Friday, December 14, 2012

  • Dean Baker: The Biggest Myth in Obama-GOP Spending Showdown is the "Fiscal Cliff" Itself

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    As negotiations continue between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner, leading economist Dean Baker joins us to discuss the myths about the so-called fiscal cliff. With little more than two weeks before the deadline, President Obama insists on an immediate increase in the top two income-tax rates as a condition for further negotiations on changes to spending and entitlement programs. But Boehner said Washington’s "spending problem" is the biggest roadblock to reaching a deal and has urged the White House to identify more spending cuts. "This idea that, somehow, if we don’t get a deal by the end of the year we’re going to see the economy collapse, go into a recession, really that’s just totally dishonest," says Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "The basis for this is that we don’t have a deal all year. And the fact that you don’t have a deal December 31st does not mean you don’t get a deal by December 31st, 2013." [includes rush transcript]

  • Ex-Commissioner Michael Copps on the FCC’s Unrelenting Anti-Diversity Push for Media Consolidation

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    Former Federal Communications Commission Chair Michael Copps joins to discuss the growing opposition to the FCC’s effort to weaken media ownership rules and clear the way for greater media consolidation. Last month, Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski circulated a plan to relax a longstanding ban that prevents the owner of a television broadcast station from also owning a newspaper in the same town or city. The move has drawn harsh criticism from public interest groups and lawmakers. Copps, who was the longest-serving FCC commissioner in the agency’s history, now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Admin Preps "Enduring Presence" in Afghanistan, U.S. Peace Activists Build Ties to War’s Victims

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    While the U.S. military is preparing to extend what is already the nation’s longest war, new ties are emerging between the peace movement here and in Afghanistan. The group "Afghan Peace Volunteers" recently invited international peace activists to help launch a campaign called "2 Million Friends for Peace in Afghanistan," a nod to the number of Afghans killed in the last four decades of war and occupation. We’re joined by two U.S. peace activists recently back from Afghanistan: Ann Wright, a retired Army colonel and former U.S. diplomat who helped oversee the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan in 2001; and John Dear, a Catholic priest and longtime peace activist who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. [includes rush transcript]