Oh, this is a very good show. (At the end of this post, if you can answer a simple question, you could win a $50 or $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com.)

SARAH PALIN STEPS DOWN – In a very rambling speech that beat up the press, Sarah Palin announced that she will not run for re-election and is stepping down as Alaska’s #1 point guard. Very Confusing.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! The economy shed another 467,000 jobs in June!  There are now 14.7 million unemployed workers in this country, up 7.2 million from the start of the recession.  The picture changes dramatically, though, when considering the broader measure of underemployment. If the ranks of the “marginally attached” (jobless workers who want a job but are not actively seeking work and so are not counted as officially unemployed) and “involuntary part-time workers” (those who want full-time jobs but can’t get the hours) are added to the mix, the figure rises to 25.9 million, which means nearly one in six U.S. workers (16.5%) is either un- or underemployed.

While all groups have experienced large increases in unemployment during this recession, some are feeling the effects of the downturn more than others.  In June, unemployment was 14.7% among black workers, 12.2% among Hispanic workers, and 8.7% among white workers (increases of 5.8, 6.0, and 4.3 percentage points, respectively, since the start of the recession).  Male unemployment increased to 10.6% in June, compared to 8.3% for women (increases of 5.6 and 3.5 percentage points).  For workers with a college degree, the unemployment rate is 4.7%, and unemployment among those with only a high school diploma, at 9.8%, is more than double that of college-educated workers.  Workers with less job experience are also particularly hard hit –  those age 16-24 face an unemployment rate of 17.8%; 25-54 year olds are seeing 8.5%; and those over 54 are at 7% (up 6.2, 4.5, and 3.9 percentage points, respectively, since the start of the recession).

HEALTH CARE NOW Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd outlined a revised health care plan Wednesday night that includes a public plan, costs less, and covers more Americans than previous versions. The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In my Dare to be Stupid segment – Seriously, trying to rob a cab driver? Police in suburban Chicago say a taxi driver who didn’t have Mace handy when he was attacked by a knife-wielding passenger instead disarmed the man with a can of aerosol deodorant. Elgin Deputy Police Chief Jeff Swoboda says the 51-year-old cabbie picked up the male passenger early Thursday outside a casino. Swoboda said the driver grew suspicious when the man offered several destinations, so he surreptitiously placed the small can of deodorant between his legs. Shortly afterward, the passenger put a knife to the driver’s neck and demanded money. The cabbie sprayed the deodorant in the man’s eyes, causing him to drop the knife.

Hagan Comes Out In Support Of Public Option

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee unveiled its plan for a public health insurance option after a weeks-long delay, and leaders announced that it had the support of every Democrat on the panel…including Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC).

Last night, Hagan made it official in a joint statement with committee members. “My colleagues and I on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have been working on a plan to reform the health care system in this country,” Hagan said. “We have crafted a plan that will stabilize health care costs and includes a Community Health Insurance Option, which I support.”

This clears the path for the legislation to be moved out of committee. Until now, her objections to the public option were blocking it. That raised the ire of liberal groups like MoveOn, which targeted her directly. Now, everyone’s friends again. “MoveOn commends Senator Hagan for deciding to support the health care reform bill that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee released today, which includes a national public health insurance option,” MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben said in a statement.

Please stay with us. We have Larry Fulcher,two-time Grammy award- winning bass player who is here to chat with us about the origins of funk!  Larry Fulcher has played with Smokey Robinson, The Crusaders, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, The Wailers and Willie Nelson. This guy is more than qualified to chat with us. So, don’t move.

Now, that you have listened to this podcast, if you can remember who I wished a Happy Birthday to (not the US but who was the person) and place that in you comments, you can win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com. If the 50th comment contains the correct answer, you win a $50 gift card from Amazon.com. If the 100th comment contains the correct answer, that person will win $100 gift certificate from Amazon.com.  Now, more rules.  None of my friends or relatives are eligible.  If you have already won one of my contests please give someone else an opportunity. The contest winner will be announced no later than Friday July 17, 2009. If 50 comments have not been posted by July 17th then I will donate the money Democracy for America.