Friday, February 23, 2007


THIS SATURDAY: VetStage Symposium to benefit troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who have lived to tell their own stories on stage and in film. VetStage hosts an acting & writing workshop with Academy Award© winning writer/producer, Bobby Moresco (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), casting director Sarah Finn (Iron Man, Mission Impossible II, Crash), former agent and current producer Larry Becsey (In the Valley of Elah, Against All Enemies) and award winning producer, Mark R. Harris (Crash, Gods and Monsters). Benefit Symposium for Vet Stage (all proceeds benefit Visit to sign up.

Upcoming: This Saturday morning, March 3, we will interview Paul Waldman of Media Matters on his amazing new book "BEING RIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success." Upcoming on Basham And Cornell Progressive Talk 9 am PST Saturday mornings on 1230 AM KLAV in Las Vegas, simulcast on the internet at
  • Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk

  • This past Saturday February 24, We had the pleasure of interviewing former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author of the new bestseller "U.S. vs BUSH" The Case for Impeachment. It was a fascinating interview.

    Doug Basham was on Lou Dobbs last week as one of America's "top talkers." Check out Doug's site for a list of all the incredible guests he has interviewed and see what Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Pat Buchanan, Joe Conason, Daniel Ellsberg, Catherine Crier, Helen Thomas, Caspar Weinberger, Lou Dobbs, Congress people and best-selling authors say about Doug Basham: Basham Radio

    In the sidebar is a YouTube clip of a recent interview with my co-stars from Too Close for Comfort. The editor cut the clip in the wrong place, just after I say, "I had a crush on Jim Bullock and dreamed of him every night." I was the only person on the set who had no inkling he was gay; I was madly in love with him, and held out hope we would be together one day! Guess I was barking up the wrong tree. We still laugh about this, and the Youtube clip starts in a weird place, without this background information. By the way, he still makes me laugh harder than anyone.

    BASHAM and CORNELL PROGRESSIVE TALK... Last Saturday, Basham and I taped our first show together (I've been on his show twice before, as a guest.) Please go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show. Every Saturday we are on live on KLAV or simulcast on the internet at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk

    Join us each Saturday morning live for progressive talk, interviews with Senators, politicians, candidates and best-selling authors. It might be rough, but it’ll be real. Be there.

    From Wikipedia & Basham Radio Press release: "Cornell went to Beirut, Lebanon, to a war zone, to visit American troops in the Multinational Peacekeeping Force Christmas Eve 1982. She visited the Marines in underground bunkers as well as sailors and naval officers on several aircraft carriers. Shortly after their departure from Beirut, over 250 Marines of the 24th MAU were killed in one of the first suicide bombings. A truck entered the barracks as the troops slept, killing them all.

    Cornell's blog, a double Koufax nominee for best writing, is "a consistently thought-provoking firecracker of pointed socio-political commentary and observant, caustic wit." (Shotgun Reviews) John Conley, a Marine combat vet even sent her his Purple Heart for her courage in speaking out about the war in Iraq and against Ann Coulter's extremism in her Brad Blog article "Death is Sexier than Sex, to Ann Coulter (see sidebar.) Although still active in Hollywood - HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, writing, producing and garnering indie acting nominations - Cornell spends most of her time, creatively speaking, in front of her keyboard. She has several books awaiting publication including the literary thriller The Sylvia Plan, about Stalin's plot to kill Trotsky; a comedy for women, plus several spiritual and political books.

    Basham and Cornell
    The progressive community’s
    weekend wakeup call
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    on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas

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    EVERYONE TAKE A MOMENT TO WATCH THIS CLIP OF CRAIG FERGUSON. He has more class than any other talk show host. Here's what humility looks like:

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007


    Is this how the president "supports the troops?" Our veteran outpatients, our wounded soldiers are shoved off into rat-infested, mold-ridden tenements?!! And they are afraid to speak out? This is a moral imperative. If we can't help our wounded valiant soldiers, home from the battlefield — who have lost legs, arms and brain matter all for Bush's evil war, then how on earth can we call ourselves a civilized nation?

    The good news is this: because of two brave journalists, the veterans are being moved immediately, and changes are happening fast.

    Dana Priest On Walter Reed Army Medical Center: An ‘Unbelievable’ Story of ‘Neglect’ and ‘Indifference’

    Dana Priest and Anne Hull of the Washington Post revealed over the weekend that Walter Reed hospital, once perceived as the “crown jewel of military medicine,” has become “something else entirely — a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients.” Priest and Hull snuck in and out of the Walter Reed facilities over the course of four months without the knowledge or permission of hospital officials. They said they wanted to bypass the hospital’s “very well-oiled public relations machine.” Some examples of what they saw:

    – The “legions” of injured soldiers housed at the facility “take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army.”

    – Building 18 “has been plagued with mold, leaky plumbing and a broken elevator.”

    – “The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.”

    Next year, the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system expects to treat 263,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, a number three times what the VA initially projected. "The number of veterans coming into the VA health care system has been rising by about five percent a year, as the number of people returning from Iraq with illnesses or injuries keeps rising." President Bush has promised that our nation would "keep its commitments to those who have risked their lives for our freedom." "We owe them all we can give them," Bush said after a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. "Not only for when they're in harm's way, but when they come home to help them adjust if they have wounds, or help them adjust after their time in service."

    The Washington Post reported Saturday that staffers responsible for managing outpatients at Walter Reed have had caseloads of more than 125 patients each. Recovering soldiers face bureaucratic delays, overworked case managers and appalling living conditions, including black mold, cheap mattresses and cockroaches.

    "This news is an absolute outrage. And it's shameful. It is absolutely inexcusable that our wounded troops are coming home to such an unprepared and overwhelmed health care system (and please note, Walter Reed is not even a VA facility). Responsibility for this tragedy goes straight to the top. We at IAVA are demanding swift action from the President, Department of Defense and Congress to correct these problems. It is disgraceful that our country has sent troops to war without ensuring adequate care for the wounded."


    Saturday, February 17, 2007


    Guest Blog by Carl

    I've been thinking lately about society and how it is composed and how communities are formed. To do this, I've been trying to think like a physicist (admittedly, not my strong suit. I barely got a 90 in high school.)

    To understand a complex material, scientists will break it down to the smallest logical component: its atoms. We can do the same for societies, to a degree.

    Obviously, the smallest component of a society is the individual. All of us have some things in common: we're born, and we die. It is only by dint of circumstance that you're sitting there reading this, rather than being dead, just as it's only by dint of circumstance (and the good work of teams of doctors) that I'm alive to type this.

    Each of us walks around in our own universe, in which we are comfortably in charge. In this universe, things go pretty much as we want them to: we work where we want, we buy what we want, we do what we want, we eat what we want, we hear what we want, we comprehend that which we want to be comprehended. For most of us on this planet, that's more than enough. We call these "Republicans".

    Kidding! On the square. For most of us, the sense that there's a bigger world out there simply doesn't exist. Even when we deal with other people, we're still in our own little bubble: these are the people we want to deal with. Our bubbles bump together only when we want them to. These tenuous bumps are what create our communities, however. A shared experience, joint vision, communal values.

    So the sense that there are other people out there whom we don't interact with is an abstract concept, and to think about how they live their lives requires the use of our imaginations. In concept, I can imagine life on a farm in Russia: it gets very cold in the winter, it can be very isolated, you have a very short growing season, the ground in the spring requires back-breaking effort to till. Families spend a lot of time indoors. They probably get pretty good at card games, and so on.

    But do I really know how these people live? No. Of course not. Anymore than I truly understand what it's like to grow up in Appalachia with a single mom who makes a poverty level wage when she can work and yet manages to feed and clothe me and put a roof over my head. Or Harlem. Or the Dominican Republic. Or Africa.

    And yet, like the electrons of an atom, I share values with all of these people too. The difference between me and many people in this country and on this planet is I'm aware and bother to think about these things. Doesn't make me superior to anyone else (because this is where liberals get smeared with the "elitist" charge), it merely makes me someone who has a bit more compassion in his heart than someone else, who probably has some other quality I lack (like humility!).

    So how do we communicate this information? How do we get our community to care?

    Atoms do this using a quantum concept called action at a distance, one of the creepier concepts of particle physics dealing with the immediate transfer of information at speeds apparently faster than light. Read up on it Fascinating stuff. Einstein even called it "spooky" and he should know from spooky.

    Societies, however, apparently don't have this available to them (although one suspects that two teenagers in malls miles away who buy the same T shirt thus starting a fad probably qualifies). So we use words, which, as Sting put it "poets, priests, and politicians" have to thank for their positions.

    Which raises another point. It's not just information. We get information from the television all the time: what to buy, who to watch, who died. But you'll note that, for this information to be effective, it not only has to be passed along, it has to be passed along by someone who can create an image with it to influence the receiver. Raw data is insufficient for the masses of folks who sit on the couch and absorb without thinking (cf. Republicans)

    Which is why I blog. Which is why Lydia blogs. Which is why we are trying to shape the world, one bubble at a time.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007


    ** Sometime in the next few days, this website and blog will be offline for maintenance while we change servers. This will just be for a few hours. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE! xo. Lydia

    Suicide is a serious U.S. public health problem (both within and out of the military) that results in about 30,000 deaths per year. In fact, more people die from suicide each year than from homicide. For the past 10 years, suicide has been the 2nd or 3rd leading cause of death among active duty Navy and Marine personnel. (Learn about suicide prevention from U.S. Navy website: U.S. MILITARY SUICIDE PREVENTION

    By Charles M. Sennott,
    The Boston Globe, Sunday 11 February 2007

    VA care in spotlight after Iraq war veteran's suicide.
    Stewart, Minnesota - It took two years of hell to convince him, but finally Jonathan Schulze was ready.

    On the morning of Jan. 11, Jonathan, an Iraq war veteran with two Purple Hearts, neatly packed his US Marine Corps duffel bag with his sharply creased clothes, a framed photo of his new baby girl, and a leather-bound Bible and headed out from the family farm for a 75-mile drive to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Cloud, Minn.

    Family and friends had convinced him at last that the devastating mental wounds he brought home from war, wounds that triggered severe depression, violent outbursts, and eventually an uncontrollable desire to kill himself, could not be drowned in alcohol or treated with the array of antianxiety drugs he'd been prescribed.

    And so, with his father and stepmother at his side, he confessed to an intake counselor that he was suicidal. He wanted to be admitted to a psychiatric ward.

    But, instead, he was told that the clinician who prescreened cases like his was unavailable. Go home and wait for a phone call tomorrow, the counselor said, as Marianne Schulze, his stepmother, describes it.

    When a clinical social worker called the next day, Jonathan, 25, told again of his suicidal thoughts and other symptoms. And then, with his stepmother listening in, he learned that he was 26th on the waiting list for one of the 12 beds in the center's ward for post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers.

    Four days later, on Jan. 16, he wrapped a household extension cord around his neck, tied it to a beam in the basement, and hanged himself.

    In life, Jonathan Schulze didn't get nearly what he needed. But in death, this tough and troubled Marine may help get something critical done.

    The apparent failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer him timely and necessary care has electrified the debate on the blogs and websites that connect an increasingly networked and angry veterans community. It has triggered an internal investigation by the VA into how a serviceman with such obvious symptoms faced a wait for hospital care.

    And it is being cited by veterans' advocates and their allies in Congress as a searing symbol of a system that they say is vastly unprepared and under funded to handle the onslaught of 1.5 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are returning home, an estimated one in five of them with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One in three Iraq war veterans is seeking mental health services, according to a report by an Army panel of experts last year.
    For full story:

    THE FORCE OF PEACE IS ON THE WAY ... More coming, stay tuned.

    Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace. - Buddha (560-483 B.C.)

    Peace, to have meaning for many who have only known suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health and education, as well as freedom and human dignity. - Ralph Johnson Bunche (1904-1971)

    Peace is the only battle worth waging. - Albert Camus (1913-1960)

    Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the spirit. Soldiers usually win battles and generals get the credit for them. You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots. - Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

    You can discuss suicide prevention, spiritual principles, The Secret, Putin's remarks, Scooter Libby trial, celebrity-media fixations... it's up to you.

    I am looking for profiles of U.S. soldiers killed Iraq for a special I'm doing on our troops. Please send them to:
    Thank you.
    Luv xo

    Saturday, February 10, 2007


    My husband said that he had a very beautiful vision of Anna and her son dancing in heaven together, overjoyed. There is no death just eternity to work it out. Anna Nicole died of a broken heart. Every mother knows this.

    Rest in peace and Love's Blessings to you Anna and Daniel. I have been crying all night, and can't say why this afffects me so deeply, except that once you have a child you are never the same. A part of your soul goes to that precious child. Children are not meant to die before their parents, and for someone as fragile as Anna, the heartbreak was unbearable.

    Thursday, February 08, 2007


    One of my favorite movies is "IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD" directed by Stanley Kramer. Remember Spencer Tracy, the mild-mannered chief of Police, who manipulated all those frantic people in order to rob them blind? He had plotted for years to steal the fortune under the big "W". What a coincidence. Guess the BIG "W" could stand for you-know-who of the same initial. Keep in mind, the money under the big W was stolen too.

    Anyway, Dick Cheney reminds me of Spencer Tracy's character in that movie. He had no conscience, just like Cheney and Rove. I see Cheney and Rove (they are interchangeable) as the puppet masters standing behing the puppet Bush, pulling all the strings. They will stop at nothing to rape and pillage and ruin our country. They gave no-bid contracts to firms like Blackwater and Haliburton — and guess what? Over nine billion dollars was stolen by "ghost" employees. Turns out that 25% of all no-bid government contracts awarded to Bush's cronies, always "disappears" to the wealthy elite at the top of the chain. And we wonder why the average American cannot afford to survive. The "trickle-down" theory at its finest. This is the most un-Christian thing I've ever heard of.

    IRAQ'S MISSING BILLIONS: In a hospital room in Iraq, a newborn baby struggles to breathe. Doctors are deeply frustrated by the severe lack of equipment to save her. The hospital, meant to have benefited from a $4 million refit, is a germ-infested, dilapidated structure with raw sewage leaks in the kitchens and operating rooms. It has melted lighting fixtures. Ants crawl around on the floors. This hospital is just one example of how the huge funds allocated for restoration have somehow gone missing.

    In this revealing documentary, Dr. Ali Fadhil, a young Iraqi doctor, sets out to learn what has led to the catastrophic results when money was put into the care of the U.S. led coalition. What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud.
    As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously. CBC Newsworld

    From The Age
    TENS of billions of dollars have been lost through fraud in Iraq and mismanagement, with some of the money possibly funding the insurgency, a US House of Representatives Committee has been told.

    The claims came at the start of a four-day hearing by the House Government Oversight Committee, headed by Henry Waxman. Representatives of eight big companies with contracts in Iraq, including Haliburton, will testify at the hearing, and can expect a hostile reception from the Democrat-controlled committee.

    Mr Waxman said the hearing would expose breathtaking "waste, fraud and abuse" and made it clear he intends to pursue senior Bush Administration officials about their role in botched Iraq reconstruction programs.

    He said disorganisation and confusion in the Bush Administration after the fall of Iraq meant that billions of dollars had been wasted or stolen and had still to be accounted for.

    He said the US Federal Reserve shipped 363 tons of cash, totalling $US12 billion, packed in wooden boxes to Iraq during the Bremer administration from March 2003 to June 2004 but it had "disappeared".

    "Who in their right minds would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?" he asked as Mr Bremer sat silently. "But that's exactly what our Government did."

    Mr Bremer did not dispute the claim that $12 billion — about a third of the reconstruction budget for 2003 — could not be accounted for and that there was no paper trail that could help explain what happened to it.

    "The country was in chaos and the banking system was a shambles," he said. "We had to simplify the contracting rules. Such regulations are simply not designed to deal with wartime conditions."

    THIS JUST IN: You won't see, read or hear this in any main stream news outlet!!!!

    Join the Impeachment Race in State Legislatures

    New Mexico and Vermont are in a race to be the first state to send impeachment resolutions of Bush and Cheney to Congress (see details below). Several other states are also in the race, including Maine ( and New Jersey ( A state legislature, without a governor, can petition the House to begin impeachment, and a single Congress Member can force an impeachment debate by accepting the state resolution.

    You can sign up to get involved and stay informed in your state by signing this petition (you can also print it out and collect signatures):

    If You Want to End the War, Investigate It

    The investigation season is off to a slow start. In "Beyond Oral Sex: The Bush Investigations" , David Swanson and Jonathan Schwarz lay out what's needed. Very little has been begun. Chairman John Conyers has held hearings on signing statements . Chairman Waxman is holding hearings this week on corruption . To lobby for the right investigations done the right way, go to:

    Monday, February 05, 2007


    Fear is like fog: you can still drive through it, even though you can’t see your way. But it will always lift. (continued below, but first this...

    BREAKING NEWS: In Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, Rupert Murdoch was asked if News Corp. (FOX "News") had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?

    “No, I don’t think so. We tried.” Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: “We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution.”

    Let me repeat this: “We Tried!”

    FOX NEWS, including Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, have deliberately PROMOTED the war in Iraq! The fact that Murdoch virtually admits FOX is a propaganda network should be FRONT PAGE NEWS. This is unconscionable, illegal, shameful. It took an act of Congress to make Murdoch a citizen so he could buy a U.S. TV network -- in order to sway and manipulate Americans. If the news, which is supposed to be "Fair and Balanced" can be bought and sold, then anyone with enough money can come in and do this.

    And he owns MYSPACE!!!

    Heard a great review yesterday on Harrison's show: Howard Zin's new book "Voices of a People’s History of the United States." The voices are loud and clear — and our vision is becoming clearer. I personally feel that I am coming out of a fog in my own life, on many converging levels. As I lift the blinders and come out of anesthesia, I am becoming more resolute. We can't allow these destructive people to hold our country hostage any longer. What kind of message does it send to the world that the most powerful democratic nation in the world — a government by the people, for the people and OF THE PEOPLE — allows a dictator to remain in office? On principle alone, we should start impeachment proceedings now. If Bush and Cheney were out, Pelosi would be President, but of course this won't happen; there's not enough time. I wonder if it's possible to launch impeachment proceedings and freeze the decider's war powers? Wishful thinking.

    In my view, Gore, Edwards, Obama and Hilary are all great candidates. But I believe Gore and Edwards have the best chance of winning the actual election. I am thrilled that Gore has received both a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar nomination for bringing global warming to the attention of the world.

    Bush is not doing things half-assed, he’s doing them full-assed.


    Found these tidbits from Doug Thompson of the conservative Capitol Hill Blue back in 2005:

    GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the [Patriot] act could further alienate conservatives...

    I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President
    and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way

    Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.

    Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!

    "I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

    Attorney General Alberto [Geneva Convention is "rather quaint"] Gonzales, while still White House counsel, wrote that the “Constitution is an outdated document.”

    Aside from the below classic quote, don't forget that Bush said back on the 2000 campaign trail, "There oughta be limits to freedom."

    I like the question posed to Gonzalez last week, when Congress asked him what Bush thinks the role of Congress is during war time. Does Bush realize Congress is a co-equal branch of government? Is he again going to dismiss the Constitution?

    By the way, smirking while sending more troops to their death should be a high crime and misdemeanor. The horrifying thing is, Bush actually believes he’s right. He believes his policies are working. He believes he’s abiding by a higher moral law that will prove him right in the long run. This is the scary. He must be impeached because he lied over and over again. And because his agenda, his framework, his entire way of looking of things, his frame of reference and his definition of life, lying, truth, responsibility, civility, and human interaction is in opposition to the will of the people. He frames everything according to an archaic and very dangerous “Us vs. Them” mentality – and it’s primitive and dysfunctional. It is not only NOT progressive, it’s regressive, positively Paleolithic.

    Here's a quote that reminds me of the administration's belief system:

    "Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship...

    ...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    Herman Goering from his cell at Nuremberg, April 18, 1946

    And here's a great quote by my wonderful mother:

    "I used to think, and still do, that it would be so wonderful if one never ever spoke of one's belief system but instead lived in such a way that people would ask, 'What is it that makes you so loving and kind?'"

    Is that a utopian thought?"