find John – at his website, on twitter, and on the Sexy Liberal Tour!

And last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to Newt Gingrich on behalf of the Obama campaign for doing their dirty work…

Click here to watch the full 27.5 minute film, King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town, or watch it below.  Of course, this is courtesy of the Winning Our Future PAC (and they have nothing to do with Newt… really… I’m not kidding.. right)

But this one is courtesy of the Gingrich campaign… a new ad called “For the Dogs”.  Once again, thanks Newt!

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Jan 092012
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When I went on the air this morning, the furthest thing from my mind was the possibility of speaking with one of the key actors in the Iran Contra scandal that plagued this country during the Reagan administration. Of course, if you listened to any of the GOP sycophants running around the US these days, Reagan was a saint who never raised taxes or was complicit in international crimes.

Of course, we know all about those Reagan years, and Ronnie’s former National Security Adviser Robert “Bud” McFarlane. What I didn’t know – and honestly didn’t care about until this morning, is that McFarlane is now working as an foreign policy adviser on Newt Gingrich’s campaign.

It still wouldn’t matter to me if I had not been put on the phone with him during my show this morning!

Each morning at 11am ET, I get a news report – or more accurately, engage in a discussion about that day’s news with someone from the Talk Radio News Service.  This week, TRNS is in New Hampshire, covering the primary there, and running a “radio row” in which they provide broadcast facilities and guests for the visiting stations to interview.

This morning, they provided me with McFarlane is a guest.

Usually, the guests are involved with whatever event is being covered and I can usually just wing it with an interview.  This morning, though, I would have preferred a bit of advance notice so I could have adequately prepared.

Mr. McFarlane’, again, played a key role in Iran Contra – and he’s now advising Newt Gingrich on foreign policy? Scary thought.  While I was a bit shocked at the start of our conversation, I let him speak and then questioned him on his asinine statements.

He criticized “Obamacare” – and when I pushed him on that, he protested that his area of expertise was foreign policy. So, I questioned him on our involvement in Afghanistan until he changed the subject and criticized Obama for increasing the nation’s debt.  When I asked him about George W. Bush’s responsibility for his unbridled spending (and waging of wars), he again sidestepped my questions.

When he outright lied by claiming “hundreds of thousands” would be put back to work if only we’d approve the Keystone XL pipeline, I ended the charade of an interview.

Listen for yourself here…  or just listen for it in the middle of the whole show podcast…

In the first hour, I spoke with activist Robert Abston – national coordinator for the Progressive Leadership Action Network and NewStand Media.  He compiled a great collection of essays from some of the best progressive minds in the nation for FIX America: How Each of  Us Can Help All of Us, and has some great ideas about promoting a progressive vision that I hope he can realize!

In hour two, as we do every Monday, I visited with Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars to recap the Sunday talking head shows in a segment we call Fools on the Hill.  Today, I was still a bit shell shocked coming off the McFarlane fiasco so we didn’t actually get to a lot of the audio… but here’s her recap. The links are definitely worth following.  A giant comedy of errors…

Because we just don’t get enough Republican debates, NBC decided to pre-empt their regularly Meet the Press for an ungodly early debate in New Hampshire. As usual, the clear winner of the debate was President Obama, because the Republicans just couldn’t keep showing themselves as the clowns they are.

Ron Paul, for example, rejected moderator David Gregory’s framing of what entitlements Ron Paul wanted to cut to prove how serious he was about dealing with the deficit. But because we’re talking about Ron Paul, the framing he rejected wasn’t the notion that entitlements needed to be cut, but that entitlements should exist at all. As Paul said, “Entitlements are not rights.”

Mitt Romney, to whom his rivals were oddly charitable, took several opposing stances during the debates. When asked by Gregory whose economic outlook he agreed with more, Warren Buffett and his “raise the taxes on the wealthy, they can afford it” or Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes”, Romney refused to answer the question directly. But lest you think he might be leaning towards Buffett, Romney immediately adopted Norquist’s tax policy as his own.

Mitt also suggested that only rich people should run for office in that clip.

Credit Newt Gingrich for having the quote of the day during the debate when he told Romney to cut the “pious baloney.”

On the non-debate front, John McCain proves just what a finger on the pulse of American sentiment he has by insisting to Bob Schieffer that we should be still in Iraq, because it’s “unraveling.”

And finally, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Candy Crowley that she absolutely thinks Obama should run on how little Congress has accomplished in its overarching need to oppose any legislation that would assist him (and therefore, the country).

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Jan 022012
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This morning we began yet another new year of shows in which we examine what’s happening and try to figure it all out.

Today, I was joined by Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and the Blue America PAC.  We talked about his trip to the Yucutan and his visits with the Mayan people who told him that it’s only the calendar that ends in December, not the world!

We also discussed the DCCC, the NDAA  (and my questions to Debbie Wasserman Schultz about it on the Randi Rhodes Show on Friday), and the upcoming elections and the need to elect real progressives to congress.

Daily Kos’ David Waldman (KagroX) also joined in to talk a bit about Mitt Romney and what our side will focus on during the general election.

And as we do every Monday morning, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars joined me to recap the weekend talking head shows in a segment we call Fools on the Hill. Here’s what she brought us today:

I’m sure it’s because we have two primaries/caucuses within the next ten days that caused the Sunday show bookers to only ask on Republicans. Not even the bluest of Blue Dogs got booked on a Sunday show this week. You’d almost think we only had a single party in this country.

Even with just days before the Iowa Caucus, Steve King–who has been trying to position himself as a “kingmaker”--coyly still refused to endorse a Republican candidate. Methinks he doesn’t understand the concept of “kingmaker”.

Ron Paul, I suspect, is scaring the GOP inner circle, because he very well may win the Iowa caucus and they really, really don’t want to deal with anyone as ideologically rigid (and crazy, frankly) as Paul. So the issue of Paul’s racism and homophobia (normally, not a really big issue in conservative circles, let’s be honest) keeps coming up. Jake Tapper asked him again how he can distance himself from a newsletter that he put his name on and profited from with undeniable instances of racism.

Apparently, David Gregory isn’t too comfortable with Rick “Please don’t Google my name” Santorum’s recent rise in the polls either. For a guy who doesn’t think it’s his job to fact check his guests or ask follow up questions, he gave a rather hardball interview to Santorum. In this example, Gregory called him out on the patent lie (one of many told) that Obama refused to meet with Republicans.

And then Gregory showed how idiotic Santorum is on foreign policy by pinning him down that he would order airstrikes on Iran. Because you know, we’ve had so much success attacking Middle Eastern countries with no cause.

And proof that conservatives live in a completely different reality than the rest of us, on a fairly softball 60 Minutes interview, Eric Cantor’s press secretary interrupted the interview to insist that Reagan never raised taxes. Is that right?

And finally, I think Newt Gingrich is telling us what he really wants to do beside run for President (because I’m still convinced that this campaign is nothing more than a craven attempt to sell more Gingrich Media products): he wants to be a paleontologist. Unfortunately, because he’s “studied” dinosaurs, he thinks that makes him more skeptical of global warming. And this is the smart guy in the campaign.

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Dec 302011
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When you need a parody, just go to Funny or Die!

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Dec 212011
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This morning on the show, I had an eye-opening conversation with civil rights attorney James Otto about a lawsuit he filed in California against “healthcare company” Molina Healthcare. (Ed note: I put healthcare company in quotes because I believe this company and others do nothing to care for the help of its clients.)

I urge you to listen to the interview, as it’s pretty in-depth and mind blowing.  But basically, Otto is representing a group of former employees who were fired and replaced by non-citizens allowed to work here under H-1B visas, after being forced to train those workers to do their jobs!

In a piece entitled “Where Have All The Jobs Gone?“,  Jim Otto quotes then Sec. of Labor under George W. Bush from 2001-2008 (and wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) in her strategic report 2006-2011, page 35:

“H-1B nondependent employers are not subject to the conditions [of searching for qualified U.S. workers], and their H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker. (Emphasis added.)”

Regarding the case Otto filed on behalf of the fired Molina employees:

The current case of Beasley v. Molina Healthcare, Inc., filed in Long Beach, California by leading civil rights attorney James Otto proves beyond doubt the Government’s betrayal. In that case, 220 highly trained American workers were replaced by Molina Healthcare, Inc. and Cognizant Technology with foreign workers, simply because the Government and corporations have joined to put Americans out of work. The 21 plaintiffs not only lost their jobs, as a result, they lost their homes, marriages, and their careers. Molina humiliated Americans by maliciously forcing them to train their replacements before they were fired from their jobs.

The complaint alleges the company falsely swore to the Department of Labor that it was not replacing any U.S. worker by bringing in over 500 foreign workers. According to the lawsuit, the Director of Human Resources’ investigation established testimony from 160 IT employees testifying to the rampart segregation of U.S. workers; the Budget Manager has testified that Molina had plenty of work but decided to fire all U.S. workers; and two Directors of the IT Department have stated that Molina did intend to segregate all American workers out of their labor market.

Stay tuned….

Today’s show also included a continuation of my annual year end year in review. Today we covered March through May – including Japan’s tragic earthquake and tsunami in March,  April’s “not intended to be a factual statement” on the Senate floor regarding Planned Parenthood, and my arrest at an Allen West “town hall meeting”.  From May, we listened back to some of the coverage of the killing of Osama bin Laden, including Fox’s pronouncement that President Barack Obama is finally dead.

We’ll attempt to finish up the year tomorrow!

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