Smart AM: Progressive radio network launches today Air America Radio, a new progressive talk radio network, launches today at noon. With on-air personalities including rapper Chuck D, former MN Public Radio anchor Katherine Lanpher, Janeane Garofalo, Sue Ellicott, and Al Franken (whose noon to 3 pm show is called The O'Franken Factor), the left-leaning programming will debut in four markets, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, as well as on XM radio and eventually in San Francisco and at the Air America website. Conservatives, who've long turned to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Dr. Laura for their dose of vitriolic AM, are already diagnosing the network dead on arrival. "As if National Public Radio, ABC, NBC, CBS and the other left-leaning networks were insufficient," neocon magazine FrontPage writes, adding that unnamed experts are "betting that the new network will fail to make money and disappear within a year." Also: The Guardian on the rising role of satire in new American politics.

UPDATE: Al Franken's Air America show "The O'Franken Factor" will broadcast today on the Twin Cities AM station WMNN Radio (1330 AM) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (The rest of Air America's programming won't be aired.)

Swearing in: Cartoonist Steve Bell's take on the president's upcoming (private) testimony before the 9/11 Commission. And: from Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute (formerly of the Cato Institute), Being the Government Means Never Having to Say I'm Sorry.

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