Archive for Nicole Sandler

Laffy leaves #TPC, moves to RadioOrNot.com full-time!

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Sometime back in 2007, my dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter invited me to blog at his new site, which eventually morphed into The Political Carnival. Cliff left for greener pastures, and another dear friend, Paddy Kraska, and I took the reins and the site took off. We had such a great run together, placed in the top 100 political blogs according to the various blogsphere ratings agencies (out of millions!), and established TPC as an eclectic mix of Humor and Serious that continues to this day.

But when Paddy unexpectedly passed away (not long after my dad did),I went into a tailspin, and the blog underwent some major changes. It took me six months or so to find just the right combination of writers, writers who had huge Paddy shoes to fill, and who had to be more than just writers. They had to have passion, dedication, and heart.

Lwdgrfx and Sher came to the rescue, as did regular contributor David Garber. Nicole Sandler joined us, and TPC got back on its feet and started thriving again. But the same can't be said for its remaining co-founder, yours truly. The entire ordeal took a toll, one that I'm still working through.

My doctors wanted me to stop writing and "retire" from politics. Impossible. But I have tried every which-way to de-stress. Unfortunately, the responsibility of writing and managing a site 24/7 was still having negative effects on my health. I had to find a solution. That finally happened.  I made a really, really tough decision.

I will be leaving The Political Carnival and teaming up with Nicole Sandler at her RadioOrNot.com site.

nicole sandler radio or not logo

We do at least one radio show per week together, plus we're very good friends, so it's a natural fit. I already have a "Laffy's Place" tab there, and that page is where my new digs will be whenever I feel compelled to post. I will now be able to concentrate more on my "real" life and doing radio (and maybe even get back to my BLUNT videos, who knows?) instead of posting so many articles on a regular basis, as I've done for the past seven-plus years.

Lwdgrfx and Sherry will continue on here at The Political Carnival. So please give them your support and readership as you always have. They simply rock. The TPC Facebook page will stay as is.

You'll be able to find me at Radio Or Not and as always, on Twitter (@GottaLaff) and Facebook (Gotta L. Aff).

I love you, TPC, always have, always will. But even more, I love our readers. Thank you guys, every last one of you, for all the love and support you've given me all these years. It is you who have kept me/us going, and hopefully still will. See you at Nicole's place!

end of an era

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A Bucket of Ice Water

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Nicole Sandler

When Homer Simpson joins in, you know you've gone viral.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness about the disease and a lot of money, there's so much we still don't know about it - thus the need for a campaign like this one.

Homer challenged Donald Trump who actually dumped water on that thing on his head, proving that his hair really looks like that! I hope that dump also included a hefty donation!

My favorite is still this 2-year old

I'm pretty confident in guessing that most people didn't know what ALS was before this month of ice water dumping. Sadly, I knew. I knew about ALS because someone I knew and admired fought the disease and, eventually, succumbed to it.

I first met Eric Lowen in the early 1990's. He was the "Lowen" half of the duo Lowen & Navarro who wrote amazing songs and sang beautiful harmonies together. Eric was diagnosed with ALS in 2004, and lost his battle in March of 2012. 

For the past few months, I've been running interviews and performances from my music radio days on Friday mornings as a bridge to the weekend. Today, as ALS is in the news and Eric Lowen is on my mind, I reached out to my dear friend Dan Navarro and invited him to join me to talk about all of it, and share in listening to one of our in-studio sessions from December of 1999 too.

Dan Navarro has continued as a solo artist, and has worked to educate others about ALS with the goal of someday helping to eradicate this awful disease. He's also fully immersed himself (figuratively and literally) in the ALS ice bucket challenge. You can see some of his work on his Facebook page. 

It was a busy first hour of the show too. Jim Dean joined me to talk about the great work Democracy for America is doing. They've recently endorse Shenna Bellows in her race for the US Senate against Susan Collins of Maine, Mary Burke for Governor of Wisconsin (vs the evil Scott Walker), and more.

And Jason Leopold, who couldn't get to Guantanamo Bay this week through no fault of his own (damned weather gods) but has landed firmly and deservedly at Vice News, joined me to talk about his reporting on Gitmo, national security issues and the fact that his persistence in filing FOIA requests has put him squarely inside the story about Sen. Dianne Feinstein trying to delay the release of the CIA torture report. 

And with that, it's the end of the week, the month and, sadly, the summer. I'll be taking Monday off for Labor Day, but will return Tuesday to kick off the fall with GottaLaff... cuz we gotta laugh, or else we cry... and whatever else the weekend brings. Talk to you then, Radio or Not.

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History Keeps Repeating

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Nicole Sandler Radio Or Not

We know that history tends to repeat itself.

Today is the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, which brought us Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech.

It's the 46th anniversary of the infamous police riot that broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when police brutalized thousands of anti-war protesters on nationwide television as the demonstrators chanted, “The whole world is watching.”

57 years ago today, North Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond began an (unsuccessful) attempt to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes, setting a record for the longest filibuster by a single senator.

Today, though, it seems that not much has changed. Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Ferguson, MO is ground zero in the summer of 2014 civil rights struggle. Police are regarded as the oppressors rather than the protectors. And Mitt Romney, while denying he'll run again, told a radio host that "circumstances can change." The reason people are even asking him the question are more puzzling than the idea that he'd even consider it: recent polls show Romney as the front runner, by huge margins, in both Iowa and New Hampshire, should he decide to throw his hat in the presidential ring again!

Not only does history repeat, but Americans have very short memories. I thought I'd do a public service and refresh those memories about Menacious Mitt. Feel free to share it liberally...

After hearing that, all I can hope for is that Mitt Romney will, indeed, run again!

Today on the Show

I first had Steven Thrasher on my show a few years back when he was writing for the Village Voice, and we spoke about the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  Today, he's embarking on a few new journeys - including attending NYU as a Henry M. MacCracken Doctoral Fellow in American Studies, and writing a new weekly column for The Guardian. 

It was in the latter capacity that he went to Ferguson to cover the aftermath of the shooting death of Mike Brown. One piece in particular stood out to me in its sad truth, "Wisdom from Ferguson's kids: 'They shouldn't shoot people for protesting'."

BradBlog's Brad Friedman agreed to wake up early to join in the show today, so I took advantage of his presence! We spoke about the latest scandal to hit the McConnell campaign, the police falsifying and cover-up of the Michael Brown shooting incident report, the latest twist - and the twist on the twist - to the Don Siegelman political persecution, and a whole lot more.

I'll be back again tomorrow to wrap up the week, the month and the summer with Vice News' Jason Leopold. And for Flashback Friday and in honor of the ALS challenge that's taken the world by storm, Dan Navarro will join me live before we reach into my music radio archives for a session with Lowen & Navarro ... radio or not!

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Women Vote!

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Nicole Sandler

Welcome to August 26, 2014 - the 94th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. Although it's dubbed "Women's Equality Day," that's actually a misnomer, as women still have no constitutional right to equality. Although the Equal Rights Amendment was written by Alice Paul in 1923, it has yet to be ratified. But women do have the right to vote. And yes, women do vote!

That was the focus of today's "Gliberal Goddesses" gathering. Every other Tuesday morning, GottaLaff of The Political Carnival, Amy Simon of She's History, and I get together to talk about whatever we feel like discussing.

Today, Amy took the lead as the suffrage movement plays a big part in She's History.

Today also happens to be Primary Day here in Florida; Arizona, Oklahoma and Vermont go to the polls today too.

Because I'm still a bit under the weather and because I wanted to give her one final show of support, we listened back to the July 7 interview I did with Nan Rich, the former FL state senator and Senate Minority Leader who's vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Rick Scott for Governor.

It all comes down to today. So, if you're in Florida, I implore you to get out and vote!

And finally, last week we learned the sad, sickening news that ISIS militants had executed American journalist James Foley; today I spoke with a friend of his. Tom Risen is a reporter for US News and World Report, and went to college with Foley. Tom wrote a couple of articles about his friend last week, telling about how Foley encouraged him to come to Syria to cover the stories of the people there, and how he knew the dangers of the work, but had to do it anyway.

Another journalist named Risen has been in the news lately. It turns out the Tom Risen is the son of James Risen, the NY Times reporter and author who's being targeted by the Justice Department to turn over the names of confidential sources he used for a chapter in his 2006 book, State of War.

I'll be back tomorrow, with Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars and whatever the day brings, Radio or Not!

 

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