- Show live from Washington D.C., from the radio row at America’s Future Now (formerly known as TAKE BACK AMERICA), Omni Shoreham Hotel.
- Debris has been found in the area where the Air France jet was lost.
- Article: Obama Nominates Republican Rep. McHugh to Be Secretary of Army.
- Obama is pushing back on Cheney. Fact check on Cheney's last speech, with NPR.
- GM filed for bankruptcy, the lowest point in its 100-year history.
- Article: Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat bankrupted GM.
"When a company goes bankrupt, everyone takes a hit: fair or not, workers lose some contract wages, stockholders get wiped out and creditors get fragments of what's left. That's the law. What workers don't lose are their pensions (including old-age health funds) already taken from their wages and held in their name.But not this time. Stevie the Rat has a different plan for GM: grab the pension funds to pay off Morgan and Citi.
Here's the scheme: Rattner is demanding the bankruptcy court simply wipe away the money GM owes workers for their retirement health insurance. Cash in the insurance fund would be replaced by GM stock. The percentage may be 17% of GM's stock - or 25%. Whatever, 17% or 25% is worth, well ... just try paying for your dialysis with 50 shares of bankrupt auto stock.
Yet Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can't pay for auto parts or worker eye exams.
Preventive Detention for Pensions
So what's wrong with seizing workers' pension fund money in a bankruptcy? The answer, Mr. Obama, Mr. Law Professor, is that it's illegal."
- Book: Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, Kevin Phillips.
- Newspapers with saddled debt.
- Article: Why'd Obama switch on detainee photos? Maliki went ballistic.
- Thomas Frank gave a talk last night about doubling down. Do we need a 'take back Obama' campaign?
- Obama picked another Republican and Sotomayor is not left enough. John Roberts, in every case of an average American against a corporation or the government, ruled against the average American.
- Bumper Music: Hold On, KT Tunstall (video).
- Guest: Ron Pollack, Executive Director and Vice President, Families USA. "Families USA is a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community levels, we have earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for 25 years." Health care, it is a historic opportunity, he thinks reform will pass this year - get the cost growth curve down, improve quality, make sure everybody has high quality care. Why aren't we talking about having the same as other countries? Build on what we have, subsidize the poor, say no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, he wants public option for for-profits to compete with.
- One of the women arrested trying to talk at Max Baucus hearings on health care has been charged with multiple crimes, so has to have a jury?
- Article: Something is Rotten at PBS, Russell Mokhiber.
Last year, former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid made a great documentary for the PBS show Frontline titled Sick Around the World.
Reid traveled to five countries that deliver health care for all – UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan – to learn about how they do it.
Reid found that the one thing these five countries had in common – none allowed for-profit health insurance companies to sell basic medical coverage.
Frontline then said to Reid – okay, we want you to go around the United States and make a companion documentary titled Sick Around the America.
So, Reid traveled around America, interviewing patients, doctors, and health insurance executives.
The documentary that resulted – Sick Around America – aired Monday night on PBS.
But even though Reid did the reporting for the film, he was cut out of the film when it aired this week.
And the film didn’t present Reid’s bottom line for health care reform – don’t let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.
They can sell for-profit insurance for extras – breast enlargements, botox, hair transplants.
But not for the basic health needs of the American people.
Instead, the film that aired Monday pushed the view that Americans be required to purchase health insurance from for-profit companies.
And the film had a deceptive segment that totally got wrong the lesson of Reid’s previous documentary – Sick Around the World.
- The commons. A non-profit's first job is what it was incorporated for, a for-profit's first job is to make money. In some states the commons have to be publicly owned or not for profit.
- There are going to be 30 minute infomercials about how terrible government healthcare is.
- A lot of rural areas have unemployed who cannot afford health care, need green energy.
- Bumper Music: Good Time, Alan Jackson.
- Article: Cheney's speech ignored some inconvenient truths. By Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers.
- Clip: "As a matter of fact, in interviews in 1999 with respected journalist, and long time Bush family friend, Micky [David] Herskowitz, then Governor George Bush stated: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency'." Cindy Sheehan, My Testimony for the Downing Street Memo Hearings, June 16 2005.
- Guest: Jonathan S. Landay.
"Jonathan S. Landay, national security and intelligence correspondent, has written about foreign affairs and U.S. defense, intelligence and foreign policies for 15 years. From 1985-94, he covered South Asia and the Balkans for United Press International and then the Christian Science Monitor. He moved to Washington in December 1994 to cover defense and foreign affairs for the Christian Science Monitor and joined Knight Ridder in October 1999. He speaks frequently on national security matters, particularly the Balkans. In 2005, he was part of a team that won a National Headliners Award for ``How the Bush Administration Went to War in Iraq.'' He also won a 2005 Award of Distinction from the Medill School of Journalism for "Iraqi exiles fed exaggerated tips to news media." "They truth squadded Dick Cheney's speech at the CEI. There were many misstatements, omissions, etc. Read their archive on Iraq intelligence. Theories about Cheney. Cheney defends their record saying they did everything right and defended America. Cheney is trying to sell a book, write history. Distracting from something? There are unanswered questions about what the administration did marching into war. Bush wanting political capital from a war with Iraq. The first cabinet meeting's first question was how do we invade Iraq. He broke the story on pressure being put on interrogators to come up with information to corroborate their contention. There is no doubt that Iraq was on the agenda well before 9/11, but they all had different reasons.
- Guest: Craig Aaron, Senior Program Director, Free Press. "Senior Program Director Craig Aaron leads all Free Press program, advocacy and communications work. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen's 'Congress Watch', where he helped create and launch the WhiteHouseForSale.org Web site. Craig previously worked as the managing editor of 'In These Times' magazine and is the editor of the book 'Appeal to Reason: 25 Years In These Times'. His reporting, commentary and criticism have appeared in numerous national publications". They focus on media policy, watchdogging Congress. Looking at the future of journalism. Long term suspending funding for non commercial media. The rules shaping the future of the Internet. Investigative journalism. Reinstate the shield law. We can't turn back the clock completely. Restore local caps, put more stations up for sale. We need to be ready for when companies start selling stations. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is against low power FM, who is for it? H.R. 1147, the Local Community Radio Act, is bipartisan, nearly 100 co-sponsors, Marie Cantwell in the Senate. NPR don't want competition. Call Congress. There will be a Waxman hearing. Thom is for local radio. Having a thriving democracy more important than increasing his earnings. When radio stations play music they pay royalties, little goes to the artists. If the bill passes to correct this, music programming may be more expensive, and it may open up opportunities for progressive radio. Thom is an artist as he has books in print. John Conyers bill.
- Guest: Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, the Department of State's Special Representative for Global Partnerships. he's an ambassador at large, she was already ambassador so did not need confirmation hearings. Public-private partnerships, NGOs, individuals, CEOs, foundations. NGOs try to avoid being associated too closely with government. Thom said one public-private partnership is Halliburton. She is not talking about defense. Haiti, President Clinton, UN. Indonesia, where Obama lived, is an emerging democracy, they need help in education program, need good colleges.
- Bumper Music: Hey Jack Kerouac, 10000 Maniacs.
- Article: Bush Charges $150,000 to Speak; $1.5 Million to Speak in English: Cites ‘Extra Effort' Required .
- Article: Senate Health Committee Adopts Merkley-Brown Amendment on Tobacco Candy.
- Guest: Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. What is on his list? From modest to large, FDA bill to regulate tobacco, tobacco candy is being test marketed, he and Sherrod Brown got fast track last week for the FDA to fast track testing it. If kids are addicted to nicotine before puberty, it is 500 times harder to quit, as the brain is rewired. Health care for all. Restructure Wall Street. Take this moment and put America on a different energy track. Danish company Vestas does most wind turbines, China is beginning, Buy America was stripped out of the legislation, is it possible without importing? We need to get ahead of the curve, a chance we could blow. Trade deficit. Tax. NAFTA. Industrial policy, Hamilton's plan, very little conversation. Health insurance, Baucus having people arrested. A public option would open the door, health companies are terrified. A lot of doctors are not accepting Medicare patients. What people should do, how. He's on all three relevant committees, just gave a speech on energy, must get it done, Senate is rewriting the House bill, lobby senators to support green energy for jobs, moral (climate change) reasons.
- Bumper Music: Hesitation Blues, Willie Nelson.
- Book: "Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace...One School At A Time", Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.
"The unlikely journey that led Mortenson from a failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully building schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to fight terrorism with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote villages in central Asia."
- Guest: Congresswoman Donna Edwards. "Rep. Edwards was the co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she led the effort to pass The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton." She once worked for Public Citizen, Ralph Nader's old group. She's recently come back from trips to Afghanistan and to Gaza, which were very enlightening. Israel, Gaza, West Bank, occupied territories, we need a two state solution. The development of settlements is an impediment to peace. There is debate in Israel on how to do it, read the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz. How to bring the discussion to the US without it being demagogued as anti-Israel or anti-Palestine? It is in America's security interests for the US to play a role. There is vibrant debate in the Knesset. She is trying to expand debate in the US. Most Israelis are for a two state solution even if they can't see how to get there. She has a community organizer background. People on both sides have been bombed, are frightened.Afghanistan. Thom said we should have accepted their offer to hand over Osama bin Laden to another country for trial. Could Afghanistan be Obama's Vietnam? She has the same concerns. She used to agree with Obama that Iraq was wrong, Afghanistan right, but now she thinks it is a huge mistake. There should be civilian investment, we are telling people we will be there a couple more years, but will either be out quick or be there for decades. Greg Mortenson. We should invest in non-poppy production, infrastructure, and ask them what they want first.
- Guest: Anand Gopal, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor. Global war on terrorism. In practice in Afghanistan it is a counter insurgency. Growing evidence that the Sunnis we bought off to create "the Awakening", whom the Iraq government were supposed to continue paying and are not, are going back to fighting, calling themselves sectarian freedom fighters. Shiite-Sunni. Ethnic cleansing played a part in the reduction of violence as well as paying them. Britain pulled out of Africa, left a huge power vacuum, countries like Uganda are still suffering as a result. How do we avoid that and accomplish the goal of ceasing to be colonial power, remove our footprint? The British had been in Africa a long time, built infrastructure. Afghanistan was not colonized, it is development, so it is not reconstruction. Afghanis want jobs, opportunities. Afghanistan used to be a major food exporter, now it's poppies. We need to create alternatives for poor poppy farmers, they don't get a lot. Eradication does not work. Don't let Monsanto in, India is suffering. Any NGOs or shining light in the administration or Congress to encourage? It is still early.
- Bumper Music: Trouble me, 10000 Maniacs (video).
- Guest: John Cochran, ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent. "Cochran has received three Emmy awards for his reporting -- the first in 1981 for his coverage of the threat to Communism from the Solidarity labor movement in Poland, the second for his anchoring of reports during the overthrow of the Communist regime in Romania in 1989, and the third for his part in ABC News coverage of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He also received the Peabody and Alfred I. duPont awards for his role in the ABC News coverage of the attacks." He reported on Watergate, the Nixon hearings which lasted 3 weeks. We don't have a Senator Sam Ervin now, maybe Conyers but he has not been able to exercise that power. The difference then and Bush? Obama wants to get past that and move on, that concerns Thom. There is a case for moving on, Obama is rather like Gerald Ford, thinking our long national nightmare is over. He is not Democrat or a Republican. We're still learning things about World War II, it will be interesting to hear what went on the year before the Iraq invasion. The media don't see a parallel, if Congress finds wrongdoing it will report. The media was not tough enough the year before Iraq. Reporters like a fight to report and there was none. Lie. The minority party don't get a lot of coverage in the House, they are not very powerful in the House. Will Obama come under closer scrutiny from the press? Yes, and they are thin skinned.
- Bumper Music: Jai Ho Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack.
- Guest: Rachel Kleinfeld. "Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld is the CEO and President of the Truman National Security Project, which she co-founded with Matthew Spence. She previously consulted with the Center for Security and International Studies, where she worked with the Hon. Richard Danzig on bioterrorism response. She has also served as a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton working on two Defense Science Board summer studies, information-sharing across the military, intelligence, and law enforcement communities, homeland security, and trade and security issues."Poll watching. Afghanistan, Iraq. Obama must get it right in Afghanistan. She was there in May, counter insurgency is better than war, we did it on the cheap. Historically the British complaining that the Americans were not fighting fair as they did not march in rank. The way to win is help the people. They are patriotic, not fighting each other. We need troops to train the Afghanistan army. The police are seen as corrupt, not the army. We owe it to ourselves to be educated, not just opinion news but facts. Americans should travel more. Greg Mortenson is a one man peace corps, why not get a lot of them in? Not a safe place for young Peace Corps volunteers.
- Bumper Music: Hey Mr. President, Warren Brothers.
- Everyone should have health care, but the comparison with Medicare hard, as many doctors will not take Medicare patients. Expanding it will mean more people dealing with it.
- Guest: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D - IL). She's on the Intelligence Committee. Her take on the conspiracy theory du jour that Thomas Frank spoke about last night. Frank said that Dick Cheney running around saying we are going to get hit is placing a 1000-1 bet, where the '1' side that we don't get hit he can't lose, because people will have forgotten what he said a year from now, and the '1,000' payoff if we do get hit, you;re going to see 20 years of Republican rule. Does he know something we don't? What's the current state of knowledge of what's going on, and or readiness? If we were hit, how would react? Cheney is incredibly unpopular, harming his cause. Thom said his ratings had gone up 10 points recently. She wants intelligence gathering rather than covert action, wants enough language speakers. We could made the world a lot safer by reaching our hand out to countries where they feel America may act more fairly now. Obama going to Egypt. Cheney is irresponsible, dark, wrong. Thom is on in Chicago, when the governor was picking a candidate, Thom said it should be her. Is she considering a run for Senate? She is looking at it, not decided yet, will decide next Monday. She would love to hear from people, go to her own website.