Archive for Obama

What's the Matter with America?

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Nicole Sandler

 

As evidenced by the events unfolding in Ferguson, MO over the past 10 days, there's a lot wrong with America. Some of the problems are within the president's authority to fix. Thomas Frank  joined me in the last half-hour of today's show to talk about the three he outlined in his latest piece at Salon, "How to Wreck the GOP in 3 Easy Steps."

Of course, his suggestions would only wreck the GOP's chances of taking over the Senate in November, and bolster the Democrats', and make the country better for those of us struggling to get through each month.

This action by President Obama would also probably help to quell the unrest in Ferguson, MO and fend off similar future demonstrations of frustration and anger that will undoubtedly pop up around the nation. But as long as the needs of hurting citizens are ignored, the more we'll see people taking to the streets.

Attorney General Eric Holder is headed to Ferguson today. This morning, his open letter to the citizens of that town appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Although he sounded some of the right notes, he also proved to be as tone-deaf as MO Gov. Jay Nixon with proclamations like this:

In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson.

There's a reason the chant "No Justice, No Peace" has resonated so clearly with so many. He's got it backwards..

I began the show today by reading that letter, then recounting my own horrible experience with law enforcement both recently and a few years ago when I was not only arrested for trying to ask my then-congressman a question at an event that was supposed to be a "town hall meeting," then being sprayed with pepper foam while in the custody of the Broward County jail.

I told that story again because of an Op-Ed published in yesterday's Washington Post, written by Sunil Dutta, identified as "a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years."

Aside from the sickening realizion that "homeland security" is a course of study at at least one American university, the content of Mr. Dutta's editorial underscored the need to revisit the "authority" granted to those who wear badges and carry guns.

It begins benignly enough

A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America. It is also a terrible calumny (a false and slanderous statement.) ; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they’re unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects — an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.

But then descends into a state of power crazed madness

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

...

But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.

As I learned the hard way, innocent citizens who are brutalized by power drunk megalomaniacs often have no recourse. I didn't.

Susie Madrak, managing editor of Crooks & Liars, joins me every Wednesday morning. Today, she sent along a video that every manly man should watch. It's a great lesson to authority figures everywhere who might wield some modicum of power to show how to use it in a positive way.

And finally, a big "You Go Girl" to Mo'ne Davis, the first girl ever to pitch a shut out in the Little League World Series. She takes the mound again tonight.

I'll be drinking lots of fluids and downing some chicken soup today in a quest to rid myself of this summer cold and will be back tomorrow with author Sasha Abramsky and Congressman Alan Grayson, Radio or Not!

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Flashback Friday - Iraq, Nixon & Sting

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Nicole Sandler

Sting with Nicole Sandler at Channel 103.1/Los Angeles - Oct 1999

Sting with Nicole Sandler at Channel 103.1/Los Angeles - Oct 1999

 

Each Friday morning, we wrap up our broadcast week with a trip into my musical radio past. Believing that music soothes the savage beast, it was especially useful today as the world has descended into savage madness. More on that in a bit.

Today, our Flashback Friday featured my two interview with the former Police-man, Sting!

I first interviewed him at LA's legendary KSCA fm 101.9 in 1996, in conjunction with the release of his Mercury Falling album. As he noted, our "Music Hall" was named with tongue firmly in cheek, as it was actually a hall-way that led from the main studio to the production room and production office. But the sound that came from our "music hall" was magical.

Sting hadn't done a radio station appearance like this in over a decade, but he was so pleased with our session that he began doing more of them.

Three years later, on October 27, 1999, Sting was touring in support of Brand New Day. In the midst of a four-night stand at the Universal Amphitheater, he joined me in studio again, this time at Channel 103.1, also in Los Angeles, this time with some lucky listeners joining us in studio too.

Soothing the Savage Beast

The beasts certainly need soothing right now as the world seems to be a giant pressure cooker ready to blow. Last night, President Obama took to the TV to announce that he had authorized two types of actions in Iraq: the first, air drops of humanitarian had already begun,  the second "targeted" air strikes to protect American interests in Iraq.

The need for humanitarian aid is without question.

U.S. aircraft, escorted by fighter jets, dropped 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 meals ready to eat. The aircraft were over the drop area for less than 15 minutes flying at a low altitude, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The emergency effort is being deployed to help a group of 40,000 Yazidis, a group of ethnic Kurds, who fled villages in northern Iraq under threat from ISIS.

The Yazidis fled to the Sinjar Mountains, in a remote part of northern Iraq near the border of Syria, where they are stuck without food or water while ISIS forces are gathered at the base of the mountains.

As for the "targeted air strikes," which began early this morning, it's not so clear that bombs are the way to go. My friend David Swanson, one of the founders of World Beyond War, explained in a post this morning he titled "Back in Iraq, Jack.  (I guess this is the bad kind of flashback.)

Obama promises no combat troops will be sent back to Iraq.  No doubt.  Instead it'll be planes, drones, helicopters, and "non-combat" troops.  "America is coming to help" finally just sounded as evil as Reagan meant it to, but it was in Obama's voice.  The ironies exploded like Iraqi houses on Thursday.  While the United States locks Honduran refugee children in cages, it proposes to bomb Iraq for refugees.  While Gaza starves and Detroit lacks water, Obama bombs Iraq to stop people from starving.  While the U.S. ships weapons to Israel to commit genocide, and to Syria for allies of ISIS, it is rushing more weapons into Iraq to supposedly prevent genocide on a mountaintop -- also to add to the weapons supplies already looted by ISIS.

Flash back a bit further - 40 years ago today this happened...

It seems like yesterday...

And finally, I invited my old friend Judge David Young on the show for a couple of reasons this morning. As the first openly gay judge to sit on the bench in Miami, and the first openly gay man with a TV show (The Judge David Young Show), I wanted his take on the progress Florida is making toward marriage equality.  He also gave us some advice on how to vote in judicial elections -- bottom line is DO YOUR RESEARCH!

There's no easy way to figure it out, but he'll help you if you ask nicely!

And with that, we're done for the week.

If we're still standing, we'll be back Monday with Howie Klein and The Steve Israel Hour, and The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel too... Radio or Not.

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Biggest Gaffe Ever At MSNBC?

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Lindsay Lohan

In the words of of Belle Carroca (Lanie Kazan) in the film classic, My Favorite Year, "This I did not even know."

And I'm willing to bet, MSNBC didn't know it either.

Joy Reid needed smelling salts after collapsing on stage hearing this. Reports are that she's fully recovered and won't miss any additional work at MSNBC.

MSNBC Fact checkers? Can you please clean up the mess in front of the White House lawn. Her name is Chris Jansing and she needs some schooling. Oh, and a washcloth to remove the egg from her face.

It seems the mush-headed thinking reporter, Jansing (who must have taken too much of her medication before going on air) claims she was talking about the President's father, not the President.

But if you hear her go on, she's absolutely talking about the President as she refers to his election and his expectations he'd do great things for Africa after his election sure make this reporter look awfully unprepared and quite ignorant.

The President's Kenyan father was never elected to anything as far as anyone fact checking can find. Quite a gaffe from a woman who will most certainly be the laughing stock of MSNBC for years to come. Her next assignment will probably be getting someone coffee at the news outlet, not reporting from the White House.

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President Obama Has a Full Day of New Conferences on Africa - LIVE FEED

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not funny obama
The president has had at least six weeks from the depths of hell.

We've seen the Regressive Right and Fvx Nation pound President Obama, pummeling him about Gaza, Israel, the crisis at our southern borders, and the neo-con backlash that festers away, Obamacare Delusionalz, Ebola hysteria … and being facetiously sued by John Boy Boehner.

No wonder the man is growing grayer than most presidents have in only six years.

The Lipton Brigade and luminaries like Man Coulter, Rushee Limpbaugh and ole Sean Hannity have turned hate and disdain into a bloody cottage industry.

Today, President Obama will take some tough-as-nails questions and fierce follow-ups as the Summit on Africa closes for the day. Other vids here at WhiteHouse.gov

obama yes we did

Obama had already spoken today on the hot topics of foreign affairs rather beautifully earlier on the situations in Africa that we as a country need to hear. 

President Obama Delivers Remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

And he then addressed economic issues of the continent.

From John Podesta at Whitehouse.gov

This week, more than 40 heads of state and government from across Africa are joining President Obama in Washington for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Since 2000, the continent has seen enormous progress. Rates of extreme poverty and hunger are down. The number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa dropped by almost 40 percent between 2001 and 2012. Access to education and health care is on the upswing.

The actual press conference is slotted for 5 p.m. +/- VT, 2ish in California. Will get that code in when available.

Voilà.


obama high five animated gif4

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