Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still a bit traumatized, but made it through today's show!

In case you don't know what was so traumatic today, scroll down and read my earlier post. I'll wait.

OK, now you understand. I finished the show, which was a non-stop parade of fascinating guests (details coming in a moment), and ran out back to dispose of the body before my 9 year old daughter got home from school.

I took the advice of the majority of folks who emailed me with suggestions. Although I liked the comment left on the afore-mentioned earlier post, gift wrapping the cat would have required more contact than I was willing to make. I barely kept my lunch down as it was.

And in case you were wondering, a cat dead since 4:30am is most definitely stiff by 3:15pm.

On to more pressing matters....

Today's show began with a visit from a man who should be in Washington DC today. Joe Garcia ran against incumbent Republican Mario Diaz Balart in 2008 and came close, but not close enough to unseat the hack. Joe is a Democratic Party activist, longtime Cuba Policy advocate, and the former Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. He's always been my go-to guy on all issues related to Cuba, so when President Obama yesterday lifted the restrictions on family travel to Cuba, I knew Joe was the guy to call.

He debated the issue last night on CNN

and after appearing on Air America with me today, he was on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell.

In today's second hour, I wanted to hear from some of the people behind the teabagging parties that are scheduled for tomorrow, at the urging of Faux News and a group called FreedomWorks.

Much to my surprise, FreedomWorks' VP for Public Policy, Max Pappas, agreed to come on the show. At the beginning of the interview, he was making some sense. But the more I questioned him, the more his whole premise began unraveling.

I'm all for people challenging authority and speaking out in support of whatever they believe. But I don't condone lies and deception. When I asked about the organization, Pappas claimed they were a non-partisan group, but as he laid out their ideas and asked him point blank if he was a Libertarian, he said yes.... and then went on to say that he's not politically affiliated! And when I pressed him on who heads FreedomWorks, he finally admitted that the guy in charge is none other than Dick Armey, former House Republican leader! Non partisan my ass....

Last week, I had my favorite activist David Swanson on the air to talk about this column that he wrote for afterdowningstreet.org. I also asked him about a piece he wrote on April 1 titled, "John Yoo Arrested" that said Yoo had been arrested in Italy and extradited to Spain. I saw the date and realized it was an April Fools joke, but today, I had David back on the show to talk about Scott Horton's piece on The Daily Beast titled "The Bush Six to Be Indicted" which tells us that Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzalez and five others from the Bush administration for torture! This time, it's for real!

All that, and I still had another hour to go! Hour three kicked off with a conversation with B.L. Ochman, a marketing strategist and blogger who can be found at WhatsNextOnline.com. She wrote a piece for Advertising Age about Amazon.com removing any LGBT themed books from search and rankings, and told how the story spread like wildfire over the weekend on twitter.

We then moved on to the issue of gay marriage, as the past week or so saw great strides with Iowa and Vermont joining the growing chorus of states legalizing the rights of consenting adults to form lasting, loving family units! I was joined by Matt Coles, director of the ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. They're doing great work, and you should check them out when you get the time.

And finally, a three-judge election contest court in Minnesota ruled that Al Franken won the election by a margin of 312 votes, yet Norm Coleman will likely appeal that ruling too! Any time there's a question about elections, I turn to Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog, and did just that today too.

Whew. At least it all kept my mind off of the dead cat in my back yard!

Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow. If you haven't yet read Glenn Greenwald's piece on Salon.com entitled An emerging progressive consensus on Obama's executive power and secrecy abuses, you might want to do so tonight. He'll be joining me in the second hour of the show tomorrow to talk about the powers that Bush claimed and that Obama is holding on to.

We'll also talk with Lisa Derrick who blogs at about politics, entertainment and pop culture at FireDogLake. And we'll check in with folks who are brave enough to head out for some tax day teabagging! I hope you'll listen in. You can call in too at 866-303-2270...