Elections

Local, state and national election coverage on KBOO community radio

Obama, Race, and Class

program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

What does the Obama presidency mean, symbolically and politically, for issues of race and class?  Malik Miah comments in this article from Against the Current.  The Old Mole's Jan Haaken reads it for us. 

8:14 minutes (4.71 MB)

John Nichols from the Inauguration

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program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

From the streets of Washington, D.C. on the eve of the Inauguration, John Nichols, a correspondent for The Nation Magazine, talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about Barack Obama and how history may drive him into more progressive action than he has foreseen.  

16:07 minutes (9.23 MB)

Special Programming: Public Affairs

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Air date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009 - 12:00pm - 5:00pm

More special programming on the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Special Programming: Public Affairs

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Air date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009 - 11:00am - 12:00pm

A national call-in show hosted jointly by WPFW-Pacifica in Washington and KGNU in Boulder Denver. The program will include reports from people on the scene at the inaugural site, special guests and analysis, and call-ins from listeners coast to coast, border to border.

Special Programming: Public Affairs

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Air date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009 - 8:00am - 11:00am

Live from Washington D.C. coverage of the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Hosted by Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!

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Program: 
Democracy Now!
Air date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009 - 7:00am - 8:00am

A special program focusing on the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Barbara Dudley on Expectations for Obama

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/13/2009

     A look back at the worst 8 years of our life and a look ahead into what we hope will be a better future. Guest Barbara Dudley and Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein explore several themes as we we look forward to Barack Obama's inauguration next week: What are you looking forward to in the Obama administration? What do you fear will or will not happen? What opportunities now exist that have been suppressed for so long to make what we have been working for a reality?

54:44 minutes (25.06 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.

 

Index of leading asshattery indicators

 I love Harper's Index.

For those of you not familiar with it, Harper's Index appears near the front of every edition of Harper's magazine. It presents a sort of snapshot of current affairs by way of assembling a bunch of seemingly obscure, but ultimately telling, statistics. The index can really help break an issue down to irrefutable numbers in a way that cuts through ideological trappings.

Take the current iteration of Harper's Index, for example. It's all about the legacy of the Bush years, the whole fucking war-ridden, corrupt, incompetent, greedy, murderous, filthy lot of them. Here's just a few choice nuggets:

 

Percentage of Bush’s first 189 appointees who also served in his father’s administration: 42

Minimum number of Bush appointees who have regulated industries they used to represent as lobbyists: 98

Date on which the GAO sued Dick Cheney to force the release of documents related to current U.S. energy policy: 2/22/02

Number of other officials the GAO has sued over access to federal records: 0

Number of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African men detained in the U.S. in the eight weeks after 9/11: 1,182

Number charged with an immigration violation: 762

Days since the federal government first placed the nation under an “elevated terror alert” that the level has been relaxed: 0

Percentage of the amendments in the Bill of Rights that are violated by the USA PATRIOT Act, according to the ACLU: 50

Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

 

... and on and on. It's an itemized chronicle of catastrophic mis-government. Read the whole thing, and then print it off and give it to your Republican co-workers.

-A

More Talk Radio

Program: 
More Talk Radio
Air date: 
Mon, 01/05/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am

Hosts Cecil and Celeste speak with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. The group is organizing with other secular and faith-based groups "Camp Hope: Countdown to Change" in Chicago, four blocks from Obama's residence there. The camp begins on New Year's Day and continues to Dr. Martin Luther King Day. Kelly says "Large lobbying groups, including some of the large corporations, are pushing Obama around the clock to preserve the status quo, wage war and provide for unbridled greed. What we're asking is that the money spent on the military be spent instead on soluble problems such as lack of healthcare."
 

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