Episode #472: So?
First Broadcast: 3/24/08
Dick Cheney doesn't give a shit about what the people of the United States think about American troop presence in Iraq. Speculation runs rampant about what Martin Scorsese's views are on "Alice," the TV show based on his film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (and whether he hated that show as much as Robert Altman hated what he allegedly referred to as "that thing" based on his movie M*A*S*H*. And (coming back to where we started), on the 5th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, Dick Cheney still insists that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda! We're not happy about the perpetration of that falsehood, to say the least. P.S.: For everyone who thinks TV wasn't quite so violent back in the day, here's the opening of "The Rifleman" to sober you up.
Episode #473: Rings of Books
First Broadcast: 3/31/08
This week, we discuss: The rise of Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the expense of small bookstores; the decline of Barnes & Noble; the demise of Coliseum Books; the hope offered by web sites like Alibris and Abebooks.com; the undemocratic remarks by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton that "Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to"; and the possibility that Bush could still get impeached, this time for organizing a $30 billion "bribe" to Chase for them to bail out Bear Stearns. Oh, if only!
Episode #474: It's A Madhouse!
First Broadcast: 4/14/08
This week we discuss the works of the late Charlton Heston (and why he was better in The Omega Man than Wil Smith was in I Am Legend), the strange journey of the Olympic Torch in San Francisco, and China's brutal assault on protestors in Tibet, who are really sick of China's 50+ year occupation of their country. Will any athlete in Beijing this summer be brave enough to emulate the protest made by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City? I certainly hope so!
Episode #475: Talk About "Freedom Fries"
First Broadcast: 4/27/08
The United States has more people in prison than any other nation on earth--including China, which has about four times the population of the United States. Part of the cause is, no doubt, the so-called "war on drugs", and laws like the recently-reformed Rockefeller Drug Laws here in New York State. Another likely cause is the privatization of prisons, a business which can only grow if more people are put in prison, which should not be the goal of any corporation or government. Is the myth of the "free market" perfectly expressed in Microsoft's insistence on pushing Windows Vista onto consumers, despite their very vocal preference for Windows XP? Or is more expressed in the lack of union activity at Wal-Mart being cited as a reason why Wal-Mart workers don't want unions, despite Wal-Mart's everlasting war on unions? Is the demand for renewable fuel sources causing food riots around the world? Would moving everyone to biodiesel be an answer? Who knows anymore?
Episode #476: Sucking On The Universe
First Broadcast: 5/5/08
How will the Universe eventually end? Maybe a Big Rip, or a Big Crunch? Does A.I. really suck that much, compared to Close Encounters? (Yes.) Did you know the inventor of LSD died this week at the age of 102? Is Noam Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival, really any good? (Again, Yes.) Will my neighbors ever learn the difference between recyclable materials and ordinary garbage? Only time will tell.
Episode #477: That Shouldn't Be The Point
First Broadcast: 5/19/08
Accidental Repeat: 5/26/08 Episode shown by MNN instead of Episode #469
John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama. Obama thinks "Christian" is the opposite of "Un-American." The war is still going on in Iraq. And nobody still has a good solution for how to mitigate the sub-prime mortgage crisis, a.k.a. the RECESSION currently engulfing the United States, among other countries. What else did we talk about? It all went by so fast.
Episode #478: Cult Inside The White House
First Broadcast: 6/2/08 Transmission affected by "stuttering" on MNN's part during entire program.
Former White House spokesperson Scott McClellan used to be very critical of people who bad-mouthed the Bush administration in the past. Said Mr. McClellan of former National Security Richard Clarke when Clarke's book, Against All Enemies, was released in 2004, detailing how George W. Bush demanded Clarke to find evidence that Saddam Hussein was somehow connected to the events of September 11, 2001:
Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he’s raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.However, after leaving the administration himself, McClellan now appears to agree with Clarke. According to the Huffington Post, in its report about McClellan's new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, "The heart of the book concerns Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, a determination McClellan says the president had made by early 2002--at least a full year before the invasion --if not even earlier." Said McClellan in his book about Bush & Company:
[They] confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war... [Bush] signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest... If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq... The collapse of the administration's rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise... In this case, the ‘liberal media' didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.What was White House spokesperson Dana Perino's reaction to this book?
Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House. We are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew.Hmm. Deja vu. Said Clarke on The Daily Show, about the similarities between the two spokespeople's reactions: "I think there is a box in the White House that, if anyone escapes and tells the truth, they break open for talking points about what to say." Ultimately, McClellan repented to Clarke directly, according to ABC News:
"I should have known how personal it would get when they went after me, well, I mean, after what I said about you," Clarke says McClellan told him in the lobby of New York's Essex House.Let's hope this doesn't put the kibosh on more people coming forward to tell the truth about just how deceptive the Bush White House has been. If it helps prevent another war, it will certainly be worth it!
"I think I can forgive you now," Clarke says he replied.
"I'd like to ask you to," McClellan reportedly answered.
Episode #479: You Were The Cake
First Broadcast: 6/9/08
After a brief discussion of voguing, we discuss the major news: By all accounts, Barack Obama has now acquired enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination for President when the party holds its convention this summer. Hillary Clinton did not admit defeat right away, but she finally woke up and formally endorsed Obama several days later. Her supporters, on the other hand, include a significant and vocal bunch who threatened to vote for John McCain instead. Can Senator Clinton bring those people back into the fold to elect Senator Obama in November? Should she bother? And why couldn't CNN get their audio of Obama's victory speech in sync with the video? It's not rocket science, is it?