Good People

No, Solomon, Palast & Belle isn’t a law firm … quite the opposite.  These three are people who do a lot of good – and happened to all be guests on my show this morning!

We began with Norman Solomon, long time activist turned congressional candidate.  I always love talking with Norman, but wanted him on the show this morning so I could talk listeners into donating a few bucks to his campaign.  Extra impetus – your donation to Solomon’s campaign (or to Dr. David Gill‘s) AT THIS LINK enters you into a drawing to win a Fender Stratocaster autographed by all the members of Barenaked Ladies – a prize offered by Howie Klein, former president of Reprise Records, now with the Blue America PAC..

Norman Solomon is running for Congress from California’s 2nd district, one of the most progressive in the nation (and also one of the most beautiful!), the seat being vacated by Lynn Woolsey.  I’ve been a fan of Norman’s for years because of the way he walks the talk.  From wikipedia:

Norman Solomon (born 1951) is an Americanjournalist, media critic, antiwar activist, and current candidate for the United States House of Representatives. Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR). In 1997 he founded the Institute for Public Accuracy which works to provide alternative sources for journalists, and served as its executive director until 2010. Solomon’s weekly column, “Media Beat”, was in national syndication from 1992-2009. More recently Solomon has focused on his 2012 congressional campaign in California’s 2nd congressional district.

Norman Solomon is one of the really good guys, and our country would be immensely better if he were a member of Congress!

Next up, it was one of the last of a sadly dying breed – investigative journalist Greg Palast.  I’m lucky to count Greg as a friend, and I’m eternally grateful for the work he does.  Unfortunately, the corporately owned and operated media in this country want nothing to do with the truth he uncovers.  Therefore, if you’re to watch his reports on TV, you’ll have to be in England watching the BBC.

His latest book, Vultures Picnic, tells tales too strange to be fiction… this shit only happens for real,  because if you made it up it would be too outlandish.

As we marked the two-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon/BP/Halliburton biggest environmental disaster in history, Greg Palast reminds us that BP was experiencing deja vu, as two years before they had an oil rig explode in the Caspian due to quick dry cement and a faulty blowout preventer.

He wrote about it in a two-part series: “BP Cover-Up: They Knew” and “BP Cover-Up Part 2: Bribery, George Bush and Wikileaks” — required reading for any reasonably informed person.

Greg Palast is truly one of the good guys, and we’re more informed, better people for reading/watching his work.

And finally, every Monday morning, I spend the second hour of my show chatting with Nicole Belle.  It’s a segment we call Fools on the Hill – so named by a listener, but apropos because we cover what was said on the Sunday talking head shows the day before, which are populated most of the time by foolish, white, Republican men.

Nicole writes thoughtful, insightful pieces for Crooks and Liars, and our Monday morning conversations do much more than just parrot what the various fools said on TV.  Plus, she watches those shows so we don’t have to, and reports back so we know what they’re up to, and what nonsense they’re spewing to the masses.

Nicole Belle really is one of the good guys, and I’m thrilled that she awakens early every Monday morning to make me sound smarter!

Here’s her weekly wrap-up of the stories she brought us today:

You may have heard that FAIR came out with a study last week that confirmed what we liberals have already known all along: the Sunday shows are disproportionately white, male, very wealthy and conservative. And you can tell by what they decide to discuss on the Sunday shows how little regard they have for the concerns of most Americans.

For example, you would think there is no more important news story in America than the Secret Service scandal. Helpful hint: it’s called “the world’s oldest profession” for a reason.

Of course, the Democratic Party’s favorite turncoat, Joe Lieberman, wants America to hold Obama accountable for the Secret Service and GSA scandals. Not responsible, but accountable. Because this is the very first time something like this has ever happened. Too bad Joe wasn’t as outraged about the huge expenditures that the federal government made towards Halliburton and Blackwater. I’m pretty sure the GSA parties in Vegas were a drop in the bucket in comparison.

That’s not the only thing that Republicans want to blame President Obama for. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels – in a clear bid for the Vice President position – faults Obama for not fixing the mess that Daniels, who served as Bush’s Budget Director, left him.

One of the more notable events of the Sunday shows is the first appearance of the newly fired Keith Olbermann. Keith unfortunately didn’t get a chance for much in the way of intelligent debate, mostly because he shared the roundtable with Peggy Noonan. His one chance to stand out and perhaps make a pitch for the eighteenth comeback of Keith Olbermann came when he suggested that the price of gas has been artificially manipulated…to the detriment of Obama’s re-election chances.

In the “what planet are you from?” department, Marco Rubio told Candy Crowley that George W. Bush did a “fantastic job as president.” The mind reels.

And finally, from whatever planet Mitt Romney lives on, he has come out swinging against the traditional media and accused them of being a vast left wing conspiracy in the ba