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Aug 292011

So far, no locusts.

On behalf of Californians everywhere (I lived in LA for 14 years), I apologize to the east coast for all of those 5.8 earthquake jokes.

And on behalf of hurricane veterans, I apologize for pooh-poohing a category 1/tropical storm.

Seriously. You’re all natural disaster veterans now too…

I’m truly sorry for those who live in Eric Cantor’s district, which was home to the epicenter of the quake and certainly got hit by some of Irene’s ire.  Your congressman doesn’t want any disaster relief aid for you, unless he can take it from your Medicare or Social Security benefits. Or maybe just your kid’s education.

Of  course, Glenn Beck thinks it’s a blessing

and Michele Bachmann thinks it’s just God’s way of getting the politicians’ attention.

And they’re not the only batshit crazy one out there.  I must call your attention to “The 25 Idiots That Blamed Hurricane Irene on Gay Marriage”.   Click on the link for the full dose of idiotic.  Here are a few gems to whet your whistle:

“No offense” ?!?!  Hey you dumb ass… I’m offended you’re on the same planet.  Not only are these truly disturbed, they could also use an education.  What’s up with the spelling?

But life goes on…  The most astounding things keep happening at the behest of some of our GOP members of Congress.  Last Wednesday, Howie Klein appeared on the show.  He told us of a  Ohio state legislator -Connie Pillich - who’s running for Congress against the sorry excuse for a Congressman known as Steve Chabot.

Well, on Friday, I was hit with two stories about Chabot, thanks to GottaLaff and The Political Carnival.

In the first story, Chabot got booed for opposing Planned Parenthood, saying it is “largest abortion provider in the United States”.  But it gets better.  He had the police at a town hall meeting held in a school gymnasium remove constituents cell phones if they dared to video the meeting!

And I thought not being allowed to ask a question was bad. This is NOT America!

On today’s show, I spoke with The Nation‘s Robert Dreyfuss to get the answers to the disparate stories I’ve heard about Libya and Kadaffi’s reign of terror there.

And for our regular Monday mornings “Fools on the Hill” segment, Crooks and Liars’ Nicole Belle brought us these stories:

We’re lucky to have any Sunday shows to discuss, because the Hurricane Irene all but canceled programming on CNN and threatened to do the same on ABC and Fox as well. Likewise, the shows were quick to book Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey and someone determined not to see a repeat of Katrina being placed on his doorstep, and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, both of whom were on three shows.

However, I am less interested in the direct response to Irene as I am the larger question of the role of government for natural disasters and how the Republicans’ desire for “smaller” government works when the reality of a large scale disaster like Irene happens.

For people like Ron Paul, it should be up to the people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps to take care of themselves. He has no need for FEMA or government assistance at all. In fact, while millions of people on the East Coast face no electricity for a week and flooding, Ron Paul says we need more spending cuts. Tone-deafness, thy name is Ron Paul.

Meanwhile George Will thinks that the media coverage of the hurricane is overblown because, you know, he’d already figured out his vacation home in South Carolina might be in jeopardy. Now while it might be tempting to say Will has a point, I do think this extra precaution that we saw was due in no small way to the failures on the local, state AND federal level to Katrina. There’s no telling how many lives were saved by those precautions. So George’s inconvenience of having his airtime cut for weather coverage may have been a necessary price to pay.

However, I did have a stunning worlds-colliding moment where I actually agreed with George Will. Discussing the information leaking out about Dick Cheney’s forthcoming memoir, Will thought it was bad form that not once in the 500+ pages did Cheney apologize for lying us into war. However, I wonder where our apology from Will is, since the left questioned the invasion and occupation of Iraq from the beginning and Will was continually disdainful and insulting of our patriotism, our intelligence and our sense for not supporting the invasion.

Speaking of Cheney’s memoir, the Meet the Press panel discussing it demonstrates all that is wrong with media today. Listen how they talk about Cheney blithely without mentioning the horrifying illegality and deception that marked his tenure.

And finally, David Brooks embodies the Villager fan girl crush on flavor of the month Rick Perry perfectly when he tells David Gregory that Rick Perry is the candidate the Republicans have been waiting for. And this is the same guy who has been whining in his weekly column that the Republican Party has been taken over by the extremist tea party types. But he likes Rick Perry. Cognitive dissonance much?



Aug 242011

For mid-week in August, with the President and Congress on vacation, it’s a pretty damned busy news day.

Yesterday, during the lull between my show here at Radio or Not, and my fill-in stint for Randi Rhodes, an earthquake hit, centered in Virginia and felt in 22 states – quite strongly in Washington DC and New York City!

Having lived in Los Angeles for 14 years, I’m an earthquake veteran. Having lived through the big ’94 Northridge quake, I can talk earthquakes with the best of them!

I’m also a hurricane survivor.  Although I was living in LA at the time, I was visiting my father in August of 1992.  My dad had just gotten home from the hospital after an accident that left him quadriplegic.  At that time, I was visiting for a weekend just about every month.

When I got to Miami, we saw that a hurricane was approaching.  It turned out to be Andrew – a category five, truly devastating storm.  We couldn’t move my dad, so we hunkered down and rode it out.  Luckily, Andrew veered south just before making landfall so we didn’t get hit with the worst of it .  But it was an experience I hope never to repeat.

Lucky for us in South Florida, we’ll be spared by Irene.  But the people whose nerves were frazzled yesterday by a rare east coast earthquake may be further freaked out later this week by an unusual northeastern hurricane too.

Oh yeah, the rebels took Khadaffy’s compound in Tripoli yesterday.  Almost a footnote in the news, after the strange natural disasters…

This morning on the show, I spoke with Rebecca Miranda, a woman who describes herself as “an original 99er.”  She emailed me yesterday:

In April of this year(almost 3 years to theday I was laid-off), I was hired back into the field I love. I am an employment recruiter once more.  One of my life’s many missions now, is to help put our people back to work.

If possible, I would like to speak with you [to help] get the word out that I am seeking currently unemployed workers  (as well as diverse candidates) to interview and possibly place into the
working force once more.   Please help me help those who need it the most.

So I invited her on today’s show to get the word out.  If you’d like to apply for any of the jobs, you can email Miranda here, or just visit the website.  You can also check out the website for the parent recruitment firm, as they recruit for many other companies.

In the second hour, Howie Klein joined in to talk about progressive candidates running for Congress.  Howie, who blogs at DownWithTyranny and runs the Blue America PAC along with Digby and C&L‘s John Amato, is a frequent guest on the program – and always brings information and clarity about the need for true progressives in government.

The Randi Rhodes Show

Today’s the last day of the week that I’ll be pulling double duty.  On the Randi Rhodes Show this afternoon I’ll speak with David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party presidential candidate who’s touring the country speaking on behalf of Move To Amend – a coalition of groups working to change the constitution in the area of campaign financing, and specifically overturning the Citizens United ruling.

Jeff Sharlet - who we know from his explosive books  The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy – has a brand new book out, Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country In Between.  Less about the religious crazies infiltrating our government, and more about interesting people, most of whom have some religious aspect to them that adds to their appeal (or non-appeal).

Jeff was on my show last week, the day the book came out.  He’s always such a fascinating interview, I invited him to join me on Randi’s show today.

And did you know that Friday is Women’s Equality Day?  As we still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment to our constitution, I don’t quite get what the day is about… But Amy Simon will fill us in.  Amy is a mother, actress, playwright, improviser, published writer, producer, and self-proclaimed Cultural Herstorian; She’s the founder, visionary and president of  She’s History! The Most Dangerous Women In America, Then and Now



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