Tuesday, February 22, 2011

  • “Gaddafi Cares More for Himself and His Power than He Cares for Anybody in Libya”: Libyan American Activist Abdulla Darrat on Bloody Crackdown on Protesters


    The Libyan government faces international condemnation for a vicious assault on the growing uprising against the four-decade rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. On Monday, Libyan troops and pro-government mercenaries attacked a large demonstration in the capital of Tripoli. Armed forces hunted down protesters in the streets, while Libyan warplanes and helicopters fired on them from above. The violence comes amidst more signs that Gaddafi’s government is losing ground. On Monday, several Libyan officials broke with Gaddaffi, including the justice minister and the country’s delegation to the United Nations. For more, we are joined by Libyan American activist Abdulla Darrat. “It really shows what over the last 40 years has become a country dominated by the megalomania of this one human being, who cares more for his self and his power than he cares for anybody in Libya,” Darrat says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson Marches in Madison as Thousands Defend Public Employees and Unions


    We speak to the famed civil rights leader as he walks a group of Madison students back to school as they reopen following a week of teacher protests, who joined tens of thousands of others to oppose the state’s efforts to pass anti-union legislation targeting public employees. “It’s no longer about workers making economic concessions,” Jackson says. “It’s about the Governor wanting to deny workers the right to collective bargaining.” [includes rush transcript]

  • “Today is a Serious Showdown”: Thousands Occupy Wisconsin Capitol Building Ahead of Anti-Union Vote


    The Wisconsin Assembly is set to begin debate today on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan to cut pay and eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. The unions have agreed to accept all of Walker’s proposed cuts, which would see them pay 12 percent of their health benefits and half their pension costs. But they have refused to relinquish their right to collective bargaining. We speak to Peter Rickman, an activist in the Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has helped occupy the Capitol building in Madison for the past week to protest the bill. “People understand that this is a fundamental attack on basic worker rights,” Rickman says. “So, people like ... the firefighters, steelworkers and other folks — nurses, home care workers — who are joining us are doing this because this is a struggle for all working folks.” [includes rush transcript]

  • Labor Protests to Defend Collective Bargaining Rights Spread to Ohio


    In Ohio, tens of thousands are expected to pour into the State Capitol of Columbus today for a rally against Senate Bill Five. The measure would require state employees to abandon collective bargaining, pay more toward health insurance premiums, and switch to a so-called "merit-based" pay system. Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich has said public employees who go on strike should lose their jobs. We speak to Donald Conley, operations director for Ohio Civil Service Association, the union that represents nearly 35,000 state employees in Ohio. [includes rush transcript]

  • Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?"


    "Nobody goes to jail,” writes Matt Taibbi in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine. “This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth." Taibbi explains how the American people have been defrauded by Wall Street investors and how the financial crisis is connected to the situations in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio. [includes rush transcript]

  • Judge Convicted in Pennsylvania Kids-for-Cash Scheme, Faces Long Prison Term and Class Action Lawsuit


    A federal jury has found a former Pennsylvania judge guilty of participating in a so-called "kids for cash" scheme, in which he received money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails over the years. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr., was convicted Friday of accepting bribes and kickbacks for putting juveniles into detention centers operated by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western Pennsylvania Child Care. Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, are said to have received $2.6 million for their efforts. Ciavarella faces a maximum sentence of 157 years in prison, in addition to a class action lawsuit on behalf of the youths’ families. For more on this story, we are joined by Marsha Levick of the Juvenile Law Center and to Sandy Fonzo, who believes her son’s suicide was related to his treatment by Ciavarella. [includes rush transcript]