Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Democrat With A Spine!

Just when you thought they were extinct, into our consciousness pops Congressman Alan Grayson. And he's from Florida? I guess all things really are possible!

Seriously, this freshman Congressman from the Orlando/Ocala area actually spoke up on the House floor yesterday, calling the Republicans out on their health care "plan."

Seriously, until I saw this clip, I still didn't know what the Repugs were waving around during the President's address to a joint session of Congress on the health care issue. They claimed it was their plan, but when Grayson found one that was left behind, he saw that they were just blank pieces of paper.

So, his interpretation of their plan is not too far off...

This morning, I awoke too early to miss Pat Buchanan on "Morning Joe" demanding that Congressman Grayson apologize, comparing this missive to Joe Wilson's disgusting lack of respect for the office of the President, when he shouted out "You lie" during an address to a joint session of Congress. Grayson showed some real guts by issuing the best-apology-ever!

Lots of discouraged Democrats are thrilled that one of us is actually speaking out. In fact, there's a fundraising page for him at ActBlue where many are thanking him with contributions.

We'll discuss this issue tonight on Air America radio, once we get through the guests...

Tonight's guests include Ellen Ratner from the Talk Radio News Service with a Quickie News Update, and Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress with a look at some of the stories we might otherwise have missed.

And we'll also talk about President Obama's trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Chicago. I actually thought it was a good idea, until I read "Obama's Olympic Error" -- a piece posted on HuffPo by Dave Zirin, sports correspondent for The Nation, and host of

Listen live from 11pm-1am ET by clicking here, join in the live chat here, and please call in to voice your views at 866-303-2270.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Truth About Acorn

The right has been targeting the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, better known as ACORN for a few years now, and it's passed the point of absurdity.

Tonight, Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, will join me for the whole second hour. We'll talk about the history of ACORN, and why they've been demonized and crucified.

In addition to our interview, you should check out their website, and all the documentation about the PR campaign that's been waged against them.

Once you hear the interview, you might want to check out the roll call and see which Congressmen voted for and against the "De fund ACORN Act" to thank those who voted against the madness.

We'll kick off the show with tonight's Quickie News Update with Ellen Ratner from the Talk Radio News Service and get the details on today's debate and votes on the public option in the Senate Finance Committee.

Then, Howie Klein of will join me for a conversation about what we need to do with Senators like Baucus, Conrad and and Lincoln. In addition to blogging at DownWithTyranny, Howie also runs the Blue America PAC. They have a special campaign going to help oust Blanche Lincoln in November 2010. Click here and help out, if you can!

And while you're checking out, scroll down to the entry to find out how you might be able to win a really cool platinum record award of the Baha Men Who Let the Dogs Out!

Listen live from 11pm-1am ET here, call in at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day of Atonement or What Would Lieberman Do?

The sun has now set in the east, and Yom Kippur is over. For my gentile friends, Yom Kippur is the day of atonement; the one day set aside each year to consider our deeds of the year just passed, to reflect on the wrongs we may have done, and to try to make up for them.

The way observant Jews atone is by fasting and spending the day praying at temple. As for me, I tend to do everything differently.

I don't fast, nor do I go to temple. And I don't pray. But I always try to treat others the way I'd like to be treated. I don't always behave with the best of intentions, but when I do something wrong, and treat others badly, I'm pretty tough on myself. I guess it's the old Jewish guilt. It gets me every time.

I wonder what Joe Lieberman is feeling today. He claims to be an orthodox Jew. Obviously, he took part in the traditions of fasting and observing the day of atonement. I wonder if he feels badly about being against a public option, about his efforts to create laws that will continue to deny millions of Americans quality, affordable health care.

It's no different, really, than those Christians who can claim to be followers of Christ who similarly vote against the interests and well-being of their fellow Americans.

I don't claim to be religious, yet I know I have more compassion for my fellow humans than these so-called believers do. And they invoke the name of God, for God's sake!

Tonight on Air America, I'll speak with Bing Perrine, the subject of the latest ad from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, under the heading of

I'll also speak with Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC to get some background on how this campaign is going.

We'll get a few updates on some stories we covered last week, too...

The G20 Summit wrapped up on Friday, and I still have questions about what they did, or didn't do. Tonight, we'll speak with Todd Tucker, research director for the Global Trade Watch division of Public Citizen, who'll attempt to explain to me the outcome of the summit.

And I'll check in with Dennis McMahon, attorney for the NYC Coalition for Answers Now ( to hear the latest in their quest for a new investigation into what happened on 9/11.

Listen live from 11pm-1am tonight by clicking here, call in live at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here....

What's Wrong With America?

I grew up hearing and believing that America was the greatest nation in the world. I believed it when I was a kid, and I still believe that it was true...back then.

But as I'm closing in on my 50th birthday and the reality that men age better than women, I'm realizing that America is also showing age spots, wrinkles, and even signs of dementia.

Once upon a time, the United States of America was the richest, most powerful, most morally superior country on the planet. People from all over the world wanted to come here to pursue the American dream.

Now we all have cause to wonder whether the American dream still exists? Or has it become a nightmare?

It used to be that every generation's goal was for a better, richer and happier life. We knew that we could achieve a higher station in life than our parents did. It used to be an attainable goal. Is that still possible?

I think not, and the turnaround occurred while I was growing up.

While the rich kept getting richer, and the poor descended to depths that this country should be ashamed of, the middle class now is on the verge of extinction.

Middle class income has become stagnant over the past 40 years. But those already atop the success ladder are climbing to even higher heights. Back when I was ten, the average CEO made 40 times more than his average employee. Today, that CEO makes an obscene 550 times more than that worker makes.

Note that I didn't say "earns." That's because the average worker earns a hell of a lot more than he or she gets paid for. And the CEO? I can't think of one that actually earns the ridiculously exorbitant paychecks they should feel truly guilty about cashing.

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (who should consider running again) were guests on Bill Maher's Real Time Friday night. They were joined by filmmakers Michael Moore and John Waters, and together the five of them made more sense on matters of the economy than any of our elected officials I've heard on the same subject recently.

John Waters, in a flash of brilliance, said "I expect a hint of socialism, and that's an ugly word for a beautiful thought. And if my taxes go up a tiny bit to pay for health care, I'm ok with that."

As we've all been learning, and as Michael Moore is preaching with his new film, Capitalism isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's rife with corruption, and is an inherently unfair system.

Although the wing-nut followers of Speck, Limp-paw and the Faux News cabal like to group Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Naziism and all the other -isms together, we know how to read history books and, more than that, know better than to listen to any of the nonsense they're spewing.

We also know that there is a lot wrong with America these days. It's no longer the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

It's become the Land Full of Greed and the Acting Brave while losing our Homes.

Perhaps instead of Socialism or Capitalism, we here in America can start practicing something called Compassionism, and head back on the road toward where we were 40 years ago
, when we actually cared about our fellow human beings and the American dream was still alive and well.

Lots of new audio posted

Sometimes the days get away from me and I don't get a chance to post the links to my interviews. Today I played catch up...

Click on any of the links below to hear these interviews from last week:

Wed 9/23:

The guys from New Left Media, who put together an amazing video of the 9-12 rally

Josh Silver, executive director of, on Net Neutrality

Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films on Rethink Afghanistan

Thurs 9/24:

Lori Wallach, Global Trade Watch director at Public Citizen, on the G20 Summit

Comedian John Fugelsang, on his regular Thursday night visit to the show, talking about the news

Fri 9/25:

Larisa Alexandrovna of and, talking about the rise of hate speak

Manny Badillo of about the need for a new, independent investigation into what happened on 9/11

Comedienne Lisa Lampanelli about men, chocolate, candy, and her new book "Chocolate, Please"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Teaching Hate

A few weeks ago, when President Obama spoke (or attempted to) to the America schoolchildren, the hatespeak was deafening.

I memorialized the occasion with sound clips from his speech, juxtaposed with those of his critics, and the song "Carefully Taught" from South Pacific. You can hear it by clicking here.

The hateful cries of "indoctrination" are emanating from the wingnuts again; this time due to some misguided teacher with no connection to President Obama, who taught her students some songs -God forbid - that praise the leader of our country!

The outrage reached such a fever pitch that the school was temporarily placed on lock-down after its principal received death threats!

Today, Larisa Alexandrova at reminded us that
very same people who are screaming indoctrination at this act by a single individual had no problem with Bush's FEMA indoctrinating NOLA kids. ThinkProgress reported the following in '06:

"Today at the White House Easter Egg Roll, dozens of children “from the stricken Gulf Coast region serenaded First Lady Laura Bush with a song praising the beleaguered Federal Emergency Management Agency.” To the tune of Hey Look Me Over, the kids from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama sang:

Our country stood beside us

People have sent us aid. Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.

Congress, Bush and FEMA People across our land

Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!

In case you're wondering about the lyrics to the "in praise of Obama" songs... here you go:

Song 1:
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Song 2:
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say "hooray!"

Hooray, Mr. President! You're number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country's economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue ---- Mr. President we know you'll do the trick
So here's a hearty hip-hooray ----

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

When will the craziness end? We are teaching our kids to hate. We're also teaching lots of kids in the Muslim world to hate us. Just think about all the hate that will be coming of age in a few years. Pretty scary, huh?

Here's part two of the Carefully Taught to Hate montage, for your teaching pleasure.

Tonight, we'll end the week of shows on Air America radio, I'll discuss this story with Larisa Alexandrovna.

Victoria Jones of the Talk Radio News Service will join us for a live edition of the Quickie News Update.

Manny Badillo will give us an update on the efforts to get a new, independent 9/11 investigation, and give us the details on the march in Manhattan happening this Sunday.

And we'll finish it off with a fun conversation about sex and chocolate with comedienne Lisa Lampanelli.

Listen live from 11pm-1am ET by clicking here, join in the live chat here, and call at 866-303-2270.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Don't Know Everything!

That's a really brash statement for a talk show host to make. But it's the truth.

There aren't many in my line of work who'll admit it. What I do know is how to ask questions to find the answers. That's what I'll do tonight.

The G20 summit convened today in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, I hear the words "global economy" and my eyes begin glazing over. But, in my line of work, that's not permissible.

But, I figured, if I react that way, I'd guess there are lots of others out there like me who don't understand what the leaders of these 20 world economic powers are gathering to do. I know there's something not quite right about it, but don't know why this gets people out of their homes and taking to the streets to protest (and why they don't do it in the name of health care for all!).

I still can't answer the second part of that question, and won't be able to tonight either. But I hope to get answers to the first part.

In the first hour of tonight's show, I'll be joined by Lori Wallach, the Global Trade Watch Director at Public Citizen. I'll ask her to explain what the G20 is all about, what it's connection is to the WTO, and how it affects policies like NAFTA and CAFTA.

Just to get you started before the program begins, Public Citizen issued this statement:

The Obama administration must carry the message at the G-20 that “Financial Stability Comes Before the WTO.” Please call Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division at 202-546-4996, or visit www.TradeWatch.Org – for access to a database detailing U.S. WTO service-sector commitments, along with fact sheets and other information describing how so-called “trade” policy affects you.

In hour two, it's my standing Thursday midnight date with comedian John Fugelsang. We'll chat about what's happening in the news today. Usually Christy Harvey does that with me on Thursday nights, but she's not feeling well today, so John and I will pick up the slack.

BTW, if you hear him every week and don't think you've seen him... you have. Check out his reel:

Listen live (11pm-1am ET) by clicking here, join in the live chat here, and call in at 866-303-2270!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's a Mad World

That's the only way to describe the day today...

Sarah Palin dissing the President on foreign soil. Why is that OK, but it wasn't when the Dixie Chicks said something negative about Bush?

Fox News airs Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi's rambling "speech" at the UN live for 90 minutes before finally breaking away. The same faux news organization that wouldn't run President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress cut back to the studio, pointing out the reference to Obama as "our son" as the main point of his diatribe.

A US Census worker was found hanged in Kentucky, with the word "Fed" scrawled across his body, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

Mark Foley, the Congressman who had a penchant for sending provocative Instant Messages to pages, is now hosting a talk show in his former district in West Palm Beach.

And the hits just keep on rolling....

Tonight, we'll cover a number of stories.

We'll start with two young men who made a splash with their video coverage of the 9/12 rally in Washington DC. Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside call themselves New Left Media, and they've gone viral:

Josh Silver, executive director of will join me to talk about the first attempt by the GOP to derail net neutrality regulations.

Mark Karlin
, editor and publisher of BuzzFlash, will join me to run down some of the bigger stories of the week.

And Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films will tell us about the release of the DVD version of Rethink Afghanistan, and talk about the events and news this week concerning our involvement there.

Yes, we have a lot of ground to cover tonight. Listen live here from 11pm-1am ET, call in at 866-303-2270, and hang out with us in the chat room here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whistleblowers and Single Payer

**Updated with links:

Brad Friedman on Sibel Edmonds

Dr. Paul Hochfeld of Mad As Hell Doctors ***

That's what's on tap for tonight on Air America radio, from 11pm-1am ET.

I'm running late tonight, but I do hope you'll join me for what I know will be a great show.

In the first hour, I'll be joined by Brad Friedman of BradBlog. He's been covering the story of Sibel Edmonds, who the ACLU refers to as "the most gagged woman in the US." And I'll bet that 99% of the people reading this blog have never heard of her.

Be prepared for a spy story that you probably wouldn't believe if you saw it on the big screen, but it's happening right now, and involves lots of our Washington "elite."

In hour 2, I'll be joined by Dr. Paul Hochfeld of Mad As Hell Doctors, who is currently on the Care-A-Van, driving across the country with a bunch of other doctors in support of a single payer health care system.

I hope you'll join in too.. Listen live here, call in at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Still Fired Up and Ready to Go on the Air

**Updated to include links to the interviews**
My rant, and Robert Scheer interview
Dr. Andrew Weil
Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men

I wrote a pretty scathing attack on the disappointing performance of the Obama administration at eight months earlier today. The response on facebook and via email has been faster and more voluminous than I expected.

The majority of the posts have been in agreement with what I wrote. In essence, that the man occupying the White House bears little resemblance in vision, action or stature to the man we voted for 10 months ago.

But there are those hopeful voices still singing the praises of the smartest guy in the room, hinting at the "he's playing chess and thinking three moves ahead the rest of us, who are only playing checkers" defense.

And honestly, I hope they're right. I'd like nothing more that to be able to write in this space six months from now that I was wrong. Truly, honestly, seriously.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep calling them as I see them...

The article I wrote earlier today was percolating in my restlessness all weekend. And I was struggling all morning to put it down on paper. Two things provided the fuel...

First was the oddly worded fundraising email from Madeleine Albright, which stated right in the subject line that it was a Referendum on Obama. Bad timing Madame Secretary.

The second was a piece I read on from Robert Scheer, entitled "Obama's Presidency Isn't Too Big to Fail."

Misery loves company, I guess. The first thing I did after reading that essay was to track down Mr. Scheer and invite him on tonight's show (and I'm thrilled that he'll be with us for the final half hour tonight -- 9:30pm PT/12:30am ET). And then I began writing my own version of what he said!

I have a couple of other wonderful guests before I get to commiserate with Robert Scheer.

Dr. Andrew Weil, the famous American MD best known for establishing and popularizing the field of integrative medicine. He's promoting his new book, "Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine that Can Transform Our Future" and I had the opportunity to get his views on the fight for health care reform.

In addition to today being the 27th annual UN International Day of Peace, it's also the Global Day of Climate Action.

At thousands of "flash-mobs" -- quick, spontaneous actions -- around the world today, people sounded a climate alarm to wake our leaders out of their slumber and demand a fair, ambitious, and binding treaty this December 24 in Copenhagen, when the world leaders gather to reach an agreement on a new climate treaty.

In New York, The Yes Men outdid all others by putting into circulation a "special edition NY Post" with the headline "We're Screwed." The paper, all 35 pages of it, looked very real. The only indications that something was amiss was the fact that the entire thing was about the global climate crisis, and everything in this "special edition" of the Post was true!

They pulled this off in conjunction with the group We'll hear a bit more about it tonight with Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum.

I guess it's OK to have some hope left...

Listen live tonight between 11pm and 1am ET by clicking here, join in the live chat here, and call in at 866-303-2270.

I Thought We Could

I just received an email from Madeleine Albright. The subject line read "The Referendum on President Obama."

Of course, when I opened it, it was a fundraising letter from the DCCC, which began thusly:

"Every new president inherits headaches, but President Obama has inherited an entire emergency room.

Our struggle to reclaim our standing in the world has been challenging, but we are making progress. Together, we will need to continue to speak up, fight back, and give President Obama the support he needs to succeed."

And therein lies my problem.

I've been struggling with my hopes versus our reality. Our reality is a president who bears an ugly resemblance to his predecessor, and that's not the change I voted for. Our president is showing none of the courage that was inherent in the guy I believed in; the one who was supposed to be different.

President Obama's first eight months is looking more and more like a continuation of the previous eight years, and that's something I distinctly remember voting against!

I agree with Secretary Albright that President Obama inherited an emergency room. Unfortunately, he seems to have closed down the trauma center.

I agree that we need to speak up and fight back, but he's not giving us -- those who fought hard for his victory -- the things he promised during the campaign-- the things we would gladly fight for!

He promised to get our troops out of harms way. As of today, we still have way too many troops in Iraq, and his new chief in Afghanistan today is calling for more. (And, in a cruel twist of irony, today is the 27th Annual UN International Day of Peace.)

When our economy was melting down during the final days of the campaign, Candidate Obama promised to take care of Main Street over Wall Street. Today, his Fed chairman Ben Bernanke says the recession is over. That's because Wall Street is back to their money-making, bonus-pilfering ways. Yet unemployment and foreclosures continue to rise, and Main Street is burning. Wall Street might say the recession is over, but can we? NO, WE CAN'T!

State Senator Barack Obama was in favor of a single payer health care system in the U.S. On June 30, 2003, Obama spoke to the Illinois AFL-CIO:

"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." (applause) "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."

It's now six years later, the Democrats have taken back the White House (with Obama as it's occupant), the Senate and the House, but single payer was never even given a place at the discussion table. And the public option, which most of us see as an absolutely necessary tiny first baby step toward any meaningful reform, is now being used as a bargaining chip to get a bill that would result in a massive windfall to the blood-sucking leeches that call themselves health insurance companies.

In his address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama said that he has no interest in putting the health insurance industry out of business.

Why not?

No one should be making a profit off of our health care. It should be a self-sustaining concern that costs just enough to provide care to keep us healthy, and pay our providers a comfortable living. Health insurance company CEOs certainly shouldn't be getting wealthier by the moment while their paying customers are dying because the death panel, I mean, pencil pushers in their accounting office decide what procedures they'll pay for, despite what the doctor ordered.

As he went on a tour of the Sunday talking head shows yesterday, the president that I had so much hope for and faith in actually had the gall to say that those of us on the left need to stop clinging to the ideological idea of a public option.

The need for a public option has nothing to do with ideology or politics. It's his backpedaling on it and willingness to give it up that proves that it's politics as usual (just check and see how much money Obama takes from the healthcare and insurance industries), and it disgusts me.

And now we're seeing the political discourse in this country deteriorate to base bigotry and hatred, threats of violence with no veil to disguise the intent, and gun and ammunition sales are at the highest levels in recent history. But this president - who has to be living in fear of his and his family's well-being in the wake of the threats -- is blaming the 24-hour news cycle which celebrates the rude.

I agree that the media is a problem, and we can thank Bill Clinton and the 1996 Telecommunications Act for a talk radio industry with a 9:1 ratio of conservative to progressive voices, and the total deregulation of ownership rules. But I can't just fault the Faux News channels for that. Where are the liberal voices calling foul? Do I have to do this alone?

And what about our elected officials? I have to give Nancy Pelosi credit for her statement last week, and giving voice to the fears that we're feeling! Why is it ok for Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to use the public airwaves to spread lies and incite the populace to violence? When will those in position of power say "Enough!" and stop the madness?

Instead, we have the leader of the free world basically shrugging it off and saying it's just political discourse. By taking that approach, and not calling the guilty on the seriousness of their rhetoric, at the very least, truly troublesome, is making President Obama look even weaker and leaving him wide open to more attacks.

Where is this strong man, who had the courage of convictions during the campaign? The one who gave us hope in the belief that we were on the cusp of a change for the better?

Who is this person occupying the White House today, who is in lock-step with the Bush policies on corporate welfare, nation building and even rendition?

Secretary Albright, I'd love nothing more than to be able to support the president I voted for. Unfortunately, the person I'm seeing now is not him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm a Bad Jew

Happy New Year, for some of us, anyway. It's 5770. I wonder how all of those who were out in DC on Saturday claiming that we live in a Christian nation are paying attention to how many Americans are celebrating Rosh Hashana tonight.

I'm a bad Jew. Non-religious, non-observant. But Jewish, nonetheless. And I resent anyone telling me that my country is a Christian nation. And doubly resent those people who are claiming to be Christian doing so while trying to keep their fellow human beings from having access to quality, affordable health care. It just doesn't jive.

Like the bad Jew that I am, I will be working tonight. Though I'm not quite sure what tonight's show will bring. Larisa Alexandrova of Raw Story and was supposed to join me in the first hour. But she's just returned from a hospital stay and is not feeling well.

And she'll probably not be too happy with me for divulging the fact that she, like millions of other Americans, does not have health insurance. It's not for lack of trying. She has one of those pesky "pre-existing conditions" and even though she had continuous coverage, is still being denied insurance now! (If you want to help her out, visit and make a donation. I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

So, either Larisa will call in, or she'll be sleeping. For her sake, I hope it's the latter. If that's the case, we'll fill the first hour with news clips, commentary and calls. (That's where you come in, at 866-303-2270.)

In the second hour, to finish off the week, I'll be joined by comedian Rick Overton. Rick's been in tons of movies, and is seen in The Informant, opposite Matt Damon, which opened today.

Since I knew he'd be joining me tonight, I went to a matinee today. And I did one thing every observant Jew does on holidays...went out for Chinese food tonight!

Listen live by clicking here, join in the chat here, and please call in at 866-303-2270.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Always Something...

If it's not one thing, it's another. I even went looking for a video clip of Gilda Radner as Roseanne Rosanna Danna saying that to post it here, but couldn't locate it anywhere! That should give you an idea of the kind of day I'm having.

I'm feeling better, but my plumbing is shot. No, not my plumbing, but the plumbing in my house!

In the past two months, I've had the main line snaked twice. The first time (to save $ by not calling a real plumber), my handyman rented a heavy duty snake from Home Depot, and ran it through the line, and pulled out a lot of gunk. I believe that's the technical term for all the, er, gunk that resides in those pipes.

All seemed fine. Until the next time I put cantaloupe rinds down the garbage disposal and they emerged the next day through my shower floor drain. Hmmm.

So, I decided to call Roto-Rooter (that's the name, and away go troubles down the drain). Unfortunately, the guy told me I'd probably have to have the pipes replaced between my clean out and the city clean out at the street. But I hoped for the best.

Perhaps my first mistake of the day was running the washing machine and then taking a shower, just as my daughter returned home from school this afternoon and, well, had an upset stomach.

What came out of her soon followed the same route that those melon rinds traveled not too long ago. Needless to say, my bathroom is not a pleasant place at the moment.

While waiting for the water level to drop so my bathroom floor can drain, I'm preparing for tonight's show....

Thursday night is usually a bit of a cake walk for me. Christy Harvey, from the Center for American Progress, joins me in the first hour, and she always has more stories to cover than we have time for.

And John Fugelsang is my standing Thursday night guest in the second hour...

Well, Fugelsang is flying from NY to Jacksonville tonight; hopefully he'll land and get to a phone in time for some of that hour (no delays, please!). And I just got an email from Christy, who lives in Alaska these days, that there's a massive auto pile up, and she might be stranded and unable to join us tonight.

Oh, we'll have a show regardless. But at 10:05pm, I don't know what will happen at 11... I guess we'll find out soon enough.

I hope you'll join me by listening (click here for the live stream), calling at 866-303-2270, and/or joining in the live chat here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting Better All The Time

**Updated to include interview links!***

Ahh, what a difference bed rest and plenty of fluids make. No, I didn't go to the doctor because, even if I could have gotten an appointment, I know that's what she'd prescribe. No fever meant no swine flu, and yes, I'm feeling so much better. And I have a great show for you tonight on Air America radio.

After a Quickie News Update with the Talk Radio News Service to bring us up to date on all that happened today, I'll be joined by one of the Billionaires for Wealthcare!

Here they are, participating in Saturday's 9/12 Moron's March....

Just keeping it all in perspective. ***Click here for my interview with Monet Oliver de Place***

Today, we finally saw the last of the five healthcare bills; this one from the Senate Finance Committee, headed by DINO Senator Max Baucus. If you're really a masochist, you can read the whole thing here.

Or you can listen to Mike Lux, author of The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in Best in America Came To Be, who also wrote a piece on Huffington Post today called "The Only Good News About The Senate Finance Bill? It Won't Pass" (Actually, he changed the title of the piece... It was originally called "The Good News and the Bad News about the Senate Finance Bill" but I guess that was a bit too charitable!) I'll speak with him about the bill, and his optimism that we will get decent health care reform through!

***Click here to listen to my interview with Mike Lux****

Then we'll lighten up in the second hour. It's that time of year again... the fall television season is rolling out, and the Emmy's are happening Sunday night. I'll speak with Glenn Garvin, TV critic and op-ed columnist for the Miami Herald to find out what we should watch, and what not to waste our time on.

**Click here to listen to my conversation with Glenn Garvin**

Listen live by clicking here between 11pm and 1am ET, call in at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here.

***Just moments before hitting the air last night, I heard that Mary Travers had died. I put together this little tribute to her music. Just click to listen***

Monday, September 14, 2009

What a Weekend it Was!

On Saturday, somewhere between 60 and 70 thousand people hit the National Mall in Washington DC to show they're lemmings without an original thought or the education to back it up. Yes, Glenn Beck told them to go, so they did, and in the process showed that they don't know the difference between Communism, Socialism, Nazi-ism... or any other isms.

Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, went to the rally Saturday so you didn't have to (not that you would have anyway), and here's his report:

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and blogger whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Huffington Post,, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and a writing fellow for the Nation Institute, and he'll join me tonight on Air America radio at around 11:15pm ET.

Speaking of that rally, the neanderthals that put it together just can't seem to tell the truth about anything. I guess they thought that with non-stop promotion by Glenn Beck and Faux News, all the like-minded assholes in the country would join them. Perhaps they did. The Washington DC fire department's official estimate numbered 60,000. But that wasn't good enough for the teabaggers, so they're claiming 2 million, and using old photos to back it up.

We'll get the facts straight on that tonight too...

In the second hour of tonight's show, we'll hear from T.R. Reid, author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. Luckily, I taped this interview with him Thursday afternoon, as I'm pretty sick today.

On Friday night, I told you I felt like I was coming down with something. And last night's Bruce Springsteen concert might have done me in, as I'm feeling really lousy tonight.

Will I go to the doctor? Probably not. I'm not running a fever, and I could do without the $50 co-pay I'd have to pay for a visit... If I could even get an appointment with my doctor. I'll leave you with this little ditty I found on facebook this weekend... Enjoy...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Last night.....

I didn't post it here before last night's show as I wasn't sure he'd be able to call in. But John Ondrasik (better known to all his fans as Five for Fighting) did call in at the top of the show last night...

John was in NY, appearing at an event at the Beacon Theater in honor of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, where he performed the song "Superman" that became an anthem for the first responders in the days following the attacks.

John's new album "Slice" will be out next month. The song "Tuesday," which will appear on the cd, was written about that day. We had the world radio premiere on my show last night.

Listen to our interview here.

I also spoke withe Ted Walter of, the organization working to get on the ballot in November calling for a new, impartial investigation of what happened on 9/11. Listen to that interview here.

And the second hour was spent talking with Jesse LaGreca, who blogs under the handle "Ministry of Truth" on Daily Kos, and Here's the link to that interview.

Have a great rest of your weekend... Steer clear of the 9/12 nuts, and I'll talk to you Monday night on Air America radio!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Today is 9/11/09. Eight years after the "9/11 attacks" on our country. I posed a question today on Facebook, "Remembering vividly where I was/what I was doing 8 years ago today. We live in a different world today... more hatred and vitriol. Is that just my perception?".

The responses came from every perspective, from "There is far more hatred and vitriol....instead of coming together and being grateful for what we have" to " I don't think there is any more hatred today. We just live in a world of communication where everything is magnified" to "I agree that our world is different today as a result, but I don't know if it's more hatred and vitriol or if we just tried to hide it better before. Now we can be more open about it and use 9/11 or patriotism as our defense for our hateful actions to each other. It's a shameful way to remember what happened and mourn those who died."

And on and on. Regardless, the consensus was that we're not seeing the camaraderie that we thought might be the only positive outcome of that day. If anything, we're a country more divided than we were before 8:46am ET on 9/11/01, and we're in a whole lot more pain.

In the years following 9/11/01, the then-president chose to use those events to advance his agenda, lie us into a war which cost the lives of thousands more US citizens than we lost on that fateful day, and take down our economy along the way.

In the first hour of tonight's show, we'll deal with 9/11--eight years later. Your calls on how things have changed -if indeed they have -- are welcome at 866-303-2270.

I'll also be joined by Ted Walter, executive director of NYC Coalition for Answers Now, who are working to get a ballot initiative in November calling for a new, impartial investigation into what actually happened on 9/11. He'll give us an update on what happened in court yesterday, and talk about what we've learned since the 9/11 Commission Report.

Even though we all know that Bush 43 was a despicable liar, no one would ever have the gall to treat him in the manner President Obama is being mistreated.

If you were to go back through my blog entries in the days and weeks leading up to election day, I believe you'd find a link to this scene from Blazing Saddles. It was the topic of endless discussions on my then-morning show in Miami, even before Obama was the nominee. I asked it then... when will someone just come out and say "The Sheriff is a Ni---"?

I've been waiting for someone else to say it... and though none of the asshole cowards at Faux News or their counterparts who got elected to Congress by preaching hate and bigotry have said it (publicly, anyway), an astute blogger did.

He writes a Daily Kos diary under the nom de plume of Ministry of Truth, (and also at and and it was his post entitled "Just call him a N!&&ER and get it over with. We ALL KNOW that's what you mean" that made me reach out and invite him on the show. MoT or Winston Smith hasn't divulged his real name on his blog. I'll leave it up to him to decide whether or not to out himself tonight, when he joins me in hour 2.

Listen live by clicking here, and join in the live chat here. And, of course, the lines are open from 11pm-1am ET tonight at 866-303-2270.

Dennis Kucinich - Health Care for All

Congressman Dennis Kucinich tonight held a conference call, the first of what will likely be more, to talk to us about working toward a single payer health care system in a real grassroots way. Only 400 people could be on the call, so I recorded it, and hope you'll listen. It's rare to hear so much common sense from an elected official these days.

Listen here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama At The Crossroads

Seriously! Tonight on my Air America radio show, a frank discussion with Brent Budowsky, a true Washington insider who worked as an aide to Senators Lloyd Bensten and Bill Alexander, and as chief deputy majority whip of the House, who still has the ears of many of the power players. We can all read his words of wisdom at the Pundits blog at

Brent will be with me in the second hour of tonight's show.

We'll kick it off with a visit from comedian John Fugelsang who blew us off last week because it was his birthday. In addition to talking about what's going on in our world (Obama's speech last night, perhaps?), John will tell us about a fundraiser for 9/11 first responders he's headlining Saturday night at Coopers Union in NYC.

And we'll follow that up with a visit from Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress with some stories that might have slipped under the radar...

Last night on the show, I read the letter that Ted Kennedy wrote to President Obama shortly after learning his cancer was terminal. I've had a few requests for it, so here it is. I hope that our President is taking these words very seriously...

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me - and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the president who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me - and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles - there always have been - and they are already under way again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family's health will never again depend on the amount of a family's wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will - yes, we will - fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign - and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young president who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young president inspires another generation and once more on America's behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend - and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,


(italics are mine... please heed these words, Mr. President!)

Listen live tonight from 11pm-1am ET by clicking here, call in at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Health Care as a Civil Right

***Links to the interviews here:
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Milt Shook of ***

By the time my Air America Radio program hits the air tonight (11pm EDT), President Obama will have wrapped up his address to a joint session of Congress and the American people. Some of us will likely be happy with what we heard; many more will likely be angry.

And I'm not talking about the obstructionists on the right. We know they'll oppose anything this president does or says, so their displeasure is neither newsworthy nor of concern.

I'm talking about the millions of people who worked their asses off to get Mr. Obama to the White House, and believed his campaign promises of hope and change.

I'm writing this a scant 22 minutes before the president reaffirms either my early belief that voting the smartest guy in the room into office was a good move, or my more recent sad revelation that he's just another politician pandering to the lowest common denominator and worrying about re-election. Twenty minutes...

Helping me tonight to understand what President Obama said, or didn't say, will be Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Milt Shook.

Milt writes the wonderfully in-depth blog, that deconstructs the right wing bullshit about health care reform. Jan Schakowsky represents Illinois' 9th District and has called, all along, for a "robust public health insurance plan upon implementation (meaning no "triggers").

And Dennis Kucinich... well, he's my hero. Along with John Conyers, Congressman Kucinich wrote HR 676-- the Single Payer Health Care bill. And he's pushing hard for it.

Tomorrow night, Congressman Kucinich will host a National Health Care for All Conference Call at 10pm EDT. Visit for all the details and to RSVP.

It's now 7:46... just 14 minutes away from changing the way I look at this presidency, one way or the other. I hope he reaffirms my initial thoughts....

Join me tonight on Air America from 11pm -1am EDT. Listen live here, call in with your thoughts at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

**Links to audio updated - just click on the links below to listen***

My "Carefully Taught" tribute to Obama's speech to America's school children

Tim Wise

Rob Weissman

Remember that song from South Pacific? It's back on Broadway, so it's not too hard to find. Here are the lyrics, just in case you need a reminder...

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

A couple of people, totally unrelated, mentioned that song on Facebook today. So I took it a step further. Yes, another production piece... as sometimes I really don't have to say anything. I'll debut it tonight on my Air America radio show, then post it here for all to hear...

In the first hour of tonight's show, I'll speak with Tim Wise, whose name is totally apropos! Tim is the author of four books on race, including his latest: Between Barack and a Hard Place Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama. Tonight, we'll speak about an essay he wrote about the ousting of Van Jones and the uproar over the President's talk to school children-- The Afrikaner Party Draws First Blood: Van Jones, Barack Obama and the Audacity of Capitulation. Read more of Tim Wise's writings at

In the second hour, we'll hear from Rob Weissman, the new president of Public Citizen about tomorrow's Supreme Court hearing on corporate campaign contributions. I know it doesn't sound very sexy, but it is incredibly important! In fact, take a few moments and visit and do whatever you can to help prevent us from a true corporate takeover of our country.

And we'll also listen to bits and pieces of President Obama's speech from today, and get my 10-year old's thoughts on it...

Of course your calls are welcomed at 866-303-2270, as is your presence in the chat here. Click here to listen live from 11pm-1am EDT/ 8-10pm PDT.

And just in case you missed it, here's today's lesson...

Back in Miami...

And not enjoying the humidity, or the way things work here in Florida. But I'll deal with some of that later tonight on Air America Radio...

First, links to the interviews from last week in LA...

8-31 Thom Hartmann joined me to talk about his new book, "Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture"

8-31 Thomas Frank of the Wall Street Journal on his op-ed piece "Health Care and the Democratic Soul"

9-1 Don Was and Jill Sobule joined me live in the studio for some talk and music. Check out Don's Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music and Jill's newest album "Califormia Years" at her website

9-2 Howie Klein, former president of Reprise Records who now writes one of my must-read blogs,, joined me in the studio, and brought one of his bands Translator in for an acoustic performance too.

9-3 David Swanson joined me to talk about his new book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union"

9-4 I was joined by two members of who are calling for a new impartial investigation into what happened on 9-11. Hear the interview here.

9-4 The week ended with a visit from Amy Simon and Lisa Derrick. Amy is the writer/producer/performer of Cheerios in My Underwear; Lisa writes the La Figa blog at FireDogLake.

Friday, September 04, 2009

One Week....

We are one week away from the eighth anniversary of 9/11/2001. Eight years ago next Friday, our world changed.

There are many unanswered questions, and many people who won't rest until they get the answers. During the first hour of tonight's show, I'll speak with two of them.

Manny Badillo lost his uncle in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Janette Mackinlay lived right across the street from the twin towers, and was in her apartment when the planes hit, and blew her windows out... and lots of debris in.

Both are now involved with the NYC Coalition for Accountability Now ( a non-partisan organization comprised of 9/11 families, survivors and concerned citizens committed to bringing about an independent, impartial investigation into the events of 9/11/01.

In hour two, we'll end a wonderful week broadcasting from Los Angeles with a fun look at the news of the week with Lisa Derrick, who writes the La Figa blog at FireDogLake. We'll also be joined by Amy Simon, writer/producer/performer of the longest running one-woman show in LA, Cheerios in My Underwear, who has a few things to say about back to school time....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's Fugelsang's Birthday

Although John Fugelsang usually joins us for an often- comedic look at the news of the day, it's his birthday... so he'll be back with us next week. But the party on the radio continues tonight.

Although I'm live from Los Angeles this week, tonight our guests are on the phone from places other than here!

In the first hour tonight, I'll be joined by Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress. Of all places, Christy is living in Alaska these days. And she usually has at least on Sarah Palin tidbits to share with us... and other stories that are definitely more important too!

In the second hour tonight, I'll be joined by my favorite activist, David Swanson! I first met David a few years ago, when I was hosting a morning show in Miami, and he was brought in to speak to the South Florida Impeachment Coalition. He had me at 'hello'... so to speak! I've been a fan ever since.

David's first book hit the shelves on Tuesday! Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union unseated Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin from the #1 and 2 spots on Amazon's non-fiction chart! We'll talk about it tonight from midnight to 1am ET....

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

So Much Fun, So Little Time!

My apologies to you and my guests last night (Don Was and Jill Sobule) for not writing yesterday! I'm so busy running around, doing the "my old homes tour" and seeing friends here in Los Angeles that the time is just getting away from me.

But last night was indeed a blast, as I was joined here in the studio by musician/producer extraordinaire Don Was and one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Jill Sobule.

I encourage you to check out Don's online world: The Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music... and Jill Sobule's site at

Tonight, my special guest in the studio is Howie Klein, who writes the DownWithTyanny blog. When I met Howie, he was president of Reprise Records, so we might finish up the show with a musical guest too. But be prepared for a couple of hours of honest political talk.

Listen live at , call in live at 866-303-2270, and join in the live chat here....