Laffy and Nicole


This morning, I was thrilled to make it official and welcome GottaLaff to Radio Or Not!

I know, you’re thinking, “Laffy has been doing the show on Tuesday mornings with Nicole for years. What’s this all about?” (sure you are…). Well, after running The Political Carnival for so long, Laffy needs to take it a little easier. So, from here on out, when she decides to write a post, it’ll show up here at Laffy’s Place at RoN.

Laffy continues with me each Tuesday morning for snark and fun during the second hour of each show, and that tradition continued this morning with our awesome announcement.

We’ll be making some welcome changes to the site in the coming days, including changing our commenting system to Disquis. Any other ideas? Just let me know.

I started the show today talking about yesterday’s Labor Day holiday, and noted a Vox article about declining union membership and the correlating drop in incomes. It thought it was a good time to also remember how the labor movement evolved in the US.

But the real face of American labor today belongs to Maria Ferndandes.

Maria Fernandes worked four jobs, including shifts at two different Dunkin Donuts.

Often she drove from job to job, stopping along the road to catch a couple hours sleep, police said. She kept a container of gasoline in her 2001 Kia Sportage because occasionally she ran out of gas, authorities said.

Early Monday, the 32-year-old Newark woman pulled into a lot off Route 1 & 9 in Elizabeth for a nap. She apparently left the car running and was overcome by carbon monoxide mixed with fumes from the gas can that had overturned, police said. Fernandes was found dead in the car about eight hours later.

“This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident,” Elizabeth police Lt. Daniel Saulnier said.

When I read various accounts of Maria Fernandes’ story, each one pointing out that she worked 3 or 4 jobs to make ends meet, I couldn’t help but think of former President George W. Bush and his response when a woman told him that she worked three jobs. Remember this?

“Uniquely American,” he said. Then followed that bit of idiocy by saying, “That is fantastic that you’re doing that.” Fantastic is not the word I’d use. Then, to add further insult to incredibly stupidity, he asked, “Get any sleep?”

The only way we’re going to change this mindset is by changing Congress. We need to vote out the remnants of that Bush mentality (sorry for the oxymoron there, with Bush there is not mentality), and the rest of the Republican idiots with them.

At the same time, we need more strong progressives elected to Congress. A good place to start is in California’s 33rd Congressional District, where Blue America has endorsed Ted Lieu.

Ted joined me on the show this morning to talk about some of his legislative accomplishments in the California Senate,

While serving three terms in the Legislature, Ted was a leader in standing up to Wall Street’s excesses, reforming the subprime mortgage industry, increasing green buildings, reducing global warming, protecting public safety, and preventing domestic violence. Ted has repeatedly stood up to powerful interests on behalf of consumers, crime victims, seniors, children, and those without a voice.

In 2013, for example, nearly two dozen of his measures were adopted or signed into law, including bills to create jobs, improve career training and protect consumers. Read a complete list HERE:

In 2012, for example, the governor signed 13 of the 15 Lieu bills that reached his desk, including the first-in-the-nation ban on sexual orientation conversion ‘therapy’ for gay children under 18 and a halt to using packs of dogs to hunt either bears or bobcats. He also won better protections from disruptive protests at military and civilian funerals, and helped protect against fraud and abuse in the California National Guard. As a result of his environmental legislation, the Coastal Conservancy was able to award over $3 million in climate change adaptation grants to organizations and communities.  For a complete list, click HERE:

In 2011, laws he sponsored helped create jobs, save taxpayer dollars and protect children by banning anyone under 18 from using cancer-causing tanning beds. More at

Howie Klein has a couple of posts up about Ted Lieu at Down With Tyranny, including “Ted Lieu to the Rescue – x2,” which tells of Sen. Lieu’s response to a report about California kids in the foster care system being drugged.

And the one that went up this morning, A Fleetwood Mac Song Helped Elect Bill Clinton President– Can A Fleetwood Mac Platinum Award Help Elect Ted Lieu To Congress?” –a great fundraiser that will help against the Sheldon Adelson money that’s funding Ted Lieu’s opponent in the race. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with Crooks & Liars‘ Susie Madrak and more on the breaking news as I’m writing this post of the ISIS murder of journalist Steven Sotloff. Talk to you then, radio or not…