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Great American Heroes

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Alan Grayson at Sexy Liberal 12-10-11 copy

Nicole Sandler with Congressman Alan Grayson at the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour in Ft. Lauderdale, December 2011

Our first Great American Hero today is Congressman Alan Grayson. Although he represents Florida's 9th District, he really represents us all! Even in the time of the greatest gridlock in DC, Congressman Grayson - a member of the minority party in the House - has written more legislation and had more amendments passed than any other member, for two years running!

He joined me on the show this morning to talk about some of the work he's done since we last spoke. A sampling of his accomplishments follows:

On the NSA/surveillance/privacy front:

  • He’s passed legislation to protect encryption standards from the NSA 
  • He passed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 4870) to prohibit NSA from interfering or weakening encryption standards promulgated by NIST. Grayson called NSA’s subversion of NIST’s standards “extremely dangerous and noted that NSA’s efforts rendered everyone’s security vulnerable to exploitation. “It’s naïve to imagine that if you introduce a weakness into a system you will be the only one to use it. My amendment would address this issue by prohibiting the intelligence community [which includes NSA] from subverting or interfering with the integrity of any cryptographic standard,” he explained. The amendment passed unanimously and earned support from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Sunlight Foundation, and others.
  • In a Science, Space, and Technology Committee markup he passed an amendment removing the statutory requirement for NIST to consult with NSA in developing encryption standards. The amendment allows NIST to continue to consult NSA when necessary. The Huffington Post called Grayson’s effort a “landmark amendment,” while ProPublica wrote that it“puts NSA on notice over encryption standards.” Access said the amendment would “help support data integrity by ensuring that the standards used to protect all internet users are not artificially weakened.” The Center for Democracy & Technology hailed it as a “positive step that will help to restore the credibility and scientific objectivity of NIST.”
  •   He’s pushing the FCC to protect the privacy of Americans’ phone calls, following a Newsweek report claiming that IMSI catchers, a relatively cheap device that impersonates cell phone towers, can intercept phone calls and text messages.
  • He’s been going after former NSA Director Keith Alexander, who stands to make millions off of his work in the cybersecurity sector. Read one of Grayson’s letters here. There’s been a good deal of coverage on this – for example here, here and here.

And in other areas:

Yes, I'd say "hero" is a perfect description. Find out more about Congressman Grayson and donate to help keep him working for us at CongressmanWithGuts.com.

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Stephanie Kelton on The Nicole Sandler Show at Netroots Nation Detroit, July 2014

Our second hero today followed Congressman Grayson immediately on the show. Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the top-ranked blog New Economic Perspectives .  

Today we spoke about the new buzz-term and heinous practice known as Corporate Inversion Taxes, as well as a bit about Modern Monetary Theory, why the US should carry debt and how to fix the economic mess we're in.

After hearing what she had to say, I asked her to run for office. Stephanie Kelton is, indeed, a hero who would serve us well in public office!

In the second hour of the show, I spoke with our regular Thursday morning heroes:

Amy Simon of She's History told us about Lily Ledbetter and her fight for paycheck fairness.

And Stephen Goldstein, author of The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit returned with another "No More Bullshit Minute." Today, we exposed the bullshit phrase, "According to a Recent Poll."

Tomorrow, we'll wrap the week with Florida's Judge David Young, discussing the recent rulings in favor of marriage equality and how to figure out who to vote for in judicial races. And for Flashback Friday, my 1996 interview with -and performance by- Sting! Talk to you then, Radio or Not!

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The Real Scandal on Capitol Hill

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Well, it's shutdown day one. We can keep counting the minutes and hours, but there's little we can do until the insanity of the Republican party dies off as congressional switchboards light up, email in-boxes back up, and the people continue to chat up the scandal regarding the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare.

SCANDALOUS? You mean SCANDAL the Emmy winning ABC TV show about a Washington woman who covertly "fixes" scandals?

Close. This is a parody by Funny or Die. At least they claim it's a parody. Truth can be funnier than fiction.

The Plot : Speaker of the House, John Boehner's fallen under the dastardly brain control of Senator Curz. The Speaker only has to present a clean CR bill to the full House and it'll pass. But he's been corrupted by the Tea Party terrorists and their lies to the public are instilling the masses with fear. The government has shut down. If something isn't done soon, jobs will be lost. Lives will be lost. Faith in our government will be lost.

This is Scandalous -- ACA. Stay with me here and watch:

When truth and parody are the same, it makes you wonder about our elected officials. With Cruz, Boehner, Lee, Rubio and Rand in office, doesn't it make you wonder if America  isn't being 'punked' and in need of Olivia Pope and crew?

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VIDEO: Homer Simpson Votes 2012 + Funny Or Die's Guide to Voter ID Laws

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Hey, it's an election year, and you know what they say... gotta laugh (bygones). Snarkitude galore, coming right up:

The Simpsons: So many great moments crammed into such a short video.

And on to Funny or Die:

Patriot Laser, genital data base (but "we respect your privacy"), 750-word essay on the evils of big government, Rachel Maddow... you name it, they included it.

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Video Overnight Thread- Bad Lip Reading Soundbite: "More Mitt"

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Via BLR.

We only do the fundraiser every quarter, but there are ways you can help support us every day, from clicking on ads (Google, Amazon and occasionally the actual paid for BlogAd) to buying stuff from Amazon after clicking our link to them, to monthly subscriptions at our Support TPC page to just a straight forward donation here or the buttons to your right.

We’re both struggling right now with more crap than ya’ll care about, but the reason we get up every morning is to get the news for you. And it’s only going to get crazier here in the next few months. We thank you.

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