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Oct 242011

The Sandler Family 1963 (Nicole in the lower left hand corner at age 4)

I finished the show this morning with a brief mention that my mom died 32 years ago today.  She had leukemia, but that’s not what killed her.

The chemo destroyed so much of her insides that the doctor wanted to give her a colostomy bag.  My mom didn’t confide in me about her medical issues (her flawed reasoning was that she didn’t want us to worry), so all these years later, I still struggle with the facts.  But she did tell me that she refused the surgery. She wouldn’t get the bag because she didn’t want to be a freak.  At least, that’s how I remember it.

I remember also thinking “something’s got to give”… she can’t go on like this.  And she didn’t.

No, the leukemia didn’t kill her.  I think it was a brain hemorrhage.

I was away at college when my mom called to tell me she was going into the hospital.  ”Nothing to worry about. They’re just going to run some tests,” she told me on the phone.  The next day, I called the hospital, only to have my dad tell me that my mom couldn’t come to the phone because she was sleeping… but I knew I heard her voice.

The next day, my dad called and told me to come home.  When I got to the hospital, my mom was already in a coma.  My dad explained that he didn’t put her on the phone the day before because she was very frustrated — she couldn’t find the right words to say what she wanted to say.

The doctor told us she was brain dead, but they’d have to wait 24 hours to officially declare her dead.  Just like that.

I knew something had to give… but never thought it would be her life.

That’s how I feel today.  Something’s got to give.  I’m not talking about the life of any one person, but of our country.   At least we have people fighting back.

To be continued…

On today’s show, I spoke with two friends who have been taking part in the occupations in Chicago and Boston.

It was kind of noisy where Aaron Krager was sitting to talk to us about Occupy Chicago, but we got the gist of the fact that 130 people were arrested Saturday night, the nurses are heroes, Rahm Emanuel is as big of a dick as Mayor as he was as White House Chief of Staff, and the protesters are standing all night as opposed to lying down to sleep and getting arrested.

Aaron also told us about the petitions petitioning the Michelle Rhee bogus petitions at and  Click those links and sign those petitions please.

Former Chicagoan Matthew Filipowicz now lives in Boston, and has been hanging with the occupiers there…  he joined in to fill us in on Mayor Menino’s many positions (and I didn’t mispronounce Filipowicz once!) …

I get to spend the second hour of Monday’s shows with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars in a segment we call “Fools on the Hill”…. she watches those Sunday talking head shows so we don’t have to.  Here’s what she brought us today:

So here’s what I don’t understand about support for Republicans: how can you trust someone who tells you that government is the problem to actually be proficient in their role to run the government? Aren’t they pretty much guaranteeing you that they will be awful?

There was a whole lot of Republicans showing just how horrible they are. Andrew Sullivan quite astutely remarked that had with all his foreign policy successes, had Obama been a Republican, they would be clamoring to add his face to Mt. Rushmore. As it stands, however disappointingly centrist we perceive Obama, Republicans are falling all over themselves to spin his foreign policy successes into failures.

Michele Bachmann, whom I presume is only staying in the Republican presidential primary for a few more weeks until all donations dry up, not only doubled down on her recent GOP debate assertion that those ungrateful Iraqis should be reimbursing us for the cost of invading and occupying their country on false pretenses, but that if she was president, Gaddafi would probably still be in power.


Meanwhile, the news that American service members might actually be home for Christmas as the final drawdown of troops in Iraq should be completed by the end of this year has brought out the war cheerleaders in a big way. This drawdown, which incidentally, was negotiated by the Bush administration with the fledging Iraqi government before he left office, indicates to Lindsey Graham that Obama failed. Wannabe GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum says bluntly that Obama ‘lost the war in Iraq.’ Lord protect us from these Republicans with no concept of foreign policy from ever occupying the Oval Office.

Not that they have any good ideas on the domestic front either. Mitch McConnell took a rather cavalier attitude towards our public service workers, telling Candy Crowley that it wasn’t his problem that police and firefighters were facing layoffs.

But the ultimate cluelessness award this week has to go to Ron Paul. He unveiled his economic plan last week, which involves cutting one trillion dollars almost immediately from the budget, mostly by eliminating the Commerce, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development and Interior Department. This would cut 200,000 jobs that Paul calls “non-productive”. But never fear, he’s sure “nobody will be hurt” by these draconian cuts. He also thinks ending all federal student aid will actually be better for the country as well.

And if there’s time, Howard Kurtz decided to ask conservative pundits to weigh in on the media and OWS. Naturally, they celebrated the firing of NPR’s Lisa Simeone and condemned Dylan Ratigan’s campaign to reform campaign financing.




Oct 112011

It all began in NYC’s Zucotti Square, aka Liberty Square, where a group of young people decided to Occupy Wall Street.

On 13 Jul 2011, the group Adbusters released this call: Occupy Wall Street!

In Solidarity, and as a response to this call, a planning group was formed [], and an info sharing site established. The participation of every person, and every organization, that has an interest in returning the US back into the hands of it’s individual citizens is required.

Our nation, our species and our world are in crisis. The US has an important role to play in the solution, but we can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies if our nation.

We, the people of the United States of America, considering the crisis at hand, now reassert our sovereign control of our land.

Solidarity Forever!

The first day of action was September 17 and the rest, as they say, is history!

As the occupations spread to other cities around the country, on Sept. 23, a new site was born: Occupy Together!

Welcome to OCCUPY TOGETHER, an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the world. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across the world.

For more information about us, the movement, and answers to questions, please check out our FAQ.

As of this writing, Occupy Together has occupations listed in 1,377 cities, and growing.  This is a real movement, formed by real people… and it’s all about change from the bottom up.

One rule for these occupations is to engage in peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience.  From the Occupy Wall St. website…

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to infiltrate our peaceful movement to engage in violence. Such was the case Friday in Washington DC, where an asst. editor for the American Spectator rag agitated the guards at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum to the point where they began spraying the peaceful protesters with pepper spray.

Noted criminal and bullshit video slanderer James O’Keefe tried to stir things up at OccupyWallStreet yesterday.  Our friend Jesse LaGreca wrote about the scene at Daily Kos (a post I recommend you read!) “James O’Keefe is an Absolute Coward! You got game, Skippy? Find me at #OccupyWallStreet” .

And last night in Boston, after Mayor Merino said that  Occupy Boston‘s welcome had worn out, the police went berserk, and brutally assaulted dozens of protesters, along with members of Veterans for Peace.

My friend Matt Filipowicz, a recent resident of Boston, was there.  He tweeted about it while it was happening, and joined me on the show this morning to give us his first hand account.

I also spoke with Leah Bolger, VP of Veterans for Peace, who remains at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC.  She told us what she know of the Boston incident, and gave us the latest from the Stop the Machine occupation which plans on continuing indefinitely.

I played audio of Chris Hedges’ speech in DC from Thursday night, and finished up the show with our weekly visit with GottaLaff of The Political Carnival.  We played her latest Blunt webisode – on Occupy Wall Street


And we talked about some of these stories too…

This is a revolution, not a reform. This is not a political movement, it’s a social movement.

How much right wing money is being spent to discredit Occupy Wall Street?

VIDEO- Fox’s Chris Wallace: Occupy Wall Street is getting more media coverage than it deserves

VIDEO: Eric Cantor, who must have selective memory, calls Occupy Wall Street protesters a “mob”.

Quickie: Ohio Barber Shot In Butt After Customer Drops Gun

Parolee James O’Keefe at Occupy Wall Street

VIDEO- Value Voters speaker: Major League Baseball prevented another 9/11

John Boehner threatens to withhold funds from Justice to force DOMA enforcement

Tomorrow morning, my guests include Marcy Wheeler of and John Amato of Crooks & Liars.  And, of course, we’ll have the latest on the Occupation of our Nation!


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