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Apr 052012
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Tonight, I’m going to a Mad Men party. Yes, it’s just an excuse to get together with friends, listen to 60s music and drink… but it works for me.

Last week on Mad Men, Roger Stirling asked, “When do things get back to normal?”  Unfortunately, this is the new normal..

Today on the show, I had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Sandi Behrns who has re-launched her blog, The Cassandra Files (not that it ever really went away, but she’s posting regularly again).  And John Fugelsang was back home and able to spend most of the second hour with us.

Blurring the lines between funny and sad….

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Mar 222012
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That picture is just one of many screens you’ll see at EtchASketchMittRomney.com. It all started yesterday morning when our pal John Fugelsang asked Mitt Romney’s communications director a question on Soledad O’Brien’s morning show on CNN:

My buddy John Fugelsang, who happens to be a brand new dad (see below) took time out between a return appearance on CNN- he’s there all next week too, and filming a role in a movie, to chat with us about all that’s happened recently, including the arrival of  Henry Jack Fugelsang…

The show started with an update from Truthout‘s Jason Leopold about the treasure trove of documents that landed in his inbox yesterday, courtesty of the DHS response to his FOIA requests for Occupy Wall Street-related material.  Although there’s more coming next month, and contrary to what he had read at the time we spoke yesterday, this batch did confirm that DHS had been keeping tabs on the OWS encampments and activities all along!  Read the files for yourself right here, and stay tuned….

We also checked in with the Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher, who has the cover story this week with a sickening “The Non Profit 1%”.  Definitely worth a read, then a trip to the porcelain throne to puke.  Steven also wrote and told us about last night’s Million Hoodies March in support of justice for Trayvon Martin.

And finally, we closed out the show with a fun conversation with comedian Paul Provenza – the guy behind the filthiest, funniest movie ever, The Aristocrats, and one of the best comedy TV shows ever- The Green Room.  He’s in DC to take part in this weekend’s Reason Rally, billed as the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history!  Enough to make right wingers heads explode!

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Mar 082012
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March 22 will mark 40 years since Congress ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. Unfortunately, we fell three states short of the number required to amend the Constitution to insure that no one in this country would or could be discriminated against due to their sex.  And here we are in 2012 with a war being waged by the Republican party against women.

Since today is International Women’s Day, I invited Roberta Francis – Chair of the ERA task force of the National Council of Women’s Organizations – on the show to bring us op to day.  Although you likely haven’t heard anything about a concerted effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the corporate media, it is underway.  Listen to today’s show, and visit equalrightsamendment.org to find out more and get involved!

Some time this month, I’ll have my friend Amy Simon back on the show.  Amy is a “cultural herstorian” and is the writer/performer of the one-woman show “She’s History: The Most Dangerous Women in America Then and Now”.  In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s a taste of what her show is all about:

Today’s show was a busy one. I also spoke with Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor, political activist, and author of the bestselling Republic, Lost, is now out with a new e-book, One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic. We had what I think was a fascinating discussion about what’s wrong with our country and what needs to happen in order to fix it… a good start is with his new book, which happens to be interactive!  Find out more at oneway.lessig.org.

We wrapped up the week with some laughs with John Fugelsang, who told us about his upcoming web-series Caffeinated, and disagreed with me about what it means to be a progressive!

 

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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 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 052012
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Kudos to President Obama for doing the right thing yesterday and using recess appointments to put Richard Cordray at the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and get three others on the National Labor Relations Board.  Neither of these agencies would be able to function without those appointments, so what he did was truly in the best interests of the nation.

Today, I also professed my respect and admiration for the Supreme Court of Montana who upheld the state’s law banning corporate campaign contributions - in direct opposition to the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United.  And big congratulations and thanks also going out to the NY City Council, who followed the lead of Los Angeles, Oakland, Albany and Boulder in passing a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

Today on the show, I was joined by Russ Baker of WhoWhatWhy.com and comedian John Fugelsang (who heads to Portland this weekend with the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour)!

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Dec 292011
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OK, so much of the country has checked out this week, but we’re still here carrying on!

Today is a double header… I popped in to finish off the year of the Nicole Sandler Show here on Radio or Not this morning.  Cliff Schecter and John Fugelsang helped us close the book on 2011.  That one is up on the podcast so you can listen in case you missed it.

I’m now sitting in Randi Rhodes‘ studio, getting ready to fill in for her again today.  It’s going to be another fun afternoon with another visit from Cliff Schecter talking end of the year stuff, Brad Friedman of Brad Blog talking election/voting insanity, and singer/songwriter/poet/artist/activist Michelle Shocked who’ll be participating in Tuesday’s Occupy the Rose Parade.

I hope you’ll listen and join in by calling 866-87-RANDI….

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Dec 272011
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I’m guest hosting the Randi Rhodes Show all this week! In addition to talking with some great guests, we’re re-living some of the more notable moments of 2011 during our annual year in review.

The talented folks at JibJab put it all to music too…

Today on Randi’s show, we’ll listen back to the news from May and June. And we’ll talk with Lisa Graves of the Center for Media & Democracy about their big project of 2011- ALECexposed, and the effect ALEC had on voter suppression laws.

In hour two, I’ll be joined by one of the most influential voices in the progressive blogosphere. Digby will weigh in with her thoughts on the most important stories of the year, predictions for 2012 and, as one of the powers behind the Blue America PAC, will fill us in on some of the more important congressional races for next year.

As we continue our year in review, we’ll be joined by John Fugelsang for a funnier look at the year that’s coming to a close.

Listen live at RandiRhodes.com or any of her affilliate stations, and feel free to call in at 866-87-RANDI.

While I’m in for Randi this week, Shane-O is guest hosting my show.  Big thanks to him for that, and to you for being with us!

 

 

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Dec 232011
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Well, for me on The Nicole Sandler Show anyway…

I’m guest hosting the Randi Rhodes Show Fri 12/23 and Mon-Fri 12/26-30.  Shane-O will hold down the fort here on my show next week…

In the meantime, on this show I finished up our annual year in review, and chatted about the year gone by with John Fugelsang.

See you later!

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Dec 152011
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I’ve spent the last two days digging deep into this story.  Yesterday on the Randi Rhodes Show, I interviewed Congressman Raul Grijalva and Congressman Keith Ellison, both of whom expressed concern over the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that allow for indefinite detention of anyone suspected of being a terrorist .. or even a terrorist sympathizer.  That applies to both citizens and non-citizens.

I also spoke with Politico’s Josh Gerstein who had posted “On National Defense Authorization Act, Obama Pulls Veto Threat” while the show was in progress.

On the House floor Wednesday afternoon, lawmakers disputed the impact of the bill. Some Democrats said the bill authorized a kind of permanent war and could lead to U.S. citizens being detained without trial. Republicans and a group of Democrats from the House Armed Services Committee said those fears were unjustified.

“This legislation erodes our society and our national security by militarizing our justice system and empowering the president to detain anyone in the United States, including American citizens without charge or trial,  without due process,” Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said. ”If this is going to continue to be the direction of our country, we don’t need a Democratic Party, a Republican party, an Occupy Wall Street party or a Tea Party. We need a Mayflower party….this legislation goes too far.”

This morning, I was joined by both Marcy Wheeler and Jason Leopold to discuss the issue further.  Marcy has been doing an amazing job covering the controversy surrounding this bill at Emptywheel.net.    Just this morning, she wrote

There are two explanations for why Obama backed off his veto threat on this point, then. First, we know the Administration did make a request regarding the language in the AUMF clause, though before it issued its veto threat.

As I reported last month, the big change between the original language and the Senate bill in this clause was the removal of the language exempting US citizens from indefinite detention. And that was a change made at the request of the Administration.

The initial bill reported by the committee included language expressly precluding “the detention of citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.”  The Administration asked that this language be removed from the bill. [my emphasis]

If you want more on that, scroll down to the video in yesterdays post of Senator Carl Levin explaining just that!

Of course, I spent an hour or so after today’s show defending myself from supposedly progressive trolls on twitter excoriating me for my concern that our civil liberties are at stake here.

As I discussed with Jason Leopold this morning, even if US citizens were not included in the act – the idea that anyone should be imprisoned by the US indefinitely without any chance of a trial or eventual release is an atrocity and something this nation is supposed to be above.

But the twitter bots attacked!  People who call themselves progressives actually went on the attack against me for daring to point out that this is mighty dangerous territory! I’m waiting on the threatened malicious blog post (OMG!) and the “chirpstory” (whatever the fuck that is).

What a shame these people don’t have anything better to do than attack others who are looking out for them!

In the second hour of today’s show, I was joined by my friend Jeremy Koulish of Main Street Insider to talk about this week’s 90 Second Summary. This week, it deals with Congressman Ted Deutch‘s OCCUPIED amendment…

And we wrapped up the day (and my one-day back on the show this week) with John Fugelsang to lighten things up a bit. We talked about the Sexy Liberal Tour that I had the pleasure of seeing last weekend!

BTW, if you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for your favorite liberals, the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, Vol. 1 is now available via iTunes!

I’ll be back Monday – all week long!  Sorry for my extended absence.  I’ll try not to let it happen again!

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