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Air America Goes Out With a Whimper

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While everyone was still yammering about the significance of Republican Scott Brown's remarkable victory in Massachusetts, another significant defeat for the American left went virtually unnoticed as Air America Radio shut down forever on Thursday. After trying to operate on a model which was clearly incapable of attracting affiliates, listeners or advertisers and without further infusions of cash from wealthy sympathizers, the management faced up to economic reality and finally gave up.

Air America was founded in 2004 and struggled for years with defining its purpose and finding an audience. Some shows enjoyed moderate success, but their most successful hosts, like Rachel Maddow, Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes, found that they could be more successful on competing networks which were better managed, paid regularly and appealed to a broader audience. After a financial scandal and massive losses Air America declared bankruptcy in 2006 and was taken over by Green Family Media who attempted to make the network more professional and attract major-name hosts like Montel Williams and Ariana Huffington. In 2007 they attempted to expand syndication through a partnership with the Westwood One radio network.

Despite all these efforts, Air America continued to lose money and could not attract advertisers, with 10 consecutive quarters in the red through 2008 and 2009. Their best talent kept drifting away and they finally lost their longest-running show when Thom Hartmann left to join the Dial Global Network in 2009. In addition, very few stations were willing to carry their full schedule of programming, with most affiliates only picking up a few of the most popular shows. With an average 1.3 share for the network there just didn't appear to be a market for Air America anywhere but in a few very left-leaning cities like Portland, Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin.

At the end there were fewer than 20 stations nationwide carrying the full Air America lineup, a dismayingly low number for what started as an ambitious attempt to challenge the domination of the talk radio airwaves by the political right. Rush Limbaugh is currently carried on over 500 stations. In six years on the air the total revenue earned by Air America was less than Rush Limbaugh's salary for a single year.

Critics attribute the failure of Air America to many contributing causes. Obviously top among them is the ongoing history of financial mismanagement, but ironically the political dominance of Democrats in Congress and the White House also played a large role. It is much easier to play the role of political critic and gadfly when your enemies are in power. In addition, the shrill and unpleasant tone of the much of the programming on Air America may have alienated many potential listeners, an increasing problem as their best personalities left for bigger and better things, with Al Franken serving in the Senate and Rachel Maddow hosting on MSNBC.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave,

    What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday? The decision that claims a group has the same rights as an individual.

    Do you think that this is the same vision of our country that the framers of the Constitution had in mind?

    Sides don’t matter that much, when we are all getting screwed.

    I’m sorry about losing air america…one more voice sqwellched.

    I hope nobody tries to sqwellch yours.

  • Baronius

    Dave, this story strikes me a lot like Edwards’s acknowledgement of his illegitimate child. I just sort of figured it had already happened. Nobody could imagine things turning out differently.

    Jeannie, there’s no real difference between Air America having a voice and any other corporation having one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    Let me try to clarify this for you. Sure, corporations can speak on behalf of their interests, and so can unions, any other association or group. They can even place ads on TV to their heart’s content. No problem there.

    But where you’ve got to draw the line must have to do with direct contributions to a political campaign. And that goes for unions and other such aggregates as well. It not only violates “one-man one-vote” principle. It also goes beyond the freedom of speech act and perverts the political process.

  • cannonshop

    At least the direct contributions can be tracked, Roger, rather than requiring someone interested in finding out the ownership of ones Senators or Congresscritters (or president) to dig through the trough of straw-man donations that is the SOP currently, or going over the K-street folks’ off-record activities to figure out how much of each Politician a given lobby owns.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Losing Air America wasn’t that big a deal. Why? Al Franken left to become Senator Al Franken, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow are now on MSNBC, and the other progressive heavyweights like Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller belong to different networks.

    The only major pundit that I know of that will be affected is Ron Reagan.

    In other words, no big deal. The only real effect that the shutdown of Air America has is that it gives the conservatives another talking point…never mind that their talking point is a strawman.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m making here a conceptual distinction, Cannon, between the right to free speech, whether by an individual and any association thereof, and contributing to political campaigns.

    The latter, I argue, shouldn’t coincide, or be identified, with free speech. The former should be the exclusive preserve of individuals qua individuals.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jeannie, our legal system has always recognized the right of people to incorporate and create an entity with most of the rights of a person. No problem there.

    What IS a problem is that they didn’t lift the limit on contributions by individuals at the same time.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s befuddling the issue.

    “The right of people to incorporate and create entities (with [the exact] rights [properly attributable to] a person,” however problematic, is one thing.

    To claim now that these “rights” ought to translate to “voting rights,” reserved for individuals qua individuals, is another.

    It is a quantum leap to move from the first to the second, or to put it more plainly, from freedom of speech to freedom to influence election.

    Unless, of course, you’re willing to equate the freedom of speech, Mr. Nalle, with an ability and wherewithals to contribute to a political campaign.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave, Glad ya read my comment, buddy :)
    The teachers aren’t at all like the super rich companies. period!
    We wanted to end greasing the palms, but, guess not.

    K street is safe now, it’s leagal to buy your president, senator, mayor….us

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger,

    It is a quantum leap to move from the first to the second, or to put it more plainly, from freedom of speech to freedom to influence election.

    good point…how do they reverse this?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    There is a big difference between Air America and Big Corperations…Corporations don’t like to hear what AirAmerica has to say!!

    Ron Reagan is not gone…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jeannie, the teachers unions have done infinitely more harm to America than the corporations because they direct their efforts at corruption at both our kids and our wallets.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There is no difference, Jeannie. Why not let unions and corporations both speak from the side of their mouth. What are you afraid of?

    I’m willing to bet that the multinationals can’t do so effectively lest they inherit a wrath. Which is precisely why they’re less for free speech, in the ordinary sense of the word, but more for clandestine speech, the speech in smoke-filled rooms, the speech of the almighty dollar.

    So let free speech reign, from whatever mouth. That’s not the problem. The problem is when we let that “speech” – through contributions – affect our political process. Nalle knows that, he just won’t admit it.

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, we cannot protect only that political speech we agree with.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t think Jeannie has a problem with that, do you, Jeannie?

    I do suggest, Baronius, that your comment verges on being condescending.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’m not saying only protect Air America..Fox News is still going strong.

  • Baronius

    So why are you opposed to the political speech of corporations?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    #12,

    Just shows me that until one of these shoes falls on his foot, we are not going to hear the word, “OUCH!”

    and then Dave, it will be too late……

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    You should welcome free speech from corporations. Can’t you see that they’ll fall flat on their ass.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Jeannie, the teachers unions have done infinitely more harm to America than the corporations because they direct their efforts at corruption at both our kids and our wallets.”

    That’s value judgment and you know it.

    The teachers’ union didn’t cause this country’s meltdown. The corporations did.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    I am an idividual, a patriot, if you will.

    The Teacher unions have worked very hard to make sure that teachers earn a living wage in this ciountry.

    Why is an ex-teacher so bitter?

    Once upon a time, in the land of the brave, Doctors, Attornys, and Teachers made equal pay. WHAT HAPPENED?

    Someone should know the history of why unions formed to begin with . HMM, I wonder who?

    I can’t provide a link for you until tonight or tommorow..:(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    no spell check, DAMN!

    Listen to Roger…he knows where I’m comming from.:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie, get off your high horse. The teachers’ union has a checkered history. The very term verges on being an oxymoron. Teaching is a vocation, not a job.

    I won’t argue with you, though, about other kind of unions. And I don’t think Baronius will either if he’s got any sense.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I am betting that another Air America rises out of the ashes of your little fire.

    You know what they say..”Don’t count your chickens…”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    What? :(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I will prove my point to all of you. Watch and see.

    Roger, Please find a link for me that shows a checkered past.

  • Franco

    Air America is off the air? If a left wing loon has a radio show and no one hears, do they make a sound? The answer is “Who Cares!”

    Air America Crashes, Burns — Will Anyone Besides Franken and Maddow Notice?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Try Albert Shanker and the origin of the teacher’s union.

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, #21 was for Dave maybe?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Auhhh, they will be missed.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Here’s a wonderful couple of facts for you:

    Two quick points to keep in mind:

    1) You can either claim that ABC/CBS/CNN/MSNBC/NBC/NPR/NYT/WAPO/ETC are “liberal media,” or that there is no market for liberal media — but not both. Please pick one.* Thanks!

    2) The Washington Times has been losing money for two decades. In the early days of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch paid cable companies $11 per subscriber to carry FNC (and Rudy Giuliani pressured Time Warner to carry the outlet in New York City.) Point being: conservative media outlets have succeeded not only because of market forces, as conservatives would have you believe, but because right-wing billionaires like Murdoch and Rev. Moon have been willing to subsidize them.

  • zingzing

    i for one am a little bit wary of corporations having this much sway over our elections process… although that would be like saying they don’t have sway already, and it’s more in the open now… but i don’t like the general idea of corporations, who only have their own bottom line in mind, buying candidates…

    say this had happened before the 2008 election. mccain would have gotten the backing of the drug and oil companies, and might, on their billions, have won the election. now, whether you like it or not, or whether he likes it or not, he’s beholden to those companies, and if he doesn’t please them, they won’t back him the next time. so instead of citizens’ votes, presidents are now going after corporations’ dollars? and this time exclusively?

    it’s a dangerous, warped path. i don’t see how the right wing can get behind this… it just makes no sense, especially with their “we’re the voice of the people” stuff…

    i’ve yet to see a good reason for this. all i see from the right wing is that it’s about the first amendment… but i’ve never really heard a corporation say anything. and a corporation doesn’t write anything. and a corporation doesn’t think. it really seems like this is just packing more and more power into less and less space, and that would be something the right wing should be against.

    i don’t get it. inform me.

    plus, do you know how many political ads we’ll see now? it’s going to blow up. toss out your televisions.

  • Baronius

    I don’t know about the rest of the right wing, but I’m tickled any time the Supreme Court stands up for the Constitution. And while I always enjoy seeing Congress getting slapped down for overreaching, it’s even more satisfying when the legislation has McCain’s name on the title page. Additionally, the nation survived until 2002 without that law, so I’m not worried about the effects of it being overturned.

  • Arch Conservative

    “I’m sorry about losing air america…one more voice sqwellched.”

    Jeannie, Who was it exactly that “squelched” the voice of Air America.

    The way I heard it, the “squelched” themselves out of business with shoddy management and an inferior product.

    Here’s a shocker…for once I agree with zing…..

    It’s more than little unsettling to see corporations being treated as persons. they should have the right to conduct business but not buy politicians.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/heloise Heloise

    John Edwards babydaddy. Who knew? We knew! But what did the left media heads know? Everything. He lied, fornicated and stole his way to high on the political horse.

    I was banned from Kos for telling the truth about the couple Edwards. Their heads were so far up his butt they couldn’t see. If the left bloggers and talkers become complicit in the lies on the left then good riddance.

    For this Eduwards’ baby daddy story deliberate shutout: I say shut the media up. If that’s the best they can do to protect innocent voters in the wake of a fake like Edwards keeping Hillary from getting the nod.

    I orginally wanted Hillary for prez but changed horses early on.

    The media sucks. Less of it the better. Then there are the GOP coverups for the gay legislatures who are in the closet. We will never get the truth from right, left or center. I say the less of the talkers the better.

    Now NBC is on shaky ground and losing big money. What no one here knows is that I used to work for a fake black woman who is one of the top dogs at NBC (Peacock Productions) which was an omen that I too would become part of the media. The NBCs, ABCs and CBSs are next, after the major papers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here’s Baronius again, flagging the Constitution as though it were the Bible.

    Isn’t one document enough for you? How many sacred documents do you need to make your life complete? I understand it helps, but it shouldn’t abrogate the need to engage in your own thinking.

    (Another Bliffle type comment.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I’ve never really heard a corporation say anything. and a corporation doesn’t write anything.”

    Precisely, zinger. But then let’s face it. Anytime a corporation would speak on its own behalf, it would be self-incriminating. That’s why patriots like Baronius et al hid behind the Constitution and the flag and in the name of free speech, are all for allowing these entities do their dirty work in secret, though campaign financing.

    Sorry Baronius, the good ole Bliffle spirit is kicking strong.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s been a few years since Air America was on the air in my local market, but I’m not entirely surprised that they went under. Compared to the slick presentation of the conservative networks they had a distinctly amateurish flavour. They had some talented pundits like Rachel Maddow and the Young Turks, but as someone said above, most of the best shows – the marvellous Stephanie Miller was my favourite – were actually syndicated.

    Like I said, amateurs. Randi Rhodes was shrill and Ed Schultz was simply obnoxious – these two were just as bad as Limbaugh. And I’d love to know who came to the sublimely demented conclusion that RFK Junior had a good radio voice… :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Any one-sided radio show or presentation is boring. However, some NPR programs offer challenging viewpoints, from both sides.

  • Baronius

    Seriously, Roger, this is getting weird.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Alright, Baronius. I tried to make you come out of your skin, but I realize that at this point it’s futile.

    Take care.

  • Clavos

    @ # 40: You’re surprised, Baronius?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave, #12,

    teachers unions have done infinitely more harm to America than the corporations because they direct their efforts at corruption at both our kids and our wallets.

    This is just your opinion, and I still see nothing to support it!

    Show me one example of corruption toward our kids.

    It is really sad, that we have to beg the taxpayers every year to fund our schools. Education is the right of the people, and
    not just another election that is won, or lost, every year.

    Did the school budget pass?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #28,

    Here he is!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    After reading this bio, I would conclude that Albert Shanker was a great man and that he dedicated his life to raising the standards of education for our children and improving the working conditions for our teachers.

    Also, calling a profession a vocation somehow lessons it’s importance, or the amount of earning power a teacher with a Masters Degree would have.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #42,

    Typical contribution to the discussion.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I see one more comment I would like to answer, but I don’t have a spell checker.

    I’d have to be perfect to talk with the big guns, eh ARCH?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The teachers’ union didn’t cause this country’s meltdown. The corporations did.

    I’m not convinced the country has melted down, and to the extent that it has done so, only certain very specific types of corporations were responsible. It’s hardly an indictment of our entire business community.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    1) You can either claim that ABC/CBS/CNN/MSNBC/NBC/NPR/NYT/WAPO/ETC are “liberal media,” or that there is no market for liberal media — but not both. Please pick one.* Thanks!

    Did you READ my article? I said nothing like this in it. I haven’t claimed that any of those channels are liberal. I didn’t even say that Air America was liberal. Air America was bitter, angry and unpleasant. That was the main problem with it.

    but because right-wing billionaires like Murdoch and Rev. Moon have been willing to subsidize them.

    It’s debatable that Murdoch is right wing. The evidence suggests that he just saw the Roger Ayles business plan as potentially profitable, made the investment and reaped the profits. Which is how it should be.

    I suppose it’s a commentary on the wisdom of other potential investors that they didn’t see the Air America business model as viable.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This is just your opinion, and I still see nothing to support it!

    Show me one example of corruption toward our kids.

    I’ve written numerous articles on this subject. Go look them up. When school districts are spending 55% of their revenue on administration and 45% on educating, the system is hopelessly corrupt.

    It is really sad, that we have to beg the taxpayers every year to fund our schools.

    We don’t “beg” them, we take their money by force of government. And then if they want a decent education they have to forfeit that money and pay to educate their kids privately.

    Education is the right of the people,

    In no sense is this true. It’s certainly desirable and something we want to make available in our society, but that doesn’t make it a right.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s debatable that Murdoch is right wing. The evidence suggests that he just saw the Roger Ayles business plan as potentially profitable, made the investment and reaped the profits.

    Don’t really know what Murdoch’s personal politics are (if he has any), but it’s certainly true that he’ll do whatever sells newspapers or gets people to tune in.

    He owns The Sun newspaper, which was (and as far as I know, still is) editorially conservative. However, once it became clear that the Conservatives were going to get flattened in the 1997 UK general election, The Sun promptly announced that it would be advising its readers to vote Labour.

    He knows which way the wind’s blowing, often before the wind does!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “He knows which way the wind’s blowing,”

    so he “don’t need a weatherman”?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Education is the right of the people” Jeannie

    “In no sense is this true.” Dave

    Isn’t true that up to K-12 level it’s rather mandatory? Just asking.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    A gift for Dave.

    :)we will talk later.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good link, Jeannie.

    You might also mention NPR, which features good programming, e.g., “All Things Considered,” “The Diane Rehm Show,” or “Fresh Air.”

    It’s certainly more informative and challenging than Fox News; and contrary to popular opinion, more often than not it offers a variety of viewpoints.

  • Zedd

    Baronius,

    What the film really ended up being is a HUGE political contribution and that is why it shouldn’t have been permitted.

    Also, and maybe more importantly, corporations are not individuals. A corporation may have individuals within it that don’t share the political views of its heads. What you end up with is a misrepresentation. A usurping of power from the masses to the powerful. The powerful in the corporations use the funds which are provided by all of the workers to choose the candidate of their liking. Very wrong headed.

  • Zedd

    I didn’t get an opportunity to listen to Air America after it as up-scaled. I was turned off by it, in it’s original form. I can’t stand talk radio. I think it’s base. No real issues are discussed, just some shallow, spot light crazed personality and a lot of poorly read folks chiming in.

    I couldn’t see it succeeding because a large portion of Dems (the engaged ones) are more intelectual. Having someone whine and complain for an hour without proposing and implementing viable solutions is pointless. It wasn’t going to work.

    Had Huffington come aboard early on, they might have had a chance. I loved Kennedy’s show however. It was very informative. Jerry Springer also did a fantastic job.

  • Baronius

    Zedd, when you say “more intellectual”, do you mean smarter, or less populist?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I should say neither, Zedd, just more prone to thinking.

  • pablo

    1 Deanna:
    You said:

    “What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday? The decision that claims a group has the same rights as an individual.”

    Actually Deanna this is not what the Court ruled. They in fact ruled that Corporations have more rights than individuals, as there is now no limit on how much they can contribute for the most part. Below are the limitations on you and me:

    * $2,400 per Election to a Federal candidate — Each primary, runoff, and general election counts as a separate election.
    * $30,400 per calendar year to a national party committee — applies separately to a party’s national committee, and House and Senate campaign committee.
    * $10,000 per calendar year to state, district & local party committees
    * $5,000 per calendar year to state, district & local party committee

    Aggregate Total — $115,500 per two-year election cycle as follows:

    * $45,600 per two-year cycle to candidates
    * $69,000 per two-year cycle to all national party committees and PACs

    7 Nalle:

    “Jeannie, our legal system has always recognized the right of people to incorporate and create an entity with most of the rights of a person.”

    As usual Nalle shows his ignorance of jurisprudence, and mixes fiction with fact. Indeed it was U.S. Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that through the due process clause of the 14th amendment granted constitutional rights to corporations for the first time in 1886.

    Another interesting thing of note, under our legal system individuals are born with certain rights that are unalienable those that are listed in the constitution are not constitutional rights at all but constitutional guarantees of those unalienable rights. Granted that there are some rights in the constitution that are not unalienable (ie innate) such as the right to vote, or the right to counsel etc.

    Corporations by law have limited liability and thus the real people behind the veil are protected from financial ruin, unlike us individuals who are not protected this way. The biggest mistake that this country every made was granting legal personhood to corporations, and this latest decision by the Court means the end of anything even remotely resembling a government of by and for the people. Henceforth it will be a government for the corporations, of the corporations and now by the corporations. God help us all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great post, Pablo.

    There may be another insidious reason behind the court’s decision. As the public well dries up in these economic times, so would campaign financing if it was restricted to individuals. That’s the least that politicians would want – to campaign without adequate funding. Hence, let in the corporations so that the show will go on.

    In the end, they’re protecting their own kind.

  • Baronius

    That’s silly, Roger. The overlap between federal judges and politicians is minimal. The fact is that the four liberals voted for a limitation on speech, the four conservatives against it, and Kennedy has always held the same position on this issue.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What’s silly is that you keep on believing in the integrity of a broken system. And I haven’t posted #62 as though some valid legal reason in the heads of the justices – only as a possible conjecture for your and others’ entertainment.

    You should know something of the extent to which subconscious thinking influences overt thought. You’re a paramount example of it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Zed, #58,

    It’s amazing how many of my comments I erase before ever posting one…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Pablo,

    Another interesting thing of note, under our legal system individuals are born with certain rights that are unalienable those that are listed in the constitution are not constitutional rights at all but constitutional guarantees of those unalienable rights. Granted that there are some rights in the constitution that are not unalienable (ie innate) such as the right to vote, or the right to counsel etc.

    Be careful with this stuff, Pablo. The term “inalienable rights” comes from the Declaration of Independence, and is not part of the Constitution of 1787. It represents a philosophical stance rather than an enumeration of rights under law. The Declaration has no standing as a legal document.

    The bill of rights is an extension of the Constitution of 1787, which is, as Obama has correctly pointed out, a charter of negative liberties. That is its genius as a document.

    As to the court decision, it seems a means of pumping money into an empty system legally. Corporate plutocrats rarely worry about the niceties of the law – that’s what those well paid lawyers are all about….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, we’re all seem to be on the same page here, and that’s rare being that you are a syndycalist, Pablo a conspiracy theorist, and I, for lack of a better term, ultra-progressive.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave,

    Air America was bitter, angry and unpleasant.

    Just like Rush Limbaugh’s babble.

    But, you don’t see me shouting to take away his mic. In fact, I always say that, “It is because of the American Labor Movement that this man has one in the first place!”

    and, we need all kinds of voices…to make this a Republic. :)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    The overlap between federal judges and politicians is minimal.

    That statement is, exactly, why Supreme Court Justices are appointed, and not voted in…to keep the political influences away!

    I did some studying while waiting to come back up here and bitch! :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie is on a crusade to convert Dave and make him sin no more.

    Good luck, Jeannie. If anyone can do it, it’s you.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, the Declaration has legal status as a founding document.

    Roger, there you go hurting my feelings again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I knew you were going to take it as a good sport.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Baronius,

    I hope you understand that I’m being kind.
    Since I can’t understand your thinking and wouldn’t dare accuse you of hypocrisy, I must resort to some other explanation. And “subconscious” is the only option left.

  • Baronius

    Maybe the failure isn’t in my thinking, but in your understanding.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Baronius,

    Ruvy, the Declaration has legal status as a founding document.

    While it has standing as a “founding document”, its assertions, beyond separating the thirteen provinces on North America from British rule, are not issues that stand up in a court of law – anywhere in the United States.

    By contrast, the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which grants the rights of life, liberty and property to Englishmen, can and does stand up in any court in the United Kingdom.

    The Declaration is not legislation, and it is not part of the Constitution. If it were, it would enshrine the right of revolution as a constitutional right. Think about it…..

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave,#50,

    Wrote,
    When school districts are spending 55% of their revenue on administration and 45% on educating, the system is hopelessly corrupt.

    Why are you blaming the Education Unions? Unions like NYSUT, NEA, and AFT? Why is it the teachers fault that the administration with the help of the school board continues to try to run our schools like a for-profit -business?

    Our children are our future! and they are all getting ripped off by this country, whether public, private or , home school.

    By the way, the last example of a school is little more than a paranoid individual who is afraid to join the human race! But then, that is how I see it!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, my failure to understand you as a person.
    The emphasis is on the word “person.”

  • Clavos

    #42,

    Typical contribution to the discussion.

    Yep. Expect more of ‘em in the future, too.

    I don’t make “contributions”…

  • Baronius

    You mean, not as a corporation? :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #82

    Blatant admission of reading comprehension.

  • Clavos

    The powerful in the corporations use the funds which are provided by all of the workers to choose the candidate of their liking. Very wrong headed.

    Identical to the unions…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Righto – not as corporation but as flesh-and-blood.

  • Baronius

    (#83 was to Roger)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Unions belong in the same category.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I knew that.

  • Clavos

    Blatant admission of reading comprehension.

    Blatant ignorance of English — should have been “Blatant admission of reading incomprehension.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If the grammar Nazi says so, it must be so.

  • Clavos

    Sig Heil…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I always return a greeting. And so, Sieg Heil to you, too, my good sir.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’m out of here..I didn’t expect you to add me as a friend on Facebook anyway…

  • Arch Conservative

    “I see one more comment I would like to answer, but I don’t have a spell checker.

    I’d have to be perfect to talk with the big guns, eh ARCH? ”

    Is there anyone around here that can translate Jeannie’s posts into English for me?

  • zingzing

    baronius: “That’s silly, Roger. The overlap between federal judges and politicians is minimal. The fact is that the four liberals voted for a limitation on speech, the four conservatives against it, and Kennedy has always held the same position on this issue.”

    i want to hear this voice of the corporation. is it billy mays?

    the four conservatives are idiots. how the hell could they sell their damn country to the richest corporation?

    can’t you see how dangerous and wrong this is? and if you seriously give a fuck about walmarts right to free speech, you should go in there and say whatever the hell you want and see if they give a fuck about yours. seriously… how you can defend this is beyond me.

    this isn’t about free speech. it’s about lying ass conservatives giving the country to big business. as usual.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave,#50,

    Wrote,
    When school districts are spending 55% of their revenue on administration and 45% on educating, the system is hopelessly corrupt.

    Why are you blaming the Education Unions? Unions like NYSUT, NEA, and AFT? Why is it the teachers fault that the administration with the help of the school board continues to try to run our schools like a for-profit -business?

    Our children are our future! and they are all getting ripped off by this country, whether public, private, or home school.

    By the way, the last example of a school is little more than a paranoid individual who is afraid to join the human race! But then, that is how I see it!

    Practice with this one.:)ARCH

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I just can’t stay away..love you people.:)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Zing,

    I realize you are not addressing me directly, but here are my two cents.

    I have been reading article III since the Courts ruling.

    “The Constitution does not give the courts the power to enforce their decisions. The president is responsible for enforcing the decisions of the courts.”

    Of course, this little book was written for the boy scouts, and you know how liberal they are!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    I remarked earlier that the crux of this decision has to do with what’s permissible. So it’s not a matter of enforcement or lack of enforcement.

  • zingzing

    i can foresee the day when campaign busses are covered in corporate logos like nascar… cars…

  • Baronius

    Yeah, just like they all were up until 2002.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #100,

    That’s true but, the ruling was made and now it is in the Presidents court! so to speak :)

    I think he has the ball to do what’s right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, all they can do now, I suppose, is try to make the decision appear unpopular. But you can’t overturn a SCOTUS decision other than by another decision. (So it would seem to me.)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    As usual Nalle shows his ignorance of jurisprudence, and mixes fiction with fact. Indeed it was U.S. Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that through the due process clause of the 14th amendment granted constitutional rights to corporations for the first time in 1886.

    And before that it was a recognized principle in English common law which most of our law is based on. It’s ridiculous to suggest that individuals cannot delegate their rights to a corporate entity.

    But as you did point out, the problem with this supreme court ruling is that it didn’t lift the limits on individuals. That just makes no sense at all.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Why are you blaming the Education Unions? Unions like NYSUT, NEA, and AFT? Why is it the teachers fault that the administration with the help of the school board continues to try to run our schools like a for-profit -business?

    The unions do not represent the teachers, they exploit the teachers, and school boards have nothing to do with it. They just rubber stamp the paid administrators who are in bed with the unions. The unions lobby to increase the power of educational bureaucrats and reduce accountability for teachers and the whole system ignores the needs of the students and the desires of the parents.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “It’s ridiculous to suggest that individuals cannot delegate their rights to a corporate entity.”

    What does it exactly mean to do such a thing? Do you have any clear idea? Examples?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Not one link or shred of proof, this reminds me of …well, nothing!

    Call me when you can support any of this anti teacher happy horse shit with a link.

    You know, I spent some time on my comment MR. Nale, you could have shown a little respect and taken me seriously.

    bye

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #104,

    Article III in the Constitution places certain limits on the power of the Supreme Court, they are not dictators; they can make the final decisions, as far as being The highest Judicial Branch, but they do not have full power to enforce them. the president reserves that right.

    I’m sure you know more than I, that the three branches of our government are in an endless tug of war.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Again, Jeannie, it’s not a matter of enforcing the SCOTUS decision but rather of what are the most effective means, if any, of stopping what has just been allowed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I mean, for example, you might have an effective public campaign to as to render the SCOTUS decision unpopular, but that’s no legal barrier.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    By pressuring the White House into not enforcing it.

    Phone calls, E-Mails, Blogs, Marches, and many prayers..we are screwed! :(

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll try to come up with better examples tomorrow, OK, Jeannie?

    Good night now.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    OK,

    I feel like your shadow..:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t mind, Jeannie. It’s a complex thing to discuss and I want to do it right. OK?

  • cannonshop

    #76 Because the Administrators of those districts are ALSO members of the Teacher’s Union. (along with the lunch-room personnel, bus drivers, and custodial staff.) The WEA, at least, has a built-in conflict of interest because of this relationship-a Union is supposed to represent the employees when dealing with a hostile or ambivalent management system, not represent said management against the customers (that’d be everyone who pays in expecting their children to recieve an education.)

    When management is part of the same union, the only people who get screwed, are the customers.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cannonshop, #112,

    #76 Because the Administrators of those districts are ALSO members of the Teacher’s Union. (along with the lunch-room personnel, bus drivers, and custodial staff.)

    This is an outright lie, misinformation , and what ever-else you want to call a big excuse for once again to cry about your school TAXES!

    Read the following Mission Statement

    “Through a representative democratic structure, New York State United Teachers improves the professional, economic and personal lives of our members and their families, strengthens the institutions in which they work, and furthers the cause of social justice through the trade union movement.”

    You, as an individual, are only as FREE as YOUR country is STRONG.

    Being a member of a labour Union gives a power to your voice that would surely be SQUELLECHED without one.

    Yes, lets go back to non-union Teaching! This way the next time a Female teacher gets pregnant, we can just fire her…

    Let’s go back to non-union support staff, we don’t really care where that school-lunch is from..In fact, let’s out-source all of it in-order to save you a buck!

    The use of the word customer implies that we are all for sale and that, when you woke up this morning, you sent your children to the education store to buy a life!

    and Cannonshop, again where is a link supporting your, outrageous,claim that the principle and the professional teacher are in the same union?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    But I do thank you for giving me more detail here than Dave was able to.

  • Clavos

    When management is part of the same union, the only people who get screwed, are the customers.

    Quoted for Truth.

    A major reason for the sorry state of American K-12 education is the fact that, for decades, the schools have been run by the teachers.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    Wrote,A major reason for the sorry state of American K-12 education is the fact that, for decades, the schools have been run by the teachers.

    Where is your proof?

    Give me a link or put some real gusto in your statement.

    I understood yesterday that you don’t really want to contribute to the threads; is this true?

    :) caring for you as a human being does not mean that we will see eye to eye.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I also hang around here because of certain people. I should think we have a communication going, and we each value one another. And that’s good enough reason for me.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    So I’ll see you later, friend.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You know, I spent some time on my comment MR. Nale, you could have shown a little respect and taken me seriously.

    I don’t take you seriously because you don’t read the things you respond to, don’t think or express yourself clearly and get petulent when I ignore you as I probably olught to do as a matter of course.

    My observations on education come from years as a parent of kids in school, as a teacher, as a PTA member and as a school advisory board member. As for links and research, as I said before, go read my past articles on the subject.

    If I post something surprising I’ll give you a new link, but posting comments based on facts which are so well established is pointless. It’s not my job to correct your ignorance of the basic facts of a debate. Inform yourself up to a minimal level about the things you want to discuss or don’t waste my time.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    The whole idea behind a union is to provide employees with bargaining rights against employers (or the management). I suppose such was the case originally when teachers union were first formed under A. Shanker’s leadership. I believe there were unresolved salary and tenure disputes, and the union was formed as a result. Anyway, it’s a subject that deserves study.

    Over time, however, the situation so evolved that yes, teacher unions become, how shall we say, monopolies. They no longer seem accountable to anyone, and the same seems to be true of Board of Educations, local charters. And it’s one reason why it’s so difficult to effect any real and meaningful educational reforms.

    If things are pretty much as I have described, then we do have a problem, don’t we?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    Inattention to facts or posted comments is not such a rare occurrence on the BC pages when people are in the midsts of ideological battles.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which is to say, we’re all capable of emotional responses and we’ve all been guilty on that score once or twice.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Dave

    My observations on education come from years as a parent of kids in school, as a teacher, as a PTA member and as a school advisory board member.

    You said it all!!! These are your observations and as far as looking through your archives, there are many other interesting and well written articles to read here at BC. :]

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Why is it the teachers fault that the administration with the help of the school board continues to try to run our schools like a for-profit -business?”

    Jeannie, perhaps you have a point there. Perhaps a bureaucratic echelon has taken over and is running things, in which case you would be right not to blame the teachers for faulty administration. I don’t know what is the exact relationship between teachers and administration, whether teachers can vote the administration out, etcetera, etcetera. One would have to make a thorough study of the subject in order to be able to comment intelligently. But you must admit it’s a muddled situation.

  • Clavos

    In far too many schools in America, the administrators ARE (or were) teachers — a clear instance of the fox guarding the chickens, a gross conflict of interest and a piss-poor way (from an organizational standpoint) to select administration personnel.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Maybe we better stick to the topic of Dave’s article here.

    When Air America Radio launched in April, 2004 with already-known personalities like Al Franken and then-unknown future stars like Rachel Maddow, it was the only full-time progressive voice in the mainstream broadcast media world. At a critical time in our nation’s history — when dissent on issues such as the Iraq war were often denounced as “un-American” — Air America and its talented team helped millions of Americans remember the importance of compelling discussion about the most pivotal events and decisions of our generation.

    Through some 100 radio outlets nationwide, Air America helped build a new sense of purpose and determination among American progressives. With this revival, the progressive movement made major gains in the 2006 mid-term elections and, more recently, in the election of President Barack Obama and a strongly Democratic Congress.

    I definitely know when I have pushed someone’s button too hard! After all, I have been pushing them all of my life.

    :)Jeannie the button pusher.

  • Zedd

    Jeannie,

    Were you referencing my errors in #58.

    I’ve got nothing to prove. It’s very healthy for us to be imperfect and still be smart, really smart. That is what REAL freedom affords us. Im a horrible editor, and I’ve got one lap top with a jumpy cursor. My cursor ends up anywhere on my text. I try to catch the errors but miss many. However, since Im in the comfort of my bed, after a bath, all cozy in my robe (most of the time when I am posting) I simply choose to make my BC experience easy and fun for me. Please believe that what these guys know is that even with all of the errors, they had better muscle up if they want to debate. Ask them :)

  • Zedd

    Jeannie,

    Air America wasn’t good enough. Al Franken sounded drunk. His mutterings were disjointed if coherent. It was unbearable. Some of us listened hoping that something informative would emerge, wincing the entire time. The network was a typical liberal response, tentative – done with the least determination, but still hoping for success. Look at how the Dems have squandered this gift (a sorry and weird Rep party). Now the Reps are reformulating, getting smart, populist (centrist) candidates. Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for Gov in Texas – I’m seriously thinking of voting for her. She is a sane Rep. Air America squandered an opportunity.

    There were a few shows that I would have categorized as progressive. As I mentioned before, Kennedy’s was one. It was smart, informative, purposeful and galvanizing. May AA had no chance. Progressives have NPR. They don’t need Moseses to form opinions. They just need a full spectrum of information. NPR, PRI, and BBC give them just that. I would say Michael Moore’s movies had a bigger impact in galvanizing the masses. Al Gore’s discussion on the environment woke up the old Liberals. However the biggest force to get people moving was GW himself.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right, Zedd. NPR is doing it. All you need is intelligent presentation from both sides – no propaganda either way. The people should be able to make up their own mind.

    Nothing else is needed.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Zedd, #127,

    Huh? What is this conversation about? I have no idea why I wrote that comment to you. In fact, I don’t even remember commenting towards you at all.

    That was a few days ago, and I have been fired up lately!!!

    :( sorry, never mind..I guess.

    Please believe that what these guys know is that even with all of the errors, they had better muscle up if they want to debate. Ask them :)

    Thank you for writing this about your writing though, since I am always worried that I will be judged as less than because of my bad grammar!

    I feel better now.:)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Zedd, and Roger,

    It’s not that I want to feverishly defend Air America here, I just want us to remain a tapestry of thoughts and beliefs..Let’s look at what is happening all around us right now!

    Air America used to be on in the morning and after a while, I also stopped listening.

    Any diet, no matter how good it tastes, without variety is unhealthy and this is exactly why it is a shame that Air America died.

    I love NPR, because they have balance.:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No argument here. BTW, I believe Democracy Now! also broadcasts. Have you tried it?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger,

    Yes,I watch Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report in the mornings.:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No, I don’t have Sirius at the moment. But see, you’re not deprived.

  • Zedd

    Roger/Jeannie,

    Democracy Now???

    Tell me about it. Where do I catch it?

    Jeannie, sorry about the rambling. I guess I mistook what you were saying.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Zedd,

    Just log in to their website. The info should be there.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Zedd,

    Thanks. I find it so hard to decipher if someone is serious or breaking my b____s around here.

    If you have Satellite you should be able to find it. Where are you, in general, I mean.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    In fact you can watch full episodes on-line!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, Zedd, Roger,

    Thanks for conversing with me.

    I’ll call it a night. Have to scan now…:)

    That is something I would suggest we all do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    okie dokie

  • Baronius

    Just so we don’t get too revisionist here, let’s remember what Air America was.

    Rush Limbaugh and similar hosts had been dominating the radio. Every few years, a liberal host would be hailed as “the Left’s answer to Rush” and would attempt to go national. It never panned out. So a few liberals decided that they’d create an entire network, and compete with conservative talk radio 24 hours a day. The problem was, they hired a bunch of inexperienced, untalented hosts, who couldn’t attract an audience.

    Conservative talk radio, on the other hand, built itself up host by host. An occasional Hannity would emerge while G. Gordon Liddys and Oliver Norths fell by the wayside. By the time a show got a national audience, its hosts had experience and knew how to handle the format.

    In other words, liberal talk radio failed because it didn’t comprehend the benefits of free market competition.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Just to make things clear, NPR predated Air America by decades, has a far larger audience than Air America did at its height and none of the Air America on air personalities have moved to NPR – which is the bigtime for left-leaning radio – as far as I know.

    Part of Air America’s problem is that it was trying to fill a niche which already had a better and established occupant, and NPR’s soft-sell approach was much more appealing than Air America’s stridency.

    As for where the Air America on air talent has gone, good luck finding them on your local airwaves. The networks they’ve gone to are obscure and have very small numbers of affiliates.

    Dave

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I remember trying to correct every comment in my threads…