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Dec 212010
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As you know by now, I’m filling in for Randi Rhodes for these last two weeks of the year.  Yesterday, we listened back to some of the news from January, as we started on our journey through the past year in the rear view mirror…  Today we’ll venture back through February and March.

Once again, we’ll be joined by Tim Karr of FreePress.net and SaveTheInternet.com, who was at today’s FCC hearing and vote on their new “net neutrality” regulations.  I put that in quotes because, unfortunately, it’s fake net neutrality.  The Washington Post has this wrap-up of today’s meeting here.

Tim will fill us in on what happened today, and also tell us about a little-heralded bill passed by the Senate last week dealing with new bandwidth opening for community based low power FM stations.

Today also brought us the results of the 2010 Census, and what those numbers mean for the make-up of the US House of Representatives.  FloriDUH, where I live, gains two seats… but Ohio loses two.  Aaron Blake of the Washington Post will join us to give us the good, the bad and the ugly!

Of course, no discussion of the year 2010 would be complete without wikileaks.  Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, with whom I agree on this issue.  We’ll discuss the questions he raises in today’s piece, “The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page,” including ‘why are those so anxious to hang Assange for treason not out to prosecute the New York Times as well?” and more!

Talk to you in a bit… radio or not!

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Dec 152010
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It’s what I try to do on my show every day. But in real life, do we truly take action?

I understand, life gets in the way.  Working -sometimes 2 or 3 jobs- to get enough money to feed our kids and pay the rent – or mortgage, if we haven’t yet lost our homes.  Taking care of the kids, the car, the house, the dogs… then we’re supposed to get active too?

Of course, there’s the money issue.  There are always great actions going on in Washington DC that we’d love to attend… if it didn’t cost money that we don’t have to get there.

I get the excuses. I make them myself. But there are so many other ways to get involved. Today, I’ll talk to a few people who walk the talk.  They may just give you a few ideas.

Did you even know that the United Nations just wrapped up the COP16- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico?  Probably not, as climate change doesn’t get much play in the US mainstream media… unless the story is about Rush Limbaugh claiming that there is no climate change cuz it’s cold in Florida. (Huh?)

My first guest this morning is Maggie Zhou, an organizer of Climate SOS, a US national network of environmental, social justice and other grassroots organizations fighting for strong climate legislation, and opposing false solutions and market fundamentalism.  In case you’re thinking that Maggie is just the type of liberal activist that Limbaugh rails on, know that she comes with serious credentials to be in this fight.

Maggie Zhou received her PhD in genetics/molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also worked as a computational biologist, a.k.a. bioinformaticist to study genes, proteins and molecular pathways. More recently her concern about the grave threats from global warming and environmental degradation has turned her into a full time, volunteer climate activist and amateur climate scientist.

We’ll find out what went on in Cancun, and why Maggie was kicked out!

Guest number two is Brett Solomon, former executive director and now board member of GetUp!, an Australian action group.  Solomon is in Washington DC to join in an action tomorrow along with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, former CIA operative Ray McGovern,and  president of Veterans for Peace Mike Ferner, in calling for President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to resist the tide of hateful rhetoric and to ensure that Assange’s civil rights are protected.

GetUp! is leading a campaign that will run full-page ads in the The New York Times and The Washington Times on Thursday. Over 90,000 Australians have signed onto a petition asking for fairness from the US government in its treatment of the WikiLeaks founder.

Guest number three is someone you’ll definitely want to hear!  Darcy Burner is the executive director of Progressive Congress and the Progressive Congress Action Fund. As such, she is responsible for strategy and management of the organizations.  She’s also a board member of Netroots Nation, and will be speaking with us this morning from San Francisco, where she’s attending a board meeting.

Today is the day to get involved… however you can, for what ever cause you find the most important.

A few other items before I call it a day… Sad news that Lt. Dan Choi has been hospitalized for what he calls a “breakdown.”  Dan’s statement and caring commentary here, courtesy of Pam’s House Blend.

Glenn Greenwald writes of “The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s confinement” on Salon.com today. This guy has not even been tried yet. What ever happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and since when did we treat prisoners like this? (You don’t have to answer that second one…)

And finally, the idiot who will become my Congressman on January 5, Allen West, says we should censor the media so wikileaks documents can’t be published!

Now he’s backtracking, saying that he said “censure,” not “censor!”  Listen for yourself.

I’ll be off tomorrow… and Monday I begin guest hosting the Randi Rhodes Show for the last two weeks of the year.  We’ll look back on the year 2010 and forward to 2011 with leaders from different fields, discussing what went on this year, and what we can look forward to – or fight against – in 2011.

Some of the guests already scheduled are Glenn Greenwald on justice, Media Matters newest employee Angelo Carusone (aka @StopBeck) on their campaign to Drop Fox, The Nation’s John Nichols on progressive progress, Congressman and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Raul Grijalva, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (what ever happened to the Employee Free Choice Act?), Savetheinternet.com’s Tim Karr on Net Neutrality…. and lots more.

Plus my year in review with audio clips (I’ve got to find a better name for that! – any suggestions?

I’ll be doing my regular show too… starting Tuesday morning of next week… Talk to you then, Radio or Not!

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Dec 142010
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Richard Holbrooke died yesterday.  Its amazing to me how, upon a persons death, people are afraid to speak truthfully.

Although Holbrooke did some good things (anyone who tries to work through diplomatic channels can’t be all bad!), he was also one of the architects of the Vietnam War, and authored some of the Pentagon Papers, showing he knew full-well that that war was a no-win situation.

Holbrooke is being lionized in the media today, but not by all.  All one has to do is follow Jeremy Scahill’s twitter feed.  He’s been speaking out about the man he’s covered for years, and taking a lot of flack for tweets like

@jeremyscahill Holbrooke backed Indonesian genocide in East Timor, killing of journos in Serbia and supported 2003 Iraq invasion.

And then, after being attacked by others:

@jeremyscahill: Sorry, I forgot. When powerful US officials die, we are not supposed to be honest about their role in killing people.

Glenn Greenwald pointed out what was reported to be Holbrooke’s last words… I hope some in Washington take heed:

Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died yesterday after undergoing surgery for a torn aorta.  Holbrooke’s record as a government official is long, complex and mixed on many levels, but — based on the last line of his long Washington Post obituary — I just want to flag what his “last words” were according to his family members, which he uttered as he was being sedated for surgery:  ”You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”

Ironically, Holbrooke was the author of one of the volumes of the Pentagon Papers — which revealed that government officials knew of the futility of the Vietnam War at the same time they were falsely assuring the public they could win — and Afghanistan seems to be no different.   As official Washington rushes forward to lavish praise on Holbrooke’s wisdom and service, undoubtedly they will studiously avoid acknowledging his final insight.

Today, another man who is considered a saint by some and evil incarnate by others is also in the spotlight.  A bond hearing for Julian Assange is taking place right now.

The parallels being drawn between Assange and Daniel Ellsberg, who released the afore-mentioned Pentagon Papers, cannot be ignored.  And Daniel Ellsberg is among the many, myself included, who believe Assange is a hero.

We’re seeing a defense of Assange and wikileaks like nothing we’ve seen before, and it’s coming from an anonymous group of people who’ve likely never met in person.  Under the loosely organized banner of “Operation Payback,” these net-savvy avengers of freedom of speech have launched a cyber war on the organizations who’ve attempted to stop the flow of information and support.

Today on the show, I’ll speak with one of the cyber activists who shall remain anonymous.

We’ll also hear from Democrats.com President Bob Fertik about their latest attempt to kick start a progressive movement.

In the wake of a federal judge in Virginia ruling yesterday that the individual mandate part of the health care legislation is unconstitutional, I’ll speak with Donna Smith, co-chair of PDA’s Healthcare not Warfare campaign to get her take on it.

And Gotta Laff from The Political Carnival will join me to dish on the news.  We’ll talk about some of these stories:

Urine poured on books about gay issues at Harvard

VIDEO: “Greed, greed, and more f***in’ greed, and cheap money.” GREAT vid.

Yale University librarian’s pick for quote of the year: “I’m not a witch.”

Sarah Palin in Haiti under “security lockdown”, Greta and Fox only media allowed

VIDEO- Lesley Stahl to John Boehner: “You’re so understanding.”

The GOP has a soul?

VIDEO- Christie Todd Whitman: “The biggest mistake Republicans can make is just standing up and saying ‘no’ to everything.”

“Pharmaceutical industry is on the verge of a major victory” on the Hill

Sharron Angle Wants to Lead Tea Party

A few more tidbits…. I read this piece on the show today, “An open letter to food stamp & unemployment recipients.”

The 10 Funniest, Strangest Stories of the Year, courtesy of Alternet.

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Aug 252010
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OK, so I was wrong with a couple of my predictions.  Florida’s loathsome Attorney General, Bill McCollum, will not be running for Governor after all. Perhaps it was his decision to take Florida’s taxpayers money to spearhead a misguided attempt by a group of AGs to sue  the federal government over the health care law.  But whatever the reason, the Republicans of Florida decided that the sleazy billionaire Rick Scott–who didn’t bother to show up at any debates with his opponent, including one just four days ago where he sent his mother in his stead– would make a better candidate! Yikes.

On the Senate side, my predictions came true.  Marco Rubio is the teabagger Republican candidate, Kendrick Meek the Democrat, and Charlie Crist will likely be our next US Senator from Florida.

There were a few more surprises in the hot & cold primaries of yesterday, and we’ll run them down with Cliff Schecter,  president and founder of the PR firm Libertas LLC, author of the 2008 bestseller “The Real McCain,” and contributor to Huffington Post and The Guardian.

And Jeanne Devon (aka AKMuckraker) of The Mudflats will fill us in on what happened in Alaska, where incumbent Lisa Murkowski seems to have gone down to defeat at the hands of teabagger Joe Miller. And what about the Democratic candidate Scott McAdamsHer account of what happened is in Huffington Post today too.

But we’ll start the show with a visit across the pond…to Sweden, the home of wikileaks!  Yes, Julian Assange & co posted another document today.  This time, a  CIA Red Cell Memorandum on United States “exporting terrorism”, 2 Feb 2010.

Although it was classified as “secret,” it was deemed by most to be inconsequential.  But wikileaks is also sitting on many more documents that are likely more ominous.  Perhaps that’s the reason Assange was charged with rape earlier this week?  And then, of course, those charges were dropped.

Tonight, we’ll start the show with a call to Anna Troberg, the Deputy Party Leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, who are housing wikileaks’ new servers.

According to Germany’s DW-World,

At a pub in downtown Stockholm last weekend, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge signed an agreement under which the Swedish political party would now host Wikileaks’ servers under party protection. The two groups announced the partnership online Tuesday.

The Pirate Party of Sweden, according to its website, stands for reform of copyright law, abolishing the patent system and the right to privacy.

In recent weeks, the website Wikileaks has come under fire from governments around the world, most notably the United States, after publishing thousands of leaked government and military documents to its website. But given that the organization’s servers are physically distributed amongst a number of countries, shutting the site down has proven to be nearly impossible.

“[Wikileaks] will place these servers together with the Pirate Party’s servers,” said Anna Troberg, the Swedish Pirate Party’s deputy party leader, “And the Pirate Party’s IT technicians will maintain and take care of these servers and we will make sure that they are always connected to the Internet.”

She added that she expected the party to begin hosting Wikileaks “within a few days.

I’ll also speak with Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert about Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally taking place Saturday near the Lincoln Memorial, on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Heinous.

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