Conspiring with Russia may be the least of Donald Trump’s problems. His inability to keep his pants zipped and have sexual relations with women to whom is not married, especially those who resemble his daughter Ivanka, may be what gets him impeached. Take it away Marcy Wheeler, It was a three ring circus among top …
Tag: Amy Goodman
Mar 28 2013
Economist Richard Wolff discusses how austerity is making economic problems worse and the cure for these economic woes.
As Washington lawmakers pushes new austerity measures, economist Richard Wolff calls for a radical restructuring of the U.S. economic and financial systems. We talk about the $85 billion budget cuts as part of the sequester, banks too big to fail, Congress’ failure to learn the lessons of the 2008 economic collapse, and his new book, “Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism.” Wolff also gives Fox News host Bill O’Reilly a lesson in economics 101.
Full transcript here
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Wolff, before we end, I want to turn back to the crisis in Cyprus and relate it to what’s happening here. Bill O’Reilly of Fox News warned his audience last week that Cyprus and other European countries are facing economic hardships because they’re so-called “nanny states.”
BILL O’REILLY: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, now Cyprus, all broke. And other European nations are close. Why? Because they’re nanny states, and there are not enough workers to support all the entitlements these progressive paradises are handing out.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. Richard?
RICHARD WOLFF: You know, he gets away with saying things which no undergraduate in the United States with a responsible economic professor could ever get away with. If you want to refer to things as nanny states, then the place you go in Europe is not the southern tier-Portugal, Spain and Italy; the place you go are Germany and Scandinavia, because they provide more social services to their people than anybody else. And guess what: Not only are they not in trouble economically, they are the winners of the current situation. The unemployment rate in Germany is now below 5 percent. Ours is pushing between 7 and 8 percent. So, please, get your facts right, Mr. O’Reilly.
The nanny state, you call it, the program of countries like Germany and Scandinavia, who tax their people heavily, by all means, but who provide them with social services that would be the envy of the United States-a national health program that takes care of you, whether you’re employed or not, and gives you proper healthcare. In France, for example, the law says when you go to work, you get five weeks’ paid vacation. That’s not an option; that’s the law. You get support when you’re a new parent for your child care and so forth. They provide services. And they are successful in Germany and Scandinavia, much more than we are in the United States and much more than those countries in the south.
So they’re not broken, the south, because they’re nanny states, since the nanny states, par excellence, are doing better than everyone. The actual truth of Mr. O’Reilly is the opposite of what he says. The more you do nanny state, the better off you are during a crisis and to minimize the cost of the crisis. That’s what the European economic situation actually teaches. He’s just making it up as he goes along to conform to an ideological position that is harder and harder for folks like him to sustain, so he has to reach further and further into fantasy.
Capitalism efficient? We can do so much better
by Richard Wolff, The Guardian
For all its vaunted efficiency, capitalism has foisted wasteful inequality and environmental ruin on us. There is an alternative
What’s efficiency got to do with capitalism? The short answer is little or nothing. Economic and social collapses in Detroit, Cleveland and many other US cities did not happen because production was inefficient there. Efficiency problems did not cause the longer-term economic declines troubling the US and western Europe.
Capitalist corporations decided to relocate production: first, away from such cities, and now, away from those regions. It has done so to serve the priorities of their major shareholders and boards of directors. Higher profits, business growth, and market share drive those decisions. As I say, efficiency has little or nothing to do with it.
Many goods and services once made in the US and western Europe for those markets are now produced elsewhere and transported back to them. That wastes resources spent on the costly relocation and consequent return transportation. The pollution (of air, sea and soil) associated with vast transportation networks – and the eventual cleaning up of that pollution – only enlarges that waste.
Nov 16 2012
As the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history comes to an end, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and professor, activist Dr. Cornel West join us to discuss President Obama’s re-election and their hopes for a national political agenda in and outside of the White House during Obama’s second term. At a time when one in six Americans is poor, the price tag for combined spending by federal candidates – along with their parties and outside groups like super PACs – totaled more than $6 billion. Together, West and Smiley have written the new book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.” Both Tavis and Smiley single out prominent progressives whom they accuse of overlooking Obama’s actual record. “We believe that if [Obama] is not pushed, he’s going to be a transactional president and not a transformational president,” Smiley says. “And we believe that the time is now for action and no longer accommodation. … To me, the most progressive means that you’re taking some serious risk. And I just don’t see the example of that.” West says that some prominent supporters of Obama “want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way.”
Transcript can be read here
“In a recent interview on Democracy Now!, ex-Princeton professor and frequent Obama critic Dr. Cornel West lashed out against the president as well as pundits Michael Eric Dyson, Melissa Harris-Perry and Rev. Al Sharpton.
West called Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface” and said Dyson, Harris-Perry and Sharpton were all “for sale.”
West, along with TV personality Tavis Smiley, has been one of President Barack Obama’s loudest and harshest African-American critics. Although West endorsed and campaigned for Obama during the 2008 campaign, he has since complained that the first black president turned his back on impoverished Americans.”
Cenk Uygur and Jayar Jackson discuss West’s comments and racial attitudes toward Obama in general. Is there a way he should act as both the president and a leader for the black community? How would he manage that?
Oct 08 2012
Illegal immigration in America started on October 12, 1492 when Christopher Columbus bumped into an island in the Bahamas thinking he found the western route to India. We all know how that turned out.
The history of the treatment of Native Americans by the illegal immigrants from Europe is abominable and continues to this day. Of the over 500 treaties the United States government signed with Native American tribes, the government has broken or violated every one. That’s quite a foreign policy record.
Twenty-two years ago South Dakota renamed the second Monday in October Native American Day in honor of the indigenous people who suffered near-annihilation after Columbus opened doors to the New World. This is how Native Americans commemorate the day:
Diana King is an enrolled member of the White Earth Indian Nation in northern Minnesota. For the last 12 years, she has taught at the Waubun High School, which is located on a reservation. “Columbus Day is a chance to teach about who we once were, what has become of us since Europeans arrived on our shores and who we are today – a struggling but surviving people,” King says.
Each October, King creates a bulletin board that illustrates a rich display of indigenous life on the American continents circa 1492.[..]
“I want teachers to teach more about Indian civilization just like they do with Egyptian or European history,” she says. “Our … history did not begin with Christopher Columbus.” [..]
“Even though 70 percent of our students are Native, most of our teachers are non-Indian,” she says. “When I started here there were no Ojibwe language classes and there was no after-school program for Native students. Working with teachers to help educate them about our students about their culture and the issues they face living on the reservation is critical to promoting success.” [..]
“We should have been wiped out,” she says. “It’s a miracle Native people still exist. I have never liked the word ‘conquered.’ We are still here after 500 years. And maybe every time Columbus Day comes around, we should rethink who the real heroes are: the explorer or the survivors?”
Also from Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman interviews Native American Activist Dennis Banks who shared his experiences and view about this day:
On “Columbus Day” – known to many as Indigenous Peoples Day – we’re joined by Dennis Banks, a legendary Native American activist from the Ojibwe Tribe. In 1968, he co-founded the American Indian Movement. A year later, he took part in the occupation of Alcatraz Island in California. In 1972, he assisted in AIM’s “Trail of Broken Treaties,” a caravan of numerous activist groups across the United States to Washington, D.C., to call attention to the plight of Native Americans. That same year, AIM took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C. In early 1973, AIM members took over and occupied Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for 71 days, which some have come to call Wounded Knee II. Earlier this year, he led a cross-country walk from Alcatraz to Washington calling for the release of imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Banks shares his thoughts about Columbus Day, the U.S. treatment of American Indians, and his own story of growing up in the BIA boarding school system.
Please sign the petition to President Barack Obama: Clemecy for Leonard Peltier.
Thanks to my friend Izzy, aka Black Eagle.
Feb 04 2011
Democracy Now! Reports Live from Downtown Cairo:
Reporting that “Violent clashes continue in Egypt. The most recent reports out of Cairo show that seven demonstrators have been killed and more than a thousand injured. Many of the pro-Mubarak agitators have been shown to be undercover security forces. In Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising, thousands of Egyptians remain peaceful and defiant. We get a live report from Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is on a rooftop near the 6th October Bridge, and from Mona El Seif, an activist who has remained in Tahrir Square since yesterday.“, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of DemocracyNow.org talk today by telephone with Democracy Now! Senior Producer reporting from Cairo Sharif Abdel Kouddous, and with Egyptian pro-democracy activist Mona El Seif, live from Cairo, Egypt, who describe violent attacks on “a couple of hundred thousand” peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square by Mubarak faction thugs on camels and on horses, using knives and guns.
Amy also talks with “Sandmonkey” – Egypt’s most well known English-language blogger – who calls downtown Cairo a “war zone”, and who said in his last blog post:
The End is near. I have no illusions about this regime or its leader, and how he will pluck us and hunt us down one by one till we are over and done with and 8 months from now will pay people to stage fake protests urging him not to leave power, and he will stay “because he has to acquiesce to the voice of the people”. This is a losing battle and they have all the weapons, but we will continue fighting until we can’t.
DemocracyNow.org – February 03, 2011
Nov 02 2010
Burned out on corporate media election coverage? Frustrated by ABC’s choice of Andrew Breitbart as a commentator? Watch the returns roll in with GRITtv and Free Speech TV instead. November 2nd, from 8PM to 2AM EST, right here on our site or on Free Speech TV on DISH Network and DIRECTv.
Laura will be co-anchoring here in New York with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, and Thom Hartmann, David Sirota, Gloria Neal and Marc Steiner will host around the country. The historic coverage will feature analysis and commentary from social activists, community organizers and thought leaders, including Herb Boyd, Rosa Clemente, Jim Hightower and John Nichols. There will also be correspondents’ reports from The Nation, Mother Jones and Yes Magazine and special guest appearances by NAACP’s Ben Jealous, filmmaker Michael Moore, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb and many more.
Join the conversation! Chat with us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/grittv) or tweet at us on Twitter using hashtag #FSVote–and send your questions for our guests using hashtag #FSTVQ.
May 02 2010
March 24, 2009
RIKI OTT: […] Exxon promised to make us whole. You know, “You’re lucky you have Exxon.” We hadn’t even gone to court by 1993. We had fish run collapses, bankruptcies, divorces, suicides, you know, domestic violence spikes, substance abuse spikes. The town was just unraveling. And we were waiting for somebody to help us: the State of Alaska, the federal government, the court system, Exxon. Nobody. And–
AMY GOODMAN: There were 33,000 plaintiffs.
RIKI OTT: There are 32,000 claims, 22,000 plaintiffs.
AMY GOODMAN: You’ve said that is not just an environmental disaster, but a crisis in democracy.
RIKI OTT: It is a democracy crisis. The question we started asking as our lawsuit went on and on and on, and we didn’t get paid, was how did corporations get this big, where they can manipulate the legal system, the political system? What happened here?
AMY GOODMAN: How many animals died?
Riki Ott, author, community activist, marine toxicologist and former fisherma’am. She is author of Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Spill.
Apr 01 2010
Don’t worry — Oil Spills? — We got it covered!
Covered with what? … maybe should be the next question.
Granted America needs the energy … but what sort of safety measures are in place?
When Murphy’s Law kicks in again — as it always does — will America’s Energy Corporations be ready, to mitigate the fallout?
Mar 18 2010
Why did Kucinich decide to vote for this bill? Why is he whipping for it? I’m trying to figure this out myself.
(Watch the whole interview there, or read it, or listen to it.)
AMY GOODMAN: Congress member Dennis Kucinich joins us now in Washington, DC.
Well, Congress member Kucinich, you did not get what you were asking for, yet you are now supporting this bill. Explain what happened and why you think this bill merits your support.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, first of all, I appreciate that you covered that part where I said that I don’t retract anything that I said before. I had taken the effort to put a public option into the bill and also to create an opportunity for states to have their right protected to pursue single payer. I took it all the way down to the line with the President, the Speaker of the House, Democratic leaders. And it became clear to me that, despite my best efforts, I wasn’t going to be able to get it in the bill and that I was going to inevitably be looking at a bill that-where I was a decisive vote and that I was basically, by virtue of circumstances, being put in a position where I could either kill the bill or let it go forward and-in the hopes that we could build something from the ruins of this bill.
I think that-you know, I mean, I can just tell you, it was a very tough decision. But I believe that now we need to look to support the efforts at the state level for single payer, to really jump over this debate and not have all those who want to see transformative change in healthcare be blamed for this bill going down. I think that really it’s a dangerous moment. You know, the Clinton healthcare reforms, which I thought were very weak, it’s been sixteen years since we’ve had a discussion about healthcare reform because of the experience of the political maelstrom that hit Washington. And I saw-I came to the conclusion, Amy, that it was going to-it would be impossible to start a serious healthcare discussion in Washington if this bill goes down, despite the fact that I don’t like it at all. And every criticism I made still stands.
I want to see this as a step. It’s not the step that I wanted to take, but a step so that after it passes, we can continue the discussion about comprehensive healthcare reform, about what needs to be done at the state level, because that’s really where we’re going to have to, I think, have a breakthrough in single payer, about diet, nutrition, comprehensive alternative medicine. There’s many things that we can do. But if the bill goes down and we get blamed for it, I think there’ll be hell to pay, and in the end, it’ll just be used as an excuse as to why Washington couldn’t get to anything in healthcare in the near future.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Congressman, I’d like to ask you, several other members of Congress who have had discussions with President Obama in recent days, as he sought their support, have said that he has essentially told them that this is-his presidency is riding on this, that to defeat the bill would severely hamper the remaining time in his presidency and also the election in November. Did he make that argument to you, as well? And did that have any impact on your decision?
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: We talked about that. I mean, I have been thinking for quite awhile about, you know, what this means in terms of the Obama presidency. And frankly, you know, I’ve had differences with this president, on the economy, on environment, on war. And so, you know, I really hadn’t given them many votes at all. But he made-he did make the argument that there was a lot on the line. And frankly, there’s been such an effort to delegitimatize his presidency, right from the beginning, that, you know, in looking at the big picture here, we have to see if there’s a way to get into this administration with an argument that could possibly influence the President to take some new directions. Standing at the sidelines, I think, is not an option right now, because, you know, we have to try to reshape the Obama presidency. And I hope that, in some small way, through my participation in trying to take healthcare in a new direction, that I can help do that.
And, you know, I-look, I can’t give any kind of process a blessing. I don’t like much of anything of what’s happening here, except to say that I think that down the road we need to jump over this debate and go right to a bigger debate about how do we get healthcare that’s significant, how do we supplant the role of private insurers. We’re not going to be able to do it on this pass. I have done everything that I possibly can to try to take a position and stake out ground to say I’m not going to change, but there’s a point at which you say, you know, it’s my way or the highway. And if the highway shows a roadblock and you go over a cliff, I don’t know what good that does, when you take a detour and maybe we can still get to the destination, which, for me, remains single payer. Start at the state level, and do the work there. And if there’s ERISA implications and lawsuits, we’ll have to deal with that, and maybe that can force Congress to finally act on some of those issues.
I’m beginning to understand his decision, I believe. He thinks that if he plays the “Ralph Nader” role (who was actually on the same episode of DN! at the same time as Kucinich) then it will kill the chances of single payer in the future. He sees this bill as a detour – a bad one, but not the worst possible thing in the world.
Please watch the whole interview. Something else to consider is what David Swanson, who worked on Kucinich’s presidential campaign, said:
I don’t think Kucinich flipped because of money, either direct “contributions” or money through the Democratic Party. I think, on the contrary, he hurt himself financially by letting down his supporters across the country. I don’t think he caved into the power of party or presidency directly. I don’t think they threatened to back a challenger or strip his subcommittee chair or block his bills, although all of that might have followed. I think the corporate media has instilled in people the idea that presidents should make laws and that the current president is trying to make a law that can reasonably be called “healthcare reform” or at least “health insurance reform.”
I’m not entirely satisfied. But I’m beginning to think about this in a more coherent way than yesterday…
Mar 05 2010
Dallas Fed chief calls for breakup of ‘too big to fail’ banks in New York speech
BRENDAN CASE, The Dallas Morning News – March 4, 2010
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher traveled to New York to trumpet a message he’s told Texas audiences before: Banks that are too big to fail are too big to exist in the first place.
Speaking Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Fisher said big, systemically important banks should be dismantled before regulators have to deal with another crisis like the one that nearly brought down Wall Street and the rest of the U.S. financial system in late 2008.
“The dangers posed by too-big-to-fail banks are too great,” he said.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and others have said Congress should pass a law giving regulators “resolution authority” to close down failing financial companies.
That is Good News, sort of.