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Long-term Impact of Drop in Calif. Property Values; Lobbyists “Giddy” over “Speaker Boehner”

David Cay Johnston, former N.Y. Times reporter, details ominous signs in decline in property values, and comments on current tax cut food fights; Craig Holman of Public Citizen on GOP leader Boehner's close ties to lobbyists. Continue reading Long-term Impact of Drop in Calif. Property Values; Lobbyists “Giddy” over “Speaker Boehner”

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Look for us on!

We've just reached a deal with, which distributes podcasts and other audio content to mobile phones and other devices. So check out Stitcher and let your friends and fiends know that they can listen to PBC on iPhones, Droids and Blackberrys!

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PBC subs for Thom Hartmann 7/8

I've been asked to sit in on the national Thom Hartmann Program this Thursday, July 8. The show is live on most affiliates noon-3pm EDT and 9-noon PDT and streams live at

One topic we will definitely cover is the sneaky tactics used by the House leadership to pass more funding for the war and escalation in Afghanistan. Will one of the progressive House members who played along with this game be willing to talk about it? We'll see.

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My Little Rocky

As many of you know, my little puppy Rocky has been my constant companion since we adopted him about 18 months ago. 13 pounds of unconditional love, I fell for him, hard. Once in a while he'd bark as we were recording a podcast, prompting emails from some of you dog lovers. One thing Rocky really enjoyed was sailing with me on San Francisco Bay--he loved the water and the wind in his face.
A few weeks ago, Rocky joined me for a sail, and in a freak accident, he fell overboard along the Sausalito waterfront. He didn't make a sound, and we did not notice right away. By the time we found him and pulled him out of the water, it was too late.
His loss has hit me harder than I might have expected, but then this was something I never expected. Kathee and I are working through the sadness, and have been comforted by friends and family who loved Rocky and understand our loss. Our thanks to you, and to little Rocky. He will be sorely missed.Rocky

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Back from the Midwest

I spent a week in Ohio and Michigan, went to the Heekin family reunion in Cincinnati. More than 500 attended, and I got to connect and re-connect with some great people. But one cousin reminded me why I left there--he told me his favorite radio host is Michael Savage, and worries that liberals will take him off the air with a new Fairness Doctrine. Only there is no proposed FCC rule or bill in Congress to revive the Fairness Doctrine. It's a phantom menace created by right wing radio nuts and eagerly embraced by their listeners.
In Cincinnati, I met with David Krikorian, who lost his primary election bid to take on one of the worst Republicans in Congress, "Mean Jean" Schmidt. Just one week before election day, Schmidt attacked Krikorian for a comment he says he never made, regarding his opponent in the Democratic primary; the smear was front page the next day on the GOP house organ, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and then got 2 days of TV coverage. Krikorian produced witnesses from the event where he didn't say what she says he said, but the TV stations weren't too interested and the newspaper ran a story in the middle of the local section. Krikorian, whose polls said he would win by 10% or more, lost by 2 points, and Schmidt will coast to re-election in November.
After two cross-country airline adventures within a month, I gotta say that flying really sucks now. Landing at Dulles, we were told by our captain not to be alarmed by the fire trucks on the runway, but the brake light is on--we landed safely and he told us 3 wheels had deflated. On the return, we were delayed for 30 minutes at the TSA checkpoint and almost missed our flight--there was no security breach, just dinnertime for the TSA crew. And you can't complain because they have arbitrary authority to block you from your flight or even detain you. Between the deterioration of airline service and the prison setting of the post-9/11 security theatrics at airports, they've taken all the fun out of air travel.

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Mark Fiore wins Pulitzer prize!!

Mark Fiore, the talented political cartoonist whose animations are featured on this home page (just scroll down a bit if you haven't found it) won the Pulitzer Prize this week. Mark is the first web-based political cartoonist to win the Pulitzer. I've known Mark for more than 6 years, and I'm really pleased that he has gotten this major recognition. Congratulations, Mark!

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a victory for our 4th amendment!

On March 31, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled against NSA wiretapping in the Bush era, in the al Haramain case that we have been following closely here for several years. Attorney Jon Eisenberg, interviewed in podcast #118, explains the victory. It's the first, and possibly last, decision that clearly defines the "warrantless" domestic surveillance as ILLEGAL.
In #120, which we'll post on April 5, you'll hear me lobby US Senate candidate Joe Sestak, D-PA, on restoring our 4th Amendment rights. I hope you will lobby your representatives to reform the FISA "Reform" of 2008 to give back the rights we had pre-Bush/Cheney. In February, both houses approved the ugly extension of the Patriot Act, without a wimper from the compliant public. Please speak up, and don't let the phony anger of the teabag right dominate the agenda. Obama will likely make another Supreme Court appointment in the near future--we must insist that the nominee reflects progressive views on constitutional rights, privacy rights, and executive power and accountability. If Obama appoints a pro-corporate person with a conservative record, we must be prepared to stage a "Miers" intervention. That refers to the way Republicans leaned on Bush II to withdraw the nomination of his clearly unqualified crony, Harriett Miers (who joined Alberto Gonzales and Michael Brown in Bush's Axis of Dunces). This may be our last chance in (enter your guess below) a while to put a real liberal on the Court.

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ooooops! wrong frog!

As astute listener Anoel Rinaldi pointed out, I managed to post the recent interview with Coleen Rowley twice--the same show is podcast 98 and 110. It's part of the Boiling Frogs series, and I mixed up the order, serving up the wrong boiled frog. It was not intended as a test, but she was the only one so far who passed it. cheers, pbc