Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nov. 30th edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

On the Sunday, November 30th, 2008 Forward Forum (airing from 7-9pm on WTDY 1670am and streaming live at

* Panel of LGBTQA Youth Explore Meanings Around the Holocaust
* Analysis and Perspective on the Violence in Mumbai from UW Professor of South Asian Studies Joe Elder
* Post-Election Reflections on how "The Real Work Begins Now," -- how young people and new media tools will continue to play an ongoing role in advancing social change--with co-host Harry Waisbren, just back from Washington, DC

In our 7pm hour

* LGBT history comes alive for youth; young people reflect on the meanings behind the exhibit "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: 1933-1945."   
We'll be joined in studio and by phone by several high school age young people who helped to organize the exhibit, who will share their perceptions about what it's meant to them in the here and now to learn about this history, as one GSAFE leader put it, "the ultimate expression of the hatred behind bullying." 

A traveling exhibit of the US Holocaust Museum brought to Madison and Wisconsin by the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (, this powerful exhibit documents the treatment of gay people in Nazi Germany before, during and immediately following the Holocaust.  The exhibit's overarching theme is "From Hate to Hope," and through the exhibit, and a diverse series of associated events, those who have attended have left the experience with a sobering look at the homophobic manifestation of man's inhumanity toward his fellow man.  At the same time, many have also left with a newfound resolve to work for a world that transforms memories of that time of extreme hatred into hope and understanding--all the while placing current events in perspective.

As noted below, the exhibit continues in the lobby of the UW-Madison's Memorial Library (entrance across from the University Bookstore on the State Street Mall) through December 10th.  A special closing ceremony will occur on Saturday, Dec. 6th at 7pm co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Council at Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Drive.
(Arbor Drive runs parallel to 
Monroe Street, one block south.)  Highlights will include a return performance by renowned pianist/activist Adrienne Torf and Cellist Karl LaVine of Torf's original composition, which movingly evokes the complicated meanings and emotions behind the history depicted by the exhibit, and the movement for LGBT liberation that followed.  ( .)  

Another highlight of the Dec. 6th closing event will be a presentation by award-winning author Lev Raphael ( ), a gay Jewish man who is the son of Holocaust survivors.  An extremely prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction, his recent books include, "Coming out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives," (co-written with Gershen Kaufman).  
Openly gay Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis writes, "With its emphasis on building self-esteem and developing intimacy, this book will nurture the soul of our community."  Rafael, the son of Holocaust survivors, is the author of almost two dozen books, including "Journeys & Arrivals: On Being Gay and Jewish."  He has also recently written, "Stick Up For Yourself!", and its accompanying teacher's guide, described at "the ultimate resource for any kid who's ever been picked on at school, bossed around, blamed for things he or she didn't do, or treated unfairly." 

For more information on Lev (and links to his weekly radio show), go to

Also joining us are GSAFE staff people Brian Juchems and Tim Michaels, who along with E.D. Cindy Crane and countless volunteers, have worked tirelessly over many months to bring this exhibit to Madison in a way that has provided an educational and uplifiting experience--grounded in their joint mission of conveying the program theme of "From Hate to Hope."  It's the latest in a series of shows we've devoted to this subject, including last week's two part panel discussion.  See our archives off of the podcast page at for a replay of this and other recent programs.  You can also re-experience the exhibit's opening ceremony through our Forward Forum audio highlights page at .

Then at 8pm

We'll be joined by Joseph Elder, UW-Madison professor of South Asian studies, who will help place recent events in Mumbai, India into perspective.  Among other subjects we'll explore is the effect of events like these on UW students studying abroad.

Special note from Forward Forum host John Quinlan:  these events have had a special resonance with me, having spent extensive time walking the streets of south Mumbai on a life-changing 1989 trip to India with my mother, who was returning there for the first time, 35 years after her four year experience there as a missionary/teacher.  Resonant memories include our first night's dinner in a restaurant at the Taj Hotel, and a visit to the Gateway of India arch (where the terrorists allegedly landed), where one of our hosts did extensive work in mentoring the homeless boys who lived in its shadow (some of whom had been evicted from their homes when their parents suspected they were gay).  Please keep all affected by these tragic events close in your thoughts and prayers in days to come.

Later in that hour -- an open phones discussion with John and co-host Harry Waisbren, continuing our ongoing theme of discussing ways that the grassroots and new media work that began with election must continue now.  Harry is just back from Washington, DC where he's been networking with a variety of progressive and student-based organizations determined to keep working for positive social change.

Forward Forum, airs Sundays from  7-9 pm, on WTDY 1670 am.  Website:  Blog: .  Email: .  Host/Producer John Quinlan: 608-213-8409.  Studio lines:  608-321-1670 local and 1-877-867-1670 toll free nationwide.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jane Hamsher on The Rachel Maddow Show

By: Harry Waisbren

One of my very favorite bloggers--Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake--was on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. She talked about the blogosphere's major victory (that was acknowledged by mainstream media even) in preventing Josh Brennan, an ardent supporter of "enhanced interrogation techniques", illegal rendition, and warrantless wiretapping, from running any intelligence position in the new administration. However, this win came amidst a loss with Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates retaining his position despite his actions during Iran Contra amongst many other indiscretions.

Check it out below:

Nov. 26 edition of Grit TV: Is There a Cure for AIDS?

December 1st is World AIDS day. With the Bush administration on its way out there is hope that we might begin to think big about preventing and even curing AIDS. What’s the best way forward? Investing in science or communities? Or both? Today on GRITtv journalist and author Linda Villarosa, activist and editor of POZ Laura WhitehornDr. Jeffrey Laurence, and Rep. Barbara Lee discuss recent breakthroughs in AIDS treatment and what they mean for policy.

23/6 Liberal Ad: Thank YOU Sarah Palin!

By: Harry Waisbren

Please Sarah, for comedians and bloggers everywhere, don't go away!

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at
Conservative Our Country PAC has put out a new TV ad, just in time for Thanksgiving, thanking Governor Sarah Palin for running for vice-president and representing their conservative point of view. We liberals feel it's high time that we too thanked Sarah Palin for running for vice- president.

I couldn't agree more. And they didn't even mention the great SNL she brought us too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov. 23rd edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

This is John Quinlan, for Forward Forum, airing Sundays from 7-9 pm on WTDY, 1670 am, and streaming live and podcasting at .  Join me, co-host Harry Waisbren (who blogs about our show and related issues at, and producer Stephanie Woods (who hosts "Sunday Night Live," at 6pm, immediately preceding our program) for a thought-provoking discussion linking history and current events with a universally powerful message. 

On this week's show: a focus on how a remarkable exhibit entitled "Nazi Persecutions of Homosexuals 1933-1945" has enriched the greater Madison community in surprising ways--transforming depictions of a dark time in human history into a community-building experience filled with new understandings and new hope.  Sponsored by the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (see, this traveling exhibit 
from the US Holocaust Museum (in the lobby of the UW-Madison's Memorial Library until December 10th) has been the catalyst for a whole series of events, culminating in a special closing ceremony on Dec. 4th.  That ceremony will include the reprise of an original composition, written specifically for the occasion, by renowned pianist Adrienne Torf, and a keynote speech by the award-winning scholar and writer Lev Rafael, the son of Holocaust survivors, and the author of almost two dozen books, including "Journeys & Arrivals: On Being Gay and Jewish." 

We're privileged to be hosting a number of special guests, who will provide a historical context and other insights regarding the resonance of the exhibit with current events.  They'll  also explain the story of how the exhibit's trip to Madison and associated events came to be, and why it's had some especially powerful effects on all who've seen it, especially young people.  We are also attempting to offer a brief update on developments nationwide in response to California's anti-gay Proposition 8, and related events in other states.  
Our final guest list is still a work in progress; see our website on Sunday for an updated listing, and further information about the exhibit, and our guests.

In our 7pm hour, we'll be joined by GSAFE Executive Director Cindy Crane, GSAFE board member and exhibit organizer Jenny Pressman, and, on the phone from San Francisco, composer/pianist Adrienne Torf.  We'll hear more from Cindy Crane about the genesis of the exhibit's visit to Madison, including the response that young people have had to its messages.  (We're hoping to hear directly from some of these young people on next week's show.)  Jenny Pressman will also share how her own family history has been intricately connected to the legacy of Holocaust survivors.  Then Adrienne Torf (accomplished pianist, and longtime collaborator with other women artists, including women's music pioneer Holly Near and poet June Jordan), will discuss why she has been inspired to travel twice to Madison this fall, and how her original composition evokes both the darker truths of the exhibit, and the transformative power of coming out, story-telling, and other inspiring aspects of the LGBT experience.  (For more on the impressive body of Adrienne Torf's life work as a musician and cultural activist, go to

Then in our 8pm hour, we'll be joined by UW history department program specialist John Tortorice, Department of German Professor James Steakley, and Miami University of Ohio Associate Professor Erik Jensen (who received his doctorate from the UW-Madison in 2003).  John Tortorice has been instrumental in securing the UW as a venue for the exhibit, and has long been supportive of efforts to capture LGBT history locally and internationally.  He and our other panelists will reflect on the legacy of the late UW History Professor George Mosse, John's life partner, a Holocaust survivor himself, who was among the world's top scholars on issues surrounding the Holocaust, and its intersection with issues of both Jewish and gay identity.  James Steakley is also a world-renowned expert on the experience of gays in Germany in the first half of the 20th century, and has mentored dozens of young scholars who have gone on to do groundbreaking work in this area, including Erik Jensen.

Countless individuals and organizations have supported bringing this exhibit, and its associated events, to Madison, and we apologize that we aren't able to involve everyone in studio.  However, whether you helped organize this event, or you've been moved by its appearance here, we encourage your participation by calling us at 321-1670 or toll free 1-877-867-1670.  

The exhibit and other events are ongoing; while the exhibit is open for people to tour on their own, docents are available to lead tours of the exhibit on weekday evenings (except Fridays) and Saturday afternoons.  For more information about a series of powerful films, other events, and the closing ceremony, go to or call 608-661-4141.

Nov. 21st edition of Meet the Bloggers

November 21st on Meet the Bloggers
Today's Episode has been pre-recorded so there will be no live blog during the show. You can watch "What we eat is making us sick!" in the player on this page right now. The next episode of Meet The Bloggers will be in two weeks, Friday December 5th. See you then! Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Obesity is on the rise and Type 2 diabetes cases nearly doubled in the last 10 years. For the first time in decades, the life expectancy of children born in this century is actually lower than their parents. What's the number one culprit in this crisis? Food. Meanwhile, food safety is spotty. The U.S. lacks a comprehensive "farm to table" food inspection process. That's why the Centers for Disease Control estimates there are 76 million cases of food borne illness each year!

What we eat is making us sick! To find out why -- and what we can do about it -- join food scientist Marion Nestle this Friday on Meet the Bloggers. Nestle is the author of What to Eatand a professor in the Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health Department at New York University. We'll also chat with filmmaker Catherine Gund, director of the upcoming documentary What's On Your Plate?, along with the two young subjects of her film, 7th graders Sadie Hope-Gund and Safiyahi Riddle. Then blogger Kerry Trueman (Huffington Post,Eating Liberally) shares some not-particularly-appetizing information about the traditional holiday turkey, and we'll visit our local farmers' market to learn why we should eat locally and seasonally.

The next episode of Meet the Bloggers will be available beginning Friday, November 21.  Check out some of the articles below and fight the food policies that have failed us with your knife and fork!

Obama Offers Ambitious Plan in Weekly Radio Address

The Huffington Post reports on the major news Obama delivered in his second youtubed weekly radio address:

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis; these are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long,"

Sign me up!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grit TV: Why Prop 8 Won

Check out the Nov. 11th edition of Grit TV below:

As the United States elected its first African-American president it also passed ballot initiatives in a number of states that ban gay marriage and limit the ability of gay couples to adopt children. According to Richard Kim, Associate Editor of The Nation Magazine, the no on 8 Campaign failed for three reasons. It was disorganized and slow to respond. It didn’t organize in communities of color soon enough. And it fundamentally misunderstood what the yes on 8 campaign was about. You can read Richard’s article on why prop 8 won at The Nation.

Activist and author Jewelle GomezRev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou author of the forthcoming book Gods, Gays, and Guns: Religion and the Future of Democracy, and Alexander Robinson CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition discuss the role of the black church in organizing around prop 8 and why activists were unable to defeat the measure. There are protests planned throughout the country on November 15 and a demonstration on Wednesday, November 12 at the Mormon Temple in New York City at 6:30 pm. You can find out more about what's going in your city or town at join the impact.

Can we be rid of Lieberman already?

By: Harry Waisbren

Brave New Films is out with a new video emphasizing that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is no progressive and should be stripped of his Chairmanship of the powerful Homeland Security committee (which he could use to investigate a president Obama). Regrettably, an effort ot ensure this is necessary considering that the democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is acting like a Lieberman apologist. Check it out the video below:

As Jane Hamsher writes at Fiderdoglake, the case against Lieberman is extremely strong:
  • He said that "Obama has not always put country first."
  • He thought it was a "good question" to inquire whether Obama is a Marxist.
  • He misleadingly accused Obama of having "voted to cut off funding for our troops."
  • He repeated the claim that "Hamas endorsed Obama" and said it "suggests the difference between these two candidates."
  • He sent out an email for McCain, referring to the "Democrat" Party, the derogatory term of art preferred by the most partisan Republicans.

Furthermore, Think Progress is out with a new report that documents "Lieberman’s significant shift to the right in both foreign and domestic policy". Check out a few excerpts below:

– Said Investigating Response To Katrina Would Be Playing ‘Gotcha’:Lieberman said he was not interested in “looking back, and assigning blame would be a waste of Congress’ time.” Lieberman said he was reluctant to mount an investigation of the failures of the initial response, saying “We don’t want to play ‘gotcha’ anymore.” [Chicago Tribune,1/20/07]

– Claimed That A Progressive Economic Stimulus Would Lead To A Depression: Speaking at Dartmouth University, “Lieberman compared Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s economic plan to former president Herbert Hoover’s approach, which he said ‘turned a recession into a depression.’” [The Dartmouth, 10/24/08]

– Supported Attorney General Alberto Gonzales To The Bitter End:Reacting to Gonzales’s resignation, Lieberman commented, “The Attorney General’s resignation removes a distraction from the important work of the Department of Justice,” but added, “As he leaves public service, the Attorney General deserves our appreciation for his work for our nation.” [Senate Website, 8/27/07]

– Suggested That Obama Could Be A Marxist: When asked if Obama is “a Marxist as Bill Kristol says might be the case,” Lieberman replied, “Well, you know, I must say that’s a good question.” [Fox News, 5/14/08]

If you want to help ensure that Lieberman is held at least partially accountable--or at least ensure that he will not be able to rediscover his love of investigating an Obama administration after years of abject negligence--use the web tool below:

Call Your Senators NOW

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nov. 9th edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

This is John Quinlan, host of Forward Forum, for co-host Harry Waisbren and producer Stephanie Woods.  As the world celebrates the election of our new president, it's time to reflect on a sobering, yet empowering, basic truth:  Our Real Work Begins Now.  

Join us this Sunday, November 9th, from 7-9pm Central Time (WTDY 1670 am and streaming live at on Forward Forum for a wide-ranging panel discussion as we revel in this history-making victory.  At the same time, we'll be reminded of the need to not only support the new president, but to continually remind him of the American people's longing for positive social justice change, as a means of holding him and the new Congress accountable.  In the face of a still all-too-powerful extreme right wing political and media establishment, the task will be daunting.  However, unlike many past campaigns, this one was grounded in a movement that managed to use new media and other interactive tools to mobilize millions of people.  The campaign has ended, but the possibilities inherent to continuing to energize the people behind the movement for positive social change is now about to be realized.

Our full panel is still being assembled as of press time, but will include many of this community's leaders who have worked toward this day.  And we hope to involve you as well--please call us at 321-1670 to join in on our conversation.  (See on Sunday for a further update.)

And on the eve of Veteran's Day, we'll be placing a special emphasis in our 8 pm hour on the ongoing cause of peace.  Guests include Vietnam Vet and activist Will Williams and other representatives of the Madison Area Peace Coalition.

Last week, Joanne Bland, a veteran of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, and a frequent visitor to Madison, reminded our audience that "we've come so far, but we still have so far to go."  She and so many others in this country have persevered at times when there was no reason to believe that the forces of prejudice and greed would not win out.  The change that has resulted in the election of the nation's first African-American president took decades to accomplish--though thankfully within the lifetimes of so many who thought they would never live to see the day when it became so.  Ms. Bland was cautious, but joy-filled, on the eve of electoral victory.  But, thinking back to the heady days around the 1965 passage of the Voter's Rights Act, she also reminded us that it's in such a victory that our real work begins, that the struggle for civil rights and social justice is and always will be an ongoing one.

In a week that was bittersweet for many of us in the LGBT communities, with apparent defeats for gay rights in California and several other states, I take solace in the knowledge, derived from the experience of my African-American brothers and sisters, that with perseverance can come victory.  It's so clear to me that the reasons for this week's gay rights defeats were grounded in age-old misconceptions and fears exploited on behalf of a larger far right wing agenda.  That makes them something can be overcome.  Like other movements before us, we've come so far, but we still have a distance to travel.... and this is an issue we'll be revisiting repeatedly in weeks to come.

Congratulations to all of our many listeners whose hard work contributed to this week's victories, as well as those resolving to refuse to let the week's defeats stand.  As we move into this new era, take a moment to contemplate the words of our new president last April 4th in invoking the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King's inclusive vision of social and economic justice.  Speaking in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. King, Barack Obama said:

Part of the problem is that for a long time, we’ve had a politics that’s been too small for the scale of the challenges we face. This is something I spoke about a few weeks ago in a speech I gave in Philadelphia. And what I said was that instead of having a politics that lives up to Dr. King’s call for unity, we’ve had a politics that’s used race to drive us apart, when all this does is feed the forces of division and distraction, and stop us from solving our problems.

That is why the great need of this hour is much the same as it was when Dr. King delivered his sermon in Memphis. We have to recognize that while we each have a different past, we all share the same hopes for the future – that we’ll be able to find a job that pays a decent wage, that there will be affordable health care when we get sick, that we’ll be able to send our kids to college, and that after a lifetime of hard work, we’ll be able to retire with security.

They’re common hopes, modest dreams. And they’re at the heart of the struggle for freedom, dignity, and humanity that Dr. King began, and that it is our task to complete. You know, Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but that it bends toward justice. But what he also knew was that it doesn’t bend on its own. It bends because each of us puts our hands on that arc and bends it in the direction of justice.

So on this day – of all days – let’s each do our part to bend that arc. Let’s bend that arc toward justice. Let’s bend that arc toward opportunity.

Let’s bend that arc toward prosperity for all. And if we can do that and march together – as one nation, and one people – then we won’t just be keeping faith with what Dr. King lived and died for, we’ll be making real the words of Amos that he invoked so often, and “let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Please join us this week and in week's to come as we continue to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us, while growing in the realization of the collective power of our own potential.

Nov. 9th edition of Sunday Night Live with Stephanie Woods

By: Harry Waisbren

I am very excited to tune in to Stephanie's show tonight at 6 pm, as she will be interviewing a dear friend of mine who has been more inspirational to the work I am doing than I could possible express. I met and got to know Mitra Jalali when we partnered through Campus Progres to work on a True Cost of War Iraq rally for the Iraq/Recession campaign. I can honestly say that the event would not have happend without Mitra, as there is no one else that I have met who is more knowledgable about campus activism, and both her tenacity and sunny optimism were essential to bringing this event to fruition. I was upset that I met her so late that this was to be the only event we could work on, and I firmly believe that the city of Madison as a whole lost a great asset when she graduated. However, in consolation for the loss for our city and the personal loss to those who miss her, Mitra has become an even brighter light for us to follow.

Mitra currently has taken it upon herself to teach disadvantaged and troubled kids who have been rocked by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I firmly believe that this is amongst the most patriotic acts of anyone in the country, and being able to learn about this experience, much less speak to her about it, has been a wholehearted inspiration for me.

It is imposssible for me to do justice in describing what her experience has been like in my words, which is why I couldn't possibly reccomend Mitra's blog Badger Fems enough:

This is my uncut, unapologetic account of life in Teach For America/at Schwarz Alternative Middle/High School (or, as we refer to it, Schwarz Academy).  I teach 10th grade social studies, but it's really more like 9th, 10th, and 12th grade, because they tend to put all the kids in one class with me since everyone is so far off their grade level in ability.  Schwarz Academy is an alternative school for students expelled from "regular" schools in the Recovery School District (the public school district set up by the state in Orleans Parish following Hurricane Katrina).  The students at my school have all committed Level 3 offenses.  That means they did anything ranging from chronic and intense disrespect of a teacher, to destruction of school property, to fights/gun or weapon possession/drug charges.  I can't give you a "regular school" perspective, but in many ways, the alternative school setting is incredibly representative of "the system" as a whole once you peel back the layers of the alt school myths and preconceptions.
If it weren't for people like Mitra our government's continuing criminal negligence of New Orleans would be even more encompassing. However, because of the fact that our country can still foster people like her, I am able to maintain hope that the worst of America can be overcome by the best of America, and that the true ideal of the American Dream will evenually be. 

I suspect that Mitra is embarrassed by my heaping praise of her and her work, but I believe it is of the upmost necessity to alert especially her to the magnamity of the work she is doing. I doubt that she has even realized that she is firmly entrenching herself amongst the young leaders of America with the highest potential to bring about real change, and if my showing such overt appreciation for what she is doing is of any help to her it is perhaps the greatest act of activism I have taken myself. 

I consider it an honor to have her as a friend, as Mitra is living proof that one person really can make a difference. Our country desperately needs to follow her model, as we need many more of our citizens to follow her lead and begin to work in the trenches for the dream of equality. I aim to help amplify her work as much as I possibly can for this very purupose, as the existential impact of her work is only beginning as she starts to tell her story and inspire those around her. Anyone who hears about her experiences will become that much more motivated to work for real change, as they will be able to recognize the potential impact one person could really make.

For that, I am not only excited to listen in to Stephanie's show, but am exceedingly greatful that she is helping me spread word about what this true American treasure is doing! 

Meet the Bloggers for Nov. 7

The people have spoken!  A record-setting 130 million people turned out to vote in yesterday's election, in which Barack Obama made history on a Democratic tidal wave of victory. 

Polling suggests voters came out in record numbers because of growing concerns over the economy, jobs, healthcare, energy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, the Obama administration and the new Democratic majority in Washington have a chance to make profound changes in our lives stretching  from Wall Street to Main Street. But where should they begin?

On this Friday's Meet the Bloggers, we'll examine this question and more with Jonathan Alter,Newsweek senior editor and contributing correspondent for NBC. This is the seventh election Alter has covered for Newsweek, and he'll bring his unique perspective to the discussion.  Alter is also the author of the national bestseller, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. He'll talk about how Roosevelt restored Americans' faith in democracy and put the country back to work during the Great Depression, as well as the challenges and opportunities Obama faces during his first days in office.

Joining Alter and host Cenk Uygur will be blogger Marcy Wheeler (FireDogLake).  Plus, we'll have a special video post from Brad Friedman (The Brad Blog) about what went right, what went wrong, and what voters did to fight back at the polls.

Check out some of the related articles below and participate in the live blog conversation with FOX Attacks blogger Jonathan Kim, Friday at 1pm ET/10am PT on Meet the Bloggers. Tell us why YOU voted the way you did and what you're expecting come January 21st! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sarah Palin vlog: Election Day

By: Harry Waisbren

Sarah Palin will be even funnier once we know she won't be vice president. She's not going anywhere though considering the 2012 talk has already started, so I will continue to consider it a patriotic duty to mock her as much as possible until she can't ever be possibly taken seriously again! With that in mind, check out Sarah Palin Vlog #22 (via 23/6):

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Monday, November 3, 2008

McCain on SNL

By: Harry Waisbren

By far the biggest difference betwen John McCain and Dick Cheney is that McCain, for all his faults/evils/embrace of the dark side of the force, he can be pretty funny. Here's his opening skit he did with Tina Fey from this Saturday:

And here is another bit he did on Weekend Update:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nov. 2nd edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

John Quinlan here for my co-host Harry Waisbren and producer Stephanie Woods, inviting you to join us this Sunday evening on Forward Forum, from 7-9 pm--broadcasting on WTDY, 1670 am and streaming live at  (Please also join Stephanie for her "Sunday Night Live" show, which now immediately precedes us at 6pm!)

Please join us for a fascinating and fun-filled pre-election version of Forward Forum, featuring the marvelously moving and meaningful musical stylings of the nationally-renowned, but Madison-based, political folk music duo, The Prince Myshkins ( ; We'll also be featuring a potpourri of local and national political and civil rights leaders who will share compelling reminders of why this election not only matters, but is a rare opportunity to make history.  We'll be returning to the subject of last week's show, and offering practical advice on how to protect precious voting rights in the face of evidence of insidious examples of voter suppression and other illegal and unethical attempts to disenfranchise you.  And, lastly, we'll remind you that Nov. 4th is just the beginning--and the real grassroots work to ensure accountability and action on the path to social justice begins November 5th.


But first, an important reminder from Forward Forum's co-host (and proud community organizer) Harry Waisbren about how you can play your part in countering efforts to suppress the vote.   
New tools have allowed activists to work on election day to aid in efforts to directly prevent voter suppression on election day. With time of the essence though, we need to work quickly to spread word of these resources as quickly as possible.There are a myriad of others ways to participate however, and here is a link to the Voter Suppression wiki's press release which has aggregated many of the different ways this can be done:  A particularly powerful tool to do this is Credo Action's Immediate Response Network while will direct activists via text message alerts as to urgent issues requiring help in their area, and the link to sign up for this is here:

You can also download a 
flier that is being spread as far as possible that provides all of the information a citizen needs to prevent the suppression of their vote as well as what they can do to help others.  Go to .  For further information, go to -- also a blog where you can offer feedback about your local experiences on election day itself.


The Prince Myshkins, guitarist/vocalist Andy Gricevich and accordianist/vocalist Rick Burkhardt, make their home in Madison, but spend much of their time on the road
touring nationally to play and sing "at antiwar demonstrations, union rallies, schools, coffeehouses, living rooms, community centers and major urban intersections."  They've just come back from one such tour through the swing state territory of Ohio and Pennsylvania, performing alongside such progressive folk icons as John McCutcheon and Holly Near.  Here are some of their recent reviews:
Brilliant musicians and astonishing political songwriters...
their wordplay is unrelentingly sidesplitting.
Peter Berryman, Whither Zither
The songs are meticulous masterpieces, lyrically and musically.
The Prince Myshkins are true American queer music revolutionaires....
each song an American epic unto itself.
Scott Free, Outvoice reviews
Musically gripping, lyrically acerbic....
The Prince Myshkins have been compared to Mark Russell as
political satirists in song and Romanovsky and Phillips as a Gay folk duo
singing original material, but in this interviewer's opinion they're far ahead
of that level and within hailing distance of their self-proclaimed
(or self-confessed) influences:  the Marx Brothers, Tom Lehrer,
Monty Python.  Catch them as soon as you have the opportunity.
Zenger's magazine
It's hard to think of a more fitting way to end this never-ending campaign season than to hear live in studio from our friends Rick and Andy--both in song and in word--as they share their encounters with people in every corner of the country who are behind the new movement for social justice that underlies this presidential campaign.  As we enter these final several days, it's a night when we hope to inspire and motivate you to persevere in the face of long lines at the polls--and to continue to push for positive change in the months and years to come.  Please join in our conversation by calling 321-1670 locally, *123 for US Cellular phone users toll-free, and 1-877-867-1670 if calling from further afield.
Other guests and segments pending at press time.  With new events breaking constantly, we're trying to stay on top of things, so this show is still a work-in-progress.... for further updates, please return to for further details at weekend's end.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cheney endorses McCain, and the election turns!

By: Harry Waisbren

Obama should be frightened by this endorsement (via Huffington Post):

....but he's not:

"I'd like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement because he really earned it. That endorsement didn't come easy. Senator McCain had to vote 90 percent of the time with George Bush and Dick Cheney to get it. He served as Washington's biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq, and supports economic policies that are no different from the last eight years. So Senator McCain worked hard to get Dick Cheney's support.

But here's my question for you, Colorado: do you think Dick Cheney is delighted to support John McCain because he thinks John McCain's going to bring change? Do you think John McCain and Dick Cheney have been talking about how to shake things up, and get rid of the lobbyists and the old boys club in Washington?"

Join the Twitter Vote Report!

I am very proud to say that I have been utilizing my position as President of the Madison chapter of Campus Progress to do whatever I can to prevent voter suppression. Much of that work has been done through my work at the Voter Suppression wiki, which is how I learned about the Twitter Vote Report (as well as Credo Action's Immediate Response Network which I will be blogging about later today). 

Twitter has recently gone viral with this campaign to take avantage of new media technologies to expose and prevent voter suppression. I am very proud to say that I was able to entice Campus Progress Action to join this effort, and every day it is becoming more and more apparent that they will have a major effect. Below is an email I received from two of their organizers updating their immense progress, and I really couldn't recommend anyone who plans to vote to take part in this enough:

I know that word viral is too often overused, but really, Twitter Vote Report ( has.  Check it out:

1.  CNN, NPR, ABC, BBC and several NBC affiliates will be using the Twitter feeds and visualizations as part of their Election Day Coverage.  You can see how committed NPR is to the project here:

2.  The number of tweets we're getting to date from early voters is awesome!  Two of my favorites are:

OH_observers: #EPOH from 866 report -fake election officials letting people vote from parking lot in Columbus #votereport #43204

My #early #votereport - absentee ballots in #48823 require extra postage. Don’t let a $0.15 slipup keep your voice from being heard!

The first one means someone is passing out fake ballots in line in ohio and hoping people will think they've voted, the second one is that extra postage is required on absentee ballots in nc that no one is telling anyone about!

3.  We just added a new area to the site called Spread the Wordl ( filled with language and badges and logos to help you post and ping about Twitter Vote Report.

I know that many of you have already helped to get the word out.  Thank you, thank you for that!  But even if you've done so already, I wanted to ask if you could once more email or text to your folks about Twitter Vote Report -- we need as many people as possible texting in their messages on Election Day to make the power of citizen voices so clear that they can't be ignored.  Also, feel free to blog and tweet about it, too!  Thanks!