Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Pick Ourselves Up, Dust Ourselves off, and Start All Over Again!

I used that very line when I re-started this blog in August after being let go from my job hosting the morning show at WINZ. When Barack Obama spoke those words on Tuesday, I smiled and thought, "great minds think alike."

I didn't realize that the line came from a song, "Pick Myself Up" that was sung by Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers in the depression-era movie Swing Time. They were just words I knew that described what I went through after being fired, taking the weekend to mourn my loss, and awakening Monday morning with a purpose: re-launch my podcast and blog here at Radio or Not as a place to continue the work I was doing.

Today I offer these words, and the first part of my podcast to the 1850 fomer colleagues of mine at Clear Channel who were given their pink slips on Tuesday. Yes, the behemouth broadcaster decided to do their dirty work on the day that the media attention would assuredly be focused elsewhere.

I understand that seriousness of the economic crisis enough to know that the cuts were necessary. I only question the timing of the firings. A friend of mine who lost her job was understandably angry at her former employer for ruining for her what was an amazingly joyous day for the rest of the world. It just added insult to injury.

To all of those newly unemployed--and the thousands of others who'll join them this week (Microsoft today announced they'd be cutting 5000 jobs due to the economy), I wish I could say it'll be easy. But you can rest assured that we have a guy in charge who will use every means at his disposal to turn our crisis around. That's more than we were able to say two days ago!

President Obama wasted no time in changing the way things will be done in Washington, signing immediate executive orders limiting lobbyists access to his administration in a meaningful, enacting new ethics policy, setting the ball in motion to close Guantanamo, and more.

All this in his first 24 hours in office, just as we learned that George W. Bush spent a full 1/3 of his time in office ON VACATION!

I predict that as the days pass, we'll learn of more abuses of power by the former administration that will make our collective heads spin.

If you watched Keith Olbermann's Countdown last night, you saw this stunning interview with whistleblower Russell Tice, who blew the whistle on the NSA surveillance program. Now that Bush is powerless to hurt him, Mr. Tice told Keith last night of just how widespread the eavesdropping was, and said that the NSA, under the direction of George Bush, was monitoring ALL Americans' communications, specifically targeting journalists and news organizations.

He'll be on with Keith again tonight for a followup interview. I have a feeling this is going to be the scariest of thrill rides as more and more stories of abuse by this administration unfold.

Today also happens to be the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade. By electing Barack Obama president, we insured the sanctity of the Supreme Court against right-wing dominance and an almost certain overturning of that landmark ruling. But women's rights to privacy and control over our own bodies are still at risk on the state level.

I was invited to speak to the Democratic Women's Club of Broward County, FL last night on this occasion. Here in Florida, we have a state legislature that is mind-boggling controlled by Republicans who are stuck in the stone age. They continue to cut the state budget at the expense of schools, children's programs and programs for the elderly, and resist any attempt at raising revenue to help alleviate the state's fiscal crisis.

The president of the DWC offered this sample letter to incoming FL Senate President Jeff Atwater as an example of something you can do to mark today's anniversary.

Sample Email to Senator Jeff Atwater
To be sent on January 22, 2009
Roe v. Wade 36th Anniversary

Email address:

Dear Senator Atwater:

It was widely publicized during the November 2008 campaign that you have a positive record with regard to education, health and safety of Florida’s families. Given that 52% of the population are women, and, on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I take issue with your voting record.

Support of private school vouchers vs. non-support of public education. You voted to:
• Cut over $7 billion in education spending
• Raise college tuition rates by over 70%
• Gut the constitutional amendment to reduce class size
• Put private school vouchers in our constitution
• Allow religious materials in schools
• Allow kids to bring guns to school

Voted against quality health care and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the health care industry. You voted to:

• Require that an ultrasound be performed on any woman obtaining an abortion
• Allow insurance companies to raise their rates by 71%
• Not reduce medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors
• Take 20,000 children off of Florida KidCare that provides health care for children
• Privatize Medicaid
• Allow for-profit hospices in Florida
• Not reduce the amount of money senior citizens pay for prescription drugs

Voted against the interests of working families and consumers. You voted to:

• Cut benefits for injured workers
• Cut funding and positions for Palm Beach County firefighters
• Cut funding and positions for Correction Probations officers who supervise dangerous criminals
• Give over $200 million in tax breaks for large corporations
• Prevent local government from requiring employers to pay a minimum wage
• Allow the Florida Department of Transportation to pay stipends to the losing bidders on state contracts

Women have the primary responsibility for child care and elderly care. Women are 48% of the workforce and 52% of the population. Government works against women in restrictions on abortions rights, cuts in education for their children, making health care and drugs more expensive, and cutting benefits to workers. Because of your votes and those of your colleagues, Florida’s government is working against women. I urge you to keep women in mind in your consideration of bills during the 2009 legislative session. I am disappointed about all the cuts once again you approved in the special session dealing with women and children. I call on you to be a leader for women’s rights.

Thank you.


Take the example, make it your own, and send it to your state representatives, wherever your might be, to make sure our voices are heard on this 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Today, I'll leave you with an inspiring link. Click here for a montage of newspaper front pages from around the world commemorating the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

And click here to listen to today's Radio or Not podcast... runtime 29:00


John said...

Clear Channel lays all those people off but still airs a man (Rush Limbaugh) that hopes the President Obama fails to bail this county out of the mess the former administration left us. Nice move CC, timing is everything and yours sucks.

Oh I just saw on CNN that Sarah Palin is looking for 11 million for her book deal. Sarah your 15 minutes are up....You Betcha they are.