Saturday, December 31, 2011

How to break up with a woman By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

Breakups are horrible. There’s no other way to put it. But keep in mind that what happens in the moments before, during and after you deliver those three little words (“this isn’t working”) will forever determine how you’re remembered by the person left behind. Will you be that great guy she remembers wistfully… or the jerk she can’t believe she ever dated?

Unless there has been some egregious violation of the dating code — i.e., she did something so unforgivable you get a free pass to behave badly in return — most women would ask for just one thing: end it with dignity for the sake of everyone involved. “Dumping someone is never fun, but if you’re clear about why your relationship has to end and you know that it’s time, you owe it to the woman to make the break,” says dating coach David Wygant. “Just be kind, honest within reason, and brief.”

With that in mind, we decided to gather input from women and experts about the best way to let her go; here are their tips for making a clean break:

Don’t just pull a disappearing act on her
Sadly, this is an all too common tactic with men, but listen up: it’s just not cool at all. “My friends and I agree that there’s nothing worse than fading away into oblivion!” says 29-year-old Stacey from Pensacola, FL. “Then the girl is left just wondering and waiting.” Women need some sort of closure, and you owe her some kind of explanation before you decide to vanish from her life.

Consider the timing before breaking the bad news to her
Though it’s not totally your responsibility to see how she survives the breakup, you can help ease the transition by carefully considering when to break the bad news to her. “It’s thoughtful and courteous to be aware of what is going on in her life,” says JoAnn Magdoff, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in New York City. In other words, don’t be an extra-special jerk by delivering the news when she’s already going through a rough patch. If she lost her job yesterday, give her a little time to adjust before having the big talk.

Don’t rely on technology to do the deed
We live in a world of cell phones, BlackBerries and IMs, which means it’s easier than ever to get in touch with each other... but please don’t use it as a way to escape confrontation. “Using technology to break up is a cowardly act — it means you don’t have the nerve to face me,” says Kerry, 37, from Portsmouth, NH. “If you liked me enough to kiss me, spend time with me, and have a romance with me, then I think the very least you can do is honor that connection by ending it in person.”

Give her adequate face time
You may be tempted to deliver the news and then get the heck out of there, but there’s nothing worse than bringing up the subject when you don’t have adequate time to discuss it. Yes, that means you will have to talk to her and you might have to witness some tears, but it’s the right thing to do. “My ex broke up with me by meeting me for coffee, and we had a very open and civilized conversation,” says Gigi, 39, from New York, NY. “Yes, it still hurt... but because of the classy way he handled it, we didn’t lose our friendship, too.”

Choose your breakup location wisely
There’s no reason to break the news behind closed doors — but a bit of privacy can be a good thing. What you shouldn’t do is deliver the news anywhere that she’ll lose her dignity. “If you’re at a party surrounded by friends where everyone will see her if she bursts into tears, that’s not a good call,” says Wygant. “This is between the two of you, not your whole posse.” Wygant also suggests staying away from your favorite haunt or the place where you had your first date (or anywhere that could evoke painful memories). Think neutral, semi-private, and let her save face if she becomes overwhelmed with emotion.

Don’t be cruel in the name of honesty
Women need “reasons” so they can accept the breakup and move on. But there’s one big caveat… don’t be spiteful or hurtful when you give them to her. “Getting broken up with is insulting at some level and just being rejected feels bad enough. So why make the person feel worse?” offers Laurie Puhn, J.D., author of Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life. No woman wants to hear that you’re dumping her because she has bad breath, or that she’s no longer attractive to you, or you’re insanely attracted to her best friend. These kinds of reflections shouldn’t be shared: “You’re no longer entitled to give advice or criticism because you aren’t her boyfriend anymore,” says Puhn. Instead, your reasons for the split should focus on how you two aren’t good matches for each other. Try saying something like, “Both of us are good people, but I don’t think we’re the right fit together romantically.”

Stay strong in your assertion that it’s time to end things
You start to deliver the news; you see her lip start to quiver and you think, Oh no, she’s going to cry. Should you attempt to soften the blow by saying, “Well, there might be a chance for us in the future but right now the timing isn’t good” or “Maybe when things quiet down at work” or “I think I just need a break” (or whatever will quieten her down)? No, no, no! Giving a woman a false sense of hope will not help her heal. “If you know it’s over, spare her the agony of pretending that you might call her sometime when you won’t,” says Magdoff. “If you really aren’t certain about the future, you can say ‘I’m not sure, but please don’t hold your breath…’”

Don’t freak out if she gets emotional afterward
We’re reputed to be the more sensitive gender, remember? So yes, there’s a chance that she might start sobbing or screaming or otherwise emoting (and you need to let her do whatever it is instead of trying to quieten her down). “If she gets hostile or weepy, stay calm and let her get angry or hysterical for a little while; remember, you’ve been thinking about the breakup for weeks, she heard about it 10 seconds ago,” says Puhn. If she gets more and more worked up as the minutes pass, however, take your leave and give her some down time to adjust to this new information. “Before walking away, however, set a specific time to talk later to give her security that you’re willing to explain yourself and listen to what she has to say when she’s calmed down,” Puhn adds.

Don’t use that “It’s not you, it’s me” line on her
Everyone knows that if someone leaves you, it’s because you’re not who this person wants to date — and that’s the bottom line. “Anyone on the receiving end of this line can see through it,” says Magdoff. She suggests that a better phrase to utter might be, “Who you are and what you want are absolutely terrific, but where I am right now is a very different place.”

End things properly with her before you start seeing someone else
Uh, hello? That’s called cheating! And if you intentionally stray in an effort to make her break up with you, you’re a coward and deserve whatever reaction you get. Also, forget about using the “I’ve met someone else” escape clause. Introducing a new love into a breakup discussion only tortures your soon-to-be ex. “After three years together, my boyfriend ended it with me over the phone by saying he’d met another woman on his trip to Europe,” says Jenny, 30, from Seattle, WA. “I spent the next two years wondering, What’s it like for them? Is it different from when he and I were together? Do they order the same kind of takeout? Do they listen to the same music we listened to? Do they laugh as much? Do they laugh more? And what makes her so much more appealing than me?” Get the point? Mentioning another woman really hurts and unnecessarily intensifies the pain.

It’s OK to agree to keep in touch (on special occasions only)
Calling just to check up on her in a week or even a month is not really helpful. It just confuses things and catapults you back into the forefront of her mind. There is one exception here, though… the special occasion. “If it’s her birthday or a holiday and you were very close, then it is sweet to call to wish her well,” says Puhn. However, don’t call to make plans, don’t call to discuss sensitive issues and don’t talk with her for longer than 10 minutes. “Be acquaintances and keep in mind that acquaintances rarely talk more than twice a year,” says Puhn.

Reassure her
One final point — let her know that she mattered to you. Puhn suggests saying something like “I enjoyed being with you, and I value the time we spent together, but we just aren’t right for the long run.” She needs to know that you didn’t consider her ‘a waste of time’ or unimportant. That will help her risk giving her heart to someone else in the future.

Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Maxim, and Marie Claire. For the other side of the story, read How to break up with a man.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Randi Rhodes: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year, ya Bastids!

Randi's got one more day of vacation - she'll be back live on Monday (1/2). Today, guest host Nicole Sandler will wrap up the year with YOUR New Year's Resolutions, she'll conclude her year-in-review, and look forward to 2012 with some great guests:

Comedians Ralphie May (Last Comic Standing) and Hal Sparks (Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour) will take a humorous look back on 2011 and and offer up a preview of the laughs to come in 2012 - we miss you already, Herman Cain!

And the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz of Florida, will discuss the wannabes lining up to challenge President Obama, the fight to regain the House and keep the Senate, pushing back against the forces driving the voter suppression agenda, and the DNC's latest online effort:

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The A/V geeks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue take a somewhat lighter look back at year three of the Obama Presidency...

Koch Bros - It's the evil thing....sing along!

Randi Rhodes: Saboteurs

Randi's on vacation this week and will return live on Monday (1/2). Nicole Sandler will be filling in again today; she'll be winding down her year-in-review and looking ahead to 2012 with some great guests:

Cliff Schecter, political pundit, PR strategist, author, and political columnist for Al Jazeera-English will take a look back at how conservative policies damaged the economy in 2011 and why Newt Gingrich's surge is turning into a slump in Iowa.

Journalist, radio broadcaster, and political commentator Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog has his eye on the January 3 Iowa Caucuses as well as the voter suppression tactics the GOP is deploying for the 2012 elections. He'll talk with Nicole about why the Republicans are making it so hard for you to vote, but they'll let anyone caucus with no photo ID required.

Finally, if you're afraid the New Year's weekend will only be filled with re-runs of "Lockup" and college football, this weekend the award-winning singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked will be leading the next step in the Occupy movement. Occupy The Rose Parade will march and protest in Southern California on New Years Day. Michelle will join Nicole today to talk about Phase 3 of the Occupy Movement and what new directions Occupy might take next year.

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Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer continues his hand-wringing over how the 'ridiculous' GOP Congress And 'embarrassing' candidates are playing right into Obama's hands...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thom Hartmann: Are the days of a free and open internet over?

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There's a backlash underway against supporters of the Stop Online Privacy Act - known as SOPA. The legislation - which is currently stalled in Congress until next month - would give the federal government - working with major entertainment industries - the power to take down websites that may be displaying copyrighted material. Domain registrar publicly supported SOPA - and now has seen more than 120,000 domain names transferred from its services thanks to a groundswell of Internet activism calling for boycotts on GoDaddy. Meanwhile - two main proponents of the Internet censorship legislation - Republican Senator Bob Corker - and Republican Representative Paul Ryan are being target in an online campaign calling for people to dig up dirt on them and ruin their political careers. Sadly, the days of a free and open Internet will be numbered if SOPA becomes law.
(What do you think will happen? Tell us here.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Cenk Uygur on Today

Randi's on vacation this week and will return live on Monday (1/2). Our good friend Nicole Sandler is in once again, with a great slate of guests and topics including:

Jeff Sharlet, professor, writer, and author of "C Street and the Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" and "Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country In Between." He also organized 'Occupy Writers', an event to help organize some of America's top writers in support of the Occupy movement. Jeff will provide a look back at the Occupy movement and talk about where it may go in 2012.

Lisa Graves, executive director of the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy and editor-in-chief of Lisa will update us on the recall efforts against Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker, and she'll also cover the plan to use big money - like that of the Koch Brothers - plus voter ID laws to swing the elections in 2012.

Finally, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks talks about the expanding his show onto Current TV, and he'll help Nicole both look back at 2011 and forward to a 2012 - a year that promises to be anything but boring.

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With the Iowa caucuses just days away, the GOP candidates continue to try to out-freak one another at every turn. Here, Rick Perry explains how a DVD 'transformed' his views on rape & incest exemptions when it comes to a woman's choice...

Thom Hartmann: The world is clearly different now, post-Fukushima

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Scientists are trying to figure why scores of seals have washed ashore in Alaska this year either dead or suffering from a mysterious disease. The seals have lesions, irritated skin, and hair loss - often symptoms of radiation poisoning - and scientists worry it might have come from the Fukushima plant in Japan. So far - there's been no sign of elevated radiation in the waters in the Pacific Northwest - although the US government moved monitoring from daily to quarterly - but scientists are conducting tests to determine if indeed the seals have been poisoned by nuclear fallout making its way to US waters from Japan. Test results aren't expected for a few more weeks. A study conducted earlier this month suggested that as many as 14,000 premature deaths in the United States - mostly among infants - might be attributed to nuclear fallout from Fukushima. The world is clearly different now, post-Fukushima. No nukes.
(How has the world changed for you? Tell us here.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thom Hartmann: Groped Over Christmas Holiday

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While Louise and I said "No" to the Chertoff Porno X-Ray Scanners this past weekend - and so were punished by waiting and getting groped - the TSA's "security theater" has hit the road. TSA Security teams are now roaming the country setting up shop at other transportation depots besides airports. Over 9,300 unannounced checkpoints were set up this year at places like train stations, subways, ferries, and other mass transit hubs - costing taxpayers 110 million bucks. While they left the Chertoff x-ray porno scanners back at the airports - the TSA teams do arm themselves with radiation detectors and dogs. There's no proof that the random checkpoints are working to prevent any sort of terrorist attack - but they are doing one heckuva job trampling on the rights of Americans to be presumed innocent for just wanting to get on a bus, train, or plane.
(Do you feel safer because of the checkpoints? Tell us here.)

Randi Rhodes: Showdown 2012 / Countdown 2011

Joyous Kwanzaa!

Randi's on vacation this week and will return live on Monday (1/2). Our good friend Nicole Sandler is in once again, with a great slate of guests and topics including:

Joan Walsh of to talk about the congressional battles shaping up in 2012 - including a just annouced blow to Senate Dems. Joan will also note how President Obama's chances keep looking better and better, while the Republican field keeps shooting itself in the foot with choices like Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

Digby, the grand dame of progressive blogosphere, will check in and check off the most important political stories of the year. She'll also have her political predictions for next year and what progressive-minded voters can do to actually elect progressives to Congress in 2012.

Finally, John Fugelsang will join Nicole to brag about having the number one comedy album in the US: The Sexy Liberal Comedy Album. He'll also accompany Nicole for a countdown of the most humorous moments in politics in 2012.

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The mainstream media is finally starting to catch on: Enriching yourself by laying others off from their jobs may not sit very well with the American people...

Randi Rhodes: Lt. Dan Choi & Year's Worst Predictions

Happy Boxing Day!

Randi's on vacation this week and will return on Monday, January 2. Our good friend Nicole Sandler is sitting in today with an all new show featuring:

Army veteran and civil rights activist Lt. Dan Choi on the long battle against the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that was finally won this year, along with several other battles Americans have yet to win - including the fight to free Bradley Manning.

Dave Weigel of on the topic of the day in the 2012 GOP race: the extremist tendencies of Rep. Ron Paul and how many in the media (including all of us) remember covering the same story four years ago. Plus, Dave will rundown the dumbest political preditions of the year - including his own.

Comedian Amy Simon of will recap the top women's events in 2011.

Plus, Nicole will continue her year-end review. Today, it's February, March, and April.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Winding Down 2011

Merry War on Christmas, ya bastids!

Randi's on vacation today, but our good friend Nicole Sandler is in to help get you into the holiday weekend, armed with the knowledge you'll need to survive the invasion of your tea party relatives. Nicole has guests and topics to help recap 2011, including:

Speaking of the annual phoney War on Christmas, this year has seen its share of fake rightwing outrages, infantile temper tantrums, and trumped-up pseudo-scandals, pushed by the conservative media propagandists. Joshua Holland of Alternet will count down the top 10 non-troversies of 2011.

On the more positive side of things, John Nichols of The Nation will update us on Wisconsin and help us look at who earned their way onto the Progressive Honor Roll for 2011 - the year the 99% finally stood up against the Wall Street bullies.

Finally, Team Randi - with Nicole's help - has dug into the audio archives and Nicole will start her Year End Recap, including the attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords and what many thought was the end of Keith Olbermann.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

House Republicans Agree To Payroll Deal - By Major Garrett

House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal.

The House made the move after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., agreed to appoint conferees to a committee to resolve differences between the Senate's two-month, 2 percentage point, payroll-tax cut and the House's one-year alternative.

The House will pass the two-month extension with a technical correction to the language designed to minimize difficulties businesses might experience implementing the short-term, two-month tax cut extension.

Negotiators "found a path forward for a 2-month deal that provides a brief extension, that fixes the payroll problems in the Senate-passed bill, and that provides the ability to work toward a longer-term solution," said another House GOP aide with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The deal would remove some reporting requirements that Republicans argued added to the administrative burden caused by a short-term extension

Randi Rhodes: GOP's Braveheart Moment

Developing: Possible deal on payroll tax

President Obama made a 10-minute phone call to John Boehner about the payroll tax fiasco. 10 minutes? How long does it take to ask “What the #@%&*& is wrong with you?” An aide said Boehner told the President that “we should not waste the next 10 days simply because it is an inconvenient time of year.” So THAT’s what Republicans really think of Christmas! Republicans don’t want to call Christmas “the holidays.” They want to call it what it is—the birthday of Jesus... and an inconvenient time of year! I’m not on many GOP Christmas card lists. Do their cards say things like “Wishing joy for you and your family during this inconvenient time of year!” I’ll tell you what, House Republicans—this time of year was never anywhere near this inconvenient until you started screwing around.

House Republicans are calling this their “Braveheart moment.” This fiasco does remind me of the name of a Mel Gibson movie, but it’s more like “Apocalypto,” “Edge of Darkness,” “Chicken Run,” “Payback,” or “The Year of Living Dangerously.” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) said the House Republicans told Boehner that “this is a Braveheart moment. You, Mr. Speaker, are our William Wallace.” Ugh! Please, don’t encourage John Boehner! That’s what the booze is for. How exactly is John Boehner like Mel Gibson’s William Wallace character? Is it because he’s going to try and get his way by holding his breath until his face turns blue? Actually, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for John Boehner to paint his face bright blue—it would look more natural than his current bright orange shade. Why do these guys want to emulate Mel Gibson playing Scottish warrior William Wallace? We’re talking about a nasty, brutish man living in the 13th century—and that’s just Mel Gibson!

Finally, this holiday season, you might want to perform some random act of kindness for a stranger. People need to have something nice done for them. Remember, there are some 160 million people out there who stand to lose a thousand dollars from their paychecks next year. There are a lot of opportunities to help people because there are so many people in need. That’s the upside to having Republicans screwing up the economic recovery.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

President Obama hammers the payroll tax cut point home while nailing the House Republicans earlier today...

Thom Hartmann: Is it good to be rich?

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When a poor guy robs a rich guy, he goes to prison. But when the mostly-white rich guys screw over poor minorities - no one goes to jail. Bailed out Bank of America will pay a $335 million "settlement" to the federal government - after it was found that a subsidiary of the bank - Countrywide Financial, "systemically discriminated against minority home-buyers at the peak of the U.S. Housing bubble." The banksters charged Blacks and Latinos much higher interest rates on homes than they did to whites of similar financial backgrounds. The investigation found that minorities were far more often conned into subprime exploding home mortgages - the stuff responsible for the Housing bubble and crash, and the foreclosure crisis. So now Bank of America will dish out a couple hundred million dollars to make the crime go away - and not one executive will go to jail for robbing poor people. It's good to be rich in America.
(What do you think should happen to Bank of America and its CEOs? Tell us here.)

Elizabeth Warren: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own"

n August video of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail is heating up on the internet, and some commentators are pointing to the clip - in which Warren makes a case for progressive economic policies - as evidence that the newly minted Democratic candidate could give incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown a run for his money.

In the video (at left), which was filmed at an event in Andover, Mass., Warren rebuts the GOP-touted notion that raising taxes on the wealthy amounts to "class warfare," contending that "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody."

Warren rejects the concept that it is possible for Americans to become wealthy in isolation.

"You built a factory out there? Good for you," she says. "But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did."

She continues: "Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

Warren's entrance into the Massachusetts Senate race marks her first-ever political bid - and while the longtime consumer advocate is beloved by a number of liberals, some wondered if her lack of political experience would prove crippling in the contest.

The Washington Monthly's Steven Benen, however, points to the video as an explanation as to "why Warren has a strong base of supporters who adore her."

"If there are lingering concerns about whether Warren could be an effective speaker on the stump, I think those questions are being answered," Benen writes. "If more Democrats were able to make the case for the underlying social contract as effectively, our discourse would be vastly less mind-numbing."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Boehner Skips Town

The House has gone home for their Christmas break without extending the middle class payroll tax extension. They could have at least been honest about it, and passed a resolution saying “Bah, humbug!” before they left. The House Republicans just screwed over 160 million Americans out of around a thousand dollars a year. I hope they’re nicer to the other people on their Christmas gift list. Make no mistake, the House Republicans are kicking you in the teeth for the sole reason that there is a slight chance you will blame Barack Obama for it.

John Boehner released a letter he sent to the President urging him to order the Senate back from Christmas break to take part in more negotiations. No, John—you caused this fiasco, you fix it. All Boehner has to do is end this thing, but he’s asking President Obama to call the entire Senate back from vacation so that they can all start from scratch! The two-month extension was passed on a non-partisan vote by 89 Senators. No sane person would refuse to pass it. The problem is how few sane persons there are in the House.

Boehner has even appointed House Republican negotiators for a non-existent conference committee with an adjourned Senate. Where is this fantasy conference going to take place, John? Through the Looking Glass? One of Boehner’s House negotiators, Fred Upton of Michigan, says he has already told his wife he won’t be home for Christmas. I hope you didn’t tell her why, Fred, or she’s going to be mighty pissed off. “I can’t come home for Christmas, dear. I have to spend it sitting in a conference room with other Republicans, negotiating with nobody.”

Don’t fret that most of the public will blame Obama for this fiasco. Nobody is as dumb as Republicans think Americans are... not even Republicans. Heck, even the people who are on the side of the Republicans on this tax issue aren’t dumb enough to actually believe them. They just hate Obama enough to pretend to believe them. When it comes to “protecting the middle class,” polls show 50 percent trust Obama versus only 35 percent who trust the Republicans. Maybe that’s because the main thing that the middle class needs to be protected from is the Republicans.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Republicans cut off the C-Span cameras as Dems try again to get a vote on the payroll tax cut...

Thom Hartmann: John Boehner and his Tea Party zombies played the Grinch yesterday

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Congress is now taking their payroll tax cut fight to the media. Speaker of the House John Boehner and his Tea Party zombies played the Grinch yesterday - refusing to even hold a vote on the Senate's payroll tax cut extension bill - meaning in just 10 days - taxes will go up on 160 million Americans. You can call it the Tea Party Tax Increase. House Republicans left town last night to head home for the holidays - leaving behind a few members to stick around in DC to put pressure on the Senate to come back in session. House Democrats plan to stay in town, too - to put pressure on House Republicans to pass the Senate's bipartisan compromise bill on the payroll tax cut.
So now it comes down to who'll blink first. As House Republicans make it virtually impossible to pass a tax cut for working Americans - it's glaringly obvious why Congress has it's lowest approval rating ever of just 11%.
(Who will blink first? Tell us here.)

PETITION: Help Sen. Bernie Sanders Get Money Out!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Economic Saboteurs

House Republicans have prepared a measure that rejects the Senate tax cut extension bill while at the same time calling for a conference with the Senate to work out a new bill. That way, when the tax cut expires, they can claim they were trying to save it. They want it to look like they were performing CPR on the tax cut, when they were actually strangling it to death. They must think voters are stupid. Luckily for them, most Republican voters are. The House Republican plan doesn’t make a lot of sense. This seems like the kind of thing that John Boehner would come up with about two-thirds of the way through a bottle of merlot. Why do Republicans always have to play these games of political brinksmanship with everything? It’s a game of chicken being played by a bunch of turkeys.

The problem is that Speaker Boehner can’t control his troops. Boehner is being hung out to dry by his caucus. The good news for John is that it’s going to take a long, long time for him to dry out. Boehner isn’t leading his House Republicans. In fact, he’s doing a terrible job of even trying to follow them. Boehner claims that this is all part of his plan. John, if this is your plan, then that actually makes you look worse. Just admit that you can’t control your people. It’s better than saying you’re in control of them when they’re doing the kind of crap that they’re doing now.

Census figures show that now fully half of Americans are in poverty or are classified as low-income. If you’re wondering where the middle class went, in a word, it went down. Broken down by age, children are the group most likely to be low-income. And remember, children are the future. So, the future is going to be even more low-income.

Mitt Romney delivered the Top 10 List on David Letterman’s show last night. At least Mitt can poke fun at his wooden awkwardness... in a wooden, awkward kind of way. Watching Mitt Romney perform a comedy bit is about as awkward as watching Newt Gingrich performing Swan Lake... and almost as funny. The good news for Mitt is that he managed to get through the Top 10 without flip-flopping. It would have looked pretty bad if item number 3 was the total opposite of item number 6.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Michelle Obama gets asked to the Marine Corps Ball (story)...

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Thom Hartmann: Has the Fukushima Meltdown caused 14,000 deaths here in America?

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You need to know this. Just a few days after the Japanese Prime Minister declared the nuclear crisis at Fukushima is over - there's shocking new evidence that the disaster may have led to the deaths of as many as 14,000 the United States! According to a new peer-reviewed study published in the December edition of the International Journal of Health Services - researchers found that there were 14,000 excess deaths in America in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdown - and they believe these deaths can be traced back to radioactive fallout.
Most of the deaths were infants - under the age of one - and studies show that despite infant death DECREASING by more than 8% this year in the weeks leading UP to Fukushima - infant death in American INCREASED this year by nearly 2% in the weeks AFTER Fukushima. A similar phenomenon was studied at Chernobyl in 1986 - where more than 16,000 excess deaths were reported weeks after the meltdown. Numbers by the Center for Disease Control back up this study - finding that deaths in America's biggest cities spiked 4-and-a-half percent from last year in the weeks after Fukushima.
Sadly - we're just scratching the surface when it comes to how dangerous nuclear power is - yet we keep subsidizing reactors with our tax dollars.
This is insanity.
(What is your opinion of nuclear power? Tell us here.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Orange Grinch

Tis the season... the Republicans just might be giving 160 million Americans a big tax increase as a holiday gift. I’m sure Republicans would dispute that—they prefer the term “Christmas gift” to “holiday gift.” The Republicans in the Senate would only agree to extend the middle-class payroll tax cut by two months. That was the most un-Christmas like action of the season... until the House balked at extending the tax cut at all. With the two-month extension idea, the Senate did this an incredibly half-assed way. Then the House stepped up and did it in a full-assed way. Classic, the Senate punted, and then the House fumbled. John Boehner is being a real Grinch—except that eventually, the Grinch’s heart grew by several sizes. That’s not going to happen with Boehner. Well, maybe his liver will grow by several sizes.

Newt Gingrich has begun to collapse under his own weight—and that’s a mighty big collapse. Newt’s numbers have been abnormally bloated. But then you could say the same thing about Newt himself. In two weeks, Newt’s poll numbers have gone from 27 to 22 to 14 percent. At this point, Newt is about as popular in Iowa as a surfboard shop. He’s definitely crashing to earth. And earth is not a place where Newt feels comfortable.

Gingrich is saying that as president, he would send federal officials to arrest “activist” judges and haul them in front of Congress to justify their rulings. I’m just surprised he even got Congress involved. I would think Newt would just have them dragged to his own Throne Room. Yes, vote to make Newt Gingrich president… especially if you’ve always wondered what the National Mall would look like with a guillotine on it. Newt is totally out of the mainstream. And that’s probably a good thing, since Newt would pollute any stream that he touched.

Finally, have you seen the picture of Mitt Romney and his colleagues at Bain Capital posing with a bunch of $20 bills? It’s available here, or you could probably find it by Googling the phrase “gifts to the Obama re-election campaign.”

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Kim Jong-Il's death as presented by North Korean television...

Thom Hartmann: OWS Celebrates Its Three Month Anniversary

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Over the weekend - the Occupy Wall Street movement recognized its 3-month anniversary. Demonstrators attempted to "re-occupy" another park in New York City - but were prevented from doing so by a Church that owned the land. As expected - the NYPD arrested 50 patriots during the day of action.
But the movement lives on in other ways after three months - from people moving their money from big banks on Wall Street to local credit unions - to helping families facing foreclosure - to fighting against student loan debt - the 99% of us are still being represented all across America.
Let's keep it up.
(How do you think the movement will develop? Tell us here.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Detective: ‘The McStay case will never be a cold case’

Endless man-hours continue in search for missing family

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Issue 01, Volume 15.
Andrea Verdin
Staff Writer

To say that endless man-hours have been spent looking for the McStays – the family of four who disappeared seemingly without a trace from their Fallbrook home in February 2010 – would merely scratch the surface of the amount of time, energy and resources that has gone into searching for them.

Joseph McStay, 40, Summer McStay, 43, and sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph "Joey," 3, had moved to the Lake Rancho Viejo community on the Fallbrook/Bonsall boundary in November 2009, and were reported missing on February 4, 2010 by Michael McStay, Joseph’s brother, approximately two weeks from when they had last been seen.

On February 8, 2010, detectives examined the Mc Stay family’s 1996 Isuzu Trooper that had been discovered in an impound lot about four hours after they were believed to be seen on a video surveillance tape crossing into Mexico.

According to San Diego County Sheriff’s detective Troy DuGal, who has been heading up the case for the past 10 months, every lead and tip that could possibly point to the discovery of the family’s whereabouts has been carefully investigated.

"This missing persons case is open and active, and will remain mine for as ling as my career exists or until we find the family," said DuGal. "It wouldn’t make sense for this case to become a cold case, and it will remain so until we have found the location of the entire family. All four must be found, and we are still hoping for a good outcome."

Several theories of what may have happened to the young family have played through the minds of investigators.

"From the initial investigation, our biggest fear was that the family had been abducted," said DuGal. "We obtained a search warrant to either substantiate or alleviate that concern with physical evidence. Now, we know that they were not abducted in a vehicle, or physically abducted, but that does not rule out verbal abduction, in which someone told them they needed to be somewhere, fast."

DuGal also stated that the possibility of the family simply choosing to abandon their home has been looked at as well.

"We have looked at financial records, Summer’s bank accounts, Joseph and Summer’s joint account, and Joseph’s business account," said DuGal, who also said email and cell phone accounts have been completely inactive since the family’s disappearance. "All the accounts have been red-flagged and none of them have been touched since February 4. Prior to the family going missing, the account’s activity had been normal. There had been no major withdrawals or [an indication that they were] putting money under a pillow for a vacation."

Because the family’s finances have been red-flagged, the mortgage on the McStay family home has not been paid since March 2010, but it is not formally in the foreclosure process yet.

"When the finances were frozen, the ‘auto-pay’ on the mortgage also stopped," said DuGal. "It is protocol to free the account of missing persons."

According to Michael McStay, who lives in San Clemente, as of Monday, the home had not had a formal foreclosure notice posted on it.

Since the disappearance of his brother and family, Michael has been working hard to not only spread the word of their disappearance, but has shared tips that the public has brought forward with investigators.

"Two days within [Joseph’s] disappearance, my friend was able to help me develop, which was a way to help people know what was going on with the case," said Michael. "With a literal click of a button, people can download missing flier PDFs in English or Spanish, or drop a tip to an email account set up specifically for that reason. I oversee the site, and keep information available to the public and law enforcement."

According to both Michael and DuGal, the website has allowed detectives to investigate tips on an almost immediate level.

In October, the website received a tip about a family that looked like the McStays.

"We got a lead in Ensenada about a family, and within an hour and 15 minutes, the Mexican police had gone and questioned the family, who ended up being from Canada," said Michael. "People got into the field very quickly."

According to DuGal, the tip had reported a family of four on a sailboat in Ensenada that generally resembled the family.

"The police took a flier of the missing family with them to investigate, just in case Joseph and Summer had changed their names, but they were satisfied that the family was not the McStays," he stated. "Still, that tip was very good because it was very specific."

However, not every tip is as useful.

"We get some very vague tips, such as people saying they think they saw a family that resembled the McStays two to ten days ago at a certain location," said DuGal. "To put that tip to rest, I have to hope the business has 24-hour video footage and then review 10 days’ worth of footage. Even then, it’s just impossible to work with that because the family could have been seen 11 or 12 days ago, as opposed to the 10 days ago."

Though no solid information has come in for months, Susan Blake, Joseph’s mother, who lives in Corona, stated that her entire family will continue to hold onto hope that their family members will be found "We will always have hope," said Blake. "Some days are hard, some are not, but you try to get involved and make an effort to help find them. I try to stay busy to help, but at the very beginning, it was absolutely devastating. Still, we are fighting, and not giving up. We are going to find those grandbabies and bring them home, whatever it takes."

Blake has become very involved working with Spanish news outlets to continue to spread the word of her missing family.

"I am currently working with Spanish radio stations on the Baja California peninsula and I place a monthly flier in several newspapers in the peninsula," said Blake. "It has become my full time job. I try to connect with charter boats and fishermen, newspapers, TV shows and now, radio personnel."

Michael and Blake, while working hard to do their part to find their family, wish there was more that they could do to help investigators.

"We would love to have a private investigation firm offer its support to DuGal and his team," said Michael. "We know that as part of San Diego’s homicide division, they have other cases to work on, and if we could afford to hire an investigator, we would."

Other family members, while not as entrenched as Michael and Blake, have actively followed the investigation, waiting to hear each new detail reported.

"My dad and great aunt, who are out of Houston, were devastated," said Michael. "We have a small family, and half of it has been missing. [My father’s] communication has been very good with law enforcement."

"Mr. McStay communicates with me quite a bit," said DuGal. "He doesn’t get to see local reports, so he depends on the family and me to get updates. Summer’s sister is also very involved and is constantly communicating with me. Summer’s mother has been torn up pretty badly by this, and has difficulty communicating with anyone. She just doesn’t want to talk about it, but wants her family back. There is nothing suspicious about her emotions; she just cannot handle it."

For DuGal, the missing McStays have become a top priority.

"Since I started working in homicide two years ago, no other case has taken up more time than this one," said DuGal. "This case has taken more time and man-hours than any other in my career. I also have three direct partners who I have tasked with interviews and investigating other search warrants. They have spent a considerable amount of time investigating the case. Outside of the Sheriff’s office, the FBI and Department of Justice have become invested, as have Immigration and Customs and the Mexican Federal Police. There is no simple way to answer how many man-hours have been spent on this case."

There is also no simple way to explain how the family of four disappeared into thin air.

"That’s the mystery," explained DuGal. "In my whole career, I have never seen anything like this. Usually when something bad happens, there’s a trail left behind. There is a witness or someone who has come forward. If the family had picked up and left Fallbrook, there would also be signs. But the case remains between both extremes, with neither side satisfied.

There is no trail supporting evidence of foul play, DuGal said. Telephone calls within a month of the McStays’ disappearance have all been identified. In summary, calls had been made to family members, business partners, and hair salons. Du Gal said none of the individuals he has interviewed that had been speaking to the McStay’s made him suspicious.

"Now we are just waiting for tips," he said.

Both DuGal and Michael believe that information regarding the family’s whereabouts from Feb. 4 to Feb. 8 would be crucial to helping find the family.

"Those four days are huge," said Michael. "To have no phones, money, anything… I don’t see it. The family in the footage had no suitcases, and just a purse at the border crossing. It was a cold night. If that was my family, they had no ‘do-over’ money or big, black bag."

"If we are going to believe that the family crossed the international border on Feb. 8, we have to think that it is probable that someone saw the McStays before they crossed," said DuGal. "We know for a fact that their vehicle did not cross the border, and that the family did not use their credit cards, cell phone, or accounts. After checking multiple times with various agencies, we are also 100 percent certain that the family is not in protective custody. So, where are they?"

On Monday and Tuesday (January 3 and 4), the family’s disappearance received national attention. Investigation Discovery’s "Disappeared" featured a one-hour program on the disappearance, and all involved in the case are hoping for the best.

"People have been emailing us if they have not seen an update on our website, and are really showing us that America does have a heart," said Michael. "Even in this tough time, we receive emails from families saying they are still wondering, still praying. We’ve gotten a lot of love and support that way, and we feel fortunate that in such a dark moment, we have a great lead detective and friends to keep us strong."

For more information on the McStay family, go to,, or

If anyone has information regarding the McStay family, they are asked to contact Detective Troy Dugal at (858) 974-2405 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (858) 974-2405 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email him at

Story Behind Fastball - The Way


The couple left their home on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1997. They were headed to the Pioneer Days Festival, a festival honoring longtime residents, in nearby Temple, a fifteen mile trip. They stopped at the neighborhood Wal-Mart for coffee, something they often did during the week.

About twelve hours after they initially left home, they were stopped in northern Arkansas near the town of Subiaco by Logan County sheriff's deputy Harold Cole because they were driving with no headlights. Cole radioed Lela's information in, but, unaware that the couple was lost or missing and having no reason to detain them, let them go.

Looking back on the incident, officer Cole later stated that there were warning signs that something might have been wrong. It took several miles of flashing his lights before Lela pulled over, she was fumbling a little when Cole instructed her to turn on her headlights, and though she said she was going to Texas, she was headed the wrong way. However this was not enough to warrant holding them.

"I feel terrible about it. I just wished I'd known more that night to give me a little suspicion. There was just nothing there out of the ordinary... I was impressed by the lady... She was polite. She was kind. She was gentle… I had no probable cause to detain them any longer. And I certainly had no probable cause to think they were wanted," Cole said.

Forty-five minutes later they were stopped again near the town of Plainview by a Yell County sheriff's deputy for driving with their high-beams on. Although by this time the couple had been reported as missing, unfortunately no computer checks were run, and again they were let go. This was the last time they were seen alive.

When the couple did not return home by 4 p.m. that day, Lela's son Hal Copeland called the Bell County sheriff's office to report them missing.[4]

Several relatives of the Howards spent the July fourth weekend searching for them. They distributed fliers, drove back roads, and questioned law enforcement officials and storekeepers. The Howards' grandson James Stewart offered a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the couple.

Police were flooded with tips about the couple nationwide after a segment was aired on CBS's This Morning, however none of them led anywhere according to officer Wayne Jordan of the Arkansas State Police.[5]

Death and discovery

Exactly two weeks after they disappeared, two teenagers on a hike through the Ouachita Mountains found the Howards' maroon Oldsmobile Delta 88 and the bodies of Lela and Raymond at the bottom of a 25-foot cliff. The highway they were driving on before the crash was known for being a treacherous, curvy road.[6]

Although it was initially reported that Raymond was driving the car, when the full investigation's details were released, they showed that Lela had in fact been behind the wheel. Police estimated that Lela was driving about 50 miles per hour when she ran a stop sign and drove off the road and over the cliff, most likely due to a combination of the dark, winding road and mental fatigue. There were no skid marks, indicating Lela was unaware she had run the sign. The report stated that after the crash, Lela put the car in parking gear and removed the keys. She walked around to the passenger side door which she apparently opened, then walked about 20 feet away from the car before collapsing. Raymond never left the passenger seat.[7] She was 83 years old. He was 88.


Because the disappearance of Lela and Raymond made national headlines, their eventual discovery raised concerns on whether or not the elderly need to undergo driver testing. Texas State Representative Tony Goolsby introduced a bill that would order the Department of Transportation to come up with some way to ensure that drivers 75 years of age and older could "exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle."

This fueled a national debate on whether or not such a bill would infringe on the rights of senior citizens. The American Association of Retired Persons strongly disapproved of any such legislation stating, "It is discriminatory in all senses of the word."

However others such as Homer Lear of the Silver-Haired Legislature disagreed and said the idea did have merit.[8]

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thom Hartmann: Call Sen. Wyden's office & ask him to quit drinking the $300 bottles of wine with Paul Ryan...

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One day after Oregon's Democratic Senator Ron Wyden teamed up with Republican Congressman Paul Ryan to end Medicare as we know it - the Democratic backlash is underway. Several Democratic Members of Congress - and the President - have rejected the Wyden-Ryan plan, which turns Medicare into a public option - giving senior citizens a voucher to buy private health insurance instead of Medicare.
The President's Press Secretary Jay Carney called the plan "radical," although Republican Presidential candidates are praising the plan. That's when you know it is a really bad idea.
Time to call Senator Wyden's office - and ask him to quit drinking the $300 bottles of wine with Paul Ryan and his billionaire buddies. We can't afford it.
(What response did you get when you called? Tell us here.)

Randi Rhodes: Liars, Whiners & Doves

It's Friday, ya bastids!

Randi returns live on Monday (12/19). David Sirota from our Denver affiliate AM760 is filling in again today; some of the topics he'll be covering:

The GOP presidential candidates had their fourteenth debate last night in Sioux City (yet another two hours of our lives we'll never get back). David will recap the debate, including Mitt's new flip-floppery, Newt's new lies, Michele's whining, Rick Perry's football-related delusion, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) flushing GOP doctrine in favor of sanity when it comes to Iran.

With the holidays upon us, the question of comparison shopping for gifts - especially in this economy - is always on our minds.However, what is the REAL cost of the item you bought online? Do companies like Amazon have a right to use your cell phone to put the local guys out of business?

And since Christmas is just a week away, you may have noticed a recent attempt by the Catholic church to get you to back into the fold. In light of the sexual abuse and scandals the Catholic religion has recently faced are their efforts misplaced or should they be forgiven?

Call David at 866-87-RANDI (866-877-2634)

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

WOW - I Think we ALL Need to go here & DANCE - DANCE I Say!

A disgusting over-reach by federal goons at the Jefferson Memorial results in the mass arrests of innocent tourists, including a couple who were kissing. Adam Kokesh was also arrested for dancing.

Randi Rhodes: Rightwing Mormonphobes

Randi's on vacation this week (back Mon, 12/19), but our good friend David Sirota is filling in from our Denver affiliate AM760. David has several topics boiling over today, including:

Mitt Romney still has a good chance of winning the 2012 GOP presidential nomination but many on the right still have major questions about Romney's Mormon faith. Is Mormonism a cult, as some on the right claim? Should it even matter?

With the fourteenth GOP primary debate coming up tonight, the polls keep shifting and Ron Paul keeps picking up momentum. What are the ramifications for the GOP (and for the rest of us) of such a hardcore anti-government libertarian is pulling ahead?

The NTSB released a statement in support of banning ALL cellphones and text device usage in vehicles - even handsfree devices. However, Americans are strongly in favor of keeping their mobile technology, no matter what the data says. How dangerous is it to talk and drive and does the NTSB have any real power to take your phone away from you?

Finally, David will also have journalist and writer Glenn Greenwald of join the show to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act, that now appears to be headed for the President's desk for signature.

Call David at 866-87-RANDI (866-877-2634)

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FLASHBACK: Randi interviewed Ron Paul back in February. She drilled down on his core beliefs and separated libertarian fantasy from real-world reality. Plus she got Ron Paul to weigh in on the corporatist-ownership of the Tea Party...

Thom Hartmann: Is The Middle Class an Endangered Species Now?

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The middle class is becoming an endangered species in America. According to the latest census data - half of the country is now living in poverty or just scraping by in a low-income lifestyle. And this problem is being made worse as conservative Governors cut funding to critical social welfare programs. A survey of 29 mayors around America found that 1-in-4 Americans in need of food assistance did not receive any help.
Since the banksters wrecked our economy - 4 million homes have been foreclosed on - and each year more than one-and-a-half million children end up homeless. Meanwhile corporate CEOs saw a 40% increase last year in their pay. And at 25 of our biggest corporations, CEOs were paid more than the entire corporation paid in taxes.
And the folks at GOP TV still can't understand why people are occupying the streets? It's the inequality, stupid!
(What do you think it will take for them to get it? Tell us here.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Randi Rhodes:Congressional Fraud

Randi's on vacation this week (back Mon, 12/19), but our good friend Nicole Sandler is in for Randi today. She made the cover of Time as "Person of the Year" for 2011 - and so did you if you've been involved with any protests this year. Nicole will recap the President's speech at Ft. Bragg today marking the end of the war in Iraq and she'll have some great guests too, including:

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, will talk with Nicole about the payroll tax extension and unemployment fight going on in the House - and how his GOP colleagues in the House may be purposely bringing legislation to the floor that they know will fail.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will talk with Nicole about the CPC's introduction of the Restore The Dream for the 99% Act. Rep. Ellison will also weigh in on the recent controversy over advertising being pulled from the television show 'All-American Muslim'.

Baher Azmy from the Center for Constitutional Rights on the National Defense Authorization Act. After FBI Director Robert Mueller's testimony this morning, the questions regarding the loopholes and the latest additions to the NDAA are more unclear than ever. It's still unknown whether President Obama will veto the bill or allow the possibility of indefinite detention of regular American citizens.

Shane Farnen, one of Nicole's fellow netcasters at on the webradio Occuthon to support the Occupy movement that begins this Friday night.

Finally, Josh Gerstein, of Politico joins us to help straighten out and clarify the debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, and whether the President will veto the bill or not.

Call Nicole at 866-87-RANDI (866-877-2634)

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