So far, 2011 has been a strange year. And this week might just win the weirdness award.
Let’s recap… Keith Olbermann suddenly departs MSNBC (on the first anniversary of the end of Air America and the Supreme Court ruling overturning 100 years of law in the Citizens United v FEC case); the President adopts GOP themes in his State of the Union address, including tort reform and lowering corporate taxes; cross-aisle dates for the SOTU; and the strangest of strange: Dennis Kucinich sues the House cafeteria over an olive pit in his veggie wrap.
That’s all not to mention the freedom protests and turmoi across the planet: Egypt, Tunisia, even Yemen!
Strange Days, indeed…
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Obama addressed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but didn’t come out and proclaim that he’ll end those wars and bring the troops – and the money – home. Not good enough for me and at least 150 peace activists, authors and academics. We’ve all signed on to a petition circulated by my favorite activist and author of War Is A Lie, David Swanson, which opens with:
“We the undersigned share with nearly two-thirds of our fellow Americans the conviction that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reduced. This has been our position for years and will continue to be, and we take it seriously. We vow not to support President Barack Obama for renomination for another term in office, and to actively seek to impede his war policies unless and until he reverses them.”
David will join me this morning from Snowmageddon land to talk about the statement, signed by
Among the signers are:
Elliott Adams, president, Veterans For Peace
Nellie Hester Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council & Black Agenda Report
Medea Benjamin, cofounder, Code Pink*
Frida Berrigan, War Resisters League*
William Blum, author of books on U.S. foreign policy
Jean Hay Bright, Maine’s 2006 Democratic US Senate candidate
Patty Casazza, 9/11 widow, former 9/11 Commission Family Steering Committee Member
Jeff Cohen, author/media critic
Sibel Edmonds, founder & director, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Roy Eidelson, past president, Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Daniel Ellsberg, former State and Defense Dept. official, whistleblower of Pentagon Papers
Lisa Fithian, convenor, United for Peace and Justice
Chris Hedges, author, Death of the Liberal Class
Steve Hendricks, author, A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial
Dahr Jamail, journalist/author
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence*
Howie Klein, publisher, DownWithTyranny.com
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives
David MacMichael, Ph.D., former CIA analyst
Ethan McCord, IVAW, VFP, former army specialist from “collateral murder” video
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst
Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy*
Bruce Nestor, past president, National Lawyers Guild
Gareth Porter, author and journalist
Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights and professor of law, Loyola University New Orleans*
Jesselyn Radack, former Department of Justice legal adviser
Garett Reppenhagen, chair of the board of directors, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent, one of TIME’s 2002 Persons of the Year
Michael Steven Smith, Law and Disorder Radio; board member, Center for Constitutional Rights*
John Stockwell, former intelligence officer, author
Elizabeth De La Vega, former assistant U.S. attorney, author
Marcy Winograd, former Democratic congressional candidate
Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel and former US diplomat
and others (including me)
*for identification only
The full statement (and full list of initial signers) is available with a petition at http://warisacrime.org/primary
Since it’s Thursday, and my last show of the week, we’ll end with a fun week-end wrap up with comedian John Fugelsang.
**Update** During the show, I invited 99er Paladinette to come on and talk about her rebuttal to the State of the Union address… see it here:
At the top of the show, I checked in with Kenny Pick, who held down the fort while I was out all last week (and will fill in for me again tomorrow when I’m flying to Vegas). Kenny and his posse will also be hosting a Friday night show here at Radio or Not going forward.
Tonight, another new show… It’ll also be a test-run of sorts for the show Thursday night from Netroots Nation in Las Vegas… Talk to you then!
What a difference a day makes! Although I’m not 100% yet, I am feeling much better today. And it’s a good thing, because it was a very busy show tonight…
It had been a while since I last spoke with Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He joined me tonight to talk about the wars and what it’ll take to end them, health care reform and why he voted the way he did, financial reform, and more… If you happen to be in Washington DC on Thursday, join him for a “Teach In on Capital Hill: What Congress Must Do to End US Wars and Help Secure a Peaceful Middle East“ (More about the Teach In tomorrow, with activist David Swanson.)
Environmentalist/Activist/Author Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, has a new book out… Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. We talked about the book, the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing lately and how it’s all connected to climate change.
Ellen Ratner checked in with a news update from the Talk Radio News Service.
But there’s more…. My boyfriend sent me this column about Pat Tillman, written by Bill Dwyre, sports columnist for the LA Times. I was so impressed with what he wrote so I emailed him and asked him to join me to discuss it…
And finally, I checked in with investigative journalist Greg Palast to talk about his latest piece for Truthout.org “Behind the Arizona Immigration Law: The GOP Game to Swipe the November Election” — another way to look at the insanity from the most unwelcoming state in the nation…
And one more thing… Senator Carl Levin is my hero of the week, thanks to this line of questioning from today’s hearing on Goldman Sachs…