Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Egypt Votes: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Cairo on Historic Post-Mubarak Election


    A historic election is underway as Egyptians head to the polls for the first presidential election since their ouster of Hosni Mubarak. For the first time in the country’s history, the winner is not a foregone conclusion. We go to Cairo for an update from Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. Despite predictions of a high turnout, Kouddous says concerns remain over the role of Egypt’s military rulers: "Many say that we cannot have a president without a constitution. ... The president is essentially being elected without knowing exactly what authorities he will have vis-à-vis the military, vis-à-vis cabinet, vis-à-vis the Parliament. And many of these young revolutionaries ... say that any president that comes will be a puppet for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, will not have any real power, and that the real struggle will continue to be in the streets." [includes rush transcript]

  • "So Rich, So Poor": Peter Edelman on Ending U.S. Poverty & Why He Left Clinton Admin over Welfare Law


    Census data shows nearly one in two Americans live in poverty, and now the Congressional Budget Office warns things could soon get worse if President Obama and Congress remain at an impasse over the 2013 fiscal budget. House Republicans are calling for cuts to food aid, healthcare and social services, while protecting funds for the Pentagon. We discuss poverty with Peter Edelman, who resigned as assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services over then-President Bill Clinton’s signing of the 1996 welfare reform law that threw millions off the rolls. "Basically, right now, welfare is gone," Edelman says. "We have six million people in this country whose only income is food stamps. That’s an income at a third of the poverty line. ... Nineteen states serve less than 10 percent of their poor children. It’s a terrible hole in the safety net. Welfare has basically disappeared in large parts of this country." Now a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Edelman has written a new book, "So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America." "I’m very much supportive of Occupy," he adds. "The idea ... of the 1 percent and the 99 percent ... all fits together. We really should be all one country." [includes rush transcript]