Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Air America Today

I just finished up my first show on Air America. Well, technically, this was the first time I wasn't filling in for anyone!

Radio is an ever-changing world, and there are some changes happening at Air America.

Thom Hartmann had been heard via Air America in the noon-3pm (ET) slot until a couple of weeks ago, when his show moved to another company for syndication. I believe most of the stations that carried his show still do. But Air America still sends a show to its affiliates, and that's the show I'm hosting this week.

I'm not sure what stations carry it, but you can certainly hear it live at www.airamerica.com.

Today's show began with a discussion about the news that AIG is still giving its executives hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, or "retention awards"-- even after taking over $170 billion of our taxpayer dollars!

President Obama has vowed to try to stop AIG from paying the bonuses, but legal experts agree that, contractually, the employees are entitled to the money and could sue and possibly win damages up to three times the amount of the basic bonuses they're seeking in the first place.

Today, I spoke with Jamie Court, president of the nonpartisan, nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog, who came up with a great idea. "Anybody at AIG who wants to collect a bonus should be alerted that it will be delivered by an FBI agent along with a long list of questions," he said. "American taxpayers saved every one of these jobs last fall, at unprecedented public expense, so the fact that anyone at AIG even has the nerve to ask for their bonus is galling."

We then moved on to an idea I've been pushing, so to speak, as a way to help the states ease the financial pain we're all suffering. The legalization of marijuana - along with strict regulations on distribution and taxation - would immediately begin lining the coffers of state treasuries.

I was in Los Angeles last year for the Talk Radio Seminar, and the thing that most surprised me was the number of "dispensary" storefronts I saw. These are the stores that sell medical marijuana, and it seems to be a booming business. I wanted to find out more, so I reached out to Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML, as well as Dan Bernath, Assistant Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project , who both told encouraging tales of states making progress toward the decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of medical marijuana.

And the show ended with a bit of a surprise from Republican Florida State Senator Michael Bennett. I read this morning that he introduced legislation to require Floridians collecting unemployment compensation to take a drug test in order to collect their benefits. Although I vehemently disagree with that idea, I was surprised to hear him agree with me on the idea of legalization of pot, as well as the idea of adding casino gambling to the beaches of South Florida! Though, conveniently, the time to introduce new legislation for this year has passed.

If you're in South Florida, I hope you'll join me this evening. I'll be the guest speaker at tonight's Broward County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting beginning at 7pm, at the Tamarac Community Center located at 8601 West Commercial Blvd. Tamarac, FL.

And working on tomorrow's show. Feel free to email me with any suggestions for topics and guests!


JimK said...

First time I heard of you, your great Nicole, I hope AAR puts you on the air permanently.

RadioOrNot said...

Thanks so much Jim! Thank you for listening, and I really appreciate the kind words. (BTW, if you feel compelled to do so, you can let Air America know you enjoy hearing me with an email to comments@airamerica.com)