Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Theater of the Absurd

Hear today's episode of Radio or Not by clicking here (runtime 22:48)

In this, the week when the fall tv season is beginning, the biggest reality show of all is more dramatic than we could have ever imagined! And one team is like the train wreck you can't help but watch, but certainly don't want to see win!

In this Amazing Race, we have the old guy, a 72 year old former POW in Vietnam, and his younger, much less experienced and not very worldly female friend who seems to be there as eye candy to take the focus off of his shortcomings.

The other team is the smart guy who, against all odds - half black/half white, raised by a single mom on food stamps who put himself through college and Harvard Law School (and became president of the Harvard Law Review) -- is succeeding! His teammate is a wizend street fighter, who'll do well on this race around the world as he's the single best mind in the US Senate when it comes to foreign policy, but seems to be lost in the blinding coverage of the other team's beauty queen.

I said it last week, and it was echoed this weekend by Michael Grunwald in Time Magazine... it's McCain's Theater of the Absurd. Honestly, if the goings on in this campaign were a movie, you wouldn't believe it... And let's extend that... not only this campaign, but the last 8 years.

Have Americans not learned anything from the Bush presidency? Do we really want to elect another President who's lacking in the gray matter? Randi Rhodes yesterday said, "I want the President to be smarter than me!" Yes! Please!

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I want the guy in charge to at least posess the brain power to figure it out.

Thursday night is the VP debate. In one corner we have Joe Biden, a scrappy guy who sometimes speaks before he thinks. If this were a normal presidential race, that might be ok. But it's not. It's calculated by the Republicans, and you know that Sarah Palin was their choice in response to the choice of Joe Biden. She can disarm him because he might be afraid to go after the jugular of a girl.

If I can offer Biden one bit of advice, pretend she's a guy with as little knowledge, experience, or right to be sharing that stage with him as she has and go for it.

Let's talk for a moment about the events of the past week. W and Hank Paulson go to Congress and say we've got an economic crisis of epic magnitude. Something must be done.
John McCain, who's already admitted that he's lacking on the economic front, says he's going to step in to save the day. He "suspends" his campaign, which is laughable enough on its own... but then does nothing of the sort. Yes, he pissed off David Letterman, but his scheduled appearance on The Late Show seems to be the only thing he canceled!

He said he would not participate in the first debate on Friday night unless there was a plan agreed to by Congress. That's the political equivalent of admitting he can't walk and chew gum at the same time, I suppose.

He not only didn't help the situation, but demanded a meeting at the White House so he could have a Photo Op while pretending to be doing something... a stunt which all who were truly working on coming up with a plan and solution said only was a three-hour waste of time and diversion, not to save the economic future of the country, but perhaps devised to save McCain's campaign.

But wait... it gets even weirder! There was no plan by Friday, yet McCain backtracked and flip-flopped yet again, and decided to say "never mind" and participate in the debate. He actually did better than I expected, but he did show his nasty side as well as his inability to get through 90 minutes without falling back on his campaign slogans and lies.

In the midst of all of this, Sarah Palin, aka Caribou Barbie, has been sitting for interviews with Katie Couric, which have only confirmed that she has no business in this race. The kicker came Saturday night, when Tina Fey donned the glasses and did up the hairdo to transform into the ditz that is Sarah Palin, and just SPOKE THE SAME WORDS THAT PALIN DID when answering Couric's questions. Ah yes, truth is stranger than fiction, and this is truly the most ridiculous of all the reality shows on TV this week.

I, for one, can't wait for Thursday night's must-see-tv. The Debate. Barbie is now apparently sequestered at Johnny Mac's Sedona home (one of 9 he apparently owns), as the campaign, according to Karl Rove, tries to undo the prep they've already taught her?!?! Rove said yesterday that she does so much better when she's just being herself, talking off the cuff, as she did when she accepted the nomination???

Well, today, there will be no action in Congress. It's Rosh Hashonna... A decent pesach to you (I know that's not the correct term, but it's what it always sounded like to me... sorry, I'm a bad Jew)... But it is the Jewish New Year. Please let this year be better than the last eight...

Please post your comments on the new message board (link to your right...). And listen to today's episode of Radio or Not here (runtime 22:48)

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Bailout Bill Failed!

Just moments after I finished uploading today's program, the bailout bill failed in the House of Representatives! The vote was 228-205, with about 60% of Democrats voting for it, 40% against, and 66% of Republicans voting against it!

I'm trying to get on the House website to see the actual roll call vote, but it's down... or overloaded.

And the Dow Jones is down about 550 points right now.

John McCain earlier today "took credit" for making this deal happen, and said that Obama was "watching from the sidelines". He's a walking disaster!

The pundits and experts told us that this bill had to pass in order to avoid a major meltdown of our entire economy. I guess we wait and see what happens next!

Head on over to the message board and let us know what you think!

Bailouts and Debates and Plans, Oh My!

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not here (runtime 46:30)

I'm a little late in getting today's show posted, only because this is a complicated situation. (And I obviously still have the Wizard of Oz on the mind, as I saw Wicked on Broadway last week!)

There is now a tentative bailout plan, as laid out in this 110 page bill. You can read it by clicking on the link.

Here are the key provisions of the bill:

Stages: $700B, over three stages. $250B will be available immediately.

Taxpayer protection: If the assets appreciate, taxpayers will make a profit. If the assets don’t, the president must propose legislation to recoup the money after five years.

Treasury will be allowed to take ownership stakes in certain participating companies.

Golden Parachutes: Companies participating in the bailout plan will not be allowed to deduct the salary they pay to executives above $500,000.
Also, they cannot write new contracts with golden parachutes for their top 5 execs if they are fired or the company goes belly up.

Oversight: Two oversight boards. The Financial Stability Oversight Board makes sure taxpayers are protected and all policies are in the economic interests of the U.S.
A congressional oversight panel will review the state of financial markets, the regulatory system, and the Treasury’s use of its authority under the rescue plan

Insurance: Industry pays risk-based to guarantee companies’ troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, bought before March 14, 2008.

I'm still not convinced. But I've heard enough experts in whose judgement on the economy I trust (more than my own), say we must do something. I'll admit that I'm a bit gunshy about believing anything the government tells us after being lied into this war. It's the boy who cried wolf on a massive scale!

In today's show, I look at the plan, I share with you an email from Michael Moore, calling this a coup staged by the rich. (Read it for yourself here.)

We also listened to a few clips from Friday's night's debate. I thought Obama clearly did better than McCain, and performed better than he did in any of the primary debates, though I wouldn't have minded seeing him land a few more jabs at the old man. A reference to McCain's obvious inability to walk and chew gum at the same time might have been a good one. See the whole thing for yourself by clicking here (I think Real Player is necessary to watch this video.)

We also listened to a bit of Tina Fey's brilliant portrayal of Caribou Barbie from this week's Saturday Night Live, lampooning her interview with Katie Couric. But I played it next to the audio of the actual interview, and Tina was speaking many of Sarah's actual words! Just when you think it can't get any better, we have Part 3 of the Couric-Palin inteview tonight, the VP debate on Thursday, and this:

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not here (runtime 46:30)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The morning (or afternoon) after

So, the debate happened. Grampy McSame pulled a bluff to try to delay the inevitable, but it didn't work. And it actually helped continue his downward spiral!

I thought Obama was spot on last night. I wasn't overly impressed with him in any of the primary season debates, and was honestly a bit concerned leading up to last night. But the McCain distractions only worked in Obama's favor.

I thought Obama's answers were delivered with clarity, brevity and substance... as opposed to McCain's meandering and pandering!

That said, though, McCain did better than I expected he would.

I'll probably chop up the audio for Monday morning's podcast. But in the meantime, what did you think?

We now have a message board!! Look for the link to your right, just below my picture. (Or just click here) Please post away....

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's on

John McCain has decided he will participate in tonight's debate, eventhough there's no deal on the bailout. I guess that would be considered a flip-flop, huh?

Read the story here.

Another One Bites the Dust

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not by clicking here (runtime 25:56)

I had to go with Queen today, as that song played in my mind as I awoke to the news that Washington Mutual had failed. The Feds seized WaMu's assets last night, and sold the remains to JP Morgan, making Washington Mutual the biggest bank in US history to go down. And the hits just keep on coming.

And John McCain continues his political posturing, while some of the greatest minds in Washington are left scratching their heads. Seriously, McCain says one thing and does another.

He claims he's "suspending his campaign" while his ads continue running, his surrogates continue attacking, and he keeps campaigning! He spoke at Clinton's Global Summit yesterday before a three hour photo op at the White House which, according to Chris Dodd (speaking with David Gregory on MSNBC's "Race to the White House," was nothing more than a waste of time and a "rescue" for John McCain!

What's even more shocking is that, despite all of McCain's protestations that this crisis demands all of his time and energy, necessitating the suspension of his campaign and postponing tonight's debate, he didn't even take the time to read Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan which, by the way, was a whopping THREE PAGE document, and had been available since Friday of last week!

I implore Barack Obama to hold firm on tonight's debate, and not give in to McCain's stall tactics. Obviously his threat to be a no-show tonight has nothing whatsoever to do with the economy. More likely, it has more to do with his fear of being questioned about the economy, or the campaign's fear about Sarah Palin participating in a debate next week. Perhaps it's his fear that the Keating Five will finally be brought up as an issue, as he was a central figure in the last banking scandal to hit this country.

Jed Lewison edited together this piece, called "John McCain's Keating Five Problem in 97 Seconds." Enjoy and send to your friends:

Senator Obama must show up in Mississippi tonight and debate an empty podium, if that's what McCain chooses to represent his campaign!

There's lots of good audio in today's show, which you can hear by clicking here. (Runtime 25:56)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Back... Just in time!

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not here (runtime 34:13)

You know the old saying about the best laid plans.... I had fully intended to blog while visiting NY, but just never had the time. I also was completely out of touch with what was going on, so my entries would have been fairly meaningless anyway.

But the trip was a great success on a few levels. Alison and I had a blast... the weather was perfect, we saw both Young Frankenstein and Wicked on Broadway, visited the American Museum of Natural History, and saw lots of old friends. And I had a few business meetings as well. The one thing I can tell you is that I'll be doing some fill-in work on Air America! Just stay tuned for exact dates and times! And if you haven't already signed up for my email list, please do-- just look to your right...

I spent the flight home reading up on all the newspaper accounts of this massive Wall Street bail-out plan, trying to wrap my brain around it. Financial matters have never been my strong suit, so I was really trying to understand what's been proposed. And what I was able to figure out is that there aren't many specifics outlined!

I'm pretty uneasy about this idea, and I guess we'll have to wait and see what the geniuses in Washington come up with.

But the biggest surprise came while we were flying. John McCain announced that he's suspending his campaign, and wants to postpone the debate that's scheduled for tomorrow night! WTF?!?!

I had plenty to say about that on this morning's episode of Radio or Not, which you can listen to here. And check out the videos below -- some of the audio is used on today's show.

My new favorite CNN commentator, Campbell Brown:

Letterman last night:

John McCain and the Republicans on Regulation of Wall Street:

Barack Obama Press Conference yesterday:

Friday, September 19, 2008

What do Florida and Mississippi have in common?

They're the only two states in the US that prohibits gays and lesbians from adopting. It's disgusting, actually, as Florida allows gays to foster children, but not to legally adopt them.

Well, that's on the verge of changing, as a courageous judge a couple of weeks ago ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. I spoke about it briefly here the morning after that ruling came down.

This morning, as I was getting ready to blog -- and say that I wouldn't be able to produce a show today, as I'm flying out to NY very early tomorrow morning and have too much to do -- the phone rang. It was Robert Lamarche of the Alliance for Children, a wonderful adoption agency here in South Florida, who testified at that hearing! So, we spoke for a few moments, and he updated us on what's happening with that archane law... You can contact Robert Lamarche via email or by phone at954-540-2383.

In other news, Barack Obama is in Miami this morning. As I'm writing this, special Radio Or Not correspondent Noah Gray called in from the arena at the University of Miami, where Sen. Obama is expected on stage any moment. In case you don't remember Noah Gray, I met him just over a year ago when, as a 15-year old 10th grader, he organized an anti-war rally, and called in to the show to talk about it. He's also a wonderful budding and award-winning documentarian, and he's video taping the event. As soon as he emails me a link, I'll post his video here... In the meantime, you can see some of Noah's other works, including Virgin Voting, which swept every category in which it was nominated at the recent Miami Childrens Museum Film Festival, at www.cateatcatproductions.com.

So, although I won't be podcasting for the next few days while Alison and I are in NY, I will blog as often as I can, and will post whatever Noah sends me from today's event.

And, in case I don't say it often enough, thank you for following me from the air to this online space. I truly appreciate your support...

Hear today's brief episode by clicking here (runtime 10:53)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raul Martinez checks in... better late than never!

Hear today's episode of Radio or Not, and my conversation with Raul Martinez by clicking here (runtime 37:40)

It certainly wasn't his fault! Mayor Martinez was all set to be my special correspondent from the Democratic Convention in Denver every morning. He was going to awaken at 5am Denver time to call in to my radio show, and give us his unique perspective on the event... but I was fired the Friday before the Monday beginning of the convention! Today was our first chance to catch up since.

We spoke about my firing, about his Congressional race against incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Balart, about health care, the economy, campaign finance reform, and lots of other issues we're all concerned about on this 47th day before the election.

I encourage you to listen, and share this conversation with anyone you know who resides and votes in District 21. Our country will be a better place with Raul Martinez in Congress.

I mentioned during the program that Mayor Martinez does not come without controversy or baggage. But the first time I had the pleasure of interviewing him, he told me to ask away-- no questions were off-limits. And, you know me well enough by now to know that I never shy away from a tough question, so I did. I felt no need to re-hash territory I already covered and ask questions again that had already been thoroughly answered to my satisfaction. But you're welcome to go back to that interview and listen by clicking here.

And then move on to today's conversation, which hopefully will become a regular, ongoing conversation!

I'll leave with with some McCain food for thought...

So, after he said, yet again, that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, he then backtracked by saying that by fundamentals he meant the workers(!), he then went on to contradict himself on the topic of regulation... which he's been against for his entire career, but now finds himself a strong proponent of. A few interesting facts for your reading pleasure can be found here and here.... and we'll talk about it all tomorrow!

Hear today's episode of Radio or Not, and my conversation with Raul Martinez by clicking here (runtime 37:40)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did he really say that the fundamentals of the economy are strong?

Hear today's episdoe of Radio or Not by clicking here (runtime 11:10)

Yes, John McCain did say just that. Then he tried to backpedal. But people are not that stupid!

I truly believe that the Neocons live by the old adage, "Say it and they'll believe" (I know, it's not really an old adage, but they seem to live by it nonetheless!). Well, as Barack Obama said, "ENOUGH". Funny, John McCain tried to steal that exclamation, along with trying to steal the idea of change from the Obama campaign.

But you can't claim change when your policies support the status quo that got us into the mess in the first place.

Today's episode of Radio Or Not is a short one. I have some work to do to prepare for a trip I'm taking to NY next week. Actually, we leave Saturday and return Wednesday, and I have a lot of old audio to edit to put together a package to take with me. So, I'm somewhat distracted by that.

I mentioned in today's show an interview that Rachel Maddow did last night with David Sirota, that's certainly worth watching, if only for the fact that he echoed what I said yesterday regarding McCain's involvement in the Savings & Loan scandal and the Keating Five. The Democrats should be talking about that constantly these days, but so far, I've not heard one whisper, except mine, and now this:

And I'm happy that the Obama camp reacted quickly with this new ad:

Hear today's episdoe of Radio or Not by clicking here (runtime 11:10)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back To McCain.. and the economy stupid!

Hear today's Radio or Not episode by clicking here (runtime 24:22)

Yesterday, we watched the Dow drop over 500 points following the news that Lehman Brothers is dead, and Merrill Lynch is not part of Bank of America. Today, we await the fate of one of the nation's largest insurance companies, AIG... and wait for more shoes to drop.

Some of us are too young to remember (or just weren't paying very close attention back then), but we had some bank failures back in the late 80's-early 90's... a little crisis that involved Savings & Loan institutions. Right at the heart of it was a group of Senators who came to be known as The Keating Five, because they "improperly aided" Charles Keating, Chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan.

Senator John McCain was one of the Five. Today, I dug back and found an editorial that appeared in the Phoenix New Times in November 1989, entitled McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five. Just click on the link to read it yourself, or listen to today's program, as I share it with you... along with some other goodies, including a listener phone call, and the "McCain Stupid Montage!"

The song "Stupid" comes courtesy of Toad the Wet Sprocket...

Hear today's Radio or Not episode by clicking here (runtime 24:22)

Monday, September 15, 2008

9-15-08 What a Monday, and Sarah Palin, part 2

Hear today's episode by clicking here (runtime 22:26)

Sarcastically speaking, what a great way to start off a new week. The cobra info came in the mail over the weekend. Continued coverage for me is $304 a month... for me and Alison it jumps to $760 a month! Unbelievable.

And, of course, you can't have a lapse in coverage, or you can't get future coverage for "pre-existing" conditions... This country should have universal health care, and everyone should have the cover

And this morning as I was watching the news, I saw scores of people exiting the Lehman Brothers headquarters in NY with boxes and bags of their personal belongings as, with their company declaring Chapter 11, they are now among the ranks of the unemployed too.

This country is seriously broken, thanks to George W. Bush and the NeoCons, and that people are actually even considering voting for John McCain boggles my mind.

Unemployment, foreclosures, bank failures -- these numbers are rising exponentially, due to the failed economic policies of this administration and the Republican Party, and people are stupid enough to fall for the Republican's bumper stickers slogans and their claims that they will bring change! Wake Up people.

And then there's Sarah Palin, who simply hasn't got a clue.

Today's Radio or Not musical selections come from R.E.M. "It's the End of the World" and Dramarama "Haven't Got a Clue."

Hear today's episode by clicking here (runtime 22:26)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday night love does Sarah Palin!

Click here to watch!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah speaks, unscripted, sort of!

Click here to listen to today's episode of Radio Or Not (runtime 35:25)

Last night, we got to hear the first interview given by Sarah Palin since she was named John McCain's running mate. And she did not disappoint, those of us who know she's a phony, that is!

First, let me say that there was not a moment of sincerity in that entire interview. She really knew, without blinking, when John McCain asked to be his running mate that she'd accept? No consideration to the fact that she supposedly just gave birth to a special needs child, and has a pregnant teenager at home-- both of whom might need extra attention in the coming years No discussion with her husband or family? Somehow, this is either quite disingenuous, or just the words of a complete opportunist who doesn't give a damn about her family.

Then, her complete lack of understanding about foreign policy was also unmistakable. She's obviously a quick study, but there's only so much learnin' a person can do in a week.

On today's program, we listen to the whole thing and, again, I let my stream of consciousness run through.

Today's show also features the first call-in to Radio Or Not! Adam from Hollywood did as I suggested (just look on the right-hand side of this page for instructions) and called in yesterday as I was working in my studio. I recorded our conversation and played it back on today's show. You can do it too... Just not today, as I'm getting out of here early to go see Joe Garcia and former Governor and Senator Bob Graham.

If you're in South Florida, come hear two of Florida's treasures beginning at 11:30 this morning at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, Room K413. Visit http://www.joegarcia08.com/ for more info on the event, and why we need Joe to win the Congressional seat that Mario Diaz Balart has occupied for way too long.

I'll leave you with some fun for your Friday. If you scroll down a few entries, you'll see a video spoofing McCain and Palin. Here's another one, this one featuring actress Gina Gershon as the woman who wants to be VP....

Click here to listen to today's episode of Radio Or Not (runtime 35:25)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday night video time!

And the hits just keep on rolling. A few videos here for your viewing pleasure!

First, a brand new campaign ad for my favorite Congressman to be, Joe Garcia. (OK, I love Raul Martinez and Annette Taddeo too, but I've known and liked Joe longer!)
This ad was just released yesterday, and the campaign wanted to share it with Radio Or Not listeners and readers today:

Visit Joe Garcia's website here.

And have a look at Matt Damon's comments regarding Sarah Palin. Everyone needs to see this:

And our final video offering today comes from Brave New Films, and features "The Real McCain"....

Thursday 9/11/08 - Seven years later

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not by clicking here (runtime 19:00)

I'll take a break from politics today. Not that there's a lack of things to talk about... on the local front, the Miami-Dade School Board yesterday fired Superintendent Dr. Rudy Crew (a good thing, I think), then rushed to offer the job to Alberto Carvahlo. Although from what I know of Carvahlo, he's a good choice. But I wonder if they should have taken more time to find qualified applicants.
We'll deal with that, among other things, tomorrow.

But today marks seven years since the World Trade Center collapsed after being hit by two hijacked planes, and our world changed.

As you know by listening to my show, I tend to think musically. I assembled a few pieces from sound from that day, along with Neil Young's rendition of Imagine, and Jeff Buckely's take on Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, along with a song that became an anthem for the rescue workers on 9/11, Five for Fighting's Superman.

Five for Fighing's John Ondrasik is a dear friend, and I reached out to him a couple of years ago, on the 5th anniversary, to talk about what his song Superman meant to the police and firefighters on 9/11, and I share that on today's episode as well.

Tomorrow, it's Friday, so we'll deal with all the stories of the week and, if you choose to call in between 8:30 and 10am at 954-889-6410, your calls too!

Hear today's episode of Radio Or Not by clicking here (runtime 19:00)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wed afternoon... so much for part 2!

So much for saying that today's show will be a two-parter! Part two will be blog only, plus a great video for your viewing pleasure.

Today was not a great day. Actually, it was just one little thing that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and just underscores another reason why we need Barack Obama to be elected president come November 4.

You might have heard that I lost my job a couple of weeks ago. Well, when you find yourself suddenly unemployed, there's the issue of health insurance. To buy some time, we just bite the bullet, and shell out the cobra bucks.

I haven't gotten the cobra paperwork yet, but had the insurance deductions taken from my last check -- post firing, at the end of the month. So, imagine my surprise when I took Alison to the doctor today, only to be told that my insurance was "inactive". Inactive!

I got home, called the radio station, to be told that I was only covered through the end of the month of August! The payments that were deducted from my last check covered the last half of the month.

This is the only industrialized country that has such an archane health care system. Even Obama's plan doesn't go far enough for my liking, but John McCain's plan is basically don't get sick or you're screwed.

Now, I was in a fairly foul mood before this transpired, because of the "news" of Obama's saying that if you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig, and the phony outrage (as Obama accurately portrayed it) of the right in saying that Obama was smearing Palin.

Listen to his statement in context, and you know exactly where he was coming from. My message to the right: methinks you doth protest too much. You're the ones who made the association!

Give me a break.

Where are the clips of McCain using that same line, numerous times, when referring to Hillary Clinton's health care plan (again, better in any way, shape or form than the nothingness that's been put forth by McCain). Well, here they are.

Why is it ok for John McCain to use that phrase in direct reference to Hillary Clinton, but not for Barack Obama to use it, not even in connection with Sarah Palin, but with John McCain?

The Republicans and the crybabies on the right are grasping at straws, trying to divert the American people from what's really important, and they get away with it time and time again.

But even more than that, what's gotten me down today is how mean-spirited they are. And they get away with that too. I was struggling earlier today to come up with the description of what they're all about, but I think I got it. It's the culture of mean.

And it's the bumper sticker mentality they're so good at, and they get the lemmings repeating their lies for them!

I heard Thom Hartmann today put forth a great bumper sticker line: Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor!

I like it. But I have a problem with that too... I have three bumper stickers on my car. The Move On sticker that has Endless War with the less crossed out and replaced with this, an Obama sticker, and a round magnet with the Obama logo on it.

Some neanderthal though it was within his or her rights to take a pen to the Obama magnet and write GOP on it. My initial thought was questioning who raises people like this.

All you have to do is look at Sarah Palin for the answer.

I promised you a laugh too. This video, sent by my favorite 16-year old listener, Noah Gray, who is also a wonderful budding documentarian. You can see his work at www.cateatcatproductions.com. Watch and laugh... but beware, bad language ahead...

9-10-08 Radio Or Not - part 1 - Our Hometown

Hear this episode of Radio Or Not by clicking here (run time 33:48)

As I feel my way through this new world of podcasting, today I'll be doing things a little differently than I did the past couple of weeks. Today will be a two-parter. The first segment today focuses in on things here at home in South Florida.

I have to leave for a few hours to go into mom mode, but I'll return with part 2 later this afternoon, a commentary on the GOP's false outrage and the "community of mean" for lack of a better term. But I'll explain later today, so I hope you'll come back too!

Or just subscribe to Radio or Not through iTunes. More on that another day...

Today's local segment deals with a few issues here in South Florida. Our schools are a disgrace. Actually, here in South Florida, they do a remarkably good job, considering the lack of funding and support they get from Tallahassee. It is true that Florida ranks 50th out of 50 states in per capita funding per student. In addition to our students, both Dade and Broward teachers are also suffering. This morning, I spoke with Robin Bartelmann, Chair of the Broward School Board about the latest in the contract negotiations with our teachers.

I also heard from a long-time listener, Jack Topel, who also happens to be a very concerned citizens and took it upon himself to organize an event with all three of the South Florida Democratic challengers to the terrible Congressional trio of the Diaz-Balart brothers and their evil step sister, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez and Annette Taddeo will be appearing Saturday, Sept. 20 together at an event at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami. Click here for all the details.

Listen to today's episode, and you'll also hear my thoughts on the new ruling that knocks down Florida's ban on gay adoptions, and the other ruling that seems to pave the way for us to foot the $515 million bill for a new Marlins stadium....

Hear this episode of Radio Or Not by clicking here (run time 33:48)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tues 9-9-08 Goodness Gracious... and Dan Gelber too!

Hear today's Radio Or Not episode by clicking here (runtime 32:41)

I began today's show with a song called Goodness Gracious, by a brilliant musician named Kevin Gilbert. You've heard his music, though you might not know it, as he was a main driving force behind Sheryl Crow's first album, Tuesday Night Music Club.

This isn't a music blog, but Kevin's work is worth knowing, so I invite you to explore his too-brief career at http://www.kevingilbert.com/.

But I used Goodness Gracious today because it expresses how I'm feeling. When is this madness going to end and what are we doing to the future of our kids?

Last night, Keith Olbermann aired part 1 of his interview with Barack Obama. Although I like what Obama has to say, I have serious reservations about his ability to get his message across. He's great with a speech, but is less eloquent when speaking off the cuff -- I believe because he thinks things through too much! In this case, I believe Obama needs to be more rehearsed, and to be able to answer every question immediately and with forceful conviction, rather than that nuance that we keep hearing about. Nuance does not serve one well in a political race for life!

The Rachel Maddow show premiered last night on MSNBC. But the timing was certainly odd. I'd go as far as to say that the network execs might have actually reversed their decision about her show if it were possible because they're bowing to Republican pressure!

Just yesterday, they announced that their election coverage would no longer be anchored by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, due to their lack of objectivity. Since when is that a problem? "The News" used to be objective... but that was before it became a moneymaking entity under the entertainment umbrella.

NBC is hedging its bets, God forbid McCain gets elected. They're silencing the liberal voices, and I think it's time for the Fairness Doctrine to come back so that there's some semblance of balance of coverage. But that's probably a topic for another day...

Dan Gelber joined me on the phone for a few minutes this morning to talk about the fate of the constitutional amendments that were put forth by Florida's "Taxation and Budget Reform Commission." Three of the four truly despicable amendments have been struck down by the courts. Number 2 is the one we still have to talk about... Check out http://www.dangelber.com/ to get info on his run for the Florida Senate, and to read his very insightful blog as well.

Also, today, we're truly thankful that Ike steered clear of us. But he hit Haiti, Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean hard. The Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel both have pages of links where you can help. Just click on each of the above links for more info.

And enjoy Keith with Obama... Even on his worst day, Obama is miles ahead of McCain on his best!

Hear today's Radio Or Not episode by clicking here (runtime 32:41)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Monday September 8 - The Hypocrisy of Sarah Palin and the right

Click here to listen to this episode of Radio Or Not (runs 38:31)

Today, in honor of Ike giving us a break here on the Southeast corner of Florida, our music is Ike Turner's "BiPolar"....

I had a number of brainstorms over the weekend with regard to how to make this transition to the web work. It will take your participation... Please, if there's an issue that you think needs to be covered on Radio Or Not, email me with your suggestions.

Now that you are my only boss, the topics we can cover are wide open! And since there are no more local progressive voices on the South Florida airwaves, I'm going to do everything I can to make this the place for our voices.

There's been a lot going on in our town over the past couple of weeks... But we also had the two conventions going on, which I chose to cover... you know I couldn't stay silent with all of that happening!

But now that it's officially general election season, there are a lot of races and issues to cover. Luckily for us, the court last week struck down the most offensive of the constitutional amendments that the bogus Taxation and Budget Reform Commission attempted to get on the ballot. But we have a few very important Congressional races that we must follow, as well as races for the Florida Legislature.

If we have any hope of turning this state around, the make-up of the Legislature must be seriously altered! So, we have a lot of territory to cover over the next 7 weeks... and we will. Again, send in your suggestions if you have a candidate or an issue that I should look into or interview.

This morning I spoke with Dr. Sorah Dubitsky. I met her because she was a listener of the radio show and called and email frequently. She sent me this email over the weekend:

Hi Nicole, I'm tired of right-wing hypocrisy, especially about sex. Here's some info and a link to my blog about it: Bristol Palin’s pregnancy offers us an opportunity to have an honest, heartfelt national dialog about sexuality. The Bible says “by their fruits shall you know them.” What fruits have our current abstinence-only policies created?

The piece is controversial. I think that Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy needs to be discussed as part of a national conversation about sex education. Clearly, what's being communicated to young people is not creating the desired results.

Read Dr. Sorah' blog at http://www.religionandspirituality.com/ and see the archives at
http://www.religionandspirituality.com/view/profile/Sorah_Dubitsky/12066321192007/ .

She also sent me the links to the Republican Party's official platform, as well as the Democratic Party's platform. Click on the links to read them for yourself, and see the stark differences between the two.

More to come soon. Check back later today, as I hope to have updates for you on the Dade and Broward teachers situations, as well as the latest on Dr. Rudy Crew....

Click here to listen to this episode of Radio Or Not (runs 38:31)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday September 7

There's no podcast to go with the blog today... It's Sunday, I'm cleaning house, preparing for Ike (who thankfully looks like he'll pass to the south of us, but with such a monstrous storm will probably still affect us here in South Florida), and trying to find a babysitter for tonight, as I'm going to see Chris Isaak... But I had to write about a few things.

First of all, on Friday, when commenting about the green screen behind John McCain during his sorry excuse for an acceptance speech, I wrote that he was standing in front of a projected image of the White House lawn. It was, indeed, a lawn... but not the White House.

Apparently, the building was Walter Reed Middle School in a suburb of Los Angeles. This is wrong on so many levels! Common sense tells you that it was a major blunder. They probably meant to show an image of the Walter Reed Hospital -- which would have been ironic in and of itself, thanks to McCain's lack of support for the GI bill -- until he finally supported it!

Anyway, the main reason for writing this morning: I'm feeling good about a few things. I'm seeing a huge surge in email activity from people who'd previously been silent observers. A couple of videos, in particular, have hit my email from numerous sources over the last 48 hours, so I wanted to share them with you here.

Before I post the one from Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, let me share with you an email I received from listener John, who thought I went over the line in my last episode:

Nicole, I thought this line was in bad taste. Everything else I agree with. It sounds like you are happy that one of our pilots was captured and tortured. "I'm sorry John McCain was such a lousy pilot that he got shot down. This man lost 5 of our fighter jets... The 5th time was the charm, so to speak, that landed him in the hanoi hilton."

Come on Nicole you are better than this. BTW not sure if you have ever seen the show Dog Fights on The History Channel but it give great insight on what these guys are dealing with. http://www.history.com/minisites/dogfights/ my friend Col Dick Foster was a pilot in WWII and his stories of combat were fascinating.

OK John, I'll give you that it was mean. But after watching the parade of nastiness and mean-spiritedness that was the Republican convention, I couldn't help it. It's not as if the Republicans are telling the truth about McCain's service. And while I feel for him for his years in captivity, we're not getting the real story about the man who was nicknamed "Songbird" while he was a POW.

To back that up, watch this video. Seriously.

And if you need more, check this one out too...

I mentioned earlier that I had gotten a couple of videos from people who had previously been silent. This one, from the Daily Show, came to me at least 5 times over the past couple of days. It's too good not to share, and the word of the day is Hypocrisy!

As always, thanks for reading and for listening!

Please keep the comments coming. And if there's a local story that you think I should be covering, please send me a quick note, and we'll do it!


Friday, September 05, 2008

I went out last night, and it was a late night... Kathy Griffin is one funny lady. I accepted an invitation to see her last night at the hard rock... and chose that over watching John McCain's acceptance speech. I figured I'd rather be laughing with the person speaking than at the person speaking...

I got home late, and then watched the speech, thanks the the magical device known as TIVO. But I probably shouldn't have. How depressing was that speech? And he wound up standing in front of a green screen again! Did you notice? It actually wasn't intended that way... They had all the speakers in front of projected images of America, with every cliche imaginable... Rudy was in front of lower Manhattan, showing the skyline without the twin towers, just to add to the fear-mongering tone of his diatribe.

McCain was standing in front of a picture of the White House... but when they zoomed in on him, it was the very green lawn behind him. I'm just waiting for the next green screen contest!

John McCain is not exactly the most dynamic speaker out there! Something about his voice makes my skin crawl... I was going to do as we did yesterday with Sarah Palin's speech, and play back teh whole thing with running commentary, and invite you to scream back at the computer... but I just couldn't sit through that speech again... I was reminded of the old Lays Potato chip jingle (she tried but she couldn't do it...)

Instead, I thought I'd just throw out some random observations, now that we're past the two conventions and rolling towards November 4... and please call in your random thoughts too... 954-889-6410. If I'm not in the studio, just leave a message and perhaps I'll use your call on the show next week...

-- The Democratic convention was an uplifting event. I smiled while watching. People were happy, and full of hope and good thoughts for the future.
-- The Republican convention was a mean-spirited affair. There were venemous attacks, sarcastic snipes, and angry people.
--- The Democrats spoke of ending wars, putting people to work, creating new, green energy sources and getting off of foreign oil.
--- The Republicans spoke fighting words, trying to continue instilling fear in people instead of a peaceful intent... and nothing of conservation... Drilling seems to be their word of choice.

The Republicans continued the action that they've relied on for the last 8 years to counter all the wrongs and illegal acts they've committed...they lied.

I feel like I need a shower... especially after watching the despicable speeches delivered by Rudy "9-11" Giuliani and Sarah "I said no thanks to the bridge to nowhere my ass" Palin... they were as slimy as can be, and I still can't wipe the ooze from my tv.

And John McCain last night was just sad. This poor man, who once claimed that his POW experience was personal and shouldn't be injected into a poltical race, is now encroaching on Rudy's 911 territory. I'm sorry John McCain was such a lousy pilot that he got shot down. This man lost 5 of our fighter jets... The 5th time was the charm, so to speak, that landed him in the hanoi hilton.

The accounts of his time there are varied. He and ALL who spoke this week told one story. You can get some of the other stories by visiting http://www.vietnamvetsagainstjohnmccain.com/.

Regardless, being a POW does not a president make. It IS all about the character.

These cons ridiculed and made fun of Obama's early job as a community organizer. Getting down and actually working with people on the community level to help them improve their lot in life. Worthy of ridicule? Again, the slime is oozing.

I'll take Obama's character over that of a man like John McCain, who holds no resemblence to the candidate who ran in the Republican primary 8 years ago. He was smeared and subjected to despicable whisper poll campaigns... They were so effective that John McCain hired the people who were responsible for doing that to him to help run THIS CAMPAIGN! He's diametrically opposed to just about every position he campaigned on in 2000... This is a man who says he was tortured, but votes to allow our government to torture others. This is a man who WROTE AN IMMIGRATION BILL... but now votes against his own bill! He was against Bush's tax cuts 4 the wealthy, and now wants to keep them indefinitely...

"But he's never -- he's never run a city. He's never run a state. He's never run a business. He's never run a military unit. He's never had to lead people in crisis." Those words came out of Rudy's mouth about Obama... but that applies to McCain too!
And then there's Gov. Palin.. a truly frightening woman... who said the war in Iraq is "God's plan." And there's lots more where that came from! The cons want to talk about Obama's church... wait'll you get a load of what goes on inside Palin's cult.

There's a great site to refute McCain's speech last night: http://justmoreofthesame.com/fact_check.

I'm saying this as much for me as for you... keep the facts close by to answer the inflammatory, hate-filled likes being spread... We have two months to make sure the Republicans can't finish the job of destroying this country that George W Bush started 8 years ago...
Have a great weekend... I'll talk to you Monday... Radio Or Not!
P.S. I noticed last night after the speech when Palin joined McCain on the stage, Heart's "Barracuda" was playing. I thought about whether or not Ann & Nancy Wilson would approve of that message. I just got my answer in this post from the radio and record industry trade website, All Access:
Heart Against Use Of 'Barricuda' By Republican Nominee
Nancy WilsonENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY reports HEART e-mailed out a statement YESTERDAY (9/4) regarding Republican VP candidate SARAH PALIN's use of their song "Barricuda" at the Republican National Convention. "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission," it read. "We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored." But after JOHN MCCAIN finished his speech accepting the GOP's presidential nomination, PALIN joined him on stage, and the song was used again: HEART's NANCY WILSON felt compelled to personally respond. "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented," she said in a phone call to EW.COM after the speech. "I feel completely f---ed over." She and sister ANN WILSON then e-mailed the following exclusive statement: "SARAH PALIN's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While HEART did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thursday Sept. 4 -- Straight out of central casting, it's the Palin family!

Hear today's edition of Radio Or Not by clicking here. (Today's show is a long one, because it includes Sarah Palin's entire speech... It runs 51:33)

I was dead wrong on this one. John McCain did not make a rash, middle of the night blunder in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate, as I originally thought.

I was correct in one thing though, the Neocons may be crooked lying cheating thieves, but they're not stupid. I told you something was going to happen to vindicate them, as they are calculated political animals, and there's usually a method (however warped) to their madness.

Last night, after outright lies told by the preacher man Mike Huckabee, and vicious attacks and fear inducing rhetoric by Rudy "9-11" Giuliani (speaking in front of an image of lower Manhattan minus the World Trade Center twin towers, no less), we were treated to the eye candy that is Sarah Palin and her family.

I originally thought they weren't vetted. Oh but I was wrong. This family was vetted completely. And it was decided that they could turn the negatives into positives! The pregnant daughter... it's ok because she and her boyfriend look good, like the rest of the family, and are definitely marketable. The pregnancy... just a minor distraction. They can spin it to say that Sarah's just like you, dealing with family problems.

How about the scandals in Sarah's career as a mayor and governor? No problem. What are a few lies and abuse of power examples in the neo con world? Nothing that they haven't spun and covered up before.

You see, those things don't matter. Because they have a photogenic family who are marketable.... who will provide the right's answer to the Obama family.

She is easily malleable.... she will look good delivering their sarcastic, nasty, mean-spirited speeches that they write for her. She'll say and do what they tell her to say and do... just like John McCain promised to do for the chance to be President.

It has been, as he wrote in his book, his ambition all along!

On a local note... I didn't get to it in the show today because I was all fired up about Ms. Palin and the revelation that the Neocons, once again, showed their political cunning... but we the people scored a victory here in Florida yesterday!

The three most offensive constitutional amendments that were supposed to be on the Nov. 4 ballot, courtesy of the Taxation & Budget Reform Commission were ruled unconstitutional yesterday by the Florida Supreme Court. Amendments 7 and 9, which would have gutted the part of Florida's Constitution that provides for the separation of Church and State and paved the way for vouchers, along with Amendment 5, which would have stripped the portion of your property tax bill that goes to fund schools and ostensibly replaced it with a penny increase in the sales tax, will NOT be on the ballot!

This is great news, and we'll go into it a bit further either tomorrow or next week....

Hear today's edition of Radio Or Not by clicking here. (Today's show is a long one, because it includes Sarah Palin's entire speech... It runs 51:33)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wednesday September 3 - Joe Biden visits South Florida

To hear today's edition of Radio Or Not, just click here. (Today's show runs 40:55)

Yesterday... it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Sorry, but it just seemed to fit! The day yesterday was wonderful. I went to see Joe Biden. It was his first visit to South Florida as the Democratic VP candidate. I was in great company, and we watched a very uplifting speech from a guy who gets it. And my day just got better from there.

Last night, however, was a different story. I felt that I had to watch the Republican convention. I sat through Stepford's Laura Bush, extolling the fantastic virtues of her husband, our unfortunate president.

Then, W himself, speaking via satellite from the White House, where he stayed - ostensibly so he can keep a close eye on Gustav and any needed relief efforts. Unbelievable. This is the guy who was partying with John McCain on his birthday three years ago, when Katrina barrelled through the same Gulf Coast regions, bringing much more damage and despair than the limp Gustav.

And this poor excuse for a leader spoke on a tv screen for less than 10 minutes... and outside of prime time, no less. The prime time tv space went to Fred Thompson and Mr. Excitement himself, Joe Lieberman. It was a sorry excuse for something that should have been great political theater.

I guess we'll get that tonight, as the living soap opera that is the GOP's Vice Presidential candidate takes the stage to accept the nomination. Could it get any more surreal?

With her will be her 17 year old, 5 months pregnant daughter (now that's just good family responsibility, isn't it? Putting your pregnant teenager in the international spotlight!!), plus the lovely boyfriend -- father and husband-to-be - Levi. The one whose MySpace profile had this lovely tidbit:

"I'm a fuckin' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.
"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some shit and just f uckin' chillin' I guess."
"Ya fuck with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.
He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

Nice, huh? Can you imagine... that guy could be a member of the second family!?! Ahh the kind of kid you want your daughter to get knocked up by and marry. Yikes!

Should be some fun tv time tonight...

But back to last night again. My night was redeemed. Ok, it wasn't as good as the earlier part of the day, but the evening ended as I joined my friend and co-webcaster Marc Germain on his program at TalkRadioOne.com. We talked Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. You can listen to his show weekday evenings from 11pm-1am (eastern). You can listen to the segment I did with him by clicking here.

To hear today's edition of Radio Or Not, just click here. (Today's show runs 40:55)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Monday September 1

Click here to listen to today's edition of Radio or Not.

It's Labor Day, so I had fittingly decided not to work today. Instead, I was going to start the week Tuesday morning with a new episode of Radio Or Not, and move forward from there.

But as I was sitting at the pool this afternoon with my daughter, my sister and her kids, I got a phone call from a friend who told me that Joe Biden was going to be speaking to the Deerfield Beach Democratic Club tomorrow, and asked if I wanted to go.

So, I came home and put together tomorrow's program tonight.

I've had all weekend to think about John McCain's choice of a running mate. The announcement that he had picked Sarah Palin came in Friday, while I was recording that day's show.

I learned a lot about the 44 year-old Governor of Alaska, who's served in that position for less than two years. She's currently under investigation in Alaksa for firing the state's Public Safety Director Walter Monegan, ostensibly for his failure to fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper as was her demand!

But wait, it gets better! As if that weren't bad enough, and enough reason for the Republicans not to want her as their VP pick, there were rumors swirling all over the internets about her 4 month old son.... bloggers questioning whether or not the baby was actually hers - or her 17 year old daughter's!

To prove those bloggers wrong, Palin today announced that her daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant! And the weird keeps getting weirder!

I've had this nagging feeling all weekend that this is all a joke. But it's the wrong Palin. If they really wanted funny, they should have gone with Monty Python's Michael Palin. He's funny. Sarah Palin is just plain sad.

Hear today's show here.