31 October 2006

Nova M Radio

Out of the ashes of the Air America bankruptcy, a new progressive radio network arises, and it's headed by Valley talker Mike Newcomb and one of the founding forces of Air America, Sheldon Drobny.

Welcome to, your new home for progressive talk radio,

In the weeks ahead, we're looking to add more features to our site and more talented hosts to our network lineup. We hope that you'll find this site not only a great source for information about NovaM, but also a great way to particpate in the national debate about the future of our country.

Only two stations in the network for now (Phoenix, AZ and Sherwood AR) and a half dozen show hosts including Mike Newcomb, Peter B Collins and their headliner, liberal cannon yakker Mike Malloy. Also on board are non-partisan hosts John Zogby and John Loftus, for which I am excited to read now has access to my radio microphone broadcasting at least into the local airwaves here in Arizona.

I expect many to scoff at the new talk outlet, and cheer the impending demise of Air America. However, I don't believe for a second that the venture is a doomed prospect because of what happened to its predecessor. Consider that it takes time, sometimes years for new business launch to go into the black. In fact, Fox News Channel lost an average of $90 millon per year for about five years and conservative media mogul Reverend Moon (Washington Times owner) has lost and continues to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. It took some time for the vile, hate mongering Limbaugh to build his empire of dittoheads.

But I'm not stating that Air America was sound enough to weather the initial foray. There was plenty wrong with its implementation:

  • Trying to do television style variety shows on radio.

  • Conducting talk shows without the "talk" — hosts babbling ad nauseum sans caller phone in participation is a sure fire prescription for mass listener tuneout, unless the host is engaging enough or brings enough interesting guests on air (the Al Franken show is the only exception here)

  • Frequently running shows on tape delay or even worse, inserting tapes from previous days for political discourse must remain fresh and lively.

  • Not hiring radio talent, instead opting for performers from other media platforms — success in one realm does not guarantee radio stardom.

28 October 2006

It is amazing to watch freedom-loving libertarians and free-market economists serve as apologists for the dismantling of the ladders of upward mobility

Amidst reports of a mass exodus of middle class voters from the Republican fold, President Bush and his loyalists, also in an attempt to shift focus of the debacle in Iraq, have now embarked on a campaign centered on the great economy, made in large part by the wonder of the Bush tax cuts.

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average has returned to past historic heights, I don't believe this is reflective of the economic health of nation, gauged in metrics that matter to most working Americans. With thanks and attribution to Max Sawicky, Paul Craig Roberts, Robert Kuttner, and a report from the American Center for Progress — running the gamut from progressive to non-neocon conservative, here are some salient economic truths:

  • Fewer than half of Americans own any stock at all, and 80 percent of the population has only ten percent of all stock market wealth.

  • For the bottom twenty percent of the workforce, wages fell by 1.9 percent from 2004 to 2005, but only 24 percent of these workers had health insurance.

  • The Census Bureau reported that median incomes for working-age families were down again, for the fifth straight year. Real median income for households under age 65 is down by 5.4 percent since 2000, even though the economy has grown every year. All of that gain has gone to upper-bracket people and corporate profits.

  • The economy's productivity increased by a remarkable 33.5 percent between 1995 and 2005, but real wages have declined since 2000.

  • Employer-provided health coverage declined from 69 percent in 1979 to 56 percent in 2004.

  • Household debt relative to personal disposable income, went over the one to one ratio in 2001 and now stands at 126%.

  • During the past five years (January 01 - January 06), the information sector of the U.S. economy lost 644,000 jobs, or 17.4 per cent of its work force.

  • During the past five years, U.S. manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17 per cent of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job.

  • For the five-year period, U.S. job growth was limited to four areas: education and health services, state and local government, leisure and hospitality, and financial services. There was no U.S. job growth outside these four areas of domestic nontradable services.

  • Accoding to Princeton economist and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder, 42-56 million American service sector jobs are susceptible to offshore outsourcing.

  • A comparison of starting salaries in 2005 with those in 2001 reveals a 12.7 per cent decline in computer science pay, a 12 per cent decline in computer engineering pay, and a 10.2 per cent decline in electrical engineering pay. Marketing salaries experienced a 6.5 per cent decline, and business administration salaries fell 5.7 per cent.

Once the numbers are examined, it doesn't appear quite the rosy picture being painted by the Bush administration and their loyalists. And when selected economic barometers are cited, one has to critically question for whom the benefits are accruing and for who is left behind.

The Original October Surprise

Former AP and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry with a series adapted from his recent book Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.
To the shock of the Task Force, the six-page Russian report stated, as fact, that Casey, Bush, CIA officials and other Republicans had met secretly with Iranian officials in Europe during the 1980 presidential campaign.

The Russians depicted the hostage negotiations that year as a two-way competition between the Carter White House and the Reagan-Bush campaign to outbid one another for Iran's cooperation on the hostages.

The Russians asserted that the Reagan-Bush team indeed had disrupted Carter's hostage negotiations, the exact opposite of the Task Force's conclusion.

26 October 2006

Marvel at the moral chokehold the big right wing media players have over the mainstream media

A video of the vile Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox and accusing him of faking his Parkinson's disease symptons in a Missouri political campaign commercial.

Here is the most popular radio host in the nation, again spewing hate.

Even local wannabees are joining the chorus, singing the same false stanzas.

Contrary to the charge that Fox might not take his medicine to enhance his symptoms, the medicine produces some of the uncontrolled body movements.

Maybe Limbaugh's act is the true "fake", where he purposefully is role playing a big fat idiot.

But I had the same thoughts as this blogger on the latest Rush escapade.

This character goes on the radio and cracks jokes about a man suffering from Parkinsons disease. Says he's faking his symptoms. Playing for the camera. It's right up there with your better jokes about, say, breast cancer or other knee-slappers like pediatric oncology.

In any other context this would be treated as a fatal breach of decency and taste. But he gets respectful coverage in papers like the Post (at least till someone there got wise and yanked the story). And in general the whole imbroglio is treated as Fox and his supposed symptoms and the Limbaugh backlash. And also, hey, Limbaugh said he was sorry for making fun of Fox's condition and now only says he's shamelessly exploiting his medical condition.

All the big names are afraid of him. He'll probably be back on Meet the Press before the end of the year.

Liberal media bias my arse…

25 October 2006

Why should he do anything but lie back and count the votes they'll get for him?

Rosemary French of Sedona in response to the Arizona Republic endorsement of Arizona Republican Congressman Rick Renzi.
It's a good thing for Rick Renzi (1st Congressional District incumbent) that The Arizona Republic Editorial Board thinks he's doing a good job. Nobody else seems to.

Citizens for Ethics, an independent, nonpartisan committee, places Renzi on the list of the 13 most corrupt Washington politicians.

The Federal Elections Commission found enough problems with Renzi's 2002 campaign to order a full audit of the congressman's campaign coffers.

The League of Conservation Voters, a nonpartisan organization that rates members of the Legislature based on their voting records on environmental issues, gives Renzi a zero (out of 10).

Constituents are becoming increasing frustrated with him. He does not physically reside in his district and he has not bothered to show up at any of the five candidate-debate forums.

The fact that Renzi is one of the most corrupt members of Congress bothered the editors at the Arizona Republic not one iota.

Now Renzi may be embroiled in two separate federal probes, one about land swaps, another regarding favorable legislation for a military contractor that employs his father.

I pray Arizona voters go to the polls this November and do their earnest to eradicate the Republican culture of corruption from Washington. Even better if they reverse the recent abomination of legislation that has transformed Americans from citizens into subjects. But we may have to settle for a cup of less than evil.

24 October 2006

Don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity

Kevin Tillman speaks up in honor of his late brother's birthday on the illegal, immoral and unconstitutional war the corrupt and criminal leadership has us entangled in.
Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

1 October 2006

It's hard to insure your citizens when half your tax revenue is going to feed your war machine

A factual comparison of Canada vs. United States on the issue of heatlh care, minus the misconceptions.
As a health-care-card-carrying Canadian resident and uninsured American citizen who regularly sees doctors on both sides of the border, I'm in a unique position to address the pros and cons of both systems first-hand. If the health-care debates are going to begin again in the US -- and it's way past high time they should -- then let's please start with actual facts, instead of ideological posturing, wishful thinking, hearsay, and random guessing about how things get done up here. Here are a few things y'all need to have the straight goods on before this goes any further.