Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Obama Hosts GOP

Today President Obama met with Congressional leaders of both parties. I’d call it a “summit,” but it involves stooping to the level of people like the Republican leadership. Today’s meeting will include John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and Jon Kyl. How would you like to be in the same room as that bunch? Throw in a rabid weasel, and I think it’s a nightmare I once had. I’d rather spend the night locked in a hotel room with Charlie Sheen.

This meeting is a reschedule. McConnell and Boehner said they couldn’t fit Obama in for the date he originally proposed in November. Maybe Obama should have told Boehner there were going to be cocktails. The White House had been trying to keep expectations for today’s meeting low. That shouldn’t be a problem. It is, after all, with Republicans. Just to make sure that low expectations could be met, Boehner and McConnell wrote an op-ed in today’s Washington Post called “Where we and Democrats can work together.” Basically, they say they can work together on dismantling the Democrats’ agenda. If this op-ed was meant to prepare the ground for today’s meeting, it was like preparing the ground by digging a grave for it.

It almost seems that President Obama is trying to find common ground with the Republicans by adopting their worst ideas. Yesterday President Obama announced a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers. Given the fact that most people’s wages are falling, they should probably be relieved that it’s just a freeze. But is that really the way to get the economy back on track—to hold back the incomes of fairly compensated people until they’re on a par with the people who are being taken the most advantage of? The Republicans were talking about instituting just such a freeze when they take over Congress. Message to the President—beating somebody to the punch doesn’t mean punching yourself before they can. Some pundits say Obama is trying to get out ahead of the Republicans. The problem with that is that they’re going in the wrong direction! Of course, maybe he knows something I don’t. Maybe Obama is making a gesture to the Republicans. But I think I know what gesture they’re going to give him in return.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Anderson Cooper spanks a birther weasel last night on the TeeVee…

Monday, November 29, 2010

Randi Rhodes: WikiLeaks & Other Elbows to the Face

WikiLeaks is spilling over a quarter million confidential diplomatic cables sent to and from US embassies all over the world. There’s your government spending problem right there—just how big is our Western Union bill? The leaked documents show American diplomats saying what they really think about world leaders and events… which is pretty much the opposite of diplomacy. Many world leaders are referred to in very unflattering terms. But then if they didn’t know they were routinely referred to in those terms, they shouldn’t be world leaders.

Have a nice Thanksgiving? If anyone at the airport massaged your inseam, here’s hoping it went seamlessly. Overall, there were no nightmare scenes at airports on the day before Thanksgiving. In the end, most people opted out of opt-out day. A guy in Salt Lake City went through airport security in a Speedo. It was a perfect opportunity for anyone looking for exposure… in every sense of the word. Some would say that all of the media fuss was a blatant overreaction. But then what exactly is an overreaction when you’re talking about a pat-down of your junk?

Right before Thanksgiving weekend, Tom DeLay got convicted of two felony counts… just in case you were having trouble coming up with things to be thankful for. DeLay was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Essentially, he was convicted of acting like Tom DeLay. He was illegally funneling corporate money to Republican candidates, or pretty much of doing everything that John Roberts’ Supreme Court wants to allow anyone to do. DeLay is facing a maximum sentence of 99 years, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll even get jail time. I hope he gets it. I just want to see if Tom DeLay is going to be smiling as widely in his prison photo as he was in his arrest photo.

President Obama was injured in a basketball game on the day after Thanksgiving, needing stitches in his lip. As Presidential injuries go, it’s a lot better than passing out from eating a pretzel. George Bush fell over eating a pretzel, fell off his bike, and fell off a Segway scooter. Obama got elbowed in the mouth. It’s kind of nice to finally have a president who doesn’t cause his own injuries. Another person in the game accidentally elbowed the President in the mouth. I don’t play a lot of hoops, but if I’m in that game, I’m thinking my #1 priority is “do not injure the Commander in Chief.” I think I’m willing to actually miss a couple of rebounds, if it means not being the person who sends the President of the United States in for stitches. Well, if you’re going to get a dozen stitches in your mouth, I guess the day after Thanksgiving is the best timing you could ask for. At least you’re not going to be hungry for a while.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Thanks for the laughs, Leslie Nielson…

Thom Hartmann: FBI agents claim they prevented a potential terrorist attack in Oregon. Right? Well, Not Really.

FBI agents claim they prevented a potential terrorist attack in downtown Portland on Friday. A Somali-born teenager - Mohamad Osman Mohamud - parked a van packed with explosives near a large crowd gathering to watch a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. When he then tried to detonate the explosives with a cell phone - FBI agents swooped in and arrested him. Job well done, right? Well- not exactly. In reality - the FBI had been monitoring Mohamud for years when they discovered he had been emailing a friend in Northwest Pakistan - a known terrorist safe haven - back in 2008...when his concerned father provided the FBI with the tip about the people his son was visiting in cyberspace. Instead of talking to or helping Mohamud, the FBI agents decided to conduct a sting mission on him - reaching out to him - proposing the terrorist attack - assembling a fake bomb - providing the van - and setting Mohamud up to carry out the task. When he did - he was arrested. So is this really a success story? Or did Federal agents find a lonely, disaffected teenager - successfully radicalize him - and then arrest him to tout the Federal government's counter-terrorism expertise. There are still a lot of questions left to be answered in this case. One in particular - in order for the sting to not be considered entrapment - it must be proven that the individual - "was independently predisposed to commit the crime for which he was arrested." In other words - agents must have presented Mohamud with choices that did not involve violent crimes and see if he would choose to commit terrorism. However - of the multitude of recorded meetings and documents the FBI has released - the crucial meeting in which Mohamud is given these choices was not documented - apparently due to a technical error with the recording device. Seems pretty convenient. So what has been the result of the FBI saving the lives of hundreds of people in downtown Portland who were never in danger and also arresting a teenager trying to commit a crime that they completely set up? More terrorism. In a backlash against Mohamud and Islam - the mosque he frequently attended in Oregon was a victimized by arson. On top of that - DC metro police announced a new policy to start randomly searching metro riders' bags. So a religious building is actually burned down - and an important civil liberty is struck down by police here in DC. Is this really a responsible approach to stopping terrorism?


(What do you think the FBI should have done? Tell us here.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Happy Thanksgiving Flashback

President Obama is joined by the Malia and Sasha for the annual White House turkey pardoning.

Randi will return live on Monday. As she faces down TSA security and a dozen or so dinner guests, please enjoy some of our favorite moments of the past few weeks.

And while you’re here…

- Catch up on your
daily homework

- Listen to our exclusive daily comedy bits

- Participate in or just browse our message board

- Follow Randi on Facebook and Twitter

- View past daily show blogs

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

FLASHBACK 2008: Here’s what happens when half-term Gov. Sarah Palin pardons a turkey – talk about your death panels…

WARNING: This is a little gruesome (and the guy killing turkeys is pretty bad too).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thom Hartmann: American businesses posted the largest profits ever - and moved our jobs to China!

Between July and September this year - American businesses posted the largest profits ever - nearly 1.7 trillion dollars! Never have US companies been so profitable in the history of this country. In fact - this this is part of a steady trend that started when worker salaries began to flatten out with Reaganomics. Most recently, corporations have seen their profits steadily increase every quarter since 2009 - and then they went through the roof the last few months. Yet what have we seen in the labor market? Nothing. In fact - as businesses started making profits again last year - job losses continued. And now - even as we are seeing record-breaking CEO and stockholder profits - job growth is anemic. Why is that? Reagan told us that hiring would start when companies and their rich stockholders and CEOs started making profits again, and they used those profits to hire employees. That's how trickle-down economics says a labor market recovers from a recession. But Reaganomics - which we're still following after thirty failed years - is a crock. What makes economies recover is when workers have money in their pockets to buy things. Combine that with trade policies that keep manufacturing here in the US, and you have an economy. People buy things, that creates demand for products, which makes factories hire, which gives workers more paychecks. But after 30 years of Reagan/Clinton/Tom Friedman trade policy insanity, that chain has been broken and the factories - and thus the jobs - are now in China. 2 years ago - we all bailed out CEOs with taxpayer money - saving their butts - now those same CEO's are taking that money and running to China and India to build more factories. Oh - and they want a tax cut too. When are we going to realize our nation's relationship with corporate CEOs in no longer mutually beneficial? - Now it's simply parasitic.


(When are we going to realize our nation's relationship with corporate CEOs in no longer mutually beneficial? Tell us here.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Cashing-in on Terror

If you fly this Thanksgiving and start wondering how it got to the point where someone is ogling your junk on a scanner screen in a different room, you should know that the people who make the body scanners have doubled their lobbying expenditures over the past five years. How ironic—everyone can see right through what they’re doing! The people running the body scanner companies are almost as exposed as air travelers are.

Body scanner maker Rapiscan even hired former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff (pictured) last year. Michael Chertoff… how did we ever end up with a director of Homeland Security who looks that creepy in the first place? Chertoff looks like the host of a late night scary movie show on a local TV station. “Fright Theater,” with your host Michael “Chiller” Chertoff!

And while the body scanner companies are reaping a fortune, the workers at TSA are getting all the grief. They’re on the front line. Unfortunately for them, the front line is in my pants. It’s the TSA workers who have to come face to face with travelers’ frustrations. And face to face with their “junk” as well. Have a little sympathy with them. If you don’t like having your junk handled, just pause to think how much it would be to be on the other end of your junk. These people signed up for a job watching backpacks go through an x-ray machine, and suddenly their job description was changed to include giving genital massages. Poor TSA workers—they’ve gone from inspecting people’s laptops, to inspecting people’s laps. A lot of TSA employees are complaining that they’re being verbally abused while doing the pat-downs. I’m sure some of the people dishing out the verbal abuse are angry. And then there are people who just like to talk dirty when their junk is being handled. When faced with abuse, TSA employees are trained to turn the other cheek. And if that doesn’t work, they can always tell the passenger to turn the other cheek.

Incidentally, A survey shows that two-thirds of Americans support the use of full body scanners. That tells you one thing—at least two-thirds of Americans have no idea how bad they look naked. Happy Thanksgiving! Go ahead and have another piece of that pecan pie.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Last night on Larry King, Barbara Bush pinned the now infamous jarred fetus on her housekeeper and "forgot" that she was pro-choice…

Thom Hartmann: Is the next step for the GOP to strip rights away from Muslims?

So how do Republicans want to solve the current TSA security fiasco? By screwing over people who may "look like terrorists." Two words - ethnic profiling. Rather than investigate the machines or reconsider pat down procedures - Republican Congressmen Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Peter Hoekstra of Michigan want to limit the people who get irradiated or groped to only those of a certain ethnic background. In other words - people who don't look like them. In two separate radio interviews - both GOP lawmakers agreed that profiling is something they would advocate for as an alternative. While they are the first two federal lawmakers to endorse profiling at airports - the Conservative media - mainly Fox News and Rush Limbaugh - has been calling on this security tactic since this debate began a few weeks ago. Of course - it's much easier to advocate for profiling when you don't fit the profile - nearly every person who has spoken out in favor has been a white male. Besides the inherent racism in profiling - it also doesn't work and could make our country less safe. The past 3 attempted bombers have not been of Middle Eastern decent - the shoe bomber Richard Reid was a white Jamaican from the UK. The underwear bomber was Nigerian. And "jihad jane" was a blonde American woman. So is profiling really the best idea? Or is it just the next step for the GOP to strip rights away from Muslims. After all - they apparently can't build mosques in the country anymore.


(What do you think the next step should be? Tell us here.)

Randi Rhodes: Privatize the Junk Touching

Good news in your evolving physical relationship with the TSA: though he insists the pat-downs will continue, TSA head John Pistole says that airport screening “will be adapted as conditions warrant.” That’s only right. If you’re going to be putting your hands all over someone’s private parts, you’re going to want to be able to go with the flow. It’s a give-and-take kind of thing. Just remember, “no means no.” And “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested” means “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” Both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration is looking for ways to make the screening process less intrusive. I would hope so. If it were any more intrusive, I’d want to take a pregnancy test afterwards.

In a statement, Pistole said “We welcome feedback and comments” from the travelling public. Still, I assume that moaning “Yes! Yes! That’s it!” is not considered constructive feedback. TSA employees may not like the complaints, but overall, I think they would prefer people who complain about the pat-downs to anyone who seems to enjoy them. Really, if you want a protest that would stop these pat-downs immediately, just tell travelers who are going through the procedure to grin widely and yell “Yeah, baby!” in an Austin Powers accent.

The Republicans are joining the chorus against the TSA procedures because they want to privatize the TSA. So the only difference would be that the person with their hand on your crotch would get paid a lot less. I want well-paid, unionized TSA employees. I don’t want the person who has access to those naked full-body scans of me to be underpaid. There would be too much of a temptation to sell the scans on ebay. And I don’t want to get felt up by someone who is being underpaid. If I have to be groped, I want the person doing it to be happy.

Finally, former President Jimmy Carter says that Fox News has “deliberately distorted” the news. Well, yeah, there is some distortion. Fox is to news what Salvador Dali is to watches.

>>> MORE (including Barbara Bush on Sarah Palin)

Thom Hartmann: Bombing into the Stone Age?

You need to know this about Afghanistan. The old joke used to be that we couldn't bomb the country into the stone age, because most of it is already there. It's one of the poorest countries in the world, only about a quarter of Afghans can read or write, and there's no national radio or TV infrastructure - large parts of the country don't even have electricity. So when 9/11 happened here, nobody told the Afghans. According to a new report on the Afghan population, 92% of Afghans today don't know what 9/11 was. They have no idea why we're there, and 40% of Afghan adults think we're occupying their country simply to destroy Islam. This, after nearly 10 years of occupying the country. Still - military commanders and President Obama aren't getting the message, as it looks like US engagement in the country will continue beyond 2014. How are we supposed to be successful when most Afghans don't know why we're there? On top of that - how are we supposed to change hearts and minds - when the same prisoner abuses, illegal rendition practices, and unlawful drone strikes are rubber-stamped instead of investigated by an Obama administration. It's time to go.


(When do you think American forces should leave Afghanistan? Tell us here.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Host a Hookworm in my body for Allergy/Sinus Relief? Yes I would!

Say your allergies and asthma are a constant struggle. Standard Western medicine doesn't seem to help or you're tired of taking inhaled steroids, tired of using your inhaler three or four times a week, tired of not being able to catch a decent breath: tired of having your life restricted in too many ways to count.

How radical a treatment would you consider?

Would you consider ingesting hookworms on purpose? For the possibility of reducing or eliminating your allergy and asthma symptoms?

Think about it. You'd let hookworms, a commonly known parasite, live in your gut so your allergies and asthma would go away?

Does that sound like a great deal? Or like a horror movie with you in the leading role of host body?

One English doctor is looking into the matter in a very personal fashion. He has used himself as a guinea pig, infecting himself with hooks worms (up to 50 at one time!). And in 2006, the National Health Service of England started human trials with surprisingly positive results.

The New York Times reported on this story recently:

"While carrying out field work in Papua New Guinea in the late 1980s, [Dr. Pritchard] noticed that Papuans infected with the Necator americanus hookworm, a parasite that lives in the human gut, did not suffer much from an assortment of autoimmune-related illnesses, including hay fever and asthma... ‘The allergic response evolved to help expel parasites, and we think the worms have found a way of switching off the immune system in order to survive...That's why infected people have fewer allergic symptoms.'
His long-term goal, he added, is to figure out exactly how the worms turn down the immune-system radar, so he can borrow the tactics to develop alternatives to immune-suppressant and allergy-fighting drugs."

It's important to keep in mind that hookworms can cause significant health problems; this is not like swallowing your garden-variety earthworm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Hookworm is an intestinal parasite of humans that usually causes mild diarrhea or cramps. Heavy infection with hookworm can create serious health problems for newborns, children, pregnant women, and persons who are malnourished. Hookworm infections occur mostly in tropical and subtropical climates and are estimated to infect about 1 billion people -- about one-fifth of the world's population."

Yeah, THAT hookworm.

My first reaction to reading this story was an internal: "OMG! Never in a million years would I do this; I don't care how bad my symptoms are!" However, it was brought to my attention that my First World attitude might be showing. A dear friend, who has mild allergies and asthma, and is from a Third World country felt completely opposite to me. Her feeling was that if these worms eradicated her symptoms she'd totally try it without issue. She went on to remind me that we have millions of parasites, microbes, viruses and bacteria living in us at all time.

Ugh. Yeah, I forgot.

We Americas are highly bacteria-phobic: everything is anti-bacterial from cleaning products for our bodies, our cars, and our kitchen counters. Part of the so-called hygiene theory asserts that the rise in allergies may be due to our overly antiseptic society: a we're-way-too-clean backlash. My friend's point was that in her country, a traditional society where there's more focus on natural, less antibacterial, remedies, there are fewer allergies. Because of this focus, she has had less of a mental jump in believing that worms would be beneficial to her health and thus would be more willing to try them. But still, I in my firmly First World mentality can only think: "Ick, icky ick. Never."

What do you think?

For more information, see Allergy Treatment: A Healthy Dose of Hookworms? by Dr. James Thompson

Stacy Burke: My Day so Far this Monday Morning

4th Month & My Sinuses are still worse as ever. Another Night without Sleep due to clogged Sinuses not being able to Breath at all. No Relief even though I take all the Meds the doctor gave me, I take all the over the counter Meds that they make, I even get up in the middle of the night to Neti Pot my nose, I use the Breath Right Strips..... you name it, I have done it with no relief in sight. It is time for me to go find ANOTHER Nose Doctor, this doctor I have now is a Quack....I know I have a bad Sinus infection, I need Antibotics. Maybe tomorrow I will call around to find new Doctor.....however I doubt I can get an appointment before Thanksgiving......until then, I just gotta deal with it.
It is Nov. 22nd 9:30 Monday Morning and I already have the Turkey in the Oven, Mash Potatoes already Done, Green Bean Casserole almost time to come out of Oven......Just now sat down starting to quicky check a few emails before I go for Jog, Die my Hair, Shower, Finish Cooking and Hopefully have time to go through ALL my Emails & update a few things on my websites before my friend Slamm comes over to help me transfer Files to my External Hard Drive, shoot a few Photos & Video for my sites. Hopefully we will be done filming before 5pm -because l gotta get stuff ready for the LBC Wack Pack get here at 6pm for our Weekly Monday Night Dinners I host. They usually come, bring beer & watch Football while I serve them and Tinker on my Computer.
Ah yes.....and this is how I spend a Day Off.....Haha!!
oxox, Stacy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thom Hartmann: The Real War on Christmas...

You need to know this about the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires - the American people don't want them. A new CNN poll shows that 64% of the population does not want to see tax cuts extended for millionaires and billionaires. Now - it looks like Democrats in Congress are starting to listen. After a meeting with President Obama - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said they are both planning to hold votes that would extend tax cuts only to the middle class - leaving taxes to on the rich to return to Clinton-era levels, when the Rich were doing just fine. While the bill could potentially pass the House - it will still have an uphill battle in the Senate where a unified Republicans opposition will most likely filibuster it. Still - this is the right move. Let the Republicans explain to the American people why they are blocking a bill that will lower taxes for 98% of the population. To put it in perspective - Congressman Alan Grayson - who lost his re-election bid 2 weeks ago - took to the House floor yesterday to illustrate what millionaires can do with their new $86,000 annual tax cut courtesy of the Republican Party. Every year for the next ten years - they could buy a new Mercedes Benz E-class - or they could buy 20,000 jars of Grey Poupon mustard - or they can just buy 800 luxury cigars and light each one with a hundred dollar bill. Actually - all those purchases would stimulate the economy more than what millionaires will actually do with another $86,000 - invest it with their buddies on Wall Street - providing no stimulus to the economy whatsoever. Instead of the give-a-away to the rich - It's time we as a country think of a far better way to spend $70 billion a year. How about using it to extend unemployment benefits so those out of work can celebrate the holidays?
(Who should get what for Christmas? Tell us here.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Cable News Smacked Down Again

At a committee meeting yesterday, Senator Jay Rockefeller went off on the news media (video below). The irony is that Senator Rockefeller’s remarks made perfect fodder for the news media. Rockefeller said “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’” And look—he knew enough to put his comments in nice short, sound bytes for the cable news shows! Rockefeller said getting rid of Fox and MSNBC would “be a big favor to political discourse.” Actually, endless discussion of the facts wouldn’t be so much of a problem, if anybody were presenting the facts first. At this point, cable news viewers are exposed to more opinion than reality. But then, a lot of the opinions being expressed couldn’t survive exposure to reality.
Rockefeller also criticized the blurring of news and entertainment. So, Jay Rockefeller says that news has become entertainment. Big deal. Now, if Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber had said the same thing, we’d be talking. He said “our news media has all but surrendered to the forces of entertainment.” Gee, maybe somebody will edit his comments to a drumbeat and make a rap song out of it. Or perhaps those people in Taiwan who animate news stories will do one of their cartoons of Rockefeller saying that.

One of Rockefeller’s points was that the media is “in a race to the bottom.” If there is a race to the bottom, the smart betting money has got to be on Fox News to win. Fox News President Roger Ailes says that President Barack Obama has a “different belief system than most Americans.” If he’s referring to the belief system pushed by Fox, I have news for Roger Ailes—most Americans don’t believe your belief system. (Did I just say “I have news for Roger Ailes”? That’s obviously pointless. The last thing Roger Ailes has any use for is news.)

Finally, Senator Rockefeller said “As citizens, we are paying one heck of a price in the dumbing down of America.” I don’t think he was referring to our cable bill, but that’s a good point. We’re paying for the dumbing down of America twice. We’re losing our democracy, and it’s costing us something like $100 a month! And that’s only with one premium channel! The good news is that if you have a decent cable provider, you can experience the dumbing down of America on-demand for free as part of your cable service!

Thom Hartmann: If you're hungry, are you free?

If you're hungry, are you free? According to Republicans, over 17 million more Americans are free because of 30 years of Reaganomics. You need to know this: The US Department of Agriculture is reporting that 17.4 million households in the country had trouble finding enough food to eat last year. In fact - in one out of every eight homes - someone went hungry at some point throughout the year. Children in single parent households were most affected by a food shortage - along with African Americans and Hispanics. All in all - 14% of the households in our country - the richest nation in the world - suffered from what economists call food insecurity and the rest of us call hunger. And these numbers could have been much higher. The Department of Agriculture reports that though the number of hungry families spiked much higher in 2007 when the recession began - it has held steady since - thanks in large part to federal assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and free and reduced school lunches. On top of that - economists have proven that federal food assistance programs actually have a stimulative effect on the economy - with every dollar given out in food stamps producing $1.73 in economic activity as it circulates from the hungry person to the retail store to the wholesaler to the farmer. Unfortunately Republicans - didn't get that memo. They still insist a 3% tax cut for millionaires and billionaires so they can put more money in Swiss banks is a better stimulus for America, and they're willing to cut federal food assistance programs to pay for it. There you have it - the Republican Party is literally taking food off the table of hungry Americans - so fat cat banksters can get a million dollar tax-giveaway bonus, borrowed from China and handed to billionaires courtesy of Uncle Sam.
Are you free? Tell us here.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Terminal Hypocrisy

Travel alert: There’s a revolt brewing against the new airport security measures. People object to the full-body scanners because of possible radiation, as well as the intrusive nature of the scans. Essentially, they don’t want to be exposed to radiation OR to TSA employees. I guess of the two, the radiation isn’t quite as bad. At least radiation won’t snicker at you.
Newly elected Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who ran against ObamaCare, threw a fit when he found out his own government-subsidized healthcare takes a month to kick in. Andy, just why did you want the job as a Congressman? Was it to get health insurance for yourself, or to deny it to others? Get your priorities straight, buddy. On top of everything else, Andy Harris is a doctor! Physician heal thyself! Oh, I forgot, there is no cure for terminal hypocrisy. I don’t know what conditions Andy Harris may need his health insurance coverage for, but the good news for his is that I’m pretty certain that he’s immune to irony.
It seems that Lisa Murkowski now has an insurmountable lead in the counting in Alaska. But Joe Miller isn’t giving up. The Miller campaign says that Alaska’s entire computerized voting system is “suspect.” Uh oh. We know what Joe Miller’s campaign does with suspects—it handcuffs them. The Miller campaign is also suggesting possible voter fraud. If there’s any fraud in this election, I’m pretty sure his name is Joe Miller. Joe isn’t going to be happy until they allow him to count votes they way they do for Bristol Palin on Dancing With The Stars. If you haven’t been watching DWTS, organized and rabid Tea Party voters have gone in under the radar and foisted a completely unqualified Bristol Palin on an unsuspecting public… which is pretty much the plan they have for getting her mother elected in 2012.
Finally, it’s very doubtful if Congress will get around to extending unemployment benefits before they expire at the end of this month. My advice to the unemployed this Thanksgiving is—save those leftovers extra carefully this year.

Today’s Homework Discuss

Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger speaks out against the use of full body scanners for pilots and junk-touching pat downs for others…

Thom Hartmann: Stripping Oil of its Strategic Value

Two hundred years ago - and for a thousand years before that - one of the most strategic substances on Earth was salt. It was "strategic" because no army could travel without it - salt was necessary to preserve food in a pre-refrigeration era. Wars were fought over it, and countries that had lots of salt made out well, while landlocked countries with no salt reserves were forced to sell their natural resources in exchange for it.
Oil is the new salt. It is now the planet's number one strategic resource. And, as has been noted by numerous commentators since the first Gulf War in 1990-91, if the primary export of Iraq was broccoli, we wouldn't have given a damn that Saddam Hussein was a tin-pot tyrant.
We use a far greater proportion of the world's oil than we produce, so we have to buy the balance. This dependence represents a massive transfer of wealth from us to oil producing countries. It's a strategic blunder that would have horrified Julius Caesar, who expanded the Roman Empire all the way to central Europe when he ran out of fuel - wood - by deforesting virtually all of Italy , and then paid the price as his empire began to collapse from overexpansion. We transfer billions of our dollars to countries like Saudi Arabia. Oil revenues fund much of the fundamentalist Wahhabi movement within Saudi Arabia, and it's out of this movement that come the most virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, textbooks, and television and radio programming.
The OPEC nations don't adjust production to meet demand; they maintain it to control prices so they have relatively stable income. Thus, the only way we can change this situation is to reduce the amount of oil we use. Oil is a strategic commodity, and we need to strip it of its strategic value.
Learn more in chapter seven, "Cool Our Fever", of "Rebooting the American Dream".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Randi Rhodes: TSA Junk Patrol & Bush 41’s Junk

In Alaska, the number of write-in ballots counted for Lisa Murkowski is now some 1,700 ahead of Joe Miller’s vote totals. Joe, the handwriting is on the wall… unless you plan to challenge that handwriting too. Show a little dignity, Joe. Don’t bring this thing to the courts. Or as we say, “don’t go all Florida on our ass.”
In a recent interview, Lisa Murkowski said that Sarah Palin lacks the “leadership qualities” and “intellectual curiosity” to be president of the United States. Hello? Have you seen Sarah Palin’s TV show? She lacks the intellectual curiosity to be a reality show host. And why is it always news when somebody says that Sarah Palin doesn’t have what it takes to become president? It’s like pointing out that Angela Lansbury doesn’t have what it takes to become the heavyweight boxing champion.
On Fox & Friends George Bush told a story about his father that had him repeating the question “Are my testicles black?” several times. At first you’re a little taken aback. Then you realize it makes as much sense as anything they repeat on Fox News. To flesh out the story, evidently one time in the hospital, as a joke, the elder George Bush asked a nurse “are my testicles black?” several times until she started to check, and he changed it to “are my test results back?” Well, as jokes go, I guess it’s funnier than the old “fetus in a jar” gag that Momma Bush used to pull all the time.
If you’re travelling next week, be aware of the new airport security full-body scanners. If you refuse the scan, a pat-down search is mandatory. They’ve got you by the… well, let’s just say they’ve got you. The people you really have to feel sorry for are the TSA employees who have to do the pat-downs. There’s nothing worse than rubbing someone’s genitalia, and then getting negative feedback. I wouldn’t even want to be the TSA employee who has to look at the full-body scans all day. Though I imagine that looking at full body scans of average Americans would be a pretty good incentive to stay in shape. “Look at this guy. Note to self—go to the gym tomorrow!” I certainly wouldn’t want to be the person looking at the full-body scans when George Bush Senior goes through the scanner. “Hey TSA guy, are my testicles black? Well, are they?” “Heard it already, sir. Please move along…”

PBS edited out some of Tina Fey’s best lines on Sunday when they aired the Mark Twain Awards. See her full acceptance speech here.

Thom Hartmann: Lessons from Abroad; Germany's renewable energy program.

Given that Germany is one of the cloudiest countries in Europe, right up there with England - the sun only shines for about a third of the year - it seems crazy that it would have more solar panels per capita than any other country in the world, and that it employs over 40,000 people in the solar power industry. But the Germans made it happen. They figured out a way to use their existing banking and power systems to begin to shift from dependence on coal and nuclear power to solar. And all it took were pretty small tweaks, in the grand scheme of things.
We can and should do the same - begin to invest in solar and other renewable forms of energy in America. For far too long, we have been hooked on oil and we continue to pay a terrible price for it, economically, politically, militarily. We need to wean ourselves from it both for our own future survival and prosperity, and because so often other countries of the world look to us as an example of what they can or should do.
Learn more in chapter seven, "Cool Our Fever", of "Rebooting the American Dream".

Monday, November 15, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Sooo Lame!

Today the lame duck session of Congress convenes. No matter how much of a lame duck it is, this session of Congress can’t possibly be as lame as the one that’s coming. Democrats have a lot to get done… because when Republicans take over, they have a long list of things to get undone. A top Democratic Senate aide told CNN that Democrats want “to assess where we are and where we’re going.” Uh, that’s easy enough. We’re in trouble, and we’re going to hell in a hand basket. So get busy.
Admittedly, it’s going to be hard for lame duck Democrats to get much done while their offices are full of newly elected Republicans measuring for drapes and carpets. While the lame duck Congress meets, newly elected lawmakers are having a weeklong orientation. At least an orientation is a good idea, seeing as how so many of them are so disoriented. During the orientation, new lawmakers learn the basics of setting up offices and hiring staff. First lesson—avoid hiring a chief of staff who threatens people with bullets instead of ballots. That lesson can be phrased a different way—no matter how crazy you are, never hire somebody crazier to run things.
Not that the new Congress will have any monopoly on questionable behavior. Today Democratic Congressman Charley Rangel walked out of a Congressional hearing on ethics charges against him. Is he buying time? Maybe Charley is hoping that the incoming Republican Congress will be too busy investigating President Obama to deal with anyone else.
Finally, Michele Bachmann is hosting a class on the Constitution for members of Congress. Yeesh. If there are two things that don’t belong in the same sentence, it’s “Michele Bachmann” and “class.” Classes on the Constitution with Michele Bachmann? You’d get more out of anger management classes taught by Carl Paladino. “Instructors” include Sean Hannity, Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, and David Barton, an evangelist who has said church-state separation is “a myth.” Great class, Michele—you’ve assembled a faculty with limited faculties. Today’s Homework Discuss
Cindy McCain pulled a flip-flop on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell just days after this NOH8 ad was released

Thom Hartmann: Fix Our Monetary System

One of the biggest private sectors fueling money into politics these last few years - and causing the revolving door to swing ever faster - is the financial services industry. It is no surprise that financial services corporations are extremely interested in influencing government these days. The financial systems of the United States have been as badly corrupted by corporate influence as have most of our politicians.
Perhaps the most important player in our national economy is the Federal Reserve. In reality, the "Fed" is not federal and has no reserves. The Constitution specifies that only the Treasury Department - part of the federal government - has the power to "Coin money, [and] regulate the value thereof" and lays out no provision for a separate corporation such as the Fed to produce our money supply.
If you have paper money which says "Federal Reserve Note" at its top, it is not produced by the US government, but instead by the corporate-bank-owned Federal Reserve. The distinction is at once significant and irrelevant in this age of electronic money flying across the internet. It's significant because in all the years since it was created, the Fed has never been audited. It's arguably irrelevant because dollars - even those "created" by the Fed - are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. We're stuck with them.
There are two "solutions" that people knowledgeable about these issues suggest and that seem to make a lot of sense. The first is that the Federal Reserve be nationalized and brought under the purview of the Treasury Department, so the United States goes back to producing and controlling its own money and money supply. The second solution is for each of the 50 states to do what North Dakota did about 90 years ago - create their own state-chartered and state-run banks.
We should also bring back the STET Tax, to put a very small amount of sand into the stock market's gears, to borrow a phrase from economist Dean Baker who has written on this topic, and thus stabilize both the markets and the economy.
Banks should be thought of as public utilities, even if they're privately run. They exist to take deposits, facilitate commerce, and lend money to businesses and individuals. As such, they shouldn't be in the business of gambling or speculating with other people's money, but thanks to recent changes in regulation, all the big banks do. Until that day when our big banks are brought back under control, there are two alternatives. The first is to move your money into local, community-oriented banks, or switch to community credit unions.
Learn more in chapter six, "Make Congressmen Wear Nascar Patches" of "Rebooting the American Dream".

a Message from Tom Leykis Himself!!

Tom Leykis here.
Thanks so much for the email and other support I’ve been getting lately from people like you. As you may have read, we have announced a return date for The Tom Leykis Show of April 2, 2012. Where, when, and how you will be able to hear us will be announced in time. You can keep up with any details at http://www.newnormalnetwork.com.
Our newest project is taking of as you read this. Through The New Normal, I have created a new music format for the office called Your Office Companion. It is in no way like my radio show. This one you can turn on in the office and your boss will love it. If you are looking for music you can listen to in the office, we are kicking off with 10,000 songs in a row. Who needs a radio station? Click here and it will start to play immediately: http://www.yourofficecompanion.com. Please give it a try and, at the very least, the women in your office will thank you. It may even be good for your business.
Drop me a line and let me know what you think.
I try to drop you a line only when something new is happening. Thanks again for all the support.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thom's blog: Crazy Alert! Stone a liberal journalist to death?

Crazy Alert! A British Politician was arrested yesterday after taking to twitter and asking someone to stone a liberal journalist to death. Gareth Compton - a member of the Conservative Party - tweeted that he, "shan't tell Amnesty if you don't, it would be a blessing really," if Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was stoned to death. It seems Mr. Compton does not know how to use twitter as effectively as certain American politicians. The key is not to outright call for someone's death that you disagree with - but instead hint that your political enemy may be planning to kill - say...the elderly all over the country with something like...death panels. Way more effective - and also not a crime.
-Thom Hartmann
(What do you think the reaction would have been if a Republican or Democrat had tweeted like that? Tell us here.)

Randi Rhodes: Maddow/Stewart & Airport Private Parts

It's Friday, ya bastids!
Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed Jon Stewart for a full hour. It was a fascinating interview, but is it really a good idea to conduct an in-depth interview with a comedian? The thing about humor is, if you explain it, it’s not funny any more. While being awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey remembered to thank Sarah Palin. All comedians should. Sarah Palin has provided more jokes during her career than Bruce Vilanch. Fey said “I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn’t thank Sarah Palin for helping me get here tonight.” You could tell she wasn’t imitating Sarah Palin at that point, because she was speaking in complete sentences. Of course, Tina Fey has a huge career beyond her Sarah Palin impression, but she still finds time to imitate Palin. When you consider Sarah’s resignation as governor of Alaska, you could say Tina Fey works harder at being Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin does. Department of “Duh!”: Republicans and Democrats have different tastes in TV shows, according to a new study. Democrats favored cult hits like Mad Men, and Dexter. Republicans favored actual cults, like the Glenn Beck’s show. There were some puzzling items on the list. Republicans love Modern Family, which features a gay couple with a child. Maybe they think it’s science fiction. Have you been through one of the new full body scanners at airport security? I don’t want to say the images are hardcore, but they should include a black bar over your eyes. If you opt out of the scan, you get a full body pat down. Hello! If I don’t want to be ogled, what makes you think I’m OK with being fondled? The pat downs concentrate heavily on breasts and genitals. Is this security or foreplay? I wish people you were actually having sex with were this attentive. It is not OK to fondle me, even if you are a government employee. That message goes out to the TSA and to David Vitter. One man is trying to raise awareness by getting everybody to “opt out” and experience the TSA pat down procedures. National Opt-Out Day is set for the day before Thanksgiving. How about doing it the day after? I would feel a lot more self-conscious going through the body scans after I gain a bunch of weight at Thanksgiving dinner.

NBC’s 30 Rock tweaked the Tea Party last night with the help of a Mad Men co-star…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Thank you to All the Veterans!

Today is Veterans Day. In other parts of the world it’s known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. But hey, let’s not fight about it. The armistice to end the First World War took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. I guess they needed a handy mnemonic device to remember to stop killing each other. The First World War was called “the war to end all wars.” How did that work out? Here’s a clue—it’s now called the First World War.
Click here to donate to The Fisher House
In a nice touch, a lot of businesses offer freebies to vets and active duty military personnel today. Today all veterans and active duty military can eat for free at Applebee’s. However, tip is not included. They appreciate your service, but ask that you appreciate your server. Outback Steak House is offering vets and current members of the military a free bloomin’ onion today. Note to active duty members—I’m pretty sure the time spent eating a bloomin’ onion qualifies for hazard pay. And yes, veterans and active duty can get a free meal today at Hooters. If you like what you see, feel free to stand up and salute.
The two chairmen of President Obama’s special debt commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have thrown their two cents in on ideas for reducing the deficit. If we go forward with these ideas, you’ll be lucky to be left with two cents. This is the worst set of ideas I’ve ever seen that weren’t misspelled on a Tea Party sign. Among other things, they want to gradually increase the retirement age to 69 years old. I suppose that doesn’t sound so crazy to Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, whose job is just coming up with dumb ideas. That’s easy enough at 69 years old. But people with physically demanding jobs will have a rough time working until age 69. As Bernie Sanders points out “there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.” But if there are any, I think they should work on Alan Simpson’s house.
Have a good Veterans’ Day. Incidentally, there is exactly one living US veteran of the First World War, 109 year-old Frank Buckles, who was an ambulance driver near the Western Front. If Alan Simpson had his way, Frank would still be in uniform.
Today’s Homework Discuss
The chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, hits the white board to explain the importance of US exports and why the president is in Asia…

Thom Hartmann: Is a Food Bubble Coming?

Many of you may remember back in 2008 - as our economy was heading into full meltdown - there was also a food crisis hitting the entire globe. The price of wheat skyrocketed - creating panic around the world. 2008 became the first year in human history that the population of those who went hungry increased - an increase of more than 250 million people - in a single year! More than a billion people bordered on starvation. The food crisis was even felt in America where 49 million people struggled to feed themselves and demand for food stamps and soup kitchens increased considerably.
It was chaos.
But there was something strange about the 2008 food crisis and the price of wheat that caused it. Simply - there was no shortage of wheat. In fact - 2008 yielded the largest amount of wheat in the history of the world! 657 million bushels weren't sold at all! There was a record breaking surplus! So - with such an enormous supply of wheat - what caused prices to shoot up?
The answer is on Wall St.
In 1991 - Goldman Sachs was looking for another financial instrument to sell. They were tired of speculating with debt and real estate and realized the new horizon was food. So they created an index of commodities like cattle - corn - and wheat - that they could then sell to investors. As more and more investors bought into the food index - prices began to rise. So despite there being plenty of wheat - prices continued to climb thanks to investors purchasing more and more future food commodities. And in 2008 - "The Economist" noted that food prices had increased to a level not seen since 1845.
A bubble was being created - thanks to Goldman Sachs.
But - as then Chairman of the Kansas City Board of Trade pointed out, "This isn't just any commodity - It is food - and people need to eat." He was right - Wall Street bankers had manipulated the price of the most basic need for everyone on the planet - food - and the effects of the gamble rippled across the entire globe with hundreds of thousand of people dying of starvation. Meanwhile Goldman made a killing in profits - literally. Eventually - the bubble burst and prices returned to normal - but the damage was already done. The food crisis of 2008 was merely a by-product of loose oversight in our markets and millionaires and billionaires who had more money than they knew what to do with - thanks to the Reagan and Bush tax cuts.
This should be a lesson learned, right?
In today's "Financial Times" there was a story about food prices in the US spiking again. Due to extreme weather the US Agriculture Department once again cut crop forecasts and warned of a shortage in grain production. Corn yield estimates have now been cut for a third month in a row causing the price to jump to $6 a bushel for the first time since back in 2008. Cotton and soybeans also posted high prices reminiscent of the 2008 global food crisis. As food prices are on the rise - will Wall St. jump in the game again? After all - what else are they going to do with their billions?
Rinse, wash, repeat.
-Thom Hartmann
(How are you preparing for the food bubble? Tell us here

Things 2do in Long Beach while your In Town for GlamourCon.com

1.The Pike @ Rainbow Harbor http://www.thepikeatlongbeach.com/ @ThePike_LB
Rollercoasters, Hooters, Gameworks, Like a Big Fair plus Shopping Mall on the Water!

2. Shoreline Village http://www.shorelinevillage.com/ @ShorelineVillag
Food, Grub, Art, Bars, Merry-go-Round, Seafood, Boats, etc.

3. Queen Mary http://www.queenmary.com/ @TheQueenMary
A BIG Boat, Fine Dining, Bar on top of Deck, Kids Stuff, Tours, Shops, Hotel.

4. Chucks Coffee Shop http://TinyUrl.com/ChucksLB
The Best Breakfast EVER! FYI: They Close @ 3pm SHARP & Cash ONLY!

5. Belmont Brewing Company http://www.belmontbrewing.com/
Home Brew. Food on the Water - tell them I said 'Hi' - I used to work there - they called me by my neckname: Kat

6. Murphy`s Pub http://murphyslongbeach.com/ home of the @LBCWackPack
Cute Pub on 2nd st. in Belmont Shore - Roy & I go here alot - Home of The LBC Wack Pack as seen on E! 'The Girls Next Door'

....Keep Checking this post because I may add more to it ....Long Beach is a Really Big & Fun Town!! oxox, Stacy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Alaska's Florida & Kanye's Mea Culpa

The fallout from last week’s election keeps falling out. In Alaska, it’s still Lisa Murkowski versus Joe Miller. It’s kind of like the recount in Florida in 2000, except that nothing good can come out of it. Lisa Murkowski is trying to be the first write-in candidate elected to the US Senate since Strom Thurmond in 1954. Odd that Republicans oppose funding for education, then need to rely on people’s correct spelling to win. Joe Miller has sued to force election officials to allow no leeway whatever in terms of misspellings on the write-in ballots. It sounds to me that Joe Miller is trying to disenfranchise bad spellers. I got news for you, Joe—if it came down to it, most of your supporters couldn’t spell “Miller.” Heck, a lot of them would have trouble with “Joe.” Incidentally, the ballot counting will be streamed live on the internet… for those of you who don’t know what to do with yourselves since the BP oil spill-cam shut down. The most expensive Congressional campaign this year on a per-vote basis was Sharron Angle’s campaign. They spent $97 per vote, and they lost. How can you spend $97 per vote and not beat a politician as unpopular as Harry Reid? At $97 per vote, a ham sandwich would have beaten Harry Reid. Hell, at $97 per vote, you should be able to get a whitefish-with-capers sandwich elected, even if the whitefish is starting to smell a little funky. South Carolina electoral oddity Alvin Greene is mulling a run for President. Hey, if he’s looking for a running mate, somebody give him the email address for Basil Marceaux. Finally, Kanye West has apologized to George Bush (video below) for saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Well, West’s original statement was correct, but it was misleading. He should have noted that George Bush doesn’t care about most white people either. Kanye apologized by saying “we as human beings don’t always choose the right words.” Kanye, if you’re saying that to George Bush, you’re preaching to the choir.

Thom's blog
Why Does a Cashed Strapped Mother Sell her Baby?
You need to know this about our nation's grim labor market. In Florida - a cash strapped mother of a newborn tried to sell her baby for $30,000 to pay off legal bills and buy a new car. Luckily the person she tried to make the sale to was an undercover cop and she was arrested. This case highlights a disturbing situation in our country though. Welcome to America - the home of a desperate underclass with no hope of finding a job. According to a new study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics - there were 2.9 million available jobs in September - unfortunately there were nearly 15 million people unemployed. That means there is only 1 job available for every 5 people looking. Yet Reuters is reporting that companies have plenty of money to start hiring - with over $1 trillion dollars in cash on hand - they just aren't doing it. That's because the Chamber of Commerce and their allies in the Republican Party continue to promote job outsourcing. Thanks to Republicans, if you want a good American job? Move to India.
(How do you think jobs can come back to the USA? Tell us here.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Heeeee`s Baaaack!

HOUR ONE GUEST: Dr. Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.
Let’s take a break from obsessing about current Republican nightmares, and revisit a Republican nightmare from the past. George Bush recently sat down with Matt Lauer. Bush didn’t exactly open up about his mistakes. Thank God. Bush “opening up” about his mistakes would be a venting that would dwarf the BP oil spill.On his “Mission Accomplished” speech, Bush said he was caught up in an “exhilarating moment.” I guess the codpiece went to his head.
He says he didn’t fire Donald Rumsfeld over Abu Ghraib because “there was no obvious replacement for Don.” What? All a person needs to replace Donald Rumsfeld is an ability to stand for prolonged periods and talk nonstop without saying anything. I’ll tell you where you can find a replacement for Donald Rumsfeld—in the areas north, west, south, and east of Washington. He said the photo of him looking out the window of Air Force One in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina made him look “uncaring and detached.” I think photographers refer to that as “capturing the moment.”
George Bush claims he was not in shock when he sat there stunned after being told of the attacks on 9/11. I’m sure he was NOT in shock. 9/11 was just the inevitable result of the half-assed way he had been conducting national security. Still, he wants people to know that he was not paralyzed into inaction. No, the paralysis had occurred earlier, when he was handed a memo saying “Bin Laden determined to strike within the US.” The former president also described his battles with booze. He says that he was never tempted to start drinking again during his presidency. Good. He would have had to fight the rest of us for the vodka. Of course, in the end, all of his years of hard drinking failed to prevent George Bush from getting to the White House. Well, the bottle let us down again.At least watching this interview makes it clear why Republicans begged George Bush to hold off his book tour until after the election. If Bush had been all over the airwaves 10 days ago, every Democrat this side of Alvin Greene would have won their election. How soon we forget. And that’s pretty much what Republicans rely on.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Jon Stewart took a member last night to answer his rally critics from the left and also weighed in on the Olbermann suspension…

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Thom's blog
Big banks bending the rules again
You need to know what the big banks are up to. After Democrats passed Wall Street reform legislation earlier this year - big banksters are now trying to soften many of the new rules put in place to prevent another financial crisis. At a conference yesterday - Wall Street lobbyists and big bank CEO's met to discuss ways to "reshape" new rules. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman railed against what he called anti-Wall Street sentiments coming out of Washington and urged, "The financial system nearly shut down. It's only two years on. You need a little bit of patience to rebuild, to accumulate the capital you need." Boo-hoo. Right...the consumers need patience - yet, the CEOs can't wait another second to collect their fat bonus checks. This year, executive bonuses are expected to be higher than last year - seems like they're doing ok to me. Of course these CEOs have a new ally in Congress as Republicans - like incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor - have vowed to soften parts of the Wall Street Reform bill. Do they not remember what got us into this mess 2 years ago?! However - one place big banks don't have an ally is in the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - temporarily headed by Elizabeth Warren. Appearing on MSNBC last night, Warren said this about the big banks' efforts to kill consumer protections, ""The Wall Street lobbyists said they would kill it before it was ever born. They lost. And they lost because this is an agency that really is there for middle class families." Finally - after 2 years - It looks like someone in the Obama Administration is looking out for the little guy.
Do you think the banks will succeed? Tell us here.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Can`t Keep a Good Man Down

Great to be back on in NYC! Thank you 1600 WWRL!
NBC Universal has announced that Keith Olbermann will return on Tuesday, after being suspended for two working days. Olbermann was suspended for making political donations of $7,200 to three Democrats. $7,200! The Koch brothers give so much to Republican causes that they probably spend more than $7,200 on check printing fees. Fox News doesn’t suspend people for making political donations. The people at Fox News give more money to Republican politicians than they do to their own 401K plans. In a sense, having Republicans in power is the savings plan for people at Fox News. Besides, Fox News personalities don’t have to give money to Republican politicians. All of the Republican politicians ARE Fox News personalities.

The newly elected Republicans are crystal clear that they want to slash government spending. The part that isn’t quite so clear is what specific items they intend to cut. I have a feeling that Republicans aren’t ever going to tell you what they’re going to cut. You can just find out about it when your Social Security check bounces.

Total spending on this year’s election was over $4 billion. So in some ways it was like an economic stimulus program. What did we get out of it? We would have been better off building $4 billion worth of “bridges to nowhere.” Yes, those bridges would be useless, but Rand Paul is beyond useless. $4 billion! The budget for the “Cash for Clunkers” program was only $3 billion. Of course, when you look at the people who got elected, this election was just a different type of “Cash for Clunkers” program.

Finally, Florida Governor Charlie Crist is considering a posthumous pardon for Doors’ singer Jim Morrison on indecent exposure charges from 1969. Go for it. Really, nothing Jim Morrison could have exposed in Miami in 1969 could be nearly as disgusting as what elderly guys in Speedos expose in Florida every day now.

The new film Inside Job aims to expose the freaks behind the economic collapse of 2008. It is now playing (or soon will be) in a theater near you…

Thom's blog
3 millions jobs in India - not the US!!
You need to know this about President Obama's trip to Southeast Asia. He says it's an effort to open up markets to India - the world's largest democracy - and for the Wal-Mart executives with him, that's true. They want to sell more stuff made in China in India in their retail stores, and are frustrated that Indian law only allows one company to own two retail stores. They're using Obama's prestige to get that law blown up. Additionally, Obama is there selling the only things we still make in the US - military hardware and airplanes. He says that will create as many as 54,000 jobs in the US, because, he says, the Indian consumer market is so large. But we no longer make consumer goods in the US! Meanwhile, the President is also bringing with him more than 200 business leaders - including leaders from Wal Mart. As Wal Mart CEO Michael Duke points - more than 3 million jobs can be created in India if he can get their laws changed. That's 3 millions jobs in India - not the US. Likewise, Honeywell already operates a facility in India employing 11,000 low wage engineers and scientists. Honeywell CEO David Cote says his company has moved American engineering jobs to India because India has "superior engineering". What they really have is cheap labor. Obama's simply continuing the insane free trade policies of Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton. And, as long as they continue - your jobs will continue to vanish overseas.
Do you think Obama's Asian trip will lead to more American jobs? Tell us here.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Calling Out Democrats to Come Have Happy Hour with Me!

I was just wondering if there is anyone here that are local to Long Beach California? My hubby has a bunch of friends (now my friends) that we hang with. They are very Right Wing - no biggy -but I get attacked or brought into a debate alot -mainly by protest. I can hold my own and do most of the time.....but it can get tiring and it causes a few fights within the group & my hubby. Sometimes I gotta just walk away -but then Im alone. I have a few friends that feel the same as I do polically, but they all are not around. I was just hoping that next time me & my hubby are out at our local pub that I can find some people that are on my side of the political arena that I can talk to while they bark among themselves. If you do live in Long Beach, Please, you are most welcomed to pop by Murphy`s Pub on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore ( http://MurphysLongBeach.com )-connected to the Belmont Athletic Club -that`s our usual hang out, especially on a Friday Night. It would be refreshing conversation!
Thank you!!
oxox, Stacy

Friday, November 5, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Progress Suspended

It's Friday, ya bastids!
DEVELOPING: Keith Olbermann suspended indefinitely over campaign contributions
The whole rightwing echo chamber is obsessed with the cost of President Obama’s trip to India. Righty radio, Fox News, Drudge… they’re all yelling that the trip is going to cost $200 million per day, a figure evidently plucked from the same tree that grew the death panels notion. And of course Michele Bachmann picked up on it. Because what’s a ridiculous story without a ridiculous spokesman? $200 million per day? This is a presidential trip, not a Tom DeLay golf outing. And what exactly is the point of criticizing the cost of an official trip by the President of the United States? Conservatives didn’t get upset when George Bush traveled to Iraq that Thanksgiving to deliver a plastic turkey. Is Michele Bachmann saying that when the President is visiting a foreign country that suffers frequent terrorist attacks, that that’s the point we should really be pinching pennies? The newly-released jobs report for October shows that the economy actually added 159,000 private sector jobs in October. The big question is how long will it take for the Republicans who were elected in November to claim credit for it. Unfortunately, the latest jobs report came a few days too late to save a lot Democratic members of Congress their jobs. And it’s not just them. Over 2,000 Democratic Congressional staffers will also lose their jobs. Maybe some of these Democratic staffers should apply for jobs as Republican staffers. All they have to do is take all of their knowledge and expertise, and completely forget it all.
One final story to put you in a weekend mood: John Boehner likes his booze. Maybe he wears that fake orange tan to hide the bright red flush from being so stewed all the time. If we had access to what’s flowing through John Boehner’s bloodstream on any given day, we could solve this nation’s energy crisis. Boehner is well known for hitting the bars by 5 or 6 o’clock every day. And by about 7:30, he’s already referring to himself as the “Shpeaker of the Housh.” Have a great weekend. But remember, if you’re driving, stay away from John Boehner.

Today’s Homework Discuss

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Mourning After
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Thom's blog
Less than a week for the GOP to completely ignore voters
Only a mere four days after taking back control of the House of Representatives - Republicans are already drunk on power. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the GOP's agenda over the next two years and it can be summed up in 2 words: Dump Obama. McConnell says that the only way Republicans can succeed in passing legislation to repeal health care reform, end bailouts, and cut spending is to, "put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things." Keep in mind that a plan to simply repeal health care reform and end bailouts won't do anything to bring down the nation's nearly 10% unemployment rate - So the American people shouldn't expect any real solutions to come out of the House for the next two years. Republicans have already made their choice - politics over policy. And they are not going to budge as indicated by GOP Congressman Mike Pence who said there will be, "no compromise" with Democrats on their legislative agenda. "Are you listening President Obama?!" This statement comes on the heels of a new Reuters poll that said 56% of voters want to see bipartisan consensus on policy making and according to a CBS poll - 78% of Republicans - that's Republicans! - want their party to compromise to get things done. There you have it - it only took less than a week for the GOP to completely ignore voters. As Harry Truman said 1948 when he accepted the Democratic nomination, "the people know that the Democratic Party is the people's party, and the Republican party is the party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be." Something's don't change. And if Obama doesn't start acting like Harry Truman, they never will.
- Thom
(How long do you think it will be before voters turn their back on the Republican Party? Tell us here.)