Friday, September 30, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Herb's Smokin'

It's Friday, ya bastids!

Herman Cain is hot! Suddenly everybody knows his name! Well, everybody except Sarah Palin, who thinks his name is Herb Cain. During the last debate, other candidates mentioned Cain as a possible running mate. Good idea, if you’re looking for the black Republican vote. And I do mean “vote,” as in singular. Cain thinks he can attract a third to a half of the black vote. Gee, Herman, it’s almost too bad that your Republican Party has spent the past few years trying to disenfranchise as many African-American voters as possible.

Michele Bachmann is again saying how she is submissive to the will of her husband. These statements don’t help her—I wish Marcus would stop making her say them. Michele tells how she had to defer her dream of going to law school when God called Marcus to the ministry and called her to law school at the same time. Gee, you’d think God would be better at avoiding scheduling conflicts. Michele says “I knew that I needed to defer what I wanted in deference to my husband. That was a good decision that I made.” Sorry, Michele, but the only decision you made was to let somebody else decide. You went along with the will of God… as it was manifested in the will of the closeted gay man you are married to.

Democratic lawmakers are calling for an investigation into Clarence Thomas’s failure to report hundreds of thousands of dollars on annual financial disclosure forms. You’ve come a long way from pubic hairs on cans of Coke, Clarence. Is he going to play dumb on this one? If anyone can do that convincingly, it would be him. One thing isn’t quite clear to me—does Clarence Thomas think he is above the law, or beyond the law, or does he think that he IS the law.

And Bank of America has a new $5 monthly fee for people who use debit cards. BofA is going to hit Americans with these fees after we provided the money to bail them out. I say we tell the “Bank of America” that they are no longer welcome to use our name. You know, if we knew they were going to do this to us, we would have charged them a $5 fee on the billions we gave to them.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Flashback 2005: The late George Carlin, as only he can, nails the root cause of our economic and political woes (NSFW - language)...

Thom Hartmann: Will Ben Bernanke's Warning go Unheard....

Thom plus logo
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued a warning to Congress yesterday - though they probably didn't hear it since Speaker of the House John Boehner told everyone to go on vacation this week. Speaking in Cleveland - Bernanke said, regarding the nation's unemployment situation, "This is unheard of. This has never happened in the post-war period in the United States...The unemployment situation we have, the job situation, is really a national crisis."
He then implored Congress to get to work to do something about it. Since President Obama passed his stimulus package in 2009 - Republicans have blocked every single effort to stimulate the economy - every single one. And today - the President's American Jobs Act that could create millions of jobs is just sitting in on Boehner's and Cantor's desks waiting for action. Republicans have put going on vacations - launching investigations into Planned Parenthood - and attacking the EPA - all above creating jobs on their priority list.
They don't care that the nation is suffering. Just like our sociopathic banksters - Republicans are dreaming of a Great Depression - just so they can beat President Obama in 2012.
(Will Congress heed his warning? Tell us here.)

Help us End the ban on murals in L.A.

The city of Los Angeles thinks art is crime.

L.A. changed its municipal code several years ago to classify murals as "signs," meaning no mural can be painted without a pricey and difficult to obtain permit from the city.

Now the city is cracking down on unpermitted murals: Private contractors are covering up murals while police are issuing fines, making arrests, and even conducting raids on artists.

Piper Severance is a member and a close friend of Saber, a prominent street artist who is campaigning to end this ban on murals in L.A. Piper started a petition on asking L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to end the moratorium on murals. Please sign Piper’s petition today.

Saber is a recent victim of L.A.’s out-of-control mural crackdown. In April, one of L.A.’s graffiti removal companies broke onto private property to paint over a mural Saber and other artists had created for a local art gallery’s exhibition on street art. The mural was completely legal -- but a private contractor paid by the city of Los Angeles covered up a work of art.

Los Angeles has a rich history of murals -- it even used to be called the "mural capital of the world." At a time when the city is slashing funding for arts education (half of L.A.’s music teachers were laid off this spring), it doesn’t make sense to spend more money to cover up art that beautifies the city.

Mayor Villaraigosa and City Attorney Trutanich probably think that no one cares if they whitewash L.A.’s art -- they need to see that thousands of people are willing to stand up for L.A.’s murals. Please sign Piper’s petition to end the moratorium on murals in L.A.:

Thanks for being a change-maker,

- Corinne and the team

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Mrs. Perry & Herman Rising

Rick Perry’s wife, Anita, is out on the campaign trail defending Perry’s record on job creation—by admitting they’re mostly minimum wage jobs. With defenders like her, who needs critics? Anita said “I’m not going to tell you they’re all high-paying jobs, but they’re a job, even if they’re a minimum wage job. And that’s what people are hungry for.” OK, not exactly bumper-sticker material. People are hungry for minimum wage jobs! And after they get them, chances are, they will still be hungry! If people are hungry for minimum wage jobs, that’s mostly a function of having kept people hungry for long enough that they are desperate. In other words, the conservative economic plan is working.

Anita Perry works at a non-profit organization that receives almost all of their donations from businesses that support Perry or do business with him. So it’s no wonder Anita Perry would defend her husband’s record on jobs as governor—he certainly used his position to set her up in a cushy job. Anita Perry makes $60,000 in her position with the non-profit, basically just accepting money from businesses and individuals who want something from Rick Perry. Now that’s the kind of job people are hungry for. Unscrupulous people, at least.

According to a Fox News poll, Perry, Romney, and Cain are now the top tier of the GOP presidential candidates. Keep in mind, that is the “top tier” on a very, very low set of risers. Rick Perry dropped from the lead with 29 percent just a month ago, to only 19 percent now. That’s such a classic late-summer collapse that Perry may be named an honorary member of the Boston Red Sox. Meanwhile, Herman “Herb” Cain’s support has almost tripled in the last month. People are going to start paying attention to him—and that means that his support is going to collapse in the next month. The candidate who is surging ahead has nothing on his resume except being the head of Godfather’s Pizza. That fits—choosing Herman Cain is like giving up on what to fix for dinner and just ordering pizza. And Mitt Romney’s level of support remained virtually the same at 23 percent. Those are the people who have already given up. For those Republicans, Mitt Romney is just something they realize is going to inevitably happen to them, like old age and death.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Thom Hartmann: First it was Vermont - now it's Montana...Single Payer Healthcare

Thom plus logo
First it was Vermont - now it's Montana. Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana said he plans to ask the federal government to exempt his state from requirements in the Affordable Care Act - so that he can set up a universal, single-payer system like in Canada.
Earlier this year - the state of Vermont started moving in the same direction too. Governor Schweitzer said he wants to create a system modeled after the Canadian province of Saskatchewan - where less is spent on healthcare - but there are better results and people live longer.
Today - Canada has a nationwide single-payer system - but it started with one province - Saskatchewan - and spread across the rest of the nation. Let's hope we see the same thing sweep across America.
(Do you think your state will follow suit? Tell us here.)

It's Time to Get Money Out of Politics

Help us spread the word:
If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet: I signed a petition to get money out politics, will you sign too?

Share the petition on Facebook

Here's the full petition:

It's Time to Get Money Out of Politics

Sign here:

Get Money Out

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Randi Rhodes: No White Knight

Chris Christie had a big, fat opportunity to announce he was running for president, but he didn’t bite, leaving Republicans hungry. Hey, this can’t go on much longer—I’m going to use the fat jokes while I still can. I’ll give him this—unlike Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, Chris Christie is not just an empty suit. He is a very full suit. There’s your campaign slogan! Chris Christie: not just an empty XXXXL suit.

During a Q&A after his speech, a woman literally begged Christie to run. “I really implore you, I really do... I mean this will all my heart … I really implore you, as a citizen of this country, to please sir, reconsider ... We need you.” More bad news for Rick Perry—I think that woman was his wife.

Dylan Ratigan is launching a campaign to get money out of politics. Just how much would that cost? Ratigan is collecting signatures. He can’t very well collect money. It’s for a petition supporting a Constitutional amendment. We need to have a Constitutional amendment because the Supreme Court has interpreted corporations as people, and money as free speech. And that tells you just what kind of Supreme Court money can buy.

HOUR 3 GUEST: MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan on his Get Money Out campaign

Rush Limbaugh says that President Obama “talks honky around white people.” Wow. I believe the last recorded use of the word “honky” was in an episode of “The Jeffersons” in 1979. And it sounded outdated then. Rush’s racial vocabulary comes from the 1960’s. And his racial attitudes come from the 1860’s.

Finally, Sarah Palin says the fuss over Chris Christie was part of a media “flavor of the week” mentality. Yes, Sarah, we’re all familiar with the concept of “flavor of the week.” Say, weren’t you the first week of September, 2008? The problem with Sarah is that she’s taken her “flavor of the week” status and tried to parlay it into a “flavor of the decade.” Sorry, Sarah. Your flavor week is long, long over. But you left a bad taste in our mouth, if that’s any consolation.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Just for fun: The folks at Bad Lip Reading spent a little time with some Rick Perry videos...

Thom Hartmann: Could Hactivist Choose Lady GaGa for next President of the United States?

Thom plus logo
As Hactivists out a cop in New York for brutally macing peaceful protestors on Wall Street, many people are wondering if they could also hack our next election? And now the government wants to know if it's possible. A team of computer science and security experts working within the Department of Energy say they've hacked into a Diebold electronic voting machine and were able to change voting results without leaving a trace behind. And they were able to do it using only $26 of equipment and what they claim is just an 8th grade understanding of science. The Vulnerable Assessment Team - as they are called - that performed the hack said, "this is a national security issue."
And according to investigative reporter Brad Friedman - this is, "one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date." Nearly every other country in the world has ditched electronic voting - arguing that it's not secure. Yet here in the United States - for some reason we keep it in place. In fact - in next year's election - about 30% of voters will use these very same Diebold e-voting machines.
So it's no longer about who gets the most votes in our democracy - but which side can hack the vote. I can see it now - 35 million write-in votes suddenly appear on Diebold machines for Lady GaGa, the next President of the United States!
(Who would you want to "win", and why? Tell us here.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Bromancing Christie

Chris Christie keeps turning down pleas for him to run for president. Now if he could just do the same thing for the cheesecake. Republicans are begging Chris Christie to save them by riding in on a white horse. Better make that a very big and strong white horse. But then Chris Christie can always ride in on a helicopter and limo paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey. Hey GOP, forget drafting Christie. He can’t save you. You could go through every single Republican in this country without finding a decent candidate—and you’re just about halfway there. The Republican base is saying they’re unhappy with their candidates. They’re just a bunch of losers—but then you could say that just as easily about the Republican base as you can about the candidates.

At a town-hall meeting with the president yesterday, a man asked Obama to please raise his taxes. And I’m sure that now the rightwing nutcases will think that that guy is the Anti-Christ. The man said to Obama “Would you please raise my taxes?” The crowd applauded. I’m sure that conservatives will be just as disgusted by that as normal people were when conservatives cheered for death: “Did you hear the crowd cheering for taxes? Honestly, what is wrong with people?” The man is a former director of marketing at Google. Well, that partly explains why he’s willing to pay taxes. He actually earned his money.

Later, a nutty heckler at an Obama speech yelled that Obama is the Anti-Christ. I know what you’re thinking, but it wasn’t Michele Bachmann. She’s just going to have to find other ways to bring attention to her floundering campaign. As the man was being escorted out, President Obama tried to make sure that he didn’t accidentally leave behind his jacket. I’m no theologian, but I don’t think the Anti-Christ would do that.

And on Dancing with the Stars last night, Nancy Grace had a minor nipple slip (NSFW). Well, the slip was minor. But that’s a major nipple. The first words out of the head judge Len Goodman’s mouth were “how refreshing!” So I’m guessing he did not see it. It’s no big deal. Viewers of Dancing with the Stars see nipples every week. It’s just that they usually belong to Maks.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Thom Hartman: Goldman Sachs rules the world...

Thom plus logo
Are the banksters fueling a global market meltdown? Heads turned yesterday - when stock trader Alessio Rastani went on the BBC and predicted that the Eurozone is going to crash within the next twelve months - and that a lot of banksters will make a fortune off it. "This problem cannot be solved," Rastani said. "I'm fairly confident that the Euro is going to crash, and it's going to fall pretty hard." Rastani then admitted that he - as well as traders in giant banks on Wall Street - have actually placed bets that global markets will crash, and are poised to make huge profits if their bets come in.
Rastani said, "The depression in the 30's wasn't just about a market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. I think anybody can do that. The governments don't rule the world," Rastani added, "Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about this rescue package." From manipulating food prices that spark a hunger crisis around the world - to distorting oil prices that trigger recessions here in the United States - to bringing down an entire global economy - it's all part of a day's work for traders like Rastani and Goldman Sachs.
How much longer are we going to let speculators and banksters run the show - and screw us all over?
(What do you think? Tell us here.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Hermentum

Hermann Cain won the Florida straw poll over the weekend. Cain’s win sends a strong message to the GOP. Unfortunately for them, the message is that they don’t have a candidate worth diddly-squat. By the way, Michele Bachmann came in dead last. At this point, her campaign looks about as lively as those cow carcasses she posed with last week. She actually finished behind Jon Hunstman, or as he is better known, “Who?” Wow. If this straw poll win does as much for Herman Cain as Michele Bachmann’s straw poll win in Iowa did for her... then we’ll never hear from Herman Cain again.

In a crowded field, Cain got a whopping 37 percent of the vote. And most of the whopping was done on Rick Perry. This straw poll showing could be the straw that breaks the back of Rick Perry’s candidacy. The reactions to Rick Perry’s last debate performance have been almost as ugly as Perry’s performance itself. On Fox News, Brit Hume said that Perry “really did throw up all over himself in the debate...” Thanks a lot for that image, Brit. I already couldn’t look at Rick Perry without getting sick myself. When Rick Perry entered this race, he shot right to the front of the pack. All he had to do to win was... well, to not be Rick Perry. Usually you advise someone to “just be yourself.” When you’re advising Rick Perry, the best advice is “just be anybody except yourself.” Really, Rick—be anybody. Or take a hint from Mitt Romney, and be everybody.

Rick Perry has yet to convince the Republican base that he is ideologically pure. Yeesh. How many people does he have to execute to get Republicans to like him? On top of that, Perry is a terrible debater. For a guy who has never told the truth, he sure isn’t very good at lying. You have to be able to debate, Rick. For the Republicans, you might be forgiven for not thinking all the right things, as long as you can say all the right things. Or at least that’s what Mitt Romney is counting on.

Finally, President Obama said the Republican approach “would fundamentally cripple America.” Let’s hope not. If America was crippled, Republicans would never approve the funds to build wheelchair ramps.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

SNL kicked off it's 37th season with a GOP debate spoof...

Thom Hartmann: More Evidence the Psychopaths have taken over?

Thom plus logo
Not only is Governor Rick Scott killing jobs in Florida - he's also bragging about it. Speaking at a CPAC conference last Friday - Scott touted his record of laying off public sector workers. With an unemployment rate at 10.7% - way above the national average - Scott said, "We've had plenty of success so far...we have 15,000 less government jobs in the state of Florida." Upon hearing that - his audience cheered - which isn't too big of a surprise since Republicans have cheered executions, sick people dying, and homophobia - why not cheer job losses too. Then Scott repeated the same right-wing talking point that "government doesn't create jobs." Right - tell that to the mailman, the police officer, and the teacher.
Since President Obama took office - more than half a million government workers have been laid off in mostly Republican states - which is the real reason why our nation's unemployment rate is still above 9%.
(What kind of person celebrates cutting peoples' jobs? Tell us here.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Global Revolution Live Stream

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Eight)

This is the eighth communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street.

On September 24th, 2011, the lie revealed itself. We live in a world where only 1 percent of us are protected and served. The following is graphic.

This is a video of a white-collar police officer macing penned-in young women:

This is a photo of a white-collar police officer reaching over a barricade and ripping a young woman's hair out:

This is a video that shows a white-collar police officer tackle a young man for no reason (thirty-six seconds in).
Later, it shows a different white-collar police officer shoving two young women and a young man for no reason (one minute and two seconds in):

This is a photo of two white-collar police officers arresting a young woman for filming them:

This is a September 19th article by New York Times reporter Colin Moynihan that reveals a white-collar police officer reached over a barricade and took hold of a protester without provocation, and then lied about the details.

Here is a picture from the article, note the other two white-collar officers holding him up:

This is a video from September 20th of two white-collar police officers throwing a protester face first towards the ground:

We demand that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly resigns.

We demand that this man is charged for maliciously spraying protesters and blue-collar police.

We demand jail time - for this man and others like him.
We demand that no blue-collar police is charged for the crimes of their supervisor.

We demand that Mayor Bloomberg address our General Assembly and apologize for what has occurred.

A message to blue-collar police:
Do not do what you are told. We are peaceful and you know this. We offer you coffee in the morning and water in the day. You always refuse and we know that's because they told you to.
Speak of the crimes of your supervisors. We will help you. We are expressing the same frustration that you feel. You are the 99 percent. Join us. Join our conversation.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Norman Goldman this Week

Justice for You
What Does Norm Think?

What does Norm think? What do you think? Find out more about current issues, news and topics, and join in the conversation.

A Very Touching Video/Audio On YouTube
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2011
This gentleman has a VERY compelling personal story and I am HONORED that he thinks of me as worthy of this video/audio. Please take a look/listen. It's 4 minutes....

[ continue reading this entry ]

Details For The Portland Visit Sept. 17 & 18, 2011
Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2011
I will be at Kell's in the evening of Saturday, September 17 and here is the link for that: PLEASE DON'T CONTACT KELL'S; TICKETS ARE THROUGH THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY AT THE LINK ABOVE. On Sunday, September 18, I will be representing KPOJ at the Susan G. Komen Race For the...

[ continue reading this entry ]

comments Discuss (1 Comments)

Taking Back America Via The Ballot Box Initiative!
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The story I did on the air about "BISC" and using the ballot initiative process to take back America can be found here: And, don't forget to look at the "4 Point Plan To Rescue America" on as well! Point #3 will look VERY...

[ continue reading this entry ]

comments Discuss (2 Comments)

Radio Stations No Longer Have A Car Monopoly
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The future is here - and our own app is about to launch, for free: “An explosion in the use of in-vehicle apps in cars” is ahead, predicts IHS research. Some of that “explosion” in connectedness will come from drivers parking their iPhones and Androids in a dock when they buckle up,...

[ continue reading this entry ]

visit the archive to see more

Randi Rhodes: They Believe We`re Middle Class!

It's Friday, ya bastids!

Randi is off to perform for our listeners in Ithaca, NY this weekend. She'll be back LIVE on Mon (9/26); David Sirota from our Denver affiliate, AM760, is filling in today.

David will recap the GOP Debate last night (yeah - there was another one), and address Mitt Romney's crazy claim from earlier this week that a multi-millionaire like Romney is "middle class." What IS middle class? Call in and let David know what you think.

President Obama also announced some long-overdue changes to No Child Left Behind, this morning that are causing a stir. Our guest, Dana Goldstein, contributing writer to The Nation magazine will talk with David about what the future of "No Child" will and won't be. Plus, David will shock everyone - by agreeing with Rick Perry on an education topic!

Finally, since it's Friday, and the The Great American Beer Festival is being held in Denver, David and his producer Turk will talk about the latest scientific study that proves beer really IS good for you! Plus, we'll talk about how the latest ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry's is causing some people to go nuts.

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

Today’s Randi Rhodes homework

Randi’s message board

Randi’s comedy bit archive

Randi on Facebook & Twitter

It may not quite be the holiday season yet, but with the ridiculous boycott over Ben & Jerry's latest ice cream flavor, we thought Alec Baldwin's holiday message would be a great addition to your weekend.

Thom Hartmann: The Republican Jaw Dropping Moment.....

Thom plus logo
For the third Republican debate in the row - it's not what the candidates on stage said that was so troubling - but instead what the audience did. Last night's Fox News/Google Republican debate featured many of the same barbs against President Obama - calls for lower taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations - and blasts against so-called government health care. Curiously - Fox so-called News also allowed a hate group to participate in the debate. The Federation for American Immigration Reform - an organization that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group - was given a platform to ask the first question on immigration last night.
But it was when a now-openly gay soldier posed a question to Rick Santorum about the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - that the debate provided it's most jaw-dropping moment. After this soldier wrapped up his question - members of the audience wildly booed him - seemingly just because he was gay. No candidate on stage repudiated the boos - but afterward Jon Huntsman called the incident "unfortunate" - as did a representative for Rick Perry.
So in three debates - we've seen Conservative audiences applaud the deaths of 234 people who were executed in Texas - we've seen them shout that when a sick American is without health insurance we should just "let him die" - and now we've seen them enthusiastically boo a soldier who is putting his life at risk to defend this nation - because he is gay. Over and over again - I've called this Republican primary a race to the bottom - only now do I realize the far-right Conservative base in the audience is also competing in the race...and in the words of Charlie Sheen - they're winning.
It's a sad glimpse into the bigotry and fear that have infected America since the days of the KKK and apparently is still alive and well.
(What's your take on the debate? Tell us here.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Who Got Your Money?

The rich get richer, and the middle gets less middler. Middle class incomes had been stagnant since the 1970’s. Well, in the first decade of this century, they started moving again. Unfortunately, they moved downward. The latest census figures show that middle-class income fell 7 percent between 2000 and 2010. And that tells you why conservatives don’t like the census. The figures for poverty and middle-class income are a disgrace for America. Hell, they would be a disgrace for Kazakhstan or Burkina Faso. 46.2 million Americans live in poverty. If poverty were a state, it would be the largest state in America, by a wide margin. Ironic—while Americans were sleeping, someone stole the American Dream.

So middle-class incomes fell. If you’re wondering where the money went, just look up. Yeah, all that disappeared middle-class money didn’t just disappear. During the same years that middle-class incomes fell 7 percent, the wealth of the Koch brothers rose by 800 percent. Look for the silver lining, people. Maybe you’ll never get to the upper classes, but at least your money is going there. The latest Forbes 400 list says that the Koch brothers are now worth $50 billion. They could actually give $1,000 to each and every person of the 46 million Americans living in poverty, and still have $4 billion left over.

There is another Republican candidates’ debate tonight, which means that this must be Thursday. Or Monday. Or Tuesday. Or any day of any month until they finally sort through these losers. Tonight’s debate is co-sponsored by Google and Fox News. Great—the place you go to for information, and the place you go to for disinformation. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be in this debate. Johnson is open about the fact that he has smoked marijuana in the past. That contrasts with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, who have never smoked pot, but who desperately need to. With Gary Johnson, Republican stoners have someone to support besides Ron Paul—and someone who is probably willing to allow the government to help victims of natural disasters. With Ron Paul’s rigid libertarianism, you get legal marijuana, but no food safety rules. That’s a very dangerous combination—stoners will eat anything. Gary Johnson is proof that you don’t have to be crazy to be a Republican, just to appeal to the Republican base.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Why do people love Elizabeth Warren - who's already leading Scott Brown in the MA Senate race - so much? Take a look:

Thom Hartmann: These guys aren't "job creators" - they are hucksters...

Thom plus logo

Oil oligarchs Charles and David Koch are now worth $50 billion - more than five times what it was ten years ago - making their combined wealth second only to Bill Gates. And it looks like they made a large chunk of their money screwing the rest of us over at the gas pump. According to the Center for American Progress - for the last several years - the Kochs have engaged in rampant oil speculation - meaning they place bets that the price of oil will go up - and when it does go up - they make a ton of money - while the rest of us have to deal with paying more at the pump to keep our cars running.

According to Goldman Sachs - thanks to banksters and the Kochs manipulating oil prices - each barrel of oil is roughly $27 more expensive because of speculation. Between 2004 and 2008, when the price of oil surged from around 30 bucks a barrel to well over 100 bucks a barrel - the Kochs also saw their fortunes surge - from $5 billion to well over $35 billion.

And back in 2009 - ThinkProgress reports that the Kochs admitted they are one of the top 5 oil speculators in the world. These guys aren't "job creators" - they are apparently among the hucksters who are running up the price of gas and ruining our economy.


(What would you do about this? Tell us here.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Save the Rich!

HOUR TWO GUEST: Cenk Uygur on joining Keith Olbermann at Current TV and the chain of events that led him there.

Republicans are trying to say that taxing the rich costs jobs. Taxing the rich does not cost jobs. If anything, it creates jobs—as tax accountants for the rich. To paraphrase an NRA bumper sticker, the rich don’t create jobs—money creates jobs, and the rich refuse to part with their money. Meanwhile, Republicans want to cut the highly successful Head Start program by over a billion dollars. Tell me that’s not class warfare. Not a lot of billionaires’ kids are enrolled in the Head Start program. The children of the rich have their own Head Start—it’s called being the children of the rich.

The Republican leadership in Congress has sent a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke urging him not to do anything more to stimulate the economy. How was that letter worded? “Dear Federal Reserve, for the upcoming elections we need the economy to be in shambles. Anything you can do would be appreciated. Sincerely, John Boehner.” The letter claims that economists are divided over whether further stimulus would help the economy. The GOP definitely thinks it would help, though. You can tell by the fact that they oppose it.

Rush Limbaugh is ecstatic that Bill O’Reilly defended the rich on his show the other night. I find the idea of Rush Limbaugh listening to Bill O’Reilly disturbing for some reason. It sets up this weird feedback loop of lies. They’ll feed off and reinforce each other until they create a black hole of ignorance that sucks the rational universe into it. Rush said “Frankly, it’s heartwarming to see” O’Reilly defend the rich. Heartwarming! Wow. Seeing an obscenely wealthy idiot pontificating on why his money should be protected from the filthy masses isn’t exactly on my list of Hallmark moments.

Finally, Michele Bachmann posed for a photo op at an Iowa meat plant, in a room with 400-lb beef carcasses hanging all around her. Needless to say, the beef carcasses looked more presidential. Just how impervious to the power of imagery is Michele Bachmann? Michele, when everyone is questioning whether or not your campaign can survive... the last thing you do is pose with a bunch of dead meat.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Stephen Colbert digs deep to help the GOP tax the poor...

Thom Hartmann: Another hostage scenario is brewing...

Thom plus logo

Another hostage scenario is brewing - this time Republicans are holding victims of natural disasters for ransom. Congress needs to approve a funding measure by the end of the month - or the government will shut down - furloughing 800,000 federal workers. But the Senate and the House aren't seeing eye-to-eye on a funding bill - and it all comes down to disaster relief aid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid passed a funding bill that included nearly $7 billion of disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Irene - the Joplin tornados - and the countless people across the nation devastated by historic flooding this year.

So far - estimates put damage from natural disasters this year alone at about $32 billion. But Republicans in the House won't spend money on things that show government can actually work and solve problems, so they're proposing a much smaller relief package - about $3.6 billion - and they likely won't budge on that number.

As Senator Reid said, "I'm not that sure (that a shutdown will be averted), because the Tea Party-driven House of Representatives has been so unreasonable in the past, I don't know why they should suddenly be reasonable." Welcome to Republican rule in American - where the next hostage could be you!


(Do you think there will be a shutdown? Tell us here.)

Show your Support - Get your Obama 2012 NOW!


Obama Brews His Own Beer! - Read More @

Obama Brews His Own: Obama brews up batches of homemade beer in the White House -Read MORE & Video @

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Class War Whiners

It’s war! And only one side evidently knows it. John Boehner is leading the GOP in the chorus of their “class warfare” refrain. Boehner grew up in a lower-middle class family, and now he serves corporate masters. If this is class warfare, John Boehner is a turncoat.

There is some very good news in all this “class warfare” nonsense. Bill O’Reilly says that if President Obama raises his taxes, he might “pack it in” and quit. Now we just have to get that in writing. O’Reilly said “If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in.” Essentially, Bill O’Reilly is saying he can’t deal with paying the same taxes that all his employees pay, and if you try to tax him at that rate, he’ll quit and throw all his employees out of work. Then Bill says “If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this.” Do what, Bill? Lie? Because nobody has mentioned the figure 50 percent anywhere at any time. When Republicans don’t have any response to something that’s been proposed, they just make something else up, and respond to that.

Oh, and Rush Limbaugh doesn’t like Obama’s tax plan either. Well duh. Not only does it fly in the face of every evil principle that Rush holds dear—it would cost Rush money. If for nothing else, we should pass it for that reason.

It’s interesting to see how this tax plan is being perceived by those Republican Congress members who are rich, which would be—and this is a rough estimate—all of them. One of the first to stick their foot in their mouth is Louisiana GOP Congressman John Fleming (video below). Fleming’s businesses made about $6.3 million last year. And he claims he can’t afford the tax increase. Congressman, when you’re making that kind of money, you can’t plead poverty. You can try pleading wealth, but I don’t think it’s going to sound very convincing. Fleming said “by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over.” What are you feeding your family? Beluga caviar and Cristal champagne? My God. That has to be the stupidest thing anyone has said yet about this tax proposal. But then we haven’t heard from Louie Gohmert yet.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Thom Hartmann: It's the end of the line for Troy Davis

Thom plus logo

You need to know this. It's the end of the line for Troy Davis. Davis was denied clemency by a Georgia paroles board today in a last ditch effort to save himself from lethal injection scheduled for tomorrow. Davis was convicted of murdering a police officer in 1989 - but today - nearly all of the witnesses who implicated him have recanted their testimony and are now claiming someone else committed the murder.

Not only that - there has never been any hard evidence - be it a murder weapon or DNA - to tie Davis to the murder. Yet - he's still slated to die. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions to save Davis's life - and former President Jimmy Carter - as well as the Pope have come forward to stop the execution. So far - nothing has worked. Davis's lawyer said about the decision today, "I am utterly shocked and disappointed at the failure of our justice system at all levels to correct a miscarriage of justice."

So with that - our nation could be just hours away now from putting an innocent man to death.


(Do you think he will or should be put to death? Tell us here.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Class Warfare Whiners

Today President Obama put forward a plan to cut our national deficit by over $3 trillion, which is supposed to be exactly what the Republicans want... except for the part where President Obama is proposing it. Deficit reduction is theoretically what Republicans want. But they don’t like what deficit reduction entails in the real world. Hey, Republicans don’t like the real world, period. The President’s plan has everything the Republicans want, along with a couple of the last things they want—fair taxes and real progress. $1.5 trillion of the $3 trillion in savings comes from an overhaul of the tax code. President Obama wants to make the tax code fair. Republicans just want to make the tax code disappear.

Part of the plan is a new rule to make sure that millionaires pay their fair share. Actually, it doesn’t even ask them to do that. It just doesn’t let them pay less than our fair share. Millionaires would have to pay as much as the middle class pays under the new rule. It’s called the Buffett rule, after billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett says he has no problem with the proposed rule being named after him, because it’s what he believes. Other billionaires just want to avoid paying taxes. Are they willing to propose a rule letting billionaires pay no taxes at all, and call it the “Koch Brothers Rule”? Of course, they would never propose a rule that allows billionaires to pay no taxes at all. Billionaires have figured ways to do that with the rules we already have.

Predictably, Republicans immediately cried that Obama’s proposal to make the rich pay the taxes we all pay is “class warfare.” Anytime someone accuses you of waging class warfare, you can be reasonably sure that they have already been waging class warfare on your class for a long time. Republicans don’t want class warfare—they want unilateral class surrender. Paul Ryan says that this plan will “attack job creators.” It doesn’t attack anyone, Paul. It just treats everyone the same, although, I can see why the people you represent would consider that an attack. I love it when Republicans refer to the mega-rich as “job creators!” I guess it sounds better than “parasites.” They can’t tell the truth. Republicans can’t very well go on the Sunday talk shows and say “The President’s tax overhaul attacks financial vampires.” And they especially can’t do that when they look like Paul Ryan.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Americans dying for lack of health insurance is more than just a GOP debate applause line, it actually happens (every 12 minutes in fact)...

Thom Hartmann: President Obama, "It's not Class Warfare - It's Math!"

Thom plus logo

President Obama unveiled his $3 trillion debt-reduction plan today - and millionaires aren't going to get off so easy this time. In what is called the "Buffett Rule" - the President proposed partially closing the capital gains tax loophole. This lets many of America's millionaires and billionaires like Warren Buffett and Paris Hilton - who just collect dividend checks all day by the pool - skate by paying only a 15% tax rate - far lower than the rate working stiffs pay. Under the President's new plan - the richest of the rich will pay at least the same tax rate as average middle class taxpayers.

Seems fair, right?

Not if you're Republican Budget Chairman - and guy who wants to throw Grandma off a cliff by privatizing Medicare - Paul Ryan - who decried any tax increase on the rich as "class warfare." Coincidentally - at the same time - Ryan and the rest of his Republican buddies came out against tax cuts for middle class families - the payroll tax-cut included in President Obama's "American Jobs Act." In fact - under Ryan's Republican budget proposal that nearly every single Republican in House voted for - taxes would actually go UP on middle class families - and go down on millionaires and billionaires. So to recap - Republicans are calling a tax hike on billionaires "class warfare" - but are at the same time pushing for a tax hike on the middle class.

There is class warfare all right in America - and as Warren Buffet said - it's his class - the rich - that's winning. Thank to shills like Paul Ryan.


(Do you think the plan will be passed? Tell us here.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Randi Rhodes: God's Governor

It's Friday, ya bastids!

There’s a great clip of Rick Perry on a Christian talk show last year, talking about how “supernatural events” guided his life, saying “all through life there have been these supernatural events.” Well, if by “supernatural” you mean events that cannot be explained, I would have to say you’re wrong. If you mean events that YOU can’t explain, well then, most everything would be supernatural. It’s no wonder that someone as dumb as Rick Perry thinks that his world is guided by forces beyond his understanding. EVERYTHING is beyond Rick Perry’s understanding.

Rick tells how, in 1978, he went back to his daddy’s farm, and it hadn’t rained for a long time. He was going to leave again to find a job, but then it rained, a lot. OK, as miracles go, that’s not exactly up there. Now, if it was raining frogs, or gold, or manna from heaven or something, then we can start wondering if this is a message from God. Rick said he took the rain “as God’s real clear message, this is where I want you, son. This is where I want you to be.” What? Where it’s raining? Maybe God was telling you to move to Seattle, you idiot. I have news for you, Rick—when it finally rains after a long dry spell, that is not “supernatural.” I think the term you are looking for is “completely natural.” Of course I’m sure that Rick Perry’s radar for messages from God only works for the messages he wants to hear. I have a feeling that if God has something to tell Rick that Rick doesn’t want to hear, God is going to have a very difficult time getting through. If a giant hand appeared in the sky and wrote the words “Rick Perry, Do Not Run for President!” in the clouds, I’m pretty sure that Rick Perry would not take that as any sort of sign from God. No, Rick Perry would think that’s just natural forces at work—just like global warming.

Speaking of Rick Perry’s mistakes, the Supreme Court has agreed to halt and review the case of a man sentenced to die in Texas for apparently being black. Statistically speaking, that is rare. All death penalty cases are appealed. The Supreme Court literally gets asked to stop several executions in Texas almost every week. I’m sure when the Supreme Court gets an appeal to halt an execution in Texas, they first think “Texas? Didn’t we see this appeal yesterday? And the day before. And the day before that.”

Today’s Homework | Discuss

If you missed Randi's interview with former Rep. Alan Grayson yesterday, hear him weigh in on the GOP death lust and the purposeful extermination of empathy...

Thom Hartmann: Hell no you can't!?

Thom plus logo

You need to know this. "Hell no you can't!" In a speech yesterday - Speaker of the House John Boehner slammed President Obama's "American Jobs Act" - calling it a "poor substitute" for actual job creation policies.

But a week ago - when President Obama unveiled his plan - Speaker Boehner seemed open to negotiating on it. So it looks like Eric Cantor and the rest of the Tea Party Republicans who'd rather see the economy crash than Obama succeed - once again stuck the shiv in Boehner and told him, "no deal," just like they did in the debt-limit debate. Instead of the "American Jobs Act" - Boehner put forward more of the same Republican proposals to create jobs - more tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and transnational corporations - the so-called "job creators" as pollster Frank Luntz calls them - and more deregulation to that the Republican Party's corporate overlords can keep making profits off poisoning the air we breath and contaminating the water we drink.

But this is great news for the President - because now he can put his Harry Truman hat on - and run against the Republicans in 2012 - as the Party that's against job creation in America.


(Do you think he will? Tell us here.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Randi Rhodes: GOP Death Lust

HOUR TWO GUEST: Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) on his 2012 campaign to get back into Congress, the GOP death lust that's been on display, the President's jobs plan, etc.

Rick Perry’s execution obsession just feeds the worst in people. And the people we’re talking about are Tea Party people, so you’re talking about feeding the worst in people… in the worst people. Texas executes four more times as many prisoners as any other state. The list of the leading causes of death in the state of Texas should include Rick Perry. I think that more people are executed in Texas than die of natural causes in a lot of states… including maybe Texas. Texas executes so many people by lethal injection that I’m sure the amount of lethal drugs used actually increases pharmaceutical company profits. Wow. Maybe that’s what behind all this. Somebody check and see if those drugs they give prisoners to kill them are made by Merck.

Lawrence O’Donnell said last night that Rick Perry is more of a follower of Pontius Pilate than he is of Jesus. Worse, actually. At least Pontius Pilate tried to wash his hands of the blood. Rick Perry wears blood like a badge of honor. Rick Perry and Pontius Pilate have at least one other thing in common. Both of them ruled for a long time over an arid land, and pretty much wrecked it economically and socially.

On yesterday’s show we told you about Kent Snyder, the 2008 campaign chairman for Ron Paul, who died without health insurance and left behind $400,000 in unpaid medical bills, which is basically Ron Paul’s definition of “freedom.” Snyder’s family set up a website for donations, and tapped into Ron Paul’s list of donors to try and pay off the bill. Well, it turns out that Ron Paul supporters are pretty stingy with everything… except sanctimonious advice. They were only able to raise a grand total of $34,870.53 towards paying that $400,000 debt. I’ll save you from doing the math—in percentage terms, that’s what mathematicians call “diddly squat.” They raised 8 percent of the money they needed—and that’s with all of Ron Paul’s connections. Of course, when you get right down to it, those are all the people who don’t give a crap about anybody else. I don’t want to draw too many conclusions from this, but my take is that, when it comes to deciding how to provide healthcare in this country, “pass the hat” is not an option.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Pat Robertson, another 'good Christian' who just happens to subscribe to Newt Gingrich's marriage philosophy...

Thom Hartmann: Corporate Freeloaders Act

Thom plus logo

Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced their own "American Jobs Act" - even though a more apt name for their bill would be the "Corporate Freeloaders Act." Congressman Louie Gohmert - famous for his fear mongering over "terror babies" and bestiality - introduced the Republican version of President Obama's jobs plan - and it includes only one provision. No infrastructure spending - no payroll tax cuts - no assistance to states to hire more teachers and police officers - nothing - except for...reducing the corporate tax rate down to zero.

That's right - the Republicans' idea for job creation is letting multi-billion dollar transnational corporations - many of which already pay no American taxes - off the hook from paying any American taxes. They use our roads, our bridges, our schools, our police forces, our courts - but Congressman Gohmert thinks they don't need to pay for any of that stuff - instead, he wants you and me to pay it all. Republicans think if these corporations just had a little more cash - then they'd turn into job creating fairies and save our economy.

But as we know - they're already sitting on $2 trillion worth of cash and not hiring anyone - at least not in America. This isn't a jobs bill - it's a classic Republican handout to Gohmert's top corporate donors.


(Which American Jobs Act do you think will prevail? Tell us here.)


In Rick Perry's Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel

WASHINGTON -- In Texas, firefighters aren't just battling the wild fires raging around Austin and Houston. The state's first responders have also had to deal with budget cuts affecting everything from fuel purchases to hoses and air tanks.

In some cases, fire officials say, firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalled Bastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry, speaking to The Huffington Post during a break from working the wild fires.

"That fire department has been on this fire every day," he said. "Before this fire, they were having to buy stuff out of their own pocket." Perry said he knows of at least one other department whose firemen had to pay for equipment maintenance and engine fuel.

Earlier this week, HuffPost reported that Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP front-runner for president, had signed off on millions in firefighting cuts as part of the state's most recent budget legislation. The Texas Forest Service's funding has gone from $117.7 million in the 2010-2011 budget years to $83 million in the 2012-2013 budget years.

Severe cuts have also hit assistance grants to volunteer fire departments throughout Texas. The grants decreased from $30 million per year in 2010 and 2011 to $13.5 million per year in 2012 and 2013. These are cuts that firemen are now dealing with.

"I don't agree with it. I understand what Governor Perry did," said Henry Perry (no relation). "Do I like it? No. I don't like it at all."

The cuts come at a time when Texas fire departments have already been slowing purchases of new fire trucks and other critical equipment as a way to save money, said Guy Turner, president of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters. The association had endorsed Perry in his re-election for governor in 2010.

"What I fear will happen is equipment will start to fail and put our members at peril," Turner explained. "You can imagine if you're inside a structure fire and your engine quits."

Turner doesn't have to imagine it. He said he knows of firefighters whose breathing apparatus has malfunctioned during fires. There have also been "instances of hoses failing during the course of firefighting operations."

"For years, public safety was the golden calf -- that we were untouchable," Turner said. "Nobody's untouchable. It is a shame. They are basically putting a price on how much our lives are worth. It's disturbing at best."

Firefighters also have been hit with millions in cuts from a state matching grant program that helps local departments pay for essentials like proper clothing and engine upkeep. The departments already had difficulty matching the state grants. "These are the folks out there having to have fundraisers -- fish fries and pancake suppers and barbecues to raise money," Henry Perry said.

Chris Barron, executive director of the State Firemen's & Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, told HuffPost that one department in Bastrop County has had to beg for proper clothing to use in combating wild fires. Other firefighters have paid out of pocket for that gear. They can't wear their normal gear when battling these fires. "The last thing we want to do is wear something heavy and nonbreathable," he said.

Barron said his organization had started a wildfire relief fund in March with the goal of raising $500,000 for new gear. It has received $200,000 in private donations so far.

The budget cuts haven't just hit local departments in need of proper gear. They've hit the state agency charged with inspecting that gear. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which regulates and inspects the personal protective gear such as breathing apparatuses and protective clothing, took a 25 percent cut. The commission has gone from 41 to 31 employees. It's down to six inspectors covering 700 departments, including Houston's 4,000 firefighters.

"We lost personnel and we lost funding," said Jake Soteriou, the commission's executive director. He said he had not heard of the breathing gear malfunctions.

Will the budget cuts slow down the commission's inspections? "We're going to find out," said Soteriou.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said that firefighters were paying for "oxygen tanks," which is inaccurate. Firefighters carry air tanks, rather than compressed oxygen, to breathe in smoke-filled environments.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Double Fail

Michele Bachmann is spreading stories that the HPV vaccinations cause “mental retardation.” She’s basically daring anyone to challenge her… and daring anyone to make the obvious Bachmann jokes there. We must be strong. Bachmann claims she was told by a woman after the debate on Monday that the woman’s daughter became mentally retarded after being given the HPV vaccine. Is that where members of Congress get their information these days? Do they gather rumors from random strangers? If you ever wondered how Michele Bachmann manages to stay so uninformed, there is your answer.

I already knew that Michele Bachmann would say anything. I didn’t realize that she would believe anything. When Sean Hannity asked Bachmann if the claims about mental retardation were true, Bachmann said “I have no idea.” Yes, but she just thought she’d use her standing as a member of Congress to pass it along. Michele Bachmann actually scored points against Rick Perry by bringing up the vaccine in the first place. Then she went and blew it all by… well, by being Michele Bachmann.

Classic—Rick Perry did something horrible by mandating a vaccination for girls in Texas based solely on the money he was getting from and his crony connections to a drug company, and the reason the rightwing is upset by it is that they don’t think the government should have anything to do with public health. Rick Perry did something completely wrong, and conservatives object to it for completely wrong reasons. Conservatives would be upset over this vaccination if it worked perfectly. In fact, whether or not it works is completely irrelevant to them. Oh, and old-school pro-business Republicans would still be all for this vaccine even if it did cause mental retardation, as long as it made money.

Michele Bachmann would not have approved this vaccine. She doesn’t care about curing cancer. She and her husband are too busy curing gayness. But if there was a vaccine that guarded against being gay, you can be absolutely sure that Michele Bachmann would sign an executive order making it mandatory for everyone. And Marcus would get the first shot.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Stephen Colbert took a moment last night to weigh in on the death lust that's been on display at the GOP debates...