Legislation

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
What are the links between economic stimulus and health care?

This week the news is about Obama's economic stimulus package passing the Senate and about to be enacted into law. Last week it was about Tom Daschel, Obama's nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, having to withdraw his name because of his problems with the IRS. So what are the connections between economic stimulus and health care? Barbara Dudley, a regular guest on Locus Focus, joins host Barbara Bernstein, in a discussion about these links. . .and more.

Seattle's General Strike, 1919

program date: 
Sun, 02/01/2009

 

44:09 minutes (25.27 MB)

Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009

The day after Barack Obama's historic inauguration as president of the United States we'll look at how much has changed in the United States and what still needs to change in the days, months and years ahead.

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by guests John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the US Human Rights Network.

54:56 minutes (25.15 MB)

MLK Tribute Day

program: 
Radiozine
program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

A preview of today's 24th Annual Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Keep Alive the Dream."

The celebration airs live until 7:00pm when Hard Knock Radio will provide more coverage.

Listen to the live audio stream here

Also Yugen Rashad speaks with local people who are in Washington for the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President. They'll talk about the meaning of today's holiday in light of the Inauguration. 

58:07 minutes (26.61 MB)

The Permitted Coup

      It is the Season to  review. Review the past year and the almost past Bush administration, that is.. The media and many people I know seem eager to believe that the new Obama Administraion will bring a fundamental change to the functioning of the Federal government and the totalitarian policies it has been carrying here at home and the Superpower violence it has been visiting to people all over the globe. This is a hopeful view but not one I share. We have been living within a country taken over by a Coup. If you doubt my use of that word I refer you to  Jane Mayers Book, The Dark Side or Eric Lichtblau's Bush's Law and my interviews with them.

Wages in the Economic Crisis

Categories:
program date: 
Sun, 01/11/2009

Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2010!  That's the proposal of well-known author and activist Holly Sklar and Let Justice Roll.  Holly talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage, and why raising the minimum is good for the economy and good for business

15:33 minutes (8.9 MB)

LNG Protest in Salem

program: 
Air Cascadia
program date: 
Mon, 01/12/2009
12:20 minutes (11.29 MB)

Madeline Martinez of Oregon NORML

Categories:
program date: 
Thu, 01/08/2009

Hosts Melodie Silverwolf and Crystal Leighty speak with Madeline Martinez of Oregon NORML about the upcoming Oregon legislative session, what to expect and how to express your views to your representatives.

55:23 minutes (22.19 MB)

Shockin n Rollin

 Once again, Digby nails it.

The fundamental purpose of the shock doctrine is to use crisis to push through unpopular and unjust "solutions" that favor the wealthy. We are seeing this battle take shape on several fronts. The right is working feverishly to discredit the New Deal at the same time that outside groups of so-called elder statesmen are lining up to screech about the deficit and entitlements. All of this obscures the real source of the current problem and obstructs the president's ability to do what's necessary to solve it.

If Obama were to succeed in fixing the economy, re-regulating the financial system, enacting health care and a modern environmental and energy policy, the right would be discredited for a couple of generations --- and the wealthy would lose many of their unfair advantages under a fair and equitable system. They not only do not want to take that chance, they also see this crisis as an opportunity to bury liberal economics and end the government programs that ensure a stable and prosperous society with a vast middle class. The stakes are huge for both sides.

This gets back to something we've touched on repeatedly over the years on the Abe and Joe show: the decades-long -- and largely successful -- endeavor by the monied class to undo the New Deal. As Digby notes, it's no accident that we're seeing an attempt in the news media to discredit the efficacy of the New Deal even as the President-elect and prominent economists like Paul Krugman call for a new, FDR-esque reinvestment in old and new infrastructure.

This has been going on for some time. The marginal personal and corporate income tax rate topped out in the World War II era at 94%, and with a few exceptions, has been in decline ever since. At the height of the Depression, in the late 1930s, the highest bracket was in the low 70% range. And during both crises -- depression and war -- we spent like drunken sailors and obtained solid results. And after the war, we kept on taxing and spending like the New Deal Democratic nation we were -- flaming leftists by today's standards. Hell, under Ike, the quintessential conservative of his age, the highest rate was over 90%.

But here's the thing. Consider what we did during that postwar era*.

We sent millions of ex-GIs to college. We built the interstate highway system. We rebuilt our conquered enemies. We built the most extensive public university system in the history of humanity. We put people on the moon. We saw sea changes in race and gender relations. We birthed history's first truly large-scale, educated middle class. We witnessed a riotous explosion of culture, as every imaginable tradition and heritage collided.

And people got rich. Lots of them. While paying high taxes.

But more importantly to the monied class -- and I think that these would-be assassins of the New Deal are oblivious to this, perhaps willfully so -- the middle class of the postwar era had money to spend on the products made by the monied class. Our ownership elite owes its exalted status to the fact that we and our parents and grandparents all spent money in the industrial economy.

So the attempt to bury the New Deal, organized labor, and the very notion of liberal Keynsian economics, is self-defeating. If you kill the middle class, there's no one to buy your useless crap. Now is the time to whip out that well-tuned sense of irony I've been urging you to develop.

Now is also the time to contact Obama and urge him to do the right thing with his economic policy. It's time to rebuild the middle class and invest in schools and solar power plants and high-speed trains and universal health care. It's time to bury conservative supply-side economic dogmatism for a good long time.

-A

* Yes, we also kept military spending at wartime levels. Yes, we started striking devil's bargains with brutal men in exchange for their nations' resources. Yes, we built an arsenal of doomsday weapons. Yes, we meddled ceaselessly all over the world. Yes, we presided over the maturation of the brutally exploitative global capitalist system. Yes, we waged cynical wars in far-flung places, both overt and covert. Yes, we perpetuated the global subjugation of the non-European peoples. Yes, we allowed the wholesale corporate acquisition of the wheels of government. Yes yes yes. I deny none of it. But we also did the stuff I said.

 

Voices from the Edge

Categories:
Air date: 
Thu, 01/08/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Winners and Losers in the 2009 Oregon Budget

Next week the new Oregon legislature will face the challenge of crafting a budget in the midst of a deep economic crisis. Governor Kulongoski wants to spend shrinking state revenues to spur the growth of green industries, even if it means cutting services to seniors, the disabled and the poor. Will Oregon lawmakers follow the governor's lead or develop a different strategy to keep Oregon open for business in these hard times? Who will be the winners and who will be the losers in the upcoming budget fight? Join Jo Ann and Dave this Thursday as they take a look at proposals for the 2009 Oregon budget. 

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