Jan. 26th, 2010 03:33 pm
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Melissa Harris-Lacewell: Citizenship is a Long-Term Game

In the wake of what some called the worst week for democracy since Bush v. Gore, with the Democrats seeming to give up after losing one Senate seat and the Supreme Court allowing unlimited corporate influence on elections, we turn to Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Princeton professor, Nation contributor, and author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought for some clarification–and consolation.
Harris-Lacewell offers some thoughts on why it’s lazy and dangerous to refer to political opponents as crazy, on the way the health care reform process has provided a valuable civics lesson, and how political campaigns are beholden to money.

Though as I listen I think it may be problematic in its use of the terms "crazy" and "mad". Am I right?

Raj Patel has spent a lot of time studying the way resources are distributed among people, and he’s watched spiraling inequality leave many people with nothing while concentrating wealth in the hands of the few. From the food system, which he studied in Stuffed and Starved, to the bank bonuses still being handed out, he argues that something has to change.
In his new book, The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy, Patel lays out some solutions. He joins Laura in studio to talk about consumerism, labor, violence against women, and the way we need to think about happiness.

ETA: Raj Patel's voice is hitting my British accent kink. And my intelligence kink. AHEM. Back to the point.
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I don't even KNOW right now. WHUT?
D.C.'s Murderous Prostitution Policy

This is the stupidest thing
I’ve heard so far this year.

Anti-prostitution policies in D.C. pose serious threats to health and safety of community members identified or otherwise targeted as sex workers. Two policies stand out in particular: first, “move along” polices geared at cleansing certain neighborhoods of sex workers; and second, the use of condoms and safe sex as evidence to arrest or prosecute someone for prosecution and the related practice of confiscating and destroying condoms and other safe sex materials.


I hardly know where to begin. For starters, as a former HIV/AIDS prevention educator, I think carrying condoms and having them on hand is a terrific idea for anyone who’s sexually active. Period. When my boys are old enough I plan to tell them “the facts of life,” right down to how to protect themselves and their partners from STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, etc.

Sure, as a parent, I’d prefer that they abstain from having having sex until they are old enough and mature enough to deal with all the potential consequences and outcomes. But at the same time, if they’re going to be sexually active, I’d want them to use condoms. I’d want them to have condoms with them. I’d make sure they know how to use them. I’d even go to the drug store and buy condoms, and give them to my boys myself, to make sure they have them.

(I’d do the exact same thing for a daughter, if I had one, because I’d want her to have her own on hand.)
Because I’m a parent, but I’m also a realist. I don’t imagine that not teaching them about condoms, and not they have them is somehow going to stop them from having sex. They’re people. People have sex. People have sex with or without condoms, birth control, etc. People have sex without regard for the consequences, sometimes. And I don’t think my kids should have their lives unalterably changed by an STD or unplanned pregnancies, just for having sex. I don’t think they should sacrifice their lives for having sex. I don’t think anyone should. People have sex. There’s little you can do to stop them.

The Politics of Being Transgender (Seriously Mr. Letterman? Really?)

Barack Obama made the first transgender political appointments that we know of recently–Amanda Simpson, appointed last week as senior technical adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Commerce Department, and Dylan Orr, special assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathleen Martinez in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor–but even David Letterman couldn’t resist making a crack at Simpson’s expense.

The “T” at the end of LGBT often seems like an afterthought, with transgender rights being excluded even when LGBT rights are approved. Today on GRITtv we talk to Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Naomi Clark of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and blogger at Feministe, and filmmaker Jules Rosskam of Against a Trans Narrative, featured on GRITtv last summer, about being transgender in the U.S. and how far we still have to go.


The college admissions scam

Faith Leaders To Move Their Money Out Of Bank Of America Unless Demands Are Met HELLS YES. WOOT!!!
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Gigi Sohn: Who’s Reading Your Email?

Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge on one of the greatest threats that the open internet faces. It's called Deep Packet Inspection or DPI and allows internet service providers to inspect data sent to and from your computer including emails, downloads, and even simple web browsing. Here's how it works. When you use the internet the data you send and receive is broken up into chunks called packets that are wrapped in envelopes. Normally your provider acts like a postal carrier. DPI, however, changes the nature of those transactions and allows your internet service provider to open your letter and share that information with advertisers without ever consulting you, the user. Sohn says it poses a threat to net neutrality and freedom of speech. You can find out more about DPI here.

And what she didn't mention, of course, is gov't agencies using said software to peek into our stuff without permission
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Keeping the Internet Open and Free

Think the internet should be a space free of corporate run media holdings? Well, congress just introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009. It would make net neutrality as it's called the law. You can find out more about the law and how you can help at
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Obama’s “Civil Detention System”

The Obama administration has said that it wants to create a “truly civil detention system.” Orwellian or earnest? Aarti Shahani founder of Families for Freedom and lead author of the Justice Strategies report, “Local Democracy on ICE” discusses the Obama administration’s plan and the closure of the T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas.

Will Holder Prosecute Architects of Torture Policy?

Is it possible that the Obama administration’s attempt to prosecute the crimes of the Bush administration could actually be worse than doing nothing? That’s what Andrew Sullivan concluded in response to an LA Times article suggesting that Holder will prosecute only those who went beyond the parameters outlined by the Bush administration torture memos. “This strikes me as the very very worst of all possible worlds,” writes Sullivan, “- the kind of split-the-difference pragmatism that will end up alienating everyone.”
Scott Horton, Contributing Editor at Harper’s Magazine, Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Vijay Padmanabhan, former US State Department Lawyer and a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law on the Justice Department decision.
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Are the Kids All Right?

It’s not easy being a kid these days. Jobs are more difficult to find, college tuition costs continue to rise, and the military is seeking to ramp up its recruiting to fight foreign wars. The national teen unemployment rate is now estimated at about 24 percent, as the economy remains in decline and out of work adults vie for and replace teens in jobs usually reserved for a younger crowd. Figures are even worse for minorities. So what do America's youth have to look forward to?
Mo Beasley, contributing writer to "Be A Father To Your Child" and an instructor at Medgar Evers College, youth activists Sharmin Hossain and Zaire Small of the Ya-Ya Network, and Fransesca Smith, a counselor at Camp Homeward Bound on what kids are doing to cope with the financial crisis.
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The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation. In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, some states are beginning to consider reducing their prison populations. But other states are looking to do just the opposite in an effort to create jobs. Today, David Fathi Director of Human Rights Watch’s US Program, Glenn E. Martin, Vice President of Development and Public Affairs at the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy, and Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Womenir?t=lauraflanders-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1604860189 on the future of prison reform in the United States.
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The Media’s Deficit

Did the UAW come out on top in the restructuring of Chrysler? The media would lead us to believe they did. Dick Durbin’s cram-down bill is defeated with the help of more than 10 democrats. And the Senate, along with the mainstream media, keep single payer advocates on the sidelines.
Tonight on GRITtv our media panel looks at the economic coverage of the past week, the labor movement, and the healthcare battle. Nation writer JoAnn Wypijewski, Robert Johnson former chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee, and Mark Brenner Director of Labor Notes take apart the conventional narrative of what’s happening to our economy. On that note, Wypijewski’s recent piece in Counterpunch, Death at Work in America, sheds some light on just what the media have missed.

Breaking: Eight Heroic Healthcare Activists Arrested at Baucus Hearing

Both AP and Politico are reporting on the events at this morning's Senate Finance Committee, where brave healthcare activists, one after the other, stood up to protest the exclusion of single-payer reforms from the conversation.
Sen. Max Baucus - a favorite recipient of donations from the health insurance industry - has also been the key Democratic attack dog against single-payer healthcare.
He stated it's "off the table," and this morning convened a Senate Finance Committee hearing that included 15 expert witnesses on healthcare--NONE of them in support of a medicare-for-all or single-payer healthcare system.

Politico's hard-working Carrie Budoff Brown provides more details:

As soon as police escorted one protester out of the room, another would stand up, criticizing the committee for convening a panel of 15 experts and excluding witnesses who support creating a Medicare system for all Americans. About eight were led out of the hearing.

"We need more police," Baucus said.

"Single-payer needs to be on the table," one of the protesters yelled. "This is political theater."

Republicans come out with talking point against healthcare reform

So Frank Luntz is out with the approved talking points for the Republicans to tank health care reform. It is the usual Orwellian mishmash in which the insurance company whores (er .. Republicans) will threaten people with rationing and long waits, basically telling them that universal health care is going to kill them all in their beds. It's kind of like Islamic terrorism, except without the head scarves.

Here are some suggested arguments for Republicans that Luntz calls “clear winners”:

—“It could lead to the government setting standards of care, instead of doctors who really know what’s best.”

—“It could lead to the government rationing care, making people stand in line and denying treatment like they do in other countries with national healthcare.”

-“President Obama wants to put the Washington bureaucrats in charge of healthcare. I want to put the medical professionals in charge, and I want patients as an equal partner.”

The usual. MORE
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What exactly does Obama's budget do? With 1,000 jobs being lost every hour and a tax system that favors the wealthy, our guests discuss what’s in the new budget and the limits to progressive reform.
David Cay Johnston former New York Times reporter and the author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense, Irasema Garza president of Legal Momentum, and Joel Berg Executive Director of New York City Coalition Against Hunger and the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? discuss the budget battle.
Chris Bowers of Open Left on the netroots and Obama’s budget. Did they make a difference? And why healthcare will be at the heart of upcoming deliberations.
A report from Warehouse Workers in California organizing for living wages and fair treatment. Finally, the senate race that may at last be coming to an end. Part II of the Uptake’s documentary on Franken v. Coleman.
Thanks to the Uptake for video in tonight’s show.

Obama’s War: Is It Any Different?

It's a persistent notion: we're not like them, we're better, we're different.

As you heard on this program, it's the insidious notion from which genocides are made.

It also lies at the heart of what the Rev. James Lawson called the plantation capitalism on which our economy's based. The idea that some are expendable, that some are less human, that we are simply different, is wrapped up in our Afghanistan policy too.

The US, for example, since 9-11, seems to have believed that lives lost here in 9-11 were worth avenging even at a cost many times that of other people's lives. Each year that the combat mission continues, more Afghan civilians are caught in the combat. The US tried a troop surge in 2007 -- the number of US and NATO troops was increased by 45 percent. More civilians were killed than in the previous four years combined. MORE

In his new book, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror, Columbia University Professor Mahmood Mamdani argues that the use of the word genocide is as political as ever and strategic ignorance about the history and current day politics of post-colonial Africa is just as great. Mamdani discusses the crisis in Darfur, the nature of Save Darfur advocacy, and what he sees as a dangerous collusion of colonialism and Anti-Terror rhetoric. Then, just in time for tax season, Robert Gates has reminded us just how much money we spend of foreign wars. Tax resisters, however, say that you don’t have to fund the imperial budget. Andy Heaslet of the Peace Economy Project, Ed Hedemann author of War Tax Resistance: A Guide To Withholding Your Support From the Military, and Robert Weissman editor of the Multinational Monitor and Co-Director of Essential Action discuss what you can do with your money and why it doesn’t have to end up as part of the defense budget.
Finally, part I of the Uptake’s documentary on the Al Franken/Norm Coleman senate race.
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border security for whom?

Women and the Prison Industrial Complex

The notoriously draconian Rockefeller drug laws have been filling New York Prisons and inciting widespread condemnation by everyone from judges to prisoners to prosecutors for over thirty years. Just last week, hundreds rallied for their repeal as Governor David Patterson of New York moves to "drop the rock," or at least reform its worst elements.
An often overlooked story is the impact of the Rockefeller drug laws on female prisoners and their families.
Recently, I had the chance to talk with two artists, Liza Jessie Peterson and Hazelle Goodman, and formerly incarcerated activist Vivian Gonzalez of the Women's Prison Association, about the issues that women face in US prisons.
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Remi Kanazi: Co-Existence

Remi Kanazi, the editor of Poets for Palestine and the founder of the web site Poetic Injustice performs his new poem Co-Existence. I don't want to co-exist/I want to exist as a human being/and justice will take care of the rest.
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From Feb 27-Victory At Republic Windows and Doors?!

Three weeks ago, we sat down with workers and organizers at Republic Windows and Doors who staged a sit down strike in December after their employers literally vanished overnight laying off over 200 workers and denying them severance and vacation pay. Now it appears that the workers may have found a new buyer for the factory who will recognize the union and ensure that all workers "will be rehired at the former rate of pay," making union wages.
The new owners, California-based Serious Materials, produce eco-friendly windows and doors.

GRITtv spoke with Melvin “Ricky” Maclin, Vice President of United Electrical Workers Local 1110 and Raul Flores, a shop steward in the same Union about the difficulties of organizing in today's political climate and the excitement of building a strong shop that fought back against the threat of mass lay-offs. Now they're serving as a new example in a battered economy: that strong unions can bring closed factories, and solid jobs, back.
“We have all been working hard to get our factory re-opened since December 10, 2008. We are so glad this day has come,” said UE Local Vice-President Melvin Maclin.

EFCA and the End of Civilization, the Smithfield Story, and Textile Workers in Puerto Rico (that would be THIS Smithfield Foods)

The end of civilization as we know it? The worst bill ever? That is how the right and much of business have characterized the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). From Newt Gingrich to Mitch McConnell and business leaders including Warren Buffet the argument is being made that EFCA will in fact cost jobs. The 600,000 figure they’ve cited is based on a Chamber of Commerce funded study that uses questionable evidence to make the case that EFCA is bad for the economy.
Today on GRITtv Michael Goodwin, President of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Irasema Garza Executive Director of Legal Momentum, Chris Kromm Executive Director of the Institute for Southern Studies, and Gene Carroll Director of the Union Leadership Workshop Series at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations discuss what is really driving the fear behind the right to unionize.
So how would EFCA actually affect workers? Gene Bruskin, a former strategist for the United Food and Commercial Workers Smithfield campaign, says that the 16-year battle for union recognition at the North Carolina meat packing plant would have happened a lot sooner if workers not employers had been in charge. Finally we hear from textile workers who make US military uniforms and Unite Here! organizers struggling to form a Union in Puerto Rico.
Thanks to Disorderly Conduct, Brave New Films and American Rights at Work for video in tonight’s show.
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Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn): Health Care is a "privilege" (Remind me again why Repubulicans are good for our country? )

The MSNBC anchor was almost taken aback by the "privilege" remark and asked Wamp to explain. "If you have cancer right now do you see it as a privilege to get some treatment?"

"I was just about to say, for some people it's a right but for everyone frankly it's not necessarily a right," he said. "Half the people uninsured today choose to remain uninsured. Half of them don't have any choice, but half of them choose to what's called 'go naked' and take the risk of getting sick. They end up in the emergency room costing you and me a whole lot more money."

And of course, illegal immigrants!!!!!!111111111 Does anyone get the impression that a fulcoad of Republicans, and a sizeable number of Democrats, don't consider anyone an American unless they are rich (and white)?

Victory For Single Payer?

Having initially excluded all advocates for single payer national healthcare from the White House Summit on Healthcare Reform, and after protest from activists, the Obama administration reconsidered and invited Rep John Conyers, author of HR 676 the single payer bill pending in Congress, and also a representative of Physicians for a National Health Care Program, to the summit attended by over 120 people Thursday.
Dr. Quentin Young, the founder and National Coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, explores Obama's views on single payer and the battle for healthcare reform.

Is Single Payer a Possiblity?

President Obama says healthcare is no longer just a moral imperative but a fiscal imperative. And to make the necessary changes he has vowed to fight the lobbyists and special interests. But in the middle of a financial crisis will healthcare reform happen? And will single payer advocates have a seat at the table?
Monica Sanchez of the Campaign for America's Future, Adam Thompson, Senior Health Care Policy Analyst at the Progressive States Network, California Nurses Association member Martha Kuhl, and Dr. Walter Tsou of Physicians for a National Health Program on the Sebelius pick and healthcare reform under Barack Obama.
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Europe Protests, America Sleeps

Last week, thousands of GM workers protested in the suburb of Ruesselsheim outside of Frankfurt. Demonstrations were also held at GM factories in Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Britain. European workers are not only protesting the financial crisis and the bank bailouts but nearly three decades of neo-liberal reform and free market fundamentalism. The question now is whether the left and labor can recover after years of acquiescing to the strategies of the right.
John R. MacArthur of Harper's, Newsweek's Senior Editor Rana Foroohar, and Tony Benn, a former Labour MP and Cabinet Minister discuss the protests in Europe and whether similar actions can be expected on this side of the Atlantic. Also, an interview with Sally-Anne Kinahan, the Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on recent protests in Dublin.
There is also concern that if the left does not step up to the challenge, economic unrest will fuel xenophobia and policies that continue to target illegal immigrants. In Arizona, several thousand people marched on Saturday to protest Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Program’s (ICE) sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants. Roberto Lovato, a contributing Associate Editor at New America Media, Aarti Shahani, co-founder of Families for Freedom, and Salvador Reza an immigrant rights activist and one of the organizers of the protest on whether a change in policy can be expected from the Obama administration.
Thanks to the Coen Brothers and thisisreality, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Jeremy Levine for video in tonight’s show.
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Brian Jones: The Education Crisis

Public schools are facing massive budget cuts. And as they struggle to keep their doors open they aren't getting the money they need. What can be said for a society that allows its public schools to fail while bailing out banks with billions of taxpayer dollars? We need less testing and more stimulating says Brian Jones. And we need more money not for a few select schools but for every school.

They live their lyrics. Rebel Diaz—Lah Tere, G1, and RodStarz—came together in Chicago a few years ago when brothers Rodrigo and Gonzales Venegas teamed up with Teresita Ayaya and let their music and their activism rip. In their songs they have taken on racism, police brutality, immigration, war, the bank bailout and even Barack Obama's politics. These days, they can be found organizing on their home turf of the South Bronx and performing all over the world–using hip hop as a tool for education and change.

PLAYLIST Episode 9 - part 1

Brazil has a long history of international musical fusion. Indeed, almost every style of music has been mixed up, experimented with and enjoyed by a nation of people who adore music, and love to dance. PLAYLIST visits two different acts who are changing the world of electronica as we know it Napalma and Ramiro Musotto.

PLAYLIST Episode 9 - part 2

PLAYLIST visits the USA, where a new musical genre is bursting out Muslim punk rock that goes by the name of Taqwacore. A fusion spotlighted by the novel The Taqwacores, this is a new punk sound political, rousing and just as important as it was the first time around. Al-Thawra is one Muslim punk rock band currently smashing perceptions, and making their mark.
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The Small Arms Trade

Dealing and Wheeling in Small Arms, a new documentary from Sander Francken, explores the world of small weapon’s dealers and how weapons used by the United Nations and NATO in places like the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere are “recycled” throughout the developing world, especially Africa. There are no international regulations governing the trade in small arms and, according to Francken, there are some 840,000 small arms circulating worldwide.

A Movement in Oaxaca

In 2006, New York reporter and activist Brad Will was killed by paramilitaries in Oaxaca, where he was covering a teachers’ strike. Since the strike--demanding higher salaries and free books for all students--the movement has expanded but the violence hasn’t stopped. Tami Gold, in her film Land, Rain and Fire looks at the impact of NAFTA, privatization, and land appropriation on the people of the region. The teachers union has continued to oppose the privatization of public education in the midst of severe repression.

US Empire and the Conflict in Israel/Palestine

Why Palestine? It’s hard to overstate the significance of Israel/Palestine to global politics. Some say that Barack Obama’s success or failure will be judged on whether a resolution to the conflict is reached during his presidency. For others the issue has deep moral resonance. As an indication of the fault lines in America, Hampshire College’s recent decision to divest from companies that do business with Israel has been both repudiated and celebrated as a major breakthrough.
Ali Abunimah, editor and founder of The Electronic Intifada says that Palestine matters precisely because it is the site of the last Western colonial project in the Third World and that opposition to Israel is also opposition to US hegemony in the region.
Abunimah, Brian Van Slyke of Hampshire College’s Students for Justice in Palestine, Kanwal-Shazia Chaudhry a Doctor in Brooklyn who recently traveled to Gaza with the American Medical Mission to Gaza, and Hannah Mermelstein, co-founder of Birthright Unplugged take on the question of why Palestine matters.
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Wage Theft

In the aftermath of Hurricane's Katrina and Ike federal money was set aside for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. What you may not know is that the Bush administration, at the same time, suspended regulations guaranteeing that federal employees receive a minimum wage. According to Kim Bobo, the author of Wage Theft in America, billions of dollars are stolen from workers every year, not only in times of crisis. And there are few incentives for employers to obey the law.
Roughly 2 million American workers are not paid a minimum wage. And some 3 million are mis-classified as independent contractors instead of employees and millions more are illegally denied overtime pay. As the recession deepens and the government pledges to create jobs will they be jobs that pay a livable wage?
GRITtv speaks to Kim Bobo, Cathy Ruckelshaus, Litigation Director for the National Employment Law Project, Terri Gerstein, Deputy Commissioner for Wages and Immigrants at the New York State Department of Labor, and Deborah Axt of Make the Road New York.

The F Word: Caterpillar And Obama

President Barack Obama, campaigning for his economic plan in East Peoria, Illinois, visited machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. where he said laid-off workers would be re-hired if Congress approved a sweeping stimulus bill.
The President visited Caterpillar's plant Thursday on the very same day that Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, became the first US college or university to divest from Caterpillar, along with five other companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Caterpillar provides the Israeli military with bulldozers that have been used to demolish thousands of Palestinian homes and orchards and build settlements and roads, and what Israelis call a Security Fence, but Palestinians call the apartheid Wall.
For years, international activists have called for a boycott of Caterpillar products, which include heavy equipment but also jackets and shoes. And one US family has brought a suit against the company charging them with complicity in human rights crimes. On March 16, 2003, US activist Rachel Corrie was crushed under bulldozer supplied by Caterpillar, as she tried to block its path towards a Palestinian home in Gaza...Rachel's father Craig Corrie joined us earlier today with this message to the president:

War Profiteering

Even as congress denies billions in assistance to states, there is little if any talk of cutting US defense spending. Since the end of the Second World War, when Dwight Eisenhower warned of the ever expanding military industrial complex, military spending has been linked to the nation's economic well-being. In times of prosperity and economic distress, defense spending is pushed as economic stimulus. And it's a bipartisan affliction. But who benefits and what is their interest in maintaining a war time economy?
On GRITtv Pratap Chatterjee, the author of Halliburton's Army and Managing Editor of Corpwatch, Eugene Jarecki, documentary filmmaker and director of the acclaimed Why We Fight, and Scott Ritter the author of Target Iran examine the business of war and why stimulus and star wars are so hard to separate.
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The Politics of Hunger

Some 36 million Americans do not have enough to eat. Globally, the number of people considered hungry is close to one billion, what the UN has called a breaking point. And even as oil prices have come down the global food crisis continues to worsen. So what's driving the crisis at home and abroad?

Joel Berg, the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? Arun Gupta, Editor of The IndypendentMax Fraad Wolff, an economist and freelance writer, and Kathy Ozer Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition discuss possible solutions.

Other Lands Have Dreams: An Interview with Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly, the author of Other Lands Have Dreams and a co-founder of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, discusses her recent trip to Gaza. As the United States continues to supply Israel with billions in weapons and military hardware the public remains largely in the dark as to how those weapons are used. A tenuous ceasefire may have been reached in Gaza but the violence hasn’t stopped. What can be done? Kelly, who has been an advocate of non-violent resistance for decades, shares her stories.
The F Word: It’s not the Lobbying, it’s the Agreeing!
Now it's official: Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, will be the new Treasury Secretary's chief of staff despite Barack Obama's supposedly strict new rules on lobbying and ethics. Patterson lobbied for Goldman from 2005 until April of last year on a whole host of issues including credit default swaps, credit rating agencies, and sovereign wealth funds, the bank-driven deregulation of which brought us to the current debacle. Now Patterson will be the point person on who gains access to the Treasury Sec's ear. But Patterson is hardly the heart of the problem. Geithner's ear is. To give a bit of background. Geithner's first job was with Kissinger Associates, where he worked with the former Secretary of State. From there, he went to the U.S. Treasury Department, where he rose in esteem and became an aide to Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin -- two pro-bank, pro-deregulation Treasury Secretaries. MORE
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Whistleblower Protection in $825 Billion Stimulus Bill to be Voted on This Afternoon
Representatives Todd Platts (R-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are sponsoring an amendment to the $825 billion stimulus bill facing imminent congressional votes. This amendment is necessary to restore a credible Whistleblower Protection Act for federal workers, who will have the first-line responsibility for keeping stimulus spending honest.
Last year, Congress spent $700 billion, and said it would later provide accountability structures such as whistleblower protection. Soon the money will all be spent, and federal employees still proceed at their own risk if they try to keep the spending honest.
Without best practices whistleblower rights in the next $825 billion stimulus bill, it could become a blank check for fraud, waste and abuse. This time Congress needs to enact whistleblower rights BEFORE the taxpayers’ money is spent. There must be no more government spending without accountability. By supporting the Van Hollen-Platts amendment, Congress would be protecting not only whistleblowers, but all taxpayers.

Right attacking stimulus money for health programs

Huff Post Breaks Huge Corruption Story--And We Must Do Something About It

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call -- including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG -- were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

...Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republican senatorial campaigns were needed, they argued..."If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their goddamn jobs," Marcus declared.

D-grade US infrastructure $2.2 Trillion for update

Its ShowTime for Obama

Goldman Sachs is back. They never Left.


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