Aug 6: Brian Henchey on the Samantha Clemens Show
Aug 5th, 2011 by Sam


Well, the original idea for the show is below, but the conversation went like this…

Part 1: Samantha monologuing (is that a word?)

Part 2: Guest Brian Henchey

  • What is the difference between a moderate conservative, a conservative, and an arch conservative (it’s all about the compromise)
  • Reaction to Chris Christie’s response to “…fearmongering over Sharia law” in response to nominating a Muslim judge to the state Superior Court
  • Discussion of building mosques and Muslims in America

After the show, Executive Producer Aaron Donchen chastised Samantha for talking over the guest and regretted our ‘piling on’ in response to him graciously sharing his time with us.  Well, he was right and we think we can do better.

In the meantime, Brian noted that Samantha dodged the question: “WHY would they have the opening day of the Ground Zero mosque ON 9/11 ?!?”  Fair enough.  The reason was because Samantha had not heard that this had happened and therefore could not speculate.  She wishes she had said so on the air.

In any case, it turns out that this is unfounded according to the nonpartisan

Is the center scheduled to open on Sept. 11, 2011?

Organizers say no. As best we can determine, the idea that the cultural center and mosque would open that day is unfounded speculation. [emphasis mine].  Project organizers say that no official date has been set for the opening of the proposed center. Imam Rauf told Newsday back in May that it could take anywhere from 18 months to three years to raise the money to complete the project, and added that the center wouldn’t open on the anniversary of Sept. 11. Project organizers took to the social networking site Twitter as recently as Aug. 20 to knock down the claim, saying: “Reports that we will open on 9/11 or begin construction on 9/11 are false and inflammatory. Our timeline to build is 18 – 38 months.”

The idea that the center and mosque would open on Sept. 11, 2011 — the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001 — has been bandied about on blogs and discussion boards. The American Freedom Defense Initiative sponsored advertisements that may have also contributed to that thought. The initiative’s ads appeared on New York City buses and asked, “Why There?,” with an image of a plane flying into a burning World Trade Center, next to a rendering of the proposed building with the words “September 11, 2011, WTC Mega Mosque.”

So there you go.

See below for the original synopsis…

Read the rest of this entry »

May 21: The attack of the NASTIE’s and storming moats
May 21st, 2011 by Sam



The economy:

If you reduce taxes to nothing, will the economy grow infinitely?  Jared Bernstein will explain why this is just not so, regardless of what he calls the NASTIE’s say (Never-A-Stinkin’-Tax-Increase-Ever!).  What Dems AND Repubs have to come to grips with.

Check out his blog:  Attack of the NASTIE’sWage Story, Longer Term.

Holding the banks accountable:

Storming the moat!  The JP Morgan Chase office in Columbus, Ohio is surrounded by a moat.  Liz Ryan Murray will explain why folks dressed up as Robin Hood, stormed the castle, and demanded to let others stay in their’s.

For more, check out Show Down in America and the New Bottom Line.

Apr 16: English as a 2nd Language: For it or against it?
Apr 16th, 2011 by Sam



  • Wayne K. Johnson, Director of Community Education, Bunker Hill Community College
  • Claudia Green, Executive Director, English for New Bostonians (ENB)

Should we require everyone who is resident in America to speak English? What about citizens? What services should we offer to make that happen?

Why are some communities less likely to learn/speak English than others? Why are Americans less likely to learn/speak multiple languages than other nationalities? Is it possible that both are true for the same reasons???

Should taxes pay for English as a Second Language (ESL) classes? Should legal documents be translated? Should we have ESL charter schools?

Will facilitating the learning of English make America stronger or waste precious resources?

You tell me…

Dec 11: Homeless, top 2% & Mark Alston-Follansbee
Dec 11th, 2010 by Sam


The tax deal:  If you had to choose between extending low taxes for the top 2% and extending unemployment benefits for another year, which would you choose?

Should House Dems vote for the deal?


Mark Alston-Follansbee will join us to talk about how things are going at The Somerville Homeless Coalition

Yep, they’re sitting around with nothing to do over there – money just keeps rolling in, there are no clients, too many volunteers, and they just keep getting more beds than they know what to do with.

And it’s ALL the result of the Bush tax cuts.  And the Lucky (estate) Tax down to zero.  Combined with spending cuts.

It’s magic.

Dec 4: Unemployment $$, top 2% $$, and Jonathan Swift
Dec 4th, 2010 by Sam


Hope you’ll be there for The Samantha Clemens Show this Saturday morning from 10 to 11 eastern on WWZN AM 1510, streaming live at

  • Terminating unemployment benefits to folks who don’t have other money.
  • Increasing the after tax income of the top 2%.

How on earth does this make sense?? Well, as far as I can tell, here are the arguments coming from the right:

The poor are poor because they are lazy. Right? And the rich are rich because they are smarter than the other 98%. Right? Plus, the whole economy is better off the more money rich people get to keep? Right? So the poor would be even poorer if the rich weren’t so rich? Right?? And so it would be immoral to take even a dime from a rich person. And, anyone who gets money from the government is a sniveling groveler leech parasite on our society, while anyone who receives money from an inheritance who is… well, it doesn’t matter who they are because THE MONEY HAS ALREADY BEEN TAXED, YOU SEE… so it doesn’t matter what they are. Even if they lose the money they inherited, they are, by definition, producers of wealth.

Sigh. No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. However, it’s ALWAYS been a problem, so we’ll look to history to see what we can learn. Hmmm, let’s see – we’ve got “Let them eat cake.” We’ve got “taxes are for little people.” But perhaps the best suggestions, the best insights, the best solutions come from Jonathan Swift.

Sep 25: Tax alcohol for drug treatment? Yes or no?
Sep 25th, 2010 by Sam

Jim McManus of the Committee Against Repeal of the Alcohol Tax will join us to talk about Massachusetts Ballot Question # 1…  which would repeal the tax on alcohol which funds addiction treatment programs…

Should the alcohol industry be required to pay for the negative consequences of it being legal?  Should we do something for the businesses near the New Hampshire border?  What about other drugs, like marijuana?  Legal with taxes to provide addiction treatment?  What about gambling?

Their point of view is…

Alcohol is not a necessity and does not deserve a special tax exemption. The only goods in Massachusetts exempt from the sales tax are necessities like food, clothing, and prescriptions. If anything should be taxed, products like cigarettes and alcohol should be.

Revenues from the alcohol tax provide dedicated funding for healthcare services for more than 100,000 residents with behavioral health problems. Massachusetts has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse in the country – the last thing we need is to take money away from prevention and treatment services to make alcohol more accessible. The alcohol tax literally saves lives by reducing teen drinking and funding treatment services to help people beat addictions and getting their lives back on track.

Nearly every other state has a sales tax on alcohol. With Massachusetts facing a serious budget deficit, don’t give alcohol a special exemption.

Apr 10: What does a tax system say about a society?
Apr 9th, 2010 by Sam

It’s tax time, and the procrastinators are counting down the hours.  When we’ve sent in our tax returns, we can go back to arguing about whether they should be high or low; progressive or regressive; based on income, sales, property, or unearned income; national, state, or local.  We can argue about the economic impact of the tax system – do higher taxes reduce the pie (conservative belief) or could they actually increase the pie (one example, by creating an incentive for companies to put money back into the business thus fostering innovation).

But, tax systems vary from country to country- not only by the level of tax, but how they are structured.

  • Neither Saudi Arabia nor United Arab Emirates have personal income tax.
  • In France, large families pay much less in taxes than do couples or single people.
  • Mortage interest is deductible in the United States, thus heavily subsidizing home ownership at the detriment of renters or those who own their homes outright.
  • There is a church tax in Germany and much of Scandinavia.

How does our tax system reflect our values as a country? What about other countries?

The Samantha Clemens Show: What does a tax system say about a society?

Taxes: Paying for civilization
Feb 8th, 2010 by Sam

Like them or don’t like them, taxes are the statement of what we freely choose to be, and not what we wish we were. “We have a badly structured society, a decrepit infrastructure, and we’re now seeing the collapse of the university system that was our pride and joy because tuition costs are rising so much faster than the cost of living,” says Borosage, referring to the whole nation. “There is a terrible price to be paid for believing that we can get something for nothing.” The way we look at taxes is the way we look at ourselves, even if we choose to look away.

Charlie Pierce, Boston Globe, February 7, 2010

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