Wednesday, August 17, 2011

  • Human Rights Watch: Abuses by All Sides Fueling Crisis in Somalia

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    A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses all sides in the Somali conflict of committing war crimes. The report, "'You Don't Know Who to Blame’: War Crimes in Somalia," calls on all sides to immediately end abuses against civilians, hold those responsible to account, and ensure access to aid and free movement of people fleeing conflict and drought. The report is highly critical of the Islamist group al-Shabab, as well as the U.S.-backed Somali Transitional Federal Government and the African Union peacekeeping forces. Human Rights Watch is calling on the United States and other international donors to withhold financial and military aid to the Somali transitional government, unless the government sets clear benchmarks for the respect of international humanitarian and human rights law and accountability for serious abuses. We look at the connection between the conflict and the devastating famine with Rona Peligal, deputy director of the Africa Division for Human Rights Watch. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rick Perry Stirs Ire for Fed Threat, "Economic Miracle" Claim & Calling Entitlements "Ponzi Scheme"

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    Since announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination over the weekend, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has already raised eyebrows over a number of heated comments. On Monday Perry accused Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of treason and suggested he would face physical harm in Texas. His comments were widely criticized, from the White House to Republican key strategist Karl Rove. Perry has also drawn criticism for calling Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare "a Ponzi scheme." Perry’s record in Texas is also beginning to face increased scrutiny. He claims responsibility for the an "economic miracle" in Texas, but many have questioned the success of his economic policies. We look at Perry’s recent comments and his past with Bob Moser, executive editor of The American Prospect. Moser is the former editor of The Texas Observer, where he spent the last three years covering Perry. [includes rush transcript]

  • Ex-Evangelical Denounces Michele Bachmann & Calls Christian Reconstructionist Politics "Anti-American"

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    We speak with a former evangelical Christian, Frank Schaeffer, whose father’s writings and work played a key role in the religious development of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Frank Schaeffer recently wrote an article titled "Michele Bachmann Was Inspired by My Dad and His Christian Reconstructionist Friends — Here’s Why That’s Terrifying." Schaeffer’s father was Francis Schaeffer, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian theologians and philosophers in the 1970s and 1980s. In a recent profile in The New Yorker magazine, Bachmann reveals she entered politics after watching Francis Schaeffer’s film, "How Should We Then Live?" The film was directed by his son, Frank, our guest today. "[Bachmann] doesn’t just come from the far right of evangelical politics. She comes from a fringe even of the fringe, which is the Reconstructionist, Dominionist movement," Schaeffer says. “The religious right that I was part of is fundamentally anti-American. They hate this country. They wrap themselves in the flag, but they hate America as it is." [includes rush transcript]