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Dec 012010
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I’m fighting mad today.  We have a president who ran on a platform of hope and change…and what we’re left with now is hoping we can dig enough change from under the seat cushions to feed our kids and pay the rent, while the wealthiest 2% of Americans are rubbing their grubby paws together thinking about socking away the additional money they’ll have thanks to the Republicans and the lemmings who voted for them.

We needed FDR-style new new deal, but got -as my grandmother would have said – bupkis.  (It is, after all, Chanukah!)

The latest outrage was in watching President Obama hand over a valuable bargaining tool in the form of a two-year pay freeze on all civilian federal employees – something the GOP has been salivating over – one day before sitting down at the table with Republican party leaders, ostensibly to begin negotiating on the fate of the tax cuts that are set to expire in 31 days.

Although I think depriving middle-class workers of their very modest cost of living wage increases for two years is not the answer, if Obama was bound and determined to do it (the latest of his many stupidly ineffective moves designed to placate his political opponents) he should have at least used it as something to offer in return for what he’s told us time and time again he wants: extendng of the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning $200k/couples earning $250k a year or less, and letting them expire for those making more.

But noooo. Instead, he gives up his bargaining chip with not even a pittance in return.  Without even asking for anything in return.

My boyfriend represents professional baseball players for a living. He negotiates their contracts. I certainly don’t have to tell you what he’s saying about this. It’s amateur hour… but worse, because the middle class in America is hurting.

It’s nothing new, though. This is the same “strategy” Obama used before the health care fight, when he took the option of single payer off the table before the table was even set!  And he bargained away the public option and importation of prescription drugs behind our backs, getting nothing in return.

When do we say enough is enough?

Thank God for Bernie Sanders who said it so eloquently on the floor of the Senate yesterday:

The Catfood Deficit Commission report was released yesterday, with recommendations about how to cut the deficit.  Ryan Grim at HuffPost gave us the details on what it contains this morning:

WASHINGTON — The president’s deficit commission report, scheduled for a vote by the full panel on Friday, proposes to slash tax rates for corporations and for high earners. The top tax rate is currently 35 percent and is scheduled to rise to 39.6 percent in 2011. The commission would cut that rate to between 23 and 28 percent, while shaving between seven and nine points off the corporate rate. The commission also proposes medical malpractice reform, a long-term goal of the GOP.

The commission also addresses Social Security, though the program does not contribute to the deficit. The commissioners would raise the full retirement age to 69 gradually and the early retirement age to 64.

Social Security would be tilted toward a welfare program rather than a social insurance system if the commission’s recommendation to provide poorer seniors with a “special minimum benefit” is enacted into the law.

You can read the whole report for yourself here, if you can stomach it.  Also, FireDogLake has amazing coverage of the hearings and what’s in the report too.

This commission report is truly sickening.  We might as well have elected John McCain president!

And now, President Obama has appointed another of these commissions to negotiate what to do with the tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the month.  I’d say God help us if only I believed there was a God.

We also got the long-awaited Pentagon report on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell yesterday. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and the Secretary of Defense Robert Gate both have recommended Congress repeal the discriminatory and arcane law but, of course, the Republicans in the Senate are still fighting it.

This morning, I was joined by Heather Cronk, managing director of Get Equal, to get her take on the situation and find out her thoughts on what happens next.

In the second hour, I spoke with Tim Carpenter, co-founder and director of Progressive Democrats of America, who’s been in DC for the past few day, joining forces with other progressive activist groups including Democracy for America and MoveOn.org , lobbying members of Congress on the very important issues we’ve been talking about.

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Sep 292010
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Florida is under a Tropical Storm warning. I expected to awaken to Tropical Storm Nicole this morning, but it’s still just Tropical Depression #16.  Why am I not surprised that Nicole is playing hard to get?

Anyway, Florida Power & Light permitting, I’ve got a great show for you today.

With election day now less than five weeks away, we’ll focus in on different aspects of this election season.

Last night, California witnessed the first debate between their gubernatorial candidates.  The once (and future?) Governor Jerry Brown, who was more impressive than I expected, and the Witless eMeg Whitman, who wasn’t.  David Dayen, who does a great job at the news desk of FireDogLake, will join me with his impressions of the debate – both as one who covers the news and as a California voter.

Next, we’ll turn to Howie Klein, the man behind Down With Tyranny, and one of the forces behind the Blue America PAC (who do a great job of identifying real progressive challengers to Blue Dogs and Republicans, and helps them raise funds).  Howie knows more than anyone else I know about the Congressional races and their players.  Beginning today, Howie will join us each Wednesday morning through November 3 to tell us what we need to know in this very important election year.

As we do every day, we’ll start hour two with a news report, courtesy of TRNS.

Tim Carpenter, national director of Progressive Democrats of America will join us to talk about PDA’s involvement in Saturday’s One Nation march in Washington DC.  They’re also planning a lobbying day on Friday, along with a reception with some of the progressive leaders in Congress.

Tomorrow on the show, Truthout‘s Jason Leopold and comedian John Fugelsang! Talk to you then, Radio… or Not!

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Sep 232010
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I’m sick and tired of the Right Wing Nut Jobs who continue to call President Obama and the Democratic Party “Socialists”.

When I attended David Cobb’s Move To Amend speaking tour stop in Ft. Lauderdale recently, I met Marc Luzietti.  He ambled up to the microphone to ask a question, and identified himself as being with the Socialist Party of Florida.

Of course, I invited him to join me on the show.  He’ll join me today to tell us what they stand for.  (Hint: It looks a lot like what we progressives and liberals wish the Democrats would be, with a few exceptions!)

The Affordable Care Act passed six months ago… and today, the first batch of reform goes into effect and, along with it, a new website to help us navigate the changes. Unfortunately, the bulk of the help doesn’t go into effect until 2014.  But today, we do get the Patient’s Bill of Rights:

  • Bans discrimination against kids with pre-existing conditions.
  • Allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday.
  • Prohibits insurance companies from cutting off your coverage when you’re sick if you made a mistake on your application.
  • Prohibits insurance companies from putting a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage you may receive, and restricts the use of annual limits until they are banned completely in 2014.
  • And if you join a new plan:
    • You have the right to choose your own doctor in your insurer network.
    • Your insurer is banned from charging more for emergency services obtained outside of their network.
    • You will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party.
  • You will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered, and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.
  • When this very watered-down version of Health Care Reform passed, we were told that it was just the beginning.  I know, you’re wondering who’s fighting to make it better.  Today, I’ll be joined on the show by Donna Smith.  We first met her in Michael Moore’s Sicko.  She’s now a Community Organizer and Legislative Advocate for National Nurses United/Cal Nurses, and is co-chair of PDA’s Healthcare Not Warfare campaign.

    And, since it’s Thursday, we’ll have fun with Fugelsang… comedian John Fuglesang joins me in the second hour every Thursday to talk about the news, music, politics, and whatever else comes up.

    I’ll be back with a new live show on Monday.  Talk to you then- Radio…or Not!

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    Aug 242010
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    Behold the egg… or not.

    If you’re like me, you thought the egg couldn’t be bad.  Of course the yolk is full of fat, but the egg whites? The perfect protein!  Or not.

    It seems that the rise of the factory farm, which has grossed us out on every meat imaginable, has now also destroyed the previously incredible, edible egg.

    We’ll delve into the disgusting places our food comes from with Jill Richardson, the woman behind La Vida Locavore and author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

    Today is also primary day in a couple of hot states (Florida & Arizona) and a couple of cold ones (Alaska & Vermont)… We’ll check in with Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America and find out what they’re up to.

    After a news report from Talk Radio News, we’ll hang with Gotta Laff from The Political Carnival and talk about all the crazy shit in the news.  And we’ll delve into her latest Blunt webisode.  You can see it for yourself here too…

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    Jul 272010
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    ***Update*** During the show, the House voted on the war supplemental bill, so I called David Swanson (warisacrime.org, davidswanson.org) to join in for a few minutes too…

    It’s a busy show tonight.  We’ve got a lot to fit in to our two hours…

    Alan Grayson, Nicole Sandler and her broken footSomewhere along the way. I’ll share my interview with Congressman Alan Grayson from Netroots Nation!

    We’ll also speak with PDA board member Norman Solomon about their conference this weekend (which was at the same time as the afore-mentioned Netroots Nation);

    With Shaunna Thomas, the director of the newly-formed P Street Project, from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee;

    Geoff Holtzman from the Talk Radio News Service;

    Lawrence Bender, producer of “Countdown to Zero,” a brilliant new documentary about nuclear proliferation and the need to put an end to it; and

    Tarryl Clark, congressional candidate, running against Michele Bachmann in Minnesota.

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